SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Necurs botnet erupts from dormancy to churn out 100,000 spam emails over Easter

FYI, this story is more than a year old

One of the world's largest spam botnets is back in action and this time it is spreading a Trojan downloader that can deliver a number of nasty malware surprises.

Just prior to Easter weekend, the Necurs botnet ramped up its activity by churning out approximately 100,000 emails in a single day. A few days prior, approximately 5000 emails were sent out.

The activity follows what Check Point dubbed a ‘relatively quiet' month for the botnet.

“The low volumes seen at the earlier date indicate that that may have been an initial test before the main wave emerged.

The spam emails mimicked purchase orders or document copies – two of the most common malware delivery methods.  The sender's email address follows a similar pattern and begins with ‘netadmin', Check Point explains in a blog.

“The emails have an attached archive containing a file with a URL. The URL files communicate with hosts in order to download an additional WSF file containing obfuscated JavaScript. This script is used to retrieve a QuantLoader payload, which, in turn, may download additional executables.

Check Point notes that the Necurs botnet is notorious for distributing a number of malware families in the past, including both the Locky, Globe and Jaff ransomwares.

Because the Necurs botnet has suddenly engaged in a flurry activity after being dormant, it demonstrates how manware can quickly re-emerge.

“Despite Necurs being well known to the security community, hackers are still enjoying success distributing malware with this highly effective infection vehicle,” Check Point says.

In November last year researchers spotted cybercriminals who were using Necurs to distribute the Scarab ransomware – a relatively new ransomware variant first discovered in June 2017.

Necurs also featured eighth in Check Point's ‘most wanted' malware for the month of December 2017.

“Necurs botnet started mass distribution of Scarab during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, sending over 12 million emails in a single morning,” Check Point says.

“This reinforces the need for advanced threat prevention technologies and a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that protects against both previously encountered, established malware families as well as brand new, zero-day threats.

Check Point's ThreatCloud intelligence is a collaborative network to fight cybercrime which delivers threat data and attack trends from a global network of threat sensors.

The ThreatCloud database holds over 250 million addresses analysed for bot discovery, more than 11 million malware signatures and over 5.5 million infected websites, and identifies millions of malware types daily.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Continuous attack attempts discovered on Atlassian Confluence zero day
Following a coordinated disclosure of a zero-day vulnerability by Volexity in Atlassian Confluence, attackers went wild to exploit it.
Story image
Ransomware
Commonwealth tackling rising cybercrime threat in Asia
Ransomware, identity theft, and virtual security attacks identified as growing threats to security and economic growth.
Story image
Malware
Mandiant uncovers malware ecosystem deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems
Mandiant research has uncovered a novel malware ecosystem that was found deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems by an advanced and suspected China nexus threat actor.
Story image
Microsoft
Yubico research finds concerning trends around authentication security practices
A new global survey from Yubico has found that 59% of employees still rely on usernames and passwords as the primary method to authenticate their accounts.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Data Protection
99% of security experts unhappy with tokenisation investment
Cybersecurity experts are looking for a solution that provides the strength of tokenisation while removing the friction that has accompanied it in the past.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Firewall
Forrester names Akamai as web application firewall leader
"We continually monitor and improve our capabilities to defend customers from new threats, while enabling customers to protect evolving attack surfaces."
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Fortinet advances AIOps to aid the hybrid workforce
"We’re continuing our commitment to AI innovation by delivering AIOps capabilities across our robust portfolio of enterprise networking technology."
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”