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Warning: Yet Another Bitcoin Mining Malware Targeting QNAP NAS Devices

Warning: Yet Another Bitcoin Mining Malware Targeting QNAP NAS Devices

December 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Network-attached storage (NAS) appliance maker QNAP on Tuesday released a new advisory warning of a cryptocurrency mining malware targeting its devices, urging customers to take preventive steps with immediate effect. "A bitcoin miner has been reported to target QNAP NAS. Once a NAS is infected, CPU usage becomes unusually high where a process named '[oom_reaper]' could occupy around 50% of the total CPU usage," the Taiwanese company  said  in an alert. "This process mimics a kernel process but its [process identifier] is usually greater than 1000." QNAP said it's currently investigating the infections, but did not share more information on the initial access vector that's being used to compromise the NAS devices. Affected users can remove the malware by restarting the appliances. In the interim, the company is recommending that users update their QTS (and QuTS Hero) operating systems to the latest version, enforce strong passwords for administr
Malicious KMSPico Windows Activator Stealing Users' Cryptocurrency Wallets

Malicious KMSPico Windows Activator Stealing Users' Cryptocurrency Wallets

December 06, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Users looking to activate Windows without using a digital license or a product key are being targeted by tainted installers to deploy malware designed to plunder credentials and other information in cryptocurrency wallets. The malware, dubbed " CryptBot ," is an information stealer capable of obtaining credentials for browsers, cryptocurrency wallets, browser cookies, credit cards, and capturing screenshots from the infected systems. Deployed via cracked software, the latest attack involves the malware masquerading as KMSPico. KMSPico is an unofficial tool that's used to illicitly  activate  the full features of pirated copies of software such as Microsoft Windows and Office suite without actually owning a license key. "The user becomes infected by clicking one of the malicious links and downloading either KMSPico, Cryptbot, or another malware without KMSPico," Red Canary researcher Tony Lambert  said  in a report published last week. "The adversaries
Hackers Steal $200 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency Tokens from BitMart Exchange

Hackers Steal $200 Million Worth of Cryptocurrency Tokens from BitMart Exchange

December 06, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cryptocurrency trading platform BitMart has disclosed a "large-scale security breach" that it blamed on a stolen private key, resulting in the theft of more than $150 million in various cryptocurrencies. The breach is said to have impacted two of its hot wallets on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and the Binance smart chain (BSC). The company  noted  that the wallets carried only a "small percentage" of the assets." Hot wallets, as opposed to their cold counterparts, are connected to the internet and allow cryptocurrency owners to receive and send tokens. Blockchain security and data analytics company PeckShield  estimated  the total loss to be around $200 million, calling the whole chain of events as "Pretty straightforward: transfer-out, swap, and wash." "This security breach was mainly caused by a stolen private key that had two of our hot wallets compromised," BitMart's chief executive Sheldon Xia  said  in a series of tweets sent
Hackers Using Compromised Google Cloud Accounts to Mine Cryptocurrency

Hackers Using Compromised Google Cloud Accounts to Mine Cryptocurrency

November 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors are exploiting improperly-secured Google Cloud Platform (GCP) instances to download cryptocurrency mining software to the compromised systems as well as abusing its infrastructure to install ransomware, stage phishing campaigns, and even generate traffic to YouTube videos for view count manipulation. "While cloud customers continue to face a variety of threats across applications and infrastructure, many successful attacks are due to poor hygiene and a lack of basic control implementation," Google's Cybersecurity Action Team (CAT)  outlined  as part of its recent Threat Horizons report published last week. Of the 50 recently compromised GCP instances, 86% of them were used to conduct cryptocurrency mining, in some cases within 22 seconds of successful breach, while 10% of the instances were exploited to perform scans of other publicly accessible hosts on the Internet to identify vulnerable systems, and 8% of the instances were used to strike other entiti
SharkBot — A New Android Trojan Stealing Banking and Cryptocurrency Accounts

SharkBot — A New Android Trojan Stealing Banking and Cryptocurrency Accounts

November 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Monday took the wraps off a new Android trojan that takes advantage of accessibility features on mobile devices to siphon credentials from banking and cryptocurrency services in Italy, the U.K., and the U.S. Dubbed " SharkBot " by Cleafy, the malware is designed to strike a total of 27 targets — counting 22 unnamed international banks in Italy and the U.K. as well as five cryptocurrency apps in the U.S. — at least since late October 2021 and is believed to be in its early stages of development, with no overlaps found to that of any known families. "The main goal of SharkBot is to initiate money transfers from the compromised devices via Automatic Transfer Systems (ATS) technique bypassing multi-factor authentication mechanisms (e.g., SCA)," the researchers said in a report. "Once SharkBot is successfully installed in the victim's device, attackers can obtain sensitive banking information through the abuse of Accessibility S
Popular NPM Package Hijacked to Publish Crypto-mining Malware

