The recent arrest of 21-year old software developer Colton Grubbs brings light to just how easy it is for wanna-be cybercriminals to get their hands on some pretty powerful malware tools.
Colton Grubbs is the creator of the tools Luminosity Link – also known as just Luminosity. His tool was very nasty multi-purpose Remote-Access Trojan (RAT) designed to enable remote surveillance, security, and administration of Windows-based computers. Grubbs designed it to do everything a cybercriminal could ask for:
- Install without making the user aware
- Disable AV protection
- Access files
- Turn on webcams
- Install a keylogger
- Steal passwords
- And more.
What makes Grubb’s arrest so eye-opening is that the plea agreement outlines just how easy it was for would-be hackers to obtain and use this very advanced turnkey tool. The tool was sold on numerous websites for prices as low as $40, and was sold over 8600 times, used worldwide, and was used to gain access to thousands of computers across 78 countries. Those that purchased Luminosity became instant threats to anyone with reach via email or website. The capabilities Luminosity gives the layman hacker allows access to data, applications, and systems, making footholds within organization a breeze, and elevates the potential for data breaches significantly.
While the sale of the tool has been shutdown, this “malware toolkit-in-a-box” still lives in the hands of its buyers, enabling them to perform expert-level attacks.
Check out this RAT demonstration by Kevin Mitnick, KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer.
Whether Luminosity is delivered via USB drive (which is demonstrated in Kevin’s video), weblink, or email attachment, the number one way of ensuring Luminosity (and other RAT tools like it) never infiltrate your organization is to elevate the employee’s mindfulness around potential threats, methods of attack, and their role as the potential victim through security awareness training.