zyklon has been launched by hackers, exploiting new Microsoft office vulnerabilities to spread potent backdoor malware. The attack is targeted at telecommunications, insurance and financial services industries.
According to security researchers at FireEye, zyklon has features that are capable of stealing passwords as well as keylogging capabilities that enable hackers to launch DDos attacks.
“Zyklon is a publicly available, full-featured backdoor capable of keylogging, password harvesting, downloading and executing additional plugins, conducting distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and self-updating and self-removal,” FireEye researchers said in a blog.
“The malware may communicate with its command and control (C2) server over The Onion Router (Tor) network if configured to do so. The malware can download several plugins, some of which include features such as cryptocurrency mining and password recovery, from browsers and email software. Zyklon also provides a very efficient mechanism to monitor the spread and impact,” they added.
The malware has also been programmed by hackers to recover passwords from
email services — Microsoft Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, Google Talk, Gmail Notified and more.
PC gaming software — Call of Duty, Battlefield, Fifa and more.
Web browsers — Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, internet explorer and more.
“Hackers can reportedly purchase a regular version of the malware for $75 (£54), the Tor-enabled build for $125 and buy the updates for $15 — all of which can be paid for in bitcoin.
All industries should therefore be on alert, as it is highly likely that the threat actors will eventually move outside the scope of their current targeting.
Microsoft office and other soft ware companies should take measures to curb the threat that zyklon poses.
FireEye, Inc. is a publicly listed enterprise cybersecurity company that provides products and services to protect against advanced cyber threats, such as advanced persistent threats and spear phishing. Founded in 2004, the company is headquartered in Milpitas, California.
Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on 1 August 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas.
Office is produced in several versions targeted towards different end-users and computing environments. The original, and most widely used version, is the desktop version, available for PCs running the Windows and macOS operating systems. The most current desktop version is Office 2016 for Windows and macOS, released on 22 September 2015 and 9 July 2015, respectively.