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Molerats Hackers Hiding New Espionage Attacks Behind Public Cloud Infrastructure

Molerats Hackers Hiding New Espionage Attacks Behind Public Cloud Infrastructure

January 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An active espionage campaign has been attributed to the threat actor known as Molerats that abuses legitimate cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox to host malware payloads and for command-and-control and the exfiltration of data from targets across the Middle East. The cyber offensive is believed to have been underway since at least July 2021,  according  to cloud-based information security company Zscaler, continuing  previous efforts  by the hacking group to conduct reconnaissance on the target hosts and plunder sensitive information. Molerats , also tracked as TA402, Gaza Hackers Team, and Extreme Jackal, is an advanced persistent threat (APT) group that's largely focused on entities operating in the Middle East. Attack activity associated with the actor has leveraged geopolitical and military themes to entice users to open Microsoft Office attachments and click on malicious links. The latest campaign detailed by Zscaler is no different in that it makes use of deco
Hackers Planted Secret Backdoor in Dozens of WordPress Plugins and Themes

Hackers Planted Secret Backdoor in Dozens of WordPress Plugins and Themes

January 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
In yet another instance of software supply chain attack, dozens of WordPress themes and plugins hosted on a developer's website were backdoored with malicious code in the first half of September 2021 with the goal of infecting further sites. The backdoor gave the attackers full administrative control over websites that used 40 themes and 53 plugins belonging to AccessPress Themes, a Nepal-based company that boasts of no fewer than 360,000 active website installations. "The infected extensions contained a dropper for a web shell that gives the attackers full access to the infected sites," security researchers from JetPack, a WordPress plugin suite developer, said in a  report  published this week. "The same extensions were fine if downloaded or installed directly from the WordPress[.]org directory." The vulnerability has been assigned the identifier  CVE-2021-24867 . Website security platform Sucuri, in a separate analysis,  said  some of the infected websit
Critical Bugs in Control Web Panel Expose Linux Servers to RCE Attacks

Critical Bugs in Control Web Panel Expose Linux Servers to RCE Attacks

January 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have disclosed details of two critical security vulnerabilities in Control Web Panel that could be abused as part of an exploit chain to achieve pre-authenticated remote code execution on affected servers. Tracked as CVE-2021-45467 , the issue concerns a case of a  file inclusion vulnerability , which occurs when a web application is tricked into exposing or running arbitrary files on the web server. Control Web Panel, previously CentOS Web Panel, is an open-source Linux control panel software used for deploying web hosting environments. Specifically, the issue arises when two of the unauthenticated PHP pages used in the application — "/user/login.php" and "/user/index.php" — fail to adequately validate a path to a script file, according to Octagon Networks'  Paulos Yibelo , who discovered and reported the flaws. This means that in order to exploit the vulnerability, all an attacker has to do is to alter the  include statement , which is used
Chinese Hackers Spotted Using New UEFI Firmware Implant in Targeted Attacks

Chinese Hackers Spotted Using New UEFI Firmware Implant in Targeted Attacks

January 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented firmware implant deployed to maintain stealthy persistence as part of a targeted espionage campaign has been linked to the Chinese-speaking Winnti advanced persistent threat group ( APT41 ). Kaspersky, which codenamed the rootkit  MoonBounce ,  characterized  the malware as the "most advanced  UEFI  firmware implant discovered in the wild to date," adding "the purpose of the implant is to facilitate the deployment of user-mode malware that stages execution of further payloads downloaded from the internet." Firmware-based rootkits, once a rarity in the threat landscape, are fast becoming lucrative tools among sophisticated actors to help achieve long standing foothold in a manner that's not only hard to detect, but also difficult to remove. The first firmware-level rootkit — dubbed  LoJax  — was discovered in the wild in 2018. Since then, three different instances of UEFI malware have been unearthed so far, including  MosaicRegresso
U.S. Sanctions 4 Ukrainians for Working with Russia to Destabilize Ukraine

U.S. Sanctions 4 Ukrainians for Working with Russia to Destabilize Ukraine

January 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions against four current and former Ukrainian government officials for engaging in "Russian government-directed influence activities" in the country, including gathering sensitive information about its critical infrastructure. The agency said the four individuals were involved in different roles as part of a concerted influence campaign to destabilize the nation, while also accusing Russia's national security authority, the Federal Security Service (FSB), of recruiting Ukrainians in key positions to create instability. Two of the officials, Taras Kozak and Oleh Voloshyn, are alleged to have worked to amplify false narratives and undermine confidence in the Ukrainian government, while Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, attempted to build support for Ukraine to officially cede Crimea to Russia. "Russia has directed its intelligence services to
Cisco Issues Patch for Critical RCE Vulnerability in RCM for StarOS Software

Cisco Issues Patch for Critical RCE Vulnerability in RCM for StarOS Software

January 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cisco Systems has rolled out fixes for a critical security flaw affecting Redundancy Configuration Manager (RCM) for Cisco StarOS Software that could be weaponized by an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code and take over vulnerable machines. Tracked as  CVE-2022-20649  (CVSS score: 9.0), the vulnerability stems from the fact that the debug mode has been incorrectly enabled for specific services. "An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by connecting to the device and navigating to the service with debug mode enabled," Cisco said in an advisory. "A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary commands as the root user." The network equipment maker, however, noted that the adversary would need to perform detailed reconnaissance to allow for unauthenticated access to vulnerable devices. Stating that the vulnerability was discovered during internal security testing, Cisco added it found no evidence of active exploitat
Google Details Two Zero-Day Bugs Reported in Zoom Clients and MMR Servers

Google Details Two Zero-Day Bugs Reported in Zoom Clients and MMR Servers

January 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An exploration of zero-click attack surface for the popular video conferencing solution Zoom has yielded two previously undisclosed security vulnerabilities that could have been exploited to crash the service, execute malicious code, and even leak arbitrary areas of its memory. Natalie Silvanovich of Google Project Zero, who  discovered  and reported the  two   flaws  last year, said the issues impacted both Zoom clients and Multimedia Router (MMR) servers, which transmit audio and video content between clients in  on-premise deployments . The weaknesses have since been addressed by Zoom as part of  updates  shipped on November 24, 2021. The goal of a zero-click attack is to stealthily gain control over the victim's device without requiring any kind of interaction from the user, such as clicking on a link. While the specifics of the exploit will vary depending on the nature of vulnerability being exploited, a key trait of zero-click hacks is their ability not to leave behind
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