January 2022’s Most Wanted Malware: Lokibot Returns to the Index and Emotet Regains Top Spot

Check Point Research reveals that the InfoStealer, Lokibot, is back in the most prevalent malwares list while Emotet has taken first place away from Trickbot. Apache Log4j is still wreaking havoc as the number one most exploited vulnerability.

Our latest Global Threat Index for January 2022 reveals that Emotet has now pushed Trickbot out of first place after a long stay at the top, and is this month’s most prevalent malware, affecting 6% of organizations worldwide. Log4j is also still proving to be a problem, impacting 47.4% of organizations globally and the most attacked industry continues to be Education/Research.

After only two and a half months since its return, Emotet has surged into the top spot. The notorious botnet is most commonly spread via phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or links. Its increased use has only been helped by the prevalence of Trickbot that acts as a catalyst, spreading the malware even further. Meanwhile Dridex has dropped from the top ten list altogether, replaced by Lokibot, an InfoStealer which is used to obtain data such as email credentials, passwords to CryptoCoin wallets and FTP servers.

It’s unsurprising that Emotet is back with a vengeance. It’s an evasive malware, making it difficult to detect, while the fact that it uses multiple methods to infect networks only further adds to the continuing rise of this threat. It is unlikely that this will be a short-lived problem. This month we’ve also seen Dridex disappear from our top ten list and Lokibot resurface. Lokibot takes advantage of victims at their busiest moments, being distributed through well disguised phishing emails. These threats, alongside the ongoing battle with the Log4j vulnerability, emphasise the importance of having the best security across networks, cloud, mobile and user endpoints.

We also revealed this month that Education/Research remains the most attacked industry globally, followed by Government/Military and ISP/MSP. “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” is still the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 47.4% of organizations globally, followed by “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which impacts 45% of organizations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” is in third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 42%.

Top malware families

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

This month, Emotet is the most popular malware impacting 6% of organizations worldwide, closely followed by Trickbot with an impact of 4% and then Formbook with an impact of 3%.

  1. ↑ Emotet – Emotet is an advanced, self-propagating and modular Trojan. Emotet, once used to employ as a banking Trojan, has recently been used as a distributer to other malware or malicious campaigns. It uses multiple methods for maintaining persistence and evasion techniques to avoid detection. In addition, it can be spread through phishing spam emails containing malicious attachments or links.
  2. Trickbot Trickbot is a modular Botnet and banking Trojan constantly being updated with new capabilities, features and distribution vectors. This enables Trickbot to be a flexible and customizable malware that can be distributed as part of multi-purpose campaigns.
  3. Formbook – Formbook is an Info Stealer that harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors, and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to its C&C orders.
  4. ↔ Agent Tesla – Agent Tesla is an advanced RAT functioning as a keylogger and information stealer. It is capable of monitoring and collecting the victim’s keyboard input, system keyboard, taking screenshots and exfiltrating credentials to a variety of software installed on a victim’s machine (including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and the Microsoft Outlook email client).
  5. 5. ↑ XMRig – XMRig is an open-source CPU mining software used for the mining process of the Monero cryptocurrency and was first seen in-the-wild in May 2017.
  6. Glupteba – Glupteba is a backdoor which gradually matured into a botnet. By 2019 it included a C&C address update mechanism through public BitCoin lists, an integral browser stealer capability and a router exploiter.
  7. Remcos – Remcos is a RAT that first appeared in the wild in 2016. Remcos distributes itself through malicious Microsoft Office documents which are attached to SPAM emails and is designed to bypass Microsoft Windows UAC security and execute malware with high-level privileges.
  8. ↔ Ramnit -Ramnit is a banking Trojan that steals banking credentials, FTP passwords, session cookies and personal data.
  9. ↑ Phorpiex – Phorpiex is a botnet (aka Trik) that has been around since 2010 and at its peak controlled more than a million infected hosts. It is known for distributing other malware families via spam campaigns as well as fueling large-scale spam and sextortion campaigns.
  10. ↑ Lokibot – Lokibot is an Info Stealer distributed mainly by phishing emails and is used to steal various data such as email credentials, as well as passwords to CryptoCoin wallets and FTP servers.

Top Attacked Industries Globally

This month Education/Research is in first place in the top attacked industries globally, followed by Government/Military and ISP/MSP.

  1. Education/Research
  2. Government/Military
  3. ISP/MSP

Top exploited vulnerabilities

This month “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” is still the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting  47.4% of organizations globally, followed by “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” which impacts 45% of organizations worldwide. “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” is in third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 42%.

  1. ↔ Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution (CVE-2021-44228) – A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Apache Log4j. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system.
  2. ↔ Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure – An information disclosure vulnerability has been reported in Git Repository. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an unintentional disclosure of account information.
  3. HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-10826,CVE-2020-10827,CVE-2020-10828,CVE-2020-13756) – HTTP headers let the client and the server pass additional information with an HTTP request. A remote attacker may use a vulnerable HTTP Header to run arbitrary code on the victim machine.
  4. ↔ Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal (CVE-2010-4598,CVE-2011-2474,CVE-2014-0130,CVE-2014-0780,CVE-2015-0666,CVE-2015-4068,CVE-2015-7254,CVE-2016-4523,CVE-2016-8530,CVE-2017-11512,CVE-2018-3948,CVE-2018-3949,CVE-2019-18952,CVE-2020-5410,CVE-2020-8260) – There exists a directory traversal vulnerability on different web servers. The vulnerability is due to an input validation error in a web server that does not properly sanitize the URI for the directory traversal patterns. Successful exploitation allows unauthenticated remote attackers to disclose or access arbitrary files on the vulnerable server.
  5. ↑ Command Injection Over HTTP (CVE-2013-6719,CVE-2013-6720) – A command Injection Over HTTP vulnerability has been reported. A remote attacker can exploit this issue by sending a specially crafted request to the victim. Successful exploitation would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target machine.
  6. ↑ D-LINK Multiple Products Remote Code Execution (CVE-2015-2051) – A remote code execution vulnerability has been reported in multiple D-Link products. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution on the vulnerable device.
  7. MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution – A remote code execution vulnerability exists in MVPower DVR devices. A remote attacker can exploit this weakness to execute arbitrary code in the affected router via a crafted request.
  8. Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass (CVE-2018-10561) – An authentication bypass vulnerability exists in Dasan GPON routers. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability would allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive information and gain unauthorized access into the affected system.
  9. ↑ PHP Easter Egg Information Disclosure – An information disclosure vulnerability has been reported in the PHP pages. The vulnerability is due to incorrect web server configuration. A remote attacker can exploit this vulnerability by sending a specially crafted URL to an affected PHP page.
  10. Apache HTTP Server Directory Traversal (CVE-2021-41773,CVE-2021-42013) – A directory traversal vulnerability exists in Apache HTTP Server. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to access arbitrary files on the affected system.

Top Mobile Malwares

This month xHelper comes in first place as the most prevalent mobile malware, followed by AlienBot and FluBot.

  1. xHelper – A malicious application not seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and display advertisement. The application is capable of hiding itself from the user and reinstalling itself in case it was uninstalled.
  2. AlienBot – AlienBot malware family is a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) for Android devices that allows a remote attacker, at a first step, to inject malicious code into legitimate financial applications. The attacker obtains access to victims’ accounts, and eventually completely controls their device.
  3. FluBot – FluBot is an Android botnet malware distributed via phishing SMS messages, most often impersonating logistics delivery brands. Once the user clicks the link inside the message, FluBot is installed and gets access to all sensitive information on the phone.