Russian hackers used 4 new malware in USAID phishing

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Microsoft

Microsoft states that a Russian hacking group used four new malware families in recent phishing attacks impersonating the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Thursday night, the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) disclosed that the Russian-backed hacking group APT29, also known as Nobelium, had compromised the Contact Contact account for USAID.

Using this legitimate marketing account, the threat actors impersonated USAID in phishing emails sent to approximately 3,000 email accounts at more than 150 different organizations, including government agencies and organizations devoted to international development, humanitarian, and human rights work.

Targeting phishing emails pretending to be from USAID
Targeting phishing emails pretending to be from USAID

New malware used by Nobelium

In a second blog post released Friday night, Microsoft provides details on four new malware families used by Nobelium in these recent attacks.

The four new families include an HTML attachment named ‘EnvyScout’, a downloader known as ‘BoomBox,’ a loader known as ‘NativeZone’, and a shellcode downloader and launcher named ‘VaporRage.’

EnvyScout

EnvyScout is a malicious HTML/JS file attachment used in spear-phishing emails that attempts to steal the NTLM credentials of Windows accounts and drops a malicious ISO on a victim’s device.

Distributed as a file named NV.html, when opened, the HTML file will attempt to load an image from a file:// URL. When doing this, Windows may send the logged-in user’s Windows NTLM credentials to the remote site, which attackers can capture and brute-force to reveal the plain text password.

Loading a remote image using the file:// URL
Loading a remote image using the file:// URL

Microsoft states that the attachment is also used to convert an embedded text blob into a malicious ISO saved as NV.img to the local file system.

NV.html attachment saving the ISO image
NV.html attachment saving the ISO image

“At this stage of infection, the user is expected to open the downloaded ISO, NV.img, by double clicking it,” explains Microsoft.

When the ISO image opens, Windows will show the user a shortcut named NV that executes the hidden BOOM.exe, which is part of the new BoomBox malware family described below.

Contents of NV.img ISO file
Contents of NV.img ISO file

Security researcher Florian Roth discovered

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