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Experts Uncover Several C&C Servers Linked to WellMess Malware

Experts Uncover Several C&C Servers Linked to WellMess Malware

July 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Friday unmasked new command-and-control (C2) infrastructure belonging to the Russian threat actor tracked as APT29, aka Cozy Bear, that has been spotted actively serving WellMess malware as part of an ongoing attack campaign. More than 30 C2 servers operated by the Russian foreign intelligence have been uncovered, Microsoft-owned cybersecurity subsidiary RiskIQ  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. APT29, the moniker assigned to government operatives working for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), is believed to have been the  mastermind behind the massive SolarWinds supply chain attack  that came to light late last year, with the U.K. and U.S. governments formally pinning the intrusions on Russia earlier this April. The activity is being tracked by the cybersecurity community under various codenames, including UNC2452 (FireEye), Nobelium (Microsoft), SolarStorm (Unit 42), StellarParticle (Crowdstrike), Dark Halo (Volexity), and
Several Malicious Typosquatted Python Libraries Found On PyPI Repository

Several Malicious Typosquatted Python Libraries Found On PyPI Repository

July 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
As many as eight Python packages that were downloaded more than 30,000 times have been removed from the PyPI portal for containing malicious code, once again highlighting how software package repositories are evolving into a popular target for supply chain attacks. "Lack of moderation and automated security controls in public software repositories allow even inexperienced attackers to use them as a platform to spread malware, whether through typosquatting, dependency confusion, or simple social engineering attacks," JFrog researchers Andrey Polkovnichenko, Omer Kaspi, and Shachar Menashe  said  Thursday. PyPI, short for Python Package Index, is the official third-party software repository for Python, with package manager utilities like  pip  relying on it as the default source for packages and their dependencies. The Python packages in question, which were found to be obfuscated using Base64 encoding, are listed below - pytagora (uploaded by leonora123) pytagora2 (upl
A New Wiper Malware Was Behind Recent Cyberattack On Iranian Train System

A New Wiper Malware Was Behind Recent Cyberattack On Iranian Train System

July 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A cyber attack that derailed websites of Iran's transport ministry and its national railway system earlier this month, causing widespread disruptions in train services, was the result of a never-before-seen reusable wiper malware called "Meteor." The campaign — dubbed " MeteorExpress " — has not been linked to any previously identified threat group or to additional attacks, making it the first incident involving the deployment of this malware, according to researchers from Iranian antivirus firm  Amn Pardaz  and SentinelOne. Meteor is believed to have been in the works over the past three years. "Despite a lack of specific indicators of compromise, we were able to recover most of the attack components," SentinelOne's Principal Threat Researcher, Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, noted. "Behind this outlandish tale of stopped trains and glib trolls, we found the fingerprints of an unfamiliar attacker," adding the offensive is "designed t
Phony Call Centers Tricking Users Into Installing Ransomware and Data-Stealers

Phony Call Centers Tricking Users Into Installing Ransomware and Data-Stealers

July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An ongoing malicious campaign that employs phony call centers has been found to trick victims into downloading malware capable of data exfiltration as well as deploying ransomware on infected systems. The attacks — dubbed "BazaCall" — eschew traditional social engineering techniques that rely on rogue URLs and malware-laced documents in favor of a vishing-like method wherein targeted users are sent email messages informing them of a forthcoming subscription charge unless they call a specific phone number. By tricking the recipients into calling the number, the unsuspecting victims are connected with an actual human operator at a fraudulent call center, who then provide them with instructions to download the BazaLoader malware. BazaLoader (aka BazarBackdoor) is a C++-based downloader with the ability to install various types of malicious programs on infected computers, including deploying ransomware and other malware to steal sensitive data from victimized systems. First
Hackers Exploit Microsoft Browser Bug to Deploy VBA Malware on Targeted PCs

