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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

Scranos: New Rapidly Evolving Rootkit-Enabled Spyware Discovered

Scranos: New Rapidly Evolving Rootkit-Enabled Spyware Discovered

April 16, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A new powerful rootkit-enabled spyware operation has been discovered wherein hackers are distributing multifunctional malware disguised as cracked software or trojanized app posing as legitimate software like video players, drivers and even anti-virus products. While the rootkit malware—dubbed Scranos —which was first discovered late last year, still appears to be a work in progress, it is continuously evolving, testing new components and regularly making an improvement to old components, which makes it a significant threat. Scranos features a modular design that has already gained capabilities to steal login credentials and payment accounts from various popular services, exfiltrate browsing history and cookies, get YouTube subscribers, display ads, as well as download and execute any payload. According to a 48 page in-depth report Bitdefender shared with The Hacker News prior to its release, the malware gains persistence on infected machines by installing a digitally-signed
Popular Video Editing Software Website Hacked to Spread Banking Trojan

Popular Video Editing Software Website Hacked to Spread Banking Trojan

April 11, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you have downloaded the VSDC multimedia editing software between late February to late March this year, there are high chances that your computer has been infected with a banking trojan and an information stealer. The official website of the VSDC software — one of the most popular, free video editing and converting app with over 1.3 million monthly visitors — was hacked, unfortunately once again. According to a new report Dr. Web published today and shared with The Hacker News, hackers hijacked the VSDC website and replaced its software download links leading to malware versions, tricking visitors into installing dangerous Win32.Bolik.2 banking trojan and KPOT stealer. Even more ironic is that despite being so popular among the multimedia editors, the VSDC website is running and offering software downloads over an insecure HTTP connection. Though it's unclear how hackers this time managed to hijack the website, researchers revealed that the breach was reportedly ne
Sophisticated 'TajMahal APT Framework' Remained Undetected for 5 Years

Sophisticated 'TajMahal APT Framework' Remained Undetected for 5 Years

April 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers yesterday unveiled the existence of a highly sophisticated spyware framework that has been in operation for at least last 5 years—but remained undetected until recently. Dubbed TajMahal by researchers at Kaspersky Lab, the APT framework is a high-tech modular-based malware toolkit that not only supports a vast number of malicious plugins for distinct espionage operations, but also comprises never-before-seen and obscure tricks. Kaspersky named the framework after Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World located in India, not because it found any connection between the malware and the country, but because the stolen data was transferred to the attackers' C&C server in an XML file named TajMahal. TajMahal toolkit was first discovered by security researchers late last year when hackers used it to spy on the computers of a diplomatic organization belonging to a Central Asian country whose nationality and location have not been disclosed
'Exodus' Surveillance Malware Found Targeting Apple iOS Users

'Exodus' Surveillance Malware Found Targeting Apple iOS Users

April 09, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered an iOS version of the powerful mobile phone surveillance app that was initially targeting Android devices through apps on the official Google Play Store. Dubbed Exodus , as the malware is called, the iOS version of the spyware was discovered by security researchers at LookOut during their analysis of its Android samples they had found last year. Unlike its Android variant, the iOS version of Exodus has been distributed outside of the official App Store, primarily through phishing websites that imitate Italian and Turkmenistani mobile carriers. Since Apple restricts direct installation of apps outside of its official app store, the iOS version of Exodus is abusing the Apple Developer Enterprise program, which allows enterprises to distribute their own in-house apps directly to their employees without needing to use the iOS App Store. "Each of the phishing sites contained links to a distribution manifest, which contained metadata
Insecure UC Browser 'Feature' Lets Hackers Hijack Android Phones Remotely

Insecure UC Browser 'Feature' Lets Hackers Hijack Android Phones Remotely

March 26, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Beware! If you are using UC Browser on your smartphones, you should consider uninstalling it immediately. Why? Because the China-made UC Browser contains a "questionable" ability that could be exploited by remote attackers to automatically download and execute code on your Android devices. Developed by Alibaba-owned UCWeb, UC Browser is one of the most popular mobile browsers, specifically in China and India, with a massive user base of more than 500 million users worldwide. According to a new report published today by Dr. Web firm, since at least 2016, UC Browser for Android has a "hidden" feature that allows the company to anytime download new libraries and modules from its servers and install them on users' mobile devices. Pushing Malicious UC Browser Plug-ins Using MiTM Attack What's worrisome? It turns out that the reported feature downloads new plugins from the company server over insecure HTTP protocol instead of encrypted HTTPS proto
Warning: ASUS Software Update Server Hacked to Distribute Malware

