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North Korean Hackers Exploit Facebook Messenger in Targeted Malware Campaign

North Korean Hackers Exploit Facebook Messenger in Targeted Malware Campaign

May 16, 2024 Malware / Cyber Espionage
The North Korea-linked  Kimsuky hacking group  has been attributed to a new social engineering attack that employs fictitious Facebook accounts to targets via Messenger and ultimately delivers malware. "The threat actor created a Facebook account with a fake identity disguised as a public official working in the North Korean human rights field," South Korean cybersecurity company Genians  said  in a report published last week. The multi-stage attack campaign, which impersonates a legitimate individual, is designed to target activists in the North Korean human rights and anti-North Korea sectors, it noted. The approach is a departure from the typical email-based spear-phishing strategy in that it leverages the social media platform to approach targets through Facebook Messenger and trick them into opening seemingly private documents written by the persona. The decoy documents, hosted on OneDrive, is a Microsoft Common Console document that masquerades as an essay or cont
North Korean Hackers Deploy New Golang Malware 'Durian' Against Crypto Firms

North Korean Hackers Deploy New Golang Malware 'Durian' Against Crypto Firms

May 10, 2024 Malware / Cyber Espionage
The North Korean threat actor tracked as Kimsuky has been observed deploying a previously undocumented Golang-based malware dubbed  Durian  as part of highly-targeted cyber attacks aimed at two South Korean cryptocurrency firms. "Durian boasts comprehensive backdoor functionality, enabling the execution of delivered commands, additional file downloads, and exfiltration of files," Kaspersky  said  in its APT trends report for Q1 2024. The attacks, which occurred in August and November 2023, entailed the use of legitimate software exclusive to South Korea as an infection pathway, although the precise mechanism used to manipulate the program is currently unclear. What's known is that the software establishes a connection to the attacker's server, leading to the retrieval of a malicious payload that kicks off the infection sequence. The first-stage serves as an installer for additional malware and a means to establish persistence on the host. It also paves the way fo
NSA, FBI Alert on N. Korean Hackers Spoofing Emails from Trusted Sources

NSA, FBI Alert on N. Korean Hackers Spoofing Emails from Trusted Sources

May 03, 2024 Email Security / Malware
The U.S. government on Thursday published a new cybersecurity advisory warning of North Korean threat actors' attempts to send emails in a manner that makes them appear like they are from legitimate and trusted parties. The joint bulletin was published by the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of State. "The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] leverages these spear-phishing campaigns to collect intelligence on geopolitical events, adversary foreign policy strategies, and any information affecting DPRK interests by gaining illicit access to targets' private documents, research, and communications," the NSA  said . The technique specifically concerns exploiting improperly configured DNS Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance ( DMARC ) record policies to conceal social engineering attempts. In doing so, the threat actors can send spoofed emails as if they are from a legit
cyber security

Demonstrate Responsible AI: Get the ISO 42001 Compliance Checklist from Vanta

websiteVantaCompliance / Security Audit
ISO 42001 helps organizations demonstrate trustworthy AI practices in accordance with global standards. With Vanta, completing the requirements for ISO 42001 compliance can be done in a fraction of the time. Download the checklist to get started.
It's Time to Master the Lift & Shift: Migrating from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure

It's Time to Master the Lift & Shift: Migrating from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure

May 15, 2024Enterprise Security / Cloud Computing
While cloud adoption has been top of mind for many IT professionals for nearly a decade, it's only in recent months, with industry changes and announcements from key players, that many recognize the time to make the move is now. It may feel like a daunting task, but tools exist to help you move your virtual machines (VMs) to a public cloud provider – like Microsoft Azure – with relative ease. Transitioning from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth migration process. In this guide, we'll walk through the steps involved in moving your virtualized infrastructure to the cloud giant, Microsoft Azure. Whether you're migrating your entire data center or specific workloads, these steps will help you navigate the transition effectively. 1. Assess Your Environment: Before diving into the migration process, assess your current VMware vSphere environment thoroughly. Identify all virtual machines (VMs), dependencies, and resource
N. Korea-linked Kimsuky Shifts to Compiled HTML Help Files in Ongoing Cyberattacks

