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Hackers Target macOS Users with Malicious Ads Spreading Stealer Malware

Hackers Target macOS Users with Malicious Ads Spreading Stealer Malware
Mar 30, 2024 Malware / Cryptocurrency
Malicious ads and bogus websites are acting as a conduit to deliver two different stealer malware, including Atomic Stealer, targeting Apple macOS users. The ongoing infostealer attacks targeting macOS users may have adopted different methods to compromise victims' Macs, but operate with the end goal of stealing sensitive data, Jamf Threat Labs  said  in a report published Friday. One such attack chain targets users searching for Arc Browser on search engines like Google to serve bogus ads that redirect users to look-alike sites ("airci[.]net") that serve the malware. "Interestingly, the malicious website cannot be accessed directly, as it returns an error," security researchers Jaron Bradley, Ferdous Saljooki, and Maggie Zirnhelt said. "It can only be accessed through a generated sponsored link, presumably to evade detection." The disk image file downloaded from the counterfeit website ("ArcSetup.dmg") delivers  Atomic Stealer , which i

Lazarus Hackers Exploited Windows Kernel Flaw as Zero-Day in Recent Attacks

Lazarus Hackers Exploited Windows Kernel Flaw as Zero-Day in Recent Attacks
Feb 29, 2024 Rootkit / Threat Intelligence
The notorious Lazarus Group actors exploited a recently patched privilege escalation flaw in the Windows Kernel as a zero-day to obtain kernel-level access and disable security software on compromised hosts. The vulnerability in question is  CVE-2024-21338  (CVSS score: 7.8), which can permit an attacker to gain SYSTEM privileges. It was resolved by Microsoft earlier this month as part of  Patch Tuesday updates . "To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to log on to the system," Microsoft  said . "An attacker could then run a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerability and take control of an affected system." While there were no indications of active exploitation of CVE-2024-21338 at the time of the release of the updates, Redmond on Wednesday revised its "Exploitability assessment" for the flaw to "Exploitation Detected."  It's currently not clear when the attacks took place, but the vulnerability

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management
Apr 12, 2024DevSecOps / Identity Management
Identities now transcend human boundaries. Within each line of code and every API call lies a non-human identity. These entities act as programmatic access keys, enabling authentication and facilitating interactions among systems and services, which are essential for every API call, database query, or storage account access. As we depend on multi-factor authentication and passwords to safeguard human identities, a pressing question arises: How do we guarantee the security and integrity of these non-human counterparts? How do we authenticate, authorize, and regulate access for entities devoid of life but crucial for the functioning of critical systems? Let's break it down. The challenge Imagine a cloud-native application as a bustling metropolis of tiny neighborhoods known as microservices, all neatly packed into containers. These microservices function akin to diligent worker bees, each diligently performing its designated task, be it processing data, verifying credentials, or

Alert: New Stealthy "RustDoor" Backdoor Targeting Apple macOS Devices

Alert: New Stealthy "RustDoor" Backdoor Targeting Apple macOS Devices
Feb 10, 2024 macOS Malware / Cyber Threat
Apple macOS users are the target of a new Rust-based backdoor that has been operating under the radar since November 2023. The backdoor,  codenamed   RustDoor  by Bitdefender, has been found to impersonate an update for Microsoft Visual Studio and target both Intel and Arm architectures. The exact initial access pathway used to propagate the implant is currently not known, although it's said to be distributed as FAT binaries that contain Mach-O files. Multiple variants of the malware with minor modifications have been detected to date, likely indicating active development. The earliest sample of RustDoor dates back to November 2, 2023. It comes with a wide range of commands that allow it to gather and upload files, and harvest information about the compromised endpoint. Some versions also include configurations with details about what data to collect, the list of targeted extensions and directories, and the directories to exclude. The captured information is then exfiltrate

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CISA Warns of Active Exploitation Apple iOS and macOS Vulnerability

