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TA558 Hackers Weaponize Images for Wide-Scale Malware Attacks

TA558 Hackers Weaponize Images for Wide-Scale Malware Attacks
Apr 16, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Endpoint Security
The threat actor tracked as  TA558  has been observed leveraging steganography as an obfuscation technique to deliver a wide range of malware such as Agent Tesla, FormBook, Remcos RAT, LokiBot, GuLoader, Snake Keylogger, and XWorm, among others. "The group made extensive use of steganography by sending VBSs, PowerShell code, as well as RTF documents with an embedded exploit, inside images and text files," Russian cybersecurity company Positive Technologies  said  in a Monday report. The campaign has been codenamed SteganoAmor for its reliance on steganography and the choice of file names such as greatloverstory.vbs and easytolove.vbs. A majority of the attacks have targeted industrial, services, public, electric power, and construction sectors in Latin American countries, although companies located in Russia, Romania, and Turkey have also been singled out. The development comes as TA558 has also been spotted  deploying Venom RAT  via phishing attacks aimed at enterprise

Chinese-Linked LightSpy iOS Spyware Targets South Asian iPhone Users

Chinese-Linked LightSpy iOS Spyware Targets South Asian iPhone Users
Apr 15, 2024 Spyware / Mobile Security
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a "renewed" cyber espionage campaign targeting users in South Asia with the aim of delivering an Apple iOS spyware implant called  LightSpy . "The latest iteration of LightSpy, dubbed 'F_Warehouse,' boasts a modular framework with extensive spying features," the BlackBerry Threat Research and Intelligence Team  said  in a report published last week. There is evidence to suggest that the campaign may have targeted India based on  VirusTotal   submissions  from within its borders. First documented in 2020 by Trend Micro and Kaspersky,  LightSpy  refers to an advanced iOS backdoor that's distributed via watering hole attacks through compromised news sites. A subsequent analysis from ThreatFabric in October 2023  uncovered  infrastructure and functionality overlaps between the malware and DragonEgg, a fully-featured Android spyware attributed to the Chinese nation-state group APT41 (aka Winnti). The initial in

Hands-on Review: Cynomi AI-powered vCISO Platform

Hands-on Review: Cynomi AI-powered vCISO Platform
Apr 10, 2024vCISO / Risk Assessment
The need for vCISO services is growing. SMBs and SMEs are dealing with more third-party risks, tightening regulatory demands and stringent cyber insurance requirements than ever before. However, they often lack the resources and expertise to hire an in-house security executive team. By outsourcing security and compliance leadership to a vCISO, these organizations can more easily obtain cybersecurity expertise specialized for their industry and strengthen their cybersecurity posture. MSPs and MSSPs looking to meet this growing vCISO demand are often faced with the same challenge. The demand for cybersecurity talent far exceeds the supply. This has led to a competitive market where the costs of hiring and retaining skilled professionals can be prohibitive for MSSPs/MSPs as well. The need to maintain expertise of both security and compliance further exacerbates this challenge. Cynomi, the first AI-driven vCISO platform , can help. Cynomi enables you - MSPs, MSSPs and consulting firms

Hackers Targeting Human Rights Activists in Morocco and Western Sahara

Hackers Targeting Human Rights Activists in Morocco and Western Sahara
Apr 09, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
Human rights activists in Morocco and the Western Sahara region are the targets of a new threat actor that leverages phishing attacks to trick victims into installing bogus Android apps and serve credential harvesting pages for Windows users. Cisco Talos is  tracking  the activity cluster under the name  Starry Addax , describing it as primarily singling out activists associated with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Starry Addax's infrastructure – ondroid[.]site and ondroid[.]store – is designed to target both Android and Windows users, with the latter involving fake websites masquerading as login pages for popular social media websites. In light of active investigation into the campaign, Talos said it cannot publicly disclose which websites are being targeted with credential harvesting attacks. "However, the threat actors are establishing their own infrastructure and hosting credential harvesting pages such as fake login pages for media and email services po

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Attackers Using Obfuscation Tools to Deliver Multi-Stage Malware via Invoice Phishing

