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New Threat: Stealthy HeadCrab Malware Compromised Over 1,200 Redis Servers

New Threat: Stealthy HeadCrab Malware Compromised Over 1,200 Redis Servers

Feb 02, 2023 Database Security / Cryptocurrency
At least 1,200 Redis database servers worldwide have been corralled into a botnet using an "elusive and severe threat" dubbed HeadCrab since early September 2021. "This advanced threat actor utilizes a state-of-the-art, custom-made malware that is undetectable by agentless and traditional anti-virus solutions to compromise a large number of Redis servers," Aqua security researcher Asaf Eitani  said  in a Wednesday report. A significant concentration of infections has been recorded in China, Malaysia, India, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. to date. The origins of the threat actor are presently unknown. The findings come two months after the cloud security firm shed light on a Go-based malware codenamed  Redigo  that has been found compromising Redis servers. The attack is designed to target Redis servers that are exposed to the internet, followed by issuing a  SLAVEOF command  from another Redis server that's already under the adversary's control. In
FBI Says North Korean Hackers Behind $100 Million Horizon Bridge Crypto Theft

FBI Says North Korean Hackers Behind $100 Million Horizon Bridge Crypto Theft

Jan 24, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Cyber Crime
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday confirmed that North Korean threat actors were responsible for the theft of $100 million in cryptocurrency assets from  Harmony Horizon Bridge  in June 2022. The law enforcement agency attributed the hack to the  Lazarus Group  and APT38 (aka BlueNoroff, Copernicium, and Stardust Chollima), the latter of which is a North Korean state-sponsored threat group that specializes in financial cyber operations. The FBI further stated the Harmony intrusion leveraged an attack campaign dubbed  TraderTraitor  that was disclosed by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in April 2022. The modus operandi entailed utilizing social engineering tricks to deceive employees of cryptocurrency companies into downloading rogue applications as part of a seemingly benign recruitment effort. "On Friday, January 13, 2023, North Korean cyber actors used RAILGUN, a privacy protocol, to launder over $60 million worth of
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Bitzlato Crypto Exchange Founder Arrested for Aiding Cybercriminals

Bitzlato Crypto Exchange Founder Arrested for Aiding Cybercriminals

Jan 19, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Money Laundering
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday announced the arrest of Anatoly Legkodymov (aka Gandalf and Tolik), the cofounder of Hong Kong-registered cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato, for allegedly processing $700 million in illicit funds. The 40-year-old Russian national, who was arrested in Miami, was charged in a U.S. federal court with "conducting a money transmitting business that transported and transmitted illicit funds and that failed to meet U.S. regulatory safeguards, including anti-money laundering requirements," the DoJ  said . According to court documents, Bitzlato is said to have advertised itself as a virtual currency exchange with minimal identification requirements for its users, breaking the rules requiring the vetting of customers. This lack of know your customer (KYC) enforcement led to the service becoming a "haven for criminal proceeds" and facilitating transactions worth more than $700 million on the Hydra darknet marketplace prior
BlueNoroff APT Hackers Using New Ways to Bypass Windows MotW Protection

BlueNoroff APT Hackers Using New Ways to Bypass Windows MotW Protection

Dec 27, 2022 Cyber Attack / Windows Security
BlueNoroff , a subcluster of the notorious Lazarus Group, has been observed adopting new techniques into its playbook that enable it to bypass Windows Mark of the Web ( MotW ) protections. This includes the use of optical disk image (.ISO extension) and virtual hard disk (.VHD extension) file formats as part of a novel infection chain, Kaspersky disclosed in a report published today. "BlueNoroff created numerous fake domains impersonating venture capital companies and banks," security researcher Seongsu Park said , adding the new attack procedure was flagged in its telemetry in September 2022. Some of the bogus domains have been found to imitate ABF Capital, Angel Bridge, ANOBAKA, Bank of America, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, most of which are located in Japan, signalling a "keen interest" in the region. It's worth pointing out that although MotW bypasses have been documented in the wild before, this is the first time they have been incorporated by
Cryptocurrency Mining Campaign Hits Linux Users with Go-based CHAOS Malware