CISA Warns of Active Exploitation Apple iOS and macOS Vulnerability
Feb 01, 2024 Vulnerability / Software Update
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Wednesday  added  a high-severity flaw impacting iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities ( KEV ) catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. The vulnerability, tracked as  CVE-2022-48618  (CVSS score: 7.8), concerns a bug in the kernel component. "An attacker with arbitrary read and write capability may be able to bypass  Pointer Authentication ," Apple said in an advisory, adding the issue "may have been exploited against versions of iOS released before iOS 15.7.1." The iPhone maker said the problem was addressed with improved checks. It's currently not known how the vulnerability is being weaponized in real-world attacks. Interestingly, patches for the flaw were released on December 13, 2022, with the release of  iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2 ,  macOS Ventura 13.1 ,  tvOS 16.2 , and  watchOS 9.2 , although it was only publicly disclosed more than a yea

Experts Warn of macOS Backdoor Hidden in Pirated Versions of Popular Software

Experts Warn of macOS Backdoor Hidden in Pirated Versions of Popular Software
Jan 19, 2024 Malware / Endpoint Security
Pirated applications targeting Apple macOS users have been observed containing a backdoor capable of granting attackers remote control to infected machines. "These applications are being hosted on Chinese pirating websites in order to gain victims," Jamf Threat Labs researchers Ferdous Saljooki and Jaron Bradley  said . "Once detonated, the malware will download and execute multiple payloads in the background in order to secretly compromise the victim's machine." The backdoored disk image (DMG) files, which have been modified to establish communications with actor-controlled infrastructure, include legitimate software like Navicat Premium, UltraEdit, FinalShell, SecureCRT, and Microsoft Remote Desktop. The unsigned applications, besides being hosted on a Chinese website named macyy[.]cn, incorporate a dropper component called "dylib" that's executed every time the application is opened. The dropper then acts as a conduit to fetch a backdoor

SpectralBlur: New macOS Backdoor Threat from North Korean Hackers

SpectralBlur: New macOS Backdoor Threat from North Korean Hackers
Jan 05, 2024 Endpoint Security / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new Apple macOS backdoor called  SpectralBlur  that overlaps with a known malware family that has been attributed to North Korean threat actors. "SpectralBlur is a moderately capable backdoor that can upload/download files, run a shell, update its configuration, delete files, hibernate, or sleep, based on commands issued from the [command-and-control server]," security researcher Greg Lesnewich  said . The malware shares similarities with  KANDYKORN  (aka SockRacket), an advanced implant that functions as a remote access trojan capable of taking control of a compromised host. It's worth noting that the KANDYKORN activity also intersects with another campaign orchestrated by the Lazarus sub-group known as BlueNoroff (aka TA444) which culminates in the deployment of a backdoor referred to as  RustBucket  and a late-stage payload dubbed  ObjCShellz . In recent months, the threat actor has been observed  combining disparate pieces of t

Apple Releases Security Updates to Patch Critical iOS and macOS Security Flaws

Apple Releases Security Updates to Patch Critical iOS and macOS Security Flaws
Dec 12, 2023 Zero Day / Vulnerability
Apple on Monday released  security patches  for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari web browser to address multiple security flaws, in addition to backporting fixes for two recently disclosed zero-days to older devices. This includes updates for  12 security vulnerabilities  in iOS and iPadOS spanning AVEVideoEncoder, ExtensionKit, Find My, ImageIO, Kernel, Safari Private Browsing, and WebKit.  macOS Sonoma 14.2 , for its part, resolves 39 shortcomings, counting six bugs impacting the  ncurses library . Notable among the flaws is  CVE-2023-45866 , a critical security issue in Bluetooth that could allow an attacker in a privileged network position to inject keystrokes by spoofing a keyboard. The vulnerability was disclosed by SkySafe security researcher Marc Newlin last week. It has been remediated in iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, and macOS Sonoma 14.2 with improved checks, the iPhone maker said. Also released by Apple is  Safari 17.2 , containing fixes for two WebKit flaws – C

