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    BatLoader Malware is Now Distributed in Drive-By Attacks

    Malign persuasion can take many forms. We tend to hear the most about phishing (malicious emails) or smishing (malicious texts). Other threats are also worth some attention, like the risk of drive-by attacks.

    One current drive-by campaign is being run by the operators of BatLoader, a malware strain that establishes initial entry and persistence, and then can be used to distribute a range of other malicious code that loots affected systems and networks of valuable data, including funds. In this operation, the criminals use Google Search Ads that serve up imposter web pages for ChatGPT and Midjourney.

    The two products are not only currently fashionable, but they’re also especially susceptible to this kind of abuse. As researchers at eSentire put it, “Both AI services are extremely popular but lack first-party standalone apps (i.e., users interface with ChatGPT via their web interface while Midjourney uses Discord). This vacuum has been exploited by threat actors looking to drive AI app-seekers to imposter webpages promoting fake apps.”

    BatLoader has a record of imposture and exploitation of legitimate services. “In its latest campaign, BatLoader is using MSIX Windows App Installer files to infect devices with Redline Stealer,” eSentire writes. “This is not the first time BatLoader has targeted users searching for AI tools. In February 2023, TRU identified a series of newly registered BatLoader domains, which included chatgpt-t[.]com.”

    It’s important to raise awareness of the way a user might be led into a drive-by attack of this kind. Fraud follows fashion, and new school security awareness training can help your people keep abreast of the latest threats, the better to resist them and so protect your organization.

    eSentire has the story.

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