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APT Hackers Distributed Android Trojan via Syrian e-Government Portal

APT Hackers Distributed Android Trojan via Syrian e-Government Portal
July 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An advanced persistent threat (APT) actor has been tracked in a new campaign deploying Android malware via the Syrian e-Government Web Portal, indicating an upgraded arsenal designed to compromise victims. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the group has been publicly observed using malicious Android applications as part of its attacks," Trend Micro researchers Zhengyu Dong, Fyodor Yarochkin, and Steven Du  said  in a technical write-up published Wednesday. StrongPity , also codenamed  Promethium  by Microsoft, is believed to have been active since 2012 and has typically focused on targets across Turkey and Syria. In June 2020, the espionage threat actor was  connected  to a wave of activities that banked on watering hole attacks and tampered installers, which abuse the popularity of legitimate applications, to infect targets with malware. "Promethium has been resilient over the years," Cisco Talos  disclosed  last year. "Its campai

US and Global Allies Accuse China of Massive Microsoft Exchange Attack

US and Global Allies Accuse China of Massive Microsoft Exchange Attack
July 19, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. government and its key allies, including the European Union, the U.K., and NATO, formally attributed the massive cyberattack against Microsoft Exchange email servers to state-sponsored hacking crews working affiliated with the People's Republic of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS). In a  statement  issued by the White House on Monday, the administration said, "with a high degree of confidence that malicious cyber actors affiliated with PRC's MSS conducted cyber-espionage operations utilizing the zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server disclosed in early March 2021. The U.K. government  accused  Beijing of a "pervasive pattern of hacking" and "systemic cyber sabotage." The  sweeping espionage campaign  exploited four previously undiscovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange software and is believed to have hit at least 30,000 organizations in the U.S. and hundreds of thousands more worldwide. Microsoft identified

China's Cyberspies Targeting Southeast Asian Government Entities

China's Cyberspies Targeting Southeast Asian Government Entities
July 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A sweeping and "highly active campaign" that originally set its sights on Myanmar has broadened its focus to strike a number of targets located in the Philippines, according to new research. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which first spotted the infections in October 2020, attributed them to a threat actor it tracks as " LuminousMoth ," which it connected with medium to high confidence to a Chinese state-sponsored hacking group called HoneyMyte or  Mustang Panda , given its observed victimology, tactics, and procedures. About 100 affected victims have been identified in Myanmar, while the number of victims jumped to nearly 1,400 in the Philippines, although the researchers noted that the actual targets were only a fraction of the initial numbers, including government entities located both within the two countries and abroad. The goal of the attacks is to affect a wide perimeter of targets with the aim of hitting a select few that are of strategic interes

Google Details iOS, Chrome, IE Zero-Day Flaws Exploited Recently in the Wild

Google Details iOS, Chrome, IE Zero-Day Flaws Exploited Recently in the Wild
July 15, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat intelligence researchers from Google on Wednesday  shed more light  on four in-the-wild zero-days in Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer browsers that were exploited by malicious actors in different campaigns since the start of the year. What's more, three of the four zero-days were engineered by commercial providers and sold to and used by government-backed actors, contributing to an uptick in real-world attacks. The list of now-patched vulnerabilities is as follows - CVE-2021-1879 : Use-After-Free in QuickTimePluginReplacement (Apple WebKit) CVE-2021-21166 : Chrome Object Lifecycle Issue in Audio CVE-2021-30551 : Chrome Type Confusion in V8 CVE-2021-33742 : Internet Explorer out-of-bounds write in MSHTML Both Chrome zero-days — CVE-2021-21166 and CVE-2021-30551 — are believed to have been used by the same actor, and were delivered as one-time links sent via email to targets located in Armenia, with the links redirecting unsuspecting users to attacker-controlled

REvil Ransomware Gang Mysteriously Disappears After High-Profile Attacks

REvil Ransomware Gang Mysteriously Disappears After High-Profile Attacks
July 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
REvil, the infamous ransomware cartel behind some of the biggest cyberattacks targeting JBS and Kaseya, has mysteriously disappeared from the dark web, leading to speculations that the criminal enterprise may have been taken down. Multiple darknet and clearnet sites maintained by the Russia-linked cybercrime syndicate, including the data leak, extortion, and payment portals, remained inaccessible, displaying an error message "Onionsite not found."  The group's  Tor network infrastructure  on the dark web consists of one data leak blog site and 22 data hosting sites. It's not immediately clear what prompted the infrastructure to be knocked offline. REvil is one of the most prolific ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) groups that first appeared on the threat landscape in April 2019. It's an evolution of the  GandCrab  ransomware, which hit the underground markets in early 2018. "If REvil has been permanently disrupted, it'll mark the end of a group which ha

