Incidents

Rogue AV raising the stakes

A couple of months I blogged about how the creators of rogue AV solutions are keeping a close eye on developments in the antivirus market. And my colleague Vyacheslav recently wrote a whole article about rogue AV which highlighted, among other things, the huge increase in this type of malware.

Last week I looked at some samples which showed that the bad guys behind this stuff are ratcheting their efforts up a notch. Here’s the GUI of Trojan.Win32.FraudPack.acji:

And here’s the product it’s imitating:

There are two points which attracted my attention:

  • The interface of the rogue AV is a very close copy of the genuine solution
  • The logo isn’t the same, but the rogue incorporates the Windows Security Center logo, and reinforces the perception that it’s a genuine product by using the name of a legitimate free AV solution.

In other words, the rogue AV guys are getting closer and closer to creating exact copies of real AV solutions, at least in terms of the GUI. This makes it much more difficult to determine at a glance whether or not a solution is rogue, for novices and more experienced users alike.

This example shows that maybe we’re not so far from the time when rogue AV solutions will visually be exact copies of legitimate security software. And with the FBI estimating losses caused by scareware at around $150 million dollars, the stakes are getting higher all the time.

Rogue AV raising the stakes

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Reports

Lazarus targets defense industry with ThreatNeedle

In mid-2020, we realized that Lazarus was launching attacks on the defense industry using the ThreatNeedle cluster, an advanced malware cluster of Manuscrypt (a.k.a. NukeSped). While investigating this activity, we were able to observe the complete life cycle of an attack, uncovering more technical details and links to the group’s other campaigns.

Sunburst backdoor – code overlaps with Kazuar

While looking at the Sunburst backdoor, we discovered several features that overlap with a previously identified backdoor known as Kazuar. Our observations shows that Kazuar was used together with Turla tools during multiple breaches in past years.

Lazarus covets COVID-19-related intelligence

As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, some threat actors are trying to speed up vaccine development by any means available. We have found evidence that the Lazarus group is going after intelligence that could help these efforts by attacking entities related to COVID-19 research.

Sunburst: connecting the dots in the DNS requests

We matched private and public DNS data for the SUNBURST-malware root C2 domain with the CNAME records, to identify who was targeted for further exploitation. In total, we analyzed 1722 DNS records, leading to 1026 unique target name parts and 964 unique UIDs.

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