Warning: ASUS Software Update Server Hacked to Distribute Malware

March 25, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Remember the CCleaner hack ? CCleaner hack was one of the largest supply chain attacks that infected more than 2.3 million users with a backdoored version of the software in September 2017. Security researchers today revealed another massive supply chain attack that compromised over 1 million computers manufactured by Taiwan-based tech giant ASUS. A group of state-sponsored hackers last year managed to hijack ASUS Live automatic software update server between June and November 2018 and pushed malicious updates to install backdoors on over one million Windows computers worldwide. According to cybersecurity researchers from Russian firm Kaspersky Lab , who discovered the attack and dubbed it Operation ShadowHammer , Asus was informed about the ongoing supply chain attack on Jan 31, 2019. After analyzing over 200 samples of the malicious updates, researchers learned that hackers did not want to target all users, instead only a specific list of users identified by their uniq
Mirai Variant Adds Dozen New Exploits to Target Enterprise IoT Devices

Mirai Variant Adds Dozen New Exploits to Target Enterprise IoT Devices

March 19, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have uncovered a new variant of the infamous Mirai Internet of Things botnet , this time targeting embedded devices intended for use within business environments in an attempt to gain control over larger bandwidth to carry out devastating DDoS attacks . Although the original creators of Mirai botnet have already been arrested and jailed , variants of the infamous IoT malware, including Satori and Okiru , keep emerging due to the availability of its source code on the Internet since 2016. First emerged in 2016, Mirai is well known IoT botnet malware that has the ability to infect routers, and security cameras, DVRs, and other smart devices—which typically use default credentials and run outdated versions of Linux—and enslaves the compromised devices to form a botnet, which is then used to conduct DDoS attacks . New Mirai Variant Targets Enterprise IoT Devices Now, Palo Alto Network Unit 42 researchers have spotted the newest variant of Mirai that'
Patched WinRAR Bug Still Under Active Attack—Thanks to No Auto-Updates

Patched WinRAR Bug Still Under Active Attack—Thanks to No Auto-Updates

March 15, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Various cyber criminal groups and individual hackers are still exploiting a recently patched critical code execution  vulnerability in WinRAR , a popular Windows file compression application with 500 million users worldwide. Why? Because the WinRAR software doesn't have an auto-update feature, which, unfortunately, leaves millions of its users vulnerable to cyber attacks. The critical vulnerability (CVE-2018-20250) that was patched late last month by the WinRAR team with the release of WinRAR version 5.70 beta 1 impacts all prior versions of WinRAR released over the past 19 years. For those unaware, the vulnerability is "Absolute Path Traversal" bug that resides in the old third-party library UNACEV2.DLL of WinRAR and allows attackers to extract a compressed executable file from the ACE archive to one of the Windows Startup folders, where the malicious file would automatically run on the next reboot. Therefore, to successfully exploit this vulnerability and tak
Researchers Link 'Sharpshooter' Cyber Attacks to North Korean Hackers

Researchers Link 'Sharpshooter' Cyber Attacks to North Korean Hackers

March 04, 2019Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have finally, with "high confidence," linked a previously discovered global cyber espionage campaign targeting critical infrastructure around the world to a North Korean APT hacking group. Thanks to the new evidence collected by researchers after analyzing a command-and-control (C2) server involved in the espionage campaign and seized by law enforcement. Dubbed Operation Sharpshooter , the cyber espionage campaign targeting government, defense, nuclear, energy, and financial organizations around the world was initially uncovered in December 2018 by security researchers at McAfee. At that time, even after finding numerous technical links to the North Korean Lazarus hacking group , researchers were not able to immediately attribute the campaign due to a potential for false flags. Researchers Analysed Sharpshooter's Command Server Now, according to a press release shared with The Hacker News, a recent analysis of the seized code and command
Google Discloses Unpatched 'High-Severity' Flaw in Apple macOS Kernel

