After almost two years of sporadic restricted activity, the ShadowGate campaign has started delivering cryptocurrency miners with a newly upgraded version of the Greenflash Sundown exploit kit. The campaign has been spotted targeting global victims, after operating mainly in Asia. Background of the Greenflash Sundown exploit kit The ShadowGate (also called WordsJS) campaign was identified…Read More
We’ve uncovered a new exploit kit in the wild through a malvertising campaign we’ve dubbed “ProMediads”. We call this new exploit kit Sundown-Pirate, as it’s indeed a bootleg of its precursors and actually named so by its back panel.
ProMediads has been active as early as 2016, employing Rig and Sundown exploit kits to deliver malware. Its activities dropped off in mid-February this year, but suddenly welled on June 16 via Rig. However, we noticed that ProMediads eschewed Rig in favor of Sundown-Pirate on June 25.
It’s worth noting that Sundown-Pirate is only employed by ProMediads so far. This could mean that it’s yet another private exploit kit, like the similarly styled GreenFlash Sundown exploit kit that was exclusively used by the ShadowGate campaign.Read More
This year has seen a big shift in the exploit kit landscape, with many of the bigger players unexpectedly dropping out of action. The Nuclear exploit kit operations started dwindling in May, Angler disappeared around the same time Russia’s Federal Security Service made nearly 50 arrests last June, and then in September Neutrino reportedly went private and shifted focus to select clientele only. Now, the most prominent exploit kits in circulation are RIG and Sundown. Both gained prominence shortly after Neutrino dropped out of active circulation.Read More
A new exploit kit has arrived which is spreading different versions of Locky ransomware. We spotted two cases of this new threat, which is based on the earlier Sundown exploit kit. Sundown rose to prominence (together with Rig) after the then-dominant Neutrino exploit kit was neutralized.
Called Bizarro Sundown, the first version was spotted on October 5 with a second sighting two weeks later, on October 19. Users in Taiwan and Korea made up more than half of the victims of this threat. Bizarro Sundown shares some features with its Sundown predecessor but added anti-analysis features. The October 19 attack also changed its URL format to closely resemble legitimate web advertisements. Both versions were used exclusively by the ShadowGate/WordsJS campaign.Read More
In some of the recent Powload-related incidents we saw, we noticed significant changes to some of the attachments in the spam emails: the use of steganography and targeting of specific countries. Figure 2 shows the difference. For example, the samples we analyzed in early 2018 had more straightforward infection chains. These updates added another stage to the execution of malicious routines as a way to evade detection.
The Powload variants that use these techniques drop and execute the Ursnif and Bebloh data stealers. We did not see any notable differences in the payloads’ routines. The distribution tactics also resemble a spam campaign we uncovered last year, which delivered the same information stealers but distributed via the Cutwail botnet.Read More