Cyber Intel Brief: June 22 – 28, 2023

As a leader in Managed Detection and Response (MDR), we recognize the crucial need for actionable intelligence to counter emerging threats. This blog post offers an exclusive inside look into our customer-exclusive weekly Cyber Intel Brief. Our objective is to equip your organization with indispensable knowledge, empowering you to proactively identify and mitigate risks, strengthen your security mechanisms, and protect your financial stability.

In this edition, we spotlight a range of cyber threats. These include the newly discovered WispRider malware and PindOS dropper, and the Mirai and QBOT botnets, as well as the latest updates on dark web data leak sites and the most recent additions to CISA’s Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog. By comprehending these threats and implementing the recommended mitigation strategies, you will be well-prepared to reinforce your organization’s defenses.

We invite you to delve deeper into this post and discover strategies to fortify your defenses against these escalating threats. By implementing the outlined recommendations, you can secure your organization’s vital assets and find peace of mind in this dynamic and unpredictable threat landscape.

Remember, a robust cybersecurity approach is not solely about reacting but also predicting and preventing threats before they materialize. Let us delve into the most recent cyber threats, gather invaluable insights, and arm your organization with actionable intelligence.

This Week’s Source Material

Mirai Botnet’s Intrusion Chain

Targeted Industries: All, especially industries with a high dependency on IoT devices, such as Information, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

In today’s interconnected world, where Internet of Things (IoT) devices have become ubiquitous, a new variant of the Mirai botnet poses a significant risk to organizations across various sectors. This exclusive report, sourced from publicly available intelligence by Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, sheds light on the alarming nature of this threat and provides invaluable insights to protect your business. Read on to discover how to mitigate the risks of the Mirai botnet.

Unmasking the Threat

Mirai botnet, notorious for its broad range of targets, potential scale, and persistence, has recently evolved with a new variant actively exploiting vulnerabilities in IoT devices. Our experts at Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 have closely analyzed two active campaigns sharing common infrastructure and delivery mechanisms, pointing to the inference that they are the work of the same threat actor or group. These cybercriminals possess advanced malware development skills, enabling them to exploit numerous vulnerabilities, including the latest CVEs, manually. Their intentions are likely driven by financial gain, potentially selling access to other threat actors for proxying malicious traffic, conducting DDoS attacks, espionage, and other malicious activities.

Implications for Your Business

The implications of the Mirai botnet variant cannot be underestimated, particularly for industries heavily reliant on IoT devices. The widespread adoption of these devices and their low complexity yet high-impact vulnerabilities make them an attractive target for threat actors. As a result, the evolution of this threat is likely to continue, posing significant security risks for organizations across sectors.

Mitigation Strategies

To safeguard your business from the looming threat of Mirai botnet exploitation, Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 recommends implementing the following proactive measures:

  • Prioritize IoT Device Patching: Regularly update and patch your IoT devices to mitigate vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of exploitation.
  • Isolate IoT Devices: Segment your network to isolate IoT devices from critical systems. By creating separate network segments, you can contain potential breaches and minimize the impact on your organization.
  • Robust Credential Management: Implement a stringent credential management policy to prevent unauthorized access to IoT devices. Strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and regular password changes are essential to an effective credential management strategy.


The time to act is now. Mirai botnet exploitation poses a tangible threat to your business’s security and continuity. By staying informed and implementing the recommended proactive measures, you can fortify your defenses and mitigate the risks associated with this evolving threat. Don’t let your organization fall victim to the potential financial losses, reputational damage, and operational disruptions caused by Mirai botnet exploitation. Take charge and protect your business today.

Mallox Ransomware Group’s Evolving Threat

Targeted Industries: Manufacturing, Utilities, Information, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

The landscape of cyber threats continues to evolve, and the Mallox ransomware group stands out for its exceptional level of sophistication and adaptability. This report delves deep into the group’s evolving infection chain, shedding light on their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). By understanding their modus operandi, you can proactively protect your business from this formidable threat. Read on to discover invaluable insights that can safeguard your organization’s operations, finances, and reputation.

