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Preinstalled ‘Guerrilla’ Malware Infects Millions of Smartphones Worldwide


Security experts have made the alarming discovery that preloaded 'Guerrilla' malware has been disseminated on millions of smartphones globally. Once embedded in the device, this sneaky type of malware grants attackers unrestricted access to private user data, potentially resulting in privacy violations and financial loss.

The Guerrilla malware, also known as the Triada trojan, is one of the most advanced and persistent mobile threats to date. It was first identified by Kaspersky researchers, who found it embedded in the firmware of various Android devices. This preinfection tactic makes it extremely difficult for users to detect and remove the malware, as it resides deep within the device's system files.

The Lemon Group, a notorious cybercriminal organization, is believed to be behind the distribution of these infected smartphones. They capitalize on unsuspecting users who unknowingly purchase devices already compromised with the Guerrilla malware. Once activated, the malware acts as a backdoor, allowing the cybercriminals to remotely control the device, intercept communications, and steal sensitive information such as login credentials, banking details, and personal data.

The implications of this preinfection tactic are profound. Users are left vulnerable, unaware that their devices have been compromised from the moment they start using them. Even performing a factory reset or flashing the firmware does not guarantee the complete removal of the malware, as it can persist in the device's system files.

To make matters worse, many of these infected devices are sold in regions with limited cybersecurity awareness and infrastructure, making it even more challenging to address the issue effectively. The impact extends beyond individual users to businesses and organizations that may unwittingly integrate these compromised devices into their networks, potentially exposing sensitive corporate data to cybercriminals.

The discovery of millions of smartphones distributed with preinstalled Guerrilla malware underscores the urgent need for stronger security measures throughout the supply chain. Smartphone manufacturers must implement rigorous security checks to ensure that their devices are free from malware before they reach the market. Additionally, users should exercise caution when purchasing devices, opting for reputable sellers and performing regular security scans on their devices.

The battle against preinstalled malware requires collaboration between smartphone manufacturers, cybersecurity researchers, and law enforcement agencies. By sharing intelligence and implementing proactive measures, it is possible to mitigate the impact of this growing threat and protect users from the dangers of preinstalled malware.

Guerrilla spyware that comes preinstalled on millions of cellphones poses a serious threat to consumer security and privacy. Users, manufacturers, and the cybersecurity community must all exercise vigilance and be proactive in addressing this sneaky danger due to the clandestine nature of this malware. We can only protect our digital life and maintain the integrity of our cellphones by working together.

Lazarus Group's Deathnote Cluster: A Threat to the Defense Sector

The Lazarus Group, a well-known cybercriminal organization, has pivoted to the defense sector with its Deathnote cluster. The group has previously been linked to cryptocurrency attacks and other malicious activities. However, its latest move into the defense industry marks a significant shift in its operations.

According to reports, the Deathnote campaign began in 2020 and has been active ever since. The group has been using advanced tactics to infiltrate defense companies, particularly those involved in developing military technology. Once inside, the hackers have been stealing sensitive data and intellectual property.

The Lazarus Group's tactics have evolved significantly over the years. In the past, it has relied on spear-phishing attacks and other traditional methods of cyber espionage. However, it has now adopted more sophisticated techniques, such as the use of supply chain attacks and zero-day exploits.

The Deathnote cluster is particularly concerning because of its ability to evade detection. The group has been using a range of techniques to remain hidden, including the use of fake social media profiles and encrypted communication channels. This makes it extremely difficult for companies to identify and mitigate the threat.

One of the key vulnerabilities that the Lazarus Group has been exploiting is the lack of awareness among employees. Many of the attacks have been successful because of simple human error, such as the failure to follow basic security protocols. This highlights the importance of ongoing employee training and education in the fight against cybercrime.

The Lazarus Group's move into the defense sector is a worrying development that highlights the need for greater vigilance when it comes to cybersecurity. Companies must take a proactive approach to protect their systems and data, including using advanced security solutions and regular vulnerability assessments.

In conclusion, the Lazarus Group's Deathnote cluster represents a significant threat to the defense industry and beyond. Its evolving tactics and ability to remain hidden make it a formidable opponent in the fight against cybercrime. It is crucial that companies take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their customers from these types of attacks.

3CX Supply Chain Attack Compromised Cryptocurrency Companies


Some of the victims of the 3CX supply chain attack had their systems backdoored with Gopuram malware, with threat actors targeting cryptocurrency companies, particularly with this additional malicious payload. 

In a large-scale supply chain attack, North Korean threat actors known as Lazarus Group compromised VoIP communications company 3CX and infected the company's customers with trojanized versions of its Windows and macOS desktop apps. In this attack, the attackers substituted two DLLs used by the Windows desktop app with malicious versions that would download additional malware, such as an information-stealing trojan, to computers.

Since then, Kaspersky has encountered that the Gopuram backdoor, which has been used by the Lazarus hacking group against cryptocurrency companies since at least 2020, was also deployed as a second-stage payload into the systems of a small number of impacted 3CX customers in the same incident.

Gopuram is a modular backdoor that enables its operators to modify the Windows registry and services, perform file timestomping to avoid detection, inject payloads into already running processes, load unsigned Windows drivers using the open-source Kernel Driver Utility, and perform partial user management on infected devices via the net command.

"The discovery of the new Gopuram infections allowed us to attribute the 3CX campaign to the Lazarus threat actor with medium to high confidence. We believe that Gopuram is the main implant and the final payload in the attack chain," Kaspersky researchers said.

