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'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Pirated Downloads Contain Crypto-Mining Malware

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Pirated Downloads Contain Crypto-Mining Malware

December 27, 2021Mohit Kumar
Peter Parker might not be a mastermind cryptocurrency criminal, but the name Spiderman is quickly becoming more associated with the mining landscape.  ReasonLabs , a leading provider of cybersecurity prevention and detection software, recently discovered a new form of malware hacking into customer computers in the guise of the latest Spiderman movie.  As perhaps the most  talked-about movie for some time , Spiderman: No Way Home represents an excellent opportunity for hackers. It's a chance to connect with millions of potential targets, and hack into computers all around the globe. All today's malicious actors need to do is promise their victims access to the latest movie, and they get an all-access pass to their PC.  The cryptocurrency mining malware discovered by ReasonLabs disguises itself as a torrent for the Spiderman: No Way Home movie, encouraging viewers around the world to download the file, and open the computer to criminals.  Using a Mask: Tricking Users into Dow
New Android Malware Targeting Brazil's Itaú Unibanco Bank Customers

New Android Malware Targeting Brazil's Itaú Unibanco Bank Customers

December 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have discovered a new Android banking malware that targets Brazil's Itaú Unibanco with the help of lookalike Google Play Store pages to carry out fraudulent financial transactions on victim devices without their knowledge. "This application has a similar icon and name that could trick users into thinking it is a legitimate app related to Itaú Unibanco," Cyble researchers  said  in a report published last week. "The [threat actor] has created a fake Google Play Store page and hosted the malware that targets Itaú Unibanco on it under the name  'sincronizador.apk .'" The tactic of leveraging fake app store pages as a lure is not new. In March, Meta (previously Facebook)  disclosed  details of an attack campaign that used its platform as part of a broader operation to spy on Uyghur Muslims using rogue third-party websites that used replica domains for popular news portals and websites designed to resemble third-party Android app stores, where attackers put fake keyboard, pr
Expert Details macOS Bug That Could Let Malware Bypass Gatekeeper Security

Expert Details macOS Bug That Could Let Malware Bypass Gatekeeper Security

December 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple recently fixed a security vulnerability in the macOS operating system that could be potentially exploited by a threat actor to "trivially and reliably" bypass a "myriad of foundational macOS security mechanisms" and run arbitrary code. Security researcher Patrick Wardle  detailed  the discovery in a series of tweets on Thursday. Tracked as CVE-2021-30853 (CVSS score: 5.5), the issue relates to a scenario where a rogue macOS app may circumvent  Gatekeeper  checks, which ensure that only trusted apps can be run and that they have passed an automated process called " app notarization ." The iPhone maker, crediting Gordon Long of Box with reporting the flaw, said it  addressed the weakness  with improved checks as part of macOS 11.6 updates officially released on September 20, 2021. "Such bugs are often particularly impactful to everyday macOS users as they provide a means for adware and malware authors to sidestep macOS security mechanisms, …m
New Ransomware Variants Flourish Amid Law Enforcement Actions

New Ransomware Variants Flourish Amid Law Enforcement Actions

December 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ransomware groups continue to evolve their tactics and techniques to deploy file-encrypting malware on compromised systems, notwithstanding law enforcement's disruptive actions against the cybercrime gangs to prevent them from victimizing additional companies. "Be it due to law enforcement, infighting amongst groups or people abandoning variants altogether, the RaaS [ransomware-as-a-service] groups dominating the ecosystem at this point in time are completely different than just a few months ago," Intel 471 researchers  said  in a report published this month. "Yet, even with the shift in the variants, ransomware incidents as a whole are still on the rise." Sweeping law enforcement operations  undertaken by government agencies  in recent months have brought about rapid shifts in the RaaS landscape and turned the tables on ransomware syndicates like Avaddon,  BlackMatter ,  Cl0p ,  DarkSide , Egregor, and  REvil , forcing the actors to slow down or shut down th
New BLISTER Malware Using Code Signing Certificates to Evade Detection

New BLISTER Malware Using Code Signing Certificates to Evade Detection

December 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of an evasive malware campaign that makes use of valid code signing certificates to sneak past security defenses and stay under the radar with the goal of deploying Cobalt Strike and BitRAT payloads on compromised systems. The binary, a loader, has been dubbed "Blister" by researchers from Elastic Security, with the malware samples having  negligible  to  zero  detections on VirusTotal. As of writing, the infection vector used to stage the attack, as well as the ultimate objectives of the intrusion, remains unknown. A notable aspect of the attacks is that they leverage a valid code signing certificate issued by  Sectigo . The malware has been observed signed with the certificate in question dating back to September 15, 2021. Elastic said it reached out to the company to ensure that the abused certificates are revoked. "Executables with valid code signing certificates are often scrutinized to a lesser degree than unsig
Tropic Trooper Cyber Espionage Hackers Targeting Transportation Sector

