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Google Details Two Zero-Day Bugs Reported in Zoom Clients and MMR Servers

Google Details Two Zero-Day Bugs Reported in Zoom Clients and MMR Servers

January 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An exploration of zero-click attack surface for the popular video conferencing solution Zoom has yielded two previously undisclosed security vulnerabilities that could have been exploited to crash the service, execute malicious code, and even leak arbitrary areas of its memory. Natalie Silvanovich of Google Project Zero, who  discovered  and reported the  two   flaws  last year, said the issues impacted both Zoom clients and Multimedia Router (MMR) servers, which transmit audio and video content between clients in  on-premise deployments . The weaknesses have since been addressed by Zoom as part of  updates  shipped on November 24, 2021. The goal of a zero-click attack is to stealthily gain control over the victim's device without requiring any kind of interaction from the user, such as clicking on a link. While the specifics of the exploit will vary depending on the nature of vulnerability being exploited, a key trait of zero-click hacks is their ability not to leave behind
Russian Hackers Heavily Using Malicious Traffic Direction System to Distribute Malware

Russian Hackers Heavily Using Malicious Traffic Direction System to Distribute Malware

January 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Potential connections between a subscription-based crimeware-as-a-service (Caas) solution and a cracked copy of Cobalt Strike have been established in what the researchers suspect is being offered as a tool for its customers to stage post-exploitation activities. Prometheus , as the service is called, first came to light in August 2021 when cybersecurity company Group-IB disclosed details of malicious software distribution campaigns undertaken by cybercriminal groups to distribute Campo Loader, Hancitor, IcedID, QBot, Buer Loader, and SocGholish in Belgium and the U.S. Costing $250 a month, it's marketed on Russian underground forums as a traffic direction system (TDS) to enable phishing redirection on a mass scale to rogue landing pages that are designed to deploy malware payloads on the targeted systems. "Prometheus can be considered a full-bodied service/platform that allows threat groups to purvey their malware or phishing operations with ease," BlackBerry Resear
DDoS IRC Bot Malware Spreading Through Korean WebHard Platforms

DDoS IRC Bot Malware Spreading Through Korean WebHard Platforms

January 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An IRC  (Internet Relay Chat) bot strain programmed in GoLang is being used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks targeting users in Korea. "The malware is being distributed under the guise of adult games," researchers from AhnLab's Security Emergency-response Center (ASEC)  said  in a new report published on Wednesday. "Additionally, the DDoS malware was installed via downloader and  UDP RAT  was used." The attack works by uploading the malware-laced games to webhards — which refers to a web hard drive or a remote file hosting service — in the form of compressed ZIP archives that, when opened, includes an executable ("Game_Open.exe") that's orchestrated to run a malware payload aside from launching the actual game. This payload, a GoLang-based downloader, establishes connections with a remote command-and-control (C&C) server to retrieve additional malware, including an IRC bot that can perform DDoS attacks. "It is
Ukraine: Recent Cyber Attacks Part of Wider Plot to Sabotage Critical Infrastructure

Ukraine: Recent Cyber Attacks Part of Wider Plot to Sabotage Critical Infrastructure

January 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The coordinated cyberattacks targeting  Ukrainian government websites  and the deployment of a data-wiper malware called  WhisperGate  on select government systems are part of a broader wave of malicious activities aimed at  sabotaging critical infrastructure  in the country. The Secret Service of Ukraine on Monday confirmed that the two incidents are related, adding the breaches also exploited the recently disclosed  Log4j vulnerabilities  to gain access to some of the compromised systems. "The attack used vulnerabilities in the site's content management systems (October CMS) and Log4j, as well as compromised accounts of employees of the development company," the SSU  said , corroborating prior disclosure from the  Ukraine CERT team . The disclosure comes days after Microsoft warned of a malware operation aimed at government, non-profit, and information technology entities in Ukraine, attributing the attacks to a threat cluster codenamed "DEV-0586." "
Earth Lusca Hackers Aimed at High-Value Targets in Government and Private Sectors

Earth Lusca Hackers Aimed at High-Value Targets in Government and Private Sectors

