It first appeared in July when it was released on HackForums. Gradually, the keylogger began to gain ground and is now considered one of the most important threats.
Theft of information
According to Cybereason researchers, the hacker behind the Phoenix is very experienced and highly skilled. Within just a few months developed Phoenix and converted it from a simple keylogger to a multi-functional one trojan information theft (infostealer).
The original versions were only capable of keylogging. However, the latest versions have ability to steal data user, such as passwords access, from: 20 different browsers, 4 different email clients, FTP clients and applications.
Most worrying, though, is that Phoenix it also has anti-AV and anti-VM features, that help keep it hidden so cannot be detected and analyzed.
Both functions provide a list of them processes that should end the Phoenix keylogger, before continuing on malicious its activities.
This list includes more than 80 known security products and virtual machine (VM) technologies. These are used to detect and analyze suspicious programs. Therefore, turning them off is very dangerous.
In the picture below you can see the list of products that disables the Phoenix keylogger:
Security products detect threats and alert them users for any suspicious move. However, if Phoenix does its job properly, it will be able to collect the data it wants and send it to hackers, without realizing it.
Cybereason researchers believe the Phoenix keylogger is particularly popular because it is easy to use. It was also observed that it is used with different configuration in different attacks, depending on the target of the attacker.
In most cases, the goal was to steal information, sending them to the attackers and disappearing from it system.
“Our guess is that Phoenix is used more for a simple theft of information than for tool designed for long-term monitoring, ”said one researcher.
"As this is a completely new malware in progress, there may be a change that will turn it into a more powerful surveillance tool in the future."
“As for the clientele, it seems that most buyers are interested in acquire sensitive data that could later be sold in underground markets, mainly those related to credentials", The researcher added.
The Phoenix keylogger can steal and send data to hackers in a matter of seconds. This is why it is not used as a long-term monitoring tool. He gets the information he wants right away.
Cybereason researchers believe creator of keylogger Phoenix is also creator of Alpha Keylogger, another malware which stopped being released a few months before Phoenix was released. The researchers link the two keyloggers because of their shared code and the similar way in which they were presented to advertisements on hacking forums.