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Researchers Uncover Windows Flaws Granting Hackers Rootkit-Like Powers

Researchers Uncover Windows Flaws Granting Hackers Rootkit-Like Powers

Apr 22, 2024 Rootkit / Software Security
New research has found that the DOS-to-NT path conversion process could be exploited by threat actors to achieve rootkit-like capabilities to conceal and impersonate files, directories, and processes. "When a user executes a function that has a path argument in Windows, the DOS path at which the file or folder exists is converted to an NT path," SafeBreach security researcher Or Yair  said  in an analysis, which was  presented  at the Black Hat Asia conference last week. "During this conversion process, a known issue exists in which the function removes trailing dots from any path element and any trailing spaces from the last path element. This action is completed by most user-space APIs in Windows." These so-called MagicDot paths allow for rootkit-like functionality that's accessible to any unprivileged user, who could then weaponize them to carry out a series of malicious actions without having admin permissions and remain undetected. They include the ab
Five Eyes Agencies Warn of Active Exploitation of Ivanti Gateway Vulnerabilities

Five Eyes Agencies Warn of Active Exploitation of Ivanti Gateway Vulnerabilities

Mar 01, 2024 Rootkit / Threat Intelligence
The Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance has issued a new cybersecurity advisory warning of cyber threat actors exploiting known security flaws in Ivanti Connect Secure and Ivanti Policy Secure gateways, noting that the Integrity Checker Tool (ICT) can be deceived to provide a false sense of security. "Ivanti ICT is not sufficient to detect compromise and that a cyber threat actor may be able to gain root-level persistence despite issuing factory resets," the agencies  said . To date, Ivanti has disclosed five security vulnerabilities impacting its products since January 10, 2024, out of which four have come under active exploitation by multiple threat actors to deploy malware - CVE-2023-46805  (CVSS score: 8.2) - Authentication bypass vulnerability in web component CVE-2024-21887  (CVSS score: 9.1) - Command injection vulnerability in web component CVE-2024-21888  (CVSS score: 8.8) - Privilege escalation vulnerability in web component CVE-2024-21893  (CVSS score: 8
Lazarus Hackers Exploited Windows Kernel Flaw as Zero-Day in Recent Attacks

Lazarus Hackers Exploited Windows Kernel Flaw as Zero-Day in Recent Attacks

Feb 29, 2024 Rootkit / Threat Intelligence
The notorious Lazarus Group actors exploited a recently patched privilege escalation flaw in the Windows Kernel as a zero-day to obtain kernel-level access and disable security software on compromised hosts. The vulnerability in question is  CVE-2024-21338  (CVSS score: 7.8), which can permit an attacker to gain SYSTEM privileges. It was resolved by Microsoft earlier this month as part of  Patch Tuesday updates . "To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to log on to the system," Microsoft  said . "An attacker could then run a specially crafted application that could exploit the vulnerability and take control of an affected system." While there were no indications of active exploitation of CVE-2024-21338 at the time of the release of the updates, Redmond on Wednesday revised its "Exploitability assessment" for the flaw to "Exploitation Detected."  It's currently not clear when the attacks took place, but the vulnerability
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What's the Right EDR for You?

What's the Right EDR for You?

May 10, 2024Endpoint Security / Threat Detection
A guide to finding the right endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution for your business' unique needs. Cybersecurity has become an ongoing battle between hackers and small- and mid-sized businesses. Though perimeter security measures like antivirus and firewalls have traditionally served as the frontlines of defense, the battleground has shifted to endpoints. This is why endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions now serve as critical weapons in the fight, empowering you and your organization to detect known and unknown threats, respond to them quickly, and extend the cybersecurity fight across all phases of an attack.  With the growing need to defend your devices from today's cyber threats, however, choosing the right EDR solution can be a daunting task. There are so many options and features to choose from, and not all EDR solutions are made with everyday businesses and IT teams in mind. So how do you pick the best solution for your needs? Why EDR Is a Must Because of
Glupteba Botnet Evades Detection with Undocumented UEFI Bootkit

Glupteba Botnet Evades Detection with Undocumented UEFI Bootkit

Feb 13, 2024 Cryptocurrency / Rootkit
The  Glupteba  botnet has been found to incorporate a previously undocumented Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) bootkit feature, adding another layer of sophistication and stealth to the malware. "This bootkit can intervene and control the [operating system] boot process, enabling Glupteba to hide itself and create a stealthy persistence that can be extremely difficult to detect and remove," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers Lior Rochberger and Dan Yashnik  said  in a Monday analysis. Glupteba is a fully-featured information stealer and backdoor capable of facilitating illicit cryptocurrency mining and deploying proxy components on infected hosts. It's also known to leverage the Bitcoin blockchain as a backup command-and-control (C2) system, making it  resilient to takedown efforts . Some of the other functions allow it to deliver additional payloads, siphon credentials, and credit card data, perform ad fraud, and even exploit routers to gain credent
DirtyMoe Malware Infects 2,000+ Ukrainian Computers for DDoS and Cryptojacking

