April 16, 2024
Golden Chickens Malware

The identification of the second menace actor behind the Golden Chickens malware has been uncovered courtesy of a deadly operational safety blunder, cybersecurity agency eSentire mentioned.

The person in query, who lives in Bucharest, Romania, has been given the codename Jack. He is among the two criminals working an account on the Russian-language Exploit.in discussion board below the identify “badbullzvenom,” the opposite being “Chuck from Montreal.”

eSentire characterised Jack because the true mastermind behind Golden Chickens. Proof unearthed by the Canadian firm reveals that he’s additionally listed because the proprietor of a vegetable and fruit import and export enterprise.

“Like ‘Chuck from Montreal,’ ‘Jack’ makes use of a number of aliases for the underground boards, social media, and Jabber accounts, and he too has gone to nice lengths to disguise himself,” eSentire researchers Joe Stewart and Keegan Keplinger said.

“‘Jack’ has taken nice pains to obfuscate the Golden Chickens malware, making an attempt to make it undetectable by most [antivirus] firms, and strictly permitting solely a small variety of clients to purchase entry to the Golden Chickens MaaS.”

Golden Chickens (aka More_eggs) is a malware suite utilized by financially-motivated cybercrime actors reminiscent of Cobalt Group and FIN6. The menace actors behind the malware, often known as Venom Spider, function below a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) mannequin.

The JavaScript malware is distributed by way of phishing campaigns and comes with a number of elements to reap monetary info, carry out lateral motion, and even drop a ransomware plugin for PureLocker known as TerraCrypt.

Jack’s on-line actions, in keeping with eSentire, go all the way in which again to 2008, when he was simply 15 years previous and signed up for varied cybercrime boards as a novice member. All his aliases are being collectively tracked as LUCKY.

The investigation, in placing collectively his digital path, traces Jack’s development from a teen considering constructing malicious packages to a longtime hacker concerned in creating password stealers, crypters, and More_eggs.

Golden Chickens Malware

A number of the earliest malware instruments developed by Jack in 2008 consisted of Voyer, which is able to harvesting a consumer’s Yahoo instantaneous messages, and an info stealer christened FlyCatcher that may report keystrokes.

A yr later, Jack launched a brand new password stealer dubbed CON that is designed to siphon credentials from totally different net browsers, VPN, and FTP functions in addition to now-defunct messaging apps like MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger.

Jack, later that very same yr, started promoting a crypter known as GHOST to assist different actors encrypt and obfuscate malware with the objective of evading detection. The sudden demise of his father in a automobile accident is believed to have brought about him to pause improvement of the instrument in 2010.

Quick ahead to 2012, Jack started to realize a popularity within the cybercriminal neighborhood as a scammer for failing to offer enough assist to clients buying the product from him.

He additionally cited “large life issues” in a discussion board submit on April 27, 2012, stating he’s considering shifting to Pakistan to work for the federal government as a safety specialist and that one amongst his crypter clients “works at pakistan guv” [read government].


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It is not instantly clear if Jack ended up going to Pakistan, however eSentire mentioned it noticed tactical overlaps between a 2019 marketing campaign carried out by a Pakistani menace actor often called SideCopy and Jack’s VenomLNK malware, which capabilities because the preliminary entry vector for the More_eggs backdoor.

Jack is suspected to have crossed paths with “Chuck from Montreal” someday between late 2012 and October 4, 2013, the date on which a message was posted from Chuck’s badbullz account on the Lampeduza discussion board containing contact info – a Jabber handle – related to LUCKY.

It is speculated that Jack brokered a take care of Chuck that might enable him to submit below Chuck’s aliases “badbullz” and “badbullzvenom” on varied underground boards as a approach to get round his notoriety as a ripper.

Lending credence to this speculation is the truth that certainly one of LUCKY’s new instruments, a equipment for constructing macros known as MULTIPLIER, was launched in 2015 by way of the badbullzvenom account, whereas the menace actor behind the LUCKY account ceased posting by way of that deal with.

“By utilizing the badbullzvenom and badbullz accounts, and unbeknownst to discussion board members, he’s primarily beginning with a clear slate, and he can proceed to construct his credibility below the account aliases: badbullz and badbullzvenom,” the researcher defined.

Subsequently in 2017, badbullzvenom (aka LUCKY) launched a separate instrument known as VenomKit, which has since advanced into the Golden Chickens MaaS. The malware’s potential to evade detection additionally caught the eye of Cobalt Group, a Russia-based cybercrime gang that leveraged it to deploy Cobalt Strike in assaults aimed toward monetary entities.

Two years later, one other financially motivated menace actor labeled FIN6 (aka ITG08 or Skeleton Spider) was observed utilizing the Golden Chickens service to anchor its intrusions concentrating on point-of-sale (POS) machines utilized by retailers in Europe and the U.S.

The cybersecurity agency mentioned it additionally discovered the identities of his spouse, mom, and two sisters. He and his spouse are mentioned to reside in an upscale a part of Bucharest, together with his spouse’s social media accounts documenting their journeys to cities like London, Paris, and Milan. The photographs additional present them carrying designer clothes and niknaks.

“The menace actor who glided by the alias LUCKY and who additionally shares the badbullz and badbullzvenom accounts with the Montreal-based cybercriminal ‘Chuck,’ made his deadly mistake when he used the Jabber account,” the researchers mentioned.

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