Home Security New cryptocurrency miner malware infects Windows systems

New cryptocurrency miner malware infects Windows systems

New cryptocurrency miner malware infects Windows systems Featured

Researchers at security firm Trend Micro say they have found a new cryptocurrency miner that operates as fileless malware, attacking Windows systems by using the EternalBlue exploit that powered the WannaCry ransomware in May.

In a blog post that detailed the characteristics of the malware and the way in which it gained access to a system, Trend Micro said it had been affecting the Asia Pacific region in July.

The major countries affected were Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and India; other countries in the region were only marginally affected.

Fileless malware exists only in the memory of an infected system making detection much more difficult.

Trend Micro said the malware uses Windows Management Instrumentation, a core component of Windows that is used for daily management tasks, as its filess persistence mechanism.

wmi1

Distribution of the new malware infections from July to August 2017.

To enter a system, the EternalBlue vulnerability was used. This exploit was developed by the NSA but leaked on the Web by a group known as Shadow Brokers in April. 

Apart from being used in WannaCry, it was also used in a mass ransomware outbreak — known variously as Petya (ransomware that already existed at the time), NotPetya, Nyetya, ExPetr and GoldenEye — that broke out in Europe in June and spread to other regions.

Trend Micro said the new malware was inserted as a backdoor on a Windows system which then installed various WMI scripts. These scripts then connected to the attacker's command and control servers to obtain instructions and download the cryptocurrency miner malware.

wmi2

The infection flow of the new cryptocurrency miner malware.

The company advised systems admins to restrict and disable WMI as needed to prevent this malware from infecting a system.

"Not all machines require the WMI service. If a machine does not need access to WMI, disable it to eliminate the risk," Trend Micro said. "Microsoft provides a quick guide on how to stop WMI service completely. Microsoft also provides a tool that can trace WMI activity. SMBv1 can also be disabled to reduce the risk to users."

It also pointed out that the entry point for this malware was EternalBlue, for which a patch had been available since March 2017. 

"However, there are still a lot of machines exposed to this vulnerability. Ensuring that the operating system, software, and other applications are updated with the latest patches deters threats from using security gaps as their doorways into systems and networks," Trend Micro said.

Graphics: courtesy Trend Micro

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

10 SIMPLE TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR ORGANISATION FROM RANSOMWARE

Ransomware attacks on businesses and institutions are now the most common type of malware breach, accounting for 39% of all IT security incidents, and they are still growing.

Criminal ransomware revenues are projected to reach $11.5B by 2019.

With a few simple policies and procedures, plus some cutting-edge endpoint countermeasures, you can effectively protect your business from the ransomware menace.

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications