#1 Trusted Cybersecurity News Platform Followed by 3.45+ million
The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter

North Korea | Breaking Cybersecurity News | The Hacker News

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

North Korean Hackers Weaponizing Open-Source Software in Latest Cyber Attacks

North Korean Hackers Weaponizing Open-Source Software in Latest Cyber Attacks
Sep 30, 2022
A "highly operational, destructive, and sophisticated nation-state activity group" with ties to North Korea has been weaponizing open source software in their social engineering campaigns aimed at companies around the world since June 2022. Microsoft's threat intelligence teams, alongside LinkedIn Threat Prevention and Defense, attributed the intrusions with high confidence to Zinc, a threat group affiliated with Lazarus which is also tracked under the name Labyrinth Chollima.  Attacks targeted employees in organizations across multiple industries, including media, defense and aerospace, and IT services in the U.S., the U.K., India, and Russia. The tech giant  said  it observed Zinc leveraging a "wide range of open-source software including PuTTY, KiTTY, TightVNC, Sumatra PDF Reader, and muPDF/Subliminal Recording software installer for these attacks." According to  CrowdStrike , Zinc "has been active since 2009 in operations aimed at collecting polit

external linkEliminating SaaS Shadow IT is Now Available via a Free Self-Service Product

SaaS
websitewww.wing.securitySaaS Security / Shadow IT
This new product provides IT and Security visibility into the risky SaaS apps employees are using.

Experts Uncover Details on Maui Ransomware Attack by North Korean Hackers

Experts Uncover Details on Maui Ransomware Attack by North Korean Hackers
Aug 10, 2022
The first ever incident possibly involving the ransomware family known as Maui occurred on April 15, 2021, aimed at an unnamed Japanese housing company. The disclosure from Kaspersky arrives a month after U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence agencies issued an  advisory  about the use of the ransomware strain by North Korean government-backed hackers to target the healthcare sector since at least May 2021. Much of the data about its modus operandi came from incident response activities and industry analysis of a Maui sample that revealed a lack of "several key features" typically associated with ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operations. Not only is Maui designed to be manually executed by a remote actor via a command-line interface, it's also notable for not including a ransom note to provide recovery instructions. Subsequently, the Justice Department  announced  the seizure of $500,000 worth of Bitcoin that were extorted from several organizations, including two he

North Korean Hackers Using Malicious Browser Extension to Spy on Email Accounts

North Korean Hackers Using Malicious Browser Extension to Spy on Email Accounts
Jul 30, 2022
A threat actor operating with interests aligned with North Korea has been deploying a malicious extension on Chromium-based web browsers that's capable of stealing email content from Gmail and AOL. Cybersecurity firm Volexity attributed the malware to an activity cluster it calls  SharpTongue , which is said to share overlaps with an  adversarial collective  publicly referred to under the name  Kimsuky . SharpTongue has a history of singling out individuals working for organizations in the U.S., Europe, and South Korea who "work on topics involving North Korea, nuclear issues, weapons systems, and other matters of strategic interest to North Korea," researchers Paul Rascagneres and Thomas Lancaster  said . Kimsuky 's use of rogue extensions in attacks is not new. In 2018, the actor was seen utilizing a Chrome plugin as part of a campaign called  Stolen Pencil  to infect victims and steal browser cookies and passwords. But the latest espionage effort is different

U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on North Korean Hackers

U.S. Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on North Korean Hackers
Jul 28, 2022
The U.S. State Department has announced rewards of up to $10 million for any information that could help disrupt North Korea's cryptocurrency theft, cyber-espionage, and other illicit state-backed activities. "If you have information on any individuals associated with the North Korean government-linked malicious cyber groups (such as Andariel, APT38, Bluenoroff, Guardians of Peace, Kimsuky, or Lazarus Group) and who are involved in targeting U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you may be eligible for a reward," the department  said  in a tweet. The amount is double the bounty the agency  publicized  in March 2022 for specifics regarding the financial mechanisms employed by state-sponsored actors working on behalf of the North Korean government. The development comes a week after the Justice Department  disclosed  the seizure of $500,000 worth of Bitcoin from North Korean hackers who extorted digital payments by using a new r

North Korean Hackers Targeting Small and Midsize Businesses with H0lyGh0st Ransomware

North Korean Hackers Targeting Small and Midsize Businesses with H0lyGh0st Ransomware
Jul 15, 2022
An emerging threat cluster originating from North Korea has been linked to developing and using ransomware in cyberattacks targeting small businesses since September 2021. The group, which calls itself H0lyGh0st after the ransomware payload of the same name, is being tracked by the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center under the moniker DEV-0530, a designation assigned for unknown, emerging, or a developing group of threat activity. Targeted entities primarily include small-to-midsize businesses such as manufacturing organizations, banks, schools, and event and meeting planning companies. "Along with their H0lyGh0st payload, DEV-0530 maintains an .onion site that the group uses to interact with their victims," the researchers  said  in a Thursday analysis. "The group's standard methodology is to encrypt all files on the target device and use the file extension .h0lyenc, send the victim a sample of the files as proof, and then demand payment in Bitcoin in exchange

