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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Remote Access Trojan

Iranian Hackers Abuse Dropbox in Cyberattacks Against Aerospace and Telecom Firms

Iranian Hackers Abuse Dropbox in Cyberattacks Against Aerospace and Telecom Firms
October 06, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Details have emerged about a new cyber espionage campaign directed against the aerospace and telecommunications industries, primarily in the Middle East, with the goal of stealing sensitive information about critical assets, organizations' infrastructure, and technology while remaining in the dark and successfully evading security solutions. Boston-based cybersecurity company Cybereason dubbed the attacks " Operation Ghostshell ," pointing out the use of a previously undocumented and stealthy remote access trojan (RAT) called ShellClient that's deployed as the main spy tool of choice. The first sign of the attacks was observed in July 2021 against a handpicked set of victims, indicating a highly targeted approach. "The ShellClient RAT has been under ongoing development since at least 2018, with several iterations that introduced new functionalities, while it evaded antivirus tools and managed to remain undetected and publicly unknown," researchers Tom Fak

A New Wave of Malware Attack Targeting Organizations in South America

A New Wave of Malware Attack Targeting Organizations in South America
September 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A spam campaign delivering spear-phishing emails aimed at South American organizations has retooled its techniques to include a wide range of commodity remote access trojans (RATs) and geolocation filtering to avoid detection, according to new research. Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro attributed the attacks to an advanced persistent threat (APT) tracked as  APT-C-36  (aka Blind Eagle), a suspected South America espionage group that has been active since at least 2018 and  previously known  for setting its sights on Colombian government institutions and corporations spanning financial, petroleum, and manufacturing sectors. Primarily spread via fraudulent emails by masquerading as Colombian government agencies, such as the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (DIAN), the infection chain commences when the message recipients open a decoy PDF or Word document that claims to be a seizure order tied to their bank accounts and click on a link that's been generated from a URL short

New Android Malware Uses VNC to Spy and Steal Passwords from Victims

New Android Malware Uses VNC to Spy and Steal Passwords from Victims
July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented Android-based remote access trojan (RAT) has been found to use screen recording features to steal sensitive information on the device, including banking credentials, and open the door for on-device fraud. Dubbed "Vultur" due to its use of Virtual Network Computing (VNC)'s remote screen-sharing technology to gain full visibility on targeted users, the mobile malware was distributed via the official Google Play Store and masqueraded as an app named "Protection Guard," attracting over 5,000 installations. Banking and crypto-wallet apps from entities located in Italy, Australia, and Spain were the primary targets. "For the first time we are seeing an Android banking trojan that has screen recording and keylogging as the main strategy to harvest login credentials in an automated and scalable way," researchers from ThreatFabric  said  in a write-up shared with The Hacker News. "The actors chose to steer away from the commo

LodaRAT Windows Malware Now Also Targets Android Devices

LodaRAT Windows Malware Now Also Targets Android Devices
February 10, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously known Windows remote access Trojan (RAT) with credential-stealing capabilities has now expanded its scope to set its sights on users of Android devices to further the attacker's espionage motives. "The developers of  LodaRAT  have added Android as a targeted platform," Cisco Talos researchers  said  in a Tuesday analysis. "A new iteration of LodaRAT for Windows has been identified with improved sound recording capabilities." Kasablanca, the group behind the malware, is said to have deployed the new RAT in an ongoing hybrid campaign targeting Bangladeshi users, the researchers noted. The reason why Bangladesh-based organizations have been specifically singled out for this campaign remains unclear, as is the identity of the threat actor. First documented in May 2017 by  Proofpoint , Loda is an AutoIt malware typically delivered via phishing lures that's equipped to run a wide range of commands designed to record audio, video, and capture oth

HTTP Status Codes Command This Malware How to Control Hacked Systems

HTTP Status Codes Command This Malware How to Control Hacked Systems
May 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new version of COMpfun remote access trojan (RAT) has been discovered in the wild that uses HTTP status codes to control compromised systems targeted in a recent campaign against diplomatic entities in Europe. The cyberespionage malware—traced to Turla APT with "medium-to-low level of confidence" based on the history of compromised victims—spread via an initial dropper that masks itself as a visa application, the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky discovered. The Turla APT , a Russian-based threat group, has a long history of carrying out espionage and watering hole attacks spanning various sectors, including governments, embassies, military, education, research, and pharmaceutical companies. First documented by G-Data in 2014, COMpfun received a significant upgrade last year (called "Reductor") after Kaspersky found that the malware was used to spy on a victim's browser activity by staging man-in-the-middle ( MitM ) attacks on encrypte

