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Bumblebee Malware is Back Again

07 March, 2024

In March 2022, the emergence of the Bumblebee malware sent shockwaves through thousands of organizations globally, as it enabled numerous cybercriminals to deliver payloads to targeted victims. After a notable absence starting in October 2023, Proofpoint, a leading enterprise security firm, has reported its resurgence this February, accompanied by the emergence of new malware variants utilized in extensive email-based campaigns. Below, we will outline the functionality of these emails and provide recommendations for safeguarding businesses against such threats.

Email Operation Mechanics

The emails originating from “info@quarlesaa[.]com” employ subject lines such as “voicemail February,” enticing recipients to believe they have missed a voice message. Upon clicking the Microsoft OneDrive URL provided, recipients are redirected to Word files with titles like “ReleaseEvans#96.docm,” mimicking legitimate company documents.

Clicking on the link triggers a PowerShell command that executes the Bumblebee loader. Subsequently, threat actors utilize a variety of tactics, including deploying ransomware or macro-themed attacks, to either exfiltrate data, demand ransom, or disrupt business operations, often under the guise of competitive sabotage.

Distinguishing Features of the Current Campaign

This campaign differs from previous iterations, which primarily utilized URLs to initiate Bumblebee downloads. Current tactics involve various methods, including:

  • Encouraging HTML smuggling via HTML attachments, leading to the deployment of a RAR file exploiting the WinRAR flaw CVE-2023-38831.
  • Employing password-protected, zipped VBS attachments that leverage PowerShell to download the malware loader.
  • Distributing zipped LNK files, which download executable files containing the Bumblebee malware.

Mitigating Risks and Protecting Your Organization

Awareness of threat indicators is crucial in mitigating the risks associated with Bumblebee malware. Organizations should remain vigilant for suspicious emails bearing sender addresses and OneDrive URLs consistent with past TA579 activities.

In addition to refraining from clicking on links that may execute Bumblebee malware, it is imperative for companies to adopt fundamental security measures. This includes comprehensive employee training aimed at recognizing and thwarting phishing attempts. However, given the evolving sophistication of malware, deploying email security scanning software is advisable. This software identifies and flags potentially malicious messages before they reach employees, thereby adding layers of defense against malware infiltration.

We Can Help You Avoid Becoming a Victim

Experts anticipate this campaign to persist until the summer, underscoring the importance of implementing proactive measures to safeguard against cyber threats. By adhering to recommended precautions and fortifying defenses, organizations can minimize the likelihood of falling prey to phishing schemes and safeguard their digital assets.

Discover the peace of mind that comes with having a local MSP that understands your unique needs. Contact us today to explore how our comprehensive cybersecurity solutions can help your business succeed.

07 March, 2024