Threat Research, Analysis, and Mitigation
Analyzing the Malware Analysts – Inside FireEye’s FLARE Team
At the Black Hat USA 2016 conference in Las Vegas last week, I was fortunate to sit down with Michael Sikorski, Director, FireEye Labs Advanced Reverse Engineering (FLARE) Team. During our conversation we discussed the origin of the FLARE team, what it takes to analyze malware, Michael’s book “Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software,” and the latest open source freeware tools FLOSS and FakeNet-NG. Listen to the full podcast here.
Establishing a Baseline for Remote Desktop Protocol
For IT staff and Windows power users, Microsoft Terminal Services Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a beneficial tool that allows for the interactive use or administration of a remote Windows system. However, Mandiant consultants have also observed threat actors using RDP, with compromised domain credentials, to move laterally across networks with limited segmentation. To understand how threat actors take advantage of RDP, consider the following example (and Figure 1): A staff member from the HR department working on his or her desktop inadvertently installs a malicious b...
Metamorfo Campaigns Targeting Brazilian Users
FireEye Labs recently identified several widespread malspam (malware spam) campaigns targeting Brazilian companies with the goal of delivering banking Trojans. We are referring to these campaigns as Metamorfo. Across the stages of these campaigns, we have observed the use of several tactics and techniques to evade detection and deliver the malicious payload. In this blog post we dissect two of the main campaigns and explain how they work. Campaign #1 The kill chain starts with an email containing an HTML attachment with a refresh tag that uses a Google URL shortener as the ...
Loading Kernel Shellcode
In the wake of recent hacking tool dumps, the FLARE team saw a spike in malware samples detonating kernel shellcode. Although most samples can be analyzed statically, the FLARE team sometimes debugs these samples to confirm specific functionality. Debugging can be an efficient way to get around packing or obfuscation and quickly identify the structures, system routines, and processes that a kernel shellcode sample is accessing. This post begins a series centered on kernel software analysis, and introduces a tool that uses a custom Windows kernel driver to load and execute Wind...
M-Trends Asia Pacific: Organizations Must Improve at Detecting and Responding to Breaches
Since 2010, Mandiant, a FireEye company, has presented trends, statistics and case studies of some of the largest and most sophisticated cyber attacks. In February 2016, we released our annual global M-Trends® report based on data from the breaches we responded to in 2015. Now, we are releasing M-Trends Asia Pacific, our first report to focus on this very diverse and dynamic region. Some of the key findings include: Most breaches in the Asia Pacific region never became public. Most governments and industry-governing bodies are without effective breach disclo...
FIN7 Evolution and the Phishing LNK
FIN7 is a financially-motivated threat group that has been associated with malicious operations dating back to late 2015. FIN7 is referred to by many vendors as “Carbanak Group”, although we do not equate all usage of the CARBANAK backdoor with FIN7. FireEye recently observed a FIN7 spear phishing campaign targeting personnel involved with United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings at various organizations. In a newly-identified campaign, FIN7 modified their phishing techniques to implement unique infection and persistence mechanisms. FIN7 has moved a...
M-Trends 2017: A View From the Front Lines
Every year Mandiant responds to a large number of cyber attacks, and 2016 was no exception. For our M-Trends 2017 report, we took a look at the incidents we investigated last year and provided a global and regional (the Americas, APAC and EMEA) analysis focused on attack trends, and defensive and emerging trends. When it comes to attack trends, we’re seeing a much higher degree of sophistication than ever before. Nation-states continue to set a high bar for sophisticated cyber attacks, but some financial threat actors have caught up to the point where we no longer see the line ...
Insights into Iranian Cyber Espionage: APT33 Targets Aerospace and Energy Sectors and has Ties to Destructive Malware
When discussing suspected Middle Eastern hacker groups with destructive capabilities, many automatically think of the suspected Iranian group that previously used SHAMOON – aka Disttrack – to target organizations in the Persian Gulf. However, over the past few years, we have been tracking a separate, less widely known suspected Iranian group with potential destructive capabilities, whom we call APT33. Our analysis reveals that APT33 is a capable group that has carried out cyber espionage operations since at least 2013. We assess APT33 works at the behest of the Iranian gove...
Solving Ad-hoc Problems with Hex-Rays API
Introduction IDA Pro is the de facto standard when it comes to binary reverse engineering. Besides being a great disassembler and debugger, it is possible to extend it and include a powerful decompiler by purchasing an additional license from Hex-Rays. The ability to switch between disassembled and decompiled code can greatly reduce the analysis time. The decompiler (from now on referred to as Hex-Rays) has been around for a long time and has achieved a good level of maturity. However, there seems to be a lack of a concise and complete resources regarding this topic (tutor...
Fake Software Update Abuses NetSupport Remote Access Tool
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