There is a new information stealer in town. Dubbed Raccoon, the malware is gaining popularity as it is being sold as a MaaS (malware-as-a-service). Raccoon has already infected thousands of victims worldwide.
According to researchers, the Raccoon malware has contaminated hundreds of devices throughout the globe in just a couple of months, and has obtained card data and e-mail credentials from victims. The malware is already one of the top 10 most-mentioned malware tools in the underground community.
The malware is not excessively sophisticated or innovative, yet its malware-as-a-service (MaaS) model gives cybercriminals a quick-and-easy method to make money by compromising sensitive user details.
The Raccoon infostealer was discovered by Cybereason researchers, who say that “this strain of malware first emerged as recently as 2019, and has already established a strong following among cybercriminals. Its popularity, even with a limited feature set, signals the continuation of a growing trend of the commoditization of malware as they follow a MaaS (Malware-as-a-Service) model and evolve their efforts.”
|Short Description||A dangerous malware which can steal sensitive information from infected systems.|
|Symptoms||Infected users may not notice any particular symptoms, as the infostealer is installed silently.|
|Distribution Method||Phishing emails, Exploit kits, Bundled with legitimate software|
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Raccoon Infostealer Malware April 2020 Updates
New versions of Racoon are currently being spread in the wild. These new versions feature a change in the initial infection mechanism. The first action will be to trigger an initial installation script retrieving the actual malware from a Google Cloud Services repository. This is an important step, as most of the firewalls and other security solutions will consider it a safe and legitimate activity and not raise attention.
The new releases of the Raccoon infostealer malware are delivered via a phishing email campaign. The recipients will be shown a message from a friend claiming that their inboxes have been compromised. Another typical scenario used to manipulate the intended victims is to send out warning messages claiming that their emails have been hacked. Various blackmail tactics will be used in order to manipulate the users into opening browser links or downloading attached files. Depending on the actual form of delivery the payload carrier may be a macro, an independent script, an executable file or another file type.
Raccoon Infostealer Malware March 2020 Updates
The Raccoon malware is being spread in a sextortion phishing strategy. The criminals are sending email messages that contain nude images which include malicious scripts. The contents of these phishing emails also reveal that the criminal group behind it is called Red Skull. The premise of the emails is that the hackers have been able to compromise an acquaintance of the recipients and have found nude images of their naked girlfriends. They appear to be linked or attached directly to the email messages.
The malware will be inserted in payload carrier files — the recipients will be instructed into enabling the built-in scripts — this is the case in macro-infected documents. They can be of all popular file types: presentations, databases, spreadsheets and text documents. The running of the macros will run a PowerShell initial infection script. This script will lead to the Raccoon malware installation.
Another extortion scam which is used by the criminals is the distribution of fake DocuSign documents. They are masked as legitimate files which when activated will download the malware.
Raccoon Malware: February 2020 Activity
There is a new strain of Raccoon with even more advanced built-in functionality. The new threat is being spread by an unknown hacking group; it is possible that this criminal collective is not the same as before. The cybercriminals have updated the malware in order to harvest sensitive information from victims. The security analysis shows that the following types of personal information can be harvested:
- Personal Identiy Information
- Payment Card Information
- Cryptocurrency Miners
- Web Browser Information Stored Data
A dangerous feature found in this new version of the malware is that it can also steal information from compromised devices which are using the TOR anonymous network. The information gathering module has been updated now to include software such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and etc.
The new version can additionally steal credentials from any of the popular cryptocurrency wallets: Electrum, Ethereum, Jaxx, Exodus and Monero among others. This information stealing functionality is also extended to popular email clients such as Outlook, Foxmail and Mozilla Thunderbird. The attackers are probably using the Raccoon in order to acquire sensitive user data — the main goal is to intrude onto the target network. It is very possible that when this is done the virus may acquire administrative privileges.
The advanced functionality of the Raccoon allows it to execute a lot of malicious actions:
- Reconnaissance — The Trojan can take screenshots of the user activity and send them automatically to the hacker operators.
- Additional Infections — In many cases these infections can be used to drop other malware to the hosts — ransomware, sabotage scripts and etc.
- System Reconfiguration — Raccoon infections can be used to drastically reconfigure the system — changes can be made to the Windows Registry, configuration files and etc.
Raccoon samples appear to be created as part of a global RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service) operation — this means that the original developers of the malware offer customization options to prospective buyers. There may be different price plans and options which can be ordered from the developers, as well as custom orders.
Raccoon Infostealer Malware — Technical Overview
First of all, it is important to note that Raccoon is written in C++ and is designed to work on both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Though it was originally classified as a password stealer by many AV companies, the infosec community has observed it leverage broader capabilities. Thus, it has been categorized as an information stealer (infostealer).
The analysis of the inforstealer shows that it was developed by a Russian cybercrime group. The malware is capable of obtaining a large set of information, despite the lack of sophistication – it can infect victims using various techniques, and can steal plenty of sensitive information, such as credit card data, cryptocurrency wallets, browser data, and e-mail credentials.
The Raccoon malware is swiftly getting grip of new threat actors, eager to use it in their campaigns. It has already become one of the top 10 most-referenced malware pieces on underground marketplaces, infecting numerous endpoints internationally across both organizations and individuals in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Raccoon follows a malware-as-a-service model, allowing people a quick-and-easy way to make money by stealing sensitive data without a big financial investment or technical know-how.
It also appears that the cybercrime team behind Raccoon is admired in the underground community for their level of service, support, and user experience, but has faced a number of bouts of public feuds and inner conflicts, the official report says.
Raccoon Infostealer Distribution Methods
Exploit kits. The Raccoon infostealer is leveraging several ways for distribution across devices, but it mostly relies on exploit kits, phishing attacks, and bundled malware. Cybercriminals are specifically using the Fallout EK to generate a PowerShell instance from Internet Explorer and then download the main payload of the malware.
Phishing. The phishing campaigns carrying the inforstealer are based on email messages that have an attached Word document. When the potential victim opens the Word document and enables macros, the macro code creates a connection to a malicious domain to download the malicious payload.
Bundled malware. The attackers are also leveraging the bundling method, where Raccoon is bundled with legitimate software. If a user downloads an infected installer, the malware will install itself silently, and the user will not notice it.
Raccoon Infostealer – Removal
In order to fully remove the Raccoon infostealer from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your computer with a reputable anti-malware program.
Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of Raccoon malware files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Raccoon Infostealer from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Raccoon Infostealer on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Raccoon Infostealer in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Raccoon Infostealer from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Raccoon Infostealer from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Raccoon Infostealer from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Raccoon Infostealer from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable Raccoon Infostealer Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove Raccoon Infostealer from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Raccoon Infostealer
Step 2: Uninstall Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Raccoon Infostealer from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Raccoon Infostealer, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer 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 Raccoon Infostealer will be removed.
Eliminate Raccoon Infostealer 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.
Remove Push Notifications caused by Raccoon Infostealer from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".