Tag Archives: Remote Access Tool

INTERPOL : Alarming Rate Of COVID-19 Cyberattacks!

INTERPOL : Alarming Rate Of COVID-19 Cyberattacks!

According to INTERPOL, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting cyberattacks at an alarming pace.

Learn more about their key findings, and what they are projecting will happen in the near future!

 

COVID-19 Pandemic : New Opportunities For Cyberattacks!

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations and businesses to rapidly deploy remote work systems and networks to support staff working from home

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of these new COVID-19 work-from-home normals, targeting staff of major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure to steal data and generate profits.

Online Scams + Phishing

 Threat actors have revised their usual online scams and phishing schemes. By deploying COVID-19 themed phishing emails, often impersonating government and health authorities, cybercriminals entice victims into providing their personal data and downloading malicious content.

Around two-thirds of member countries which responded to the global cybercrime survey reported a significant use of COVID-19 themes for phishing and online fraud since the outbreak.

Ransomware + DDoS

Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and healthcare institutions, due to the potential for high impact and financial benefit.

In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a spike in ransomware attacks by multiple threat groups which had been relatively dormant for the past few months.

Law enforcement investigations show the majority of attackers estimated quite accurately the maximum amount of ransom they could demand from targeted organisations.

Data Harvesting Malware

Taking advantage of the increased demand for medical supplies and information on COVID-19, there has been a significant increase of cybercriminals registering domain names containing keywords, such as “coronavirus” or “COVID”. These fraudulent websites underpin a wide variety of malicious activities including C2 servers, malware deployment and phishing.

From February to March 2020, a 569 per cent growth in malicious registrations, including malware and phishing and a 788 per cent growth in high-risk registrations were detected and reported to INTERPOL by a private sector partner.

Misinformation

An increasing amount of misinformation and fake news is spreading rapidly among the public. Unverified information, inadequately understood threats, and conspiracy theories have contributed to anxiety in communities and in some cases facilitated the execution of cyberattacks.

Nearly 30 per cent of countries which responded to the global cybercrime survey confirmed the circulation of false information related to COVID-19. Within a one-month period, one country reported 290 postings with the majority containing concealed malware. There are also reports of misinformation being linked to the illegal trade of fraudulent medical commodities.

Other cases of misinformation involved scams via mobile text-messages containing ‘too good to be true’ offers such as free food, special benefits, or large discounts in supermarkets. 

 

INTERPOL : Projection Of Future COVID-19 Cyberattacks

Here are INTERPOL’s projection of future COVID-19 cyberattacks :

  • A further increase in cybercrime is highly likely in the near future. Vulnerabilities related to working from home and the potential for increased financial benefit will see cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities and develop more advanced and sophisticated modi operandi.
  • Threat actors are likely to continue proliferating coronavirus-themed online scams and phishing campaigns to leverage public concern about the pandemic.
  • Business Email Compromise schemes will also likely surge due to the economic downturn and shift in the business landscape, generating new opportunities for criminal activities.
  • When a COVID-19 vaccination is available, it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing related to these medical products as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data.

 

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Chinese APT Teams Using PlugX Malware To Spy On Big Pharma!

March 15, 2018 – Kaspersky Lab’s researchers have discovered evidence of Chinese APT teams using the PlugX malware in attacks against the healthcare sector. The infamous PlugX malware has been detected in pharmaceutical organizations in Vietnam, aimed at stealing precious drug formulas and business information.

 

What Is PlugX?

The PlugX malware is a well-known remote access tool (RAT). It is usually spread via spear phishing and has previously been detected in targeted attacks against the military, government and political organizations.

The PlugX RAT allows attackers to perform various malicious operations on a system without the user’s permission or authorization, including – but not limited to – copying and modifying files, logging keystrokes, stealing passwords and capturing screenshots of user activity.

PlugX, as with other RATs, is used by cyber criminals to discreetly steal and collect sensitive or profitable information for malicious purposes.

 

PlugX In Attacks On Big Pharma

The PlugX RAT has been used by a number of Chinese-speaking cyber threat actors, including Deep Panda, NetTraveler or Winnti.

In 2013, it was discovered that Winnti – responsible for attacking companies in the online gaming industry – had been using PlugX since May 2012.

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Interestingly, Winnti has also been present in attacks against pharmaceutical companies, where the aim has been to steal digital certificates from medical equipment and software manufacturers.

RAT usage in attacks against pharmaceutical organizations indicates that sophisticated APT actors are showing an increased interest in capitalizing on the healthcare sector.

Other key findings for 2017 in the research include:

  • More than 60% of medical organizations had malware on their servers or computers;
  • Philippines, Venezuela and Thailand topped the list of countries with attacked devices in medical organizations.

 

Stay Protected Against PlugX

In order to stay protected, Kaspersky Lab experts advise businesses to take the following measures:

  • Remove all nodes that process medical data from public and secure public web portals;
  • Automatically update installed software using patch management systems on all nodes, including servers.
  • Perform network segmentation: refrain from connecting expensive equipment to the main LAN of your organization
  • Use a proven corporate grade security solution in combination with anti-targeted attack technologies and threat intelligence, such as Kaspersky Threat Management and Defense solution. These are capable of spotting and catching advanced targeted attacks by analyzing network anomalies and giving cybersecurity teams full visibility over the network and response automation

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