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Showing posts with label Corporate Hacking. Show all posts

New MegaCortex ransomware targeting corporate networks

A new strain of ransomware called MegaCortex has been found targeting attacks against entities in the US, Canada, France, Netherlands, Ireland, and Italy. The ransomware uses both automated as well as manual components in an effort to infect as many victims as possible. It uses a complicated chain of events with some infections beginning with stolen credentials for domain controllers inside target networks.

The ransomware was reported by UK cyber-security firm Sophos after it detected a spike in ransomware attacks at the end of last week.

According to security researchers at Sophos, the cybercriminals operating the ransomware appear to be fans of the movie Matrix, as the ransom note “reads like it was written in the voice and cadence of Lawrence Fishburne’s character, Morpheus.”

The ransomware first began popping up in January. The ransomware has a few interesting attributes, including its use of a signed executable as part of the payload, and an offer of security consulting services from the malware author. Researchers said the ransomware often is present on networks that already are infected with the Emotet and Qakbot malware, but are not sure whether those tools are part of the delivery chain for MegaCortex.

Sophos said the ransomware appears to have been designed to target large enterprise networks as part of carefully planned targeted intrusions --in a tactic that is known as "big-game hunting."

“The malware also employs the use of a long batch file to terminate running programs and kill a large number of services, many of which appear to be related to security or protection, which is becoming a common theme among current-generation ransomware families,” Sophos researcher Andrew Brandt said in a report.

Ransomware, for the most part, targets individuals rather than enterprise networks. That has mainly to do with individuals being relatively easier targets than corporate machines, but some attackers have begun to move up the food chain. Corporate ransomware infections can be much more profitable and efficient, with larger payouts for criminals who can compromise an organization rather than dozens or hundreds of individual victims. MegaCortex seems to be part of that trend, targeting enterprises with a mix of techniques.

The Return Of Trojan Poses Substantial Hacking Threat To Businesses!




The Trojan malware has returned with its infectious ransomware attacks with an aim to harvest banking credentials and personal and property related data.




Business organizations have come out to become the latest targets of this malware.



With long-term and insidious operations as ambition, the Trojan poses a lot of threat even to intellectual property.



In one of the new reports of one of the reputed security companies, it was mentioned that backdoor attacks against businesses with Trojans as back power have subsequently increased.



According to the aforementioned security lab, “Trojans” and “Backdoors” are different.



A Trojan is supposed to perform one function but ends up performing another and a Backdoor is a type of Trojan which enables a threat actor to access a system via bypassing security.



“Spyware” attacks have also consequentially risen. A spyware is a malware which aids gaining information on a device and sending it to a third party, stealthily.



This concept, of a spyware, sure is old but still is as efficacious as any other powerful malware and strictly works towards data exfiltration.



The “Emotet Trojan” has been considered to be behind the information stealing campaigns all round last year and in the beginning of this moth too.



This Trojan could move through networks, harvest data, and monitor networks. Also, it could easily infect systems by reproducing with no substantial effort at all.



Emotet is a self-sufficient danger which tends to spread onto compromised systems in addition to installing other malware on them.

The menacing behavior of TrickBot was also inferred upon by the aforementioned report, as it’s one of the by-products of Emotet.



The constantly evolving TrickBot daily gets updated with new abilities, stealing passwords and browser histories and harvesting sensitive data being a few of them.



Consultancy firms seem to be the primary targets of the Trojan. It is disposed towards harvesting more than just banking details and personal information.



Intellectual property is another thing which is a major point of concern for everyone now that the cyber-cons have stooped down to breaching walls using Trojans.



These tactics were thought to be really boring and old but have taken serious tosses and turns and have evolved into something genuinely perilous.



Businesses should stop under-estimating the attacks and keep a keen eye towards any potentiality of such attacks.

DDOS, APT attacks on Corporate and Banks


With spate of Distributed denial of service attacks and APT attacks on Banks and corporates, Anti DDOS mitigation vendors and ISP are joining together to fight the menace of DDOS attacks.

A few vendors work with ISP to mitigate the threat, working on putting up monitoring agents on every ISP(hardware box) which is connected to mitigation cloud.
A Bank official told on conditions of anonymity "ISP quickly responds to DDOS attack and mitigates for the customer. But comes to them with a Fat Proposal. Customers need to pay a standard amount ever year to get a protection.  In addition to this amount, they have to pay extra money every time they get hit.  The billing can run into lakhs for banks/corporate who take DDOS mitigation."
Another bank official confided that they have asked for a standard quote per year(ISPs are yet to respond).

Smaller vendors cannot tackle DDOS attacks. It has to be anti ddos companies with ISP which can handle this.

Some corporate and Banks are going in for a solution - They place their main websites and Mobile portal behind a Cloud Based WAF/Anti DDOS mitigation service. At the corporate end, they have a firewall and IPS making sure that no direct connection from the Internet is possible to their ISP Pipe. Does this solve the problem is yet to be seen.

"Advanced Persistent threat are followed by DDOS attacks, this is done to to erase any tracks of compromise on firewall, router, Intrusion Prevention Systems" says J Prasanna, Director, Cyber Security & Privacy Foundation Pte Ltd, a singapore based Cyber security certification organization.

The corporate/Banks are seeing only the DDOS and putting DDOS mitigation in place. It has to be checked to see if there is any compromise on data, criminal compromise from banks/corporate. The criminals could have gained access to the data or network and remain stealth for a long time", says Mr. Sreeram, Director, AVS Labs Pte Ltd, Singapore(organization which does consulting and services on cyber security).

The main problem for organizations is there are many vulnerabilities on systems which are undetected for a long period of time. The vulnerabilities could remain on the application software code written by software programmers or it could be in operating system, networks and other critical system level application. The black hat hackers(APT attackers) could exploits these vulnerabilities generally called 0-day vulnerability which could be used to enter into the systems.

Most of these organization need a "0-Day Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing" and "APT Analysis" to find any Security breach". Normally not every one can do this because you need the best talents on board like "bounty hunters" who do vulnerability finding for fortune 500 companies. But that is no it - " Most bug bounty hunters cant find beyond web vulnerabilities", These auditors/assessors need the 0 day exploits and also knowledge of how APT attacks work. Most organization which perform regular Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration testing and even who do ISO 270001 certification implementation don't have capability to handle Zero-day or APT assessments.

Is a corporate with ISO 270001 standard implementation safe? A quite survey taken for 25 organizations show that almost all had standards implemented and they all experienced data theft. Some of corporate CISOs don't want to accept APT attacks, most of this information of compromise never reaches the management.

All the attacks happened at technical level, because of poor technical controls or products like antivirus/firewall/intrusion prevention not doing what they said they will do.

Do we still trust the ISO270001 implemented in corporate or the products they are using inside to save our data!