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Chinese Hacker Group Earth Longzhi Resurfaces with Advanced Malware Tactics

Chinese Hacker Group Earth Longzhi Resurfaces with Advanced Malware Tactics

May 03, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
A Chinese state-sponsored hacking outfit has resurfaced with a new campaign targeting government, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing entities based in Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Fiji after more than six months of no activity. Trend Micro  attributed  the intrusion set to a cyber espionage group it tracks under the name  Earth Longzhi , which is a subgroup within  APT41  (aka HOODOO or Winnti) and shares overlaps with various other clusters known as Earth Baku, SparklingGoblin, and GroupCC. Earth Longzhi was  first documented  by the cybersecurity firm in November 2022, detailing its attacks against various organizations located in East and Southeast Asia as well as Ukraine. Attack chains mounted by the threat actor leverage vulnerable public-facing applications as entry points to deploy the  BEHINDER web shell , and then leverage that access to drop additional payloads, including a new variant of a Cobalt Strike loader called CroxLoader. "This recent campa
LockBit Ransomware Abuses Windows Defender to Deploy Cobalt Strike Payload

LockBit Ransomware Abuses Windows Defender to Deploy Cobalt Strike Payload

Aug 02, 2022
A threat actor associated with the LockBit 3.0 ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation has been observed abusing the Windows Defender command-line tool to decrypt and load Cobalt Strike payloads.  According to a report published by SentinelOne last week, the incident occurred after obtaining initial access via the  Log4Shell vulnerability  against an unpatched VMware Horizon Server. "Once initial access had been achieved, the threat actors performed a series of enumeration commands and attempted to run multiple post-exploitation tools, including Meterpreter, PowerShell Empire, and a new way to side-load Cobalt Strike," researchers Julio Dantas, James Haughom, and Julien Reisdorffer  said . LockBit 3.0 (aka LockBit Black), which comes with the tagline "Make Ransomware Great Again!," is the  next iteration  of the prolific  LockBit RaaS family  that emerged in June 2022 to iron out  critical weaknesses  discovered in its predecessor. It's notable for insti
Webinar: Learn How to Stop Hackers from Exploiting Hidden Identity Weaknesses

Webinar: Learn How to Stop Hackers from Exploiting Hidden Identity Weaknesses

Apr 10, 2024Webinar / Identity Security
We all know passwords and firewalls are important, but what about the invisible threats lurking beneath the surface of your systems? Identity Threat Exposures (ITEs) are like secret tunnels for hackers – they make your security way more vulnerable than you think. Think of it like this: misconfigurations, forgotten accounts, and old settings are like cracks in your digital fortress walls. Hackers exploit these weaknesses to steal login information, gain sneaky access, and move around your systems unnoticed, whether they're in the cloud or on-site. This upcoming webinar,  " Today's Top 4 Identity Security Threat Exposures: Are You Vulnerable? "  isn't just for tech experts—it's about protecting your business.  We'll use real-world examples and insights from Silverfort's latest report to show you the hidden dangers of ITEs. You'll learn about: The Top 4 Identity Threats You Might Be Overlooking:  We'll name them and explain why they're
Malicious IIS Extensions Gaining Popularity Among Cyber Criminals for Persistent Access

Malicious IIS Extensions Gaining Popularity Among Cyber Criminals for Persistent Access

Jul 27, 2022
Threat actors are increasingly abusing Internet Information Services ( IIS ) extensions to backdoor servers as a means of establishing a "durable persistence mechanism." That's according to a  new warning  from the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team, which said that "IIS backdoors are also harder to detect since they mostly reside in the same directories as legitimate modules used by target applications, and they follow the same code structure as clean modules." Attack chains taking this approach commence with weaponizing a critical vulnerability in the hosted application for initial access, using this foothold to drop a script web shell as the first stage payload. This web shell then becomes the conduit for installing a rogue IIS module to provide highly covert and persistent access to the server, in addition to monitoring incoming and outgoing requests as well as running remote commands. Indeed, earlier this month, Kaspersky researchers disclosed a cam
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UPCOMING WEBINAR: Implementing What's New in NIST CSF 2.0

websiteArmorPointCybersecurity / Webinar
Learn three practical steps to implement the latest version of the NIST CSF on 4/15 at 3pm ET. Register Today!
This New Malware Hides Itself Among Windows Defender Exclusions to Evade Detection

This New Malware Hides Itself Among Windows Defender Exclusions to Evade Detection

