The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Malware

Researchers Detail PureCrypter Loader Cyber Criminals Using to Distribute Malware

Researchers Detail PureCrypter Loader Cyber Criminals Using to Distribute Malware

June 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have detailed the workings of a fully-featured malware loader dubbed  PureCrypter  that's being purchased by cyber criminals to deliver remote access trojans (RATs) and information stealers. "The loader is a .NET executable obfuscated with SmartAssembly and makes use of compression, encryption, and obfuscation to evade antivirus software products," Zscaler's Romain Dumont  said  in a new report. Some of the malware families distributed using PureCrypter include  Agent Tesla ,  Arkei ,  AsyncRAT ,  AZORult ,  DarkCrystal RAT  (DCRat),  LokiBot ,  NanoCore ,  RedLine Stealer ,  Remcos ,  Snake Keylogger , and  Warzone RAT . Sold for a price of $59 by its developer named "PureCoder" for a one-month plan (and $249 for a one-off lifetime purchase) since at least March 2021, PureCrypter is advertised as the "only crypter in the market that uses offline and online delivery technique." Crypters act as the  first layer of de
Chinese Hackers Distribute Backdoored Web3 Wallets for iOS and Android Users

Chinese Hackers Distribute Backdoored Web3 Wallets for iOS and Android Users

June 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A technically sophisticated threat actor known as  SeaFlower  has been targeting Android and iOS users as part of an extensive campaign that mimics official cryptocurrency wallet websites intending to distribute backdoored apps that drain victims' funds. Said to be first discovered in March 2022, the cluster of activity "hint[s] to a strong relationship with a Chinese-speaking entity yet to be uncovered," based on the macOS usernames, source code comments in the backdoor code, and its abuse of Alibaba's Content Delivery Network (CDN). "As of today, the main current objective of SeaFlower is to modify Web3 wallets with backdoor code that ultimately exfiltrates the seed phrase," Confiant's Taha Karim  said  in a technical deep-dive of the campaign. Targeted apps include Android and iOS versions of Coinbase Wallet, MetaMask, TokenPocket, and imToken. SeaFlower's modus operandi involves setting up cloned websites that act as a conduit to download
Quick and Simple: BPFDoor Explained

Quick and Simple: BPFDoor Explained

June 13, 2022The Hacker News
BPFDoor isn't new to the  cyberattack  game — in fact, it's gone undetected for years — but PwC researchers discovered the piece of malware in 2021. Subsequently, the cybersecurity community is learning more about the  stealthy nature of malware , how it works, and how it can be prevented. What's BPFDoor? BPFDoor  is a piece of malware associated with China-based threat actor Red Menshen that has hit mostly Linux operating systems. It's undetected by firewalls and goes unnoticed by most detection systems — so unnoticed that it's been a work in progress over the last five years, going through various phases of development and complexity. How Does It Work? BPF stands for Berkley Packet Filters, which is appropriate given that the virus exploits packet filters. BPFDoor uses BPF " sniffers " to see all network traffic and find vulnerabilities. Packet filters are programs that analyze "packets" (files, metadata, network traffic) and permit or dec
HelloXD Ransomware Installing Backdoor on Targeted Windows and Linux Systems

HelloXD Ransomware Installing Backdoor on Targeted Windows and Linux Systems

June 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Windows and Linux systems are being targeted by a ransomware variant called HelloXD, with the infections also involving the deployment of a backdoor to facilitate persistent remote access to infected hosts. "Unlike other ransomware groups, this ransomware family doesn't have an active leak site; instead it prefers to direct the impacted victim to negotiations through  Tox chat  and onion-based messenger instances," Daniel Bunce and Doel Santos, security researchers from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42,  said  in a new write-up. HelloXD  surfaced in the wild on November 30, 2021, and is based off leaked code from Babuk, which was  published  on a Russian-language cybercrime forum in September 2021. The ransomware family is no exception to the norm in that the operators follow the tried-and-tested approach of  double extortion  to demand cryptocurrency payments by exfiltrating a victim's sensitive data in addition to encrypting it and threatening to publicize the inform
Iranian Hackers Spotted Using a new DNS Hijacking Malware in Recent Attacks

