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APT28 Hacker Group Targeting Europe, Americas, Asia in Widespread Phishing Scheme

APT28 Hacker Group Targeting Europe, Americas, Asia in Widespread Phishing Scheme

Mar 18, 2024 Cyber Warfare / Malware
The Russia-linked threat actor known as  APT28  has been linked to multiple ongoing phishing campaigns that employ lure documents imitating government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and North and South America. "The uncovered lures include a mixture of internal and publicly available documents, as well as possible actor-generated documents associated with finance, critical infrastructure, executive engagements, cyber security, maritime security, healthcare, business, and defense industrial production," IBM X-Force  said  in a report published last week. The tech company is tracking the activity under the moniker  ITG05 , which is also known as Blue Athena, BlueDelta, Fancy Bear, Fighting Ursa, Forest Blizzard (formerly Strontium), FROZENLAKE, Iron Twilight, Pawn Storm, Sednit, Sofacy, TA422, and UAC-028. The disclosure comes more than three months after the adversary was spotted using decoys related to the ongoing I
Cybersecurity Agencies Warn Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Users of APT28's MooBot Threat

Cybersecurity Agencies Warn Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Users of APT28's MooBot Threat

Feb 28, 2024 Firmware Security / Vulnerability
In a new joint advisory, cybersecurity and intelligence agencies from the U.S. and other countries are urging users of Ubiquiti EdgeRouter to take protective measures, weeks after a botnet comprising infected routers was  felled by law enforcement  as part of an operation codenamed Dying Ember. The botnet, named MooBot, is said to have been used by a Russia-linked threat actor known as APT28 to facilitate covert cyber operations and drop custom malware for follow-on exploitation. APT28, affiliated with Russia's Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU), is known to be active since at least 2007. APT28 actors have "used compromised EdgeRouters globally to harvest credentials, collect NTLMv2 digests, proxy network traffic, and host spear-phishing landing pages and custom tools," the authorities  said  [PDF]. The adversary's use of EdgeRouters dates back to 2022, with the attacks targeting aerospace and defense, education, energy and utilities, governments, hospita
Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Code Keepers: Mastering Non-Human Identity Management

Apr 12, 2024DevSecOps / Identity Management
Identities now transcend human boundaries. Within each line of code and every API call lies a non-human identity. These entities act as programmatic access keys, enabling authentication and facilitating interactions among systems and services, which are essential for every API call, database query, or storage account access. As we depend on multi-factor authentication and passwords to safeguard human identities, a pressing question arises: How do we guarantee the security and integrity of these non-human counterparts? How do we authenticate, authorize, and regulate access for entities devoid of life but crucial for the functioning of critical systems? Let's break it down. The challenge Imagine a cloud-native application as a bustling metropolis of tiny neighborhoods known as microservices, all neatly packed into containers. These microservices function akin to diligent worker bees, each diligently performing its designated task, be it processing data, verifying credentials, or
U.S. Government Disrupts Russia-Linked Botnet Engaged in Cyber Espionage

U.S. Government Disrupts Russia-Linked Botnet Engaged in Cyber Espionage

Feb 16, 2024 Botnet / Network Security
The U.S. government on Thursday said it disrupted a botnet comprising hundreds of small office and home office (SOHO) routers in the country that was put to use by the Russia-linked APT28 actor to conceal its malicious activities. "These crimes included vast spear-phishing and similar credential harvesting campaigns against targets of intelligence interest to the Russian government, such as U.S. and foreign governments and military, security, and corporate organizations," the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)  said  in a statement. APT28 , also tracked under the monikers BlueDelta, Fancy Bear, Fighting Ursa, Forest Blizzard (formerly Strontium), FROZENLAKE, Iron Twilight, Pawn Storm, Sednit, Sofacy, and TA422, is  assessed  to be linked to Unit 26165 of Russia's Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU). It's known to be active since at least 2007. Court documents allege that the attackers pulled off their cyber espionage campaigns by relying on  MooBot , a Mirai
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websiteAdaptive ShieldSaaS Security / Cyber Threat
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Microsoft, OpenAI Warn of Nation-State Hackers Weaponizing AI for Cyber Attacks

Microsoft, OpenAI Warn of Nation-State Hackers Weaponizing AI for Cyber Attacks

Feb 14, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Cyber Attack
Nation-state actors associated with Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China are experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) to complement their ongoing cyber attack operations. The findings come from a report published by Microsoft in collaboration with OpenAI, both of which  said  they disrupted efforts made by five state-affiliated actors that used its AI services to perform malicious cyber activities by terminating their assets and accounts. "Language support is a natural feature of LLMs and is attractive for threat actors with continuous focus on social engineering and other techniques relying on false, deceptive communications tailored to their targets' jobs, professional networks, and other relationships," Microsoft  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. While no significant or novel attacks employing the LLMs have been detected to date, adversarial exploration of AI technologies has transcended various phases of the at
Alert: CISA Warns of Active 'Roundcube' Email Attacks - Patch Now