In March 2023, the attackers dropped a malevolent library (wlbsctrl.dll) and an encrypted shellcode payload (.TxR.0.regtrans-ms) on the systems of cryptocurrency companies impacted by the 3CX supply chain attack, raising the global number of Gopuram infections.
Kaspersky researchers discovered that the attackers used Gopuram with precision, implementing it on fewer than ten infected machines, implying that the attackers' motivation may be financial and focused on such businesses.

"As for the victims in our telemetry, installations of the infected 3CX software are located all over the world, with the highest infection figures observed in Brazil, Germany, Italy and France," Kaspersky experts added.

"As the Gopuram backdoor has been deployed to less than ten infected machines, it indicates that attackers used Gopuram with surgical precision. We additionally observed that the attackers have a specific interest in cryptocurrency companies."

3CX has confirmed that its 3CXDesktopApp Electron-based desktop client was compromised and infected with malware one day after news of the attack broke on March 29 and more than a week after multiple customers reported alerts that the software was being flagged as malicious by security software.

Customers are now advised to uninstall the Electron desktop app from all Windows and macOS systems (a script for mass uninstalling the app across networks is available here) and to use the progressive web application (PWA) Web Client App instead. A group of security researchers has created and released a web-based tool to determine whether a specific IP address has been impacted by the March 2023 supply chain attack against 3CX.

"Identification of potentially impacted parties is based on lists of IP addresses that were interacting with malicious infrastructure," the development team explains.

According to BleepingComputer, the threat actors behind the incident (now tracked as CVE-2023-29059) exploited a 10-year-old Windows vulnerability (CVE-2013-3900) to make it appear that the malicious DLLs used to drop additional payloads were legitimately signed.

The same flaw has been used to infect Windows computers with Zloader banking malware, which is capable of stealing user credentials and personal data. According to 3CX, its 3CX Phone System is used by over 600,000 businesses worldwide and has over 12 million daily users.

Customers include American Express, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Air France, IKEA, the United Kingdom's National Health Service, and several automakers, including BMW, Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz.

Supply Chain Attack Targets 3CX App: What You Need to Know

A recently discovered supply chain attack has targeted the 3CX desktop app, compromising the security of thousands of users. According to reports, the attackers exploited a 10-year-old Windows bug that had an opt-in fix to gain access to the 3CX software.

The attack was first reported by Bleeping Computer, which noted that the malware had been distributed through an update to the 3CX app. The malware allowed the attackers to steal sensitive data and execute arbitrary code on the affected systems.

As The Hacker News reported, the attack was highly targeted, with the attackers seeking to compromise specific organizations. The attack has been linked to the APT27 group, which is believed to have links to the Chinese government.

The 3CX app is widely used by businesses and organizations for VoIP communication, and the attack has raised concerns about the security of supply chains. As a TechTarget article pointed out, "Supply chain attacks have become a go-to tactic for cybercriminals seeking to gain access to highly secured environments."

The attack on the 3CX app serves as a reminder of the importance of supply chain security. As a cybersecurity expert, Dr. Kevin Curran noted, "Organizations must vet their suppliers and ensure that they are following secure coding practices."

The incident also highlights the importance of patch management, as the 10-year-old Windows bug exploited by the attackers had an opt-in fix. In this regard, Dr. Curran emphasized, "Organizations must ensure that all software and systems are regularly updated and patched to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited."

The supply chain attack on the 3CX app, in conclusion, serves as a clear reminder of the importance of strong supply chain security and efficient patch management. Organizations must be cautious and take preventive action to safeguard their systems and data as the possibility of supply chain assaults increases.

Netherlands Restricts Key Tech Exports in US-China Chip Battle

According to sources, the Netherlands government would impose export limits on the nation's most cutting-edge microprocessor technology in order to safeguard national security.

Products manufactured by ASML, a significant company in the worldwide semiconductor supply chain, will be subject to the embargo. China has filed a formal complaint about the action in response.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has put restrictions on semiconductor exports to its chief superpower rival in an effort to halt the development of cutting-edge technology that might be employed in military modernization and human rights abuses as geopolitical tensions between the US and China increase. The US has also pressed its international allies to follow suit.

The Dutch trade minister, Ms. Schreinemacher, said that the Dutch government had taken into account the technological changes and geopolitical environment, but did not specifically mention China or ASML. To export technology, including the most modern Deep Ultra Violet (DUV) immersion lithography and deposition, enterprises would now need to apply for licenses.

The firm stated that it "does not expect these steps to have a major impact on our financial projection that we have released for 2023 or for our longer-term scenarios as indicated during our Investor Day in November last year."

No matter where in the globe the chips were produced, Washington stated in October that it would want licenses from businesses exporting them to China using US equipment or software.

The US position on semiconductors has drawn criticism from South Korea's trade ministry this week. The South Korean government shall make it abundantly clear that the terms of the Chips Act may increase economic uncertainty, undermine companies' management and intellectual property rights, and lessen the allure of investing in the United States. 

Data Breached on Toyota Supplier Portal

Eaton Zveare, a US-based researcher proactively informed Toyota of the breach found in the Global Supplier Preparation Information Management System (GSPIMS) of the corporation.

According to Zveare, the problem stemmed from installing JWT, or JSON Web Token, authentication that could have given anyone with a working email address access to any account.

JWT is a session token that is created when a user logs onto a website and is used to verify the user's access to secure APIs or portions of the website. The automaker's web platform, known as GSPIMS, enables remote login and management of the company's global supply chain for employees and suppliers.

