25 May 2017

The WannaCry ransomware attack spread worldwide very quickly in part because it used NSA hacking tools that exploited vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system. WannaCry implemented two of the NSA’s tools, but a new strain of malware threatens to be more dangerous because it uses all seven NSA hacking tools.

The new malware is a worm called EternalRocks. EternalRocks uses the following NSA tools:

  • ArchTouch
  • DoublePulsar
  • EternalBlue
  • EternalChampion
  • Eternal Romance
  • EternalSynergy
  • SMBTouch

WannaCry, for contrast, only used DoublePulsar and EternalBlue.

ArchTouch and SMBTouch look for open SMB ports. The Eternals are all exploit tools, which compromise the machines once the malware has access. DoublePulsar spreads it from one machine to another.

EternalRocks is designed to stay stealthy on the infected machine. The first thing it does is to download and install Tor, a web browser known for its anonymity. It then uses Tor to connect to a server on the dark web. Then it waits a full day to avoid detection. Once 24 hours have passed the exploits are downloaded. The computer’s ports are scanned and the worm is passed along.

Since these attacks exploit zero-day vulnerabilities, it’s hard to be 100% protected against them. One step you can take is to make sure you apply all updates and patches for software, firmware, and operating systems as soon as you can. If you want to make sure you’re as prepared and protected as possible for a cyberattack, schedule a consultation with us today.

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