The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

3 Steps to Strengthen Your Ransomware Defenses

3 Steps to Strengthen Your Ransomware Defenses

July 01, 2021The Hacker News
The recent tsunami of ransomware has brought to life the fears of downtime and data loss cybersecurity pros have warned about, as attacks on the energy sector, food supply chain, healthcare industry, and other critical infrastructure have grabbed headlines. For the industry experts who track the evolution of this threat, the increased frequency, sophistication, and destructiveness of ransomware suggests that businesses still have some major gaps in their defense strategies. It's no surprise that a new, multi-layered approach to protection is needed to stem the damage caused by ransomware. But what changes should an IT team implement to close those gaps? During a recent panel, a team of cybersecurity experts outlined a three-step plan to do just that -- centered around embracing new technologies, improving security processes, and ensuring their people know how to help curb the threat. 1  —  New Strains Overwhelm Old Defenses Many new ransomware strains now act like advanced pe
Hacker Wanted in the U.S. for Spreading Gozi Virus Arrested in Colombia

Hacker Wanted in the U.S. for Spreading Gozi Virus Arrested in Colombia

June 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Colombian authorities on Wednesday said they have arrested a Romanian hacker who is wanted in the U.S. for distributing a virus that infected more than a million computers from 2007 to 2012. Mihai Ionut Paunescu (aka "Virus"), the individual in question, was detained at the El Dorado airport in Bogotá, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia  said . Paunescu was  previously charged  by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in January 2013 for operating a bulletproof hosting service that "enabled cyber criminals to distribute the Gozi Virus, the Zeus Trojan and other notorious malware, and conduct other sophisticated cyber crimes." He was arrested in Romania in December 2012 but managed to avoid extradition to the U.S. "Through this service, Paunescu, like other bulletproof hosts, knowingly provided critical online infrastructure to cyber criminals that allowed them to commit online criminal activity with little fear of detection by law enforcement,&
[Webinar] How Cyber Attack Groups Are Spinning a Larger Ransomware Web

[Webinar] How Cyber Attack Groups Are Spinning a Larger Ransomware Web

June 30, 2021The Hacker News
Organizations today already have an overwhelming number of dangers and threats to look out for, from spam to phishing attempts to new infiltration and ransomware tactics. There is no chance to rest, since attack groups are constantly looking for more effective means of infiltrating and infecting systems. Today, there are hundreds of groups devoted to infiltrating almost every industry, constantly devising more sophisticated methods to attack organizations. It's even more troubling to note that some groups have started to collaborate, creating complex and stealthy tactics that leave even the best security teams scrambling to respond. Such is the case noted by XDR Provider Cynet, as the company observes in its newest Research Webinar ( register here ). Cynet's research team noted that two of the most infamous attack groups – Lunar Spider and Wizard Spider – have started working together to infect organizations with ransomware. The development is certainly troubling, and the
Hackers Trick Microsoft Into Signing Netfilter Driver Loaded With Rootkit Malware

Hackers Trick Microsoft Into Signing Netfilter Driver Loaded With Rootkit Malware

June 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Friday said it's investigating an incident wherein a driver signed by the company turned out to be a malicious Windows rootkit that was observed communicating with command-and-control (C2) servers located in China. The driver, called " Netfilter ," is said to target gaming environments, specifically in the East Asian country, with the Redmond-based firm noting that "the actor's goal is to use the driver to spoof their geo-location to cheat the system and play from anywhere." "The malware enables them to gain an advantage in games and possibly exploit other players by compromising their accounts through common tools like keyloggers," Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC)  said . It's worth pointing out that Netfilter also refers to a legitimate software package , which enables packet filtering and network address translation for Linux based systems. Microsoft dubbed the malware " Retliften ," alluding to "ne
DMARC: The First Line of Defense Against Ransomware

DMARC: The First Line of Defense Against Ransomware

June 28, 2021The Hacker News
There has been a lot of buzz in the industry about ransomware lately. Almost every other day, it's making headlines. With businesses across the globe holding their breath, scared they might fall victim to the next major ransomware attack, it is now time to take action. The FBI IC3 report of 2020 classified Ransomware as the most financially damaging cybercrime of the year, with no major improvement in 2021. Wouldn't it be nice if you could prevent a ransomware attack from occurring in the first place?  DMARC  can make this seemingly impossible claim a possibility for domain owners!  Multiple benefits arise from your DMARC implementation over time, including an increase in the deliverability of your email as well as a higher domain reputation. DMARC is also known as the first line of defense against Ransomware. Let's take a closer look. What are the Risks Associated with Ransomware?  Ransomware is malicious software that installs itself on your computer without your p
Crackonosh virus mined $2 million of Monero from 222,000 hacked computers

