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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: computer virus

New Stealthy Rootkit Infiltrated Networks of High-Profile Organizations

 New Stealthy Rootkit Infiltrated Networks of High-Profile Organizations
May 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An unknown threat actor with the capabilities to evolve and tailor its toolset to target environments infiltrated high-profile organizations in Asia and Africa with an evasive Windows rootkit since at least 2018. Called  'Moriya ,' the malware is a "passive backdoor which allows attackers to inspect all incoming traffic to the infected machine, filter out packets that are marked as designated for the malware and respond to them," said Kaspersky researchers Mark Lechtik and Giampaolo Dedola in a Thursday deep-dive. The Russian cybersecurity firm termed the ongoing espionage campaign  'TunnelSnake .' Based on telemetry analysis, less than 10 victims around the world have been targeted to date, with the most prominent targets being two large diplomatic entities in Southeast Asia and Africa. All the other victims were located in South Asia. The first reports of Moriya emerged last November when Kaspersky said it discovered the stealthy implant in the networks

Authorities Seize Dark-Web Site Linked to the Netwalker Ransomware

Authorities Seize Dark-Web Site Linked to the Netwalker Ransomware
January 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
U.S. and Bulgarian authorities this week took control of the dark web site used by the NetWalker ransomware cybercrime group to publish data stolen from its victims. "We are striking back against the growing threat of ransomware by not only bringing criminal charges against the responsible actors, but also disrupting criminal online infrastructure and, wherever possible, recovering ransom payments extorted from victims,"  said  Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "Ransomware victims should know that coming forward to law enforcement as soon as possible after an attack can lead to significant results like those achieved in today's multi-faceted operation." In connection with the takedown, a Canadian national named Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins from the city of Gatineau was charged in the U.S. state of Florida for extorting $27.6 million in cryptocurrency from ransom payments. Separately, the

European Authorities Disrupt Emotet — World's Most Dangerous Malware

European Authorities Disrupt Emotet — World's Most Dangerous Malware
January 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Law enforcement agencies from as many as eight countries dismantled the infrastructure of Emotet , a notorious email-based Windows malware behind several botnet-driven spam campaigns and ransomware attacks over the past decade. The coordinated takedown of the botnet on Tuesday — dubbed " Operation Ladybird " — is the result of a joint effort between authorities in the Netherlands, Germany, the U.S., the U.K., France, Lithuania, Canada, and Ukraine to take control of servers used to run and maintain the malware network. "The Emotet infrastructure essentially acted as a primary door opener for computer systems on a global scale," Europol  said . "What made Emotet so dangerous is that the malware was offered for hire to other cybercriminals to install other types of malware, such as banking Trojans or ransomware, onto a victim's computer." More Than a Malware  Since its first identification in 2014,  Emotet  has evolved from its initial roots as a cr

SoReL-20M: A Huge Dataset of 20 Million Malware Samples Released Online

SoReL-20M: A Huge Dataset of 20 Million Malware Samples Released Online
December 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity firms Sophos and ReversingLabs on Monday jointly released the first-ever production-scale malware research dataset to be made available to the general public that aims to build effective defenses and drive industry-wide improvements in security detection and response. " SoReL-20M " (short for  So phos- Re versing L abs –  20   M illion), as it's called, is a dataset containing metadata, labels, and features for 20 million Windows Portable Executable (.PE) files, including 10 million disarmed malware samples, with the goal of devising machine-learning approaches for better malware detection capabilities. "Open knowledge and understanding about cyber threats also leads to more predictive cybersecurity," Sophos AI group said. "Defenders will be able to anticipate what attackers are doing and be better prepared for their next move." Accompanying the release are a set of  PyTorch  and  LightGBM -based machine learning  models pre-trained

TrickBot Malware Gets UEFI/BIOS Bootkit Feature to Remain Undetected

TrickBot Malware Gets UEFI/BIOS Bootkit Feature to Remain Undetected
December 03, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
TrickBot , one of the most notorious and adaptable malware botnets in the world, is expanding its toolset to set its sights on firmware vulnerabilities to potentially deploy bootkits and take complete control of an infected system. The new functionality, dubbed " TrickBoot " by Advanced Intelligence (AdvIntel) and Eclypsium, makes use of readily available tools to check devices for well-known vulnerabilities that can allow attackers to inject malicious code in the UEFI/BIOS firmware of a device, granting the attackers an effective mechanism of persistent malware storage. "This marks a significant step in the evolution of TrickBot as UEFI level implants are the deepest, most powerful, and stealthy form of bootkits," the researchers said. "By adding the ability to canvas victim devices for specific UEFI/BIOS firmware vulnerabilities, TrickBot actors are able to target specific victims with firmware-level persistence that survives re-imaging or even device br

