PikaBot Resurfaces with Streamlined Code and Deceptive Tactics

PikaBot Resurfaces with Streamlined Code and Deceptive Tactics

The threat actors behind the PikaBot malware have made significant changes to the malware in what has been described as a case of “devolution.”

PikaBot, first documented by the cybersecurity firm in May 2023, is a malware loader and a backdoor that can execute commands and inject payloads from a command-and-control (C2) server as well as allow the attacker to control the infected host.

In recent months, both PikaBot and another loader called DarkGate have emerged as attractive replacements for threat actors such as Water Curupira (aka TA577) to obtain initial access to target networks via phishing campaigns and drop Cobalt Strike.

Zscaler’s analysis of a new version of PikaBot (version 1.18.32) observed this month has revealed its continued focus on obfuscation, albeit with simpler encryption algorithms, and insertion of junk code between valid instructions as part of its efforts to resist analysis.

The development comes as Proofpoint alerted of an ongoing cloud account takeover (ATO) campaign that has targeted dozens of Microsoft Azure environments and compromised hundreds of user accounts, including those belonging to senior executives.

The activity, underway since November 2023, singles out users with individualized phishing lures bearing decoy files that contain links to malicious phishing web pages for credential harvesting, and use them for follow-on data exfiltration, internal and external phishing, and financial fraud.


Source: https://thehackernews.com/