January 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An elusive threat actor called Earth Lusca has been observed striking organizations across the world as part of what appears to be simultaneously an espionage campaign and an attempt to reap monetary profits. "The list of its victims includes high-value targets such as government and educational institutions, religious movements, pro-democracy and human rights organizations in Hong Kong, COVID-19 research organizations, and the media, amongst others," Trend Micro researchers  said  in a new report. "However, the threat actor also seems to be financially motivated, as it also took aim at gambling and cryptocurrency companies. The cybersecurity firm attributed the group as part of the larger China-based  Winnti cluster , which refers to a number of linked groups rather than a single discrete entity that are focused on intelligence gathering and intellectual property theft. Earth Lusca's intrusion routes are facilitated by spear-phishing and watering hole attacks
A New Destructive Malware Targeting Ukrainian Government and Business Entities

A New Destructive Malware Targeting Ukrainian Government and Business Entities

January 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity teams from Microsoft on Saturday disclosed they identified evidence of a new destructive malware operation dubbed " WhisperGate " targeting government, non-profit, and information technology entities in Ukraine amid brewing geopolitical tensions between the country and Russia. "The malware is disguised as ransomware but, if activated by the attacker, would render the infected computer system inoperable," Tom Burt, corporate vice president of customer security and trust at Microsoft, said , adding the intrusions were aimed at government agencies that provide critical executive branch or emergency response functions. Also among those affected by the malware is an IT firm that "manages websites for public and private sector clients, including government agencies whose websites were recently defaced ," Burt noted. The computing giant, which first detected the malware on January 13, attributed the attacks to an emerging threat cluster codenam
Russia Arrests REvil Ransomware Gang Responsible for High-Profile Cyber Attacks

Russia Arrests REvil Ransomware Gang Responsible for High-Profile Cyber Attacks

January 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
In an unprecedented move, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the country's principal security agency, on Friday disclosed that it arrested several members belonging to the notorious REvil ransomware gang and neutralized its operations. The surprise takedown, which it said was carried out at the request of the U.S. authorities, saw the law enforcement agency conduct raids at 25 addresses in the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions that belonged to 14 suspected members of the organized cybercrime syndicate. "In order to implement the criminal plan, these persons developed malicious software, organized the theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign citizens and their cashing, including through the purchase of expensive goods on the Internet," the FSB  said  in a statement. In addition, the FSB seized over 426 million rubles, including in cryptocurrency, $600,000, €500,000, as well as computer equipment, crypto wallets u
North Korean Hackers Stole Millions from Cryptocurrency Startups Worldwide

North Korean Hackers Stole Millions from Cryptocurrency Startups Worldwide

January 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Operators associated with the Lazarus sub-group BlueNoroff have been linked to a series of cyberattacks targeting small and medium-sized companies worldwide with an aim to drain their cryptocurrency funds, in what's yet another financially motivated operation mounted by the prolific North Korean state-sponsored actor. Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky, which is tracking the intrusions under the name " SnatchCrypto ," noted that the campaign has been running since at 2017, adding the attacks are aimed at startups in the FinTech sector located in China, Hong Kong, India, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the U.A.E., the U.S., Ukraine, and Vietnam. "The attackers have been subtly abusing the trust of the employees working at targeted companies by sending them a full-featured Windows backdoor with surveillance functions, disguised as a contract or another business file," the researchers  said . "In order to eventually empty the v
U.K. Hacker Jailed for Spying on Children and Downloading Indecent Images

U.K. Hacker Jailed for Spying on Children and Downloading Indecent Images

January 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A man from the U.K. city of Nottingham has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for illegally breaking into the phones and computers of a number of victims, including women and children, to spy on them and amass a collection of indecent images. Robert Davies, 32, is said to have purchased an arsenal of cyber crime tools in 2019, including crypters and remote administration tools (RATs), which can be used as a backdoor to steal personal information and conduct surveillance through microphones and cameras, catching the attention of the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA). The cyber voyeur's modus operandi involved catfishing potential targets by using fake profiles on different messaging apps such as Skype, leveraging the online encounters to send rogue links hosting the malware through the chats. "Davies was infecting his victims' phones or computers with malicious software by disguising it with the crypters so their antivirus protection would not detect it,&qu
GootLoader Hackers Targeting Employees of Law and Accounting Firms

