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Hackers Exploit Recently Disclosed Microsoft Office Bug to Backdoor PCs

Hackers Exploit Recently Disclosed Microsoft Office Bug to Backdoor PCs

November 29, 2017Mohit Kumar
A recently disclosed severe 17-year-old vulnerability in Microsoft Office that lets hackers install malware on targeted computers without user interaction is now being exploited in the wild to distribute a backdoor malware. First spotted by researchers at security firm Fortinet , the malware has been dubbed Cobalt because it uses a component from a powerful and legitimate penetration testing tool, called Cobalt Strike . Cobalt Strike is a form of software developed for Red Team Operations and Adversary Simulations for accessing covert channels of a system. The vulnerability (CVE-2017-11882) that Cobalt malware utilizes to deliver the backdoor is a memory-corruption issue that allows unauthenticated, remote attackers to execute malicious code on the targeted system when opened a malicious file and potentially take full control over it. This vulnerability impacts all versions of Microsoft Office and Windows operating system, though Microsoft has already released a patch upda
WhatsApp-based wormable Android malware spotted on the Google Play Store

WhatsApp-based wormable Android malware spotted on the Google Play Store

April 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered yet another piece of wormable Android malware—but this time downloadable directly from the official Google Play Store—that's capable of propagating via WhatsApp messages. Disguised as a rogue Netflix app under the name of "FlixOnline," the malware comes with features that allow it to automatically reply to a victim's incoming WhatsApp messages with a payload received from a command-and-control (C&C) server.  "The application is actually designed to monitor the user's WhatsApp notifications, and to send automatic replies to the user's incoming messages using content that it receives from a remote C&C server," Check Point researchers said in an analysis published today. Besides masquerading as a Netflix app, the malicious "FlixOnline" app also requests intrusive permissions that allow it to create fake Login screens for other apps, with the goal of stealing credentials and gain access to
Cryptolocker Malware learned to replicate itself through removable USB drives

Cryptolocker Malware learned to replicate itself through removable USB drives

January 06, 2014Swati Khandelwal
In the category of Ransomware Malware, a nasty piece of malware called  CRYPTOLOCKER  is on the top, that threatened most of the people around the world, effectively destroying important files of the victims. Cryptolocker, which strongly encrypts victims' hard drives until a ransom is paid, is now again back in action to haunt your digital life with an additional feature. Until now, CryptoLocker has been spread via spam email, with victims tempted to download an attachment or click on a link to a malicious website, but now it can spread itself as a worm through removable USB drives . Security Researchers at Trend Micro have recently reported a new variant of Cryptolocker which is capable of spreading through removable USB drives. As Previously reported by our Security experts at The Hacker News , Cryptolocker is a malware which locks your files and demand a ransom to release it. The files are encrypted so removing the malware from the system doesn't unlock your files. The o
Researchers Discover Raindrop — 4th Malware Linked to the SolarWinds Attack

Researchers Discover Raindrop — 4th Malware Linked to the SolarWinds Attack

January 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have unearthed a fourth new malware strain—designed to spread the malware onto other computers in victims' networks—which was deployed as part of the  SolarWinds supply chain attack  disclosed late last year. Dubbed "Raindrop" by Broadcom-owned Symantec, the malware joins the likes of other malicious implants such as  Sunspot , Sunburst (or Solorigate), and Teardrop that were stealthily delivered to enterprise networks. The latest finding comes amid a continued probe into the breach, suspected to be of  Russian origin , that has claimed a number of U.S. government agencies and private sector companies. "The discovery of Raindrop is a significant step in our investigation of the SolarWinds attacks as it provides further insights into post-compromise activity at organizations of interest to the attackers," Symantec researchers  said . The cybersecurity firm said it discovered only four samples of Raindrop to date that were used to d
DDoS IRC Bot Malware Spreading Through Korean WebHard Platforms

