The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Symantec

Newly Uncovered 'SowBug' Cyber-Espionage Group Stealing Diplomatic Secrets Since 2015

Newly Uncovered 'SowBug' Cyber-Espionage Group Stealing Diplomatic Secrets Since 2015
November 07, 2017Mohit Kumar
A previously unknown hacking and cyber-espionage group that has been in operation since at least 2015 have conducted a series of highly targeted attacks against a host of government organizations in South America and Southeast Asia to steal their sensitive data. Codenamed Sowbug , the hacking group has been exposed by Symantec security researchers, who spotted the group conducting clandestine attacks against foreign policy institutions, government bodies and diplomatic targets in countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Malaysia. Symantec analysis found that the Sowbug hacking group uses a piece of malware dubbed "Felismus" to launch its attacks and infiltrate their targets. First identified in late March of this year, Felismus is a sophisticated, well-written piece of remote access Trojan (RAT) with a modular construction that allows the backdoor trojan to hide and or extend its capabilities. The malware allows malicious actors to take complete

Symantec Connects 40 Cyber Attacks to CIA Hacking Tools Exposed by Wikileaks

Symantec Connects 40 Cyber Attacks to CIA Hacking Tools Exposed by Wikileaks
April 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have confirmed that the alleged CIA hacking tools recently exposed by WikiLeaks have been used against at least 40 governments and private organizations across 16 countries. Since March, as part of its " Vault 7 " series, Wikileaks has published over 8,761 documents and other confidential information that the whistleblower group claims came from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Now, researchers at cybersecurity company Symantec reportedly managed to link those CIA hacking tools to numerous real cyber attacks in recent years that have been carried out against the government and private sectors across the world. Those 40 cyber attacks were conducted by Longhorn — a North American hacking group that has been active since at least 2011 and has used backdoor trojans and zero-day attacks to target government, financial, energy, telecommunications, education, aerospace, and natural resources sectors. Although the group's targets were a

Symantec API Flaws reportedly let attackers steal Private SSL Keys and Certificates

Symantec API Flaws reportedly let attackers steal Private SSL Keys and Certificates
March 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A security researcher has disclosed critical issues in the processes and third-party API used by Symantec certificate resellers to deliver and manage Symantec SSL certificates. The flaw, discovered by Chris Byrne, an information security consultant and instructor for Cloud Harmonics, could allow an unauthenticated attacker to retrieve other persons' SSL certificates, including public and private keys, as well as to reissue or revoke those certificates. Even without revoking and reissuing a certificate, attackers can conduct "man-in-the-middle" attack over the secure connections using stolen SSL certs, tricking users into believing they are on a legitimate site when in fact their SSL traffic is being secretly tampered with and intercepted. "All you had to do was click a link sent in [an] email, and you could retrieve a cert, revoke a cert, and re-issue a cert," Byrne wrote in a Facebook post published over the weekend. Symantec knew of API Flaws Si

Google Chrome to Distrust Symantec SSLs for Mis-issuing 30,000 EV Certificates

Google Chrome to Distrust Symantec SSLs for Mis-issuing 30,000 EV Certificates
March 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Google announced its plans to punish Symantec by gradually distrusting its SSL certificates after the company was caught improperly issuing 30,000 Extended Validation (EV) certificates over the past few years. The Extended Validation (EV) status of all certificates issued by Symantec-owned certificate authorities will no longer be recognized by the Chrome browser for at least a year until Symantec fixes its certificate issuance processes so that it can be trusted again. Extended validation certificates are supposed to provide the highest level of trust and authentication, where before issuing a certificate, Certificate Authority must verify the requesting entity's legal existence and identity. The move came into effect immediately after Ryan Sleevi, a software engineer on the Google Chrome team, made this announcement on Thursday in an online forum . "This is also coupled with a series of failures following the previous set of misissued certificates from Symantec, c

More than 1,400 Financial institutions in 88 Countries targeted by Banking Trojan in 2013

More than 1,400 Financial institutions in 88 Countries targeted by Banking Trojan in 2013
December 22, 2013Swati Khandelwal
As the year draws to a close, we have seen the number of emerging threats like advance phishing attacks from the Syrian Electronic Army , financial malware and exploit kits, Cryptolocker ransomware infections, massive  Bitcoin theft, extensive privacy breach from NSA and many more. The financial malware's were the most popular threat this year. Money is always a perfect motivation for attackers and cyber criminals who are continually targeting financial institutions. On Tuesday, Antivirus firm Symantec has released a Threat report, called " The State of Financial Trojans: 2013 ", which revealed that over 1,400 financial institutions have been targeted and compromised millions of computers around the globe and the most targeted banks are in the US with 71.5% of all analyzed Trojans. Financial institutions have been fighting against malware for the last ten years to protect their customers and online transactions from threat. Over the time the attackers adapted to these counter