Cryptocurrency Mining Campaign Hits Linux Users with Go-based CHAOS Malware

Dec 12, 2022 Server Security / Linux
A cryptocurrency mining attack targeting the Linux operating system also involved the use of an open source remote access trojan (RAT) dubbed  CHAOS . The threat, which was spotted by Trend Micro in November 2022, remains virtually unchanged in all other aspects, including when it comes to terminating competing malware, security software, and deploying the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency miner. "The malware achieves its persistence by altering  /etc/crontab file , a UNIX task scheduler that, in this case, downloads itself every 10 minutes from Pastebin," researchers David Fiser and Alfredo Oliveira  said . This step is succeeded by downloading next-stage payloads that consist of the XMRig miner and the Go-based CHAOS RAT. The cybersecurity firm said that the main downloader script and further payloads are hosted in multiple locations to make sure that the campaign remains active and new infections continue to happen. The CHAOS RAT, once downloaded and launched, transmits d
Microsoft Alerts Cryptocurrency Industry of Targeted Cyberattacks

Microsoft Alerts Cryptocurrency Industry of Targeted Cyberattacks

Dec 07, 2022 Cryptocurrency / Threat Intelligence
Cryptocurrency investment companies are the target of a developing threat cluster that uses Telegram groups to seek out potential victims. Microsoft's Security Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) is tracking the activity under the name  DEV-0139 , and builds upon a recent report from Volexity that attributed the same set of attacks to North Korea's  Lazarus Group . "DEV-0139 joined Telegram groups used to facilitate communication between VIP clients and cryptocurrency exchange platforms and identified their target from among the members," the tech giant  said . The adversary subsequently impersonated another cryptocurrency investment company and invited the victim to join a different Telegram chat group under the pretext of asking for feedback on the trading fee structure used by exchange platforms across VIP tiers. It's worth pointing out that the  VIP program  is  designed  to  reward   high-volume traders  with exclusive trading fee incentives and discount
Malware Authors 'Accidentally' Crash KmsdBot Cryptocurrency Mining Botnet

Malware Authors 'Accidentally' Crash KmsdBot Cryptocurrency Mining Botnet

Dec 01, 2022 Threat Intelligence / Botnet
An ongoing analysis into an up-and-coming cryptocurrency mining botnet known as KmsdBot has led to it being accidentally taken down by the threat actors themselves. KmsdBot, as christened by the Akamai Security Intelligence Response Team (SIRT), came to light mid-November 2022 for its ability to  brute-force systems  with weak SSH credentials. The botnet strikes both Windows and Linux devices spanning a wide range of microarchitectures with the primary goal of deploying mining software and corralling the compromised hosts into a DDoS bot. Some of the major targets included gaming firms, technology companies, and luxury car manufacturers. Akamai researcher Larry W. Cashdollar, in a new update, explained how commands sent by the malware operators to carry out a DDoS attack against the bitcoin[.]com website inadvertently neutralized the malware. "Interestingly, after one single improperly formatted command, the bot stopped sending commands," Cashdollar  said . "It&#
Hackers Using Trending TikTok 'Invisible Challenge' to Spread Malware

Hackers Using Trending TikTok 'Invisible Challenge' to Spread Malware

Nov 29, 2022
Threat actors are capitalizing on a popular TikTok challenge to trick users into downloading information-stealing malware, according to new research from Checkmarx. The trend, called  Invisible Challenge , involves applying a filter known as  Invisible Body  that just leaves behind a silhouette of the person's body. But the fact that individuals filming such videos could be undressed has led to a nefarious scheme wherein the attackers post TikTok videos with links to rogue software dubbed "unfilter" that purport to remove the applied filters. "Instructions to get the 'unfilter' software deploy  WASP stealer malware  hiding inside malicious Python packages," Checkmarx researcher Guy Nachshon  said  in a Monday analysis. The WASP stealer (aka W4SP Stealer) is a malware that's designed to steal users' passwords, Discord accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, and other sensitive information. The TikTok videos posted by the attackers, @learncyber an
This Malware Installs Malicious Browser Extensions to Steal Users' Passwords and Cryptos

This Malware Installs Malicious Browser Extensions to Steal Users' Passwords and Cryptos

Nov 22, 2022
A malicious extension for Chromium-based web browsers has been observed to be distributed via a long-standing Windows information stealer called ViperSoftX . Czech-based cybersecurity company dubbed the rogue browser add-on VenomSoftX owing to its standalone features that enable it to access website visits, steal credentials and clipboard data, and even swap cryptocurrency addresses via an adversary-in-the-middle (AiTM) attack. ViperSoftX, which first  came to light  in February 2020, was characterized by  Fortinet  as a JavaScript-based remote access trojan and cryptocurrency stealer. The malware's use of a browser extension to advance its information-gathering goals was documented by Sophos threat analyst  Colin Cowie  earlier this year. "This multi-stage stealer exhibits interesting hiding capabilities, concealed as small PowerShell scripts on a single line in the middle of otherwise innocent-looking large log files, among others," Avast researcher Jan Rubín  said
Researchers Warn of Cyber Criminals Using Go-based Aurora Stealer Malware