The researcher could predict an email address by scanning the internet for Toyota personnel who might be involved in the incident. Corporate Toyota email addresses are simple to guess because they use the format

Then, Zveare created a legitimate JWT using that email address and utilized it to access the GSPIMS. He used the same way to access a system administrator account he found after performing some portal reconnaissance.

The company avoided a potentially disastrous leak thanks to Zveare's effective disclosure practices, yet the reward for disclosing this vital issue was $0.Despite following the rules of disclosure and rescuing the company from a potentially disastrous leak, It acts as a strong deterrent to investing more time and energy in investigating the infrastructure security of Toyota, he adds. Due to this, similar, exploitable application weaknesses can go unnoticed—at least by 'white hat' researchers like Zveare.

An administrator of the GSPIMS system has access to private data such as secret documents, project schedules, vendor rankings, and customer data for 14,000 users. To allow this option, it appears that the code that creates the JWT based on email address was developed; nevertheless, this backdoor into the network was also created.

Supply Chain Attacks Induced More Data Breaches than Malware


As reported by the Identity Theft Resource Center, the first half of 2022 saw fewer compromises reported, owing in part to Russian-based cybercriminals being distracted by the war in Ukraine and volatility in cryptocurrency markets. 

However, data compromises rose substantially in the second half of 2022. The number of victims (422.1 million) has increased by 41.5% since 2021. For the sixth year in a row, the estimated number of data compromise victims fell in 11 of the 12 months of 2022. This trend was reversed when it was revealed that the personal information of 221 million Twitter users was available in illegal identity marketplaces. 

Other discoveries

Data breach alerts suddenly lacked details, putting individuals and businesses at risk and creating uncertainty about the number of data breaches and victims. In 2022, the most common type of cyberattack leading to a data breach was "not specified," followed by phishing and ransomware. 34% of data breach notices included information about the victim and the attack vector.

Cyberattacks continue to be the leading cause of data breaches. In 2022, the number of data breaches caused by supply chain attacks surpassed compromises caused by malware. Malware is frequently regarded as the heart of most cyberattacks. However, supply chain attacks outnumbered malware-based attacks by 40% in 2022.

According to the report, supply chain attacks targeting 1,743 entities affected more than 10 million people. In comparison, 4.3 million people were affected by 70 malware-based cyberattacks.
The good news about data compromises in 2022

The statistics for 2022 comprise some encouraging news. When compared to the previous high point in 2020, the number of data breaches and exposures linked to unprotected cloud databases decreased by 75% in 2022. Physical attacks also continued their multi-year decline, dropping to 46 out of 1,802 compromises.

“While we did not set a record for the number of data compromises in the U.S. last year, we came close,” said Eva Velasquez, CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Velasquez added, “These compromises impacted at least 422 million people. These numbers are only estimates because data breach notices are increasingly issued with less information. This has resulted in less reliable data that impairs consumers, businesses and government entities from making informed decisions about the risk of a data compromise and the actions to take if impacted by one. People are largely unable to protect themselves from the harmful effects of data compromises, fueling an epidemic – a “scamdemic” of identity fraud committed with compromised or stolen information.” 

SOCs Face Stern Test in 2023 as Hackers Target Governments and the Media


The number of incidents in the government and mass media segments will increase this year, according to Kaspersky research experts' predictions for challenges in Security Operation Centers (SOCs) in 2023. SOCs in these and other industries, as well as supply chain attacks via telecommunications providers, are likely to face more recurring targeted attacks. More initial compromises through public-facing applications will be another threat to SOCs. Data destruction may occur in organisations that are threatened by ransomware attacks. 

Repeated targeted attacks by state-sponsored hackers 

The average number of incidents in the mass media sector doubled from 263 in 2021 to 561 in 2022, according to Kaspersky experts. Numerous high-profile incidents occurred over the course of the past year, one of which was when Iranian state TV broadcasting was halted due to hacker activity while the nation was in the midst of protests. Similar DDoS attacks to those that occurred in the Czech Republic also targeted media outlets. Among the 13 other analysed segments, such as industrial, food, development, financial, and others, mass media emerged as the top target for cybercriminals, following the government sector, where the average number of incidents increased by 36% in 2022. 

2023 will see a continuation of this growth along with routine targeted attacks by state-sponsored actors. While this is typically relevant for governmental organisations, the mass media sector has come under increased attack during global conflicts that are frequently accompanied by information warfare and in which the media invariably play a significant role. 

“Large businesses and government agencies have always been targets of cybercriminals and state-sponsored actors, but geopolitical turbulence increased attackers’ motivations and enlivened hacktivism, which cybersecurity specialists have not regularly encountered until 2022,” stated Sergey Soldatov, head of security operation center (SOC) at Kaspersky. “The new wave of politically-motivated attacks is especially relevant for the government and mass media sectors. To effectively protect a company, it’s necessary to implement a comprehensive threat detection and remediation provided through Managed Detection and Response services.” 

Supply chain assault 

Attacks on telecommunications firms by perpetrators could lead to an increase in supply chain strikes in 2023. The telecom sector experienced a disproportionate number of high severity incidents in 2021 for the first time. Although the average proportion of high severity incidents decreased in 2022 (from 79 per 10,000 systems monitored in 2021 to about 12 in 2022), these businesses continue to be prime targets for cybercriminals. 

