The APT41 (Advanced Persistent Threat) hacking group has been active since 2014 and has managed to cause a lot of harm to countless users globally. This hacking group also is known under the aliases Cloud Atlas APT. They have targeted users in the United States, Russia, India, Turkey, Belgium, Bulgaria and others. It appears that the APT41 is mainly going after government institutions, religious groups, and business involved in the aerospace industry. One of their most known threats is the PowerShell Trojan. However, it seems that the focus of the APT41 has shifted from PowerShell to a new and improved version of it named VBShower recently. The main infection vector used in the propagation of the VBShower hacking tool appears to be macro-laced Microsoft Office documents.
Good at Avoiding Detection
The VBShower is notable for its ability to avoid detection and removal from anti-malware applications. The VBShower tool will begin its activities on the infected host be emptying all data from the Microsoft Office sub-directory found in the %APPDATA% system folder. Next, the VBShower will tamper with the Windows Registry on the infected machine to ensure its persistence on the system. Then, the VBShower hacking tool will establish a connection with the C&C (Command & Control) server of the attackers and wait for instructions on how to continue the attack. It seems that the operators of the VBShower will send it modules to run hourly.
Plants Two More Threats
The VBShower backdoor has one key advantage over similar threats - it has a polymorphic structure. In short, this means that every sample of it is structurally different - this might not sound like much, but it would allow it to evade the security scanners of less reputable anti-virus products easily. The VBShower has been propagating two additional threats, which are the PowerShell backdoor and a Trojan threat, which is yet to be categorized.
Threats like the VBShower are lurking all around the Web. This is why it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus software suite installed on your system to protect it from such pests.