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US Government Warns of a New Strain of Chinese 'Taidoor' Virus

US Government Warns of a New Strain of Chinese 'Taidoor' Virus

August 04, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Intelligence agencies in the US have released information about a new variant of 12-year-old computer virus used by China's state-sponsored hackers targeting governments, corporations, and think tanks. Named " Taidoor, " the malware has done an 'excellent' job of compromising systems as early as 2008 , with the actors deploying it on victim networks for stealthy remote access. "[The] FBI has high confidence that Chinese government actors are using malware variants in conjunction with proxy servers to maintain a presence on victim networks and to further network exploitation," the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Defense (DoD) said in a joint advisory . The US Cyber Command has also uploaded four samples of the Taidoor RAT on the public malware repository VirusTotal to let 50+ Antivirus companies check the virus's involvement in other unattributed cam
North Korean Hackers Spotted Using New Multi-Platform Malware Framework

North Korean Hackers Spotted Using New Multi-Platform Malware Framework

July 23, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Lazarus Group, the notorious hacking group with ties to the North Korean regime, has unleashed a new multi-platform malware framework with an aim to infiltrate corporate entities around the world, steal customer databases, and distribute ransomware. Capable of targeting Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems, the MATA malware framework — so-called because of the authors' reference to the infrastructure as "MataNet" — comes with a wide range of features designed to carry out a variety of malicious activities on infected machines. The MATA campaign is said to have begun as early as April of 2018, with the victimology traced to unnamed companies in software development, e-commerce and internet service provider sectors situated in Poland, Germany, Turkey, Korea, Japan, and India, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said in its Wednesday analysis. The report offers a comprehensive look at the MATA framework, while also building on previous evidence gathered by researche
Chinese Hackers Escalate Attacks Against India and Hong Kong Amid Tensions

Chinese Hackers Escalate Attacks Against India and Hong Kong Amid Tensions

July 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
An emerging threat actor out of China has been traced to a new hacking campaign aimed at government agencies in India and residents of Hong Kong intending to steal sensitive information, cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes revealed in the latest report shared with The Hacker News. The attacks were observed during the first week of July, coinciding the passage of controversial security law in Hong Kong and India's ban of 59 China-made apps over privacy concerns, weeks after a violent skirmish along the Indo-China border. Attributing the attack with "moderate confidence" to a new Chinese APT group, Malwarebytes said they were able to track their activities based on the "unique phishing attempts" designed to compromise targets in India and Hong Kong. The operators of the APT group have leveraged at least three different Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs), using spear-phishing emails to drop variants of Cobalt Strike and MgBot malware, and bogus Andr
New Android Malware Now Steals Passwords For Non-Banking Apps Too

New Android Malware Now Steals Passwords For Non-Banking Apps Too

July 16, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered a new strain of banking malware that targets not only banking apps but also steals data and credentials from social networking, dating, and cryptocurrency apps—a total of 337 non-financial Android applications on its target list. Dubbed " BlackRock " by ThreatFabric researchers, which discovered the trojan in May, its source code is derived from a leaked version of Xerxes banking malware, which itself is a strain of the LokiBot Android banking trojan that was first observed during 2016-2017. Chief among its features are stealing user credentials, intercepting SMS messages, hijacking notifications, and even recording keystrokes from the targeted apps, in addition to being capable of hiding from antivirus software. "Not only did the [BlackRock] Trojan undergo changes in its code, but also comes with an increased target list and has been ongoing for a longer period," ThreatFabric said. "It contains an important nu
4 Dangerous Brazilian Banking Trojans Now Trying to Rob Users Worldwide

4 Dangerous Brazilian Banking Trojans Now Trying to Rob Users Worldwide

July 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday detailed as many as four different families of Brazilian banking trojans that have targeted financial institutions in Brazil, Latin America, and Europe. Collectively called the "Tetrade" by Kaspersky researchers, the malware families — comprising Guildma, Javali, Melcoz, and Grandoreiro — have evolved their capabilities to function as a backdoor and adopt a variety of obfuscation techniques to hide its malicious activities from security software. "Guildma, Javali, Melcoz and Grandoreiro are examples of yet another Brazilian banking group/operation that has decided to expand its attacks abroad, targeting banks in other countries," Kaspersky said in an analysis . "They benefit from the fact that many banks operating in Brazil also have operations elsewhere in Latin America and Europe, making it easy to extend their attacks against customers of these financial institutions." A Multi-Stage Malware Deployment Process
A New Ransomware Targeting Apple macOS Users Through Pirated Apps