Mac Users Beware: New Trojan-Proxy Malware Spreading via Pirated Software

Mac Users Beware: New Trojan-Proxy Malware Spreading via Pirated Software
Dec 08, 2023 Endpoint Security / Malware
Unauthorized websites distributing trojanized versions of cracked software have been found to infect Apple macOS users with a new  Trojan-Proxy  malware. "Attackers can use this type of malware to gain money by building a proxy server network or to perform criminal acts on behalf of the victim: to launch attacks on websites, companies and individuals, buy guns, drugs, and other illicit goods," Kaspersky security researcher Sergey Puzan  said . The Russian cybersecurity firm said it found evidence indicating that the malware is a cross-platform threat, owing to artifacts unearthed for Windows and Android that piggybacked on pirated tools. The macOS variants propagate under the guise of legitimate multimedia, image editing, data recovery, and productivity tools. This suggests that users searching for pirated software are the targets of the campaign. Unlike their genuine, unaltered counterparts, which are offered as disk image (.DMG) files, the rogue versions are delivered

New Bluetooth Flaw Let Hackers Take Over Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS Devices

New Bluetooth Flaw Let Hackers Take Over Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS Devices
Dec 07, 2023 Mobile Security / Vulnerability
A critical Bluetooth security flaw could be exploited by threat actors to take control of Android, Linux, macOS and iOS devices. Tracked as  CVE-2023-45866 , the issue relates to a case of authentication bypass that enables attackers to connect to susceptible devices and inject keystrokes to achieve code execution as the victim. "Multiple Bluetooth stacks have authentication bypass vulnerabilities that permit an attacker to connect to a discoverable host without user confirmation and inject keystrokes," said security researcher  Marc Newlin , who  disclosed  the flaws to the software vendors in August 2023. Specifically, the attack deceives the target device into thinking that it's connected to a Bluetooth keyboard by taking advantage of an "unauthenticated pairing mechanism" that's defined in the Bluetooth specification. Successful exploitation of the flaw could permit an adversary in close physical proximity to connect to a vulnerable device and trans

Atlassian Releases Critical Software Fixes to Prevent Remote Code Execution

Atlassian Releases Critical Software Fixes to Prevent Remote Code Execution
Dec 06, 2023 Software Security / Vulnerability
Atlassian has released software fixes to address  four critical flaws  in its software that, if successfully exploited, could result in remote code execution. The list of vulnerabilities is below - CVE-2022-1471  (CVSS score: 9.8) - Deserialization vulnerability in  SnakeYAML library  that can lead to remote code execution in multiple products CVE-2023-22522  (CVSS score: 9.0) - Remote code execution vulnerability in Confluence Data Center and Confluence Server (affects all versions including and after 4.0.0) CVE-2023-22523  (CVSS score: 9.8) - Remote code execution vulnerability in Assets Discovery for Jira Service Management Cloud, Server, and Data Center (affects all versions up to but not including 3.2.0-cloud / 6.2.0 data center and server) CVE-2023-22524  (CVSS score: 9.6) - Remote code execution vulnerability in Atlassian Companion app for macOS (affects all versions up to but not including 2.0.0) Atlassian described CVE-2023-22522 as a template injection flaw that allo

ClearFake Campaign Expands to Target Mac Systems with Atomic Stealer

ClearFake Campaign Expands to Target Mac Systems with Atomic Stealer
Nov 22, 2023 SEO poisoning / Malware Analysis
The macOS information stealer known as Atomic is now being delivered to target via a bogus web browser update chain tracked as ClearFake. "This may very well be the first time we see one of the main social engineering campaigns, previously reserved for Windows, branch out not only in terms of geolocation but also operating system," Malwarebytes' Jérôme Segura  said  in a Tuesday analysis. Atomic Stealer (aka AMOS),  first documented  in April 2023, is a commercial stealer malware family that's sold on a subscription basis for $1,000 per month. It comes with capabilities to siphon data from web browsers and cryptocurrency wallets. Then in September 2023, Malwarebytes  detailed  an Atomic Stealer campaign that took advantage of malicious Google ads, tricking macOS users searching for a financial charting platform known as TradingView into downloading the malware. ClearFake, on the other hand, is a nascent malware distribution operation that employs compromised Wor

