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Exploit kits: summer 2019 review

In the months since our last spring review, there has been some interesting activity from several exploit kits. While the playing field remains essentially the same with Internet Explorer and Flash Player as the most-commonly-exploited, it is undeniable that there has been a marked effort from exploit kit authors to add some rather cool tricks to their arsenal. For example, several exploit kits … [Read more...]

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...]

Electrum Bitcoin wallets under siege

By Adam Thomas, with additional contributions from Jérôme Segura, Vasilios Hioueras and S!Ri Since at least late December 2018, many users of the popular Electrum Bitcoin wallet have fallen victim to a series of phishing attacks, which we estimate netted crooks well over 771 Bitcoins—an amount equivalent to approximately $4 million USD at current exchange rates. Threat actors were able to … [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...]

Exploit kits: fall 2018 review

Exploit kit (EK) activity continues to surprise us as the weather cools, the leaves change, and we move into the fall of 2018. Indeed, shortly after our summer review, a new exploit kit was discovered, and while no new vulnerabilities were added to the current EKs, several malvertising chains are still going strong. Smoke Loader, Ramnit, and AZORult are some of the most common payloads we’ve … [Read more...]

Exploit kits: summer 2018 review

The uptick trend in cybercriminals using exploit kits that we first noticed in our spring 2018 report has continued into the summer. Indeed, not only have new kits been found, but older ones are still showing signs of life. This has made the summer quarter one of the busiest we’ve seen for exploits in a while. Perhaps one caveat is that, apart from the RIG and GrandSoft exploit kits, we … [Read more...]

Exploit kits: Spring 2018 review

Since our last report on exploit kits, there have been some new developments with the wider adoption of the February Flash zero-day, as well as the inclusion of a new exploit for Internet Explorer. We have not seen that many changes in the drive-by landscape for a long time, although these are the results of improvements closely tied to malspam campaigns and exploits embedded within Microsoft … [Read more...]

Exploit kits: Winter 2018 review

In the past, we used to do a blog series on exploit kits where we would periodically check in on the main players in the market. In March 2017, we wrote the Winter 2017 review, before exploit kit activity dropped down to a whisper. We’ve since discontinued our blog series, for lack of developments. A year later, however, exploit kits are showing signs of life. An uptick in campaigns and the … [Read more...]

New RIG malvertising campaign uses cryptocurrency theme as decoy

For a couple of weeks, we have been observing a malvertising campaign that uses decoy websites to redirect users to the RIG exploit kit. Those sites, whose theme is about cryptocurrencies, were all registered recently and are swapped after a few days of use. The initial redirection starts off from a malvertising redirect, which loads the decoy page containing a third-party JavaScript. The … [Read more...]

GandCrab ransomware distributed by RIG and GrandSoft exploit kits

This post was authored by Vasilios Hioueras and Jérôme Segura Late last week saw the appearance of a new ransomware called GandCrab. Surprisingly, it is distributed via two exploit kits: RIG EK and GrandSoft EK. Why is this surprising? Other than Magnitude EK, which is known to consistently push the Magniber ransomware, other exploit kits have this year mostly dropped other payloads, such as … [Read more...]