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 Albabat, Kasseika, Kuiper: New Ransomware Gangs Rise with Rust and Golang

Albabat, Kasseika, Kuiper: New Ransomware Gangs Rise with Rust and Golang

Jan 29, 2024 Ransomware / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have detected in the wild yet another variant of the Phobos ransomware family known as  Faust . Fortinet FortiGuard Labs, which detailed the latest iteration of the ransomware, said it's being propagated by means of an infection that delivers a Microsoft Excel document (.XLAM) containing a VBA script. "The attackers utilized the Gitea service to store several files encoded in Base64, each carrying a malicious binary," security researcher Cara Lin  said  in a technical report published last week. "When these files are injected into a system's memory, they initiate a file encryption attack." Faust is the latest addition to several ransomware variants from the Phobos family, including Eking, Eight, Elbie, Devos, and 8Base. It's worth noting that Faust was  previously documented  by Cisco Talos in November 2023. The cybersecurity firm described the variant as active since 2022 and "does not target specific industries or re
New CherryLoader Malware Mimics CherryTree to Deploy PrivEsc Exploits

New CherryLoader Malware Mimics CherryTree to Deploy PrivEsc Exploits

Jan 25, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Malware Research
A new Go-based malware loader called  CherryLoader  has been discovered by threat hunters in the wild to deliver additional payloads onto compromised hosts for follow-on exploitation. Arctic Wolf Labs, which discovered the new attack tool in two recent intrusions, said the loader's icon and name masquerades as the legitimate CherryTree note-taking application to dupe potential victims into installing it. "CherryLoader was used to drop one of two privilege escalation tools,  PrintSpoofer  or  JuicyPotatoNG , which would then run a batch file to establish persistence on the victim device," researchers Hady Azzam, Christopher Prest, and Steven Campbell  said . In another novel twist, CherryLoader also packs modularized features that allow the threat actor to swap exploits without recompiling code. It's currently not known how the loader is distributed, but the attack chains examined by the cybersecurity firm show that CherryLoader ("cherrytree.exe") and i
Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl
New iShutdown Method Exposes Hidden Spyware Like Pegasus on Your iPhone

New iShutdown Method Exposes Hidden Spyware Like Pegasus on Your iPhone

Jan 17, 2024 Spyware / Forensic Analysis
Cybersecurity researchers have identified a "lightweight method" called  iShutdown  for reliably identifying signs of spyware on Apple iOS devices, including notorious threats like NSO Group's  Pegasus , QuaDream's  Reign , and Intellexa's  Predator .  Kaspersky, which analyzed a set of iPhones that were compromised with Pegasus, said the infections left traces in a file named "Shutdown.log," a text-based system log file available on all iOS devices and which records every reboot event alongside its environment characteristics. "Compared to more time-consuming acquisition methods like forensic device imaging or a full iOS backup, retrieving the Shutdown.log file is rather straightforward," security researcher Maher Yamout  said . "The log file is stored in a sysdiagnose (sysdiag) archive." The Russian cybersecurity firm said it identified entries in the log file that recorded instances where "sticky" processes, such as
cyber security

The Critical State of AI in the Cloud

websiteWiz.ioArtificial Intelligence / Cloud Security
Wiz Research reveals the explosive growth of AI adoption and what 150,000+ cloud accounts revealed about the AI surge.
NoaBot: Latest Mirai-Based Botnet Targeting SSH Servers for Crypto Mining

NoaBot: Latest Mirai-Based Botnet Targeting SSH Servers for Crypto Mining

Jan 10, 2024 Server Security / Cryptocurrency
A new Mirai-based botnet called  NoaBot  is being used by threat actors as part of a crypto mining campaign since the beginning of 2023. "The capabilities of the new botnet, NoaBot, include a wormable self-spreader and an SSH key backdoor to download and execute additional binaries or spread itself to new victims," Akamai security researcher Stiv Kupchik said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Mirai , which had its source code leaked in 2016, has been the progenitor of a number of botnets, the most recent being  InfectedSlurs , which is capable of mounting distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. There are indications that NoaBot could be linked to another botnet campaign involving a Rust-based malware family known as  P2PInfect , which recently received an update to target routers and IoT devices. This is based on the fact that threat actors have also experimented with dropping P2PInfect in place of NoaBot in recent attacks targeting SSH servers, indicating likely at
Researchers Unveil GuLoader Malware's Latest Anti-Analysis Techniques