Google Discloses Unpatched 'High-Severity' Flaw in Apple macOS Kernel

March 04, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researcher at Google's Project Zero division has publicly disclosed details and proof-of-concept exploit of a high-severity security vulnerability in macOS operating system after Apple failed to release a patch within 90 days of being notified. Discovered by Project Zero researcher Jann Horn and demonstrated by Ian Beer, the vulnerability resides in the way macOS XNU kernel allows an attacker to manipulate filesystem images without informing the operating system. The flaw could eventually allow an attacker or a malicious program to bypass the copy-on-write (COW) functionality to cause unexpected changes in the memory shared between processes, leading to memory corruption attacks. Copy-On-Write, also referred to as COW, is a resource-management optimization strategy used in computer programming. In general, if any process (destination) requires a file or data that is already in the memory but created by another process (source), both processes can share the
Researchers Implant "Protected" Malware On Intel SGX Enclaves

Researchers Implant "Protected" Malware On Intel SGX Enclaves

February 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a way to hide malicious code in Intel SGX enclaves, a hardware-based memory encryption feature in modern processors that isolates sensitive code and data to protect it from disclosure or modification. In other words, the technique allows attackers to implant malware code in a secure memory that uses protection features of SGX which are otherwise designed to protect important data from prying eyes or from being tampered, even on a compromised system. Introduced with Intel's Skylake processors, SGX (Software Guard Extensions) allows developers to run selected application modules in a completely isolated secure region of memory, called enclaves, which are designed to be protected from processes running at higher privilege levels like the operating system, kernel, BIOS, SMM, hypervisor, etc. However, a team of researchers, some of whom were behind the discovery of the Spectre-Meltdown CPU flaws , managed to bypass this protection and g
First Android Clipboard Hijacking Crypto Malware Found On Google Play Store

First Android Clipboard Hijacking Crypto Malware Found On Google Play Store

February 11, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A security researcher has discovered yet another cryptocurrency-stealing malware on the official Google Play Store that was designed to secretly steal bitcoin and cryptocurrency from unwitting users. The malware, described as a " Clipper ," masqueraded as a legitimate cryptocurrency app and worked by replacing cryptocurrency wallet addresses copied into the Android clipboard with one belonging to attackers, ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko explained in a blog post . Since cryptocurrency wallet addresses are made up of long strings of characters for security reasons, users usually prefer copying and pasting the wallet addresses using the clipboard over typing them out. The newly discovered clipper malware, dubbed Android/Clipper.C by ESET, took advantage of this behavior to steal users cryptocurrency. To do this, attackers first tricked users into installing the malicious app that impersonated a legitimate cryptocurrency service called MetaMask , claiming to let users
Several Popular Beauty Camera Apps Caught Stealing Users' Photos

Several Popular Beauty Camera Apps Caught Stealing Users' Photos

February 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Just because an app is available on Google Play Store doesn't mean that it is a legitimate app. Despite so many efforts by Google, some fake and malicious apps do sneak in and land millions of unaware users on the hunting ground of scammers and hackers. Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro uncovered at least 29 devious photo apps that managed to make its way onto Google Play Store and have been downloaded more than 4 million times before Google removed them from its app store. The mobile apps in question disguised as photo editing and beauty apps purporting to use your mobile phone's camera to take better pictures or beautify the snaps you shoot, but were found including code that performs malicious activities on their users' smartphone. Three of the rogue apps—Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo and Emoji Camera—have been downloaded more than a million times each, with Artistic Effect Filter being installed over 500,000 times and another seven apps in the list over 100
New Mac Malware Targets Cookies to Steal From Cryptocurrency Wallets

New Mac Malware Targets Cookies to Steal From Cryptocurrency Wallets

February 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
Mac users need to beware of a newly discovered piece of malware that steals their web browser cookies and credentials in an attempt to withdraw funds from their cryptocurrency exchange accounts. Dubbed CookieMiner due to its capability of stealing cookies-related to cryptocurrency exchanges, the malware has specifically been designed to target Mac users and is believed to be based on DarthMiner, another Mac malware that was detected in December last year. Uncovered by Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 security research team, CookieMiner also covertly installs coin mining software onto the infected Mac machines to secretly mine for additional cryptocurrency by consuming the targeted Mac's system resources. In the case of CookieMiner, the software is apparently geared toward mining "Koto," a lesser-known, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency which is mostly used in Japan. However, the most interesting capabilities of the new Mac malware is to steal: Both Google Chro
FBI Mapping 'Joanap Malware' Victims to Disrupt the North Korean Botnet