DirtyMoe Malware Infects 2,000+ Ukrainian Computers for DDoS and Cryptojacking

Feb 02, 2024 Cryptojacking / Malware
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) has warned that more than 2,000 computers in the country have been infected by a strain of malware called DirtyMoe. The agency  attributed  the campaign to a threat actor it calls  UAC-0027 . DirtyMoe , active since at least 2016, is capable of carrying out cryptojacking and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. In March 2022, cybersecurity firm Avast revealed the malware's ability to propagate in a worm-like fashion by taking advantage of known security flaws. The DDoS botnet is known to be delivered by means of another malware referred to as  Purple Fox  or via bogus MSI installer packages for popular software such as Telegram. Purple Fox is also  equipped with a rootkit  that allows the threat actors to  hide the malware  on the machine and make it difficult to detect and remove. The exact initial access vector used in the campaign targeting Ukraine is currently unknown. CERT-UA is recommending that organiza
Cryptominers Targeting Misconfigured Apache Hadoop and Flink with Rootkit in New Attacks

Cryptominers Targeting Misconfigured Apache Hadoop and Flink with Rootkit in New Attacks

Jan 12, 2024 Cryptocurrency / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have identified a new attack that exploits misconfigurations in Apache Hadoop and Flink to deploy cryptocurrency miners within targeted environments. "This attack is particularly intriguing due to the attacker's use of packers and rootkits to conceal the malware," Aqua security researchers Nitzan Yaakov and Assaf Morag  said  in an analysis published earlier this week. "The malware deletes contents of specific directories and modifies system configurations to evade detection." The infection chain targeting Hadoop leverages a misconfiguration in the YARN's (Yet Another Resource Negotiator)  ResourceManager , which is responsible for tracking resources in a cluster and scheduling applications. Specifically, the misconfiguration can be exploited by an unauthenticated, remote threat actor to execute arbitrary code by means of a crafted HTTP request, subject to the privileges of the user on the node where the code is executed. The
New Stealthy 'Krasue' Linux Trojan Targeting Telecom Firms in Thailand

New Stealthy 'Krasue' Linux Trojan Targeting Telecom Firms in Thailand

Dec 07, 2023 Malware / Security Breach
A previously unknown Linux remote access trojan called Krasue has been observed targeting telecom companies in Thailand by threat actors to main covert access to victim networks at lease since 2021. Named after a  nocturnal female spirit  of Southeast Asian folklore, the malware is "able to conceal its own presence during the initialization phase," Group-IB  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The exact initial access vector used to deploy Krasue is currently not known, although it's suspected that it could be via vulnerability exploitation, credential brute-force attacks, or downloaded as part of a bogus software package or binary. The malware's core functionalities are realized through a rootkit that masquerades as an unsigned VMware driver and allows it to maintain persistence on the host without attracting any attention. The rootkit is derived from open-source projects such as Diamorphine, Suterusu, and Rooty. This has raised the possibility that
Kinsing Hackers Exploit Apache ActiveMQ Vulnerability to Deploy Linux Rootkits

Kinsing Hackers Exploit Apache ActiveMQ Vulnerability to Deploy Linux Rootkits

Nov 21, 2023 Linux / Rootkit
The  Kinsing  threat actors are actively exploiting a critical security flaw in vulnerable Apache ActiveMQ servers to infect Linux systems with cryptocurrency miners and rootkits. "Once Kinsing infects a system, it deploys a cryptocurrency mining script that exploits the host's resources to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, resulting in significant damage to the infrastructure and a negative impact on system performance," Trend Micro security researcher Peter Girnus  said . Kinsing  refers to a  Linux malware  with a history of targeting misconfigured containerized environments for cryptocurrency mining, often utilizing compromised server resources to generate illicit profits for the threat actors. The group is also known to quickly adapt its tactics to include newly disclosed flaws in web applications to breach target networks and deliver crypto miners. Earlier this month, Aqua  disclosed  the threat actor's attempts to exploit a Linux privilege escalation fla
Qubitstrike Targets Jupyter Notebooks with Crypto Mining and Rootkit Campaign