N. Korea-linked Kimsuky Shifts to Compiled HTML Help Files in Ongoing Cyberattacks

Mar 24, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Cyber Espionage
The North Korea-linked threat actor known as  Kimsuky  (aka Black Banshee, Emerald Sleet, or Springtail) has been observed shifting its tactics, leveraging Compiled HTML Help (CHM) files as vectors to deliver malware for harvesting sensitive data. Kimsuky, active since at least 2012, is known to target entities located in South Korea as well as North America, Asia, and Europe. According to Rapid7, attack chains have leveraged weaponized Microsoft Office documents, ISO files, and Windows shortcut (LNK) files, with the group also employing CHM files to  deploy malware  on  compromised hosts . The cybersecurity firm has attributed the activity to Kimsuky with moderate confidence, citing similar tradecraft observed in the past. "While originally designed for help documentation, CHM files have also been exploited for malicious purposes, such as distributing malware, because they can execute JavaScript when opened," the company  said . The CHM file is propagated within an IS
New DEEP#GOSU Malware Campaign Targets Windows Users with Advanced Tactics

New DEEP#GOSU Malware Campaign Targets Windows Users with Advanced Tactics

Mar 18, 2024 Cybercrime / Cryptocurrency
A new elaborate attack campaign has been observed employing PowerShell and VBScript malware to infect Windows systems and harvest sensitive information. Cybersecurity company Securonix, which dubbed the campaign DEEP#GOSU, said it's likely associated with the North Korean state-sponsored group tracked as Kimsuky (aka Emerald Sleet, Springtail, or Velvet Chollima). "The malware payloads used in the  DEEP#GOSU  represent a sophisticated, multi-stage threat designed to operate stealthily on Windows systems especially from a network-monitoring standpoint," security researchers Den Iuzvyk, Tim Peck, and Oleg Kolesnikov said in a technical analysis shared with The Hacker News. "Its capabilities included keylogging, clipboard monitoring, dynamic payload execution, and data exfiltration, and persistence using both RAT software for full remote access, scheduled tasks as well as self-executing PowerShell scripts using jobs." A notable aspect of the infection proced
Kimsuky's New Golang Stealer 'Troll' and 'GoBear' Backdoor Target South Korea

Kimsuky's New Golang Stealer 'Troll' and 'GoBear' Backdoor Target South Korea

Feb 08, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The North Korea-linked nation-state actor known as Kimsuky is suspected of using a previously undocumented Golang-based information stealer called  Troll Stealer . The malware steals "SSH, FileZilla, C drive files/directories, browsers, system information, [and] screen captures" from infected systems, South Korean cybersecurity company S2W  said  in a new technical report. Troll Stealer's links to Kimsuky stem from its similarities to known malware families, such as AppleSeed and AlphaSeed malware that have been attributed to the group. Kimsuky, also tracked under the names APT43, ARCHIPELAGO, Black Banshee, Emerald Sleet (previously Thallium), Nickel Kimball, and Velvet Chollima, is well known for its propensity to steal sensitive, confidential information in offensive cyber operations. In late November 2023, the threat actors were  sanctioned  by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for gathering intelligence to further North
Kimsuky Hackers Deploying AppleSeed, Meterpreter, and TinyNuke in Latest Attacks

Kimsuky Hackers Deploying AppleSeed, Meterpreter, and TinyNuke in Latest Attacks

Dec 29, 2023 Malware / Cyber Threat
Nation-state actors affiliated to North Korea have been observed using spear-phishing attacks to deliver an assortment of backdoors and tools such as AppleSeed, Meterpreter, and TinyNuke to seize control of compromised machines. South Korea-based cybersecurity company AhnLab attributed the activity to an advanced persistent threat group known as  Kimsuky . "A notable point about attacks that use AppleSeed is that similar methods of attack have been used for many years with no significant changes to the malware that are used together," the AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC)  said  in an analysis published Thursday. Kimsuky , active for over a decade, is known for its targeting of a wide range of entities in South Korea, before expanding its focus to include other geographies in 2017. It was  sanctioned  by the U.S. government late last month for amassing intelligence to support North Korea's strategic objectives. The threat actor's espionage campaigns are realized th
Lazarus Group Using Log4j Exploits to Deploy Remote Access Trojans