Researchers Warn of Cyber Criminals Using Go-based Aurora Stealer Malware

Nov 22, 2022
A nascent Go-based malware known as Aurora Stealer is being increasingly deployed as part of multiple campaigns designed to steal sensitive information from compromised hosts. "These infection chains leveraged phishing pages impersonating download pages of legitimate software, including cryptocurrency wallets or remote access tools, and the 911 method making use of YouTube videos and SEO-poised fake cracked software download websites," cybersecurity firm SEKOIA  said . First advertised on Russian cybercrime forums in April 2022 by a threat actor calling themselves Cheshire, Aurora was offered as a commodity malware for other threat actors, describing it as a "multi-purpose botnet with stealing, downloading and remote access capabilities." In the intervening months, the malware has been scaled down to a stealer that can harvest files of interest, data from 40 cryptocurrency wallets, and applications like Telegram. Aurora also comes with a loader that can deploy
U.S. Authorities Seize Domains Used in 'Pig butchering' Cryptocurrency Scams

U.S. Authorities Seize Domains Used in 'Pig butchering' Cryptocurrency Scams

Nov 22, 2022
The U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) on Monday  announced  the takedown of seven domain names in connection to a "pig butchering" cryptocurrency scam. The fraudulent scheme, which operated from May to August 2022, netted the actors over $10 million from five victims, the DoJ said. Pig butchering, also called Sha Zhu Pan, is a type of scam in which swindlers lure unsuspecting investors into sending their crypto assets. The criminals encounter potential victims on dating apps, social media sites, and through SMS messages. These individuals initiate fake relationships in an attempt to build trust, only to trick them into making a cryptocurrency investment on a bogus platform. But upon transferring the funds to wallet addresses supposedly provided by these domains, the digital currencies are said to have been immediately moved through an array of private wallets and swapping services to conceal the trail. "Once the money is sent to the fake investment app, the scammer van
New Laplas Clipper Malware Targeting Cryptocurrency Users via SmokeLoader

New Laplas Clipper Malware Targeting Cryptocurrency Users via SmokeLoader

Nov 08, 2022
Cryptocurrency users are being targeted with a new clipper malware strain dubbed  Laplas  by means of another malware known as SmokeLoader. SmokeLoader, which is delivered by means of weaponized documents sent through spear-phishing emails, further acts as a conduit for other  commodity trojans  like  SystemBC  and  Raccoon Stealer 2.0 , according to an  analysis  from Cyble. Observed in the wild since circa 2013,  SmokeLoader  functions as a generic loader capable of distributing additional payloads onto compromised systems, such as information-stealing malware and other implants. In July 2022, it was found to deploy a backdoor called  Amadey . Cyble said it discovered over 180 samples of the Laplas since October 24, 2022, suggesting a wide deployment. Clippers, also called ClipBankers, fall under a category of malware that Microsoft calls  cryware , which are designed to steal crypto by keeping close tabs on a victim's clipboard activity and swapping the original wallet ad
New Cryptojacking Campaign Targeting Vulnerable Docker and Kubernetes Instances

New Cryptojacking Campaign Targeting Vulnerable Docker and Kubernetes Instances

Oct 27, 2022
A new cryptojacking campaign has been uncovered targeting vulnerable Docker and Kubernetes infrastructures as part of opportunistic attacks designed to illicitly mine cryptocurrency. Cybersecurity company CrowdStrike dubbed the activity  Kiss-a-dog , with its command-and-control infrastructure overlapping with those associated with other groups like  TeamTNT , which are known to  strike   misconfigured  Docker and Kubernetes instances. The intrusions, spotted in September 2022, get their name from a domain named "kiss.a-dog[.]top" that's used to trigger a shell script payload on the compromised container using a Base64-encoded Python command. "The URL used in the payload is obscured with backslashes to defeat automated decoding and regex matching to retrieve the malicious domain," CrowdStrike researcher Manoj Ahuje  said  in a technical analysis. The attack chain subsequently attempts to escape the container and move laterally into the breached network, wh
Emotet Botnet Distributing Self-Unlocking Password-Protected RAR Files to Drop Malware

Emotet Botnet Distributing Self-Unlocking Password-Protected RAR Files to Drop Malware