Unmasking Mallox

The Mallox ransomware group has displayed an alarming level of sophistication, constantly refining their TTPs to bypass traditional detection methods. Their latest innovation involves using BatLoader, a new infection strategy that extracts and injects the ransomware payload directly, eliminating the need for a remote server. By sidestepping disk-based indicators of compromise, this new method poses a significant challenge for detection and mitigation efforts.

Global Impact and Targeted Sectors

The Mallox ransomware group has not limited their operations to a specific region. They have targeted over 20 victims from 15 countries, focusing on the manufacturing, utilities, information, and professional services sectors. This strategic selection of targets suggests that the group preys on organizations perceived to be willing to pay for restoring operations and avoiding reputational damage.

Mitigative Measures

To safeguard your business from the growing threat of the Mallox ransomware group, we recommend implementing the following mitigative actions:

  • Prevent Script Execution: Take measures to prevent users from opening and executing scripts and script interpreters, as the group often exploits these for initial access and payload deployment.
  • Regular Backups: Maintain regular backups of critical data and systems, ensuring they are stored securely and offline. In the event of an attack, having up-to-date backups will allow you to restore your operations swiftly.
  • Employee Training: Educate your employees about the risks of ransomware attacks and the importance of following best security practices, such as avoiding suspicious emails or clicking on unknown links.
  • Incident Response Planning: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan to minimize the impact of an attack, including clear protocols for detecting, containing, and recovering from a ransomware incident.

Looking Ahead

The Mallox ransomware group has showcased their ability to adapt and evolve, underscoring the need for continuous vigilance. As they refine their infection methods and evasion techniques, staying informed and updated on the latest developments in the threat landscape is crucial. By partnering with trusted cybersecurity experts, you can proactively protect your business from future threats, ensuring the continuity of operations and preserving your organization’s reputation.

Camaro Dragon’s Newest USB Based Malware, WispRider

Targeted Industries: Educational and Research Centers, Media, Manufacturing, Public Administration, Non-profits, and Non-governmental Organizations. Highly likely to impact all industries

In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, the Chinese-based cyber-espionage group known as Camaro Dragon has emerged as a significant concern. Based on publicly available intelligence and insights from CheckPoint, this report sheds light on the evolving threat Camaro Dragon poses and their novel self-propagating malware, WispRider. By understanding the capabilities of this group and taking proactive measures, you can safeguard your organization from potential widespread system compromise, data integrity threats, and reputational damage. Read on to discover key insights and recommendations to mitigate the risk Camaro Dragon poses.

Unmasking Camaro Dragon

Camaro Dragon has demonstrated advanced cyber-espionage capabilities by utilizing a unique and uncontrollable malware called WispRider, which is delivered through USB drives. This self-propagating malware can infect not only the primary target but also secondary, tertiary, and subsequent computers, making it difficult to contain. This signifies a significant emerging threat that can potentially target isolated systems and spread beyond the initial targets, putting organizations at risk.

Evolution of the WispRider Malware

Camaro Dragon’s continuous evolution is evident in integrating WispRider’s infector, evasion, and backdoor modules into a single payload. This streamlining of the infection chain and delivery of additional payloads highlights their commitment to enhancing their cyber-espionage capabilities. The observed geographic spread of the malware emphasizes the risks it poses to all sectors. However, Camaro Dragon will likely focus on educational and research centers, media organizations, manufacturing companies, government entities, non-profits, and other non-governmental organizations.

Mitigative Measures

To defend your organization against the threat of Camaro Dragon and the uncontrollable WispRider malware, we recommend implementing the following key measures:

  • Stringent USB Control Policies: Establish and enforce strict policies governing the use of USB drives within your organization. This includes controlling their usage, conducting regular scanning for malware, and limiting access to trusted sources.
  • Security Awareness Training: Regularly educate your employees about the risks associated with USB drives and the importance of exercising caution when handling them. By fostering a culture of security awareness, you can reduce the chances of unintentional infections.

