Check Point’s latest Global Threat Index reveals that hackers are increasingly utilizing cryptomining malware that operates without an active web browser session

 

Check Point recently published its monthly Global Threat Index, revealing a surge of cryptomining malware attacks throughout March – specifically, an endpoint cryptomining malware known as the XMRig variant.

 

First seen in the wild in May 2017, XMRig entered Check Point’s top ten most wanted malware index (8th) for the first time during March 2018, after a 70% increase in global impact. By working on the end point device rather than the web browser itself, XMRig is able to mine the Monero cryptocurrency without needing an active web browser session on the victim’s computer.

 

Cryptomining malware has been quite the success story for cybercriminals, and XMRig’s rise indicates that they are actively invested in modifying and improving their methods in order to stay ahead of the curve. Besides slowing down PCs and servers, cryptomining malware can spread laterally once inside the network, posing a major security threat to its victims. It is therefore critical that enterprises employ a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that protects against both established malware families and brand new threats.

 

In March, Coinhive retained its most wanted spot for the fourth consecutive month impacting 18% of organizations, followed by the Rig EK Exploit Kit in second (17%) while the Cryptoloot miner was third (impacting 15%).  XMRig was the 8th most common malware variant, impacting 5% of organizations.

 

 March 2018’s Top 10 ‘Most Wanted’ Malware:

*The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month.

  1. ↔ Coinhive – Crypto Miner designed to perform online mining of Monero cryptocurrency when a user visits a web page without the user’s knowledge or approval the profits with the user. The implanted JavaScript uses great computational resources of the end users to mine coins and might crash the system.
  2. ↑ Rig ek – Exploit Kit first introduced in 2014. Rig delivers Exploits for Flash, Java, Silverlight and Internet Explorer. The infection chain starts with a redirection to a landing page that contains JavaScript that checks for vulnerable plug-ins and delivers the exploit
  3. ↓ Cryptoloot – Crypto-Miner, using the victim’s CPU or GPU power and existing resources for crypto mining – adding transactions to the blockchain and releasing new currency. It is a competitor to Coinhive, trying to pull the rug under it by asking less percents of revenue from websites.
  4. ↑ Roughted – Large scale Malvertising used to deliver various malicious websites and payloads such as scams, adware, exploit kits and ransomware. It can be used to attack any type of platform and operating system, and utilizes ad-blocker bypassing and fingerprinting in order to make sure it delivers the most relevant attack.
  5. ↓ Jsecoin – JavaScript miner that can be embedded in websites. With JSEcoin, you can run the miner directly in your browser in exchange for an ad-free experience, in-game currency and other incentives
  6. ↔ Fireball – Browser-hijacker that can be turned into a full-functioning malware downloader. It is capable of executing any code on the victim machines, resulting in a wide range of actions from stealing credentials to dropping additional malware.
  7. ↑ Andromeda – Modular bot used mainly as a backdoor to deliver additional malware on infected hosts, but can be modified to create different types of botnets.
  8. ↑ XMRig– XMRig is an open-source CPU mining software used for the mining process of the Monero cryptocurrency, and first seen in-the-wild in May 2017.
  9. ↓ Necurs – Botnet used to spread malware by spam emails, mainly Ransomware and Banking Trojans.
  10. ↑ Conficker – Worm that allows remote operations and malware download. The infected machine is controlled by a botnet, which contacts its Command & Control server to receive instructions.

 

Lokibot, an Android banking Trojan which grants super user privileges to download malware, was the most popular malware used to attack organizations’ mobile estates followed by the Triada and Hiddad.

 

 March’s Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ mobile malware:

  1. Lokibot –  Android banking Trojan and info-stealer, which can also turn into a ransomware that locks the phone.
  2. Triada – Modular Backdoor for Android which grants superuser privileges to downloaded malware.
  3. Hiddad– Android malware which repackages legitimate apps then releases them to a third-party store.

For the first time our researchers also analyzed the most exploited cyber vulnerabilities. CVE-2017-10271 came first with a global impact of 26%, in second place was the SQL injection vulnerability impacting 19%, and in third place was CVE-2015-1635 with a global impact of 12% of organizations.

 

March’s Top 3 ‘Most Wanted’ vulnerabilities:

  1. Oracle WebLogic WLS Security Component Remote Code Execution (CVE-2017-10271)– A remote code execution vulnerability exists within Oracle WebLogic WLS. This is due to the way Oracle WebLogic handles xml decodes. A successful attack could lead to a remote code execution.
  2. SQL Injection– Inserting an injection of SQL query in input from client to application, while exploiting a security vulnerability in an application’s software.
  3. Microsoft Windows HTTP.sys Remote Code Execution (MS15-034: CVE-2015-1635)– A remote code execution vulnerability has been reported in Windows OS. The vulnerability is due to an error in the way HTTP.sys handles a malicious HTTP header. Successful exploitation would result in a remote code execution.

 

The map below displays the risk index globally (green – low risk, red- high risk, grey – insufficient data), demonstrating the main risk areas and malware hot-spots around the world.

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence. ThreatCloud draws upon a wide variety of intelligence feeds coming from advanced in-house malware and threat research, AI algorithms and automated processes, partnerships and open sources in order to deliver threat data and attack trends. As the world’s largest threat intelligence network, ThreatCloud detects hundreds of millions of malicious events a day, collecting information from over a hundred thousand gateways and millions of endpoints worldwide.

 

Check Point’s Threat Prevention Resources are available at:  http://www.checkpoint.com/threat-prevention-resources/index.html