Researchers Unveil GuLoader Malware's Latest Anti-Analysis Techniques

Dec 09, 2023 Malware / Cyberattack
Threat hunters have unmasked the latest tricks adopted by a malware strain called  GuLoader  in an effort to make analysis more challenging. "While GuLoader's core functionality hasn't changed drastically over the past few years, these constant updates in their obfuscation techniques make analyzing GuLoader a time-consuming and resource-intensive process," Elastic Security Labs researcher Daniel Stepanic  said  in a report published this week. First spotted in late 2019, GuLoader (aka CloudEyE) is an advanced shellcode-based malware downloader that's used to distribute a wide range of payloads, such as information stealers, while incorporating a bevy of sophisticated anti-analysis techniques to dodge traditional security solutions. A  steady stream  of  open-source reporting  into the malware in recent months has revealed the threat actors behind it have continued to improve its ability to bypass existing or new security features alongside other implemented fe
Discover Why Proactive Web Security Outsmarts Traditional Antivirus Solutions

Discover Why Proactive Web Security Outsmarts Traditional Antivirus Solutions

Nov 29, 2023 Proactive vs. Antivirus
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, it's crucial to reevaluate how we secure web environments. Traditional antivirus-approach solutions have their merits, but they're reactive. A new report delves into the reasons for embracing proactive web security solutions, ensuring you stay ahead of emerging threats.  To learn more, download the full report  here . The New Paradigm If you've been relying on the old-style antivirus-based approach to website security up to now, then we could summarize why you need to update to the more proactive approach simply by saying — prevention is always preferable to cure. That's the overarching rationale for adopting a proactive web security solution, but let's break it down into a few more detailed reasons for updating to the newer and more effective proactive approach.  To be clear, we're not denying that an antivirus-approach solution is ideal for detecting and responding to threats, but there's no escaping the fact that it's limited
DarkGate and PikaBot Malware Resurrect QakBot's Tactics in New Phishing Attacks

DarkGate and PikaBot Malware Resurrect QakBot's Tactics in New Phishing Attacks

Nov 20, 2023 Threat Analysis / Malware
Phishing campaigns delivering malware families such as DarkGate and PikaBot are following the same tactics previously used in attacks leveraging the now-defunct QakBot trojan. "These include hijacked email threads as the initial infection, URLs with unique patterns that limit user access, and an infection chain nearly identical to what we have seen with QakBot delivery," Cofense  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "The malware families used also follow suit to what we would expect QakBot affiliates to use." QakBot, also called QBot and Pinkslipbot, was  shut down  as part of a coordinated law enforcement effort codenamed Operation Duck Hunt earlier this August. The use of DarkGate and PikaBot in these campaigns is not surprising as they can both act as conduits to deliver additional payloads to compromised hosts, making them both an attractive option for cybercriminals. PikaBot's parallels to QakBot were  previously highlighted  by Zscaler in its analysis of the malw
Hackers Using MSIX App Packages to Infect Windows PCs with GHOSTPULSE Malware

Hackers Using MSIX App Packages to Infect Windows PCs with GHOSTPULSE Malware

Oct 30, 2023 Malware / Endpoint Security
A new cyber attack campaign has been observed using spurious  MSIX  Windows app package files for popular software such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Grammarly, and Cisco Webex to distribute a novel malware loader dubbed  GHOSTPULSE . "MSIX is a Windows app package format that developers can leverage to package, distribute, and install their applications to Windows users," Elastic Security Labs researcher Joe Desimone  said  in a technical report published last week. "However, MSIX requires access to purchased or stolen code signing certificates making them viable to groups of above-average resources." Based on the installers used as lures, it's suspected that potential targets are  enticed  into downloading the MSIX packages through known techniques such as compromised websites, search engine optimization (SEO) poisoning, or malvertising. Launching the MSIX file opens a Windows prompting the users to click the Install button, doing so which res
Beware of MalDoc in PDF: A New Polyglot Attack Allowing Attackers to Evade Antivirus

