COVID-19 – Malware Makes Hay During a Pandemic

Special thanks to Prajwala Rao, Oliver Devane, Shannon Cole, Ankit Goel and members of Malware Research for their contribution and monitoring of related threats

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, it is no surprise that malware authors are exploiting the pandemic. McAfee recently released blogs around Covid-19 related threats – Staying safe while working remotely, COVID-19 Threat Update Now Includes Blood for Sale and Transitioning to a Mass Remote Workforce. The first discusses how attackers would like to leverage this pandemic as an opportunity to attack organizations, the second gives a preview of attackers playing on the fears of the general public grappling to get a hold of a cure, help manage this illness and stay safe while the third gives some direction to organizations on how to verify their security controls. In this blog we continue to discuss COVID-19 themed attacks and how to stay vigilant.

The weeks of quarantine have forced individuals and organizations to quickly adapt to a work from home model. A lot more time is spent indoors and online and there continues to be anxiety around when normalcy will be restored. For now, we continue to deal with a barrage of news articles around the pandemic, managing supply and demand of household goods in stores and online, and a shortage of medical supplies such as preventative masks, gloves and sanitizer. These are trying times for us and a feast for fear mongering malware criminals.

Over the last few months of 2020, McAfee researchers have been hard at work during this time to keep our customers safe by more directed monitoring and adaptation of our detection stack to better manage the COVID-19 threat landscape. This is not intended to be an exhaustive report due to the scope of a continually evolving landscape for COVID-19; therefore, we cover a subset of threats directed towards malware, spam and malicious/scam URL campaigns.

This blog serves to remind customers to utilize the various levers present in our endpoint product and our expanded portfolio such as McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge. Please read our recommendation section and view our IOC section (partial IOC list based on this article), expert rules section (covers few tactics based on this article). McAfee utilizes several internal and external sourcing techniques for malware harvesting including collaboration with other industry partners as part of the Cyber Threat Alliance.

Table of contents:


The timeline below shows a subset of prevalent malware families observed in our spam traps with references to COVID-19/Coronavirus. The malware shown in this timeline have been chosen due to their capacity for damage (such as ransomware) or their ability to propagate (Emotet for spam, or other worm like activities).

A weekly distribution of all known COVID related IOCs per week is shown below.



This section covers a subset of the Malware families included in the timeline above and shows the various IOCs that referenced the virus. For a more comprehensive list of IOCs please refer to the IOC section.


The first threat we observed taking advantage of the pandemic was Ursnif. Ursnif is a banking Trojan aimed to steal banking credentials and has been evolving to become more powerful. Ursnif collects system activities of the victims, record keystrokes, as well as keep track of network traffic and browser activity.

We have observed Ursnif using the COVID-19 filename to entice users since January 2020.


On executing the VBS file it drops a dll in C:\Programdata\FxrPLxT.dll and executes the .dll with rundll32.exe. The dll is injected into iexplorer.exe and communicates with its C&C server using http get requests.


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 e82d49c11057f5c222a440f05daf9a53e860455dc01b141e072de525c2c74fb3 Filename: Coronavirus_disease_COVID-19__194778526200471.vbs
Sha256 8bcdf1fbc8cee1058ccb5510df49b268dbfce541cfc4c83e135b41e7dd150e8d Ursnif dll



Technique ID Tactic Technique details
T1059 Execution Command-Line Interface
T1129 Execution Execution through Module Load
T1085 Defense Evasion, Execution Rundll32
T1060 Persistence Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder
T1055 Defense Evasion, Privilege Escalation Process Injection



Fareit is an information stealer that steals data from web browsers, FTP programs, email clients and over a hundred different software tools installed on the infected machine. We have observed several Fareit phishing emails with the COVID/Coronavirus name. A few of them are shown below.

Fareit Spam 1:


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 da1443a25f433e23a43d35d50328a4f935d3cce840f1e3cca99b6bd6d49ed6a7 Dropped Binary
Sha256 9f4bb022b49bd6ba0766e9408139648d2ddfe2f0dd5ca14644e5bdb2982b5e40 Email



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1193 Initial Access Spear phishing Attachment
T1106 Execution Execution through API
T1130 Defense Evasion Install Root Certificate
T1081 Credential Access Credentials in Files
T101 Discovery Query Registry


Fareit Spam 2:


Type IOC Comment
Sha256  2faf0ef9901b80a05ed77fc20b55e89dc0e1a23ae86dc19966881a00704e5846 Attachment
Sha256 38a511b9224705bfea131c1f77b3bb233478e2a1d9bd3bf99a7933dbe11dbe3c Email



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1193 Initial Access Spear phishing Attachment
T1106 Execution Execution through API
T1130 Defense Evasion Install Root Certificate
T1081 Credential Access Credentials in Files
T1012 Discovery Query Registry
T1071 C & C Standard Application Layer Protocol


Fareit Spam 3:


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 11a834cda4a55c8adb663fbcdd4b1f1018715dd737d3089a731b9840b77e5e76 Dropped Binary
Sha256 45c6440bdd7b49023bb42f9661caae3b12b579dfd5ae9e64421923ef452a0faf Email
Sha256 095bfab52666648ff4d2636a3718a28eab4d99a6c178a8c7912197221dd1d195 Email



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1193 Initial Access Spear phishing Attachment
T1106, T1204 Execution Execution through API, User Execution
T1060 Persistence Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder
T1130 Defense Evasion Install Root Certificate
T1081 Credential Access Credentials in Files
T1012 Discovery Query Registry
T1114 Collection Email Collection


Fareit Spam 4:


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 f8e041bed93783bbd5966bfba6273fe7183464035ea54fe1d59ff85a679b3e3e Dropped Binary
Sha256 9e17f5e70c30ead347b68841fa137015d713269add98f0257fb30cc6afdea4fe Attachment
Sha256 ada05f3f0a00dd2acac91e24eb46a1e719fb08838145d9ae7209b5b7bba52c67 Email



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1193 Initial Access Spear phishing Attachment
T1204 Execution User Execution
T1071 Command and Control Standard Application layer Protocol


COVID-19 Ransomware

It was no surprise that a new Ransomware family appeared on the scene. Once executed, Ransomware-GVZ will delete shadow copies with vssadmin and then proceed to encrypt all non-pe file types.  Once a whole folder has been encrypted the ransom note file below is created.

