The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Most Trusted Cyber Security and Computer Security Analysis: Microsoft

BlackCat Ransomware Attackers Spotted Fine-Tuning Their Malware Arsenal

BlackCat Ransomware Attackers Spotted Fine-Tuning Their Malware Arsenal
September 26, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The  BlackCat ransomware crew  has been spotted fine-tuning their malware arsenal to fly under the radar and expand their reach. "Among some of the more notable developments has been the use of a new version of the Exmatter data exfiltration tool, and the use of Eamfo, information-stealing malware that is designed to steal credentials stored by Veeam backup software," researchers from Symantec  said  in a new report. BlackCat, also known by the names ALPHV and Noberus, is attributed to an adversary tracked as Coreid (aka  FIN7 , Carbanak, or Carbon Spider) and is said to be a  rebranded successor  of  DarkSide  and  BlackMatter , both of which shut shop last year following a string of high-profile attacks, including that of Colonial Pipeline. The threat actor, like other notorious ransomware groups, is known to run a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation, which involves its core developers enlisting the help of affiliates to carry out the attacks in exchange for a cut

Hackers Using Malicious OAuth Apps to Take Over Email Servers

Hackers Using Malicious OAuth Apps to Take Over Email Servers
September 23, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Thursday warned of a consumer-facing attack that made use of rogue OAuth applications deployed on compromised cloud tenants to ultimately seize control of Exchange servers and spread spam. "The threat actor launched credential stuffing attacks against high-risk accounts that didn't have multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled and leveraged the unsecured administrator accounts to gain initial access," the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team said. The unauthorized access to the cloud tenant permitted the adversary to register a malicious OAuth application and grant it elevated permissions, and eventually modify Exchange Server settings to allow inbound emails from specific IP addresses to be routed through the compromised email server. "These modifications to the Exchange server settings allowed the threat actor to perform their primary goal in the attack: sending out spam emails," Microsoft  said . "The spam emails were sent as part of a

Microsoft Warns of Large-Scale Click Fraud Campaign Targeting Gamers

Microsoft Warns of Large-Scale Click Fraud Campaign Targeting Gamers
September 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft said it's tracking an ongoing large-scale click fraud campaign targeting gamers by means of stealthily deployed browser extensions on compromised systems. "[The] attackers monetize clicks generated by a browser node-webkit or malicious browser extension secretly installed on devices," Microsoft Security Intelligence said in a sequence of tweets over the weekend. The tech giant's cybersecurity division is tracking the developing threat cluster under the name DEV-0796. Attack chains mounted by the adversary commence with an ISO file that's downloaded onto a victim's machine upon clicking on a malicious ad or comments on YouTube. The ISO file, when opened, is designed to install a browser node-webkit (aka  NW.js ) or rogue browser extension. It's worth noting that the  ISO file  masquerades as hacks and cheats for the Krunker first-person shooter game. Cheats are programs that help gamers gain an added advantage beyond the available capabili

Microsoft's Latest Security Update Fixes 64 New Flaws, Including a Zero-Day

Microsoft's Latest Security Update Fixes 64 New Flaws, Including a Zero-Day
September 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Tech giant Microsoft on Tuesday shipped fixes to quash  64 new security flaws  across its software lineup, including one zero-day flaw that has been actively exploited in real-world attacks. Of the 64 bugs, five are rated Critical, 57 are rated Important, one is rated Moderate, and one is rated Low in severity. The patches are in addition to  16 vulnerabilities  that Microsoft addressed in its Chromium-based Edge browser earlier this month. "In terms of CVEs released, this Patch Tuesday may appear on the lighter side in comparison to other months," Bharat Jogi, director of vulnerability and threat research at Qualys, said in a statement shared with The Hacker News. "However, this month hit a sizable milestone for the calendar year, with MSFT having fixed the 1000th CVE of 2022 – likely on track to surpass 2021, which patched 1,200 CVEs in total." The actively exploited vulnerability in question is  CVE-2022-37969  (CVSS score: 7.8), a privilege escalation flaw

