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Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, February 21–25, 2022

Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, February 21–25, 2022

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The Good

The decryptor harvest has been really good lately. This week, researchers successfully developed a decryptor for victims of Hive ransomware by exploiting an encryption flaw in the ransomware. In another development, a new coalition was announced that brings together at least 22 nonprofit organizations dedicated to cybersecurity to protect vulnerable organizations from cyberattacks.

  • Researchers successfully leveraged a cryptographic vulnerability to retrieve the decryption key for Hive ransomware. The ransomware was first observed in June 2021 and makes use of a variety of initial compromise methods, including vulnerable RDP servers, compromised VPN credentials, and phishing emails with malicious attachments.
  • The DoJ announced new policies to keep hacking victims safe. This involves taking pre-emptive actions against attackers, such as providing decryptor keys or seizing their servers.
  • Ukrainian police detained members of a phishing group that pilfered payment card data of at least 70,000 individuals by luring them into fake mobile service top-up sites. According to the law enforcement authorities, the threat actors used the stolen information to empty the victims' bank accounts.
  • A group of nonprofits has formed a coalition that will collectively align their cybersecurity research, tools, and resources to help protect vulnerable organizations from cyberattacks. Named Nonprofit Cyber, it includes at least 22 nonprofits, including the Center for Internet Security, the Cloud Security Alliance, the Cyber Threat Alliance, the Cyber Peace Institute, the Global Cyber Alliance, MITRE’s Engenuity Center for Threat Informed Defense, SAFECode, and Consumer Reports, among others.
  • New York City established a centralized cybersecurity hub to aid state officers in times of a cyber crisis. The Joint Security Operations Center consists of experts from state and federal law enforcement agencies, NYC3, and representatives from the country and local governments.
  • The NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence released the final version of the Securing Telehealth Remote Patient Monitoring Ecosystem guidance. This guidance is designed to support healthcare providers in ensuring the security of telehealth services and remote patient monitoring.
  • Following reports of its imminent retirement, the modular Windows malware platform TrickBot has formally shut down its botnet infrastructure this week. The notorious malware operated by a Russian threat actor had been largely inactive for the past two months leading up to the shutdown. 

The Bad

Phishing attacks continue to be a security concern for the financial services sector as Monzo and Citibank customers became victims of text-based and email phishing campaigns, respectively. Ukrainian organizations were hit by a new data wiper as well as DDoS attacks in a continued cyber-physical crisis facing the country. Threats involving open-source software have not yet subsided as several malicious NPM packages were spotted stealing Discord tokens. 

  • A hack on the OpenSea platform affected its 32 users. This caused a loss of 254 tokens, which amounted to nearly $1.7 million. While the attack is no more active, it is believed that the affected users might have signed a malicious payload sent by the attack. The attack vector is still unknown.
  • An investigation into the cyberattack targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) reveals that the attackers had deployed a wiper malware and other custom implants. The incident had occurred in January and disrupted the state’s broadcasting networks.
  • Customers of all-digital bank Monzo are being targeted in an SMS-based phishing attack that steals sensitive information from their accounts. The SMS asks the receiver to click on a phishing link to confirm their account by entering their username and password. In another campaign, the customers of Citibank were targeted with emails purporting to be account suspension alerts and demanding them to verify their details to avoid permanent suspension. 
  • Owners of Asustor NAS devices were left without access to their devices owing to an attack by DeadBolt ransomware. The victims were asked to pay a ransom of 0.03 Bitcoin to receive the decryption key.
  • Researchers detected around 25 malicious npm packages, 17 of which were designed to steal Discord tokens. If attackers got access to these tokens, they could use them to infiltrate a victim’s account and hijack Discord servers. The researchers also noted that many of the packages masqueraded as the colors.js npm package.
  • The Russia-Ukraine crisis spilled into the cyber domain as multiple Ukrainian government sites and two of the country’s largest banks were once again hit with a wave of DDoS attacks. In another development, a new data wiper malware, dubbed HermeticWiper, was found targeting organizations in the financial sector and government contractors in Ukraine.
  • A new attack campaign was found targeting publicly-exposed, unpatched Microsoft SQL servers. The attackers are scanning port 1433 to check for vulnerable servers to launch brute force or dictionary attacks to gain access to system admin accounts. Consequently, the attackers deploy Cobalt Strike beacons on targeted hosts.
  • A new supply chain attack, which goes by the codename of Operation Cache Panda, is underway since November 2021. Attributed to the APT10 threat actor group, the campaign targets Taiwan’s financial sector by leveraging a vulnerability in a security software solution. The attackers also made use of credential stuffing attacks as a cover to evade detection and reflective code loading to run malicious code on local systems. Attackers installed a version of the Quasar RAT as part of the attack.

New Threats

Software piracy is a minefield of cyber threats. Now, a new variant of the CryptBot infostealer is being distributed via pirated software sites that use SEO poisoning tactics. Google Play Store has become another festering spot for malicious apps delivering a new trojan - Xenomorph. A new threat, namely ice phishing, targeting Web3 and blockchain networks has also been reported this week.

  • Researchers spotted a new Coinminer dubbed Coinminer.MacOS.MALXMR.H in early January. The malware has been designed to target macOS machines and uses open-source components, as well as an I2P network to hide its traffic. It is primarily used to mine Monero cryptocurrency.
  • Microsoft warned about a new class of threats, named ice phishing, affecting Web3 and blockchain networks. Ice phishing involves luring a user into signing an agreement that assigns the user’s tokens to the malicious actor. It completely ignores private keys. The transaction requires interaction with DeFi smart contracts for a token swap to occur.
  • A new version of CryptBot infostealer was found being distributed via pirated software sites that offered free downloads for games and pro-grade software. The operators behind the malware leverage SEO poisoning tactics to increase the visibility of these sites. The malware is capable of stealing browser credentials, cookies, browser history, cryptocurrency wallets, and credit card details.
  • A new banking trojan called Xenomorph has infected more than 50,000 Android devices. The trojan was distributed via Google Play Store in the form of fake performance-boosting apps. The trojan is designed to steal sensitive banking details, take control of users’ accounts, and initiate unauthorized transactions.
  • A new phishing technique deciphered by researchers can allow attackers to launch malicious code into a victim’s browser, plant a keylogger, and eavesdrop on users’ activities. The method bypasses the 2FA authentication protocol and can be executed via specially-crafted email that includes a link. Once clicked, it redirects users to a malicious web page.
  • In a new update, researchers have found similarities between the prominent Dridex trojan and little-known Entropy ransomware. The similarities are in the software packer used to conceal the ransomware code, in the obfuscation commands, and in the subroutines used to decrypt encrypted text.
  • In a joint advisory by U.S. and U.K cybersecurity agencies, officials warned about a new malware dubbed Cyclops Blink that has been linked to the Russian-backed Sandworm hacking group. The Sandworm operators used the malware to create a botnet since at least June 2019 by targeting WatchGuard Firebox and other SOHO network devices.
  • Researchers from China's Pangu Lab disclosed details of a malware backdoor, dubbed Bvp47, used by the Equation Group. The malware is said to have advanced covert channel behavior based on TCP SYN packets, code obfuscation, system hiding, and a self-destruction design.
  • Researchers at Positive Security built an Apple Airtag clone that is able to bypass anti-stalking protection features while running on Apple's Find My protocol. The cloned Airtags could be used to successfully track iPhone users without triggering a tracking notification.


malicious npm packages
cyclops blink
ice phishing
dridex trojan
entropy ransomware
trickbot botnet
hive ransomware
operation cache panda

Posted on: February 25, 2022

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