Ransomware-GVZ will also create a lock screen component so that when the machine is rebooted the following message is displayed.



Type IOC Type
Sha256 3299f07bc0711b3587fe8a1c6bf3ee6bcbc14cb775f64b28a61d72ebcb8968d3 Binary



Technique ID Tactic Technique details
T1486 Impact Data Encrypted for Impact
T1083 Discovery File and Directory Discovery
T1490 Impact Inhibit System Recovery



Emotet is another prevalent threat distributed via phishing emails. We observed the following email being distributed which translated to English is:


Break !!! COVID-19 solution announced by WHO at the end How a total control method is discovered

Email Body:  

As published in the newsletter of the World Health Organization 3/17/2020 7:40:21 a.m. A new collaborative study identified and studied antibodies to the COVID-19 virus which could be used to design effective universal therapies against many different species of COVID-19 viruses. The results have recently been published in Nature Microbiology.

These are based on natural activities and how heat helped inhibit the virus from growing.

The COVID-19 virus causes a serious disease with high mortality badgers in humans. Several strategies have been developed to treat COVID-19 virus infection, including ZMapp, which has proven effective in non-human primates and has been used below compassionate treatment protocols in humans …


Please download the full text in the attached document …

Also share with all contacts to ensure quick epidermal control.

The email contains a zipped Emotet executable which once executed will use the process hollowing technique to inject into regasm.exe. It will then contact its C&C server and being to send spam email out.


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 ca70837758e2d70a91fae20396dfd80f93597d4e606758a02642ac784324eee6 Attachment
Sha256 702feb680c17b00111c037191f51b9dad1b55db006d9337e883ca48a839e8775 Email



Technique ID Tactic Technique details
T1121 Defense Evasion, Execution Regsvcs/Regasm
T1093 Defense Evasion Process Hollowing


Azorult is a malware that steals data from victim’s machine which includes username, passwords, cryptocurrencies, browsing history and cookies. It also can download additional malware onto the victim’s machine. What sets Azorult apart from the other Malware described in this report, is that the creators of Azorult created a fake Coronavirus infection map website (corona-virus-map[.]com). The fake website appears as below:


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 c40a712cf1eec59efac42daada5d79c7c3a1e8ed5fbb9315bfb26b58c79bb7a2 Jar file from domain
URL H**p://
Sha256 63fcf6b19ac3a6a232075f65b4b58d69cfd4e7f396f573d4da46aaf210f82564 Dropped Binary



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1059 Execution Command-Line Interface
T1012 Discovery Query Registry



Another Ransomware which has leveraged COVID-19 is Netwalker. The Ransomware used the filename “CORONAVIRUS_COVID-19.vbs” to trick users into executing it. The VBS file contained the embedded Ransomware payload.

On execution of vbscript, the Ransomware is dropped in “C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\Temp\qeSw.exe” and executes it.

It Deletes the shadow copies from the machine with vssadmin.exe to make file recovery more difficult.

Below shows the Obfuscated vbscript

The ransomware iterates through the folders of the infected machine and encrypts the files. Once encrypted the file extension is changed to <filename>.1fd385. A ransom note is also dropped in each folder where files were encrypted. This note is shown below.


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 9f9027b5db5c408ee43ef2a7c7dd1aecbdb244ef6b16d9aafb599e8c40368967 CORONAVIRUS_COVID-19.vbs
Sha256 8639825230d5504fd8126ed55b2d7aeb72944ffe17e762801aab8d4f8f880160 Dropped Binary



Technique ID Tactic Technique details
T1204 Execution User Execution
T1064 Execution Scripting
T1106 Execution Execution through API
T1490 Impact Inhibit System Recovery
T1486 Impact Data Encrypted for Impact



Nanocore RAT

NanoCore is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) and its highly customizable plugins allows attackers to tailor its functionality to their needs. This RAT is also found to be using COVID-19 to distribute itself by using email subjects such as “Covid-19 Urgent Precaution Measures”.


Type IOC Comment
Sha256 ca93f60e6d39a91381b26c1dd4d81b7e352aa3712a965a15f0d5eddb565a4730 Dropped Binary
Sha256 89b2324756b04df27036c59d7aaaeef384c5bfc98ec7141ce01a1309129cdf9f Iso Attachment
Sha256 4b523168b86eafe41acf65834c1287677e15fd04f77fea3d0b662183ecee8fd0 Email



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1193 Initial Access Spear phishing Attachment
T1053 Execution Scheduled Task
T1060 Persistence Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder
T1143 Defense Evasion Hidden Window
T1036 Defense Evasion Masquerading
T1497 Defense Evasion Virtualization/Sandbox Evasion
T1012 Discovery Query Registry
T1124 Discovery System Time Discovery
T1065 Command and Control Uncommonly Used Port




Hancitor trojan has also uses COVID–19 themes to spread itself by posing as an email from insurance company. The email contains a link to download a fake invoice which downloads a VBS file.

On executing the VBS, the Hancitor dll temp_adobe_123452643.txt is created in the %AppData/Local/Temp folder. The DLL is executed using the Regsvr32.exe and then begins to communicate with its C&C.