U.S. Warns Against North Korean Hackers Posing as IT Freelancers

U.S. Warns Against North Korean Hackers Posing as IT Freelancers
May 18, 2022
Highly skilled software and mobile app developers from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are posing as "non-DPRK nationals" in hopes of landing freelance employment in an attempt to enable the regime's  malicious cyber intrusions . That's according to a  joint advisory  from the U.S. Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued on Monday. Targets include financial, health, social media, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle-focused companies located in North America, Europe, and East Asia, with most of the dispatched workers situated in China, Russia, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The goal, the U.S. agencies warn, is to generate a constant stream of revenue that sidesteps international sanctions imposed on the nation and help serve its economic and security priorities, including the development of nuclear and ballistic missiles. "The North Korean government withholds up to 90 perce

U.S. Sanctions Cryptocurrency Mixer Blender for Helping North Korea Launder Millions

U.S. Sanctions Cryptocurrency Mixer Blender for Helping North Korea Launder Millions
May 07, 2022
The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday moved to sanction virtual currency mixer Blender.io, marking the first time a mixing service has been subjected to economic blockades. The move signals continued efforts on the part of the government to prevent North Korea's Lazarus Group from laundering the funds stolen from the  unprecedented hack of Ronin Bridge  in late March. The newly imposed sanctions, issued by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), target 45 Bitcoin addresses linked to Blender.io and four new wallets linked to Lazarus Group, an advanced persistent with ties to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). "Blender was used in processing over $20.5 million of the illicit proceeds," the Treasury  said , adding it was utilized by DPRK to "support its malicious cyber activities and money-laundering of stolen virtual currency." Cryptocurrency mixers, also called  tumblers , are privacy-focused services that allow users to move cr

Ethereum Developer Jailed 63 Months for Helping North Korea Evade Sanctions

Ethereum Developer Jailed 63 Months for Helping North Korea Evade Sanctions
Apr 14, 2022
A U.S. court has sentenced former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith to five years and three months in prison and pay a $100,000 fine for conspiring with North Korea to help use cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions imposed on the country. "There is no question North Korea poses a national security threat to our nation, and the regime has shown time and again it will stop at nothing to ignore our laws for its own benefit," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams  said  in a statement. The sentencing comes more than six months after Griffith  pleaded guilty  to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ( IEEPA ) by offering technical advice to the hermit kingdom with regards to the use of digital currency to bypass economic restrictions. Griffith was arrested in November 2019. North Korea is known to  rely on   cryptocurrency heists  to get around international sanctions and use it to help fund programs to build weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the nation-st

NK Hackers Deploy Browser Exploits on South Korean Sites to Spread Malware

NK Hackers Deploy Browser Exploits on South Korean Sites to Spread Malware
Aug 18, 2021
A North Korean threat actor has been discovered taking advantage of two exploits in Internet Explorer to infect victims with a custom implant as part of a strategic web compromise (SWC) targeting a South Korean online newspaper. Cybersecurity firm Volexity  attributed  the watering hole attacks to a threat actor it tracks as InkySquid, and more widely known by the monikers ScarCruft and APT37. Daily NK, the publication in question, is said to have hosted the malicious code from at least late March 2021 until early June 2021. The "clever disguise of exploit code amongst legitimate code" and the use of custom malware enables the attackers to avoid detection, Volexity researchers said. The attacks involved tampering with the jQuery JavaScript libraries hosted on the website to serve additional obfuscated JavaScript code from a remote URL, using it to leverage exploits for two Internet Explorer flaws that were patched by Microsoft in  August 2020  and  March 2021 . Successfu

Researchers Uncover Hacking Operations Targeting Government Entities in South Korea

Researchers Uncover Hacking Operations Targeting Government Entities in South Korea
Jun 02, 2021
A North Korean threat actor active since 2012 has been behind a new espionage campaign targeting high-profile government officials associated with its southern counterpart to install an Android and Windows backdoor for collecting sensitive information. Cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes attributed the activity to a threat actor tracked as Kimsuky, with the targeted entities comprising of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador of the Embassy of Sri Lanka to the State, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Officer, and the Deputy Consul General at Korean Consulate General in Hong Kong. The attacks also involved collecting information about other organizations and universities in the country, including the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA), Seoul National University, and Daishin Securities. Malwarebytes, however, noted that there is no evidence of active targeting or compromise by the adversary. The development is only the latest in a series of surveil

Hackers Set Up a Fake Cybersecurity Firm to Target Security Experts

Hackers Set Up a Fake Cybersecurity Firm to Target Security Experts
Apr 01, 2021
A North Korean government-backed campaign targeting cybersecurity researchers with malware has re-emerged with new tactics in their arsenal as part of a fresh social engineering attack. In an update shared on Wednesday, Google's Threat Analysis Group said the attackers behind the operation set up a fake security company called SecuriElite and a slew of social media accounts across Twitter and LinkedIn in an attempt to trick unsuspecting researchers into visiting the company's booby-trapped website "where a browser exploit was waiting to be triggered." "The new website claims the company is an offensive security company located in Turkey that offers pentests, software security assessments and exploits," TAG's Adam Weidemann  said . The website is said to have gone live on March 17. A total of eight Twitter profiles and seven LinkedIn profiles, who claimed to be vulnerability researchers and human resources personnel at different security firms (inclu

