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Linux Variant of Clop Ransomware Spotted, But Uses Faulty Encryption Algorithm

Linux Variant of Clop Ransomware Spotted, But Uses Faulty Encryption Algorithm

Feb 07, 2023 Encryption / Linux
The first-ever Linux variant of the Clop ransomware has been detected in the wild, but with a faulty encryption algorithm that has made it possible to reverse engineer the process. "The ELF executable contains a flawed encryption algorithm making it possible to decrypt locked files without paying the ransom," SentinelOne researcher Antonis Terefos  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The cybersecurity firm, which has made available a decryptor , said it observed the ELF version on December 26, 2022, while also noting its similarities to the Windows flavor when it comes using the same encryption method. The detected sample is said to be part of a larger attack targeting educational institutions in Colombia, including La Salle University, around the same time. The university was added to the criminal group's leak site in early January 2023, per  FalconFeedsio . Known to have been active since 2019, the Clop (stylized as Cl0p) ransomware operation  suffered
Alert: Hackers Actively Exploiting Critical "Control Web Panel" RCE Vulnerability

Alert: Hackers Actively Exploiting Critical "Control Web Panel" RCE Vulnerability

Jan 12, 2023 Server Security / Linux
Malicious actors are actively attempting to exploit a recently patched critical vulnerability in Control Web Panel (CWP) that enables elevated privileges and unauthenticated remote code execution (RCE) on susceptible servers. Tracked as  CVE-2022-44877  (CVSS score: 9.8), the bug impacts all versions of the software before 0.9.8.1147 and was  patched  by its maintainers on October 25, 2022. Control Web Panel, formerly known as CentOS Web Panel, is a popular server administration tool for enterprise-based Linux systems. "login/index.php in CWP (aka Control Web Panel or CentOS Web Panel) 7 before 0.9.8.1147 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands via shell metacharacters in the login parameter," according to  NIST . Gais Security researcher Numan Turle has been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw to the Control Web Panel developers. Exploitation of the flaw is said to have commenced on January 6, 2023, following the  availability  of a proof
New shc-based Linux Malware Targeting Systems with Cryptocurrency Miner

New shc-based Linux Malware Targeting Systems with Cryptocurrency Miner

Jan 04, 2023 Linux / Cryptocurrency
A new Linux malware developed using the shell script compiler ( shc ) has been observed deploying a cryptocurrency miner on compromised systems. "It is presumed that after successful authentication through a dictionary attack on inadequately managed Linux SSH servers, various malware were installed on the target system," AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC)  said  in a report published today. shc allows shell scripts to be converted directly into binaries, offering protections against unauthorized source code modifications. It's analogous to the  BAT2EXE utility  in Windows that's used to convert any batch file to an executable. By using shc to generate ELF files, the idea is to protect the malicious shell commands from being inspected and potentially bypass detection by security software as the executables are encoded using the RC4 algorithm . In an attack chain detailed by the South Korean cybersecurity firm, a successful compromise of the SSH serv
WordPress Security Alert: New Linux Malware Exploiting Over Two Dozen CMS Flaws

WordPress Security Alert: New Linux Malware Exploiting Over Two Dozen CMS Flaws

Jan 02, 2023 Web Security / Linux
WordPress sites are being targeted by a previously unknown strain of Linux malware that exploits flaws in over two dozen plugins and themes to compromise vulnerable systems. "If sites use outdated versions of such add-ons, lacking crucial fixes, the targeted web pages are injected with malicious JavaScripts," Russian security vendor Doctor Web  said  in a report published last week. "As a result, when users click on any area of an attacked page, they are redirected to other sites." The attacks involve weaponizing a list of known security vulnerabilities in 19 different plugins and themes that are likely installed on a WordPress site, using it to deploy an implant that can target a specific website to further expand the network. It's also capable of injecting JavaScript code retrieved from a remote server in order to redirect the site visitors to an arbitrary website of the attacker's choice. Doctor Web said it identified a second version of the backdoor
Cyber Security Is Not a Losing Game – If You Start Right Now

