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Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Mar 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Warfare
The WINELOADER backdoor used in recent cyber attacks targeting diplomatic entities with wine-tasting phishing lures has been attributed as the handiwork of a hacking group with links to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which was responsible for  breaching SolarWinds and Microsoft . The findings come from Mandiant, which said  Midnight Blizzard  (aka APT29, BlueBravo, or Cozy Bear) used the malware to target German political parties with phishing emails bearing a logo from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) around February 26, 2024. "This is the first time we have seen this APT29 cluster target political parties, indicating a possible area of emerging operational focus beyond the  typical   targeting  of  diplomatic missions ," researchers Luke Jenkins and Dan Black  said . WINELOADER was  first disclosed  by Zscaler ThreatLabz last month as part of a cyber espionage campaign that's believed to have been ongoing since at least July 2023. It attribute
New Silver SAML Attack Evades Golden SAML Defenses in Identity Systems

New Silver SAML Attack Evades Golden SAML Defenses in Identity Systems

Feb 29, 2024 Threat Intelligence / Cyber Threat
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a new attack technique called  Silver SAML  that can be successful even in cases where mitigations have been applied against Golden SAML attacks. Silver SAML "enables the exploitation of SAML to launch attacks from an identity provider like Entra ID against applications configured to use it for authentication, such as Salesforce," Semperis researchers Tomer Nahum and Eric Woodruff  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. Golden SAML (short for  Security Assertion Markup Language ) was  first documented  by CyberArk in 2017. The attack vector, in a nutshell, entails the abuse of the interoperable authentication standard to impersonate almost any identity in an organization. It's also similar to the  Golden Ticket attack  in that it grants attackers the ability to gain unauthorized access to any service in a federation with any privileges and to stay persistent in this environment in a stealthy manner. "Golden SAML introduces to a fed
Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian Cybersecurity Incidents: What to Know

Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian Cybersecurity Incidents: What to Know

Feb 13, 2024 SaaS Security / Data Breach
The Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian cybersecurity incidents raised alarms about the vulnerabilities inherent in major SaaS platforms. These incidents illustrate the stakes involved in SaaS breaches — safeguarding the integrity of SaaS apps and their sensitive data is critical but is not easy. Common threat vectors such as sophisticated spear-phishing, misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in third-party app integrations demonstrate the complex security challenges facing IT systems. In the case of Midnight Blizzard, password spraying against a test environment was the initial attack vector. For Cloudflare-Atlassian, threat actors initiated the attack via compromised  OAuth tokens  from a prior breach at Okta, a SaaS identity security provider.  What Exactly Happened? Microsoft Midnight Blizzard Breach Microsoft was targeted by the Russian "Midnight Blizzard" hackers (also known as Nobelium, APT29, or Cozy Bear) who are linked to the SVR, the Kremlin's forei
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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
Tech Giant HP Enterprise Hacked by Russian Hackers Linked to DNC Breach

Tech Giant HP Enterprise Hacked by Russian Hackers Linked to DNC Breach

Jan 25, 2024 Cyber Attack / Data Breach
Hackers with links to the Kremlin are suspected to have infiltrated information technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (HPE) cloud email environment to exfiltrate mailbox data. "The threat actor accessed and exfiltrated data beginning in May 2023 from a small percentage of HPE mailboxes belonging to individuals in our cybersecurity, go-to-market, business segments, and other functions," the company  said  in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The intrusion has been attributed to the Russian state-sponsored group known as APT29, and which is also tracked under the monikers BlueBravo, Cloaked Ursa, Cozy Bear, Midnight Blizzard (formerly Nobelium), and The Dukes. The disclosure arrives days after Microsoft  implicated the same threat actor  to the breach of its corporate systems in late November 2023 to steal emails and attachments from senior executives and other individuals in the company's cybersecurity and legal d
Microsoft's Top Execs' Emails Breached in Sophisticated Russia-Linked APT Attack

