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TrickBot Operators Partner with Shathak Attackers for Conti Ransomware

TrickBot Operators Partner with Shathak Attackers for Conti Ransomware

November 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators of TrickBot trojan are collaborating with the Shathak threat group to distribute their wares, ultimately leading to the deployment of Conti ransomware on infected machines. "The implementation of  TrickBot  has evolved over the years, with recent versions of TrickBot implementing malware-loading capabilities," Cybereason security analysts Aleksandar Milenkoski and Eli Salem  said  in a report analysing recent malware distribution campaigns undertaken by the group. "TrickBot has played a major role in many attack campaigns conducted by different threat actors, from common cybercriminals to nation-state actors." The latest report builds on a report from IBM X-Force last month, which  revealed  TrickBot's partnerships with other cybercrime gangs, including Shathak, to deliver proprietary malware. Also tracked under the moniker TA551, Shathak is a sophisticated cybercrime actor targeting end-users on a global scale, acting as a malware distributor
U.S. Charges Ukrainian Hacker for Kaseya Attack; Seizes $6 Million from REvil Gang

U.S. Charges Ukrainian Hacker for Kaseya Attack; Seizes $6 Million from REvil Gang

November 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. government on Monday charged a Ukrainian suspect, arrested in Poland last month, with deploying REvil ransomware to target multiple businesses and government entities in the country, including perpetrating the attack against software company Kaseya, marking the latest action to crack down on the cybercrime group and curb further attacks. According to unsealed court documents, 22-year-old Yaroslav Vasinskyi is  alleged  to have been part of the ransomware operation at least since March 2019 and deployed about 2,500 attacks against businesses worldwide. Vasinskyi (aka Profcomserv, Rabotnik, Rabotnik_New, Yarik45, Yaraslav2468, and Affiliate 22) was apprehended at the Polish border on October 8 after an international arrest warrant was issued at the behest of U.S. authorities. In another major development, the Justice Department disclosed the seizure of $6.1 million in alleged ransomware payments received by Russian national Yevgeniy Polyanin, who is currently at large and has
Suspected REvil Ransomware Affiliates Arrested in Global Takedown

Suspected REvil Ransomware Affiliates Arrested in Global Takedown

November 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Romanian law enforcement authorities have  announced  the arrest of two individuals for their roles as affiliates of the REvil ransomware family, dealing a severe blow to one of the most prolific cybercrime gangs in history. The suspects are believed to have  orchestrated  more than 5,000 ransomware attacks and extorted close to $600,000 from victims, according to Europol. The arrests, which happened on November 4, are part of a coordinated operation called GoldDust , which has resulted in the arrest of three other REvil affiliates and two suspects connected to GandCrab in Kuwait and South Korea since February 2021. This also includes a 22-year-old Ukrainian national, Yaroslav Vasinskyi, who was arrested in early October and has been accused of perpetrating the  devastating attack  on Florida-based software firm Kaseya in July 2021, affecting up to 1,500 downstream businesses. In all, the seven suspects linked to the two ransomware families are said to have targeted about 7,000 vic
U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on DarkSide Ransomware Group

U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on DarkSide Ransomware Group

November 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. government on Thursday announced a $10 million reward for information that may lead to the identification or location of key individuals who hold leadership positions in the DarkSide ransomware group or any of its rebrands. On top of that, the State Department is offering bounties of up to $5 million for intel and tip-offs that could result in the arrest and/or conviction in any country of individuals who are conspiring or attempting to participate in intrusions affiliated with the transnational organized crime syndicate. "In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals," the State Department  said  in a statement. "The United States looks to nations who harbor ransomware criminals that are willing to bring justice for those victim businesses and organizations affected by ransomware." The development comes in response to DarkSide's high-pr
US Sanctions Pegasus-maker NSO Group and 3 Others For Selling Spyware

US Sanctions Pegasus-maker NSO Group and 3 Others For Selling Spyware

November 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday added four companies, including Israel-based spyware companies NSO Group and Candiru , to a list of entities engaging in "malicious cyber activities." The agency said the two companies were added to the list based on evidence that "these entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers." "These tools have also enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression, which is the practice of authoritarian governments targeting dissidents, journalists, and activists outside of their sovereign borders to silence dissent," the Commerce Department  said . Two other firms on the list include Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD . and Russia's Positive Technologies , the latter of which was already  sanctioned  by the U.S. Depa
Mekotio Banking Trojan Resurfaces with New Attacking and Stealth Techniques

