Story image

FormBook malware targeting industrial sectors across Asia & US

09 Oct 17

South Korea and the United States have been two of several countries bombarded with high-volume malware distribution campaigns at the aerospace, defence contractor and manufacturing sectors over the last few months, according to new research from FireEye.

The FormBook malware distribution campaigns used several different methods of distributing the malware, which is able to steal clipboard contents, log keystrokes and extract data from HTTP sessions.

“While FormBook is not unique in either its functionality or distribution mechanisms, its relative ease of use, affordable pricing structure, and open availability make FormBook an attractive option for cyber criminals of varying skill levels,” researchers Nart Villeneuve, Randi Eitzman, Sandor Nemes and Tyler Dean comment

It can also run commands from its Command & Control server, including the ability to download and execute files, start processes, shut down and restart the system, steal passwords and cookies.

Distribution methods included PDFs with download links; .DOC and .XLS files with malicious macros; and archive files (e.g. .ZIP & .RAR) that housed .EXE payloads.

The PDF campaigns mimicked FedEx and DHL shipping labels, while the archive campaign used fake purchase order or remittance campaign email subject lines.

“The credentials and other data harvested by successful FormBook infections could be used for additional cyber crime activities including, but not limited to: identity theft, continued phishing operations, bank fraud and extortion,” researchers state.

FireEye researchers say the FormBook malware has been available for purchase on hacking forums since at least 2016, and in the last few weeks FormBook has been spotted downloading additional malware families like NanoCore.

They also say that the malware is able to read Windows ntdll.dll module from disk to memory and directly calls its exported functions. This means API monitoring mechanisms are automatically ineffective.

“It also features a persistence method that randomly changes the path, filename, file extension, and the registry key used for persistence. The malware author does not sell the builder, but only sells the panel, and then generates the executable files as a service,” researchers continue.

In addition to the malware’s spread across South Korea and the United States, the DOC/XLS campaign has been spotted in other APAC countries including Thailand (accounted for 8% of attacks), Hong Kong (6%), the Philippines (3%) and India (3%).

The archive campaign hit South Korea the most (31%) and the US, followed by APAC targets including India (17%), Australia (5%) and Japan (4%).

Oracle Java Card update boosts security for IoT devices
"Java Card 3.1 is very significant to the Internet of Things, bringing interoperability, security and flexibility to a fast-growing market currently lacking high-security and flexible edge security solutions."
Sophos hires ex-McAfee SVP Gavin Struther
After 16 years as the APAC senior vice president and president for McAfee, Struthers is now heading the APJ arm of Sophos.
Half of companies unable to detect IoT device breaches
A Gemalto study also shows that the of blockchain technology to help secure IoT data, services and devices has doubled in a year.
Huawei founder publically denies spying allegations
“After all the evidence is made public, we will rely on the justice system.”
Malware downloader on the rise in Check Point’s latest Threat Index
Organisations continue to be targeted by cryptominers, despite an overall drop in value across all cryptocurrencies in 2018.
IoT breaches: Nearly half of businesses still can’t detect them
The Internet of Thing’s (IoT’s) rapid rise to prominence may have compromised its security, if a new report from Gemalto is anything to go by.
Carbon Black: What does cybersecurity have in store for 2019?
Tom Kellerman has shared five insights for the year ahead, including a particularly bold one.
Hands-on review: The Ekster Wallet protects your cards against RFID attacks
For some time now, I’ve been protecting my credit cards with tinfoil. The tinfoil hat does attract a lot of comments, but thanks to Ekster, those days are now happily behind me.