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Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, January 24–28, 2022

Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, January 24–28, 2022

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The Good

In a fascinating new development, South Korean researchers devised a way to enhance cryptographic security by using silk. Yes, you read that right! Here’s the second one. The dark web marketplace Canadian HeadQuarters was dismantled by Canadian law enforcement. The criminals were issued a hefty fine. There's more. The U.S. government has taken steps to fortify the cybersecurity of water systems in the country, as they have endured quite a lot of attacks in the recent past.

  • Researchers from the South Korean Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) developed a way to enhance digital security by using silk fibers to generate encryption keys. The paper published by them argues that silk properties could be leveraged to create Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs). The researchers used a light-reflecting mirror, three light-emitting diodes, and an image sensor to capture patterns of light reflected off the silk to build a security tag pattern.
  • Canadian officials dismantled the dark web marketplace called Canadian HeadQuarters. The operators were issued over $300,000 in fines and charged with sending phishing emails and violating the country's anti-spam legislation.
  • As per the U.K’s first Cyber Security Strategy, local authorities will receive over $50 million from the government to improve cyber resilience in essential public services and data in housing benefits, electoral management, voter registration, social care, and school grants sectors. This comes as a part of the 2-billion-pound investment program in cyber, stepping up skills and coordination, and retiring legacy IT systems. 
  • The White House, CISA, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are launching a 100-day plan to strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation’s water systems. Dubbed the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative—Water and Wastewater Sector Action Plan, the plan will develop a task force of water utility industry leaders, boost incident monitoring pilot programs, offer technical support to water systems in distress, and enhance information sharing. 
  • The Biden Administration issued a new cybersecurity memorandum for federal agencies to support the government shift to a zero-trust security model. The plan contains measures such as strict network segmentation, widespread encryption, and MFA implementation, and provides government agencies time until the fiscal year 2024 to implement them. 
  • The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested the alleged leader of the Infraud Organization, a hacker group that caused losses of over $560 million in seven years of activity. The arrest was made possible due to coordination among U.S. law enforcement and Russian special services. 

The Bad

Lazarus is back in action and, in its latest campaign, used GitHub as a C2 server. The APT group was found using job-themed lures to target engineers. The government sector is still not safe from cyberattacks as the Canadian government’s foreign affairs ministry became the latest victim. Another malicious app made its way into the Google Play Store and was downloaded thousands of times before being removed. 

  • The China-based APT27 threat group is targeting German commercial organizations with the HyperBro RAT in an ongoing campaign by abusing flaws in Zoho AdSelfService Plus software. The malware enables the threat actors to maintain persistence on the victims’ network by acting as a backdoor with remote administration capabilities. 
  • The notorious Lazarus threat actor group has been associated with a series of spear-phishing attacks, using job-themed lures impersonating Lockheed Martin. The attackers made use of the Windows Update service and GitHub to execute malicious payloads. The malware used GitHub as its C2. 
  • A premium subscription fraud campaign targeted over 100 million Android users. Called Dark Herring, the campaign leveraged 470 Google Play Store apps to affect users, potentially causing a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. The campaign was active in 70 countries and asked users to subscribe to premium services at a price of $15 per month.
  • Threat actors have been found leveraging Microsoft OneDrive services for C2 purposes to target high-ranking government officials in a West Asian nation. The APT28 aka Fancy Bear group is believed to be behind the campaign. It exploits the recently discovered remote code execution flaw, CVE-2021-40444, in MSHTML. The malware used in the campaign is dubbed Graphite.
  • The Canadian government confirmed that its foreign affairs ministry, Global Affairs Canada, was affected by a cyberattack. The incident was detected on January 19, after which mitigation actions were taken. The attack did not affect any other departments of the Canadian government network.
  • Finland’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-Fi) warned of an ongoing phishing campaign trying to take over Facebook accounts by pretending to be the victims’ friends in Messenger chat. The agency stated that Facebook users who received texts from online acquaintances for their phone numbers and verification number are victims of the scam. The scammers have created around 40,000 phishing pages to target users across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. 
  • More than 100,000 malicious SMS messages attempting to distribute the FluBot trojan were intercepted by researchers. The attacks were active in Australia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Austria, and Italy. In a different incident, the TeaBot trojan was found lurking on the Google Play Store in the form of a QR scanner app to infect Android users across the globe. 
  • A malicious 2FA app was removed from the Google Play Store after over 10,000 downloads. The fully functional app came loaded with the Vultur stealer, aiming to steal financial and banking information from the victims. By asking for extra permissions, the scam app was also able to access user location data, disable password and device lock security, and take control of the device even if it is switched off. 

New Threats

Active for at least eight years, Konni RAT means business. Its operators have adjusted its code to make it stealthier. Speaking about new malware strains, BRATA has three new variants that can now perform factory reset on compromised devices. Another malware news for you. The new DazzleSpy malware was discovered conducting watering hole attacks against Android and Windows users. 

  • Several variants of the BotenaGo botnet have been observed in a series of new attack campaigns targeting routers and IoT devices globally. This development comes after researchers found the malware source code uploaded to GitHub, allowing threat actors to create their own versions to launch attacks.
  • Konni RAT received significant updates and is being actively developed. Its evasion capabilities have been upgraded. The malware has also transitioned from base64 encoding to AES encryption to its string for obfuscation purposes. Moreover, some samples were found using an unknown packer, however, it has not been observed in real-world scenarios yet. 
  • The Android malware BRATA has upgraded its features to perform a factory reset on compromised devices to wipe all traces of malicious activity. The malware has three new strains that have targeted online banking users in the U.K, Poland, Italy, Spain, China, and Latin America. Some new capabilities added to the new variants include keylogging functionality and GPS tracking.
  • Cybercriminals are hijacking the Instagram accounts of companies and influencers in a new campaign to extort the targeted users with a ransom. The threat actors send a message pretending to be from Instagram, notifying the users of copyright infringement. The campaign has reportedly been active since 2021 and hackers are selling access to the hijacked accounts for $40,000.
  • A new malware, dubbed DazzleSpy, has come to light during the investigation of a watering hole attack targeting Windows and Android users. ESET researchers found that the group also targeted macOS users and visitors of a pro-democracy radio station website in Hong Kong. Moreover, the attackers had exploited a WebKit flaw in Safari as part of the infection chain.
  • The new DeadBolt ransomware is encrypting QNAP NAS devices by exploiting a zero-day flaw in the device software. The ransomware appends .deadbolt extension to the encrypted files and drops a ransom note, demanding a ransom of 0.03 bitcoin. QNAP has force-updated customers’ NAS devices. 
  • A mobile malware infection chain dating back to September 2021 was used to distribute a new malware, dubbed TianySpy. The malware was designed to steal credentials associated with membership websites of major Japanese telecommunication services. It targeted both Android and iPhone users.
  • A phishing email scam is targeting Amazon users with a fake subscription message that claims to lock their accounts. The email uses the Amazon logo to add authenticity. The email warns users that there was a problem in authorizing the payment for renewing their Prime Membership, as the billing information did not match the information in the card issuer file. The email, further, asks the recipients to take immediate action to prevent their accounts from being locked.


deadbolt ransomware
lazarus apt
infraud organization
hyperbro rat
subscription fraud
konni rat
global affairs canada
brata rat
botenago botnet
canadian headquarters

Posted on: January 28, 2022

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