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Researchers Uncover New Metador APT Targeting Telcos, ISPs, and Universities

Researchers Uncover New Metador APT Targeting Telcos, ISPs, and Universities
September 23, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented threat actor of unknown origin has been linked to attacks targeting telecom, internet service providers, and universities across multiple countries in the Middle East and Africa. "The operators are highly aware of operations security, managing carefully segmented infrastructure per victim, and quickly deploying intricate countermeasures in the presence of security solutions," researchers from SentinelOne  said  in a new report. The cybersecurity firm codenamed the group  Metador  in reference to a string "I am meta" in one of their malware samples and because of Spanish-language responses from the command-and-control (C2) servers. The threat actor is said to have primarily focused on the development of cross-platform malware in its pursuit of espionage aims. Other hallmarks of the campaign are the limited number of intrusions and long-term access to targets. This includes two different Windows malware platforms called metaMain and Ma

Fake Indian Banking Rewards Apps Targeting Android Users with Info-stealing Malware

Fake Indian Banking Rewards Apps Targeting Android Users with Info-stealing Malware
September 23, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An SMS-based phishing campaign is targeting customers of Indian banks with information-stealing malware that masquerades as a rewards application. The Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team said that the messages contain links that redirect users to a sketchy website that triggers the download of the fake banking rewards app for ICICI Bank. "The malware's RAT capabilities allow the attacker to intercept important device notifications such as incoming messages, an apparent effort to catch two-factor authentication (2FA) messages often used by banking and financial institutions," researchers Shivang Desai, Abhishek Pustakala, and Harshita Tripathi  said . Additionally, the malware is equipped with the ability to steal SMSes, potentially enabling the attacker to swipe 2FA codes sent as text messages and gain unauthorized access to victim accounts. Like other social engineering attacks, familiar brand logos and names are used in the smishing message as well as the rogue a

Malicious NPM Package Caught Mimicking Material Tailwind CSS Package

Malicious NPM Package Caught Mimicking Material Tailwind CSS Package
September 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A malicious NPM package has been found masquerading as the legitimate software library for Material Tailwind, once again indicating attempts on the part of threat actors to distribute malicious code in open source software repositories. Material Tailwind is a  CSS-based framework  advertised by its maintainers as an "easy to use components library for Tailwind CSS and Material Design." "The malicious Material Tailwind npm package, while posing as a helpful development tool, has an automatic post-install script," Karlo Zanki, security researcher at ReversingLabs,  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. This script is engineered to download a password-protected ZIP archive file that contains a Windows executable capable of running PowerShell scripts. The now-removed rogue package, named  material-tailwindcss , has been downloaded 320 times to date, all of which occurred on or after September 15, 2022. In a tactic that's becoming increasingly common,

15-Year-Old Unpatched Python Vulnerability Potentially Affects Over 350,000 Projects

15-Year-Old Unpatched Python Vulnerability Potentially Affects Over 350,000 Projects
September 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
As many as 350,000 open source projects are believed to be potentially vulnerable to exploitation as a result of a security flaw in a Python module that has remained unpatched for 15 years. The open source repositories span a number of industry verticals, such as software development, artificial intelligence/machine learning, web development, media, security, and IT management. The shortcoming, tracked as  CVE-2007-4559  (CVSS score: 6.8), is rooted in the tarfile module, successful exploitation of which could lead to code execution from an arbitrary file write. "The vulnerability is a path traversal attack in the extract and extractall functions in the tarfile module that allow an attacker to overwrite arbitrary files by adding the '..' sequence to filenames in a TAR archive," Trellix security researcher Kasimir Schulz  said  in a writeup. Originally disclosed in August 2007, the bug has to do with how a specially crafted tar archive can be leveraged to overwri

Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Instances Found Exposed on the Internet

Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Instances Found Exposed on the Internet
September 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An unknown attacker targeted tens of thousands of unauthenticated Redis servers exposed on the internet in an attempt to  install a cryptocurrency miner . It's not immediately known if all of these hosts were successfully compromised. Nonetheless, it was made possible by means of a "lesser-known technique" designed to trick the servers into writing data to arbitrary files – a case of  unauthorized access  that was first documented in September 2018. "The general idea behind this exploitation technique is to configure Redis to write its file-based database to a directory containing some method to authorize a user (like adding a key to '.ssh/authorized_keys'), or start a process (like adding a script to '/etc/cron.d')," Censys  said  in a new write-up. The attack surface management platform said it uncovered evidence (i.e., Redis commands) indicating efforts on part of the attacker to store malicious  crontab entries  into the file "/var/