Lazarus Group Using Log4j Exploits to Deploy Remote Access Trojans

Dec 11, 2023 Vulnerability / Espionage
The notorious North Korea-linked threat actor known as the  Lazarus Group  has been attributed to a new global campaign that involves the opportunistic exploitation of security flaws in Log4j to deploy previously undocumented remote access trojans (RATs) on compromised hosts. Cisco Talos is tracking the activity under the name Operation Blacksmith, noting the use of three DLang-based malware families, including a RAT called NineRAT that leverages Telegram for command-and-control (C2), DLRAT, and a downloader dubbed BottomLoader. The cybersecurity firm described the latest tactics of the adversary as a definitive shift and that they overlap with the cluster widely tracked as Andariel (aka Onyx Sleet or Silent Chollima), a sub-group within the Lazarus umbrella. "Andariel is typically tasked with initial access, reconnaissance and establishing long term access for espionage in support of the North Korean government's national interests," Talos researchers Jung soo An, As
N. Korea's Kimsuky Targeting South Korean Research Institutes with Backdoor Attacks

N. Korea's Kimsuky Targeting South Korean Research Institutes with Backdoor Attacks

Dec 08, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Cryptocurrency
The North Korean threat actor known as  Kimsuky  has been observed targeting research institutes in South Korea as part of a spear-phishing campaign with the ultimate goal of distributing backdoors on compromised systems. "The threat actor ultimately uses a backdoor to steal information and execute commands," the AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC)  said  in an analysis posted last week. The attack chains commence with an import declaration lure that's actually a malicious JSE file containing an obfuscated PowerShell script, a Base64-encoded payload, and a decoy PDF document. The next stage entails opening the PDF file as a diversionary tactic, while the PowerShell script is executed in the background to launch the backdoor. The malware, for its part, is configured to collect network information and other relevant data (i.e., host name, user name, and operating system version) and transmit the encoded details to a remote server. It's also capable of
U.S. Treasury Sanctions North Korean Kimsuky Hackers and 8 Foreign-Based Agents

U.S. Treasury Sanctions North Korean Kimsuky Hackers and 8 Foreign-Based Agents

Dec 01, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Cryptocurrency
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday sanctioned the North Korea-linked adversarial collective known as Kimsuky as well as eight foreign-based agents who are alleged to have facilitated sanctions evasion. The agents, the Treasury  said , helped in " revenue generation  and missile-related technology procurement that support the DPRK's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs." The sanctions against Kimsuky, which have been levied for gathering intelligence to support the regime's strategic objectives, come more than four years after the OFAC  imposed   similar measures  against the Lazarus Group and its offshoots  Andariel  and  BlueNoroff  in September 2019. The actions are in  response  to North Korea's launch of a military reconnaissance satellite late last month, the Treasury added. They also arrive a day after a virtual currency mixer service called Sinbad was  sanctioned  for processing stolen as
Kimsuky Targets Think Tanks and News Media with Social Engineering Attacks

Kimsuky Targets Think Tanks and News Media with Social Engineering Attacks

Jun 08, 2023 Cyber Threat / Hacking
The North Korean nation-state threat actor known as  Kimsuky  has been linked to a social engineering campaign targeting experts in North Korean affairs with the goal of stealing Google credentials and delivering reconnaissance malware. "Further, Kimsuky's objective extends to the theft of subscription credentials from NK News," cybersecurity firm SentinelOne  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "To achieve this, the group distributes emails that lure targeted individuals to log in on the malicious website nknews[.]pro, which masquerades as the authentic NK News site. The login form that is presented to the target is designed to capture entered credentials." NK News , established in 2011, is an American subscription-based news website that provides stories and analysis about North Korea. The disclosure comes days after U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies  issued an alert  warning of Kimsuky's use of social engineering tactics to strik
North Korea's Kimsuky Group Mimics Key Figures in Targeted Cyber Attacks