GootLoader Hackers Targeting Employees of Law and Accounting Firms

January 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Operators of the GootLoader campaign are setting their sights on employees of accounting and law firms as part of a fresh onslaught of widespread cyberattacks to deploy malware on infected systems, an indication that the adversary is expanding its focus to other high-value targets. "GootLoader is a stealthy initial access malware, which after getting a foothold into the victim's computer system, infects the system with ransomware or other lethal malware," researchers from eSentire  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The cybersecurity services provider said it intercepted and dismantled intrusions aimed at three law firms and an accounting enterprise. The names of the victims were not disclosed. Malware can be delivered on targets' systems via many methods, including poisoned search results, fake updates, and trojanized applications downloaded from sites linking to pirated software. GootLoader resorts to the first technique. In March 2021,  details em
Researchers Decrypted Qakbot Banking Trojan’s Encrypted Registry Keys

Researchers Decrypted Qakbot Banking Trojan's Encrypted Registry Keys

January 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have decoded the mechanism by which the versatile Qakbot banking trojan handles the insertion of encrypted configuration data into the  Windows Registry . Qakbot, also known as QBot, QuackBot and Pinkslipbot, has been  observed   in the wild  since 2007. Although mainly fashioned as an information-stealing malware, Qakbot has since shifted its goals and acquired new functionality to deliver post-compromise attack platforms such as Cobalt Strike Beacon, with the final objective of loading ransomware on infected machines. "It has been continually developed, with new capabilities introduced such as lateral movement, the ability to exfiltrate email and browser data, and to install additional malware," Trustwave researchers Lloyd Macrohon and Rodel Mendrez said in a report shared with The Hacker News. In recent months, phishing campaigns have culminated in the distribution of a  new loader  called  SQUIRRELWAFFLE , which acts as a channel to retrieve
Iranian Hackers Exploit Log4j Vulnerability to Deploy PowerShell Backdoor

Iranian Hackers Exploit Log4j Vulnerability to Deploy PowerShell Backdoor

January 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An Iranian state-sponsored actor has been observed scanning and attempting to abuse the Log4Shell flaw in publicly-exposed Java applications to deploy a hitherto undocumented PowerShell-based modular backdoor dubbed " CharmPower " for follow-on post-exploitation. "The actor's attack setup was obviously rushed, as they used the basic open-source tool for the exploitation and based their operations on previous infrastructure, which made the attack easier to detect and attribute," researchers from Check Point  said  in a report published this week. The Israeli cybersecurity company linked the attack to a group known as  APT35 , which is also tracked using the codenames Charming Kitten, Phosphorus, and TA453, citing overlaps with toolsets previously identified as infrastructure used by the threat actor. Log4Shell  aka CVE-2021-44228 (CVSS score: 10.0) concerns a critical security vulnerability in the popular Log4j logging library that, if successfully exploite
Hackers Use Cloud Services to Distribute Nanocore, Netwire, and AsyncRAT Malware

Hackers Use Cloud Services to Distribute Nanocore, Netwire, and AsyncRAT Malware

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors are actively incorporating public cloud services from Amazon and Microsoft into their malicious campaigns to deliver commodity remote access trojans (RATs) such as  Nanocore ,  Netwire , and  AsyncRAT  to siphon sensitive information from compromised systems. The spear-phishing attacks, which commenced in October 2021, have primarily targeted entities located in the U.S., Canada, Italy, and Singapore, researchers from Cisco Talos said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Using existing legitimate infrastructure to facilitate intrusions is increasingly becoming part of an attacker's playbook as it obviates the need to host their own servers, not to mention be used as a cloaking mechanism to evade detection by security solutions. In recent months, collaboration and communication tools like  Discord, Slack, and Telegram  have found a place in many an infection chain to  commandeer and exfiltrate data  from the victim machines. Viewed in that light, the abuse of
New SysJoker Espionage Malware Targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux Users

New SysJoker Espionage Malware Targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux Users

