‘Lone Wolf’ Hacker Group Focusing on Afghanistan and India with Commodity RATs

A brand new malware marketing campaign concentrating on Afghanistan and India is exploiting a now-patched, 20-year-old flaw affecting Microsoft Workplace to deploy an array of commodity distant entry trojans (RATs) that enable the adversary to realize full management over the compromised endpoints.

Cisco Talos attributed the cyber marketing campaign to a “lone wolf” risk actor working a Lahore-based faux IT firm known as Bunse Applied sciences as a entrance to hold out the malicious actions, whereas additionally having a historical past of sharing content material that is in favor of Pakistan and Taliban courting all the best way again to 2016.

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The assaults work by benefiting from political and government-themed lure domains that host the malware payloads, with the an infection chains leveraging weaponized RTF paperwork and PowerShell scripts that distribute malware to victims. Particularly, the laced RTF recordsdata had been discovered exploiting CVE-2017-11882 to execute a PowerShell command that is chargeable for deploying further malware to conduct reconnaissance on the machine.

CVE-2017-11882 considerations a reminiscence corruption vulnerability that may very well be abused to run arbitrary code The flaw, which is believed to have existed since 2000, was finally addressed by Microsoft as a part of its Patch Tuesday updates for November 2017.

The recon section is adopted by an analogous assault chain that makes use of the aforementioned vulnerability to run a collection of directions that culminates within the set up of commodity malware equivalent to DcRAT, and QuasarRAT that include quite a lot of functionalities proper out of the field together with distant shells, course of administration, file administration, keylogging, and credential theft, thus requiring minimal efforts on a part of the attacker.

Additionally noticed in the course of the cybercrime operation was a browser credential stealer for Courageous, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Opera GX, and Yandex Browser.

“This marketing campaign is a traditional instance of a person risk actor using political, humanitarian and diplomatic themes in a marketing campaign to ship commodity malware to victims,” the researchers mentioned. Commodity RAT households are more and more being utilized by each crimeware and APT teams to contaminate their targets. These households additionally act as wonderful launch pads for deploying further malware towards their victims.”

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