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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: North Korean hackers

Hackers Target Defense Contractors' Employees By Posing as Recruiters

Hackers Target Defense Contractors' Employees By Posing as Recruiters
August 20, 2020Mohit Kumar
The United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a new report warning companies about a new in-the-wild malware that North Korean hackers are reportedly using to spy on key employees at government contracting companies. Dubbed ' BLINDINGCAN ,' the advanced remote access trojan acts as a backdoor when installed on compromised computers. According to the FBI and CISA, North Korean state-sponsored hackers Lazarus Group , also known as Hidden Cobra , are spreading BLINDINGCAN to "gather intelligence surrounding key military and energy technologies." To achieve this, attackers first identify high-value targets, perform extensive research on their social and professional networks, and then pose as recruiters to send malicious documents loaded with the malware, masquerading as job advertisements and offerings. However, such employment scams and social engineering strategies are not new and were recently spotted being used in

EU sanctions hackers from China, Russia, North Korea who're wanted by the FBI

EU sanctions hackers from China, Russia, North Korea who're wanted by the FBI
July 31, 2020Swati Khandelwal
The Council of the European Union has imposed its first-ever sanctions against persons or entities involved in various cyber-attacks targeting European citizens, and its member states. The directive has been issued against six individuals and three entities responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks, out of which some publicly known are ' WannaCry ', ' NotPetya ', and ' Operation Cloud Hopper ,' as well as an attempted cyber-attack against the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. Out of the six individuals sanctioned by the EU include two Chinese citizens and four Russian nationals. The companies involved in carrying out cyberattacks include an export firm based in North Korea, and technology companies from China and Russia. The sanctions imposed include a ban on persons traveling to any EU countries and a freeze of assets on persons and entities. Besides this, EU citizens and entities are also forbidden from doing any busin

U.S Defense Warns of 3 New Malware Used by North Korean Hackers

U.S Defense Warns of 3 New Malware Used by North Korean Hackers
May 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Yesterday, on the 3rd anniversary of the infamous global WannaCry ransomware outbreak for which North Korea was blamed, the U.S. government released information about three new malware strains used by state-sponsored North Korean hackers. Called COPPERHEDGE, TAINTEDSCRIBE, and PEBBLEDASH, the malware variants are capable of remote reconnaissance and exfiltration of sensitive information from target systems, according to a joint advisory released by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Defense (DoD). The three new malware strains are the latest addition to a long list of over 20 malware samples , including BISTROMATH, SLICKSHOES, HOPLIGHT, and ELECTRICFISH , among others, that have been identified by the security agencies as originating as part of a series of malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government it calls Hidden Cobra , or widely known by the moniker Lazarus Group. Full

U.S. Offers Rewards up to $5 Million for Information on North Korean Hackers

U.S. Offers Rewards up to $5 Million for Information on North Korean Hackers
April 15, 2020Mohit Kumar
The United States agencies today released a joint advisory warning the world about the 'significant cyber threat' posed by North Korean state-sponsored hackers to the global banking and financial institutions. Besides a summary of recent cyberattacks attributed to North Korean hackers, the advisory—issued by U.S. Departments of State, the Treasury, and Homeland Security, and the FBI—also contains a comprehensive guide intends to help the international community, industries, and other governments defend against North Korea's illicit activities. "In particular, the United States is deeply concerned about North Korea's malicious cyber activities, which the U.S. government refers to as HIDDEN COBRA. The DPRK has the capability to conduct disruptive or destructive cyber activities affecting U.S. critical infrastructure," the advisory says . "The DPRK also uses cyber capabilities to steal from financial institutions, and has demonstrated a pattern of d

2 Chinese Charged with Laundering $100 Million for North Korean Hackers

2 Chinese Charged with Laundering $100 Million for North Korean Hackers
March 02, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Two Chinese nationals have been charged by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and sanctioned by the US Treasury for allegedly laundering $100 million worth of virtual currency using prepaid Apple iTunes gift cards. According to a newly unsealed court document , the illicit funds originated from a $250 million haul stolen from two different unnamed cryptocurrency exchanges that were perpetrated by Lazarus Group , a cybercrime group with ties with the North Korean government. The two individuals in question — Tian Yinyin (田寅寅)  and Li Jiadong (李家东) — were both charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and money laundering conspiracy. Prosecutors said the defendants worked on behalf of the threat actors based in North Korea to allegedly launder over a $100 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency to obscure transactions, adding the hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges posed a severe threat to the security of the global financial system. It's worth notin

North Korean Hackers Using ELECTRICFISH Tunnels to Exfiltrate Data

North Korean Hackers Using ELECTRICFISH Tunnels to Exfiltrate Data
May 10, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have issued another joint alert about a new piece of malware that the prolific North Korean APT hacking group Hidden Cobra has actively been using in the wild. Hidden Cobra, also known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace, is believed to be backed by North Korean government and known to launch cyber attacks against media organizations, aerospace, financial and critical infrastructure sectors across the world. The hacking group was the same associated with the 2017 WannaCry ransomware menace , the 2014 Sony Pictures hack , and the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016. Now, the DHS and the FBI have uncovered a new malware variant, dubbed ELECTRICFISH , that Hidden Cobra hackers have been using for secretly tunneling traffic out of compromised computer systems. The malware implements a custom protocol configured with a proxy server/port and proxy username and password, allowing hackers to bypass the compromised system'

