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August 2021’s Most Wanted Malware: Formbook Climbs into First Place

Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has published its latest Global Threat Index for August 2021. Researchers report that Formbook is now the most prevalent malware, taking over Trickbot, which has fallen into second following a three-month long reign. In the UK, the most prevalent malware is Danabot, a tricker that targets the Windows platform.

The banking trojan, Qbot, whose operators are known to take breaks during the summer, has dropped from the top 10 completely after a long stay on the list, whilst Remcos, a remote access trojan (RAT), has entered the index for the first time in 2021, ranking in sixth place.

First seen in 2016, Formbook is an infostealer that harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to its command and control (C&C) orders. Recently, Formbook was distributed via COVID-19 themed campaigns and phishing emails, and in July 2021, CPR reported that a new strain of malware derived from Formbook, called XLoader, is now targeting macOS users.

“Formbook’s code is written in C with assembly inserts and contains a number of tricks to make it more evasive and harder for researchers to analyze,” said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software. “As it is usually distributed via phishing emails and attachments, the best way to prevent a Formbook infection is by staying acutely aware of any emails that appear strange or come from unknown senders. As always, if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.”

CPR also revealed this month that “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 45% of organizations globally, followed by “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” which affects 43% of organizations worldwide. “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass” takes third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 40%.

Top malware families

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

This month, Formbook is the most popular malware impacting 4.5% of organizations globally, followed by Trickbot and Agent Tesla, impacting 4% and 3% of organizations worldwide respectively.

 

  1. ↑ Formbook – Formbook is an infostealer 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.
  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. ↑ Agent Tesla – Agent Tesla is an advanced RAT functioning as a keylogger and information stealer, which is capable of monitoring and collecting the victim’s keyboard input and system keyboard, taking screenshots, and exfiltrating credentials from a variety of software installed on a victim’s machine (including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and the Microsoft Outlook email client).

 

Top exploited vulnerabilities

This month “Web Server Exposed Git Repository Information Disclosure” is the most commonly exploited vulnerability, impacting 45% of organizations globally, followed by “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” which affects 43% of organizations worldwide. “Dasan GPON Router Authentication Bypass” takes third place in the top exploited vulnerabilities list, with a global impact of 40%.

 

  1. 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.
  2. ↔ 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.
  3. 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.

 

Top Mobile Malwares

This month xHelper takes first place in the most prevalent Mobile malwares, followed by AlienBot and FluBot.

 

  1. xHelper – A malicious application seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and display advertisements. The application is capable of hiding itself from the user and can even reinstall itself in the event that it was uninstalled.
  2. AlienBot – AlienBot malware family is a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) for Android devices that allows a remote attacker, as 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.

 

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles. The intelligence is enriched with AI-based engines and exclusive research data from Check Point Research, The Intelligence & Research Arm of Check Point Software Technologies.