Popular NPM Package Hijacked to Publish Crypto-mining Malware

October 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Friday  warned  of crypto-mining and password-stealing malware embedded in " UAParser.js ," a popular JavaScript NPM library with over 6 million weekly downloads, days after the NPM repository moved to get rid of three rogue packages that were found to mimic the same library. The supply-chain attack targeting the open-source library saw three different versions — 0.7.29, 0.8.0, 1.0.0 — that were published with malicious code on Thursday following a successful takeover of the maintainer's NPM account. "I believe someone was hijacking my NPM account and published some compromised packages (0.7.29, 0.8.0, 1.0.0) which will probably install malware," UAParser.js's developer Faisal Salman  said . The issue has been patched in versions 0.7.30, 0.8.1, and 1.0.1. The development comes days after DevSecOps firm Sonatype disclosed details of three packages —  okhsa, klow, and klown  — that masqueraded
Critical Flaw in OpenSea Could Have Let Hackers Steal Cryptocurrency From Wallets

Critical Flaw in OpenSea Could Have Let Hackers Steal Cryptocurrency From Wallets

October 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A now-patched critical vulnerability in OpenSea, the world's largest non-fungible token ( NFT ) marketplace, could've been abused by malicious actors to drain cryptocurrency funds from a victim by sending a specially-crafted token, opening a new attack vector for exploitation. The findings come from cybersecurity firm Check Point Research, which began an investigation into the platform following public reports of stolen cryptocurrency wallets triggered by free airdropped NFTs. The issues were fixed in less than one hour of responsible disclosure on September 26, 2021. "Left unpatched, the vulnerabilities could allow hackers to hijack user accounts and steal entire cryptocurrency wallets by crafting malicious NFTs," Check Point researchers  said . As the name indicates, NFTs are unique digital assets such as photos, videos, audio, and other items that can be sold and traded on the blockchain, using the technology as a certificate of authenticity to establish a ver
US Sanctions Cryptocurrency Exchange SUEX for Aiding Ransomware Gangs

US Sanctions Cryptocurrency Exchange SUEX for Aiding Ransomware Gangs

September 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Russian cryptocurrency exchange Suex for helping facilitate and launder transactions from at least eight ransomware variants as part of the government's efforts to crack down on a surge in ransomware incidents and make it difficult for bad actors to profit from such attacks using digital currencies. "Virtual currency exchanges such as SUEX are critical to the profitability of ransomware attacks, which help fund additional cybercriminal activity," the department  said  in a press release. "Analysis of known SUEX transactions shows that over 40% of SUEX's known transaction history is associated with illicit actors. SUEX is being designated pursuant to  Executive Order 13694 , as amended, for providing material support to the threat posed by criminal ransomware actors." According to blockchain analytics firm  Chainalysis , SUEX is legally registered in the Czech Republic and operates out of office
New Capoae Malware Infiltrates WordPress Sites and Installs Backdoored Plugin

New Capoae Malware Infiltrates WordPress Sites and Installs Backdoored Plugin

September 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A recently discovered wave of malware attacks has been spotted using a variety of tactics to enslave susceptible machines with easy-to-guess administrative credentials to co-opt them into a network with the goal of illegally mining cryptocurrency. "The malware's primary tactic is to spread by taking advantage of vulnerable systems and weak administrative credentials. Once they've been infected, these systems are then used to mine cryptocurrency," Akamai security researcher Larry Cashdollar  said  in a write-up published last week. The PHP malware — codenamed "Capoae" (short for "Сканирование," the Russian word for "Scanning") — is said to be delivered to the hosts via a backdoored addition to a WordPress plugin called "download-monitor," which gets installed after successfully brute-forcing WordPress admin credentials. The attacks also involve the deployment of a  Golang binary  with decryption functionality, with the obfusc
Malicious Ads Target Cryptocurrency Users With Cinobi Banking Trojan

Malicious Ads Target Cryptocurrency Users With Cinobi Banking Trojan

August 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new social engineering-based malvertising campaign targeting Japan has been found to deliver a malicious application that deploys a banking trojan on compromised Windows machines to steal credentials associated with cryptocurrency accounts. The application masquerades as an animated porn game, a reward points application, or a video streaming application, Trend Micro researchers Jaromir Horejsi and Joseph C Chen  said  in an analysis published last week, attributing the operation to a threat actor it tracks as Water Kappa, which was  previously found  targeting Japanese online banking users with the Cinobi trojan by leveraging exploits in Internet Explorer browser. The switch in tactics is an indicator that the adversary is singling out users of web browsers other than Internet Explorer, the researchers added. Water Kappa's latest infection routine commences with malvertisements for either Japanese animated porn games, reward points apps, or video streaming services, with t
Hackers Steal Over $600 Million Worth of Cryptocurrencies from Poly Network

