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Apple Updates Spyware Alert System to Warn Victims of Mercenary Attacks

Apple Updates Spyware Alert System to Warn Victims of Mercenary Attacks

Apr 11, 2024 Spyware / Cyber Espionage
Apple on Wednesday  revised  its documentation pertaining to its mercenary spyware threat notification system to mention that it alerts users when they may have been individually targeted by such attacks. It also specifically called out companies like NSO Group for developing commercial surveillance tools such as Pegasus that are used by state actors to pull off "individually targeted attacks of such exceptional cost and complexity." "Though deployed against a very small number of individuals — often journalists, activists, politicians, and diplomats — mercenary spyware attacks are ongoing and global," Apple  said . "The extreme cost, sophistication, and worldwide nature of mercenary spyware attacks makes them some of the most advanced digital threats in existence today." The update marks a change in wording that previously said these "threat notifications" are designed to inform and assist users who may have been targeted by state-sponsored
'eXotic Visit' Spyware Campaign Targets Android Users in India and Pakistan

'eXotic Visit' Spyware Campaign Targets Android Users in India and Pakistan

Apr 10, 2024 Mobile Security / Spyware
An active Android malware campaign dubbed eXotic Visit has been primarily targeting users in South Asia, particularly those in India and Pakistan, with malware distributed via dedicated websites and Google Play Store. Slovak cybersecurity firm said the activity, ongoing since November 2021, is not linked to any known threat actor or group. It's tracking the group behind the operation under the name  Virtual Invaders . "Downloaded apps provide legitimate functionality, but also include code from the open-source Android  XploitSPY RAT ," ESET security researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said  in a technical report released today. The campaign is said to be highly targeted in nature, with the apps available on Google Play having negligible number of installs ranging from zero to 45. The apps have since been taken down. The fake-but-functional apps primarily masquerade as messaging services like Alpha Chat, ChitChat, Defcom, Dink Messenger, Signal Lite, TalkU, WeTalk, Wicker Mes
10,000 Victims a Day: Infostealer Garden of Low-Hanging Fruit

10,000 Victims a Day: Infostealer Garden of Low-Hanging Fruit

Jul 15, 2024Cyber Crime / Data Protection
Imagine you could gain access to any Fortune 100 company for $10 or less, or even for free. Terrifying thought, isn't it? Or exciting, depending on which side of the cybersecurity barricade you are on. Well, that's basically the state of things today. Welcome to the infostealer garden of low-hanging fruit. Over the last few years, the problem has grown bigger and bigger, and only now are we slowly learning its full destructive potential. In this article, we will describe how the entire cybercriminal ecosystem operates, the ways various threat actors exploit data originating from it, and most importantly, what you can do about it. Let's start with what infostealer malware actually is. As the name suggests, it's malware that... steals data. Depending on the specific type, the information it extracts might differ slightly, but most will try to extract the following: Cryptocurrency wallets Bank account information and saved credit card details Saved passwords from various apps Bro
Hackers Targeting Human Rights Activists in Morocco and Western Sahara

Hackers Targeting Human Rights Activists in Morocco and Western Sahara

Apr 09, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
Human rights activists in Morocco and the Western Sahara region are the targets of a new threat actor that leverages phishing attacks to trick victims into installing bogus Android apps and serve credential harvesting pages for Windows users. Cisco Talos is  tracking  the activity cluster under the name  Starry Addax , describing it as primarily singling out activists associated with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Starry Addax's infrastructure – ondroid[.]site and ondroid[.]store – is designed to target both Android and Windows users, with the latter involving fake websites masquerading as login pages for popular social media websites. In light of active investigation into the campaign, Talos said it cannot publicly disclose which websites are being targeted with credential harvesting attacks. "However, the threat actors are establishing their own infrastructure and hosting credential harvesting pages such as fake login pages for media and email services po
cyber security

Top 4 Security Risks of GenAI

websiteWizGenAI Security / Technology
Gain a competitive edge and unlock the top 4 major emerging risks within GenAI. This report from Gartner provides insights and recommended actions for security and product leaders.
New Wave of JSOutProx Malware Targeting Financial Firms in APAC and MENA