Evolution of Emotet: From Banking Trojan to Malware Distributor

Evolution of Emotet: From Banking Trojan to Malware Distributor
November 19, 2020The Hacker News
Emotet is one of the most dangerous and widespread malware threats active today. Ever since its discovery in 2014—when Emotet was a standard credential stealer and banking Trojan, the malware has evolved into a modular, polymorphic platform for distributing other kinds of computer viruses. Being constantly under development, Emotet updates itself regularly to improve stealthiness, persistence, and add new spying capabilities. This notorious Trojan is one of the most frequently malicious programs found in the wild. Usually, it is a part of a phishing attack, email spam that infects PCs with malware and spreads among other computers in the network. If you'd like to find out more about the malware, collect IOCs, and get fresh samples, check the following article in the Malware trends tracker , the service with dynamic articles. Emotet is the most uploaded malware throughout the past few years. Here below is the rating of uploads to ANY.RUN service in 2019, where users ran over

Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet

Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet
October 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Days after the US Government took steps to disrupt the notorious TrickBot botnet , a group of cybersecurity and tech companies has detailed a separate coordinated effort to take down the malware's back-end infrastructure. The joint collaboration, which involved Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit , Lumen's Black Lotus Labs , ESET , Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center ( FS-ISAC ), NTT , and Broadcom's Symantec , was undertaken after their request to halt TrickBot's operations was granted by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The development comes after the US Cyber Command mounted a campaign to thwart TrickBot's spread over concerns of ransomware attacks targeting voting systems ahead of the presidential elections next month. Attempts aimed at impeding the botnet were first reported by KrebsOnSecurity early this month. Microsoft and its partners analyzed over 186,000 TrickBot samples, using it to track down the m

A New Fileless P2P Botnet Malware Targeting SSH Servers Worldwide

A New Fileless P2P Botnet Malware Targeting SSH Servers Worldwide
August 19, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today took the wraps off a sophisticated, multi-functional peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet written in Golang that has been actively targeting SSH servers since January 2020. Called " FritzFrog ," the modular, multi-threaded and file-less botnet has breached more than 500 servers to date, infecting well-known universities in the US and Europe, and a railway company, according to a report released by Guardicore Labs today. "With its decentralized infrastructure, it distributes control among all its nodes," Guardicore 's Ophir Harpaz said. "In this network with no single point-of-failure, peers constantly communicate with each other to keep the network alive, resilient and up-to-date." In addition to implementing a proprietary P2P protocol that's been written from scratch, the communications are done over an encrypted channel, with the malware capable of creating a backdoor on victim systems that grants continued access fo

InvisiMole Hackers Target High-Profile Military and Diplomatic Entities

InvisiMole Hackers Target High-Profile Military and Diplomatic Entities
June 18, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered the modus operandi of an elusive threat group that hacks into the high-profile military and diplomatic entities in Eastern Europe for espionage. The findings are part of a collaborative analysis by cybersecurity firm ESET and the impacted firms, resulting in an extensive look into InvisiMole's operations and the group's tactics, tools, and procedures (TTPs). "ESET researchers conducted an investigation of these attacks in cooperation with the affected organizations and were able to uncover the extensive, sophisticated tool-sets used for delivery, lateral movement, and execution of InvisiMole's backdoors," the company said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Cooperation with the Gamaredon Group First discovered in 2018 , InvisiMole has been active at least since 2013 in connection with targeted cyber-espionage operations in Ukraine and Russia. After slipping under the radar, the threat actor returned late

New ComRAT Malware Uses Gmail to Receive Commands and Exfiltrate Data

New ComRAT Malware Uses Gmail to Receive Commands and Exfiltrate Data
May 26, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered a new advanced version of ComRAT backdoor, one of the earliest known backdoors used by the Turla APT group, that leverages Gmail's web interface to covertly receive commands and exfiltrate sensitive data. "ComRAT v4 was first seen in 2017 and known still to be in use as recently as January 2020," cybersecurity firm ESET said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "We identified at least three targets: two Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Eastern Europe and a national parliament in the Caucasus region." Turla , also known as Snake, has been active for over a decade with a long history of the watering hole and spear-phishing campaigns against embassies and military organizations at least since 2004. The group's espionage platform started off as Agent.BTZ , in 2007, before it evolved to ComRAT , in addition to gaining additional capabilities to achieve persistence and to steal data from a local network. It

