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Thread Modes Cardinal RAT Resurrected to Target FinTech Firms

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A long-quiet malware family has been spotted targeting financial technology firms, armed with new obfuscation techniques to avoid detection.

A malware family called Cardinal RAT has reappeared, after two years of silence, in a series of attacks that have been targeting Israel-based financial technology firms.

After Cardinal RAT was first detected in 2017, the malware disappeared for two years. But now, in this latest campaign, researchers with Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 said that the malware is back, and has adapted new tricky modifications aimed at evading detection and hindering analysis.

“Since April 2017, we have observed Cardinal RAT in attacks against two customers, both customers were FinTech companies who write software relating to forex [foreign exchange] and cryptocurrency trading, and both companies were based in Israel,” Unit 42 researchers Tom Lancaster and Josh Grunzweig said in a Tuesday analysis.

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