Europol Shuts Down 'Imminent Monitor' RAT Operations With 13 Arrests

Europol Shuts Down 'Imminent Monitor' RAT Operations With 13 Arrests
November 29, 2019Mohit Kumar
In a coordinated International law enforcement operation, Europol today announced to shut down the global organized cybercrime network behind Imminent Monitor RAT , yet another hacking tool that allows cybercriminals to gain complete control over a victim's computer remotely. The operation targeted both buyers and sellers of the IM-RAT (Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan), which was sold to more than 14,500 buyers and used against tens of thousands of victims across 124 countries. The infrastructure and front-end sale website of the Imminent Monitor have also been seized as part of this operation, making the Trojan unusable for those who already bought it, as well as unavailable for the new users. Promoted as a legitimate remote administration framework, the hacking tool was widely used to unauthorisedly access targeted users' computers and steal their login credentials for online banking and other financial accounts. According to Europol's press release , aut

New Android Spyware Created by Russian Defense Contractor Found in the Wild

New Android Spyware Created by Russian Defense Contractor Found in the Wild
July 25, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new piece of mobile surveillance malware believed to be developed by a Russian defense contractor that has been sanctioned for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Dubbed Monokle , the mobile remote-access trojan has been actively targeting Android phones since at least March 2016 and is primarily being used in highly targeted attacks on a limited number of people. According to security researchers at Lookout, Monokle possesses a wide range of spying functionalities and uses advanced data exfiltration techniques, even without requiring root access to a targeted device. How Bad is Monokle Surveillance Malware In particular, the malware abuses Android accessibility services to exfiltrate data from a large number of popular third-party applications, including Google Docs, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, WeChat, and Snapchat, by reading text displayed on a device's screen at any point in time. The malware also extracts

Exclusive: German Police Raid OmniRAT Developer and Seize Digital Assets

Exclusive: German Police Raid OmniRAT Developer and Seize Digital Assets
June 27, 2019Mohit Kumar
The German police yesterday raided the house of the developer of OmniRAT and seized his laptop, computer and mobile phones probably as part of an investigation into a recent cyber attack, a source told The Hacker News. OmniRAT made headlines in November 2015 when its developer launched it as a legitimate remote administration tool for IT experts and companies to manage their devices with explicit permissions. Available between $25 and $100, OmniRAT quickly became one of the most popular remote administration tools, allowing users to monitor Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac devices remotely and access every available information on them. However, just like any other remote administration tool like DroidJack, DarkComet, AndroRAT, and njRAT, some customers of OmniRAT also used the tool for illicit purposes, especially because it was available at a far cheaper price than other RATs in the market. In one such event earlier this year, a group of hackers attempted to target severa

LuminosityLink Hacking Tool Author Gets 30-Months Prison Sentence

LuminosityLink Hacking Tool Author Gets 30-Months Prison Sentence
October 17, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A 21-year-old Kentucky man who previously pleaded guilty to developing, marketing, and selling an infamous remote access trojan (RAT) called LuminosityLink has now been sentenced to 30 months in prison. According to a press release published Monday by U.S. Attorney's Office, Colton Grubbs, who used online moniker 'KFC Watermelon,' was pleaded guilty for three counts--unlawfully accessing computers in furtherance of a criminal act, money laundering, and illegal removal of property to prevent its lawful seizure. First surfaced in April 2015, the  LuminosityLink RAT  (Remote Access Trojan), also known as Luminosity, was a hacking tool that was sold for $40, marketing itself as a legitimate tool for Windows administrators to "manage a large number of computers concurrently." However, in reality, LuminosityLink was designed to be a dangerous, remote access trojan that among other malicious features, allowed Grubbs' customers to: Record the keys that victims

New Malware Family Uses Custom UDP Protocol for C&C Communications

New Malware Family Uses Custom UDP Protocol for C&C Communications
June 26, 2018Wang Wei
Security researchers have uncovered a new highly-targeted cyber espionage campaign, which is believed to be associated with a hacking group behind KHRAT backdoor Trojan and has been targeting organizations in South East Asia. According to researchers from Palo Alto , the hacking group, which they dubbed RANCOR, has been found using two new malware families—PLAINTEE and DDKONG—to target political entities primarily in Singapore and Cambodia. However, in previous years, threat actors behind KHRAT Trojan were allegedly linked to a Chinese cyber espionage group, known as DragonOK. While monitoring the C&C infrastructure associated with KHRAT trojan, researchers identified multiple variants of these two malware families, where PLAINTEE appears to be the latest weapon in the group's arsenal that uses a custom UDP protocol to communicate with its remote command-and-control server. To deliver both PLAINTEE and DDKONG, attackers use spear phishing messages with different inf

