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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

Ukraine Arrests Operator of DDoS Botnet with 100,000 Compromised Devices

Ukraine Arrests Operator of DDoS Botnet with 100,000 Compromised Devices
October 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukrainian law enforcement authorities on Monday disclosed the arrest of a hacker responsible for the creation and management of a "powerful botnet" consisting of over 100,000 enslaved devices that was used to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and spam attacks on behalf of paid customers. The unnamed individual, from the Ivano-Frankivsk region of the country, is also said to have leveraged the automated network to detect vulnerabilities in websites and break into them as well as stage brute-force attacks in order to guess email passwords. The Ukrainian police agency said it conducted a raid of the suspect's residence and seized their computer equipment as evidence of illegal activity. "He looked for customers on the closed forums and Telegram chats and payments were made via blocked electronic payment systems," the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)  said  in a press statement. The payments were facilitated via WebMoney, a Russian money transfer p

Indian-Made Mobile Spyware Targeted Human Rights Activist in Togo

Indian-Made Mobile Spyware Targeted Human Rights Activist in Togo
October 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A prominent Togolese human rights defender has been targeted with spyware by a threat actor known for striking victims in South Asia, marking the hacking group's first foray into digital surveillance in Africa. Amnesty International tied the covert attack campaign to a collective tracked as " Donot Team " (aka APT-C-35), which has been linked to cyber offensives in India and Pakistan, while also identifying apparent evidence coupling the group's infrastructure to an Indian company called Innefu Labs. The unnamed activist is believed to have targeted over a period of two months starting in December 2019 with the help of fake Android applications and spyware-loaded emails. "The persistent attacks over WhatsApp and email tried to trick the victim into installing a malicious application that masqueraded as a secure chat application," Amnesty International  said  in a report published last week. "The application was in fact a piece of custom Android spywa

Ransomware Group FIN12 Aggressively Going After Healthcare Targets

Ransomware Group FIN12 Aggressively Going After Healthcare Targets
October 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An "aggressive" financially motivated threat actor has been identified as linked to a string of RYUK ransomware attacks since October 2018, while maintaining close partnerships with TrickBot-affiliated threat actors and using a publicly available arsenal of tools such as Cobalt Strike Beacon payloads to interact with victim networks. Cybersecurity firm Mandiant attributed the intrusions to a Russian-speaking hacker group rechristened as FIN12, and previously tracked under the name  UNC1878 , with a disproportionate focus on healthcare organizations with more than $300 million in revenue, among others, including education, financial, manufacturing, and technology sectors, located in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The designation marks the first time a ransomware affiliate group has been promoted to the status of a distinct threat actor. "FIN12 relies on partners to obtain initial access to victim environments," Mandiant researchers  said . "Not

Researchers Warn of FontOnLake Rootkit Malware Targeting Linux Systems

Researchers Warn of FontOnLake Rootkit Malware Targeting Linux Systems
October 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have detailed a new campaign that likely targets entities in Southeast Asia with a previously unrecognized Linux malware that's engineered to enable remote access to its operators, in addition to amassing credentials and function as a proxy server. The malware family, dubbed " FontOnLake " by Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET, is said to feature "well-designed modules" that are continuously being upgraded with a broad range of abilities, indicating an active development phase. Samples uploaded to VirusTotal point to the possibility that the very first intrusions utilizing this threat have been happening as early as May 2020. Avast  and  Lacework Labs  are tracking the same malware under the moniker HCRootkit. "The sneaky nature of FontOnLake's tools in combination with advanced design and low prevalence suggest that they are used in targeted attacks," ESET researcher Vladislav Hrčka  said . "To collect data or condu

Iranian Hackers Abuse Dropbox in Cyberattacks Against Aerospace and Telecom Firms

Iranian Hackers Abuse Dropbox in Cyberattacks Against Aerospace and Telecom Firms
October 06, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Details have emerged about a new cyber espionage campaign directed against the aerospace and telecommunications industries, primarily in the Middle East, with the goal of stealing sensitive information about critical assets, organizations' infrastructure, and technology while remaining in the dark and successfully evading security solutions. Boston-based cybersecurity company Cybereason dubbed the attacks " Operation Ghostshell ," pointing out the use of a previously undocumented and stealthy remote access trojan (RAT) called ShellClient that's deployed as the main spy tool of choice. The first sign of the attacks was observed in July 2021 against a handpicked set of victims, indicating a highly targeted approach. "The ShellClient RAT has been under ongoing development since at least 2018, with several iterations that introduced new functionalities, while it evaded antivirus tools and managed to remain undetected and publicly unknown," researchers Tom Fak

