Chinese Hackers Distributing SMS Bomber Tool with Malware Hidden Inside

 Chinese Hackers Distributing SMS Bomber Tool with Malware Hidden Inside

A risk cluster with ties to a hacking group known as Tropic Trooper has been noticed utilizing a beforehand undocumented malware coded in Nim language to strike targets as a part of a newly found marketing campaign.

The novel loader, dubbed Nimbda, is “bundled with a Chinese language greyware ‘SMS Bomber’ software that’s more than likely illegally distributed within the Chinese-speaking internet,” Israeli cybersecurity firm Test Level mentioned in a report.

“Whoever crafted the Nim loader took particular care to provide it the identical executable icon because the SMS Bomber that it drops and executes,” the researchers mentioned. “Subsequently all the bundle works as a trojanized binary.”

SMS Bomber, because the identify signifies, permits a consumer to enter a cellphone quantity (not their very own) in order to flood the sufferer’s machine with messages and doubtlessly render it unusable in what’s a denial-of-service (DoS) assault.

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The truth that the binary doubles up as SMS Bomber and a backdoor means that the assaults should not simply geared toward those that are customers of the software — a “slightly unorthodox goal” — but in addition extremely focused in nature.

Tropic Trooper, additionally identified by the monikers Earth Centaur, KeyBoy, and Pirate Panda, has a monitor document of putting targets situated in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, primarily specializing in authorities, healthcare, transportation, and high-tech industries.

Calling the Chinese-speaking collective “notably subtle and well-equipped,” Pattern Micro final 12 months identified the group’s means to evolve their TTPs to remain beneath the radar and depend on a broad vary of customized instruments to compromise its targets.

The newest assault chain documented by Test Level begins with the tampered SMS Bomber software, the Nimbda loader, which launches an embedded executable, on this case the reliable SMS bomber payload, whereas additionally additionally injecting a separate piece of shellcode right into a notepad.exe course of.

This kicks off a three-tier an infection course of that entails downloading a next-stage binary from an obfuscated IP handle laid out in a markdown file (“EULA.md”) that is hosted in an attacker-controlled GitHub or Gitee repository.

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The retrieved binary is an upgraded model of a trojan named Yahoyah that is designed to gather details about native wi-fi networks within the sufferer machine’s neighborhood in addition to different system metadata and exfiltrate the main points again to a command-and-control (C2) server.

Yahoyah, for its half, additionally acts as a conduit to fetch the final-stage malware, which is downloaded within the type of a picture from the C2 server. The steganographically-encoded payload is a backdoor often known as TClient and has been deployed by the group in earlier campaigns.

“The noticed exercise cluster paints an image of a targeted, decided actor with a transparent aim in thoughts,” the researchers concluded.

“Normally, when third-party benign (or benign-appearing) instruments are hand-picked to be inserted into an an infection chain, they’re chosen to be the least conspicuous attainable; the selection of an ‘SMS Bomber’ software for this function is unsettling, and tells a complete story the second one dares to extrapolate a motive and an meant sufferer.”


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