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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Ukraine

Microsoft Documents Over 200 Cyberattacks by Russia Against Ukraine

Microsoft Documents Over 200 Cyberattacks by Russia Against Ukraine

April 29, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
At least six different Russia-aligned actors launched no less than 237 cyberattacks against Ukraine from February 23 to April 8, including 38 discrete destructive attacks that irrevocably destroyed files in hundreds of systems across dozens of organizations in the country. "Collectively, the cyber and kinetic actions work to disrupt or degrade Ukrainian government and military functions and undermine the public's trust in those same institutions," the company's Digital Security Unit (DSU)  said  in a special report. The major malware families that have been leveraged for destructive activity as part of Russia's relentless digital assaults include:  WhisperGate ,  HermeticWiper  ( FoxBlade  aka KillDisk),  HermeticRansom  (SonicVote),  IssacWiper  (Lasainraw),  CaddyWiper ,  DesertBlade ,  DoubleZero  (FiberLake), and  Industroyer2 . WhisperGate, HermeticWiper, IssacWiper, and CaddyWiper are all data wipers designed to overwrite data and render machines unboot
New Hacking Campaign Targeting Ukrainian Government with IcedID Malware

New Hacking Campaign Targeting Ukrainian Government with IcedID Malware

April 17, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) has warned of a new wave of social engineering campaigns delivering IcedID malware and leveraging Zimbra exploits with the goal of stealing sensitive information. Attributing the IcedID phishing attacks to a threat cluster named UAC-0041, the agency  said  the infection sequence begins with an email containing a Microsoft Excel document (Мобілізаційний реєстр.xls or Mobilization Register.xls) that, when opened, prompts the users to enable macros, leading to the deployment of IcedID. The  information-stealing malware , also known as BokBot, has followed a similar trajectory to that of TrickBot, Emotet, and ZLoader, evolving from its earlier roots as a banking trojan to a full-fledged crimeware service that facilities the retrieval of next-stage implants such as ransomware. The  second set of targeted intrusions  relate to a new threat group dubbed UAC-0097, with the email including a number of image attachments with a  Cont
Ukraine Warns of Cyber attack Aiming to Hack Users' Telegram Messenger Accounts

Ukraine Warns of Cyber attack Aiming to Hack Users' Telegram Messenger Accounts

April 06, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine's technical security and intelligence service is warning of a new wave of cyber attacks that are aimed at gaining access to users' Telegram accounts. "The criminals sent messages with malicious links to the Telegram website in order to gain unauthorized access to the records, including the possibility to transfer a one-time code from SMS," the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection (SSSCIP) of Ukraine  said  in an alert. The attacks , which have been attributed to a threat cluster called "UAC-0094," originate with Telegram messages alerting recipients that a login had been detected from a new device located in Russia and urging the users to confirm their accounts by clicking on a link. The URL, in reality a phishing domain, prompts the victims to enter their phone numbers as well as the one-time passwords sent via SMS that are then used by the threat actors to take over the accounts. The modus operandi  mirrors  that
Russia-Ukraine War: Phishing, Malware and Hacker Groups Taking Sides

Russia-Ukraine War: Phishing, Malware and Hacker Groups Taking Sides

February 25, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Ukraine's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UA) has warned of Belarusian state-sponsored hackers targeting its military personnel and related individuals as part of a phishing campaign mounted amidst Russia's military invasion of the country. "Mass  phishing emails  have recently been observed targeting private 'i.ua' and 'meta.ua' accounts of Ukrainian military personnel and related individuals," the CERT-UA  said . "After the account is compromised, the attackers, by the IMAP protocol, get access to all the messages." Subsequently, the attacks leverage the contact information stored in the victim's address book to propagate the phishing messages to other targets. The Ukrainian government attributed the activities to a threat actor tracked as UNC1151, a Minsk-based group whose "members are officers of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus." In a follow-up  update , the agency said the nation-state group a
New Wiper Malware Targeting Ukraine Amid Russia's Military Operation

