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Threat Spotlight: “Kyle and Stan” Malvertising Network 9 Times Larger Than Expected

This post was authored by Armin Pelkmann.

On September 8th, Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group unveiled the existence of the “Kyle and Stan” Malvertisement Network. The network was responsible for placing malicious advertisements on big websites like,,, and 70 other domains. As it turns out, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Ongoing research now reveals the real size of the attackers’ network is 9 times larger than reported in our first blog. For more details, read the Kyle and Stan Blog.

The infographic below illustrates how much more of the malvertisement network was uncovered in comparison to our first assessment. We have now isolated 6491 domains sharing the same infrastructure. This is over 9 times the previously mentioned 703 domains.  We have observed and analyzed 31151 connections made to these domains. This equals over 3 times the amount of connections previously observed. The increase in connections is most likely not proportional to the domains due to the fact that a long time that has passed since the initial attacks.


The discovery difference from the previous blog to this one in raw numbers. With more than 3-times the now observed connections and over 9-times the revealed malicious domains, this malvertising network is of unusually massive proportions.

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Threat Spotlight: “Kyle and Stan” Malvertising Network Threatens Windows and Mac Users With Mutating Malware

This post was authored by Shaun Hurley, David McDaniel and Armin Pelkmann.

Update 2014-09-22: Updates on this threat can be found here

img_MetricsHave you visited,,,, or any of the 74 domains listed below lately? If the answer is yes, then you may have been a victim to the “Kyle and Stan” Malvertising Network that distributes sophisticated, mutating malware for Windows and even Macs.

Table of contents

Attack in a Nutshell
Technical Breakdown
Reversing of the Mac Malware
Reversing of the Windows Malware
Protecting Users Against These Threats

Malvertising is a short form for “malicious advertising.” The idea is very simple: use online advertising to spread malware. Read More »

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Summary: Extended By Popular Demand: The Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge

Since its announcement at the RSA 2014 conference, the security community has been actively involved in the Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge. The response has been so great that we’ve decided to extend the deadline by two more weeks – so you now have until July 1st, 2014 to make your submission! Visit for full details about the challenge and prepare your response. Good luck!

Read the full blog for more information.

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New Standards May Reduce Heartburn Caused by the Next Heartbleed

Ed Paradise, Vice President of Engineering for Cisco’s Threat Response, Intelligence and Development Group

Much has been made of the industry-wide Heartbleed vulnerability and its potential exploitation. Cisco was among the first companies to release a customer Security Advisory when the vulnerability became public, and is now one of many offering mitigation advice.

Those dealing with this issue on a day-to-day basis know it’s not enough to just patch the OpenSSL software library. Organizations also need to revoke and reissue digital certificates for their Heartbleed-vulnerable sites. If your certificates were stored in a Trust Anchor Module (TAM), they are still safe. Otherwise, a few additional steps should be taken to ensure you and your customers are secure:
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Windows Server DNS Cache: How to Use the Command Line Inspection of Microsoft Windows DNS Cache

This post explains how to inspect the contents of windows DNS cache. Inspection can be used to check DNS entries, revealing if any malicious websites are being visited.

A Domain Name Server’s (DNS) cache of DNS records can be inspected to determine if your network is interacting with suspicious or malicious internet sites. To perform this task, perform the following:

For Windows 2003 and prior versions, you must install Windows Support Tools. Once installed, inspect and export the DNS cache using the command prompt (cmd.exe) window.

For Windows 2008 and later, The Windows PowerShell is a more advanced version of Windows Support Tools and is installed by default. Use the PowerShell window or run the PowerShell Script from the command prompt window to inspect and export the DNS cache.

How to Inspect the Cache from the CMD Prompt

Windows 2003 and Prior Using dnscmd

  1. From the support tools directory (\Program Files (x86)\Support Tools), run the following command to display the DNS cache output in the CMD window.
  2. To redirect the DNS cache output to a file, use the following command:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Support Tools>dnscmd /zoneprint ..cache > c:\cache_output.txt

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