Security News – Week 52

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Godfather Trojan Activity Targeting Financial Sector Detected

The Group-IB Threat Intelligence team detected that the Godfather Android banking trojan targeted more than 400 international financial companies between June 2021 and October 2022. Half of the targeted financial companies are banks, and the other half are cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. The Godfather’s targets include 49 US-based companies, 31 Turkish-based companies, and 30 Spanish-based companies. Financial service providers in Canada, France, Germany, England, Italy, and Poland are among the hardest-hit companies.

The Godfather trojan was developed using the source code of another banking trojan called Anubis. However, The Godfather differs from Anubis with its updated functionality, such as updated command and control (C&C) communication, traffic encryption algorithm, a new module for managing virtual network computing (VNC) connections, and Google Authenticator OTPs. The Godfather is distributed through fake apps hosted on Google Play. Fake pages are placed on Godfather-infected devices. These fake web pages are opened when users click on fake notifications or open legitimate apps targeted by the Godfather. All data entered on these pages (usernames and passwords) is sent to command and control (C&C) servers.

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Some activities that Godfather trojan software performs on infected systems;

  • Recording the device’s screen
  • Creating VNC connections
  • Capturing keystrokes (keylogging)
  • Leaking push notifications and SMS messages (to bypass 2FA)
  • Send SMS messages
  • Forward calls
  • Execute USSD requests
  • Start proxy servers
  • Enabling silent mode
  • Establishing WebSocket connections

A Godfather sample analyzed in September 2022 was observed to mimic Google Protect. When a user launches a malicious application, the application imitates the legitimate Google application, but the Godfather activities are running in the background. Once the malware is launched, it persists on the infected device, creates a pinned notification, and hides its icon from the list of installed apps. Considering these details, it is recommended to consider the following security recommendations to avoid being a victim of targeted attacks that the Godfather malware may carry out.

  • Emails, attachments, and links from unknown parties should not be respected.
  • Downloaded applications should be downloaded from legitimate application stores, and by checking the evaluations made,
  • Comprehensive security solutions should be used.

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Critical RCE Alarm in Linux Kernel

A critical vulnerability has been identified in the Linux Kernel that could allow threat actors to disclose sensitive information and execute arbitrary code on affected versions.

The vulnerability affecting the SMB2_TREE_DISCONNECT() component in ksmbd is a Use-After-Free error caused by not verifying the object’s existence before operations are performed on the object. Threat actors can exploit this vulnerability to execute code in kernel context. Exploiting this vulnerability does not require authentication. In addition, only systems with ksmbd enabled are affected by the vulnerability.

The purpose of the ksmbd program, which was integrated into the Kernel in 2021, is to provide fast SMB3 file serving performance. SMB is the main file server protocol in Windows on Linux over Samba. Ksmbd was designed to complement Samba, not replace it. Samba and ksmbd developers are working to make the programs work together. In this context, it is recommended that the published updates be implemented immediately in order not to be the target of attacks that can be carried out using the critical vulnerability.

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Agenda Ransomware’s New Rust Variant Targets Critical Sectors

A new variant of Agenda Ransomware, developed with the Rust programming language, has been detected to be used in campaigns targeting critical sectors. Agenda has become one of the ransomware that adopts the cross-platform programming language, making it easy to adapt to different systems such as Windows and Linux with the new variant. Agenda, attributed to an operator named Qilin, is linked to a series of attacks targeting manufacturing and IT industries in different countries. The Agenda Ransomware family, which is still under development, has recently been observed to target critical sectors such as the healthcare and education industries.

Agenda’s new Rust variant, like the Royal ransomware, uses a partial encryption (also known as intermittent encryption) technique by configuring the parameters used to determine the percentage of file content to be encrypted. This method allows faster encryption and avoids detections based on malware read/write file operations. In addition, unlike older Agenda versions, the new variant can terminate the Windows AppInfo process and disable the User Account Control (UAC) feature, which helps prevent the execution of the malware with administrative rights.

Recently, it has been observed that the threat actors behind Ransomware software have started to migrate the ransomware codes to the Rust language. The Rust language is becoming more common among threat actors as it is more difficult to analyze and has a lower detection rate by antivirus engines.

In this context, it is recommended to consider the following security practices to avoid being exposed to targeted attacks that can be carried out using advanced malware.

  • E-mails, attachments, and links from unknown parties should not be respected,
  • Do not download files, programs, or applications from illegal and suspicious-looking sources,
  • Institution/organization personnel should be made aware of target-oriented social engineering/phishing attacks,
  • Network traffic should be continuously monitored for the possibility of malicious attempts and abnormal network behavior,
  • Comprehensive security solutions should be used,
  • Critical files/systems should be backed up regularly,

IoC findings related to the campaign should be blocked from the security solutions in use.

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