A massive campaign against South Korean users, associated with a Trojan known as BlackMoon has been boosted, reports indicate. Fortinet security experts indicate that the BlackMoon menace discovered initially in 2014, is back with a new campaign. It has already caused over 100,000 successful infections. As soon as this Trojan is installed on the computers of affected users, it aims to display to them various phishing websites where if users enter their financial information, the Trojan steals it.
|Short Description||Steals financial and banking account information as well as other data.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness network traffic to the command and control centers of the BlackMoon trojan. (See below)|
|Distribution Method||Via a malicious executable downloaded from a drive-by web link.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss BlackMoon Banking Trojan.|
BlackMoon Banking Trojan – Spread
In order to be widespread successfully, the BlackMoon is believed to use websites of malicious character. Researchers report that the cyber-criminal gang behind the BlackMoon may have uploaded an executable on a malicious web link. This is a sophisticated procedure because such executables may be spread via different means:
- Posted as spammed comments on websites via Referral Spam bots.
- Featured in the body of spam-emails as web links which pretend to be legitimate vendors, like PayPal, eBay, etc.
- Sent in chat messages from fake Facebook profiles or other social media or cyber-communication platforms.
BlackMoon Banking Trojan – In-Depth Analysis
It was reported that the old version of BlackMoon used to attack the Hosts file of a given web browser since it is the main file responsible for URLs, advertisements and other web content. Upon modification, this file was immediately hijacked and modified. This resulted in browser redirects to phishing pages which prompted users to enter their financial information.
The malware also has a pre-set list of Korean websites whose hashes are embedded in it. Via a special script, as soon as one of those websites is detected in the infected computer, the malware displays a pop-up, reported to be an error message:
After this pop-up, BlackMoon immediately causes a browser redirect which leads to a credentials phishing page:
The web pages feature all types of personal and financial information, like name, address, credit card numbers, security numbers and other crucial information which may be profitable for cyber criminals.
What is even worse is that BlackMoon is compatible with almost all web browsers, massively used for Windows, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge. Besides this, researchers have also reported that BlackMoon uses debugging techniques in order to prevent malware researchers or at least delay them greatly from looking into this virus.
BlackMoon Banking Trojan has also been reported to create a malicious process CACLS.EXE, which can fool users that it is a legitimate process, however this process has been reported by Fortinet researchers to not be such that will remain active in the task manager for extended periods of time.
In addition to this, BlackMoon Banking Trojan was also reported to modify or create values in the following registry keys , according to Fortinet Researchers:
→ HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main – StartPage
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings – AutoConfigURL
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script\Settings – JITDebug
Attacks by the BlackMoon threat are believed to be originating from hundreds of different MAC addresses, however the command and control servers of the malware’s botnet are reported to be the following:
Besides being focused on stealing the financial information of users, BlackMoon may also use its Trojan functions to collect other critical data as well. Here is what it may also steal:
- Mobile number.
- Social Security Numbers.
- Whether the computer is part of an organization or a home machine.
How to Detect If You Are Infected by BlackMoon Banking Trojan
In case you feel like your financial information has been compromised, we strongly advise you to follow these instructions in order to check whether or not your computer has been infected with BlackMoon:
Step 1: Download and Install Wireshark
Wireshark is a network sniffing program which sniffs all of the incoming and outgoing packets on your computer. It will help capture malicious information which could be associated with BlackMoon. You can download it by entering their official website via the link below and choosing your operating system and version (Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit, macOS).
Step 2: Start Wireshark and configure it to start sniffing packets.
To do this, just start Wireshark after you install it. Then click on your internet connection type from which you will sniff information. You should be able to detect it by the higher amount of traffic generated in its histogram graphic, like in the picture below:
Step 3: Find the packet you are looking for.
Here is where the tricky part comes in. As soon as the packets start to appear you will most likely see the e-mail addresses which are associated with them. You can try to compare from the IP addresses of the command and control servers provided by Fortinet in above (starting with 188.8.131.52). As soon as you see a packet of information coming from one of the addresses, your computer may be infected by this malware.
However, bear in mind that the cyber-criminals behind this malware are most likely migration experts, meaning that they will often use different ip addresses and this is why you should perform a research in google or find a database of associated IP addresses by paste-ing one address in Cqcounter.com/whois. The more IP addresses associated with BlackMoon attacks you collect the higher the possibility you find a match by using Wireshark.
What to Do If I Am Infected?
In case you are an unfortunate victim by this virus, the first and utmost thing you should do Is to (i)shut down your computer from the power and evaluate how much information is compromised. After this, we strongly advise you to (ii)change all of the credentials and transfer your funds to another bank account, preferably in a foreign bank. For maximum security we advise you to use more than one bank account. After doing this, you can proceed with (iii)changing all of your account passwords from a safe computer and removing this malware from yours.
To remove BlackMoon banking Trojan, we strongly recommend that you follow our step-by-step instructions below. They are carefully designed so that you can detect and delete everything associated with this Banking Trojan from your computer. Since manual removal may take you some time, we strongly advise you to use an advanced anti-malware program which will swiftly detect this and other associated malware and permanently delete them from your computer as well as protect it in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove BlackMoon from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of BlackMoon from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove BlackMoon from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase BlackMoon from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall BlackMoon from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove BlackMoon from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate BlackMoon from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove BlackMoon from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove BlackMoon
Step 2: Uninstall BlackMoon and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by BlackMoon on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by BlackMoon there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of BlackMoon from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall BlackMoon and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove BlackMoon via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove BlackMoon from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase BlackMoon from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall BlackMoon from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove BlackMoon from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the BlackMoon will be removed.
Eliminate BlackMoon from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.