IT News

Explore the MakoLogics IT News for valuable insights and thought leadership on industry best practices in managed IT services and enterprise security updates.

Fake Microsoft Teams for Mac delivers Atomic Stealer

Competition between stealers for macOS is heating up, with a new malvertising campaign luring Mac users via a fraudulent advert for Microsoft Teams. This attack comes on the heels of the new Poseidon (OSX.RodStealer) project, another threat using a similar code base and delivery techniques.

Based on our tracking, Microsoft Teams is once again a popular keyword threat actors are bidding on, and it is the first time we have seen it used by Atomic Stealer. Communication tools like Zoom, Webex or Slack have been historically coveted by criminals who package them as fake installers laced with malware.

This latest malvertising campaign was running for at least a few days and used advanced filtering techniques that made it harder to detect. Once we were able to reproduce a full malware delivery chain, we immediately reported the ad to Google.

Top search result for Microsoft Teams

We were able to reliably search for and see the same malicious ad for Microsoft Teams which was likely paid for by a compromised Google ad account. For a couple of days, we could not see any malicious behavior as the ad redirected straight to Microsoft’s website. After numerous attempts and tweaks, we finally saw a full attack chain.

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Despite showing the microsoft.com URL in the ad’s display URL, it has nothing to do with Microsoft at all. The advertiser is located in Hong Kong and runs close to a thousand unrelated ads.

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Malicious redirect and payload

We confirmed the ad was indeed malicious by recording a network capture (see below). Each click is first profiled (smart[.]link) to ensure only real people (not bots, VPNs) proceed, followed by a cloaking domain (voipfaqs[.]com) separating the initial redirect from the malicious landing (decoy) page (teamsbusiness[.]org).

image 43b901

Victims land on a decoy page showing a button to download Teams. A request is made to a different domain (locallyhyped[.]com) where a unique payload (file name and size) is generated for each visitor.

image 348dbc

Once the downloaded file MicrosoftTeams_v.(xx).dmg is mounted, users are instructed to open it via a right click in order to bypass Apple’s built-in protection mechanism for unsigned installers.

In the video below, we show the steps required to install this malicious application, noting that you are instructed to enter your password and grant access to the file system. This may not come as unusual for someone wanting to install a new program, but it is exactly what Atomic Stealer needs to grab keychain passwords and important files.

Following the data theft is the data exfiltration step, only visible via a network packet collection tool. A single POST request is made to a remote web server (147.45.43[.]136) with the data being encoded.

image 5a0493

Mitigations

As cyber criminals ramp up their distribution campaigns, it becomes more dangerous to download applications via search engines. Users have to navigate between malvertising (sponsored results) and SEO poisoning (compromised websites).

To mitigate such risks, we recommend using browser protection tools that can block ads and malicious websites. Often times, threat actors will rely on redirects from ads or compromised networks that can be stopped before even downloading a malicious installer.

image 73a5c9

Malwarebytes for Mac detects this threat as OSX.AtomStealer:

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Indicators of Compromise

Cloaking domain

voipfaqs[.]com

Decoy site

teamsbusiness[.]org

Download URL

locallyhyped[.]com/kurkum/script_66902619887998[.]92077775[.]php

Atomic Stealer payload

7120703c25575607c396391964814c0bd10811db47957750e11b97b9f3c36b5d

Atomic Stealer C2

147.45.43[.]136

Dangerous monitoring tool mSpy suffers data breach, exposes customer details

In a new episode of Spy vs Spy, the mobile monitoring app mSpy has suffered a data breach that exposed information about millions of its customers.

As Malwarebytes Labs has reported before, the types of companies that make mobile applications that enable users to non-consensually spy and monitor on other users are also—unsurprisingly—rather lax when it comes to their own security. This is the third known mSpy data breach since the company began in around 2010.

TechCrunch reports that in May 2024, unknown attackers stole millions of customer support tickets, including personal information, emails to support, and attachments, including personal documents.