Qubitstrike Targets Jupyter Notebooks with Crypto Mining and Rootkit Campaign

Oct 18, 2023 Rootkit / Cryptocurrency
A threat actor, presumably from Tunisia, has been linked to a new campaign targeting exposed Jupyter Notebooks in a two-fold attempt to illicitly mine cryptocurrency and breach cloud environments. Dubbed  Qubitstrike  by Cado, the intrusion set utilizes Telegram API to exfiltrate cloud service provider credentials following a successful compromise. "The payloads for the Qubitstrike campaign are all hosted on codeberg.org – an alternative Git hosting platform, providing much of the same functionality as GitHub," security researchers Matt Muir and Nate Bill  said  in a Wednesday write-up. In the attack chain documented by the cloud security firm, publicly accessible Jupyter instances are breached to execute commands to retrieve a shell script (mi.sh) hosted on Codeberg. The shell script, which acts as the primary payload, is responsible for executing a cryptocurrency miner, establishing persistence by means of a cron job, inserting an attacker-controlled key to the .ssh/a
Rogue npm Package Deploys Open-Source Rootkit in New Supply Chain Attack

Rogue npm Package Deploys Open-Source Rootkit in New Supply Chain Attack

Oct 04, 2023 Supply Chain / Malware
A new deceptive package hidden within the npm package registry has been uncovered deploying an open-source rootkit called r77 , marking the first time a rogue package has delivered rootkit functionality. The package in question is  node-hide-console-windows , which mimics the legitimate npm package  node-hide-console-window  in what's an instance of a typosquatting campaign. It was  downloaded 704 times  over the past two months before it was taken down. ReversingLabs, which  first detected  the activity in August 2023, said the package "downloaded a Discord bot that facilitated the planting of an open-source rootkit, r77," adding it "suggests that open-source projects may increasingly be seen as an avenue by which to distribute malware." The malicious code, per the software supply chain security firm, is contained within the package's index.js file that, upon execution, fetches an executable that's automatically run. The executable in question is
Reptile Rootkit: Advanced Linux Malware Targeting South Korean Systems

Reptile Rootkit: Advanced Linux Malware Targeting South Korean Systems

Aug 05, 2023 Linux / Malware
Threat actors are using an open-source rootkit called  Reptile  to target Linux systems in South Korea. "Unlike other rootkit malware that typically only provide concealment capabilities, Reptile goes a step further by offering a reverse shell, allowing threat actors to easily take control of systems," the AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC)  said  in a report published this week. "Port knocking is a method where the malware opens a specific port on an infected system and goes on standby. When the threat actor sends a magic packet to the system, the received packet is used as a basis to establish a connection with the C&C server." A rootkit is a malicious software program that's designed to provide privileged, root-level access to a machine while concealing its presence. At least four different campaigns have leveraged Reptile since 2022. The first use of the rootkit was  recorded  by Trend Micro in May 2022 in connection with an intrusion
Chinese Hackers Deploy Microsoft-Signed Rootkit to Target Gaming Sector

Chinese Hackers Deploy Microsoft-Signed Rootkit to Target Gaming Sector

Jul 12, 2023 Cyber Threat / Gaming
Cybersecurity researchers have unearthed a novel rootkit signed by Microsoft that's engineered to communicate with an actor-controlled attack infrastructure. Trend Micro has attributed the activity cluster to the same actor that was previously identified as behind the  FiveSys rootkit , which came to light in October 2021. "This malicious actor originates from China and their main victims are the gaming sector in China," Trend Micro's Mahmoud Zohdy, Sherif Magdy, and Mohamed Fahmy  said . "Their malware seems to have passed through the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) process for getting a valid signature." Multiple variants of the rootkit spanning eight different clusters have been discovered, with 75 such drivers signed using Microsoft's WHQL program in 2022 and 2023. Trend Micro's analysis of some of the samples has revealed the presence of debug messages in the source code, indicating that the operation is still in the development and te
CopperStealer Malware Crew Resurfaces with New Rootkit and Phishing Kit Modules

