Qakbot Resurges, Spreads through VBS Files dark web cvv shop, fullz shop 2021

Insights and Analysis by Erika Mendoza, Ian Lagrazon, and Gilbert SisonAdditional Analysis by Miguel Ang, Monte De Jesus, Jesus Titular, Catherine Loveria
Through managed detection and response (MDR), we found that a lot of threats come from inbound emails. These messages usually contain phishing links, malicious attachments, or instructions. However, in our daily investigation of email metadata, we often detect threats not just in inbound emails, but even in the users’ own sent items folder. This involves an unwitting user, a possibly compromised account, and harmful messages carrying threats. In one such incident, we have been able to correlate email compromise with the intent to spread Qakbot-related email messages.
We have seen events that point to the resurgence of Qakbot , a multi-component, information-stealing threat first discovered in 2007. Feedback from our sensors indicates that Qakbot detections increased overall. A notable rise in detections of a particular Qakbot sample (detected by Trend Micro as Backdoor.Win32.QBOT.SMTH ) was also witnessed in early April. Note that we used a partial and inexhaustive list of indicators for this analysis.
From January to the third week of May this year, we had a total of 3,893 unique Qakbot detections. We’ve seen a spike in January with over 1,400, which mellowed down in February and March. It climbed back in April with over 1,000. Data for May is also quite high at 679, considering that the month has not ended yet.
Among users with specified and known industries, the rise had been observed mostly in the healthcare sector with 141 unique detections.
233 or almost half of the recorded unique detections have been seen affecting users from the US. Australia and China follow with 95 and 30, respectively. 
The malware has been known to proliferate through network shares, removable drives, or software vulnerabilities. The recent instances we have observed were spread through emails with malicious links. Clicking the link leads to the download of a zip containing a VBS file (detected as Trojan.VBS.QAKBOT.SM) that then downloads a malicious executable file (detected by Trend Micro as Backdoor.Win32.QBOT.SMTH ).
The new samples are similar to older variants in terms of behavior and encryption. Like its earlier versions, it maintains persistence by creating an auto-run registry and scheduled task.
This Qakbot variant spreads via emails with malicious links pointing to compromised websites hosting the Qakbot malware. The emails look like old forwarded messages that pose as replies to relevant business-related email threads. Often, the sender’s name and email address don’t match.
The emails contain URLs that follow noticeable pattern, as seen below:
Clicking the link will download a zip file. Like the URLs, the file names follow a particular pattern:
The more recent spam mails this month use this file name pattern instead:
In one sample we analyzed, the zip file contains a VBS file named NUM_56960.vbs. The size of the file is around 30MB. The large file size helps it evade detection, as file scanners usually skip scanning huge files for performance reasons. This VBS file then downloads the malicious executable file PaintHelper.exe.
Qakbot has anti-analysis and anti-virtual machine checks. It will not continue to execute if any of the following exists in the system:
Once it continues, it creates a folder for its components in %AppData%\Microsoft\{random name}\. It then proceeds by copying itself to %AppData%\Microsoft\{random name}\{random}.exe then creates a corresponding auto-run.
        HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
        {random} = %APPDATA%\Microsoft\{random name}\{random}.exe
 It also creates a scheduled task through the following:
Copies of the malware are also placed in other locations:
Like other malware types, Qakbot is periodically updated, giving it improved propagation techniques in 2011 and a resurgence in 2016. It has also been seen to include Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) activities and use Mimikatz . Recently, Qakbot has been seen teaming up with ProLock ransomware .
The constant resurgence of new, more sophisticated variants of known malware, as well as the emergence of entirely unknown threats, demands solutions with advanced detection and response capabilities.
rom their end, users can protect themselves from the new Quakbot samples and other threats spread through emails by following some of these best practices : 
Users can also protect systems through managed detection and response (MDR) , which utilizes advanced artificial intelligence to correlate and prioritize threats, determining if they are part of a larger attack. It can detect threats before they are executed, thus preventing further compromise.
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In the first half of this year, cybersecurity strongholds were surrounded by cybercriminals waiting to pounce at the sight of even the slightest crack in defenses to ravage valuable assets. View the report
The upheavals of 2020 challenged the limits of organizations and users, and provided openings for malicious actors. A robust cybersecurity posture can help equip enterprises and individuals amid a continuously changing threat landscape. View the 2020 Annual Cybersecurity Report
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