Ransomware destroyers 

In 2022, Kasperksy noticed a new ransomware trend that will persist in 2023: ransomware actors will both encrypt and destroy corporate data. This is pertinent to organisations that experience politically motivated attacks. More initial compromises through applications with a public facing pose a threat to SOCs. Compared to phishing, penetration from the perimeter requires less preparation, and outdated vulnerabilities are still available. 

Mitigation tips

Kaspersky researchers advise taking the following precautions to guard against the pertinent threats: 

  • Keep all of your devices' software updated to stop hackers from breaking into your network by taking advantage of flaws. Patches for fresh vulnerabilities should be applied as soon as possible. Threat actors are no longer able to exploit the vulnerability once it has been downloaded. 
  • High-profile attacks can be defended against with dedicated services. Before the intruders succeed in their objectives, the Kaspersky Managed Detection and Response service can assist in locating and stopping intrusions in their early stages. If an incident occurs, Kaspersky Incident Response service will assist you in responding and reducing the effects. In particular, locate the compromised nodes and safeguard the infrastructure from future intrusions. 
  • Utilize the most recent Threat Intelligence data to keep abreast of the TTPs that threat actors are actually employing. 
  • Select a trustworthy endpoint security product with behavior-based detection and anomaly control features, like Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business, for efficient defence against known and unknowable threats.

DoControl: Growing its SaaS Security Platform

DoControl offers an integrated, automated, and risk-aware SaaS Security Platform that protects apps and data which are essential to corporate operations promotes operational efficiency and boosts productivity. Protecting data and business-critical SaaS apps through automated remediation is DoControl's key strength.

DoControl's newest module adds shadow SaaS application identification, monitoring, and remediation to build on earlier advancements that target mission-critical use cases and better defend companies from SaaS supply chain assaults. By establishing machine identities that are frequently overprivileged, unapproved of, and unmonitored, SaaS application-to-application communication capabilities raise the risk. To address regulatory gaps and automatically close supply chain-based attack vectors, DoControl's SaaS Security Platform extension offers total control and transparency across all authorized and unauthorized SaaS apps.

One service platform that delivers unified security across various apps is required by the industry as a result of the rapid expansion of SaaS applications, the need to integrate them, or the economic pressures to integrate vendors. DoControl has established itself as the end-to-end SaaS security platform supplier, including CASB, DLP, Insider Risk, and Workflows, so now Shadow Apps enable security teams to accomplish more with less effort.

Extensive shadow application governance is aided by the DoControl SaaS Security Platform's expansion:

Facts and Awareness: All interlinked  SaaS applications within a company's estate can be found by organizations, both sanctioned and unsanctioned. Businesses can spot issues of non-compliance and comprehend the high-risk SaaS platforms, apps, or users vulnerable inside the SaaS estate with rigorous surveying and inventories.

Analyze and Operate: Utilizing pre-approval rules and workflows that demand end users present a business explanation for acquiring new apps, companies can conduct app reviews with business users. Security staff can also place suspect applications in quarantine, limit a user's access rights, and revoke such privileges.

Automated Cleanup: Organizations can automate the application of security policies throughout the entire SaaS application stack by using low-code/no-code solutions. Through automated patching of various threat vectors, DoControl's Security Workflows limit vulnerability brought on by third-party apps and stop unauthorized or high-risk app usage.

Data security is essential, but several systems lack the level of specificity and set of capabilities modern businesses require to secure sensitive data and operations, particularly in the intricate and linked world of SaaS apps. DoControl finds every SaaS user, partner company, asset, and metadata, as well as OAuth applications, groups, and activity events. Without hindering business enablement, DoControl helps to lower risk, prevent data breaches, and manage insider risk.

UK Issued New Cybersecurity Guidelines on Emerging Supply Chain Attacks

A surge in the number of instances has prompted cyber security experts to issue a fresh warning about the danger of supply chain hacks. Businesses have been advised by the UK's cybersecurity agency to take additional precautions against supply chain assaults. In response to what it claims to be a recent increase in supply chain threats, the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has produced fresh advice for enterprises.

Although the advice is applicable to businesses in all industries, it was released in collaboration with the Cross-Market Operational Resilience Group (CMORG), which promotes the enhancement of the operational resilience of the financial sector. The advice, which is intended to assist medium-sized and larger enterprises, evaluates the cyber risks of collaborating with suppliers and provides confirmation that mitigation techniques are in effect for vulnerabilities related to doing business with suppliers.

The 2020 hack on SolarWinds' software build system, the 2021 ransomware attack on Kaseya clients, and the 2017 NotPetya attack via a Ukraine accounting program are a few notable recent incidents. President Joe Biden of the United States issued an executive order to improve cybersecurity in response to SolarWinds.

In a document titled 'Defending the Pipeline' published by NCSC in February, the agency recommended businesses and programmers use continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) to automate software development. The CEO of NCSC ranked ransomware as the top cyber danger in October of last year, while also warning that supply chain concerns will persist for years.

The new guidance is assisted medium and bigger enterprises in "evaluating the cyber risks of collaborating with suppliers and gaining assurance that mitigations are in place," according to NCSC in an announcement.

According to the UK government's report on security breaches in 2022, more than half of companies, big and small, contract out their IT and cybersecurity needs to outside companies. However,  s evaluated the dangers posed by immediate suppliers. These respondents claimed that the importance of cybersecurity in procurement was low.

According to Ian McCormack, NCSC deputy director for government cyber resilience, supply chain attacks represents a significant cyber danger to organizations and incidents can have a significant, ongoing effect on companies and customers.

