Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Ransomware

1/8/2019
08:15 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

New Malvertising Campaign Delivers Vidar Stealer Plus Ransomware

Malwarebytes Labs has uncovered a new malvertising campaign in the wild that delivers a one-two punch: the Vidar data stealer and GrandCrab ransomware.

A new "malvertising" campaign spotted in the wild is delivering a malicious one-two punch to victims: The first is the data stealer Vidar and the second is the GrandCrab ransomware strain, according to a recent report.

Researchers at Malwarebytes Labs first took notice of the malvertising campaign and published their findings in a January 4 blog post. It's not clear who is behind this particular attack or how widespread it is right now, but the report noted that the threat actors are essentially using off-the-shelf tools, including the Fallout exploit kit, which takes advantage of flaws in Adobe Flash and Microsoft Internet Explorer, to deliver these malicious payloads

This campaign has its origins in the advertising that usually accompanies torrent and streaming video. The person or group behind this particular campaign used this poorly regulated system to create a rogue advertising domain and redirect users to different exploit kits, including Fallout.

It's through these exploit kits that the one-two punch is delivered -- the stealer first followed by the ransomware.

At first, the researcher believed that the stealer being used was an older piece of malware called Arkei. However, further tests came up with Vidar, which has only been active since October 2018, but shares similarities with Arkei.

Vidar -- its name has origins in Norse mythology -- is written in C++ and it highly customizable. It has the capability to swipe and steal personal data from any number of web browsers, including Tor. Additionally, it can steal cryptocurrency wallets, data from two-factor authentication software, instant messages and much more, according to an independent analysis.

On the Dark Web, the Vidar kit can be bought for as little as $700.

However, when the researcher traced the campaign back to the command-and-control (C&C) server, they noticed that the attackers had a second malicious payload ready to be delivered once the Vidar stealer started its work.

"Vidar also offers to download additional malware via its command and control server," according to the Malwarebytes blog. "This is known as the loader feature, and again, it can be configured within Vidar's administration panel by adding a direct URL to the payload. However, not all instances of Vidar (tied to a profile ID) will download an additional payload. In that case, the server will send back a response of "ok" instead of a URL."

This then leads to the second part of the attack, GrandCrab, which is what some security researchers refer to as ransomware-as-service, as it relies on third-parties to help spread it. (See Kraken Cryptor Update Points to Rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service.)

Unlike other ransomware, GrandCrab is frequently updated -- the current version is 5.0.4 -- which helps it evade security software. Malwarebytes recommends that businesses update and patch IE and Flash to avoid this particular campaign before the ransomware can be downloaded.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 11/19/2020
New Proposed DNS Security Features Released
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/19/2020
How to Identify Cobalt Strike on Your Network
Zohar Buber, Security Analyst,  11/18/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: He hits the gong anytime he sees someone click on an email link.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-29071
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-25
An XSS issue was found in the Shares feature of LiquidFiles before 3.3.19. The issue arises from the insecure rendering of HTML files uploaded to the platform as attachments, when the -htmlview URL is directly accessed. The impact ranges from executing commands as root on the server to retrieving se...
CVE-2020-29072
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-25
A Cross-Site Script Inclusion vulnerability was found on LiquidFiles before 3.3.19. This client-side attack requires user interaction (opening a link) and successful exploitation could lead to encrypted e-mail content leakage via messages/sent?format=js and popup?format=js.
CVE-2020-26241
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-25
Go Ethereum, or "Geth", is the official Golang implementation of the Ethereum protocol. This is a Consensus vulnerability in Geth before version 1.9.17 which can be used to cause a chain-split where vulnerable nodes reject the canonical chain. Geth's pre-compiled dataCopy (at 0x00...04) co...
CVE-2020-26242
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-25
Go Ethereum, or "Geth", is the official Golang implementation of the Ethereum protocol. In Geth before version 1.9.18, there is a Denial-of-service (crash) during block processing. This is fixed in 1.9.18.
CVE-2020-26240
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-25
Go Ethereum, or "Geth", is the official Golang implementation of the Ethereum protocol. An ethash mining DAG generation flaw in Geth before version 1.9.24 could cause miners to erroneously calculate PoW in an upcoming epoch (estimated early January, 2021). This happened on the ETC chain on...