Cyber Security Is Not a Losing Game – If You Start Right Now

Dec 16, 2022 Patch Management / Linux
Reality has a way of asserting itself, irrespective of any personal or commercial choices we make, good or bad. For example, just recently, the city services of Antwerp in Belgium were the victim of a highly disruptive cyberattack.  As usual, everyone cried "foul play" and suggested that proper cybersecurity measures should have been in place. And again, as usual, it all happens a bit too late. There was nothing special or unique about the attack, and it wasn't the last of its kind either. So why are we, in IT, still happily whistling into the wind and moving along as if nothing happened? Is everyone's disaster recovery plan really that good? Are all the security measures in place – and tested? Let's Do a Quick Recap (of What You Should Be Doing) First, cover the basics. Perform proper user training that includes all of the usual: password hygiene, restrictions on account sharing, and clear instructions not to open untrusted emails or to access unscrupulous w
New GoTrim Botnet Attempting to Break into WordPress Sites' Admin Accounts

New GoTrim Botnet Attempting to Break into WordPress Sites' Admin Accounts

Dec 14, 2022 Website Security / Linux
A new Go-based botnet has been spotted scanning and brute-forcing self-hosted websites using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to seize control of targeted systems. "This new brute forcer is part of a new campaign we have named GoTrim because it was written in Go and uses ':::trim:::' to split data communicated to and from the C2 server," Fortinet FortiGuard Labs researchers Eduardo Altares, Joie Salvio, and Roy Tay  said . The active campaign, observed since September 2022, utilizes a bot network to perform distributed brute-force attacks in an attempt to login to the targeted web server. A successful break-in is followed by the operator installing a downloader PHP script in the newly compromised host that, in turn, is designed to deploy the "bot client" from a hard-coded URL, effectively adding the machine to the growing network. In its present form, GoTrim does not have self-propagation capabilities of its own, nor can it distribute oth
Google Launches OSV-Scanner Tool to Identify Open Source Vulnerabilities

Google Launches OSV-Scanner Tool to Identify Open Source Vulnerabilities

Dec 13, 2022 Open Source / Vulnerability Database
Google on Tuesday announced the open source availability of  OSV-Scanner , a scanner that aims to offer easy access to vulnerability information about various projects. The  Go-based tool , powered by the Open Source Vulnerabilities ( OSV ) database, is designed to connect "a project's list of dependencies with the vulnerabilities that affect them," Google software engineer Rex Pan in a post shared with The Hacker News. "The OSV-Scanner generates reliable, high-quality vulnerability information that closes the gap between a developer's list of packages and the information in vulnerability databases," Pan added. The idea is to identify all the transitive dependencies of a project and highlight relevant vulnerabilities using data pulled from OSV.dev database. Google further stated that the open source platform supports 16 ecosystems, counting all major languages, Linux distributions (Debian and Alpine), as well as Android, Linux Kernel, and  OSS-Fuzz .
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
The Value of Old Systems

The Value of Old Systems

Dec 02, 2022 Patch Management / Endpoint Security
Old technology solutions – every organization has a few of them tucked away somewhere.  It could be an old and unsupported storage system or a tape library holding the still-functional backups from over 10 years ago.  This is a common scenario with software too. For example, consider an accounting software suite that was extremely expensive when it was purchased. If the vendor eventually went under, then there's no longer any support for the software – which means that the accounting solution only works on some older operating system that isn't supplied with updates either. How valuable is it to  keep older solutions like this running ? Well, organizations don't enjoy running old legacy systems just for the pleasure of it, but they're often forced to keep them running because it's their only option, or at least the only cost-effective option available to them. If it works, it works…? From a purely functional perspective, there is usually no problem with old te
New Chinese Malware Attack Framework Targets Windows, macOS, and Linux Systems

New Chinese Malware Attack Framework Targets Windows, macOS, and Linux Systems

Oct 13, 2022
A previously undocumented command-and-control (C2) framework dubbed Alchimist is likely being used in the wild to target Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. "Alchimist C2 has a web interface written in Simplified Chinese and can generate a configured payload, establish remote sessions, deploy payload to the remote machines, capture screenshots, perform remote shellcode execution, and run arbitrary commands," Cisco Talos  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. Written in GoLang, Alchimist is complemented by a beacon implant called Insekt, which comes with remote access features that can be instrumented by the C2 server. The discovery of Alchimist and its assorted family of malware implants comes three months after Talos also detailed another self-contained framework known as  Manjusaka , which has been  touted  as the "Chinese sibling of Sliver and Cobalt Strike." Even more interestingly, both Manjusaka and Alchimist pack in similar functionalities, desp
Researchers Link Cheerscrypt Linux-Based Ransomware to Chinese Hackers

