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VB2018 preview: Anatomy of an attack: detecting and defeating CRASHOVERRIDE

In today's blog post, we preview the VB2018 paper by Dragos Inc.'s Joe Slowik, who looks at the CRASHOVERRIDE malware, the first (publicly known) malware designed to impact electric grid operations.
One of the many highlights of last year's Virus Bulletin Conference was a last-minute paper by ESET researchers Anton Cherepanov and Robert Lipovsky on Industroyer, 'the first… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/09/vb2018-preview-anatomy-attack-detecting-and-defeating-crashoverride/

VB2017 video: Client Maximus raises the bar

At VB2017, IBM Trusteer researcher Omer Agmon, presented a 'last-minute' paper in which he analysed the Client Maximum trojan, which targets Brazilian users of online banking. Today, we release the recording of his presentation.
Brazil has long been known as a hotbed of cybercrime, but what makes the country especially unique is that a lot of this cybercrime is inwards-focused. Thus there are many malware… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/08/vb2017-video-client-maximus-raises-bar/

Malware authors' continued use of stolen certificates isn't all bad news

A new malware campaign that uses two stolen code-signing certificates shows that such certificates continue to be popular among malware authors. But there is a positive side to malware authors' use of stolen certificates.
A malware campaign has been using code-signing certificates stolen from Taiwanese companies to sign its samples, ESET researcher and regular VB conference speaker Anton Cherepanov… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/07/malware-authors-continued-use-stolen-certificates-not-only-bad-news/

.SettingContent-ms files remind us that it is features, not bugs we should be most concerned about

Security researcher Matt Nelson has discovered how .SettingContent-ms files can be embedded into Office files to deliver malware.
One of the most significant developments in the threat landscape in recent years has been the return of malicious Office macros, their resurgence having started four years ago.… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/07/settingcontent-ms-files-remind-us-it-features-not-bugs-we-should-be-most-concerned-about/

XMRig used in new macOS cryptominer

A new piece of cryptocurrency-mining malware on macOS has been found to use the popular XMRig miner.
Users complaining on Apple's official discussion forum about processes that use a lot of CPU have led to the discovery of a new piece of cryptocurrency-mining malware on macOS… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/05/xmrig-used-new-macos-cryptominer/

GravityRAT malware takes your system's temperature

The GravityRAT malware, discovered by Cisco Talos researchers, gives some interesting insight into modern malware development.
Cisco Talos researchers Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagnères recently discovered and analysed 'GravityRAT', an advanced Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that appears to have been used in… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/04/gravityrat-malware-takes-your-systems-temperature/

Using Mailchimp makes malware campaigns a little bit more successful

In recent months, some malicious spam campaigns have been spreading via the systems of Mailchimp, a well-known email service provider - a tactic which may give the campaigns a slightly higher success rate.
Sending one email is easy. Sending thousands or millions of emails is hard: one effect of the anti-spam infrastructure we have collectively built is that the process of sending… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/03/using-mailchimp-makes-malware-campaigns-little-bit-more-successful/

We need to continue the debate on the ethics and perils of publishing security research

An article by security researcher Collin Anderson reopens the debate on whether publishing threat analyses is always in the public interest.
At VB2015 in Prague, Juan Andrés Guerro-Saade, then of Kaspersky Lab, presented an important paper on the transformation of security researchers into intelligence brokers and how… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/02/we-need-continue-debate-ethics-and-perils-publishing-security-research/

There is no evidence in-the-wild malware is using Meltdown or Spectre

Reports of malware using the Meltdown or Spectre attacks are likely based on proof-of-concept code rather than files written for a malicious purpose.
Almost a month after the Meltdown and Spectre attacks against various CPUs were discovered and revealed to the public, there have been reports of the existence of malware that… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/02/there-no-evidence-wild-malware-using-meltdown-or-spectre/

Alleged author of creepy FruitFly macOS malware arrested

A 28-year old man from Ohio has been arrested on suspicion of having created the mysterious FruitFly malware that targeted macOS and used it to spy on its victims.
It is almost a year since the mysterious FruitFly malware for macOS was discovered. Malware targeting macOS is still uncommon enough to be newsworthy, but FruitFly seemed… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2018/01/alleged-author-creepy-fruitfly-macos-malware-arrested/

VB2017 video: Turning Trickbot: decoding an encrypted command-and-control channel

