In October of 2017 we blogged about a phishing campaign specifically targeting Brazilian Portuguese- speaking users.
Back then, the campaign distributed a malicious Chrome browser extension. More recently, we have observed a wave of emails that have remarkably similar characteristics. This time around, the malware of choice is a banking trojan.
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Security leaders are bolstering their resiliency to phishing attacks. It starts with conditioning employees to recognize and report suspicious email. Take for example “Alice,” the CISO for a Fortune 100 company. Alice’s team regularly simulates real-world phishing on employees at all levels. The program involves behavioral conditioning that requires employees to report simulated and real attacks.
As security professionals, we often view our users as a potential liability. I have plenty of first-hand experience that confirms the trope myself. But what if users could become a strength instead of a chronic risk?
In 2017, PhishMe® analyzed over 40 Italian-language phishing campaigns that targeted victims with Zeus Panda. This popular multipurpose banking trojan is primarily designed to steal banking and other credentials, but is capable of much more as it provides attackers with a great deal of flexibility. Although some variation was observed, many of these campaigns demonstrated a large degree of shared tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). Given the prolific nature of these campaigns, it is likely that Italian-language phish will continue to deliver Zeus Panda in 2018. Organizations should be alert to the indicators of compromise and phishing TTPs to prevent infection.
On 1 December 2017, PhishMe Intelligence™ identified a new delivery technique for Sigma ransomware, which was most likely employed to evade automated detection and mitigation by email and anti-malware defenses. Potential victims received phishing emails with an embedded image as the message body that also included an attached Microsoft Office document containing a malicious macro. The embedded image contained a password that could be used to open the Microsoft Office document.
Over the US Thanksgiving holiday, PhishMe Intelligence™ observed a recent ransomware campaign, Scarab, that shares some similarities in behavior and distribution with Locky. In this campaign, Scarab was delivered by the Necurs botnet, which made headlines due to its distribution of Locky, which was one of the most prolific ransomware families of 2016 and 2017. Like Locky, Scarab can encrypt targets via both online and offline encryption.
URL shorteners are a great tool to share a web address without a lot of typing. PhishMe Intelligence™ recently observed malicious actors using these services to evade security controls. They use these services to conceal the actual URL and bypass controls put in place to block known malicious domains.
In a recent Strategic Analysis, we outlined how malicious actors leveraged Microsoft Office’s Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) protocol functionality to compromise victims with Chanitor malware within days of SensePost publicly disclosing the risks. PhishMe® has since observed the weaponization of this tactic to deliver other types of malware in several campaigns that support some of the most lucrative current online criminal operations.