ServHelper

ServHelper is a new backdoor with a downloader variant first appearing in November of 2018. Named by the prolific creators “Ta505”, ServHelper Spreads through email campaigns using a quantity over quality approach that has proven to work, albeit, less effective than the Emotet strategies discussed here. ServHelper seems to be largely targeted toward businesses but could change to focus on individual’ s in future campaigns.

How does ServHelper works

ServHelper is downloaded through Microsoft word documents with hidden macros. The documents often pretend to be invoices though they may take other forms such as, but not limited to, greeting cards, complaints, or details from your bank.  These documents attempt to convince the user to enable them saying that they cannot be viewed until they are enabled. If the enable Content button is pressed, it runs code that downloads ServHelper to the computer. You can learn more about how to protect yourself here. An example is shown below:

 Infected enable Content doc

Another method employed by ServHelper is to give PDF files that claim you must follow the link provided to update your pdf viewer. These links instead reach out to a download server that infects anyone who visits. The end result is the same regardless of which infection vector is used.

Once installed ServHelper does 1 of 2 things.

  1. ServHelper establishes a remote-control session that allows the malicious actor to control the infected computer from anywhere. From here the malware talks to a Command and control server (C&C) where it takes it commands from. Some of the notable commands include the ability to kill itself and remove traces of itself from the computer, the ability to copy user’s browser profiles, and execute a command shell.
  2. ServHelper more recently removed some of its capabilities (in this version only) to instead focusing on dropping another piece of malware now known as FlawedGrace. FlawedGrace acts as a remote access Trojan providing similar functions to ServHelper, however there is ample evidence that FlawedGrace is operated by a different threat actor than ServHelper.

Who is affected?

ServHelper largely targets businesses and as such most of the emails are designed to take advantage of emails you would see in your day to day business such as invoices. Despite this active focus its entirely possible for computers outside of a business to be infected and extorted so protection is paramount.

Indicators of infection

ServHelper makes several changes that can help identify if you have been infected or not. In addition it reaches out to several known addresses.

  1. The most noticeable one is the C:\Windows\ServHelper.dll that is dropped in the windows folder.
  2. Unusual scheduled startup tasks are always noteworthy and ServHelper uses them to start itself every time a victim’s computer is ran.
  3. C:\PROGRAM FILES\COMMON FILES\SYSTEM\WINRESET.EXE
  4. crl.verisign.com/pca3.crl
  5. http://ocsp.verisign.com/MFEwTzBNMEswSTAJBgUrDgMCGgUABBQ%2FxkCfyHfJr7GQ6M658NRZ4SHo%2FAQUCPVR6Pv%2BPT1kNnxoz1t4qN%2B5xTcCECcNdVyfWsO322H1CZgocHg%3D
  6. http://www.download.windowsupdate.com/msdownload/update/v3/static/trustedr/en/authrootstl.cab
  7. IP: 104.81.60.211
  8. IP: 104.81.60.51
  9. IP: 2.17.157.9

What you can do


If you or someone you know is infected with the ServHelper malware download SUPERAntiSpyware Professional right now and get a 14 day free trial, no credit card required.  SUPERAntiSpyware is easy to install and will detect and remove Emotet from any Windows computer. If you are a Computer Technician, you may like to try our SUPERAntiSpyware Tech Edition solution, now free for the next 30 days. Use Tech02 as the Tech ID.  Click here: https://www.superantispyware.com/technician-download.html

HOW TO REMOVE ServHelper

  1. Restart the infected computer in safe mode without networking
  2. Search through the Indicators of infection and investigate any files/folders you do not recognize. You can run the file through SUPERAntiSpyware or online through VirusTotal.com to confirm that it is malware.
  3. Delete files and folders that have been confirmed as malware.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 on all other machines in the network.
  5. Restore all infected computers to normal mode only after confirming the infection is removed.

Emotet

You may have heard of the Trojan Emotet before, first appearing back in 2014 stealing banking information, it has since evolved into a multi-faceted threat that targets everyone. It uses social engineering through emails to attempt to convince the user to open a Microsoft Word document and run its malicious macros. Even more worrisome is that once they have infected a target, they attempt to take over the victims Microsoft outlook desktop application. If successful Emotet will go through all sent emails and contacts, before sending out a new wave of spam emails. Only this time it will be from a trusted email. A campaign from Emotet over the Christmas season reads like a friend sending a friendly season greeting.

Dear <name>,

You make the stars shine brighter and the winter days warmer just by being in my life. Merry Christmas to my favorite person in the world.

Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Greeting Card is attached

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. Garrison Keillor

While not limited to invoices or Christmas cards, these emails attempt to get the user to click the download link and then to open the document. In the email mentioned above the target may be fooled into thinking that the attached greeting card is legitimate.  The document actually contains a malicious macro, an embedded script. While macros were initially designed to help automate keystrokes and mouse movements, they were quickly abused by nefarious virus creators. The infection cannot run on its own as Microsoft has automatically disabled macros more than a decade ago to help stop these malicious scripts. Instead, Emotet uses a few techniques to get the user to re-enable macros. Examples can be seen below.



The picture urges the user to click the Enable Content button, implying that they cannot view the Word document until they do so. You may have already noticed that the bar itself says that Macros have been disabled and the enable content button will in fact allow them. The moment that Enable content is click the macros will start and in seconds you will be infected, even worse in most cases you will have no indication from this point forward that anything is wrong. In one test case we briefly had a command window appear:



This window lasted less than two seconds before disappearing. This attack vector is not unique to Emotet though. In fact, it has been used by a number of ransomware attacks in the past. If you ever see a document you didn’t expect to receive, you should always be extremely cautious with it and you should never enable macros without a very good reason.

How it works

Emotet is an evolving malware that has been known to primary spread itself through the use of email spam campaigns.  Emotet itself does not attempt to do much harm, instead it opens the door for other malware who pay the doorman on the way in. It achieves this by using what is known as a Command and control server (C&C), Emotet will request instructions from its control server who will issue a new command. This command could be anything from grab this malware sample and run it to tell me what passwords are stored in the user’s browser. Emotet can also receive updates and new capabilities in this way as well, showing that if Emotet has infected your computer or network it should be removed as quickly as possible.

Emotet doesn’t stop at the first computer infected though, once it’s on a network it will attempt to get to all computers it’s connected to through a brute-force attack. Unless strong passwords are enforced on machines and all known vulnerabilities are patched, a single installation of Emotet can cause every computer in the network to become infected. Emotet is often updated with new exploits as they are found, meaning that while it may not be successful at first it will keep trying until it finds something that does work.

Code

We won’t go into too much depth on the actual code itself, but a brief step-by-step walkthrough can be useful to get a better understanding on how this malware works.

1. In the Word document there is a VBA script that is obfuscated so that you cannot read it at a glance, all this code does is launch a command shell which then launches PowerShell, a more powerful version of the Windows command shell.

2. Using PowerShell, the script attempts to download the core Emotet payload from a large variety of distribution websites.

3. The randomly named payload will then reach out to the main server and request a command. The command will change based on the campaign that is running, it could go grab new malware or it could attempt to use your own email address as a way to spread itself.

Who is affected

Many people assume that they will not be targets of malware campaigns, Emotet though targets everyone equally, it has the simple goal of getting on every machine it can and then getting paid to let other, more targeted malware come in behind it. If your email address has ever been sold, disclosed in a breach, or was on a friend’s email list when they got infected it’s possible you will receive a malicious email from them.

Indicators of infection

The main location for the executable is in C:\Users\<name>\AppData\Local\ and then whatever new name Emotet decides to use. One we have seen often is archivessymbol but this will change. If you see something in this folder you don’t know about, its important to run a scan.

Versions of Emotet can also drop files onto your computer in C:\Users\Public or C:\Users\<username>:

These files generally have 5-6 randomly generated numbers in the file name, followed by .exe. These are not actually executable files, but HTML documents that are used to generate revenue for the Blackhat’s by simulating clicks on web advertisements.

What you can do


If you or someone you know is infected with the Emotet malware download SUPERAntiSpyware Professional right now and get a 14 day free trial, no credit card required.  SUPERAntiSpyware is easy to install and will detect and remove Emotet from any Windows computer. If you are a Computer Technician, you may like to try our SUPERAntiSpyware Tech Edition solution, now free for the next 30 days. Use Tech01 as the Tech ID.  Click here: https://www.superantispyware.com/technician-download.html

Emotet has also been known to exploit a vulnerability in Windows called EternalBlue. Microsoft has issued a patch for this, and applying this patch can help protect you from Emotet as well as other malware who utilize this exploit.

HOW TO REMOVE EMOTET

  1. Restart the infected computer in safe mode without networking
  2. Search through the Indicators of infection and investigate any files/folders you do not recognize. You can run the file through SUPERAntiSpyware or online through VirusTotal.com to confirm that it is malware.
  3. Delete files and folders that have been confirmed as malware.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 on all other machines in the network.
  5. Restore all infected computers to normal mode only after confirming the infection is removed.