Trickbot, a banking trojan which appeared this year, seems to be a new, more modular, and more extensible malware descendant of the notorious Dyre botnet trojan. At VB2017, Symantec researcher Andrew Brandt presented a walkthrough of a typical Trickbot in…
Trickbot, first reported a year ago by Malwarebytes researcher Jérôme Segura as the successor of Dyre/Dyreza, has become perhaps the most important banking trojan of 2017. It is… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/11/vb2017-video-turning-trickbot-decoding-encrypted-command-and-control-channel/

Ebury and Mayhem server malware families still active

Ebury and Mayhem, two families of Linux server malware, about which VB published papers back in 2014, are still active and have received recent updates.
Whether it is to send spam or to redirect web traffic to malicious payloads, compromised (Linux) web servers are the glue in many a malware campaign. Two such networks of… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/10/ebury-and-mayhem-server-malware-families-still-active/

VB2017 preview: Offensive malware analysis: dissecting OSX/FruitFly.B via a custom C&C server

We preview Patrick Wardle's VB2017 paper, in which the Synack researcher analyses the mysterious OSX/FruitFly malware by setting up a custom C&C server.
Apart from the odd taxi driver loudly making the claim, the idea that "Macs don't get malware" has become something of the past. Nevertheless, most security researchers focus on… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/vb2017-preview-offensive-malware-analysis-dissecting-osxfruitfly-custom-cc-server/

Hot FinSpy research completes VB2017 programme

Researchers from ESET have found a new way in which the FinSpy/FinFisher 'government spyware' can infect users, details of which they will present at VB2017 in Madrid.
The infamous FinSpy (or FinFisher) government spyware has managed to keep a low profile in recent years, though its use of two Microsoft zero-days (CVE-2017-0199 and… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/hot-finspy-research-makes-vb2017-programme-complete/

VB2017 preview: Android reverse engineering tools: not the usual suspects

We preview the VB2017 paper by Fortinet researcher Axelle Apvrille, in which she looks at some less obvious tools for reverse engineering Android malware.
Six years ago (coincidentally the last time the VB conference was held in Spain) saw the first VB conference paper presented on Android malware, which at that time was still an… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/vb2017-preview-android-reverse-engineering-tools-not-usual-suspects/

Malicious CCleaner update points to a major weakness in our infrastructure

Researchers from Cisco Talos have found that a recent version of the widely used CCleaner tool installed malware on the machine.
For the security community, 2017 might well be called the year of the update: two of the biggest security stories – the WannaCry outbreak and the Equifax breach – involved… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/malicious-ccleaner-update-points-major-weakness-our-infrastructure/

Despite the profitability of ransomware there is a good reason why mining malware is thriving

Though ransomware is far more profitable than using a compromised PC to mine bitcoins, the global distribution of malware means that there are many botnets for which mining is the most efficient way to extract money out of a PC.
When, a few years ago, a friend and I were analysing a rather large botnet and we saw some network traffic indicating that it was engaged in Bitcoin mining, we felt rather… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/despite-profitability-ransomware-there-good-reason-why-mining-malware-thriving/

VB2017 preview: Crypton - exposing malware's deepest secrets

We preview the VB2017 paper by Julia Karpin and Anna Dorfman (F5 networks), in which they present a tool to decrypt encrypted parts of malware.
Ask a programmer to perform the same task twice and they will write a tool that automates it. Malware analysts are no different, and the Virus Bulletin Conference has a long… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/09/vb2017-preview-crypton-exposing-malwares-deepest-secrets/

VB2017 preview: Mariachis and jackpotting: ATM malware from Latin America

We preview the VB2017 presentation by Kaspersky Lab researchers Thiago Marques and Fabio Assolini in which they look at malware targeting ATMs in Latin America.
A few years ago, I saw an ATM being opened for the first time. "Hold on," I thought, "this is really just a Windows XP PC!" Suddenly, I realised that, to attack an ATM,… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/08/vb2017-preview-mariachis-and-jackpotting-atm-malware-latin-america/

The WannaCry kill switch wasn't inserted to make someone a hero

Following the arrest of WannaCry hero Marcus Hutchings, suggestions have been made that he was behind the WannaCry malware itself, and that he inserted the kill switch to make himself a hero. This seems highly unlikely.
Almost three months after its damaging outbreak, the WannaCry malware remains shrouded in mystery. Last week's arrest of security researcher Marcus Hutchings, better known and… https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2017/08/wannacry-kill-switch-wasnt-inserted-make-someone-hero/

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