The Novidade exploit kit leverages cross-site request forgery (CSRF) to change the Domain Name System (DNS) settings of SOHO routers and redirect traffic from the connected devices to the IP address under the control of the attackers.
Currently, Novidade is used in different campaigns, experts believe it has been sold to multiple threat actors or its source code leaked.
Most of the campaigns discovered by the researchers leverages phishing attacks to retrieve banking credentials in Brazil. Experts also observed campaigns with no specific target geolocation, a circumstance that suggests attackers are expanding their target areas or a larger number of threat actors are using the exploit kit.
“We found Novidade being delivered through a variety of methods that include malvertising, compromised website injection, and via instant messengers.” reads the analysis published by Trend Micro.
The exploit kit blindly attacks the detected IP address with all its exploits.
The malicious code also attempts to log into the router with a set of default credentials and then executes a CSRF attack to change the DNS settings.
“Once the router is compromised, all devices connected to it are vulnerable to additional pharming attacks.” continues the analysis.
All the variants of Novidade exploit kit observed by Trend Micro share the same attack chain, but the latest version improves the code on the landing page and adds a new method of retrieving the victim’s local IP address.
Below the list of possible affected router models based on Trend Micro comparisons of the malicious code, network traffic, and published PoC code.
Novidade was used mostly to target Brazilian users, the largest campaign has delivered the exploit kit 24 million times since March.
In September and October, the Novidade was delivered through notifications on instant messengers regarding the 2018 Brazil presidential election, and leveraging compromised websites injected with an iframe to redirect users to Novidade. The latter attack hit websites worldwide.
Trend Micro recommends to keep devices’ firmware up to date, change the default usernames and passwords on their routers, and also change the router’s default IP address. If not needed, disabling remote access is also recommended, as well as using secure web connections (HTTPS) to access sensitive websites to prevent pharming attacks.
(Security Affairs – Novidade exploit kit, hacking)