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Microsoft Issues January 2023 Patch Tuesday Updates, Warns of Zero-Day Exploit

Microsoft Issues January 2023 Patch Tuesday Updates, Warns of Zero-Day Exploit

Jan 11, 2023 Patch Management / Endpoint Security
The first Patch Tuesday fixes shipped by Microsoft for 2023 have addressed a total of  98 security flaws , including one bug that the company said is being actively exploited in the wild. 11 of the 98 issues are rated Critical and 87 are rated Important in severity, with one of the vulnerabilities also listed as publicly known at the time of release. Separately, the Windows maker is expected to release updates for its Chromium-based Edge browser.  The vulnerability that's under attack relates to  CVE-2023-21674  (CVSS score: 8.8), a privilege escalation flaw in Windows Advanced Local Procedure Call ( ALPC ) that could be exploited by an attacker to gain SYSTEM permissions. "This vulnerability could lead to a browser sandbox escape," Microsoft noted in an advisory, crediting Avast researchers Jan Vojtěšek, Milánek, and Przemek Gmerek for reporting the bug. While details of the vulnerability are still under wraps, a successful exploit requires an attacker to have alrea
StrongPity Hackers Distribute Trojanized Telegram App to Target Android Users

StrongPity Hackers Distribute Trojanized Telegram App to Target Android Users

Jan 10, 2023 Advanced Persistent Threat
The advanced persistent threat (APT) group known as  StrongPity  has targeted Android users with a trojanized version of the Telegram app through a fake website that impersonates a video chat service called Shagle . "A copycat website, mimicking the Shagle service, is used to distribute StrongPity's mobile backdoor app," ESET malware researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said  in a technical report. "The app is a modified version of the open source Telegram app, repackaged with StrongPity backdoor code." StrongPity , also known by the names APT-C-41 and Promethium, is a cyberespionage group active since at least 2012, with a majority of its operations focused on Syria and Turkey. The existence of the group was first publicly reported by Kaspersky in October 2016. The threat actor's  campaigns  have since expanded to encompass more targets across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, with the intrusions leveraging watering hole attacks and phishing messages to ac
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Italian Users Warned of Malware Attack Targeting Sensitive Information

Italian Users Warned of Malware Attack Targeting Sensitive Information

Jan 10, 2023 Cyber Threat / Data Security
A new malware campaign has been observed targeting Italy with phishing emails designed to deploy an information stealer on compromised Windows systems. "The info-stealer malware steals sensitive information like system info, crypto wallet and browser histories, cookies, and credentials of crypto wallets from victim machines," Uptycs security researcher Karthickkumar Kathiresan  said  in a report. Details of the campaign were first  disclosed  by Milan-based IT services firm SI.net last month. The multi-stage infection sequence commences with an invoice-themed phishing email containing a link that, when clicked, downloads a password-protected ZIP archive file, which harbors two files: A shortcut (.LNK) file and a batch (.BAT) file. Irrespective of which file is launched, the attack chain remains the same, as opening the shortcut file fetches the same batch script designed to install the information stealer payload from a GitHub repository. This is achieved by leveraging
Russian Turla Hackers Hijack Decade-Old Malware Infrastructure to Deploy New Backdoors

Russian Turla Hackers Hijack Decade-Old Malware Infrastructure to Deploy New Backdoors

Jan 08, 2023 Cyberespionage / Threat Analysis
The Russian cyberespionage group known as Turla has been observed piggybacking on attack infrastructure used by a decade-old malware to deliver its own reconnaissance and backdoor tools to targets in Ukraine. Google-owned Mandiant, which is tracking the operation under the uncategorized cluster moniker  UNC4210 , said the hijacked servers correspond to a variant of a commodity malware called  ANDROMEDA  (aka Gamarue) that was uploaded to VirusTotal in 2013. "UNC4210 re-registered at least three expired ANDROMEDA command-and-control (C2) domains and began profiling victims to selectively deploy KOPILUWAK and QUIETCANARY in September 2022," Mandiant researchers  said  in an analysis published last week. Turla, also known by the names Iron Hunter, Krypton, Uroburos, Venomous Bear, and Waterbug, is an elite nation-state outfit that primarily targets government, diplomatic, and military organizations using a large set of custom malware. Since the onset of Russia's  milit
Microsoft Reveals Tactics Used by 4 Ransomware Families Targeting macOS

Microsoft Reveals Tactics Used by 4 Ransomware Families Targeting macOS

Jan 06, 2023 Endpoint Security / Cyber Threat
Microsoft has shed light on four different ransomware families –  KeRanger , FileCoder, MacRansom, and EvilQuest – that are known to impact Apple macOS systems. "While these malware families are old, they exemplify the range of capabilities and malicious behavior possible on the platform," the tech giant's Security Threat Intelligence team  said  in a Thursday report. The initial vector for these ransomware families involves what the Windows maker calls "user-assisted methods," wherein the victim downloads and installs trojanized applications. Alternatively, it can also arrive as a second-stage payload that's dropped by an already existing malware on the infected host or as part of a supply chain attack. Irrespective of the modus operandi employed, the attacks proceed along similar lines, with the threat actors relying on legitimate operating system features and exploiting vulnerabilities to break into the systems and encrypt files of interest. This i
Rackspace Confirms Play Ransomware Gang Responsible for Recent Breach