Russian Sandworm Hackers Impersonate Ukrainian Telecoms to Distribute Malware

Russian Sandworm Hackers Impersonate Ukrainian Telecoms to Distribute Malware
September 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat cluster linked to the Russian nation-state actor tracked as Sandworm has continued its targeting of Ukraine with commodity malware by masquerading as telecom providers, new findings show. Recorded Future said it discovered new infrastructure belonging to UAC-0113 that mimics operators like Datagroup and EuroTransTelecom to deliver payloads such as  Colibri loader  and  Warzone RAT . The attacks are said to be an expansion of the  same campaign  that previously distributed  DCRat  (or DarkCrystal RAT) using phishing emails with legal aid-themed lures against providers of telecommunications in Ukraine. Sandworm is a  destructive Russian threat group  that's best known for carrying out attacks such as the 2015 and 2016 targeting of Ukrainian electrical grid and 2017's NotPetya attacks. It's confirmed to be Unit 74455 of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency. The adversarial collective, also known as Voodoo Bear, sought to damage high-voltage electrical s

Emotet Botnet Started Distributing Quantum and BlackCat Ransomware

Emotet Botnet Started Distributing Quantum and BlackCat Ransomware
September 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Emotet malware is now being leveraged by ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) groups, including Quantum and BlackCat, after  Conti's official retirement  from the threat landscape this year. Emotet  started off as a banking trojan in 2014, but updates added to it over time have transformed the malware into a highly potent threat that's capable of downloading other payloads onto the victim's machine, which would allow the attacker to control it remotely. Although the infrastructure associated with the invasive malware loader was taken down as part of a law enforcement effort in January 2021, the Conti ransomware cartel is said to have  played an instrumental role  in its comeback late last year. "From November 2021 to Conti's dissolution in June 2022, Emotet was an exclusive Conti ransomware tool, however, the Emotet infection chain is currently attributed to Quantum and BlackCat," AdvIntel  said  in an advisory published last week. Typical attack sequences

Europol and Bitdefender Release Free Decryptor for LockerGoga Ransomware

Europol and Bitdefender Release Free Decryptor for LockerGoga Ransomware
September 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A decryptor for the LockerGoga ransomware has been  made available  by Romanian cybersecurity firm Bitdefender in collaboration with Europol, the No More Ransom project, and Zurich law enforcement authorities. Identified in January 2019, LockerGoga drew headlines for its attacks against the Norwegian aluminum giant  Norsk Hydro . It's said to have infected more than 1,800 victims in 71 countries, causing an estimated $104 million in damages. The ransomware operation received a significant blow in October 2021 when 12 people in connection with the group, alongside MegaCortex and Dharma, were apprehended as part of an  international law enforcement effort . The arrests, which took place in Ukraine and Switzerland, also saw the seizure of cash worth $52,000, five luxury vehicles, and a number of electronic devices. One of the accused is currently in pretrial detention in Zurich. The Zurich Cantonal Police further said it spent the past months examining the data storage devices

Microsoft Warns of Large-Scale Click Fraud Campaign Targeting Gamers

Microsoft Warns of Large-Scale Click Fraud Campaign Targeting Gamers
September 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft said it's tracking an ongoing large-scale click fraud campaign targeting gamers by means of stealthily deployed browser extensions on compromised systems. "[The] attackers monetize clicks generated by a browser node-webkit or malicious browser extension secretly installed on devices," Microsoft Security Intelligence said in a sequence of tweets over the weekend. The tech giant's cybersecurity division is tracking the developing threat cluster under the name DEV-0796. Attack chains mounted by the adversary commence with an ISO file that's downloaded onto a victim's machine upon clicking on a malicious ad or comments on YouTube. The ISO file, when opened, is designed to install a browser node-webkit (aka  NW.js ) or rogue browser extension. It's worth noting that the  ISO file  masquerades as hacks and cheats for the Krunker first-person shooter game. Cheats are programs that help gamers gain an added advantage beyond the available capabili

