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.

Attacks/Breaches

New 'Fallout' EK Brings Return of Old Ransomware

The Fallout exploit kit carries GandCrab into the Middle East in a new campaign.

There's a new malware carrier in town, and it's bringing an old piece of ransomware with it in an initial campaign, though researchers warn that there's no reason that the new exploit kit (which was named "Fallout" by the researchers who found it) could not deliver multiple malware packages.

The Japanese security researchers, nao_sec, found the initial instance of the software they dubbed the Fallout Exploit Kit because of its similarity to the previously known Nuclear Pack Exploit Kit. The exploit kit, which nao-sec says uses CVE-2018-4878 and CVE-2018-8174, using first VBScript, then Flash vulnerabilities to infect the victim.

At the initial discovery of the kit in Japan, Smoke Loader was the malware downloader installed by Fallout. A post by researchers at FireEye says that their team also found Fallout, this time in the Middle East, where it was being used to infect systems with GandCrab ransomware. According to the FireEye researchers, Fallout fingerprints the user browser profile, searching for users in particular regions. If the victim machine is not in a targeted area, the user is redirected to a simple bad advertising site. If the user is in a region of interest, then the system is sent to a site where the process of downloading malware continues.

Code analysis shows much of the malware loader coming in code buried in <span> tags on the website pointed to by the kit. Depending on the system hit by the malicious software, the result can be ransomware (in the case of Windows systems) or PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) in the case of Mac systems. These PUPs, while not officially classed as malware, can consist of programs such as adware, unwanted browser helpers, or toolbar add-ons for browsers.

As with many malware packages, Fallout exploits vulnerabilities that have been patched in up-to-date software. According to the FireEye researchers, this is a partial explanation for the geographical targeting of the campaign because Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are areas in which systems are statistically more likely to be behind on updates and patches.

As protection against this new malware, administrators are urged to keep systems fully patched and up to date, and to stress proper online behavior to employees and system users.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec. 3-6, 2018, with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions, and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Manchester United Suffers Cyberattack
Dark Reading Staff 11/23/2020
As 'Anywhere Work' Evolves, Security Will Be Key Challenge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/23/2020
Cloud Security Startup Lightspin Emerges From Stealth
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/24/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
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-2020-29367
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-27
blosc2.c in Blosc C-Blosc2 through 2.0.0.beta.5 has a heap-based buffer overflow when there is a lack of space to write compressed data.
CVE-2020-26245
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-27
npm package systeminformation before version 4.30.5 is vulnerable to Prototype Pollution leading to Command Injection. The issue was fixed with a rewrite of shell sanitations to avoid prototyper pollution problems. The issue is fixed in version 4.30.5. If you cannot upgrade, be sure to check or sani...
CVE-2017-15682
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-27
In Crafter CMS Crafter Studio 3.0.1 an unauthenticated attacker is able to inject malicious JavaScript code resulting in a stored/blind XSS in the admin panel.
CVE-2017-15683
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-27
In Crafter CMS Crafter Studio 3.0.1 an unauthenticated attacker is able to create a site with specially crafted XML that allows the retrieval of OS files out-of-band.
CVE-2017-15684
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-27
Crafter CMS Crafter Studio 3.0.1 has a directory traversal vulnerability which allows unauthenticated attackers to view files from the operating system.