Hackers Steal Over $600 Million Worth of Cryptocurrencies from Poly Network

August 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Hackers have siphoned $611 million worth of cryptocurrencies from a blockchain-based financial network in what's believed to be one of the largest heists targeting the digital asset industry, putting it ahead of breaches targeting exchanges Coincheck and Mt. Gox in recent years. Poly Network, a China-based cross-chain decentralized finance (DeFi) platform for swapping tokens across multiple blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, on Tuesday  disclosed  unidentified actors had exploited a vulnerability in its system to plunder thousands of digital tokens such as Ether. "The hacker exploited a vulnerability between contract calls," Poly Network said.  The stolen Binance Chain, Ethereum, and Polygon assets are said to have been transferred to three different wallets, with the company urging miners of affected blockchain and centralized crypto exchanges to blocklist tokens coming from the addresses. The three wallet addresses are as follows -  Ethereum: 0xC8a65Fadf
Another Hacker Arrested for 2020 Twitter Hack and Massive Bitcoin Scam

Another Hacker Arrested for 2020 Twitter Hack and Massive Bitcoin Scam

July 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A U.K. citizen has been arrested in the Spanish town of Estepona over his alleged involvement in the July 2020 hack of Twitter, resulting in the compromise of 130 high-profile accounts. Joseph O'Connor , 22, has been  charged  with intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer, as well as for making extortive communications. The Spanish National Police made the arrest pursuant to a U.S. warrant. Besides his role in the Twitter hack, O'Connor is also charged with computer intrusions related to takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts and cyberstalking an unnamed juvenile victim. The  great Twitter hack  of July 15, 2020, emerged as one of the biggest security lapses in the social media platform's history after O'Connor, along with  Mason Sheppard, Nima Fazeli, and Graham Ivan Clark , managed to gain access to Twitter's internal tools, abusing it to breach the accounts of politicians, celebritie
Researchers Warn of Linux Cryptojacking Attackers Operating from Romania

Researchers Warn of Linux Cryptojacking Attackers Operating from Romania

July 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat group likely based in Romania and active since at least 2020 has been behind an active cryptojacking campaign targeting Linux-based machines with a previously undocumented SSH brute-forcer written in Golang. Dubbed " Diicot brute ," the password cracking tool is alleged to be distributed via a software-as-a-service model, with each threat actor furnishing their own unique API keys to facilitate the intrusions, Bitdefender researchers said in a report published last week. While the goal of the campaign is to deploy Monero mining malware by remotely compromising the devices via brute-force attacks, the researchers connected the gang to at least two  DDoS  botnets, including a  Demonbot  variant called chernobyl and a Perl  IRC bot , with the XMRig mining payload hosted on a domain named mexalz[.]us since February 2021. The Romanian cybersecurity technology company said it began its investigation into the group's hostile online activities in May 2021, leading
Crackonosh virus mined $2 million of Monero from 222,000 hacked computers

Crackonosh virus mined $2 million of Monero from 222,000 hacked computers

June 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented Windows malware has infected over 222,000 systems worldwide since at least June 2018, yielding its developer no less than 9,000 Moneros ($2 million) in illegal profits. Dubbed " Crackonosh ," the malware is distributed via illegal, cracked copies of popular software, only to disable antivirus programs installed in the machine and install a coin miner package called XMRig for stealthily exploiting the infected host's resources to mine Monero. At least 30 different versions of the malware executable have been discovered between Jan. 1, 2018, and Nov. 23, 2020, Czech cybersecurity software company Avast  said  on Thursday, with a majority of the victims located in the U.S., Brazil, India, Poland, and the Philippines. Crackonosh works by replacing critical Windows system files such as "serviceinstaller.msi" and "maintenance.vbs" to cover its tracks and abuses the  safe mode , which prevents antivirus software from working, to
Crypto-Mining Attacks Targeting Kubernetes Clusters via Kubeflow Instances

Crypto-Mining Attacks Targeting Kubernetes Clusters via Kubeflow Instances

June 09, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday disclosed a new large-scale campaign targeting Kubeflow deployments to run malicious cryptocurrency mining containers. The campaign involved deploying  TensorFlow  pods on Kubernetes clusters, with the pods running legitimate  TensorFlow images  from the official Docker Hub account. However, the container images were configured to execute rogue commands that mine cryptocurrencies. Microsoft said the deployments witnessed an uptick towards the end of May. Kubeflow  is an open-source machine learning platform designed to deploy machine learning workflows on  Kubernetes , an orchestration service used for managing and scaling containerized workloads across a cluster of machines. The deployment, in itself, was achieved by taking advantage of Kubeflow, which exposes its UI functionality via a dashboard that is deployed in the cluster. In the attack observed by Microsoft, the adversaries used the centralized dashboard as an ingress point to create a
Cybercriminals Hold $115,000-Prize Contest to Find New Cryptocurrency Hacks