Crackonosh virus mined $2 million of Monero from 222,000 hacked computers

June 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented Windows malware has infected over 222,000 systems worldwide since at least June 2018, yielding its developer no less than 9,000 Moneros ($2 million) in illegal profits. Dubbed " Crackonosh ," the malware is distributed via illegal, cracked copies of popular software, only to disable antivirus programs installed in the machine and install a coin miner package called XMRig for stealthily exploiting the infected host's resources to mine Monero. At least 30 different versions of the malware executable have been discovered between Jan. 1, 2018, and Nov. 23, 2020, Czech cybersecurity software company Avast  said  on Thursday, with a majority of the victims located in the U.S., Brazil, India, Poland, and the Philippines. Crackonosh works by replacing critical Windows system files such as "serviceinstaller.msi" and "maintenance.vbs" to cover its tracks and abuses the  safe mode , which prevents antivirus software from working, to
FIN7 Supervisor Gets 7-Year Jail Term for Stealing Millions of Credit Cards

FIN7 Supervisor Gets 7-Year Jail Term for Stealing Millions of Credit Cards

June 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A Ukrainian national and a mid-​level supervisor of the hacking group known as FIN7 has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role as a "pen tester" and perpetuating a criminal scheme that enabled the gang to compromise millions of customers debit and credit cards. Andrii Kolpakov , 33, was arrested in Spain on June 28, 2018, and subsequently extradited to the U.S. the following year on June 1, 2019. In June 2020, Kolpakov pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking. The Western District of Washington also ordered Kolpakov to pay $2.5 million in restitution. The defendant, who was involved with the group from April 2016 until his arrest, managed other hackers who were tasked with breaching the point-of-sale systems of companies, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, to deploy malware capable of stealing financial information. FIN7 , also called Anunak, Carbanak Group , and the Navigator Group,
Clop Gang Partners Laundered $500 Million in Ransomware Payments

Clop Gang Partners Laundered $500 Million in Ransomware Payments

June 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The cybercrime ring that was apprehended last week in connection with Clop (aka Cl0p) ransomware attacks against dozens of companies in the last few months helped launder money totaling $500 million for several malicious actors through a plethora of illegal activities. "The group — also known as FANCYCAT — has been running multiple criminal activities: distributing cyber attacks; operating a high-risk exchanger; and laundering money from dark web operations and high-profile cyber attacks such as Cl0p and Petya ransomware," popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance  said  Thursday. On June 16, the Ukraine Cyber Police  nabbed six individuals  in the city of Kyiv, describing the arrests as resulting from an international operation involving law enforcement authorities from Korea, the U.S., and Interpol. While the bust was seen as a major blow to the operations of the Clop gang, the hackers published earlier this week a fresh batch of confidential employee records stolen from
Pakistan-linked hackers targeted Indian power company with ReverseRat

Pakistan-linked hackers targeted Indian power company with ReverseRat

June 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat actor with suspected ties to Pakistan has been striking government and energy organizations in the South and Central Asia regions to deploy a remote access trojan on compromised Windows systems, according to new research. "Most of the organizations that exhibited signs of compromise were in India, and a small number were in Afghanistan," Lumen's Black Lotus Labs  said  in a Tuesday analysis. "The potentially compromised victims aligned with the government and power utility verticals." Some of the victims include a foreign government organization, a power transmission organization, and a power generation and transmission organization. The covert operation is said to have begun at least in January 2021. The intrusions are notable for a number of reasons, not least because in addition to its highly-targeted nature, the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adopted by the adversary rely on repurposed open-source code and the use of compromised dom
Wormable DarkRadiation Ransomware Targets Linux and Docker Instances