Layerin’ Ain’t Just for Winter! Bolster Your Security With Layers of Protection

Virus infection

I thought Spyware and Viruses are the same thing?

A virus is malicious code that copies itself over and over in order to do damage to your computers data while Spyware is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of threats such as Trojans, Ransomware, Keyloggers, Cookies, Worms, etc that may do damage to your PC and/or privacy but do not have the intention of totally destroying your computers data and system unlike a virus.

So your telling me I need an Anti-Virus AND an Anti-Spyware?

Strictly speaking, SUPERAntiSpyware© is not designed to be Anti-Virus software. We target Spyware, a focus that allows us to respond quickly to the ever-growing groups of hostile software we address, with new definitions released multiple times a day, and concentrate on the technology that targets the most common threats in the wild. There are a lot of things that are often called viruses (many trojans, worms, and so on) that SUPERAntiSpyware© will remove, but it won’t remove true viruses such as boot-sector viruses.

Security With Layers of Protection

No one security tool can catch everything out there and protect you, which is why we recommend a layered approach. We recommend if you use an Anti-Virus, you supplement it with SUPERAntiSpyware© and if you only use SUPERAntiSpyware© alone, consider getting an Anti-Virus. SUPERAntiSpyware© has been designed to be compatible with popular Anti-Virus applications such as McAfee, Symantec(Norton), Kaspersky, Bitdefender, ESET NOD32, AVG, Avast, Panda, Avira, and so on.

 

Watch out for fake “Microsoft account Verify your email address” spam!

Verify Your Email Address

We at SUPERAntiSpyware have noticed in uptick in spam that claims to be associated with verifying your email address to set up a Microsoft Account.

Fake Microsoft account verification email

We recommend you immediately delete this email, do not click the “Verify Your email address button” it will redirect you to a known phishing site to try to steal your account information. You can tell the button is fake by simply hovering your mouse over the button and taking a look at the URL, clearly non-Microsoft related.

Clicking this button does not verify your account, it brings you to a phishing website that will lure you into giving up your account information!

If you have been scammed by this email, immediately change your Microsoft account password and consider looking into changing your spam settings to avoid future spam emails such as these. Remember, if you do not recognize the sender address, do not open the email!

How to protect your PC from Petya/GoldenEye ransomware

Protect your PC from Petya/GoldenEye Ransomware

There are two ways this strain of ransomware is infecting large businesses, governments, and other entities around the world:

  • An attack via a vulnerable Windows Server Message Block (SMB) service which windows uses to share Files/Printers across networks.
  • The Microsoft PxExec tool with admin credentials from target computer.

These problems have been patched by Microsoft, but there are still users out there who have not downloaded the patches for their Windows Operating Systems so the ransomware keeps spreading.

Fight Back

To fight back and protect yourself from this global ransomware attack make sure you do the following:

1) You have Windows Automatic Updates turned on and you are up to date. If you don’t have auto update on, you can download the security update for your version of Windows HERE

2) Make sure your copy of SUPERAntiSpyware is the latest edition and is current with the latest definitions. If you own the Professional Edition, make sure Real-Time Protection is enabled.

3)Backing up your computer regularly and keeping a recent backup copy not connected to any PC. We recommend using Support.com Online Backup which we offer on our online shopping cart as an optional offer when purchasing SUPERAntiSpyware Professional.

Worried about WannaCrypt Ransomware? Update your Windows OS!

Worried about WannaCrypt Ransomware?

Home users and businesses should make sure their Windows Operating Systems and security software are updated in order to stop the spread of WannaCrypt. Make sure your copy of Windows is updated, click HERE to read Microsoft’s Customer Guidance post about this ransomware. Microsoft even took usual steps and released updates to unsupported Operating systems such as XP. From the article linked above:

Additionally, we are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack today.”

WannaCrypts ransom message

We at SUPERAntiSpyware stress that you also make sure you are using the latest edition of SUPERAntiSpyware, version 6.0.1240 as of this blog post with the most recent definitions AND make sure you have Real-Time Protection set to enabled.

If you have your Windows Firewall disabled, immediately enable it. If you have a third-party Firewall, make sure it is enabled and the software is current.

Watch out for fake USPS delivery emails!

usps

Fake USPS Delivery Emails?

