GoTo admits customer cloud backups stolen together with decryption key

GoTo is a well-known brand that owns a range of products, including technologies for teleconferencing and webinars, remote access, and password management. If you’ve ever used GoTo Webinar (online meetings and seminars), GoToMyPC (connect and control someone else’s computer for management and support), or LastPass (a password manangement service), you’ve used a product from the […]

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Administrator of RSOCKS Proxy Botnet Pleads Guilty

Denis Emelyantsev, a 36-year-old Russian man accused of running a massive botnet called RSOCKS that stitched malware into millions of devices worldwide, pleaded guilty to two counts of computer crime violations in a California courtroom this week. The plea comes just months after Emelyantsev was extradited from Bulgaria, where he told investigators, “America is looking for me because I have enormous information and they need it.”

A copy of the passport for Denis Emelyantsev, a.k.a. Denis Kloster, as posted to his Vkontakte page in 2019.

First advertised in the cybercrime underground in 2014, RSOCKS was the web-based storefront for hacked computers that were sold as “proxies” to cybercriminals looking for ways to route their Web traffic through someone else’s device.

Customers could pay to rent access to a pool of proxies for a specified period, with costs ranging from $30 per day for access to 2,000 proxies, to $200 daily for up to 90,000 proxies.

Many of the infected systems were Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including industrial control systems, time clocks, routers, audio/video streaming devices, and smart garage door openers. Later in its existence, the RSOCKS botnet expanded into compromising Android devices and conventional computers.

In June 2022, authorities in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom announced a joint operation to dismantle the RSOCKS botnet. But that action did not name any defendants.

Inspired by that takedown, KrebsOnSecurity followed clues from the RSOCKS botnet master’s identity on the cybercrime forums to Emelyantsev’s personal blog, where he went by the name Denis Kloster. The blog featured musings on the challenges of running a company that sells “security and anonymity services to customers around the world,” and even included a group photo of RSOCKS employees.

“Thanks to you, we are now developing in the field of information security and anonymity!,” Kloster’s blog enthused. “We make products that are used by thousands of people around the world, and this is very cool! And this is just the beginning!!! We don’t just work together and we’re not just friends, we’re Family.”

But by the time that investigation was published, Emelyantsev had already been captured by Bulgarian authorities responding to an American arrest warrant. At his extradition hearing, Emelyantsev claimed he would prove his innocence in an U.S. courtroom.

“I have hired a lawyer there and I want you to send me as quickly as possible to clear these baseless charges,” Emelyantsev told the Bulgarian court. “I am not a criminal and I will prove it in an American court.”

RSOCKS, circa 2016. At that time, RSOCKS was advertising more than 80,000 proxies. Image: archive.org.

Emelyantsev was far more than just an administrator of a large botnet. Behind the facade of his Internet advertising company based in Omsk, Russia, the RSOCKS botmaster was a major player in the Russian email spam industry for more than a decade.

Some of the top Russian cybercrime forums have been hacked over the years, and leaked private messages from those forums show the RSOCKS administrator claimed ownership of the RUSdot spam forum. RUSdot is the successor forum to Spamdot, a far more secretive and restricted community where most of the world’s top spammers, virus writers and cybercriminals collaborated for years before the forum imploded in 2010.

A Google-translated version of the Rusdot spam forum.

Indeed, the very first mentions of RSOCKS on any Russian-language cybercrime forums refer to the service by its full name as the “RUSdot Socks Server.”

Email spam — and in particular malicious email sent via compromised computers — is still one of the biggest sources of malware infections that lead to data breaches and ransomware attacks. So it stands to reason that as administrator of Russia’s most well-known forum for spammers, Emelyantsev probably knows quite a bit about other top players in the botnet spam and malware community.

It remains unclear whether Emelyantsev made good on his promise to spill that knowledge to American investigators as part of his plea deal. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, which has not responded to a request for comment.

Emelyantsev pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts, including damage to protected computers and conspiracy to damage protected computers. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, and is currently scheduled to be sentenced on April 27, 2023.

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WINE 8.0 llega a su versión estable introduciendo muchísimas mejoras, como Mono 7.4 o conversión de módulos a PE finalizada

WINE 8.0

Si yo hubiera apostado, habría perdido mi dinero. Se sabía que WINE 8.0 estaba cerca de llegar, ya que el año pasado se lanzaron siete Release Candidates de la v7.0 de este software para ejecutar aplicaciones de Windows en otros sistemas operativos, pero personalmente pensaba que llegaría ya en febrero. No ha sido así. Hoy 24 de enero, WineHQ ha lanzado la nueva versión estable, y llega con una larga lista de novedades.

La notificación de WineHQ está disponible en este enlace, en donde se explican cosas como que, después de 4 años de desarrollo, la conversión a PE ya ha sido completada. Tal y como explican, «Se trata de un hito importante en el camino hacia la compatibilidad con diversas funciones, como la protección anticopia, las aplicaciones de 32 bits en hosts de 64 bits, depuradores de Windows, aplicaciones x86 en ARM, etc«.

Novedades más destacadas de WINE 8.0

  • Finalización de la conversión de todos los módulos de WINE al formato PE.
  • Continuación del trabajo en WoW64 para permitir, en última instancia, que las aplicaciones Windows de 32 bits funcionen sin una biblioteca Unix de 32 bits.
  • Se ha añadido un tema gráfico «ligero» a la configuración por defecto.
  • Se ha implementado la arquitectura del procesador de impresión.
  • Mejoras continuas en torno a la funcionalidad Direct2D y Direct3D, incluyendo optimizaciones de rendimiento.
  • La biblioteca de sombreadores VKD3D ha implementado un nuevo compilador y desensamblador HLSL.
  • Se ha mejorado considerablemente la compatibilidad con la conexión en caliente de controladores.
  • Mejor soporte para la detección de dispositivos de volante, Force Feedback y otras funciones de entrada.
  • Mejoras en el manejo de fuentes.
  • Actualización del motor Mono a Mono 7.4.
  • Todas las aplicaciones integradas utilizan Common Controls v6 para el renderizado HiDPI por defecto y la tematización.
  • Varias actualizaciones de la infraestructura de compilación y de las herramientas de desarrollo.
  • Actualizaciones de muchas de las bibliotecas incluidas en WINE.

El tarball de WINE 8.0 está disponible en este enlace. A partir de ahora, las diferentes distribuciones Linux irán añadiendo la nueva versión a sus repositorios oficiales; no olvidemos que esta es la versión estable y no otra más de desarrollo. Las de desarrollo empezarán a llegar en breve para preparar el WINE 9.0 que debería llegar a principios de 2024, primero una cada dos semanas, luego una semanal en la fase de Release Candidates, luego la estable y vuelta a empezar.

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