While going through emails that were reported by our internal users using Reporter, I came across a particularly nasty looking phishing email that had a .doc attachment. At first when I detonated the sample in my VM, it seemed that the attackers weaponized the attachment incorrectly. After extracting and decoding the shellcode, I discovered a familiar piece of malware that has been used for some time. [Read more…]
When attackers decide to password protect something, it can be very frustrating as an analyst, because we are often left with few options to find out what they are protecting. If this happens, we can always try to straight up brute force the password, but unless the attackers use something like 1q2w3e4r, we’re up a creek without an oar. If it’s an MD5 hash of a password, we have many more options to crack it. In the case of xls files, we have the option to essentially “wipe out” the password and give it our own password. In a recent wave of Dridex phishing emails, this is what we saw. Here’s the phishing email sent to one PhishMe employee: [Read more…]
Over the last few months, we’ve been tracking Dyre and reporting changes to the malware on this blog. Dyre’s latest iteration shows yet another shift in tactics – one that combines characteristics of Dyre with Upatre code to create a new downloader… Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 shows three different emails, all with the same content but with different malicious links, which we we’ll use interchangeably in our examples. [Read more…]
’Tis the season for phishing emails, scams, and fake tech support calls. We recently investigated such a call received by one of PhishMe’s employees. After saying that he would call the “technician” back, the employee passed the number over to us and we began to investigate.
The number the technician provided us was “646-568-7609.” A quick Google search of the number shows that other users have received similar calls from the same number. In one example, “Peter from Windows” was the person calling. In our case, it was Alex Jordan from Seattle. [Read more…]
With December upon us and 2014 almost in the books, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the year that was, from a phishing standpoint of course. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that we are constantly analyzing phishing emails received and reported to us by PhishMe employees. What was the most interesting phishing trend we observed in 2014? While attackers are loading up their phishing emails with new malware all the time, the majority of their phishing emails use stale, recycled content. [Read more…]
Most of us have been in an airport and heard the announcement over the loud speaker; “If you see something, say something.” The airport has security personnel; however, their agents cannot be everywhere at once. They collectively rely on travelers passing through the airport to be their eyes and ears in places agents cannot be. In this way, as an airport traveler, you are a “sensor” watching for, detecting, and alerting on suspicious behavior such as unoccupied luggage.
What does this have to do with information security? Just as passengers can help prevent an incident in the airport by reporting suspicious activity, employees can help prevent a data breach by reporting suspicious email. The key to unlocking this valuable source of threat intelligence is to simplify the reporting process for employees, and to measure the results of your program to prioritize reports from savvy users.
Phishing and malware techniques have been evolving since the time they were detected, conceptualized and recognized. Even though the malware payload or a phishing website URL is considered as the most important part from a detection and prevention perspective, we have observed a number of changes within the past few months in the phishing delivery mechanisms.
Our new whitepaper, “The Evolution of a Phish: Phishing Delivery Mechanisms,” covers an example of how obfuscation and file creation changes the detection process, and examines how attackers have gone from using simple malicious file uploads to more advanced techniques such as hiding a malicious file or link in plain sight.
Over the past few months, Ronnie Tokazowski has analyzed various malware campaigns that have used phising as the delivery method. The malware has evolved from attachments to links to 3rd party websites such as Dropbox. He’s also provided in-depth analysis of Dyre, which used a fax-themed phishing email similar to the one discussed in the whitepaper.
The interesting trend, however, is not that both phishing campaigns used similar themes, but the underlying methods of how attackers are trying to evade detection, and how there is no way to test the file until and unless the file gets formed in the browser. As an industry, we must acknowledge the reality of this evolution, and understand that new delivery mechanisms will continue to challenge all defense layers. This reality makes the last line of defense – employees – essential.
Over the last few days, we have seen two waves of Dyre. The attackers have changed things up a bit and made it harder to analyze. By using memory forensics techniques, we took a peek into their command and control (C2) infrastructure. The #1 rule of memory forensics…everything has to eventually be decoded, and we’re going to use this to our advantage. Here’s a quick look at the waves of emails we received. (Figures 1 and 2)