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ASUS computer hack - Your ASUS could be infected (1 Viewer)

LAUNCH

Footballguy
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pan9wn/hackers-hijacked-asus-software-updates-to-install-backdoors-on-thousands-of-computers

Researchers at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab say that ASUS, one of the world’s largest computer makers, was used to unwittingly to install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers’ computers last year after attackers compromised a server for the company’s live software update tool. The malicious file was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company, Kaspersky Lab says.

ASUS, a multi-billion dollar computer hardware company based in Taiwan that manufactures desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, smart home systems, and other electronics, was pushing the backdoor to customers for at least five months last year before it was discovered, according to new research from the Moscow-based security firm.

The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 of those systems. The malware searched for targeted systems through their unique MAC addresses. Once on a system, if it found one of these targeted addresses, the malware reached out to a command-and-control server the attackers operated, which then installed additional malware on those machines.

Kaspersky Lab said it uncovered the attack in January after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to its scanning tool to catch anomalous code fragments hidden in legitimate code or catch code that is hijacking normal operations on a machine. The company plans to release a full technical paper and presentation about the ASUS attack, which it has dubbed ShadowHammer, next month at its Security Analyst Summit in Singapore.

The Kaspersky researchers were able to crack most of the hashes they found to determine the MAC addresses, which helped them identify what network cards the victims had installed on their machines, but not the victims themselves. Any time the malware infected a machine, it collected the MAC address from that machine’s network card, hashed it, and compared that hash against the ones hard-coded in the malware. If it found a match to any of the 600 targeted addresses, the malware reached out to asushotfix.com, a site masquerading as a legitimate ASUS site, to fetch a second-stage backdoor that it downloaded to that system. Because only a small number of machines contacted the command-and-control server, this helped the malware stay under the radar.

“They were not trying to target as many users as possible,” said Kamluk. “They wanted to get into very specific targets and they already knew in advance their network card MAC address, which is quite interesting.”

I haven't seen anything that shows there is a specific fix, but I would make sure your antivirus/malware is up to date and run full scans.  I would also make sure you update your firmware and drivers if you own an ASUS or any computer really.

 

Sullie

Footballguy
Very good article, thank you for posting it!  What was interesting was that the REDDIT community was on it 9 months ago and what's bothersome (to me) is that ASUS is seemingly either indifferent or oblivious to it.  I mean, they haven't bothered to revoke the compromised certificates, still, after all this time.  Wow, I mean that is inexcusable and unacceptable, they've know about this for months now!

 

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