Category Archives: Virus & Malware

A retrospective album of BlackEnergy – Feb 2020

Somewhere in time. This is 2015 – BlackEnergy2 exists in the form of a kernel-mode driver, which makes it harder for network administrators to discover the compromise. Black energy Group will mimics their custom tool(driver) thus made to look like a normal Windows component. They are interested in infecting Windows servers especially OPC server. But Microsoft implemented a driver signing policy in order to avoid loading unsigned driver. This feature is enabled on 64 bits versions of Windows systems.

Synopsis: In normal circumstances, activate the function of the cyber espionage and information destruction attack features needed to be rebooted in order to start the mimics driver. Even though black energy do not have exception.This unplanned reboot of the Windows server could raise suspicion. To solve the reboot issue, the attackers started to use a tool called DSEFix (an open-source tool that exploits CVE-2008-3431, a vulnerability in the legitimate VirtualBox driver), in order to disable the driver signature check. The attackers will made a custom version of DSEFix that also modifies boot configuration data (BCD) in order to enable TESTSIGNING mode.

What is TESTSIGNING mode: By default, Windows does not load test-signed kernel-mode drivers. To change this behavior and enable test-signed drivers to load, use the boot configuration data editor, BCDEdit.exe, to enable or disable TESTSIGNING, a boot configuration option. You must have Administrator rights to enable this option.

Those cyber criminal will focusing the OPC server.Because the OPC client uses the OPC server to get data from or send commands to the hardware.

Will it happen today? The elaborate email subject and content presents challenges for traditional security tools, because it is designed specifically to evade detection.

Hacker exploit Coronavirus Crisis, send scam email to different industries – 18th Feb 2020

Synopsis:

a. Attackers disguise their scam email as an official (WHO) alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control Health Alert Network. (Targeting individuals from the United States and the United Kingdom)

b. Attackers disguise their scam email as an alert of Coronavirus status, they are target to shipping industry.

Description: About the attack to shipping industry – Hacker exploit the vulnerability of CVE 2017-11882, perhaps they found that the patch management on the boat not enforce in frequent. And therefore the attack explicitly target shipping industry. About the attack to individuals from the United States and the United Kingdom – WHO urge that if anyone see similar type of scam email. Report to WHO – https://www.who.int/about/report_scam/en/

The slogan – Do not rush to open a URL or open a email. Take care.

HKMA alerting public of the hsbc phishing email – 6th Feb 2020

Preface: Not the first time heard that cyber criminals mimics email from bank to hunting the victims.

Historical record: HSBC’s “Payment Notification” malware email was discovered in 2018.
These emails are designed to confuse people’s vigilance and use the HSBC brand name to reduce the defensive awareness of email recipients. An “auto-generated” email suggests that you open an attachment to view the payment proposal document.
If you open the attached Microsoft word file, you will be prompted to enable macros. If you do allow, a malicious macro will run in the background, The macro will download and install malware on your computer. I believed that cyber criminals hunting the mobile phone users this round.

Staying alert: For more details, please refer to official announcement for reference. https://www.about.hsbc.com.hk/-/media/hong-kong/en/news-and-media/200205-website-hsbc-warns-against-phishing-email-eng-20200205.pdf

looking back the malware evolutionary at 2019

Preface: Unlike C, C++ is an object-oriented programming language, following a programming model that uses objects that contain data as well as functions to manipulate the data. Word is an object-oriented program.

Security focus: The malware author usually exploit some kind of arbitrary code execution or zero day. And therefore it have chances to evade the anti-defense mechanism detection.
The reason behind is that before reassemble of the modules, it do not take any action. But perhaps you have doubt?
How do they get another module? In modern defense technology, the machanism of the malware detector will be based on blacklist domain for the first piority. If attacker compromise a web site not included in domain blacklist. So, when download other module by http or https traffic might not detected by defense machanism. As a matter of fact, the http get and put action are frequently happens in our internet web browsing. Therefore you will understand that why does cyber criminals target to compromising a boutique shop style web site and social media. It was because the web sites still in white list before compromise.

Should you have interested to know more. F5 Lab has article for your reference. A Reference Guide to the Malware Family Tree – https://www.f5.com/labs/articles/education/banking-trojans-a-reference-guide-to-the-malware-family-tree

Analysis Reports by US Homeland Security – Legitimate open source remote administration tool re-engineer by threat actor as APT way of attack – Dec 2018

Preface: Quasar, a legitimate open-source remote administration tool. It is a fast and light-weight remote administration tool coded in C#.

