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Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, October 2022

Cyware Monthly Threat Intelligence, October 2022

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The Good 

Countries across the globe are taking on cybersecurity threats. Among the top initiatives announced last month was a new cybersecurity task force in Singapore to assist organizations in strengthening their own infrastructure against cyber threats. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a security directive regarding railroad cybersecurity threat mitigation actions and testing. Moreover, Google introduced passkey support to make users’ digital life passwordless and more secure within its ecosystem.

  • The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the first draft of a new specification that will standardize the password reset URLs to a default format. It will help users change their passwords across multiple services at once.
  • At the seventh annual Singapore International Cyber Week, officials announced a new task force named Counter Ransomware Task Force to help businesses and educational institutions defend themselves against ransomware attacks. The team includes representatives from the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the country's armed forces and police force.
  • The new cybersecurity regulations unveiled by the TSA were put into effect on October 24. The rules, which will last for one year, now mandate railroad companies to deploy network segmentation policies. Additionally, carriers will have to deploy threat detection systems and timely patches for OS, applications, drivers, and firmware.  
  • The CISA issued a new Binding Operation Directive that mandates all federal civilian agencies to scan their networks and discover vulnerable systems that need to be patched. Furthermore, the agencies are required to share their findings with the CISA by April 2023.
  • Google added support for passkeys in Chrome desktop and Chrome Android, along with the Google Password Manager. The passkeys are the replacement of passwords and other perishable authentication factors and cannot be reused, protecting users from phishing attacks.

The Bad

The Healthcare sector was actively targeted in October. The firms targeted include Advocate Aurora Health, Keystone Health, and CommonSpirit Health. Also, the fallout from the Medibank hacking incident grew as it impacted all of its customer data. Meanwhile, U.K’s largest car dealership firm was blackmailed to cough up a $60 million ransom in Bitcoin.

  • Australian health insurance firm Medibank confirmed that the cyberattack that disrupted its online services was actually a ransomware attack. The breach compromised the personal and health data of all of its 3.9 million customers, causing a potential financial impact of $25–$35 million.
  • Lebanon-based hacking group Polonium attacked more than a dozen organizations using at least seven custom backdoors. These attacks were observed in the span of one year, starting from September 2021. The attacks were targeted against organizations in engineering, information technology, law, telecommunications, media, insurance, and social services. 
  • Ticketing services agency See Tickets disclosed a web skimming attack that lasted for over six months. This resulted in the compromise of the payment cards and personal details of users. The agency ascertained that the affected information includes those who purchased event tickets between June 2019 and January 2022. 
  • The U.K’s largest car dealership Pendragon was hacked and heckled by the LockBit ransomware gang who demanded a ransom of $60 million in Bitcoin to prevent the release of sensitive data on the dark web. The firm refused to pay the ransom and took steps to protect its remaining systems. 
  • Pennsylvania healthcare provider Keystone Health disclosed a data breach that impacted the personal information of over 230,000 patients. The incident occurred between July and August after threat actors gained unauthorized access to files within systems. The compromised data includes names, Social Security numbers, and clinical details of patients.
  • Nearly two million .git folders containing vital project information were exposed to the public. The information included remote repository addresses, commit history logs and other essential metadata. Over 31% of publicly exposed .git folders were located in the U.S, followed by China (8%) and Germany (6.5%.)
  • CommonSpirit Health disclosed a ransomware incident that impacted several of its healthcare facilities across the U.S. Even after nearly one month, the nation's fourth-largest hospital network continued to struggle to bring back its various IT systems online. The number of impacted facilities was still not disclosed.
  • Binance temporarily paused its Binance Smart Chain (BSC) blockchain bridge project after $560 million worth of Binance coins were stolen by hackers. However, the firm was quick to respond and block the hackers’ access to roughly 80% of the stolen funds. 
  • A data breach at the Shangri-La hotel group compromised the personal information of its customers. The breach occurred between May and July after hackers gained unauthorized access to its IT network. This impacted its hotels located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Chiang Mai, Taipei, and Tokyo. 
  • KFC and McDonald’s customers across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Singapore were targeted in a phishing attack, enabling attackers to steal their payment details. According to researchers at CloudSEK, the attackers impersonated the browser-based application of fast food restaurants to trick users into installing information-stealing payloads on their desktops.
  • Scammers spoofed Zoom users in a new phishing attack to steal their Microsoft Exchange credentials. The phishing emails contained a malicious link with a call-to-action button. If the recipient clicked the button, it opened a fake landing page that mimicked a legit Microsoft login page.
  • The lesser-known OldGremlin ransomware attackers reportedly expanded their operations using toolkits that target Linux machines. Among these toolkits is a Go-based variant of TinyCrypt ransomware that also targets Windows systems. In 2022, the gang has so far launched five campaigns with ransom demands going up to $16.9 million.
  • A threat actor stole nearly $9 million worth of cryptocurrency from DeFi platform Moola Market, only to return 93% of the funds within hours of the attack. The hacker exploited a vulnerability in the platform and stole 1.8 million MOO tokens ($655,000). 
  • Advocate Aurora Health (AAH), a 26-hospital healthcare system in Wisconsin and Illinois, disclosed a data breach that affected the personal information of around 300,000 patients. The incident was caused by the improper use of Meta Pixel on AAH's websites, where patients enter their sensitive personal and medical information.