The stolen support tickets date back to 2014, so that’s a decade’s worth of support tickets, reportedly millions of individual customer service tickets and their corresponding email addresses, as well as the contents of those emails.

Sold as a parental monitoring tool, mSpy touts itself as:

“a hugely powerful phone monitoring app which can report on almost every area of your kid’s online activities (and one or two of the offline ones, too).”

Parental monitoring apps present their own complications—particularly when they’re used non-consensually against children—as they can give parents a near-omniscient, unfiltered view into their children’s lives, granting them access to text messages, shared photos, web browsing activity, locations visited, and call logs. Without getting consent from a child, these surveillance capabilities represent serious invasions of privacy.

The same is true when these types of apps are used against adults, and while mSpy may advertise itself now as a tool for parental safety, that wasn’t the case when it was founded.

In fact, in the early 2010s, mSpy promoted its monitoring capabilities against adults, including both in an office environment and in romantic relationships. Looking back at a 2014 archive of mSpy’s website, the company claims that, with mSpy, employers can “make sure your employees’ time is not wasted on writing personal emails.” In an earlier archived version of mSpy’s website from 2012, the company touts that its app can help you “discover if your partner is cheating on you.”

At Malwarebytes, we prefer to refer to these types of apps as “stalkerware” and as one of the founding members of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, we advise strongly against using these apps.

The Coalition Against Stalkerware defines stalkerware as tools—software programs, apps and devices—that enable someone to secretly spy on another person’s private life via their mobile device. The abuser can remotely monitor the whole device including web searches, geolocation, text messages, photos, voice calls and much more. Such programs are easy to buy and install. They run hidden in the background, without the affected person knowing or giving their consent. Regardless of stalkerware’s availability, the abuser is accountable for using it as a tool and hence for committing this crime.

TechCrunch analyzed where mSpy’s contacting customers were located by extracting all of the location coordinates from the dataset and plotting the data in an offline mapping tool. The results show that mSpy’s customers are located all over the world, with large clusters across Europe, India, Japan, South America, the United Kingdom, and the US.

If you fear your data may have been exposed in this or any other breaches, Malwarebytes has a free tool for you to check how much of your personal data has been exposed online. Submit your email address (it’s best to give the one you most frequently use) to our free Digital Footprint scan and we’ll give you a report and recommendations.

If you are looking for a way to remove stalkerware from your device, you have come to the right place. You can keep these and other threats off your mobile devices by downloading Malwarebytes for iOS, and Malwarebytes for Android today.


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“Nearly all” AT&T customers had phone records stolen in new data breach disclosure

In a déjà-vu nightmare, US phone giant AT&T has notified customers that cybercriminals managed to download phone call and text message records of “nearly all of AT&T cellular customers from May 1, 2022 to October 31, 2022 as well as on January 2, 2023”.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), AT&T said:

“On April 19, 2024, AT&T Inc. (“AT&T”) learned that a threat actor claimed to have unlawfully accessed and copied AT&T call logs.”

AT&T says the customer data was illegally downloaded from its workspace on a third-party cloud platform. This might be related to the Snowflake incidents we have seen several of by now.

In the statement, AT&T specifies which data it believes was stolen:

“The call and text records identify the phone numbers with which an AT&T number interacted during this period, including AT&T landline (home phone) customers. It also included counts of those calls or texts and total call durations for specific days or months.”

And which data is unlikely to be included:

“The downloaded data doesn’t include the content of any calls or texts. It doesn’t have the time stamps for the calls or texts. It also doesn’t have any details such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, or other personally identifiable information.”

Even though the data doesn’t include customer names, there are many easy ways to find the name that’s associated with a phone number.

This is the second time AT&T has disclosed a security incident this year. Back in March, AT&T confirmed that 73 million people had been affected in a breach that people had been speculating about for some time.

Protecting yourself after a data breach

There are some actions you can take if you are, or suspect you may have been, the victim of a data breach.

