January 23, 2022

TheCyberThrone

Thinking Security ! Always

Gootloader Campaign !

GootLoader campaign are setting their sights on employees of accounting and law firms as part of a fresh onslaught of widespread cyberattacks to deploy malware on infected systems, an indication that the adversary is expanding its focus to other high-value targets.

GootLoader is a stealthy initial access malware, which after getting a foothold into the victim’s computer system, infects the system with ransomware or other lethal malware, mostly distributed by search engine poisoning

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In earlier campaing it’s spreaded by drive-by download offensive that involved tricking users to visiting compromised WordPress websites belonging to legitimate businesses via a technique called search engine poisoning that pushes these sites to the top of the search results.

The mode of operation is to entice a business professional to one of the compromised websites and then have them click on the link, leading to Gootloader, which attempts to retrieve the final payload, whether it be ransomware, a banking trojan or intrusion tool and credential stealer.

Over 100,000 malicious webpages were set up last year across websites representing entities in the hotel industry, high-end retail, education, healthcare, music and visual arts, with one of the hacked websites hosting 150 rogue pages designed to social engineer users searching for postnuptial or intellectual property agreements.

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The nature of GootLoader and the way it’s designed to provide a backdoor into systems implies that the goal of the attacks could be intelligence gathering, but it could also be utilised as a tool for delivering additional damaging payloads, including Cobalt Strike and ransomware, to compromised systems for follow-on attacks.

GootLoader relies heavily on social engineering to establish its foothold, from poisoning Google search results to fashioning the payload.To mitigate such threats, it’s recommended that organizations put in place a vetting process for business agreement samples, train employees on social engineering tactics.

Indicators of Compromise

  • human-to-dust[.]de
  • szandyhercegno[.]hu
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