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Experts Uncover the Identity of Mastermind Behind Golden Chickens Malware Service

Experts Uncover the Identity of Mastermind Behind Golden Chickens Malware Service

Jan 27, 2023 Threat Response / Cyber Crime
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered the real-world identity of the threat actor behind  Golden Chickens  malware-as-a-service, who goes by the online persona "badbullzvenom." eSentire's Threat Response Unit (TRU), in an exhaustive report published following a 16-month-long investigation,  said  it "found multiple mentions of the badbullzvenom account being shared between two people." The second threat actor, known as Frapstar, is said to identify themselves as "Chuck from Montreal," enabling the cybersecurity firm to piece together the criminal actor's digital footprint. This includes his real name, pictures, home address, the names of his parents, siblings, and friends, along with his social media accounts and his interests. He is also said to be the sole proprietor of a small business that's run from his own home. Golden Chickens, also known as  Venom Spider , is a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) provider that's linked to a variet
Researchers Discover New PlugX Malware Variant Spreading via Removable USB Devices

Researchers Discover New PlugX Malware Variant Spreading via Removable USB Devices

Jan 27, 2023 Endpoint Security / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a PlugX sample that employs sneaky methods to infect attached removable USB media devices in order to propagate the malware to additional systems. "This PlugX variant is wormable and infects USB devices in such a way that it conceals itself from the Windows operating file system," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers Mike Harbison and Jen Miller-Osborn  said . "A user would not know their USB device is infected or possibly used to exfiltrate data out of their networks." The cybersecurity company said it uncovered the artifact during an incident response effort following a Black Basta ransomware attack against an unnamed victim. Among other tools discovered in the compromised environment include the  Gootkit  malware loader and the  Brute Ratel C4  red team framework. The use of Brute Ratel by the Black Basta group was previously  highlighted  by Trend Micro in October 2022, with the software delivered as a second-stage
3 Lifehacks While Analyzing Orcus RAT in a Malware Sandbox

3 Lifehacks While Analyzing Orcus RAT in a Malware Sandbox

Jan 27, 2023 Malware Analyzing
Orcus  is a Remote Access Trojan with some distinctive characteristics. The RAT allows attackers to create plugins and offers a robust core feature set that makes it quite a dangerous malicious program in its class. RAT is quite a stable type that always makes it to the top. ANY.RUN's top malware types in 2022 That's why you'll definitely come across this type in your practice, and the Orcus family specifically. To simplify your analysis, we have collected 3 lifehacks you should take advantage of. Here we go. What is Orcus RAT?  Definition . Orcus RAT is a type of malicious software program that enables remote access and control of computers and networks. It is a type of Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that has been used by attackers to gain access to and control computers and networks. Capabilities . Once downloaded onto a computer or network, it begins to execute its malicious code, allowing the attacker to gain access and control. It is capable of stealing data, conductin
British Cyber Agency Warns of Russian and Iranian Hackers Targeting Key Industries

British Cyber Agency Warns of Russian and Iranian Hackers Targeting Key Industries

Jan 27, 2023 Nation-State-Sponsored Attacks
The U.K. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on Thursday warned of spear-phishing attacks mounted by Russian and Iranian state-sponsored actors for information-gathering operations. "The attacks are not aimed at the general public but targets in specified sectors, including academia, defense, government organizations, NGOs, think tanks, as well as politicians, journalists and activists," the NCSC  said . The agency attributed the intrusions to  SEABORGIUM  (aka Callisto, COLDRIVER, and TA446) and  APT42  (aka ITG18, TA453, and Yellow Garuda). The similarities in the modus operandi aside, there is no evidence the two groups are collaborating with each other. The activity is typical of spear-phishing campaigns, where the threat actors send messages tailored to the targets, while also taking enough time to research their interests and identify their social and professional circles. The initial contact is designed to appear innocuous in an attempt to gain their trust and c
Hive Ransomware Infrastructure Seized in Joint International Law Enforcement Effort

Hive Ransomware Infrastructure Seized in Joint International Law Enforcement Effort

