April Sees Spikes in Geodo Botnet Trojan

Throughout April, our Phishing Defense Team observed an increase in malicious URLs that deliver the financial crimes and botnet trojan known as Geodo. These emails take a simple approach to social engineering, using just a sentence or two prompting the victim to click on a link to see a report or invoice that has been sent to them.

An example of a typical phishing email used in these attacks is shown below:

Following the malicious links will lead the victim to download a hostile JavaScript application or PDF document tasked with obtaining and executing Geodo malware. One common attribute of these messages is the use of the words “invoice” or “order” as a common substring in the subject lines.

Below are some examples of subject lines we have observed:

Emails containing malicious links providing the PDF documents used to deliver this malware have also been found to contain the word “attachment” somewhere within in the subject line.

When the victim executes the JavaScript application or opens the PDF document, scripting content is used to download and execute the Geodo malware sample. The list below contains a representative sampling of payload locations used to deliver Geodo:

Once the Geodo payload is in place on the victim’s computer, it will connect to the Geodo command and control infrastructure allowing the attacker to collect sensitive information from the infected machine.

Listed below are command and control hosts that have been observed during our analysis:

The core functionality of the Geodo trojan lies in its ability to collect sensitive information from infected machines and their users. Sophisticated browser-based information stealing functionality provided by Geodo includes form grabs and HTTPS man-in-the-middle attacks. Geodo also sports the ability to produce new sets of phishing emails, delivering itself to new potential victims.

Full List of Geodo IOCs collected by the Phishing Defense Center

Infection URLs (Where the malware was originally downloaded from):

Payloads:

Command and Control hosts:

Recommendation:

PhishMe cautions its customers to be wary of emails containing suspicious links or attachments. Specific to this sample, we recommend that customers be observant for unexpected emails that contain subject lines referring to invoices or attachments, and email bodies that ask you to visit a link to see an invoice or report. PhishMe Simulator customers may consider launching simulations that follow this style of attack to further train their users to detect and report suspicious emails.

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BEC Scams Hit Technology Giants for over $100 Million Dollars

Even the biggest companies fall for it. This week, reports showed that Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, sometimes referred to as CEO Fraud Emails, netted over $100 million dollars from Facebook and Google. While people are increasingly aware of phishing emails containing links and attachments, BEC scams (also known as CEO Fraud) continue to reward criminals with alarming effectiveness. These phishing scams fly past traditional security roadblocks because there are no URLs or Attachments to scan.

EY Announces PhishMe CEO Rohyt Belani as Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Mid-Atlantic Award Finalist

Tysons, VA, April 25, 2017 – EY today announced that CEO and co-founder Rohyt Belani of PhishMe is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Mid-Atlantic region. The awards program, which is celebrating its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Rohyt Belani was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 15, 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.

Off-the-shelf Zyklon Botnet Malware Utilized to Deliver Cerber Ransomware

Recent, large-scale distributions of the Zyklon botnet malware mark a continuing trend of off-the-shelf malware use. This multipurpose trojan, capable of supporting numerous criminal activities, has been identified in phishing attacks more and more frequently through the month of April. The bulk of these campaign have leveraged resume- and job-applicant-themed messaging as in the phishing narrative. The most recent analyses of this distribution have shown that the threat actors are attempting to leverage the malware’s full feature set by not only using it as an information stealer, but also as a downloader used to obtain and deploy the Cerber ransomware to infected endpoints. This technique demonstrates threat actor resourcefulness as well as the increasing commodification and democratization of malware utilities once reserved for only the most-technically-capable threat actors.

Locky Stages Comeback Borrowing Dridex Delivery Techniques

The ransomware that defined much of the phishing threat landscape in 2016 raged back into prominence on April 21, 2017 with multiple sets of phishing email messages. Harkening back to narratives used throughout 2016, these messages leveraged simple, easily-recognizable, but perennially-effective phishing lures to convince recipients to open the attached file.

Does your Incident Response Plan include Phishing?

It’s no secret that 90% of breaches start with a phishing attack. The question is: are you prepared to recognize phishing and respond to it? Many organizations are concerned with how much spam they receive and implement controls specific to spam. But you shouldn’t confuse preventing spam with responding to phishing attacks.

How Dridex Threat Actors Craft Phishing Attacks, No Exploits Necessary

Threat actors using the Dridex botnet malware received a great deal of attention recently for their purported utilization of content exploiting a previously un-patched vulnerability in Microsoft Word. This exploit, which took advantage of unexpected behavior in the handling of certain document types, was reportedly used to deliver the Dridex botnet malware via documents attached to phishing emails. However, the bulk of Dridex campaigns leverage far more common delivery techniques that abuse the functionality that already exists in Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader rather than deploying some complex exploit content. This serves as a reminder that threat actors don’t always rely on exploit content because exploits of un-patched vulnerabilities are no longer required to break into an enterprise; simple phishing messages can accomplish this same goal.

Wide-Spread Ursnif Campaign Goes Live

On April 5th, our Phishing Defense Center received a flurry of emails with subject line following a pattern of Lastname, firstname. Attached to each email was a password-protected .docx Word document with an embedded OLE package. In all cases the attachments were password protected to decrease the likelihood of detection by automated analysis tools. A password was provided to the victim in the body of the email which attempts to lure the victim into opening the malicious attachment and to increase the apparent legitimacy of the message.