New Threats

In the past month, Android-based threats were plenty. One that stood out was Clicker. Speaking of Android malware, North Korean hackers were observed experimenting with three new malware variants against South Korean Android phone users. There was also a new threat group spotted with unusual behavior. Dubbed Water Labbu, it was found targeting other scammers to steal cryptocurrency from them.

  • New Clicker Android malware was found infecting 20 million users by sneaking into Google Play Store as utility apps. The targeted utility apps are flashlight, QR code readers, camera unit converters, and task managers. The malware is designed to generate revenue for attackers by displaying fraudulent ads.
  • A threat actor is selling a new UEFI bootkit that comes with an anti-virtual machine (anti-VM), anti-debug, and code obfuscation features to block malware analysis attempts. Named BlackLotus, the malware is linked to APT41 threat actors and can be used to load unsigned drivers for launching BYOVD attacks.
  • Microsoft spotted a new ransomware strain, named Prestige, that was deployed last week in a campaign targeting organizations in the transportation and related logistics industries in Ukraine and Poland. The attacks overlap with previous victims of the FoxBlade (HermeticWiper) data-wiping malware.
  • Palo Alto Networks researchers revealed Ransom Cartel is likely the evolution of the defunct REvil ransomware. They found connections between the TTPs used by the attackers. One of these similarities was the algorithm used to encrypt files. 
  • Trustwave researchers discovered a new Emotet botnet campaign that pushes password-protected attachments in either ZIP or ISO formats to infect users. These attachments are used to deliver Quasar RAT, Coinminer, and more.
  • The North Korea-based Kimsuky threat group was spotted using three new Android malware—FastFire, FastViewer, and FastSpy—to target users in South Korea. The malware disguised as multiple utility tools on Google Play Store. The Android malware set is capable of compromising almost all phone functions, ranging from hijacking communication channels to take over the camera.
  • Zimperium researchers observed a campaign associated with a lesser-known Android spyware strain, named RatMilad. The spyware is disguised as a mobile VPN app that is promoted on a Telegram channel and targets Middle Eastern enterprise mobile devices. 
  • A critical authentication bypass vulnerability affecting multiple Fortinet services was exploited in the wild. Tracked as CVE-2022-40684, the vulnerability can be exploited by sending specially crafted HTTP or HTTPS requests.
  • More than 800 corporate users were infected in a new QBot malware attack campaign since September 28, Kaspersky warned. The most targeted country is the U.S., with 220 targeted users, including 95 corporate users. This is followed by Italy with 151 users, Germany with 93 users, and India with 74 users.
  • A new threat cluster tracked as WIP19 was seen targeting telecommunications and IT service providers in the Middle East and Asia. Some of the attack tactics and malware employed by the cluster overlap with Operation Shadow Force.
  • A new attack framework of Chinese origin is being used in the wild. Called Alchimist, it includes a customizable RAT for Windows and Linux machines. The framework can also be used to generate PowerShell-based attack shellcodes or distribute malicious implants on macOS.  
  • A new infostealer named LilithBot was linked to a Russia-based threat actor group called Jester, which has been active since January. The malware is being distributed via a dedicated Telegram group and a Tor link. 
  • A new threat actor named Water Labbu was found abusing malicious decentralized applications, or DApps, to steal cryptocurrency from other scammers. The group leveraged different social engineering tactics used by crypto scammers to trick users to subsequently inject malicious JavaScript code into their sites and stealing their cryptocurrency loot.
  • Researchers investigated a Cheerscrypt ransomware attack that utilized Night Sky ransomware TTPs. Believed to be the work of the Emperor Dragonfly threat actor, the ransomware is capable of targeting both Windows and Linux ESXi environments. 


water labbu
clicker malware
ransom cartel
blacklotus bootkit
keystone health
cheerscrypt malware
prestige ransomware
commonspirit health
counter ransomware task force
moola market
pendragon group
shangri la hotel group
advocate aurora health

Posted on: November 02, 2022

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