News recently broke of a merger between two prominent banking malware families. Earlier in the month, Cylance began tracking what appeared to be Trojan samples sharing feature sets from both Gozi and Nymaim. At this time, we are aware of over twenty organizations that appear to have been specifically targeted by this new hybrid threat. Most of the victims are based in the United States, with a few outliers. The continued morphing of the code behind the threat is not expected to slow down.
The Gozi family is regarded as one of the most successful and prolific financial malware platforms in malware history, with the first reports of infection dating back to 2007. Nymaim is not nearly as well established, with the first reports of infection by the malware dating from 2013. Nymaim’s hallmarks closely resemble those of ransomeware. Initial delivery occurs via malicious office document (.doc file). The original variants of Nymaim were of the ‘fake police warning’ variety. The malware locks up the victim’s computer and displays fake legal warnings purporting to be from the FBI, the police, Interpol etc., claiming that the victim had violated certain laws while using the Internet and threatening years of jail time unless certain ‘fines’ are paid.
The latest union between the two Trojans merges their codebases to produce a much more robust banking malware package (like Gozi ISFB), with better fluid and stealth persistence capabilities (like Nymaim). Some aspects of the initial dropper are also pulled from the Nymaim side.
It is important to note that while the Gozi ISFB source code has been previously leaked a few times over the years, that does not appear to be the case with Nymaim. At this time, presumably only the original malware authors behind Nymaim have access to that particular codebase, and therefore they are the only ones with the capability to add on additional modules or functionality, as with GozNym. Also, as recently as late 2015, there were important legal proceedings regarding the use and spread of Gozi. 
When these ‘new’ threats arise, it gives us another opportunity to show the power of Cylance’s machine learning approach and the capabilities inherent to using the power of artificial intelligence within CylancePROTECT.
Without previous analysis, CylancePROTECT was able to detect 100% of the GozNym variants we threw at it – watch our live demo video below.
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