Thursday, February 22, 2024

Beware!! Hackers Attack Government and Medical Organizations With COVID-19 RTF File

Threat actors continue to use COVID-19 pandemic to launch various attacks such as malware, phishing, fraud, and disinformation campaigns.

Numerous COVID-19 themed phishing campaigns observed by researchers that attack targeting government and Medical Organizations.

Ransomware Campaigns Observed

Security researchers from Unit 42 observed several malicious emails appeared to be coming from WHO with spoofed address (noreply@who[.]int).

The campaign targets individuals associated with a Canadian government health organization actively working to mitigate COVID-19.

The emails contain a malicious Rich Text Format (RTF) with the filename (20200323-sitrep-63-covid-19.doc), once the file is opened with document viewing tool, it drops a ransomware payload exploiting the Microsoft component vulnerability, CVE-2012-0158.

The dropped binary is hidden and it has an Adobe Acrobat icon, once executed it sends an HTTP GET request to download the image, which is used for ransomware notification.

COVID-19 themed
Ransomware Notification

Once the image get’s downloaded, then the aspecific request will get created based on the user name and hostname of the victim.

By getting the victim details then C&C server creates a custom key based on the username/hostname details and sends the key back to the infected host for further processing.

The ransomware encrypts the following files and appends .locked20 extension, researchers believe the ransomware variant used is EDA2.

“.abw”, “.aww”, “.chm”, “.dbx”, “.djvu”, “.doc”, “.docm”, “.docx”, “.dot”, “.dotm”, “.dotx”, “.epub”, “.gp4”, “.ind”, “.indd”, “.key”, “.keynote”, “.mht”, “.mpp”, “.odf”, “.ods”, “.odt”, “.ott”, “.oxps”, “.pages”, “.pdf”, “.pmd”, “.pot”, “.potx”, “.pps”, “.ppsx”, “.ppt”, “.pptm”, “.pptx”, “.prn”, “.prproj”, “.ps”, “.pub”, “.pwi”, “.rtf”, “.sdd”, “.sdw”, “.shs”, “.snp”, “.sxw”, “.tpl”, “.vsd”, “.wpd”, “.wps”, “.wri”, “.xps”, “.bak”, “.bbb”, “.bkf”, “.bkp”, “.dbk”, “.gho”, “.iso”, “.json”, “.mdbackup”, “.nba”, “.nbf”, “.nco”, “.nrg”, “.old”, “.rar”, “.sbf”, “.sbu”, “.spb”, “.spba”, “.tib”, “.wbcat”, “.zip”, “7z”, “.dll”, “.dbf”

In another COVID-19 themed campaign malspam emails sent to number customers in healthcare, pharmaceutical, government industries among others.

COVID-19 themed
Malspam Email

The emails containing attachments that deliver the info stealer AgentTesla malware. The malware was active since 2014.

It is capable of stealing credentials stored within a wide list of web browsers, FTP clients, File Downloaders, etc.

The malware communication with the C2 server is encrypted, the AgentTesla malware sold on various hacking forums and this malware is the top choice of the SilverTerrier threat actor.

Now, most of the people started working from home with fewer security defenses in place, already the current situation is undesirable, any cyberattacks could make it worse. User’s should be more vigilant about the attacks.

We recommend you to stay safe at home and while surfing online.

Related Read

CoronaVirus Cyber Attack Panic – Threat Actors Targets Victims Worldwide

Chinese APT Hackers Exploit MS Word Bug to Drop Malware Via Weaponized Coronavirus Lure Documents

How Can The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disrupt Cybersecurity Operations?


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Guru baran
Guru baran
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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