Beware of 'Coronavirus Maps' – It's a malware infecting PCs to steal passwords

Beware of 'Coronavirus Maps' – It's a malware infecting PCs to steal passwords
March 11, 2020Wang Wei
Cybercriminals will stop at nothing to exploit every chance to prey on internet users. Even the disastrous spread of SARS-COV-II (the virus), which causes COVID-19 (the disease), is becoming an opportunity for them to likewise spread malware or launch cyber attacks. Reason Cybersecurity recently released a threat analysis report detailing a new attack that takes advantage of internet users' increased craving for information about the novel coronavirus that is wreaking havoc worldwide. The malware attack specifically aims to target those who are looking for cartographic presentations of the spread of COVID-19 on the Internet, and trickes them to download and run a malicious application that, on its front-end, shows a map loaded from a legit online source but in the background compromises the computer. New Threat With An Old Malware Component The latest threat, designed to steal information from unwitting victims, was first spotted by MalwareHunterTeam last week and h

US Govt Warns Critical Industries After Ransomware Hits Gas Pipeline Facility

US Govt Warns Critical Industries After Ransomware Hits Gas Pipeline Facility
February 19, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) earlier today issued a warning to all industries operating critical infrastructures about a new ransomware threat that if left unaddressed could have severe consequences. The advisory comes in response to a cyberattack targeting an unnamed natural gas compression facility that employed spear-phishing to deliver ransomware to the company's internal network, encrypting critical data and knocking servers out of operation for almost two days. "A cyber threat actor used a spear-phishing link to obtain initial access to the organization's information technology network before pivoting to its operational technology network. The threat actor then deployed commodity ransomware to encrypt data for impact on both networks," CISA noted in its alert. As ransomware attacks continue to escalate in frequency and scale , the new development is yet another indication that p

Emotet Malware Now Hacks Nearby Wi-Fi Networks to Infect New Victims

Emotet Malware Now Hacks Nearby Wi-Fi Networks to Infect New Victims
February 12, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Emotet, the notorious trojan behind a number of botnet-driven spam campaigns and ransomware attacks, has found a new attack vector: using already infected devices to identify new victims that are connected to nearby Wi-Fi networks. According to researchers at Binary Defense , the newly discovered Emotet sample leverages a "Wi-Fi spreader" module to scan Wi-Fi networks, and then attempts to infect devices that are connected to them. The cybersecurity firm said the Wi-Fi spreader has a timestamp of April 16, 2018, indicating the spreading behavior has been running "unnoticed" for close to two years until it was detected for the first time last month. The development marks an escalation of Emotet's capabilities, as networks in close physical proximity to the original victim are now susceptible to infection. How Does Emotet's Wi-Fi Spreader Module Work? The updated version of the malware works by leveraging an already compromised host to list all

Facebook Sued Hong Kong Firm for Hacking Users and Ad Fraud Scheme

Facebook Sued Hong Kong Firm for Hacking Users and Ad Fraud Scheme
December 06, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Following its efforts to take legal action against those misusing its social media platform, Facebook has now filed a new lawsuit against a Hong Kong-based advertising company and two Chinese individuals for allegedly abusing its ad platform to distribute malware and Ad fraud. Facebook filed the lawsuit on Thursday in the Northern District of California against ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. as well as a Chinese software developer and a marketing director working for the firm, Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao. All three defendants have been alleged to have deceived people into installing malware on their systems, enabling them to compromise user's Facebook accounts and then using those hacked accounts to advertise counterfeit goods and diet pills—which is clearly in violation of Facebook's Terms and Advertising Policies. "The suit seeks to hold accountable ILikeAd Media International Company Ltd. and Chen Xiao Cong and Huang Tao for creating the malware, tr

ZeroCleare: New Iranian Data Wiper Malware Targeting Energy Sector

ZeroCleare: New Iranian Data Wiper Malware Targeting Energy Sector
December 05, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new, previously undiscovered destructive data-wiping malware that is being used by state-sponsored hackers in the wild to target energy and industrial organizations in the Middle East. Dubbed ZeroCleare , the data wiper malware has been linked to not one but two Iranian state-sponsored hacking groups— APT34 , also known as ITG13 and Oilrig, and Hive0081 , also known as xHunt. A team of researchers at IBM who discovered the ZeroCleare malware says that the new wiper malware shares some high-level similarities with the infamous Shamoon, one of the most destructive malware families known for damaging 30,000 computers at Saudi Arabia's largest oil producer in 2012. Just like the Shamoon wiper malware , ZeroCleare also uses a legitimate hard disk driver called 'RawDisk by ElDos' to overwrite the master boot record (MBR) and disk partitions of targeted computers running the Windows operating system. Though EldoS driver is not s
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