FBI Mapping 'Joanap Malware' Victims to Disrupt the North Korean Botnet

January 31, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced Wednesday its effort to "map and further disrupt" a botnet tied to North Korea that has infected numerous Microsoft Windows computers across the globe over the last decade. Dubbed Joanap , the botnet is believed to be part of " Hidden Cobra "—an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors' group often known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace and backed by the North Korean government. Hidden Cobra is the same hacking group that has been allegedly associated with the WannaCry ransomware menace in 2016, the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016, as well as Sony Motion Pictures hack in 2014. Dates back to 2009, Joanap is a remote access tool (RAT) that lands on a victim's system with the help an SMB worm called Brambul , which crawls from one computer to another by brute-forcing Windows Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing services using a list of common passwords. Once there, Brambul downloads Jo
GandCrab ransomware and Ursnif virus spreading via MS Word macros

GandCrab ransomware and Ursnif virus spreading via MS Word macros

January 25, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered two separate malware campaigns, one of which is distributing the Ursnif data-stealing trojan and the GandCrab ransomware in the wild, whereas the second one is only infecting victims with Ursnif malware. Though both malware campaigns appear to be a work of two separate cybercriminal groups, we find many similarities in them. Both attacks start from phishing emails containing an attached Microsoft Word document embedded with malicious macros and then uses Powershell to deliver fileless malware. Ursnif is a data-stealing malware that typically steals sensitive information from compromised computers with an ability to harvest banking credentials, browsing activities, collect keystrokes, system and process information, and deploy additional backdoors. Discovered earlier last year, GandCrab is a widespread ransomware threat that, like every other ransomware in the market, encrypts files on an infected system and insists victims to pay a ransom
New malware found using Google Drive as its command-and-control server

New malware found using Google Drive as its command-and-control server

January 21, 2019Mohit Kumar
Since most security tools also keep an eye on the network traffic to detect malicious IP addresses, attackers are increasingly adopting infrastructure of legitimate services in their attacks to hide their malicious activities. Cybersecurity researchers have now spotted a new malware attack campaign linked to the notorious DarkHydrus APT group that uses Google Drive as its command-and-control (C2) server. DarkHydrus first came to light in August last year when the APT group was leveraging the open-source Phishery tool to carry out credential-harvesting campaign against government entities and educational institutions in the Middle East. The latest malicious campaign conducted by the DarkHydrus APT group was also observed against targets in the Middle East, according to reports published by the 360 Threat Intelligence Center ( 360TIC ) and Palo Alto Networks. This time the advanced threat attackers are using a new variant of their backdoor Trojan, called RogueRobin , which i
Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

January 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Ukrainian Police have this week busted out two separate groups of hackers involved in carrying out DDoS attacks against news agencies and stealing money from Ukrainian citizens, respectively. According to the authorities, the four suspected hackers they arrested last week , all aged from 26 to 30 years, stole more than 5 million Hryvnia (around 178,380 USD) from the bank accounts of Ukrainian citizens by hacking into their computers. The suspects carried out their attacks by scanning vulnerable computers on the Internet and infecting them with a custom Trojan malware to take full remote control of the systems. The group then apparently enabled key-logging on the infected computers in an attempt to capture banking credentials of victims when the owners of those infected computers fill in that information on any banking site or their digital currency wallet. Once getting a hold on the victims banking and financial data, the attackers logged into their online banking accounts
New Malware Takes Commands From Memes Posted On Twitter

New Malware Takes Commands From Memes Posted On Twitter

December 18, 2018Wang Wei
Security researchers have discovered yet another example of how cybercriminals disguise their malware activities as regular traffic by using legitimate cloud-based services. Trend Micro researchers have uncovered a new piece of malware that retrieves commands from memes posted on a Twitter account controlled by the attackers. Most malware relies on communication with their command-and-control server to receive instructions from attackers and perform various tasks on infected computers. Since security tools keep an eye on the network traffic to detect malicious IP addresses, attackers are increasingly using legitimate websites and servers as infrastructure in their attacks to make the malicious software more difficult to detect. In the recently spotted malicious scheme, which according to the researchers is in its early stage, the hackers uses Steganography —a technique of hiding contents within a digital graphic image in such a way that's invisible to an observer—to hid
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