It is not uncommon for hacker groups to use the names of popular services in order to mislead users. We regularly discover cases in which malicious people impersonate Netflix, WhatsApp or any other entity whose global popularity is well established. This time, the hackers used McAfee radiation, a software… antivirus.
A legitimate version of McAfee, but …
In a recent post, Google explains the scheme in more detail. This new attack intended to shake the political campaign of American candidate Joe Biden is said to be the work of APT 31 (“Advanced Persistent Threat”), a group of Chinese hackers. To achieve their ends, they pretended to be McAfee.
In emails to campaign staff, they invited recipients to install a legitimate version of the software by signing on their behalf. While this was legitimate, it came with the installation — much less legitimate — of malware hosted on GitHub on the victims’ computers. The malware allowed hackers to download files and execute commands remotely, Google reports.
Shane Huntley, Threat Analyst at Google adds, “Every malicious element in this attack was hosted on legitimate services, making it harder for defenders to rely on network signals for detection.”
In its post, Google also adds that it warns users with a prominent message in cases where emails are questionable. The company also shares these kinds of findings with US authorities — including the FBI, in this case. It also invites users to be wary when receiving this type of content.
The US presidential elections will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. In this somewhat peculiar context, social networks and companies in the technology sector are being vigilant in order to avoid disinformation or interference from other states – as has happened. may have been the case in 2016. Since these discoveries, Google, Facebook and others are keen to show that they are ready to prevent the same situation from happening again.
Not long ago, the United States Department of the Interior spoke on the subject, citing a very specific health context in which voters must vote by mail in advance. The aim was to reassure the population that the voting system was the subject of a number of false information.
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