Linux worm targeting Routers, Set-top boxes and Security Cameras with PHP-CGI Vulnerability

Linux worm targeting Routers, Set-top boxes and Security Cameras with PHP-CGI Vulnerability
November 30, 2013Mohit Kumar
A Symantec researcher has discovered a new Linux worm, targeting machine-to-machine devices, and exploits a PHP vulnerability ( CVE-2012-1823 ) to propagate that has been patched as far back as May 2012. Linux worm, which has been dubbed Linux.Darlloz , poses a threat to devices such as home routers and set-top boxes, Security Cameras, and even industrial control systems. It is based on proof-of-concept code released in late October and it helps spread malware by exploiting a vulnerability in php-cgi . " Upon execution, the worm generates IP addresses randomly, accesses a specific path on the machine with well-known ID and passwords, and sends HTTP POST requests, which exploit the vulnerability. If the target is unpatched, it downloads the worm from a malicious server and starts searching for its next target. " the Symantec researchers explained. The malware does not appear to perform any malicious activity other than silently spreading itself and wiping a load of system

Japanese word processor 'Ichitaro' zero-day attack discovered in the wild

Japanese word processor 'Ichitaro' zero-day attack discovered in the wild
November 15, 2013Mohit Kumar
Japanese most popular word processing software ' Ichitaro ' and Multiple Products are vulnerable to a zero day Remote Code Execution Flaw Vulnerability, allowing the execution of arbitrary code to compromise a user's system. According to assigned CVE-2013-5990 ,  malicious attacker is able to gain system access and execute arbitrary code with the privileges of a local user. The vulnerability is caused due to an unspecified error when handling certain document files. " We confirm the existence of vulnerabilities in some of our products. " company blog says. In a blog post, Antivirus Firm Symantec confirmed that in September 2013, they have discovered attacks in the wild attempting to exploit this vulnerability during, detected as  Trojan.Mdropper , which is a variant of  Backdoor.Vidgrab . Researchers mentioned that  Backdoor.Vidgrab variant was used as a payload for a watering hole attack exploiting the Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory

Stuxnet 0.5 : Symantec study reveals Stuxnet was dated 2005

Stuxnet 0.5 : Symantec study reveals Stuxnet was dated 2005
February 27, 2013Anonymous
Today social media are spreading a shocking news, authors of Stuxnet virus that hit Iranian nuclear program in 2010 according a new research proposed by Symantec security company started in 2005 and contrary to successive instance of the malware he was designed to manipulate the nuclear facility's gas valves. The attacker strategy was to destroy the nuclear plant causing an explosion due the sabotage of gas valves, hackers purpose was physical destruction of the targets, due this reason the press and security community labeled Stuxnet as first cyber weapon of the history.  Francis deSouza, Symantec's president of products and services, during an interview with Bloomberg revealed that the version detected was a sort of beta version of the final weapon and that in the period between 2005 and 2009 the authors were testing its capabilities. " It looks like now the weapon tried a few things before it hit on what would actually work ,"' " It is clear that this has been a soph

Cross Platform Trojan builder distributed on underground forums

Cross Platform Trojan builder distributed on underground forums
February 14, 2013Mohit Kumar
A Cross platform back door ' Frutas ' remote access tool (RAT) is available for download on many forums from January 2013. This Trojan builder is completely written in Java. Recently, Symantec experts analyse that Frutas RAT allows attackers to create a connect-back client JAR file to run on a compromised computer. The back door builder provides some minor obfuscation, which allows the attacker to use a custom encryption key for some of the embedded back door functionality. Once a backdoor connection is established, the RAT server alerts the attacker and allows them to perform various back door functions on the compromised computer i.e Browse file systems, Download and execute arbitrary files, Perform denial of service attacks, Open a specified website in a browser. According to Symantec only 2 out of the 46 vendors from Virus Total are detecting it as a threat.

