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Google Authenticator Codes for Android is Targeted by Nefarious Escobar Banking Trojan

 


'Escobar' virus has resurfaced in the form of a novel threat, this time targeting Google Authenticator MFA codes. 

The spyware, which goes by the package name com.escobar.pablo is the latest Aberebot version which was discovered by researchers from Cyble, a security research firm, who combed through a cybercrime-related forum. Virtual view, phishing overlays, screen captures, text-message captures, and even multi-factor authentication capture are all included in the feature set. 

All of these characteristics are utilized in conjunction with a scheme to steal a user's financial data. This malware even tries to pass itself off as McAfee antivirus software, with the McAfee logo as its icon. It is not uncommon for malware to disguise itself as a security software; in fact, it was recently reported that the malware was installed straight inside of a completely functional 2-factor authentication app. 

The malicious author is leasing the beta version of the malware to a maximum of five customers for $3,000 per month, with threat actors getting three days to test the bot for free. After development, the threat actor intends to raise the malware's price to $5,000. 

Even if the overlay injections are curtailed in some way, the malware has various other capabilities to make it effective against any Android version. In the most recent version, the authors increased the number of aimed banks and financial organizations to 190 entities from 18 countries. 

The malware asks a total of 25 rights, 15 of which are employed nefariously. To name a few, accessibility, audio recording, read SMS, read/write storage, acquiring account lists, disabling keylock, making calls, and accessing precise device locations. Everything the virus captures, including SMS call records, key logs, notifications, and Google Authenticator codes, is sent to the C2 server. 

It is too soon to gauge the popularity of the new Escobar malware among cybercriminals, especially given its exorbitant price. Nonetheless, it has grown in strength to the point that it can now lure a wider audience. 

In general, avoiding the installation of APKs outside of Google Play, utilizing a mobile security application, and ensuring the Google Play Protect is enabled on your device will reduce, the chances of being infected with Android trojans.

Lazarus, Cobalt, and FIN7 Cyber Groups Allegedly Opened Fire on the Financial Industry

 

A study titled "Follow the Money" by Outpost24's Blueliv that addressed the financial sector, aims to identify and follow groups that are big perpetrators of financial theft and fraud. The Lazarus, Cobalt, and FIN7 threat groups were determined to be the most common threat actors targeting financial institutions. As the Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation by disrupting training and operations, it's no surprise that cyber attacks on financial institutions are on the rise. 

Attacking banks provide various possibilities for profit for cybercriminals through extortion, theft, and fraud, while nation-states and hacktivists also target the financial industry for political and ideological leverage. The Strategic Technologies Program investigates the evolution of cyber risks to the financial system, as well as legal and regulatory attempts to improve its defenses.

Lazarus is a North Korean state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) group that has been linked to high-profile assaults on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Bangladesh Bank via SWIFT, and the WannaCry ransomware epidemic in 2017. Banks, casinos, financial investing software producers, and crypto-currency enterprises are among the companies involved. 

The group's virus has lately been discovered in 18 nations around the world. A vulnerability in one of the targeted organization's servers is discovered by the Lazarus team. It infects a website that was accessed by employees of a particular organization, uses malware to access the target's IT infrastructure, and finds a server running SWIFT software. This group tries to drain the company's accounts by downloading new malware that could communicate with SWIFT software. 

Cobalt has been linked to attacks against financial institutions around the world, resulting in the theft of millions of dollars, since at least 2016. It first appeared on the scene with an ATM jackpotting attack on a Taiwanese bank. Despite the arrests, the gang is believed to be still functioning. To break into networks, the Cobalt group uses social engineering—users open infected attachments from phishing emails that are disguised to look like messages from reputable corporations and regulatory agencies. These attachments contain a document file that either downloads or contains a dropper in a password-protected archive from a remote server.

Another important, profit-driven threat group is FIN7, which specializes in Business Email Compromise (BEC) and the deployment of Point-of-Sale (PoS) malware designed to steal large amounts of customer credit card information from businesses. While banking and finance cybersecurity tactics are evolving, there are still numerous improvements that can be addressed, according to Blueliv.

Zeus Sphinx Malware Reappears amid Coronavirus Phishing Scams


In this particular scam, the recipients receive phishing emails asking them to donate money by filling forms for coronavirus or COVID-19 relief fund. The scam works because people are constrained to stay at home as they can't work in the office because of the quarantine. Zeus Sphinx Banking Trojan is determined as it can replicate files and folders to expand while maintaining to generate the registry keys.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the panic it has caused among the general public has proven to be an advantage for the hackers, as they see it as an opportunity to lure innocent victims in the name of relief funds for COVID-19. Cybercriminals are exploiting the COVID-19 theme by launching spams and phishing email campaigns on their targets. Joining this new stream of attacks, another malware has reappeared after a long time named Zeus Sphinx malware.

About Zeus Sphinx 

According to recent research conducted by a group of cybersecurity experts, the malware Zeus Sphinx, which is also famous as Terdot or Zloader, was used by Hackers to launch cyberattacks using the COVID-19 government relief funds as a bait to lure the victims.

  • Zeus Sphinx was first discovered in August last year, and it became famous as a banking trojan for commercial use, with Zeus v2 being the basis of its core elements. 
  • Zeus Sphinx was infamous for attacking banks over the US, UK, Brazil, and Australia. 
  • Zeus Sphinx has reappeared, but this time, it is using COVID-19 relief funds as a ploy while attacking the users of the corresponding banking institutions in the respected countries. 


