Hackers use cloud services to issue Nanocore, Netwire, and AsyncRAT Malware
Hackers are actively incorporating public cloud services from Amazon and Microsoft into their malicious campaigns to deliver commodity remote access trojans (RATs) such as Nanocore, Netwire, and AsyncRAT to siphon sensitive information from compromised systems.
The spear-phishing attacks, which commenced in October 2021, have primarily targeted entities located in the U.S., Canada, Italy, and Singapore, researchers from Cisco Talos said in a report shared with The Hacker News.
Using existing legitimate infrastructure to facilitate intrusions is increasingly becoming part of an attacker's playbook as it obviates the need to host their own servers, not to mention be used as a cloaking mechanism to evade detection by security solutions.
In recent months, collaboration and communication tools like Discord, Slack, and Telegram have found a place in many infection chains to commandeer and exfiltrate data from the victim machines. Viewed in that light, the abuse of cloud platforms is a tactical extension that attackers could exploit as a first step into a vast array of networks.
As with many of these types of campaigns, it all starts with an invoice-themed phishing email containing a ZIP file attachment that, when opened, triggers an attack sequence that downloads next-stage payloads hosted on an Azure Cloud-based Windows server or an AWS EC2 instance, ultimately culminating in the deployment of different RATs, including AsyncRAT, Nanocore, and Netwire.
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