Researchers Find Link b/w PrivateLoader and Ruzki Pay-Per-Install Services

Researchers Find Link b/w PrivateLoader and Ruzki Pay-Per-Install Services
September 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have exposed new connections between a widely used pay-per-install (PPI) malware service known as PrivateLoader and another PPI platform offered by a cybercriminal actor dubbed ruzki. "The threat actor ruzki (aka les0k, zhigalsz) advertises their PPI service on underground Russian-speaking forums and their Telegram channels under the name ruzki or zhigalsz since at least May 2021," SEKOIA said. The cybersecurity firm said its investigations into the twin services led it to conclude that PrivateLoader is the proprietary loader of the ruzki PPI malware service. PrivateLoader, as the name implies, functions as a C++-based loader to download and deploy additional malicious payloads on infected Windows hosts. It's primarily distributed through SEO-optimized websites that claim to provide cracked software. Although it was  first documented  earlier this February by Intel471, it's said to have been put to use starting as early as May 2021. S

Hackers Targeting WebLogic Servers and Docker APIs for Mining Cryptocurrencies

Hackers Targeting WebLogic Servers and Docker APIs for Mining Cryptocurrencies
September 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Malicious actors such as Kinsing are taking advantage of both recently disclosed and older security flaws in Oracle WebLogic Server to deliver cryptocurrency-mining malware. Cybersecurity company Trend Micro said it  found  the financially-motivated group leveraging the vulnerability to drop Python scripts with capabilities to disable operating system (OS) security features such as Security-Enhanced Linux ( SELinux ), and others. The operators behind the  Kinsing malware  have a history of scanning for vulnerable servers to co-opt them into a botnet, including that of  Redis ,  SaltStack ,  Log4Shell ,  Spring4Shell , and the Atlassian Confluence flaw ( CVE-2022-26134 ). The Kinsing actors have also been involved in campaigns against container environments via  misconfigured open Docker Daemon API ports  to launch a crypto miner and subsequently spread the malware to other containers and hosts. The latest wave of attacks entails the actor weaponizing  CVE-2020-14882  (CVSS score:

Russian Gamaredon Hackers Target Ukrainian Government Using Info-Stealing Malware

Russian Gamaredon Hackers Target Ukrainian Government Using Info-Stealing Malware
September 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An ongoing espionage campaign operated by the Russia-linked Gamaredon group is targeting employees of Ukrainian government, defense, and law enforcement agencies with a piece of custom-made information stealing malware. "The adversary is using phishing documents containing lures related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine," Cisco Talos researchers Asheer Malhotra and Guilherme Venere  said  in a technical write-up shared with The Hacker News. "LNK files, PowerShell, and VBScript enable initial access, while malicious binaries are deployed in the post-infection phase." Active since 2013, Gamaredon – also known as Actinium, Armageddon, Primitive Bear, Shuckworm, and Trident Ursa – has been linked to numerous attacks aimed at Ukrainian entities in the aftermath of Russia's military invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022. The targeted phishing operation, observed as recently as August 2022, also follows similar intrusions  uncovered  by Symantec last month in

Webworm Hackers Using Modified RATs in Latest Cyber Espionage Attacks

Webworm Hackers Using Modified RATs in Latest Cyber Espionage Attacks
September 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat actor tracked under the moniker Webworm is taking advantage of bespoke variants of already existing Windows-based remote access trojans to fly under the radar, some of which are said to be in pre-deployment or testing phases. "The group has developed customized versions of three older remote access trojans (RATs), including  Trochilus RAT ,  Gh0st RAT , and  9002 RAT ," the Symantec Threat Hunter team, part of Broadcom Software,  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The cybersecurity firm said at least one of the indicators of compromise (IOCs) was used in an attack against an IT service provider operating in multiple Asian countries. It's worth pointing out that all the three backdoors are primarily associated with Chinese threat actors such as Stone Panda (APT10), Aurora Panda (APT17), Emissary Panda (APT27), and Judgement Panda (APT31), among others, although they have been put to use by other hacking groups. Symantec said the Webworm threat ac

U.S. Charges 3 Iranian Hackers and Sanctions Several Others Over Ransomware Attacks