North Korean Hackers Targeting Defense Firms with ThreatNeedle Malware

North Korean Hackers Targeting Defense Firms with ThreatNeedle Malware
Feb 26, 2021
A prolific North Korean state-sponsored hacking group has been tied to a new ongoing espionage campaign aimed at exfiltrating sensitive information from organizations in the defense industry. Attributing the attacks with high confidence to the  Lazarus Group , the new findings from Kaspersky signal an expansion of the APT actor's tactics by going beyond the usual gamut of financially-motivated crimes to fund the cash-strapped regime.  This broadening of its strategic interests happened in early 2020 by leveraging a tool called ThreatNeedle , researchers Vyacheslav Kopeytsev and Seongsu Park said in a Thursday write-up. At a high level, the campaign takes advantage of a multi-step approach that begins with a carefully crafted spear-phishing attack leading eventually to the attackers gaining remote control over the devices. ThreatNeedle is delivered to targets via COVID-themed emails with malicious Microsoft Word attachments as initial infection vectors that, when opened, run a

U.S. Charges 3 North Korean Hackers Over $1.3 Billion Cryptocurrency Heist

U.S. Charges 3 North Korean Hackers Over $1.3 Billion Cryptocurrency Heist
Feb 18, 2021
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday  indicted  three suspected North Korean hackers for allegedly conspiring to steal and extort over $1.3 billion in cash and cryptocurrencies from financial institutions and businesses. The three defendants — Jon Chang Hyok, 31; Kim Il, 27; and Park Jin Hyok, 36 — are said to be members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a military intelligence division of North Korea, also known as the  Lazarus group ,  Hidden Cobra , or Advanced Persistent Threat 38 (APT 38). Accusing them of creating and deploying multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications, developing and fraudulently marketing a blockchain platform, the indictment expands on the  2018 charges brought against Park , one of the alleged nation-state hackers previously charged in connection with the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. A Wide-Ranging Scheme to Commit Cyberattacks and Financial Crimes "North Korea's operatives, using keyboards rather than g

N. Korean Hackers Targeting Security Experts to Steal Undisclosed Researches

N. Korean Hackers Targeting Security Experts to Steal Undisclosed Researches
Jan 26, 2021
Google on Monday disclosed details about an ongoing campaign carried out by a government-backed threat actor from North Korea that has targeted security researchers working on vulnerability research and development. The internet giant's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) said the adversary created a research blog and multiple profiles on various social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, Discord, and Keybase in a bid to communicate with the researchers and build trust. The goal, it appears, is to steal exploits developed by the researchers for possibly undisclosed vulnerabilities, thereby allowing them to stage further attacks on vulnerable targets of their choice. "Their blog contains write-ups and analysis of vulnerabilities that have been publicly disclosed, including 'guest' posts from unwitting legitimate security researchers, likely in an attempt to build additional credibility with other security researchers,"  said  TAG researcher Adam Weide

ALERT: North Korean hackers targeting South Korea with RokRat Trojan

ALERT: North Korean hackers targeting South Korea with RokRat Trojan
Jan 08, 2021
A North Korean hacking group has been found deploying the RokRat Trojan in a new spear-phishing campaign targeting the South Korean government. Attributing the attack to  APT37  (aka Starcruft, Ricochet Chollima, or Reaper), Malwarebytes said it identified a malicious document last December that, when opened, executes a macro in memory to install the aforementioned remote access tool (RAT). "The file contains an embedded macro that uses a VBA self decoding technique to decode itself within the memory spaces of Microsoft Office without writing to the disk. It then embeds a variant of the RokRat into Notepad," the researchers  noted  in a Wednesday analysis. Believed to be active at least since 2012, the  Reaper APT  is known for its focus on public and private entities primarily in South Korea, such as chemicals, electronics, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and healthcare entities. Since then, their victimology has expanded beyond the Korean peninsula to include Ja

North Korean Hackers Used 'Torisma' Spyware in Job Offers-based Attacks

North Korean Hackers Used 'Torisma' Spyware in Job Offers-based Attacks
Nov 05, 2020
A cyberespionage campaign aimed at aerospace and defense sectors in order to install data gathering implants on victims' machines for purposes of surveillance and data exfiltration may have been more sophisticated than previously thought. The attacks, which targeted IP-addresses belonging to internet service providers (ISPs) in Australia, Israel, Russia, and defense contractors based in Russia and India, involved a previously undiscovered spyware tool called Torisma  to stealthily monitor its victims for continued exploitation. Tracked under the codename of " Operation North Star " by McAfee researchers, initial findings into the campaign in July revealed the use of social media sites, spear-phishing, and weaponized documents with fake job offers to trick employees working in the defense sector to gain a foothold on their organizations' networks. The attacks have been attributed to infrastructure and TTPs (Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures) previously associate
More Resources