When people imagine threat actors tricking victims into installing malware, the first thing that comes to mind is probably email phishing or typosquatted domains. These days, digital attack vectors are so easy to deploy that physical vectors may even get a chance to fly under the radar.

In a recent campaign uncovered by Trustwave, the criminal threat group FIN7 mailed USB drives serving an unknown malware strain disguised as a free Best Buy gift card offering. The letter mailed with the USB drive states that the retail giant is sending out gift cards to its loyal customers, and the gifted credit can be used to buy products from a specific list that is found on the enclosed USB stick.


The enclosed USB device is sold online under the product name “BadUSB,” and includes a microcontroller that allows threat actors to emulate a USB keyboard. This is a mischievous strategy that allows the attackers to easily penetrate the victim’s computer, as keyboard devices are automatically trusted by the computer. Once connected, the USB runs a powershell payload that downloads a currently unidentified malware linked to FIN7.

Until recent years, BadUSB attacks were more of a food for thought than an actual attack vector seen in the wild. The first attacks of this sort were uncovered in 2010, with the last known BadUSB campaign sighted over a year ago. We recommend taking caution when considering the use of a new hardware from an unverified source. Do not plug devices in to your computer if you suspect that they may not be legitimate.

If you’re already a ThreatSTOP user, you’re protected against this malware in our TS Originated - Core Threats - IPs and TS Originated - Core Threats - Domains targets.


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