Beware of MalDoc in PDF: A New Polyglot Attack Allowing Attackers to Evade Antivirus

Sep 04, 2023 Cyber Threat / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have called attention to a new antivirus evasion technique that involves embedding a malicious Microsoft Word file into a PDF file. The sneaky method, dubbed  MalDoc in PDF  by JPCERT/CC, is said to have been employed in an in-the-wild attack in July 2023. "A file created with MalDoc in PDF can be opened in Word even though it has magic numbers and file structure of PDF," researchers Yuma Masubuchi and Kota Kino  said . "If the file has a configured macro, by opening it in Word, VBS runs and performs malicious behaviors." Such specially crafted files are called  polyglots  as they are a legitimate form of multiple different file types, in this case, both PDF and Word (DOC). This entails adding an MHT file created in Word and with a macro attached after the PDF file object. The end result is a valid PDF file that can also be opened in the Word application. Put differently; the PDF document embeds within itself a Word document with a VB
Critical RCE Vulnerability Discovered in ClamAV Open Source Antivirus Software

Critical RCE Vulnerability Discovered in ClamAV Open Source Antivirus Software

Feb 17, 2023 Sysadmin / Endpoint Security
Cisco has rolled out security updates to address a critical flaw reported in the ClamAV open source antivirus engine that could lead to remote code execution on susceptible devices. Tracked as  CVE-2023-20032  (CVSS score: 9.8), the issue relates to a case of remote code execution residing in the HFS+ file parser component. The flaw affects versions 1.0.0 and earlier, 0.105.1 and earlier, and 0.103.7 and earlier. Google security engineer Simon Scannell has been credited with discovering and reporting the bug. "This vulnerability is due to a missing buffer size check that may result in a heap buffer overflow write," Cisco Talos  said  in an advisory. "An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by submitting a crafted HFS+ partition file to be scanned by ClamAV on an affected device." Successful exploitation of the weakness could enable an adversary to run arbitrary code with the same privileges as that of the ClamAV scanning process, or crash the process, resu
Researchers Demonstrate How EDR and Antivirus Can Be Weaponized Against Users

Researchers Demonstrate How EDR and Antivirus Can Be Weaponized Against Users

Dec 12, 2022 Endpoint Detection / Data Security
High-severity security vulnerabilities have been disclosed in different endpoint detection and response (EDR) and antivirus (AV) products that could be exploited to turn them into data wipers. "This wiper runs with the permissions of an unprivileged user yet has the ability to wipe almost any file on a system, including system files, and make a computer completely unbootable," SafeBreach Labs researcher Or Yair  said . "It does all that without implementing code that touches the target files, making it fully undetectable." EDR software, by design, are capable of continually scanning a machine for potentially suspicious and malicious files, and taking appropriate action, such as deleting or quarantining them. The idea, in a nutshell, is to trick vulnerable security products into deleting legitimate files and directories on the system and render the machine inoperable by making use of specially crafted paths. This is achieved by taking advantage of what's ca
Researchers Disclose Years-Old Vulnerabilities in Avast and AVG Antivirus

Researchers Disclose Years-Old Vulnerabilities in Avast and AVG Antivirus

May 05, 2022
Two high-severity security vulnerabilities, which went undetected for several years, have been discovered in a  legitimate driver  that's part of Avast and AVG antivirus solutions. "These vulnerabilities allow attackers to escalate privileges enabling them to disable security products, overwrite system components, corrupt the operating system, or perform malicious operations unimpeded," SentinelOne researcher Kasif Dekel  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. Tracked as CVE-2022-26522 and CVE-2022-26523, the flaws reside in a legitimate anti-rootkit kernel driver named aswArPot.sys and are said to have been introduced in Avast version 12.1, which was released in June 2016. Specifically, the shortcomings are rooted in a socket connection handler in the kernel driver that could lead to privilege escalation by running code in the kernel from a non-administrator user, potentially causing the operating system to crash and display a blue screen of death ( BSoD ) e
AvosLocker Ransomware Variant Using New Trick to Disable Antivirus Protection