Researchers Link Cheerscrypt Linux-Based Ransomware to Chinese Hackers

Oct 03, 2022
The recently discovered Linux-Based ransomware strain known as Cheerscrypt has been outed as a handiwork of a Chinese cyber espionage group known for operating short-lived ransomware schemes . Cybersecurity firm Sygnia attributed the attacks to a threat actor it tracks under the name Emperor Dragonfly, which is also known as Bronze Starlight (Secureworks) and DEV-0401 (Microsoft). "Emperor Dragonfly deployed open source tools that were written by Chinese developers for Chinese users," the company said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "This reinforces claims that the 'Emperor Dragonfly' ransomware operators are based in China." The use of Cheerscrypt is the latest addition to a long list of ransomware families previously deployed by the group in little over a year, including LockFile, Atom Silo, Rook, Night Sky, Pandora, and LockBit 2.0. Secureworks, in its profile of the group, noted "it is plausible that Bronze Starlight deploys ransomw
New Malware Families Found Targeting VMware ESXi Hypervisors

New Malware Families Found Targeting VMware ESXi Hypervisors

Sep 30, 2022
Threat actors have been found deploying never-before-seen post-compromise implants in VMware's virtualization software to seize control of infected systems and evade detection. Google's Mandiant threat intelligence division referred to it as a "novel malware ecosystem" that impacts VMware ESXi, Linux vCenter servers, and Windows virtual machines, allowing attackers to maintain persistent access to the  hypervisor  as well as execute arbitrary commands. The  hyperjacking attacks , per the cybersecurity vendor, involved the use of malicious vSphere Installation Bundles ( VIBs ) to sneak in two implants, dubbed VIRTUALPITA and VIRTUALPIE, on the ESXi hypervisors. "It is important to highlight that this is not an external remote code execution vulnerability; the attacker needs admin-level privileges to the ESXi hypervisor before they can deploy malware," Mandiant researchers Alexander Marvi, Jeremy Koppen, Tufail Ahmed, and Jonathan Lepore said in an exhaus
Firing Your Entire Cybersecurity Team? Are You Sure?

Firing Your Entire Cybersecurity Team? Are You Sure?

Sep 23, 2022
What on earth were they thinking? That's what we – and other security experts – were wondering when content giant Patreon recently dismissed its entire internal cybersecurity team in exchange for outsourced services. Of course, we don't know the true motivations for this move. But, as outsiders looking in, we can guess the cybersecurity implications of the decision would be inescapable for any organization. Fire the internal team and you take a huge risk Patreon is a content-creator site that handles billions of dollars in revenue. For reasons unknown to us, Patreon fired not just a couple of staff members or someone in middle management. No: the company fired its entire security team.  It's a big decision with significant consequences because it results in an incalculable loss of organizational knowledge. At the technical level, it's a loss of soft knowledge around deep system interdependencies that internal security experts will just "know" about and ac
SparklingGoblin APT Hackers Using New Linux Variant of SideWalk Backdoor

SparklingGoblin APT Hackers Using New Linux Variant of SideWalk Backdoor

Sep 14, 2022
A Linux variant of a backdoor known as SideWalk was used to target a Hong Kong university in February 2021, underscoring the cross-platform abilities of the implant.  Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET, which detected the malware in the university's network, attributed the backdoor to a nation-state actor dubbed  SparklingGoblin . The unnamed university is said to have been already targeted by the group in May 2020 during the  student protests . "The group continuously targeted this organization over a long period of time, successfully compromising multiple key servers, including a print server, an email server, and a server used to manage student schedules and course registrations," ESET  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. SparklingGoblin is the name given to a Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) group with connections to the  Winnti umbrella  (aka APT41, Barium, Earth Baku, or Wicked Panda). It's primarily known for its attacks targeting various en
New Stealthy Shikitega Malware Targeting Linux Systems and IoT Devices