Microsoft Warns of Ransomware Attacks by Iranian Phosphorus Hacker Group

Microsoft Warns of Ransomware Attacks by Iranian Phosphorus Hacker Group
September 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft's threat intelligence division on Wednesday assessed that a subgroup of the Iranian threat actor tracked as  Phosphorus  is conducting ransomware attacks as a "form of moonlighting" for personal gain. The tech giant, which is monitoring the activity cluster under the moniker  DEV-0270  (aka Nemesis Kitten), said it's operated by a company that functions under the public aliases Secnerd and Lifeweb, citing infrastructure overlaps between the group and the two organizations. "DEV-0270 leverages exploits for high-severity vulnerabilities to gain access to devices and is known for the early adoption of newly disclosed vulnerabilities," Microsoft  said . "DEV-0270 also extensively uses living-off-the-land binaries (LOLBINs) throughout the attack chain for discovery and credential access. This extends to its abuse of the built-in BitLocker tool to encrypt files on compromised devices." The use of BitLocker and DiskCryptor by Iranian actor

New Evidence Links Raspberry Robin Malware to Dridex and Russian Evil Corp Hackers

New Evidence Links Raspberry Robin Malware to Dridex and Russian Evil Corp Hackers
September 02, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers have identified functional similarities between a malicious component used in the Raspberry Robin infection chain and a Dridex malware loader, further strengthening the operators' connections to the Russia-based Evil Corp group. The findings suggest that "Evil Corp is likely using Raspberry Robin infrastructure to carry out its attacks," IBM Security X-Force researcher Kevin Henson  said  in a Thursday analysis. Raspberry Robin (aka QNAP Worm), first  discovered  by cybersecurity company Red Canary in September 2021, has remained something of a mystery for nearly a year, partly owing to the noticeable lack of post-exploitation activities in the wild. That changed in July 2022 when Microsoft  revealed  that it observed the  FakeUpdates  (aka SocGholish) malware being delivered via existing Raspberry Robin infections, with potential connections identified between DEV-0206 and DEV-0243 (aka Evil Corp). The malware is known to be delivered from a compromised

Microsoft Discover Severe 'One-Click' Exploit for TikTok Android App

Microsoft Discover Severe ‘One-Click’ Exploit for TikTok Android App
September 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Wednesday disclosed details of a now-patched "high severity vulnerability" in the TikTok app for Android that could let attackers take over accounts when victims clicked on a malicious link. "Attackers could have leveraged the vulnerability to hijack an account without users' awareness if a targeted user simply clicked a specially crafted link," Dimitrios Valsamaras of the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team  said  in a write-up. Successful exploitation of the flaw could have permitted malicious actors to access and modify users' TikTok profiles and sensitive information, leading to the unauthorized exposure of private videos. Attackers could also have abused the bug to send messages and upload videos on behalf of users. The issue, addressed in version 23.7.3, impacts two flavors of its Android app com.ss.android.ugc.trill (for East and Southeast Asian users) and com.zhiliaoapp.musically (for users in other countries except for India, wher

Iranian Hackers Exploiting Unpatched Log4j 2 Bugs to Target Israeli Organizations

Iranian Hackers Exploiting Unpatched Log4j 2 Bugs to Target Israeli Organizations
August 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Iranian state-sponsored actors are leaving no stone unturned to exploit unpatched systems running Log4j to target Israeli entities, indicating the vulnerability's  long tail  for remediation. Microsoft attributed the latest set of activities to the  umbrella threat group  tracked as  MuddyWater  (aka Cobalt Ulster, Mercury, Seedworm, or Static Kitten), which is  linked  to the Iranian intelligence apparatus, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The attacks are notable for using SysAid Server instances unsecured against the  Log4Shell flaw  as a vector for initial access,  marking  a  departure  from the actors' pattern of leveraging VMware applications for breaching target environments. "After gaining access, Mercury establishes persistence, dumps credentials, and moves laterally within the targeted organization using both custom and well-known hacking tools, as well as built-in operating system tools for its hands-on-keyboard attack," Microsoft  said . The tech gia

