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Multiple Threat Actors Deploying Open-Source Rafel RAT to Target Android Devices

Multiple Threat Actors Deploying Open-Source Rafel RAT to Target Android Devices

Jun 24, 2024 Mobile Security / Threat Intelligence
Multiple threat actors, including cyber espionage groups, are employing an open-source Android remote administration tool called Rafel RAT to meet their operational objectives by masquerading it as Instagram, WhatsApp, and various e-commerce and antivirus apps. "It provides malicious actors with a powerful toolkit for remote administration and control, enabling a range of malicious activities from data theft to device manipulation," Check Point said in an analysis published last week. It boasts a wide range of features, such as the ability to wipe SD cards, delete call logs, siphon notifications, and even act as ransomware. The use of Rafel RAT by DoNot Team (aka APT-C-35, Brainworm, and Origami Elephant) was previously highlighted by the Israeli cybersecurity company in cyber attacks that leveraged a design flaw in Foxit PDF Reader to trick users into downloading malicious payloads. The campaign, which took place in April 2024, is said to have utilized military-them
ExCobalt Cyber Gang Targets Russian Sectors with New GoRed Backdoor

ExCobalt Cyber Gang Targets Russian Sectors with New GoRed Backdoor

Jun 22, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Threat Intelligence
Russian organizations have been targeted by a cybercrime gang called ExCobalt using a previously unknown Golang-based backdoor known as GoRed. "ExCobalt focuses on cyber espionage and includes several members active since at least 2016 and presumably once part of the notorious Cobalt Gang ," Positive Technologies researchers Vladislav Lunin and Alexander Badayev said in a technical report published this week. "Cobalt attacked financial institutions to steal funds. One of Cobalt's hallmarks was the use of the CobInt tool , something ExCobalt began to use in 2022." Attacks mounted by the threat actor have singled out various sectors in Russia over the past year, including government, information technology, metallurgy, mining, software development, and telecommunications. Initial access to environments is facilitated by taking advantage of a previously compromised contractor and a supply chain attack, wherein the adversary infected a component used to bu
Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Jun 14, 2024Cybersecurity / Regulatory Compliance
As cyber threats loom large and data breaches continue to pose increasingly significant risks. Organizations and industries that handle sensitive information and valuable assets make prime targets for cybercriminals seeking financial gain or strategic advantage.  Which is why many highly regulated sectors, from finance to utilities, are turning to military-grade cyber defenses to safeguard their operations. Regulatory Pressures Impacting Cyber Decisions Industries such as finance, healthcare, and government are subject to strict regulatory standards, governing data privacy, security, and compliance. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in severe penalties, legal repercussions, and damage to reputation. To meet regulatory requirements and mitigate the ever-increasing risk, organizations are shifting to adopt more robust cybersecurity measures. Understanding the Increase of Threats Attacks on regulated industries have increased dramatically over the past 5 years, with o
Chinese Hackers Deploy SpiceRAT and SugarGh0st in Global Espionage Campaign

Chinese Hackers Deploy SpiceRAT and SugarGh0st in Global Espionage Campaign

Jun 21, 2024 Malware / Threat Intelligence
A previously undocumented Chinese-speaking threat actor codenamed SneakyChef has been linked to an espionage campaign primarily targeting government entities across Asia and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) with SugarGh0st malware since at least August 2023. "SneakyChef uses lures that are scanned documents of government agencies, most of which are related to various countries' Ministries of Foreign Affairs or embassies," Cisco Talos researchers Chetan Raghuprasad and Ashley Shen said in an analysis published today. Activities related to the hacking crew were first highlighted by the cybersecurity company in late November 2023 in connection with an attack campaign that singled out South Korea and Uzbekistan with a custom variant of Gh0st RAT called SugarGh0st . A subsequent analysis from Proofpoint last month uncovered the use of SugarGh0st RAT against U.S. organizations involved in artificial intelligence efforts, including those in academia, private indust
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Military-themed Email Scam Spreads Malware to Infect Pakistani Users

