The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

Hackers Set Up Fake Company to Get IT Experts to Launch Ransomware Attacks

Hackers Set Up Fake Company to Get IT Experts to Launch Ransomware Attacks

October 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The financially motivated FIN7 cybercrime gang has masqueraded as yet another fictitious cybersecurity company called "Bastion Secure" to recruit unwitting software engineers under the guise of penetration testing in a likely lead-up to a ransomware scheme. "With FIN7's latest fake company, the criminal group leveraged true, publicly available information from various legitimate cybersecurity companies to create a thin veil of legitimacy around Bastion Secure," Recorded Future's Gemini Advisory unit said in a report. "FIN7 is adopting disinformation tactics so that if a potential hire or interested party were to fact check Bastion Secure, then a cursory search on Google would return 'true' information for companies with a similar name or industry to FIN7's Bastion Secure." FIN7 , also known as Carbanak, Carbon Spider, and Anunak, has a track record of striking restaurant, gambling, and hospitality industries in the U.S. to infect
Researchers Discover Microsoft-Signed FiveSys Rootkit in the Wild

Researchers Discover Microsoft-Signed FiveSys Rootkit in the Wild

October 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly identified rootkit has been found with a valid digital signature issued by Microsoft that's used to proxy traffic to internet addresses of interest to the attackers for over a year targeting online gamers in China. Bucharest-headquartered cybersecurity technology company Bitdefender named the malware " FiveSys ," calling out its possible credential theft and in-game-purchase hijacking motives. The Windows maker has since revoked the signature following responsible disclosure. "Digital signatures are a way of establishing trust," Bitdefender researchers said in a white paper, adding "a valid digital signature helps the attacker navigate around the operating system's restrictions on loading third-party modules into the kernel. Once loaded, the rootkit allows its creators to gain virtually unlimited privileges." Rootkits are both evasive and stealthy as they offer threat actors an entrenched foothold onto victims' systems and conceal
Hackers Stealing Browser Cookies to Hijack High-Profile YouTube Accounts

Hackers Stealing Browser Cookies to Hijack High-Profile YouTube Accounts

October 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Since at least late 2019, a network of hackers-for-hire have been hijacking the channels of YouTube creators, luring them with bogus collaboration opportunities to broadcast cryptocurrency scams or sell the accounts to the highest bidder. That's according to a new report published by Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), which said it disrupted financially motivated phishing campaigns targeting the video platform with cookie theft malware. The actors behind the infiltration have been attributed to a group of hackers recruited in a Russian-speaking forum. "Cookie Theft, also known as 'pass-the-cookie attack,' is a session hijacking technique that enables access to user accounts with session cookies stored in the browser," TAG's Ashley Shen  said . "While the technique has been around for decades, its resurgence as a top security risk could be due to a wider adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA) making it difficult to conduct abuse, and shif
Two Eastern Europeans Sentenced for Providing Bulletproof Hosting to Cyber Criminals

Two Eastern Europeans Sentenced for Providing Bulletproof Hosting to Cyber Criminals

October 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Two Eastern European nationals have been sentenced in the U.S. for offering "bulletproof hosting" services to cybercriminals, who used the technical infrastructure to distribute malware and attack financial institutions across the country between 2009 to 2015. Pavel Stassi, 30, of Estonia, and Aleksandr Shorodumov, 33, of Lithuania, have been each sentenced to 24 months and 48 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. Court documents showed that both the individuals worked as administrators for an unnamed bulletproof hosting service provider that rented out IP addresses, servers, and domains to cybercriminal clients to disseminate malware such as Zeus, SpyEye, Citadel, and the Blackhole Exploit kit that were used to gain access to victims' machines, co-opt them to a botnet, and siphon banking credentials. The development comes months after Stassi and Shorodumov, along with the service's Russian founders Aleksandr Grichishkin and Andrei Skvort
A New Variant of FlawedGrace Spreading Through Mass Email Campaigns

A New Variant of FlawedGrace Spreading Through Mass Email Campaigns

October 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday took the wraps off a mass volume email attack staged by a prolific cybercriminal gang affecting a wide range of industries, with one of its region-specific operations notably targeting Germany and Austria. Enterprise security firm Proofpoint tied the malware campaign with high confidence to  TA505 , which is the name assigned to the financially motivated threat group that's been active in the cybercrime business since at least 2014, and is behind the infamous Dridex banking trojan and an arsenal of other malicious tools such as FlawedAmmyy, FlawedGrace, Neutrino botnet, and Locky ransomware, among others. Cybersecurity company Morphisec Labs is tracking the same attack chain under the independent moniker " MirrorBlast ." The attacks are said to have started as a series of low-volume email waves, delivering only several thousand messages in each phase, before ramping up in late September and as recently as October 13, resulting in
Cybersecurity Experts Warn of a Rise in Lyceum Hacker Group Activities in Tunisia