North Korean Hackers Targeting Crypto Experts with KANDYKORN macOS Malware

North Korean Hackers Targeting Crypto Experts with KANDYKORN macOS Malware
Nov 01, 2023 Malware / Cryptocurrency
State-sponsored threat actors from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have been found targeting blockchain engineers of an unnamed crypto exchange platform via Discord with a novel macOS malware dubbed  KANDYKORN . Elastic Security Labs said the activity, traced back to April 2023, exhibits overlaps with the infamous adversarial collective  Lazarus Group , citing an analysis of the network infrastructure and techniques used. "Threat actors lured blockchain engineers with a Python application to gain initial access to the environment," security researchers Ricardo Ungureanu, Seth Goodwin, and Andrew Pease  said  in a report published today. "This intrusion involved multiple complex stages that each employed deliberate defense evasion techniques." This is not the first time the Lazarus Group has leveraged macOS malware in its attacks. Earlier this year, the threat actor was observed distributing a backdoored PDF application that culminated in t

Apple Rushes to Patch 3 New Zero-Day Flaws: iOS, macOS, Safari, and More Vulnerable

Apple Rushes to Patch 3 New Zero-Day Flaws: iOS, macOS, Safari, and More Vulnerable
Sep 22, 2023 Zero Day / Vulnerability
Apple has released yet another round of security patches to address three actively exploited zero-day flaws impacting iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and Safari, taking the total tally of zero-day bugs discovered in its software this year to 16. The list of security vulnerabilities is as follows - CVE-2023-41991  - A certificate validation issue in the Security framework that could allow a malicious app to bypass signature validation. CVE-2023-41992  - A security flaw in Kernel that could allow a local attacker to elevate their privileges. CVE-2023-41993  - A WebKit flaw that could result in arbitrary code execution when processing specially crafted web content. Apple did not provide additional specifics barring an acknowledgement that the "issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS before iOS 16.7." The updates are available for the following devices and operating systems - iOS 16.7 and iPadOS 16.7  - iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro (all models), iP

Microsoft Uncovers Flaws in ncurses Library Affecting Linux and macOS Systems

Microsoft Uncovers Flaws in ncurses Library Affecting Linux and macOS Systems
Sep 14, 2023 Endpoint Security / Vulnerability
A set of memory corruption flaws have been discovered in the  ncurses  (short for  new curses ) programming library that could be exploited by threat actors to run malicious code on vulnerable Linux and macOS systems. "Using environment variable poisoning, attackers could chain these vulnerabilities to elevate privileges and run code in the targeted program's context or perform other malicious actions," Microsoft Threat Intelligence researchers Jonathan Bar Or, Emanuele Cozzi, and Michael Pearse  said  in a technical report published today. The vulnerabilities, collectively tracked as  CVE-2023-29491  (CVSS score of 7.8), have been  addressed  as of April 2023. Microsoft said it also worked with Apple on remediating the macOS-specific issues related to these flaws. Environment variables are user-defined values that can be used by multiple programs on a system and can affect the manner in which they behave on the system. Manipulating the variables can cause applica

This Malware Turned Thousands of Hacked Windows and macOS PCs into Proxy Servers

This Malware Turned Thousands of Hacked Windows and macOS PCs into Proxy Servers
Aug 21, 2023 Malware / Privacy
Threat actors are leveraging access to malware-infected Windows and macOS machines to deliver a proxy server application and use them as exit nodes to reroute proxy requests. According to AT&T Alien Labs, the unnamed company that offers the proxy service operates more than 400,000 proxy exit nodes, although it's not immediately clear how many of them were co-opted by malware installed on infected machines without user knowledge and interaction. "Although the proxy website claims that its exit nodes come only from users who have been informed and agreed to the use of their device," the cybersecurity company  said  it found evidence where "malware writers are installing the proxy silently in infected systems." Multiple malware families have been observed delivering the proxy to users searching for cracked software and games. The proxy software, written in the Go programming language, is capable of targeting both Windows and macOS, with the former capable o