Wormable DarkRadiation Ransomware Targets Linux and Docker Instances

June 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers are sounding the alarm bell over a new ransomware strain called " DarkRadiation " that's implemented entirely in Bash and targets Linux and Docker cloud containers, while banking on messaging service Telegram for command-and-control (C2) communications. "The ransomware is written in  Bash  script and targets Red Hat/CentOS and Debian Linux distributions," researchers from Trend Micro  said  in a report published last week. "The malware uses OpenSSL's AES algorithm with CBC mode to encrypt files in various directories. It also uses Telegram's API to send an infection status to the threat actor(s)." As of writing, there's no information available on the delivery methods or evidence that the ransomware has been deployed in real-world attacks. The findings come from an analysis of a collection of hacking tools hosted on the unidentified threat actor's infrastructure (IP address "185.141.25.168") in a
5 Critical Steps to Recover From a Ransomware Attack

5 Critical Steps to Recover From a Ransomware Attack

June 21, 2021The Hacker News
Hackers are increasingly using ransomware as an effective tool to disrupt businesses and fund malicious activities. A recent analysis by cybersecurity company Group-IB revealed  ransomware attacks doubled in 2020 , while Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds  in 2021. Businesses must prepare for the possibility of a ransomware attack affecting their data, services, and business continuity. What steps are involved in recovering from a ransomware attack? Isolate and shutdown critical systems Enact your business continuity plan Report the cyberattack Restore from backup Remediate, patch, and monitor Isolate and shutdown critical systems The first important step is to isolate and shut down business-critical systems. There is a chance the ransomware has not affected all accessible data and systems. Shutting down and isolating both infected systems and healthy systems helps contain malicious code. From the first evidence of ransomwa
DroidMorph Shows Popular Android Antivirus Fail to Detect Cloned Malicious Apps

DroidMorph Shows Popular Android Antivirus Fail to Detect Cloned Malicious Apps

June 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new research published by a group of academics has found that anti-virus programs for Android continue to remain vulnerable against different permutations of malware, in what could pose a serious risk as malicious actors evolve their toolsets to better evade analysis. "Malware writers use stealthy mutations (morphing/obfuscations) to continuously develop malware clones, thwarting detection by signature based detectors," the researchers  said . "This attack of clones seriously threatens all the mobile platforms, especially Android." The findings were published in a study last week by researchers from Adana Science and Technology University, Turkey, and the National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan. Unlike iOS, apps can be downloaded from third-party sources on Android devices, raising the possibility that unwitting users can install unverified and lookalike apps that clone a legitimate app's functionality but are built to trick tar
North Korea Exploited VPN Flaw to Hack South's Nuclear Research Institute

North Korea Exploited VPN Flaw to Hack South's Nuclear Research Institute

June 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
South Korea's state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) on Friday disclosed that its internal network was infiltrated by suspected attackers operating out of its northern counterpart. The intrusion is said to have taken place on May 14 through a vulnerability in an unnamed virtual private network (VPN) vendor and involved a  total of 13 IP addresses , one of which — "27.102.114[.]89" — has been previously linked to a state-sponsored threat actor dubbed  Kimsuky . KAERI, established in 1959 and situated in the city of Daejeon, is a government-funded research institute that designs and develops nuclear technologies related to reactors, fuel rods, radiation fusion, and nuclear safety. Following the intrusion, the think tank said it took steps to block the attacker's IP addresses in question and applied necessary security patches to the vulnerable VPN solution. "Currently, the Atomic Energy Research Institute is investigating the subject of the ha
Cyber espionage by Chinese hackers in neighbouring nations is on the rise

Cyber espionage by Chinese hackers in neighbouring nations is on the rise

June 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A string of cyber espionage campaigns dating all the way back to 2014 and likely focused on gathering defense information from neighbouring countries have been linked to a Chinese military-intelligence apparatus. In a wide-ranging report published by Massachusetts-headquartered Recorded Future this week, the cybersecurity firm's Insikt Group said it identified ties between a group it tracks as " RedFoxtrot " to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 69010 operating out of Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the country. Previously called the Lanzhou Military Region's Second Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, Unit 69010 is a military cover for a Technical Reconnaissance Bureau (TRB) within China's Strategic Support Force (SSF) Network Systems Department ( NSD ). The connection to PLA Unit 69010 stems from what the researchers said were "lax operational security measures" adopted by an unnamed suspected RedFoxtrot threa
[eBook] 7 Signs You Might Need a New Detection and Response Tool

