Igor Kuznetsov, principal security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), said eight months of research uncovered four-layer obfuscation and advanced anti-analysis measures as well as the employment of a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) bootkit to infect victims.
“The amount of work put into making FinFisher not accessible to security researchers is particularly worrying and somewhat impressive,” Kuznetsov said. “This spyware is deployed with high precision and is practically impossible to analyse.”
Kuznetsov said complex threats such as FinFisher trojans demonstrate the importance of security researchers cooperating and exchanging knowledge ,as well as investing in new types of security solutions.
Kaspersky has been tracking FinSpy trojans since 2011. The spyware gathers various credentials, file listings and deleted files, documents, livestreaming or recording data and can access a webcam and microphone. Read a full analysis here.
Older versions of the spyware contained the trojan right in the infected application right away, but new samples were protected by non-persistent pre-validator and a post-validator components, which hold deployment back until after a check if the device belongs to a professional security researcher before execution.
Kaspersky recommends users protect themselves by only downloading apps and programs from trusted websites, as well as updating all software, including the OS, regularly. Email attachments should not be trusted.
“Is it from someone you know and trust; is it expected; is it clean? Hover over links and attachments to see what they’re named or where they really go,” warns Kaspersky.
Users should also ensure they deploy a good security application on all devices, and implement policies on non-corporate software use as well as educating employees about risks and cybersecurity hygiene.
Read more tips from Kaspersky on protection from FinSpy and other threats.
The news follows Kaspersky’s discovery of gamer accounts in high demand in the dark web’s black markets, as stolen from popular gaming stores by the BloodyStealer virus and other malware.
Kaspersky notes that users can protect themselves from BloodyStealer using reliable security solutions such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to block BloodyStealer without interfering with gameplay.