Hackers Exploit Microsoft Browser Bug to Deploy VBA Malware on Targeted PCs

July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An unidentified threat actor has been exploiting a now-patched zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer browser to deliver a fully-featured VBA-based remote access trojan (RAT) capable of accessing files stored in compromised Windows systems, and downloading and executing malicious payloads as part of an "unusual" campaign. The backdoor is distributed via a decoy document named "Manifest.docx" that loads the exploit code for the vulnerability from an embedded template, which, in turn, executes shellcode to deploy the RAT, according to cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes, which spotted the suspicious Word file on July 21, 2021.  The malware-laced document claims to be a "Manifesto of the inhabitants of Crimea" calling on the citizens to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin and "create a unified platform called 'People's Resistance.'" The Internet Explorer flaw, tracked as CVE-2021-26411 , is notable for the fact that it was abused by the
New Ransomware Gangs — Haron and BlackMatter — Emerge on Cybercrime Forums

New Ransomware Gangs — Haron and BlackMatter — Emerge on Cybercrime Forums

July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Two new ransomware-as-service (RaaS) programs have appeared on the threat radar this month, with one group professing to be a successor to  DarkSide  and  REvil , the two infamous ransomware syndicates that went off the grid following major attacks on Colonial Pipeline and Kaseya over the past few months. "The project has incorporated in itself the best features of DarkSide, REvil, and LockBit," the operators behind the new BlackMatter group said in their darknet public blog, making promises to not strike organizations in several industries, including healthcare, critical infrastructure, oil and gas, defense, non-profit, and government sectors. According to Flashpoint, the BlackMatter threat actor registered an account on Russian-language forums XSS and Exploit on July 19, quickly following it up with a post stating they are looking to purchase access to infected corporate networks comprising anywhere between 500 and 15,000 hosts in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.
Best Practices to Thwart Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attacks

Best Practices to Thwart Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attacks

July 29, 2021The Hacker News
Business email compromise (BEC) refers to all types of email attacks that do not have payloads. Although there are numerous types, there are essentially two main mechanisms through which attackers penetrate organizations utilizing BEC techniques, spoofing and account take-over attacks. In a recent  study , 71% of organizations acknowledged they had seen a business email compromise (BEC) attack during the past year. Forty-three percent of organizations experienced a security incident in the last 12 months, with 35% stating that BEC/phishing attacks account for more than 50% of the incidents. The  FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center  (IC3) reports that BEC scams were the most expensive of cyberattacks in 2020, with 19,369 complaints and adjusted losses of approximately $1.8 billion. Recent BEC attacks include spoofing attacks on Shark Tank Host Barbara Corcoran, who lost  $380,000 ; the Puerto Rican government attacks that amounted to $4 million, and Japanese media giant, Nikkei
New Android Malware Uses VNC to Spy and Steal Passwords from Victims

New Android Malware Uses VNC to Spy and Steal Passwords from Victims

July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented Android-based remote access trojan (RAT) has been found to use screen recording features to steal sensitive information on the device, including banking credentials, and open the door for on-device fraud. Dubbed "Vultur" due to its use of Virtual Network Computing (VNC)'s remote screen-sharing technology to gain full visibility on targeted users, the mobile malware was distributed via the official Google Play Store and masqueraded as an app named "Protection Guard," attracting over 5,000 installations. Banking and crypto-wallet apps from entities located in Italy, Australia, and Spain were the primary targets. "For the first time we are seeing an Android banking trojan that has screen recording and keylogging as the main strategy to harvest login credentials in an automated and scalable way," researchers from ThreatFabric  said  in a write-up shared with The Hacker News. "The actors chose to steer away from the commo
Top 30 Critical Security Vulnerabilities Most Exploited by Hackers

Top 30 Critical Security Vulnerabilities Most Exploited by Hackers

July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Intelligence agencies in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. issued a joint advisory on Wednesday detailing the most exploited vulnerabilities in 2020 and 2021, once again demonstrating how threat actors are able to swiftly weaponize publicly disclosed flaws to their advantage. "Cyber actors continue to exploit publicly known—and often dated—software vulnerabilities against broad target sets, including public and private sector organizations worldwide," the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  noted . "However, entities worldwide can mitigate the vulnerabilities listed in this report by applying the available patches to their systems and implementing a centralized patch management system." The top 30 vulnerabilities span a wide range of software, including remote work, virtual pri
UBEL is the New Oscorp — Android Credential Stealing Malware Active in the Wild

