Kovter

Posted: December 23, 2023
from Cybersecurity Glossary
Aliases:
Fileless-KOVTER, Trojan.Kotver, Trojan.Poweliks, Kovter Police Ransomware, Ransom:Win32/Kovter, Ransom:Win64/Kovter.A,Trojan:Win32/Kovter, Trojan:Win64/Kovter, Trojan.Win32.Kovter, Trojan.Win64.Kovter
Aliases:
Platform:
Windows
Variants:
Kovter.C, Kovter.R, Kovter.A/B, TROJ_KOVTER.[variant letter], Trojan.Kovter.A, Trojan.Kovter!gen4, Trojan:JS/Kovter.A, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.C, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.I, Trojan.Kovter.Generic, Trojan.Win32.Kovter.sm, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.F!lnk, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.H, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.M, Trojan.Kovter.xi, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.RPT!MTB, Win32/Kovter.gen!A, Trojan:Win32/Kovter.E, Trojan.Kovter.1.
Damage:
Steals Personal Data, Destroys Files, Demands Ransom For Locked System Access, Downloads Additional Malicious Payloads, Uses The Infected Devices For Click Fraud, Hides Itself In The Computer's Memory Or Registry To Avoid Detection.
Risk Level:
Very High!

Known for its constantly evolving tactics, Kovter initially surfaced as ransomware, presenting fake police warnings and coercing users to pay fines for alleged illegal content. Over time, it transformed into a more sophisticated form of malware favored by cybercriminals for committing ad fraud. Kovter's fileless nature makes detection and removal exceptionally challenging, contributing to its high success rate in carrying out malicious activities.

Possible symptoms

  • Unusual system slowdowns or high CPU usage
  • Unexpected pop-up messages demanding payment or displaying fake law enforcement warnings
  • Unexplained changes in file contents or file deletion
  • Unauthorized access to sensitive data
  • Increased network activity, especially communication with suspicious domains
  • Anomalies in system logs and registry entries

Sources of the infection

  • Drive-by downloads from compromised or malicious websites
  • Email attachments containing infected documents or links to malicious sites
  • Exploitation of software vulnerabilities, especially outdated software
  • Malicious scripts or payloads delivered through phishing campaigns
  • Compromised or malicious external storage devices
  • Injection through exploited network services or protocols

Overview

Kovter, a notorious fileless malware, has earned various aliases, including Fileless-KOVTER, Trojan.Kotver, and Kovter Police Ransomware. This insidious threat is recognized for its multifaceted nature, characterized by its ability to hide in a device's memory and execute commands, primarily engaging in ad fraud.

Initially emerging as ransomware, Kovter employed deceptive tactics, presenting fake police warnings and coercing users into paying fines for alleged illegal content. However, over time, it evolved into a more sophisticated form of malware, becoming a preferred tool for cybercriminals involved in ad fraud schemes. The fileless nature of Kovter poses significant challenges for detection and removal, contributing to its high success rate in carrying out malicious activities.

The damage potential of Kovter is extensive, ranging from the theft of personal data and file destruction to demanding ransom for locked system access. Kovter also downloads additional malicious payloads, utilizes infected devices for click fraud, and employs tactics such as hiding in a computer's memory or registry to avoid detection.

If infected, Kovter manifests symptoms such as unusual system slowdowns, unexpected pop-up messages demanding payment or displaying fake law enforcement warnings, and unauthorized access to sensitive data. Increased network activity, anomalies in system logs, and changes in file contents are also indicative of a potential Kovter infection.

Sources of Kovter infections vary, including drive-by downloads from compromised websites, email attachments with infected documents or links, exploitation of software vulnerabilities (especially in outdated software), malicious scripts or payloads delivered through phishing campaigns, compromised external storage devices, and injection through exploited network services or protocols.

If a Kovter infection is suspected, immediate isolation of the affected system from the network is crucial to prevent further damage. A comprehensive malware scan, focusing on memory and registry scanning, should be performed using Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, with prompt removal of identified threats.

Preventing Kovter infections requires keeping operating systems and software up-to-date with the latest security patches. Employing a robust antivirus solution with real-time scanning capabilities is essential. Regularly backing up important data and storing it in an offline or secure location helps mitigate potential damage. Educating users about phishing techniques and the importance of avoiding suspicious links or email attachments is also a key preventive measure against Kovter.

Kovter primarily targets the Windows platform, and its danger level is rated at 5, highlighting the severity of the threat it poses to cybersecurity.

🤔 What to do?

If you suspect a Kovter infection, immediately isolate the affected system from the network to prevent further damage. Perform a comprehensive malware scan using Gridinsoft Anti-Malware. Since Kovter is fileless, focus on memory and registry scanning. Remove any identified threats promptly.

🛡️ Prevention

To prevent Kovter infections, keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security patches. Employ a robust antivirus solution with real-time scanning capabilities. Regularly backup your important data and store it in an offline or secure location. Educate users about phishing techniques and the importance of avoiding suspicious links or email attachments.

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