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Qbot, April 2023’s Most Wanted Malware Launches Substantial Malspam Campaign

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Check Point® Software Technologies, a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, has published its Global Threat Index for April 2023.

Last month, researchers uncovered a substantial Qbot malspam campaign distributed through malicious PDF files attached to emails seen in multiple languages. Meanwhile, Internet-of-Things (IoT) malware Mirai made the list for the first time in a year after exploiting a new vulnerability in TP-Link routers, and Healthcare moved up to become the second most exploited industry.

The Qbot campaign seen last month involves a new delivery method in which targets are sent an email with an attachment that contains protected PDF files. Once these are downloaded, the Qbot malware is installed on the device. Researchers found instances of the malspam being sent in multiple different languages, which means organizations can be targeted worldwide.

Last month also saw the return of Mirai, one of the most popular IoT malwares. Researchers discovered it was exploiting a new zero-day vulnerability CVE-2023-1380 to attack TP-Link routers and add them to its botnet, which has been used to facilitate some of the most disruptive distributed DDoS attacks on record. This latest campaign follows an extensive report published by Check Point Research (CPR) on the prevalence of IOT attacks.

There was also a change in impacted industries, with healthcare overtaking government as the second most exploited sector in April. Attacks on healthcare institutions have been well documented and some countries continue to face constant assaults.

For example, cybercriminal group Medusa recently launched attacks on cancer facilities in Australia. The industry remains a lucrative target for hackers as it gives them potential access to confidential patient data and payment information. It could have implications for pharmaceutical companies as it could lead to leaks regarding clinical trials or new medical drugs and devices.

“Cybercriminals are constantly working on new methods to bypass restrictions and these campaigns are further proof of how malware adapts to survive. With Qbot on the offensive again, it acts as another reminder of the importance of having comprehensive cybersecurity in place, and due diligence when it comes to trusting the origins and intent of an email.” said Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software.

CPR also revealed that “Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal” was the most exploited vulnerability, impacting 48% of organizations globally, followed by “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” with 44% and “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” with a global impact of 43%.

Top malware families

Globally, AgentTesla was the most prevalent malware last month with an impact of more than 10% on worldwide organisations respectively, followed by Qbot and Formbook with a 4% global impact.

In Nigeria, Qbot was the most prevalent malware last month with an impact of 20% on organisations, followed by Expiro with 10.67% and Formbook with an 8% impact.

  1. Qbot – Qbot AKA Qakbot is a banking Trojan that first appeared in 2008. It was designed to steal a user’s banking credentials and keystrokes. Often distributed via spam email, Qbot employs several anti-VM, anti-debugging, and anti-sandbox techniques to hinder analysis and evade detection.
  2. Expiro – Expiro is a polymorphic file infector first seen in 2010. It inserts its malicious code into executable files on the infected host. These files lead to new infections when they are run on other machines. Expiro steals user and system information from Windows, as well as FTP credentials.
  3. Formbook – Formbook is an Infostealer targeting the Windows OS and was first detected in 2016. It is marketed as Malware as a Service (MaaS) in underground hacking forums for its strong evasion techniques and relatively low price. FormBook harvests credentials from various web browsers, collects screenshots, monitors and logs keystrokes, and can download and execute files according to orders from its C&C.

Top Attacked Industries in Africa

Last month, Consultant was most attacked industry, followed by Manufacturing and Retail/Wholesale.

  1. Consultant
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Retail/Wholesale

Top exploited vulnerabilities

Last month, “Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal” was the most exploited vulnerability, impacting 48% of organizations globally, followed by “Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution” with 44% and “HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution” with a global impact of 43%.

  1. ↑ Web Servers Malicious URL Directory Traversal – There exists a directory traversal vulnerability on different web servers. The vulnerability is due to an input validation error in a web server that does not properly sanitize the URI for the directory traversal patterns. Successful exploitation allows unauthenticated remote attackers to disclose or access arbitrary files on the vulnerable server.
  2. ↓ Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution (CVE-2021-44228) – A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Apache Log4j. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system.
  3. ↓ HTTP Headers Remote Code Execution (CVE-2020-10826,CVE-2020-10827,CVE-2020-10828,CVE-2020-13756) – HTTP headers let the client and the server pass additional information with an HTTP request. A remote attacker may use a vulnerable HTTP Header to run arbitrary code on the victim machine.

Top Mobile Malwares

Last month, Ahmyth moved to the top spot as the most prevalent mobile malware, followed by Anubis and Hiddad.

  1. AhMyth – AhMyth is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) discovered in 2017. It is distributed through Android apps that can be found on app stores and various websites. When a user installs one of these infected apps, the malware can collect sensitive information from the device and perform actions such as keylogging, taking screenshots, sending SMS messages, and activating the camera.
  2. Anubis – Anubis is a banking Trojan malware designed for Android mobile phones. Since it was initially detected, it has gained additional functions including Remote Access Trojan (RAT) functionality, keylogger, audio recording capabilities and various ransomware features. It has been detected on hundreds of different applications available in the Google Store.
  3. Hiddad – Hiddad is an Android malware which repackages legitimate apps and then releases them to a third-party store. Its main function is to display ads, but it can also gain access to key security details built into the OS.

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles. The intelligence is enriched with AI-based engines and exclusive research data from Check Point Research, the intelligence and research Arm of Check Point Software Technologies.


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Cybersecurity Firm Uncovers Scams Targeting Olympic Games Fans

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The first in-person Summer Olympics since the lifting of pandemic restrictions is set to begin on July 26, attracting millions of sports enthusiasts.

Kaspersky experts have noted a surge in scamming activity surrounding the event, with fraudsters targeting users’ money and data.