Anticipating Continued Evolution

Camaro Dragon has proven to be adaptable and persistent, continually evolving their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Organizations must remain vigilant and anticipate further advancements in their malware and infection methods. By staying informed and partnering with trusted cybersecurity experts, you can proactively protect your organization from future threats.

PindOS: Emerging JavaScript Dropper Delivering Devastating Malware

Targeted Industries: All

The evolving threat landscape continues to present new challenges for businesses worldwide. In this exclusive report, based on publicly available intelligence and insights from Deep Instinct, we uncover the emergence of a new JavaScript-based dropper called PindOS. This dropper delivers the dangerous Bumblebee and IcedID malware families, which can lead to significant operational disruption, downtime, and recovery costs for targeted organizations. By understanding the capabilities of these threat actors and taking proactive measures, you can defend your business against their evolving tactics. Read on to discover key insights and recommended mitigative actions to protect your organization.

Unmasking PindOS

Deep Instinct has identified the PindOS dropper, a new JavaScript-based delivery mechanism for the Bumblebee and IcedID malware families. While the dropper’s current implementation appears ineffective for Bumblebee payloads, with over 50 vendors in VirusTotal detecting them, it is essential to note that threat actors are likely to adjust their tactics to decrease detection rates. The Bumblebee and IcedID malware families are associated with ransomware attacks, posing a severe threat to organizations with potential consequences such as operational disruption, loss of productivity, and significant costs associated with recovery efforts.

Threat Actors Capabilities

The threat actors behind PindOS have demonstrated a high level of technical expertise and adaptability. This suggests that they will continue to refine and develop their tools and tactics to evade detection and maximize the impact of their attacks. As a result, organizations must stay vigilant and take proactive measures to protect their systems and data.

Mitigative Actions

To defend your business against the emerging threat of PindOS and its associated malware families, we recommend implementing the following mitigative actions:

  • Assess JavaScript File Usage: Evaluate which users within your organization have a legitimate business need to open JavaScript files. Restrict access to these files for users who do not require them, reducing the risk of inadvertent exposure to malicious code.
  • Enable Attack Surface Reduction (ASR) Rules: For organizations utilizing Microsoft Defender and 365 Defender, enable ASR rules to enhance your defense against evolving threats. These rules help mitigate the risk of malicious code execution and enhance your overall security posture.

Anticipating PindOS Evolution

The threat landscape involving PindOS, Bumblebee, and IcedID is likely to evolve as threat actors refine their techniques. Given their demonstrated technical expertise and adaptability, organizations should expect increased sophistication and potential impact of attacks. By staying informed and partnering with trusted cybersecurity experts, you can proactively protect your business from emerging threats and safeguard your operations.

QBOT: Unveiling its Advanced Evasion and Persistence Techniques

Targeted Industries: All

QBOT malware is a persistent threat in the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. In their comprehensive analysis, Elastic Security Labs delved deep into QBOT’s intricacies, uncovering its execution chain, evasion tactics, and persistence techniques. Based on publicly available intelligence, this report provides invaluable insights into QBOT’s capabilities and highlights the urgent need for organizations across sectors to defend against this persistent threat. Read on to understand the risks QBOT poses and discover key recommendations to protect your organization.

Unmasking QBOT’s Capabilities & Technical Skills

The analysis conducted by Elastic Security Labs revealed the QBOT malware’s sophisticated nature. Its adaptability and ability to counteract security solutions raise severe concerns for organizations worldwide. Of particular note is QBOT’s worm-like capability, allowing for rapid network propagation and potential widespread impact. This makes QBOT a significant threat that can undermine the security of organizations across multiple sectors.

