Published on June 20, 2024, 7:59 am

Title: “Squidloader: The New Stealthy Malware Threat To Chinese Organizations”

Chinese organizations are currently facing a new stealthy malware loader known as SquidLoader. Cybersecurity experts discovered that threat actors have been actively targeting these organizations since at least April 2024. The attackers have been utilizing phishing emails carrying fake Microsoft Word documents as attachments, which actually contain binaries that execute SquidLoader. This loader then proceeds to deploy second-stage shellcode payloads from remote servers, including Cobalt Strike beacons.

Cobalt Strike is a legitimate commercial penetration testing tool commonly used by cybersecurity professionals for assessing network security by simulating real-world cyberattacks. Unfortunately, hackers have hijacked this tool due to its powerful features, repurposing it for malicious activities like running malware campaigns.

One interesting aspect noted by researchers is the evasion techniques employed by SquidLoader. These loaders incorporate sophisticated evasion and decoy mechanisms to avoid detection and impede analysis. For instance, SquidLoader employs encrypted code segments, redundant code snippets, Control Flow Graph (CFG) obfuscation, debugger detection, and direct syscalls instead of using standard Windows NT APIs.

Malware loaders like SquidLoader have gained popularity in recent years as they enable threat actors to distribute various types of malware onto compromised devices while evading detection by antivirus programs and other endpoint protection services.

For those interested in reading further on cybersecurity topics:

– GitHub malware spreads through spoofing Microsoft files
– Explore the top firewalls available today
– Discover the best endpoint protection tools currently on the market

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