A New Ransomware Targeting Apple macOS Users Through Pirated Apps

July 01, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers this week discovered a new type of ransomware targeting macOS users that spreads via pirated apps. According to several independent reports from K7 Lab malware researcher Dinesh Devadoss , Patrick Wardle , and Malwarebytes , the ransomware variant — dubbed " EvilQuest " — is packaged along with legitimate apps, which upon installation, disguises itself as Apple's CrashReporter or Google Software Update. Besides encrypting the victim's files, EvilQuest also comes with capabilities to ensure persistence, log keystrokes, create a reverse shell, and steal cryptocurrency wallet-related files. With this development, EvilQuest joins a handful of ransomware strains that have exclusively singled out macOS, including KeRanger and Patcher . The source of the malware appears to be trojanized versions of popular macOS software — such as Little Snitch, a DJ software called Mixed In Key 8, and Ableton Live — that are distributed on popular torre
Advanced StrongPity Hackers Target Syria and Turkey with Retooled Spyware

Advanced StrongPity Hackers Target Syria and Turkey with Retooled Spyware

June 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered new details of watering hole attacks against the Kurdish community in Syria and Turkey for surveillance and intelligence exfiltration purposes. The advanced persistent threat behind the operation, called StrongPity , has retooled with new tactics to control compromised machines, cybersecurity firm Bitdefender said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Using watering hole tactics to selectively infect victims and deploying a three-tier C&C infrastructure to thwart forensic investigations, the APT group leveraged Trojanized popular tools, such as archivers, file recovery applications, remote connections applications, utilities, and even security software, to cover a wide range of options that targeted victims might be seeking," the researchers said. With the timestamps of the analyzed malware samples used in the campaign coinciding with the Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria (codenamed Operation Peace Spring )
Docker Images Containing Cryptojacking Malware Distributed via Docker Hub

Docker Images Containing Cryptojacking Malware Distributed via Docker Hub

June 25, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
With Docker gaining popularity as a service to package and deploy software applications, malicious actors are taking advantage of the opportunity to target exposed API endpoints and craft malware-infested images to facilitate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and mine cryptocurrencies. According to a report published by Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat intelligence team, the purpose of these Docker images is to generate funds by deploying a cryptocurrency miner using Docker containers and leveraging the Docker Hub repository to distribute these images. "Docker containers provide a convenient way for packaging software, which is evident by its increasing adoption rate," Unit 42 researchers said . "This, combined with coin mining, makes it easy for a malicious actor to distribute their images to any machine that supports Docker and instantly starts using its compute resources towards cryptojacking." Docker is a well-known platform-as-a-servic
InvisiMole Hackers Target High-Profile Military and Diplomatic Entities

InvisiMole Hackers Target High-Profile Military and Diplomatic Entities

June 18, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered the modus operandi of an elusive threat group that hacks into the high-profile military and diplomatic entities in Eastern Europe for espionage. The findings are part of a collaborative analysis by cybersecurity firm ESET and the impacted firms, resulting in an extensive look into InvisiMole's operations and the group's tactics, tools, and procedures (TTPs). "ESET researchers conducted an investigation of these attacks in cooperation with the affected organizations and were able to uncover the extensive, sophisticated tool-sets used for delivery, lateral movement, and execution of InvisiMole's backdoors," the company said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Cooperation with the Gamaredon Group First discovered in 2018 , InvisiMole has been active at least since 2013 in connection with targeted cyber-espionage operations in Ukraine and Russia. After slipping under the radar, the threat actor returned late
Chinese Researchers Disrupt Malware Attack That Infected Thousands of PCs

Chinese Researchers Disrupt Malware Attack That Infected Thousands of PCs

May 27, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 Netlab said it partnered with tech giant Baidu to disrupt a malware botnet infecting over hundreds of thousands of systems. The botnet was traced back to a group it calls ShuangQiang (also called Double Gun ), which has been behind several attacks since 2017 aimed at compromising Windows computers with MBR and VBR bootkits , and installing malicious drivers for financial gain and hijack web traffic to e-commerce sites. In addition to using images uploaded to Baidu Tieba to distribute configuration files and malware — a technique called steganography — the group has begun using Alibaba Cloud storage to host configuration files and Baidu's analytics platform Tongji to manage the activity of its infected hosts, the researchers said. The initial compromise relies on luring unsuspecting users to install game launching software from sketchy game portals that contain malicious code under the guise of a patch. Once the user downloads and inst
HTTP Status Codes Command This Malware How to Control Hacked Systems

HTTP Status Codes Command This Malware How to Control Hacked Systems

May 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new version of COMpfun remote access trojan (RAT) has been discovered in the wild that uses HTTP status codes to control compromised systems targeted in a recent campaign against diplomatic entities in Europe. The cyberespionage malware—traced to Turla APT with "medium-to-low level of confidence" based on the history of compromised victims—spread via an initial dropper that masks itself as a visa application, the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky discovered. The Turla APT , a Russian-based threat group, has a long history of carrying out espionage and watering hole attacks spanning various sectors, including governments, embassies, military, education, research, and pharmaceutical companies. First documented by G-Data in 2014, COMpfun received a significant upgrade last year (called "Reductor") after Kaspersky found that the malware was used to spy on a victim's browser activity by staging man-in-the-middle ( MitM ) attacks on encrypte
U.S Defense Warns of 3 New Malware Used by North Korean Hackers