  • Check the vendor’s advice. Every breach is different, so check with the vendor to find out what’s happened, and follow any specific advice they offer.
  • Change your password. You can make a stolen password useless to thieves by changing it. Choose a strong password that you don’t use for anything else. Better yet, let a password manager choose one for you.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). If you can, use a FIDO2-compliant hardware key, laptop or phone as your second factor. Some forms of two-factor authentication (2FA) can be phished just as easily as a password. 2FA that relies on a FIDO2 device can’t be phished.
  • Watch out for fake vendors. The thieves may contact you posing as the vendor. Check the vendor website to see if they are contacting victims, and verify the identity of anyone who contacts you using a different communication channel.
  • Take your time. Phishing attacks often impersonate people or brands you know, and use themes that require urgent attention, such as missed deliveries, account suspensions, and security alerts.
  • Consider not storing your card details. It’s definitely more convenient to get sites to remember your card details for you, but we highly recommend not storing that information on websites.
  • Set up identity monitoring. Identity monitoring alerts you if your personal information is found being traded illegally online, and helps you recover after.

Check your digital footprint

Malwarebytes has a free tool for you to check how much of your personal data has been exposed online. Submit your email address (it’s best to give the one you most frequently use) to our free Digital Footprint scan and we’ll give you a report and recommendations.


Summer mega sale

Go into your vacation knowing you’re much more secure: This summer you can get a huge 50% off a Malwarebytes Standard subscription or Malwarebytes Identity bundle. Run, don’t walk!

iPhone users in 98 countries warned about spyware by Apple

In April 2024, we reported how Apple was warning people of mercenary attacks via its threat notification system. At the time it warned users in 92 countries. In a new round, Apple is now warning users in 98 countries of potential mercenary spyware attacks.

The message sent to the affected users says:

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID.”

In the same message, Apple says that it is very likely that the person in question is being specifically targeted because of what they do or who they are. And, although there is a certain margin of error, the user should take this warning seriously.

Mercenary spyware is used by governments to target people like journalists, political activists, and similar targets, and involves the use of sophisticated tools like Pegasus. Pegasus is one of the world’s most advanced and invasive spyware tools, known to utilize zero-day vulnerabilities against mobile devices.

On the website that explains Apple threat notifications and protection against mercenary spyware, it specifically mentions Pegasus:

“According to public reporting and research by civil society organizations, technology firms, and journalists, individually targeted attacks of such exceptional cost and complexity have historically been associated with state actors, including private companies developing mercenary spyware on their behalf, such as Pegasus from the NSO Group.”

Apple has sent out similar notifications multiple times a year since 2021 but doesn’t disclose how it determines who to send them to, since that might aid attackers in evading future detection.

Amnesty International urges those that have received such a notification to take it seriously. Amnesty’s Security Lab offers digital forensic support to potential victims like human rights defenders, activists, journalists and members of civil society.

If you are a member of civil society, and you have received an Apple notification, you can contact Amnesty International and request forensic support using the Get Help form.

Whether you’ve received that notification or not, every iPhone user should make sure they have the latest updates, protect the device with a passcode, use multi-factor authentication and a strong password for Apple ID, only install apps from the Apple Play store, use a mobile security product, and be careful what they open or tap on.

People that have reason to believe they might be individually targeted by mercenary spyware attacks, can enable Lockdown Mode on their Apple devices for additional protection.

Lockdown Mode does the following:

  • Blocks most message attachments
  • Blocks incoming FaceTime calls from people you have not called previously
  • Blocks some web technologies and browsing features
  • Excludes location from shared phots and removes Shared Albums
  • Blocks wired connections when the device is locked
  • Blocks auto-joining non-secure WiFi networks
  • Blocks incoming invitations from people you have not previously invited
  • Blocks installation of configuration profiles you may require for work or school

How to turn on Lockdown Mode on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Privacy & Security.
  3. Scroll down, tap Lockdown Mode.
  4. Tap Turn On Lockdown Mode.
  5. Read what it does and tap Turn On Lockdown Mode if that is what you want.
  6. Tap Turn On & Restart, then enter your device passcode.