The advice is broken down into five stages that address why businesses should care about supply chain cybersecurity, how to identify and protect one's private data when developing an approach, how to apply the approach to new suppliers, how to apply it to contracts with current suppliers, and continuous improvement.

The US intelligence agency, NSA, released its software supply chain recommendations last month with a focus on developers. New standards for the purchase of software were also released in the same month by the US Office of Management and Budget.

Trojanized Comm100 Live Chat App Installer Distributed a JavaScript Backdoor

Cybersecurity platform CrowdStrike reported a supply chain attack that involved the use of a trojanized installer for the Comm100 Live Chat application to distribute a JavaScript backdoor. The application suffered an attack from 27 September to 29, 2022. 

Additionally, the malicious group actively attacked other sectors of the organizations with the same installer including the industrial, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications sectors, and insurance in North America and Europe. 

Canadian application Comm100 facilitates over 200,000 businesses with its customer service and communication products. With more than 15,000 clients, the Comm100 company offers chat and customer engagement applications to businesses in 51 countries. However, the company did not report anything on how many customers got affected by the attack. 

According to the Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, the malware was proliferated using a Comm100 installer that was downloadable from the company’s website. On September 26, the installer was signed with legitimate information on the Comm100 desktop agent app. 

“CrowdStrike Intelligence can confirm that the Microsoft Windows 7+ desktop agent hosted at hxxps[:]//dash11.comm100[.]io/livechat/electron/10000/Comm100LiveChat-Setup-win[.]exe that was available until the morning of September 29 was a trojanized installer.”, Crowdstrike confirmed. 

Also, a malicious loader DLL called MidlrtMd[.]dll has been used as part of the post-exploitation action. It starts an in-memory shellcode to inject an embedded payload into a new Notepad process (notepad[.]exe). The CrowdStrike believed that the China nexus threat actor is behind the attack because the group previously targeted several Asian online gambling organizations. 

“Furthermore, CrowdStrike Intelligence assesses with moderate confidence that this actor likely has a China nexus. This assessment is based on the presence of Chinese-language comments in the malware, the aforementioned tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and the connection to the targeting of online gambling entities in East and Southeast Asia — a previously established area of focus for China-nexus targeted intrusion actors”, CrowdStrike Intelligence customers reported.

Ransomware Exposed Stolen Data From Cisco on Dark Web

Yanluowang ransomware Gang has published Cisco Systems' stolen data on the dark web and following the data leak, Cisco confirmed that the data was stolen from its network during an intrusion that took place in May. 

Cisco Security Incident Response (CSIRT) conducted an investigation wherein it was found that the attackers acquired control of a personal Google account that had the credentials saved in the browser. The threat actors compromised these credentials to launch voice phishing attacks. The idea behind the attacks was to lure the targeted employee into accepting the MFA notification. 

Cisco revealed in a report published in August that the firm's networks had been infiltrated by the Yanluowang ransomware after hackers gained access to an employee's VPN account. The company further asserted that the only information taken was employee login information from Active Directory and non-sensitive files saved in a Box account.

Once the threat actors obtained the employee's Cisco credentials, the hackers employed social engineering and other techniques to get beyond multi-factor authentication (MFA) and gather more data.

After gaining initial access, the hackers registered a list of new devices for MFA, authenticated effectively to the Cisco VPN, and dropped multiple tools in the victim network including RATs such as LogMeIn, TeamViewer, Cobalt Strike, PowerSploit, Mimikatz, and Impacket, as per Security Affairs. 

Over the weekend, Cisco said in an update that "the content of these files matched what we have detected and released.  We continue to see no effect on the business, including Cisco goods or services, confidential customer data or sensitive employee data, copyrights, or supply chain activities, which is consistent with our previous examination of this incident."

The researchers at the cybersecurity firm eSentire linked Yanluowang with "Evil Corp" (UNC2165), the Lapsus$ gang, and FiveHands malware (UNC2447).

The hacked Google account of an employee that had enabled password synchronization through Google Chrome and saved their Cisco details in the browser allowed the thieves to initially access the Cisco VPN.

The leader of Yanluowang ransomware told BleepingComputer that they had stolen thousands of files totaling 55GB from a cache that contained sensitive information including technical schematics and source code. The hacker did not offer any evidence. The only thing they provided was a screenshot showing access to what seemed like a development system. 

Erich Kron, security awareness advocate at security awareness training company KnowBe4 implies that it goes unsaid that Cisco decided against paying the ransom demanded by the ransomware group, which resulted in the stolen data being posted. 

JuiceLedger Attacker Linked to Phishing Attacks Targeting PyPI Users


Threat analysts at SentinelOne and Checkmarx have unearthed the hacker behind the recently launched phishing attacks targeting Python Package Index (PyPI) users. 

Earlier this week on Thursday, researchers disclosed that the supply chain attacks were part of a larger campaign aimed at spreading the JuiceStealer credential-stealing malware since late last year. 

Initially, JuiceStealer was deployed via a methodology called typosquatting, in which the hacker tracked as JuiceLedger injected PyPI with hundreds of packages that nearly impersonated the names of popular ones, in the hopes that some users would fall into a trap and install them. 

The malware was identified on VirusTotal in February when the hacker submitted a Python app that secretly installed the malware. JuiceStealer is developed using the .Net programming framework to steal sensitive data from victims’ browsers. Based on the data extracted from the code, the researchers have linked the malware to activity that started in late 2021 and has evolved rapidly since then. One likely connection is to Nowblox, a fraud site that claimed to offer free Robux, the online currency for the game Roblox. 

