September 12, 2018 By Shane Schick 2 min read

DanaBot, one of the most recent cyberthreats to hit the banking industry, has developed a way to avoid detection on virtual machines as it shifts focus from Australia to Poland.

The malware’s upgraded capabilities mean that DanaBot will not run its executable within a virtual machine (VM) environment, making it even more difficult to detect with basic security tools, according to research from IBM Trusteer.

DanaBot surfaced in May 2018, with initial attacks involving Australian financial institutions that fell for a bogus invoice issued from a legitimate, local accounting software firm called MYOB. Like other financial cyberthreats, DanaBot can steal access to user accounts and remotely control devices to commit fraud. The most recent activity, however, shows the banking Trojan is now being aimed at Polish banks and cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

Tracking DanaBot’s Evolution

Compared to Ramnit, TrickBot and other financial cyberthreats, DanaBot is still a relatively minor player. However, the anti-VM feature shows how quickly the malware is evolving into more sophisticated forms. Even before this adaptation, DanaBot was largely invisible to antivirus software, and researchers noted that more stealth updates are likely to come soon.

Perhaps more importantly, DanaBot is not a piece of privately owned code operated by a single group of cybercriminals. It is commercially available, which means the shift from Australia to Poland might be just the beginning if DanaBot draws interest from malicious actors targeting other parts of the world.

How to Fend Off Financial Cyberthreats

DanaBot uses malware spam to break into financial institutions, where employees may be too preoccupied to notice suspicious links or websites. There’s also a lot might not catch with the naked eye, including scripts, document object model data and other elements.

IBM experts suggest combining analytics with machine learning tools that can more readily detect phishing attempts, including image-based attacks that use screenshots of otherwise legitimate-looking bank websites coupled with online forms to steal usernames and passwords. As DanaBot rises through the ranks of financial cyberthreats, a cognitive approach to protecting endpoints is critical.

More from

Unified endpoint management for purpose-based devices

4 min read - As purpose-built devices become increasingly common, the challenges associated with their unique management and security needs are becoming clear. What are purpose-built devices? Most fall under the category of rugged IoT devices typically used outside of an office environment and which often run on a different operating system than typical office devices. Examples include ruggedized tablets and smartphones, handheld scanners and kiosks. Many different industries are utilizing purpose-built devices, including travel and transportation, retail, warehouse and distribution, manufacturing (including automotive)…

Stealthy WailingCrab Malware misuses MQTT Messaging Protocol

14 min read - This article was made possible thanks to the hard work of writer Charlotte Hammond and contributions from Ole Villadsen and Kat Metrick. IBM X-Force researchers have been tracking developments to the WailingCrab malware family, in particular, those relating to its C2 communication mechanisms, which include misusing the Internet-of-Things (IoT) messaging protocol MQTT. WailingCrab, also known as WikiLoader, is a sophisticated, multi-component malware delivered almost exclusively by an initial access broker that X-Force tracks as Hive0133, which overlaps with TA544. WailingCrab…

Operationalize cyber risk quantification for smart security

4 min read - Organizations constantly face new tactics from cyber criminals who aim to compromise their most valuable assets. Yet despite evolving techniques, many security leaders still rely on subjective terms, such as low, medium and high, to communicate and manage cyber risk. These vague terms do not convey the necessary detail or insight to produce actionable outcomes that accurately identify, measure, manage and communicate cyber risks. As a result, executives and board members remain uninformed and ill-prepared to manage organizational risk effectively.…

Pentesting vs. Pentesting as a Service: Which is better?

5 min read - In today's quickly evolving cybersecurity landscape, organizations constantly seek the most effective ways to secure their digital assets. Penetration testing (pentesting) has emerged as a leading solution for identifying potential system vulnerabilities while closing security gaps that can lead to an attack. At the same time, a newer entrant into the security arena is Pentesting as a Service (PTaaS). Although PTaaS shares some similarities with pentesting, distinct differences make them two separate solutions. This article will discuss how these methodologies…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today