The Australian healthcare industry was targeted by the Gootkit loader malware; initial access was gained through

The Australian healthcare industry was targeted by the Gootkit loader malware; initial access was gained through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) poisoning.
The threat actors capitalized on keyword search terms like “agreement”, “health”, “medical”, and “enterprise agreement” to target victims.
Upon visiting the compromised website, the victim would download the intended software which included the GootLoader malware that was contained in the JavaScript code at discrete segments to avoid detection.

The attacks contained two different phases; in the first phase the threat established persistence via a scheduled task while the second stage utilized the Cobalt Strike beacon to establish C2 communication.
Once a malicious zip file was downloaded, the contained JavaScript would be executed, the scheduled task created, and persistence established for subsequent engagements.
C2 communication was performed utilizing a PowerShell script that retrieved various files from legitimate websites, msdtc.exe utilized the DLL side-loading technique to abuse the legitimate VLC Media Player and executed libvlc.dll which was the Cobalt Strike beacon.
Finally, the threat actor used additional malware to facilitate discovery tasks and make outbound connections to machines located on the internal network.

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