Type IOC Comment
Sha256 2f87dd075fc12c2b6b15a1eb5ca209ba056bb6aa2feaf3518163192a17a7a3 Downloaded Binary
Sha256 0caef2718bc7130314b7f08559beba53ccf00e5ee5aba49523fb83e1d6a2a347 Downloaded Binary
Sha256 375d196227d62a95f82cf9c20657449ebea1b512d4cb19cdfe9eb8f102dd9fa Downloaded Binary
Sha256 0b8800734669aa7dbc6e67f93e268d827b5e67d4f30e33734169ddc93a026 Downloaded Binary
Sha256 9c40426f157a4b684047a428428f882618d07dc5154cf1bf89da5875a00d69c Email



Technique ID Technique Technique details
T1192 Initial Access Spear phishing Link
T1064 Execution Scripting
T1117 Execution Regsvr32
T1071 Command and Contro Standard Application layer



Heat Map

This detection heat map shows a snapshot of the various countries where McAfee has observed a detection for known IOC’s since mid-January. We have observed detections in almost all the countries which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


There have been thousands of COVID-19-themed spam emails sent daily. They range from medical supply scams to extortion. Below are a few examples of the ones we have observed.



We have observed the number of Malicious URLs with references to COVID-19 and Coronavirus spike in the last few weeks. The numbers increased from 1,600 a few weeks ago to over 39,000 in week 13. This highlights the importance of being vigilant when clicking on links and accessing websites as the number of malicious sites is increasing exponentially.


Here are examples of malicious websites we have. False advertising is a common practice during such pandemics. At the time of this writing, there aren’t any quick testing kits available. Also testing is initiated by health care providers and therefore it is important to educate yourself and others around you to not buy into scams.

The following is an example of a fake website which offers Coronavirus testing services.

Face masks have been in high demand and in many places have run out. Additionally, there has been a shortage of masks even with the health care community. At times of panic and shortage, it is common for spammers to send out links to fake sites claiming to have medical supplies equipment. Here is a screenshot of fake online shop selling face masks.

GTI provides categorization and classification of links serving malware, phishing, scamming etc. McAfee products leverage GTI for URL protection. Also, McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge provides secure access and expands your capabilities for URL protection.

Read about an example of one McAfee researcher is giving back by 3D printing masks and shields.


Below is a partial list of IOCs we have observed in the field which have taken advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak. The IOCs in this section are a subset of those detected by McAfee’s solutions. We have broader coverage provided by our GTI Cloud, gateway, ATP and other products in our portfolio.