AvosLocker Ransomware Variant Using New Trick to Disable Antivirus Protection

May 03, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a new variant of the AvosLocker ransomware that disables antivirus solutions to evade detection after breaching target networks by taking advantage of unpatched security flaws.  "This is the first sample we observed from the U.S. with the capability to disable a defense solution using a legitimate Avast Anti-Rootkit Driver file (asWarPot.sys)," Trend Micro researchers, Christoper Ordonez and Alvin Nieto,  said  in a Monday analysis. "In addition, the ransomware is also capable of scanning multiple endpoints for the Log4j vulnerability (Log4shell) using Nmap  NSE script ." AvosLocker , one of the newer ransomware families to fill the vacuum left by  REvil , has been linked to a number of attacks that targeted critical infrastructure in the U.S., including financial services and government facilities. A ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) affiliate-based group first spotted in July 2021, AvosLocker goes beyond double extortion
As State-Backed Cyber Threats Grow, Here's How the World Is Reacting

As State-Backed Cyber Threats Grow, Here's How the World Is Reacting

Apr 15, 2022
With the ongoing conflict in Eurasia, cyberwarfare is inevitably making its presence felt. The fight is not only being fought on the fields. There is also a big battle happening in cyberspace. Several cyber-attacks have been reported over the past months. Notably, cyber attacks backed by state actors are becoming prominent. There have been reports of a rise of ransomware and other malware attacks such as  Cyclops Blink ,  HermeticWiper , and  BlackCat . These target businesses as well as government institutions and nonprofit organizations. There have been cases of several attempts to shut down online communications and IT infrastructure. The ongoing list of  significant cyber incidents  curated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) shows that the number of major incidents in January 2022 is 100% higher compared to the same period in the previous year. With the recent activities in cyberspace impacted by the emergence of the geopolitical tumult in February, it
FCC Adds Kaspersky and Chinese Telecom Firms to National Security Threat List

FCC Adds Kaspersky and Chinese Telecom Firms to National Security Threat List

Mar 26, 2022
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday  moved  to add Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab to the " Covered List " of companies that pose an "unacceptable risk to the national security" of the country. The development marks the first time a Russian entity has been added to the list that's been otherwise dominated by Chinese telecommunications firms. Also added alongside Kaspersky were China Telecom (Americas) Corp and China Mobile International USA. The block list includes information security products, solutions, and services supplied, directly or indirectly, by the company or any of its predecessors, successors, parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates. The FCC said the decision was made pursuant to a Binding Operational Directive (BOD)  issued  by the Department of Homeland Security on September 11, 2017 that barred federal agencies from using Kaspersky-branded products in their information systems. The security services provider,
German Government Warns Against Using Russia's Kaspersky Antivirus Software

German Government Warns Against Using Russia's Kaspersky Antivirus Software

Mar 16, 2022
Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky on Tuesday responded to an advisory released by Germany's Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) against using the company's security solutions in the country over "doubts about the reliability of the manufacturer." Calling that the decision was made on "political grounds," the company  said  it will "continue to assure our partners and customers of the quality and integrity of our products, and we will be working with the BSI for clarification on its decision and for the means to address its and other regulators' concerns." The statement from Kaspersky follows a warning from Germany's cybersecurity authority, the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik aka BSI, which recommended "replacing applications from Kaspersky's portfolio of antivirus software with alternative products" due to risks that they could be exploited by Russia for a cyber attack. "Companies and
If You're Not Using Antivirus Software, You're Not Paying Attention

If You're Not Using Antivirus Software, You're Not Paying Attention

Nov 25, 2021
Stop tempting fate and take a look at our picks for the best antivirus programs on the market today. Every year there are billions of malware attacks worldwide. And these threats are constantly evolving. So if you are not currently using antivirus software, or you still rely on some free software you downloaded back in 2017, you are putting your cybersecurity in serious jeopardy.  Need help picking out antivirus software? Well, we've got you covered. Below you can find our picks for the best antivirus products of 2021. But before we get to that, let's set a few things straight so we're all on the same page.  When we talk about antivirus products, we're really talking about anti- malware  products. Malware is a catchall term that refers to any malicious program created to damage, disrupt, or take charge of a computer. Types of malware include not only viruses but spyware, trojan horses, ransomware, adware, and scareware. Any good antivirus product in 2021 must be ab
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