Criminal use of code signing certificates

The Use of Counterfeit Code Signing Certificates Is on the Rise
Andrei Barysevich
February 22, 2018

In 2017, security researchers around the world started seeing a sudden increase in code signing certificates being used as a layered obfuscation technique for malicious payload distribution campaigns. Recorded Future’s Insikt Group investigated the criminal underground and identified vendors currently offering both code signing certificates and domain name registration with accompanying SSL certificates. Contrary to a common belief that the security certificates circulating in the criminal underground are stolen from legitimate owners prior to being used in nefarious campaigns, we confirmed with a high degree of certainty that the certificates are created for a specific buyer per request only and are registered using stolen corporate identities, making traditional network security appliances less effective.

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