may 2024

Latrodectus Malware Linked to Notorious IcedID Developer

In recent months, security researchers have uncovered a new and sophisticated malware strain called Latrodectus, which has been linked to the notorious IcedID developer. Latrodectus exhibits advanced evasion techniques and has been distributed through malicious email campaigns since November 2023. This write-up aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the targets and potential impact of Latrodectus, as well as offer actionable steps for remediation.

Latrodectus has been associated with successful malware attacks on companies. It is believed to be an evolutionary successor to the IcedID loader. The malware functions as a downloader, with the primary objective of downloading payloads and executing arbitrary commands. It exhibits evasion functionality, making it difficult to detect, and shares similarities with the IcedID malware. 

Latrodectus has been distributed in various phising campaigns since at least November 2023. It has been attributed to threat actor groups TA577 and TA578 and is expected to continue gaining momentum among threat actors. The specific payloads delivered by Latrodectus remain unknown, but its downloader functionality allows attackers to deploy a wide range of tools through malicious emails, depending on their objectives. It is important for organizations to maintain strong cybersecurity hygiene, be cautious of suspicious emails, and educate employees on cybersecurity best practices to mitigate the risk of Latrodectus.

Targets and Potential Impact

Financial Institutions: Latrodectus primarily targets financial institutions, aiming to steal sensitive financial information. It acts as a downloader, retrieving payloads and executing arbitrary commands. The malware's advanced sandbox evasion functionality makes it difficult to detect and mitigate, posing a significant threat to the banking sector.

Individuals and Organizations: Latrodectus has also been distributed through phishing campaigns, targeting individuals and organizations. By impersonating various companies and sending legal threats about alleged copyright infringement, threat actors lure victims into clicking malicious links. This can lead to the installation of Latrodectus, compromising the victim's system and potentially exposing sensitive data.

Initial Access Brokers (IABs): Latrodectus has been used by IABs to facilitate the deployment of other malware. These brokers leverage the malware's capabilities to gain unauthorized access to systems, which they then sell to other threat actors for further exploitation. This highlights the potential for Latrodectus to serve as a gateway for more damaging attacks.

Steps for Malware Mitigation

  1. Enforce the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all login portals: MFA adds an extra layer of security beyond a username and password and helps to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information or accounts.

  2. Execute potentially risky files in a sandbox or virtual machine: When file execution from questionable sources cannot be avoided, running programs in a secure environment, such as a sandbox or virtual machine, is essential to protect against malicious software designed to steal sensitive data.

  3. Implement Robust Email Security Measures: Given that Latrodectus is primarily distributed through phishing campaigns, organizations and individuals should prioritize email security. Deploying advanced email filtering solutions can help detect and block malicious emails, reducing the risk of infection.

  4. Keep Software and Systems Updated: Regularly updating software and systems is crucial for mitigating the risk of malware infections. Latrodectus exploits vulnerabilities in outdated software, making patch management a critical aspect of defense. Employing automated patch management tools can streamline this process and ensure timely updates.

  5. Deploy Advanced Endpoint Protection: Traditional antivirus solutions may struggle to detect and mitigate advanced malware like Latrodectus. Deploying advanced endpoint protection solutions that leverage machine learning and behavioral analysis can enhance detection capabilities and provide real-time threat intelligence.


The emergence of Latrodectus, linked to the notorious IcedID developer, poses a significant threat to financial institutions, individuals, and organizations. Its advanced evasion techniques and ability to facilitate the deployment of other malware make it a formidable adversary. However, by enforcing MFA, executing risky files in a protected environment, implementing robust email security measures, keeping software and systems updated, and deploying advanced endpoint protection, organizations can enhance their defenses against Latrodectus and mitigate potential risks. It is crucial to remain vigilant, adapt to evolving threats, and stay informed about the latest security practices to effectively combat this and other emerging malware strains.


  • latrodectus - Taken from Cybersixgill’s proprietary threat entity data

  • “Threat Awareness – Evasive Malware, Latrodectus, Found in Various Phishing Campaigns“ from isac_water, published on April 9th, 2024 by ISAC-WATER

  • “Sophisticated Latrodectus Malware Linked to 2017 Strain“ from cybernews_bankinfosecurity, published on April 5th, 2024 by Prajeet Nair

  • “Acid Rain, Pikabot, VenomRAT, Mallox Ransomware, and More: Hacker’s Playbook Threat Coverage Round-up: March-April 2024“ from cybernews_securityboulevard, published on May 2nd, 2024 by Kaustubh Jagtap

  • “New Latrodectus Downloader Malware Linked to IcedID and Qbot Creators“ from cybernews_hackread, published on April 4th, 2024 by Owais Sultan

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