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Exploit kits: spring 2019 review

Exploit kit activity remains fairly unchanged since our last winter review in terms of active distribution campaigns. But this spring edition will feature a new exploit kit and another atypical EK, in that it specifically goes after routers. The main driver behind these drive-by download attacks are various malvertising chains with strong geolocation filtering. This explains why some exploit … [Read more...]

Cryptojacking in the post-Coinhive era

September 2017 is widely recognized as the month in which the phenomenon that became cryptojacking began. The idea that website owners could monetize their traffic by having visitors mine for cryptocurrencies in their browser was not new, but this time around it became mainstream, thanks to an entity known as Coinhive. The mining service became a household name overnight, and quickly drew ire … [Read more...]

GitHub hosted Magecart skimmer used against hundreds of e-commerce sites

Every day, new e-commerce websites fall into the hands of one of the many Magecart skimmers. Unbeknownst to shoppers, criminals are harvesting their personal information, including payment details in the online equivalent of ATM card skimming. Most often the skimming code—written in JavaScript and obfuscated—is hosted on infrastructure controlled by attackers. Over time, they have created … [Read more...]

Plugin vulnerabilities exploited in traffic monetization schemes

In their Website Hack Trend Report, web security company Sucuri noted that WordPress infections rose to 90 percent in 2018. One aspect of Content Management System (CMS) infections that is sometimes overlooked is that attackers not only go after the CMSes themselves—WordPress, Drupal, etc.—but also third-party plugins and themes. While plugins are useful in providing additional features for … [Read more...]

New Golang brute forcer discovered amid rise in e-commerce attacks

E-commerce websites continue to be targeted by online criminals looking to steal personal and payment information directly from unaware shoppers. Recently, attacks have been conducted via skimmer, which is a piece of code that is either directly injected into a hacked site or referenced externally. Its purpose is to watch for user input, in particular around online shopping carts, and send the … [Read more...]

Exploit kits: winter 2019 review

Active malvertising campaigns in December and the new year have kept exploit kit activity from hibernating in winter 2019. We mostly observed Fallout and RIG with the occasional, limited GrandSoft appearance for wider geo-targeting. In addition, narrowly-focused exploit kits such as Magnitude, Underminer, and GreenFlash Sundown stayed on the same track: delivering ransomware to mostly Asian … [Read more...]

New critical vulnerability in open-source office suites

A great number of attack techniques these days are using Microsoft Office documents to distribute malware. In recent years, there has been serious development on document exploit kit builders, not to mention the myriad of tricks that red-teamers have come up with to bypass security solutions. In contrast to drive-by downloads that require no user interaction, document-based attacks usually … [Read more...]

Improved Fallout EK comes back after short hiatus

After a short hiatus in early January, the Fallout exploit kit is back in business again with some new features for the new year. During its absence, we noticed an increase in RIG EK campaigns, perhaps to fill that temporary void. Fallout EK is distributed via malvertising chains (one of them we track under the name HookAds), especially through adult traffic. Since January 15, Fallout EK activity … [Read more...]

Vidar and GandCrab: stealer and ransomware combo observed in the wild

We have been tracking a prolific malvertising campaign for several weeks and captured a variety of payloads, including several stealers. One that we initially identified as Arkei turned out to be Vidar, a new piece of malware recently analyzed in detail by Fumik0_ in his post: Let’s dig into Vidar – An Arkei Copycat/Forked Stealer (In-depth analysis). In Norse Mythology, Víðarr is a god and son of … [Read more...]

Underminer exploit kit improves in its latest iteration

One of the most interesting exploit kits we track is also a bit of an elusive one, and as such does not receive the same scrutiny as its RIG and Fallout counterparts. Underminer was mentioned in our Fall 2018 round up, and at the time was using CVE-2018-8174 (Internet Explorer) and CVE-2018-4878 (Flash Player up to version 28.0.0.137). In mid-December, we noticed some changes with Underminer that … [Read more...]