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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: computer virus

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

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers
September 27, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Watch out Windows users! There's a new strain of malware making rounds on the Internet that has already infected thousands of computers worldwide and most likely, your antivirus program would not be able to detect it. Why? That's because, first, it's an advanced fileless malware and second, it leverages only legitimate built-in system utilities and third-party tools to extend its functionality and compromise computers, rather than using any malicious piece of code. The technique of bringing its own legitimate tools is effective and has rarely been spotted in the wild, helping attackers to blend in their malicious activities with regular network activity or system administration tasks while leaving fewer footprints. Independently discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft and Cisco Talos, the malware — dubbed " Nodersok " and " Divergent " — is primarily being distributed via malicious online advertisements and infecting users using

New Malware Uses Windows BITS Service to Stealthy Exfiltrate Data

New Malware Uses Windows BITS Service to Stealthy Exfiltrate Data
September 09, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new computer virus associated with the Stealth Falcon state-sponsored cyber espionage group that abuses a built-in component of the Microsoft Windows operating system to stealthily exfiltrate stolen data to attacker-controlled server. Active since 2012, Stealth Falcon is a sophisticated hacking group known for targeting journalists, activists, and dissidents with spyware in the Middle East, primarily in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubbed Win32/StealthFalcon , named after the hacking group, the malware communicates and sends collected data to its remote command-and-control (C&C) servers using Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). BITS is a communication protocol in Windows that takes unused network bandwidth to facilitate asynchronous, prioritized, and throttled transfer of files between machines in the foreground or background, without impacting the network experience. BITS is commonly used by software up

The Hottest Malware Hits of the Summer

The Hottest Malware Hits of the Summer
September 06, 2019The Hacker News
It's been a summer of ransomware hold-ups, supply chain attacks and fileless attacks flying under the radar of old-school security. With malware running amok while we were lying on the beach, here's a recap of the most burning strains and trends seen in the wild during the months of July and August 2019. Malware Evolution Trends The heat must have had an effect as this summer saw malware continuing to evolve, particularly around three core trends: Evasion-by-design Malware has been increasingly designed to bypass security controls leveraging a host of tactics, most notably by: Changing hashes via file obfuscation to evade AVs. Using encrypted communication with C2 servers to foil EDRs. Using feature manipulation and tampering to trick AI, machine-learning engines, and sandboxes through the detection of such environments and the deliberate delay in execution. Fileless Attacks and Living-Off-The-Land (LOTL) Taking evasion techniques one step further, an in

French Police Remotely Removed RETADUP Malware from 850,000 Infected PCs

French Police Remotely Removed RETADUP Malware from 850,000 Infected PCs
August 28, 2019Mohit Kumar
The French law enforcement agency, National Gendarmerie, today announced the successful takedown of one of the largest wide-spread RETADUP botnet malware and how it remotely disinfected more than 850,000 computers worldwide with the help of researchers. Earlier this year, security researchers at Avast antivirus firm, who were actively monitoring the activities of RETADUP botnet, discovered a design flaw in the malware's C&C protocol that could have been exploited to remove the malware from victims' computer without executing any extra code. However, to do that, the plan required researchers to have control over the malware's C&C server, which was hosted with a hosting provider located in the Ile-de-France region in north-central France. Therefore, the researchers contacted the Cybercrime Fighting Center (C3N) of the French National Gendarmerie at the end of March this year, shared their findings, and proposed a secret plan to put an end to the RETADUP vir

Ransomware Attack Caused Power Outages in the Biggest South African City

Ransomware Attack Caused Power Outages in the Biggest South African City
July 26, 2019Mohit Kumar
Yesterday, some residents of Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, were left without electricity after the city's power company got attacked by a ransomware virus. City Power, the company responsible for powering South Africa's financial capital Johannesburg, confirmed Thursday on Twitter that it had been hit by a Ransomware virus that had encrypted all of its databases, applications, and network. The attack prevented prepaid customers from buying electricity units, upload invoices when making payments, or access the City Power's official website, eventually leaving them without power. "Please note that the virus hit us early Thursday morning, compromising our database and other software, impacting most of our applications and networks," the city government said in a tweet . However, the company has also ensured its customers that none of their details were compromised in the cyber attack. At the time of writing, the company confirmed they h

Baltimore City Shuts Down Most of Its Servers After Ransomware Attack

Baltimore City Shuts Down Most of Its Servers After Ransomware Attack
May 08, 2019Swati Khandelwal
For the second time in just over a year, the city of Baltimore has been hit by a ransomware attack, affecting its computer network and forcing officials to shut down a majority of its computer servers as a precaution. Ransomware works by encryption files and locking them up so users can't access them. The attackers then demand a ransom amount, typically in Bitcoin digital currency, in exchange for the decryption keys use to unlock the files. The ransomware attack on the Baltimore City Hall took place on Tuesday morning and infected the city's technology systems with an unknown ransomware virus, which according to government officials, is apparently spreading throughout their network. According to new Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young, Baltimore City's critical public safety systems, such as 911, 311, emergency medical services and the fire department, are operational and not affected by the ransomware attack. Young also says the city technology officials are

