Learn about Zero Trust Architecture
Impenetrable cybersecurity without sacrificing usability
Gain detailed visibility into all your endpoints activities
Harden applications and hardware environments
Immediate and continuous response to incidents
Close the window of time your data could be exposed
Get your Comodo solutions setup, deployed or optimized
Control access to malicious websites
Defend from any internet based threats
Stop email threats before it enters your inbox
Preserve and protect your sensitive data
Keep your website running fast and malware free
Add encryption to your websites
Automated certificate mgmt. platform
Secure private intranet environments
Digital signature solutions for cloud apps
Encrypt emails for senders and recipients
Stay compliant with PCI DSS
Trusted authentication for IoT devices
Francisco Partners a leading technology-focused private equity fund, has acquired a majority stake in Comodo’s certificate authority business. Newly renamed from Comodo CA Limited to Sectigo Limited. Privacy Policies, Trademarks, Patents and Terms & Conditions are available on Sectigo Limited’s web site.
Meet the people behind the direction for Comodo
Get the latest news about Comodo
People are the key to achievement and prosperity
Stay up to date with our on-demand webinars
Worldwide: Sales, Support and General Inquiries
Schedule a live demonstration of our solutions
Need immediate help? Call 1-888-551-1531
Instantly removes viruses to keep your PC virus free
Experience true mobile security on your mobile apple devices
Secure Internet Browser based on Chrome
Chrome browser internet security extension
Submit a ticket to our support team
Share any product bugs or security flaws
Collaborate with research experts on data sets
Valkyrie Threat Intelligence Plugins
Valkyrie Threat Intelligence APIs
Perpetrators go on inventing cunning techniques to attack users. One of the most popular tricks of infecting a computer is poisoned MS Office files with a malicious script inside. A new dangerous threat related to this kind of attack has newly appeared. Hackers use .IQY files to get a total remote access to a victim’s computer. And what makes the threat especially dangerous is that many antiviruses can’t detect it.
Here is an example of a phishing email used in such attack.
The email was used to spread FlawedAmmyy, a kind of Remote Administration Tool (RAT) attached to phishing emails. But in this case, the most interesting thing is not a phishing email itself. And not even the payload. Because as you will see a bit later, almost any malware can be used as a payload here. So the most intriguing thing is the process of infecting a computer.
Let’s look under the hood to understand how exactly it works.
Let’s begin with .IQY files.
.IQY files are intended for making an Internet query from MS Excel, so an .IQY contains a URL and other related parameters. It can download files and run them directly into MS Excel.
Just think about that: a couple strings of code can download and run on your machine anything form the Internet. Of course, malicious hackers couldn’t pass by such impressive possibility for committing cybercrimes.
Now let’s look inside the malicious 14459.Iqy file attached to the phishing email. Notice the URL link inside.
If we run the file, it will be opened with Excel in accompany with the security notice about blocking the process. To continue, we need to permit it by clicking the “Enable” button. That’s how MS Office is configured by default for security reasons.
But can it be considered reliable protection? Obviously, no. And here’s why.
Not surprisingly, most security-reckless users just click “Enable” even without thinking. But much more shockingly, many techy-educated people do even worse. They deliberately change security setting to enable all data connections without a permission. Why? Just for not seeing this “annoying warning popups”.
They do it in the Excel’s settings:
Excel Home ->Excel Options->Trust Center settings -> External Content
And that’s not all. Cybercriminals can covertly change the default “DataConnectionWarnings” option in the Registry settings using a malware to overwrite its value from 1 to 0.
If the “warnings “parameter is on, a user sees this popup when trying to run an .IQY file.
But if it’s disabled, the warning won’t appear.
Now let’s click “Enable” and see what’s happening next.
Here is the code executed.
As you can see, 14459.iqy execution invokes content of “2.dat” file that downloads the file named “1.dat”.
Finally, let’s look at the content of the file “1.dat”.
The file doc.xls you can see in the malicious link in reality is a binary malware. Downloaded by this malicious script, it runs PowerShell.
And then, having PowerShell under control, it can download and execute any malicious application in any desired location. Also, as the malware uses legitimate Microsoft tools to infect computers, it makes pretty much harder for antiviruses to detect the attack.
Let’s repeat it again: almost any malicious file can be spread by this pattern. Thus it’s absolutely unpredictable what kind of malware it will bring next time. So you need to build the protection to neutralize not a special malware but the infecting pattern itself.
How can you do that?
Live secure with Comodo!
Reading Time: 2 minutes Cyber breaches are quite common in the medical industry. In 2019 alone, over 40 million patient records were breached, an almost 50% increase in cases from the previous year. With COVID-19 increasing the need for healthcare and forcing more interactions between providers and patients to take place online, the risk of cyber breaches has increased….
Reading Time: 2 minutes Ransomware is a dilemma that we have been facing for quite some time now. However, in 2020, we have seen a significant rise in the total number and variety of ransomware attacks. This latest ransomware boom is most probably the outcome of organized cyber-criminal networks recognizing the revenue-generating potential of this ‘business model’—amounting to over…
Reading Time: 3 minutes Celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month By Learning to Protect Against Ransomware Attacks It’s the season for pumpkin picking, leaves changing color, getting ready for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. But ghosts and ghouls aren’t the only scary things you’ll be seeing this month: October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time when business leaders and…
Sign up to our cyber security newsletter
Comodo Cybersecurity would like to keep in touch with you about cybersecurity issues, as well as products and services available. Please sign up to receive occasional communications. As a cybersecurity company, we take your privacy and security very seriously and have strong safeguards in place to protect your information.
See how your organization scores against cybersecurity threats