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US Sanctions Cryptocurrency Exchange SUEX for Aiding Ransomware Gangs

US Sanctions Cryptocurrency Exchange SUEX for Aiding Ransomware Gangs
September 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Russian cryptocurrency exchange Suex for helping facilitate and launder transactions from at least eight ransomware variants as part of the government's efforts to crack down on a surge in ransomware incidents and make it difficult for bad actors to profit from such attacks using digital currencies. "Virtual currency exchanges such as SUEX are critical to the profitability of ransomware attacks, which help fund additional cybercriminal activity," the department  said  in a press release. "Analysis of known SUEX transactions shows that over 40% of SUEX's known transaction history is associated with illicit actors. SUEX is being designated pursuant to  Executive Order 13694 , as amended, for providing material support to the threat posed by criminal ransomware actors." According to blockchain analytics firm  Chainalysis , SUEX is legally registered in the Czech Republic and operates out of office

IT Giant Accenture Hit by LockBit Ransomware; Hackers Threaten to Leak Data

IT Giant Accenture Hit by LockBit Ransomware; Hackers Threaten to Leak Data
August 12, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Global IT consultancy giant Accenture has become the latest company to be hit by the LockBit ransomware gang, according to a post made by the operators on their dark web portal, likely filling a void left in the wake of DarkSide and REvil shutdown. "These people are beyond privacy and security. I really hope that their services are better than what I saw as an insider," read a message posted on the data leak website. Accenture  said  it has since restored the affected systems from backups. LockBit, like its now-defunct DarkSide and REvil counterparts, operates using a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model, roping in other cybercriminals (aka affiliates) to carry out the intrusion using its platform, with the payments often divided between the criminal entity directing the attack and the core developers of the malware. The ransomware group emerged on the threat landscape in September 2019, and in June 2021 launched LockBit 2.0 along with an advertising campaign to recruit

Several Malware Families Targeting IIS Web Servers With Malicious Modules

Several Malware Families Targeting IIS Web Servers With Malicious Modules
August 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A systematic analysis of attacks against Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) servers has revealed as many as 14 malware families, 10 of them newly documented, indicating that the Windows-based web server software continues to be a hotbed for  natively developed malware  for close to eight years. The findings were presented today by ESET malware researcher Zuzana Hromcova at the  Black Hat USA security conference . "The various kinds of native IIS malware identified are server-side malware and the two things it can do best is, first, see and intercept all communications to the server, and second, affect how the requests are processed," Hromcova told in an interview with The Hacker News. "Their motivations range from cybercrime to espionage, and a technique called SEO fraud." Government institutions in three Southeast Asian countries, a major telecommunications company in Cambodia, and a research institution in Vietnam, as well as dozens of private

New Chinese Spyware Being Used in Widespread Cyber Espionage Attacks

New Chinese Spyware Being Used in Widespread Cyber Espionage Attacks
August 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat actor presumed to be of Chinese origin has been linked to a series of 10 attacks targeting Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Canada, and the U.S. from January to July 2021 that involve the deployment of a remote access trojan (RAT) on infected systems, according to new research. The intrusions have been attributed to an advanced persistent threat named APT31 (FireEye), which is tracked by the cybersecurity community under the monikers Zirconium (Microsoft), Judgement Panda (CrowdStrike), and Bronze Vinewood (Secureworks). The group is a "China-nexus cyber espionage actor focused on obtaining information that can provide the Chinese government and state-owned enterprises with political, economic, and military advantages,"  according  to FireEye. Positive Technologies, in a  write-up  published Tuesday, revealed a new malware dropper that was used to facilitate the attacks, including the retrieval of next-stage encrypted payloads from a remote command-and-control server,

Nasty macOS Malware XCSSET Now Targets Google Chrome, Telegram Software

Nasty macOS Malware XCSSET Now Targets Google Chrome, Telegram Software
July 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A malware known for targeting macOS operating system has been updated once again to add more features to its toolset that allows it to amass and exfiltrate sensitive data stored in a variety of apps, including apps such as Google Chrome and Telegram, as part of further "refinements in its tactics." XCSSET was  uncovered  in August 2020, when it was found targeting Mac developers using an unusual means of distribution that involved injecting a malicious payload into Xcode IDE projects that's executed at the time of building project files in Xcode. The malware comes with numerous capabilities, such as reading and dumping Safari cookies, injecting malicious JavaScript code into various websites, stealing information from applications, such as Notes, WeChat, Skype, Telegram, and encrypting user files. Earlier this April, XCSSET  received an upgrade  that enabled the malware authors to target macOS 11 Big Sur as well as Macs running on M1 chipsets by circumventing new sec

