Out with the old, in with the new? When it comes to cybercrime, that’s rarely the case. We often seen old malware get upgrades with new techniques, payloads, and even targets. This is certainly the case for an old Java remote access Trojan (RAT) detected as JAVA_OZNEB.B.
Users may encounter this threat as an attachment to spammed emails. These emails are often financial in nature. One such email pretends to be from American Express, informing recipients that their accounts have been suspended due to suspicious activity. To reactivate, they must fill out the attachment and send it back to American Express. The attachment is actually the malware in disguise. Users may also encounter the malware online pretending to be catalogues, product lists, or receipts.
Figure 1. Sample spammed message
Once it infects the computer, the RAT can perform a variety of routines, such as take screenshots, display messages, and load additional plugins, including one for mining Litecoins. The option for additional plugins makes the malware a high risk threat as cybercriminals can update and tweak routines as they wish. Making the malware a bigger threat is the fact that it can run on multiple platforms. It should be noted that this is not the first Java RAT that affects multiple platforms; we first spotted one in 2012.
JAVA_OZNEB.B was previously known as Adwind then later renamed to UNRECOM (Universal Remote Control Multi-Platform). Aside from the new name, the malware also experienced an upgrade: it can now run on the Android platform. The inclusion of Android in the set-up is highly notable because aside from running in Android, this malware now also works as an APK binder. Put simply, the malware can be used to Trojanize legitimate apps, like an Android malware we’ve previously discussed.
The inclusion of a Litecoin miner plugin is highly notable, given the slew of threats targeting cryptocurrencies we’ve seen recently. Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that’s often considered as a popular alternative to Bitcoin. The Litecoin plugin can allow a remote malicious user to use an infected computer to mine Litecoins. Mining digital currencies requires a lot of computing power so victims may experience sluggish performance from their infected computers.
Feedback from the Smart Protection Network that affected countries includes the United States, Turkey, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan. We advise users to be cautious when opening emails, even if they appear to come from reputable senders. For matters related to finance, it’s best to call the financial institution involved to resolve potential issues.
With additional insights from Lala Manly.