New Wave of JSOutProx Malware Targeting Financial Firms in APAC and MENA

Apr 05, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cybersecurity
Financial organizations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are being targeted by a new version of an "evolving threat" called  JSOutProx . "JSOutProx is a sophisticated attack framework utilizing both JavaScript and .NET," Resecurity  said  in a technical report published this week. "It employs the .NET (de)serialization feature to interact with a core JavaScript module running on the victim's machine. Once executed, the malware enables the framework to load various plugins, which conduct additional malicious activities on the target." First  identified  in December 2019 by Yoroi, early attacks distributing JSOutProx have been attributed to a threat actor tracked as  Solar Spider . The cyber crime actors behind the malware have a track record of striking banks and other big companies in Asia and Europe. In late 2021, Quick Heal Security Labs  detailed  attacks leveraging the remote access trojan (RAT) to single out
Researchers Identify Multiple China Hacker Groups Exploiting Ivanti Security Flaws

Researchers Identify Multiple China Hacker Groups Exploiting Ivanti Security Flaws

Apr 05, 2024 Advanced Persistent Threat
Multiple China-nexus threat actors have been linked to the zero-day exploitation of three security flaws impacting Ivanti appliances (CVE-2023-46805, CVE-2024-21887, and CVE-2024-21893). The clusters are being tracked by Mandiant under the uncategorized monikers  UNC5221 , UNC5266, UNC5291,  UNC5325 , UNC5330, and UNC5337. Also previously linked to the exploitation spree is a Chinese hacking crew called UNC3886 , whose tradecraft is notable for weaponizing zero-day bugs in Fortinet and VMware to breach target networks. The Google Cloud subsidiary said it has also observed financially motivated actors exploiting CVE-2023-46805 and CVE-2024-21887, likely in an attempt to conduct cryptocurrency mining operations. "UNC5266 overlaps in part with UNC3569, a China-nexus espionage actor that has been observed exploiting vulnerabilities in Aspera Faspex, Microsoft Exchange, and Oracle Web Applications Desktop Integrator, among others, to gain initial access to target environments,"
China-linked Hackers Deploy New 'UNAPIMON' Malware for Stealthy Operations

China-linked Hackers Deploy New 'UNAPIMON' Malware for Stealthy Operations

Apr 02, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Threat Intelligence
A threat activity cluster tracked as  Earth Freybug  has been observed using a new malware called UNAPIMON to fly under the radar. "Earth Freybug is a cyberthreat group that has been active since at least 2012 that focuses on espionage and financially motivated activities," Trend Micro security researcher Christopher So  said  in a report published today. "It has been observed to target organizations from various sectors across different countries." The cybersecurity firm has described Earth Freybug as a subset within  APT41 , a China-linked cyber espionage group that's also tracked as Axiom, Brass Typhoon (formerly Barium), Bronze Atlas, HOODOO, Wicked Panda, and Winnti. The adversarial collective is known to rely on a combination of living-off-the-land binaries (LOLBins) and custom malware to realize its goals. Also adopted are techniques like dynamic-link library (DLL) hijacking and application programming interface (API) unhooking. Trend Micro said th
Linux Version of DinodasRAT Spotted in Cyber Attacks Across Several Countries

Linux Version of DinodasRAT Spotted in Cyber Attacks Across Several Countries

Mar 28, 2024 Linux / Network Security
A Linux version of a multi-platform backdoor called  DinodasRAT  has been detected in the wild targeting China, Taiwan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan,  new findings  from Kaspersky reveal. DinodasRAT, also known as XDealer, is a C++-based malware that offers the ability to harvest a wide range of sensitive data from compromised hosts. In October 2023, Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET  revealed  that a governmental entity in Guyana had been targeted as part of a cyber espionage campaign dubbed Operation Jacana to deploy the Windows version of the implant. Then last week, Trend Micro  detailed  a threat activity cluster it tracks as Earth Krahang and which has shifted to using DinodasRAT since 2023 in its attacks aimed at several government entities worldwide. The use of DinodasRAT has been attributed to various China-nexus threat actors, including  LuoYu , once again reflecting the tool sharing prevalent among hacking crews identified as acting on behalf of the country. Kaspersky said it
Finland Blames Chinese Hacking Group APT31 for Parliament Cyber Attack