Tropic Trooper Cyber Espionage Hackers Targeting Transportation Sector

December 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The transportation industry and government agencies related to the sector are the victims of an ongoing campaign since July 2020 by a sophisticated and well-equipped cyberespionage group in what appears to be yet another uptick in malicious activities that are "just the tip of the iceberg." "The group tried to access some internal documents (such as flight schedules and documents for financial plans) and personal information on the compromised hosts (such as search histories)," Trend Micro researchers Nick Dai, Ted Lee, and Vickie Su  said  in a report published last week. Earth Centaur, also known by the monikers  Pirate Panda  and Tropic Trooper, is a long-running threat group focused on information theft and espionage that has led targeted campaigns against government, healthcare, transportation, and high-tech industries in Taiwan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong dating all the way back to 2011. The hostile agents, believed to be a Chinese-speaking actor, are
Experts Discover Backdoor Deployed on the U.S. Federal Agency's Network

Experts Discover Backdoor Deployed on the U.S. Federal Agency's Network

December 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A U.S. federal government commission associated with international rights has been targeted by a backdoor that reportedly compromised its internal network in what the researchers described as a "classic APT-type operation."  "This attack could have given total visibility of the network and complete control of a system and thus could be used as the first step in a multi-stage attack to penetrate this, or other networks more deeply," Czech security company Avast  said  in a report published last week. The name of the federal entity was not disclosed, but reports from  Ars Technica  and  The Record  tied it to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom ( USCIRF ). Avast said it was making its findings public after unsuccessful attempts to directly notify the agency about the intrusion and through other channels put in place by the U.S. government. At this stage, only "parts of the attack puzzle" have been uncovered, leaving the door open for
New PseudoManuscrypt Malware Infected Over 35,000 Computers in 2021

New PseudoManuscrypt Malware Infected Over 35,000 Computers in 2021

December 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Industrial and government organizations, including enterprises in the military-industrial complex and research laboratories, are the targets of a new malware botnet dubbed  PseudoManyscrypt  that has infected roughly 35,000 Windows computers this year alone. The name comes from its similarities to the  Manuscrypt   malware , which is part of the  Lazarus  APT group's attack toolset, Kaspersky researchers said, characterizing the operation as a "mass-scale spyware attack campaign." The Russian cybersecurity company said it first detected the series of intrusions in June 2021. At least 7.2% of all computers attacked by the malware are part of industrial control systems (ICS) used by organizations in engineering, building automation, energy, manufacturing, construction, utilities, and water management sectors that are located mainly in India, Vietnam, and Russia. Approximately a third (29.4%) of non-ICS computers are situated in Russia (10.1%), India (10%), and Brazil (9.
New Phorpiex Botnet Variant Steals Half a Million Dollars in Cryptocurrency

New Phorpiex Botnet Variant Steals Half a Million Dollars in Cryptocurrency

December 16, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cryptocurrency users in Ethiopia, Nigeria, India, Guatemala, and the Philippines are being targeted by a new variant of the Phorpiex botnet called  Twizt  that has resulted in the theft of virtual coins amounting to $500,000 over the last one year. Israeli security firm Check Point Research, which detailed the attacks, said the latest evolutionary version "enables the botnet to operate successfully without active [command-and-control] servers," adding it supports no less than 35 wallets associated with different blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, and Zilliqa, to facilitate crypto theft. Phorpiex , otherwise known as Trik, is known for its sextortion spam and ransomware campaigns as well as cryptojacking, a scheme that leverages the targets' devices such as computers, smartphones, and servers to secretly mine cryptocurrency without their consent or knowledge. It's also infamous for its use of a technique called  cry
New Fileless Malware Uses Windows Registry as Storage to Evade Detection

New Fileless Malware Uses Windows Registry as Storage to Evade Detection

December 16, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new JavaScript-based remote access Trojan (RAT) propagated via a social engineering campaign has been observed employing sneaky "fileless" techniques as part of its detection-evasion methods to elude discovery and analysis. Dubbed DarkWatchman by researchers from Prevailion's Adversarial Counterintelligence Team (PACT), the malware uses a resilient domain generation algorithm ( DGA ) to identify its command-and-control (C2) infrastructure and utilizes the Windows Registry for all of its storage operations, thereby enabling it to bypass antimalware engines. The RAT "utilizes novel methods for fileless persistence, on-system activity, and dynamic run-time capabilities like self-updating and recompilation," researchers Matt Stafford and Sherman Smith  said , adding it "represents an evolution in fileless malware techniques, as it uses the registry for nearly all temporary and permanent storage and therefore never writes anything to disk, allowing it to o
Hackers Using Malicious IIS Server Module to Steal Microsoft Exchange Credentials

Hackers Using Malicious IIS Server Module to Steal Microsoft Exchange Credentials

December 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Malicious actors are deploying a previously undiscovered binary, an Internet Information Services ( IIS ) webserver module dubbed " Owowa ," on Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web Access servers with the goal of stealing credentials and enabling remote command execution. "Owowa is a C#-developed .NET v4.0 assembly that is intended to be loaded as a module within an IIS web server that also exposes Exchange's Outlook Web Access (OWA)," Kaspersky researchers Paul Rascagneres and Pierre Delcher  said . "When loaded this way, Owowa will steal credentials that are entered by any user in the OWA login page, and will allow a remote operator to run commands on the underlying server." The idea that a rogue IIS module can be fashioned as a backdoor is not new. In August 2021, an exhaustive study of the IIS threat landscape by Slovak cybersecurity company ESET revealed  as many as 14 malware families that were developed as native IIS modules in an attempt to interc
Microsoft Issues Windows Update to Patch 0-Day Used to Spread Emotet Malware

