Security experts at Trend Micro have discovered a new Monero cryptomining miner, dubbed BlackSquid, that is targeting web servers, network drives, and removable drives.
The new piece of malware leverages many exploits to compromise target systems and implements evasion techniques to avoid detection.
According to the experts, BlackSquid has worm-like propagation capabilities and it can be used to launch brute-force attacks.
“This malware, which we named
The peculiarity of the BlackSquid malware is the employment of a set of the most dangerous exploits
While many forms of malicious code will employ one or two exploits for known vulnerabilities in popular systems, BlackSquid differs in this regard.
The list of exploits used by the malware
The threat is delivered via infected webpages, exploits, or through removable network drives.
BlackSquid leverages the GetTickCount API to randomly select IP addresses of a web server and to attempt to infect them.
The malware implements anti-virtualization, anti-debugging, and anti-sandboxing methods to determine whether to deliver the miner or not.
“Simultaneous with its attacks, BlackSquid also downloads and executes two XMRig cryptocurrency-mining components.! continues the analysis. “The miner in resource is the primary miner used, but it also determines if the targeted system has a video card. If the system checks for Nvidia and AMD video cards using WQL (WMI Query Language, where WMI stands for Windows Management Instrumentation), the malware downloads the second component into the system to mine for graphics processing unit (GPU) resource.”
The malware halts the infection routine if at least one of the following conditions is met:
BlackSquid exploits the EternalBlue-DoublePulsar exploits (MS17-010 SMB RCE exploit) to propagate through the target network. The malware uses the remote code execution (RCE) flaw to gain the same user rights as the local system user.
If the infected system has a video card such as Nvidia and AMD video cards using WQL (WMI Query Language, where WMI stands for Windows Management Instrumentation), the malicious code downloads a second component into the system to mine for graphics processing unit (GPU) resource.
Trend Micro says that the majority of BlackSquid attacks have, so far, been detected in Thailand and the United States. The last week of May is the most active period on record.
The presence of coding errors and skipped routine suggests that BlackSquid is still in the process of development and testing.
“Given its evasion techniques and the attacks it is capable of, BlackSquid is a sophisticated piece of malware that may cause significant damage to the systems it infects. If successful, this malware may enable an attacker to escalate unauthorized access and privileges, steal proprietary information, render hardware and software useless, or launch attacks on an organization (or even from an organization into another).” concludes Trend Micro.
“But considering the erroneous code and purposely skipped routines, we also think that the cybercriminals behind this malware are likely in the development and testing stages;”