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BazarBackdoor phishing attacks exploit the app install process on Windows 10

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Sophos Labs employees have been victims of social engineering spam.

Cybercriminals are abusing the Windows 10 AppInstaller.exe application in the new BazarBackdoor phishing campaign. According to cybersecurity researchers at Sophos Labs, the firm’s employees become victims of spam using social engineering.

In one of the letters sent by the “assistant general manager of Sophos,” the defunct Adam Williams was trying to find out why the researcher did not respond to the client’s complaint. The letter also contained a link to the PDF message. The link was actually a trap and revealed to experts a “new” method used to deploy BazarBackdoor malware.

In this campaign, criminals use the Windows 10 app installation process to download malicious payloads. Attackers redirect potential victims to an Adobe-branded website and ask users to click a button to preview the .PDF file. However, when you hover over the link, the prefix “ms-appinstaller” is displayed.

“During the attack, I realized that building the URL launches the browser [в моем случае, браузер Microsoft Edge в Windows 10] and calls the AppInstaller.exe tool used by the Windows Store application to download and run, which is at the other end of this link, explained expert Andrew Brandt.

The link points to a text file named Adobe.appinstaller, which then points to a larger file, Adobe_1.7.0.0_x64appbundle, located at a separate URL.

Then a notification appears that the software has been digitally signed with a certificate issued a few months ago. The victim is asked to allow the installation of the Adobe PDF Component, and if successful, the BazarBackdoor malware is deployed and launched in a matter of seconds.

BazarBackdoor is analogous to the BazarLoader malware and communicates over HTTPS, but is a distinctive malware due to the large amount of noisy traffic generated by the backdoor. BazarBackdoor can steal system data and has been linked to the installation of Trickbot as well as the potential deployment of Ryuk ransomware.

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Security

Hackers hacked the BitMart crypto exchange and stole $ 150 million.

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The company is investigating the incident, and the withdrawal operations are temporarily suspended.

Crypto exchange BitMart reported that it was hacked, as a result of which it lost $ 150 million worth of cryptocurrency.

Exchange founder and CEO Sheldon Xia confirmed the incident and clarified that the vulnerability was related to hot wallets Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

“We have identified a large-scale security breach involving one of our hot ETH wallets and one of our hot BSC wallets. At the moment, we are still drawing conclusions about the possible methods used. The hackers managed to withdraw assets worth about $ 150 million, ”Xia wrote on his Twitter account.

On the evening of December 4, PeckShield recorded an abnormal number of withdrawals from BitMart. Among the tokens that were withdrawn from the trading platform were “meme” tokens, including Shiba Inu, as well as the USDC stablecoin.

Recall that earlier hackers stole about $ 120 million in bitcoins and ether from the decentralized financial (DeFi) platform Badger, which allows users to borrow and lend and speculate on fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices.

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Cyberattack Electric Utilities Lost All Data in 25 Years

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All indications are that the company has fallen victim to ransomware.

Colorado’s Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) is painfully recovering from a devastating cyberattack that destroyed all of its data over the past 25 years. An attack last month forced the company to shut down 90% of its internal computer systems.

A new notice sent out by DMEA to its customers this week says the company will begin accepting payments through the SmartHub platform and other payment terminals by December 6th. The company hopes to restore billing on December 6-10, so customers should expect an influx of electricity bills. At the same time, DMEA noted that it will not turn off services for non-payment and will not impose fines until January 31, 2022.

Employees of the company began to notice that something was wrong on November 7, and after a while almost the entire computer network of DMEA was turned off. The attack affected all support systems, payment processing tools, billing platforms and other tools provided to customers. According to the company, the hackers attacked certain segments of the internal network and damaged documents, tables and forms, indicating a ransomware attack.

Telephone systems and e-mail were also affected, but power plants and fiber-optic networks were not affected. The personal data of DMEA customers or employees has not been compromised.

DMEA has hired cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident, but is still struggling to rebuild the network.

“We are currently working with limited functionality and are focused on completing investigations and restoring services as efficiently, cost-effectively and securely as possible. We strive to restore our network and get back to normal operations, but this will take time and requires a phased approach, ”the company said.

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Hundreds of malicious Tor nodes are used to de-anonymize users

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Malicious servers were added to the Tor network on an ongoing basis, and there were hundreds of them.

Since at least 2017, a mysterious attacker (or group), tracked by cybersecurity experts as KAX17, has been adding malicious servers to the Tor network, acting as entry, intermediary, and exit nodes. How thinks a security researcher using the pseudonym Nusenu, the campaign aimed to de-anonymize users.

Nusenu, which itself is the Tor node operator, discovered malicious activity in 2019, but says KAX17 has been in effect since at least 2017. According to Nusenu, malicious servers with no contact information were added to the Tor network on an ongoing basis, with hundreds of them. At its peak, the network included over 900 malicious servers.

In general, servers added to the Tor network must contain contact information (such as an email address) so that Tor administrators or law enforcement agencies can contact node operators in the event of misconfiguration or reports of abuse. Despite this rule, servers without contact information are often added to the network, mainly to maintain their numbers.

KAX17 servers are located in data centers around the world and are mostly configured as exit and intermediary nodes, with only a small number of them operating as exit nodes. As Nusenu notes, this is strange enough, since most attackers who manage malicious nodes configure them as exit nodes, which allows them to modify the traffic. For example, the BTCMITM20 group managed a network of thousands of malicious exit nodes to attack users visiting cryptocurrency-related sites.

According to the researcher, KAX17 collects information about users connecting to the Tor network, and then determines their routes. Nusenu reported its findings to the Tor Project last year, and the servers were removed from the network in October 2020. Soon after, another group of exit nodes appeared in Tor with no contact information, but whether it was associated with KAX17 is unclear.

In October and November 2021, the Tor Project also removed hundreds of KAX17 servers. Neither Nusenu nor the Tor Project have speculated yet on who is behind KAX17.

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