Microsoft's Top Execs' Emails Breached in Sophisticated Russia-Linked APT Attack

Jan 20, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Emails Security
Microsoft on Friday revealed that it was the target of a nation-state attack on its corporate systems that resulted in the theft of emails and attachments from senior executives and other individuals in the company's cybersecurity and legal departments. The Windows maker attributed the attack to a Russian advanced persistent threat (APT) group it tracks as  Midnight Blizzard  (formerly Nobelium), which is also known as APT29, BlueBravo, Cloaked Ursa, Cozy Bear, and The Dukes. It further said that it immediately took steps to investigate, disrupt, and mitigate the malicious activity upon discovery on January 12, 2024. The campaign is estimated to have commenced in late November 2023. "The threat actor used a  password spray attack  to compromise a legacy non-production test tenant account and gain a foothold, and then used the account's permissions to access a very small percentage of Microsoft corporate email accounts, including members of our senior leadership team a
Do You Really Trust Your Web Application Supply Chain?

Do You Really Trust Your Web Application Supply Chain?

Sep 20, 2023 Web Application Security
Well, you shouldn't. It may already be hiding vulnerabilities. It's the modular nature of modern web applications that has made them so effective. They can call on dozens of third-party web components, JS frameworks, and open-source tools to deliver all the different functionalities that keep their customers happy, but this chain of dependencies is also what makes them so vulnerable. Many of those components in the web application supply chain are controlled by a third party—the company that created them. This means that no matter how rigorous you were with your own static code analysis, code reviews, penetration testing, and other SSDLC processes, most of your supply chain's security is in the hands of whoever built its third-party components. With their huge potential for weak spots, and their widespread use in the lucrative ecommerce, financial and medical industries, web application supply chains present a juicy target for cyber attackers. They can target any one of the doz
Microsoft Exposes Russian Hackers' Sneaky Phishing Tactics via Microsoft Teams Chats

Microsoft Exposes Russian Hackers' Sneaky Phishing Tactics via Microsoft Teams Chats

Aug 03, 2023 Cyber Attack / Phishing
Microsoft on Wednesday disclosed that it identified a set of highly targeted social engineering attacks mounted by a Russian nation-state threat actor using credential theft phishing lures sent as Microsoft Teams chats. The tech giant attributed the attacks to a group it tracks as  Midnight Blizzard  (previously Nobelium). It's also called APT29, BlueBravo, Cozy Bear, Iron Hemlock, and The Dukes. "In this latest activity, the threat actor uses previously compromised Microsoft 365 tenants owned by small businesses to create new domains that appear as technical support entities," the company  said . "Using these domains from compromised tenants, Midnight Blizzard leverages Teams messages to send lures that attempt to steal credentials from a targeted organization by engaging a user and eliciting approval of multi-factor authentication (MFA) prompts." Microsoft said the campaign, observed since at least late May 2023, affected less than 40 organizations global
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
Hackers Using Rogue Versions of KeePass and SolarWinds Software to Distribute RomCom RAT

Hackers Using Rogue Versions of KeePass and SolarWinds Software to Distribute RomCom RAT

Nov 03, 2022
The operators of RomCom RAT malware are continuing to evolve their campaigns by distributing rogue versions of software such as SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, KeePass password manager, and PDF Reader Pro via fake copycat websites. Targets of the operation consist of victims in Ukraine and select English-speaking countries like the U.K. To be noted, the malicious software in question is not related to any product developed or released by SolarWinds, and is instead an unlicensed, "cracked" version of an old product. "Given the geography of the targets and the current geopolitical situation, it's unlikely that the RomCom RAT threat actor is cybercrime-motivated," the BlackBerry Threat Research and Intelligence Team  said  in a new analysis. The latest findings  come  a week after the Canadian cybersecurity company disclosed a spear-phishing campaign aimed at Ukrainian entities to deploy a remote access trojan called RomCom RAT. The unknown threat ac
Microsoft Uncovers New Post-Compromise Malware Used by Nobelium Hackers

