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Researchers Developed Artificial Intelligence-Powered Stealthy Malware

Researchers Developed Artificial Intelligence-Powered Stealthy Malware

August 09, 2018Mohit Kumar
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been seen as a potential solution for automatically detecting and combating malware, and stop cyber attacks before they affect any organization. However, the same technology can also be weaponized by threat actors to power a new generation of malware that can evade even the best cyber-security defenses and infects a computer network or launch an attack only when the target's face is detected by the camera. To demonstrate this scenario, security researchers at IBM Research came up with DeepLocker —a new breed of "highly targeted and evasive" attack tool powered by AI," which conceals its malicious intent until it reached a specific victim. According to the IBM researcher, DeepLocker flies under the radar without being detected and "unleashes its malicious action as soon as the AI model identifies the target through indicators like facial recognition, geolocation and voice recognition." Describing it as the "sp
A New Paradigm For Cyber Threat Hunting

A New Paradigm For Cyber Threat Hunting

June 11, 2018Mohit Kumar
It’s no secret that expecting security controls to block every infection vector is unrealistic. For most organizations, the chances are very high that threats have already penetrated their defenses and are lurking in their network. Pinpointing such threats quickly is essential, but traditional approaches to finding these needles in the haystack often fall short. Now there is a unique opportunity for more feasible, more effective threat hunting capabilities, and it stems from a most unusual effort: rethinking the approach to wide area networking. When we look at the cyber kill-chain today, there are two major phases—infection and post-infection. Security experts acknowledge that organizations can get infected no matter how good their security controls are. The simple fact is, infection vectors change rapidly and continuously. Attackers use new delivery methods – everything from social engineering to zero-day exploits – and they often are effective. In most cases, an infecti
Mobile Bootloaders From Top Manufacturers Found Vulnerable to Persistent Threats

Mobile Bootloaders From Top Manufacturers Found Vulnerable to Persistent Threats

September 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered several severe zero-day vulnerabilities in the mobile bootloaders from at least four popular device manufacturers that could allow an attacker to gain persistent root access on the device. A team of nine security researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara created a special static binary tool called BootStomp that automatically detects security vulnerabilities in bootloaders. Since bootloaders are usually closed source and hard to reverse-engineer, performing analysis on them is difficult, especially because hardware dependencies hinder dynamic analysis. Therefore, the researchers created BootStomp, which "uses a novel combination of static analysis techniques and underconstrained symbolic execution to build a multi-tag taint analysis capable of identifying bootloader vulnerabilities." The tool helped the researchers discover six previously-unknown critical security bugs across bootloaders from HiSilicon (Huawe
Russian Hackers Hijack Satellite To Steal Data from Thousands of Hacked Computers

Russian Hackers Hijack Satellite To Steal Data from Thousands of Hacked Computers

September 10, 2015Swati Khandelwal
A group of Russian hackers, most notably the Turla APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) is hijacking commercial satellites to hide command-and-control operations, a security firm said today. Turla APT group, which was named after its notorious software Epic Turla , is abusing satellite-based Internet connections in order to: Siphon sensitive data from government, military, diplomatic, research and educational organisations in the United States and Europe. Hide their command-and-control servers from law enforcement agencies. Despite some of its operations were uncovered last year, Turla APT group has been active for close to a decade, while remaining invisible by cleverly hiding from law enforcement agencies and security firms. Now, security researchers from Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab claim to have identified the way Turla APT group succeeded in hiding itself. The researchers said the group disguised itself by using commercial satellite Internet
FBI’s Cyber Task Force Identifies Stealthy FF-RATs used in Cyber Attack

FBI’s Cyber Task Force Identifies Stealthy FF-RATs used in Cyber Attack

September 02, 2015Wang Wei
In both April and June this year, a series of cyber attacks was conducted against the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) . These attacks resulted in 21 million current and former Federal government employees’ information being stolen. After months of investigation, the FBI’s Cyber Task Force identified several Remote Access Tools (RATs) that were used to carry out the attack. One of the more effective tools discovered is named ‘ FF-RAT ’. FF-RAT evades endpoint detection through stealth tactics, including the ability to download DLLs remotely and execute them in memory only. Hackers use RATs to gain unlimited access to infected endpoints. Once the victim’s access privilege is acquired, it is then used for malware deployment, command and control (C&C) server communication, and data exfiltration. Most Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks also take advantage of RAT functionality for bypassing strong authentication, reconnaissance, spreading
Operation Lotus Blossom APT - Elise Malware

Operation Lotus Blossom APT - Elise Malware

August 04, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) type attacks continue to emerge on a global scale. What makes these attacks deviate from the norm is often the resources required to develop and implement them: time, money, and the knowledge required to create custom pieces of malware to carry out specific, targeted attacks. Operation Lotus Blossom is one of the more recent APT attacks that has been discovered and analyzed. It is an advanced adversary campaign against the mostly government and state-sponsored entities in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Indonesia. It is thought that this group carried out the attack to gain a geopolitical advantage by stealing specific information from government and military institutions in that area.  At this point, it is still too early to tell if the reach of the attack will extend to the private sector (a la Stuxnet and Duqu). How does the attack work? It was found that Operation Lotus Blossom involved a novel custom-built malware
APT28 — State Sponsored Russian Hacker Group