Type Value
SHA256 2ec4d4c384fe93bbe24f9a6e2451ba7f9c179ff8d18494c35ed1e92fe129e7fa
SHA256 7e52f7a7645ea5495196d482f7630e5b3cd277576d0faf1447d130224f937b05
SHA256 69724a9bd8033bd16647bc9aea41d5fe9fb7f7a83c5d6fbfb439d21b7b9f53f6
SHA256 f92fecc6e4656652d66d1e63f29de8bfc09ea6537cf2c4dd01579dc909ba0113
SHA256 a5ab358d5ab14b81df2d37aedf52716b5020ab45da472dedc8b8330d129d70bf
SHA256 8028f988c145b98ddd4663d3b5ec00435327026a8533924f7b8320c32737acf4
SHA256 aab93bf5bb0e89a96f93a5340808a7fa2cebf4756bd45d4ff5d1e6c8bdccf75d
SHA256 2e93fe77fafd705e6ca2f61f24e24a224af2490e0a3640ed53a17ea4bf993ec8
SHA256 f850f746f1a5f52d3de1cbbc510b578899fc8f9db17df7b30e1f9967beb0cf71
SHA256 dd78b0ecc659c4a8baf4ea81e676b1175f609f8a7bba7b2d09b69d1843c182cb
SHA256 e352c07b12ef694b97a4a8dbef754fc38e9a528d581b9c37eabe43f384a8a519
SHA256 e82d49c11057f5c222a440f05daf9a53e860455dc01b141e072de525c2c74fb3
SHA256 8bcdf1fbc8cee1058ccb5510df49b268dbfce541cfc4c83e135b41e7dd150e8d
SHA256 95489af84596a21b6fcca078ed10746a32e974a84d0daed28cc56e77c38cc5a8
SHA256 002c9e0578a8b76f626e59b755a8aac18b5d048f1cc76e2c12f68bc3dd18b124
SHA256 da1443a25f433e23a43d35d50328a4f935d3cce840f1e3cca99b6bd6d49ed6a7
SHA256 08c1aca51ae6917ed138ec70cc7768b935d13fbd743e85191877006626fdc530
SHA256 a9864b548d71c95333efd81d9fb000347bc715c7430e24f37f5bbbde4f2adf39
SHA256 8deba9fb53096d6ea5e2090b662244293829096eee03d06108deb15e496a807e
SHA256 c3477ca9a51e9eb1a93188fe2bd412830163f44b0954573d225736c530dd5fd2
SHA256 3e6166a6961bc7c23d316ea9bca87d8287a4044865c3e73064054e805ef5ca1a
SHA256 11a834cda4a55c8adb663fbcdd4b1f1018715dd737d3089a731b9840b77e5e76
SHA256 bc03c23a46a545addd1831e133b74bd2e62eb920041f18a23ec9719ea052e642
SHA256 8075381d210f7e79ee387927b7d6d690521c01ba6d835d07c4e8f023b3c164ce
SHA256 75d7d989deea561443c1c204ad22537d0c131f57820594ab5f07baba16dbc58b
SHA256 0cc54663439a55191b77e0735b7460a7435dc01542e910d75eae20ce7bb513e5
SHA256 c40a712cf1eec59efac42daada5d79c7c3a1e8ed5fbb9315bfb26b58c79bb7a2
SHA256 63fcf6b19ac3a6a232075f65b4b58d69cfd4e7f396f573d4da46aaf210f82564
SHA256 ca93f60e6d39a91381b26c1dd4d81b7e352aa3712a965a15f0d5eddb565a4730
SHA256 9f9027b5db5c408ee43ef2a7c7dd1aecbdb244ef6b16d9aafb599e8c40368967
SHA256 8639825230d5504fd8126ed55b2d7aeb72944ffe17e762801aab8d4f8f880160
SHA256 0caef2718bc7130314b7f08559beba53ccf00e5ee5aba49523fb83e1d6a2a347
SHA256 375d196227d62a95f82cf9c20657449ebea1b512d4cb19cdfe9eb8f102dd9fae
SHA256 0b8800734669aa7dbc6e67f93e268d827b5e67d4f30e33734169ddc93a026d2e
SHA256 12f87dd075fc12c2b6b15a1eb5ca209ba056bb6aa2feaf3518163192a17a7a3b
SHA256 f8e041bed93783bbd5966bfba6273fe7183464035ea54fe1d59ff85a679b3e3e
SHA256 ca93f60e6d39a91381b26c1dd4d81b7e352aa3712a965a15f0d5eddb565a4730
SHA256 da1443a25f433e23a43d35d50328a4f935d3cce840f1e3cca99b6bd6d49ed6a7
SHA256 3386dc7dc67edd5e84244376b6067e3767e914a1cc1fc7fd790a6aa68750a824
SHA256 3fc33b537fb38e1f586ddb3ebbbe152458dcde336c2f26da81d756e290b5ef00
SHA256 7cbcad4d6e9ad8438e5febd3830bff9aef4729b98d23935ad7f9e6d290272732
SHA256 0a84308348fee6bbfe64a9ef23bb9c32cb319bcdf5cf78ddfda4a83dadea4b8e
SHA256 ba4297978b6a6b5fe2b66c32ead47bbd1f2e2f549beed5cd727eb9ae3fed6b6a
SHA256 c9d3c250ab6d8535b7a4114a1e9545f0b9bc24e4e277640c59b7555f38727885
SHA256 37354a04f6d423809602e198e590469173cc8e930cc7fdd4da2c2072977251e9
SHA256 3a7a8518b41dd6c05289a08974c95a0038be4e5d1b0588edfd0589fcf22b0c8f
SHA256 ea3a0a223474592635d1fb7a0731dd28a96381ad2562e3e064f70e2d4830c39d
SHA256 140da6b610a45f84c6438207ab11942d79eb37831551810f87baae80cfff4593
SHA256 2c9c1e04d806ad8890dd6bf4477efb4ea6c78b8185a9996876bcaea568a04e70
SHA256 8a724fc60bde738694779751d6c63a7ed1caa03518b8f26b9acb36d5c1b29930
SHA256 d765980228492758a11e534e45924311aef681cb5859f701cd457b6b871c2d06
SHA256 d8183919d675978d58cd1f134768f88adeea9ce53b167c917e54fff855c6d9f9
SHA256 ac416780fa4aa340fff2787e630351c5813faceb823424817eb10e82254b785d
SHA256 3cd099efe4cb426fdc6276380c224b5478d0841c5c44d2c0a088d039d529d258
SHA256 c135f36d3346699e6d2bf9f5f5f638fd9475c0b12144a15a0652b8f1ebb25c12
SHA256 49cfa1b3cbe2bf97079c0dd0a9f604e3f2e7d9fbb6d41128a9889e068aa884f6
SHA256 5e20a0ab563950eab76c023101b1dd374becac2a5149a74320b23b59a7f16256
SHA256 7a9f249978c959e1f11f2992a8ce4a70ba333c8dbdc2638c780bbbe62de4808e
SHA256 c6dc408d60c2354a13e835bf826300a6d5258b72b8826e8c46d946cbc1f0b455
SHA256 b04584ee8b3ba565541cb0f4d8787ed6e8942b6bdec5b1acdc03488b93aeb3cb
SHA256 b283e4f841e328f0cc12ebdf76aafb819ebadba7df863681994b69697731cf96
SHA256 adde95e8813ca27d88923bd091ca2166553a7b904173ef7a2c04bb3ddf8b14a9
SHA256 bf178911f2c063c9592020652dc22076d02ca87d14a7ed7862074d334470ae32
SHA256 3981d933de93f55641fdf8cfe980e40a0bf52ce8b022735e8ebc4f08cbb19104
SHA256 aa6ceb17ced471e1695c99c0718bc24c710311f0daa256cb0783d82218d772c9
SHA256 f7209d1099c75acccbef29450271d821fd78ad52176f07aa8a93a9e61e9eaa7f
SHA256 eab14b1bfa737644f14f7bb7ace007d418230285364e168e35bd718a6517b316
SHA256 b34f4ec4ae8d66b030f547efe3acc2a71c9ab564f78aac68719ec91dab613bb3
SHA256 006dc4ebf2c47becdc58491162728990147717a0d9dd76fefa9b7eb83937c60b
SHA256 e17dca7c2c05139fc81302e76e0e9aaa29368b60cb147208cbcb5c8df113f6f6
SHA256 2e47f37bef4dea338e366ce30fe54888e5aaa2d47a5c0db4a3c3e9e5c25f8ace
SHA256 21182b7834a7e13033be7b370a68b3d3639f4cae12fe80e2a908404cbd4cd324
SHA256 46f81af256c630969f55554ea832037bc64df4374ec0f06ac83a1c4b89869314
SHA256 89a0147dec8d6838f14815b577ae41dbcf54953c66e7f5f999ab91fea6ec08fa
SHA256 2f3ee4688a31c8d249b8426f46e392d9c55b85bfad9fb31fb362eb32d38bd9b3
SHA256 f2a2bea86ce1a4803345b4aa46824c25d383a0b40b10bb69e528c72305552a2a
SHA256 698eb726345c71eca7b4a531bfa76ab6e86ef100f943a727fb5866a84ec79289
SHA256 92af9c8c539ff9f99f79cce8453b1c483d117c095e2e0ffe384d96e35f72dc8b
SHA256 7cf8f24d7e8b1e2f63bfa7a18cd420a03fff44126e80aed8cb90fba3c4e986ac
SHA256 1e4b01e3e146ff01a3782b01680a5165432af556331d599ec6ad35b4983b216f
SHA256 cba1c3070f76e1a2705afee16bd987b6a8ffa45900cab8cf3b307f60a7b89ac9
SHA256 e32cca6446f2ddd8430400b16fc171ab3163cf8222669d7d9144e9c85904d5f5
SHA256 8c0a8d6876a6c7fe44962883561d9f48615ee67f4544872ec98f47edcf516509