Chinese Hackers Exploited Latest SolarWinds 0-Day in Targeted Attacks

Chinese Hackers Exploited Latest SolarWinds 0-Day in Targeted Attacks
July 13, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Tuesday disclosed that the latest string of attacks targeting SolarWinds Serv-U managed file transfer service with a now-patched remote code execution (RCE) exploit is the handiwork of a Chinese threat actor dubbed "DEV-0322." The revelation comes days after the Texas-based IT monitoring software maker issued fixes for the flaw that could enable adversaries to remotely run arbitrary code with privileges, allowing them to perform actions like install and run malicious payloads or view and alter sensitive data. Tracked as  CVE-2021-35211 , the RCE flaw resides in Serv-U's implementation of the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. While it was previously revealed that the attacks were limited in scope, SolarWinds said it's "unaware of the identity of the potentially affected customers." Attributing the intrusions with high confidence to DEV-0322 (short for "Development Group 0322") based on observed victimology, tactics, and procedures, Micr

A New Critical SolarWinds Zero-Day Vulnerability Under Active Attack

A New Critical SolarWinds Zero-Day Vulnerability Under Active Attack
July 12, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
SolarWinds, the Texas-based company that became the epicenter of a  massive supply chain attack  late last year, has issued patches to contain a remote code execution flaw in its Serv-U managed file transfer service. The fixes, which target Serv-U Managed File Transfer and Serv-U Secure FTP products, arrive after Microsoft notified the IT management and remote monitoring software maker that the flaw was being exploited in the wild. The threat actor behind the exploitation remains unknown as yet, and it isn't clear exactly how the attack was carried out. "Microsoft has provided evidence of limited, targeted customer impact, though SolarWinds does not currently have an estimate of how many customers may be directly affected by the vulnerability," SolarWinds  said  in an advisory published Friday, adding it's "unaware of the identity of the potentially affected customers." Impacting Serv-U versions 15.2.3 HF1 and before, a successful exploitation of the sh

Kaseya Releases Patches for Flaws Exploited in Widespread Ransomware Attack

Kaseya Releases Patches for Flaws Exploited in Widespread Ransomware Attack
July 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Florida-based software vendor Kaseya on Sunday rolled out urgent updates to address critical security vulnerabilities in its Virtual System Administrator (VSA) solution that was used as a jumping off point to target as many as 1,500 businesses across the globe as part of a widespread supply-chain ransomware attack . Following the incident, the company had urged on-premises VSA customers to shut down their servers until a patch was available. Now, almost 10 days later the firm has shipped VSA version 9.5.7a (9.5.7.2994) with fixes for three new security flaws —  CVE-2021-30116 - Credentials leak and business logic flaw CVE-2021-30119 - Cross-site scripting vulnerability CVE-2021-30120 - Two-factor authentication bypass The security issues are part of a total of seven vulnerabilities that were discovered and reported to Kaseya by the Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure ( DIVD ) earlier in April, of which four other weaknesses were remediated in previous releases —

Experts Uncover Malware Attacks Targeting Corporate Networks in Latin America

Experts Uncover Malware Attacks Targeting Corporate Networks in Latin America
July 08, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday took the wraps off a new, ongoing espionage campaign targeting corporate networks in Spanish-speaking countries, specifically Venezuela, to spy on its victims. Dubbed " Bandidos " by ESET owing to the use of an upgraded variant of Bandook malware, the primary targets of the threat actor are corporate networks in the South American country spanning across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, software services, and retail sectors. Written in both Delphi and C++,  Bandook  has a history of being sold as a commercial remote access trojan (RAT) dating all the way back to 2005. Since then, numerous variants have emerged on the threat landscape and put to use in different surveillance campaigns in 2015 and 2017, allegedly by a cyber-mercenary group known as Dark Caracal on behalf of government interests in Kazakhstan and Lebanon. In a continuing resurgence of the Bandook Trojan, Check Point last year  disclosed  three new samples — one