We don’t just report on phone security—we provide it

Cybersecurity risks should never spread beyond a headline. Keep threats off your mobile devices by downloading Malwarebytes for iOS, and Malwarebytes for Android today.


Summer mega sale

Go into your vacation knowing you’re much more secure: This summer you can get a huge 50% off a Malwarebytes Standard subscription or Malwarebytes Identity bundle. Run, don’t walk!

Peloton accused of providing customer chat data to train AI

It seems that Peloton may have been providing more training than just for its customers, as it’s set to face court in California accused of using user chat data to train AI.

Peloton Interactive, Inc. is a US-based exercise equipment and media company, known for its stationary bicycles, treadmills, and indoor rowers equipped with internet-connected touch screens that stream live and on-demand fitness classes through a subscription service.

In June 2023, legal firm Consumer Advocates filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that AI-powered marketing firm Drift processed chat data between Peloton users and company representatives without permission.

The suit accuses Peloton of violating the anti-wiretapping California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), and although the accusation names Drift, the lawsuit is only against Peloton.

The user data comes from the chat function on Peloton’s website which allows current and would-be customers to ask questions. The complaint claims that users were not made aware of the fact that Drift was recording and analyzing their chat content.

Despite Peloton’s attempts to get the case thrown out, the court allowed it to go forward, albeit with some restrictions. The issue at hand is whether or not Peloton sought the affected users’ permission before conveying their information to Drift. Although Peloton has the right to go through the chat content as it is a part of the conversation, the real problem is the passing of this information to Drift.

Drift, which was bought by Salesloft in February, is a platform that focuses on personalizing conversations at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and as such offers conversational AI for customer service and marketing.

The accusation says that website chat users were not notified that the content of the chat was automatically captured by Drift to be stored and analyzed. It is now up to the court to determine if the Peloton customers had sufficient information on how their data would be handled and whether they had the ability to agree or disagree.

With recent protests against Meta, Google, and Adobe among others, about using user’s input as training data for AI, Peloton can expect to face negative effects even if the court decides in its favor.

Either way, customers should be careful about the data they provide to chatbots.


We don’t just report on threats – we help safeguard your entire digital identity

Cybersecurity risks should never spread beyond a headline. Protect your—and your family’s—personal information by using identity protection.


Summer mega sale

Go into your vacation knowing you’re much more secure: This summer you can get a huge 50% off a Malwarebytes Standard subscription or Malwarebytes Identity bundle. Run, don’t walk!

Ticketmaster says stolen Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets are useless

While cybercriminals are offering free tickets to Taylor Swift Eras Tour and other events, Ticketmaster is telling would-be purchasers that these tickets will prove to be worthless.

Those who have claimed responsibility for the Ticketmaster data breach say they’ve stolen 440,000 tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, and as proof have leaked 170k ticket barcodes. However, those barcodes are long gone, as a Ticketmaster spokesperson said:

“Ticketmaster’s SafeTix technology protects tickets by automatically refreshing a new and unique barcode every few seconds so it cannot be stolen or copied.”

The rotating barcodes that change every few seconds is a core feature that protects against “scalpers” who buy tickets from licensed sellers and then resell them at—often—huge profits. You could compare this to the “rolling code” method that most car manufacturers use to prevent car thieves from using a Flipper-Zero to steal your car. You can record and retransmit the code sent by a key fob but that exact same code will no longer work.

From past experience we can say that scalpers are usually one step ahead of the ticket platforms.

Only yesterday, the tech journalists at 404 Media reported about a lawsuit filed in California by concert giant AXS which gives readers some insight into an ongoing legal and technological battle between ticket scalpers and platforms like Ticketmaster and AXS.

404 explains that by reverse engineering the process that ticket platforms use, scalpers can generate valid tickets which they can then sell through their own platforms.

In the lawsuit, AXS says that scalpers are selling counterfeit tickets to unsuspecting customers. However, from the buyer’s standpoint—exaggerated price aside—if you paid for them and they get you in the venue, what’s the difference?