SHA256 a080d763c60efd4ef2781ad3090c997d1092ac726707366d92d647f26ee2965f
SHA256 9d58ca5383fef5dc837ca9d4251d247bed4ead4a6b90a9aae30568be80e20543
SHA256 345d8b4c0479d97440926471c2a8bed43162a3d75be12422c1c410f5ec90acd9
SHA256 39c17475bdb019010453085830e7f8aa1ef41ca182982491306fcf75166b8e08
SHA256 bdcef0f16c70086414ff95b69fdbbe7eb0c9814308d3d60143b6c04dfc077257
SHA256 7a97fc7bdd0ad4ef4453c2e52dd8f44dee9b4e91ff3b5518e311ef1ebac3b667
SHA256 2437ef90b60cf3d6bd0c3eebf3f41ed1e403bc31b024b52b0f41ec648d80a583
SHA256 a537c75de9a95be0c071fd6437cbaf3696752f02c3cd5afa1c9cc47c4c755f75
SHA256 9367f3ea7460ae40ca69d41398327f97136a93656ef5fad1285a0b82f81522a4
SHA256 78cf7ea3c1da98941e164f4ac3f75b57e9bce11467bc5a6c6877846f1adcf150
SHA256 e55efa92d87484cf6b251f2302a0c0c7650acd7ea658bf9997bf761b64fe472a
SHA256 51f0e9b151bde97ebeb813d6eed8a11f02551a6530049f53dc29fc1a20b6699d
SHA256 e382ee1ce9d99f4e8e18833bac121c14ee2e5dc29a8b5382ca5b4eda9db7f1aa
SHA256 e250d977e47e7809086dd35a2767f9ef557591dd00e9ce96ef4071e4f0d8c670
SHA256 50a3bea4b9686bcf5cac144d4fc18aa178f66c8368205f9065cd1d9a2c41f026
SHA256 722a60dfd59a595daa487f2fb759ef6f9ccaabcdf20605d5ae9450cba4a9b9b2
SHA256 1c3532d143212078e204d0f81a782deacd58e8f0e7253472e0509491fd1e5201
SHA256 980de93ad93ecaabc048c9fcc9d62e43eeb32f216c4177963cf1bd94ad53074b
SHA256 a286e3be694b9525530ec6a65b71a8a91e04042c3471e8a9e440f503fe8ce995
SHA256 dbcef5c217a027b8e29b1b750c42a066650820a129543f19364bcb64ac83bc07
SHA256 80f8877406e899c6274331aa991b8d1f4f087e3233c36d39fbaebb729c294899
SHA256 32753598f94412fe3dc382dc12dcf2edf7881d9f07814c82aeec36481b9362b5
SHA256 0fdc97da1c297e6fef93910008fc5c47cbdcd3e2987bc163467b34f56de112ff
SHA256 501cc107e410b245d1b95b64ae0afdae758375b4b3724acfda44041bad963232
SHA256 31cb82cd750af6af9ecf369fd26d47dc913f6b56be6ea12b10fe6dd90ef1b5df
SHA256 da87521ecc146a92a7460a81ebb5ca286450f94c8c9af2a4b3c6c8a180d421c5
SHA256 2bcd35bfb7e4dbdbbf64fce5011199947794425093be7bc74829bfeadb89f0a3
SHA256 90c3d8d13ea151bce21a1f4b842d0ed4eaff09842b23311b2326cf63957fc2b2
SHA256 257afe9f4d7b282b1c0b2f3ebb7e1e80e96c8e0214f1b80ea2b7b636a4e7747d
SHA256 587840d28f2585dd5207731d7fda86a0966c82fa592a26f9148b2de45526db55
SHA256 80ee20c604d5d4b51a30dc21da271651f3c085c40281e3ff3e2ee0175d2ca98d
SHA256 11b4519b76957b0758381f8e19c5e15d8744f7974716642aeb586c615dde38fa
SHA256 6c34cca35d98e464c2f74abd9be670c7f8f707f37cd3f0fd4746c49f8fcf6b07
SHA256 0a8aa3f413a8989bb89599dfc2404f7d34dfbb2e3ce26e900d228e9e8c8908b8
SHA256 c57fa2a5d1a65a687f309f23ca3cfc6721d382b06cf894ee5cd01931bbc17a46
SHA256 9f27a826b4b873c9ea23e023f54d5291a50004d67dd5fe64d1f8c8e8b51b74e3
SHA256 2037c7cc809ed3eddd1338d2bec6266cdb449dbf8ff3510fd360a08d229d4f40
SHA256 8f91d27d3a59c08ab4c453b2679f4620696ba67c56280a4c3757368acb20aad3
SHA256 e8221acccdb8381b5da25a1f61f49dda86b861b52fafe54629396ed1e3346282
SHA256 dc66811ce189240c510733be9e1a2175079dddb80ebf02faaa044fce1f7134d0
SHA256 5b7db5046ba22a6242d5ff6e8f538ad43bba53810117d5eb8f023215aad26e6b
SHA256 f6879431b901df789082452c1c4ffa29e857d247886e421df6dda5fb3d81ca5e
SHA256 4a272dd4a5c6261e983d667dd676875054dd4a4ea11620f16c553fcfd2c44861
SHA256 cc2507ddd53a6f00265f3be51d7217def786914bd1d700ec3c74a2a7107b3476
SHA256 9e4cb963e509fbde6de003a81a3e19cfc703be1c41d20f4b094a0fa89d6ad02c
SHA256 b14d70827d5d668aeb31e94be512fea9fb38ead8ec12cdf7617616801c76b6e9
SHA256 b49c9eba58537f8d856daded80bc9493a83c508d73423b98686d4e8b232d61c3
SHA256 4c9e35f3d5f555dda5f4373cf23fbb289c6067c70841be7022ba6da62e49cccb
SHA256 acec0bb9d9bd199d3e6a77b763cebee8f67275996d3c55af8c617fef76f2e87f
SHA256 7cbcad4d6e9ad8438e5febd3830bff9aef4729b98d23935ad7f9e6d290272732
SHA256 c9c0180eba2a712f1aba1303b90cbf12c1117451ce13b68715931abc437b10cd
SHA256 c322d10ef3aa532d4625f1c2589eae0f723208db37a7c7e81e4f07e36c3a537e
SHA256 3c756d761e89a0ea1216e2b7e57250ac76a80d5fe4f072e3b4b372e609ece74e
SHA256 2a42f500d019a64970e1c63d48eefa27727f80fe0a5b13625e0e72a6ec98b968
SHA256 679a8519587909f655bacea438168cbb4c03434aede9913d9a3a637c55a0eae7
SHA256 e9766b6129d9e1d59b92c4313d704e8cdc1a9b38905021efcac334cdd451e617
SHA256 80392bebe21245128e3353eec7f499bdc5550e67501eceebf21985644d146768
SHA256 215c72df44fe8e564d24f4d9930c27409e7f76e2045c67940cdcecdbdbd3b04f
SHA256 9e12094c15f59d68ad17e5ed42ebb85e5b41f4258823b7b5c7472bdff21e6cee
SHA256 1c98a36229b878bae15985c1ae0ff96e42f36fa06359323f205e18431d780a3b
SHA256 e9621840e1bfaf16eaee37e2d1e9d1f0032158a09e638eaebff6d8626d47c95a
SHA256 c51658ed15a09e9d8759c9fbf24665d6f0101a19a2a147e06d58571d05266d0a
SHA256 5187c9a84f5e69ba4b08538c3f5e7432e7b45ac84dec456ea07325ff5e94319a
SHA256 ddb24e0a38ba9194fe299e351e54facb2cca9e6011db2f5242210284df91f900
SHA256 69724a9bd8033bd16647bc9aea41d5fe9fb7f7a83c5d6fbfb439d21b7b9f53f6
SHA256 d7f15f750cceeb9e28e412f278949f183f98aeb65fe99731b2340c8f1c008465
SHA256 238fa49ed966cb746bffee3e7ca95b4a9db3bb0f897b8fd8ae560f9080749a82
SHA256 69724a9bd8033bd16647bc9aea41d5fe9fb7f7a83c5d6fbfb439d21b7b9f53f6
SHA256 f92fecc6e4656652d66d1e63f29de8bfc09ea6537cf2c4dd01579dc909ba0113
SHA256 5b12f8d817b5f98eb51ef675d5f31d3d1e34bf06befba424f08a5b28ce98d45a
SHA256 3b701eac4e3a73aec109120c97102c17edf88a20d1883dd5eef6db60d52b8d92
SHA256 b49c9eba58537f8d856daded80bc9493a83c508d73423b98686d4e8b232d61c3
SHA256 acec0bb9d9bd199d3e6a77b763cebee8f67275996d3c55af8c617fef76f2e87f
SHA256 4c9e35f3d5f555dda5f4373cf23fbb289c6067c70841be7022ba6da62e49cccb
URL https[:]//onedrive[.]live[.]com/download?cid=265DAF943BE0D06F&resid=265DAF943BE0D06F%21171&authkey=AMI1YV6jNxclaec
URL http[:]//popeorigin[.]pw
URL http[:]//dewakartu[.]info/wp-includes/BRVMFYvIR/
URL http[:]//drhuzaifa[.]com/wp-includes/2i48k7-evv28gw-205510/
URL http[:]//dewarejeki[.]info/wp-includes/up58jauc-pum2w-630352/
URL http[:]//rasmus-plius[.]tomasjs[.]com/wp-admin/KfesPCcG/
URL http[:]//easytogets[.]com/xfxvqq/UxbKAbm/
URL https[:]//cloud-security[.]ggpht[.]ml
URL http[:]//secure[.]zenithglobalplc[.]com/assets/plugins/bootstrap-wizard/system_x64[.]exe
URL http[:]//motivation[.]neighboring[.]site/01/index[.]php
URL https[:]//onedrive[.]live[.]com/download?cid=265DAF943BE0D06F&resid=