New Study Links Seemingly Disparate Malware Attacks to Chinese Hackers

New Study Links Seemingly Disparate Malware Attacks to Chinese Hackers
October 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Chinese cyber espionage group APT41 has been linked to seemingly disparate malware campaigns, according to fresh research that has mapped together additional parts of the group's network infrastructure to hit upon a state-sponsored campaign that takes advantage of COVID-themed phishing lures to target victims in India.  "The image we uncovered was that of a state-sponsored campaign that plays on people's hopes for a swift end to the pandemic as a lure to entrap its victims," the BlackBerry Research and Intelligence team said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "And once on a user's machine, the threat blends into the digital woodwork by using its own customized profile to hide its network traffic." APT41 (aka Barium or Winnti) is a moniker assigned to a prolific Chinese cyber threat group that carries out state-sponsored espionage activity in conjunction with financially motivated operations for personal gain as far back as 2012. Calling the gro

Chinese Hackers Used a New Rootkit to Spy on Targeted Windows 10 Users

Chinese Hackers Used a New Rootkit to Spy on Targeted Windows 10 Users
October 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A formerly unknown Chinese-speaking threat actor has been linked to a long-standing evasive operation aimed at South East Asian targets as far back as July 2020 to deploy a kernel-mode rootkit on compromised Windows systems. Attacks mounted by the hacking group, dubbed  GhostEmperor  by Kaspersky, are also said to have used a "sophisticated multi-stage malware framework" that allows for providing persistence and remote control over the targeted hosts. The Russian cybersecurity firm called the rootkit Demodex , with infections reported across several high-profile entities in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, in addition to outliers located in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan. "[Demodex] is used to hide the user mode malware's artefacts from investigators and security solutions, while demonstrating an interesting undocumented loading scheme involving the kernel mode component of an open-source project named  Cheat Engine  to bypass the Windows Driver Sig

Beware of Fake Amnesty International Antivirus for Pegasus that Hacks PCs with Malware

Beware of Fake Amnesty International Antivirus for Pegasus that Hacks PCs with Malware
October 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
In yet another indicator of how hacking groups are quick to capitalize on world events and improvise their attack campaigns for maximum impact, threat actors have been discovered impersonating Amnesty International to distribute malware that purports to be security software designed to safeguard against NSO Group's Pegasus surveillanceware.  "Adversaries have set up a phony website that looks like Amnesty International's — a human rights-focused non-governmental organization — and points to a promised antivirus tool to protect against the NSO Group's Pegasus tool," Cisco Talos researchers  said . "However, the download actually installs the little-known Sarwent malware." The countries most affected by the campaign include the U.K., the U.S., Russia, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Romania, and Colombia. While it's unclear as to how the victims are lured into visiting the fake Amnesty International website, the cybersecurity firm surmised the atta

New Tomiris Backdoor Found Linked to Hackers Behind SolarWinds Cyberattack

New Tomiris Backdoor Found Linked to Hackers Behind SolarWinds Cyberattack
September 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Wednesday disclosed a previously undocumented backdoor likely designed and developed by the Nobelium advanced persistent threat (APT) behind last year's  SolarWinds supply chain attack , joining the threat actor's ever-expanding arsenal of hacking tools. Moscow-headquartered firm Kaspersky codenamed the malware " Tomiris ," calling out its similarities to another second-stage malware used during the campaign, SUNSHUTTLE (aka GoldMax), targeting the IT management software provider's Orion platform. Nobelium is also known by the monikers UNC2452, SolarStorm, StellarParticle, Dark Halo, and Iron Ritual. "While supply-chain attacks were already a documented attack vector leveraged by a number of APT actors, this specific campaign stood out due to the extreme carefulness of the attackers and the high-profile nature of their victims," Kaspersky researchers  said . "Evidence gathered so far indicates that Dark Halo spent si

Beware! This Android Trojan Stole Millions of Dollars from Over 10 Million Users

Beware! This Android Trojan Stole Millions of Dollars from Over 10 Million Users
September 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly discovered "aggressive" mobile campaign has infected north of 10 million users from over 70 countries via seemingly innocuous Android apps that subscribe the individuals to premium services costing €36 (~$42) per month without their knowledge. Zimperium zLabs dubbed the malicious trojan " GriftHorse ." The money-making scheme is believed to have been under active development starting from November 2020, with victims reported across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. No fewer than 200 trojan applications were used in the campaign, making it one of the most widespread scams to have been uncovered in 2021. What's more, the malicious apps catered to a varied set of categories ranging from Tools and Entertainment to Personalization, Lifestyle, and Dating, effectively widening the scale of the attacks. One of the apps, Handy Translator Pro, amassed as much as 500,000 downloads. &qu