Military-themed Email Scam Spreads Malware to Infect Pakistani Users

Jun 21, 2024 Phishing Attack / Email Security
Cybersecurity researchers have shed light on a new phishing campaign that has been identified as targeting people in Pakistan using a custom backdoor. Dubbed PHANTOM#SPIKE by Securonix, the unknown threat actors behind the activity have leveraged military-related phishing documents to activate the infection sequence. "While there are many methods used today to deploy malware, the threat actors made use of ZIP files with a password-protected payload archive contained within," researchers Den Iuzvyk, Tim Peck, and Oleg Kolesnikov said in a report shared with The Hacker News. The campaign is notable for its lack of sophistication and the use of simple payloads to achieve remote access to target machines. The email messages come bearing a ZIP archive that purports to be meeting minutes related to the International Military-Technical Forum Army 2024, a legitimate event organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. It's set to be held in Moscow in mid
SolarWinds Serv-U Vulnerability Under Active Attack - Patch Immediately

SolarWinds Serv-U Vulnerability Under Active Attack - Patch Immediately

Jun 21, 2024 Vulnerability / Data Protection
A recently patched high-severity flaw impacting SolarWinds Serv-U file transfer software is being actively exploited by malicious actors in the wild. The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2024-28995 (CVSS score: 8.6), concerns a directory transversal bug that could allow attackers to read sensitive files on the host machine. Affecting all versions of the software prior to and including Serv-U 15.4.2 HF 1, it was addressed by the company in version Serv-U 15.4.2 HF 2 (15.4.2.157) released earlier this month. The list of products susceptible to CVE-2024-28995 is below - Serv-U FTP Server 15.4 Serv-U Gateway 15.4 Serv-U MFT Server 15.4, and Serv-U File Server 15.4 Security researcher Hussein Daher of Web Immunify has been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw. Following the public disclosure, additional technical details and a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit have since been made available. Cybersecurity firm Rapid7 described the vulnerability as trivial to exploit
U.S. Bans Kaspersky Software, Citing National Security Risks

U.S. Bans Kaspersky Software, Citing National Security Risks

Jun 21, 2024 Software Security / Threat Intelligence
The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on Thursday announced a "first of its kind" ban that prohibits Kaspersky Lab's U.S. subsidiary from directly or indirectly offering its security software in the country. The blockade also extends to the cybersecurity company's affiliates, subsidiaries and parent companies, the department said, adding the action is based on the fact that its operations in the U.S. posed a national security risk. News of the ban was first reported by Reuters. "The company's continued operations in the United States presented a national security risk — due to the Russian Government's offensive cyber capabilities and capacity to influence or direct Kaspersky's operations — that could not be addressed through mitigation measures short of a total prohibition," the BIS said . It further said Kaspersky is subject to the jurisdiction and control of the Russian government and that its software pro
Researchers Uncover UEFI Vulnerability Affecting Multiple Intel CPUs

Researchers Uncover UEFI Vulnerability Affecting Multiple Intel CPUs

Jun 20, 2024 Firmware Security / Vulnerability
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of a now-patched security flaw in Phoenix SecureCore UEFI firmware that affects multiple families of Intel Core desktop and mobile processors. Tracked as CVE-2024-0762 (CVSS score: 7.5), the "UEFIcanhazbufferoverflow" vulnerability has been described as a case of a buffer overflow stemming from the use of an unsafe variable in the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) configuration that could result in the execution of malicious code. "The vulnerability allows a local attacker to escalate privileges and gain code execution within the UEFI firmware during runtime," supply chain security firm Eclypsium said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "This type of low-level exploitation is typical of firmware backdoors (e.g., BlackLotus ) that are increasingly observed in the wild. Such implants give attackers ongoing persistence within a device and often, the ability to evade higher-level security measures running in
New Rust-based Fickle Malware Uses PowerShell for UAC Bypass and Data Exfiltration

New Rust-based Fickle Malware Uses PowerShell for UAC Bypass and Data Exfiltration

Jun 20, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Cybercrime
A new Rust-based information stealer malware called Fickle Stealer has been observed being delivered via multiple attack chains with the goal of harvesting sensitive information from compromised hosts. Fortinet FortiGuard Labs said it's aware of four different distribution methods -- namely VBA dropper, VBA downloader, link downloader, and executable downloader -- with some of them using a PowerShell script to bypass User Account Control (UAC) and execute Fickle Stealer. The PowerShell script ("bypass.ps1" or "u.ps1") is also designed to periodically send information about the victim, including country, city, IP address, operating system version, computer name, and username to a Telegram bot controlled by the attacker. The stealer payload, which is protected using a packer, runs a series of anti-analysis checks to determine if it's running in a sandbox or a virtual machine environment, following which it beacons out to a remote server to exfiltrate da
UNC3886 Uses Fortinet, VMware 0-Days and Stealth Tactics in Long-Term Spying

