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Decoy Microsoft Word Documents Used to Deliver Nim-Based Malware

Decoy Microsoft Word Documents Used to Deliver Nim-Based Malware

Dec 22, 2023 Social Engineering / Malware Analysis
A new phishing campaign is leveraging decoy Microsoft Word documents as bait to deliver a backdoor written in the  Nim programming language . "Malware written in uncommon programming languages puts the security community at a disadvantage as researchers and reverse engineers' unfamiliarity can hamper their investigation," Netskope researchers Ghanashyam Satpathy and Jan Michael Alcantara  said . Nim-based malware has been a rarity in the threat landscape, although that has been slowly changing in recent years as attackers continue to either develop custom tools from scratch using the language or port existing versions of their nefarious programs to it. This has been demonstrated in the case of loaders such as  NimzaLoader ,  Nimbda ,  IceXLoader , as well as ransomware families tracked under the names  Dark Power  and  Kanti . The attack chain documented by Netskope begins with a phishing email containing a Word document attachment that, when opened, urges the recipi
How to Analyze Malware’s Network Traffic in A Sandbox

How to Analyze Malware's Network Traffic in A Sandbox

Dec 13, 2023 Threat Intelligence / Malware Analysis
Malware analysis encompasses a broad range of activities, including examining the malware's network traffic. To be effective at it, it's crucial to understand the common challenges and how to overcome them. Here are three prevalent issues you may encounter and the tools you'll need to address them. Decrypting HTTPS traffic Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), the protocol for secure online communication, has become a tool for malware to conceal their malicious activities. By cloaking data exchange between infected devices and command-and-control (C&C) servers, malware can operate undetected, exfiltrating sensitive data, installing additional payloads, and receiving instructions from the operators. Yet, with the right tool, decrypting HTTPS traffic is an easy task. For this purpose, we can use a man-in-the-middle (MITM) proxy. The MITM proxy works as an intermediary between the client and the server, intercepting their communication. The MITM proxy aids analy
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
Agent Racoon Backdoor Targets Organizations in Middle East, Africa, and U.S.

Agent Racoon Backdoor Targets Organizations in Middle East, Africa, and U.S.

Dec 02, 2023
Organizations in the Middle East, Africa, and the U.S. have been targeted by an unknown threat actor to distribute a new backdoor called  Agent Racoon . "This malware family is written using the .NET framework and leverages the domain name service (DNS) protocol to create a covert channel and provide different backdoor functionalities," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researcher Chema Garcia  said  in a Friday analysis. Targets of the attacks span various sectors such as education, real estate, retail, non-profits, telecom, and governments. The activity has not been attributed to a known threat actor, although it's assessed to be nation-state aligned owing to the victimology pattern and the detection and defense evasion techniques used. The cybersecurity firm is tracking the cluster under the moniker CL-STA-0002. It's currently not clear how these organizations were breached, and when the attacks took place. Some of the other tools deployed by the adversary include a
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websiteAdaptive ShieldSaaS Security / Cyber Threat
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7 Uses for Generative AI to Enhance Security Operations

7 Uses for Generative AI to Enhance Security Operations

Nov 30, 2023 Generative AI / Threat Intelligence
Welcome to a world where Generative AI revolutionizes the field of cybersecurity. Generative AI refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to generate or create new data, such as images, text, or sounds. It has gained significant attention in recent years due to its ability to generate realistic and diverse outputs. When it comes to security operations,  Generative AI can play a significant role . It can be used to detect and prevent various threats, including malware, phishing attempts, and data breaches. Analyzing patterns and behaviors in large amounts of data allows it to identify suspicious activities and alert security teams in real-time. Here are seven practical use cases that demonstrate the power of Generative AI. There are more possibilities out there of how you can achieve objectives and fortify security operations, but this list should get your creative juices flowing. 1) Information Management Information security deals with a breadth of data that
ClearFake Campaign Expands to Target Mac Systems with Atomic Stealer

ClearFake Campaign Expands to Target Mac Systems with Atomic Stealer

Nov 22, 2023 SEO poisoning / Malware Analysis
The macOS information stealer known as Atomic is now being delivered to target via a bogus web browser update chain tracked as ClearFake. "This may very well be the first time we see one of the main social engineering campaigns, previously reserved for Windows, branch out not only in terms of geolocation but also operating system," Malwarebytes' Jérôme Segura  said  in a Tuesday analysis. Atomic Stealer (aka AMOS),  first documented  in April 2023, is a commercial stealer malware family that's sold on a subscription basis for $1,000 per month. It comes with capabilities to siphon data from web browsers and cryptocurrency wallets. Then in September 2023, Malwarebytes  detailed  an Atomic Stealer campaign that took advantage of malicious Google ads, tricking macOS users searching for a financial charting platform known as TradingView into downloading the malware. ClearFake, on the other hand, is a nascent malware distribution operation that employs compromised Wor
How Multi-Stage Phishing Attacks Exploit QRs, CAPTCHAs, and Steganography

