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New WinTapix.sys Malware Engages in Multi-Stage Attack Across Middle East

New WinTapix.sys Malware Engages in Multi-Stage Attack Across Middle East

May 23, 2023 Endpoint Security/ Malware
An unknown threat actor has been observed leveraging a malicious Windows kernel driver in attacks likely targeting the Middle East since at least May 2020. Fortinet Fortiguard Labs, which dubbed the artifact WINTAPIX (WinTapix.sys), attributed the malware with low confidence to an Iranian threat actor. "WinTapix.sys is essentially a loader," security researchers Geri Revay and Hossein Jazi said in a report published on Monday. "Thus, its primary purpose is to produce and execute the next stage of the attack. This is done using a shellcode." Samples and telemetry data analyzed by Fortinet show that the campaign's primary focus is on Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The activity has not been tied to a known threat actor or group. By using a malicious kernel mode driver, the idea is to subvert or disable security mechanisms and gain entrenched access to the targeted host. Such drivers run within the kernel memory and can, there
Ransomware Attackers Use Microsoft-Signed Drivers to Gain Access to Systems

Ransomware Attackers Use Microsoft-Signed Drivers to Gain Access to Systems

Dec 14, 2022 Endpoint Security / Firmware Security
Microsoft on Tuesday disclosed it took steps to implement blocking protections and suspend accounts that were used to publish malicious drivers that were certified by its Windows Hardware Developer Program . The tech giant said its investigation revealed the activity was restricted to a number of developer program accounts and that no further compromise was detected. Cryptographically signing malware is concerning not least because it not only undermines a key security mechanism but also allows threat actors to subvert traditional detection methods and infiltrate target networks to perform highly privileged operations. The probe, Redmond stated, was initiated after it was notified of rogue drivers being used in post-exploitation efforts, including deploying ransomware, by cybersecurity firms Mandiant, SentinelOne, and Sophos on October 19, 2022. One notable aspect of these attacks was that the adversary had already obtained administrative privileges on compromised systems before
The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

Apr 08, 2024Ransomware / Cybercrime
The  ransomware industry surged in 2023  as it saw an alarming 55.5% increase in victims worldwide, reaching a staggering 5,070.  But 2024 is starting off showing a very different picture.  While the numbers skyrocketed in Q4 2023 with 1309 cases, in Q1 2024, the ransomware industry was down to 1,048 cases. This is a 22% decrease in ransomware attacks compared to Q4 2023. Figure 1: Victims per quarter There could be several reasons for this significant drop.  Reason 1: The Law Enforcement Intervention Firstly, law enforcement has upped the ante in 2024 with actions against both LockBit and ALPHV. The LockBit Arrests In February, an international operation named "Operation Cronos" culminated in the arrest of at least three associates of the infamous LockBit ransomware syndicate in Poland and Ukraine.  Law enforcement from multiple countries collaborated to take down LockBit's infrastructure. This included seizing their dark web domains and gaining access to their backend sys
Over 40 Drivers Could Let Hackers Install Persistent Backdoor On Windows PCs

Over 40 Drivers Could Let Hackers Install Persistent Backdoor On Windows PCs

Aug 11, 2019
If you own a device, or a hardware component, manufactured by ASUS, Toshiba, Intel, NVIDIA, Huawei, or other 15 other vendors listed below, you're probably screwed. A team of security researchers has discovered high-risk security vulnerabilities in more than 40 drivers from at least 20 different vendors that could allow attackers to gain most privileged permission on the system and hide malware in a way that remains undetected over time, sometimes for years. For sophisticated attackers, maintaining persistence after compromising a system is one of the most important tasks, and to achieve this, existing hardware vulnerabilities sometimes play an important role. One such component is a device driver, commonly known as a driver or hardware driver, a software program that controls a particular type of hardware device, helping it to communicate with the computer's operating system properly. Since device drivers sit between the hardware and the operating system itself and in
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