Credential Stealing Malware in PDF Attachments

On Wednesday we talked about a phishing exploit that used malware to provide remote access and steal the personal information of the victims.  Today we continue the story with a similar exploit, called “Fareit” to “ferret out” the user credentials and other personal information the victims.

This exploit uses a phishing email to send the target either a PDF attachment or a Word attachment.  The PDF variant uses Windows Powershell to install.  The Word document uses embedded macros to do the job.  It is installed in a way that will avoid detection by most anti-malware products.

This exploit explores the computer, looking for:

  • email account credentials
  • domain name credentials
  • banking credentials
  • web-browser auth cookies
  • FTP server credentials
  • BitCoin credentials

This information is used to extend the exploit, or may be gathered into a package and sold on the Dark Web.  Learn how to spot a phish, and stay vigilant.  When in doubt, do not click.  And use VirusTotal to check out the attachment.

More information:


About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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