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Malware Created Using Stolen Legitimate Security Certificate From D-Link

By July 20, 2018June 3rd, 2022Cybersecurity

Researchers from the digital security firm ESET have recently spotted a new malware campaign with a nasty twist.  It was created using a legitimate security certificate stolen from D-Link.

The malware appears to be the work of an Advanced Persistent Threat group known as BlackTech, which primarily targets high profile users and firms in Asia, with a

particular emphasis on Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

BlackTech is responsible for two different malware families, PLEAD and the DRIGO exfiltration tool, both of which have been found to be using the stolen certificate.  ESET has also found the compromised certificate in the source code of a password stealer designed to scrape passwords from Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Microsoft Outlook.

ESET reported their findings to D-Link, and company officials opened a formal investigation into the matter. They ultimately discovered not one, but two compromised certificates, both of which were revoked immediately.

Even so, this latest discovery underscores one of the dangers of our current global security architecture.  Any central point is a source of weakness.  In this case, certificates are issued by a central body to provide a layer of trust.  Software developers use certificates to demonstrate that they are legitimate pieces of code.

That system works well, right up until the point where a hacker manages to steal one of the “trusted” certificates. Then, the weakness of the security paradigm is revealed.

This is just one of many areas of global network security that needs a top-to-bottom rethink and overhaul.  The old methods of securing our vast oceans of data just aren’t working any more.  Until something is done to change the game in the favor of security personnel, the hackers are going to have an increasingly easier time breaking in.

As ever, vigilance, however imperfect, is the best defense.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.