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Published on July 17th, 2019 📆 | 4579 Views ⚑

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New Malware Samples Resemble StrongPity

Researchers have said with high confidence that the publicly reported adversary dubbed StrongPity has been engaged in an unreported and ongoing malware campaign, according to research from AT&T Alien Labs. 

Threat actors are using the new malware and infrastructure to control compromised machines and deploying malicious versions of the WinBox router management software, WinRAR, as well as other trusted software to compromise their targets, researchers said. 

“StrongPity was first publicly reported on in October 2016 with details on attacks against users in Belgium and Italy in mid-2016. In this campaign, StrongPity used watering holes to deliver malicious versions of WinRAR and TrueCrypt file encryption software,” researchers wrote in a blog post. 

StrongPity was reported on again in 2017 and 2018. New samples that strongly resembled the work of StrongPity were again identified in early July 2019. 

These most recent samples of the malware have been, as of yet, unreported but mirror those created and deployed to targets following a toolset rebuild that came after public reporting of the malware during the fourth quarter of 2018, researchers said. 

“The malicious version of the software installs StrongPity malware without any obvious signs to the victim, and then operates as if it were a standard unaltered version of the trusted software.”

While researchers were unable to identify specific details about how the malicious installers are delivered, they noted, “It is likely that methods previously documented by the previous reports of StrongPity, such as regional download redirecting from ISPs, is still occurring. Based on the type of software used as the installer (WinRAR, WinBox, IDM, etc.), the type of targets may continue to be technically-oriented, again similar to past reports.”

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