DDoS IRC Bot Malware Spreading Through Korean WebHard Platforms

January 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An IRC  (Internet Relay Chat) bot strain programmed in GoLang is being used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks targeting users in Korea. "The malware is being distributed under the guise of adult games," researchers from AhnLab's Security Emergency-response Center (ASEC)  said  in a new report published on Wednesday. "Additionally, the DDoS malware was installed via downloader and  UDP RAT  was used." The attack works by uploading the malware-laced games to webhards — which refers to a web hard drive or a remote file hosting service — in the form of compressed ZIP archives that, when opened, includes an executable ("Game_Open.exe") that's orchestrated to run a malware payload aside from launching the actual game. This payload, a GoLang-based downloader, establishes connections with a remote command-and-control (C&C) server to retrieve additional malware, including an IRC bot that can perform DDoS attacks. "It is
TrickBot Gang Likely Shifting Operations to Switch to New Malware

TrickBot Gang Likely Shifting Operations to Switch to New Malware

February 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
TrickBot, the infamous Windows crimeware-as-a-service (CaaS) solution that's used by a variety of threat actors to deliver next-stage payloads like ransomware, appears to be undergoing a transition of sorts, with no new activity recorded since the start of the year. The lull in the malware campaigns is "partially due to a big shift from Trickbot's operators, including working with the operators of Emotet," researchers from Intel 471  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The last set of attacks involving TrickBot were registered on December 28, 2021, even as command-and-control (C2) infrastructure associated with the malware has continued to serve additional plugins and  web injects  to infected nodes in the botnet. Interestingly, the decrease in the volume of the campaigns has also been accompanied by the TrickBot gang working closely with the  operators of Emotet , which witnessed a resurgence late last year after a 10-month-long break following law en
Hackers Targeting Biomanufacturing Facilities With Tardigrade Malware

Hackers Targeting Biomanufacturing Facilities With Tardigrade Malware

November 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An advanced persistent threat (APT) has been linked to cyberattacks on two biomanufacturing companies that occurred this year with the help of a custom malware loader called " Tardigrade ." That's according to an advisory published by Bioeconomy Information Sharing and Analysis Center (BIO-ISAC) this week, which noted that the malware is actively spreading across the sector with the likely goal of perpetrating intellectual property theft, maintaining persistence for extended periods of time, and infecting the systems with ransomware. BIO-ISAC, which commenced an investigation following a ransomware attack targeting an unnamed biomanufacturing facility earlier this spring, characterized Tardigrade as a sophisticated piece of malware with "a high degree of autonomy as well as metamorphic capabilities." The same malware was then used to strike a second entity in October 2021. The "actively spreading" intrusions have not been attributed to a specific
Hackers Using New Malware Packer DTPacker to Avoid Analysis, Detection

Hackers Using New Malware Packer DTPacker to Avoid Analysis, Detection

January 24, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented  malware packer  named DTPacker has been observed distributing multiple remote access trojans (RATs) and information stealers such as Agent Tesla, Ave Maria, AsyncRAT, and FormBook to plunder information and facilitate follow-on attacks. "The malware uses multiple obfuscation techniques to evade antivirus, sandboxing, and analysis," enterprise security company Proofpoint  said  in an analysis published Monday. "It is likely distributed on underground forums."  The .NET-based commodity malware has been associated with dozens of campaigns and multiple threat groups, both advanced persistent threat (APT) and cybercrime actors, since 2020, with the intrusions aimed at hundreds of customers across many sectors. Attack chains involving the packer rely on phishing emails as an initial infection vector. The messages contain a malicious document or a compressed executable attachment, which, when opened, deploys the packer to launch the malware.
New Wiper Malware Targeting Ukraine Amid Russia's Military Operation

New Wiper Malware Targeting Ukraine Amid Russia's Military Operation

February 23, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity firms ESET and Broadcom's Symantec said they discovered a new data wiper malware used in fresh attacks against hundreds of machines in Ukraine, as Russian forces formally launched a full-scale military operation against the country. The Slovak company dubbed the wiper " HermeticWiper " (aka  KillDisk.NCV ), with one of the malware samples compiled on December 28, 2021, implying that preparations for the attacks may have been underway for nearly two months. "The wiper binary is signed using a code signing certificate issued to Hermetica Digital Ltd," ESET said in a series of tweets. "The wiper abuses legitimate drivers from the EaseUS Partition Master software in order to corrupt data. As a final step the wiper reboots [the] computer." Specifically, HermeticWiper is delivered via the benign but signed EaseUS partition management driver that then proceeds to impair the first 512 bytes, the Master Boot Record ( MBR ) for every phys
Microsoft Launches Free Linux Forensics and Rootkit Malware Detection Service