Attackers Using Obfuscation Tools to Deliver Multi-Stage Malware via Invoice Phishing
Apr 09, 2024 Malware / Cryptojacking
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered an intricate multi-stage attack that leverages invoice-themed phishing decoys to deliver a wide range of malware such as  Venom RAT , Remcos RAT, XWorm, NanoCore RAT, and a stealer that targets crypto wallets. The email messages come with Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file attachments that, when clicked, activate the infection sequence, Fortinet FortiGuard Labs  said  in a technical report. The modus operandi is notable for the use of the BatCloak malware obfuscation engine and ScrubCrypt to deliver the malware in the form of obfuscated batch scripts. BatCloak , offered for sale to other threat actors since late 2022, has its foundations in another tool called Jlaive. Its primary function is to load a next-stage payload in a manner that circumvents traditional detection mechanisms. ScrubCrypt, a crypter that was  first documented  by Fortinet in March 2023 in connection with a cryptojacking campaign orchestrated by the 8220 Gang, is asse

Cybercriminals Targeting Latin America with Sophisticated Phishing Scheme

Cybercriminals Targeting Latin America with Sophisticated Phishing Scheme
Apr 08, 2024 Cybersecurity / Malvertising
A new phishing campaign has set its eyes on the Latin American region to deliver malicious payloads to Windows systems. "The phishing email contained a ZIP file attachment that when extracted reveals an HTML file that leads to a malicious file download posing as an invoice," Trustwave SpiderLabs researcher Karla Agregado  said . The email message, the company said, originates from an email address format that uses the domain "temporary[.]link" and has Roundcube Webmail listed as the User-Agent string. The HTML file points containing a link ("facturasmex[.]cloud") that displays an error message saying "this account has been suspended," but when visited from an IP address geolocated to Mexico, loads a CAPTCHA verification page that uses Cloudflare Turnstile. This step paves the way for a redirect to another domain from where a malicious RAR file is downloaded. The RAR archive comes with a PowerShell script that gathers system metadata as well

New Wave of JSOutProx Malware Targeting Financial Firms in APAC and MENA

New Wave of JSOutProx Malware Targeting Financial Firms in APAC and MENA
Apr 05, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cybersecurity
Financial organizations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are being targeted by a new version of an "evolving threat" called  JSOutProx . "JSOutProx is a sophisticated attack framework utilizing both JavaScript and .NET," Resecurity  said  in a technical report published this week. "It employs the .NET (de)serialization feature to interact with a core JavaScript module running on the victim's machine. Once executed, the malware enables the framework to load various plugins, which conduct additional malicious activities on the target." First  identified  in December 2019 by Yoroi, early attacks distributing JSOutProx have been attributed to a threat actor tracked as  Solar Spider . The cyber crime actors behind the malware have a track record of striking banks and other big companies in Asia and Europe. In late 2021, Quick Heal Security Labs  detailed  attacks leveraging the remote access trojan (RAT) to single out

Massive Phishing Campaign Strikes Latin America: Venom RAT Targeting Multiple Sectors

Massive Phishing Campaign Strikes Latin America: Venom RAT Targeting Multiple Sectors
Apr 02, 2024 Malvertising / Threat Intelligence
The threat actor known as  TA558  has been attributed to a new massive phishing campaign that targets a wide range of sectors in Latin America with the goal of deploying Venom RAT. The attacks primarily singled out hotel, travel, trading, financial, manufacturing, industrial, and government verticals in Spain, Mexico, the United States, Colombia, Portugal, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Argentina. Active since at least 2018, TA558 has a  history  of  targeting entities  in the LATAM region to deliver a variety of malware such as Loda RAT, Vjw0rm, and Revenge RAT. The latest infection chain, according to Perception Point researcher  Idan Tarab , leverages phishing emails as an initial access vector to drop  Venom RAT , a fork of Quasar RAT that comes with  capabilities  to harvest sensitive data and commandeer systems remotely. The disclosure comes as threat actors have been increasingly observed using the  DarkGate  malware loader following the  law enforcement takedown of QakBo

