Scams Using Remote Access Malware to Phish US Taxpayers
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Scams Using Remote Access Malware to Phish US Taxpayers. Accountants are gathering the client’s tax records to complete the files for the tax returns as the United States is presently coming to the conclusion of its annual taxation session.

Because of this, threat actors can now target taxpayers with the goal would open infected files when they are less busy when they might ordinarily be more cautious.

Having said that, Microsoft has been disseminating alerts about phishing attacks that prey on taxpayers and accounting firms and use the Remote Acess malware to provide threat actors first access to business networks. Microsoft has been issuing alerts as the deadline for filing US taxes approaches, and the company mentions in its most recent report that it has noticed a resurgence of the phishing attacks targeting taxpayers and tax companies to spread the Ramcos Remote Access Trojan (RAT), which was first discovered in February, to infect corporate networks.

Moving on to the phishing attempt begins with emails that appear to be from clients who have submitted the necessary papers to finish the tax return. I am sorry for not replying sooner; our individual tax return should be straightforward and not take up much of your time, according to a phishing email that Microsoft came across.

“I believe you would need a copy of our most recent year’s documents, which I have uploaded below, including W-2s, 1099s, interests, mortgages, donations, HSAs, medical investments, and more.”

Phishing Scams Targeting US Taxpayers with Remote Access Malware 1
Microsoft distributed phishing emails to taxpayersThese phishing emails contain links that consumers click to travel to a file hosting website and download a ZIP file after avoiding detection by security software by monitoring services.

The Zip bundle contains a variety of files that, while being Windows shortcuts, pose as PDF files for several tax forums.


Phishing Scams Targeting US Taxpayers with Remote Access Malware 2
Archive containing a Windows shortcut that looks like a 2021 tax formWhen the target double-clicks them, the Windows shortcut runs PowerShell, downloads and executes a heavily encrypted VBS file from a remote host, saves it to C: WindowsTasks, and at the same time, the VBS file downloads a bogus PDF file to open in Microsoft Edge to avoid raising the targeted person’s suspicion.

Microsoft claims that the VBS program will download and run the Guloader virus, which will set up the Ramcos Remote Access Trojan. Threat actors frequently employ the Ramcos Remote Trojan to obtain initial access in phishing attempts.

Phishing Scams Targeting US Taxpayers with Remote Access Malware 3
Once inside, the threat attackers propagate around the network to take data and infect the device with other malware. Although it’s odd, this campaign solely targets people and tax organizations, Microsoft claims that these phishing operations typically include tax-related themes.A display of the file extension is usually advised since malicious files that pretend to be PDF files are the first loader for this activity. Unfortunately, the unique file type that utilizes the link file extension but hides the file extension is Windows shortcuts. This is why it’s hard to identify a file. A more challenging disguise than a shortcut. The Windows Shortcut will be shown when files are listed in File Explorer’s Details, making it simpler to find.

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