Hackers used new Windows Defender zero-day to drop DarkMe malware

Microsoft has patched today a Windows Defender SmartScreen zero-day exploited in the wild by a financially motivated threat group to deploy the DarkMe remote access trojan.

The hacking group was spotted using the zero-day in attacks on New Year’s Eve day by Trend Micro security researchers.

CVE-2023-36025 was patched during the November 2023 Patch Tuesday, and, as Trend Micro revealed last month, it was also exploited to bypass Windows security prompts when opening URL files to deploy the Phemedrone info-stealer malware.

The attackers’ goal was to trick targeted traders into installing the DarkMe malware via social engineering.

They used a high-severity vulnerability in the WinRAR software used by over 500 million users to compromise trading accounts several months before a patch was available.

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