Rackspace Confirms Play Ransomware Gang Responsible for Recent Breach

Jan 06, 2023 Cloud Security / Cyber Threat
Cloud services provider Rackspace on Thursday confirmed that the ransomware gang known as Play was responsible for last month's breach. The security incident, which took place on December 2, 2022, leveraged a previously unknown security exploit to gain initial access to the Rackspace Hosted Exchange email environment. "This zero-day exploit is associated with  CVE-2022-41080 ," the Texas-based company  said . "Microsoft disclosed CVE-2022-41080 as a privilege escalation vulnerability and did not include notes for [it] being part of a remote code execution chain that was exploitable." Rackspace's forensic investigation found that the threat actor accessed the Personal Storage Table ( .PST ) of 27 customers out of a total of nearly 30,000 customers on the Hosted Exchange email environment. However, the company said there is no evidence the adversary viewed, misused, or distributed the customer's emails or data from those personal storage folders. It
Blind Eagle Hackers Return with Refined Tools and Sophisticated Infection Chain

Blind Eagle Hackers Return with Refined Tools and Sophisticated Infection Chain

Jan 05, 2023 Cyber Attack / Malware
A financially motivated threat actor tracked as  Blind Eagle  has resurfaced with a refined toolset and an elaborate infection chain as part of its attacks targeting organizations in Colombia and Ecuador. Check Point's  latest research  offers new insights into the Spanish-speaking group's tactics and techniques, including the use of sophisticated tools and government-themed lures to activate the killchain. Also tracked under the name APT-C-36, Blind Eagle is notable for its narrow geographical focus and launching indiscriminate attacks against South American nations since at least 2018. Blind Eagle's operations have been  documented  by Trend Micro in September 2021, when it described a spear-phishing campaign primarily aimed at Colombian entities that's designed to deliver a commodity malware known as  BitRAT , with a lesser focus towards targets in Ecuador, Spain, and Panama. Attack chains commence with phishing emails containing a booby-trapped link that, when
SpyNote Strikes Again: Android Spyware Targeting Financial Institutions

SpyNote Strikes Again: Android Spyware Targeting Financial Institutions

Jan 05, 2023 Mobile Security / Surveillance
Financial institutions are being targeted by a new version of Android malware called SpyNote at least since October 2022 that combines both spyware and banking trojan characteristics. "The reason behind this increase is that the developer of the spyware, who was previously selling it to other actors, made the source code public," ThreatFabric  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "This has helped other actors [in] developing and distributing the spyware, often also targeting banking institutions." Some of the notable institutions that are impersonated by the malware include Deutsche Bank, HSBC U.K., Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Nubank. SpyNote (aka SpyMax) is feature-rich and comes with a plethora of capabilities that allows it to install arbitrary; gather SMS messages, calls, videos, and audio recordings; track GPS locations; and even hinder efforts to uninstall the app. It also follows the modus operandi of other  banking   malware  by requesting for p
The Evolving Tactics of Vidar Stealer: From Phishing Emails to Social Media

The Evolving Tactics of Vidar Stealer: From Phishing Emails to Social Media

Jan 05, 2023 Data Security / Malware
The notorious information-stealer known as  Vidar  is continuing to leverage popular social media services such as TikTok, Telegram, Steam, and Mastodon as an intermediate command-and-control (C2) server. "When a user creates an account on an online platform, a unique account page that can be accessed by anyone is generated," AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC) disclosed in a technical analysis  published  late last month. "Threat actors write identifying characters and the C2 address in parts of this page." In other words, the technique relies on actor-controlled throwaway accounts created on social media to retrieve the C2 address. An advantage to this approach is that should the C2 server be taken down or blocked, the adversary can trivially get around the restrictions by setting up a new server and editing the account pages to allow the previously distributed malware to communicate with the server. Vidar, first identified in 2018, is a  commer
The FBI's Perspective on Ransomware

The FBI's Perspective on Ransomware

Jan 04, 2023 Threat Detection / SASE Platform
Ransomware: contemporary threats, how to prevent them and how the FBI can help In April 2021, Dutch supermarkets faced a food shortage. The cause wasn't a drought or a sudden surge in the demand for avocados. Rather, the reason was a ransomware attack. In the past years, companies, universities, schools, medical facilities and other organizations have been targeted by ransomware threat actors, turning ransomware into the internet's most severe security crisis. The Ransomware Landscape Ransomware has existed for more than 30 years, but it became a lucrative source of income for cyber actors and gangs in the past decade. Since 2015, ransomware gangs have been targeting organizations instead of individuals. Consequently, ransom sums have increased significantly, reaching millions of dollars. Ransomware is effective because it pressures victims in two, complementary ways. First, by threatening victims to destroy their data. Second, by threatening to publicize the attack. The s
New shc-based Linux Malware Targeting Systems with Cryptocurrency Miner