WildPressure APT Emerges With New Malware Targeting Windows and macOS

WildPressure APT Emerges With New Malware Targeting Windows and macOS
July 07, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A malicious campaign that has set its sights on industrial-related entities in the Middle East since 2019 has resurfaced with an upgraded malware toolset to strike both Windows and macOS operating systems, symbolizing an expansion in both its targets and its strategy around distributing threats. Russian cybersecurity firm attributed the attacks to an advanced persistent threat (APT) it tracks as " WildPressure ," with victims believed to be in the oil and gas industry.  WildPressure first came to light in March 2020 based off of a malware operation distributing a fully-featured C++ Trojan dubbed "Milum" that enabled the threat actor to gain remote control of the compromised device. The attacks were said to have begun as early as August 2019. "For their campaign infrastructure, the operators used rented OVH and Netzbetrieb virtual private servers (VPS) and a domain registered with the Domains by Proxy anonymization service," Kaspersky researcher Denis

NSA, FBI Reveal Hacking Methods Used by Russian Military Hackers

NSA, FBI Reveal Hacking Methods Used by Russian Military Hackers
July 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An ongoing brute-force attack campaign targeting enterprise cloud environments has been spearheaded by the Russian military intelligence since mid-2019, according to a joint advisory published by intelligence agencies in the U.K. and U.S. The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) formally attributed the incursions to the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) 85th Main Special Service Center (GTsSS). The  threat actor  is also tracked under various monikers, including  APT28  (FireEye Mandiant),  Fancy Bear  (CrowdStrike),  Sofacy  (Kaspersky),  STRONTIUM  (Microsoft), and  Iron Twilight  (Secureworks). APT28 has a track record of leveraging password spray and brute-force login attempts to plunder valid credentials that enable future surveillance or intrusion operations. In November 2020, Microsoft disclosed credenti

[Webinar] How Cyber Attack Groups Are Spinning a Larger Ransomware Web

[Webinar] How Cyber Attack Groups Are Spinning a Larger Ransomware Web
June 30, 2021The Hacker News
Organizations today already have an overwhelming number of dangers and threats to look out for, from spam to phishing attempts to new infiltration and ransomware tactics. There is no chance to rest, since attack groups are constantly looking for more effective means of infiltrating and infecting systems. Today, there are hundreds of groups devoted to infiltrating almost every industry, constantly devising more sophisticated methods to attack organizations. It's even more troubling to note that some groups have started to collaborate, creating complex and stealthy tactics that leave even the best security teams scrambling to respond. Such is the case noted by XDR Provider Cynet, as the company observes in its newest Research Webinar ( register here ). Cynet's research team noted that two of the most infamous attack groups – Lunar Spider and Wizard Spider – have started working together to infect organizations with ransomware. The development is certainly troubling, and the

SolarWinds Hackers Breach Microsoft Customer Support to Target its Customers

SolarWinds Hackers Breach Microsoft Customer Support to Target its Customers
June 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
In yet another sign that the Russian hackers who breached SolarWinds network monitoring software to compromise a slew of entities never really went away, Microsoft said the threat actor behind the malicious cyber activities used password spraying and brute-force attacks in an attempt to guess passwords and gain access to its customer accounts. "This recent activity was mostly unsuccessful, and the majority of targets were not successfully compromised – we are aware of three compromised entities to date," the tech giant's Threat Intelligence Center  said  Friday. "All customers that were compromised or targeted are being contacted through our nation-state notification process." The development was first  reported  by news service Reuters. The names of the victims were not revealed. The latest wave in a series of intrusions is said to have primarily targeted IT companies, followed by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and financ

Watch Out! Zyxel Firewalls and VPNs Under Active Cyberattack

Watch Out! Zyxel Firewalls and VPNs Under Active Cyberattack
June 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Taiwanese networking equipment company Zyxel is warning customers of an ongoing attack targeting a "small subset" of its security products such as firewall and VPN servers. Attributing the attacks to a "sophisticated threat actor," the firm noted that the attacks single out appliances that have remote management or SSL VPN enabled, namely in the USG/ZyWALL, USG FLEX, ATP, and VPN series running on-premise ZLD firmware, implying that the targeted devices are publicly accessible over the internet. "The threat actor attempts to access a device through WAN; if successful, they then bypass authentication and establish SSL VPN tunnels with unknown user accounts, such as 'zyxel_slIvpn', 'zyxel_ts', or 'zyxel_vpn_test', to manipulate the device's configuration," Zyxel said in an  email message , which was shared on Twitter. As of writing, it's not immediately known if the attacks are exploiting previously known vulnerabilities