Microsoft Launches Free Linux Forensics and Rootkit Malware Detection Service

July 07, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft has announced a new free-to-use initiative aimed at uncovering forensic evidence of sabotage on Linux systems, including rootkits and intrusive malware that may otherwise go undetected. The cloud offering, dubbed Project Freta , is a snapshot-based memory forensic mechanism that aims to provide automated full-system volatile memory inspection of virtual machine (VM) snapshots, with capabilities to spot malicious software, kernel rootkits , and other stealthy malware techniques such as process hiding . The project is named after Warsaw's Freta Street , the birthplace of Marie Curie, the famous French-Polish physicist who brought X-ray medical imaging to the battlefield during World War I. "Modern malware is complex, sophisticated, and designed with non-discoverability as a core tenet," said Mike Walker, Microsoft's senior director of New Security Ventures. "Project Freta intends to automate and democratize VM forensics to a point where every us
Researchers Discover First Known Malware Targeting Windows Containers

Researchers Discover First Known Malware Targeting Windows Containers

June 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Security researchers have discovered the first known malware, dubbed " Siloscope ," targeting Windows Server containers to infect Kubernetes clusters in cloud environments. "Siloscape is heavily obfuscated malware targeting Kubernetes clusters through Windows containers,"  said  Unit 42 researcher Daniel Prizmant. "Its main purpose is to open a backdoor into poorly configured Kubernetes clusters in order to run malicious containers such as, but not limited to, cryptojackers." Siloscape, first detected in March 2021, is characterized by several techniques, including targeting common cloud applications such as web servers to gain an initial foothold via known vulnerabilities, following which it leverages Windows container escape techniques to break out of the confines of the container and gain remote code execution on the underlying node. A container is an  isolated, lightweight silo  for running an application on the host operating system. The malware&
Beware! Fireball Malware Infects Nearly 250 Million Computers Worldwide

Beware! Fireball Malware Infects Nearly 250 Million Computers Worldwide

June 01, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a massive malware campaign that has already infected more than 250 million computers across the world, including Windows and Mac OS. Dubbed Fireball , the malware is an adware package that takes complete control of victim's web browsers and turns them into zombies, potentially allowing attackers to spy on victim's web traffic and potentially steal their data. Check Point researchers, who discovered this massive malware campaign, linked the operation to Rafotech, a Chinese company which claims to offer digital marketing and game apps to 300 million customers. While the company is currently using Fireball for generating revenue by injecting advertisements onto the browsers, the malware can be quickly turned into a massive destroyer to cause a significant cyber security incident worldwide. Fireball comes bundled with other free software programs that you download off of the Internet. Once installed, the malware installs browser plug
Another Malware from Android Market infect Millions of Users

Another Malware from Android Market infect Millions of Users

January 28, 2012Mohit Kumar
Another Malware from Android Market infect Millions of Users Malware might have infected more than 5 million Android mobile devices via deliberately corrupted apps sold in the Android Marketplace, according to security firm Symantec . They reckoned Android.Counterclank, a slight variant of Android.Tonclank . Symantec explains that the malicious code appears in a package called " apperhand ", and a service under the same name can been seen running on the infected device when it's executed. According to Symantec, the Trojan has been identified in 13 different apps in the Android Marketplace. Symantec's Security Response Team Director, Kevin Haley said:" They don't appear to be real publishers. There aren't rebundled apps, as we've seen so many times before. " Symantec also noted that this slimy piece of malware has the highest distribution of any malware identified so far this year and may actually be the largest malware infection seen by Android users in the operating systems short
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
Nasty Android Malware that Infected Millions Returns to Google Play Store