U.S Defense Warns of 3 New Malware Used by North Korean Hackers

May 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Yesterday, on the 3rd anniversary of the infamous global WannaCry ransomware outbreak for which North Korea was blamed, the U.S. government released information about three new malware strains used by state-sponsored North Korean hackers. Called COPPERHEDGE, TAINTEDSCRIBE, and PEBBLEDASH, the malware variants are capable of remote reconnaissance and exfiltration of sensitive information from target systems, according to a joint advisory released by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Defense (DoD). The three new malware strains are the latest addition to a long list of over 20 malware samples , including BISTROMATH, SLICKSHOES, HOPLIGHT, and ELECTRICFISH , among others, that have been identified by the security agencies as originating as part of a series of malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government it calls Hidden Cobra , or widely known by the moniker Lazarus Group. Full
New Android Malware Steals Banking Passwords, Private Data and Keystrokes

New Android Malware Steals Banking Passwords, Private Data and Keystrokes

April 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new type of mobile banking malware has been discovered abusing Android's accessibility features to exfiltrate sensitive data from financial applications, read user SMS messages, and hijack SMS-based two-factor authentication codes. Called "EventBot" by Cybereason researchers, the malware is capable of targeting over 200 different financial apps, including banking, money transfer services, and crypto-currency wallets such as Paypal Business, Revolut, Barclays, CapitalOne, HSBC, Santander, TransferWise, and Coinbase. "EventBot is particularly interesting because it is in such early stages," the researchers said. "This brand new malware has real potential to become the next big mobile malware, as it is under constant iterative improvements, abuses a critical operating system feature, and targets financial applications." The campaign, first identified in March 2020, masks its malicious intent by posing as legitimate applications (e.g., Adobe Fl
Unpatchable 'Starbleed' Bug in FPGA Chips Exposes Critical Devices to Hackers

Unpatchable 'Starbleed' Bug in FPGA Chips Exposes Critical Devices to Hackers

April 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly discovered unpatchable hardware vulnerability in Xilinx programmable logic products could allow an attacker to break bitstream encryption, and clone intellectual property, change the functionality, and even implant hardware Trojans. The details of the attacks against Xilinx 7-Series and Virtex-6 Field Programmable Gate Arrays ( FPGAs ) have been covered in a paper titled " The Unpatchable Silicon: A Full Break of the Bitstream Encryption of Xilinx 7-Series FPGAs " by a group of academics from the Horst Goertz Institute for IT Security and Max Planck Institute for Cyber Security and Privacy. "We exploit a design flaw which piecewise leaks the decrypted bitstream," the researchers said. "In the attack, the FPGA is used as a decryption oracle, while only access to a configuration interface is needed. The attack does not require any sophisticated tools and, depending on the target system, can potentially be launched remotely." The findings wil
COVID-Themed Lures Target SCADA Sectors With Data Stealing Malware

COVID-Themed Lures Target SCADA Sectors With Data Stealing Malware

April 20, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new malware campaign has been found using coronavirus-themed lures to strike government and energy sectors in Azerbaijan with remote access trojans (RAT) capable of exfiltrating sensitive documents, keystrokes, passwords, and even images from the webcam. The targeted attacks employ Microsoft Word documents as droppers to deploy a previously unknown Python-based RAT dubbed "PoetRAT" due to various references to sonnets by English playwright William Shakespeare. "The RAT has all the standard features of this kind of malware, providing full control of the compromised system to the operation," said Cisco Talos in an analysis published last week. According to the researchers, the malware specifically targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in the energy industry, such as wind turbine systems, whose identities are currently not known. The development is the latest in a surge in cyberattacks exploiting the ongoing coronavirus pandemi
Over 700 Malicious Typosquatted Libraries Found On RubyGems Repository

Over 700 Malicious Typosquatted Libraries Found On RubyGems Repository

April 16, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
As developers increasingly embrace off-the-shelf software components into their apps and services, threat actors are abusing open-source repositories such as RubyGems to distribute malicious packages, intended to compromise their computers or backdoor software projects they work on. In the latest research shared with The Hacker News, cybersecurity experts at ReversingLabs revealed over 700 malicious gems — packages written in Ruby programming language — that supply chain attackers were caught recently distributing through the RubyGems repository. The malicious campaign leveraged the typosquatting technique where attackers uploaded intentionally misspelled legitimate packages in hopes that unwitting developers will mistype the name and unintentionally install the malicious library instead. ReversingLabs said the typosquatted packages in question were uploaded to RubyGems between February 16 and February 25, and that most of them have been designed to secretly steal funds by r
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