Linux Version of DinodasRAT Spotted in Cyber Attacks Across Several Countries

Linux Version of DinodasRAT Spotted in Cyber Attacks Across Several Countries
Mar 28, 2024 Linux / Network Security
A Linux version of a multi-platform backdoor called  DinodasRAT  has been detected in the wild targeting China, Taiwan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan,  new findings  from Kaspersky reveal. DinodasRAT, also known as XDealer, is a C++-based malware that offers the ability to harvest a wide range of sensitive data from compromised hosts. In October 2023, Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET  revealed  that a governmental entity in Guyana had been targeted as part of a cyber espionage campaign dubbed Operation Jacana to deploy the Windows version of the implant. Then last week, Trend Micro  detailed  a threat activity cluster it tracks as Earth Krahang and which has shifted to using DinodasRAT since 2023 in its attacks aimed at several government entities worldwide. The use of DinodasRAT has been attributed to various China-nexus threat actors, including  LuoYu , once again reflecting the tool sharing prevalent among hacking crews identified as acting on behalf of the country. Kaspersky said it

Two Chinese APT Groups Ramp Up Cyber Espionage Against ASEAN Countries

Two Chinese APT Groups Ramp Up Cyber Espionage Against ASEAN Countries
Mar 27, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Vulnerability
Two China-linked advanced persistent threat (APT) groups have been observed targeting entities and member countries affiliated with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as part of a cyber espionage campaign over the past three months. This includes the threat actor known as  Mustang Panda , which has been recently linked to  cyber attacks against Myanmar  as well as other Asian countries with a variant of the PlugX (aka Korplug) backdoor dubbed  DOPLUGS . Mustang Panda, also called Camaro Dragon, Earth Preta, and Stately Taurus, is believed to have targeted entities in Myanmar, the Philippines, Japan and Singapore, targeting them with phishing emails designed to deliver two malware packages. "Threat actors created malware for these packages on March 4-5, 2024, coinciding with the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit (March 4-6, 2024)," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. One of the malware package is a ZIP file that contains

New StrelaStealer Phishing Attacks Hit Over 100 Organizations in E.U. and U.S.

New StrelaStealer Phishing Attacks Hit Over 100 Organizations in E.U. and U.S.
Mar 22, 2024 Email Security / Threat Intelligence
Cybersecurity researchers have detected a new wave of phishing attacks that aim to deliver an ever-evolving information stealer referred to as  StrelaStealer . The campaigns impact more than 100 organizations in the E.U. and the U.S., Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers said in a new report published today. "These campaigns come in the form of spam emails with attachments that eventually launch the StrelaStealer's DLL payload," researchers Benjamin Chang, Goutam Tripathy, Pranay Kumar Chhaparwal, Anmol Maurya, and Vishwa Thothathri said . "In an attempt to evade detection, attackers change the initial email attachment file format from one campaign to the next, to prevent detection from the previously generated signature or patterns." First disclosed in November 2022, StrelaStealer is  equipped  to siphon email login data from well-known email clients and exfiltrate them to an attacker-controlled server. Since then, two large-scale campaigns involving the ma

New Phishing Attack Uses Clever Microsoft Office Trick to Deploy NetSupport RAT

New Phishing Attack Uses Clever Microsoft Office Trick to Deploy NetSupport RAT
Mar 19, 2024 Social Engineering / Email Security
A new phishing campaign is targeting U.S. organizations with the intent to deploy a remote access trojan called NetSupport RAT. Israeli cybersecurity company Perception Point is tracking the activity under the moniker  Operation PhantomBlu . "The PhantomBlu operation introduces a nuanced exploitation method, diverging from NetSupport RAT's typical delivery mechanism by leveraging OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) template manipulation, exploiting Microsoft Office document templates to execute malicious code while evading detection," security researcher Ariel Davidpur  said . NetSupport RAT is a  malicious offshoot  of a legitimate remote desktop tool known as NetSupport Manager, allowing threat actors to conduct a spectrum of data gathering actions on a compromised endpoint. The starting point is a salary-themed phishing email that purports to be from the accounting department and urges recipients to open the attached Microsoft Word document to view the "monthly

