MegaPanzer: Parts of Possible Govware Trojan Released under GPL

Aug 28, 2009

The name Ruben Unteregger may well become more newsworthy in the next few days. Unteregger has been working at the Swiss ERA IT Solutions company to develop the trojans MegaPanzer and MiniPanzer and has released the code under GPL.

After working for ERA IT Solutions for seven years, Unteregger is only sporadically releasing parts of his trojan under GPLv3. His homepage currently has the downloadable source code for his Skype trojan that taps Skype conversations and dumps the audio data to MP3 files. Swiss authorities have allegedly been using the software since October 2006.

Originally designed for attacks on Windows XP, the MegaPanzer code is "simple and straightforward," according to Unteregger in his blog. The backdoor gets instructions from a specially prepared server (the "dropzone") and transfers the audio data. The Skype-Tap intercepts Skype function calls, dumps the audio data to files, converts them to MP3 and encrypts them. The code is currently missing a few pieces for security reasons, among them a plugin system for the backdoor and functions to circumvent firewalls. These Unteregger will publish later as separate tools and also put them under GPL. His bottom line is, "as always I am open for your opinions and criticism."

The Swiss developer lets on to some of his work at ERA IT Solutions in an interview on gulli.com. Whether this type of benevolent malware has some use for other govware is yet to be seen. Unteregger won't say for sure whether Linux or Mac versions are currently being considered.

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