Recently, the hacker started employing crypto-themed fake apps such as the Tesla Trading bot, which was deployed in zip files accompanying additional legitimate software. 

"JuiceLedger appears to have evolved very quickly from opportunistic, small-scale infections only a few months ago to conducting a supply chain attack on a major software distributor," the researchers wrote in a post. "The escalation in complexity in the attack on PyPI contributors, involving a targeted phishing campaign, hundreds of typosquatting packages, and account takeovers of trusted developers, indicates that the threat actor has time and resources at their disposal." 

With account takeover attacks becoming a popular technique for hackers looking to exploit software supply chains, PyPI has started imposing a mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) requirement for projects deemed "critical." People downloading packages from PyPI—or any other open-source repository—should remain vigilant to ensure the software they're downloading is authentic. 

PyPI is by far not the sole code repository that threat actors have exploited recently. Security vendors have reported multiple identical attack incidents involving other widely employed registries such as npm and Maven Central. 

“Given the widespread use of PyPI and other open source packages in enterprise environments, attacks such as these are a cause of concern, and security teams are urged to review the provided indicators and take appropriate mitigation measures,” researchers added.

Over 130 Organizations Targeted in Okta Phishing Campaign

In a single phishing attempt, the hackers behind a number of recent attacks, such as those targeting Twilio, Cloudfare, MailChimp, and Klaviyo, infiltrated over 130 firms.

Through this phishing attack, 9,931 login credentials were stolen using a phishing kit with the codename "0ktapus," which the hackers then used to log into business networks and systems using VPNs and other remote access tools.

Because the primary intent of the assaults was to "get Okta identity credentials and two-factor authentication (2FA) codes from users of the targeted organizations," the conduct has been denounced by Group-IB.

The Singapore-based corporation said that the opponent sought out employees of businesses that use Okta, a provider of identity services, and praised the attacks for being well-planned and carried out. With the help of the identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) platform Okta, employees may access all of their company's software with just one login. 

The phrases "OKTA," "HELP," "VPN," and "SSO" were used in 169 different phishing domains that supported the 0ktapus campaign.  

In addition, customers who used these services, such as Signal, and DigitalOcean, became the target of supply-chain attacks as a result of these breaches.

The threat actors targeted businesses in a variety of areas, including bitcoin, technology, banking, and recruiting, based on the phishing domains built as part of this effort.

These login credentials were then utilized by the hackers to log into internal customer support systems, corporate networks, and VPNs in order to steal consumer data. As earlier witnessed with DigitalOcean and Signal, subsequent supply-chain hacks were carried out using this customer data.

The hacked information was disseminated over a Telegram channel via the phishing kit employed in this effort. One of the channel administrators who went by the handle "X" was connected by the experts to a Twitter and GitHub account, which suggests the person may be based in North Carolina, US.

Threat actors frequently targeted data belonging to organizations in the bitcoin industry, according to revelations from previous victims.

According to Group-IB, the hackers were able to steal 5,441 records with MFA codes, 3,129 data with emails, and 9,931 records with user credentials from 136 businesses, with the mass of the targeted businesses being based in the United States.

Third-party Attacks: Hacker's Exploit Software Networks

Third-party incursions are yet another reminder of how fast and widely supply-chain assaults may spread, as seen most recently at Twilio and Mailchimp.

All of these cases have one thing in common – they were service supply chain assaults, which are intrusions in which the attackers used access granted to third-party services as a backdoor into the target companies' critical core systems.

Hackers pay attention and return for more when an attack on one institution opens the door for prospective strikes on many more. Attacks involving phishing and social engineering are frequently used to acquire unauthorized access.

This amplification effect has led to an increase in attacks by third-party vendors. Hackers now have a way to reach more targets more reliably and successfully due to the level of access or data that is potentially exposed throughout the supply chain.

Companies are rapidly incorporating third-party apps into the fabric of their enterprise IT as digitalization and the rise in cloud-based, remote, or hybrid work progress to boost productivity and streamline business procedures. These linked apps increase productivity across the board, which is why they have gained so much attention recently. 

Twilio suffered a phishing assault that affected 125 customers, resulting in the exposure of 1,900 Signal users' phone numbers and verification credentials. DigitalOcean was one of 214 accounts impacted by the vulnerability of Mailchimp's internal tooling caused by social engineering assaults.

The firm wants to implement new technologies to increase automation and productivity, but security and IT teams are becoming more underfunded and overworked. Traditional third-party review procedures and security governance models are under pressure due to the quick expansion of new integrations between third-party cloud apps and core systems, which is overwhelming IT and security teams and ultimately leading to the creation of a new, expansive, largely unmonitored attack surface.

Similar supply chain attacks will inevitably continue to take place if these integrations spread without adequate comprehension and mitigation of the specific vulnerabilities they bring. In fact, 93% of businesses in 2021 had a cybersecurity compromise of some type as a result of unreliable third parties or weak supply chains. 

Email Threat Report for 2022 via Abnormal Security

The premier AI-based cloud-native email security platform, Abnormal Security, today published its H2 2022 Email Threat Report. The study examines the state of the email threat landscape. It provides data on the most recent events in email attack methods, such as the emergence of brand impersonation in credential phishing and the expansion of business email compromise.

