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Lazarus Group Behind $540 Million Axie Infinity Crypto Hack and Attacks on Chemical Sector

Lazarus Group Behind $540 Million Axie Infinity Crypto Hack and Attacks on Chemical Sector

Apr 16, 2022
The U.S. Treasury Department has implicated the North Korea-backed Lazarus Group (aka Hidden Cobra) in the theft of $540 million from video game Axie Infinity's Ronin Network last month. On Thursday, the Treasury  tied  the Ethereum  wallet address  that received the stolen digital currency to the threat actor and sanctioned the funds by adding the address to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals ( SDN ) List. "The FBI, in coordination with Treasury and other U.S. government partners, will continue to expose and combat the DPRK's use of illicit activities – including cybercrime and cryptocurrency theft – to generate revenue for the regime," the intelligence and law enforcement agency  said  in a statement. The cryptocurrency heist, the second-largest cyber-enabled theft to date, involved the siphoning of 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coins from the Ronin cross-chain bridge, which allows users to transfer their
North Korean Hackers Distributing Trojanized DeFi Wallet Apps to Steal Victims' Crypto

North Korean Hackers Distributing Trojanized DeFi Wallet Apps to Steal Victims' Crypto

Apr 01, 2022
The North Korean state-backed hacking crew, otherwise known as the  Lazarus Group , has been attributed to yet another financially motivated campaign that leverages a trojanized decentralized finance (DeFi) wallet app to distribute a fully-featured backdoor onto compromised Windows systems. The app, which is equipped with functionalities to save and manage a cryptocurrency wallet, is also designed to trigger the launch of the implant that can take control of the infected host. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky  said  it first encountered the rogue application in mid-December 2021. The infection scheme initiated by the app also results in the deployment of the installer for a legitimate application, which gets overwritten with a trojanized version in an effort to cover its tracks. That said, the initial access avenue is unclear, although it's suspected to be a case of social engineering. The spawned malware, which masquerades as Google's Chrome web browser, subsequently
10,000 Victims a Day: Infostealer Garden of Low-Hanging Fruit

10,000 Victims a Day: Infostealer Garden of Low-Hanging Fruit

Jul 15, 2024Cyber Crime / Data Protection
Imagine you could gain access to any Fortune 100 company for $10 or less, or even for free. Terrifying thought, isn't it? Or exciting, depending on which side of the cybersecurity barricade you are on. Well, that's basically the state of things today. Welcome to the infostealer garden of low-hanging fruit. Over the last few years, the problem has grown bigger and bigger, and only now are we slowly learning its full destructive potential. In this article, we will describe how the entire cybercriminal ecosystem operates, the ways various threat actors exploit data originating from it, and most importantly, what you can do about it. Let's start with what infostealer malware actually is. As the name suggests, it's malware that... steals data. Depending on the specific type, the information it extracts might differ slightly, but most will try to extract the following: Cryptocurrency wallets Bank account information and saved credit card details Saved passwords from various apps Bro
North Korean Hackers Using Windows Update Service to Infect PCs with Malware

North Korean Hackers Using Windows Update Service to Infect PCs with Malware

Jan 28, 2022
The notorious  Lazarus Group  actor has been observed mounting a new campaign that makes use of the Windows Update service to execute its malicious payload, expanding the arsenal of living-off-the-land (LotL) techniques leveraged by the APT group to further its objectives. The Lazarus Group, also known as  APT38 , Hidden Cobra, Whois Hacking Team, and Zinc, is the moniker assigned to the North Korea-based nation-state hacking group that's been active since at least 2009. Last year, the threat actor was  linked  to an elaborate  social engineering campaign  targeting security researchers. The latest spear-phishing attacks, which  Malwarebytes  detected on January 18, originate from weaponized documents with job-themed lures impersonating the American global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin. Opening the decoy Microsoft Word file triggers the execution of a malicious macro embedded within the document that, in turn, executes a Base64-decoded shellcode to inject a nu
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Top 4 Security Risks of GenAI

websiteWizGenAI Security / Technology
Gain a competitive edge and unlock the top 4 major emerging risks within GenAI. This report from Gartner provides insights and recommended actions for security and product leaders.
North Korean Hackers Stole Millions from Cryptocurrency Startups Worldwide

