Sunday, December 3, 2023

Hackers Launching Weaponized Word Document to Push Emotet & Qakbot Malware

A new malspam campaign pushes Emotet banking malware along with Qakbot as the follow-up malware.

The Emotet is a banking trojan that has the capabilities to steal personal information such as the username and the passwords.

Security researcher Brad Duncan tracked the malspam campaign that pushes Emotet malware and Qakbot as the follow-up malware.

Emotet banking malware is continually spreading since 2017 and it is one of the costly banking trojans and currently it spreading via large spam campaign.

The infection starts with invoice Email, that urges the users to clear the outstanding due, the email contains a link, and it asks users to click on the link to complete the payment.

An attached link points to an XML document when the user clicks on the link it downloads an XML document with the .doc extension, if the victim has MSOffice then it open’s in the Microsoft Word by default.

Flow chart for recent Emotet malspam infections

“The downloaded XML document has macros that, if enabled, will infect the vulnerable Windows host with Emotet,” SANS said via blog post.

Emotet is an advanced modular banking Trojan, it acts as dropper as well as the downloader, once it infects the victim’s machine it intercepts the logs, and save outgoing network traffic via a web browser leading to sensitive data being compiled to access the victim’s bank accounts.

After the initial infection, the Emotet downloads the Qakbot malware and installs to the victim machine. Both the malware remains persistent through the registry.

when Qakbot executed, it copied itself to another directory and replaced the original file with a re-named calc.exe.

The Qakbot malware is capable of monitoring the browsing activities of the infected computer and logs all information related to finance-related websites.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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