Last week in security news, security researchers investigated how ransomware actors are targeting victims’ cloud-based backups to maximize their profits. Speaking of ransomware, the security community learned of a new family attempting to encrypt the entire networks of U.S. cities and businesses. New attack attempts involving Cerberus and Domen also came to light.

Top Story of the Week: Cloud-Based Backups Targeted by Ransomware Actors

Bleeping Computer reached out to the operators of the DoppelPaymer and Maze ransomware families to learn how these threats target victims’ cloud backups. From this conversation, the computer self-help site learned that ransomware actors commonly use tools such as Mimikatz to dump credentials from the active directory as part of the infection chain. Malicious actors turned to this technique in the past in an attempt to gain access to organizations’ cloud backup software.

If they found properly configured software, the ransomware actors attempted to gain access to a victim’s credentials for the service using phishing attacks, keyloggers and/or other means. They then abused those credentials to authenticate themselves for the purpose of restoring a victim’s data onto their servers before deleting the backups and demanding that the victim pay up.

Source: iStock

Also in Security News

  • More Than a Billion Devices Open to Krøøk Vulnerability: ESET identified a vulnerability that could enable malicious actors to intercept and decrypt Wi-Fi traffic using WPA2 connections. The security flaw, dubbed Krøøk, affected more than a billion devices at the time of discovery, the security firm noted.
  • Expired Security Certificates Employed as Lure to Deliver Malware: Kaspersky Lab detected several attack attempts in which infected websites informed visitors that some kind of security certificate had expired and thus required an update. If they allowed the update to run, they unknowingly exposed themselves to Buerak, which then downloaded the Mokes backdoor.
  • Smoke Loader Distributed by Domen’s New Malvertising Campaign: In mid-February, Malwarebytes discovered a new malvertising campaign launched by the Domen social engineering toolkit. Using a VPN service as a lure, the campaign redirected its victims to Smoke Loader, a malicious downloader that installed numerous secondary payloads in some cases.
  • New RAT Capability Added by Cerberus Android Malware: Back in mid-January, security researchers at ThreatFabric came across a new variant of the Cerberus Android malware family. This version arrived with the ability to steal two-factor authentication (2FA) codes by abusing the Accessibility services on an infected device and the ability to intercept a user’s screen lock credentials via an overlay screen.
  • U.S. Cities, Businesses Caught in PwndLocker’s Crosshairs: Sources told Bleeping Computer that a new family of ransomware called PwndLocker began encrypting the entire networks of U.S. businesses and cities. In each of its successful attacks, the threat demanded high ransom payments ranging from $175,000 to $660,000.
  • OneNote Notebook Leveraged by Phishers to Prey Upon Users: Cofense discovered a phishing campaign in which malicious actors used a OneNote notebook hosted on OneDrive to phish for users’ account credentials. The threat actors behind this operation also leveraged the notebook to drop the Agent Tesla keylogger and other malware payloads.

Security Tip of the Week: Protect Your Organization’s Data Assets

Security professionals can help protect their organization’s data assets by using security controls to block and mask their sensitive information. These security measures should involve the implementation of encryption. Additionally, infosec personnel should use ongoing security awareness training to cultivate a strong security culture in the workplace.

More from

New Attack Targets Online Customer Service Channels

An unknown attacker group is targeting customer service agents at gambling and gaming companies with a new malware effort. Known as IceBreaker, the code is capable of stealing passwords and cookies, exfiltrating files, taking screenshots and running custom VBS scripts. While these are fairly standard functions, what sets IceBreaker apart is its infection vector. Malicious actors are leveraging the helpful nature of customer service agents to deliver their payload and drive the infection process. Here’s a look at how IceBreaker…

Operational Technology: The evolving threats that might shift regulatory policy

Listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you find your favorite audio content. Attacks on Operational Technology (OT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) grabbed the headlines more often in 2022 — a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparking a growing willingness on behalf of criminals to target the ICS of critical infrastructure. Conversations about what could happen if these kinds of systems were compromised were once relegated to “what ifs” and disaster movie scripts. But those days are…

Cybersecurity 101: What is Attack Surface Management?

There were over 4,100 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2022, exposing about 22 billion records. Criminals can use stolen data for identity theft, financial fraud or to launch ransomware attacks. While these threats loom large on the horizon, attack surface management (ASM) seeks to combat them. ASM is a cybersecurity approach that continuously monitors an organization’s IT infrastructure to identify and remediate potential points of attack. Here’s how it can give your organization an edge. Understanding Attack Surface Management Here…

Six Ways to Secure Your Organization on a Smaller Budget

My LinkedIn feed has been filled with connections announcing they have been laid off and are looking for work. While it seems that no industry has been spared from uncertainty, my feed suggests tech has been hit the hardest. Headlines confirm my anecdotal experience. Many companies must now protect their systems from more sophisticated threats with fewer resources — both human and technical. Cobalt’s 2022 The State of Pentesting Report found that 90% of short-staffed teams are struggling to monitor…