SPICA is a backdoor-type malware that ingeniously infiltrates systems primarily through phishing and social engineering tactics. Developed by the Coldriver cybercrime group, it’s known for disguising itself in seemingly innocent documents, only to reveal its encrypted nature.
Victims are then tricked into downloading a fake decryption tool, which is Spica. This malware stands out for its stealthy spread methods and its ability to open backdoors for further infection.
SPICA Backdoor Overview
Spica is a backdoor developed using the Rust programming language. This kind of software stealthily creates a “backdoor” in targeted systems to facilitate further infections. Since September 2023, Spica has been actively deployed, though evidence indicates its existence as early as November 2022. Notably, it is the first custom-built malware attributed to the Coldriver group, also known under aliases such as Callisto, Star Blizzard, and UNC4057.
Aligned with Russian governmental interests, Coldriver has been operational for many years, primarily engaging in phishing-based espionage. The group strategically targets significant individuals, including former Western intelligence and military officials, and those connected with NATO, the Ukrainian government and military, academia, and various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). While previously focusing solely on credential phishing, COLDRIVER has recently expanded its operations to include the distribution of malware like Spica.
|Trojan, backdoor malware
|Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim’s computer added to a botnet.
|Agent Racoon, Kazuar
|See If Your System Has Been Affected by Spica Virus
Spica is adept at creating a backdoor access to infiltrate systems. Once inside, it connects to its Command and Control (C&C) server, ensuring its persistence. Its capabilities extend to receiving and executing commands from the C&C server. Key functionalities of this malware include executing Shell commands and managing files – it can search, exfiltrate (download), and infiltrate (upload) files. This capability allows the malware not just to steal data but also to inject and execute files, potentially leading to further infections by downloading and installing additional malicious programs.
A particularly alarming feature of Spica is its ability to extract internet cookies from popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. The impact of that backdoor on infected devices is profound, leading to multiple system infections, severe privacy breaches, financial losses, and even identity theft. The threat escalates when used against targets of high sensitivity, underlining the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures against such sophisticated malware.
Spica infiltrated your computer using tactics consistent with those of the COLDRIVER threat group, renowned for credential phishing. The cybercriminals initially establish contact with their targets, often individuals associated with government, military, NATO, or NGOs, posing as experts in related fields. These impersonators craft a facade of legitimacy and gradually build trust through communication. Once they have gained enough trust, they send links or files under various pretenses, such as seeking feedback or opinions on articles and op-eds.
Initially, COLDRIVER employed these strategies solely for phishing, aiming to steal login credentials or sensitive information. However, they have now adapted these methods for distributing malware, including the Spica backdoor. The typical approach involves sending seemingly innocuous PDF documents, which appear encrypted upon opening. When victims inquire about this, the attackers direct them to a supposed decryption tool, often named something like “Proton-decrypter.exe,” usually hosted on a cloud storage site. This fake decrypter is Spica in disguise, simultaneously displaying a decoy document to maintain the illusion of decrypting the fraudulent PDF.
How To Remove Malware
While removing malware manually is technically possible, I advise against it. Malware like Spica is designed to gain persistence by creating multiple copies of itself, making it highly challenging to track down every component. Consequently, manual removal can be time-consuming and often ineffective.
The most efficient way to eradicate malware from your device is by using a dedicated anti-malware tool. For this purpose, I recommend GridinSoft Anti-Malware. It’s fast, lightweight, and highly effective at neutralizing threats, including Spica. You can evaluate its capabilities during a 6-day free trial. For detailed steps on removing Spica, refer to the comprehensive guide I’ve prepared below.
Remove Spica with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware
We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Bakdooc as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Spica as well as other malware hiding on your computer.
To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:
1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.
2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.
3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.
4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.
Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.
5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.
6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.
8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.
Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.
Trojan Killer for “Spica” removal on locked PC
In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.
There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.
Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.
Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:
1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.
2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.
3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.
4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.
Step 2: Update Signature Databases:
5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.
6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.
Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:
7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.
8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.
9. Insert the USB flash drive.
10. Run tk.exe
11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.
Step 4: Remove Found Threats:
12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.
13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.
14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.
Step 5: Restart Your Computer:
15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.
16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.
Congratulations on effectively removing Spica and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Reformatting your storage device should only be considered as a last resort for removing Spica malware. Before taking such drastic action, it is advisable to perform a comprehensive scan using trustworthy antivirus or anti-malware software.
Malware poses a significant risk to the security and privacy of sensitive information, potentially leading to identity theft, financial loss, and unauthorized access to personal accounts. Furthermore, it can disrupt the normal operation of a system, causing performance issues, system crashes, and data corruption.
The purpose of Spica is to enable remote access and control of compromised devices. It allows threat actors to perform various malicious activities, such as unauthorized access, data theft, system manipulation, and disabling security measures, potentially causing significant harm to individuals and organizations.
Gridinsoft Anti-Malware can identify and eliminate most malware infections. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that sophisticated malware can remain hidden deep within the system. Consequently, conducting a complete system scan is imperative to detect and eradicate malware.
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