URL http[:]//tailuong[.]com[.]vn/[.]xxx/playbook/onelove/fre[.]php
URL https[:]//www[.]onetimeroma[.]com/lost/rockstar[.]php
URL https[:]//www[.]chapeauartgallery[.]com/SUPPORTS/locals[.]php
URL http[:]//www[.]discusshoops[.]com/DISQUS[.]php
URL https[:]//chomyflozy[.]duckdns[.]org
URL http[:]//www[.]slacktracks[.]info/e12/?LJfxZ=hO3hBkxu1F/QQoVtLv3IhDwCcknmtRcJonnhtJ3R0BM0GC3rHSS1kgq0DEskVYHjDJX+/Q==&Vp8h=cz7tTz9p-90h4gt
URL http[:]//www[.]webfeatusa[.]net/e12/?LJfxZ=1CbYOqydIT70m9XPNsNZ3X3NgDEVQnw/rRrz+k+vF8uL+qJ4J3WKysbsjxdZCzgGrC1++w==&Vp8h=cz7tTz9p90h4gt&sql=1
URL http[:]//www[.]makeupprimerspray[.]com/e12/?LJfxZ=NSQopDdawCOOQSyQXUSgSx+w/7t91r6e8z0AUnmVGKAxI+P615MDhQgbvUIoIJuh35rtRQ==&Vp8h=cz7tTz9p90h4gt&sql=1
URL http[:]//mercadosonntag[.]com[.]br/sK2vbV3
URL https[:]//corona-virus-map[.]net/map[.]jar
URL http[:]//corona-virus-map[.]com
URL http[:]//arinnnnnnnn[.]ddns[.]net
URL http[:]//tailuong[.]com[.]vn/[.]xxx/playbook/onelove/fre[.]php
URL http[:]//bralibuda[.]com/4/forum.php
URL http[:]//greferezud[.]com/4/forum[.]php
URL http[:]//deraelous[.]com/4/forum[.]php
URL http[:]//bslines[.]xyz/copy/five/fre[.]php
URL http[:]//dewakartu[.]info/wp-includes/BRVMFYvIR/
URL http[:]//dewarejeki[.]info/wp-includes/up58jauc-pum2w-630352/
URL https[:]//healing-yui223[.]com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage[.]cgi
URL http[:]//109[.]236[.]109[.]159/vnx8v
URL http[:]//www[.]drhuzaifa[.]com/wp-includes/2i48k7-evv28gw-205510/
URL http[:]//85[.]96[.]49[.]152/6oU9ipBIjTSU1
URL https[:]//urbanandruraldesign[.]com[.]au/cdcgov/files/
URL http[:]//198[.]23[.]200[.]241/~power13/.xoiaspxo/fre.php
URL http[:]//helpvan[.]su/
URL http[:]//erasmus-plius[.]tomasjs[.]com/wp-admin/KfesPCcG/
URL https[:]//share[.]dmca[.]gripe/jUuWPW6ONwL1Wkux[.]bin
URL https[:]//gocycle[.]com[.]au/cdcgov/files/
URL https[:]//onthefx[.]com/cd[.]php
URL http[:]//186[.]10[.]98[.]177/faHtH2y
URL http[:]//dewakartu[.]info/wp-includes/BRVMFYvIR/
URL http[:]//drhuzaifa[.]com/wp-includes/2i48k7-evv28gw-205510/
URL http[:]//dewarejeki[.]info/wp-includes/up58jauc-pum2w-630352/
URL http[:]//erasmus-plius[.]tomasjs[.]com/wp-admin/KfesPCcG/
URL http[:]//easytogets[.]com/xfxvqq/UXbKAbm/
URL http[:]//dw[.]adyboh[.]com
URL http[:]//wy[.]adyboh[.]com
URL http[:]//feb[.]kkooppt[.]com
URL http[:]//compdate[.]my03[.]com
URL http[:]//jocoly[.]esvnpe[.]com
URL http[:]//bmy[.]hqoohoa[.]com
URL http[:]//bur[.]vueleslie[.]com
URL http[:]//wind[.]windmilldrops[.]com
URL http[:]//vahlallha[.]duckdns[.]org
URL http[:]//cloud-security[.]ggpht[.]ml
URL http[:]//kbfvzoboss[.]bid