Nasty Android Malware that Infected Millions Returns to Google Play Store

January 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
HummingBad – an Android-based malware that infected over 10 million Android devices around the world last year and made its gang an estimated US$300,000 per month at its peak – has made a comeback. Security researchers have discovered a new variant of the HummingBad malware hiding in more than 20 Android apps on Google Play Store. The infected apps were already downloaded by over 12 Million unsuspecting users before the Google Security team removed them from the Play Store. Dubbed HummingWhale by researchers at security firm Check Point, the new malware utilizes new, cutting-edge techniques that allow the nasty software to conduct Ad fraud better than ever before and generate revenue for its developers. The Check Point researchers said the HummingWhale-infected apps had been published under the name of fake Chinese developers on the Play Store with common name structure, com.[name].camera, but with suspicious startup behaviors. "It registered several events on boot,
US Warns of 'DeltaCharlie' – A North Korean DDoS Botnet Malware

US Warns of 'DeltaCharlie' – A North Korean DDoS Botnet Malware

June 14, 2017Swati Khandelwal
The United States government has released a rare alert about an ongoing, eight-year-long North Korean state-sponsored hacking operation. The joint report from the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided details on " DeltaCharlie ," a malware variant used by " Hidden Cobra " hacking group to infect hundreds of thousands of computers globally as part of its DDoS botnet network. According to the report, the Hidden Cobra group of hackers are believed to be backed by the North Korean government and are known to launch cyber attacks against global institutions, including media organizations, aerospace and financial sectors, and critical infrastructure. While the US government has labeled the North Korean hacking group Hidden Cobra, it is often known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace – the one allegedly linked to the devastating WannaCry ransomware menace that shut down hospitals and businesses worldwide. DeltaCharlie – DDoS Botnet M
DNS-Hijacking Malware Targeting iOS, Android and Desktop Users Worldwide

DNS-Hijacking Malware Targeting iOS, Android and Desktop Users Worldwide

May 21, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Widespread routers' DNS hijacking malware that recently found targeting Android devices has now been upgraded its capabilities to target iOS devices as well as desktop users. Dubbed Roaming Mantis , the malware was initially found hijacking Internet routers last month to distribute Android banking malware designed to steal users' login credentials and the secret code for two-factor authentication. According to security researchers at Kaspersky Lab s, the criminal group behind the Roaming Mantis campaign has broadened their targets by adding phishing attacks for iOS devices, and cryptocurrency mining script for PC users. Moreover, while the initial attacks were designed to target users from South East Asia–including South Korea, China Bangladesh, and Japan–the new campaign now support 27 languages to expand its operations to infect people across Europe and the Middle East. How the Roaming Mantis Malware Works Similar to the previous version, the new Roaming Mantis
Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices

Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices

October 20, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A Windows-based remote access Trojan believed to be designed by Pakistani hacker groups to infiltrate computers and steal users' data has resurfaced after a two-year span with retooled capabilities to target Android and macOS devices. According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the malware — dubbed " GravityRAT " — now masquerades as legitimate Android and macOS apps to capture device data, contact lists, e-mail addresses, and call and text logs and transmit them to an attacker-controlled server. First documented by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in August 2017 and subsequently by  Cisco Talos  in April 2018, GravityRAT has been known to target Indian entities and organizations via malware-laced Microsoft Office Word documents at least since 2015. Noting that the threat actor developed at least four different versions of the espionage tool, Cisco said, "the developer was clever enough to keep this infrastructure safe, and not have it blackl
SoReL-20M: A Huge Dataset of 20 Million Malware Samples Released Online

SoReL-20M: A Huge Dataset of 20 Million Malware Samples Released Online

December 14, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity firms Sophos and ReversingLabs on Monday jointly released the first-ever production-scale malware research dataset to be made available to the general public that aims to build effective defenses and drive industry-wide improvements in security detection and response. " SoReL-20M " (short for  So phos- Re versing L abs –  20   M illion), as it's called, is a dataset containing metadata, labels, and features for 20 million Windows Portable Executable (.PE) files, including 10 million disarmed malware samples, with the goal of devising machine-learning approaches for better malware detection capabilities. "Open knowledge and understanding about cyber threats also leads to more predictive cybersecurity," Sophos AI group said. "Defenders will be able to anticipate what attackers are doing and be better prepared for their next move." Accompanying the release are a set of  PyTorch  and  LightGBM -based machine learning  models pre-trained
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