New DEEP#GOSU Malware Campaign Targets Windows Users with Advanced Tactics

New DEEP#GOSU Malware Campaign Targets Windows Users with Advanced Tactics
Mar 18, 2024 Cybercrime / Cryptocurrency
A new elaborate attack campaign has been observed employing PowerShell and VBScript malware to infect Windows systems and harvest sensitive information. Cybersecurity company Securonix, which dubbed the campaign DEEP#GOSU, said it's likely associated with the North Korean state-sponsored group tracked as Kimsuky (aka Emerald Sleet, Springtail, or Velvet Chollima). "The malware payloads used in the  DEEP#GOSU  represent a sophisticated, multi-stage threat designed to operate stealthily on Windows systems especially from a network-monitoring standpoint," security researchers Den Iuzvyk, Tim Peck, and Oleg Kolesnikov said in a technical analysis shared with The Hacker News. "Its capabilities included keylogging, clipboard monitoring, dynamic payload execution, and data exfiltration, and persistence using both RAT software for full remote access, scheduled tasks as well as self-executing PowerShell scripts using jobs." A notable aspect of the infection proced

Malicious Ads Targeting Chinese Users with Fake Notepad++ and VNote Installers

Malicious Ads Targeting Chinese Users with Fake Notepad++ and VNote Installers
Mar 15, 2024 Malvertising / Threat Intelligence
Chinese users looking for legitimate software such as Notepad++ and VNote on search engines like Baidu are being targeted with malicious ads and bogus links to distribute trojanized versions of the software and ultimately deploy  Geacon , a Golang-based implementation of Cobalt Strike. "The malicious site found in the notepad++ search is distributed through an advertisement block," Kaspersky researcher Sergey Puzan  said . "Opening it, an attentive user will immediately notice an amusing inconsistency: the website address contains the line vnote, the title offers a download of Notepad‐‐ (an analog of Notepad++, also distributed as open-source software), while the image proudly shows Notepad++. In fact, the packages downloaded from here contain Notepad‐‐." The website, named vnote.fuwenkeji[.]cn, contains download links to Windows, Linux, and macOS versions of the software, with the link to the Windows variant pointing to the official  Gitee repository  containing the Notepad-- ins

Ande Loader Malware Targets Manufacturing Sector in North America

Ande Loader Malware Targets Manufacturing Sector in North America
Mar 14, 2024 Cyber Threat / Malware
The threat actor known as Blind Eagle has been observed using a loader malware called Ande Loader to deliver remote access trojans (RATs) like Remcos RAT and NjRAT. The attacks, which take the form of phishing emails, targeted Spanish-speaking users in the manufacturing industry based in North America, eSentire  said . Blind Eagle (aka APT-C-36) is a  financially motivated threat actor  that has a history of orchestrating cyber attacks against entities in Colombia and Ecuador to deliver an  assortment of RATs , including AsyncRAT, BitRAT, Lime RAT, NjRAT, Remcos RAT, and Quasar RAT. The latest findings mark an expansion of the threat actor's targeting footprint, while also leveraging phishing emails bearing RAR and BZ2 archives to activate the infection chain. The password-protected RAR archives come with a malicious Visual Basic Script (VBScript) file that's responsible for establishing persistence in the Windows Startup folder and launching the Ande Loader, which, in turn,

DarkGate Malware Exploited Recently Patched Microsoft Flaw in Zero-Day Attack

DarkGate Malware Exploited Recently Patched Microsoft Flaw in Zero-Day Attack
Mar 14, 2024 Malware / Cyber Attack
A DarkGate malware campaign observed in mid-January 2024 leveraged a recently patched security flaw in Microsoft Windows as a zero-day using bogus software installers. "During this campaign, users were lured using PDFs that contained Google DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) open redirects that led unsuspecting victims to compromised sites hosting the Microsoft Windows SmartScreen bypass CVE-2024-21412 that led to malicious Microsoft (.MSI) installers," Trend Micro  said . CVE-2024-21412 (CVSS score: 8.1) concerns an internet shortcut files security feature bypass vulnerability that permits an unauthenticated attacker to circumvent SmartScreen protections by tricking a victim into clicking on a specially crafted file. It was  fixed  by Microsoft as part of its Patch Tuesday updates for February 2024, but not before it was weaponized by a threat actor called  Water Hydra  (aka DarkCasino) to deliver the DarkMe malware in attacks targeting financial institutions. The latest finding
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