We at SUPERAntiSpyware have been alerted to scam emails hitting users claiming to be from the US Postal Service (USPS) that contains a link that will infect them with malware. One of the emails being used by this scam is notice@ussp(DOT)com

The subject line of the email will typically be titled “Delivery notification – Parcel delivery *NUMBER* failed” containing a message that the user please call the number on the shipping notice we left at your doorstep (which there will be none!) to arrange a new delivery, and a link which you can view the delivery notice online, on the USPS website.

This is a fake link to a malware infested website.

If you see a link in a suspicious email such as this do not click the links or open the attachments no matter how innocent they sound. If it claims to be from an official organization, call them and ask if the email is legit. Better safe than sorry!

“The HoeflerText Font Wasn’t Found” Google Chrome Malware Scam – What it is and how to avoid it!

HoeflerText Font Wasn’t Found ?

You are browsing the web and accidentally land on a website with nonsensical characters instead of letters and you receive a prompt to download a missing font in order to read the website. You are told in order to fix the error and display the text, you have to update the “Chrome Font Pack”. Whatever you do, please do not click that blue Update button!

HoeflerText
Fake Google Chrome Prompt asking you to install the malware

It is a scam designed to trick users into installing malware onto their systems. This malware is ranging from Ransomware, to Trojans, to various adware bundles.

How to avoid it

The fake dialogue box informing you that the “The HoeflerText Font Wasn’t Found” will claim you are using Chrome version 53 even if you are not using that version, which tells you something isn’t right and that the prompt you are seeing is fake.

Make sure you are using the latest version of Google Chrome which you can download by clicking here

Make sure you are also using the latest version of SUPERAntiSpyware with Real-Time Protection enabled, a feature only available for SUPERAntiSpyware Professional users.

Tax Season is here – Watch out for Identity Stealing Spyware!

Taxes The Season is Here !

Keep your personal information safe this tax season by doing a Free scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

We want to remind everyone that tax season is the time of increased attacks in the forms of spyware, various methods of phishing , and scams. Spyware and Malware authors significantly increase their activity during the tax season in order to try to steal data and withdraw money from bank accounts, steal credit cards, passwords, and other malicious acts.

Watch out for Identity Stealing Spyware!

During this tax season its important to do a few things to help protect yourself online:

1) Make sure your Operating System and software applications such as web browsers and email clients are up to date.

2) Run a Complete Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware regularly with the latest updates, at least twice a week during this period of increased activity.

3) Be cautious before visiting strange websites, or opening strange email attachments. Think before you click!

4) Manually erase, or use privacy software, to delete sensitive data from you PC. Spyware cannot steal what isn’t there!

5) Lookout for spam phishing email impersonating government, bank, or tax company officials asking for sensitive information.

Do you have any security recommendations that help you stay safe during the tax season? Feel free to leave a comment below!

SUPERAntiSpyware Team

Facebook Malware Attack

Facebook Malware Attack Warning

We’re receiving reports that Facebook is being used as a new vector for executing malware attacks, specifically as a means to distribute the Locky ransomware. While the ransomware variant is not being hosted directly on Facebook, this new version is being hosted in a peculiar way.

The attack starts by a presumably infected machine sending out a message to people in your friends list. This message is actually a SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file that is being masqueraded as an image for you to download to view. Once the file has been downloaded and opened, the payload is delivered. Because of the way SVG files work, JavaScript can be embedded into those files and opened with a modern web browser. That JavaScript will then execute and direct the user to a website that mimics YouTube, but with a completely different URL.

Once on that site, a popup is pushed to the user asking them to download a certain extension on your machine in order to view the video. After the extension has been installed, the attackers have the ability to view and alter data regarding the websites you visit, as well as access your Facebook account in order to message all of your friends with the same SVG file.

The payload is delivered through the Nemucod downloader Trojan, which has been known to download copies of Locky on victim’s PCs.

While Google and Facebook have been made aware of this attack, it is possible that proper remediation could take time. The best course of action if you receive such a message is to ignore it, clear your conversation history with that person, and report them to Facebook as having a compromised account.

If you have already been infected by this attack, there’s not much you can do outside of removing the offending extension in Chrome by going to Menu > More Tools > Extensions and check to see if either Ubo or One extensions are listed. This is also a good time to remove any unknown extensions that are installed as well.

Remember, once you have been locked out of your system by a piece of ransomware, your options for recovery are only as good as the backups you have made. Keep your backups up-to-date, and save your data on an outside drive as frequently as possible. Once a ransomware infection has taken place, any attached drives to your network are at risk. Never keep your backup drives attached to your machine when they are not in use.