North Korea's Kimsuky Group Mimics Key Figures in Targeted Cyber Attacks

Jun 02, 2023 Cyber Espionage / APT
U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies have issued a new alert warning of North Korean cyber actors' use of social engineering tactics to strike think tanks, academia, and news media sectors. The "sustained information gathering efforts" have been attributed to a state-sponsored cluster dubbed  Kimsuky , which is also known by the names APT43, ARCHIPELAGO, Black Banshee, Emerald Sleet (previously Thallium), Nickel Kimball, and Velvet Chollima. "North Korea relies heavily on intelligence gained from these spear-phishing campaigns," the agencies  said . "Successful compromises of the targeted individuals enable Kimsuky actors to craft more credible and effective spear-phishing emails that can be leveraged against sensitive, high-value targets." Acting in tandem, South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)  imposed sanctions  on the North Korean hacking group and identified  two cryptocurrency addresses  used by the entity that have rece
N. Korean Kimsuky Hackers Using New Recon Tool ReconShark in Latest Cyberattacks

N. Korean Kimsuky Hackers Using New Recon Tool ReconShark in Latest Cyberattacks

May 05, 2023 Cyber Threat / Malware
The North Korean state-sponsored threat actor known as  Kimsuky  has been discovered using a new reconnaissance tool called  ReconShark  as part of an ongoing global campaign. "[ReconShark] is actively delivered to specifically targeted individuals through spear-phishing emails, OneDrive links leading to document downloads, and the execution of malicious macros," SentinelOne researchers Tom Hegel and Aleksandar Milenkoski  said . Kimsuky  is also known by the names APT43, ARCHIPELAGO, Black Banshee, Emerald Sleet (previously Thallium), Nickel Kimball, and Velvet Chollima. Active since at least 2012, the  prolific   threat actor  has been linked to  targeted   attacks  on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, diplomatic agencies, military organizations, economic groups, and research entities across North America, Asia, and Europe. The latest intrusion set documented by SentinelOne leverages geopolitical themes related to North Korea's nuclear proliferat
German and South Korean Agencies Warn of Kimsuky's Expanding Cyber Attack Tactics

German and South Korean Agencies Warn of Kimsuky's Expanding Cyber Attack Tactics

Mar 23, 2023 Cyber Attack / Browser Security
German and South Korean government agencies have warned about cyber attacks mounted by a threat actor tracked as  Kimsuky  using rogue browser extensions to steal users' Gmail inboxes. The  joint advisory   comes  from Germany's domestic intelligence apparatus, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), and South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS). The intrusions are designed to strike "experts on the Korean Peninsula and North Korea issues" through spear-phishing campaigns, the agencies noted. Kimsuky , also known Black Banshee, Thallium, and Velvet Chollima, refers to a  subordinate element  within North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau and is known to "collect strategic intelligence on geopolitical events and negotiations affecting the DPRK's interests." Primary targets of interest include entities in the U.S. and South Korea, particularly singling out individuals working within the government, military
Kimsuky Hackers Spotted Using 3 New Android Malware to Target South Koreans

Kimsuky Hackers Spotted Using 3 New Android Malware to Target South Koreans

Oct 26, 2022
The North Korean espionage-focused actor known as Kimsuky has been observed using three different Android malware strains to target users located in its southern counterpart. That's according to findings from South Korean cybersecurity company S2W, which named the malware families FastFire, FastViewer, and FastSpy. "The FastFire malware is disguised as a Google security plugin, and the FastViewer malware disguises itself as 'Hancom Office Viewer,' [while] FastSpy is a remote access tool based on  AndroSpy ," researchers Lee Sebin and Shin Yeongjae  said . Kimsuky, also known by the names Black Banshee, Thallium, and Velvet Chollima, is believed to be tasked by the North Korean regime with a global intelligence-gathering mission, disproportionately targeting individuals and organizations in South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. This past August, Kaspersky unearthed a previously undocumented infection chain dubbed  GoldDragon  to deploy a Windows backdoor capable o
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