Microsoft Uncovers New Post-Compromise Malware Used by Nobelium Hackers

Aug 25, 2022
The threat actor behind the SolarWinds supply chain attack has been linked to yet another "highly targeted" post-exploitation malware that could be used to maintain persistent access to compromised environments. Dubbed  MagicWeb  by Microsoft's threat intelligence teams, the development reiterates Nobelium's commitment to developing and maintaining purpose-built capabilities. Nobelium is the tech giant's moniker for a cluster of activities that came to light with the  sophisticated attack targeting SolarWinds  in December 2020, and which overlaps with the Russian nation-state hacking group widely known as  APT29 , Cozy Bear, or The Dukes. "Nobelium remains highly active, executing multiple campaigns in parallel targeting government organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), and think tanks across the US, Europe, and Central Asia," Microsoft  said . MagicWeb, which shares similarities with another t
Government Agencies Warn of Increase in Cyberattacks Targeting MSPs

Government Agencies Warn of Increase in Cyberattacks Targeting MSPs

May 12, 2022
Multiple cybersecurity authorities from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. on Wednesday released a  joint advisory  warning of threats targeting managed service providers (MSPs) and their customers. Key among the recommendations include identifying and disabling accounts that are no longer in use, enforcing multi-factor authentication (MFA) on MSP accounts that access customer environments, and ensuring transparency in ownership of security roles and responsibilities. MSPs have emerged as an attractive attack route for cybercriminals to scale their attacks, as a vulnerable provider can be weaponized as an initial access vector to breach several downstream customers at once. The spillover effects of such intrusions, as witnessed in the wake of high-profile breaches aimed at  SolarWinds  and  Kaseya  in recent years, have once again underlined the need to secure the software supply chain. The targeting of MSPs by malicious cyber actors in an effort to "expl
New Malware Used by SolarWinds Attackers Went Undetected for Years

New Malware Used by SolarWinds Attackers Went Undetected for Years

Feb 02, 2022
The threat actor behind the supply chain compromise of SolarWinds has continued to expand its malware arsenal with new tools and techniques that were deployed in attacks as early as 2019, once indicative of the elusive nature of the campaigns and the adversary's ability to maintain persistent access for years. According to cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which  detailed the novel tactics  adopted by the Nobelium hacking group last week, two sophisticated malware families were placed on victim systems — a Linux variant of GoldMax and a new implant dubbed TrailBlazer — long before the scale of the attacks came to light. Nobelium, the Microsoft-assigned moniker for the  SolarWinds intrusion  in December 2020, is also tracked by the wider cybersecurity community under the names UNC2452 (FireEye), SolarStorm (Unit 42), StellarParticle (CrowdStrike), Dark Halo (Volexity), and Iron Ritual (Secureworks). The  malicious activities  have since been attributed to a Russian state-sponsore
Hackers Attempt to Exploit New SolarWinds Serv-U Bug in Log4Shell Attacks

Hackers Attempt to Exploit New SolarWinds Serv-U Bug in Log4Shell Attacks

Jan 20, 2022
Microsoft on Wednesday disclosed details of a new security vulnerability in SolarWinds Serv-U software that it said was being weaponized by threat actors to propagate attacks leveraging the Log4j flaws to compromise targets. Tracked as  CVE-2021-35247  (CVSS score: 5.3), the issue is an "input validation vulnerability that could allow attackers to build a query given some input and send that query over the network without sanitation," Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC)  said . The flaw, which was discovered by security researcher Jonathan Bar Or, affects Serv-U versions 15.2.5 and prior, and has been addressed in Serv-U version 15.3. "The Serv-U web login screen to LDAP authentication was allowing characters that were not sufficiently sanitized," SolarWinds  said  in an advisory, adding it "updated the input mechanism to perform additional validation and sanitization." The IT management software maker also pointed out that "no downstre
SolarWinds Hackers Targeting Government and Business Entities Worldwide

SolarWinds Hackers Targeting Government and Business Entities Worldwide

Dec 07, 2021
Nobelium, the threat actor attributed to the massive SolarWinds supply chain compromise, has been once again linked to a series of attacks targeting multiple cloud solution providers, services, and reseller companies, as the hacking group continues to refine and retool its tactics at an alarming pace in response to public disclosures. The intrusions, which are being tracked by Mandiant under two different activity clusters UNC3004 and UNC2652, are both associated with UNC2452, an  uncategorized threat group  that has since been tied to the Russian intelligence service. UNC2652, in particular, has been observed targeting diplomatic entities with phishing emails containing HTML attachments with malicious JavaScript, ultimately dropping a Cobalt Strike Beacon onto the infected devices. "In most instances, post compromise activity included theft of data relevant to Russian interests," Mandiant researchers Luke Jenkins, Sarah Hawley, Parnian Najafi, and Doug Bienstock  said  in
New Tomiris Backdoor Found Linked to Hackers Behind SolarWinds Cyberattack