CopperStealer Malware Crew Resurfaces with New Rootkit and Phishing Kit Modules

May 16, 2023 Online Security / Malware
The threat actors behind the CopperStealer malware resurfaced with two new campaigns in March and April 2023 that are designed to deliver two novel payloads dubbed CopperStealth and CopperPhish. Trend Micro is tracking the financially motivated group under the name  Water Orthrus . The adversary is also assessed to be  behind   another campaign  known as  Scranos , which was detailed by Bitdefender in 2019. Active since at least 2021, Water Orthrus has a track record of leveraging pay-per-install (PPI) networks to redirect victims landing on  cracked   software download sites  to drop an information stealer codenamed  CopperStealer . Another campaign spotted in August 2022 entailed the use of CopperStealer to distribute  Chromium-based web browser extensions  that are capable of performing unauthorized transactions and transferring cryptocurrency from victims' wallets to ones under attackers' control. The latest attack sequences documented by Trend Micro don't mark mu
Experts Uncover New 'CosmicStrand' UEFI Firmware Rootkit Used by Chinese Hackers

Experts Uncover New 'CosmicStrand' UEFI Firmware Rootkit Used by Chinese Hackers

Jul 25, 2022
An unknown Chinese-speaking threat actor has been attributed to a new kind of sophisticated Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ( UEFI ) firmware rootkit called  CosmicStrand . "The rootkit is located in the firmware images of Gigabyte or ASUS motherboards, and we noticed that all these images are related to designs using the H81 chipset," Kaspersky researchers  said  in a new report published today. "This suggests that a common vulnerability may exist that allowed the attackers to inject their rootkit into the firmware's image." Victims identified are said to be private individuals located in China, Vietnam, Iran, and Russia, with no discernible ties to any organization or industry vertical. Rootkits, which are malware implants that are capable of embedding themselves in the deepest layers of the operating system, have morphed from a rarity to an increasingly common occurrence in the threat landscape, equipping threat actors with stealth and persistence f
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
New UEFI Firmware Vulnerabilities Impact Several Lenovo Notebook Models

New UEFI Firmware Vulnerabilities Impact Several Lenovo Notebook Models

Jul 13, 2022
Consumer electronics maker Lenovo on Tuesday  rolled out fixes  to contain three security flaws in its UEFI firmware affecting over 70 product models. "The vulnerabilities can be exploited to achieve arbitrary code execution in the early phases of the platform boot, possibly allowing the attackers to hijack the OS execution flow and disable some important security features," Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET  said  in a series of tweets. Tracked as CVE-2022-1890, CVE-2022-1891, and CVE-2022-1892, all three bugs relate to  buffer overflow vulnerabilities  that have been described by Lenovo as leading to privilege escalation on affected systems. Martin Smolár from ESET has been credited with reporting the flaws. The bugs stem from an insufficient validation of an NVRAM variable called "DataSize" in three different drivers ReadyBootDxe, SystemLoadDefaultDxe, and SystemBootManagerDxe, resulting in a buffer overflow that could be weaponized to achieve code execution.
New Syslogk Linux Rootkit Lets Attackers Remotely Command It Using "Magic Packets"

New Syslogk Linux Rootkit Lets Attackers Remotely Command It Using "Magic Packets"

Jun 14, 2022
A new covert Linux kernel rootkit named  Syslogk  has been spotted under development in the wild and cloaking a malicious payload that can be remotely commandeered by an adversary using a  magic network traffic packet . "The Syslogk rootkit is heavily based on Adore-Ng but incorporates new functionalities making the user-mode application and the kernel rootkit hard to detect," Avast security researchers David Álvarez and Jan Neduchal  said  in a report published Monday. Adore-Ng, an  open-source rootkit  available since 2004, equips the attacker with full control over a compromised system. It also facilitates hiding processes as well as custom malicious artifacts, files, and even the kernel module, making it harder to detect. "The module starts by hooking itself into various file systems. It digs up the inode for the root filesystem, and replaces that inode's  readdir()  function pointer with one of its own," LWN.net  noted  at the time. "The Adore ver
Chinese Hackers Target VMware Horizon Servers with Log4Shell to Deploy Rootkit

Chinese Hackers Target VMware Horizon Servers with Log4Shell to Deploy Rootkit

Apr 01, 2022
A Chinese advanced persistent threat tracked as Deep Panda has been observed exploiting the  Log4Shell vulnerability  in VMware Horizon servers to deploy a backdoor and a novel rootkit on infected machines with the goal of stealing sensitive data. "The nature of targeting was opportunistic insofar that multiple infections in several countries and various sectors occurred on the same dates,"  said  Rotem Sde-Or and Eliran Voronovitch, researchers with Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs, in a report released this week. "The victims belong to the financial, academic, cosmetics, and travel industries." Deep Panda , also known by the monikers Shell Crew, KungFu Kittens, and Bronze Firestone, is said to have been active since at least 2010, with recent attacks "targeting legal firms for data exfiltration and technology providers for command-and-control infrastructure building,"  according  to Secureworks. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which assigned the panda
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