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Russian APT Deploys New 'Kapeka' Backdoor in Eastern European Attacks

Russian APT Deploys New 'Kapeka' Backdoor in Eastern European Attacks

Apr 17, 2024 Ransomware / Cyber Espionage
A previously undocumented "flexible" backdoor called  Kapeka  has been "sporadically" observed in cyber attacks targeting Eastern Europe, including Estonia and Ukraine, since at least mid-2022. The findings come from Finnish cybersecurity firm WithSecure, which attributed the malware to the Russia-linked advanced persistent threat (APT) group tracked as  Sandworm  (aka APT44 or Seashell Blizzard). Microsoft is tracking the same malware under the name KnuckleTouch. "The malware [...] is a flexible backdoor with all the necessary functionalities to serve as an early-stage toolkit for its operators, and also to provide long-term access to the victim estate," security researcher Mohammad Kazem Hassan Nejad  said . Kapeka comes fitted with a dropper that's designed to launch and execute a backdoor component on the infected host, after which it removes itself. The dropper is also responsible for setting up persistence for the backdoor either as a schedul
Russian Government Software Backdoored to Deploy Konni RAT Malware

Russian Government Software Backdoored to Deploy Konni RAT Malware

Feb 22, 2024 Malware / Cyber Espionage
An installer for a tool likely used by the Russian Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) has been backdoored to deliver a remote access trojan called  Konni RAT  (aka  UpDog ). The findings come from German cybersecurity company DCSO, which linked the activity as originating from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)-nexus actors targeting Russia. The Konni (aka Opal Sleet, Osmium, or  TA406 ) activity cluster has an established pattern of deploying Konni RAT against Russian entities, with the threat actor also linked to  attacks directed against MID  at least since October 2021. In November 2023, Fortinet FortiGuard Labs  revealed  the use of Russian-language Microsoft Word documents to deliver malware capable of harvesting sensitive information from compromised Windows hosts. DCSO said the packaging of Konni RAT within software installers is a technique  previously adopted  by the group in October 2023, when it was found to leverage a backd
Russian COLDRIVER Hackers Expand Beyond Phishing with Custom Malware

Russian COLDRIVER Hackers Expand Beyond Phishing with Custom Malware

Jan 18, 2024 Cyber Threat / Malware
The Russia-linked threat actor known as COLDRIVER has been observed evolving its tradecraft to go beyond credential harvesting to deliver its first-ever custom malware written in the Rust programming language. Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), which shared details of the latest activity, said the attack chains leverage PDFs as decoy documents to trigger the infection sequence. The lures are sent from impersonation accounts. COLDRIVER, also known by the names Blue Callisto, BlueCharlie (or TAG-53), Calisto (alternately spelled Callisto), Dancing Salome, Gossamer Bear, Star Blizzard (formerly SEABORGIUM), TA446, and UNC4057, is known to be active since 2019, targeting a wide range of sectors. This includes academia, defense, governmental organizations, NGOs, think tanks, political outfits, and, recently, defense-industrial targets and energy facilities. "Targets in the U.K. and U.S. appear to have been most affected by Star Blizzard activity, however activity has al
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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.
Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks

Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks

May 20, 2024Software Security / Vulnerability
All developers want to create secure and dependable software. They should feel proud to release their code with the full confidence they did not introduce any weaknesses or anti-patterns into their applications. Unfortunately, developers are not writing their own code for the most part these days. 96% of all software contains some open-source components, and open-source components make up between  70% and 90% of any given piece of modern software . Unfortunately for our security-minded developers, most modern vulnerabilities come from those software components.  As new vulnerabilities emerge and are publicly reported as  Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures  (CVEs), security teams have little choice but to ask the developer to refactor the code to include different versions of the dependencies. Nobody is happy in this situation, as it blocks new features and can be maddening to roll back component versions and hope that nothing breaks. Developers need a way to  quickly  determine if
Behind the Scenes of Matveev's Ransomware Empire: Tactics and Team

Behind the Scenes of Matveev's Ransomware Empire: Tactics and Team

Dec 19, 2023 Ransomware / Russian Hackers
Cybersecurity researchers have shed light on the inner workings of the ransomware operation led by Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, a Russian national who was  indicted by the U.S. government  earlier this year for his alleged role in launching thousands of attacks across the world. Matveev, who resides in Saint Petersburg and is known by the aliases Wazawaka, m1x, Boriselcin, Uhodiransomwar, Orange, and waza, is alleged to have played a crucial part in the development and deployment of LockBit, Babuk, and Hive ransomware variants since at least June 2020. "Wazawaka and his team members prominently exhibit an insatiable greed for ransom payments, demonstrating a significant disregard for ethical values in their cyber operations," Swiss cybersecurity firm PRODAFT  said  in a comprehensive analysis shared with The Hacker News. "Employing tactics that involve intimidation through threats to leak sensitive files, engaging in dishonest practices, and persisting in retaining fil
Russian Cyber Espionage Group Deploys LitterDrifter USB Worm in Targeted Attacks

Russian Cyber Espionage Group Deploys LitterDrifter USB Worm in Targeted Attacks

Nov 18, 2023 Cyber Attack / USB Worm
Russian cyber espionage actors affiliated with the Federal Security Service (FSB) have been observed using a USB propagating worm called  LitterDrifter  in attacks targeting Ukrainian entities. Check Point, which  detailed  Gamaredon's (aka Aqua Blizzard, Iron Tilden, Primitive Bear, Shuckworm, and Winterflounder) latest tactics, branded the group as engaging in large-scale campaigns that are followed by "data collection efforts aimed at specific targets, whose selection is likely motivated by espionage goals." The LitterDrifter worm packs in two main features: automatically spreading the malware via connected USB drives as well as communicating with the threat actor's command-and-control (C&C) servers. It's also suspected to be an evolution of a PowerShell-based USB worm that was previously  disclosed  by Symantec in June 2023. Written in VBS, the spreader module is responsible for distributing the worm as a hidden file in a USB drive together with a deco
Russian Hackers Linked to 'Largest Ever Cyber Attack' on Danish Critical Infrastructure

Russian Hackers Linked to 'Largest Ever Cyber Attack' on Danish Critical Infrastructure

Nov 16, 2023 Cyber Warfare / Threat Intelligence
Russian threat actors have been possibly linked to what's been described as the "largest cyber attack against Danish critical infrastructure," in which 22 companies associated with the operation of the country's energy sector were targeted in May 2023.  "22 simultaneous, successful cyberattacks against Danish critical infrastructure are not commonplace," Denmark's SektorCERT  said  [PDF]. "The attackers knew in advance who they were going to target and got it right every time. Not once did a shot miss the target." The agency said it found evidence connecting one or more attacks to Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, which is also tracked under the name  Sandworm  and has a track record of orchestrating disruptive cyber assaults on industrial control systems. This assessment is based on artifacts communicating with IP addresses that have been traced to the hacking crew. The unprecedented and coordinated cyber attacks took place on
Ukraine's CERT Thwarts APT28's Cyberattack on Critical Energy Infrastructure

Ukraine's CERT Thwarts APT28's Cyberattack on Critical Energy Infrastructure

Sep 06, 2023 Cyber Attack / Critical Infrastructure
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) on Tuesday said it thwarted a cyber attack against an unnamed critical energy infrastructure facility in the country. The intrusion, per the agency, started with a phishing email containing a link to a malicious ZIP archive that activates the infection chain. "Visiting the link will download a ZIP archive containing three JPG images (decoys) and a BAT file 'weblinks.cmd' to the victim's computer," CERT-UA  said , attributing it to the Russian threat actor known as  APT28  (aka BlueDelta, Fancy Bear, Forest Blizzard, or FROZENLAKE). "When a CMD file is run, several decoy web pages will be opened, .bat and .vbs files will be created, and a VBS file will be launched, which in turn will execute the BAT file." The next phase of the attack involves running the "whoami" command on the compromised host and exfiltrating the information, alongside downloading the TOR hidden service to route malicious traffic. Persistence is achieve
Russian Hackers Use Zulip Chat App for Covert C&C in Diplomatic Phishing Attacks

Russian Hackers Use Zulip Chat App for Covert C&C in Diplomatic Phishing Attacks

Aug 17, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Malware
An ongoing campaign targeting ministries of foreign affairs of NATO-aligned countries points to the involvement of Russian threat actors. The phishing attacks feature PDF documents with diplomatic lures, some of which are disguised as coming from Germany, to deliver a variant of a malware called  Duke , which has been attributed to  APT29  (aka BlueBravo, Cloaked Ursa, Cozy Bear, Iron Hemlock, Midnight Blizzard, and The Dukes). "The threat actor used Zulip – an open-source chat application – for command-and-control, to evade and hide its activities behind legitimate web traffic," Dutch cybersecurity company EclecticIQ  said  in an analysis last week. The infection sequence is as follows: The PDF attachment, named "Farewell to Ambassador of Germany," comes embedded with JavaScript code that initiates a multi-stage process to leave a persistent backdoor on compromised networks. APT29's use of invitation themes has been previously reported by Lab52, which  doc
Turla's New DeliveryCheck Backdoor Breaches Ukrainian Defense Sector