Mekotio Banking Trojan Resurfaces with New Attacking and Stealth Techniques

November 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The operators behind the Mekotio banking trojan have resurfaced with a shift in its infection flow so as to stay under the radar and evade security software, while staging nearly 100 attacks over the last three months. "One of the main characteristics […] is the modular attack which gives the attackers the ability to change only a small part of the whole in order to avoid detection," researchers from Check Point Research said in a report shared with The Hacker News. The latest wave of attacks are said to primarily target victims located in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Spain. The development comes after Spanish law enforcement agencies in July 2021  arrested  16 individuals belonging to a criminal network in connection with operating Mekotio and another banking malware called Grandoreiro as part of a social engineering campaign targeting financial institutions in Europe. The evolved version of the Mekotio malware strain is designed for compromising Windows systems wit
New 'Trojan Source' Technique Lets Hackers Hide Vulnerabilities in Source Code

New 'Trojan Source' Technique Lets Hackers Hide Vulnerabilities in Source Code

November 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A novel class of vulnerabilities could be leveraged by threat actors to inject visually deceptive malware in a way that's semantically permissible but alters the logic defined by the source code, effectively opening the door to more first-party and supply chain risks. Dubbed " Trojan Source attacks ," the technique "exploits subtleties in text-encoding standards such as  Unicode  to produce source code whose tokens are logically encoded in a different order from the one in which they are displayed, leading to vulnerabilities that cannot be perceived directly by human code reviewers," Cambridge University researchers Nicholas Boucher and Ross Anderson said in a newly published paper. The  vulnerabilities  — tracked as CVE-2021-42574 and CVE-2021-42694 — affect compilers of all popular programming languages such as C, C++, C#, JavaScript, Java, Rust, Go, and Python. Compilers are programs that translate high-level human-readable source code into their lower-l
Researchers Uncover 'Pink' Botnet Malware That Infected Over 1.6 Million Devices

Researchers Uncover 'Pink' Botnet Malware That Infected Over 1.6 Million Devices

November 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers disclosed details of what they say is the "largest botnet" observed in the wild in the last six years, infecting over 1.6 million devices primarily located in China, with the goal of launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and inserting advertisements into HTTP websites visited by unsuspecting users. Qihoo 360's Netlab security team dubbed the botnet " Pink " based on a sample obtained on November 21, 2019, owing to a large number of function names starting with "pink." Mainly targeting MIPS-based fiber routers, the botnet leverages a combination of third-party services such as GitHub, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, and central command-and-control (C2) servers for its bots to controller communications, not to mention completely encrypting the transmission channels to prevent the victimized devices from being taken over. "Pink raced with the vendor to retain control over the infected devices, while vendor
New 'Shrootless' Bug Could Let Attackers Install Rootkit on macOS Systems

New 'Shrootless' Bug Could Let Attackers Install Rootkit on macOS Systems

October 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Thursday disclosed details of a new vulnerability that could allow an attacker to bypass security restrictions in macOS and take complete control of the device to perform arbitrary operations on the device without getting flagged by traditional security solutions. Dubbed " Shrootless " and tracked as  CVE-2021-30892 , the "vulnerability lies in how Apple-signed packages with post-install scripts are installed," Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team's Jonathan Bar Or  said  in a technical write-up. "A malicious actor could create a specially crafted file that would hijack the installation process." System Integrity Protection ( SIP ) aka "rootless" is a  security feature  introduced in OS X El Capitan that's designed to protect the macOS operating system by restricting a  root user  from executing unauthorized code or performing operations that may compromise system integrity. Specifically, SIP allows modification of prote
Russian TrickBot Gang Hacker Extradited to U.S. Charged with Cybercrime

Russian TrickBot Gang Hacker Extradited to U.S. Charged with Cybercrime

October 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A Russian national, who was arrested in South Korea last month and extradited to the U.S. on October 20, appeared in a federal court in the state of Ohio on Thursday to face charges for his alleged role as a member of the infamous TrickBot group. Court documents showed that Vladimir Dunaev , 38, along with other members of the transnational, cybercriminal organization, stole money and confidential information from unsuspecting victims, including individuals, financial institutions, school districts, utility companies, government entities, and private businesses. Starting its roots as a banking trojan in 2016, TrickBot has  evolved  into a modular, multi-stage Windows-based crimeware solution capable of pilfering valuable personal and financial information, and even dropping ransomware and post-exploitation toolkits on compromised devices. The malware is also  notorious  for its  resilience , having survived at least two takedowns spearheaded by Microsoft and the U.S. Cyber Command
New Wslink Malware Loader Runs as a Server and Executes Modules in Memory

