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Watch Out! Microsoft Spotted Spike in Astaroth Fileless Malware Attacks

Watch Out! Microsoft Spotted Spike in Astaroth Fileless Malware Attacks

July 09, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers at Microsoft have released details of a new widespread campaign distributing an infamous piece of fileless malware that was primarily being found targeting European and Brazilian users earlier this year. Dubbed Astaroth , the malware trojan has been making the rounds since at least 2017 and designed to steal users' sensitive information like their credentials, keystrokes, and other data, without dropping any executable file on the disk or installing any software on the victim's machine. Initially discovered by researchers at Cybereason in February this year, Astaroath lived off the land by running the payload directly into the memory of a targeted computer or by leveraging legitimate system tools, such as WMIC, Certutil, Bitsadmin, and Regsvr32, to run the malicious code. While reviewing the Windows telemetry data, Andrea Lelli, a researcher at Microsoft Defender ATP Research Team, recently spotted a sudden unusual spike in the usage of Managemen
First-Ever Ransomware Found Using ‘Process Doppelgänging’ Attack to Evade Detection

First-Ever Ransomware Found Using ‘Process Doppelgänging’ Attack to Evade Detection

May 07, 2018Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have spotted the first-ever ransomware exploiting Process Doppelgänging , a new fileless code injection technique that could help malware evade detection. The Process Doppelgänging attack takes advantage of a built-in Windows function, i.e., NTFS Transactions, and an outdated implementation of Windows process loader, and works on all modern versions of Microsoft Windows OS, including Windows 10. Process Doppelgänging attack works by using NTFS transactions to launch a malicious process by replacing the memory of a legitimate process, tricking process monitoring tools and antivirus into believing that the legitimate process is running. If you want to know more about how Process Doppelgänging attack works in detail, you should read this article  I published late last year. Shortly after the Process Doppelgänging attack details went public, several threat actors were found abusing it in an attempt to bypass modern security solutions. Security researchers
New Fileless Ransomware with Code Injection Ability Detected in the Wild

New Fileless Ransomware with Code Injection Ability Detected in the Wild

June 16, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It is no secret that hackers and cybercriminals are becoming dramatically more adept, innovative, and stealthy with each passing day. While new forms of cybercrime are on the rise, traditional activities seem to be shifting towards more clandestine techniques that come with limitless attack vectors with low detection rates. Security researchers have recently discovered a new fileless ransomware, dubbed " Sorebrect, " which injects malicious code into a legitimate system process (svchost.exe) on a targeted system and then self-destruct itself in order to evade detection. Unlike traditional ransomware, Sorebrect has been designed to target enterprise's servers and endpoint. The injected code then initiates the file encryption process on the local machine and connected network shares. This fileless ransomware first compromises administrator credentials by brute forcing or some other means and then uses Microsoft’s Sysinternals PsExec command-line utility to encry
Hackers stole $800,000 from ATMs using Fileless Malware

Hackers stole $800,000 from ATMs using Fileless Malware

April 04, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Hackers targeted at least 8 ATMs in Russia and stole $800,000 in a single night, but the method used by the intruders remained a complete mystery with CCTV footage just showing a lone culprit walking up to the ATM and collecting cash without even touching the machine. Even the affected banks could not find any trace of malware on its ATMs or backend network or any sign of an intrusion. The only clue the unnamed bank's specialists found from the ATM's hard drive was — two files containing malware logs. The log files included the two process strings containing the phrases: "Take the Money Bitch!" and "Dispense Success." This small clue was enough for the researchers from the Russian security firm Kaspersky, who have been investigating the ATM heists, to find malware samples related to the ATM attack. In February, Kaspersky Labs reported that attackers managed to hit over 140 enterprises, including banks, telecoms, and government organizations, in th
New Fileless Malware Uses DNS Queries To Receive PowerShell Commands

New Fileless Malware Uses DNS Queries To Receive PowerShell Commands

March 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It is no secret that cybercriminals are becoming dramatically more adept, innovative, and stealthy with each passing day. While new forms of cybercrime are on the rise, traditional activities seem to be shifting towards more clandestine techniques that involve the exploitation of standard system tools and protocols, which are not always monitored. The latest example of such attack is DNSMessenger – a new Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that uses DNS queries to conduct malicious PowerShell commands on compromised computers – a technique that makes the RAT difficult to detect onto targeted systems. The Trojan came to the attention of Cisco's Talos threat research group by a security researcher named Simpo, who highlighted a tweet that encoded text in a PowerShell script that said 'SourceFireSux.' SourceFire is one of Cisco's corporate security products. DNSMessenger Attack Is Completely Fileless Further analysis of the malware ultimately led Talos researchers to
New “Fileless Malware” Targets Banks and Organizations Spotted in the Wild

New “Fileless Malware” Targets Banks and Organizations Spotted in the Wild

February 08, 2017Swati Khandelwal
More than a hundred banks and financial institutions across the world have been infected with a dangerous sophisticated, memory-based malware that's almost undetectable, researchers warned. Newly published report by the Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab indicates that hackers are targeting banks, telecommunication companies, and government organizations in 40 countries, including the US, South America, Europe and Africa, with Fileless malware that resides solely in the memory of the compromised computers. Fileless malware was first discovered by the same security firm in 2014, has never been mainstream until now. Fileless malware is a piece of nasty software that does not copy any files or folder to the hard drive in order to get executed. Instead, payloads are directly injected into the memory of running processes, and the malware executes in the system's RAM. Since the malware runs in the memory, the memory acquisition becomes useless once the system gets reboot
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