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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Cyber Attack

 New Stealthy Rootkit Infiltrated Networks of High-Profile Organizations

New Stealthy Rootkit Infiltrated Networks of High-Profile Organizations

May 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An unknown threat actor with the capabilities to evolve and tailor its toolset to target environments infiltrated high-profile organizations in Asia and Africa with an evasive Windows rootkit since at least 2018. Called  'Moriya ,' the malware is a "passive backdoor which allows attackers to inspect all incoming traffic to the infected machine, filter out packets that are marked as designated for the malware and respond to them," said Kaspersky researchers Mark Lechtik and Giampaolo Dedola in a Thursday deep-dive. The Russian cybersecurity firm termed the ongoing espionage campaign  'TunnelSnake .' Based on telemetry analysis, less than 10 victims around the world have been targeted to date, with the most prominent targets being two large diplomatic entities in Southeast Asia and Africa. All the other victims were located in South Asia. The first reports of Moriya emerged last November when Kaspersky said it discovered the stealthy implant in the networks
New Pingback Malware Using ICMP Tunneling to Evade C&C Detection

New Pingback Malware Using ICMP Tunneling to Evade C&C Detection

May 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers on Tuesday disclosed a novel malware that uses a variety of tricks to stay under the radar and evade detection, while stealthily capable of executing arbitrary commands on infected systems. Called 'Pingback,' the Windows malware leverages Internet Control Message Protocol ( ICMP ) tunneling for covert bot communications, allowing the adversary to utilize ICMP packets to piggyback attack code, according to an analysis published today by Trustwave. Pingback (" oci.dll ") achieves this by getting loaded through a legitimate service called  MSDTC  (Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator) — a component responsible for handling database operations that are distributed over multiple machines — by taking advantage of a method called  DLL search order hijacking , which involves using a genuine application to preload a malicious DLL file. Naming the malware as one of the plugins required for supporting  Oracle ODBC  interface in MSDTC is key to the atta
New Chinese Malware Targeted Russia's Largest Nuclear Submarine Designer

New Chinese Malware Targeted Russia's Largest Nuclear Submarine Designer

May 03, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat actor believed to be working on behalf of Chinese state-sponsored interests was recently observed targeting a Russia-based defense contractor involved in designing nuclear submarines for the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. The phishing attack, which singled out a general director working at the Rubin Design Bureau, leveraged the infamous "Royal Road" Rich Text Format (RTF) weaponizer to deliver a previously undocumented Windows backdoor dubbed " PortDoor ," according to Cybereason's Nocturnus threat intelligence team. "Portdoor has multiple functionalities, including the ability to do reconnaissance, target profiling, delivery of additional payloads, privilege escalation, process manipulation static detection antivirus evasion, one-byte XOR encryption, AES-encrypted data exfiltration and more," the researchers  said  in a write-up on Friday. Rubin Design Bureau is a submarine design center located in Saint Petersburg, accounting fo
Passwordstate Warns of Ongoing Phishing Attacks Following Data Breach

Passwordstate Warns of Ongoing Phishing Attacks Following Data Breach

April 30, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Click Studios, the Australian software firm which confirmed a  supply chain attack  affecting its Passwordstate password management application, has warned customers of an ongoing phishing attack by an unknown threat actor. "We have been advised a bad actor has commenced a phishing attack with a small number of customers having received emails requesting urgent action," the company  said  in an updated advisory released on Wednesday. "These emails are not sent by Click Studios." Last week, Click Studios said attackers had employed sophisticated techniques to compromise Passwordstate's update mechanism, using it to drop malware on user computers. Only customers who performed In-Place Upgrades between April 20, 8:33 PM UTC, and April 22, 0:30 AM UTC are said to be affected. While Passwordstate serves about 29,000 customers, the Adelaide-based firm maintained that the total number of impacted customers is very low. It's also urging users to refrain from po
LuckyMouse Hackers Target Banks, Companies and Governments in 2020

LuckyMouse Hackers Target Banks, Companies and Governments in 2020

April 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An adversary known for its  watering hole attacks  against government entities has been linked to a slew of newly detected intrusions targeting various organizations in Central Asia and the Middle East. The malicious activity, collectively named "EmissarySoldier," has been attributed to a threat actor called LuckyMouse, and is said to have happened in 2020 with the goal of obtaining geopolitical insights in the region. The attacks involved deploying a toolkit dubbed SysUpdate (aka Soldier) in a number of breached organizations, including government and diplomatic agencies, telecom providers, a TV media company, and a commercial bank. LuckyMouse , also referred to as APT27 and Emissary Panda, is a sophisticated cyberespionage group that has a history of breaching multiple government networks in Central Asia and the Middle East. The actor has also been linked to cyberattacks aimed at transnational organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO )
Hackers Threaten to Leak D.C. Police Informants' Info If Ransom Is Not Paid