Kaseya Gets Universal Decryptor to Help REvil Ransomware Victims

Kaseya Gets Universal Decryptor to Help REvil Ransomware Victims
July 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Nearly three weeks after Florida-based software vendor Kaseya was hit by a  widespread supply-chain ransomware attack , the company on Thursday said it obtained a universal decryptor to unlock systems and help customers recover their data. "On July 21, Kaseya obtained a decryptor for victims of the REvil ransomware attack, and we're working to remediate customers impacted by the incident," the company  said  in a statement. "Kaseya obtained the tool from a third-party and have teams actively helping customers affected by the ransomware to restore their environments, with no reports of any problem or issues associated with the decryptor." It's not immediately unclear if Kaseya paid any ransom. It's worth noting that REvil affiliates had  demanded a ransom of $70 million  — an amount that was subsequently lowered to $50 million — but soon after, the ransomware gang mysteriously  went off the grid , shutting down their payment sites and data leak portal

Kaseya Supply-Chain Attack Hits Nearly 40 Service Providers With REvil Ransomware

Kaseya Supply-Chain Attack Hits Nearly 40 Service Providers With REvil Ransomware
July 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors behind the notorious REvil cybercrime operation appear to have pushed ransomware via an update for Kaseya's IT management software, hitting around 40 customers worldwide, in what's an instance of a widespread supply-chain ransomware attack. "Beginning around mid-day (EST/US) on Friday, July 2, 2021, Kaseya's Incident Response team learned of a potential security incident involving our VSA software," the company's CEO Fred Voccola  said  in a statement shared late Friday. Following the incident, the IT and security management services company said it took immediate steps to shut down its SaaS servers as a precautionary measure, in addition to notifying its on-premises customers to shut down their VSA servers to prevent them from being compromised. Voccola also said the company has identified the source of the vulnerability and that it's readying a patch to mitigate the ongoing issues. In the interim, the company also noted it intends to

Russian Hackers Targeted Ukraine Authorities With Supply-Chain Malware Attack

Russian Hackers Targeted Ukraine Authorities With Supply-Chain Malware Attack
February 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine is formally pointing fingers at Russian hackers for hacking into one of its government systems and attempting to plant and distribute malicious documents that would install malware on target systems of public authorities. "The purpose of the attack was the mass contamination of information resources of public authorities, as this system is used for the circulation of documents in most public authorities," the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC)  said  in a statement published on Wednesday. The NSDC's National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity (NCCC) termed it a supply chain attack aimed at the System of Electronic Interaction of Executive Bodies (SEI EB), which is used to distribute documents to officials. Calling it a work of threat actors with ties to Russia, the NSDC said the decoy documents came embedded with a macro that, when opened, stealthily downloaded malicious code to control the compromised system remotely. "The metho

Experts Warns of Notable Increase in QuickBooks Data Files Theft Attacks

Experts Warns of Notable Increase in QuickBooks Data Files Theft Attacks
February 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
New research has uncovered a significant increase in QuickBooks file data theft using social engineering tricks to deliver malware and exploit the accounting software. "A majority of the time, the attack involves basic malware that is often signed, making it hard to detect using antivirus or other threat detection software," researchers from ThreatLocker said in an analysis shared today with The Hacker News. QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. The spear-phishing attacks take the form of a PowerShell command that's capable of running inside of the email, the researchers said, adding, a second attack vector involves decoy documents sent via email messages that, when opened, runs a macro to download malicious code which uploads QuickBooks files to an attacker-controlled server. Alternatively, bad actors have also been spotted running a PowerShell command called  Invoke-WebRequests  on target systems to upload relevant data to

Detailed: Here's How Iran Spies on Dissidents with the Help of Hackers

Detailed: Here's How Iran Spies on Dissidents with the Help of Hackers
February 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Twin cyber operations conducted by state-sponsored Iranian threat actors demonstrate their continued focus on compiling detailed dossiers on Iranian citizens that could threaten the stability of the Islamic Republic, including dissidents, opposition forces, and ISIS supporters, and Kurdish natives. Tracing the extensive espionage operations to two advanced Iranian cyber-groups  Domestic Kitten  (or APT-C-50) and  Infy , cybersecurity firm Check Point revealed new and recent evidence of their ongoing activities that involve the use of a revamped malware toolset as well as tricking unwitting users into downloading malicious software under the guise of popular apps. "Both groups have conducted long-running cyberattacks and intrusive surveillance campaigns which target both individuals' mobile devices and personal computers," Check Point researchers said in a new analysis. "The operators of these campaigns are clearly active, responsive and constantly seeking new att

Iranian RANA Android Malware Also Spies On Instant Messengers

Iranian RANA Android Malware Also Spies On Instant Messengers
December 07, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A team of researchers today unveiled previously undisclosed capabilities of an Android spyware implant—developed by a sanctioned Iranian threat actor—that could let attackers spy on private chats from popular instant messaging apps, force Wi-Fi connections, and auto-answer calls from specific numbers for purposes of eavesdropping on conversations. In  September , the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on APT39 (aka Chafer, ITG07, or Remix Kitten) — an Iranian threat actor backed by the country's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) — for carrying out malware campaigns targeting Iranian dissidents, journalists, and international companies in the telecom and travel sectors. Coinciding with the sanctions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a public threat analysis  report  describing several tools used by Rana Intelligence Computing Company, which operated as a front for the malicious cyber activities conducted by the APT39 group. Formally lin

