Malware Alert Panda Banker Campaign Hits U.S. Banks

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Recently detected campaigns using the Panda Banker malware are targeting financial institutions worldwide, with those in the United States taking the largest hit, F5 reports.

First seen in 2016, Panda is based on the leaked source code of the infamous Zeus banking Trojan and has been involved in multiple infection campaigns globally. Sold as a kit on underground forums, the malware uses man-in-the-browser and webinjects to steal user credentials.

Historically, the threat has been targeting financial institutions in Italy, Canada, Australia, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom, but also started focusing on Japan earlier this year.

Now, F5 reports that, while Japan continues to be hit, the malware is also targeting users in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

In February, the malware was targeting financial services and cryptocurrency sites in Italy with screenshots rather than webinjects, likely “to document and spy on user interaction at cryptocurrency accounts.”

In May, three different Panda Banker campaigns were observed, each focused on another geography.

One of them, F5 reports, hit 8 industries in North America, with 78% of the targets being US financial organizations. Canadian financial organizations, cryptocurrency sites, global social media providers, search and email providers, payroll, entertainment, and tech providers were also targeted.

“This campaign is also targeting major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as messaging apps like Skype, and entertainment platforms like Youtube. Additionally, Panda is targeting Microsoft.com, bing.com, and msn.com,” F5 reports.

The same Panda botnet, marked as 2.6.8, is targeting Japanese financials as well. For that, however, the malware authors removed the Content Security Policy (CSP) headers, a security standard for preventing cross-site scripting (XSS), clickjacking and other injection attacks that could lead to the execution of malicious code from an otherwise trusted site.

This campaign also targets Amazon, YouTube, Microsoft.com, Live.com, Yahoo.com, and Google.com (likely targeting email accounts), along with Facebook and Twitter, and a couple of adult sites.

A third parallel campaign is hitting Latin America, focused on banks in Argentina, Columbia, and Ecuador, and the same social media, search, email, entertainment, and tech provider as the other attacks.

“This act of simultaneous campaigns targeting several regions around the world and industries indicates these are highly active threat actors, and we expect their efforts to continue with multiple new campaigns coming out as their current efforts are discovered and taken down,” F5 concludes.
 

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