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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Cyber Attack

New Evidence Suggests SolarWinds' Codebase Was Hacked to Inject Backdoor

New Evidence Suggests SolarWinds' Codebase Was Hacked to Inject Backdoor

December 16, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The investigation into how the attackers managed to compromise SolarWinds' internal network and poison the company's software updates is still underway, but we may be one step closer to understanding what appears to be a very meticulously planned and highly-sophisticated supply chain attack. A new report published by ReversingLabs today and shared in advance with The Hacker News has revealed that the operators behind the  espionage campaign  likely managed to compromise the software build and code signing infrastructure of SolarWinds Orion platform as early as October 2019 to deliver the malicious backdoor through its software release process. "The source code of the affected library was directly modified to include malicious backdoor code, which was compiled, signed, and delivered through the existing software patch release management system," ReversingLabs' Tomislav Pericin said. Cybersecurity firm FireEye earlier this week  detailed  how multiple SolarWin
Nearly 18,000 SolarWinds Customers Installed Backdoored Software

Nearly 18,000 SolarWinds Customers Installed Backdoored Software

December 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
SolarWinds, the enterprise monitoring software provider which found itself at the epicenter of the most  consequential supply chain attacks , said as many as 18,000 of its high-profile customers might have installed a tainted version of its Orion products. The acknowledgment comes as part of a new filing made by the company to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. The Texas-based company serves more than 300,000 customers worldwide, including every branch of the US military and four-fifths of the Fortune 500 companies. The "incident was likely the result of a highly sophisticated, targeted and manual supply chain attack by an outside nation state," SolarWinds said in the  regulatory disclosure , adding it "currently believes the actual number of customers that may have had an installation of the Orion products that contained this vulnerability to be fewer than 18,000." The company also reiterated in its  security advisory  that besides 2019.4 HF
Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers via Wi-Fi Signals (Without Wi-Fi Hardware)

Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers via Wi-Fi Signals (Without Wi-Fi Hardware)

December 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A security researcher has demonstrated that sensitive data could be exfiltrated from air-gapped computers via a novel technique that leverages Wi-Fi signals as a covert channel—surprisingly, without requiring the presence of Wi-Fi hardware on the targeted systems. Dubbed " AIR-FI ," the attack hinges on deploying a specially designed malware in a compromised system that exploits "DDR SDRAM buses to generate electromagnetic emissions in the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bands" and transmitting information atop these frequencies that can then be intercepted and decoded by nearby Wi-Fi capable devices such as smartphones, laptops, and IoT devices before sending the data to remote servers controlled by an attacker. The findings were published today in a paper titled "AIR-FI: Generating Covert Wi-Fi Signals from Air-Gapped Computers" by Dr. Mordechai Guri , the head of R&D at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Cyber-Security Research Center, Israel. "The AI
US Agencies and FireEye Were Hacked Using SolarWinds Software Backdoor

US Agencies and FireEye Were Hacked Using SolarWinds Software Backdoor

December 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
State-sponsored actors allegedly working for Russia have  targeted  the US Treasury, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and other government agencies to  monitor internal email traffic  as part of a widespread cyberespionage campaign. The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, said the latest attacks were the work of APT29 or Cozy Bear, the same hacking group that's believed to have orchestrated a breach of US-based cybersecurity firm  FireEye  a few days ago leading to the theft of its Red Team penetration testing tools. The motive and the full scope of what intelligence was compromised remains unclear, but signs are that adversaries tampered with a software update released by Texas-based IT infrastructure provider SolarWinds earlier this year to infiltrate the systems of government agencies as well as FireEye and mount a highly-sophisticated  supply chain attack . "The compromise of SolarWinds' Orion Ne
Mount Locker Ransomware Offering Double Extortion Scheme to Other Hackers

Mount Locker Ransomware Offering Double Extortion Scheme to Other Hackers

December 11, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A relatively new ransomware strain behind a series of breaches on corporate networks has developed new capabilities that allow it to broaden the scope of its targeting and evade security software—as well as with ability for its affiliates to launch double extortion attacks. The MountLocker ransomware, which only began making the rounds in July 2020, has already gained notoriety for stealing files before encryption and demanding ransom amounts in the millions to prevent public disclosure of stolen data, a tactic known as  double extortion . "The MountLocker Operators are clearly just warming up. After a slow start in July they are rapidly gaining ground, as the high-profile nature of extortion and data leaks drive ransom demands ever higher," researchers from BlackBerry Research and Intelligence Team said. "MountLocker affiliates are typically fast operators, rapidly exfiltrating sensitive documents and encrypting them across key targets in a matter of hours."
Hackers Targeting Companies Involved in Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution

Hackers Targeting Companies Involved in Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution

December 04, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A global spear-phishing campaign has been targeting organizations associated with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines since September 2020, according to new research. Attributing the operation to a nation-state actor,  IBM Security X-Force researchers  said the attacks took aim at the vaccine cold chain, companies responsible for storing and delivering the COVID-19 vaccine at safe temperatures. The development has prompted the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to  issue an alert , urging Operation Warp Speed ( OWS ) organizations and companies involved in vaccine storage and transport to review the indicators of compromise (IoCs) and beef up their defenses. It is unclear whether any of the phishing attempts were successful, but the company said it has notified appropriate entities and authorities about this targeted attack. The phishing emails, dating to September, targeted organizations in Italy, Germany, South Korea, the Czech Republic, greater Europe
Hackers-For-Hire Group Develops New 'PowerPepper' In-Memory Malware

