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Valentine Risks – Ode to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Written by: Chris Roberts – Chief Security Strategist. We think of the Internet as our friend, we use it for social activities, to keep in contact with friends and family scattered across the globe. We use it to help others, to be helped by friends and strangers alike…so when someone sends us something our first instinct is to click it to open it…and that’s the point we lose. We lose our bank accounts; we lose our identity, our taxes and our life.

Confucius cybergang spreads backdoor ridden chat apps in Romance scams

As Valentine’s Day approaches, cybercriminals are looking to once again seize the opportunity to target lonely singles in romance schemes looking to persuade victims into downloading malware hidden in chat apps.

The Confucius hacking group has been observed using these scams to deliver malware similar to that used by the Patchwork cybergang. Similarities including the use of custom code, commands in backdoors, and custom structures, according to a Feb. 13 Trend Micro blog post.

Despite the similarities, Trend Micro researches believe the two are different groups, possibly within the same community but with different objectives and modi operandi. Researchers noted Patchwork may be more straightforward with its predominantly malware-based attacks while Confucius’ relies more on social engineering.

The Confucius group looks to deploy bespoke backdoors steal files from their victim’s systems with tailored file stealers that exfiltrate files by abusing a cloud storage service. The group uses several backdoors including sctrls, ByeBye Shell, remote-access-c3, and sip_telephone as well a file stealers, swissknife2, which abuses a cloud storage service as a repository of exfiltrated files.

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