Iranian Hackers Spotted Using a new DNS Hijacking Malware in Recent Attacks

June 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Iranian state-sponsored threat actor tracked under the moniker Lyceum has turned to using a new custom .NET-based backdoor in recent campaigns directed against the Middle East. "The new malware is a .NET based DNS Backdoor which is a customized version of the open source tool 'DIG.net,'" Zscaler ThreatLabz researchers Niraj Shivtarkar and Avinash Kumar  said  in a report published last week. "The malware leverages a DNS attack technique called 'DNS Hijacking' in which an attacker-controlled DNS server manipulates the response of DNS queries and resolves them as per their malicious requirements." DNS hijacking is a  redirection attack  in which DNS queries to genuine websites are intercepted to take an unsuspecting user to fraudulent pages under an adversary's control. Unlike  cache poisoning , DNS hijacking targets the DNS record of the website on the nameserver, rather than a resolver's cache. Lyceum , also known as Hexane, Spirli
MIT Researchers Discover New Flaw in Apple M1 CPUs That Can't Be Patched

MIT Researchers Discover New Flaw in Apple M1 CPUs That Can't Be Patched

June 11, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A novel hardware attack dubbed  PACMAN  has been demonstrated against Apple's M1 processor chipsets, potentially arming a malicious actor with the capability to gain arbitrary code execution on macOS systems. It leverages "speculative execution attacks to bypass an important memory protection mechanism, ARM Pointer Authentication, a security feature that is used to enforce pointer integrity," MIT researchers Joseph Ravichandran, Weon Taek Na, Jay Lang, and Mengjia Yan  said  in a new paper. What's more concerning is that "while the hardware mechanisms used by PACMAN cannot be patched with software features, memory corruption bugs can be," the researchers added. The vulnerability is rooted in pointer authentication codes ( PACs ), a line of defense introduced in arm64e architecture that aims to detect and secure against unexpected changes to  pointers  — objects that reference an address location in memory. PACs aim to solve a common problem in software
Symbiote: A Stealthy Linux Malware Targeting Latin American Financial Sector

Symbiote: A Stealthy Linux Malware Targeting Latin American Financial Sector

June 09, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have taken the wraps off what they call a "nearly-impossible-to-detect" Linux malware that could be weaponized to backdoor infected systems. Dubbed  Symbiote  by threat intelligence firms BlackBerry and Intezer, the stealthy malware is so named for its ability to conceal itself within running processes and network traffic and drain a victim's resources like a  parasite . The operators behind Symbiote are believed to have commenced development on the malware in November 2021, with the threat actor predominantly using it to target the financial sector in Latin America, including banks like Banco do Brasil and Caixa, based on the domain names used. "Symbiote's main objective is to capture credentials and to facilitate backdoor access to a victim's machine," researchers Joakim Kennedy and Ismael Valenzuela said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "What makes Symbiote different from other Linux malware is that it infec
New Emotet Variant Stealing Users' Credit Card Information from Google Chrome

New Emotet Variant Stealing Users' Credit Card Information from Google Chrome

June 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Image Source: Toptal The notorious Emotet malware has turned to deploy a new module designed to siphon credit card information stored in the Chrome web browser. The credit card stealer, which exclusively singles out Chrome, has the ability to exfiltrate the collected information to different remote command-and-control (C2) servers, according to enterprise security company  Proofpoint , which observed the component on June 6. The development comes amid a  spike  in  Emotet   activity  since it was resurrected late last year following a 10-month-long hiatus in the wake of a law enforcement operation that  took down its attack infrastructure  in January 2021. Emotet, attributed to a threat actor known as TA542 (aka Mummy Spider or Gold Crestwood), is an advanced, self-propagating and modular trojan that's delivered via email campaigns and is used as a distributor for other payloads such as ransomware. As of April 2022, Emotet is still the most popular malware with a global impac
U.S. Agencies Warn About Chinese Hackers Targeting Telecoms and Network Service Providers

U.S. Agencies Warn About Chinese Hackers Targeting Telecoms and Network Service Providers

