They All Want to Steal Your Data

 Recently, Danny Palmer, Senior Reporter for ZDNet Microsoft, wrote a post on ZDnet’s webpage that cybersecurity researchers have issued a warning about a new phishing campaign designed to look like it comes from a trusted source. The phishing campaign, which targets Microsoft Windows users, delivers three different forms of malware, all designed to steal sensitive information from victims.

According to cybersecurity researchers at Fortinet, those who unintentionally run the malicious attachment sent in phishing emails fall victim to AveMariaRAT, BitRAT and PandoraHVNC trojan malware.

The campaign allows cyber criminals to steal usernames, passwords and other sensitive information, including bank details. BitRAT, says Palmer, “is particularly dangerous to victims, because it can take full control of infected Windows systems, complete with the ability to view webcam activity, listen to audio through the microphone, secretly mine for cryptocurrency that goes into a wallet owned by the attackers and download additional malicious files.”

Palmer says that the initial phishing message is designed to look like a payment report from a trusted source, with a short request to open an attached Microsoft Excel document. “This file contains malicious macros and researchers note that, when the document is opened, Microsoft Excel flags potential security concerns about the use of macros. If the user ignores this message and opens the file, it starts the process of delivering malware.”

Using Visual Basic Application (VBA) scripts and PowerShell, the malware is retrieved for installation onto the victim's machine. The PowerShell code is split into three parts for the three different forms of malware, which can each be installed.

The research does not detail why the phishing email delivers three malware payloads, notes Palmer, “but it's likely that with three different forms of malware to deploy, there's a greater chance of the cyber criminals being able to gain access to whatever sensitive information they're looking to steal.”

Palmer advises users to “be wary of unexpected emails claiming to contain important information hidden in attachments – particularly if that attachment requires you to enable macros first. If possible, for example, if the email claims to come from a college or business associate, you could contact them using a different method than email to check if it's really them who sent the email.”

For more, see This phishing attack delivers three forms of malware. And they all want to steal your data | ZDNet.