Background: APT actors have adapted Quasar and created modified minor (1.3.4.0) and major (2.0.0.0 and 2.0.0.1) versions. Since the re-engineering Quasar client will be mimics a Mozilla Firefox 48 browser running on Windows 8.1 or mimics an Apple Safari 7.0.3 browser running on Mac OS X 10.9.3 in order to evade IDS monitoring. However there are way lets security operation center find their fingerprint. The distinctive first 4 bytes of the payload can be used to identify Quasar traffic.

As a result, below analytic way can be enforce the detective control:
Signature 1: TCP Payload Size Tracking

Signature 2: IP Lookup User-Agent String, HyperText Transfer Protocol Header Host, and HyperText Transfer Protocol Header URI

Signature 3: Hidden HTTP Request User-Agent String and Time-to-Live

More details can be found below url: https://unit42.paloaltonetworks.com/unit42-downeks-and-quasar-rat-used-in-recent-targeted-attacks-against-governments/

Unknown APT reference number ? Suspect that it targeting Advantech WebAccess/SCADA customer

 

Advantech, a leader within the IPC global market. Advantech offers a comprehensive IPC product range that delivers reliability and stability for extreme environments, providing its customers with a one-stop shopping experience implementing Industry 4.0 and fulfilling their Industrial IoT needs.

IoT and SCADA are the APT (Advanced Persistent threat) targeting devices so far. Meanwhile this type of manufacturer will be lured attacker interest. Regarding to the technical details, please refer below url for reference.

https://www.eset.com/int/greyenergy-exposed/

So, It is possible to make people predict the attack may targeting Advantech customer.

Factor:
In Advantech WebAccess/SCADA versions prior to V8.2_20170817.
WebAccess/SCADA does not properly sanitize its inputs for SQL commands.

Synopsis:
Chosen with servers that have a high uptime, where reboots and patch management are rare.
In order to mislead people, threat actor will use the vendor official server cert to conducting data exfiltration.
Since malware alive and therefore C&C server is able to conduct hacker job task (exploit the SQL vulnerability).

Should you have interest to know the specifics vulnerabilities. Please refer below hyperlink for reference.

Advantech WebAccess/SCADA – CVE-2018-5443 – CVE-2018-5445

Five publicly available tools, which have been used for malicious purposes – Oct 2018

US-Cert urge that there are total five publicly available tools, which have been used for malicious purposes in recent cyber incidents around the world (see below):

Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost
Webshell: China Chopper
Credential Stealer: Mimikatz
Lateral Movement Framework: PowerShell Empire
C2 Obfuscation and Exfiltration: HUC Packet Transmitter

RSA found a malware in 2017 and explore remote access Trojan (RAT) feature with advanced invisible feature.

In this short discussion, I am going to focus the RAT (JBiFrost). Adzok is famous in dark web.

We seen malware exploits the Java archives.

A JAR (Java archive) is a package file format. It can be used as Java library or as standalone application. He is easy to change the shape to evade the detection.

Adzok proviced free download version. Some antivirus vendor already has defensive to avoid the infiltration.

Friendly reminder that still have some vendor do not have this malware signature.

2nd Oct 2018 – Homeland security alert (Retail payment system security advisory)

US Homeland security urge banking industry especially payment gateway services provider staying alert of new round of malicious cyber attack of their system. Similar of cyber attack was happened in Taiwan. The heist draw the cash equal to $2.6m (£2.1m). Homeland security reveal how the technique let ATM machine like human vomiting. But this is the bank note. You and me like it.

The key item of this attack is prioritize to compromise the switching application server.  Then malicious applications generate a counterfeit response message using GenerateResponseTransaction1() or GenerateResponseTransaction2() function to response to the acquire with a counterfeit response message and drops the request before the payment switch application processes the message. As a result it fool the issuer with no knowledge of the transaction. Should you have interest of above details, please refer to below URL:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-275A

20th Jul 2018 – Win32/Emotet return again!

Strange! A Trojan (Win32/Emotet) found on 2014. It  looks that similar of cyber attack comes again.

Published Jul 23, 2014 (Trojan:Win32/Emotet) – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wdsi/threats/malware-encyclopedia-description?Name=Trojan:Win32/Emotet

This threat can steal your personal information, including your banking user names and passwords. It is usually installed when you open a spam email attachment or click on a malicious link in a PDF. But it includes Microsoft word processing document this time. Stay alert!

