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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

New ComRAT Malware Uses Gmail to Receive Commands and Exfiltrate Data

New ComRAT Malware Uses Gmail to Receive Commands and Exfiltrate Data

May 26, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered a new advanced version of ComRAT backdoor, one of the earliest known backdoors used by the Turla APT group, that leverages Gmail's web interface to covertly receive commands and exfiltrate sensitive data. "ComRAT v4 was first seen in 2017 and known still to be in use as recently as January 2020," cybersecurity firm ESET said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "We identified at least three targets: two Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Eastern Europe and a national parliament in the Caucasus region." Turla , also known as Snake, has been active for over a decade with a long history of the watering hole and spear-phishing campaigns against embassies and military organizations at least since 2004. The group's espionage platform started off as Agent.BTZ , in 2007, before it evolved to ComRAT , in addition to gaining additional capabilities to achieve persistence and to steal data from a local network. It
HTTP Status Codes Command This Malware How to Control Hacked Systems

HTTP Status Codes Command This Malware How to Control Hacked Systems

May 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new version of COMpfun remote access trojan (RAT) has been discovered in the wild that uses HTTP status codes to control compromised systems targeted in a recent campaign against diplomatic entities in Europe. The cyberespionage malware—traced to Turla APT with "medium-to-low level of confidence" based on the history of compromised victims—spread via an initial dropper that masks itself as a visa application, the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky discovered. The Turla APT , a Russian-based threat group, has a long history of carrying out espionage and watering hole attacks spanning various sectors, including governments, embassies, military, education, research, and pharmaceutical companies. First documented by G-Data in 2014, COMpfun received a significant upgrade last year (called "Reductor") after Kaspersky found that the malware was used to spy on a victim's browser activity by staging man-in-the-middle ( MitM ) attacks on encrypte
This Asia-Pacific Cyber Espionage Campaign Went Undetected for 5 Years

This Asia-Pacific Cyber Espionage Campaign Went Undetected for 5 Years

May 07, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
An advanced group of Chinese hackers has recently been spotted to be behind a sustained cyber espionage campaign targeting government entities in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Brunei—which went undetected for at least five years and is still an ongoing threat. The group, named 'Naikon APT,' once known as one of the most active APTs in Asia until 2015, carried out a string of cyberattacks in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in search of geopolitical intelligence. According to the latest investigation report Check Point researchers shared with The Hacker News, the Naikon APT group had not gone silent for the last 5 years, as initially suspected; instead, it was using a new backdoor, called " Aria-body ," to operate stealthily. "Given the characteristics of the victims and capabilities presented by the group, it is evident that the group's purpose is to gather intelligence and spy on the countries whose governments it
COVID-Themed Lures Target SCADA Sectors With Data Stealing Malware

COVID-Themed Lures Target SCADA Sectors With Data Stealing Malware

April 20, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new malware campaign has been found using coronavirus-themed lures to strike government and energy sectors in Azerbaijan with remote access trojans (RAT) capable of exfiltrating sensitive documents, keystrokes, passwords, and even images from the webcam. The targeted attacks employ Microsoft Word documents as droppers to deploy a previously unknown Python-based RAT dubbed "PoetRAT" due to various references to sonnets by English playwright William Shakespeare. "The RAT has all the standard features of this kind of malware, providing full control of the compromised system to the operation," said Cisco Talos in an analysis published last week. According to the researchers, the malware specifically targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in the energy industry, such as wind turbine systems, whose identities are currently not known. The development is the latest in a surge in cyberattacks exploiting the ongoing coronavirus pandemi
COVID-19: Hackers Begin Exploiting Zoom's Overnight Success to Spread Malware

COVID-19: Hackers Begin Exploiting Zoom's Overnight Success to Spread Malware

March 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
As people increasingly work from home and online communication platforms such as Zoom explode in popularity in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the spike in usage by registering new fake "Zoom" domains and malicious "Zoom" executable files in an attempt to trick people into downloading malware on their devices. According to a report published by Check Point and shared with The Hacker News, over 1,700 new "Zoom" domains have been registered since the onset of the pandemic, with 25 percent of the domains registered in the past seven days alone. "We see a sharp rise in the number of 'Zoom' domains being registered, especially in the last week," said Omer Dembinsky, Manager of Cyber Research at Check Point . "The recent, staggering increase means that hackers have taken notice of the work-from-home paradigm shift that COVID-19 has forced, and they see it as an opportunity to deceive, lure,
Multiple DDoS Botnets Exploited 0-Day Flaws in LILIN DVR Surveillance Systems