To understand how scammers are exploiting viewers’ interest, Kaspersky experts analysed Olympic-related phishing websites and identified the main schemes currently in use.

Fake Tickets

With the Olympic Committee warning of fake ticket offers and news of a UK swimmer’s family being scammed out of £2,500 while attempting to purchase tickets for the Paris Olympics, Kaspersky’s telemetry confirms that fraudsters are actively crafting phishing websites.

These sites offer tickets for Olympic competitions at exclusive prices or claim to have seats for sold-out events. This well-tested yet effective fraudulent scheme has resurfaced during many Olympic seasons, and Kaspersky’s experts expect such websites to proliferate during Paris 2024 events.

In this scenario, users fill out a data form and transfer both their personal information and money to scammers. As a result, they may receive invalid tickets or, more likely, nothing at all, leading to financial loss and their data being sold on Dark Web forums.

Fake Corporate Giveaways

Many organisations host giveaways for their employees, partners, and customers during major events. Recently, Kaspersky experts uncovered a fraudulent page impersonating a French bank, falsely promising a chance to win event tickets.

Employees are enticed to fill out a form with personal details, including their Internet account login credentials and passwords. This allows fraudsters to infiltrate victims’ corporate resources and potentially spread malicious content further.

Fake Merch Stores

Kaspersky experts have also discovered fraudulent online stores selling merchandise such as shirts, uniforms, accessories, and more. Needless to say, those who were enticed by these offers never received the items they ordered.

Special Cell Phone Plans

Fraudsters have set up phishing websites offering a free 48 GB data package for all networks. These sites entice users to provide personal information, such as phone numbers and payment details, under the guise of activating the data package.

Once submitted, this information is harvested for malicious purposes, leading to potential financial loss and privacy breaches.

“During major events like the Olympics, the sheer volume of offers can be overwhelming and deceptive,” says Anton Yatsenko, security expert at Kaspersky. “Scammers prey on the excitement and urgency people feel, making it crucial to approach every offer with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to verify the authenticity of offers and protect your personal information. Your vigilance can be the difference between enjoying the event and falling victim to a scam.”


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Nigeria inflation rate hits 34.19%

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Nigeria’s annual inflation rate increased for the fifth consecutive month to 34.19 per cent as Nigerians battle with high living crisis.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), released on Monday, the June figure is 0.24 per cent higher than the 33.95 per cent recorded in May. The lowest figure in 2024 was 29.90 per cent, recorded in January.

On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79 per cent.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023),” the NBS said.

NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31 per cent, which was 0.17 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14 per cent) meaning that in the month of June 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is higher than the rate of increase in the average price level in May 2024.

According to the NBS, the food inflation rate in June 2024 rose 40.87 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25 per cent).


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Konga, CeraVe Ink MoU for Exclusive Launch of L’Oreal Product in Nigeria

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At long last, relief is here for the skincare enthusiasts in Nigeria! Konga Health, Nigeria’s premier digital healthcare distribution company, has sealed an exclusive partnership with CeraVe, a leading global skincare brand under the L’Oréal umbrella, to launch its product in the country. L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare and perfume in terms of quality, efficacy and safety.

Konga Health

Through Konga Health, a technology-driven healthcare solutions company focused on revolutionizing the healthcare value chain and a member of the Konga Group, this exclusive collaboration will debut with the renowned CeraVe line, offering unbeatable prices and free delivery to some locations Nationwide.

This enhanced partnership empowers Konga Health to onboard pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers Nationwide to support the distribution of CeraVe’s product line. This initiative includes opportunities for recruitment, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure that high-quality skincare solutions are accessible to all nationwide.

This strategic alliance ensures that genuine CeraVe products reach Nigerian consumers swiftly and conveniently, leveraging Konga’s extensive e-commerce infrastructure. Concerns about counterfeit items that often plague the beauty and skincare market are now a thing of the past, as Konga becomes CeraVe’s official distributor in Nigeria.

CeraVe now boasts a dedicated official shop-in-shop (SIS) on Konga.com, serving as a one-stop destination for all authentic CeraVe products. Shoppers can directly access top-tier skincare solutions identical to those available globally.

Starting Monday, July 15th, CeraVe’s flagship products, such as the Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser, SA Smoothing Cleanser, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer with 3 Essential Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid, Barrier-Reinforcing Moisturizing Cream, Night Cream with Niacinamide, Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Foot Cream, Retinol Serum, Eye Repair Cream, Facial Moisturizers, Hyaluronic, and Vitamin C Serums, will be readily available on the Konga Health and Konga.com platforms, offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

Nnenna Emenyonu, Senior Vice President of Konga Health, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with CeraVe, a brand synonymous with quality and scientific excellence in skincare. This collaboration allows our customers access to top-tier skincare products that are dermatologically tested and proven effective.”

Rabah Deroueche, LID LDB SSA and Business Development Director at L’Oreal, shared similar sentiments, noting, “Our partnership with Konga marks a significant milestone for CeraVe in Nigeria. By leveraging our commitment to quality skincare products and Konga’s platform, CeraVe can reach a wider audience and address the skincare needs of Nigerian consumers. This collaboration ensures Nigerian consumers can easily access our products and experience the benefits of our dermatologist-developed formulations.”

CeraVe has earned its stellar reputation globally through scientifically backed formulations. Developed in close collaboration with dermatologists, CeraVe products meet the highest standards of skincare and are celebrated for using essential ingredients that ensure optimal skin health.

The partnership between Konga and L’Oreal establishes Konga’s standing as a trusted e-commerce platform offering only high-quality products. As the official distributor of CeraVe, Konga is dedicated to maintaining the brand’s integrity by providing shoppers with authentic products that meet their skincare needs.


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