According to the report, email attacks have increased by 48% in the last six months, and 68.5% of them have links that steal credentials. In 15% of phishing emails, fraudsters impersonated well-known companies in addition to internal staff and executives, relying on the familiarity and goodwill of the brands to persuade employees to divulge their login information. Microsoft items and social networks were the two 265 brands that were most frequently impersonated in these attacks.

"Most cybercrime nowadays is successful because it preys on the individuals using the computer. By compromising individuals rather than networks, attackers may more easily get beyond standard security precautions" stated Crane Hassold, head of threat intelligence at Abnormal Security.

LinkedIn was perhaps the most frequently impersonated brand, although 20% of all attacks also included Outlook, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365. Since employee email accounts are frequently hacked through phishing emails, these attacks are hazardous. By gaining Microsoft login information, fraudsters can gain access to the entire range of linked goods, access sensitive information, and use the account to launch business email compromise attacks. 

Findings from the report entail:
  • The target of more than a third of brand-impersonation-based credential phishing attacks was a school or a place of worship.
  • BEC attacks rose by 150% year over year, proving the growing risk of these truly severe threats to financial stability. 
  • BEC attacks target every area, but advertising and marketing organizations continue to be the most vulnerable, with an 83% weekly chance of being the target.
  • Nearly every level of business is being targeted by financial supply chain hacks, with 89% of major enterprises experiencing at least one vendor assault each week.
"We generally understand that email attacks target businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, but these findings just serve to confirm our suspicions. Since the most sophisticated attacks are very difficult to distinguish from a genuine email from that brand, brand impersonation is particularly concerning for cybersecurity leaders," according to Mike Britton, a chief information security officer at Abnormal Security.

Abnormal Security has also introduced Abnormal Intelligence, a research and data hub devoted to offering insight into emerging new threats across the threat landscape, in support of its objective to shield enterprises from cybercrime. 

This portal, which showcases some of the most inventive assaults targeting Abnormal consumers, is made to assist firms in staying informed of new trends and attacks. The website offers threat intelligence content in the form of blog entries, downloadable materials, and webinars in addition to the daily feed of actual attacks. 

GitHub Supply Chain Attack Cloned Thousands of Repositories to Target Developers


GitHub, a code repository with more than 83 million developers, has been targeted in a supply chain attack.

The attack was unearthed earlier this week by software developer Stephen Lacy and involved a hacker cloning and adding malicious code to more than 35,000 GitHub repositories while keeping intact the code’s original source code. Nearly 40 percent (13,000) of the repositories compromised originated from a single organization, called “redhat-operator-ecosystem” on the site, a spoof of the RedHat openshift ecosystem. 

The cloned projects attempted to lure users to click on them by spoofing genuine user accounts, using names identical to the original project and legitimate-sounding firm names. 

The malicious code allowed the repositories to exfiltrate the environment variables containing sensitive data like Amazon AWS credentials, API keys, crypto keys, and a one-line backdoor. The malware also allowed remote hackers to execute arbitrary code on those systems that install/run the clones. 

The weaponized code could lead to developers accidentally downloading cloned code repositories that contain malicious code. If used in their applications, this would then lead them to expose their users to code that includes malware. 

Fortunately, Lacy thwarted the attack by removing the affected projects and organizations including Golang, Bash, Python, Docker, JavaScript, and Kubernetes. GitHub confirmed that the original repositories weren’t compromised, and the clones have been quarantined and cleaned. 

According to security experts, cloning open-source code is common among developers. But, in this case, the hackers injected malicious code/links into genuine GitHub projects to target innocent users.

The methodology applied by hackers is identical to the approach unearthed by ReversingLabs last month, where typo-squatting packages were being picked up by GitHub-owned NPM, and then exfiltrated data from forms designed with the malicious packages. 

Additionally, the researchers identified more than two dozen infected packages, all cloning popular NPM packages, stretching back to December 2021. 

Thwarting supply chain attacks 

 GitHub has issued an advisory for guarding the code supply chain on its website. 

• For accounts employed for personal use as well as those used by organizations and enterprises, set up two-factor authentication. 
• Connect to GitHub using secure socket shell (SSH) keys. 
• For enterprises, centralize user authentication. 
• Design a vulnerability management program for dependencies which will allow them to have full visibility over any vulnerabilities the code they are using has. 
• Avoid using passwords or API keys within the source code. 
• Block vulnerable coding patterns by reviewing and examining all pull requests before merging.

Solana Funds Breached via Unknown Bug

After customers complained about their funds being stolen, Solana, a blockchain that is growing in popularity for its quick transactions, became the subject of the most recent breach in the cryptocurrency world.

The platform has launched an inquiry and is currently attempting to ascertain how the hackers were able to steal the money. 

What is SOL?

The value of Solana's stake, dropped by 7% to $38.4 in the past day, marking its lowest level in a week.

Solana is an open-source project that relies on the permissionlessness of blockchain technology to offer decentralized financial (DeFi) solutions. According to CoinGecko, end-user applications in the Solana ecosystem include non-fungible tokens (NFT), marketplaces, gaming, e-commerce, and decentralized finance (DeFi).

According to CoinGecko, Solana is one of the top 10 cryptocurrency assets in terms of market value, although its value has fallen significantly from its all-time high of $259.96 reached in November 2021.

The primary reason for the breach

The security problem appears to have affected more than 8,000 wallets, depleting them of their SOL tokens and USDC stablecoins, according to Changpeng  Zhao, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

A blockchain consulting firm called Elliptic stated that the attack started on August 2 and has already resulted in the data theft of $5.8 million for its clients. The Solana cryptocurrency, and non-fungible tokens, as per the report, were among the stolen goods.

