The Hacker News reports that Qakbot malware operators have been discovered by Zscaler researchers to have adopted code obfuscation and new attack chain layers, as well as leveraged various URLs and file extensions for payload delivery in an effort to better conceal their operations.
"Most recently, threat actors have transformed their techniques to evade detection by using ZIP file extensions, enticing file names with common formats, and Excel (XLM) 4.0 to trick victims into downloading malicious attachments that install Qakbot," said Zscaler Threatlabz researchers Aditya Sharma and Tarun Dewan.
Microsoft's plan to enable Office macro blocking by default, which was temporarily paused, had prompted Qakbot to hasten its transition to .LNK files from XLM macros in May. Qakbot has also made changes to enable DLL malware downloads through PowerShell, as well as allow the use of rundll32.exe for payload delivery.
Fortinet researchers previously noted that Qakbot has been desired by threat actors due to its modularity and detection resilience.
New attacks by Chinese state-backed threat operation Camaro Dragon, which overlaps with Mustang Panda, have involved the novel Go-based TinyNote malware, which creates various persistency tasks to ensure host access despite its lacking sophistication, according to The Hacker News.
News media organizations, academic entities, and think tanks have been warned by U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies regarding the cyberespionage attacks by North Korean state-sponsored hacking operation Kimsuky, also known as TA406 and Thallium, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.