Researchers at Trustwave warn that a phishing campaign is attempting to deliver malware via a file for a fake scandal video with 'Trump' included in the title. The file is a Java Archive (JAR) that will install the Qnode remote access Trojan.
Interestingly, the content of the phishing email itself had nothing to do with that filename, and instead tried to rope the target into an investment scam. The researchers believe the scammers are simply trying to capitalize on the recent US elections with the Trump-related filename. Still, Trustwave says the malware aspect of the campaign was effective:
- “To increase the chances of this threat being executed by the email recipient, the attachment name was based on a prominent figure, and a GUI indicating that the malicious JAR is a tool used in penetration testing.
- “To evade detection, the malicious code of the downloader was split-up into different buffers inside the JAR. Also, the string “qnodejs” which can distinguish the files related to this threat was not used anymore.
- “To challenge the existing remediations of this threat, the names of the other files it created and downloaded were changed and they are put into different locations, not inside the Node.Js installation folder.
- “To deliver the final payload into the system, the infection chain was modified – the JAR directly downloads the payload.”
The researchers conclude that this campaign would probably only fool the most gullible of victim, although it could easily be made more convincing with some simple improvements. And in any case most of us suffer episodes of extraordinary gullibility.
“While the attachment payload has some improvements over previous versions, the email campaign itself was rather amateurish, and we believe that the chance this threat will be delivered successfully is higher if only the email was more sophisticated,” they write. “The spamming out of malicious JAR files, which often lead to RATs such as this, is quite common. Email administrators should be looking to take a hard line against inbound JARs and block them in their email security gateways.”
Technical defenses won’t stop every threat, however. New-school security awareness training can teach your employees to avoid falling for clickbait and to never download untrusted files.
Trustwave has the story.