New Android Malware Secretly Records Phone Calls and Steals Private Data

New Android Malware Secretly Records Phone Calls and Steals Private Data
April 03, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers at Cisco Talos have uncovered variants of a new Android Trojan that are being distributed in the wild disguising as a fake anti-virus application, dubbed "Naver Defender." Dubbed KevDroid , the malware is a remote administration tool (RAT) designed to steal sensitive information from compromised Android devices, as well as capable of recording phone calls. Talos researchers published Monday technical details about two recent variants of KevDroid detected in the wild, following the initial discovery of the Trojan by South Korean cybersecurity firm ESTsecurity two weeks ago. Though researchers haven't attributed the malware to any hacking or state-sponsored group, South Korean media have linked KevDroid with North Korea state-sponsored cyber espionage hacking group " Group 123 ," primarily known for targeting South Korean targets. The most recent variant of KevDroid malware, detected in March this year, has the following capabilit

Hacker Who Never Hacked Anyone Gets 33-Month Prison Sentence

Hacker Who Never Hacked Anyone Gets 33-Month Prison Sentence
February 27, 2018Mohit Kumar
A hacker who was arrested and pleaded guilty last year—not because he hacked someone, but for creating and selling a remote access trojan that helped cyber criminals—has finally been sentenced to serve almost three years in prison. Taylor Huddleston, 26, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, pleaded guilty in July 2017 to one charge of aiding and abetting computer intrusions by building and intentionally selling a remote access trojan (RAT), called NanoCore , to hackers for $25. Huddleston was arrested in March, almost two months before the FBI raided his house in Hot Springs, Arkansas and left with his computers after 90 minutes, only to return eight weeks later with handcuffs. This case is a rare example of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) charging someone not for actively using malware to hack victims' computers, but for developing and selling it to other cybercriminals. Huddleston admitted to the court that he created his software knowing it would be used by other cybercrimi

macOS Malware Creator Charged With Spying on Thousands of PCs Over 13 Years

macOS Malware Creator Charged With Spying on Thousands of PCs Over 13 Years
January 11, 2018Mohit Kumar
The U.S. Justice Department unsealed 16-count indictment charges on Wednesday against a computer programmer from Ohio who is accused of creating and installing spyware on thousands of computers for more than 13 years. According to the indictment, 28-year-old Phillip R. Durachinsky is the alleged author of FruitFly malware that was found targeting Apple Mac users earlier last year worldwide, primarily in the United States. Interestingly, Durachinsky was just 14 years old when he programmed the first version of the FruitFly malware, and this full-fledged backdoor trojan went largely undetected for several years, despite using unsophisticated and antiquated code. The malware was initially discovered in January 2017 by Malwarebytes and then Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker, found around 400 Mac computers infected with the newer strain of FruitFly. However, Wardle believed the number of infected Macs would likely be much higher. The malware is capable of advanced surveillance

Greedy North Korean Hackers Targeting Cryptocurrencies and Point-of-Sale Terminals

Greedy North Korean Hackers Targeting Cryptocurrencies and Point-of-Sale Terminals
December 20, 2017Mohit Kumar
The North Korean hacking group has turned greedy. Security researchers have uncovered a new widespread malware campaign targeting cryptocurrency users, believed to be originated from Lazarus Group , a state-sponsored hacking group linked to the North Korean government. Active since 2009, Lazarus Group has been attributed to many high profile attacks, including Sony Pictures Hack , $81 million heists from the Bangladesh Bank , and the latest — WannaCry . The United States has officially blamed North Korea for global WannaCry ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers across more than 150 countries earlier this year. In separate news, security experts have blamed Lazarus group for stealing bitcoins worth millions from the South Korean exchange Youbit , forcing it to shut down and file for bankruptcy after losing 17% of its assets. Researchers from security firm Proofpoint have published a new report, revealing a connection between Lazarus Group and a

