Author Archives: Ravie Lakshmanan

Browser Bugs Exploited to Install 2 New Backdoors on Targeted Computers

Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details about a new watering hole attack targeting the Korean diaspora that exploits vulnerabilities in web browsers such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer to deploy malware for espionage purposes. Dubbed "Operation Earth Kitsune" by Trend Micro, the campaign involves the use of SLUB (for SLack and githUB) malware and two new backdoors — dneSpy and

KashmirBlack Botnet Hijacks Thousands of Sites Running On Popular CMS Platforms

An active botnet comprising hundreds of thousands of hijacked systems spread across 30 countries is exploiting "dozens of known vulnerabilities" to target widely-used content management systems (CMS). The "KashmirBlack" campaign, which is believed to have started around November 2019, aims for popular CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla!, PrestaShop, Magneto, Drupal, Vbulletin, OsCommerence,

FBI, DHS Warn Of Possible Major Ransomware Attacks On Healthcare Systems

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Departments of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint alert Wednesday warning of an "imminent" increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks against hospitals and healthcare providers. "Malicious cyber actors are targeting the [Healthcare and Public Health] Sector with TrickBot malware, often leading to ransomware

TrickBot Linux Variants Active in the Wild Despite Recent Takedown

Efforts to disrupt TrickBot may have shut down most of its critical infrastructure, but the operators behind the notorious malware aren't sitting idle. According to new findings shared by cybersecurity firm Netscout, TrickBot's authors have moved portions of their code to Linux in an attempt to widen the scope of victims that could be targeted. TrickBot, a financial Trojan first detected in 2016

Google Removes 21 Malicious Android Apps from Play Store

Google has stepped in to remove several Android applications from the official Play Store following the disclosure that the apps in question were found to serve intrusive ads. The findings were reported by the Czech cybersecurity firm Avast on Monday, which said the 21 malicious apps (list here) were downloaded nearly eight million times from Google's app marketplace. The apps masqueraded as

Experts Warn of Privacy Risks Caused by Link Previews in Messaging Apps

Cybersecurity researchers over the weekend disclosed new security risks associated with link previews in popular messaging apps that cause the services to leak IP addresses, expose links sent via end-to-end encrypted chats, and even unnecessarily download gigabytes of data stealthily in the background. "Links shared in chats may contain private information intended only for the recipients,"

New Framework Released to Protect Machine Learning Systems From Adversarial Attacks

Microsoft, in collaboration with MITRE, IBM, NVIDIA, and Bosch, has released a new open framework that aims to help security analysts detect, respond to, and remediate adversarial attacks against machine learning (ML) systems. Called the Adversarial ML Threat Matrix, the initiative is an attempt to organize the different techniques employed by malicious adversaries in subverting ML systems. Just

Popular Mobile Browsers Found Vulnerable To Address Bar Spoofing Attacks

Graphic for illustration Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday disclosed details about an address bar spoofing vulnerability affecting multiple mobile browsers, such as Apple Safari and Opera Touch, leaving the door open for spear-phishing attacks and delivering malware. Other impacted browsers include UCWeb, Yandex Browser, Bolt Browser, and RITS Browser. The flaws were discovered by Pakistani

Windows GravityRAT Malware Now Also Targets macOS and Android Devices

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

U.S. Charges 6 Russian Intelligence Officers Over Destructive Cyberattacks

The US government on Monday formally charged six Russian intelligence officers for carrying out destructive malware attacks with an aim to disrupt and destabilize other nations and cause monetary losses. The individuals, who work for Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), have been accused of perpetrating the "most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks

Google Warns of Zero-Click Bluetooth Flaws in Linux-based Devices

Google security researchers are warning of a new set of zero-click vulnerabilities in the Linux Bluetooth software stack that can allow a nearby unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges on vulnerable devices. According to security engineer Andy Nguyen, the three flaws — collectively called BleedingTooth — reside in the open-source BlueZ protocol stack

Microsoft Releases Patches For Critical Windows TCP/IP and Other Bugs

Microsoft on Tuesday issued fixes for 87 newly discovered security vulnerabilities as part of its October 2020 Patch Tuesday, including two critical remote code execution (RCE) flaws in Windows TCP/IP stack and Microsoft Outlook. The flaws, 11 of which are categorized as Critical, 75 are ranked Important, and one is classified Moderate in severity, affect Windows, Office and Office Services and

FIN11 Hackers Spotted Using New Techniques In Ransomware Attacks

A financially-motivated threat actor known for its malware distribution campaigns has evolved its tactics to focus on ransomware and extortion. According to FireEye's Mandiant threat intelligence team, the collective — known as FIN11 — has engaged in a pattern of cybercrime campaigns at least since 2016 that involves monetizing their access to organizations' networks, in addition to deploying

Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet

Days after the US Government took steps to disrupt the notorious TrickBot botnet, a group of cybersecurity and tech companies has detailed a separate coordinated effort to take down the malware's back-end infrastructure. The joint collaboration, which involved Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, Lumen's Black Lotus Labs, ESET, Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC),

Watch Out — Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

Microsoft has warned about a new strain of mobile ransomware that takes advantage of incoming call notifications and Android's Home button to lock the device behind a ransom note. The findings concern a variant of a known Android ransomware family dubbed "MalLocker.B" which has now resurfaced with new techniques, including a novel means to deliver the ransom demand on infected devices as well as

55 New Security Flaws Reported in Apple Software and Services

A team of five security researchers analyzed several Apple online services for three months and found as many as 55 vulnerabilities, 11 of which are critical in severity. The flaws — including 29 high severity, 13 medium severity, and 2 low severity vulnerabilities — could have allowed an attacker to "fully compromise both customer and employee applications, launch a worm capable of

Researchers Find Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Azure Cloud Service

As businesses are increasingly migrating to the cloud, securing the infrastructure has never been more important. Now according to the latest research, two security flaws in Microsoft's Azure App Services could have enabled a bad actor to carry out server-side request forgery (SSRF) attacks or execute arbitrary code and take over the administration server. "This enables an attacker to quietly

ALERT! Hackers targeting IoT devices with a new P2P botnet malware

Cybersecurity researchers have taken the wraps off a new botnet hijacking Internet-connected smart devices in the wild to perform nefarious tasks, mostly DDoS attacks, and illicit cryptocurrency coin mining. Discovered by Qihoo 360's Netlab security team, the HEH Botnet — written in Go language and armed with a proprietary peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol, spreads via a brute-force attack of the

New Flaws in Top Antivirus Software Could Make Computers More Vulnerable

Cybersecurity researchers today disclosed details of security vulnerabilities found in popular antivirus solutions that could enable attackers to elevate their privileges, thereby helping malware sustain its foothold on the compromised systems. According to a report published by CyberArk researcher Eran Shimony today and shared with The Hacker News, the high privileges often associated with

New ‘MosaicRegressor’ UEFI Bootkit Malware Found Active in the Wild

Cybersecurity researchers have spotted a rare kind of potentially dangerous malware that targets a machine's booting process to drop persistent malware. The campaign involved the use of a compromised UEFI (or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) containing a malicious implant, making it the second known public case where a UEFI rootkit has been used in the wild. According to Kaspersky, the

Researchers Fingerprint Exploit Developers Who Help Several Malware Authors

Writing advanced malware for a threat actor requires different groups of people with diverse technical expertise to put them all together. But can the code leave enough clues to reveal the person behind it? To this effect, cybersecurity researchers on Friday detailed a new methodology to identify exploit authors that use their unique characteristics as a fingerprint to track down other exploits

Beware: New Android Spyware Found Posing as Telegram and Threema Apps

A hacking group known for its attacks in the Middle East, at least since 2017, has recently been found impersonating legitimate messaging apps such as Telegram and Threema to infect Android devices with a new, previously undocumented malware. "Compared to the versions documented in 2017, Android/SpyC23.A has extended spying functionality, including reading notifications from messaging apps, call

Critical Flaws Discovered in Popular Industrial Remote Access Systems

Cybersecurity researchers have found critical security flaws in two popular industrial remote access systems that can be exploited to ban access to industrial production floors, hack into company networks, tamper with data, and even steal sensitive business secrets. The flaws, discovered by Tel Aviv-based OTORIO, were identified in B&R Automation's SiteManager and GateManager, and MB Connect

Researchers Uncover Cyber Espionage Operation Aimed At Indian Army

Cybersecurity researchers uncovered fresh evidence of an ongoing cyberespionage campaign against Indian defense units and armed forces personnel at least since 2019 with an aim to steal sensitive information. Dubbed "Operation SideCopy" by Indian cybersecurity firm Quick Heal, the attacks have been attributed to an advanced persistent threat (APT) group that has successfully managed to stay

Chinese APT Group Targets Media, Finance, and Electronics Sectors

Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday uncovered a new espionage campaign targeting media, construction, engineering, electronics, and finance sectors in Japan, Taiwan, the U.S., and China. Linking the attacks to Palmerworm (aka BlackTech) — likely a China-based advanced persistent threat (APT) — Symantec's Threat Hunter Team said the first wave of activity associated with this campaign began last