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new  cross-platform backdoor  called " SysJoker " has been observed targeting machines running Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems as part of an ongoing espionage campaign that's believed to have been initiated during the second half of 2021. "SysJoker masquerades as a system update and generates its [command-and-control server] by decoding a string retrieved from a text file hosted on Google Drive," Intezer researchers Avigayil Mechtinger, Ryan Robinson, and Nicole Fishbein  noted  in a technical write-up publicizing their findings. "Based on victimology and malware's behavior, we assess that SysJoker is after specific targets." The Israeli cybersecurity company, attributing the work to an advanced threat actor, said it first discovered evidence of the implant in December 2021 during an active attack against a Linux-based web server belonging to an unnamed educational institution. A C++-based malware, SysJoker is delivered via a dr
Researchers Find Bugs in Over A Dozen Widely Used URL Parser Libraries

Researchers Find Bugs in Over A Dozen Widely Used URL Parser Libraries

January 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A study of 16 different Uniform Resource Locator ( URL ) parsing libraries has unearthed inconsistencies and confusions that could be exploited to bypass validations and open the door to a wide range of attack vectors. In a deep-dive analysis jointly conducted by cybersecurity firms Claroty   and Synk, eight security vulnerabilities were identified in as many third-party libraries written in C, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby languages and used by several web applications. "The confusion in URL parsing can cause unexpected behavior in the software (e.g., web application), and could be exploited by threat actors to cause denial-of-service conditions, information leaks, or possibly conduct remote code execution attacks," the researchers said in a report shared with The Hacker News. With URLs being a fundamental mechanism by which resources — located either locally or on the web — can be requested and retrieved, differences in how the parsing libraries interpret a URL requ
Abcbot Botnet Linked to Operators of Xanthe Cryptomining malware

Abcbot Botnet Linked to Operators of Xanthe Cryptomining malware

January 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
New research into the infrastructure behind an emerging DDoS botnet named Abcbot has uncovered "clear" links with a cryptocurrency-mining botnet attack that came to light in December 2020. Attacks involving Abcbot, first  disclosed  by Qihoo 360's Netlab security team in November 2021, are  triggered  via a malicious shell script that targets insecure cloud instances operated by cloud service providers such as Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba Cloud to download malware that co-opts the machine to a botnet, but not before terminating processes from competing threat actors and establishing persistence. The shell script in question is itself an iteration of an earlier version originally  discovered  by Trend Micro in October 2021 hitting vulnerable ECS instances inside Huawei Cloud. But in an interesting twist, continued analysis of the botnet by mapping all known Indicators of Compromise (IoCs), including IP addresses, URLs, and samples, has revealed Abcbot's cod
BADNEWS! Patchwork APT Hackers Score Own Goal in Recent Malware Attacks

BADNEWS! Patchwork APT Hackers Score Own Goal in Recent Malware Attacks

January 09, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat hunters have shed light on the tactics, techniques, and procedures embraced by an Indian-origin hacking group called Patchwork as part of a renewed campaign that commenced in late November 2021, targeting Pakistani government entities and individuals with a research focus on molecular medicine and biological science. "Ironically, all the information we gathered was possible thanks to the threat actor infecting themselves with their own [remote access trojan], resulting in captured keystrokes and screenshots of their own computer and virtual machines," Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence Team  said  in a report published on Friday. Prominent victims that were successfully infiltrated include Pakistan's Ministry of Defense, National Defence University of Islamabad, Faculty of Bio-Sciences at UVAS Lahore, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, and the Salim Habib University (SBU). Believed to have b
North Korean Hackers Start New Year with Attacks on Russian Foreign Ministry

North Korean Hackers Start New Year with Attacks on Russian Foreign Ministry

January 06, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A North Korean cyberespionage group named Konni has been linked to a series of targeted attacks aimed at the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) with New Year lures to compromise Windows systems with malware. "This activity cluster demonstrates the patient and persistent nature of advanced actors in waging multi-phased campaigns against perceived high-value networks," researchers from Lumen Technologies' Black Lotus Labs  said  in an analysis shared with The Hacker News. The Konni group's tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are known to overlap with threat actors belonging to the broader  Kimsuky  umbrella, which is also tracked by the cybersecurity community under the monikers Velvet Chollima, ITG16, Black Banshee, and Thallium. The most recent attacks involved the actor gaining access to the target networks through stolen credentials, exploiting the foothold to load malware for intelligence gathering purposes, with early signs of t
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