New Wslink Malware Loader Runs as a Server and Executes Modules in Memory

October 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Wednesday took the wraps off a "simple yet remarkable" malware loader for malicious Windows binaries targeting Central Europe, North America and the Middle East. Codenamed " Wslink " by ESET, this previously undocumented malware stands apart from the rest in that it runs as a server and executes received modules in memory. There are no specifics available on the initial compromise vector and there are no code or operational overlaps that tie this tool to a known threat actor group. The Slovak cybersecurity firm noted that it has seen only a handful of detections in the past two years, suggesting that it could be used in highly-targeted cyber infiltrations. Wslink is designed to run as a service and can accept encrypted portal executable (PE) files from a specific IP address, which is then decrypted and loaded into memory prior to the execution. To achieve this, the client (i.e., the victim) and the server perform a handshake that in
Malicious NPM Libraries Caught Installing Password Stealer and Ransomware

Malicious NPM Libraries Caught Installing Password Stealer and Ransomware

October 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Malicious actors have yet again published two more typosquatted libraries to the official NPM repository that mimic a legitimate package from Roblox, the game company, with the goal of distributing stealing credentials, installing remote access trojans, and infecting the compromised systems with ransomware. The bogus packages — named " noblox.js-proxy " and " noblox.js-proxies " — were found to impersonate a library called " noblox.js ," a Roblox game API wrapper available on NPM and boasts of nearly 20,000 weekly downloads, with each of the poisoned libraries, downloaded a total of 281 and 106 times respectively. According to Sonatype researcher Juan Aguirre, who  discovered  the malicious NPM packages, the author of noblox.js-proxy first published a benign version that was later tampered with the obfuscated text, in reality, a Batch (.bat) script, in the post-installation JavaScript file. This Batch script, in turn, downloads malicious executables
Hackers Using Squirrelwaffle Loader to Deploy Qakbot and Cobalt Strike

Hackers Using Squirrelwaffle Loader to Deploy Qakbot and Cobalt Strike

October 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new spam email campaign has emerged as a conduit for a previously undocumented malware loader that enables the attackers to gain an initial foothold into enterprise networks and drop malicious payloads on compromised systems. "These infections are also used to facilitate the delivery of additional malware such as Qakbot and Cobalt Strike, two of the most common threats regularly observed targeting organizations around the world,"  said  researchers with Cisco Talos in a technical write-up. The malspam campaign is believed to have commenced in mid-September 2021 via laced Microsoft Office documents that, when opened, triggers an infection chain that leads to the machines getting infected with a malware dubbed SQUIRRELWAFFLE . Mirroring a technique that's consistent with other phishing attacks of this kind, the latest operation leverages stolen email threads to give it a veil of legitimacy and trick unsuspecting users into opening the attachments. What's more, t
Latest Report Uncovers Supply Chain Attacks by North Korean Hackers

Latest Report Uncovers Supply Chain Attacks by North Korean Hackers

October 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Lazarus Group, the advanced persistent threat (APT) group attributed to the North Korean government, has been observed waging two separate supply chain attack campaigns as a means to gain a foothold into corporate networks and target a wide range of downstream entities. The latest intelligence-gathering operation involved the use of MATA malware framework as well as backdoors dubbed  BLINDINGCAN  and  COPPERHEDGE  to attack the defense industry, an IT asset monitoring solution vendor based in Latvia, and a think tank located in South Korea, according to a new  Q3 2021 APT Trends report  published by Kaspersky. In one instance, the supply-chain attack originated from an infection chain that stemmed from legitimate South Korean security software running a malicious payload, leading to the deployment of the BLINDINGCAN and COPPERHEDGE malware on the think tank's network in June 2021. The other attack on the Latvian company in May is an "atypical victim" for Lazarus, the
Over 10 Million Android Users Targeted With Premium SMS Scam Apps

Over 10 Million Android Users Targeted With Premium SMS Scam Apps

October 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A global fraud campaign has been found leveraging 151 malicious Android apps with 10.5 million downloads to rope users into premium subscription services without their consent and knowledge. The  premium SMS scam  campaign — dubbed " UltimaSMS " — is believed to commenced in May 2021 and involved apps that cover a wide range of categories, including keyboards, QR code scanners, video and photo editors, spam call blockers, camera filters, and games, with most of the fraudulent apps downloaded by users in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the U.A.E., Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, the U.S., and Poland. Although a significant  chunk of the apps  in question has since been removed from the Google Play Store, 82 of them have continued to remain available in the online marketplace as of October 19, 2021. It all starts with the apps prompting users to enter their phone numbers and email addresses to gain access to the advertised features, only to subscribe the victims to premium SM
NYT Journalist Repeatedly Hacked with Pegasus after Reporting on Saudi Arabia

