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Beware! Undetectable CrossRAT malware targets Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems

Discussion in 'Security and Anti-Virus Software' started by Dr. AMK, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Beware! Undetectable CrossRAT malware targets Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems
    Thursday, January 25, 2018 Mohit Kumar



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    Are you using Linux or Mac OS? If you think your system is not prone to viruses, then you should read this.

    Wide-range of cybercriminals are now using a new piece of 'undetectable' spying malware that targets Windows, macOS, Solaris and Linux systems.

    Just last week we published a detailed article on the report from EFF/Lookout that revealed a new advanced persistent threat (APT) group, called Dark Caracal, engaged in global mobile espionage campaigns.

    Although the report revealed about the group's successful large-scale hacking operations against mobile phones rather than computers, it also shed light on a new piece of cross-platform malware called CrossRAT (version 0.1), which is believed to be developed by, or for, the Dark Caracal group.


    CrossRAT is a cross-platform remote access Trojan that can target all four popular desktop operating systems, Windows, Solaris, Linux, and macOS, enabling remote attackers to manipulate the file system, take screenshots, run arbitrary executables, and gain persistence on the infected systems.

    According to researchers, Dark Caracal hackers do not rely on any "zero-day exploits" to distribute its malware; instead, it uses basic social engineering via posts on Facebook groups and WhatsApp messages, encouraging users to visit hackers-controlled fake websites and download malicious applications.

    CrossRAT is written in Java programming language, making it easy for reverse engineers and researchers to decompile it.
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    Since at the time of writing only two out of 58 popular antivirus solutions (according to VirusTotal) can detect CrossRAT, ex-NSA hacker Patrick Wardle decided to analyse the malware and provide a comprehensive technical overview including its persistence mechanism, command and control communication as well as its capabilities.

    CrossRAT 0.1 — Cross-Platform Persistent Surveillance Malware

    Once executed on the targeted system, the implant (hmar6.jar) first checks the operating system it's running on and then installs itself accordingly.

    Besides this, the CrossRAT implant also attempts to gather information about the infected system, including the installed OS version, kernel build and architecture.

    Moreover, for Linux systems, the malware also attempts to query systemd files to determine its distribution, like Arch Linux, Centos, Debian, Kali Linux, Fedora, and Linux Mint, among many more.


    CrossRAT then implements OS specific persistence mechanisms to automatically (re)executes whenever the infected system is rebooted and register itself to the C&C server, allowing remote attackers to send command and exfiltrate data.

    As reported by Lookout researchers, CrossRAT variant distributed by Dark Caracal hacking group connects to 'flexberry(dot)com' on port 2223, whose information is hardcoded in the 'crossrat/k.class' file.

    CrossRAT Includes Inactive Keylogger Module
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    The malware has been designed with some basic surveillance capabilities, which get triggered only when received respective predefined commands from the C&C server.

    Interestingly, Patrick noticed that the CrossRAT has also been programmed to use 'jnativehook,' an open-source Java library to listen to keyboard and mouse events, but the malware does not have any predefined command to activate this keylogger.
    "However, I didn’t see any code within that implant that referenced the jnativehook package—so at this point it appears that this functionality is not leveraged? There may be a good explanation for this. As noted in the report, the malware identifies it’s version as 0.1, perhaps indicating it’s still a work in progress and thus not feature complete," Patrick said.
    How to Check If You're Infected with CrossRAT?

    Since CrossRAT persists in an OS-specific manner, detecting the malware will depend on what operating system you are running.