How Multi-Stage Phishing Attacks Exploit QRs, CAPTCHAs, and Steganography

Nov 21, 2023 Cybercrime / Malware Analysis
Phishing attacks are steadily becoming more sophisticated, with cybercriminals investing in new ways of deceiving victims into revealing sensitive information or installing malicious software. One of the latest trends in phishing is the use of QR codes, CAPTCHAs, and steganography. See how they are carried out and learn to detect them. Quishing Quishing, a phishing technique resulting from the combination of "QR" and "phishing," has become a popular weapon for cybercriminals in 2023. By concealing malicious links within QR codes, attackers can evade traditional spam filters, which are primarily geared towards identifying text-based phishing attempts. The inability of many security tools to decipher the content of QR codes further makes this method a go-to choice for cybercriminals. An email containing a QR code with a malicious link Analyzing a QR code with an embedded malicious link in a safe environment is easy with  ANY.RUN : Simply open  this task  in th
New BiBi-Windows Wiper Targets Windows Systems in Pro-Hamas Attacks

New BiBi-Windows Wiper Targets Windows Systems in Pro-Hamas Attacks

Nov 13, 2023 Cyber Warfare / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have warned about a Windows version of a wiper malware that was previously observed targeting Linux systems in cyber attacks aimed at Israel. Dubbed  BiBi-Windows Wiper  by BlackBerry, the wiper is the Windows counterpart of  BiBi-Linux Wiper , which has been put to use by a pro-Hamas hacktivist group in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war last month. "The Windows variant [...] confirms that the threat actors who created the wiper are continuing to build out the malware, and indicates an expansion of the attack to target end user machines and application servers," the Canadian company  said  Friday. Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET is  tracking  the actor behind the wiper under the name BiBiGun, noting that the Windows variant (bibi.exe) is designed to overwrite data in the C:\Users directory recursively with junk data and append ".BiBi" to the filename. The BiBi-Windows Wiper artifact is said to have been compiled on October 21, 2023, two
Inside XWorm: Malware Analysts Decode the Stealthy Tactics of the Latest Variant

Inside XWorm: Malware Analysts Decode the Stealthy Tactics of the Latest Variant

Sep 19, 2023 Malware Analysis / Cyber Threat
XWorm is a relatively new representative of the remote access trojan cohort that has already earned its spot among the most persistent threats across the globe.  Since 2022, when it was first observed by researchers, it has undergone a number of major updates that have significantly enhanced its functionality and solidified its staying power.  The analyst team at  ANY.RUN  came across the newest version of the malware and could not refuse the opportunity of taking it apart to examine XWorm mechanics configurations. Here is how they did it and what they found.  The XWorm sample's source  The sample in question was discovered in ANY. RUN's database of malware, a repository containing detailed analysis reports on all files and links that have been uploaded by users of the sandbox in public mode.  A quick look at the results of the analysis revealed that the sample was initially distributed via MediaFire, a file-hosting service. The malware was packaged in a RAR archive and p
4 Steps to Creating a Powerful Research Lab for Reverse Engineering

4 Steps to Creating a Powerful Research Lab for Reverse Engineering

Mar 29, 2023 Malware Analysis / Cybersecurity
However, manual lab setup and configuration can prove to be a laborious and time-consuming process. In this article, we'll look at 4 ways to create a reverse engineering lab, discuss how to save time, and, potentially, improve the detection rate using a  sandbox-as-a-service , and a recommended list of tools for a comprehensive setup. What is a malware analysis lab? In essence, a malware analysis lab provides a safe, isolated space for examining malware. The setup can range from a straightforward virtual machine using VirtualBox to a more intricate network of interconnected machines and actual networking hardware. But in this article, we'll look at building a lab tailored for static analysis, so what we will need is a secure environment where we can run disassemblers, edit binary files and debug. There are a couple of ways we can go about creating it: 1 — Virtualization Perhaps the simplest way to create a secure and isolated environment is by using a virtual machine.
How to Detect New Threats via Suspicious Activities

How to Detect New Threats via Suspicious Activities

Feb 20, 2023 Malware Analysis / Threat Detection
Unknown malware presents a significant cybersecurity threat and can cause serious damage to organizations and individuals alike. When left undetected, malicious code can gain access to confidential information, corrupt data, and allow attackers to gain control of systems. Find out how to avoid these circumstances and detect unknown malicious behavior efficiently.  Challenges of new threats' detection While known malware families are more predictable and can be detected more easily, unknown threats can take on a variety of forms, causing a bunch of challenges for their detection: Malware developers use polymorphism, which enables them to modify the malicious code to generate unique variants of the same malware.  There is malware that is still not identified and doesn't have any rulesets for detection. Some threats can be Fully UnDetectable (FUD) for some time and challenge perimeter security.  The code is often encrypted, making it difficult to detect by signature-based
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