New Wiper Malware Targeting Ukraine Amid Russia's Military Operation

February 23, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity firms ESET and Broadcom's Symantec said they discovered a new data wiper malware used in fresh attacks against hundreds of machines in Ukraine, as Russian forces formally launched a full-scale military operation against the country. The Slovak company dubbed the wiper " HermeticWiper " (aka  KillDisk.NCV ), with one of the malware samples compiled on December 28, 2021, implying that preparations for the attacks may have been underway for nearly two months. "The wiper binary is signed using a code signing certificate issued to Hermetica Digital Ltd," ESET said in a series of tweets. "The wiper abuses legitimate drivers from the EaseUS Partition Master software in order to corrupt data. As a final step the wiper reboots [the] computer." Specifically, HermeticWiper is delivered via the benign but signed EaseUS partition management driver that then proceeds to impair the first 512 bytes, the Master Boot Record ( MBR ) for every phys
Russian Gamaredon Hackers Targeted 'Western Government Entity' in Ukraine

Russian Gamaredon Hackers Targeted 'Western Government Entity' in Ukraine

February 04, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Russia-linked Gamaredon hacking group attempted to compromise an unnamed Western government entity operating in Ukraine last month amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions between the two countries. Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat intelligence team, in a  new report  publicized on February 3, said that the phishing attack took place on January 19, adding it "mapped out three large clusters of their infrastructure used to support different phishing and malware purposes." The threat actor, also known as Shuckworm, Armageddon, or Primitive Bear, has historically focused its offensive cyber attacks against Ukrainian government officials and organizations since 2013. Last year, Ukraine  disclosed  the collective's ties to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). To carry out the phishing attack, the operators behind the campaign leveraged a job search and employment platform within the country as a conduit to upload their malware downloader in the form of a res
Experts Find Strategic Similarities b/w NotPetya and WhisperGate Attacks on Ukraine

Experts Find Strategic Similarities b/w NotPetya and WhisperGate Attacks on Ukraine

January 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Latest analysis into the wiper malware that targeted dozens of Ukrainian agencies earlier this month has revealed "strategic similarities" to  NotPetya malware  that was unleashed against the country's infrastructure and elsewhere in 2017. The malware, dubbed  WhisperGate , was discovered by Microsoft last week, which said it observed the destructive cyber campaign targeting government, non-profit, and information technology entities in the nation, attributing the intrusions to an emerging threat cluster codenamed "DEV-0586." "While WhisperGate has some strategic similarities to the notorious NotPetya wiper that attacked Ukranian entities in 2017, including masquerading as ransomware and targeting and destroying the master boot record (MBR) instead of encrypting it, it notably has more components designed to inflict additional damage," Cisco Talos  said  in a report detailing its response efforts. Stating that stolen credentials were likely used i
Ukraine: Recent Cyber Attacks Part of Wider Plot to Sabotage Critical Infrastructure

Ukraine: Recent Cyber Attacks Part of Wider Plot to Sabotage Critical Infrastructure

January 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The coordinated cyberattacks targeting  Ukrainian government websites  and the deployment of a data-wiper malware called  WhisperGate  on select government systems are part of a broader wave of malicious activities aimed at  sabotaging critical infrastructure  in the country. The Secret Service of Ukraine on Monday confirmed that the two incidents are related, adding the breaches also exploited the recently disclosed  Log4j vulnerabilities  to gain access to some of the compromised systems. "The attack used vulnerabilities in the site's content management systems (October CMS) and Log4j, as well as compromised accounts of employees of the development company," the SSU  said , corroborating prior disclosure from the  Ukraine CERT team . The disclosure comes days after Microsoft warned of a malware operation aimed at government, non-profit, and information technology entities in Ukraine, attributing the attacks to a threat cluster codenamed "DEV-0586." "
Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

Ukrainian Police Arrest 6 Hackers Linked to DDoS and Financial Attacks

January 17, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Ukrainian Police have this week busted out two separate groups of hackers involved in carrying out DDoS attacks against news agencies and stealing money from Ukrainian citizens, respectively. According to the authorities, the four suspected hackers they arrested last week , all aged from 26 to 30 years, stole more than 5 million Hryvnia (around 178,380 USD) from the bank accounts of Ukrainian citizens by hacking into their computers. The suspects carried out their attacks by scanning vulnerable computers on the Internet and infecting them with a custom Trojan malware to take full remote control of the systems. The group then apparently enabled key-logging on the infected computers in an attempt to capture banking credentials of victims when the owners of those infected computers fill in that information on any banking site or their digital currency wallet. Once getting a hold on the victims banking and financial data, the attackers logged into their online banking accounts
CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine

CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine

December 28, 2017Mohit Kumar
Pavel Lerner , a prominent Russian blockchain expert and known managing director of one of the major crypto-exchanges EXMO, has allegedly been kidnapped by "unknown" criminals in the Ukranian capital of Kiev. According to Ukraine-based web publication Strana , Lerner, 40-year-old citizen of Russia, was kidnapped on December 26 when he was leaving his office in the center of town (located on the Stepan Bandera Avenue). Unknown kidnappers in dark clothes and balaclavas dragged Lerner in their black Mercedes-Benz Vito brand (state number AA 2063 MT) car and drove away in an unknown direction. The information comes from an anonymous source in Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, though multiple investigations are currently underway to find out why and by whom Lerner was kidnapped. Lerner is a recognized IT specialist in Ukraine who led a number of startups related to blockchain technology development and mining operations. Lerner is also the managing director of EXMO
Ukraine Police Warns of New NotPetya-Style Large Scale CyberAttack

Ukraine Police Warns of New NotPetya-Style Large Scale CyberAttack

October 14, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Remember NotPetya ? The Ransomware that shut down thousands of businesses, organisations and banks in Ukraine as well as different parts of Europe in June this year. Now, Ukrainian government authorities are once again warning its citizens to brace themselves for next wave of "large-scale" NotPetya-like cyber attack. According to a press release published Thursday by the Secret Service of Ukraine (SBU), the next major cyber attack could take place between October 13 and 17 when Ukraine celebrates Defender of Ukraine Day (in Ukrainian: День захисника України, Den' zakhysnyka Ukrayiny). Authorities warn the cyber attack can once again be conducted through a malicious software update against state government institutions and private companies. The attackers of the NotPetya ransomware also used the same tactic—compromising the update mechanism for Ukrainian financial software provider called MeDoc and swapping in a dodgy update including the NotPetya computer v
Hackers Suspected of Causing Second Power Outage in Ukraine

Hackers Suspected of Causing Second Power Outage in Ukraine

December 21, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The same group of hackers that caused the power outage across several regions in Ukraine last Christmas holidays might have once again shut down power supply in northern Ukraine during the weekend. According to Ukrainian energy provider Ukrenergo, a cyber attack on Kyiv's power grid may have caused the power outages in the country on Saturday, December 17, near midnight. The blackout affected the northern part of Kiev, the country's capital, and surrounding areas, Ukrenergo Director Vsevolod Kovalchuk explained in a post on Facebook. Shortly after the incident, Ukrenergo engineers switched to manual mode and started restoring power in approximately 30 minutes in an effort to deal with the cyber attack. Power was fully restored after just an hour and fifteen minutes of the blackout. According to Kovalchuk, the one responsible for the weekend outage could be an "external interference through data network," however, the company's cybersecurity experts a
Russian Facebook 'VKontakte' Dramatically Fires Original Founder 'Pavel Durov'

Russian Facebook 'VKontakte' Dramatically Fires Original Founder 'Pavel Durov'

April 22, 2014Mohit Kumar
Yesterday reports revealed that Pavel Durov , the 29-year-old founder of Russia's most popular social networking site VKontakte (VK) - Russia's Facebook, had been fired from his post of general director of Vkontakte. On monday, Durov said that the social networking site VK is now under the complete control of two close allies of President Vladimir Putin. Publicly announcing his firing on his VK page he said, " In this way, today VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov. Probably, in the Russian context, something like this was inevitable, but I'm happy we lasted seven and a half years. We did a lot. And part of what's been done can't be turned back. " Last Month on 21st March, the 29-year-old entrepreneur announced submitted his resignation, but earlier this month that he had rescinded his resignation as the company's CEO because it was an April Fool Prank, but unfortunately he supposedly failed to properly withdraw befor
MiniDuke Malware spreads via Fake Ukraine-related Documents

MiniDuke Malware spreads via Fake Ukraine-related Documents

April 02, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A year back, Security Researchers from the Antivirus firm Kaspersky found a sophisticated piece of malware which they dubbed as ' MiniDuke ', designed specifically to collect and steal strategic insights and highly protected political information, which is a subject to states' security. Now, once again the MiniDuke virus is spreading in wild via an innocent looking but fake PDF documents related to Ukraine , while the researcher at F-Secure were browsing the set of extracted decoy documents from a large batch of potential MiniDuke Samples. " This is interesting considering the current crisis in the area ," Mikko Hypponen, the CTO of security research firm F-Secure, wrote on Tuesday. The Hacker News reported a year ago about the malicious malware that uses an exploit ( CVE-2013-0640 ) of the famous and actively used Adobe Reader . MiniDuke malware written in assembly language with its tiny file size (20KB), and uses hijacked Twitter accounts for Command &a
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