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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

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

Interpol Arrests 3 Nigerian BEC Scammers For Targeting Over 500,000 Entities

Interpol Arrests 3 Nigerian BEC Scammers For Targeting Over 500,000 Entities
November 25, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Three Nigerian citizens suspected of being members of an organized cybercrime group behind distributing malware, carrying out phishing campaigns, and extensive Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams have been arrested in the city of Lagos, Interpol reported yesterday. The investigation, dubbed " Operation Falcon ," was jointly undertaken by the international police organization along with Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB and the Nigeria Police Force, the principal law enforcement agency in the country. About 50,000 targeted victims of the criminal schemes have been identified so far, as the probe continues to track down other suspected gang members and the monetization methods employed by the group. Group-IB's participation in the year-long operation came as part of Interpol's Project Gateway, which provides a framework for agreements with selected private sector partners and receives threat intel directly. "The suspects are alleged to have develo

Evolution of Emotet: From Banking Trojan to Malware Distributor

Evolution of Emotet: From Banking Trojan to Malware Distributor
November 19, 2020The Hacker News
Emotet is one of the most dangerous and widespread malware threats active today. Ever since its discovery in 2014—when Emotet was a standard credential stealer and banking Trojan, the malware has evolved into a modular, polymorphic platform for distributing other kinds of computer viruses. Being constantly under development, Emotet updates itself regularly to improve stealthiness, persistence, and add new spying capabilities. This notorious Trojan is one of the most frequently malicious programs found in the wild. Usually, it is a part of a phishing attack, email spam that infects PCs with malware and spreads among other computers in the network. If you'd like to find out more about the malware, collect IOCs, and get fresh samples, check the following article in the Malware trends tracker , the service with dynamic articles. Emotet is the most uploaded malware throughout the past few years. Here below is the rating of uploads to ANY.RUN service in 2019, where users ran over

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

Uncovered: APT 'Hackers For Hire' Target Financial, Entertainment Firms

Uncovered: APT 'Hackers For Hire' Target Financial, Entertainment Firms
November 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A hackers-for-hire operation has been discovered using a strain of previously undocumented malware to target South Asian financial institutions and global entertainment companies. Dubbed " CostaRicto " by Blackberry researchers, the campaign appears to be the handiwork of APT mercenaries who possess bespoke malware tooling and complex VPN proxy and SSH tunneling capabilities. "CostaRicto targets are scattered across different countries in Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa, but the biggest concentration appears to be in South Asia (especially India, Bangladesh and Singapore and China), suggesting that the threat actor could be based in that region, but working on a wide range of commissions from diverse clients," the researchers said. The modus operandi in itself is quite straight-forward. Upon gaining an initial foothold in the target's environment via stolen credentials, the attacker proceeds to set up an SSH tunnel to download a backdoor and a p

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

North Korean Hackers Used 'Torisma' Spyware in Job Offers-based Attacks

North Korean Hackers Used 'Torisma' Spyware in Job Offers-based Attacks
November 05, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A cyberespionage campaign aimed at aerospace and defense sectors in order to install data gathering implants on victims' machines for purposes of surveillance and data exfiltration may have been more sophisticated than previously thought. The attacks, which targeted IP-addresses belonging to internet service providers (ISPs) in Australia, Israel, Russia, and defense contractors based in Russia and India, involved a previously undiscovered spyware tool called Torisma  to stealthily monitor its victims for continued exploitation. Tracked under the codename of " Operation North Star " by McAfee researchers, initial findings into the campaign in July revealed the use of social media sites, spear-phishing, and weaponized documents with fake job offers to trick employees working in the defense sector to gain a foothold on their organizations' networks. The attacks have been attributed to infrastructure and TTPs (Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures) previously associate

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

Browser Bugs Exploited to Install 2 New Backdoors on Targeted Computers

Browser Bugs Exploited to Install 2 New Backdoors on Targeted Computers
October 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details about a new watering hole attack targeting the Korean diaspora that exploits vulnerabilities in web browsers such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer to deploy malware for espionage purposes. Dubbed " Operation Earth Kitsune " by Trend Micro, the campaign involves the use of SLUB (for SLack and githUB) malware and two new backdoors —  dneSpy and agfSpy  — to exfiltrate system information and gain additional control of the compromised machine. The attacks were observed during the months of March, May, and September, according to the cybersecurity firm. Watering hole attacks allow a bad actor to compromise a targeted business by compromising a carefully selected website by inserting an exploit with an intention to gain access to the victim's device and infect it with malware. Operation Earth Kitsune is said to have deployed the spyware samples on websites associated with North Korea, although access to these websites

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

Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices

Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices
October 20, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A Windows-based remote access Trojan believed to be designed by Pakistani hacker groups to infiltrate computers and steal users' data has resurfaced after a two-year span with retooled capabilities to target Android and macOS devices. According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the malware — dubbed " GravityRAT " — now masquerades as legitimate Android and macOS apps to capture device data, contact lists, e-mail addresses, and call and text logs and transmit them to an attacker-controlled server. First documented by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in August 2017 and subsequently by  Cisco Talos  in April 2018, GravityRAT has been known to target Indian entities and organizations via malware-laced Microsoft Office Word documents at least since 2015. Noting that the threat actor developed at least four different versions of the espionage tool, Cisco said, "the developer was clever enough to keep this infrastructure safe, and not have it blackl