[eBook] 7 Signs You Might Need a New Detection and Response Tool

June 17, 2021The Hacker News
It's natural to get complacent with the status quo when things seem to be working. The familiar is comfortable, and even if something better comes along, it brings with it many unknowns. In cybersecurity, this tendency is countered by the fast pace of innovation and how quickly technology becomes obsolete, often overnight. This combination usually results in one of two things – organizations make less than ideal choices about the software and tools they're adding, or security leaders simply cannot stay abreast of new developments and opt to stay put with their existing stack. The problem is that once you let one update pass you by, you're suddenly miles behind. A new eBook from XDR provider Cynet ( download here ) offers insights into factors that are clear signs organizations need to upgrade their detection and response tools to stay with the times. The eBook highlights several factors and questions that companies can ask themselves to determine whether they are okay
Update‌ ‌Your Chrome Browser to Patch Yet Another 0-Day Exploit‌ed ‌in‌-the‌-Wild

Update‌ ‌Your Chrome Browser to Patch Yet Another 0-Day Exploit‌ed ‌in‌-the‌-Wild

June 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google has rolled out yet another update to Chrome browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux to fix four security vulnerabilities, including one zero-day flaw that's being exploited in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2021-30554 , the high severity flaw concerns a  use after free vulnerability  in WebGL (aka Web Graphics Library), a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 2D and 3D graphics within the browser. Successful exploitation of the flaw could mean corruption of valid data, leading to a crash, and even execution of unauthorized code or commands. The issue was reported to Google anonymously on June 15, Chrome technical program manager Srinivas Sista  noted , adding the company is "aware that an exploit for CVE-2021-30554 exists in the wild." While it's usually the norm to limit details of the vulnerability until a majority of users are updated with the fix, the development comes less than 10 days after Google addressed another zero-day vulnerability exploited in act
Molerats Hackers Return With New Attacks Targeting Middle Eastern Governments

Molerats Hackers Return With New Attacks Targeting Middle Eastern Governments

June 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A Middle Eastern advanced persistent threat (APT) group has resurfaced after a two-month hiatus to target government institutions in the Middle East and global government entities associated with geopolitics in the region in a rash of new campaigns observed earlier this month. Sunnyvale-based enterprise security firm Proofpoint attributed the activity to a politically motivated threat actor it tracks as TA402 , and known by other monikers such as  Molerats  and GazaHackerTeam. Based on its targeting and previous campaigns, TA402 is alleged to operate with motives that align with military or Palestinian state objectives. The threat actor is believed to be active for a decade, with a history of striking organizations primarily located in Israel and Palestine, and spanning multiple verticals such as technology, telecommunications, finance, academia, military, media, and governments. It's not clear what prompted the collective to cease its operations for two months, but Proofpoint
A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran

A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran

June 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors with suspected ties to Iran have been found to leverage instant messaging and VPN apps like Telegram and Psiphon to install a Windows remote access trojan (RAT) capable of stealing sensitive information from targets' devices since at least 2015. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which pieced together the activity, attributed the campaign to an advanced persistent threat (APT) group it tracks as Ferocious Kitten, a group that has singled out Persian-speaking individuals allegedly based in the country while successfully operating under the radar. "The targeting of Psiphon and Telegram, both of which are quite popular services in Iran, underlines the fact that the payloads were developed with the purpose of targeting Iranian users in mind," Kaspersky's Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT)  said . "Moreover, the decoy content displayed by the malicious files often made use of political themes and involved images or videos of resistance bas
Researchers Uncover 'Process Ghosting' — A New Malware Evasion Technique

Researchers Uncover 'Process Ghosting' — A New Malware Evasion Technique

June 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a new executable image tampering attack dubbed "Process Ghosting" that could be potentially abused by an attacker to circumvent protections and stealthily run malicious code on a Windows system. "With this technique, an attacker can write a piece of malware to disk in such a way that it's difficult to scan or delete it — and where it then executes the deleted malware as though it were a regular file on disk," Elastic Security researcher Gabriel Landau  said . "This technique does not involve code injection, Process Hollowing, or Transactional NTFS (TxF)." Process Ghosting expands on previously documented  endpoint bypass  methods such as  Process Doppelgänging  and  Process Herpaderping , thereby enabling the veiled execution of malicious code that may evade anti-malware defenses and detection. Process Doppelgänging, analogous to  Process Hollowing , involves injecting arbitrary code in the address space of
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.