Jan 26, 2023 Encryption / Ransomware
In what's a case of hacking the hackers, the darknet infrastructure associated with the Hive ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation has been seized as part of a coordinated law enforcement effort involving 13 countries. "Law enforcement identified the decryption keys and shared them with many of the victims, helping them regain access to their data without paying the cybercriminals," Europol  said  in a statement. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)  said  the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) covertly infiltrated the Hive database servers in July 2022 and captured 336 decryption keys that were then handed over to companies compromised by the gang, effectively saving $130 million in ransom payments. The FBI also distributed more than 1,000 additional decryption keys to previous Hive victims, the DoJ noted, stating the agency gained access to two dedicated servers and one virtual private server at a hosting provider in California that were leased using three em
Google Takes Down 50,000 Instances of Pro-Chinese DRAGONBRIDGE Influence Operation

Google Takes Down 50,000 Instances of Pro-Chinese DRAGONBRIDGE Influence Operation

Jan 26, 2023 Threat Analysis
Google on Thursday disclosed it took steps to dismantle over 50,000 instances of activity orchestrated by a pro-Chinese influence operation known as DRAGONBRIDGE in 2022. "Most DRAGONBRIDGE activity is low quality content without a political message, populated across many channels and blogs," the company's Threat Analysis Group (TAG)  said  in a  report  shared with The Hacker News. "However, a small fraction of DRAGONBRIDGE accounts also post about current events with messaging that pushes pro-China talking points." DRAGONBRIDGE  was first exposed by Google-owned Mandiant in July 2022, calling out its unsuccessful efforts in targeting rare earth mining companies in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. with the goal of triggering environmental protests against the firms. Also known by the name Spamouflage Dragon, the spammy influence network is known to have a presence across multiple platforms, including YouTube, Blogger, Facebook, and Twitter, primarily dissem
Researchers Release PoC Exploit for Windows CryptoAPI Bug Discovered by NSA

Researchers Release PoC Exploit for Windows CryptoAPI Bug Discovered by NSA

Jan 26, 2023 Encryption / Windows Security
Proof-of-concept (Poc) code has been released for a now-patched high-severity security flaw in the Windows CryptoAPI that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reported to Microsoft last year. Tracked as  CVE-2022-34689  (CVSS score: 7.5), the spoofing vulnerability was addressed by the tech giant as part of Patch Tuesday updates released in August 2022, but was only publicly disclosed two months later on October 11, 2022. "An attacker could manipulate an existing public  x.509 certificate  to spoof their identity and perform actions such as authentication or code signing as the targeted certificate," Microsoft  said  in an advisory released at the time. The  Windows CryptoAPI  offers an interface for developers to add cryptographic services such as encryption/decryption of data and authentication using digital certificates to their applications. Web security company Akamai, which  released  the PoC,  said  CVE-2022-
Researchers Uncover Connection b/w Moses Staff and Emerging Abraham's Ax Hacktivists Group

Researchers Uncover Connection b/w Moses Staff and Emerging Abraham's Ax Hacktivists Group

Jan 26, 2023
New research has linked the operations of a politically motivated hacktivist group known as Moses Staff to another nascent threat actor named  Abraham's Ax  that emerged in November 2022. This is based on "several commonalities across the iconography, videography, and leak sites used by the groups, suggesting they are likely operated by the same entity," Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU)  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. Moses Staff, tracked by the cybersecurity firm under the moniker  Cobalt Sapling , made its  first appearance  on the threat landscape in September 2021 with the goal of primarily targeting Israeli organizations. The geopolitical group is believed to be  sponsored  by the Iranian government and has since been linked to a string of espionage and sabotage attacks that make use of tools like  StrifeWater RAT  and open source utilities such as  DiskCryptor  to harvest sensitive information and lock victim data on infected hosts. The cr
Is Once-Yearly Pen Testing Enough for Your Organization?

Is Once-Yearly Pen Testing Enough for Your Organization?

Jan 26, 2023 Penetration Testing / Vulnerability
Any organization that handles sensitive data must be diligent in its security efforts, which include regular pen testing. Even a small data breach can result in significant damage to an organization's reputation and bottom line. There are two main reasons why regular pen testing is necessary for secure web application development: Security:  Web applications are constantly evolving, and new vulnerabilities are being discovered all the time. Pen testing helps identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers and allows you to fix them before they can do any damage. Compliance:  Depending on your industry and the type of data you handle, you may be required to comply with certain security standards (e.g., PCI DSS, NIST, HIPAA). Regular pen testing can help you verify that your web applications meet these standards and avoid penalties for non-compliance. How Often Should You Pentest? Many organizations, big and small,  have once a year pen testing cycle . But what
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