The QBOT threat actors have demonstrated a high level of technical skills and adaptability. Their complex execution chain, utilization of compromised external domains, and evasion techniques showcase their sophistication. This indicates that QBOT continuously evolves to bypass security measures and maximize its effectiveness. As a result, organizations must remain vigilant and implement robust defenses to counter this persistent threat.

Mitigative Measures

To safeguard your organization against QBOT malware and its potential impact, we recommend implementing the following key measures:

  • Network Segmentation: Implement network segmentation to limit the lateral movement of QBOT within your infrastructure. By separating critical systems and sensitive data, you can mitigate the potential impact of an infection.
  • Robust Endpoint Protection: Deploy robust endpoint protection solutions incorporating advanced threat detection and response capabilities. This will help identify and neutralize QBOT before it can cause significant harm.
  • Regular System Updates: Ensure that your systems and software are regularly updated with the latest security patches. This helps close vulnerabilities that QBOT may exploit to gain access to your network.
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Training: Educate your employees about the risks of QBOT and other malware threats. Training sessions on best practices, such as identifying phishing emails and avoiding suspicious downloads, can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful QBOT infection.
  • Application Whitelisting: Implement application whitelisting to allow only authorized applications to run within your environment. This helps prevent the execution of malicious code, including QBOT, by restricting unauthorized software.

Anticipating QBOT’s Persistence

The resilience and continuous evolution of QBOT indicate that its threat potential will remain significant in the foreseeable future. As threat actors refine their techniques and adapt to new security measures, organizations must stay informed and prepared to defend against QBOT’s persistent attacks.

Latest Additions to Ransomware and Data Leak Sites

Targeted Industries: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Educational Services; Manufacturing; Finance and Insurance; and Information

The rising threat of data extortion and ransomware has become a pressing concern for organizations worldwide. This report unveils alarming statistics regarding recent victims on cybercriminals’ leak sites. By understanding the current landscape and taking proactive measures, you can protect your business from falling victim to these malicious actors. Read on to discover key insights and recommendations to fortify your defenses and safeguard your valuable data.

Unveiling the Impact of Data Extortion and Ransomware

In the past week alone, monitored data extortion and ransomware threat groups have added 84 victims to their leak sites. Among these victims, 50 are based in the United States, underscoring the global reach of these cybercriminals. The most heavily targeted industry was the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector, with 21 victims. Educational Services followed closely with 10 victims, while Manufacturing, Finance and Insurance, and the Information sector reported nine and eight victims, respectively.

Understanding the Threat

It is crucial to note that the listed victims may have been successfully compromised by cybercriminals who chose not to negotiate or pay a ransom. However, we cannot independently verify the validity of these claims. Nevertheless, the fact that these organizations have been targeted is a stark reminder of the pervasive and evolving threat posed by data extortion and ransomware.

Mitigative Measures

To protect your business from the growing menace of data extortion and ransomware, we recommend implementing the following key measures:

  • Robust Cybersecurity Solutions: Deploy comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that include advanced threat detection, real-time monitoring, and incident response capabilities. A multi-layered defense strategy will help detect and mitigate threats before they can cause significant damage.
  • Data Backup and Recovery: Regularly backup your critical data and ensure that backups are stored securely offline or in the cloud. This ensures that you have a reliable copy of your data in case of a ransomware attack.
  • Employee Education and Awareness: Train your employees on cybersecurity best practices, including how to identify phishing emails, avoid suspicious downloads, and report any unusual activities. Well-informed employees are a crucial line of defense against data extortion and ransomware attacks.
  • Vulnerability Management: Implement regular vulnerability assessments and patch management procedures to address any potential weaknesses in your systems and applications. Keeping your infrastructure up to date significantly reduces the risk of exploitation by cybercriminals.