Cybercrime Groups Increasingly Adopting Sliver Command-and-Control Framework

Cybercrime Groups Increasingly Adopting Sliver Command-and-Control Framework
August 26, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Nation-state threat actors are  increasingly adopting  and integrating the Sliver command-and-control (C2) framework in their intrusion campaigns as a replacement for Cobalt Strike. "Given Cobalt Strike's popularity as an attack tool, defenses against it have also improved over time," Microsoft security experts  said . "Sliver thus presents an attractive alternative for actors looking for a lesser-known toolset with a low barrier for entry." Sliver, first made public in late 2019 by cybersecurity company BishopFox, is a Go-based  open source C2 platform  that supports user-developed extensions, custom implant generation, and other commandeering options. "A C2 framework usually includes a server that accepts connections from implants on a compromised system, and a client application that allows the C2 operators to interact with the implants and launch malicious commands," Microsoft said. Besides facilitating long-term access to infected hosts, the cross-platform kit is also known

Microsoft Uncovers New Post-Compromise Malware Used by Nobelium Hackers

Microsoft Uncovers New Post-Compromise Malware Used by Nobelium Hackers
August 25, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The threat actor behind the SolarWinds supply chain attack has been linked to yet another "highly targeted" post-exploitation malware that could be used to maintain persistent access to compromised environments. Dubbed  MagicWeb  by Microsoft's threat intelligence teams, the development reiterates Nobelium's commitment to developing and maintaining purpose-built capabilities. Nobelium is the tech giant's moniker for a cluster of activities that came to light with the  sophisticated attack targeting SolarWinds  in December 2020, and which overlaps with the Russian nation-state hacking group widely known as  APT29 , Cozy Bear, or The Dukes. "Nobelium remains highly active, executing multiple campaigns in parallel targeting government organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), and think tanks across the US, Europe, and Central Asia," Microsoft  said . MagicWeb, which shares similarities with another t

Researchers Warn of AiTM Attack Targeting Google G-Suite Enterprise Users

Researchers Warn of AiTM Attack Targeting Google G-Suite Enterprise Users
August 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The threat actors behind a large-scale adversary-in-the-middle (AiTM)  phishing campaign  targeting enterprise users of Microsoft email services have also set their sights on Google Workspace users. "This campaign specifically targeted chief executives and other senior members of various organizations which use [Google Workspace]," Zscaler researchers Sudeep Singh and Jagadeeswar Ramanukolanu  detailed  in a report published this month. The AiTM phishing attacks are said to have commenced in mid-July 2022, following a similar modus operandi as that of a  social engineering campaign  designed to siphon users' Microsoft credentials and even bypass multi-factor authentication. The low-volume Gmail AiTM phishing campaign also entails using the compromised emails of chief executives to conduct further social engineering, with the attacks also utilizing several compromised domains as an intermediate URL redirector to take the victims to the final landing page. Attack cha

Microsoft Warns About Phishing Attacks by Russia-linked Hackers

Microsoft Warns About Phishing Attacks by Russia-linked Hackers
August 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Monday revealed it took steps to disrupt phishing operations undertaken by a "highly persistent threat actor" whose objectives align closely with Russian state interests. The company is tracking the espionage-oriented activity cluster under its chemical element-themed moniker  SEABORGIUM , which it said overlaps with a hacking group also known as  Callisto ,  COLDRIVER , and TA446. "SEABORGIUM intrusions have also been linked to hack-and-leak campaigns, where stolen and leaked data is used to shape narratives in targeted countries," Microsoft's threat hunting teams  said . "Its campaigns involve persistent phishing and credential theft campaigns leading to intrusions and data theft." Attacks launched by the adversarial collective are known to target the same organizations using consistent methodologies applied over long periods of time, enabling it to infiltrate the victims' social networks through a combination of impersonation,

Researchers Uncover UEFI Secure Boot Bypass in 3 Microsoft Signed Boot Loaders

Researchers Uncover UEFI Secure Boot Bypass in 3 Microsoft Signed Boot Loaders
August 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A security feature bypass vulnerability has been uncovered in three signed third-party Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) boot loaders that allow bypass of the UEFI Secure Boot feature. "These vulnerabilities can be exploited by mounting the EFI System Partition and replacing the existing bootloader with the vulnerable one, or modifying a UEFI variable to load the vulnerable loader instead of the existing one," hardware security firm Eclypsium  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The following  vendor-specific boot loaders , which were signed and authenticated by Microsoft, have been found vulnerable to the bypass and have been patched as part of the tech giant's  Patch Tuesday update  released this week - Eurosoft Boot Loader ( CVE-2022-34301 ) New Horizon Data Systems Inc Boot Loader ( CVE-2022-34302 ), and Crypto Pro Boot Loader ( CVE-20220-34303 ) Secure Boot is a  security standard  designed to thwart malicious programs from loading w