Cybercriminals Hold $115,000-Prize Contest to Find New Cryptocurrency Hacks

June 02, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A top Russian-language underground forum has been running a "contest" for the past month, calling on its community to submit "unorthodox" ways to conduct cryptocurrency attacks. The forum's administrator, in an announcement made on April 20, 2021, invited members to submit papers that assess the possibility of targeting cryptocurrency-related technology, including the theft of private keys and wallets, in addition to covering unusual cryptocurrency mining software, smart contracts, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The contest , which is likely to continue till September 1, will see a total prize money of $115,000 awarded to the best research. "So far, the top candidates (according to forum member voting) include topics like generating a fake blockchain front-end website that captures sensitive information such as private keys and balances, creating a new cryptocurrency blockchain from scratch, increasing the hash rate speed of mining farms and botnets,
Researchers Link CryptoCore Attacks On Cryptocurrency Exchanges to North Korea

Researchers Link CryptoCore Attacks On Cryptocurrency Exchanges to North Korea

May 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
State-sponsored hackers affiliated with North Korea have been behind a slew of attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges over the past three years, new evidence has revealed. Attributing the attack with "medium-high" likelihood to the Lazarus Group (aka APT38 or Hidden Cobra), researchers from Israeli cybersecurity firm ClearSky said the campaign, dubbed " CryptoCore ," targeted crypto exchanges in Israel, Japan, Europe, and the U.S., resulting in the theft of millions of dollars worth of virtual currencies. The  findings  are a consequence of piecing together artifacts from a series of isolated but similar reports detailed by  F-Secure , Japanese CERT  JPCERT/CC , and  NTT Security  over the past few months. Since emerging on the scene in 2009,  Hidden Cobra  actors have used their offensive cyber capabilities to carry out espionage and cyber cryptocurrency heists against businesses and critical infrastructure. The adversary's targeting aligns with North Korean
10 SIM Swappers Arrested for Stealing  $100M in Crypto from Celebrities

10 SIM Swappers Arrested for Stealing $100M in Crypto from Celebrities

February 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Ten people belonging to a criminal network have been arrested in connection with a series of SIM-swapping attacks that resulted in the theft of more than $100 million by hijacking the mobile phone accounts of high-profile individuals in the U.S. The Europol-coordinated  year-long investigation  was jointly conducted by law enforcement authorities from the U.K., U.S., Belgium, Malta, and Canada. "The attacks orchestrated by this criminal gang targeted thousands of victims throughout 2020, including famous internet influencers, sport stars, musicians and their families," Europol  said  in a statement. "The criminals are believed to have stolen from them over $100 million in cryptocurrencies after illegally gaining access to their phones." The eight suspects, aged 18 to 26, are said to be part of a larger ring, two members of which were nabbed previously in Malta and Belgium. The latest arrests were made in England and Scotland. The sweep comes almost a year afte
FreakOut! Ongoing Botnet Attack Exploiting Recent Linux Vulnerabilities

FreakOut! Ongoing Botnet Attack Exploiting Recent Linux Vulnerabilities

January 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An ongoing malware campaign has been found exploiting recently disclosed vulnerabilities in network-attached storage (NAS) devices running on Linux systems to co-opt the machines into an  IRC botnet  for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and mining Monero cryptocurrency. The attacks deploy a new  malware variant called " FreakOut " by leveraging critical flaws fixed in Laminas Project (formerly Zend Framework) and Liferay Portal as well as an unpatched security weakness in TerraMaster, according to Check Point Research's new analysis published today and shared with The Hacker News. Attributing the malware to be the work of a long-time cybercrime hacker — who goes by the aliases Fl0urite and Freak on HackForums and Pastebin at least since 2015 — the researchers said the flaws —  CVE-2020-28188 ,  CVE-2021-3007 , and  CVE-2020-7961  — were weaponized to inject and execute malicious commands in the server. Regardless of the vulnerabilities exploit
Warning: Cross-Platform ElectroRAT Malware Targeting Cryptocurrency Users

Warning: Cross-Platform ElectroRAT Malware Targeting Cryptocurrency Users

January 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today revealed a wide-ranging scam targeting cryptocurrency users that began as early as January last year to distribute trojanized applications to install a previously undetected remote access tool on target systems. Called ElectroRAT by Intezer, the RAT is written from ground-up in Golang and designed to target multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.  The apps are developed using the open-source Electron cross-platform desktop app framework. "ElectroRAT is the latest example of attackers using Golang to develop multi-platform malware and evade most antivirus engines," the researchers said . "It is common to see various information stealers trying to collect private keys to access victims wallets. However, it is rare to see tools written from scratch and targeting multiple operating systems for these purposes." The campaign, first detected in December, is believed to have claimed over 6,500 victims based on th
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