But the point is, the struggle between ticket platforms and scalpers is an arms race in which each side keeps coming up with new methods, and there is now way for the average customer to tell who is currently ahead. So buying these tickets poses a risk of losing your money.

The Ticketmaster spokesperson said:

“This is just one of many fraud protections we implement to keep tickets safe and secure.”

Unfortunately, the customer and card details of one million Ticketmaster users were not that safe and secure: The cybercriminals released that data when Ticketmaster refused to pay the ransom for the allegedly 560 million Live Nation/Ticketmaster users they managed to steal.

Either way. Be careful when buying tickets and when receiving emails about free concert tickets. They could turn out to be costly.

Check your digital footprint

Malwarebytes has a free tool for you to check how much of your personal data has been exposed online. Submit your email address (it’s best to give the one you most frequently use) to our free Digital Footprint scan and we’ll give you a report and recommendations.


We don’t just report on threats – we help safeguard your entire digital identity

Cybersecurity risks should never spread beyond a headline. Protect your—and your family’s—personal information by using identity protection.

Shopify says stolen customer data was taken in third-party breach

Shopify has denied a breach of its systems after a cybercriminal posted alleged Shopify customer details online.

Shopify told BleepingComputer and other publications that the incident happened at a third party:

“Shopify systems have not experienced a security incident. The data loss reported was caused by a third-party app. The app developer intends to notify affected customers.”

The cybercriminal posting under the handle “888” claims the breach took place in 2024 and contains 179,873 rows of users’ information.

BreachForums post by 888 about Shopify
Post by 888 offering Shopify data for sale

The data offered for sale includes:

  • Shopify ID
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number

It also includes some Shopify specific data like number of orders, total spent, email subscription status, email subscription date, SMS subscription status, and SMS subscription date.

Where the data comes from is a good question.

In March, Cybernews reported about a publicly accessible MongoDB database that belonged to a US-based company, Saara, who develop Shopify plugins. The leaked database stored 25GB of data which stemmed from plugins covering over 1,800 Shopify stores.

In June, we reported about a breach affecting Evolve Bank & Trust that also affected several of its partners. Shopify is a partner of Evolve.

No doubt this isn’t the end of the story. We will keep you updated.

Protecting yourself after a data breach

There are some actions you can take if you are, or suspect you may have been, the victim of a data breach.

  • Check the vendor’s advice. Every breach is different, so check with the vendor to find out what’s happened, and follow any specific advice they offer.
  • Change your password. You can make a stolen password useless to thieves by changing it. Choose a strong password that you don’t use for anything else. Better yet, let a password manager choose one for you.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). If you can, use a FIDO2-compliant hardware key, laptop or phone as your second factor. Some forms of two-factor authentication (2FA) can be phished just as easily as a password. 2FA that relies on a FIDO2 device can’t be phished.
  • Watch out for fake vendors. The thieves may contact you posing as the vendor. Check the vendor website to see if they are contacting victims, and verify the identity of anyone who contacts you using a different communication channel.
  • Take your time. Phishing attacks often impersonate people or brands you know, and use themes that require urgent attention, such as missed deliveries, account suspensions, and security alerts.
  • Consider not storing your card details. It’s definitely more convenient to get sites to remember your card details for you, but we highly recommend not storing that information on websites.
  • Set up identity monitoring. Identity monitoring alerts you if your personal information is found being traded illegally online, and helps you recover after.

Check your digital footprint

Malwarebytes has a free tool for you to check how much of your personal data has been exposed online. Submit your email address (it’s best to give the one you most frequently use) to our free Digital Footprint scan and we’ll give you a report and recommendations.

‘RockYou2024’: Nearly 10 billion passwords leaked online

On a popular hacking form, a user has leaked a file that contains 9,948,575,739 unique plaintext passwords. The list appears to be a compilation of passwords that were obtained during several old and more recent data breaches.

The list is referred to as RockYou2024 because of its filename, rockyou.txt.