Microsoft Issues Patches for 121 Flaws, Including Zero-Day Under Active Attack

Microsoft Issues Patches for 121 Flaws, Including Zero-Day Under Active Attack
August 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
As many as  121 new security flaws  were patched by Microsoft as part of its Patch Tuesday updates for the month of August, which also includes a fix for a Support Diagnostic Tool vulnerability that the company said is being actively exploited in the wild. Of the 121 bugs, 17 are rated Critical, 102 are rated Important, one is rated Moderate, and one is rated Low in severity. Two of the issues have been listed as publicly known at the time of the release. It's worth noting that the 121 security flaws are in addition to  25 shortcomings  the tech giant addressed in its Chromium-based Edge browser late last month and the previous week. Topping the list of patches is  CVE-2022-34713  (CVSS score: 7.8), a case of remote code execution affecting the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT), making it the second flaw in the same component after  Follina  (CVE-2022-30190) to be weaponized in  real-world attacks  within three months. The vulnerability is also said to be a var

New Woody RAT Malware Being Used to Target Russian Organizations

New Woody RAT Malware Being Used to Target Russian Organizations
August 04, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An unknown threat actor has been targeting Russian entities with a newly discovered remote access trojan called Woody RAT for at least a year as part of a spear-phishing campaign. The advanced custom backdoor is said to be delivered via either of two methods: archive files or Microsoft Office documents leveraging the now-patched "Follina" support diagnostic tool vulnerability ( CVE-2022-30190 ) in Windows. Like other implants engineered for espionage-oriented operations, Woody RAT sports a wide range of features that enables the threat actor to remotely commandeer and steal sensitive information from the infected systems. "The earliest versions of this RAT were typically archived into a ZIP file pretending to be a document specific to a Russian group," Malwarebytes researchers Ankur Saini and Hossein Jazi  said  in a Wednesday report. "When the Follina vulnerability became known to the world, the threat actor switched to it to distribute the payload.&quo

Microsoft Links Raspberry Robin USB Worm to Russian Evil Corp Hackers

Microsoft Links Raspberry Robin USB Worm to Russian Evil Corp Hackers
July 30, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Friday disclosed a potential connection between the Raspberry Robin USB-based worm and an infamous Russian cybercrime group tracked as Evil Corp. The tech giant  said  it observed the  FakeUpdates  (aka SocGholish) malware being delivered via existing Raspberry Robin infections on July 26, 2022. Raspberry Robin, also called QNAP Worm, is  known  to spread from a compromised system via infected USB devices containing a malicious .LNK file to other devices in the target network. The campaign, which was first spotted by Red Canary in September 2021, has been elusive in that no later-stage activity has been documented nor has there been any concrete link tying it to a known threat actor or group. The disclosure, therefore, marks the first evidence of post-exploitation actions carried out by the threat actor upon leveraging the malware to gain initial access to a Windows machine. "The DEV-0206-associated FakeUpdates activity on affected systems has since led to foll

Hackers Opting New Attack Methods After Microsoft Blocked Macros by Default

Hackers Opting New Attack Methods After Microsoft Blocked Macros by Default
July 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
With Microsoft taking steps to block Excel 4.0 (XLM or XL4) and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros by default across Office apps, malicious actors are responding by refining their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). "The use of VBA and XL4 Macros decreased approximately 66% from October 2021 through June 2022," Proofpoint  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News, calling it "one of the largest email threat landscape shifts in recent history." In its place, adversaries are increasingly pivoting away from macro-enabled documents to other alternatives, including container files such as ISO and RAR as well as Windows Shortcut (LNK) files in campaigns to distribute malware. "Threat actors pivoting away from directly distributing macro-based attachments in email represents a significant shift in the threat landscape," Sherrod DeGrippo, vice president of threat research and detection at Proofpoint, said in a statement. "Threat act
Online Courses and Software

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