A lot has happened over the last week, so we have a bit more to cover than usual. The malspam campaigns are getting more creative than ever and some recent news about Ryuk ransomware attribution could have a big impact on your cyber insurance coverage.
Love-Letter malspammer, “always thinking about you”
With Valentine’s day right around the corner, the “Love Letter” malspam campaign is using email subject lines engineered to tug user’s heartstrings into infection with GandCrab Ransomware, XMRig miner, and Phorpiex spambot. Here were some example subject lines:
- This is my love letter to you
- My love letter for you
- Wrote the fantasy about us down
- Always thinking about you
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firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52
Mjag pairs up with Punisher RAT
Zscaler security firm released a report for a variant dubbed “Mjag dropper” that is using decoy documents to deliver Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Mjag dropper is compiled in the Microsoft .NET framework and its original binary is obfuscated using Smart Assembly. Zscaler disclosed the flaw after they detected the infection cycle involving Punisher RAT. The malware is publicly available and can be configured with a range of features: Password stealing module, Anti-task manager, Keylogging, Persistence, Spreading vector, and AV checks. The following indicators of compromise were released with these findings.
DarkHydrus grows back new heads in on-going Middle East campaign
The DarkHydrus campaign reemerged and is targeting Middle East entities. 360 Threat Intelligence Center identified that the attackers use VBA macros in the dropper, with DNS tunneling for C2 communication. The malware was uploaded to VirusTotal from Oman.
data-microsoft.services phicdn.world akamai.agency sharepoint.agency nsatc.agency akdns.live akamaized.live iecvlist-microsoft.live trafficmanager.live 0ffice365.services azureedge.today microsoftonline.agency hotmai1.com skydrive.services asimov-win-microsoft.services akamaiedge.live 0nedrive.agency skydrive.agency akamaiedge.services edgekey.live corewindows.agency akadns.live t-msedge.world cloudfronts.services microsoftonline.services onecs-live.services onedrive.agency 0ffice365.life
Ryuk moves to Russia with Grim Spider
Multiple security intelligence communities, like CrowdStrike, report that Ryuk ransomware is most likely the creation of Russian financially-motivated cybercriminals, not North Korean state-sponsored attackers. The clarification came after several news outlets attributed a Ryuk ransomware infection targeting U.S. newspaper agencies to North Korean attackers. We have previously reported on Ryuk activities and the U.S. newspaper hack.
The ransomware was created by a threat actor, which Crowdstrike calls Grim Spider, who allegedly bought a version of Hermes ransomware from an underground forum and modified it into Ryuk ransomware. The confusion possibly stems from North Korea state-sponsored actors reportedly infected the Far Eastern International Bank (FEIB) in Taiwan with Hermes ransomware in October 2017.
Researchers believe that North Korean attackers purchased the same Hermes ransomware kit, similar to Grim Spider, and deployed it on the bank’s network as a distraction in an attempt to cover their tracks. Researchers believe there is no connection between North Korean state-sponsored attackers and the Ryuk ransomware strain. Researchers note that multiple Ryuk ransomware victims were infected with TrickBot before Ryuk was deployed on their systems and speculate that attackers selected machines infected with Trickbot to deploy Ryuk.
Since Ryuk’s appearance in August, threat actors have earned 705.80 Bitcoin across 52 transactions, for a current value of $3,701,893.98. The following indicators of compromise were released with these findings.
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Insurance Group declines payout for Russian attributed ransomware
Bloomberg shared their findings with ZDNet after they reported a lawsuit against Zurich Insurance Group by Mondelez in a bid to seek $100M in damages after an insurance claim that was not paid out in NotPetya attack. NotPetya is a type of ransomware similar to Petya. Researchers noticed that the actors had been executing the exploit through the use of the much-discussed and patchable EternalBlue and EternalRomance exploits of yesteryear to launch attacks. (Yes, these attack vectors are still being exploited today.)
Once executed, the malware will reboot the system and overwrite the master boot record (MBR) with a custom loader and a ransom note which demands $300 in Bitcoin. Researchers note that NotPetya impacted business worldwide including TNT, Ukrainian banks, energy companies, airports, and shipping giant Maersk. Users and organizations should enforce strong security awareness, recognize phishing attacks, exercise caution when clicking on malicious links, and deploy two-factor authentication to mitigate cyber attacks. No indicators of compromise were released with this report.
Zurich chose not to cough up the money, citing the NotPetya was, “hostile or warlike action in time of peace or war,” which voided the claim. The security industry will be following this case closely to set precedent around this topic. With Ryuk’s move to Russia will Tribune’s cyber insurance policy cover fallout from a Russian cyber cold war?
Which brings up a question for you: What would your cybersecurity insurer say if your organization suffers a ransomware attack? Now is a good time to open the discussion before an incident might occur.
After several cups of perch-olated coffee and a blood sacrifice, the Perch SOC successfully reviewed the activity and IOCs listed for each threat and found zero Perch customers subjected or targeted by these active threats for the last 30 days.