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DanaBot banking Trojan jumps from Australia to Germany in quest for new targets



Data-stealing malware returns upgraded with cryptominer and trojan
Large parts of the Scranos operation were taken out in April – but it’s already back and the criminals behind it seem more determined than ever, adding a trojan and a cryptojacker to their adware scheme.

The DanaBot banking Trojan is on the move and has traveled across the sea in a pivot from its original focus on Australia to strike European targets. 

DanaBot was first discovered by Proofpoint researchers last year. The malware was observed striking Australian targets of financial value, but at the time, DanaBot appeared to come from only one threat actor source. 

Now, the malware has evolved and has become more than a single-source piece of malware to what Webroot calls a “very profitable modular crimeware project.”

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DanaBot, written in Delphi, was first found as a payload in phishing emails circulating in Australia. The messages used subjects lines including E-Tolls and invoices in an attempt to coerce victims into downloading a malicious Microsoft Word attachment containing a macro that deployed DanaBot via PowerShell. 

The malware contains a range of standard banking Trojan functions. A downloader component launches a DLL which pulls additional modules including a bank website injector, information stealer, and a list of target websites on to a victim’s computer. 

DanaBot is able to manipulate browser sessions and redirect visits to financial services websites in order to steal any credentials submitted; screenshot desktops, and is also able to transfer stolen data to the malware’s command-and-control (C2) server. 

Since 2018, DanaBot has updated its arsenal. According to Webroot, the malware has expanded its reach and is now not only active in Australia but also the US and Europe. New German targets have recently appeared on the radar. Each region is now associated with a campaign ID to tailor phishing emails and attack vectors for the best success rates. 

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DanaBot has also upgraded its web injection functions. While the malware has always used what the researchers call “ZeuS-style web injects” — a reference to the well-known ZeuS banking Trojan — the malware will also now use browser and OS fingerprinting to deliver “the most believable fake website possible” when replacing legitimate banking domains. 

Additional modules and improvements, including a Tor module — potentially for masking C2 communication and requesting updates — have also been spotted. 

While Webroot has not found any ransomware-based modules during its investigation, Checkpoint researchers say that some European campaigns do drop Delphi-based ransomware named “crypt,” which turns out to be a variant of “NonRansomware” ransomware. 

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“[DanaBot] continues to evolve its geo targets as more affiliates get added, and has branched out to test ransom functionality,” Webroot says. “This change in tactics certainly aligns with other shifts we’ve observed in which criminals are performing more recon upfront to profile a victim’s worth before executing ransomware from a domain controller. Threat actors are effectively reducing the quantity of attacks in favor of quality when they choose to profile their victim’s worth.”

Previous and related coverage

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The Five Pillars of (Azure) Cloud-based Application Security



This 1-hour webinar from GigaOm brings together experts in Azure cloud application migration and security, featuring GigaOm analyst Jon Collins and special guests from Fortinet, Director of Product Marketing for Public Cloud, Daniel Schrader, and Global Director of Public Cloud Architecture and Engineering, Aidan Walden.

These interesting times have accelerated the drive towards digital transformation, application rationalization, and migration to cloud-based architectures. Enterprise organizations are looking to increase efficiency, but without impacting performance or increasing risk, either from infrastructure resilience or end-user behaviors.

Success requires a combination of best practice and appropriate use of technology, depending on where the organization is on its cloud journey. Elements such as zero-trust access and security-driven networking need to be deployed in parallel with security-first operations, breach prevention and response.

If you are looking to migrate applications to the cloud and want to be sure your approach maximizes delivery whilst minimizing risk, this webinar is for you.

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Data Management and Secure Data Storage for the Enterprise



This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research brings together experts in data management and security, featuring GigaOm Analyst Enrico Signoretti and special guest from RackTop Systems, Jonathan Halstuch. The discussion will focus on data storage and how to protect data against cyberattacks.

Most of the recent news coverage and analysis of cyberattacks focus on hackers getting access and control of critical systems. Yet rarely is it mentioned that the most valuable asset for the organizations under attack is the data contained in these systems.

In this webinar, you will learn about the risks and costs of a poor data security management approach, and how to improve your data storage to prevent and mitigate the consequences of a compromised infrastructure.

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CISO Podcast: Talking Anti-Phishing Solutions



Simon Gibson earlier this year published the report, “GigaOm Radar for Phishing Prevention and Detection,” which assessed more than a dozen security solutions focused on detecting and mitigating email-borne threats and vulnerabilities. As Gibson noted in his report, email remains a prime vector for attack, reflecting the strategic role it plays in corporate communications.

Earlier this week, Gibson’s report was a featured topic of discussions on David Spark’s popular CISO Security Vendor Relationship Podcast. In it, Spark interviewed a pair of chief information security officers—Mike Johnson, CISO for SalesForce, and James Dolph, CISO for Guidewire Software—to get their take on the role of anti-phishing solutions.

“I want to first give GigaOm some credit here for really pointing out the need to decide what to do with detections,” Johnson said when asked for his thoughts about selecting an anti-phishing tool. “I think a lot of companies charge into a solution for anti-phishing without thinking about what they are going to do when the thing triggers.”

As Johnson noted, the needs and vulnerabilities of a large organization aligned on Microsoft 365 are very different from those of a smaller outfit working with GSuite. A malicious Excel macro-laden file, for example, poses a credible threat to a Microsoft shop and therefore argues for a detonation solution to detect and neutralize malicious payloads before they can spread and morph. On the other hand, a smaller company is more exposed to business email compromise (BEC) attacks, since spending authority is often spread among many employees in these businesses.

Gibson’s radar report describes both in-line and out-of-band solutions, but Johnson said cloud-aligned infrastructures argue against traditional in-line schemes.

“If you put an in-line solution in front of [Microsoft] 365 or in front of GSuite, you are likely decreasing your reliability, because you’ve now introduced this single point of failure. Google and Microsoft have this massive amount of reliability that is built in,” Johnson said.

So how should IT decision makers go about selecting an anti-phishing solution? Dolph answered that question with a series of questions of his own:

“Does it nail the basics? Does it fit with the technologies we have in place? And then secondarily, is it reliable, is it tunable, is it manageable?” he asked. “Because it can add a lot overhead, especially if you have a small team if these tools are really disruptive to the email flow.”

Dolph concluded by noting that it’s important for solutions to provide insight that can help organizations target their protections, as well as support both training and awareness around threats. Finally, he urged organizations to consider how they can measure the effectiveness of solutions.

“I may look at other solutions in the future and how do I compare those solutions to the benchmark of what we have in place?”

Listen to the Podcast: CISO Podcast

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