Oct 21, 2022
The notorious  Emotet botnet  has been linked to a new wave of malspam campaigns that take advantage of password-protected archive files to drop CoinMiner and Quasar RAT on compromised systems. In an  attack chain  detected by Trustwave SpiderLabs researchers, an invoice-themed ZIP file lure was found to contain a nested self-extracting (SFX) archive, the first archive acting as a conduit to launch the second. While phishing attacks like these traditionally require persuading the target into opening the attachment, the cybersecurity company said the campaign sidesteps this hurdle by making use of a batch file to automatically supply the password to unlock the payload. The first SFX archive file further makes use of either a PDF or Excel icon to make it appear legitimate, when, in reality, it contains three components: the password-protected second SFX RAR file, the aforementioned batch script which launches the archive, and a decoy PDF or image. "The execution of the batch f
Multiple Campaigns Exploit VMware Vulnerability to Deploy Crypto Miners and Ransomware

Multiple Campaigns Exploit VMware Vulnerability to Deploy Crypto Miners and Ransomware

Oct 21, 2022
A now-patched vulnerability in VMware Workspace ONE Access has been observed being exploited to deliver both cryptocurrency miners and ransomware on affected machines. "The attacker intends to utilize a victim's resources as much as possible, not only to install RAR1Ransom for extortion, but also to spread GuardMiner to collect cryptocurrency," Fortinet FortiGuard Labs researcher Cara Lin  said  in a Thursday report. The issue, tracked as CVE-2022-22954 (CVSS score: 9.8), concerns a remote code execution vulnerability that stems from a case of server-side template injection. Although the shortcoming was addressed by the virtualization services provider in April 2022, it has since come under active exploitation in the wild. Fortinet said it observed in August 2022 attacks that sought to weaponize the flaw to deploy the  Mirai botnet  on Linux devices as well as the RAR1Ransom and  GuardMiner , a variant of the XMRig Monero miner. The Mirai sample is retrieved fr
Hackers Steal $100 Million Cryptocurrency from Binance Bridge

Hackers Steal $100 Million Cryptocurrency from Binance Bridge

Oct 10, 2022
BNB Chain, a blockchain linked to the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, disclosed an exploit on a cross-chain bridge that drained around $100 million in digital assets. "There was an exploit affecting the native cross-chain bridge between BNB Beacon Chain (BEP2) and BNB Smart Chain (BEP20 or BSC), known as 'BSC Token Hub,'" it  said  last week. "The exploit was through a sophisticated forging of the low level proof into one common library." According to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, the exploit on the cross-chain bridge " resulted in extra BNB ," prompting a  temporary suspension  of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). "BNB, which stands for 'Build and Build' (formerly called Binance Coin), is the blockchain gas token that 'fuels' transactions on BNB Chain," Binance  noted  earlier this February. No user funds are said to have been impacted, since the vulnerability in the BSC Token Hub bridge enabled the unknown threat actor
Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Instances Found Exposed on the Internet

Over 39,000 Unauthenticated Redis Instances Found Exposed on the Internet

Sep 21, 2022
An unknown attacker targeted tens of thousands of unauthenticated Redis servers exposed on the internet in an attempt to  install a cryptocurrency miner . It's not immediately known if all of these hosts were successfully compromised. Nonetheless, it was made possible by means of a "lesser-known technique" designed to trick the servers into writing data to arbitrary files – a case of  unauthorized access  that was first documented in September 2018. "The general idea behind this exploitation technique is to configure Redis to write its file-based database to a directory containing some method to authorize a user (like adding a key to '.ssh/authorized_keys'), or start a process (like adding a script to '/etc/cron.d')," Censys  said  in a new write-up. The attack surface management platform said it uncovered evidence (i.e., Redis commands) indicating efforts on part of the attacker to store malicious  crontab entries  into the file "/var/
Hackers Targeting WebLogic Servers and Docker APIs for Mining Cryptocurrencies

Hackers Targeting WebLogic Servers and Docker APIs for Mining Cryptocurrencies

Sep 16, 2022
Malicious actors such as Kinsing are taking advantage of both recently disclosed and older security flaws in Oracle WebLogic Server to deliver cryptocurrency-mining malware. Cybersecurity company Trend Micro said it  found  the financially-motivated group leveraging the vulnerability to drop Python scripts with capabilities to disable operating system (OS) security features such as Security-Enhanced Linux ( SELinux ), and others. The operators behind the  Kinsing malware  have a history of scanning for vulnerable servers to co-opt them into a botnet, including that of  Redis ,  SaltStack ,  Log4Shell ,  Spring4Shell , and the Atlassian Confluence flaw ( CVE-2022-26134 ). The Kinsing actors have also been involved in campaigns against container environments via  misconfigured open Docker Daemon API ports  to launch a crypto miner and subsequently spread the malware to other containers and hosts. The latest wave of attacks entails the actor weaponizing  CVE-2020-14882  (CVSS score:
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