New Stealthy Shikitega Malware Targeting Linux Systems and IoT Devices

Sep 07, 2022
A new piece of stealthy Linux malware called Shikitega has been uncovered adopting a multi-stage infection chain to compromise endpoints and IoT devices and deposit additional payloads. "An attacker can gain full control of the system, in addition to the cryptocurrency miner that will be executed and set to persist," AT&T Alien Labs  said  in a new report published Tuesday. The findings add to a growing list of Linux malware that has been found in the wild in recent months, including  BPFDoor ,  Symbiote ,  Syslogk ,  OrBit , and  Lightning Framework . Once deployed on a targeted host, the attack chain downloads and executes the Metasploit's " Mettle " meterpreter to maximize control, exploits vulnerabilities to elevate its privileges, adds persistence on the host via crontab, and ultimately launches a cryptocurrency miner on infected devices. The exact method by which the initial compromise is achieved remains unknown as yet, but what makes Shikitega
"As Nasty as Dirty Pipe" — 8 Year Old Linux Kernel Vulnerability Uncovered

"As Nasty as Dirty Pipe" — 8 Year Old Linux Kernel Vulnerability Uncovered

Aug 22, 2022
Details of an eight-year-old security vulnerability in the Linux kernel have emerged that the researchers say is "as nasty as Dirty Pipe." Dubbed  DirtyCred  by a group of academics from Northwestern University, the security weakness exploits a previously unknown flaw ( CVE-2022-2588 ) to escalate privileges to the maximum level. "DirtyCred is a kernel exploitation concept that swaps unprivileged  kernel credentials  with privileged ones to escalate privilege," researchers Zhenpeng Lin, Yuhang Wu, and Xinyu Xing noted. "Instead of overwriting any critical data fields on kernel heap, DirtyCred abuses the heap memory reuse mechanism to get privileged." This entails three steps - Free an in-use unprivileged credential with the vulnerability Allocate privileged credentials in the freed memory slot by triggering a privileged userspace process such as su, mount, or sshd Operate as a privileged user The novel exploitation method, according to the resea
CISA Issues Warning on Active Exploitation of UnRAR Software for Linux Systems

CISA Issues Warning on Active Exploitation of UnRAR Software for Linux Systems

Aug 10, 2022
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Tuesday added a recently disclosed security flaw in the UnRAR utility to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. Tracked as CVE-2022-30333 (CVSS score: 7.5), the issue concerns a path traversal vulnerability in the Unix versions of UnRAR that can be triggered upon extracting a maliciously crafted RAR archive. This means that an adversary could exploit the flaw to drop arbitrary files on a target system that has the utility installed simply by decompressing the file. The vulnerability was  revealed  by SonarSource researcher Simon Scannell in late June. "RARLAB UnRAR on Linux and UNIX contains a directory traversal vulnerability, allowing an attacker to write to files during an extract (unpack) operation," the agency  said  in an advisory. Although the flaw affects any Linux application that uses UnRAR to extract an archive file, a successful exploitation of
Resolving Availability vs. Security, a Constant Conflict in IT

Resolving Availability vs. Security, a Constant Conflict in IT

Aug 05, 2022
Conflicting business requirements is a common problem – and you find it in every corner of an organization, including in information technology. Resolving these conflicts is a must, but it isn't always easy – though sometimes there is a novel solution that helps. In IT management there is a constant struggle between security and operations teams. Yes, both teams ultimately want to have secure systems that are harder to breach. However, security can come at the expense of availability – and vice versa. In this article, we'll look at the availability vs. security conflict, and a solution that helps to resolve that conflict. Ops team focus on availability… security teams lock down Operations teams will always have stability, and therefore availability, as a top priority. Yes, ops teams will make security a priority too but only as far as it touches on either stability or availability, never as an absolute goal. It plays out in the "five nines" uptime goal that sets an incredibly high
New Linux Malware Framework Lets Attackers Install Rootkit on Targeted Systems

New Linux Malware Framework Lets Attackers Install Rootkit on Targeted Systems

Jul 21, 2022
A never-before-seen Linux malware has been dubbed a "Swiss Army Knife" for its modular architecture and its capability to install rootkits. This previously undetected Linux threat, called  Lightning Framework  by Intezer, is equipped with a plethora of features, making it one of the most intricate frameworks developed for targeting Linux systems. "The framework has both passive and active capabilities for communication with the threat actor, including opening up SSH on an infected machine, and a polymorphic malleable command and control configuration," Intezer researcher Ryan Robinson  said  in a new report published today. Central to the malware is a downloader ("kbioset") and a core ("kkdmflush") module, the former of which is engineered to retrieve at least seven different plugins from a remote server that are subsequently invoked by the core component. In addition, the downloader is also responsible for establishing the persistence of t
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