The new BlackSquid malware is capable of abusing eight notorious exploits in its attempts to install the XMRig Monero miner.

Trend Micro noted that the malware has been able to target a range of devices, including web servers, network drives and removable drives. Researchers at the digital security firm observed such malicious behavior in connection with eight of the most notorious exploits in circulation today. Other than BlueKeep and DoublePulsar, the researchers found that the malware came with exploit code for CVE-2014-6287, CVE-2017-12615 and CVE-2017-8464, along with three ThinkPHP flaws.

Trend Micro also discovered that the threat checks the breakpoint registers for hardware breakpoints as a means of determining whether it should proceed with an infection. When it did move on to the next stage of its infection chain, BlackSquid attempted to propagate throughout the network to various drives and web servers for the purpose of executing the XMRig Monero miner.

A Brief Look at XMRig

XMRig has been busy since the beginning of last year. In January 2018, for instance, Palo Alto Networks detected an attack campaign that relied heavily on VBS scripts and URL shortening services to install an XMRig payload. It was just a month later when F5 Networks observed digital attackers using the Monero miner to target Windows-based Oracle WebLogic servers vulnerable to CVE-2017-10271. In May 2018, 360 Security came across a malware family called WinstarNssmMiner that used XMRig to mine for Monero on Windows systems.

Given these attacks, it’s no wonder IBM X-Force wrote that XMRig functions as the “Father Zeus of cryptocurrency mining malware.”

How to Defend Against BlackSquid Malware

Security teams can help lock down their defenses against BlackSquid malware and its XMRig payload by creating and abiding by a robust patch management strategy that, among other things, prioritizes the implementation of fixes for known security vulnerabilities. Organizations should also conduct regular risk assessments, disable JavaScript in browsers and follow additional steps to defend against cryptominers.

More from

Data Privacy: How the Growing Field of Regulations Impacts Businesses

The proposed rules over artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union (EU) are a harbinger of things to come. Data privacy laws are becoming more complex and growing in number and relevance. So, businesses that seek to become — and stay — compliant must find a solution that can do more than just respond to current challenges. Take a look at upcoming trends when it comes to data privacy regulations and how to follow them. Today's AI Solutions On April…

Why Zero Trust Works When Everything Else Doesn’t

The zero trust security model is proving to be one of the most effective cybersecurity approaches ever conceived. Zero trust — also called zero trust architecture (ZTA), zero trust network architecture (ZTNA) and perimeter-less security — takes a "default deny" security posture. All people and devices must prove explicit permission to use each network resource each time they use that resource. Using microsegmentation and least privileged access principles, zero trust not only prevents breaches but also stymies lateral movement should a breach…

5 Golden Rules of Threat Hunting

When a breach is uncovered, the operational cadence includes threat detection, quarantine and termination. While all stages can occur within the first hour of discovery, in some cases, that's already too late.Security operations center (SOC) teams monitor and hunt new threats continuously. To ward off the most advanced threats, security teams proactively hunt for ones that evade the dashboards of their security solutions.However, advanced threat actors have learned to blend in with their target's environment, remaining unnoticed for prolonged periods. Based…

Third-Party App Stores Could Be a Red Flag for iOS Security

Even Apple can’t escape change forever. The famously restrictive company will allow third-party app stores for iOS devices, along with allowing users to “sideload” software directly. Spurring the move is the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA), which looks to ensure open markets by reducing the ability of digital “gatekeepers” to restrict content on devices. While this is good news for app creators and end-users, there is a potential red flag: security. Here’s what the compliance-driven change means for…