WOBURN, MA – May 28, 2015 — / – Kaspersky Lab has recently discovered a new business-oriented cyber-spying campaign called Grabit that was able to steal about 10,000 files from small/medium-sized organizations based mostly in Thailand, India and the US. The targeted sectors include chemicals, nanotechnology, education, agriculture, media, construction and more.

“We see a lot of spying campaigns focused on enterprises, government organizations and other high-profile entities, with small and medium-sized businesses rarely seen in the lists of targets. But Grabit shows that it’s not just a “big fish” game – in the cyber world every single organization, whether it possesses money, information or political influence, could be of potential interest to one or other malicious actor. Grabit is still active, and it’s critically important to check your network to ensure you’re safe. On May 15th a simple Grabit keylogger was found to be maintaining thousands of victim account credentials from hundreds of infected systems. This threat shouldn’t be underestimated,” – says Ido Noar, senior security researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.

The infection starts with an employee in a business organization receiving an email with an attachment that appears to be a Microsoft Office Word (.doc) file. The user clicks to download it and the spying program is delivered to the machine from a remote server that has been hacked by the group to serve as a malware hub. The attackers control their victims using HawkEye keylogger, a commercial spying tool from HawkEyeProducts, and a configuration module containing a number of Remote Administration Tools (RATs).

To illustrate the scale of operation, Kaspersky Lab can reveal the impact of a keylogger in just one of the command-and-control servers. The keylogger was able to steal 2,887 passwords, 1,053 emails and 3,023 usernames from 4,928 different hosts, internally and externally, including Outlook, Facebook, Skype, Google mail, Pinterest, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as bank accounts and others.

An Erratic Group of Cybercriminals
On the one hand, the Grabit threat actor does not go the extra mile to hide its activity: some malicious samples used the same hosting server, and even the same credentials, undermining its own security. On the other hand, the attackers use strong mitigation techniques to keep their code hidden from analysts’ eyes. As a result, Kaspersky Lab believes that behind the operation is an erratic group, with some more technical members that are focused on being untraceable more so than others. Expert analysis suggests that whoever programmed the malware did not write all the code from scratch.

To protect against Grabit, Kaspersky Lab recommends the following:

  • ?heck this location C:\Users\<PC-NAME>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft, if it contains executable files, you might be infected with the malware. This is a warning you should not ignore.
  • The Windows System Configurations should not contain a grabit1.exe in the startup table.  Run “msconfig” and ensure that it is clean from grabit1.exe records.
  • Don’t open attachments and links from people you don’t know. If you can’t open it, don’t forward it to others – call for the support of an IT-administrator.
  • Use an advanced, up-to-date anti-malware solution, and always follow the AV task list for suspicious processes.

Kaspersky Lab products detect all known Grabit samples and protect its users against the threat.

To learn more about the “Grabit” operation, please read the blog post available at

About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is the world’s largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its more than 17-year history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides effective digital security solutions for large enterprises, SMBs and consumers. Kaspersky Lab, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom, currently operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe, providing protection for over 400 million users worldwide. Learn more at

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* The company was rated fourth in the IDC rating Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor, 2013. The rating was published in the IDC report “Worldwide Endpoint Security 2014–2018 Forecast and 2013 Vendor Shares (IDC #250210, August 2014). The report ranked software vendors according to earnings from sales of endpoint security solutions in 2013.

Media Contact
Sarah (Bergeron) Kitsos

Source: Kaspersky


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