Elliptic noted that the issue didn't seem to be with the blockchain core, the digital ledger of transactions that serves as the foundation of cryptocurrency assets, but rather with software utilized by such wallets.

Phantom, Slope, and TrustWallet are among the other wallets that have been compromised by the hack.

Several blockchain security experts believe that a supply chain attack, a browser zero-day vulnerability, or a flawed random number generator used during the key generation process might have been leveraged to access such a huge number of private keys.

Attack Against NPM Software Supply Chain Unearthed


Iconburst's most recent attack is described as a massive and well-planned effort to spread malicious Javascript packages distributed through the open-source NPM package system.

Upon further analysis, evidence of a planned supply chain assault was found, with numerous NPM packages containing jQuery scripts created to steal data from deployed apps that use them, as per researchers.

ReversingLabs noted that the malicious packages we identified are probably used by hundreds or thousands of downstream mobile and desktop programs as well as websites, even if the full scope of this assault is still unknown. In one instance, malicious software had been downloaded more than 17,000 times.

Obfuscation used 

The firm said that its analysis of the modules had found signs of coordination, with malicious modules linked to a select group of NPM publishers and recurrent patterns in the infrastructure that supported them, such as unencrypted domains.

“The revelation of a javascript obfuscator was the first trigger for our team to examine a broad variety of NPM packages, the majority of which had been released within the previous two months and utilized the stated obfuscator. It revealed more than 20 NPM packages in total. When these NPM modules are examined in greater detail, it becomes clear that they are associated with one of a small number of NPM accounts with names like ionic-io, arpanrizki, kbrstore, and aselole,” according to ReversingLabs. 

Meanwhile, Checkmarx said, "Roughly a thousand unique user accounts released over 1200 NPM packages to the registry, which we found. Automation was used, which allowed for the successful completion of the NPM 2FA challenge. At this moment, this collection of packages appears to be a part of an attacker's testing." 

Obfuscated malware data theft 

The de-obfuscated examples underwent a thorough analysis, which showed that every one of them collects form data using jQuery Ajax methods and subsequently exploits that data to different domains controlled by malevolent writers.

To exfiltrate serialized form data to domains under the attacker's control, the malicious packages employ a modified script that extends the functionality of the jQuery ajax() function. The function verifies the URL content before transmitting the data to carry out target filtering checks. 

Attack on supply chain 

The NPM modules which ReversingLabs found have been downloaded more than 27,000 times in total. The attacks occurred for months before coming to attention because very few development firms can identify malicious software within open source libraries and modules.

"It is certain from the report of this study that software development businesses and their clients both require new tools and procedures for evaluating supply chain risks, such as those posed by these malicious NPM packages," researchers told.

"Applications and services are only as secure as their weakest component due to the decentralized and modular nature of application development. The attack's success—more than two dozen malicious modules were made available for download on a well-known package repository, and one of them received 17,000 downloads in just a few weeks—underscores the lax standards for application development and the low barriers that prevent malicious or even vulnerable code from exploiting IT environments and sensitive applications," ReversingLabs further added.

NIST Seeking Feedback for a New Cybersecurity Framework and Supply Chain Guidance


Addressing the SolarWinds disaster and other major third-party assaults targeting vital infrastructure, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is due to publish advice for securing organizations against supply chain breaches. [Special Publication 800-161] is the most important cybersecurity supply chain risk management guidance.' Angela Smith of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stated. 

Angela Smith of the NIST talked at an Atlantic Council session on Tuesday about initiatives to protect information and communications technology supply chains. The first big revised version will be released by the end of next week, so stay tuned if you haven't already reviewed some of the public drafts. 

The NIST upgrade comes as the Biden administration tries to use the government's procurement power to prod contractors such as IT management firm SolarWinds and other software vendors to improve the security of their environments. 

Vendors of the underlying information and communications technology are pitching in and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency consider expanding private-sector partnerships and taking a more comprehensive approach to tackling dangers to critical infrastructure. 

Future guidelines on trying to manage cybersecurity risks that emerge through the supply chain, according to Smith, would focus more on actions for providers along the chain to address, in addition to the upcoming change. The current literature on the subject has been centered on the organizations' responsibilities for integrating supply-chain aspects into existing surroundings. 

The previous draft version, R2, which was released in October 2021, had a new appendix, Appendix F, which gave implementation assistance for Executive Order 14028 to government agencies. Following NIST's February 4, 2022, Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) Recommendations, the SP 800-161 release scheduled for next week is likely to deliver more EO 14028 guidance.

The CSF was last updated by NIST in 2018. "There is no single reason causing this transition, This is a scheduled upgrade to keep the CSF current and consistent with other regularly used tools," said Kevin Stine, Chief Cybersecurity Advisor at the NIST. NIST is seeking public input on three primary topics to help guide the revision: revisions to the CSF itself, relationships and alignment between the CSF and other resources, and approaches to improve supply chain cybersecurity. President Barack Obama directed NIST to develop the CSF and directed federal agencies to use it, as well as advising the private sector to do so.

NIST should give a definition for an agency to "use" the framework, and agencies should furnish NIST with cybersecurity risk documents developed and used to comply with this requirement. For enterprises that are utilizing or considering adopting the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, seeing how it is used by US government entities would be extremely beneficial.