Security researchers detected an Ursnif campaign that leveraged a new infection chain to target users based in Italy.

Cybaze-Yoroi Zlab observed that the Ursnif campaign began with a phishing email containing an attached Microsoft Word document. Once clicked, this file prompted users to enter a password so they could view its contents. The decision to use a password-protected file helped the campaign avoid detection. Indeed, its detection rate was zero at the time of discovery.

Upon receiving the correct password, the operation continued its infection by enabling the execution of a batch file that contained junk numbers inside the code. This file consisted of a script that created another file called “pinumber.vbs” and used a compromised Italian law-themed website as a DropURL to download a self-extracting archive. The contents of that file ultimately triggered the execution of a JavaScript module containing two embedded payloads, including an executable that infected the computer with Ursnif malware.

Ursnif’s History of Targeting Italy

Ursnif has a long history of preying upon Italian users. Back in August 2018, for instance, Trend Micro detected a campaign in which attackers used a fake receipt as a lure to trick users into opening an email attachment containing the Trojan.

In July 2019, Proofpoint picked up high-volume campaigns in which malicious actors targeted victims across Italy, Western Europe and Japan with samples of the Ursnif banking Trojan and URLZone. That was just a few months before Infoblox spotted attackers targeting Italy and Germany with the malware.

Defend Against an Ursnif Campaign

Security professionals can help their organizations defend against an Ursnif campaign by conducting simulated phishing attacks on an ongoing basis. Such exercises will help strengthen the workforce’s familiarity with and preparedness against email-based attacks.

Additionally, infosec personnel should conduct regular reviews of their organization’s security controls, especially backup and restoration capabilities, to make sure they can recover from a ransomware attack initiated by a phishing email.

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…