Researchers have found a malicious campaign distributing Purple Fox malware via malicious Telegram installers for desktops. This campaign highlights the importance of downloading software from official websites only.
Purple Fox Malware Spread Via Telegram Installers
According to a recent blog post from Minerva Labs, the threat actors have started a new malware campaign targeting potential Telegram users.
As spotted, the hackers have embedded the Purple Fox rootkit malware in fake telegram installers to trick users. These installers reach the victims’ devices via phishing emails and websites.
Briefly, once downloaded, the fake installer named “Telegram Desktop.exe” drops the legit Telegram installer bundled with a malicious downloader file “TextInputh.exe” that it places in a separate folder called “TextInputh.” Here, creating different folders seems a strategy to evade AV detection.
Upon execution, TextInputh creates another folder and downloads two more files after contacting the C&C. The downloader then further loads the malicious “360.dll” file that executes a malicious payload in the subsequent stage.
Then, the attack includes dropping five more files performing various functions to evade security checks. This includes disabling the antivirus program on the system and performing UAC bypass to skip visual detection. These actions eventually facilitate the stealth execution of the Purple Fox rootkit.
As stated in their post,
At the time of the investigation, the C&C server was already down, but a quick check of the IP address and other related files all indicate that the last stage of this attack is the download and execution of the Purple Fox Rootkit.
Then, the final stage of the attack includes the execution of the payload with the creation of three registries to disable UAC entirely.
Also, they have spotted numerous malicious installers online spreading this malware, indicating the massive extent of this campaign.
It remains unclear how the attackers manage to lure users to these fake installers.
Nonetheless, users should ensure downloading any software (including Telegram) from official websites to avoid falling victim to such attacks.