UBEL is the New Oscorp — Android Credential Stealing Malware Active in the Wild

July 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An Android malware that was observed abusing accessibility services in the device to hijack user credentials from European banking applications has morphed into an entirely new botnet as part of a renewed campaign that began in May 2021. Italy's CERT-AGID, in late January, disclosed details about  Oscorp , a mobile malware developed to attack multiple financial targets with the goal of stealing funds from unsuspecting victims. Its features include the ability to intercept SMS messages and make phone calls, and carry out overlay attacks for more than 150 mobile applications by making use of lookalike login screens to siphon valuable data. The malware was distributed through malicious SMS messages, with the attacks often conducted in real-time by posing as bank operators to dupe targets over the phone and surreptitiously gain access to the infected device via WebRTC protocol and ultimately conduct unauthorized bank transfers. While no new activities were reported since then, it a
Chinese Hackers Implant PlugX Variant on Compromised MS Exchange Servers

Chinese Hackers Implant PlugX Variant on Compromised MS Exchange Servers

July 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A Chinese cyberespionage group known for targeting Southeast Asia leveraged flaws in the Microsoft Exchange Server that came to light earlier this March to deploy a previously undocumented variant of a remote access trojan (RAT) on compromised systems. Attributing the intrusions to a threat actor named  PKPLUG  (aka  Mustang Panda  and HoneyMyte), Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat intelligence team said it identified a new version of the modular PlugX malware, called Thor, that was delivered as a post-exploitation tool to one of the breached servers. Dating back to as early as 2008,  PlugX  is a fully-featured second-stage implant with capabilities such as file upload, download, and modification, keystroke logging, webcam control, and access to a remote command shell. "The variant observed [...] is unique in that it contains a change to its core source code: the replacement of its trademark word 'PLUG' to 'THOR,'" Unit 42 researchers Mike Harbison an
Hackers Posed as Aerobics Instructors for Years to Target Aerospace Employees

Hackers Posed as Aerobics Instructors for Years to Target Aerospace Employees

July 28, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An Iranian cyberespionage group masqueraded as an aerobics instructor on Facebook in an attempt to infect the machine of an employee of an aerospace defense contractor with malware as part of a years-long social engineering and targeted malware campaign. Enterprise security firm Proofpoint attributed the covert operation to a state-aligned threat actor it tracks as TA456, and by the wider cybersecurity community under the monikers Tortoiseshell and Imperial Kitten. "Using the social media persona 'Marcella Flores,' TA456 built a relationship across corporate and personal communication platforms with an employee of a small subsidiary of an aerospace defense contractor," Proofpoint  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "In early June 2021, the threat actor attempted to capitalize on this relationship by sending the target malware via an ongoing email communication chain." Earlier this month, Facebook  revealed  it took steps to dismantle a &quo
New Bug Could Let Attackers Hijack Zimbra Server by Sending Malicious Email

New Bug Could Let Attackers Hijack Zimbra Server by Sending Malicious Email

July 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered multiple security vulnerabilities in Zimbra email collaboration software that could be potentially exploited to compromise email accounts by sending a malicious message and even achieve a full takeover of the mail server when hosted on a cloud infrastructure. The flaws — tracked as CVE-2021-35208 and CVE-2021-35208 — were discovered and reported in Zimbra 8.8.15 by researchers from code quality and security solutions provider SonarSource in May 2021. Mitigations have since been  released  in Zimbra versions 8.8.15 Patch 23 and 9.0.0 Patch 16. CVE-2021-35208  (CVSS score: 5.4) - Stored XSS Vulnerability in ZmMailMsgView.java CVE-2021-35209  (CVSS score: 6.1) - Proxy Servlet Open Redirect Vulnerability "A combination of these vulnerabilities could enable an unauthenticated attacker to compromise a complete Zimbra webmail server of a targeted organization,"  said  SonarSource vulnerability researcher, Simon Scannell, who identif
Several Bugs Found in 3 Open-Source Software Used by Several Businesses

