Three separate types of malware are sent by a phishing operation targeting Microsoft Windows users, all of which are aimed to steal personal information from victims.
Those who mistakenly execute the malicious attachment supplied in phishing emails fall victim to the AveMariaRAT, BitRAT, and PandoraHVNC trojan virus, according to cybersecurity specialists at Fortinet.
Cyber thieves can exploit the campaign to steal usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information, such as bank account numbers. BitRAT is particularly dangerous to victims because it can take complete control of infected Windows systems, including viewing webcam activity, listening to audio through the microphone, secretly mining for cryptocurrency that is sent to the attackers’ wallet, and downloading additional malicious files.
The phishing mail seems to be a payment report from a reputable source, with a brief request to view an attached Microsoft Excel document.
This file includes dangerous macros, according to researchers, and when the document is accessed, Microsoft Excel warns about the usage of macros. If the user ignores the warning and opens the file anyway, malware will be sent.
The virus is obtained and installed on the victim’s PC using Visual Basic Application (VBA) scripts and PowerShell. The PowerShell code is divided into three sections to accommodate the three types of malware that can be deployed.
The study doesn’t explain why the phishing email has three malware payloads, but it’s probable that with three different types of malware to install, the cyber criminals will have a better chance of gaining access to whatever critical information they’re after.
Phishing is still one of the most prevalent ways for cyber thieves to transmit malware because it works – but there are steps you can do to prevent being a victim.
Unexpected emails claiming to offer crucial information buried in attachments should be avoided, especially if the attachment needs you to allow macros first. If feasible, for example, if the email purports to be from a college or business colleague, you might contact them via a method other than email to verify that the email was sent by them.
Using suitable anti-spam and anti-virus software, as well as teaching workers on how to recognise and report phishing emails, businesses may assist employees avoid falling victim to phishing emails.