Two new malware distribution campaigns have been detected that deliver dangerous information-stealing malware, both targeting individuals looking to download free and pirated software.

Trojaninized Cisco Webex Meetings App Delivers Malware Loader and Information Stealer

Another malware distribution campaign has been identified that is using trojanized installers for free and pirated software to deploy a malware loader called Hijack Loader, which in turn delivers an information stealer. In the attacks, the victim was tricked into downloading a trojanized version of the Cisco Webex Meetings App, a video streaming app. The user downloaded a password-protected archive (RAR) file, which contained a file called setup.exe. When the victim executed the file, DLL sideloading was used to launch the HijackLoader, which was injected into a Windows binary.

HijackLoader connects with its command-and-control server and downloads another binary, an information stealer called Vidar Stealer. The malware bypasses User Account Control (UAC), escalates privileges, and adds an exception to the Windows Defender exclusion list. Vidar Stealer is used to steal credentials from browsers and deliver additional malware payloads, including a cryptocurrency miner. This campaign primarily targets organizations in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

Google Ads Used to Target Mac Users and Deliver Poseidon Malware

An information stealer called Poseidon is being distributed via malicious Google Ads that claim to provide the popular Arc web browser. The campaign targets Mac users and delivers a trojanized version of the Arc browser installer. If the installer is launched, the user gets the browser but is also infected with the malware.

According to an analysis from Malwarebytes, the new information stealer has similar features to the notorious Atomic Stealer, including a file grabber, crypto wallet extractor, and the ability to steal passwords from password managers such as Bitwarden and KeepassXC, passwords stored in browsers, and browser histories. The targeting of password managers makes this malware particularly dangerous, potentially allowing the theft of all passwords. The researchers believe the malware has been set up as a rival to Atomic Stealer

How to Protect Your Business

Protecting against malware requires a defense-in-depth approach to security, where several different security solutions provide multiple overlapping layers of protection. These security measures should include the following:

Antivirus software – Antivirus software is a must. The software will be able to detect malware when it is downloaded onto a device or is executed. The malware is identified by its signature, which means that a particular malware variant must be known and its signature must be present in the malware definition list used by that software. Antivirus software will not detect novel malware variants without behavioral analysis of files.

Web filter – One of the best defenses against malware distributed via the internet is a web filter. The web filter blocks downloads of malicious files by preventing downloads of executable files from the Internet, blocking access to known malicious websites, and limiting the sites that users can visit on their corporate-owned devices. The main advantage of a web filter is the threat is dealt with before any files are downloaded from the Internet.

Security awareness training – Users should be warned about the risks of downloading software from the Internet, be taught how to identify the signs of phishing and malicious emails, and be trained on security best practices. The latter should include carefully checking the domain of the website offering software and making sure it is the official website of the software vendor or a reputable software distributor.

Email security solution – Malware is often delivered via email, usually via a malicious script in an attached file or via a linked web page. An email security solution needs to have antivirus capabilities – signature-based detection and behavioral analysis in an email sandbox. The former will detect known malware variants and email sandboxing is used to detect novel malware variants.  Your email security solutions should also include AI-based detection, which can identify malicious messages based on how they differ from standard messages received by your business and perform comparisons with previous malware distribution campaigns.

While TitanHQ does not provide antivirus software, TitanHQ can help with web filtering (WebTitan), email security (SpamTitan), phishing protection (PhishTitan), and security awareness training (SafeTitan). For more information on improving your defenses against malware and TitanHQ’s multi-award-winning cloud-based email security and internet security solutions for businesses and managed service providers, give the TitanHQ team a call today.