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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Cyber Attack

AutoHotkey-Based Password Stealer Targeting  US, Canadian Banking Users

AutoHotkey-Based Password Stealer Targeting US, Canadian Banking Users

December 29, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors have been discovered distributing a new credential stealer written in AutoHotkey (AHK) scripting language as part of an ongoing campaign that started early 2020. Customers of financial institutions in the US and Canada are among the primary targets for credential exfiltration, with a specific focus on banks such as Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, HSBC, Alterna Bank, Capital One, Manulife, and EQ Bank. Also included in the list is an Indian banking firm ICICI Bank. AutoHotkey  is an open-source custom scripting language for Microsoft Windows aimed at providing easy hotkeys for macro-creation and software automation that allows users to automate repetitive tasks in any Windows application. The multi-stage infection chain commences with a malware-laced Excel file that's embedded with a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)  AutoOpen  macro, which is subsequently used to drop and execute the downloader client script ("adb.ahk") via a legitimate portable AHK
A New SolarWinds Flaw Likely Had Let Hackers Install SUPERNOVA Malware

A New SolarWinds Flaw Likely Had Let Hackers Install SUPERNOVA Malware

December 26, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
An authentication bypass vulnerability in the SolarWinds Orion software may have been leveraged by adversaries as a zero-day to deploy the SUPERNOVA malware in target environments. According to an  advisory  published yesterday by the CERT Coordination Center, the SolarWinds Orion API that's used to interface with all other Orion system monitoring and management products suffers from a security flaw (CVE-2020-10148) that could allow a remote attacker to execute unauthenticated API commands, thus resulting in a compromise of the SolarWinds instance. "The authentication of the API can be bypassed by including specific parameters in the  Request.PathInfo  portion of a URI request to the API, which could allow an attacker to execute unauthenticated API commands," the advisory states. "In particular, if an attacker appends a PathInfo parameter of 'WebResource.adx,' 'ScriptResource.adx,' 'i18n.ashx,' or 'Skipi18n' to a request to a Solar
Microsoft Warns CrowdStrike of Hackers Targeting Azure Cloud Customers

Microsoft Warns CrowdStrike of Hackers Targeting Azure Cloud Customers

December 25, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
New evidence amidst the ongoing probe into the  espionage campaign  targeting SolarWinds has uncovered an unsuccessful attempt to compromise cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike and access the company's email. The hacking endeavor was reported to the company by Microsoft's Threat Intelligence Center on December 15, which identified a third-party reseller's Microsoft Azure account to be making "abnormal calls" to Microsoft cloud APIs during a 17-hour period several months ago. The undisclosed affected reseller's Azure account handles Microsoft Office licensing for its Azure customers, including CrowdStrike. Although there was an attempt by unidentified threat actors to read the emails, it was ultimately foiled as the firm does not use Microsoft's Office 365 email service, CrowdStrike  said . The incident comes in the wake of the  supply chain attack  of SolarWinds revealed earlier this month, resulting in the deployment of a covert backdoor (aka "Sunbu
Attackers Abusing Citrix NetScaler Devices to Launch Amplified DDoS Attacks

Attackers Abusing Citrix NetScaler Devices to Launch Amplified DDoS Attacks

December 24, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Citrix has issued an emergency advisory warning its customers of a security issue affecting its NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC) devices that attackers are abusing to launch amplified distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against several targets . "An attacker or bots can overwhelm the Citrix ADC [Datagram Transport Layer Security] network throughput, potentially leading to outbound bandwidth exhaustion," the company  noted . "The effect of this attack appears to be more prominent on connections with limited bandwidth." ADCs are purpose-built  networking appliances  whose function is to improve the performance, security, and availability of applications delivered over the web to end-users. The desktop virtualization and networking service provider said it's monitoring the incident and is continuing to investigate its impact on Citrix ADC, adding "the attack is limited to a small number of customers around the world." The iss
A Second Hacker Group May Have Also Breached SolarWinds, Microsoft Says

A Second Hacker Group May Have Also Breached SolarWinds, Microsoft Says

December 22, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
As the probe into the  SolarWinds supply chain attack  continues, new digital forensic evidence has brought to light that a separate threat actor may have been abusing the IT infrastructure provider's Orion software to drop a similar persistent backdoor on target systems. "The investigation of the whole SolarWinds compromise led to the discovery of an additional malware that also affects the SolarWinds Orion product but has been determined to be likely unrelated to this compromise and used by a different threat actor," Microsoft 365 research team  said  on Friday in a post detailing the Sunburst malware. What makes the newly revealed malware, dubbed "Supernova," different is that unlike the Sunburst DLL,  Supernova  ("app_web_logoimagehandler.ashx.b6031896.dll") is not signed with a legitimate SolarWinds digital certificate, signaling that the compromise may be unrelated to the previously disclosed supply chain attack. In a  standalone write-up ,
Microsoft Says Its Systems Were Also Breached in Massive SolarWinds Hack

Microsoft Says Its Systems Were Also Breached in Massive SolarWinds Hack

December 17, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The massive state-sponsored  espionage campaign  that compromised software maker SolarWinds also targeted Microsoft, as the unfolding investigation into the hacking spree reveals the incident may have been far more wider in scope, sophistication, and impact than previously thought. News of Microsoft's compromise was first reported by Reuters , which also said the company's own products were then used to strike other victims by leveraging its cloud offerings, citing people familiar with the matter. The Windows maker, however, denied the threat actor had infiltrated its production systems to stage further attacks against its customers. In a statement to The Hacker News via email, the company said — "Like other SolarWinds customers, we have been actively looking for indicators of this actor and can confirm that we detected malicious SolarWinds binaries in our environment, which we isolated and removed. We have not found evidence of access to production services or custom
Software Supply-Chain Attack Hits Vietnam Government Certification Authority

Software Supply-Chain Attack Hits Vietnam Government Certification Authority

December 17, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today disclosed a new supply-chain attack targeting the Vietnam Government Certification Authority (VGCA) that compromised the agency's digital signature toolkit to install a backdoor on victim systems. Uncovered by Slovak internet security company ESET early this month, the "SignSight" attack involved modifying software installers hosted on the CA's  website  ("ca.gov.vn") to insert a spyware tool called  PhantomNet  or Smanager. According to ESET's telemetry, the breach happened from at least July 23 to August 16, 2020, with the  two installers  in question — "gca01-client-v2-x32-8.3.msi" and "gca01-client-v2-x64-8.3.msi" for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems — tampered to include the backdoor. "The compromise of a certification authority website is a good opportunity for APT groups, since visitors are likely to have a high level of trust in a state organization responsible for digital signatures
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
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