Payment Card Skimmer Group Using Raccoon Info-Stealer to Siphon Off Data

Payment Card Skimmer Group Using Raccoon Info-Stealer to Siphon Off Data
December 07, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A cybercrime group known for targeting e-commerce websites unleashed a "multi-stage malicious campaign" earlier this year designed with an intent to distribute information stealers and JavaScript-based payment skimmers. In a new report published today and shared with The Hacker News, Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB attributed the operation to the same group that's been linked to a separate attack aimed at online merchants using password-stealing malware to infect their websites with  FakeSecurity JavaScript-sniffers  (JS-sniffers). The campaign progressed in four waves, starting in February and ending in September, with the operators relying on specially-crafted phishing pages and lure documents laced with malicious macros to download Vidar and Raccoon information stealers onto victim systems. The ultimate goal of the attack, the researchers noted, was to steal payment and user data via several attack vectors and tools to deliver the malware. The fake we

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

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

Researchers Fingerprint Exploit Developers Who Help Several Malware Authors

Researchers Fingerprint Exploit Developers Who Help Several Malware Authors
October 02, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Writing advanced malware for a threat actor requires different groups of people with diverse technical expertise to put them all together. But can the code leave enough clues to reveal the person behind it? To this effect, cybersecurity researchers on Friday detailed a new methodology to identify exploit authors that use their unique characteristics as a fingerprint to track down other exploits developed by them. By deploying this technique, the researchers were able to link 16 Windows local privilege escalation (LPE) exploits to two zero-day sellers "Volodya" (previously called "BuggiCorp") and "PlayBit" (or "luxor2008"). "Instead of focusing on an entire malware and hunting for new samples of the malware family or actor, we wanted to offer another perspective and decided to concentrate on these few functions that were written by an exploit developer," Check Point Research's Itay Cohen and Eyal Itkin noted. Fingerprinting an

FinSpy Spyware for Mac and Linux OS Targets Egyptian Organisations

FinSpy Spyware for Mac and Linux OS Targets Egyptian Organisations
September 25, 2020Mohit Kumar
Amnesty International today exposed details of a new surveillance campaign that targeted Egyptian civil society organizations with previously undisclosed versions of FinSpy spyware designed to target Linux and macOS systems. Developed by a German company , FinSpy is extremely powerful spying software that is being sold as a legal law enforcement tool to governments around the world but has also been found in use by oppressive and dubious regimes to spy on activists. FinSpy, also known as FinFisher, can target both desktop and mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux, to gain spying capabilities, including secretly turning on their webcams and microphones, recording everything the victim types on the keyboard, intercepting calls, and exfiltration of data. According to the human rights organization Amnesty International , the newly discovered campaign is not linked to 'NilePhish,' a hacking group known for attacking Egyptian NGOs in a ser

A Patient Dies After Ransomware Attack Paralyzes German Hospital Systems

A Patient Dies After Ransomware Attack Paralyzes German Hospital Systems
September 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
German authorities last week  disclosed  that a ransomware attack on the University Hospital of Düsseldorf (UKD) caused a failure of IT systems, resulting in the death of a woman who had to be sent to another hospital that was 20 miles away. The incident marks the first recorded casualty as a consequence of cyberattacks on critical healthcare facilities, which has ramped up in recent months. The attack, which exploited a Citrix ADC  CVE-2019-19781  vulnerability to cripple the hospital systems on September 10, is said to have been "misdirected" in that it was originally intended for Heinrich Heine University, according to an extortion note left by the perpetrators. After law enforcement contacted the threat actors and informed them that they had encrypted a hospital, the operators behind the attack withdrew the ransom demand and provided the decryption key. The case is currently being treated as a homicide, BBC News  reported  over the weekend. Unpatched Vulnerabilities

Japan, France, New Zealand Warn of Sudden Uptick in Emotet Trojan Attacks

Japan, France, New Zealand Warn of Sudden Uptick in Emotet Trojan Attacks
September 08, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity agencies across Asia and Europe have issued multiple security alerts regarding the resurgence of email-based Emotet malware attacks targeting businesses in France, Japan, and New Zealand. "The emails contain malicious attachments or links that the receiver is encouraged to download," New Zealand's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said. "These links and attachments may look like genuine invoices, financial documents, shipping information, resumes, scanned documents, or information on COVID-19, but they are fake." Echoing similar concerns, Japan's CERT (JPCERT/CC) cautioned it found a rapid increase in the number of domestic domain (.jp) email addresses that have been infected with the malware and can be misused to send spam emails in an attempt to spread the infection further. First identified in 2014 and distributed by a threat group tracked as TA542 (or Mummy Spider), Emotet has since evolved from its original roots as a s
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