Experts Uncover Malware Attacks Targeting Corporate Networks in Latin America

Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday took the wraps off a new, ongoing espionage marketing campaign focusing on company networks in Spanish-speaking international locations, specially Venezuela, to spy on its victims.

Dubbed “Bandidos” by ESET owing to the use of an upgraded variant of Bandook malware, the main targets of the menace actor are corporate networks in the South American place spanning throughout production, building, healthcare, software program companies, and retail sectors.

Created in equally Delphi and C++, Bandook has a background of remaining bought as a commercial distant obtain trojan (RAT) courting all the way back again to 2005. Since then, many variants have emerged on the danger landscape and place to use in diverse surveillance strategies in 2015 and 2017, allegedly by a cyber-mercenary team identified as Dark Caracal on behalf of federal government interests in Kazakhstan and Lebanon.

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In a continuing resurgence of the Bandook Trojan, Examine Point very last year disclosed a few new samples — one of which supported 120 instructions — that were utilized by the same adversary to hit governing administration, economic, power, food items sector, health care, education and learning, IT, and lawful establishments found in Chile, Cyprus, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, and the U.S.

The newest assault chain commences with prospective victims acquiring malicious emails with a PDF attachment, which includes a shortened URL to obtain a compressed archive hosted on Google Cloud, SpiderOak, or pCloud and the password to extract it. Extracting the archive reveals a malware dropper that decodes and injects Bandook into an World wide web Explorer approach.

Apparently, the most current variant of Bandook analyzed by ESET consists of 132 instructions, up from the 120 instructions documented by Examine Place, implying that the prison team behind the malware are advancing their destructive tools with improved abilities and placing electrical power.

“Particularly exciting is the ChromeInject functionality,” reported ESET researcher Fernando Tavella. “When the interaction with the attacker’s command and management server is set up, the payload downloads a DLL file, which has an exported strategy that makes a malicious Chrome extension. The destructive extension tries to retrieve any qualifications that the target submits to a URL. These credentials are stored in Chrome’s area storage.”

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Some of the main commands that the payload is capable of processing incorporate listing listing contents, manipulating files, taking screenshots, managing the cursor on the victim’s equipment, installing malicious DLLs, terminating operating procedures, downloading documents from a distinct URL, exfiltrating the final results of the functions to a distant server, and even uninstalling itself from the infected equipment.

If nearly anything, the improvement is yet a different indicator that adversaries can continue to leverage previous crimeware methods to facilitate attacks.

“[Bandook’s] involvement in different espionage campaigns […] displays us that it is however a relevant device for cybercriminals,” the scientists opined. “Also, if we take into consideration the modifications created to the malware over the years, it demonstrates us the desire of cybercriminals to retain utilizing this piece of malware in malicious campaigns, building it a lot more complex and a lot more difficult to detect.”

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