Cobalt cyber criminals gang spreading new malware campaign using Weaponized MS Word Document to attack various financial institutions and also this group using various sophisticated Tools to evade the windows defense.

Cobalt hackers have a strong tracking record of a various cyber attack and they are primarily targeting financial organizations using ATM malware also researchers believe that this gang was ultimately responsible for  SWIFT banking system attack that causes million dollar damage.

There are various malware samples were uncovered and it indicates an ongoing campaign targeting various financial organization that is located in eastern Europe and Russia.

Criminals mainly using the powerful backdoors to infiltrate the financial networks that is distributing via Weaponized MS Word Document.

Also attackers by-passing AppLocker to hide the infection with various obfustication techniques.

Cobalt APT Hackers Attack & Infection Chain

Researchers discovered 2 ongoing malware campaign that contains powerful JavaScript and reconnaissance backdoors.

Attackers using an Initial distribution of the malware via spear phishing messages that mimic as legitimate content with attached MS Word Document.

Phishing emails mostly sending from uncovered encrypted emails service that leads to the following five additional domains

  1. compass[.]plus
  2. eucentalbank[.]com
  3. europecentalbank[.]com
  4. inter-kassa[.]com
  5. unibank[.]credit

The document from the embedded URL in the phishing email, Document00591674.doc (61e3207a3ea674c2ae012f44f2f5618b), renders a VBA infested word document which continues the infection cycle once macros are enabled.

Later VBA script pieces together a cmd.exe will launch the cmstp.exe &  INF file that helps to bypass the AppLocker and it downloads the remote payload that executes the cmstp.exe.

Then finally it launches the JavaScript backdoor dropper binary and it communicates with C&C server Using of RC4 to encrypt traffic and share the collected system data.

According to arbor networks,  The second binary identified by security researchers, dubbed “Recon (CobInt) backdoor”, matched a new sample ASERT identified. A number of binaries came to light after the initial findings of the CobInt backdoor.

In this case, ASERT also recommends that employees are trained to spot phishing emails and, where possible, closely inspect emails for look-alike domains that might contain malicious attachments or links.

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