U.S. Charges 6 Russian Intelligence Officers Over Destructive Cyberattacks

U.S. Charges 6 Russian Intelligence Officers Over Destructive Cyberattacks
October 19, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The US government on Monday formally charged six Russian intelligence officers for carrying out destructive malware attacks with an aim to disrupt and destabilize other nations and cause monetary losses. The individuals, who work for Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), have been accused of perpetrating the "most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group," according to the Justice Department ( DoJ ). All the six men — Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko, and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin — have been charged with seven counts of conspiracy to conduct computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, damaging protected computers, and aggravated identity theft. "The object of the conspiracy was to deploy destructive malware and take other disruptive actions, for the strateg

Police Raided German Spyware Company FinFisher Offices

Police Raided German Spyware Company FinFisher Offices
October 14, 2020Swati Khandelwal
German investigating authorities have raided the offices of Munich-based company FinFisher that sells the infamous commercial surveillance spyware dubbed 'FinSpy,' reportedly in suspicion of illegally exporting the software to abroad without the required authorization. Investigators from the German Customs Investigation Bureau (ZKA), ordered by the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office, searched a total of 15 properties in Munich, including business premises of FinFisher GmbH, two other business partners, as well as the private apartments of the managing directors, along with a partner company in Romania from October 6 to 8. For those unaware, 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, political dissidents and journalists. FinSpy malware can target both desktop and mobile operating systems, including And

FIN11 Hackers Spotted Using New Techniques In Ransomware Attacks

FIN11 Hackers Spotted Using New Techniques In Ransomware Attacks
October 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A financially-motivated threat actor known for its malware distribution campaigns has evolved its tactics to focus on ransomware and extortion. According to FireEye's Mandiant threat intelligence team, the collective — known as FIN11 — has engaged in a pattern of cybercrime campaigns at least since 2016 that involves monetizing their access to organizations' networks, in addition to deploying point-of-sale (POS) malware targeting financial, retail, restaurant, and pharmaceutical sectors. "Recent FIN11 intrusions have most commonly led to data theft, extortion and the disruption of victim networks via the distribution of CLOP ransomware ," Mandiant said . Although FIN11's activities in the past have been tied to malware such as FlawedAmmyy , FRIENDSPEAK , and MIXLABEL, Mandiant notes significant overlap in TTPs with another threat group that cybersecurity researchers call TA505 , which is behind the infamous Dridex banking Trojan and Locky ransomware that'

Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet

Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet
October 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Days after the US Government took steps to disrupt the notorious TrickBot botnet , a group of cybersecurity and tech companies has detailed a separate coordinated effort to take down the malware's back-end infrastructure. The joint collaboration, which involved Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit , Lumen's Black Lotus Labs , ESET , Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center ( FS-ISAC ), NTT , and Broadcom's Symantec , was undertaken after their request to halt TrickBot's operations was granted by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The development comes after the US Cyber Command mounted a campaign to thwart TrickBot's spread over concerns of ransomware attacks targeting voting systems ahead of the presidential elections next month. Attempts aimed at impeding the botnet were first reported by KrebsOnSecurity early this month. Microsoft and its partners analyzed over 186,000 TrickBot samples, using it to track down the m

Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware
October 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has warned about a new strain of mobile ransomware that takes advantage of incoming call notifications and Android's Home button to lock the device behind a ransom note. The findings concern a variant of a known Android ransomware family dubbed "MalLocker.B" which has now resurfaced with new techniques, including a novel means to deliver the ransom demand on infected devices as well as an obfuscation mechanism to evade security solutions. The development comes amid a huge surge in ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure across sectors, with a 50% increase in the daily average of ransomware attacks in the last three months compared to the first half of the year, and cybercriminals increasingly incorporating double extortion in their playbook. MalLocker has been known for being hosted on malicious websites and circulated on online forums using various social engineering lures by masquerading as popular apps, cracked games, or video players. Pre

ALERT! Hackers targeting IoT devices with a new P2P botnet malware

ALERT! Hackers targeting IoT devices with a new P2P botnet malware
October 07, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have taken the wraps off a new botnet hijacking Internet-connected smart devices in the wild to perform nefarious tasks, mostly DDoS attacks, and illicit cryptocurrency coin mining. Discovered by Qihoo 360's Netlab security team, the  HEH Botnet  — written in Go language and armed with a proprietary peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol, spreads via a brute-force attack of the Telnet service on ports 23/2323 and can execute arbitrary shell commands. The researchers said the HEH botnet samples discovered so far support a wide variety of CPU architectures, including x86(32/64), ARM(32/64), MIPS(MIPS32/MIPS-III), and PowerPC (PPC). The botnet, despite being in its early stages of development, comes with three functional modules: a propagation module, a local HTTP service module, and a P2P module. Initially downloaded and executed by a malicious Shell script named "wpqnbw.txt," the HEH sample then uses the Shell script to download rogue programs for all
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