Hackers Threaten to Leak D.C. Police Informants' Info If Ransom Is Not Paid

April 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of the District of Columbia has become the latest high-profile government agency to fall victim to a ransomware attack. The Babuk Locker gang claimed in a post on the dark web that they had compromised the DC Police's networks and stolen 250 GB of unencrypted files. Screenshots shared by the group, and seen by The Hacker News, include various folders containing what appears to be investigation reports, arrests, disciplinary actions, and other intelligence briefings. Also called the DC Police, the MPD is the primary law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia in the U.S. The ransomware gang has given the department three days to heed to their ransom demand or risk leaking sensitive files that could expose police informants to criminal gangs. "Hello! Even an institution such as DC can be threatened, we have downloaded a sufficient amount of information from your internal networks, and we advise you to contact us as soon as p
FBI, CISA Uncover Tactics Employed by Russian Intelligence Hackers

FBI, CISA Uncover Tactics Employed by Russian Intelligence Hackers

April 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday published a new joint advisory as part of their latest attempts to expose the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adopted by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) in its attacks targeting the U.S and foreign entities. By employing "stealthy intrusion tradecraft within compromised networks," the intelligence agencies  said , "the SVR activity—which includes the recent  SolarWinds Orion supply chain compromise —primarily targets government networks, think tank and policy analysis organizations, and information technology companies and seeks to gather intelligence information." The cyber actor is also being tracked under different monikers, including Advanced Persistent Threat 29 (APT29), the Dukes, CozyBear, and Yttrium. The development comes as the U.S. sanctioned Russia and  formally pinn
Emotet Malware Destroys Itself From All Infected Computers

Emotet Malware Destroys Itself From All Infected Computers

April 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Emotet, the notorious email-based Windows malware behind several botnet-driven spam campaigns and ransomware attacks, was automatically wiped from infected computers en masse following a European law enforcement operation. The development comes three months after a coordinated disruption of Emotet as part of " Operation Ladybird " to seize control of servers used to run and maintain the malware network. The orchestrated effort saw at least 700 servers associated with the botnet's infrastructure neutered from the inside, thus preventing further exploitation. Law enforcement authorities from the Netherlands, Germany, the U.S., U.K., France, Lithuania, Canada, and Ukraine were involved in the international action. Previously, the Dutch police, which seized two central servers located in the country, said it had deployed a software update to counter the threat posed by Emotet effectively. "All infected computer systems will automatically retrieve the update there, a
Passwordstate Password Manager Update Hijacked to Install Backdoor on Thousands of PCs

Passwordstate Password Manager Update Hijacked to Install Backdoor on Thousands of PCs

April 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Click Studios, the Australian software company behind the Passwordstate password management application, has notified customers to reset their passwords following a supply chain attack. The Adelaide-based firm said a bad actor used sophisticated techniques to compromise the software's update mechanism and used it to drop malware on user computers. The breach is said to have occurred between April 20, 8:33 PM UTC, and April 22, 0:30 AM UTC, for a total period of about 28 hours. "Only customers that performed In-Place Upgrades between the times stated above are believed to be affected," the company  said  in an advisory. "Manual Upgrades of Passwordstate are not compromised. Affected customers password records may have been harvested." The development was first reported by the Polish tech news site  Niebezpiecznik . It's not immediately clear who the attackers are or how they compromised the password manager's update feature. Click Studios said an i
Hackers Exploit VPN to Deploy SUPERNOVA malware on SolarWinds Orion

Hackers Exploit VPN to Deploy SUPERNOVA malware on SolarWinds Orion

April 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has disclosed details of a new advanced persistent threat (APT) that's leveraging the Supernova backdoor to compromise SolarWinds Orion installations after gaining access to the network through a connection to a Pulse Secure VPN device. "The threat actor connected to the entity's network via a Pulse Secure virtual private network (VPN) appliance, moved laterally to its SolarWinds Orion server, installed malware referred to by security researchers as SUPERNOVA (a .NET web shell), and collected credentials," the agency  said  on Thursday. CISA said it identified the threat actor during an incident response engagement at an unnamed organization and found that the attacker had access to the enterprise's network for nearly a year through the use of the VPN credentials between March 2020 and February 2021. Interestingly, the adversary is said to have used valid accounts that had multi-factor authent
Researchers Find Additional Infrastructure Used By SolarWinds Hackers

Researchers Find Additional Infrastructure Used By SolarWinds Hackers

April 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The sprawling  SolarWinds cyberattack  which came to light last December was known for its sophistication in the breadth of tactics used to infiltrate and persist in the target infrastructure, so much so that Microsoft went on to call the threat actor behind the campaign "skillful and methodic operators who follow operations security (OpSec) best practices to minimize traces, stay under the radar, and avoid detection." As further proof of this, new research published today shows that the threat actor carefully planned each stage of the operation to "avoid creating the type of patterns that make tracking them simple," thus deliberately making forensic analysis difficult. By analyzing telemetry data associated with previously published indicators of compromise, RiskIQ said it identified an additional set of 18 servers with high confidence that likely communicated with the targeted, secondary Cobalt Strike payloads delivered via the TEARDROP and RAINDROP malware, r
Facebook Busts Palestinian Hackers' Operation Spreading Mobile Spyware