Several Bugs Found in 3 Open-Source Software Used by Several Businesses

July 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday disclosed nine security vulnerabilities affecting three open-source projects —  EspoCRM ,  Pimcore , and  Akaunting  — that are widely used by several small to medium businesses and, if successfully exploited, could provide a pathway to more sophisticated attacks. All the security flaws in question, which impact EspoCRM v6.1.6, Pimcore Customer Data Framework v3.0.0, Pimcore AdminBundle v6.8.0, and Akaunting v2.1.12, were fixed within a day of responsible disclosure, researchers Wiktor Sędkowski of Nokia and Trevor Christiansen of Rapid7  noted. Six of the nine flaws were uncovered in the Akaunting project. EspoCRM is an open-source customer relationship management (CRM) application, while Pimcore is an open-source enterprise software platform for customer data management, digital asset management, content management, and digital commerce. Akaunting, on the other hand, is an open-source and online accounting software designed for invoice and exp
Hackers Turning to 'Exotic' Programming Languages for Malware Development

Hackers Turning to 'Exotic' Programming Languages for Malware Development

July 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors are increasingly shifting to "exotic" programming languages such as Go, Rust, Nim, and Dlang that can better circumvent conventional security protections, evade analysis, and hamper reverse engineering efforts. "Malware authors are known for their ability to adapt and modify their skills and behaviors to take advantage of newer technologies,"  said  Eric Milam, Vice President of threat research at BlackBerry. "That tactic has multiple benefits from the development cycle and inherent lack of coverage from protective products." On the one hand, languages like Rust are more secure as they offer guarantees like  memory-safe programming , but they can also be a double-edged sword when malware engineers abuse the same features designed to offer increased safeguards to their advantage, thereby making malware less susceptible to exploitation and thwart attempts to  activate a kill-switch  and render them powerless. Noting that binaries written i
Apple Releases Urgent 0-Day Bug Patch for Mac, iPhone and iPad Devices

Apple Releases Urgent 0-Day Bug Patch for Mac, iPhone and iPad Devices

July 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple on Monday rolled out an urgent security update for  iOS, iPadOS , and  macOS  to address a zero-day flaw that it said may have been actively exploited, making it the thirteenth such vulnerability Apple has patched since the start of this year. The updates, which arrive less than a week after the company released iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, and macOS Big Sur 11.5 to the public, fixes a memory corruption issue ( CVE-2021-30807 ) in the IOMobileFrameBuffer component, a kernel extension for managing the screen  framebuffer , that could be abused to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. The company said it addressed the issue with improved memory handling, noting it's "aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited." As is typically the case, additional details about the flaw have not been disclosed to prevent the weaponization of the vulnerability for additional attacks. Apple credited an anonymous researcher for discovering and reporting the
How to Mitigate Microsoft Windows 10, 11 SeriousSAM Vulnerability

How to Mitigate Microsoft Windows 10, 11 SeriousSAM Vulnerability

July 26, 2021The Hacker News
Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 11 users are at risk of a new unpatched vulnerability that was recently disclosed publicly. As we reported last week, the vulnerability — SeriousSAM — allows attackers with low-level permissions to access Windows system files to perform a Pass-the-Hash (and potentially Silver Ticket) attack.  Attackers can exploit this vulnerability to obtain hashed passwords stored in the Security Account Manager (SAM) and Registry, and ultimately run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. SeriousSAM vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-36934 , exists in the default configuration of Windows 10 and Windows 11, specifically due to a setting that allows 'read' permissions to the built-in user's group that contains all local users. As a result, built-in local users have access to read the SAM files and the Registry, where they can also view the hashes. Once the attacker has 'User' access, they can use a tool such as Mimikatz to gain access to the Re
BIMI: A Visual Take on Email Authentication and Security

BIMI: A Visual Take on Email Authentication and Security

July 26, 2021The Hacker News
There is a saying that goes something like, "Do not judge a book by its cover." Yet, we all know we can not help but do just that - especially when it comes to online security. Logos play a significant role in whether or not we open an email and how we assess the importance of each message. Brand Indicators for Message Identification, or BIMI, aims to make it easier for us to quickly identify important information within emails using branding guidelines and visual cues found in logos.  In recent years, users are often unsure about the authenticity of emails, and this has become a major issue for businesses fighting spam. BIMI gives email users access to information about a brand's identity. A company has complete control and freedom over what logo to attach to authenticated emails. Overall, BIMI acts as an additional layer of security to the existing email authentication process. What is BIMI, and how does it strengthen the security of your emails?  BIMI is a standa
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