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Thursday, 23 August 2018 08:44

Cisco's Talos Group issues warning against Remcos RAT

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Cisco's Talos Group issues warning against Remcos RAT Pixabay

A company named Breaking Security is selling several tools that claim to be for legitimate use, but provide all the functionality to build and maintain a botnet, Cisco's Talos Intelligence Group claims.

Talos security researchers Edmund Brumaghin and Holger Unterbrink said in a detailed blog post that Remcos, a remote access tool or RAT, which gave attackers everything they needed to establish and run a potentially illegal botnet.

However Breaking Security claims that it will only sell the software to legitimate users and will revoke the licences of those not following its end user licence agreement.

Brumaghin and Unterbrink said the same company was also offering a tool called Octopus Protector, a cryptor that helped malicious software to bypass detection by anti-malware products by encrypting the software on disk.

Other tools offered by Breaking Security were a keylogger, which could be used to record and send keystrokes on an infected system; a mass mailer that could be used to send spam and a DynDNS service that could be used for communication with command-and-control servers after compromise of a system.

"Remcos' prices per licence range from €58 to €389. Breaking Security also offers customers the ability to pay for the RAT using a variety of digital currencies," the two researchers said.

"This RAT can be used to fully control and monitor any Windows operating system, from Windows XP and all versions thereafter, including server editions."

They said several attempts had been observed to install the Remcos RAT on various endpoints. "...we have also seen multiple malware campaigns distributing Remcos, with many of these campaigns using different methods to avoid detection. To help people who became victims of a harmful use of Remcos, Talos is providing a decoder script that can extract the C2 server addresses and other information from the Remcos binary."

Brumaghin and Unterbrink said while Breaking Security claimed that Remcos was only for legal use, their research indicated it is still being used extensively by malicious attackers, as well.

"In some cases, attackers are strategically targeting victims to attempt to gain access to organisations that operate as part of the supply chain for various critical infrastructure sectors," they said.

"Organisations should ensure that they are implementing security controls to combat Remcos, as well as other threats that are being used in the wild.

"Remcos is a robust tool that is being actively developed to include new functionality, increasing what the attackers can gain access to. To combat this, organisations should continue to be aware of this threat, as well as others like this that may be circulated on the Internet."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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