Forex Traders Beware: Microsoft Squashes DarkMe RAT-Deploying Zero-Day Flaw

Beware, traders! A Windows Defender SmartScreen zero-day, CVE-2024-21412, patched today, was exploited to deploy the sneaky DarkMe RAT on New Year’s Eve. Keep your digits off dodgy downloads!

Hot Take:

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s just another zero-day exploit flying through the gaping windows of Windows Defender SmartScreen. Microsoft’s caped cyber-defenders have finally slapped a patch on the vulnerability faster than you can say “DarkMe RAT.” Meanwhile, the Water Hydra hacking group is out there playing “hide and seek” with security checks like it’s a game of cyber-whack-a-mole. Buckle up, forex traders, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride in the cyber-forex underworld!

Key Points:

  • Windows Defender SmartScreen zero-day (CVE-2024-21412) exploited by Water Hydra to deploy DarkMe RAT.
  • The zero-day was a New Year’s Eve surprise, but Microsoft has since patched it up.
  • Attacks targeted forex traders, aiming for data theft or possible future ransomware fun.
  • Water Hydra previously enjoyed a zero-day spree with WinRAR, affecting over 500 million users.
  • IOCs for DarkMe malware are out in the wild, so cyber-sleuths, get your detective hats on!
Title: Windows SmartScreen Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability
Cve id: CVE-2023-36025
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: microsoft
Cve date updated: 01/09/2024
Cve description: Windows SmartScreen Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability

Title: Internet Shortcut Files Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability
Cve id: CVE-2024-21412
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: microsoft
Cve date updated: 02/13/2024
Cve description: Internet Shortcut Files Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability

Cve id: CVE-2023-38831
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: mitre
Cve date updated: 10/23/2023
Cve description: RARLAB WinRAR before 6.23 allows attackers to execute arbitrary code when a user attempts to view a benign file within a ZIP archive. The issue occurs because a ZIP archive may include a benign file (such as an ordinary .JPG file) and also a folder that has the same name as the benign file, and the contents of the folder (which may include executable content) are processed during an attempt to access only the benign file. This was exploited in the wild in April through October 2023.

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When Zero-Days Rain, It Pours

Imagine you're all set to pop the champagne on New Year's Eve, and boom, instead of fireworks, it's a zero-day exploit lighting up the sky. That's what happened when Trend Micro researchers caught Water Hydra red-handed. They were exploiting CVE-2024-21412 to bypass security and deliver their malware masquerade ball, complete with a RAT named DarkMe. It's like the Trojan Horse, but with more code and less wood.

Defender SmartScreen or Not-So-SmartScreen?

It seems the Defender SmartScreen might need a new pair of glasses because it didn't see CVE-2024-21412 coming. Luckily, Microsoft issued a patch faster than most people can stick to their New Year's resolutions. But before you get too comfy, remember that this isn't Water Hydra's first rodeo. They've been exploiting CVE-2023-36025 to play puppet master with your URL files and deploy Phemedrone info-stealer malware. It's like a malware Mardi Gras, and everyone's invited!

Forex Traders in the Crosshairs

What's a hacker to do after discovering a shiny new zero-day? If you're Water Hydra, you go after forex traders. Because why hack a random Joe when you can hack Joe who trades euros and dollars like they're Pokémon cards? The attackers were as subtle as a bull in a china shop, using social engineering to trick traders on forums and Telegram channels into installing DarkMe. The lesson here? Always look a gift stock chart in the mouth.

The Hydra's Many Heads

Water Hydra isn't just a one-trick pony. They're more like a hydra, and every time the cybersecurity world chops off one head, two more zero-days pop up. Before the SmartScreen shenanigans, they were all up in WinRAR's business, exploiting a vulnerability (CVE-2023-38831) to compromise trading accounts. With over 500 million users, that's a lot of WinRARs to unwrap. And it's not just Water Hydra; Sandworm, APT28, and their cyber-gang buddies are all joining the zero-day party. It's like the Avengers, but instead of saving the world, they're trying to take it over — one exploit at a time.

The Hunt for Indicators of Compromise

For the cyber-detectives among us, a treasure map of Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) has been released. It's like Pokémon Go, but instead of catching adorable creatures, you're hunting down malicious malware. So grab your cybersecurity Poké Balls and get ready to catch 'em all! And remember, just because Microsoft patched this zero-day doesn't mean there aren't others lurking in the digital shadows, waiting for their moment to shine. Stay vigilant, my friends, or you might just find a RAT in your digital kitchen.

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Tags: DarkMe RAT, financial market cyberattacks, Mark-of-the-Web bypass, spearphishing techniques, Water Hydra threat group, Windows Defender SmartScreen, zero-day vulnerability