Researchers Link 'Sharpshooter' Cyber Attacks to North Korean Hackers

Researchers Link 'Sharpshooter' Cyber Attacks to North Korean Hackers
March 04, 2019Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have finally, with "high confidence," linked a previously discovered global cyber espionage campaign targeting critical infrastructure around the world to a North Korean APT hacking group. Thanks to the new evidence collected by researchers after analyzing a command-and-control (C2) server involved in the espionage campaign and seized by law enforcement. Dubbed Operation Sharpshooter , the cyber espionage campaign targeting government, defense, nuclear, energy, and financial organizations around the world was initially uncovered in December 2018 by security researchers at McAfee. At that time, even after finding numerous technical links to the North Korean Lazarus hacking group , researchers were not able to immediately attribute the campaign due to a potential for false flags. Researchers Analysed Sharpshooter's Command Server Now, according to a press release shared with The Hacker News, a recent analysis of the seized code and command

FBI Mapping 'Joanap Malware' Victims to Disrupt the North Korean Botnet

FBI Mapping 'Joanap Malware' Victims to Disrupt the North Korean Botnet
January 31, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced Wednesday its effort to "map and further disrupt" a botnet tied to North Korea that has infected numerous Microsoft Windows computers across the globe over the last decade. Dubbed Joanap , the botnet is believed to be part of " Hidden Cobra "—an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors' group often known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace and backed by the North Korean government. Hidden Cobra is the same hacking group that has been allegedly associated with the WannaCry ransomware menace in 2016, the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016, as well as Sony Motion Pictures hack in 2014. Dates back to 2009, Joanap is a remote access tool (RAT) that lands on a victim's system with the help an SMB worm called Brambul , which crawls from one computer to another by brute-forcing Windows Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing services using a list of common passwords. Once there, Brambul downloads Jo

Bank Servers Hacked to Trick ATMs into Spitting Out Millions in Cash

Bank Servers Hacked to Trick ATMs into Spitting Out Millions in Cash
October 03, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The US-CERT has released a joint technical alert from the DHS, the FBI, and Treasury warning about a new ATM scheme being used by the prolific North Korean APT hacking group known as Hidden Cobra . Hidden Cobra, also known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace, is believed to be backed by the North Korean government and has previously launched attacks against a number of media organizations, aerospace, financial and critical infrastructure sectors across the world. The group had also reportedly been associated with the WannaCry ransomware menace that last year shut down hospitals and big businesses worldwide, the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016, as well as the Sony Pictures hack in 2014. Now, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of the Treasury have released details about a new cyber attack, dubbed " FASTCash ," that Hidden Cobra has been using since at least 2016 to cash out ATMs by compromising the bank server. FASTCash Hack

U.S. Charges North Korean Spy Over WannaCry and Sony Pictures Hack

U.S. Charges North Korean Spy Over WannaCry and Sony Pictures Hack
September 06, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Justice announces criminal charges against a North Korean government spy in connection with the 2017 global WannaCry ransomware attack and the 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hack . According to multiple government officials cited by the NY Times who are familiar with the indictment, the charges would be brought against Park Jin Hyok , who works for North Korean military intelligence agency Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB). The November 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hack was done in retaliation for the studio's production of a comedic film, " The Interview ," a comedy about two journalists who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In June 2014, the Pyongyang government also denounced the film as "undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an Act of War" in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Sony Pictures hack was devastating to the company and exposed over 200

FBI issues alert over two new malware linked to Hidden Cobra hackers

FBI issues alert over two new malware linked to Hidden Cobra hackers
May 30, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The US-CERT has released a joint technical alert from the DHS and the FBI, warning about two newly identified malware being used by the prolific North Korean APT hacking group known as Hidden Cobra. Hidden Cobra, often known as Lazarus Group and Guardians of Peace, is believed to be backed by the North Korean government and known to launch attacks against media organizations, aerospace, financial and critical infrastructure sectors across the world. The group was even associated with the WannaCry ransomware menace that last year shut down hospitals and businesses worldwide. It is reportedly also linked to the 2014 Sony Pictures hack , as well as the SWIFT Banking attack in 2016. Now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have uncovered two new pieces of malware that Hidden Cobra has been using since at least 2009 to target companies working in the media, aerospace, financial, and critical infrastructure sectors across the world. The malware Hidden Cobra is

Greedy North Korean Hackers Targeting Cryptocurrencies and Point-of-Sale Terminals

Greedy North Korean Hackers Targeting Cryptocurrencies and Point-of-Sale Terminals
December 20, 2017Mohit Kumar
The North Korean hacking group has turned greedy. Security researchers have uncovered a new widespread malware campaign targeting cryptocurrency users, believed to be originated from Lazarus Group , a state-sponsored hacking group linked to the North Korean government. Active since 2009, Lazarus Group has been attributed to many high profile attacks, including Sony Pictures Hack , $81 million heists from the Bangladesh Bank , and the latest — WannaCry . The United States has officially blamed North Korea for global WannaCry ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers across more than 150 countries earlier this year. In separate news, security experts have blamed Lazarus group for stealing bitcoins worth millions from the South Korean exchange Youbit , forcing it to shut down and file for bankruptcy after losing 17% of its assets. Researchers from security firm Proofpoint have published a new report, revealing a connection between Lazarus Group and a
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