Defending the Power Grid From Hackers – Jul 2018

Cyber defense facilities today are very strong and effecive to fight against different of cyber attacks. Even though stealer deploy DNS steal technique to exfiltrate the data from a firm. Anti cyber technology have their way to quarantine and deny such activities. Perhaps you said the IoT devices attack that wreaked hovac worldwide. It is hard to avoid. But it still have resolution. Cyber security vendor deploy network discover facitiles. No matter Dot one X or non Dot one X devices they can find. So it looks perfect, no any concern any more. But why we still have cyber attack incident happens today?

The Next Cyber Battleground

Sound scary! The Next Cyber Battleground
Expert predict that digital infrastructure is the high target to receive cyber attack. That is even through smart City, manufacturing automation, geospatial data system,..etc.

Some experts believe cyber incidents go underreported in the nuclear sector. The reason is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission only requires the reporting of incidents that affect the safety, security functions, or emergency preparedness of the plant. May be it do not want to caused a public panic.

We heard cyber attack to SCADA in frequent. Whether SCADA contains design weakness or there is other factor?

The SCADA Data Gateway (SDG) is a Windows™ application used by System Integrators and Utilities to collect data from OPC, IEC 60870-6 (TASE.2/ICCP), IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5, DNP3, or Modbus Server/Slave devices and then supplies this data to other control systems supporting OPC, IEC 60870-6 (TASE.2/ICCP) Client, IEC 60870-5, DNP3, and/or Modbus Client/Master communication protocols.

The core component supporting SCADA infrastructure build by Microsoft products in common. And therefore the attack surface will be divided in several ways. We understand that Nuclear facilties do not provided any public web portal. So direct attacks looks not possible. However Microsoft office products has full market coverage in the world. It is rare that people not using MS-Word for word processing work, right? As a matter of fact, hacker now transform MS office product become a cyber attack media. They re-use former MS office vulnerabilities. It has possibilities execute the Infiltration. From technical point of view, even though attacker send out the RTF format of file. It is also workable.

Remark: RTF is a text file format used by Microsoft products, such as Word and Office. RTF, or Rich Text Format, files were developed by Microsoft in 1987 for use in their products and for cross-platform document interchange. RTF is readable by most word processors.

Quote:

Hackers are using Microsoft Word documents (or more specifically, RTF files listed with a “.doc” extension) to trick people into opening the files.

On this discussion objective, I am not going to drill into any technical details. But our aim would like to provides hints see whether it can enrich the security awareness.
Below details common bad mailicious MS-word documents checklist for reference.

722154A36F32BA10E98020A8AD758A7A MD5 FILENAME:CV Controls Engineer.docx
243511A51088D57E6DF08D5EF52D5499 MD5 FILENAME:CV Control Engeneer.docx
277256F905D7CB07CDCD096CECC27E76 MD5 FILENAME:CV Jon Patrick.docx
4909DB36F71106379832C8CA57BA5BE8 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer.docx
4E4E9AAC289F1C55E50227E2DE66463B MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer.docx
5C6A887A91B18289A70BDD29CC86EBDB MD5 FILENAME:High R-Value Energy.docx
6C3C58F168E883AF1294BBCEA33B03E6 MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
78E90308FF107CE38089DFF16A929431 MD5 FILENAME:CV Jon Patrick.docx
90514DEE65CAF923E829F1E0094D2585 MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
C1529353E33FD3C0D2802BB558414F11 MD5 FILENAME:Build Hydroelectric Turbine.docx
CDA0B7FBDBDCEF1777657182A504283D MD5 FILENAME:Resume_Key_And_Personal.docx
DDE2A6AC540643E2428976B778C43D39 MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
E9A906082DF6383AA8D5DE60F6EF830E MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
038A97B4E2F37F34B255F0643E49FC9D MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (2).docx
31008DE622CA9526F5F4A1DD3F16F4EA MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (4).docx
5ACC56C93C5BA1318DD2FA9C3509D60B MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (7).docx
65A1A73253F04354886F375B59550B46 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (3).docx
8341E48A6B91750D99A8295C97FD55D5 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (5).docx
99AA0D0ECEEFCE4C0856532181B449B1 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (8).docx
A6D36749EEBBBC51B552E5803ED1FD58 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineeer.docx
3C432A21CFD05F976AF8C47A007928F7 MD5 FILENAME:Report03-23-2017.docx
34A11F3D68FD6CDEF04B6DF17BBE8F4D MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
141E78D16456A072C9697454FC6D5F58 MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
BFA54CCC770DCCE8FD4929B7C1176470 MD5 FILENAME:invite.docx
848775BAB0801E5BB15B33FA4FCA573C MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer.docx
MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
MD5 FILENAME:invite.docx

Happy hunting – bye!