In today's digital landscape, the trust we place in reputable news sites is being exploited by hackers who deploy malware through these very platforms. This unsettling trend has raised concerns about the effectiveness of our existing security measures and the potential vulnerabilities we are exposed to while browsing trusted sources.

As we delve into the techniques employed by these hackers, the motives behind their actions, and the advantages of concealing their payloads within legitimate traffic, it becomes evident that the battle against cyber threats is far from over.

Stay tuned as we explore the latest updates from TechRadar Pro and gain insight from experts at Future US Inc.

In this ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, it is crucial to remain informed and take proactive steps to safeguard our digital assets.

Key Takeaways

  • Attackers are increasingly using legitimate platforms, such as trusted news sites, to hide and distribute malware.
  • Hiding malicious payloads on legitimate platforms helps attackers bypass security systems that trust these platforms.
  • The campaign described in the background utilized this approach to avoid detection and successfully deliver malware to targeted victims.
  • The motive behind the attack was material gain, with attackers using sophisticated backdoors to monitor devices for cryptocurrency wallets and replace wallet addresses to steal funds.

Attack Techniques

Attack techniques utilized in the deployment of malware often involve the use of malicious files and scripts that exploit vulnerabilities in trusted systems. Common attack vectors used by hackers to deploy malware include:

  • Phishing emails: These trick users into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected attachments.
  • Drive-by downloads: These occur when users visit compromised websites that automatically download malware onto their devices.
  • Malvertising: This involves injecting malicious code into legitimate online advertisements.
  • Social engineering: This technique manipulates users into unknowingly downloading malware, such as through fake software updates or enticing downloads.

Emerging trends and evolving techniques in malware deployment include:

  • Fileless malware: This utilizes exploits in legitimate system processes.
  • Artificial intelligence: AI is used to automate and enhance attack methods.

Motives and Targets

The primary motive behind this malware deployment campaign appears to be material gain. The attackers targeted victims with cryptocurrency wallets and valuable assets, using the backdoor QUIETBOARD to monitor devices and replace wallet addresses. This resulted in victims unknowingly sending funds to the attackers.

Additionally, the campaign utilized the malware downloader EMPTYSPACE to deliver other cryptocurrency miners, earning the attackers at least $55,000.

The impacts on the cryptocurrency market can be significant, as these attacks undermine trust and security in the industry.

To detect and prevent malware attacks, organizations should implement strategies such as regularly updating security systems, conducting thorough risk assessments, educating employees about phishing and social engineering techniques, and implementing robust endpoint protection solutions. These measures can help safeguard against the financial and reputational damage caused by malware attacks.

Advantages of Hiding Payloads

What are the benefits of concealing payloads within legitimate platforms? Hiding payloads on legitimate platforms provides several advantages for attackers. By leveraging trusted platforms, they can evade detection by security systems and hide malicious traffic within a stream of legitimate traffic. This approach allows attackers to bypass security measures that may be triggered by suspicious activities. To illustrate the advantages of hiding payloads, consider the following table:

Benefits of Hiding Payloads
Techniques Evasion Strategies Advantages
Encryption Polymorphism Conceals the true nature of the payload
Steganography Obfuscation Makes it difficult to detect the presence of malicious code
Code injection Anti-analysis techniques Enhances the payload's ability to evade detection and analysis

TechRadar Pro Updates

Continuing with the discussion on concealing payloads within legitimate platforms, TechRadar Pro provides updates on various topics in the cybersecurity landscape.

  • New Linux malware flooding machines with cryptominers and DDoS bots.
  • List of the best firewalls available.
  • The top endpoint security tools currently available.
  • Subscribe to the TechRadar Pro newsletter for the latest news, opinion, features, and guidance.

These updates have a significant impact on the cybersecurity landscape, as they keep professionals informed about the latest threats and solutions.

By providing information on emerging malware targeting Linux systems, TechRadar Pro helps organizations stay vigilant and implement necessary measures to detect and prevent malware attacks.

Additionally, the list of the best firewalls and endpoint security tools aids in fortifying defense mechanisms against potential threats.

Subscribing to the TechRadar Pro newsletter ensures that professionals stay up-to-date with the evolving cybersecurity landscape, empowering them to make informed decisions to protect their systems and data.

About the Author and Future US Inc

Sead Fadilpai, a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the author of the article. With a focus on IT and cybersecurity, Fadilpai has written for numerous media outlets, showcasing his expertise in the field. The article is published on TechRadar, one of the media outlets owned by Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Future US Inc, headquartered in New York, operates various media outlets covering a wide range of topics. In terms of cybersecurity, Future US Inc takes the security of its media platforms seriously, implementing robust measures to protect against potential threats. By understanding the importance of cybersecurity in the digital age, Future US Inc ensures the safety and trustworthiness of its media outlets for its readers.

Keyword Description
Freelance journalism and cybersecurity Sead Fadilpai, a seasoned freelance journalist, specializes in writing about IT and cybersecurity.
Future US Inc's media outlets and cybersecurity Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher, owns various media outlets, including TechRadar, and prioritizes cybersecurity to protect its platforms and ensure the safety of its readers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can Attackers Deploy Malware Through Trusted News Sites?

Attackers can deploy malware through trusted news sites by hiding malicious payloads within legitimate platforms, exploiting the trust and reputation of these sites. This technique helps them avoid detection and has serious implications for online security.

What Specific Techniques Were Used in This Attack?

Attackers used a USB drive with a malicious .LNK shortcut to execute a PowerShell script, which downloaded a secondary payload. The payload ultimately installed the malware downloader EMPTYSPACE, which delivered the backdoor QUIETBOARD to monitor cryptocurrency wallets for material gain.

What Is the Motive Behind This Attack?

The motive behind this attack appears to be material gain, as the attackers used malware to monitor devices for cryptocurrency wallets and replaced wallet addresses to steal funds. This attack also impacts the credibility of trusted news sites.

How Did the Attackers Use QUIETBOARD to Monitor Devices for Cryptocurrency Wallets?

To monitor devices for cryptocurrency wallets, the attackers utilized QUIETBOARD, a sophisticated backdoor. It replaced wallet addresses, tricking victims into sending funds to the hackers. This highlights the impact of cryptocurrency theft and the need for countermeasures to protect wallets from malware attacks.

What Are Some Examples of Legitimate Platforms That Were Used to Hide the Malicious Payloads?

Examples of legitimate platforms that have been used to hide malicious payloads include social media platforms, online marketplaces, file-sharing websites, and trusted news sites. Attackers exploit the trust placed in these platforms to deliver malware undetected by security systems.


In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, hackers have developed sophisticated techniques to deploy malware through trusted news sites. By exploiting the credibility of legitimate platforms, attackers aim to gain unauthorized access to valuable assets, particularly cryptocurrency wallets.

Despite efforts to remove malicious code, the possibility of its reintroduction elsewhere remains a concern. To protect against these threats, individuals and organizations must remain vigilant and adopt robust security measures.

Stay alert to safeguard your digital assets in this rapidly advancing digital age.