    For Windows:
    • Check the 'HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\' registry key.
    • If infected it will contain a command that includes, java, -jar and mediamgrs.jar.
    For macOS:
    • Check for jar file, mediamgrs.jar, in ~/Library.
    • Also look for launch agent in /Library/LaunchAgents or ~/Library/LaunchAgents named mediamgrs.plist.
    For Linux:
    • Check for jar file, mediamgrs.jar, in /usr/var.
    • Also look for an 'autostart' file in the ~/.config/autostart likely named mediamgrs.desktop.
    How to Protect Against CrossRAT Trojan?
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    Only 2 out of 58 antivirus products detect CrossRAT at the time of writing, which means that your AV would hardly protect you from this threat.
    "As CrossRAT is written in Java, it requires Java to be installed. Luckily recent versions of macOS do not ship with Java," Patrick said."Thus, most macOS users should be safe! Of course, if a Mac user already has Java installed, or the attacker is able to coerce a naive user to install Java first, CrossRAT will run just dandy, even on the latest version of macOS (High Sierra)."Users are advised to install behaviour-based threat detection software. Mac users can use BlockBlock, a simple utility developed by Patrick that alerts users whenever anything is persistently installed.
     
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  2. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Critical Flaw Hits Popular Windows Apps Built With Electron JS Framework
    Wednesday, January 24, 2018 Mohit Kumar



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    A critical remote code execution vulnerability has been reported in Electron—a popular web application framework that powers thousands of widely-used desktop applications including Skype, Signal, Wordpress and Slack—that allows for remote code execution.

    Electron is an open-source framework that is based on Node.js and Chromium Engine and allows app developers to build cross-platform native desktop applications for Windows, macOS and Linux, without knowledge of programming languages used for each platform.
     
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  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I've been meaning to post this one:

    Critical Flaw in All Blizzard Games Could Let Hackers Hijack Millions of PCs
    Monday, January 22, 2018 Mohit Kumar
    https://thehackernews.com/2018/01/dns-rebinding-attack-hacking.html

    "A Google security researcher has discovered a severe vulnerability in Blizzard games that could allow remote attackers to run malicious code on gamers’ computers.

    Played every month by half a billion users—World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo III, Hearthstone and Starcraft II are popular online games created by Blizzard Entertainment.

    To play Blizzard games online using web browsers, users need to install a game client application, called 'Blizzard Update Agent,' onto their systems that run JSON-RPC server over HTTP protocol on port 1120, and "accepts commands to install, uninstall, change settings, update and other maintenance related options."

    Google's Project Zero team researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered that the Blizzard Update Agent is vulnerable to a hacking technique called the "DNS Rebinding" attack that allows any website to act as a bridge between the external server and your localhost.

    Just last week, Ormandy revealed a similar vulnerability in a popular Transmission BitTorrent app that could allow hackers to remotely execute malicious code on BitTorrent users' computers and take control of them.

    By simply creating a DNS entry to bind any attacker-controlled web page with localhost (127.0.0.1) and tricking users into visiting it, hackers can easily send privileged commands to the Blizzard Update Agent using JavaScript code.

    Although a random website running in a web browser usually cannot make requests to a hostname other than its own, the local Blizzard updater service does not validate what hostname the client was requesting and responds to such requests.

    Blizzard DNS Rebinding Attack — Proof of Concept Exploit

    Ormandy has also published a proof-of-concept exploit that executes DNS rebinding attack against Blizzard clients and could be modified to allow exploitation using network drives, or setting destination to "downloads" and making the browser install malicious DLLs, data files, etc.

    Ormandy responsibly reported Blizzard of the issue in December to get it patched before hackers could take advantage of it to target hundreds of millions of gamers.

    However, after initially communication, Blizzard inappropriately stopped responding to Ormandy's emails and silently applied partial mitigation in the client version 5996.
    "Blizzard was replying to emails but stopped communicating on December 22nd. Blizzard is no longer replying to any enquiries, and it looks like in version 5996 the Agent now has been silently patched with a bizarre solution," Ormandy says."Their solution appears to be to query the client command line, get the 32-bit FNV-1a string hash of the exename and then check if it's in a blacklist. I proposed they whitelist Hostnames, but apparently, that solution was too elegant and simple. I'm not pleased that Blizzard pushed this patch without notifying me, or consulted me on this."After the Ormandy's report went public, Blizzard contacted and informed him that a more robust Host header whitelist fix to address the issue entirely is currently being developed for deployment.

    Ormandy is also checking other big games vendors with a user base of over 100 Million to see if the problem can be replicated."
     
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