Bamital botnet servers seized by Microsoft and Symantec

Bamital botnet servers seized by Microsoft and Symantec
February 07, 2013Mohit Kumar
Microsoft teamed up with Symantec to take down a nasty malware affecting thousands upon thousands of PCs. Bamital botnet  hijacked people's search experiences and redirected victims to potentially dangerous sites that could leave them vulnerable to other online threats and steal their personal information. Experts from the organizations obtained a court order and shut down servers at a data center in New Jersey and convinced operators in Virginia to shut down a server they control in the Netherlands on Wednesday. The Bamital botnet threatened the US$12.7 billion online advertising industry by generating fraudulent clicks on Internet ads. Microsoft's research shows that Bamital hijacked more than 8 million computers over the past two years. Microsoft says that the botnet affected many major search engines and browsers including Bing, Yahoo, and Google offerings. Bamital's organizers also had the ability to take control of infected PCs, installing other types of com

Chinese Hackers hit New York Times and Wall Street Journal

Chinese Hackers hit New York Times and Wall Street Journal
February 01, 2013Mohit Kumar
The New York Times says Chinese hackers probably working for the military or Chinese government have carried out sustained attacks on its computer systems, breaking in and stealing the passwords of high-profile reporters and other staff members. For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times . On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal announced that it too had been hacked by Chinese hackers who were trying to monitor the company's coverage of China. It said hackers had broken into its network through computers in its Beijing bureau. " The hackers tried to cloak the source of the attacks on The Times by first penetrating computers at United States universities and routing the attacks through them " " Evidence shows that infiltration efforts target the monitoring of the Journal's coverage of China, and are not an attempt to gain commercial advantage or to misappropriate customer information, " the statement rea

Malware in your Mouse can act as RAT for Cyber Criminals

Malware in your Mouse can act as RAT for Cyber Criminals
October 30, 2012Mohit Kumar
Recently we reported about that  Symantec provide overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity via its Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) , with a exclusive details that 400 million new variants of malware were created in 2011, which is an average of 33 million new variants of malware a month, or an average of one million new variants a day. In order to develop malware that evades detection by the security companies malware writers come up with some clever, yet quite simple techniques. If malware stops itself when it detects that it is running in a virtual environment, it may trick an automated threat analysis system into thinking that it is a clean program. So malware may not only fool automated threat analysis systems, but also a corporate system administrator who is searching for computers compromised by malware. Malware authors have recently attempted to use other approaches to fool automated threat analysis systems as well. Latest example of such Trojan is t

400 million new variants of malware created in a year

400 million new variants of malware created in a year
October 28, 2012Mohit Kumar
Symantec provide overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity via its Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) , with a exclusive details that 400 million new variants of malware were created in 2011, which is an average of 33 million new variants of malware a month, or an average of one million new variants a day. The report is based on data from the Global Intelligence Network, which Symantec's analysts use to identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in attacks, malicious code activity, phishing, and spam. Here are some highlights from the threat landscape of 2011. " It is impossible to manually analyze such a large number of sample files, so it is therefore necessary to use an automated threat analysis system to analyze sample behavior and prioritize the files that virus definitions should be created for ." Symantec said in a blog post. Political activism and hacking were two big themes in 2011 themes that are continuing into 2012

Spam campaign tricking thousands with shortened .gov URLs

Spam campaign tricking thousands with shortened .gov URLs
October 21, 2012Mohit Kumar
Symantec has reported an increase in spam messages containing .gov URLs. Cybercriminals are using 1.usa.gov links in their spam campaigns to trick users into thinking the links lead to genuine US government Web sites. Spammers have created these shortened URLs through a loophole in the URL shortening service provided by bit.ly. USA.gov and bit.ly have collaborated, enabling anyone to shorten a .gov or .mil URL into a trustworthy 1.usa.gov URL. The click rate of the campaign has been significant, redirecting more than 16,000 victims over a five day period to a malicious website designed to look like a CNBC news article pushing several work from home scams. According to researchers from security firm Symantec , they simply leveraged an open-redirect vulnerability present on the official government site of Vermont (Vermont.gov) . Therefore, something like 1.usa.gov/…/Rxpfn9 takes you to labor.vermont.gov/LinkClick.aspx?link=[spam site] which then redirects you to the sp

Beginner Guide to SSL Certificates

Beginner Guide to SSL Certificates
October 17, 2012Mohit Kumar
The Internet has created many new global business opportunities for enterprises conducting online commerce. However, the many security risks associated with conducting e-commerce have resulted in security becoming a major factor for online success or failure. Whether you are an individual or a company, you should approach online security in the same way that you would approach physical security for your home or business. Not only does it make you feel safer but it also protects people who visit your home, place of business, or website. It is important to understand the potential risks and then make sure you are fully protected against them. In the fast-paced world of technology, it is not always easy to stay abreast of the latest advancements. For this reason it is wise to partner with a reputable Internet security company. Here we have a very cool guide from  Symantec , This guide will de-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the
Online Courses and Software

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