Multiple DDoS Botnets Exploited 0-Day Flaws in LILIN DVR Surveillance Systems

March 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in digital video recorders (DVRs) for surveillance systems manufactured by Taiwan-based LILIN have been exploited by botnet operators to infect and co-opt vulnerable devices into a family of denial-of-service bots. The findings come from Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 's Netlab team, who say different attack groups have been using LILIN DVR zero-day vulnerabilities to spread Chalubo , FBot , and Moobot botnets at least since August 30, 2019. Netlab researchers said they reached out to LILIN on January 19, 2020, although it wasn't until a month later the vendor released a firmware update (2.0b60_20200207) addressing the vulnerabilities. The development comes as IoT devices are increasingly being used as an attack surface to launch DDoS attacks and as proxies to engage in various forms of cybercrime. What Are the LILIN Zero-Days About? The flaw in itself concerns a chain of vulnerabilities that make use of hard-coded login cred
Android Cookie-Stealing Malware Found Hijacking Facebook Accounts

Android Cookie-Stealing Malware Found Hijacking Facebook Accounts

March 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new simple but dangerous strain of Android malware has been found in the wild that steals users' authentication cookies from the web browsing and other apps, including Chrome and Facebook, installed on the compromised devices. Dubbed " Cookiethief " by Kaspersky researchers, the Trojan works by acquiring superuser root rights on the target device, and subsequently, transfer stolen cookies to a remote command-and-control (C2) server operated by attackers. "This abuse technique is possible not because of a vulnerability in the Facebook app or browser itself," Kaspersky researchers said. "Malware could steal cookie files of any website from other apps in the same way and achieve similar results." Cookiethief: Hijacking Accounts Without Requiring Passwords Cookies are small pieces of information that's often used by websites to differentiate one user from another, offer continuity around the web, track browsing sessions across different
Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers Using Screen Brightness

Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers Using Screen Brightness

February 05, 2020Mohit Kumar
It may sound creepy and unreal, but hackers can also exfiltrate sensitive data from your computer by simply changing the brightness of the screen, new cybersecurity research shared with The Hacker News revealed. In recent years, several cybersecurity researchers demonstrated innovative ways to covertly exfiltrate data from a physically isolated air-gapped computer that can't connect wirelessly or physically with other computers or network devices. These clever ideas rely on exploiting little-noticed emissions of a computer's components, such as light, sound , heat , radio frequencies , or ultrasonic waves , and even using the current fluctuations in the power lines. For instance, potential attackers could sabotage supply chains to infect an air-gapped computer, but they can't always count on an insider to unknowingly carry a USB with the data back out of a targeted facility. When it comes to high-value targets, these unusual techniques, which may sound theoretica
Facebook Sued Hong Kong Firm for Hacking Users and Ad Fraud Scheme

Facebook Sued Hong Kong Firm for Hacking Users and Ad Fraud Scheme

December 06, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Following its efforts to take legal action against those misusing its social media platform, Facebook has now filed a new lawsuit against a Hong Kong-based advertising company and two Chinese individuals for allegedly abusing its ad platform to distribute malware and Ad fraud. Facebook filed the lawsuit on Thursday in the Northern District of California against ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. as well as a Chinese software developer and a marketing director working for the firm, Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao. All three defendants have been alleged to have deceived people into installing malware on their systems, enabling them to compromise user's Facebook accounts and then using those hacked accounts to advertise counterfeit goods and diet pills—which is clearly in violation of Facebook's Terms and Advertising Policies. "The suit seeks to hold accountable ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. and Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao for creating the malware, tr
ZeroCleare: New Iranian Data Wiper Malware Targeting Energy Sector

ZeroCleare: New Iranian Data Wiper Malware Targeting Energy Sector

December 05, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new, previously undiscovered destructive data-wiping malware that is being used by state-sponsored hackers in the wild to target energy and industrial organizations in the Middle East. Dubbed ZeroCleare , the data wiper malware has been linked to not one but two Iranian state-sponsored hacking groups— APT34 , also known as ITG13 and Oilrig, and Hive0081 , also known as xHunt. A team of researchers at IBM who discovered the ZeroCleare malware says that the new wiper malware shares some high-level similarities with the infamous Shamoon, one of the most destructive malware families known for damaging 30,000 computers at Saudi Arabia's largest oil producer in 2012. Just like the Shamoon wiper malware , ZeroCleare also uses a legitimate hard disk driver called 'RawDisk by ElDos' to overwrite the master boot record (MBR) and disk partitions of targeted computers running the Windows operating system. Though EldoS driver is not s
New Group of Hackers Targeting Businesses with Financially Motivated Cyber Attacks

New Group of Hackers Targeting Businesses with Financially Motivated Cyber Attacks