North Korean Hackers Stole Millions from Cryptocurrency Startups Worldwide

Jan 14, 2022
Operators associated with the Lazarus sub-group BlueNoroff have been linked to a series of cyberattacks targeting small and medium-sized companies worldwide with an aim to drain their cryptocurrency funds, in what's yet another financially motivated operation mounted by the prolific North Korean state-sponsored actor. Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky, which is tracking the intrusions under the name " SnatchCrypto ," noted that the campaign has been running since at 2017, adding the attacks are aimed at startups in the FinTech sector located in China, Hong Kong, India, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the U.A.E., the U.S., Ukraine, and Vietnam. "The attackers have been subtly abusing the trust of the employees working at targeted companies by sending them a full-featured Windows backdoor with surveillance functions, disguised as a contract or another business file," the researchers  said . "In order to eventually empty the v
North Korean Hackers Start New Year with Attacks on Russian Foreign Ministry

North Korean Hackers Start New Year with Attacks on Russian Foreign Ministry

Jan 06, 2022
A North Korean cyberespionage group named Konni has been linked to a series of targeted attacks aimed at the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) with New Year lures to compromise Windows systems with malware. "This activity cluster demonstrates the patient and persistent nature of advanced actors in waging multi-phased campaigns against perceived high-value networks," researchers from Lumen Technologies' Black Lotus Labs  said  in an analysis shared with The Hacker News. The Konni group's tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are known to overlap with threat actors belonging to the broader  Kimsuky  umbrella, which is also tracked by the cybersecurity community under the monikers Velvet Chollima, ITG16, Black Banshee, and Thallium. The most recent attacks involved the actor gaining access to the target networks through stolen credentials, exploiting the foothold to load malware for intelligence gathering purposes, with early signs of t
New Chinotto Spyware Targets North Korean Defectors, Human Rights Activists

New Chinotto Spyware Targets North Korean Defectors, Human Rights Activists

Nov 29, 2021
North Korean defectors, journalists who cover North Korea-related news, and entities in South Korea are being zeroed in on by a nation-state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) as part of a new wave of highly-targeted surveillance attacks. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky attributed the infiltrations to a North Korean hacker group tracked as  ScarCruft , also known as  APT37 , Reaper Group, InkySquid, and Ricochet Chollima. "The actor utilized three types of malware with similar functionalities: versions implemented in PowerShell, Windows executables and Android applications," the company's Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT)  said  in a new report published today. "Although intended for different platforms, they share a similar command and control scheme based on HTTP communication. Therefore, the malware operators can control the whole malware family through one set of command and control scripts." Likely active since at least 2012, ScarC
North Korean Hackers Found Behind a Range of Credential Theft Campaigns

North Korean Hackers Found Behind a Range of Credential Theft Campaigns

Nov 20, 2021
A threat actor with ties to North Korea has been linked to a prolific wave of credential theft campaigns targeting research, education, government, media and other organizations, with two of the attacks also attempting to distribute malware that could be used for intelligence gathering. Enterprise security firm Proofpoint  attributed  the infiltrations to a group it tracks as  TA406 , and by the wider threat intelligence community under the monikers  Kimsuky  ( Kaspersky ), Velvet Chollima ( CrowdStrike ), Thallium ( Microsoft ), Black Banshee ( PwC ), ITG16 ( IBM ), and the Konni Group ( Cisco Talos ). Policy experts, journalists and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were targeted as part of weekly campaigns observed between from January through June 2021, Proofpoint researchers Darien Huss and Selena Larson disclosed in a technical report detailing the actor's tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), with the attacks spread across North America, Russia, China, and South
Researchers Discover PhoneSpy Malware Spying on South Korean Citizens

Researchers Discover PhoneSpy Malware Spying on South Korean Citizens

Nov 10, 2021
An ongoing mobile spyware campaign has been uncovered snooping on South Korean residents using a family of 23 malicious Android apps to siphon sensitive information and gain remote control of the devices. "With more than a thousand South Korean victims, the malicious group behind this invasive campaign has had access to all the data, communications, and services on their devices," Zimperium researcher Aazim Yaswant said. "The victims were broadcasting their private information to the malicious actors with zero indication that something was amiss." The Dallas-based mobile security company dubbed the campaign " PhoneSpy ." Zimperium did not attribute the spyware to a known threat actor. "The evidence surrounding PhoneSpy shows a familiar framework that has been passed around for years, updated by individuals and shared within private communities and back channels until assembled into what we see in this variation today," Richard Melick, the co
North Korea Exploited VPN Flaw to Hack South's Nuclear Research Institute

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

Jun 19, 2021
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
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
Hackers Target Defense Contractors' Employees By Posing as Recruiters

Hackers Target Defense Contractors' Employees By Posing as Recruiters

Aug 20, 2020
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

Jul 31, 2020
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, 2020
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

Apr 15, 2020
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

Mar 03, 2020
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, 2019
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'
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