Google warns of a novel cyber threat using cloud services as attackers repurpose Google Calendar events for command-and-control (C2) operations.
The “Google Calendar RAT” exploit, initially shared on GitHub in June, has caught attention in the cybersecurity community, with 15 forks indicating interest, although not yet observed in active deployment.
Cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging legitimate functions within cloud services to conceal malicious activities, presenting a new challenge for detection and prevention.
While Google has issued a fix to block the Google Calendar RAT, the incident underscores the potential for more similar malware emerging, emphasizing the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between security measures and cyber threats.
The exploit has been shared on cybercriminal forums, suggesting a potential adoption by threat actors. Google, however, has not detected it being used in real-world scenarios.
Created by IT researcher Valerio Alessandroni, the Google Calendar RAT streamlines the infrastructure required for C2 purposes, making it an attractive tool for attackers. Attackers only need to set up a Google service account, obtain credentials.json, create a shared Google calendar, and edit the script to execute commands through event descriptions.
The strength of the Google Cloud RAT lies in its ability to operate entirely over legitimate cloud infrastructure, complicating detection efforts for security professionals.
The head of threat research at Google Cloud, advises a focus on anomaly-based monitoring to detect activities that deviate from the norm, recognizing the increasing trend of threat actors exploiting cloud services.
Google anticipates new techniques emerging in the next year, highlighting the continuous evolution of cyber threats and the need for adaptive security strategies.
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