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China-Linked Hackers Used ROOTROT Webshell in MITRE Network Intrusion

China-Linked Hackers Used ROOTROT Webshell in MITRE Network Intrusion

May 07, 2024 Vulnerability / Network Security
The MITRE Corporation has offered more details into the recently disclosed cyber attack, stating that the first evidence of the intrusion now dates back to December 31, 2023. The attack, which  came to light last month , singled out MITRE's Networked Experimentation, Research, and Virtualization Environment (NERVE) through the exploitation of two Ivanti Connect Secure zero-day vulnerabilities tracked as CVE-2023–46805 and CVE-2024–21887, respectively. "The adversary maneuvered within the research network via VMware infrastructure using a compromised administrator account, then employed a combination of backdoors and web shells to maintain persistence and harvest credentials," MITRE  said . While the organization had previously disclosed that the attackers performed reconnaissance of its networks starting in January 2024, the latest technical deep dive puts the earliest signs of compromise in late December 2023, with the adversary dropping a Perl-based web shell calle
Russia Hackers Using TinyTurla-NG to Breach European NGO's Systems

Russia Hackers Using TinyTurla-NG to Breach European NGO's Systems

Mar 21, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Malware
The Russia-linked threat actor known as Turla infected several systems belonging to an unnamed European non-governmental organization (NGO) in order to deploy a backdoor called TinyTurla-NG (TTNG) . "The attackers compromised the first system, established persistence and added exclusions to antivirus products running on these endpoints as part of their preliminary post-compromise actions," Cisco Talos  said  in a new report published today. "Turla then opened additional channels of communication via Chisel for data exfiltration and to pivot to additional accessible systems in the network." There is evidence indicating that the infected systems were breached as early as October 2023, with Chisel deployed in December 2023 and data exfiltration taking place via the tool a month later, around January 12, 2024. TinyTurla-NG was  first documented  by the cybersecurity company last month after it was found to be used in connection with a cyber attack targeting a Poli
From Deepfakes to Malware: AI's Expanding Role in Cyber Attacks

From Deepfakes to Malware: AI's Expanding Role in Cyber Attacks

Mar 19, 2024 Generative AI / Incident Response
Large language models (LLMs) powering artificial intelligence (AI) tools today could be exploited to develop self-augmenting malware capable of bypassing YARA rules. "Generative AI can be used to evade string-based YARA rules by augmenting the source code of small malware variants, effectively lowering detection rates," Recorded Future  said  in a new report shared with The Hacker News. The findings are part of a red teaming exercise designed to uncover malicious use cases for AI technologies, which are  already being experimented  with by threat actors to create malware code snippets, generate phishing emails, and conduct reconnaissance on potential targets. The cybersecurity firm said it submitted to an LLM a known piece of malware called  STEELHOOK  that's associated with the APT28 hacking group, alongside its YARA rules, asking it to modify the source code to sidestep detection such that the original functionality remained intact and the generated source code wa
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SHQ Response Platform and Risk Centre to Enable Management and Analysts Alike

SHQ Response Platform and Risk Centre to Enable Management and Analysts Alike

May 13, 2024Threat Detection / SoC / SIEM
In the last decade, there has been a growing disconnect between front-line analysts and senior management in IT and Cybersecurity. Well-documented challenges facing modern analysts revolve around a high volume of alerts, false positives, poor visibility of technical environments, and analysts spending too much time on manual tasks. The Impact of Alert Fatigue and False Positives  Analysts are overwhelmed with alerts. The knock-on effect of this is that fatigued analysts are at risk of missing key details in incidents, and often conduct time-consuming triaging tasks manually only to end up copying and pasting a generic closing comment into a false positive alert.  It is likely that there will always be false positives. And many would argue that a false positive is better than a false negative. But for proactive actions to be made, we must move closer to the heart of an incident. That requires diving into how analysts conduct the triage and investigation process. SHQ Response Platfo
Chinese Hackers Operate Undetected in U.S. Critical Infrastructure for Half a Decade

Chinese Hackers Operate Undetected in U.S. Critical Infrastructure for Half a Decade

Feb 08, 2024 Critical Infrastructure / Network security
The U.S. government on Wednesday said the Chinese state-sponsored hacking group known as  Volt Typhoon  had been embedded into some critical infrastructure networks in the country for at least five years. Targets of the threat actor include communications, energy, transportation, and water and wastewater systems sectors in the U.S. and Guam. "Volt Typhoon's choice of targets and pattern of behavior is not consistent with traditional cyber espionage or intelligence gathering operations, and the U.S. authoring agencies assess with high confidence that Volt Typhoon actors are pre-positioning themselves on IT networks to enable lateral movement to OT assets to disrupt functions," the U.S. government  said . The idea is to pre-position themselves on IT networks by maintaining persistence and understanding the target environment over time for disruptive or destructive cyber attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure in the event of a major crisis or conflict with the coun
After FBI Takedown, KV-Botnet Operators Shift Tactics in Attempt to Bounce Back

