Top malware of August: Emotet removed from top spot by FormBook while GuLoader and Joker disrupt the index

SAN CARLOS, Calif., September 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Checkpoint Investigation (CPR), the threat intelligence arm of Check Point®software technologies ltd (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading global provider of cybersecurity solutions, has released its latest Global Threat Index for August 2022. CPR reports that FormBook is now the most prevalent malware, replacing Emotet, which has held that position since its reappearance in January.

FormBook is an Infostealer targeting the Windows operating system that, once deployed, can collect credentials, collect screenshots, monitor and log keystrokes, as well as download and execute files according to your command and control (C&C) commands. Since it was first detected in 2016, it has continued to make a name for itself, marketed as Malware as a Service (MaaS) on underground hacking forums, known for its robust evasion techniques and relatively low price.

August also saw a rapid increase in GuLoader activity, resulting in it being the fourth most widespread malware. GuLoader was initially used to download Parallax RAT, but has since been applied to other remote access Trojans and information stealers such as Netwire, FormBook, and Agent Tesla. It is commonly distributed via extensive email phishing campaigns, which lure the victim into downloading and opening a malicious file, allowing the malware to go to work.

Also, Checkpoint Investigation reports that the Joker, an Android spyware, is back in business and has claimed third place on the top mobile malware list this month. Once Joker is installed, it can steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information, as well as enroll the victim in paid premium services without their consent. Its rise can be partly explained by an increase in campaigns, as it was recently found to be active on some google play store Applications

“The changes we see in this month’s index, from Emotet dropping from first to fifth place to Joker becoming the third most prevalent mobile malware, reflects how quickly the threat landscape can change,” he said. Mayan Horowitzvice president of research at checkpoint software. “This should be a reminder to individuals and businesses alike of the importance of keeping up with the latest threats, as knowing how to protect yourself is essential. Threat actors are constantly evolving and the emergence of FormBook shows that we can never be complacent with security and must take a holistic approach to prevention first across all networks, endpoints and the cloud.”

CPR also revealed this month that the Education/Research sector remains the industry most targeted by cybercriminals globally. With Government/Military and Health occupying the second and third place as the most attacked sectors. “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” returns to the top spot as the most exploited vulnerability, impacting 44% of organizations worldwide, after overtaking “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which had an impact of 42%.

Major malware families

*Arrows relate to rank change compared to the previous month.

FormBook is the most widespread malware this month, affecting 5% of organizations worldwide, followed by AgentTesla with an impact of 4% and XMRig with 2%.

  1. ↑ Book of Forms – FormBook is an Infostealer targeting the Windows operating system and was first detected in 2016. It is marketed as Malware as a Service (MaaS) on underground hacking forums due to its strong circumvention techniques and relatively low price. FormBook collects credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to your C&C’s commands.
  2. AgentTesla – AgentTesla is an advanced RAT that functions as a keylogger and information stealer, which is capable of monitoring and collecting victim’s keyboard input, system keyboard, taking screenshots and leaking credentials to a variety of software installed on the victim’s machine (including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Outlook email client).
  3. XMRig – XMRig is an open source CPU software used to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. Threat actors often abuse this open source software by integrating it into their malware to illegally mine victims’ devices.

Main industries attacked worldwide

this month the Education/Research remained in first place as the most attacked industry worldwide, followed by Military government Y Health care.

  1. Education/Research
  2. Military government
  3. Health care

Main vulnerabilities exploited

This month, “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” is the most common exploited vulnerability, affecting 44% of organizations globally, followed by “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which went from first place to second with an incidence of 42%. “Visualization of malicious URL directories of web servers” remains in third place, with an overall impact of 39%.

  1. Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution (CVE-2021-44228) – A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Apache Log4j. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system.
  2. Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure – An information disclosure vulnerability has been reported in Git Repository. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow unintentional disclosure of account information.
  3. ↔ Malicious URL Web Servers Directory Traversal (CVE-2010-4598,CVE-2011-2474,CVE-2014-0130,CVE-2014-0780,CVE-2015-0666,CVE-2015-4068,CVE-2015-7254 – A directory traversal vulnerability exists on different web servers. The vulnerability is due to an input validation error in a web server that does not properly sanitize the URI for directory traversal patterns. Successful exploitation allows remote, unauthenticated attackers to reveal or access arbitrary files on the vulnerable server.

Major malware for mobile devices

This month alienbot is the most frequent mobile malware, followed by Anubis Y jester.

  1. alien robot – AlienBot is an Android banking Trojan, clandestinely sold as Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS). Supports keylogging, dynamic overlays for credential theft, as well as SMS harvesting to bypass 2FA. Additional remote control capabilities are provided through the use of a TeamViewer module.
  2. anubis- Anubis is a banking Trojan malware designed for Android mobile phones. Since it was initially detected, it has acquired additional features, including Remote Access Trojan (RAT) functionality, keylogger and audio recording capabilities, as well as various ransomware features. It has been detected in hundreds of different apps available on the google store.
  3. jester – An Android spy software on Google Play, designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists and device information. Furthermore, the malware can also sign up the victim for paid premium services without the victim’s consent or knowledge.

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map are powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors around the world, across networks, endpoints, and mobile. Intelligence is enriched with AI-based engines and research data exclusive to Checkpoint Investigationthe intelligence and investigation arm of Check Point Software Technologies.

The full list of the top ten malware families for July can be found on the Check Point blog.

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/_cpresearch_

On Checkpoint Investigation
Checkpoint Investigation provides leading cyber threat intelligence to checkpoint software clients and the greater intelligence community. The research team collects and analyzes global cyberattack data stored on ThreatCloud to keep hackers at bay, while ensuring all Check Point products are up-to-date with the latest protections. The investigation team consists of more than 100 analysts and investigators who cooperate with other security providers, law enforcement, and various CERTs.

On Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (www.checkpoint.com) is a leading provider of cyber security solutions for corporate businesses and governments globally. Check Point Infinity’s portfolio of solutions protects businesses and public organizations from fifth-generation cyberattacks with an industry-leading detection rate for malware, ransomware, and other threats. Infinity is comprised of three core pillars that deliver uncompromising security and Gen V threat prevention in enterprise environments: Check Point Harmony, for remote users; Check Point CloudGuard, to automatically protect clouds; and Check Point Quantum, to protect network perimeters and data centers, all controlled by the most comprehensive and intuitive unified security management in the industry. Check Point protects more than 100,000 organizations of all sizes.

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Source: Check Point Software Technologies INC

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