Hackers Targeting Brazil's PIX Payment System to Drain Users' Bank Accounts

Hackers Targeting Brazil's PIX Payment System to Drain Users' Bank Accounts
September 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Two newly discovered malicious Android applications on Google Play Store have been used to target users of Brazil's instant payment ecosystem in a likely attempt to lure victims into fraudulently transferring their entire account balances into another bank account under cybercriminals' control. "The attackers distributed two different variants of banking malware, named PixStealer and MalRhino , through two separate malicious applications […] to carry out their attacks," Check Point Research said in an analysis shared with The Hacker News. "Both malicious applications were designed to steal money of victims through user interaction and the original PIX application." The two apps in question, which were uncovered in April 2021, have since been removed from the app store. Launched in November 2020 by the Central Bank of Brazil, the country's monetary authority,  Pix  is a state-owned payments platform that enables consumers and companies to make mone

New FinSpy Malware Variant Infects Windows Systems With UEFI Bootkit

New FinSpy Malware Variant Infects Windows Systems With UEFI Bootkit
September 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Commercially developed FinFisher surveillanceware has been upgraded to infect Windows devices using a  UEFI  (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) bootkit that leverages a trojanized Windows Boot Manager, marking a shift in infection vectors that allow it to elude discovery and analysis. Detected in the wild since 2011, FinFisher (aka FinSpy or Wingbird) is a spyware toolset for Windows, macOS, and Linux developed by Anglo-German firm Gamma International and supplied exclusively to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But like with NSO Group's Pegasus, the software has also been used to  spy on Bahraini activists  in the past allegedly and delivered as part of  spear-phishing campaigns  in September 2017. FinFisher is equipped to harvest user credentials, file listings, sensitive documents, record keystrokes, siphon email messages from Thunderbird, Outlook, Apple Mail, and Icedove, intercept Skype contacts, chats, calls and transferred files, and capture audio and video

Atlassian Confluence RCE Flaw Abused in Multiple Cyberattack Campaigns

Atlassian Confluence RCE Flaw Abused in Multiple Cyberattack Campaigns
September 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Opportunistic threat actors have been found actively exploiting a recently disclosed critical security flaw in Atlassian Confluence deployments across Windows and Linux to deploy web shells that result in the execution of crypto miners on compromised systems. Tracked as  CVE-2021-26084  (CVSS score: 9.8), the vulnerability concerns an OGNL (Object-Graph Navigation Language) injection flaw that could be exploited to achieve arbitrary code execution on a Confluence Server or Data Center instance. "A remote attacker can exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted HTTP request containing a malicious parameter to a vulnerable server," researchers from Trend Micro  noted  in a technical write-up detailing the weakness. "Successful exploitation can result in arbitrary code execution in the security context of the affected server." The vulnerability, which resides in the Webwork module of Atlassian Confluence Server and Data Center, stems from an insufficient valid

New BloodyStealer Trojan Steals Gamers' Epic Games and Steam Accounts

 New BloodyStealer Trojan Steals Gamers' Epic Games and Steam Accounts
September 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new advanced trojan sold on Russian-speaking underground forums comes with capabilities to steal users' accounts on popular online video game distribution services, including Steam, Epic Games Store, and EA Origin, underscoring a growing threat to the lucrative gaming market. Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which coined the malware " BloodyStealer ," said it first detected the malicious tool in March 2021 as being advertised for sale at an attractive price of 700 RUB (less than $10) for one month or $40 for a lifetime subscription. Attacks using Bloody Stealer have been uncovered so far in Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. "BloodyStealer is a Trojan-stealer capable of gathering and exfiltrating various types of data, for cookies, passwords, forms, banking cards from browsers, screenshots, log-in memory, and sessions from various applications," the company  said . The information harvested from gaming apps, such as Bethesda, Epic Games, GOG,

Microsoft Warns of FoggyWeb Malware Targeting Active Directory FS Servers

Microsoft Warns of FoggyWeb Malware Targeting Active Directory FS Servers
September 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Monday revealed new malware deployed by the hacking group behind the SolarWinds supply chain attack last December to deliver additional payloads and steal sensitive information from Active Directory Federation Services ( AD FS ) servers. The tech giant's Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) codenamed the "passive and highly targeted backdoor" FoggyWeb, making it the threat actor tracked as Nobelium's latest tool in a long list of cyber weaponry such as  Sunburst ,  Sunspot ,  Raindrop ,  Teardrop ,  GoldMax, GoldFinder, Sibot ,  Flipflop ,  NativeZone ,  EnvyScout, BoomBox, and VaporRage . "Once Nobelium obtains credentials and successfully compromises a server, the actor relies on that access to maintain persistence and deepen its infiltration using sophisticated malware and tools," MSTIC researchers  said . "Nobelium uses FoggyWeb to remotely exfiltrate the configuration database of compromised AD FS servers, decrypted token-signing cer