U.S. Charges 3 Iranian Hackers and Sanctions Several Others Over Ransomware Attacks
September 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Wednesday announced sweeping sanctions against ten individuals and two entities backed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for their involvement in ransomware attacks at least since October 2020. The agency said the cyber activity mounted by the individuals is partially attributable to intrusion sets tracked under the names APT35, Charming Kitten, Nemesis Kitten, Phosphorus, and TunnelVision. "This group has launched extensive campaigns against organizations and officials across the globe, particularly targeting U.S. and Middle Eastern defense, diplomatic, and government personnel, as well as private industries including media, energy, business services, and telecommunications," the Treasury  said . The Nemesis Kitten actor, which is also known as  Cobalt Mirage ,  DEV-0270 , and  UNC2448 , has come under the scanner in recent months for its pattern of ransomware attacks for o

Lorenz Ransomware Exploit Mitel VoIP Systems to Breach Business Networks

Lorenz Ransomware Exploit Mitel VoIP Systems to Breach Business Networks
September 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators behind the Lornenz ransomware operation have been observed exploiting a now-patched critical security flaw in Mitel MiVoice Connect to obtain a foothold into target environments for follow-on malicious activities. "Initial malicious activity originated from a Mitel appliance sitting on the network perimeter," researchers from cybersecurity firm Arctic Wolf  said  in a report published this week. "Lorenz exploited  CVE-2022-29499 , a remote code execution vulnerability impacting the Mitel Service Appliance component of MiVoice Connect, to obtain a reverse shell and subsequently used  Chisel  as a tunneling tool to pivot into the environment." Lorenz, like many other ransomware groups, is known for double extortion by exfiltrating data prior to encrypting systems, with the actor targeting small and medium businesses (SMBs) located in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in China and Mexico, since at least February 2021. Calling it an "ever-evolvin

Researchers Detail OriginLogger RAT — Successor to Agent Tesla Malware

Researchers Detail OriginLogger RAT — Successor to Agent Tesla Malware
September 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 has detailed the inner workings of a malware called  OriginLogger , which has been touted as a successor to the widely used information stealer and remote access trojan (RAT) known as  Agent Tesla . A .NET based keylogger and remote access, Agent Tesla has had a long-standing presence in the threat landscape, allowing malicious actors to gain remote access to targeted systems and beacon sensitive information to an actor-controlled domain. Known to be used in the wild since 2014, it's advertised for sale on dark web forums and is generally distributed through malicious spam emails as an attachment. In February 2021, cybersecurity firm Sophos  disclosed two new variants  of the commodity malware (version 2 and 3) that featured capabilities to steal credentials from web browsers, email apps, and VPN clients, as well as use Telegram API for command-and-control. Now according to Unit 42 researcher Jeff White, what has been tagged as Agent Tesla version 3

Asian Governments and Organizations Targeted in Latest Cyber Espionage Attacks

Asian Governments and Organizations Targeted in Latest Cyber Espionage Attacks
September 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Government and state-owned organizations in a number of Asian countries have been targeted by a distinct group of espionage hackers as part of an intelligence gathering mission that has been underway since early 2021. "A notable feature of these attacks is that the attackers leveraged a wide range of legitimate software packages in order to load their malware payloads using a technique known as  DLL side-loading ," the Symantec Threat Hunter team, part of Broadcom Software,  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The campaign is said to be exclusively geared towards government institutions related to finance, aerospace, and defense, as well as state-owned media, IT, and telecom firms.  Dynamic-link library (DLL) side-loading is a popular cyberattack method that leverages how Microsoft Windows applications handle DLL files. In these intrusions, a spoofed malicious DLL is planted in the Windows Side-by-Side ( WinSxS ) directory so that the operating system loads it

Chinese Hackers Target Government Officials in Europe, South America, and Middle East

Chinese Hackers Target Government Officials in Europe, South America, and Middle East
September 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A Chinese hacking group has been attributed to a new campaign aimed at infecting government officials in Europe, the Middle East, and South America with a modular malware known as PlugX. Cybersecurity firm Secureworks said it identified the intrusions in June and July 2022, once again demonstrating the adversary's continued focus on espionage against governments around the world. "PlugX is modular malware that contacts a command and control (C2) server for tasking and can download additional plugins to enhance its capability beyond basic information gathering," Secureworks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Bronze President is a China-based threat actor active since at least July 2018 and is likely estimated to be a state-sponsored group that leverages a mix of proprietary and publicly available tools to compromise and collect data from its targets. It's also publicly documented under other names such as HoneyMyte, Mustang P
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