A new malware variant dubbed RisePro has been detected which is being distributed via websites offering fake software cracks. Software cracks, product activators, and keygens are used for activating software without paying the software developer for the license. Software can be expensive, so these tools have proven popular, and many of these tools are available free of charge; however, these executable files have long been used to install malware and adware.
RisePro malware is a previously unseen malware variant that was first detected in December 2022. RisePro is an information stealer that will steal passwords, credit card details, and cryptocurrency wallets from infected devices and the malware has already been installed on many devices, with the data stolen by the malware already being sold on Russian dark web sites, according to Flashpoint.
RisePro malware is being distributed via the PrivateLoader pay-per-install malware distribution service, which has been in operation since early 2021. The operators of PrivateLoader have a network of websites that offer cracked software, with PrivateLoader offering its clients the ability to install malware on devices in specific countries, environments, or those with certain software installed. PrivateLoader is delivered through software cracks and will deliver the malware of choice on a pay-per-install basis. An analysis of RisePro malware revealed considerable code similarities with PrivateLoader, which suggests the two may be operated by the same threat actor or a developer of PrivateLoader has broken away and has set up a rival malware loader service.
When RisePro malware is installed on an infected device it fingerprints the infected system and sends stolen data via a ZIP archive to the attacker’s command and control server. The malware will steal data from all popular web browsers, common browser extensions, and software such as Discord and Authy Desktop. The malware will also steal cryptocurrency assets from a wide range of wallets. RisePro malware can also scan filesystem folders and will exfiltrate data of interest, such as receipts that include credit card numbers.
Cracks and product activators commonly include malware or adware, and clean product activators are now very difficult to find, so any individual attempting to download and activate pirated software is taking a big risk. If pirated software is installed on a work device, that risk is greater still. A malware infection on one device can easily spread across the network and cause considerable damage. Malware infections from unlicensed/pirated software have been estimated to cost businesses close to $359 billion a year, according to the BSA Global Software Survey. Businesses should therefore take steps to reduce the risk by implementing safeguards to stop employees from accessing the sites that offer pirated software, blocking downloads, and preventing software installers from being run.
One of the easiest ways to protect against malware infections and lawsuits stemming from the use of illegal software is to block the sites used to distribute fake/pirated software with a web filter. WebTitan Cloud is a 100% cloud-delivered DNS-based web filtering service that is easy for businesses to set up and use to control access to the Internet. Users can block access to peer-to-peer file-sharing networks where pirated software is commonly downloaded and the warez sites that distribute software cracks. It is also possible to block downloads of certain file types from the internet, such as executable files. As an additional control, businesses should consider locking down all workstations to prevent non-admin users from running executable files.
For more information on web filtering and the WebTitan Cloud solution, give the TitanHQ team a call. WebTitan Cloud is available on a free trial to allow businesses to discover for themselves how effective the solution is at controlling access to the internet and how easy it is to use. WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi is also available for operators of Wi-Fi hotspots for controlling what users can do while connected.