Facebook Busts Palestinian Hackers' Operation Spreading Mobile Spyware

April 21, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Facebook on Wednesday said it took steps to dismantle malicious activities perpetrated by two state-sponsored hacking groups operating out of Palestine that abused its platform to distribute malware. The social media giant attributed the attacks to a network connected to the Preventive Security Service ( PSS ), the security apparatus of the State of Palestine, and another threat actor known as Arid Viper (aka Desert Falcon and APT-C-23), the latter of which is alleged to be connected to the cyber arm of Hamas. The two digital espionage campaigns, active in 2019 and 2020, exploited a range of devices and platforms, such as Android, iOS, and Windows, with the PSS cluster primarily targeting domestic audiences in Palestine. The other set of attacks went after users in the Palestinian territories and Syria and, to a lesser extent Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya. Both the groups appear to have leveraged the platform as a springboard to launch a variety of social engineering attacks in
3 Zero-Day Exploits Hit SonicWall Enterprise Email Security Appliances

3 Zero-Day Exploits Hit SonicWall Enterprise Email Security Appliances

April 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
SonicWall has addressed three critical security vulnerabilities in its hosted and on-premises email security (ES) product that are being actively exploited in the wild. Tracked as CVE-2021-20021 and CVE-2021-20022, the  flaws  were discovered and reported to the company by FireEye's Mandiant subsidiary on March 26, 2021, after the cybersecurity firm detected post-exploitation web shell activity on an internet-accessible system within a customer's environment that had SonicWall's ES application running on a Windows Server 2012 installation. A third flaw (CVE-2021-20023) identified by FireEye was disclosed to SonicWall on April 6, 2021. FireEye is tracking the malicious activity under the moniker UNC2682. "These vulnerabilities were executed in conjunction to obtain administrative access and code execution on a SonicWall ES device," researchers Josh Fleischer, Chris DiGiamo, and Alex Pennino  said . The adversary leveraged these vulnerabilities, with intimate
WARNING: Hackers Exploit Unpatched Pulse Secure 0-Day to Breach Organizations

WARNING: Hackers Exploit Unpatched Pulse Secure 0-Day to Breach Organizations

April 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
If Pulse Connect Secure gateway is part of your organization network, you need to be aware of a newly discovered critical zero-day authentication bypass vulnerability (CVE-2021-22893) that is currently being exploited in the wild and for which there is no patch available yet. At least two threat actors have been behind a series of intrusions targeting defense, government, and financial organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere by leveraging critical vulnerabilities in Pulse Secure VPN devices to circumvent multi-factor authentication protections and breach enterprise networks. "A combination of prior vulnerabilities and a previously unknown vulnerability discovered in April 2021,  CVE-2021-22893 , are responsible for the initial infection vector," cybersecurity firm FireEye  said  on Tuesday, identifying 12 malware families associated with the exploitation of Pulse Secure VPN appliances. The company is also tracking the activity under two threat clusters UNC2630 and UNC271
US Sanctions Russia and Expels 10 Diplomats Over SolarWinds Cyberattack

US Sanctions Russia and Expels 10 Diplomats Over SolarWinds Cyberattack

April 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. and U.K. on Thursday formally attributed the supply chain attack of IT infrastructure management company SolarWinds with "high confidence" to government operatives working for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). "Russia's pattern of malign behaviour around the world – whether in cyberspace, in election interference or in the aggressive operations of their intelligence services – demonstrates that Russia remains the most acute threat to the U.K.'s national and collective security," the U.K. government  said  in a statement. To that effect, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia for "undermining the conduct of free and fair elections and democratic institutions" in the U.S. and for its role in facilitating the sprawling SolarWinds hack, while also barring six technology companies in the country that provide support to the cyber program run by Russian Intelligence Services. The com
Detecting the "Next" SolarWinds-Style Cyber Attack

Detecting the "Next" SolarWinds-Style Cyber Attack

April 13, 2021The Hacker News
The SolarWinds attack , which succeeded by utilizing the sunburst malware , shocked the cyber-security industry. This attack achieved persistence and was able to evade internal systems long enough to gain access to the source code of the victim. Because of the far-reaching SolarWinds deployments, the perpetrators were also able to infiltrate many other organizations, looking for intellectual property and other assets. Among the co-victims: US government, government contractors, Information Technology companies, and NGOs. An incredible amount of sensitive data was stolen from several customers after a trojanized version of SolarWinds' application was installed on their internal structures. Looking at the technical capabilities of the malware, as you will see, this particular attack was quite impressive. A particular file, named  SolarWinds.Orion.Core.BusinessLayer.dll  is a SolarWinds digitally signed component of the Orion software framework. The threat actors installed a back
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