- Qbot, a piece of malware more than a decade old, has resurfaced in recent weeks, Justin Heard, security engineer at Nuspire, told CIO Dive. The bank keylogging trojan "was kind of quiet there for a while," but the threat detection company picked up on indicators the variant was active.
- In the last several days, researchers from F5 Labs found Qbot targeting major financial organizations, including JPMorgan, SunTrust, Capital One and Bank of America.
- Qbot, also known as W32/Pinkslipbot or Qakbot, formerly relied on worm-like capabilities to avoid detection. The latest variant uses a "new packing layer" that hides its code from scanners and signature-based tools, according to F5 Labs.
The worm-like trojan steals banking credentials, email passwords and signing certificates. Qbot can give its operators full control of an infected system by leveraging "command-based backdoor operated by the control server as well as a virtual network computing-based backdoor," according to McAfee.
Qbot's operators made a list of targets in an organized campaign primarily in the U.S. in the latest resurgence. However, due to Qbot's tendency to fall off and then reappear on the threat radar, researchers have issue with "gauging" it's impact globally, according to F5 Labs.
Threat hunting is also viewed as one of the last lines of defense, often portrayed as "hand-to-hand combat" with cyber adversaries. The practice is more in tune with asking "are we compromised in a way our current detection systems are not detecting?"
Cybersecurity professionals tend to agree that threats are ever-present in systems — when threat hunters can't find any, security teams have to explore how and why a threat could evade detection. While Qbot runs on Windows-based systems, the latest variant has anti-virtual machine techniques, which allow it to circumvent forensics.
There are "definitely more credentials" floating around the dark web currently because businesses are largely using remote desktop protocol for database access, according to Heard. Bad actors are readying to sell credentials or initiate attacks. "I feel like they're collecting a lot of data right now."