This section contains some recommendations which we encourage you to follow. In addition, please also read the following blog also provides some guidance for organizations that have a workforce working remotely and about how McAfee Unified Cloud Edge can help.

Software Updates

As with all our publications, we encourage all our customers to keep their McAfee software up to date. This ensures that you will have the latest signatures and rules to help protect against similar threats to the ones mentioned in this report.

We also recommend installing the latest OS patches, VPN Patches and all other software updates on your machine. In addition we highly recommend utilizing SASE solutions such as McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge.

Spotting Spam/Phishing emails

The best way to protect yourself is to not open unsolicited emails as malicious files are often distributed via email with the use of attachments or links. To help identify malicious emails, please read this blog: How to Spot Phishing Lures

Global Threat Intelligence (GTI)

McAfee GTI uses heuristics and file reputations checks on suspicious files through on-access scanning and on-demand scanning. This can provide near real time protection. The following KB Article contains the steps for changing the GTI sensitivity level on McAfee products.

You can configure the sensitivity level that McAfee GTI uses when it determines if a detected sample is malware. The McAfee GTI sensitivity level is set to Medium by default. Configure the sensitivity level for each scanner in the On-Access Scan and On-Demand Scan settings.

Sensitivity Level:

  • Very low — High confidence detections. Less aggressive GTI Setting, also least FP prone.
  • Low — This setting is the minimum recommendation for systems with a strong security footprint.
  • Medium — default setting on most products.
  • High — Use this setting for deployment to systems or areas which are regularly infected.
  • Very high — Most aggressive. Detections found with this level are presumed malicious but haven’t been fully tested. McAfee recommends using this level for systems that require highest security but may also result in higher false positive rate.

Endpoint Security (ENS) Product

ENS is our Endpoint Security product and provides a broad range of default protection, self-help protection and detection abilities.

Expert Rules

Expert Rules are text-based custom rules that can be created in the Exploit Prevention policy in ENS Threat Prevention 10.5.3 and above.

Expert Rules provide additional parameters and allow much more flexibility than the custom rules that can be created in the Access Protection policy. It also allows system administration to control / monitor an endpoint system at a very granular level. This is a very useful toolkit for administrators and SOC’s and allow quick creation and deployment of powerful extensions to detect and protect ability. You can author monitoring and blocking for processes, files, memory injection, module load and unload events, etc.

We recommend reading the following blog which describes how to use Expert Rules and gives some good examples which would help block potentially malicious activity.


