New DEEP#GOSU Malware Campaign Targets Windows Users with Advanced Tactics | Cybersecurity


A new elaborate attack campaign has been observed employing PowerShell and VBScript malware to infect Windows systems and harvest sensitive information.

Cybersecurity company Securonix, which dubbed the campaign DEEP#GOSU, said it’s likely associated with the North Korean state-sponsored group tracked as Kimsuky.

“The malware payloads used in the DEEP#GOSU represent a sophisticated, multi-stage threat designed to operate stealthily on Windows systems especially from a network-monitoring standpoint,” security researchers Den Iuzvyk, Tim Peck, and Oleg Kolesnikov said in a technical analysis shared with The Hacker News.

“Its capabilities included keylogging, clipboard monitoring, dynamic payload execution, and data exfiltration, and persistence using both RAT software for full remote access, scheduled tasks as well as self-executing PowerShell scripts using jobs.”

A notable aspect of the infection procedure is that it leverages legitimate services such as Dropbox or Google Docs for command-and-control (C2), thus allowing the threat actor to blend undetected into regular network traffic.

On top of that, the use of such cloud services to stage the payloads allows for updating the functionality of the malware or delivering additional modules.

The starting point is said to be a malicious email attachment containing a ZIP archive with a rogue shortcut file (.LNK) that masquerades as a PDF file (“IMG_20240214_0001.pdf.lnk”).

The .LNK file comes embedded with a PowerShell script as well as a decoy PDF document, with the former also reaching out to an actor-controlled Dropbox infrastructure to retrieve and execute another PowerShell script (“ps.bin”).

The second-stage PowerShell script, for its part, fetches a new file from Dropbox (“r_enc.bin”), a .NET assembly file in binary form that’s actually an open-source remote access trojan known as TruRat (aka TutRat or C# RAT) with capabilities to record keystrokes, manage files, and facilitate remote control.

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