June 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence agencies have  warned  about China-based state-sponsored cyber actors leveraging network vulnerabilities to exploit public and private sector organizations since at least 2020. The widespread intrusion campaigns aim to exploit publicly identified security flaws in network devices such as Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) routers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices with the goal of gaining deeper access to victim networks. In addition, the actors used these compromised devices as route command-and-control (C2) traffic to break into other targets at scale, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  said  in a joint advisory. The perpetrators, besides shifting their tactics in response to public disclosures, are known to employ a mix of open-source and custom tools for reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning as well as to obscure and ble
Evil Corp Cybercrime Group Shifts to LockBit Ransomware to Evade Sanctions

Evil Corp Cybercrime Group Shifts to LockBit Ransomware to Evade Sanctions

June 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The threat cluster dubbed UNC2165, which shares numerous overlaps with a Russia-based cybercrime group known as Evil Corp, has been linked to multiple LockBit ransomware intrusions in what's seen as an attempt by the latter to get around  sanctions  imposed by the U.S. Treasury in December 2019. "These actors have shifted away from using exclusive ransomware variants to LockBit — a well-known ransomware as a service (RaaS) — in their operations, likely to hinder attribution efforts in order to evade sanctions," threat intelligence firm Mandiant  noted  in an analysis last week. Active since 2019, UNC2165 is known to obtain initial access to victim networks via stolen credentials and a JavaScript-based downloader malware called  FakeUpdates  (aka SocGholish), leveraging it to previously deploy  Hades  ransomware. Hades is the work of a financially motivated hacking group named Evil Corp, which is also called by the monikers Gold Drake and Indrik Spider and has been at
Hacking Scenarios: How Hackers Choose Their Victims

Hacking Scenarios: How Hackers Choose Their Victims

June 07, 2022The Hacker News
Enforcing the "double-extortion" technique aka pay-now-or-get-breached emerged as a head-turner last year.  May 6th, 2022 is a recent example. The State Department said the Conti strain of ransomware was the most costly in terms of payments made by victims as of January . Conti, a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) program, is one of the most notorious ransomware groups and has been responsible for infecting hundreds of servers with malware to gain corporate data or digital damage systems, essentially spreading misery to individuals and hospitals, businesses, government agencies and more all over the world. So, how different is a  ransomware attack  like Conti from the infamous "WannaCry" or "NotPetya"? While other Ransomware variants can spread fast and encrypt files within short time frames, Conti ransomware has demonstrated unmatched speed by which it can access victims' systems. Given the recent spate of data breaches, it is extremely challengin
Researchers Warn of Spam Campaign Targeting Victims with SVCReady Malware

Researchers Warn of Spam Campaign Targeting Victims with SVCReady Malware

June 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new wave of phishing campaigns has been observed spreading a previously documented malware called SVCReady . "The malware is notable for the unusual way it is delivered to target PCs — using shellcode hidden in the properties of Microsoft Office documents," Patrick Schläpfer, a threat analyst at HP,  said  in a technical write-up. SVCReady is said to be in its early stage of development, with the authors iteratively updating the malware several times last month. First signs of activity date back to April 22, 2022. Infection chains involve sending Microsoft Word document attachments to targets via email that contain VBA macros to activate the deployment of malicious payloads. But where this campaign stands apart is that instead of employing PowerShell or MSHTA to retrieve next-stage executables from a remote server, the macro runs shellcode stored in the  document properties , which subsequently drops the SVCReady malware. In addition to achieving persistence on the i
Researchers Uncover Malware Controlling Thousands of Sites in Parrot TDS Network

Researchers Uncover Malware Controlling Thousands of Sites in Parrot TDS Network

June 03, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Parrot traffic direction system (TDS) that came to light earlier this year has had a larger impact than previously thought, according to new research. Sucuri, which has been tracking the same campaign since February 2019 under the name "NDSW/NDSX," said that "the malware was one of the top infections" detected in 2021, accounting for more than 61,000 websites. Parrot TDS was  documented  in April 2022 by Czech cybersecurity company Avast, noting that the PHP script had ensnared web servers hosting more than 16,500 websites to act as a gateway for further attack campaigns. This involves appending a piece of malicious code to all JavaScript files on compromised web servers hosting content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress that are in turn said to be breached by taking advantage of weak login credentials and vulnerable plugins. Besides using different obfuscation tactics to conceal the code, the "injected JavaScript may also be found well indent
Conti Leaks Reveal Ransomware Gang's Interest in Firmware-based Attacks

