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Keep An Eye on The New Email Thread Hijacking Malware Campaign

QBot Malware is a Global Threat

Kaspersky, a popular Russian anti-virus provider, has recently identified the latest QBot malware campaign. The campaign leverages hijacked business correspondence to trick its victims into installing the malware. This campaign has been actively targeting users, mostly from Europe, South America, and the United States, making it a global threat. This blog post will explore the details behind the new email thread hijacking attack and what businesses and individuals can do to protect themselves.

What is QBot?

QBot is a banking trojan notorious for stealing passwords and cookies from web browsers, acting as a backdoor, and injecting next-stage payloads such as ransomware. Distributed from phishing campaigns, the malware has constantly evolved throughout its lifetime to evade detections, making it the most prevalent malware in March 2023, according to Check Point.

Email thread hijacking is a technique that QBot malware operators are using to exploit business email accounts. The attackers hijack an existing email thread and carry on the conversation, injecting malware-laden attachments or URLs. The hijacked email accounts usually belong to someone higher up in the organization or a trusted partner, making the victim more likely to fall for the scam. The attackers may also add a sense of urgency to the conversation to encourage the victim to act quickly without scrutinizing the message’s legitimacy. Once the victim downloads the malware, the attackers have remote access to the system, gathering sensitive data, and further compromising the organization’s network.

Email thread hijacking is not unheard of in the cybersecurity world. It has become increasingly more common in recent years. It involves cybercriminals gaining access to an existing communication chain between two or more members of an organization. Once they have gained access, they can send malicious messages or steal confidential information from the company.

How Can You Protect Your Business?

To prevent email thread hijacking, businesses must implement strict email security protocols, such as multi-factor authentication, strong passwords, and regular staff training. Organizations can also deploy email protection solutions that leverage machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to detect and block malicious emails.

Employees must also be extremely vigilant and cautious when dealing with email correspondence. Ensure that you verify the sender’s email address, especially when the email is from someone you know. Hover over any link or attachment to check that the URL or file type seems legitimate. If you receive an email that seems suspicious, take your time to inspect and verify the contents before downloading anything. Better still, report the email to your IT department, which can then investigate whether the email is genuine or malicious.

Closing Thoughts

The latest phishing campaign by QBot malware using email thread hijacking shows that cybercriminals continue to evolve their attack techniques to bypass traditional security measures. To mitigate such attacks, businesses must maintain robust email security protocols that they continually update to keep up with the ever-evolving threat landscape. Individuals also play a significant role in their security by being vigilant and cautious when dealing with email correspondence. By working together to strengthen email security, we can defend ourselves and our organizations against these malicious attacks.