What is the Dyre Banking Malware Phishing Email?

In the world of cyber-security, you cannot relax your guard, even for a moment. In mid-October 2014, discovery of a phishing scam aimed at obtaining sensitive user account credentials for a number of online services, including banking services, prompted a warning from US-CERT outlining the particulars of this scam. Known as Dyre or Dyreza, this banking malware is a phishing attempt to gain access to sensitive banking information such as passwords.

Dyreza banking malware

Photo courtesy PCRisk

How to Identify the Dyre Banking Malware Phishing Email

As with the majority of phishing attempts, this scam entices an unsuspecting user into opening an attachment to an email, which triggers a download of malware onto the user’s system. This particular phishing attempt takes advantage of vulnerabilities in unpatched versions of Adobe Reader software. In this phishing attempt, an email is received with a subject line that reads “Unpaid Invoic” and includes an attachment titled “Invoice621785.pdf” designed to appear as a legitimate email. A sharp-eyed user might notice a misspelling in the subject line, as this is characteristic of this campaign. Opening the attached PDF allows for the unauthorized download of the Dyre malware, which then burrows into the system registry and attempts to harvest login information for a number of online services, particularly banking services.

How to Safe-Guard Against the Dyre Banking Malware

Fortunately for the majority of users, all the major anti-virus vendors detected this malware before it became widespread. However, phishing attempts are common and users are advised to take precautions against such attacks:

  • Do not follow unsolicited links in email
  • Be cautious about opening email attachments
  • Safeguard your computer when not in use by requiring a password to log into your system
  • Enable your computer’s firewall
  • Apply security updates for your operating system and software patches as they become available
  • Maintain updated anti-virus software

By establishing and maintaining good computing habits, keeping your security settings updated, and being cautious about any unsolicited email you receive, you can help to protect yourself from phishing scams. Because phishing attempts are prevalent online, an extra dose of caution can go a long way toward safeguarding your personal information.