How does it work?

The malware is spreading through COVID-19 relief funds files. Here's how it's being covered:

  • The recipients receive phishing emails asking them to donate money by filling forms for coronavirus or COVID-19 relief fund. 
  • The forms in.DOC or DOCX file formats are used to gain entry. 
  • When downloaded, the file asks the user for access to enable content. 
  • This activates the Zeus Sphinx, which hijacks the window and establishes a C2 (command-and-control) server for malware. 

Note: Zeus Sphinx has an integrated flaw, which is, the trojan can't attack an updated version of the browser, once it has already been attacked before the update.

Cyber Criminals Stealing Customer Data By Tricking Bank Employees


Kaspersky Lab experts described a recently discovered method of corporate phishing. Attackers send an employee or organization email inviting them to pass an assessment of knowledge and skills on the fake HR portal. To do this, the victim is asked to log in to the site using a working username and password. The potential victim has the impression that it is a mandatory procedure, for the successful passage of which he will receive a monetary reward.

According to the senior content analyst of Kaspersky Lab Tatyana Shcherbakova, in this way, fraudsters get access to corporate mail, which may contain personal data of customers.

Employees of large banks are regularly trained, tested and certified, so they can take a fake invitation for a real one. For this reason, the new phishing method threatens to take on a massive scale.

According to analyst Anton Bykov, at the moment several thousand corporate accounts could already be hacked.

Sergey Terekhov, director of the Technoserv information security competence center, noted that in this case, the employees of the credit departments of banks, in whose mailbox client profiles are stored, are in the risk zone.

At the same time, Denis Kamzeev, head of the information security department of Raiffeisenbank, stressed that all emails in the financial institution are checked through anti-spam and anti-virus and blocked in case of suspicion.

VTB, in turn, said that they delimit access to customer information for employees and keep records of employees who have access to confidential information.

Arseniy Shcheltsin, CEO of Digital Platforms, noted that this type of social engineering is tied directly to a person, not to technology. "Therefore, regardless of security systems, a person can always give a login and password from the mail to attackers."

Banking customers are tricked by SCA checks

Online scammers are using changes to European banking rules around customer authentication to trick consumers into handing over their sensitive financial details, according to Which?

The consumer rights group warned that attackers are spoofing the emails being sent from banks, payment firms and e-commerce providers asking for up-to-date info, as part of new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements.

Firms across the EU are gearing up for the changes, part of PSD2, which will require a form of two-factor authentication on any online transactions over €30, although some exceptions apply.

Ironically, payments providers and e-commerce firms in the UK have been given a further 18 months to comply with the new rules, originally set for a September 14 deadline.

Yet that hasn’t stopped the scammers: Which? claimed it has already spotted phishing emails imitating emails from Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HSBC.

Urging the recipient to update their banking information ahead of “new procedures,” they include links designed to take the victim to a legitimate-looking page designed to harvest banking details.

Which? argued that in many cases, legitimate brands are making it harder for consumers to spot phishing emails, by including links in their own emails, and by using multiple unusual domains for various landing pages.

The group claimed that 78% of its members think banks and other financial firms should never include links in emails, to make phishing attempts easier to spot.

Tripwire VP, Tim Erlin, agreed, arguing that companies can’t simultaneously tell customers not to follow links in emails but then continue to send them emails urging them to click through.

“As long as banks send legitimate emails as a means of communicating with customers, scammers will attempt the same with fake emails,” he added.

“Email as implemented today is a terrible system for conducting business. While attempts have been made to improve the technology, none of them have taken hold.”

Houdini Worm’s WSH Remote Access Tool (RAT) for Phishing Tactic




A fresh modified version of Houdini Worm is out in the market which goes by the name of WSH Remote Access Tool (RAT) and has commercial banking customers on its radar.


The authors who created the malware released it earlier this June and the HWorm has things tremendously in common with the njRAT and njWorm. (existed in 2013)

WSH RAT uses the legitimate applications that are used to execute scripts on the Windows one of which is Legitimate Windows Script Host.

The malware is being distributed via phishing email campaigns per usual.

The malicious attachment is stuck with the MHT file which is used by the threat operators the very way they use HTML files.

The MTH files contain an “href” link which guides the user to download the malicious .zip archive which releases the original version of WSH RAT.


Researchers report that when WSH RAT’s executed on an endpoint it behaves like an HWorm to the very use of mangled Base64 encoded data.

The WSH RAT uses the very same configuration structure for the above process as HWorm.

It also seeds an exact copy of the HWorm’s configuration including the default variable and WSH RAT command and control server URL structure in similar to that of HWorm.


Firstly WSH Rat communicates with C2 server and then calls out the new URL that releases the three payloads with the .tar.gz extension.
But, it’s actually PE32 executable files and the three payloads act as follows:
·       A Key logger
·       A mail credential viewer
·       A browser credential viewer

These components are extracted from a third party and do not originate from the WSH RAT itself.

The underground price of the WSH RAT was around $50 USD a month with a plethora of features including many automatic startup tactics and remote access, evasion and stealing capabilities.

It’s becoming evident by the hour that by way of simple investment in cheap commands really threatening malware services could be developed and could put any company under jeopardy.