Security Experts:

New Kedi RAT Uses Gmail to Exfiltrate Data

Kedi RAT Pretends to be a Citrix Utility, Transfers Data Using Gmail

A newly discovered remote access Trojan (RAT) capable of evading security scanners communicates with its command and control (C&C) server via Gmail, Sophos has discovered.

Dubbed Kedi, the RAT was designed to steal data and is being spread via spear-phishing emails, the security researchers say. The observed attacks appear targeted with the malicious payload masquerading as a Citrix utility.

The RAT’s capabilities aren’t out of the ordinary: AntiVM/anti-sandbox features, the ability to extract and run embedded secondary payloads, file download/upload backdoors, screenshot grabbing, keylogging, and the ability to extract usernames, computer names, and domains. According to Sophos, most of these features are command-driven.

What makes the Trojan stand out from the crowd, however, is its ability to communicate with its C&C using Gmail (the Basic HTML version). Nonetheless, the malware can also talk to the server using DNS and HTTPS requests, the security researchers have discovered.

“Using Gmail to receive instructions from its C&C, Kedi navigates to the inbox, finds the last unread message, grabs content from message body and parses commands from this content. To send information back to command and control, base64 encodes the message data, replies to the received message, adds encoded message data and sends its message,” Sophos reveals.

The spear-phishing attack distributing the threat was observed last week. While Kedi doesn’t appear to have been involved in a widespread campaign to date, it could end up targeting more users soon, Sophos warns.

To stay protected, users should pay close attention when clicking on links or opening files they receive via email from unknown sources. Users are also advised to keep operating systems and applications up to date at all time, as well as to use and maintain an anti-virus application.

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