Hackers Are Distributing Backdoored 'Cobian RAT' Hacking tool For Free

Hackers Are Distributing Backdoored 'Cobian RAT' Hacking tool For Free
September 06, 2017Unknown
Nothing is free in this world. If you are searching for free ready-made hacking tools on the Internet, then beware—most freely available tools, claiming to be the swiss army knife for hackers, are nothing but a hoax. Last year, we reported about one such Facebook hacking tool that actually had the capability to hack a Facebook account, but yours and not the one you desire to hack. Now, a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) builder kit that was recently spotted on multiple underground hacking forums for free found containing a backdoored module that aims to provide the kit's authors access to all of the victim's data. Dubbed Cobian RAT , the malware has been in circulation since February of this year and has some similarities with the njRAT and H-Worm family of malware, which has been around since at least 2013. According to ThreatLabZ researchers from Zscaler, who discovered the backdoored nature of the malware kit, the "free malware builder" is likely capable of

Creator of NanoCore RAT Pleads Guilty to Aiding CyberCriminals

Creator of NanoCore RAT Pleads Guilty to Aiding CyberCriminals
July 26, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A programmer who was arrested in March this year—not because he hacked someone, but because he created and distributed a remote access software that helped cyber criminals—has finally pleaded guilty. Taylor Huddleston , 26, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal charges of aiding and abetting computer intrusions for intentionally selling a remote access tool (RAT), called NanoCore, to hackers. NanoCore RAT happens to be popular among hackers and has been linked to instructions in at least 10 countries, among them was a high-profile assault on Middle Eastern energy firms in 2015. NanoCore RAT, a $25 piece of remote access software, allows attackers to steal sensitive information from victim computers, such as passwords, emails, and instant messages. The RAT could even secretly activate the webcam on the victims' computers in order to spy on them. Huddleston began developing NanoCore in late 2012, not with any malicious purpose, but with a motive to o

Adwind RAT Returns! Cross-Platform Malware Targeting Aerospace Industries

Adwind RAT Returns! Cross-Platform Malware Targeting Aerospace Industries
July 11, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Hackers and cyber criminals are becoming dramatically more adept, innovative, and stealthy with each passing day. While other operating systems are more widely in use, cybercriminals have now shifted from traditional activities to more clandestine techniques that come with limitless attack vectors, support for cross platforms and low detection rates. Security researchers have discovered that infamous Adwind , a popular cross-platform Remote Access Trojan written in Java, has re-emerged and currently being used to "target enterprises in the aerospace industry, with Switzerland, Austria, Ukraine, and the US the most affected countries." Adwind — also known as AlienSpy, Frutas, jFrutas , Unrecom, Sockrat, JSocket, and jRat — has been in development since 2013 and is capable of infecting all the major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Adwind has several malicious capabilities including stealing credentials, keylogging, taking pictures or

Watch Out for Malware If You're Interested in North Korean Missile Program

Watch Out for Malware If You're Interested in North Korean Missile Program
July 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you hold an interest in the North Korean Missile Program and are one of those curious to know capabilities of the recently tested North Korean long-range missile than you could be a target of a new malware campaign. North Korea claims to have conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasong-14 , on 3rd July, and US officials believe the country may have fired a brand-new missile that has not been seen before. Now, just a day after the test missile launch, hackers have started utilizing the news to target people interested in North Korean missile arsenal that has progressed over the decades from crude artillery rockets to testing what the country claims long-range missiles that could strike targets in the United States. Security researchers at Talos Intelligence have discovered a new malware campaign that started on 4th July to target victims with KONNI, an unknown Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that has been in use for over three years.

Creator of MegalodonHTTP DDoS Botnet Arrested

Creator of MegalodonHTTP DDoS Botnet Arrested
January 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Last month, the Norway police arrested five hackers accused of running the MegalodonHTTP Remote Access Trojan (RAT). The arrests came as part of the joint operation between Norway's Kripos National Criminal Investigation Service and Europol, codenamed " OP Falling sTAR ." According to the United States security firm, all the five men, aged between 16 and 24 years and located in Romania, France, and Norway, were charged with possessing, using and selling malware. One of those arrested also confessed to running his own web store where he sold malware, designed to take full control of target computers, harvesting passwords, and other personal data. Moreover, the malware can be used to hijack webcams in real-time, and steal documents, images, and videos as well. "Damballa's threat discovery center worked in cooperation with the Norway police over the last few months to track and identify the author of the malware dubbed MegalodonHTTP," threat
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