APT28 — State Sponsored Russian Hacker Group

October 30, 2014Mohit Kumar
Nearly a decade-long cyber espionage group that targeted a variety of Eastern European governments and security-related organizations including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been exposed by a security research firm. The US intelligence firm FireEye released its latest Advanced Persistent Threat ( APT ) report on Tuesday which said that the cyber attacks targeting various organisations would be of the interest to Russia, and " may be " sponsored by the Russian government. The Report entitled " APT28: A Window Into Russia's Cyber Espionage Operations " published by FireEye has " evidence of long-standing, focused operations that indicate a government sponsor - specifically, a government based in Moscow. " " Despite rumours of the Russian government's alleged involvement in high-profile government and military cyber attacks, there has been little hard evidence of any link to cyber espionage, " Dan McWhort
POWELIKS — A Persistent Windows Malware Without Any Installer File

POWELIKS — A Persistent Windows Malware Without Any Installer File

August 04, 2014Mohit Kumar
Malware is nothing but a malicious files which is stored on an infected computer system in order to damage the system or steal sensitive data from it or perform other malicious activities. But security researchers have uncovered a new and sophisticated piece of malware that infects systems and steals data without installing any file onto the targeted system. Researchers dubbed this  persistent malware as Poweliks , which resides in the computer registry only and is therefore not easily detectable as other typical malware that installs files on the affected system which can be scanned by antivirus or anti-malware Software. According to Paul Rascagneres , Senior Threat Researcher, Malware analyst at GData software, due to the malware’s subsequent and step-after-step execution of code, the feature set was similar to a stacking principles of Matryoshka Doll approach. Paul has made a number of name ripping malware and bots to uncover and undermine cyber crimes. He won last
APT Groups Return - Chinese Hackers Resume Cyber Espionage Operations

APT Groups Return - Chinese Hackers Resume Cyber Espionage Operations

April 11, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Year back, one of the largest “ Advanced Persistent Threat ” ( APT ) hacking groups received widespread attention from the media and from the U.S. government. APT Groups are China’s cyber espionage units and they won’t stop their espionage operation, despite being exposed last year. Yes, APT hacking groups, APT1 and APT12 , are again making headlines. Without bothering that the world knows about its cyber hacking activities, the two of its major hacking groups have became once again active and have resumed their espionage operation, reports the security firm Mandiant . A timeline of APT1 economic espionage conducted since 2006 and has systematically stolen confidential data from at least 141 organizations across multiple industries. Mandiant, the FireEye owned company, announced in its M-Trend report that over the past year the firm has a close eye on the APT1 group , which it first exposed in February 2013. It’s also been monitoring the second Chinese hackers group, APT12 that
Malaysian flight MH370 tragedy abused by Chinese hackers for Espionage attacks

Malaysian flight MH370 tragedy abused by Chinese hackers for Espionage attacks

March 26, 2014Wang Wei
The Mysterious Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 , a Boeing 777-200 aircraft that has gone missing by the time it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The Malaysian Prime Minister had also confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean. Cyber Criminals are known to take advantage of major news stories or events where there is a high level of public interest and now Scammers are also targeting tragedy of MH370 to trap innocent Internet users. Just a few days before we warned you about a Facebook malware campaign claimed that the missing Malaysian Airlines ' MH370 has been spotted in the Bermuda Triangle ' with its passengers still alive and invites users to click a link to view breaking news video footage. This week, Security researchers at FireEye have revealed about various ongoing spear phishing and malware attacks by some advanced persistent threat (APT) attackers. According to the researchers, the Chines
ASLR bypass techniques are popular with APT attacks

ASLR bypass techniques are popular with APT attacks

October 16, 2013Mohit Kumar
Address space layout randomization (ASLR) is a security technique involved in protection from buffer overflow attacks. Many recent APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) attacks have utilized many different ASLR bypass techniques during the past year, according to Researchers at  FireEye . Many exploits and malware attacks rely on the ability of the programmer to accurately identify where specific processes or system functions reside in memory. In order for an attacker to exploit or leverage a function, they must first be able to tell their code where to find the function or process to exploit.  The goal of ASLR  is to introduce randomness into addresses used by a given task. It involves randomly arranging the positions of key data areas of a program, including the base of the executable and the positions of the stack, heap, and libraries, in a process's address space.  Today a lot of attention is brought to client side exploits especially inside web browsers . Normally the e
Detecting Advanced Persistent Threat with Network Traffic Analysis

Detecting Advanced Persistent Threat with Network Traffic Analysis

October 27, 2012Mohit Kumar
A high degree of stealthiness over a prolonged duration of operation in order to do a successful cyber attack can be defined as Advanced Persistent Threat. The attack objectives therefore typically extend beyond immediate financial gain, and compromised systems continue to be of service even after key systems have been breached and initial goals reached. Today’s successful targeted attacks use a combination of social engineering, malware, and backdoor activities. Nart Villeneuve and James Bennett (Senior Threat Researcher) from Trend Mirco provide an  ultimate guide for Detecting (APT) Advanced Persistent Threat activities with Network Traffic Analysis , that can be used to identify malware command-and control (C&C) communications related to these attacks, illustrating how even the most high-profile and successful attacks of the past few years could have been discovered. Paper cover Detecting Remote Access Trojans like The GhostNet, Nitro attack, RSA Breach, Taidoor campaign, Sy
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