NYT Journalist Repeatedly Hacked with Pegasus after Reporting on Saudi Arabia

October 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The iPhone of New York Times journalist Ben Hubbard was repeatedly hacked with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware tool over a three-year period stretching between June 2018 to June 2021, resulting in infections twice in July 2020 and June 2021. The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, which  publicized  the findings on Sunday, said the "targeting took place while he was reporting on Saudi Arabia, and writing a book about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman." The research institute did not attribute the infiltrations to a specific government. In a  statement  shared with Hubbard, the Israeli company denied its involvement in the hacks and dismissed the findings as "speculation," while noting that the journalist was not "a target of Pegasus by any of NSO's customers." To date, NSO Group is believed to have leveraged at least three different iOS exploits — namely an iMessage zero-click exploit in December 2019, a  KISMET  exploit targeting iOS 13
Microsoft Warns of TodayZoo Phishing Kit Used in Extensive Credential Stealing Attacks

Microsoft Warns of TodayZoo Phishing Kit Used in Extensive Credential Stealing Attacks

October 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Thursday disclosed an "extensive series of credential phishing campaigns" that takes advantage of a custom phishing kit that stitched together components from at least five different widely circulated ones with the goal of siphoning user login information. The tech giant's Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team, which detected the first instances of the tool in the wild in December 2020, dubbed the copy-and-paste attack infrastructure " TodayZoo ." "The abundance of phishing kits and other tools available for sale or rent makes it easy for a lone wolf attacker to pick and choose the best features from these kits," the researchers said. "They put these functionalities together in a customized kit and try to reap the benefits all to themselves. Such is the case of TodayZoo." Phishing kits, often sold as one time payments in underground forums, are packaged archive files containing images, scripts, and HTML pages that
Feds Reportedly Hacked REvil Ransomware Group and Forced it Offline

Feds Reportedly Hacked REvil Ransomware Group and Forced it Offline

October 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The Russian-led REvil ransomware gang was felled by an active multi-country law enforcement operation that resulted in its infrastructure being hacked and  taken offline  for a second time earlier this week, in what's the  latest action  taken by governments to disrupt the lucrative ecosystem. The takedown was first reported by  Reuters , quoting multiple private-sector cyber experts working with the U.S. government, noting that the  May cyber attack  on Colonial Pipeline relied on encryption software developed by REvil associates, officially corroborating DarkSide's  connections  to the prolific criminal outfit. Coinciding with the development, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic  disclosed  that $7 million in bitcoin held by the DarkSide ransomware group were moved through a series of new wallets, with a small fraction of the amount being transferred with each transfer to make the laundered money more difficult to track and  convert   the funds  into fiat currency through
Popular NPM Package Hijacked to Publish Crypto-mining Malware

Popular NPM Package Hijacked to Publish Crypto-mining Malware

October 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Friday  warned  of crypto-mining and password-stealing malware embedded in " UAParser.js ," a popular JavaScript NPM library with over 6 million weekly downloads, days after the NPM repository moved to get rid of three rogue packages that were found to mimic the same library. The supply-chain attack targeting the open-source library saw three different versions — 0.7.29, 0.8.0, 1.0.0 — that were published with malicious code on Thursday following a successful takeover of the maintainer's NPM account. "I believe someone was hijacking my NPM account and published some compromised packages (0.7.29, 0.8.0, 1.0.0) which will probably install malware," UAParser.js's developer Faisal Salman  said . The issue has been patched in versions 0.7.30, 0.8.1, and 1.0.1. The development comes days after DevSecOps firm Sonatype disclosed details of three packages —  okhsa, klow, and klown  — that masqueraded
'Lone Wolf' Hacker Group Targeting Afghanistan and India with Commodity RATs

'Lone Wolf' Hacker Group Targeting Afghanistan and India with Commodity RATs

October 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new malware campaign targeting Afghanistan and India is exploiting a now-patched, 20-year-old flaw affecting Microsoft Office to deploy an array of commodity remote access trojans (RATs) that allow the adversary to gain complete control over the compromised endpoints. Cisco Talos attributed the cyber campaign to a "lone wolf" threat actor operating a Lahore-based fake IT company called Bunse Technologies as a front to carry out the malicious activities, while also having a history of sharing content that's in favor of Pakistan and Taliban dating all the way back to 2016. The attacks work by taking advantage of political and government-themed lure domains that host the malware payloads, with the infection chains leveraging weaponized RTF documents and PowerShell scripts that distribute malware to victims. Specifically, the laced RTF files were found exploiting  CVE-2017-11882  to execute a PowerShell command that's responsible for deploying additional malware to
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