CISA’s advisory warns of notable increase in LokiBot malware

Pierluigi Paganini September 22, 2020

US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is warning of a notable increase in the use of LokiBot malware by threat actors since July 2020.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a new security advisory warning federal agencies and the private sector of a surge in the attacks employing the LokiBot malware since July 2020.

The Agency’s EINSTEIN Intrusion Detection System has detected persistent malicious activity associated with the LokiBot malware.

“CISA has observed a notable increase in the use of LokiBot malware by malicious cyber actors since July 2020. Throughout this period, CISA’s EINSTEIN Intrusion Detection System, which protects federal, civilian executive branch networks, has detected persistent malicious LokiBot activity.” reads the CISA’s advisory.

The Lokibot malware has been active since 2015, it is an infostealer that was involved in many malspam campaigns aimed at harvest credentials from web browsers, email clients, admin tools and that was also used to target cryptocoin-wallet owners.

The malware is able to steal sensitive information (a variety of credentials, including FTP credentials, stored email passwords, passwords stored in the browser, as well as a whole host of other credentials) 

The original LokiBot malware was developed and sold by online by a hacker who goes online by the alias “lokistov,” (aka Carter).

The malicious code was initially advertised on many hacking forums for up to $300, later other threat actors started offering it for less than $80 in the cybercrime underground.

Across time, the author of the threat implemented new features such as real-time key-logging to capture keystrokes, desktop screenshot and functionalities.

The CISA LokiBot advisory includes detection signatures and mitigation recommendations for LokiBot attacks.

Below the list of mitigations:

  • Maintain up-to-date antivirus signatures and engines. See Protecting Against Malicious Code.
  • Keep operating system patches up to date. See Understanding Patches and Software Updates.
  • Disable file and printer sharing services. If these services are required, use strong passwords or Active Directory authentication.
  • Enforce multi-factor authentication. See Supplementing Passwords for more information.
  • Restrict users’ ability (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications. Do not add users to the local administrators’ group unless required.
  • Enforce a strong password policy. See Choosing and Protecting Passwords.
  • Exercise caution when opening email attachments, even if the attachment is expected and the sender appears to be known. See Using Caution with Email Attachments.
  • Enable a personal firewall on agency workstations, configured to deny unsolicited connection requests.
  • Disable unnecessary services on agency workstations and servers.
  • Scan for and remove suspicious email attachments; ensure the scanned attachment is its “true file type” (i.e., the extension matches the file header).
  • Monitor users’ web browsing habits; restrict access to sites with unfavorable content.
  • Exercise caution when using removable media (e.g., USB thumb drives, external drives, CDs).
  • Scan all software downloaded from the internet prior to executing.
  • Maintain situational awareness of the latest threats and implement appropriate access control lists.
  • Visit the MITRE ATT&CK Techniques pages (linked in table 1 above) for additional mitigation and detection strategies.
[adrotate banner=”9″][adrotate banner=”12″]

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Norway)

[adrotate banner=”5″]

[adrotate banner=”13″]

you might also like

leave a comment