To cybercriminals the list has some value because it contains real-world passwords. This means if an attacker tried this list of passwords to try to break into an account (known as a brute force attack) they’s be more likely to get in than just trying a list of any old letters and words. However, it’s highly unlikely that there are any services or websites that would allow anyone to try such an enormous number of passwords, so it’s really only useful to attackers who have stolen a password database and are trying to crack its passwords offline, on their own computer.

Another possible use for cybercriminals is to combine the list with data from other breaches, such as combinations of usernames and passwords, which could get results if the password has been reused. If the cybercriminals also have a list that contains hashed passwords, they could even try to match the hash values of the passwords.

Having the actual password makes an attack a lot easier than when you’re trying a pass-the-hash attack, where an attacker tries to authenticate to a remote server or service by using the hash of a user’s password. However, this only works on services that are vulnerable to pass-the-hash attacks, instead of requiring the associated plaintext password as is normally the case.

To cut a long story short, if you don’t reuse passwords and never use “simple” passwords, like single words, then this release should not concern you. If you use multi-factor authentication (MFA), and you should everywhere you can, there’s also no reason to worry about this.

Check your digital footprint

Malwarebytes has a free tool for you to find out how much of your personal data has been exposed online. Submit your email address (it’s best to give the one you most frequently use) to our free Digital Footprint scan and we’ll give you a report and recommendations.


We don’t just report on threats – we help safeguard your entire digital identity

Cybersecurity risks should never spread beyond a headline. Protect your—and your family’s—personal information by using identity protection.

A week in security (July 1 – July 7)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs:

Last week on ThreatDown:

Stay safe!


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Ticketmaster hackers release stolen ticket barcodes for Taylor Swift Eras Tour

The cybercriminals who claimed responsibility for the Ticketmaster data breach say they’ve stolen 440,000 tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

As proof, an entity using the handle Sp1d3rHunters, a merger of Sp1d3r and ShinyHunters who are both aliases associated with the breach, leaked 170k barcodes for free for Taylor Swift’s ERAS Tour.

In a post on the infamous stolen data site BreachForums, Sp1d3rHunters is offering many thousands of tickets for upcoming Taylor Swift concerts in three cities in the US: Miami, New Orleans, and Indianapolis.

Sp1d3rHunters offering free Taylor Swift tickets
Post by Sp1d3rHunters

The post includes a link to a free tutorial on how to make your own printable barcode tickets.

It also includes a threat to Ticketmaster:

“Pay us $2million USD or we leak all 680M of your users information and 30million more event barcodes including:

more Taylor Swift events, P!nk, Sting, Sporting events F1 Formula Racing, MLB, NFL and thousands more events.”

This is the second release of data from the breach, after the cybercriminals–then posting under the name Sp1d3r–gave away one million records including full details (name, address, email, and phone) of Ticketmaster customers.

For Ticketmaster, the release of free Taylor Swift tickets could turn out to be a costly affair. It’s not just the value of the tickets that’s at stake. The company will also need to reissue the tickets to their rightful owners, as well as no doubt deal with more than the expected number of visitors to those concerts, leading to the need to employ extra security staff. All that and we’ve not yet touched on the reputational damage, which already is substantial but is likely to grow even more.

Even though it may be tempting, we would advise against trying to use these “free tickets.” Given the timeframe until the events, Ticketmaster should have enough time and opportunity to invalidate the stolen tickets, and you are likely to receive exactly what you paid for: nothing.

Swifties should also be wary of phishing attempts that will undoubtedly try to capitalize on the news that “free tickets” are available.

Check your exposure

While matters are still unclear how much information was involved, it’s likely you’ve had other personal information exposed online in previous data breaches. You can check what personal information of yours has been exposed with our Digital Footprint portal. Just enter your email address (it’s best to submit the one you most frequently use) to our free Digital Footprint scan and we’ll give you a report.


We don’t just report on threats – we help safeguard your entire digital identity

Cybersecurity risks should never spread beyond a headline. Protect your—and your family’s—personal information by using identity protection.