Apple Sets New Rules for Developers to Prevent Fingerprinting and Data Misuse

Apple Sets New Rules for Developers to Prevent Fingerprinting and Data Misuse
Jul 29, 2023 Data Security / Privacy
Apple has announced plans to require developers to submit reasons to use certain APIs in their apps starting later this year with the release of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 to prevent their abuse for data collection. "This will help ensure that apps only use these APIs for their intended purpose," the company  said  in a statement. "As part of this process, you'll need to select one or more approved reasons that accurately reflect how your app uses the API, and your app can only use the API for the reasons you've selected." The APIs that  require  reasons for use relate to the following - File timestamp APIs System boot time APIs Disk space APIs Active keyboard APIs, and User defaults APIs The iPhone maker said it's making the move to ensure that such APIs are not abused by app developers to collect device signals to carry out  fingerprinting , which could be employed to  uniquely identify users  across different a

The Alarming Rise of Infostealers: How to Detect this Silent Threat

The Alarming Rise of Infostealers: How to Detect this Silent Threat
Jul 26, 2023 Malware / Data Safety
A new study conducted by Uptycs has uncovered a stark increase in the distribution of information stealing (a.k.a. infostealer or stealer) malware. Incidents have more than doubled in Q1 2023, indicating an alarming trend that threatens global organizations. According to the new Uptycs' whitepaper,  Stealers are Organization Killers , a variety of new info stealers have emerged this year, preying on Windows, Linux, and macOS systems. Telegram has notably been used extensively by these malware authors for command, control, and data exfiltration. What is a Stealer? A stealer is a type of malware that targets its victim by stealing sensitive information that can include passwords, login credentials, and other personal data. After collecting such data, the stealer sends it to the threat actor's command and control (C2) system. RedLine and Vidar, two well-known stealers, took advantage of log-providing services to infiltrate private systems. RedLine primarily targets credenti

Rust-based Realst Infostealer Targeting Apple macOS Users' Cryptocurrency Wallets

Rust-based Realst Infostealer Targeting Apple macOS Users' Cryptocurrency Wallets
Jul 26, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Endpoint Security
A new malware family called  Realst  has become the latest to target Apple macOS systems, with a third of the samples already designed to infect macOS 14 Sonoma, the upcoming major release of the operating system. Written in the Rust programming language, the malware is distributed in the form of bogus blockchain games and is capable of "emptying crypto wallets and stealing stored password and browser data" from both Windows and macOS machines. Realst was first discovered in the wild by security researcher  iamdeadlyz . "Realst Infostealer is distributed via malicious websites advertising fake blockchain games with names such as Brawl Earth, WildWorld, Dawnland, Destruction, Evolion, Pearl, Olymp of Reptiles, and SaintLegend," SentinelOne security researcher Phil Stokes  said  in a report. "Each version of the fake blockchain game is hosted on its own website complete with associated Twitter and Discord accounts." The cybersecurity firm, which identif

macOS Under Attack: Examining the Growing Threat and User Perspectives

macOS Under Attack: Examining the Growing Threat and User Perspectives
Jul 25, 2023 Endpoint Security / macOS
As the number of people using macOS keeps going up, so does the desire of hackers to take advantage of flaws in Apple's operating system.  What Are the Rising Threats to macOS? There is a common misconception among macOS fans that Apple devices are immune to hacking and malware infection. However, users have been facing more and more dangers recently. Inventive attackers are specifically targeting Mac systems, as seen with the "Geacon" Cobalt Strike tool attack. This tool enables them to perform malicious actions such as data theft, privilege elevation, and remote device control, placing the security and privacy of Mac users at grave risk. Earlier this year, researchers also uncovered the MacStealer malware, which also stole sensitive data from Apple users. Documents, iCloud keychain data, browser cookies, credit card credentials – nothing is safe from the prying eyes.  But that's not all. CloudMensis is malicious software that specifically targets macOS systems,
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