UNC3886 Uses Fortinet, VMware 0-Days and Stealth Tactics in Long-Term Spying

Jun 19, 2024 Zero-Day Exploits / Cyber Espionage
The China-nexus cyber espionage actor linked to the zero-day exploitation of security flaws in Fortinet , Ivanti , and VMware devices has been observed utilizing multiple persistence mechanisms in order to maintain unfettered access to compromised environments. "Persistence mechanisms encompassed network devices, hypervisors, and virtual machines, ensuring alternative channels remain available even if the primary layer is detected and eliminated," Mandiant researchers said in a new report. The threat actor in question is UNC3886 , which the Google-owned threat intelligence company branded as "sophisticated, cautious, and evasive." Attacks orchestrated by the adversary have leveraged zero-day flaws such as CVE-2022-41328 (Fortinet FortiOS), CVE-2022-22948 (VMware vCenter), and CVE-2023-20867 (VMware Tools) to perform various malicious actions, ranging from deploying backdoors to obtaining credentials for deeper access. It has also been observed exploiting
New Threat Actor 'Void Arachne' Targets Chinese Users with Malicious VPN Installers

New Threat Actor 'Void Arachne' Targets Chinese Users with Malicious VPN Installers

Jun 19, 2024 Malware / Cyber Attack
Chinese-speaking users are the target of a never-before-seen threat activity cluster codenamed Void Arachne that employs malicious Windows Installer (MSI) files for virtual private networks (VPNs) to deliver a command-and-control (C&C) framework called Winos 4.0. "The campaign also promotes compromised MSI files embedded with nudifiers and deepfake pornography-generating software, as well as AI voice and facial technologies," Trend Micro researchers Peter Girnus, Aliakbar Zahravi, and Ahmed Mohamed Ibrahim said in a technical report published today. "The campaign uses [Search Engine Optimization] poisoning tactics and social media and messaging platforms to distribute malware." The security vendor, which discovered the new threat actor group in early April 2024, said the attacks entail advertising popular software such as Google Chrome, LetsVPN, QuickVPN, and a Telegram language pack for the Simplified Chinese language to distribute Winos. Alternate attack
China-Linked Hackers Infiltrate East Asian Firm for 3 Years Using F5 Devices

China-Linked Hackers Infiltrate East Asian Firm for 3 Years Using F5 Devices

Jun 17, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Vulnerability
A suspected China-nexus cyber espionage actor has been attributed as behind a prolonged attack against an unnamed organization located in East Asia for a period of about three years, with the adversary establishing persistence using legacy F5 BIG-IP appliances and using it as an internal command-and-control (C&C) for defense evasion purposes. Cybersecurity company Sygnia, which responded to the intrusion in late 2023, is tracking the activity under the name Velvet Ant , characterizing it as possessing robust capabilities to swiftly pivot and adapt their tactics to counter repeated eradication efforts. "Velvet Ant is a sophisticated and innovative threat actor," the Israeli company said in a technical report shared with The Hacker News. "They collected sensitive information over a long period of time, focusing on customer and financial information." The attack chains involve the use of a known backdoor called PlugX (aka Korplug), a modular remote access tr
Hackers Exploit Legitimate Websites to Deliver BadSpace Windows Backdoor

Hackers Exploit Legitimate Websites to Deliver BadSpace Windows Backdoor

Jun 17, 2024 Web Security / Malware
Legitimate-but-compromised websites are being used as a conduit to deliver a Windows backdoor dubbed BadSpace under the guise of fake browser updates. "The threat actor employs a multi-stage attack chain involving an infected website, a command-and-control (C2) server, in some cases a fake browser update, and a JScript downloader to deploy a backdoor into the victim's system," German cybersecurity company G DATA said in a report. Details of the malware were first shared by researchers kevross33 and Gi7w0rm last month. It all starts with a compromised website, including those built on WordPress, to inject code that incorporates logic to determine if a user has visited the site before.  Should it be the user's first visit, the code collects information about the device, IP address, user-agent, and location, and transmits it to a hard-coded domain via an HTTP GET request. The response from the server subsequently overlays the contents of the web page with a ph
Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Jun 14, 2024 Cybersecurity / Regulatory Compliance
As cyber threats loom large and data breaches continue to pose increasingly significant risks. Organizations and industries that handle sensitive information and valuable assets make prime targets for cybercriminals seeking financial gain or strategic advantage.  Which is why many highly regulated sectors, from finance to utilities, are turning to military-grade cyber defenses to safeguard their operations. Regulatory Pressures Impacting Cyber Decisions Industries such as finance, healthcare, and government are subject to strict regulatory standards, governing data privacy, security, and compliance. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in severe penalties, legal repercussions, and damage to reputation. To meet regulatory requirements and mitigate the ever-increasing risk, organizations are shifting to adopt more robust cybersecurity measures. Understanding the Increase of Threats Attacks on regulated industries have increased dramatically over the past 5 years, with o
New Attack Technique 'Sleepy Pickle' Targets Machine Learning Models