Finland Blames Chinese Hacking Group APT31 for Parliament Cyber Attack

Mar 28, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The Police of Finland (aka Poliisi) has formally accused a Chinese nation-state actor tracked as APT31 for orchestrating a cyber attack targeting the country's Parliament in 2020. The intrusion, per the authorities, is said to have occurred between fall 2020 and early 2021. The agency described the ongoing criminal probe as both demanding and time-consuming, involving extensive analysis of a "complex criminal infrastructure." The breach was  first disclosed  in December 2020, with the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo)  describing  it as a  state-backed cyber espionage operation  designed to penetrate the Parliament's information systems. "The police have previously informed that they are investigating the hacking group APT31's connections with the incident," Poliisi said. "These connections have now been confirmed by the investigation, and the police have also identified one suspect." APT31 , also called Altaire, Bronze Vin
Hackers Hit Indian Defense, Energy Sectors with Malware Posing as Air Force Invite

Hackers Hit Indian Defense, Energy Sectors with Malware Posing as Air Force Invite

Mar 27, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Data Breach
Indian government entities and energy companies have been targeted by unknown threat actors with an aim to deliver a modified version of an open-source information stealer malware called HackBrowserData and exfiltrate sensitive information in some cases by using Slack as command-and-control (C2). "The information stealer was delivered via a phishing email, masquerading as an invitation letter from the Indian Air Force," EclecticIQ researcher Arda Büyükkaya  said  in a report published today. "The attacker utilized Slack channels as exfiltration points to upload confidential internal documents, private email messages, and cached web browser data after the malware's execution." The campaign, observed by the Dutch cybersecurity firm beginning March 7, 2024, has been codenamed Operation FlightNight in reference to the Slack channels operated by the adversary. Targets of the malicious activity span multiple government entities in India, counting those related t
Two Chinese APT Groups Ramp Up Cyber Espionage Against ASEAN Countries

Two Chinese APT Groups Ramp Up Cyber Espionage Against ASEAN Countries

Mar 27, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Vulnerability
Two China-linked advanced persistent threat (APT) groups have been observed targeting entities and member countries affiliated with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as part of a cyber espionage campaign over the past three months. This includes the threat actor known as  Mustang Panda , which has been recently linked to  cyber attacks against Myanmar  as well as other Asian countries with a variant of the PlugX (aka Korplug) backdoor dubbed  DOPLUGS . Mustang Panda, also called Camaro Dragon, Earth Preta, and Stately Taurus, is believed to have targeted entities in Myanmar, the Philippines, Japan and Singapore, targeting them with phishing emails designed to deliver two malware packages. "Threat actors created malware for these packages on March 4-5, 2024, coinciding with the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit (March 4-6, 2024)," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. One of the malware package is a ZIP file that contains
U.S. Charges 7 Chinese Nationals in Major 14-Year Cyber Espionage Operation

U.S. Charges 7 Chinese Nationals in Major 14-Year Cyber Espionage Operation

Mar 26, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Monday unsealed indictments against seven Chinese nationals for their involvement in a hacking group that targeted U.S. and foreign critics, journalists, businesses, and political officials for about 14 years. The defendants include Ni Gaobin (倪高彬), Weng Ming (翁明), Cheng Feng (程锋), Peng Yaowen (彭耀文), Sun Xiaohui (孙小辉), Xiong Wang (熊旺), and Zhao Guangzong (赵光宗).  The suspected cyber spies have been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a state-sponsored threat group tracked as  APT31 , which is also known as Altaire,  Bronze Vinewood , Judgement Panda, and Violet Typhoon (formerly Zirconium). The hacking collective has been  active since at least 2010 . Specifically, their responsibilities entail testing and exploiting the malware used to conduct the intrusions, managing the attack infrastructure, and conducting surveillance of specific U.S. entities, federal prosecutors no
Iran-Linked MuddyWater Deploys Atera for Surveillance in Phishing Attacks