Hackers-For-Hire Group Develops New 'PowerPepper' In-Memory Malware

December 04, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday disclosed details of a previously undiscovered in-memory Windows backdoor developed by a hacker-for-hire operation that can execute remotely malicious code and steal sensitive information from its targets in Asia, Europe, and the US. Dubbed " PowerPepper " by Kaspersky researchers, the malware has been attributed to the  DeathStalker  group (formerly called Deceptikons), a threat actor that has been found to hit law firms and companies in the financial sector located in Europe and the Middle East at least since 2012. The hacking tool is so-called because of its reliance on steganographic trickery to deliver the backdoor payload in the form of an image of ferns or peppers. The espionage group first came to light  earlier this July , with most of their attacks starting with a spear-phishing email containing a malicious modified LNK (shortcut) file that, when clicked, downloads and runs a PowerShell-based implant named Powersing. While
TrickBot Malware Gets UEFI/BIOS Bootkit Feature to Remain Undetected

TrickBot Malware Gets UEFI/BIOS Bootkit Feature to Remain Undetected

December 03, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
TrickBot , one of the most notorious and adaptable malware botnets in the world, is expanding its toolset to set its sights on firmware vulnerabilities to potentially deploy bootkits and take complete control of an infected system. The new functionality, dubbed " TrickBoot " by Advanced Intelligence (AdvIntel) and Eclypsium, makes use of readily available tools to check devices for well-known vulnerabilities that can allow attackers to inject malicious code in the UEFI/BIOS firmware of a device, granting the attackers an effective mechanism of persistent malware storage. "This marks a significant step in the evolution of TrickBot as UEFI level implants are the deepest, most powerful, and stealthy form of bootkits," the researchers said. "By adding the ability to canvas victim devices for specific UEFI/BIOS firmware vulnerabilities, TrickBot actors are able to target specific victims with firmware-level persistence that survives re-imaging or even device br
Experts Uncover 'Crutch' Russian Malware Used in APT Attacks for 5 Years

Experts Uncover 'Crutch' Russian Malware Used in APT Attacks for 5 Years

December 02, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today took the wraps off a previously undocumented backdoor and document stealer that has been deployed against specific targets from 2015 to early 2020. Codenamed " Crutch " by ESET researchers, the malware has been attributed to  Turla  (aka Venomous Bear or Snake), a Russia-based advanced hacker group known for its extensive attacks against governments, embassies, and military organizations through various watering hole and spear-phishing campaigns. "These tools were designed to exfiltrate sensitive documents and other files to Dropbox accounts controlled by Turla operators," the cybersecurity firm said in an analysis shared with The Hacker News. The backdoor implants were secretly installed on several machines belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an unnamed country of the European Union. Besides identifying strong links between a Crutch sample from 2016 and Turla's yet another second-stage backdoor called  Gazer , t
Nation-State Hackers Caught Hiding Espionage Activities Behind Crypto Miners

Nation-State Hackers Caught Hiding Espionage Activities Behind Crypto Miners

December 01, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A nation-state actor known for its cyber espionage campaigns since 2012 is now using coin miner techniques to stay under the radar and establish persistence on victim systems, according to new research. Attributing the shift to a threat actor tracked as Bismuth, Microsoft's Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team said the group deployed Monero coin miners in attacks that targeted both the private sector and government institutions in France and Vietnam between July and August earlier this year. "The coin miners also allowed Bismuth to hide its more nefarious activities behind threats that may be perceived to be less alarming because they're 'commodity' malware," the researchers  said  in an analysis published yesterday. The primary victims of the attack have been traced to state-owned enterprises in Vietnam and entities with ties to a Vietnamese government agency. The Windows maker likened Bismuth to  OceanLotus  (or APT32), linking it to spyware
Digitally Signed Bandook Malware Once Again Targets Multiple Sectors

Digitally Signed Bandook Malware Once Again Targets Multiple Sectors

November 27, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A cyberespionage group with suspected ties to the Kazakh and Lebanese governments has unleashed a new wave of attacks against a multitude of industries with a retooled version of a 13-year-old backdoor Trojan. Check Point Research called out hackers affiliated with a group named  Dark Caracal  in a  new report  published yesterday for their efforts to deploy "dozens of digitally signed variants" of the  Bandook  Windows Trojan over the past year, thus once again "reigniting interest in this old malware family." The different verticals singled out by the threat actor include government, financial, energy, food industry, healthcare, education, IT, and legal institutions located in Chile, Cyprus, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, and the US. The unusually large variety of targeted markets and locations "reinforces a previous hypothesis that the malware is not developed in-house and used by a single entity, but is part of an offensive
Chinese APT Hackers Target Southeast Asian Government Institutions

