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Black Basta-Affiliated Water Curupira’s Pikabot Spam Campaign

Pikabot seems to have a binary version and a campaign ID. The keys 0fwlm4g and v2HLF5WIO are present in the JSON data, with the latter seemingly being a campaign ID.

The malware creates a named pipe and uses it to temporarily store the additional information gathered by creating the following processes: 

  • whoami.exe /all
  • ipconfig.exe /all
  • netstat.exe -aon

Each piece of information returned will be encrypted before the execution of the process.

A list of running processes on the system will also be gathered and encrypted by calling CreateToolHelp32Snapshot and listing processes through Process32First and Process32Next.

Once all the information is gathered, it will be sent to one of the following IP addresses appended with the specific URL, cervicobrachial/oIP7xH86DZ6hb?vermixUnintermixed=beatersVerdigrisy&backoff=9zFPSr: 

  • 70[.]34[.]209[.]101:13720
  • 137[.]220[.]55[.]190:2223
  • 139[.]180[.]216[.]25:2967
  • 154[.]61[.]75[.]156:2078
  • 154[.]92[.]19[.]139:2222
  • 158[.]247[.]253[.]155:2225
  • 172[.]233[.]156[.]100:13721

However, as of writing, these sites are inaccessible.

As previously mentioned, Water Curupira conducts campaigns to drop backdoors such as Cobalt Strike, which leads to Black Basta ransomware attacks.It is this potential association with a sophisticated type of ransomware such as Black Basta that makes Pikabot campaigns particularly dangerous.

The threat actor also conducted several DarkGate spam campaigns and a small number of IcedID campaigns during the early weeks of the third quarter of 2023, but has since pivoted exclusively to Pikabot.

Lastly, we have observed distinct clusters of Cobalt Strike beacons with over 70 C&C domains leading to Black Basta, and which have been dropped via campaigns conducted by this threat actor.

To avoid falling victim to various online threats such as phishing, malware, and scams, users should stay vigilant when it comes to emails they receive. The following are some best practices in user email security:

  • Always hover over embedded links with the pointer to learn where the link leads.
  • Check the sender’s identity. Unfamiliar email addresses, mismatched email and sender names, and spoofed company emails are signs that the sender has malicious intent.
  • If the email claims to come from a legitimate company, verify both the sender and the email content before downloading attachments or selecting embedded links.
  • Keep operating systems and all pieces of software updated with the latest patches.
  • Regularly back up important data to an external and secure location. This ensures that even if you fall victim to a phishing attack, you can restore your information.

A multilayered approach can help organizations guard possible entry points into their system (endpoint, email, web, and network). Security solutions can detect malicious components and suspicious behavior, which can help protect enterprises.  

  • Trend Vision One™ provides multilayered protection and behavior detection, which helps block questionable behavior and tools before ransomware can do any damage. 
  • Trend Cloud One™ – Workload Security protects systems against both known and unknown threats that exploit vulnerabilities. This protection is made possible through techniques such as virtual patching and machine learning.  
  • Trend Micro™ Deep Discovery™ Email Inspector employs custom sandboxing and advanced analysis techniques to effectively block malicious emails, including phishing emails that can serve as entry points for ransomware.  
  • Trend Micro Apex One™ offers next-level automated threat detection and response against advanced concerns such as fileless threats and ransomware, ensuring the protection of endpoints.
     

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)

The indicators of compromise for this blog entry can be found here.

 

#Black #BastaAffiliated #Water #Curupiras #Pikabot #Spam #Campaign