Pakistan-linked hackers targeted Indian power company with ReverseRat

Pakistan-linked hackers targeted Indian power company with ReverseRat
June 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A threat actor with suspected ties to Pakistan has been striking government and energy organizations in the South and Central Asia regions to deploy a remote access trojan on compromised Windows systems, according to new research. "Most of the organizations that exhibited signs of compromise were in India, and a small number were in Afghanistan," Lumen's Black Lotus Labs  said  in a Tuesday analysis. "The potentially compromised victims aligned with the government and power utility verticals." Some of the victims include a foreign government organization, a power transmission organization, and a power generation and transmission organization. The covert operation is said to have begun at least in January 2021. The intrusions are notable for a number of reasons, not least because in addition to its highly-targeted nature, the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adopted by the adversary rely on repurposed open-source code and the use of compromised dom

Wormable DarkRadiation Ransomware Targets Linux and Docker Instances

Wormable DarkRadiation Ransomware Targets Linux and Docker Instances
June 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers are sounding the alarm bell over a new ransomware strain called " DarkRadiation " that's implemented entirely in Bash and targets Linux and Docker cloud containers, while banking on messaging service Telegram for command-and-control (C2) communications. "The ransomware is written in  Bash  script and targets Red Hat/CentOS and Debian Linux distributions," researchers from Trend Micro  said  in a report published last week. "The malware uses OpenSSL's AES algorithm with CBC mode to encrypt files in various directories. It also uses Telegram's API to send an infection status to the threat actor(s)." As of writing, there's no information available on the delivery methods or evidence that the ransomware has been deployed in real-world attacks. The findings come from an analysis of a collection of hacking tools hosted on the unidentified threat actor's infrastructure (IP address "185.141.25.168") in a

North Korea Exploited VPN Flaw to Hack South's Nuclear Research Institute

North Korea Exploited VPN Flaw to Hack South's Nuclear Research Institute
June 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
South Korea's state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) on Friday disclosed that its internal network was infiltrated by suspected attackers operating out of its northern counterpart. The intrusion is said to have taken place on May 14 through a vulnerability in an unnamed virtual private network (VPN) vendor and involved a  total of 13 IP addresses , one of which — "27.102.114[.]89" — has been previously linked to a state-sponsored threat actor dubbed  Kimsuky . KAERI, established in 1959 and situated in the city of Daejeon, is a government-funded research institute that designs and develops nuclear technologies related to reactors, fuel rods, radiation fusion, and nuclear safety. Following the intrusion, the think tank said it took steps to block the attacker's IP addresses in question and applied necessary security patches to the vulnerable VPN solution. "Currently, the Atomic Energy Research Institute is investigating the subject of the ha

Cyber espionage by Chinese hackers in neighbouring nations is on the rise

Cyber espionage by Chinese hackers in neighbouring nations is on the rise
June 18, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A string of cyber espionage campaigns dating all the way back to 2014 and likely focused on gathering defense information from neighbouring countries have been linked to a Chinese military-intelligence apparatus. In a wide-ranging report published by Massachusetts-headquartered Recorded Future this week, the cybersecurity firm's Insikt Group said it identified ties between a group it tracks as " RedFoxtrot " to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 69010 operating out of Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the country. Previously called the Lanzhou Military Region's Second Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, Unit 69010 is a military cover for a Technical Reconnaissance Bureau (TRB) within China's Strategic Support Force (SSF) Network Systems Department ( NSD ). The connection to PLA Unit 69010 stems from what the researchers said were "lax operational security measures" adopted by an unnamed suspected RedFoxtrot threa

A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran

A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran
June 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors with suspected ties to Iran have been found to leverage instant messaging and VPN apps like Telegram and Psiphon to install a Windows remote access trojan (RAT) capable of stealing sensitive information from targets' devices since at least 2015. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which pieced together the activity, attributed the campaign to an advanced persistent threat (APT) group it tracks as Ferocious Kitten, a group that has singled out Persian-speaking individuals allegedly based in the country while successfully operating under the radar. "The targeting of Psiphon and Telegram, both of which are quite popular services in Iran, underlines the fact that the payloads were developed with the purpose of targeting Iranian users in mind," Kaspersky's Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT)  said . "Moreover, the decoy content displayed by the malicious files often made use of political themes and involved images or videos of resistance bas
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