This dangerous new malware wants to target your cloud systems

Magnifying glass enlarging the word 'malware' in computer machine code
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Researchers from SentinelLabs have uncovered a new toolkit cybercriminals are using to breach email and web hosting services. 

The malware toolkit, called “AlienFox”, is being described as “highly modular” and getting regular updates. Most of the tools in the kit are open source, and with the speed at which it’s being updated, the researchers concluded the devs are becoming “increasingly sophisticated”.

As per SentinelLabs’ report, hackers are shilling AlienFox on Telegram groups, claiming it can be used to compromise misconfigured hosts on cloud platforms and steal sensitive data.

Protecting your business from the biggest threats online

Protecting your business from the biggest threats online
Perimeter 81's Malware Protection intercepts threats at the delivery stage to prevent known malware, polymorphic attacks, zero-day exploits, and more. Let your people use the web freely without risking data and network security.

Preferred partner (What does this mean?) 

Abusing scanning platforms 

"AlienFox tools facilitate attacks on minimal services that lack the resources needed for mining," the researchers said in their report. "By analyzing the tools and tool output, we found that actors use AlienFox to identify and collect service credentials from misconfigured or exposed services. For victims, compromise can lead to additional service costs, loss of customer trust, and remediation costs."

To generate a list of misconfigured hosts, the toolkit uses security scanning platforms, such as LeakIX, or SecurityTrails. Then, it uses multiple scripts to pull sensitive information such as API keys and secrets from configuration files, the researchers explained. Some of the versions analyzed for the report were able to establish AWS account persistence and escalate privileges, as well as collect send quotas and automate spam campaigns through victim accounts and services.

So far, attacks against cloud-based services were limited mostly to cryptominers. Threat actors would use compromised cloud servers to run XMRig or similar cryptocurrency miners, generating tokens without needing to pay for electricity, internet, or compute power. With AlienFox, SentinelLabs claims, opportunistic cloud attacks are no longer confined to cryptomining. 

“For victims, compromise can lead to additional service costs, loss in customer trust, and remediation costs,” the researchers concluded.

Via: The Register 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.