New Tomiris Backdoor Found Linked to Hackers Behind SolarWinds Cyberattack

Sep 30, 2021
Cybersecurity researchers on Wednesday disclosed a previously undocumented backdoor likely designed and developed by the Nobelium advanced persistent threat (APT) behind last year's  SolarWinds supply chain attack , joining the threat actor's ever-expanding arsenal of hacking tools. Moscow-headquartered firm Kaspersky codenamed the malware " Tomiris ," calling out its similarities to another second-stage malware used during the campaign, SUNSHUTTLE (aka GoldMax), targeting the IT management software provider's Orion platform. Nobelium is also known by the monikers UNC2452, SolarStorm, StellarParticle, Dark Halo, and Iron Ritual. "While supply-chain attacks were already a documented attack vector leveraged by a number of APT actors, this specific campaign stood out due to the extreme carefulness of the attackers and the high-profile nature of their victims," Kaspersky researchers  said . "Evidence gathered so far indicates that Dark Halo spent si
A New Critical SolarWinds Zero-Day Vulnerability Under Active Attack

A New Critical SolarWinds Zero-Day Vulnerability Under Active Attack

Jul 13, 2021
SolarWinds, the Texas-based company that became the epicenter of a  massive supply chain attack  late last year, has issued patches to contain a remote code execution flaw in its Serv-U managed file transfer service. The fixes, which target Serv-U Managed File Transfer and Serv-U Secure FTP products, arrive after Microsoft notified the IT management and remote monitoring software maker that the flaw was being exploited in the wild. The threat actor behind the exploitation remains unknown as yet, and it isn't clear exactly how the attack was carried out. "Microsoft has provided evidence of limited, targeted customer impact, though SolarWinds does not currently have an estimate of how many customers may be directly affected by the vulnerability," SolarWinds  said  in an advisory published Friday, adding it's "unaware of the identity of the potentially affected customers." Impacting Serv-U versions 15.2.3 HF1 and before, a successful exploitation of the sh
SolarWinds Hackers Breach Microsoft Customer Support to Target its Customers

SolarWinds Hackers Breach Microsoft Customer Support to Target its Customers

Jun 28, 2021
In yet another sign that the Russian hackers who breached SolarWinds network monitoring software to compromise a slew of entities never really went away, Microsoft said the threat actor behind the malicious cyber activities used password spraying and brute-force attacks in an attempt to guess passwords and gain access to its customer accounts. "This recent activity was mostly unsuccessful, and the majority of targets were not successfully compromised – we are aware of three compromised entities to date," the tech giant's Threat Intelligence Center  said  Friday. "All customers that were compromised or targeted are being contacted through our nation-state notification process." The development was first  reported  by news service Reuters. The names of the victims were not revealed. The latest wave in a series of intrusions is said to have primarily targeted IT companies, followed by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and financ
US Seizes Domains Used by SolarWinds Hackers in Cyber Espionage Attacks

US Seizes Domains Used by SolarWinds Hackers in Cyber Espionage Attacks

Jun 02, 2021
Days after  Microsoft ,  Secureworks , and  Volexity  shed light on a new spear-phishing activity unleashed by the Russian hackers who breached SolarWinds IT management software, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) Tuesday said it intervened to take control of two command-and-control (C2) and malware distribution domains used in the campaign. The court-authorized domain seizure took place on May 28, the DoJ said, adding the action was aimed at disrupting the threat actors' follow-on exploitation of victims as well as block their ability to compromise new systems. The department, however, cautioned that the adversary might have deployed additional backdoor accesses in the interim period between when the initial compromises occurred, and the seizures took place last week. "[The] action is a continued demonstration of the Department's commitment to proactively disrupt hacking activity prior to the conclusion of a criminal investigation,"  said  Assistant Attorney Ge
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