Cybersecurity Experts Warn of a Rise in Lyceum Hacker Group Activities in Tunisia

October 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat actor, previously known for striking organizations in the energy and telecommunications sectors across the Middle East as early as April 2018, has evolved its malware arsenal to strike two entities in Tunisia. Security researchers at Kaspersky, who presented their findings at the VirusBulletin VB2021 conference earlier this month, attributed the attacks to a group tracked as  Lyceum  (aka Hexane), which was first  publicly documented  in 2019 by Secureworks. "The victims we observed were all high-profile Tunisian organizations, such as telecommunications or aviation companies," researchers Aseel Kayal, Mark Lechtik, and Paul Rascagneres  detailed . "Based on the targeted industries, we assume that the attackers might have been interested in compromising such entities to track the movements and communications of individuals of interest to them." Analysis of the threat actor's toolset has shown that the attacks have shifted from leveraging a combinat
Over 30 Countries Pledge to Fight Ransomware Attacks in US-led Global Meeting

Over 30 Countries Pledge to Fight Ransomware Attacks in US-led Global Meeting

October 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Representatives from the U.S., the European Union, and 30 other countries pledged to mitigate the risk of ransomware and harden the financial system from exploitation with the goal of disrupting the ecosystem, calling it an "escalating global security threat with serious economic and security consequences."  "From malign operations against local health providers that endanger patient care, to those directed at businesses that limit their ability to provide fuel, groceries, or other goods to the public, ransomware poses a significant risk to critical infrastructure, essential services, public safety, consumer protection and privacy, and economic prosperity," officials  said  in a statement released last week. To that end, efforts are expected to be made to enhance network resilience by adopting cyber hygiene good practices, such as using strong passwords, securing accounts with multi-factor authentication, maintaining periodic offline data backups, keeping softwa
REvil Ransomware Gang Goes Underground After Tor Sites Were Compromised

REvil Ransomware Gang Goes Underground After Tor Sites Were Compromised

October 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
REvil, the notorious ransomware gang behind a string of cyberattacks in recent years, appears to have gone off the radar once again, a little over a month after the cybercrime group staged a surprise return following a two-month-long hiatus. The development, first  spotted  by Recorded Future's  Dmitry Smilyanets , comes after a member affiliated with the REvil operation posted on the XSS hacking forum that unidentified actors had taken control of the gang's Tor payment portal and data leak website. "The server was compromised and they were looking for me. To be precise, they deleted the path to my hidden service in the  torrc file  and raised their own so that I would (sic) go there. I checked on others - this was not. Good luck everyone, I'm off," user 0_neday said in the post. As of writing, it isn't clear exactly who was behind the compromise of REvil's servers, although it wouldn't be entirely surprising if law enforcement agencies played a r
Attackers Behind Trickbot Expanding Malware Distribution Channels

Attackers Behind Trickbot Expanding Malware Distribution Channels

October 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators behind the pernicious TrickBot malware have resurfaced with new tricks that aim to increase its foothold by expanding its distribution channels, ultimately leading to the deployment of ransomware such as Conti. The threat actor, tracked under the monikers ITG23 and Wizard Spider, has been found to partner with other cybercrime gangs known Hive0105, Hive0106 (aka TA551 or Shathak), and Hive0107, adding to a growing number of campaigns that the attackers are banking on to deliver proprietary malware, according to a report by IBM X-Force. "These and other cybercrime vendors are infecting corporate networks with malware by hijacking email threads, using fake customer response forms and social engineering employees with a fake call center known as BazarCall," researchers Ole Villadsen and Charlotte Hammond  said . Since emerging on the threat landscape in 2016, TrickBot has evolved from a banking trojan to a modular Windows-based crimeware solution, while also 
Ad-Blocking Chrome Extension Caught Injecting Ads in Google Search Pages

Ad-Blocking Chrome Extension Caught Injecting Ads in Google Search Pages

October 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new deceptive ad injection campaign has been found leveraging an ad blocker extension for Google Chrome and Opera web browsers to sneakily insert ads and affiliate codes on websites, according to new research from cybersecurity firm Imperva. The findings come following the discovery of rogue domains distributing an ad injection script in late August 2021 that the researchers connected to an add-on called AllBlock. The  extension  has since been pulled from both the Chrome Web Store and Opera add-ons marketplaces. While AllBlock is designed to block ads legitimately, the JavaScript code is injected into every new tab opened on the browser. It works by identifying and sending all links in a web page — typically on search engine results pages — to a remote server, which responds back with a list of websites to replace the genuine links with, leading to a scenario where upon clicking a link, the victim is redirected to a different page. "When the user clicks on any modified li
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
Online Courses and Software

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