Iran-Linked MuddyWater Deploys Atera for Surveillance in Phishing Attacks

Mar 25, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Email Security
The Iran-affiliated threat actor tracked as  MuddyWater  (aka Mango Sandstorm or TA450) has been linked to a new phishing campaign in March 2024 that aims to deliver a legitimate Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) solution called Atera. The activity, which took place from March 7 through the week of March 11, targeted Israeli entities spanning global manufacturing, technology, and information security sectors, Proofpoint said. "TA450 sent emails with PDF attachments that contained malicious links," the enterprise security firm  said . "While this method is not foreign to TA450, the threat actor has more recently relied on including malicious links directly in email message bodies instead of adding in this extra step." MuddyWater has been attributed to attacks directed against Israeli organizations since late October 2023, with prior findings from Deep Instinct  uncovering  the threat actor's use of another remote administration tool from N-able. This i
N. Korea-linked Kimsuky Shifts to Compiled HTML Help Files in Ongoing Cyberattacks

N. Korea-linked Kimsuky Shifts to Compiled HTML Help Files in Ongoing Cyberattacks

Mar 24, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Cyber Espionage
The North Korea-linked threat actor known as  Kimsuky  (aka Black Banshee, Emerald Sleet, or Springtail) has been observed shifting its tactics, leveraging Compiled HTML Help (CHM) files as vectors to deliver malware for harvesting sensitive data. Kimsuky, active since at least 2012, is known to target entities located in South Korea as well as North America, Asia, and Europe. According to Rapid7, attack chains have leveraged weaponized Microsoft Office documents, ISO files, and Windows shortcut (LNK) files, with the group also employing CHM files to  deploy malware  on  compromised hosts . The cybersecurity firm has attributed the activity to Kimsuky with moderate confidence, citing similar tradecraft observed in the past. "While originally designed for help documentation, CHM files have also been exploited for malicious purposes, such as distributing malware, because they can execute JavaScript when opened," the company  said . The CHM file is propagated within an IS
Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Mar 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Warfare
The WINELOADER backdoor used in recent cyber attacks targeting diplomatic entities with wine-tasting phishing lures has been attributed as the handiwork of a hacking group with links to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which was responsible for  breaching SolarWinds and Microsoft . The findings come from Mandiant, which said  Midnight Blizzard  (aka APT29, BlueBravo, or Cozy Bear) used the malware to target German political parties with phishing emails bearing a logo from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) around February 26, 2024. "This is the first time we have seen this APT29 cluster target political parties, indicating a possible area of emerging operational focus beyond the  typical   targeting  of  diplomatic missions ," researchers Luke Jenkins and Dan Black  said . WINELOADER was  first disclosed  by Zscaler ThreatLabz last month as part of a cyber espionage campaign that's believed to have been ongoing since at least July 2023. It attribute
U.S. Sanctions Russians Behind 'Doppelganger' Cyber Influence Campaign

U.S. Sanctions Russians Behind 'Doppelganger' Cyber Influence Campaign

Mar 21, 2024 National Security / Data Privacy
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Wednesday announced sanctions against two 46-year-old Russian nationals and the respective companies they own for engaging in cyber influence operations. Ilya Andreevich Gambashidze (Gambashidze), the founder of the Moscow-based company Social Design Agency (SDA), and Nikolai Aleksandrovich Tupikin (Tupikin), the CEO and current owner of Russia-based Company Group Structura LLC (Structura), have been accused of providing services to the Russian government in connection to a "foreign malign influence campaign." The disinformation campaign is tracked by the broader cybersecurity community under the name  Doppelganger , which is known to target audiences in Europe and the U.S. using inauthentic news sites and social media accounts. "SDA and Structura have been identified as key actors of the campaign, responsible for providing [the Government of the Russian Federation] with a variety of servic
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