[BreachExchange] FIN7 Hackers Use New Malware in Recent Attacks

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Wed Mar 27 09:13:05 EDT 2019


The financially-motivated hacking group FIN7 has used new malware
samples in a recent attack campaign, Flashpoint security researchers

Operating since at least 2015, the cybercrime gang has been mainly
focused on targeting businesses worldwide to steal credit card
information. According to an indictment from the United States
Department of Justice, the group hit more than 100 US companies,
predominantly in the restaurant, gaming, and hospitality industries.

Three Ukrainian nationals arrested last year were said to have been
members of the hacking group (one said to have been a supervisor), but
the activity associated with FIN7 (also known as Anunak, or Carbanak)
did not cease, Flashpoint says.

The security firm says it discovered evidence of a new administrative
panel and previously unseen malware samples used in an attack campaign
called Astra, which dates from May to July 2018, but which could go
back farther to January 2018.

The newly discovered panel is written in PHP and functions as a
script-management system, pushing attack scripts down to compromised
computers. The backend’s code, the researchers reveal, contains
references to the FIN7 front company Combi Security, which connects
the group to the attacks.

Combi Security, allegedly a penetration-testing and security services
company based in Russia and Israel, was used by FIN7 to recruit other
hackers, the DoJ indictment claims.

The attacks started with phishing emails containing malicious
attachments designed to install malware onto the victims’ machines.
The attacks would deliver either SQLRat, a previously unseen malware
that drops files and executes SQL scripts on the host, or the
multiprotocol backdoor DNSbot, which can exchange commands and
download or exfiltrate data.

The SQLRat can make a direct SQL connection to a Microsoft database
controlled by the attackers and execute the contents of various
tables. The script retrieves what appears to be a version of TinyMet
(an open source Meterpreter stager), but the attackers can deliver any
binary. The researchers also discovered the use of a “TinyPS” stager.

A subsequent campaign using the same administrative panel was observed
delivering the JavaScript-based DNSbot, which primarily operates over
DNS traffic, but can also use encrypted channels such as HTTPS or SSL,
Flashpoint says.

“The Astra backend was installed on a Windows server with Microsoft
SQL. The panel was written in PHP and managed the content in the
tables. It functioned as a script management system,” Flashpoint said.

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