Russian Turla APT Group Deploying New Backdoor on Targeted Systems

Russian Turla APT Group Deploying New Backdoor on Targeted Systems
September 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
State-sponsored hackers affiliated with Russia are behind a new series of intrusions using a previously undocumented implant to compromise systems in the U.S., Germany, and Afghanistan. Cisco Talos attributed the attacks to the  Turla  advanced persistent threat (APT) group, coining the malware "TinyTurla" for its limited functionality and efficient coding style that allows it to go undetected. Attacks incorporating the backdoor are believed to have occurred since 2020. "This simple backdoor is likely used as a second-chance backdoor to maintain access to the system, even if the primary malware is removed," the researchers  said . "It could also be used as a second-stage dropper to infect the system with additional malware." Furthermore, TinyTurla can upload and execute files or exfiltrate sensitive data from the infected machine to a remote server, while also polling the command-and-control (C2) station every five seconds for any new commands. Also k

New Android Malware Steals Financial Data from 378 Banking and Wallet Apps

New Android Malware Steals Financial Data from 378 Banking and Wallet Apps
September 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators behind the BlackRock mobile malware have surfaced back with a new Android banking trojan called  ERMAC  that targets Poland and has its roots in the infamous Cerberus malware, according to the latest research. "The new trojan already has active distribution campaigns and is targeting 378 banking and wallet apps with overlays," ThreatFabric's CEO Cengiz Han Sahin said in an emailed statement. First campaigns involving ERMAC are believed to have begun in late August under the guise of the Google Chrome app. Since then, the attacks have expanded to include a range of apps such as banking, media players, delivery services, government applications, and antivirus solutions like  McAfee . Almost fully based on the notorious banking trojan  Cerberus , the Dutch cybersecurity firm's findings come from forum posts made by an actor named DukeEugene last month on August 17, inviting prospective customers to "rent a new android botnet with wide functionalit

A New Jupyter Malware Version is Being Distributed via MSI Installers

A New Jupyter Malware Version is Being Distributed via MSI Installers
September 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have charted the evolution of Jupyter, a .NET infostealer known for singling out healthcare and education sectors, which make it exceptional at defeating most endpoint security scanning solutions. The new delivery chain, spotted by  Morphisec  on September 8, underscores that the malware has not just continued to remain active but also showcases "how threat actors continue to develop their attacks to become more efficient and evasive." The Israeli company said it's currently investigating the scale and scope of the attacks. First  documented  in November 2020, Jupyter (aka Solarmarker) is likely Russian in origin and primarily targets Chromium, Firefox, and Chrome browser data, with additional capabilities that allow for full backdoor functionality, including features to siphon information and upload the details to a remote server and download and execute further payloads. Forensic evidence gathered by Morphisec shows that multiple versions o

A New APT Hacker Group Spying On Hotels and Governments Worldwide

A New APT Hacker Group Spying On Hotels and Governments Worldwide
September 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new advanced persistent threat (APT) has been behind a string of attacks against hotels across the world, along with governments, international organizations, engineering companies, and law firms. Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET codenamed the cyber espionage group  FamousSparrow , which it said has been active since at least August 2019, with victims located across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, spanning several countries such as Burkina Faso, Taiwan, France, Lithuania, the U.K., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Canada, and Guatemala. Attacks mounted by the group involve exploiting known vulnerabilities in server applications such as SharePoint and Oracle Opera, in addition to the  ProxyLogon  remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange Server that came to light in March 2021, making it the  latest threat actor  to have had access to the exploit before details of the flaw became public. According to ESET, intrusions exploiting the flaws comme

Google Warns of a New Way Hackers Can Make Malware Undetectable on Windows

Google Warns of a New Way Hackers Can Make Malware Undetectable on Windows
September 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a novel technique adopted by a threat actor to deliberately evade detection with the help of malformed digital signatures of its malware payloads. "Attackers created malformed code signatures that are treated as valid by Windows but are not able to be decoded or checked by OpenSSL code — which is used in a number of security scanning products," Google Threat Analysis Group's Neel Mehta  said  in a write-up published on Thursday. The new mechanism was observed to be exploited by a notorious family of unwanted software known as  OpenSUpdater  that's used to download and install other suspicious programs on compromised systems. Most targets of the campaign are users located in the U.S. who are prone to downloading cracked versions of games and other grey-area software. The findings come from a set of OpenSUpdater  samples   uploaded  to VirusTotal at least since mid-August. While adversaries in the past have relied on illega
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