Chinese APT Hackers Target Southeast Asian Government Institutions

November 17, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today unveiled a complex and targeted espionage attack on potential government sector victims in South East Asia that they believe was carried out by a sophisticated Chinese APT group at least since 2018. "The attack has a complex and complete arsenal of droppers, backdoors and other tools involving Chinoxy backdoor, PcShare RAT and FunnyDream backdoor binaries, with forensic artefacts pointing towards a sophisticated Chinese actor," Bitdefender said in a new analysis shared with The Hacker News. It's worth noting that the  FunnyDream  campaign has been previously linked to high-profile government entities in Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines, with a majority of victims located in Vietnam. According to the researchers, not only around 200 machines exhibited attack indicators associated with the campaign, evidence points to the fact the threat actor may have compromised  domain controllers  on the victim's network, allowing them to mo
New ModPipe Point of Sale (POS) Malware Targeting Restaurants, Hotels

New ModPipe Point of Sale (POS) Malware Targeting Restaurants, Hotels

November 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today disclosed a new kind of modular backdoor that targets point-of-sale (POS) restaurant management software from Oracle in an attempt to pilfer sensitive payment information stored in the devices. The backdoor — dubbed "ModPipe" — impacts Oracle MICROS Restaurant Enterprise Series (RES) 3700 POS systems, a widely used software suite in restaurants and hospitality establishments to efficiently handle POS, inventory, and labor management. A majority of the identified targets are primarily located in the US. "What makes the backdoor distinctive are its downloadable modules and their capabilities, as it contains a custom algorithm designed to gather RES 3700 POS database passwords by decrypting them from Windows registry values," ESET researchers said in an analysis . "Exfiltrated credentials allow ModPipe's operators access to database contents, including various definitions and configuration, status tables and information ab
New Kimsuky Module Makes North Korean Spyware More Powerful

New Kimsuky Module Makes North Korean Spyware More Powerful

November 03, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A week after the US government issued an advisory about a "global intelligence gathering mission" operated by North Korean  state-sponsored hackers , new findings have emerged about the threat group's spyware capabilities. The APT — dubbed " Kimsuky " (aka Black Banshee or Thallium) and believed to be active as early as 2012 — has been now linked to as many as three hitherto undocumented malware, including an information stealer, a tool equipped with malware anti-analysis features, and a new server infrastructure with significant overlaps to its older espionage framework. "The group has a rich and notorious history of offensive cyber operations around the world, including operations targeting South Korean think tanks, but over the past few years they have expanded their targeting to countries including the United States, Russia and various nations in Europe," Cybereason researchers said in an  analysis  yesterday. Last week, the FBI and department
FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems

FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems

October 28, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Departments of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint alert Wednesday warning of an "imminent" increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks against hospitals and healthcare providers. "Malicious cyber actors are targeting the [Healthcare and Public Health] Sector with TrickBot malware, often leading to ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services," the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency  said  in its advisory. The infamous botnet typically spreads via malicious spam email to unsuspecting recipients and can steal financial and personal data and drop other software, such as ransomware, onto infected systems. It's worth noting that cybercriminals have already used TrickBot against a major healthcare provider,  Universal Health Services , whose systems were crippled by Ryuk ransomware late last month. TrickBot has also seen a severe  disrupt
TrickBot Linux Variants Active in the Wild Despite Recent Takedown

TrickBot Linux Variants Active in the Wild Despite Recent Takedown

October 28, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Efforts to disrupt TrickBot may have  shut down  most of its critical infrastructure, but the operators behind the notorious malware aren't sitting idle. According to new findings shared by cybersecurity firm  Netscout , TrickBot's authors have moved portions of their code to Linux in an attempt to widen the scope of victims that could be targeted. TrickBot, a financial Trojan first detected in 2016, has been traditionally a Windows-based crimeware solution, employing different modules to perform a wide range of malicious activities on target networks, including credential theft and perpetrate ransomware attacks. But over the past few weeks, twin efforts led by the US Cyber Command and Microsoft have helped to  eliminate 94%  of TrickBot's command-and-control (C2) servers that were in use and the new infrastructure the criminals operating TrickBot attempted to bring online to replace the previously disabled servers. Despite the steps taken to impede TrickBot, Microsof
New Chrome 0-day Under Active Attacks – Update Your Browser Now

New Chrome 0-day Under Active Attacks – Update Your Browser Now

October 21, 2020Swati Khandelwal
Attention readers, if you are using Google Chrome browser on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computers, you need to update your web browsing software immediately to the latest version Google released earlier today. Google released Chrome version 86.0.4240.111 today to patch several security high-severity issues, including a zero-day vulnerability that has been exploited in the wild by attackers to hijack targeted computers. Tracked as CVE-2020-15999 , the actively exploited vulnerability is a type of memory-corruption flaw called heap buffer overflow in Freetype, a popular open source software development library for rendering fonts that comes packaged with Chrome. The vulnerability was discovered and reported by security researcher Sergei Glazunov of Google Project Zero on October 19 and is subject to a seven-day public disclosure deadline due to the flaw being under active exploitation. Glazunov also immediately reported the zero-day vulnerability to FreeType developers, who then
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