Elfin Hacking Group Targets Multiple U.S. and Saudi Arabian Firms

Elfin Hacking Group Targets Multiple U.S. and Saudi Arabian Firms
March 28, 2019Swati Khandelwal
An Iran-linked cyber-espionage group that has been found targeting critical infrastructure , energy and military sectors in Saudi Arabia and the United States two years ago continues targeting organizations in the two nations, Symantec reported on Wednesday. Widely known as APT33 , which Symantec calls Elfin , the cyber-espionage group has been active since as early as late 2015 and targeted a wide range of organizations, including government, research, chemical, engineering, manufacturing, consulting, finance, and telecommunications in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Symantec started monitoring Elfin's attacks since the beginning of 2016 and found that the group has launched a heavily targeted campaign against multiple organizations with 42% most recent attacks observed against Saudi Arabia and 34% against the United States. Elfin targeted a total of 18 American organizations in the engineering, chemical, research, energy consultancy, finance, IT and healthcar

Ransomware Attack Forces Aluminum Manufacturer to Shutdown Systems Worldwide

Ransomware Attack Forces Aluminum Manufacturer to Shutdown Systems Worldwide
March 19, 2019Mohit Kumar
Photo by Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix One of the world's largest producers of aluminum has been forced to shut down several of its plants across Europe and the U.S. after an "extensive cyber attack" hit its operations, leaving companies' IT systems unusable. According to a press release shared by Aluminum giant Norsk Hydro today, the company has temporarily shut down several plants and switched to manual operations, "where possible," in countries including Norway, Qatar, and Brazil in an attempt to continue some of its operations. The cyber attack, that began in the U.S.,was first detected by the company's IT experts around late Monday evening CET and the company is working to neutralize the attack, as well as investigating to know the full extent of the incident. "Hydro's main priority is to continue to ensure safe operations and limit operational and financial impact. The problem has not led to any safety-related incidents," t

Latest WinRAR Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild to Hack Windows Computers

Latest WinRAR Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild to Hack Windows Computers
February 26, 2019Wang Wei
It's not just the critical Drupal vulnerability that is being exploited by in the wild  cybercriminals to attack vulnerable websites that have not yet applied patches already available by its developers, but hackers are also exploiting a critical WinRAR vulnerability that was also revealed last week. A few days ago, The Hacker News reported about a 19-year-old remote code execution vulnerability disclosed by Check Point in the UNACEV2.dll library of WinRAR that could allow a maliciously-crafted ACE archive file to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system. WinRAR is a popular Windows file compression application with 500 million users worldwide, but a critical "Absolute Path Traversal" bug (CVE-2018-20250) in its old third-party library, called UNACEV2.DLL, could allow attackers to extract a compressed executable file from the ACE archive to one of the Windows Startup folders, where the file would automatically run on the next reboot. To successfully exploit the

Beware!! New Windows .exe Malware Found Targeting macOS Computers

Beware!! New Windows .exe Malware Found Targeting macOS Computers
February 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
A malicious Windows EXE file can even infect your Mac computer as well. Yes, you heard me right — a .exe malware on macOS. Security researchers at antivirus firm Trend Micro have discovered a novel way hackers are using in the wild to bypass Apple's macOS security protection and infect Mac computers by deploying malicious EXE files that normally run only on Windows computers. Researchers found several samples of malicious macOS application (.dmg) masquerading as installers for popular software on a torrent site that includes an EXE application compiled with Mono framework to make it compatible with macOS. Mono is an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework that allows developers to create cross-platform .NET applications, which work across all supported platforms, including Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Usually, running any Windows executable results in error on macOS systems, and its built-in protection mechanisms such as Gatekeeper also skips scann

New Shamoon Malware Variant Targets Italian Oil and Gas Company

New Shamoon Malware Variant Targets Italian Oil and Gas Company
December 14, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Shamoon is back… one of the most destructive malware families that caused damage to Saudi Arabia's largest oil producer in 2012 and this time it has targeted energy sector organizations primarily operating in the Middle East. Earlier this week, Italian oil drilling company Saipem was attacked and sensitive files on about 10 percent of its servers were destroyed, mainly in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, but also in India and Scotland. Saipem admitted Wednesday that the computer virus used in the latest cyber attack against its servers is a variant Shamoon—a disk wiping malware that was used in the most damaging cyber attacks in history against Saudi Aramco and RasGas Co Ltd and destroyed data on more than 30,000 systems. The cyber attack against Saudi Aramco, who is the biggest customer of Saipem, was attributed to Iran, but it is unclear who is behind the latest cyber attacks against Saipem. Meanwhile, Chronicle, Google'

New Ransomware Spreading Rapidly in China Infected Over 100,000 PCs

New Ransomware Spreading Rapidly in China Infected Over 100,000 PCs
December 04, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A new piece of ransomware is spreading rapidly across China that has already infected more than 100,000 computers in the last four days as a result of a supply-chain attack... and the number of infected users is continuously increasing every hour. What's Interesting? Unlike almost every ransomware malware, the new virus doesn't demand ransom payments in Bitcoin. Instead, the attacker is asking victims to pay 110 yuan (nearly USD 16) in ransom through WeChat Pay—the payment feature offered by China's most popular messaging app. Ransomware + Password Stealer — Unlike WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware outbreaks that caused worldwide chaos last year, the new Chinese ransomware has been targeting only Chinese users. It also includes an additional ability to steal users' account passwords for Alipay, NetEase 163 email service, Baidu Cloud Disk, Jingdong (JD.com), Taobao, Tmall , AliWangWang, and QQ websites. A Supply Chain Attack — According to Chinese cybers
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