CISA Adds 10 CVEs to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog

Targeted Industries: All

In the ever-evolving threat landscape, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest exploited vulnerabilities that pose a significant risk to organizations. In this exclusive report, sourced from publicly available intelligence, we highlight the recent additions to CISA’s Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog. These vulnerabilities impact various vendors and projects, including Apple, VMware, Zyxel, Roundcube, and Mozilla. Understanding these vulnerabilities and taking immediate action can fortify your systems and protect your organization from potential attacks. Read on to discover key insights and recommended mitigative actions.

The Exploited Vulnerabilities

CISA’s recent update to the Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog has identified 10 critical CVEs that affect a range of products and projects. These vulnerabilities include integer overflow, memory corruption, authentication bypass, pre-authentication command injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), remote code execution, SQL injection, and use-after-free vulnerabilities. The impacted vendors and projects include Apple, VMware, Zyxel, Roundcube, and Mozilla.

Mitigative Actions

Protecting your systems from potential attacks is essential by following CISA’s guidelines and taking necessary actions to address any vulnerabilities in your specific products and projects. Some key examples of mitigative actions include:

  • Apple Products: Ensure that you promptly update Apple iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS to address the integer overflow vulnerability (CVE-2023-32434) and the memory corruption vulnerability in Apple iOS and iPadOS WebKit (CVE-2023-32435).
  • VMware Tools: Apply the necessary patches to address the authentication bypass vulnerability (CVE-2023-20867) in VMware Tools to prevent unauthorized access and protect the confidentiality and integrity of guest virtual machines.
  • Zyxel NAS Devices: Mitigate the risk associated with the pre-authentication command injection vulnerability (CVE-2023-27992) in Zyxel network-attached storage (NAS) devices by updating to the latest firmware or implementing recommended workarounds.
  • Roundcube Webmail: Take steps to address the cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability (CVE-2020-35730) in Roundcube Webmail to prevent potential attacks through manipulated email messages.

Remaining Vigilant

The threat landscape continuously evolves, and cybercriminals quickly exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities. It is vital to stay informed and implement a robust vulnerability management program. Regularly update your systems, apply patches promptly, and monitor emerging threats to protect your organization from potential attacks.

Let’s Secure Your Organization’s Future Together

At Deepwatch, we are committed to helping organizations like yours navigate the intricate world of cyber threats. Our cybersecurity solutions are designed to stay ahead of the curve, providing you with the proactive defenses needed to protect your organization from threats such as the exploitation of Telerik UI.

Our team of cybersecurity professionals is ready to evaluate your systems, provide actionable insights, and implement robust security measures tailored to your needs.

Don’t wait for a cyber threat to disrupt your operations. Contact us today and take the first step towards a more secure future for your organization. Together, we can outsmart the threats and secure your digital frontier.

What We Mean When We Say

Estimates of Likelihood

We use probabilistic language to reflect the Intel Team’s estimates of the likelihood of developments or events because analytical judgments are not certain. Terms like “probably,” “likely,” “very likely,” and “almost certainly” denote a higher than even chance. The terms “unlikely” and “remote” imply that an event has a lower than even chance of occurring; they do not imply that it will not. Terms like “might” reflect situations where we are unable to assess the likelihood, usually due to a lack of relevant information, which is sketchy or fragmented. Terms like “we can’t dismiss,” “we can’t rule out,” and “we can’t discount” refer to an unlikely, improbable, or distant event with significant consequences.

Confidence in Assessments

Our assessments and projections are based on data that varies in scope, quality, and source. As a result, we assign our assessments high, moderate, or low levels of confidence, as follows:

  • High confidence indicates that our decisions are based on reliable information and/or that the nature of the problem allows us to make a sound decision. However, a “high confidence” judgment is not a fact or a guarantee, and it still carries the risk of being incorrect.
  • Moderate confidence denotes that the information is credible and plausible, but not of high enough quality or sufficiently corroborated to warrant a higher level of assurance.
  • Low confidence indicates that the information’s credibility and/or plausibility are in doubt, that the information is too fragmented or poorly corroborated to make solid analytic inferences, or that we have serious concerns or problems with the sources.


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