Conti Leaks Reveal Ransomware Gang's Interest in Firmware-based Attacks

June 02, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An analysis of  leaked chats  from the notorious  Conti ransomware group  earlier this year has revealed that the syndicate has been working on a set of firmware attack techniques that could offer a path to accessing privileged code on compromised devices. "Control over firmware gives attackers virtually unmatched powers both to directly cause damage and to enable other long-term strategic goals," firmware and hardware security firm Eclypsium  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Such level of access would allow an adversary to cause irreparable damage to a system or to establish ongoing persistence that is virtually invisible to the operating system." Specifically, this includes attacks aimed at embedded microcontrollers such as the Intel  Management Engine  ( ME ), a privileged component that's part of the company's processor chipsets and which can completely bypass the operating system. It's worth noting that the reason for this evolv
Researchers Demonstrate Ransomware for IoT Devices That Targets IT and OT Networks

Researchers Demonstrate Ransomware for IoT Devices That Targets IT and OT Networks

June 02, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
As ransomware infections have evolved from purely encrypting data to schemes such as double and triple extortion, a new attack vector is likely to set the stage for future campaigns. Called Ransomware for IoT or  R4IoT  by Forescout, it's a "novel, proof-of-concept ransomware that exploits an IoT device to gain access and move laterally in an IT [information technology] network and impact the OT [operational technology] network." This potential pivot is based on the rapid growth in the number of IoT devices as well as the convergence of IT and OT networks in organizations. The ultimate goal of R4IoT is to leverage exposed and vulnerable IoT devices such as IP cameras to gain an initial foothold, followed by deploying ransomware in the IT network and taking advantage of poor operational security practices to hold mission-critical processes hostage. "By compromising IoT, IT, and OT assets, R4IoT goes beyond the usual encryption and data exfiltration to cause phys
New XLoader Botnet Version Using Probability Theory to Hide its C&C Servers

New XLoader Botnet Version Using Probability Theory to Hide its C&C Servers

June 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An enhanced version of the XLoader malware has been spotted adopting a probability-based approach to camouflage its command-and-control (C&C) infrastructure, according to the latest research. "Now it is significantly harder to separate the wheat from the chaff and discover the real C&C servers among thousands of legitimate domains used by Xloader as a smokescreen," Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point  said . First spotted in the wild in October 2020, XLoader is a successor to Formbook and a  cross-platform information stealer  that's capable of plundering credentials from web browsers, capturing keystrokes and screenshots, and executing arbitrary commands and payloads. More recently, the  ongoing geopolitical conflict  between Russia and Ukraine has proved to be a lucrative fodder for  distributing XLoader  by means of  phishing emails  aimed at high-ranking government officials in Ukraine. The latest findings from Check Point build on a previous repor
Latest Mobile Malware Report Suggests On-Device Fraud is on the Rise

Latest Mobile Malware Report Suggests On-Device Fraud is on the Rise

May 31, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An analysis of the mobile threat landscape in 2022 shows that Spain and Turkey are the most targeted countries for malware campaigns, even as a mix of new and existing banking trojans are increasingly targeting Android devices to conduct on-device fraud (ODF). Other frequently targeted countries include Poland, Australia, the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Italy, France, and Portugal. "The most worrying leitmotif is the increasing attention to On-Device Fraud (ODF)," Dutch cybersecurity company ThreatFabric  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Just in the first five months of 2022 there has been an increase of more than 40% in malware families that abuse Android OS to perform fraud using the device itself, making it almost impossible to detect them using traditional fraud scoring engines." Hydra ,  FluBot  (aka Cabassous),  Cerberus ,  Octo , and  ERMAC  accounted for the most active banking trojans based on the number of samples observed during the same
Online Courses and Software

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