Microsoft Issues Windows Update to Patch 0-Day Used to Spread Emotet Malware

December 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has rolled out  Patch Tuesday updates  to address multiple security vulnerabilities in Windows and other software, including one actively exploited flaw that's being abused to deliver Emotet, TrickBot, or Bazaloader malware payloads. The latest monthly release for December fixes a total of 67 flaws, bringing the total number of bugs patched by the company this year to 887, according to the  Zero Day Initiative . Seven of the 67 flaws are rated Critical and 60 are rated as Important in severity, with five of the issues publicly known at the time of release. It's worth noting that this is in addition to the  21 flaws  resolved in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. The most critical of the lot is  CVE-2021-43890  (CVSS score: 7.1), a Windows AppX installer spoofing vulnerability that Microsoft said could be exploited to achieve arbitrary code execution. The lower severity rating is indicative of the fact that code execution hinges on the logged-on user level,
Hackers Exploit Log4j Vulnerability to Infect Computers with Khonsari Ransomware

Hackers Exploit Log4j Vulnerability to Infect Computers with Khonsari Ransomware

December 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Romanian cybersecurity technology company Bitdefender on Monday revealed that attempts are being made to target Windows machines with a novel ransomware family called  Khonsari  as well as a remote access Trojan named  Orcus  by exploiting the recently disclosed critical Log4j vulnerability . The attack leverages the remote code execution (RCE) flaw to download an additional payload, a .NET binary, from a remote server that encrypts all the files with the extension ".khonsari" and displays a ransom note that urges the victims to make a Bitcoin payment in exchange for recovering access to the files. Tracked as CVE-2021-44228 , the RCE vulnerability is also known by the monikers "Log4Shell" or "Logjam" and impacts versions 2.0-beta9 to 2.14.1 of the software library. In simple terms, the bug could force an affected system to download malicious software, giving the attackers a digital beachhead on servers located within corporate networks. Log4j is an op
Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Romania; 51 Stolen Data Brokers Arrested in Ukraine

Ransomware Affiliate Arrested in Romania; 51 Stolen Data Brokers Arrested in Ukraine

December 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Europol, the European Union's premier law enforcement agency, has  announced  the arrest of a third Romanian national for his role as a ransomware affiliate suspected of hacking high-profile organizations and companies and stealing large volumes of sensitive data. The 41-year-old unnamed individual was apprehended Monday morning at his home in Craiova, Romania, by the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism ( DIICOT ) following a joint investigation in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It's not currently known which ransomware gang the suspect was working with, but the development comes a little over a month after Romanian authorities  arrested two affiliates  of the REvil ransomware family, who are believed to have orchestrated no fewer than 5,000 ransomware attacks and extorted close to $600,000 from victims. Affiliates play a key role in the subscription-based ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) business models, a
Karakurt: A New Emerging Data Theft and Cyber Extortion Hacking Group

Karakurt: A New Emerging Data Theft and Cyber Extortion Hacking Group

December 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented, financially motivated threat group has been connected to a string of data theft and extortion attacks on over 40 entities between September and November 2021. The hacker collective, which goes by the self-proclaimed name  Karakurt  and was first identified in June 2021, is capable of modifying its tactics and techniques to adapt to the targeted environment, Accenture's Cyber Investigations, Forensics and Response (CIFR) team said in a report published on December 10. "The threat group is financially motivated, opportunistic in nature, and so far, appears to target smaller companies or corporate subsidiaries versus the alternative big game hunting approach," the CIFR team  said . "Based on intrusion analysis to date, the threat group focuses solely on data exfiltration and subsequent extortion, rather than the more destructive ransomware deployment." 95% of the known victims are based in North America, while the remaining 5% are in
Microsoft Details Building Blocks of Widely Active Qakbot Banking Trojan

Microsoft Details Building Blocks of Widely Active Qakbot Banking Trojan

December 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Infection chains associated with the multi-purpose Qakbot malware have been broken down into "distinct building blocks," an effort that Microsoft said will help to proactively detect and block the threat in an effective manner. The Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team  dubbed   Qakbot a "customizable chameleon that adapts to suit the needs of the multiple threat actor groups that utilize it." Qakbot  is believed to be the creation of a financially motivated cybercriminal threat group known as  Gold Lagoon . It is a prevalent information-stealing malware that, in recent years, has become a precursor to many critical and widespread ransomware attacks, offering a malware installation-as-a-service that enables many campaigns. First discovered in 2007, the modular malware — like  TrickBot  — has  evolved  from its early roots as a banking trojan to become a Swiss Army knife capable of data exfiltration and acting as a delivery mechanism for the second st
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