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Exploit kits: fall 2019 review

Despite a slim browser market share, Internet Explorer is still being exploited in fall 2019 in a number of drive-by download campaigns. Perhaps even more surprising, we’re seeing new exploit kits emerge. Based on our telemetry, these drive-bys are happening worldwide (with the exception of a few that are geo-targeted) and are fueled by malvertising most often found on adult … [Read more...]

The Hidden Bee infection chain, part 1: the stegano pack

About a year ago, we described the Hidden Bee miner delivered by the Underminer Exploit Kit. Hidden Bee has a complex and multi-layered internal structure that is unusual among cybercrime toolkits, making it an interesting phenomenon on the threat landscape. That’s why we’re dedicating a series of posts to exploring particular elements and updates made during one year of its … [Read more...]

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...]

Hidden Bee: Let’s go down the rabbit hole

Some time ago, we discussed the interesting malware, Hidden Bee. It is a Chinese miner, composed of userland components, as well as of a bootkit part. One of its unique features is a custom format used for some of the high-level elements (this format was featured in my recent presentation at SAS). Recently, we stumbled upon a new sample of Hidden Bee. As it turns out, its authors decided to … [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...]

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...]

A week in security (December 17 – 23)

Last week on Labs we looked at Fuchsia OS as a possible alternative for Android, explained all the reasons why cybercriminals want to hack your phone, discussed a flaw in Twitter form that may have been abused by nation states, gave you a Christmas tech scams roundup, revealed why many online quizzes qualify as phishing scams, gave some tips about safely using those smart speakers you got for … [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...]

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...]