The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: fileless malware

Hackers Sneak 'More_Eggs' Malware Into Resumes Sent to Corporate Hiring Managers

Hackers Sneak 'More_Eggs' Malware Into Resumes Sent to Corporate Hiring Managers
April 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new set of phishing attacks delivering the more_eggs malware has been observed striking corporate hiring managers with bogus resumes as an infection vector, a year after potential candidates looking for work on LinkedIn were lured with weaponized job offers . "This year the more_eggs operation has flipped the social engineering script, targeting hiring managers with fake resumes instead of targeting jobseekers with fake job offers," eSentire's research and reporting lead, Keegan Keplinger, said in a statement . The Canadian cybersecurity company said it identified and disrupted four separate security incidents, three of which occurred at the end of March. Targeted entities include a U.S.-based aerospace company, an accounting business located in the U.K., a law firm, and a staffing agency, both based out of Canada. The malware, suspected to be the handiwork of a threat actor called Golden Chickens (aka Venom Spider ), is a stealthy, modular backdoor suite capable

New "SockDetour" Fileless, Socketless Backdoor Targets U.S. Defense Contractors

New "SockDetour" Fileless, Socketless Backdoor Targets U.S. Defense Contractors
February 25, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have taken the wraps off a previously undocumented and stealthy custom malware called SockDetour that targeted U.S.-based defense contractors with the goal of being used as a secondary implant on compromised Windows hosts. "SockDetour is a backdoor that is designed to remain stealthily on compromised Windows servers so that it can serve as a backup backdoor in case the primary one fails," Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat intelligence  said  in a report published Thursday. "It is difficult to detect, since it operates filelessly and socketlessly on compromised Windows servers." Even more concerningly, SockDetour is believed to have been used in attacks since at least July 2019, based on a compilation timestamp on the sample, implying that the backdoor successfully managed to slip past detection for over two-and-a-half years. The attacks have been attributed to a threat cluster it tracks as  TiltedTemple  (aka DEV-0322 by Microsof

Chinese Hackers Spotted Using New UEFI Firmware Implant in Targeted Attacks

Chinese Hackers Spotted Using New UEFI Firmware Implant in Targeted Attacks
January 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented firmware implant deployed to maintain stealthy persistence as part of a targeted espionage campaign has been linked to the Chinese-speaking Winnti advanced persistent threat group ( APT41 ). Kaspersky, which codenamed the rootkit  MoonBounce ,  characterized  the malware as the "most advanced  UEFI  firmware implant discovered in the wild to date," adding "the purpose of the implant is to facilitate the deployment of user-mode malware that stages execution of further payloads downloaded from the internet." Firmware-based rootkits, once a rarity in the threat landscape, are fast becoming lucrative tools among sophisticated actors to help achieve long standing foothold in a manner that's not only hard to detect, but also difficult to remove. The first firmware-level rootkit — dubbed  LoJax  — was discovered in the wild in 2018. Since then, three different instances of UEFI malware have been unearthed so far, including  MosaicRegresso

New Fileless Malware Uses Windows Registry as Storage to Evade Detection

New Fileless Malware Uses Windows Registry as Storage to Evade Detection
December 16, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new JavaScript-based remote access Trojan (RAT) propagated via a social engineering campaign has been observed employing sneaky "fileless" techniques as part of its detection-evasion methods to elude discovery and analysis. Dubbed DarkWatchman by researchers from Prevailion's Adversarial Counterintelligence Team (PACT), the malware uses a resilient domain generation algorithm ( DGA ) to identify its command-and-control (C2) infrastructure and utilizes the Windows Registry for all of its storage operations, thereby enabling it to bypass antimalware engines. The RAT "utilizes novel methods for fileless persistence, on-system activity, and dynamic run-time capabilities like self-updating and recompilation," researchers Matt Stafford and Sherman Smith  said , adding it "represents an evolution in fileless malware techniques, as it uses the registry for nearly all temporary and permanent storage and therefore never writes anything to disk, allowing it to o

Hackers-For-Hire Group Develops New 'PowerPepper' In-Memory Malware

Hackers-For-Hire Group Develops New 'PowerPepper' In-Memory Malware
December 04, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday disclosed details of a previously undiscovered in-memory Windows backdoor developed by a hacker-for-hire operation that can execute remotely malicious code and steal sensitive information from its targets in Asia, Europe, and the US. Dubbed " PowerPepper " by Kaspersky researchers, the malware has been attributed to the  DeathStalker  group (formerly called Deceptikons), a threat actor that has been found to hit law firms and companies in the financial sector located in Europe and the Middle East at least since 2012. The hacking tool is so-called because of its reliance on steganographic trickery to deliver the backdoor payload in the form of an image of ferns or peppers. The espionage group first came to light  earlier this July , with most of their attacks starting with a spear-phishing email containing a malicious modified LNK (shortcut) file that, when clicked, downloads and runs a PowerShell-based implant named Powersing. While

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers
September 27, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Watch out Windows users! There's a new strain of malware making rounds on the Internet that has already infected thousands of computers worldwide and most likely, your antivirus program would not be able to detect it. Why? That's because, first, it's an advanced fileless malware and second, it leverages only legitimate built-in system utilities and third-party tools to extend its functionality and compromise computers, rather than using any malicious piece of code. The technique of bringing its own legitimate tools is effective and has rarely been spotted in the wild, helping attackers to blend in their malicious activities with regular network activity or system administration tasks while leaving fewer footprints. Independently discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft and Cisco Talos, the malware — dubbed " Nodersok " and " Divergent " — is primarily being distributed via malicious online advertisements and infecting users using

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
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.