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New Malware Families Found Targeting VMware ESXi Hypervisors

Threat actors have been found deploying never-before-seen post-compromise implants in VMware's virtualization software to seize control of infected systems and evade detection. Google's Mandiant threat intelligence division referred to it as a "novel malware ecosystem" that impacts VMware ESXi, Linux vCenter servers, and Windows virtual machines, allowing attackers to maintain persistent access to the hypervisor as well as execute arbitrary commands. The hyperjacking attacks, per the cybersecurity vendor, involved the use of malicious vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs) to sneak in two implants, dubbed VIRTUALPITA and VIRTUALPIE, on the ESXi hypervisors.