Bumblebee loader is fast becoming a favourite of ransomware gangs.
A recently developed form of malware has quickly become a key component in powering ransomware attacks.
“Bumblebee’s links to a number of high-profile ransomware operations suggest that it is now at the epicenter of the cyber-crime ecosystem.
The attack begins with a phishing email containing an ISO file, which hides the Bumblebee loader and runs it on the victim’s machine if the attachment is opened.
Bumblebee provides the attackers with a backdoor onto the PC, enabling them to take control of operations and run commands. From here, the attackers run Cobalt Strike on the system for further control and the ability to gather more information from the machine that can help to conduct the attack.
After this, Bumblebee drops the Quantum ransomware payload, encrypting files on the victim’s machine. Similar techniques were used in campaigns by Conti and Mountlocker ransomware groups – and researchers believe that Bumblebee has taken the place of previously used backdoors.
“Bumblebee may have been introduced as a replacement loader for Trickbot and BazarLoader, since there is some overlap between recent activity involving Bumblebee and older attacks linked to these loaders.
the malware was delivered by a phishing email, but ransomware gangs also use phishing attacks to steal usernames and passwords, particularly of cloud-based applications and services.
Not only does this allow them to get hands-on within networks, but using a legitimate (if hacked) account means that malicious activity might not be as easily detected – often until it’s too late and a ransomware attack has been triggered.
While ransomware is still a significant cybersecurity issue, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent attacks. These include using multi-factor authentication across accounts to help prevent attackers gaining access to networks, as well as swiftly applying security patches to stop cyber criminals exploiting known vulnerabilities.
It’s also important for businesses to monitor their networks for potentially unusual activity, as this can provide an indication that something is amiss – and information security teams can take action to prevent a full-on ransomware attack.
“Any organisation that discovers a Bumblebee infection on its network should treat this incident with high priority since it could be the pathway to several dangerous ransomware threats.
What damage can Bumblebee do?
The bumblebee malware works as a downloader to run cultivated malicious codes and help with loading Meterpreter, Shell-code injection, DLL injection, and Cobalt Strike. The compact nature of Bumblebee is likely to make it the preferred multifunctional tool for cybercriminals and threat actors. Bumblebee may be found in fraudulent emails, as was the case with DocuSign phishing, which attempted to entice victims by posing as coming from the e-signature solutions firm. It can also come as malicious HTML attachments or scam links that redirect the victim to a Microsoft OneDrive link that will have an ISO file containing the Bumblebee malware in the form of malicious shortcuts and DLLs files.
The threat actors behind the Bumblebee malware downloader are known to infiltrate different systems and sell access to and data of exploited computers. Independent malware researcher Eli Salem also added that, like TrickBot, Bumblebee malware also uses a web-inject module & has the same evasion technique.
How to safeguard your enterprise against Bumblebee malware
Prevention is always better than cure. Following cybersecurity hygiene and best practices is the best way to protect your business from any malware. Here are some recommended best practices:
- Use anti-malware and anti-spyware
Enterprise systems should have regularly updated and patched anti-malware and anti-spyware programs that can easily detect any malware. Combo Cleaner, EST NOD-32, Fortinet, and Comodo are some antivirus and anti-malware programs that can detect the Bumblebee malware.
- Use administrative account if necessary
Bumblebee malware can leverage administrative privileges to access or exploit other computer parts. It is recommended not to download anything suspicious through email via administrative accounts. Employees and IT professionals should log in to administrative accounts only to perform privileged tasks like giving someone user access or changing configuration.
- Limit application privileges and adhere to the least-privilege principle
Enterprises should follow the “principle of least privileges” and grant employees minimum system requirements and usability. Also, not everyone should get permission to download and execute any file from the internet.
- Educate employees
Enterprises should educate employees on the latest malware and how they behave or attack a system. Also, enterprises should train them not to download files and email attachments from unknown emails, malicious links, or unofficial sites.