New Attack Technique 'Sleepy Pickle' Targets Machine Learning Models

Jun 13, 2024 Vulnerability / Software Security
The security risks posed by the Pickle format have once again come to the fore with the discovery of a new "hybrid machine learning (ML) model exploitation technique" dubbed Sleepy Pickle. The attack method, per Trail of Bits, weaponizes the ubiquitous format used to package and distribute machine learning (ML) models to corrupt the model itself, posing a severe supply chain risk to an organization's downstream customers. "Sleepy Pickle is a stealthy and novel attack technique that targets the ML model itself rather than the underlying system," security researcher Boyan Milanov said . While pickle is a widely used serialization format by ML libraries like PyTorch , it can be used to carry out arbitrary code execution attacks simply by loading a pickle file (i.e., during deserialization). "We suggest loading models from users and organizations you trust, relying on signed commits, and/or loading models from [TensorFlow] or Jax formats with the from_
Arid Viper Launches Mobile Espionage Campaign with AridSpy Malware

Arid Viper Launches Mobile Espionage Campaign with AridSpy Malware

Jun 13, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Mobile Security
The threat actor known as Arid Viper has been attributed to a mobile espionage campaign that leverages trojanized Android apps to deliver a spyware strain dubbed AridSpy. "The malware is distributed through dedicated websites impersonating various messaging apps, a job opportunity app, and a Palestinian Civil Registry app," ESET researcher Lukáš Štefanko said in a report published today. "Often these are existing applications that had been trojanized by the addition of AridSpy's malicious code." The activity is said to have spanned as many as five campaigns since 2022, with prior variants of AridSpy documented by Zimperium and 360 Beacon Labs . Three out of the five campaigns are still active. Arid Viper, a suspected Hamas-affiliated actor which is also called APT-C-23, Desert Falcon, Grey Karkadann, Mantis, and Two-tailed Scorpion, has a long track record of using mobile malware since its emergence in 2017. "Arid Viper has historically targeted mil
Pakistan-linked Malware Campaign Evolves to Target Windows, Android, and macOS

Pakistan-linked Malware Campaign Evolves to Target Windows, Android, and macOS

Jun 13, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Cyber Attack
Threat actors with ties to Pakistan have been linked to a long-running malware campaign dubbed Operation Celestial Force since at least 2018. The activity, still ongoing, entails the use of an Android malware called GravityRAT and a Windows-based malware loader codenamed HeavyLift, according to Cisco Talos, which are administered using another standalone tool referred to as GravityAdmin. The cybersecurity attributed the intrusion to an adversary it tracks under the moniker Cosmic Leopard (aka SpaceCobra), which it said exhibits some level of tactical overlap with Transparent Tribe . "Operation Celestial Force has been active since at least 2018 and continues to operate today — increasingly utilizing an expanding and evolving malware suite — indicating that the operation has likely seen a high degree of success targeting users in the Indian subcontinent," security researchers Asheer Malhotra and Vitor Ventura said in a technical report shared with The Hacker News. Grav
Cybercriminals Employ PhantomLoader to Distribute SSLoad Malware

Cybercriminals Employ PhantomLoader to Distribute SSLoad Malware

Jun 13, 2024 Malware / Cyber Attack
The nascent malware known as SSLoad is being delivered by means of a previously undocumented loader called PhantomLoader, according to findings from cybersecurity firm Intezer. "The loader is added to a legitimate DLL, usually EDR or AV products, by binary patching the file and employing self-modifying techniques to evade detection," security researchers Nicole Fishbein and Ryan Robinson said in a report published this week. SSLoad, likely offered to other threat actors under a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) model owing to its different delivery methods, infiltrates systems through phishing emails, conducts reconnaissance, and pushes additional types of malware down to victims. Prior reporting from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 and Securonix has revealed the use of SSLoad to deploy Cobalt Strike, a legitimate adversary simulation software often used for post-exploitation purposes. The malware has been detected since April 2024. The attack chains typically involve the use o
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