New shc-based Linux Malware Targeting Systems with Cryptocurrency Miner

Jan 04, 2023 Linux / Cryptocurrency
A new Linux malware developed using the shell script compiler ( shc ) has been observed deploying a cryptocurrency miner on compromised systems. "It is presumed that after successful authentication through a dictionary attack on inadequately managed Linux SSH servers, various malware were installed on the target system," AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC)  said  in a report published today. shc allows shell scripts to be converted directly into binaries, offering protections against unauthorized source code modifications. It's analogous to the  BAT2EXE utility  in Windows that's used to convert any batch file to an executable. By using shc to generate ELF files, the idea is to protect the malicious shell commands from being inspected and potentially bypass detection by security software as the executables are encoded using the RC4 algorithm . In an attack chain detailed by the South Korean cybersecurity firm, a successful compromise of the SSH serv
Hackers Using Stolen Bank Information to Trick Victims into Downloading BitRAT Malware

Hackers Using Stolen Bank Information to Trick Victims into Downloading BitRAT Malware

Jan 03, 2023 United States
A new malware campaign has been observed using sensitive information stolen from a bank as a lure in phishing emails to drop a remote access trojan called  BitRAT . The unknown adversary is believed to have hijacked the IT infrastructure of a Colombian cooperative bank, using the information to craft convincing decoy messages to lure victims into opening suspicious Excel attachments. The discovery comes from cybersecurity firm Qualys, which  found  evidence of a database dump comprising 418,777 records that's said to have been obtained by exploiting SQL injection faults. The leaked details include Cédula numbers (a national identity document issued to Colombian citizens), email addresses, phone numbers, customer names, payment records, salary details, and addresses, among others. There are no signs that the information has been previously shared on any forums in the darknet or clear web, suggesting that the threat actors themselves got access to customer data to mount the phi
Raspberry Robin Worm Evolves to Attack Financial and Insurance Sectors in Europe

Raspberry Robin Worm Evolves to Attack Financial and Insurance Sectors in Europe

Jan 03, 2023 Post-Exploitation / Malware
Financial and insurance sectors in Europe have been targeted by the Raspberry Robin worm, as the malware continues to evolve its post-exploitation capabilities while remaining under the radar. "What is unique about the malware is that it is heavily obfuscated and highly complex to statically disassemble," Security Joes  said  in a new report published Monday. The intrusions, observed against Spanish and Portuguese-speaking organizations, are notable for collecting more victim machine data than previously documented, with the malware now exhibiting sophisticated techniques to resist analysis. Raspberry Robin, also called QNAP worm, is  being used  by several threat actors as a means to gain a foothold into target networks. Spread via infected USB drives and other methods, the framework has been recently put to use in attacks aimed at telecom and government sectors. Microsoft is tracking the operators of Raspberry Robin under the moniker  DEV-0856 . Security Joes' f
WordPress Security Alert: New Linux Malware Exploiting Over Two Dozen CMS Flaws

WordPress Security Alert: New Linux Malware Exploiting Over Two Dozen CMS Flaws

Jan 02, 2023 Web Security / Linux
WordPress sites are being targeted by a previously unknown strain of Linux malware that exploits flaws in over two dozen plugins and themes to compromise vulnerable systems. "If sites use outdated versions of such add-ons, lacking crucial fixes, the targeted web pages are injected with malicious JavaScripts," Russian security vendor Doctor Web  said  in a report published last week. "As a result, when users click on any area of an attacked page, they are redirected to other sites." The attacks involve weaponizing a list of known security vulnerabilities in 19 different plugins and themes that are likely installed on a WordPress site, using it to deploy an implant that can target a specific website to further expand the network. It's also capable of injecting JavaScript code retrieved from a remote server in order to redirect the site visitors to an arbitrary website of the attacker's choice. Doctor Web said it identified a second version of the backdoor
New Malvertising Campaign via Google Ads Targets Users Searching for Popular Software

New Malvertising Campaign via Google Ads Targets Users Searching for Popular Software

Dec 29, 2022 Online Security / Malvertising
Users searching for popular software are being targeted by a new malvertising campaign that abuses Google Ads to serve trojanized variants that deploy malware, such as Raccoon Stealer and Vidar. The activity makes use of seemingly credible websites with typosquatted domain names that are surfaced on top of Google search results in the form of malicious ads by hijacking searches for specific keywords. The ultimate objective of such attacks is to  trick   unsuspecting   users  into downloading malevolent programs or potentially unwanted applications. In one campaign disclosed by Guardio Labs, threat actors have been observed creating a network of benign sites that are promoted on the search engine, which when clicked, redirect the visitors to a phishing page containing a trojanized ZIP archive hosted on Dropbox or OneDrive. "The moment those 'disguised' sites are being visited by targeted visitors (those who actually click on the promoted search result) the server imme
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