Emerging Threats

Our musings on navigating the ever-evolving cyber & physical threat landscapes.

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Trickbot Gang Evolves, Incorporates Account Checking Into Hybrid Attack Model

Individuals who reuse login credentials across multiple sites are more susceptible to account checking attacks, which occur when threat actors use credentials stolen from past database breaches or compromises to gain unauthorized access to other accounts belonging to the same victims. However, the process of mining compromised data for correct username and password combinations requires […]

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The WireX Botnet: How Industry Collaboration Disrupted a DDoS Attack

By Flashpoint Analyst Team
August 25, 2017

Introduction On August 17th, 2017, multiple Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and content providers were subject to significant attacks from a botnet dubbed WireX. The botnet is named for an anagram for one of the delimiter strings in its command and control protocol. The WireX botnet comprises primarily Android devices running malicious applications and is designed […]

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BEC Campaigns Target Organizations Across Sectors Using Credential Phishing

In general, business email compromise (BEC) scams are widely viewed as a type of cybercrime that necessitates relatively minimal technical ability. Despite this, analysts industry-wide have observed BEC operators progressing from simple schemes such as 419 and fake lottery scams – in which unwitting victims are duped into sending payments to fraudsters after being promised […]

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With a boost from Necurs, Trickbot expands its targeting to numerous U.S. financial institutions

The Necurs botnet first emerged in 2012 and has since become notorious for powering massive, malware-laden spam campaigns. Although the botnet’s historical association with Locky and Jaff Ransomware has long raised concerns from organizations across all sectors, Necurs is now delivering a different type of malware that poses a threat specifically to the financial sector: […]

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WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Documents Detailing “Brutal Kangaroo” Tool and LNK Exploits

On June 22, 2017, WikiLeaks released a new cache of documents detailing four tools allegedly used by the CIA as part of its ongoing “Vault 7” campaign. The leaked tools are named “EzCheese,” “Brutal Kangaroo,” “Emotional Simian,” and “Shadow.” When used in combination, these tools can be used to attack systems that are air-gapped by […]

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“Necurs” Botnet Fuels Massive Spam Campaigns Spreading “Jaff” Ransomware

Starting on May 11, 2017, Flashpoint analysts observed several large spam campaigns originating from the Necurs botnet that aim to dupe recipients into opening malicious attachments that infect their computers with “Jaff” ransomware. These spam campaigns feature a multi-stage infection chain including a PDF file, a malicious Microsoft Office document, and finally, the Jaff ransomware […]

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Linguistic Analysis of WannaCry Ransomware Messages Suggests Chinese-Speaking Authors

Since the May 12, 2017, “WannaCry” ransomware worm attack, researchers have struggled with the question of attribution. As of this writing, a number of researchers have linked the activity to the suspected North Korean-affiliated “Lazarus Group” due to similarities in the code and the infrastructure. Flashpoint analysts conducted similar analyses, but also included a linguistic […]

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