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Sophisticated 'TajMahal APT Framework' Remained Undetected for 5 Years

Sophisticated 'TajMahal APT Framework' Remained Undetected for 5 Years

April 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers yesterday unveiled the existence of a highly sophisticated spyware framework that has been in operation for at least last 5 years—but remained undetected until recently. Dubbed TajMahal by researchers at Kaspersky Lab, the APT framework is a high-tech modular-based malware toolkit that not only supports a vast number of malicious plugins for distinct espionage operations, but also comprises never-before-seen and obscure tricks. Kaspersky named the framework after Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World located in India, not because it found any connection between the malware and the country, but because the stolen data was transferred to the attackers' C&C server in an XML file named TajMahal. TajMahal toolkit was first discovered by security researchers late last year when hackers used it to spy on the computers of a diplomatic organization belonging to a Central Asian country whose nationality and location have not been disclosed
Critical RCE Flaw in Linux APT Allows Remote Attackers to Hack Systems

Critical RCE Flaw in Linux APT Allows Remote Attackers to Hack Systems

January 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Just in time… Some cybersecurity experts this week arguing over Twitter in favor of not using HTTPS and suggesting software developers to only rely on signature-based package verification, just because APT on Linux also does the same. Ironically, a security researcher just today revealed details of a new critical remote code execution flaw in the apt-get utility that can be exploited by a remote, man-in-the middle attacker to compromise Linux machines. The flaw, apparently, once again demonstrates that if the software download ecosystem uses HTTPS to communicate safely, such attacks can easily be mitigated at the first place. Discovered by Max Justicz, the vulnerability (CVE-2019-3462) resides in the APT package manager, a widely used utility that handles installation, update and removal of software on Debian, Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions. According to a blog post published by Justicz and details shared with The Hacker News, the APT utility doesn't properly
Gazer: A New Backdoor Targets Ministries and Embassies Worldwide

Gazer: A New Backdoor Targets Ministries and Embassies Worldwide

August 30, 2017Mohit Kumar
Security researchers at ESET have discovered a new malware campaign targeting consulates, ministries and embassies worldwide to spy on governments and diplomats. Active since 2016, the malware campaign is leveraging a new backdoor, dubbed Gazer , and is believed to be carried out by Turla advanced persistent threat (APT) hacking group that's been previously linked to Russian intelligence. Gazer, written in C++, the backdoor delivers via spear phishing emails and hijacks targeted computers in two steps—first, the malware drops Skipper backdoor, which has previously been linked to Turla and then installs Gazer components. In previous cyber espionage campaigns, the Turla hacking group used Carbon and Kazuar backdoors as its second-stage malware, which also has many similarities with Gazer, according to research [ PDF ] published by ESET. Gazer receives encrypted commands from a remote command-and-control server and evades detection by using compromised, legitimate website
Malaysian flight MH370 tragedy abused by Chinese hackers for Espionage attacks

Malaysian flight MH370 tragedy abused by Chinese hackers for Espionage attacks

March 26, 2014Wang Wei
The Mysterious Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 , a Boeing 777-200 aircraft that has gone missing by the time it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The Malaysian Prime Minister had also confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean. Cyber Criminals are known to take advantage of major news stories or events where there is a high level of public interest and now Scammers are also targeting tragedy of MH370 to trap innocent Internet users. Just a few days before we warned you about a Facebook malware campaign claimed that the missing Malaysian Airlines ' MH370 has been spotted in the Bermuda Triangle ' with its passengers still alive and invites users to click a link to view breaking news video footage. This week, Security researchers at FireEye have revealed about various ongoing spear phishing and malware attacks by some advanced persistent threat (APT) attackers. According to the researchers, the Chines
Terminator RAT became more sophisticated in recent APT attacks

Terminator RAT became more sophisticated in recent APT attacks

October 27, 2013Mohit Kumar
Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is a term referring to targeted attacks on enterprises and other organizations and recently referred to what appeared to be nation-state intelligence agencies using cyber assaults for both conventional espionage and industrial espionage. Advanced threats have targeted control systems in the past and these attacks use commercially available and custom-made advanced malware to steal information or perpetrate fraud. Terminator RAT has been used against Tibetan and Uyghur activists before and while tracking attack against entities in Taiwan, the Cyber Security company FireEye Labs recently analyzed some new samples of ' Terminator RAT ' (Remote Access Tool) that was sent via spear-phishing emails to targets in Taiwan. A word document as an attachment was sent to victims, exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Office ( CVE-2012-0158 ), which subsequently drops a malware installer named “ DW20.exe ”. Sometimes the simplest techniques
ASLR bypass techniques are popular with APT attacks

ASLR bypass techniques are popular with APT attacks

October 16, 2013Mohit Kumar
Address space layout randomization (ASLR) is a security technique involved in protection from buffer overflow attacks. Many recent APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) attacks have utilized many different ASLR bypass techniques during the past year, according to Researchers at  FireEye . Many exploits and malware attacks rely on the ability of the programmer to accurately identify where specific processes or system functions reside in memory. In order for an attacker to exploit or leverage a function, they must first be able to tell their code where to find the function or process to exploit.  The goal of ASLR  is to introduce randomness into addresses used by a given task. It involves randomly arranging the positions of key data areas of a program, including the base of the executable and the positions of the stack, heap, and libraries, in a process's address space.  Today a lot of attention is brought to client side exploits especially inside web browsers . Normally the e
Chinese Hackers targeting American Drones under Operation Beebus

Chinese Hackers targeting American Drones under Operation Beebus

April 23, 2013Mohit Kumar
FireEye experts have been tracking the Operation Beebus campaign for a few months now, and new same gang of hackers are being blamed for a set of recently discovered spear-phishing attacks that aim to steal information related to American drones . These attacks exploited previously discovered vulnerabilities via document files delivered by email in order to plant a previously unknown backdoor onto victim systems. Operation Beebus is an APT-style attack campaign targeting government agencies in the United States and India as well as numerous aerospace, defense, and telecom industry organizations. FireEye Labs has linked the attacks to the China-based Comment Group hacker collective (a prolific actor believed to be affiliated with the Chines government), and Operation Beebus. “ The set of targets cover all aspects of unmanned vehicles, land, air and sea, from research to design to manufacturing of the vehicles and their various subsystems. Other related malware have been discov
Chinese Government targets Uyghur group by malware attack

Chinese Government targets Uyghur group by malware attack

February 14, 2013Mohit Kumar
An old vulnerability in Word for OS X is being used in increasing levels of attacks,  probably government-sponsored hacking programs  against Uyghur group, including Tibetans, NGOs and human rights organizations. A number of attacks have been seen directed at the World Uyghur Congress, a Munich-based organization that promotes human rights. Potential victims are often tricked by so-called spear phishing attacks, the targets receive an e-mail with a subject relevant to their interests, and a Word document attached.  When they open the document, TinySHell exploits a vulnerability and then infects the computer. Exploit allows long-term monitoring or even control of the compromised system though a backdoor it installs. The malware is configured to connect to command and control servers that have been used for years in APT attacks. All the attacks use exploits for the CVE-2009-0563 (Microsoft Office) vulnerability and The backdoor also includes hard-coded functionality to
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