Turla's New DeliveryCheck Backdoor Breaches Ukrainian Defense Sector

Jul 20, 2023 Cyber Attack / Malware
The defense sector in Ukraine and Eastern Europe has been targeted by a novel .NET-based backdoor called  DeliveryCheck  (aka CAPIBAR or GAMEDAY) that's capable of delivering next-stage payloads. The Microsoft threat intelligence team, in  collaboration  with the Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA), attributed the attacks to a Russian nation-state actor known as  Turla , which is also tracked under the names Iron Hunter, Secret Blizzard (formerly Krypton), Uroburos, Venomous Bear, and Waterbug. It's linked to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). "DeliveryCheck is distributed via email as documents with malicious macros," the company  said  in a series of tweets. "It persists via a scheduled task that downloads and launches it in memory. It also contacts a C2 server to retrieve tasks, which can include the launch of arbitrary payloads embedded in XSLT stylesheets." Successful initial access is also accompanied in some cases by t
U.S. Offers $10 Million Bounty for Capture of Notorious Russian Ransomware Operator

U.S. Offers $10 Million Bounty for Capture of Notorious Russian Ransomware Operator

May 17, 2023 Cyber Crime / Ransomware
A Russian national has been charged and indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) for launching ransomware attacks against "thousands of victims" in the country and across the world. Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev  (aka  Wazawaka , m1x, Boriselcin, and Uhodiransomwar), the 30-year-old individual in question, is alleged to be a "central figure" in the development and deployment of  LockBit ,  Babuk , and  Hive  ransomware variants since at least June 2020. "These victims include law enforcement and other government agencies, hospitals, and schools," DoJ  said . "Total ransom demands allegedly made by the members of these three global ransomware campaigns to their victims amount to as much as $400 million, while total victim ransom payments amount to as much as $200 million." LockBit, Babuk, and Hive operate alike, leveraging unlawfully obtained access to exfiltrate valuable data and deploy ransomware on compromised networks. The threat actor
Russian Hackers Tomiris Targeting Central Asia for Intelligence Gathering

Russian Hackers Tomiris Targeting Central Asia for Intelligence Gathering

Apr 24, 2023 Cyber Espionage
The Russian-speaking threat actor behind a backdoor known as Tomiris is primarily focused on gathering intelligence in Central Asia, fresh findings from Kaspersky reveal. "Tomiris's endgame consistently appears to be the regular theft of internal documents," security researchers Pierre Delcher and Ivan Kwiatkowski  said  in an analysis published today. "The threat actor targets government and diplomatic entities in the CIS." The Russian cybersecurity firm's latest assessment is based on three new attack campaigns mounted by the hacking crew between 2021 and 2023. Tomiris first came to light in September 2021 when Kaspersky  highlighted  its potential connections to  Nobelium  (aka APT29, Cozy Bear, or Midnight Blizzard), the Russian nation-state group behind the SolarWinds supply chain attack. Similarities have also been unearthed between the backdoor and another malware strain dubbed  Kazuar , which is attributed to the Turla group (aka Krypton, Secre
Google TAG Warns of Russian Hackers Conducting Phishing Attacks in Ukraine

Google TAG Warns of Russian Hackers Conducting Phishing Attacks in Ukraine

Apr 19, 2023 Cyber War / Cyber Attack
Elite hackers associated with  Russia's military intelligence service  have been linked to large-volume phishing campaigns aimed at hundreds of users in Ukraine to extract intelligence and influence public discourse related to the war. Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), which is  monitoring  the activities of the actor under the name  FROZENLAKE , said the  attacks   continue  the "group's 2022 focus on targeting webmail users in Eastern Europe." The state-sponsored cyber actor, also tracked as APT28, Fancy Bear, Forest Blizzard, Iron Twilight, Sednit, and Sofacy, is both highly prolific and proficient. It has been active since at least 2009, targeting media, governments, and military entities for espionage. The latest intrusion set, starting in early February 2023, involved the use of reflected cross-site scripting ( XSS ) attacks on various Ukrainian government websites to redirect users to phishing domains and capture their credentials. The disclosure
Russia-Linked Hackers Launches Espionage Attacks on Foreign Diplomatic Entities