Alert: CISA Warns of Active 'Roundcube' Email Attacks - Patch Now

Feb 13, 2024 Vulnerability / Email Security
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Monday  added  a medium-severity security flaw impacting Roundcube email software to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities ( KEV ) catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. The issue, tracked as  CVE-2023-43770  (CVSS score: 6.1), relates to a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw that stems from the handling of linkrefs in plain text messages. "Roundcube Webmail contains a persistent cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability that can lead to information disclosure via malicious link references in plain/text messages," CISA said. According to a description of the bug on NIST's National Vulnerability Database (NVD), the vulnerability impacts Roundcube versions before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.4, and 1.6.x before 1.6.3. The flaw was  addressed  by Roundcube maintainers with  version 1.6.3 , which was released on September 15, 2023. Zscaler security researcher Niraj Shivtarkar has been credited with dis
Russian APT28 Hackers Targeting 13 Nations in Ongoing Cyber Espionage Campaign

Russian APT28 Hackers Targeting 13 Nations in Ongoing Cyber Espionage Campaign

Dec 12, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The Russian nation-state threat actor known as  APT28  has been observed making use of lures related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war to facilitate the delivery of a custom backdoor called HeadLace. IBM X-Force is tracking the adversary under the name ITG05, which is also known as BlueDelta, Fancy Bear, Forest Blizzard (formerly Strontium), FROZENLAKE, Iron Twilight, Sednit, Sofacy, and TA422. "The newly discovered campaign is directed against targets based in at least 13 nations worldwide and leverages authentic documents created by academic, finance and diplomatic centers," security researchers Golo Mühr, Claire Zaboeva, and Joe Fasulo  said . "ITG05's infrastructure ensures only targets from a single specific country can receive the malware, indicating the highly targeted nature of the campaign." Targets of the campaign include Hungary, Türkiye, Australia, Poland, Belgium, Ukraine, Germany, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Italy, Latvia, and Romania
Hackers Using PowerPoint Mouseover Trick to Infect Systems with Malware

Hackers Using PowerPoint Mouseover Trick to Infect Systems with Malware

Sep 28, 2022
The Russian state-sponsored threat actor known as  APT28  has been found leveraging a new code execution method that makes use of mouse movement in decoy Microsoft PowerPoint documents to deploy malware. The technique "is designed to be triggered when the user starts the presentation mode and moves the mouse," cybersecurity firm Cluster25  said  in a technical report. "The code execution runs a PowerShell script that downloads and executes a dropper from OneDrive." The dropper, a seemingly harmless image file, functions as a pathway for a follow-on payload, a variant of a malware known as Graphite, which uses the Microsoft Graph API and OneDrive for command-and-control (C2) communications to retrieve additional payloads. The attack employs a lure document that makes use of a template potentially linked to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD ), a Paris-based intergovernmental entity. Cluster25 noted the attacks may be ongoing, con
Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Researchers Identify 3 Hacktivist Groups Supporting Russian Interests

Sep 26, 2022
At least three alleged hacktivist groups working in support of Russian interests are likely doing so in collaboration with state-sponsored cyber threat actors, according to Mandiant. The Google-owned threat intelligence and incident response firm  said  with moderate confidence that "moderators of the purported hacktivist Telegram channels 'XakNet Team,' 'Infoccentr,' and 'CyberArmyofRussia_Reborn' are coordinating their operations with Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU)-sponsored cyber threat actors." Mandiant's assessment is based on evidence that the leakage of data stolen from Ukrainian organizations occurred within 24 hours of  malicious wiper incidents  undertaken by the Russian nation-state group tracked as  APT28  (aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, or Strontium). To that end, four of the 16 data leaks from these groups coincided with  disk wiping malware attacks  by APT28 that involved the use of a strain dubbed  CaddyWiper . APT28 , a
Microsoft Obtains Court Order to Take Down Domains Used to Target Ukraine

Microsoft Obtains Court Order to Take Down Domains Used to Target Ukraine

Apr 08, 2022
Microsoft on Thursday disclosed that it obtained a court order to take control of seven domains used by APT28, a state-sponsored group operated by Russia's military intelligence service, with the goal of neutralizing its attacks on Ukraine. "We have since re-directed these domains to a sinkhole controlled by Microsoft, enabling us to mitigate Strontium's current use of these domains and enable victim notifications," Tom Burt, Microsoft's corporate vice president of customer security and trust,  said . APT28, also known by the names Sofacy, Sednit, Pawn Storm, Fancy Bear, Iron Twilight, and Strontium, is a  cyber espionage group  and an advanced persistent threat that's known to be active since 2009, striking media, governments, military, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that often have a security focus. The tech giant noted that the sinkholed infrastructure was used by the threat actor to target Ukrainian institutions as well as gov
Russian APT28 Hackers Using COVID-19 as Bait to Deliver Zebrocy Malware

Russian APT28 Hackers Using COVID-19 as Bait to Deliver Zebrocy Malware

Dec 09, 2020
A Russian threat actor known for its malware campaigns has reappeared in the threat landscape with yet another attack leveraging COVID-19 as phishing lures, once again indicating how adversaries are adept at repurposing the current world events to their advantage. Linking the operation to a sub-group of APT28 (aka Sofacy, Sednit, Fancy Bear, or STRONTIUM), cybersecurity firm Intezer said the pandemic-themed phishing emails were employed to deliver the Go version of Zebrocy (or Zekapab) malware. The cybersecurity firm told The Hacker News that the campaigns were observed late last month. Zebrocy is delivered primarily via phishing attacks that contain decoy Microsoft Office documents with macros as well as executable file attachments. First spotted in the wild in 2015 , the operators behind the malware have been found to overlap with GreyEnergy , a threat group believed to be the successor of BlackEnergy aka Sandworm , suggesting its role as a sub-group with links to Sofacy and
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