Jul 20, 2021
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday lifted the lid on a previously undocumented malware strain dubbed " MosaicLoader " that singles out individuals searching for cracked software as part of a global campaign. "The attackers behind MosaicLoader created a piece of malware that can deliver any payload on the system, making it potentially profitable as a delivery service," Bitdefender researchers said in a  report  shared with The Hacker News. "The malware arrives on target systems by posing as cracked installers. It downloads a malware sprayer that obtains a list of URLs from the C2 server and downloads the payloads from the received links." The malware has been so named because of its sophisticated internal structure that's orchestrated to prevent reverse-engineering and evade analysis. Attacks involving MosaicLoader rely on a well-established tactic for malware delivery called search engine optimization (SEO) poisoning, wherein cybercriminals purc
Microsoft Issues Patches for Defender Zero-Day and 82 Other Windows Flaws

Microsoft Issues Patches for Defender Zero-Day and 82 Other Windows Flaws

Jan 13, 2021
For the first patch Tuesday of 2021, Microsoft released  security updates  addressing a total of 83 flaws spanning as many as 11 products and services, including an actively exploited zero-day vulnerability. The latest security patches cover Microsoft Windows, Edge browser, ChakraCore, Office and Microsoft Office Services, and Web Apps, Visual Studio, Microsoft Malware Protection Engine, .NET Core, ASP .NET, and Azure. Of these 83 bugs, 10 are listed as Critical, and 73 are listed as Important in severity. The most severe of the issues is a remote code execution (RCE) flaw in Microsoft Defender ( CVE-2021-1647 ) that could allow attackers to infect targeted systems with arbitrary code. Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (mpengine.dll) provides the scanning, detection, and cleaning capabilities for Microsoft Defender antivirus and antispyware software. The last version of the software affected by the flaw is 1.1.17600.5, before it was addressed in version 1.1.17700.4. The bug is
Microsoft Brings Defender Antivirus for Linux, Coming Soon for Android and iOS

Microsoft Brings Defender Antivirus for Linux, Coming Soon for Android and iOS

Feb 21, 2020
Almost within a year after releasing Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for macOS computers , Microsoft today announced a public preview of its antivirus software for various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS and Debian. If this news hasn't gotten you excited yet... Microsoft is also planning to soon release Defender ATP anti-malware apps for smartphones and other devices running Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile operating systems. "We know our customers' environments are complex and heterogeneous. Providing comprehensive protection across multiple platforms through a single solution and streamlined view is more important than ever," the company said . "Next week at the RSA Conference, we'll provide a preview of our investments in mobile threat defense with the work we're doing to bring our solutions to Android and iOS." I am sure you might have heard this many times that 'Linux doesn&#
Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

Microsoft Warns of a New Rare Fileless Malware Hijacking Windows Computers

Sep 27, 2019
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
Microsoft Releases Emergency Patches for IE 0-Day and Windows Defender Flaw

Microsoft Releases Emergency Patches for IE 0-Day and Windows Defender Flaw

Sep 24, 2019
It's not a Patch Tuesday, but Microsoft is rolling out emergency out-of-band security patches for two new vulnerabilities, one of which is a critical Internet Explorer zero-day that cyber criminals are actively exploiting in the wild. Discovered by Clément Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group and tracked as CVE-2019-1367, the IE zero-day is a remote code execution vulnerability in the way Microsoft's scripting engine handles objects in memory in Internet Explorer. The vulnerability is a memory-corruption issue that could allow a remote attacker to hijack a Windows PC just by convincing the user into viewing a specially crafted, booby-trapped web-page hosted online, when using Internet Explorer. "An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take control of an affec
Microsoft Announces Windows Defender ATP Antivirus for Mac

Microsoft Announces Windows Defender ATP Antivirus for Mac

Mar 22, 2019
Brace yourself guys. Microsoft is going to release its Windows Defender ATP antivirus software for Mac computers. Sounds crazy, right? But it's true. Microsoft Thursday announced that the company is bringing its anti-malware software to Apple's macOS operating system as well—and to more platforms soon, like Linux. As a result, the technology giant renamed its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) in an attempt to minimize name-confusion and reflect the cross-platform nature of the software suite. But wait, does your Macbook need antivirus protection? Of course! For all those wondering if Mac even gets viruses—macOS is generally more secure than Windows, but in recent years cybercriminals have started paying attention to the Mac platform, making it a new target for viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware, ransomware, backdoors, and other nefarious applications. Moreover, hackers have been successful many ti
Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON

Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON

Oct 29, 2018
Microsoft Windows built-in anti-malware tool, Windows Defender, has become the very first antivirus software to have the ability to run inside a sandbox environment. Sandboxing is a process that runs an application in a safe environment isolated from the rest of the operating system and applications on a computer. So that if a sandboxed application gets compromised, the technique prevents its damage from spreading outside the closed area. Since antivirus and anti-malware tools run with the highest level of privileges to scan all parts of a computer for malicious code, it has become a desired target for attackers. The need for sandboxing an antivirus tool has become necessary after multiple critical vulnerabilities were discovered in such powerful applications, including Windows Defender, in past years that could have allowed attackers to gain full control of a targeted system. That's why Microsoft announced to add a sandbox mode to its Windows Defender. So, even if an att
Windows 10 to Get Built-in Protection Against Most Ransomware Attacks

Windows 10 to Get Built-in Protection Against Most Ransomware Attacks

Jun 30, 2017
Ransomware Ransomware Everywhere Not a Single Place to Hide! But, Microsoft has a simple solution to this problem to protect millions of its users against most ransomware attacks. Two massive ransomware attacks — WannaCry and Petya (also known as NotPetya ) — in a month have caused chaos and disruption worldwide, forcing hospitals, ATMs, shipping companies, governments, airports and car companies to shut down their operations. Most ransomware in the market, including WannaCry and NotPetya, are specifically designed to target computers running Windows operating system, which is why Microsoft has been blamed for not putting proper defensive measures in place to prevent such threats. But not now! In the wake of recent devastating global ransomware outbreaks, Microsoft has finally realized that its Windows operating system is deadly vulnerable to ransomware and other emerging threats that specifically targets its platform. To tackle this serious issue, the tech giant has
Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfairly Disabling its Antivirus in Windows 10

Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfairly Disabling its Antivirus in Windows 10

Jun 07, 2017
Russian antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab is so upset with US software giant Microsoft that the security firm has filed more antitrust complaints against the company. The antivirus firm initially filed a lawsuit late last year against Microsoft with Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) over alleged abuse of Microsoft's dominant position in the desktop market to push its own antivirus software with Windows 10 and unfair competition in the market. Microsoft ships Windows 10 with its own security software Windows Defender, which comes enabled it by default with the operating system. While Microsoft has made some changes in Windows Defender since the initial complaint, Kaspersky Lab is not satisfied with the changes, filing more antitrust complaints against the software giant, this time with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Kaspersky Accuses Microsoft of Unfair Competitive Practices The antivirus firm told European antitrust regulators that Mi
Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch For Critical RCE in Windows Malware Scanner

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch For Critical RCE in Windows Malware Scanner

May 09, 2017
Microsoft's own antivirus software made Windows 7, 8.1, RT and 10 computers, as well as Windows Server 2016 more vulnerable. Microsoft has just released an out-of-band security update to patch the crazy bad bug discovered by a pair of Google Project Zero researchers over the weekend. Security researchers Tavis Ormandy announced on Twitter during the weekend that he and another Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich discovered "the worst Windows remote code [execution vulnerability] in recent memory." Natalie Silvanovich also published a  proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code that fits in a single tweet. The reported RCE vulnerability , according to the duo, could work against default installations with "wormable" ability – capability to replicate itself on an infected computer and then spread to other PCs automatically. According to an advisory released by Microsoft, the remotely exploitable security flaw (CVE-2017-0290) exists in Microsoft
PLATINUM Hackers Hijack Windows Hotpatching to Stay Hidden

PLATINUM Hackers Hijack Windows Hotpatching to Stay Hidden

Apr 28, 2016
In Brief The Microsoft's Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting team detected that a cyber espionage group of hackers, known as PLATINUM, has found a way to turn the Windows's Hotpatching technique (a way of updating the operating system without requiring a restart) to hide its malware from Antivirus products. PLATINUM group has been active since 2009 and launching large-scale attacks against governmental organizations, intelligence agencies, defense institutes and telecommunication providers in South and Southeast Asia. Practically speaking, the most important thing for a sophisticated APT hacker and a cyber-espionage group is to remain undetected for the longest possible period. Well, that's exactly what an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) group has achieved. The Microsoft's Windows Defender Advanced Threat Hunting team has discovered that an APT group, dubbed Platinum, has been spying on high-profile targets by abusing a " novel " technique called
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