Malware Reads Emails 30 Minutes After Infecting Device

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Qbot, an old software threat notorious for infecting Windows PCs via phishing emails and Outlook bugs, has been improved to contain malware that is able to read the emails of its victims.

This latest capability allows Qbot to improve the message’s apparent legitimacy to potential victims.

Operators of the malware rely on clickable phishing messages, such as tax reminders, job offers, and COVID-19 notifications. They can commit data theft from Chrome, Edge, email and online bank passwords.

Researchers saw a case where initial access wasn’t known but likely delivered through a tainted Microsoft Excel document that was configured to download malware from a web page.

Qbot operators use legitimate Microsoft tools to raid a whole network within 30 minutes of the victim clicking on a link in the Excel sheet.

Qbot’s most recent foray into malware had infected 65% more PCs in the six months to July 2021 than the year before. Microsoft highlighted the malware for its modular design, making it very difficult to detect.

The malware hides malicious processes and creates scheduled tasks to perpetuate itself on a machine. Once it successfully infects a device, it uses various techniques for lateral movement.

The FBI has issued a warning that Qbot trojans are being used to distribute ProLock, a “human-operated ransomware.”

For more information, read the original story in ZDNet.

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