After FBI Takedown, KV-Botnet Operators Shift Tactics in Attempt to Bounce Back

Feb 07, 2024 Malware / Network Security
The threat actors behind the  KV-botnet  made "behavioral changes" to the malicious network as U.S. law enforcement began issuing commands to neutralize the activity. KV-botnet is the name given to a network of compromised small office and home office (SOHO) routers and firewall devices across the world, with one specific cluster acting as a covert data transfer system for other Chinese state-sponsored actors, including  Volt Typhoon  (aka Bronze Silhouette, Insidious Taurus, or Vanguard Panda). Active since at least February 2022, it was  first documented  by the Black Lotus Labs team at Lumen Technologies in mid-December 2023. The botnet is known to comprise two main sub-groups, viz. KV and JDY, with the latter principally used for scanning potential targets for reconnaissance. Late last month, the U.S. government  announced  a court-authorized disruption effort to take down the KV cluster, which is typically reserved for manual operations against high-profile targets c
CERT-UA Uncovers New Malware Wave Distributing OCEANMAP, MASEPIE, STEELHOOK

CERT-UA Uncovers New Malware Wave Distributing OCEANMAP, MASEPIE, STEELHOOK

Dec 29, 2023 Email Security / Malware
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) has warned of a new phishing campaign orchestrated by the  Russia-linked APT28 group  to deploy previously undocumented malware such as OCEANMAP, MASEPIE, and STEELHOOK to harvest sensitive information. The activity, which was  detected  by the agency between December 15 and 25, 2023, targeted Ukrainian government entities and Polish organizations with email messages urging recipients to click on a link to view a document. However, to the contrary, the links redirect to malicious web resources that abuse JavaScript and the  "search-ms:" URI protocol handler  to drop a Windows shortcut file (LNK) that launches PowerShell commands to activate an infection chain for a new malware known as MASEPIE. MASEPIE is a Python-based tool to download/upload files and execute commands, with communications with the command-and-control (C2) server taking place over an encrypted channel using the TCP protocol. The attacks further
Russian SVR-Linked APT29 Targets JetBrains TeamCity Servers in Ongoing Attacks

Russian SVR-Linked APT29 Targets JetBrains TeamCity Servers in Ongoing Attacks

Dec 14, 2023 Supply Chain / Cyber Attack
Threat actors affiliated with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) have targeted unpatched JetBrains TeamCity servers in widespread attacks since September 2023. The activity has been tied to a nation-state group known as  APT29 , which is also tracked as BlueBravo, Cloaked Ursa, Cozy Bear, Midnight Blizzard (formerly Nobelium), and The Dukes. It's notable for the supply chain attack  targeting SolarWinds  and its customers in 2020. "The SVR has, however, been observed using the initial access gleaned by exploiting the TeamCity CVE to escalate its privileges, move laterally, deploy additional backdoors, and take other steps to ensure persistent and long-term access to the compromised network environments," cybersecurity agencies from Poland, the U.K., and the U.S.  said . The vulnerability in question is  CVE-2023-42793  (CVSS score: 9.8), a critical security flaw that could be weaponized by unauthenticated attackers to achieve remote code execution on affec
New Threat Actor 'AeroBlade' Emerges in Espionage Attack on U.S. Aerospace

New Threat Actor 'AeroBlade' Emerges in Espionage Attack on U.S. Aerospace

Dec 05, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Threat Analysis
A previously undocumented threat actor has been linked to a cyber attack targeting an aerospace organization in the U.S. as part of what's suspected to be a cyber espionage mission. The BlackBerry Threat Research and Intelligence team is tracking the activity cluster as  AeroBlade . Its origin is currently unknown and it's not clear if the attack was successful. "The actor used spear-phishing as a delivery mechanism: A weaponized document, sent as an email attachment, contains an embedded remote template injection technique and a malicious VBA macro code, to deliver the next stage to the final payload execution," the company  said  in an analysis published last week. The network infrastructure used for the attack is said to have gone live around September 2022, with the offensive phase of the intrusion occurring nearly a year later in July 2023, but not before the adversary took steps to improvise its toolset to make it more stealthy in the intervening time perio
Understanding How Hackers Recon

Understanding How Hackers Recon

Mar 07, 2022
Cyber-attacks keep increasing and evolving but, regardless of the degree of complexity used by hackers to gain access, get a foothold, cloak their malware, execute their payload or exfiltrate data, their attack will begin with reconnaissance. They will do their utmost to uncover exposed assets and probe their target's attack surface for gaps that can be used as entry points. So, the first line of defense is to limit the potentially useful information available to a potential attacker as much as possible. As always, the tug of war between operational necessity and security concerns needs to be taken into account, which requires a better understanding of the type of information typically leveraged. What information are hackers looking for during recon? When running recon on an organization, hackers – whether white or black hats - are "casing a joint." To plan their attack, they will try and uncover as much information as possible about: Your infrastructure The types
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