Russia-Linked Hackers Launches Espionage Attacks on Foreign Diplomatic Entities

Apr 14, 2023 United States
The Russia-linked  APT29  (aka Cozy Bear) threat actor has been attributed to an ongoing cyber espionage campaign targeting foreign ministries and diplomatic entities located in NATO member states, the European Union, and Africa. According to Poland's Military Counterintelligence Service and the CERT Polska team, the observed activity shares tactical overlaps with a cluster tracked by Microsoft as  Nobelium , which is known for its high-profile  attack on SolarWinds  in 2020. Nobelium's operations have been attributed to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service ( SVR ), an organization that's tasked with protecting "individuals, society, and the state from foreign threats." That said, the campaign represents an evolution of the Kremlin-backed hacking group's tactics, indicating  persistent attempts  at improving its cyber weaponry to infiltrate victim systems for intelligence gathering. "New tools were used at the same time and independently of eac
Google Reveals Alarming Surge in Russian Cyber Attacks Against Ukraine

Google Reveals Alarming Surge in Russian Cyber Attacks Against Ukraine

Feb 20, 2023 Threat Analysis / Cyber Attack
Russia's cyber attacks against Ukraine surged by 250% in 2022 when compared to two years ago, Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) and Mandiant disclosed in a new joint report. The targeting, which  coincided  and has  since persisted  following the country's military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, focused heavily on the Ukrainian government and military entities, alongside critical infrastructure, utilities, public services, and media sectors. Mandiant  said  it observed, "more destructive cyber attacks in Ukraine during the first four months of 2022 than in the previous eight years with attacks peaking around the start of the invasion." As many as six unique wiper strains – including WhisperGate, HermeticWiper, IsaacWiper, CaddyWiper, Industroyer2, and SDelete – have been deployed against Ukrainian networks, suggesting a willingness on the part of Russian threat actors to forgo persistent access. Phishing attacks aimed at NATO countries witnessed a 3
CERT-UA Alerts Ukrainian State Authorities of Remcos Software-Fueled Cyber Attacks

CERT-UA Alerts Ukrainian State Authorities of Remcos Software-Fueled Cyber Attacks

Feb 08, 2023 Threat Intelligence / Cyber War
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) has  issued  an alert warning of cyber attacks against state authorities in the country that deploy a legitimate remote access software named Remcos. The mass phishing campaign has been attributed to a threat actor it tracks as  UAC-0050 , with the agency describing the activity as likely motivated by espionage given the toolset employed. The bogus emails that kick-start the infection sequence claim to be from Ukrainian telecom company Ukrtelecom and come bearing a decoy RAR archive. Of the two files present in the file, one is a password-protected RAR archive that's over 600MB and the other is a text file containing the password to open the RAR file. Embedded within the second RAR archive is an executable that leads to the installation of the Remcos remote access software, granting the attacker full access to commandeer compromised computers. Remcos , short for remote control and surveillance software, is offered by B
Russian Turla Hackers Hijack Decade-Old Malware Infrastructure to Deploy New Backdoors

Russian Turla Hackers Hijack Decade-Old Malware Infrastructure to Deploy New Backdoors

Jan 08, 2023 Cyberespionage / Threat Analysis
The Russian cyberespionage group known as Turla has been observed piggybacking on attack infrastructure used by a decade-old malware to deliver its own reconnaissance and backdoor tools to targets in Ukraine. Google-owned Mandiant, which is tracking the operation under the uncategorized cluster moniker  UNC4210 , said the hijacked servers correspond to a variant of a commodity malware called  ANDROMEDA  (aka Gamarue) that was uploaded to VirusTotal in 2013. "UNC4210 re-registered at least three expired ANDROMEDA command-and-control (C2) domains and began profiling victims to selectively deploy KOPILUWAK and QUIETCANARY in September 2022," Mandiant researchers  said  in an analysis published last week. Turla, also known by the names Iron Hunter, Krypton, Uroburos, Venomous Bear, and Waterbug, is an elite nation-state outfit that primarily targets government, diplomatic, and military organizations using a large set of custom malware. Since the onset of Russia's  milit
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