This report was authored by: Michael Gorelik and Assaf Kachlon.
Last week’s malware news was filled with the CCleaner backdoor exposed by Morphisec’s security solution. This week Morphisec uncovered another ongoing malware campaign, this one a drive-by-download attack that uses a modified version of the old (in hacker time) favorite, the RIG exploit kit.
Over the past 10 days, Morphisec's Threat Prevention Solution stopped a modified RIG exploit kit distributed to a large number of customers in a major drive by download campaign. Upon customer notification about the web-borne attack, we immediately identified the type of exploit kit and the delivered exploits. We reported the abuse of the registered domains to Freenom.com, the domain registration entity.
As widely reported today, the Avast-owned security application CCleaner was illegally modified by hackers to establish a backdoor to the hackers’ server. According to Avast, some 2.27 million users were running the weaponized version 5.33 of CCleaner. In addition, the CCleaner’s cloud version 1.07 was affected. Morphisec was first to uncover the CCleaner Backdoor saving millions of Avast user.
Morphisec first identified and prevented malicious CCleaner.exe installations on August 20 and 21, 2017 at customer sites. Some customers shared their logs of the prevented attacks with Morphisec on September 11, 2017.Morphisec started to investigate the prevention logs right away.
On June 7, 2017, Morphisec Lab identified a new, highly sophisticated fileless attack targeting restaurants across the US. The ongoing campaign allows hackers to seize system control and install a backdoor to steal financial information at will. It incorporates some never before seen evasive techniques that allow it to bypass most security solutions – signature and behavior based.
From April 19-24, 2017, a politically-motivated, targeted campaign was carried out against numerous Israeli organizations. Morphisec researchers began investigating the attacks on April 24 and continue to uncover more details. Initial reports of the attacks, published April 26 (in Hebrew) by the Israel National Cyber Event Readiness Team (CERT-IL) and The Marker, confirm that the attack was delivered through compromised email accounts at Ben-Gurion University and sent to multiple targets across Israel. Ironically, Ben-Gurion University is home to Israel’s Cyber Security Research Center. Investigators put the origin of the attack as Iranian; Morphisec’s research supports this conclusion and attributes the attacks to the same infamous hacker group responsible for the OilRig malware campaigns.
Morphisec Discovers New Fileless Attack Framework
Ties Single Threat Actor Group to Multiple Campaigns, Interacts with Hacker.
On the 8th of March, Morphisec researchers began investigating a new fileless threat delivered via a macro-enabled Word document, which was attached to a phishing email sent to targeted high-profile enterprises. During the course of the investigation, we uncovered a sophisticated fileless attack framework that appears to be connected to various recent, much discussed attack campaigns.
Packer-based malware is malware which is modified in the runtime memory using different and sophisticated compression techniques. Such malware is hard to detect by known malware scanners and anti-virus solutions. In addition, it is a cheap way for hackers to recreate new signatures for the same malware on the fly simply by changing the encryption/packing method. Packers themselves are not malware; attackers use this tactic to obfuscate the code’s real intention.
Cybersecurity had a turbulent 2016, to say the least. We saw the rise of ransomware, the emergence of IoT botnets, landmark security legislation and Yahoo’s disclosure about its 1-billion-record-hack, the largest in history.
On December 12, 2016 Morphisec identified and monitored a new wave of sophisticated malware delivered via targeted phishing emails with malicious macro-based documents attached. The malicious documents themselves use a clever, new social engineering technique to convince the target to enable macros. Once enabled, the document calls an unknown downloader that resembles the Cerber downloader, but employs new obfuscation techniques.
They’re starting to be as reliable as clockwork. Every 3-4 weeks a new wave of Hancitor campaigns hits, with improved targeting and new tricks to evade detection. The latest variant comes via a malicious MS Word attachment to a fairly convincing email. How do we know? Our own CEO, Ronen Yehoshua, was one of the latest targets. Maybe the folks behind Hancitor liked our technical analysis (or get the original Hancitor report in PDF format) of the last attack so much that they wanted to deliver a new version for analysis personally.