November 14, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have tracked down activities of a new group of financially-motivated hackers that are targeting several businesses and organizations in Germany, Italy, and the United States in an attempt to infect them with backdoor, banking Trojan, or ransomware malware. Though the new malware campaigns are not customized for each organization, the threat actors appear to be more interested in businesses, IT services, manufacturing, and healthcare industries who possess critical data and can likely afford high ransom payouts. According to a report ProofPoint shared with The Hacker News, the newly discovered threat actors are sending out low-volume emails impersonating finance-related government entities with tax assessment and refund lured emails to targeted organizations. "Tax-themed Email Campaigns Target 2019 Filers, finance-related lures have been used seasonally with upticks in tax-related malware and phishing campaigns leading up to the annual tax filing deadlines in
Mysterious malware that re-installs itself infected over 45,000 Android Phones

Mysterious malware that re-installs itself infected over 45,000 Android Phones

October 29, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Over the past few months, hundreds of Android users have been complaining online of a new piece of mysterious malware that hides on the infected devices and can reportedly reinstall itself even after users delete it, or factory reset their devices. Dubbed Xhelper , the malware has already infected more than 45,000 Android devices in just the last six months and is continuing to spread by infecting at least 2,400 devices on an average each month, according to the latest report published today by Symantec. Here below, I have collected excerpts from some comments that affected users shared on the online forums while asking for how to remove the Xhelper Android malware: "xhelper regularly reinstalls itself, almost every day!" "the 'install apps from unknown sources' setting turns itself on." "I rebooted my phone and also wiped my phone yet the app xhelper came back." "Xhelper came pre-installed on the phone from China."
Over A Billion Malicious Ad Impressions Exploit WebKit Flaw to Target Apple Users

Over A Billion Malicious Ad Impressions Exploit WebKit Flaw to Target Apple Users

October 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
The infamous eGobbler hacking group that surfaced online earlier this year with massive malvertising campaigns has now been caught running a new campaign exploiting two browser vulnerabilities to show intrusive pop-up ads and forcefully redirect users to malicious websites. To be noted, hackers haven't found any way to run ads for free; instead, the modus operandi of eGobbler attackers involves high budgets to display billions of ad impressions on high profile websites through legit ad networks. But rather than relying on visitors' willful interaction with advertisements online, eGobbler uses browser (Chrome and Safari) exploits to achieve maximum click rate and successfully hijack as many users' sessions as possible. In its previous malvertising campaign, eGobbler group was exploiting a then-zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2019-5840) in Chrome for iOS back in April , which allowed them to successfully bypass browser's built-in pop-up blocker on iOS devices and hij
Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

September 27, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Watch out Windows users! There's a new strain of malware making rounds on the Internet that has already infected thousands of computers worldwide and most likely, your antivirus program would not be able to detect it. Why? That's because, first, it's an advanced fileless malware and second, it leverages only legitimate built-in system utilities and third-party tools to extend its functionality and compromise computers, rather than using any malicious piece of code. The technique of bringing its own legitimate tools is effective and has rarely been spotted in the wild, helping attackers to blend in their malicious activities with regular network activity or system administration tasks while leaving fewer footprints. Independently discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft and Cisco Talos, the malware — dubbed " Nodersok " and " Divergent " — is primarily being distributed via malicious online advertisements and infecting users using
Outlook for Web Bans 38 More File Extensions in Email Attachments

Outlook for Web Bans 38 More File Extensions in Email Attachments

September 26, 2019Mohit Kumar
Malware or computer virus can infect your computer in several different ways, but one of the most common methods of its delivery is through malicious file attachments over emails that execute the malware when you open them. Therefore, to protect its users from malicious scripts and executable, Microsoft is planning to blacklist 38 additional file extensions by adding them to its list of file extensions that are blocked from being downloaded as attachments in Outlook on the Web. Previously known as Outlook Web Application or OWA, "Outlook on the Web" is Microsoft's web-based email client for users to access their emails, calendars, tasks and contacts from Microsoft's on-premises Exchange Server and cloud-based Exchange Online. The list of blocked file extensions currently has 104 entries, including .exe, .url, .com, .cmd, .asp, .lnk, .js, .jar, .tmp, .app, .isp, .hlp, .pif, .msi, .msh, and more. Now, the expanded block list will also include 38 new extensions
The Hottest Malware Hits of the Summer

The Hottest Malware Hits of the Summer

September 06, 2019The Hacker News
It's been a summer of ransomware hold-ups, supply chain attacks and fileless attacks flying under the radar of old-school security. With malware running amok while we were lying on the beach, here's a recap of the most burning strains and trends seen in the wild during the months of July and August 2019. Malware Evolution Trends The heat must have had an effect as this summer saw malware continuing to evolve, particularly around three core trends: Evasion-by-design Malware has been increasingly designed to bypass security controls leveraging a host of tactics, most notably by: Changing hashes via file obfuscation to evade AVs. Using encrypted communication with C2 servers to foil EDRs. Using feature manipulation and tampering to trick AI, machine-learning engines, and sandboxes through the detection of such environments and the deliberate delay in execution. Fileless Attacks and Living-Off-The-Land (LOTL) Taking evasion techniques one step further, an in
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