Security firm Sunbelt, which recently discovered that the Bank of India's hacked website was serving dangerous malware, has said the infamous Russian Business Network — an ISP linked to child pornography and phishing — is behind the attack.
The service provider in question has developed a notorious reputation, with VeriSign classifying it as "the baddest of the bad" in the ISP world in June 2006.
According to a VeriSign spokesperson, the Russian Business Network (RBN) is different to other service providers because "unlike many ISPs that host predominately legitimate items, RBN is entirely illegal".
"A scan of RBN and affiliated ISPs' net space conducted by VeriSign iDefense analysts failed to locate any legitimate activity. Instead, [our] research identified phishing, malicious code, botnet command-and-control, denial-of-service attacks and child pornography on every single server owned and operated by RBN," the spokesperson said.
RBN almost exclusively attacks non-Russian financial institutions and its leaders' family ties with a "a powerful St Petersburg politician" effectively offer it immunity from prosecution, the spokesperson added.
Patrik Runald, senior security specialist at F-Secure, said: "No one knows who the RBN is. They are a secret group based out of St Petersburg that appears to have political connections. The company doesn't legitimately exist. It's not registered and provides hosting for everything that's bad."
"Their network infrastructure is behind a lot of the bad stuff we're seeing and it has connections to the MPack Group [a well-known group of cybercriminals which used MPack software to steal confidential data]," said Runald.
Runald said that, in the case of the Bank of India's hacked website, RBN used an Iframe to launch another window which then pushed victims to a webpage containing malicious code.
"That page contained links to three other pages on other servers," said Runald. "At the time we started looking into it, two out of three URLs had been taken down. The one remaining was trying to use an exploit from 2006 to affect systems with a Trojan downloader. Once infected, that downloader would go out and download another piece of malware, including other downloaders," said Runald.
The Trojans used in this case were designed to steal passwords from PCs and upload Trojan proxies in aide of developing a botnet.