Here are some examples of quick expert rules you can formulate to utilize at your endpoint against Covid-19 related threats

Example Rule – 1

The following rule helps block archived corona named executables accessed from inside archived email attachments

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**” }


Target {


Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\appdata\\Local\\temp\\Rar*\\*corona*.exe” }

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\appdata\\Local\\temp\\Rar*\\*covid*.exe” }

Include -access “CREATE”





Example Rule – 2

The following rule helps block COVID named document containing macros accessed from email attachments or downloaded locations

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\winword.exe” }

Include PROCESS_CMD_LINE { -v “**corona**” }

Include PROCESS_CMD_LINE { -v “**covid**” }


Target {


Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\vbe7.dll” }

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\vbe7intl.dll” }





Example Rule – 3

The following Expert rule prevents certain version of Foobar Communication software from executing.

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**” }


Target {


Include DESCRIPTION { -v “FooBar Communications ” }

Include VERSION { -v “4,5,**” }

Include -access “CREATE”






Expert rules are flexible that the SOC analyst / author can test the rules in report only mode and then check for potential falses in the environment. Finally, they can be turned on to block mode.

JTI Rules

JTI Rules are released fortnightly and they target suspicious process chains and command-line threats. They also additionally detect suspicious files based on locations / characteristics. From the collection of JTI rules, we recommend turning on the few of Evaluate or HighOn rules for advanced threat protection. These rules can be turned default on from the EPO console.

  • Protection from suspicious Command line parameters where malware invokes PowerShell with command-line parameters for malicious activities. This rule is identifiable in the EPO console with the rule id 262.
    • Rule:262 – Identify suspicious command parameter execution for Security rule group assignments
  • Protection from malware launching suspicious command-line based script applications like WScript, CScript, and PowerShell. This rule is identifiable in the EPO console with the rule id 320.
    • Rule:320 – Prevent cmd.exe from launching other script interpreters such as CScript or PowerShell by default only in Security rule group assignments
  • Protection from files being executed from non-standard locations like \windows\fonts or \windows\resources location. This rule also protects spawning of wmiprvse.exe from suspicious process’s like foobar.exe, etc. This rule is identifiable in the EPO console with the rule id 238
    • Rule 238 – Identify abuse of common process’s spawned from non-standard locations

Fortnightly released JTI rules are normally released in Evaluate or HighOn setting. We recommend EPO admins to go through the release notes of the product and enable rules that suits their environment.

Enable AMSI

AMSI by default is set to observe mode. We recommend changing this to block mode as it will detect a vast majority of threats which are often email based such a JavaScript downloaders.

Please read this blog to find out more about AMSI and which threats it helps detect.

Suspicious Email attachment detection

As shown in this report, Email remains a top vector for attackers.  McAfee endpoint products use a combination of product features and content for increased agility.  In McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) 10.5 and above, such protection is enabled via the ‘Detect suspicious email attachments’ option and maintained through DAT content.  This capability goes beyond the level of protection offered by email clients by not only blocking applications and scripts, but also a variety of threat types in their native form, as well as those compressed and contained within archives and other formats.

For a guide on how to enable this please read this blog: McAfee Protects Against Suspicious Email Attachements

ATP (Adaptive Threat Protection)

McAfee ATP (Adaptive Threat Protection) utilizes Machine Learning via our Real Protect Module. This provides pre and post execution monitoring of threats using ML models that are deployed locally and in the cloud. In addition, ATP provides and additional layer of protection with advanced rules for threat evaluation based on static and behavioral features.

We recommend enabling Real Protect at the default settings at the minimum. ATP rules come in three forms: Evaluate, DefaultOn and HighOn.

  • Evaluate rules are tested in the field by McAfee to determine if they are robust enough to detect malicious activity. They do not block by default but log activity in the ATP log. Such rules can be enabled by administrators via EPO to Block. McAfee researchers on a regular basis analyze performance of such rules and make modifications to promote them to DefaultOn (Rule Assignment to Balanced (default)) or HighOn (Rule Assignment to Security). Prior to manual enablement for Block mode, it is recommended that you observe triggers via the ATP logs to ensure they suite your environment.
  • DefaultOn rules are high confidence rules that block by default within ENS ATP and MVISION Endpoint. They can be turned off if required by administrators from within EPO.
  • HighOn rules detect behavior that is known to be malicious but may have some overlap with non-malicious applications. These rules work as Evaluate in balanced posture but act as DefaultOn in Security posture. Administrators are encouraged to utilize this setting to during high malware activity events for monitoring and default blocking.

For details on Rule descriptions, security posture and settings please refer this KB Article:

Unified Cloud Edge

Get a SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) architected web protection solution like McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge. This delivers anytime/anywhere protection (like WFH scenarios) for web traffic, cloud-native and cloud-to-cloud traffic – whether you’re on a VPN, or directly connected to the internet. As an example, even if you access a link from a malicious email or visit a hostile site in a non-VPN setting, you will continue to benefit from our GTI and cloud-based threat to protect against malicious sites and downloads. Unified Cloud Edge can expand your capabilities for URL protection by providing the following:

  1. Malicious URL – blocked via GTI and URL
  2. Block any download from a benign URL (example: – possible to block via tenant restrictions. For example: corporate Onedrive permitted, personal ( or other companies blocked.
  3. Malicious download – blocked by the cloud gateway file engines, including AV, GAM, and GTI.
  4. 3rd party Malicious upload (placing a payload in an open share on the company Onedrive) – blocked via API-based scanning of the corporate sanctioned services, same AV/GAM/GTI layers of inspection.

MVISION Unified Cloud Edge protects data from device to cloud and prevents cloud-native threats that are invisible to the corporate network. This creates a secure environment for the adoption of cloud services, enabling cloud access from any device and allowing ultimate workforce productivity.


As you can see from this report, there are various threats which are taking advantage of this pandemic. We will continue to enable our customers to use our recommendations to remain safe during this challenging time. Be extra vigilant online and stay safe and healthy always!

As we continually provide recommendations based on current data, we encourage regular reading of McAfee blogs where you will find regular updates on threat patterns and protection information.

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