In early 2017, the Sage ransomware distinguished itself with a fresh take on the business model for criminal ransomware operations. Built with an engaging, intuitive user interface for requesting the ransom payment, it also reinforced the fact criminals are willing to invest in developing new versions of established ransomware tools. Sage has reasserted itself as a relevant player on the already-saturated ransomware threat landscape with version 2.2.
PhishMe®’s Phishing Defence Centre has observed multiple emails with a subject line that includes a reference to tax declarations in Switzerland (Original subject in German: “Fragen zu der Einkommensteuerklaerung”) as shown in Figure 1. The sender pretends to be a tax officer working for the tax administration (Eidgenoessische Steuerverwaltung ESTV) and is asking the victim to open the attached file to answer questions about the tax declaration.
With it being flu season, no one wants to hear that a new strain of the flu has been discovered. Just as network defenders will not be excited that Locky ransomware has evolved yet again. This time however, threat actors decided to add a darker theme to code.
BY NEERA DESAI AND VICTOR CORNELL
It is not uncommon for threat actors to deploy malicious payloads from multiple malware families during a single phishing campaign. These malware tools may include ransomware, a financial crimes trojan, or other botnet malware. However, it is not as common for those attackers to deploy different malware tools based upon the geographic location of their victim.
PhishMe® analyzes phishing attacks intended for corporate email all the time—phishing for corporate email credentials, malware delivery, etc. However, we also analyze phishing for consumer service credentials—think online shopping or Netflix—since it is also a part of the threat landscape.
We rarely find out the identities of online attackers. As a result, it is often easy to picture attackers as impartial and emotionless devices instead of humans or groups of people. However, attackers often reveal small bits of information about themselves and their personalities in the tactics, techniques, and procedures they select.
While a great deal of focus for research into botnet trojans is on the multipurpose utility of this malware, many of these same tools are still utilized for direct financial crimes and fraud. This configuration data, provides a prima-facie insight into some of the preferred means for monetary gains by threat actors. An example of this can be found in the most recent rounds of TrickBot malware configurations. These XML documents describe the targeted login pages for online services and the action the malware is to take when a victim visits one. Many of the targeted resources reference the login pages for online banking portals, as many malware tools with financial-crimes capabilities often do. However, TrickBot’s targeting of cryptocurrency wallet services also an interesting insight into this malware’s targeting and its relationship to its predecessor, the Dyre trojan.
Part 2 in a series on being “Left of Breach” in the Phishing Kill Chain.
In part 1 of this series, we talked about getting front of data breaches by taking proactive steps—everything to the left of the bullseye in the figure shown here: