Executive summary

Cisco Talos recently discovered a new malware loader being used to deliver and infect systems with a previously undocumented malware payload called “Divergent.” We first dove into this malware after we saw compelling data from Cisco Advanced Malware Protection’s (AMP) Exploit Prevention.

This threat uses NodeJS — a program that executes JavaScript outside of a web browser — as well as the legitimate open-source utility WinDivert to facilitate some of the functionality in the Divergent malware. The use of NodeJS is not something commonly seen across malware families.

The observed malware campaigns associated with Divergent feature the use of persistence techniques most commonly associated with “fileless” malware, leaving behind few artifacts for researchers to look at. This malware can be leveraged by an attacker to target corporate networks and appears to be primarily designed to conduct click fraud. It also features several characteristics that have been observed in other click-fraud malware, such as Kovter.



Talos Group

Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group