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Israel's Candiru Spyware Found Linked to Watering Hole Attacks in U.K and Middle East

Israel's Candiru Spyware Found Linked to Watering Hole Attacks in U.K and Middle East

November 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Israeli spyware vendor Candiru, which was  added  to an economic blocklist by the U.S. government this month, is said to have reportedly waged "watering hole" attacks against high-profile entities in the U.K. and the Middle East, new findings reveal. "The victimized websites belong to media outlets in the U.K., Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, as well as to Hezbollah; to government institutions in Iran (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Syria (including the Ministry of Electricity), and Yemen (including the Ministries of Interior and Finance); to internet service providers in Yemen and Syria; and to aerospace/military technology companies in Italy and South Africa," ESET  said  in a new report. "The attackers also created a website mimicking a medical trade fair in Germany." The strategic web compromises are believed to have occurred in two waves, the first commencing as early as March 2020 before ending in August 2020, and the second string of attacks beginning in
Hackers Exploit macOS Zero-Day to Hack Hong Kong Users with new Implant

Hackers Exploit macOS Zero-Day to Hack Hong Kong Users with new Implant

November 12, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google researchers on Thursday disclosed that it found a watering hole attack in late August exploiting a now-patched zero-day in macOS operating system and targeting Hong Kong websites related to a media outlet and a prominent pro-democracy labor and political group to deliver a never-before-seen backdoor on compromised machines. "Based on our findings, we believe this threat actor to be a well-resourced group, likely state backed, with access to their own software engineering team based on the quality of the payload code," Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG) researcher Erye Hernandez  said  in a report. Tracked as CVE-2021-30869 (CVSS score: 7.8), the security shortcoming concerns a type confusion vulnerability affecting the XNU kernel component that could cause a malicious application to execute arbitrary code with the highest privileges. Apple originally addressed the issue for macOS Big Sur devices as part of a security update shipped on February 1, only to follow
LuckyMouse Hackers Target Banks, Companies and Governments in 2020

LuckyMouse Hackers Target Banks, Companies and Governments in 2020

April 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An adversary known for its  watering hole attacks  against government entities has been linked to a slew of newly detected intrusions targeting various organizations in Central Asia and the Middle East. The malicious activity, collectively named "EmissarySoldier," has been attributed to a threat actor called LuckyMouse, and is said to have happened in 2020 with the goal of obtaining geopolitical insights in the region. The attacks involved deploying a toolkit dubbed SysUpdate (aka Soldier) in a number of breached organizations, including government and diplomatic agencies, telecom providers, a TV media company, and a commercial bank. LuckyMouse , also referred to as APT27 and Emissary Panda, is a sophisticated cyberespionage group that has a history of breaching multiple government networks in Central Asia and the Middle East. The actor has also been linked to cyberattacks aimed at transnational organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO )
Browser Bugs Exploited to Install 2 New Backdoors on Targeted Computers

Browser Bugs Exploited to Install 2 New Backdoors on Targeted Computers

October 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details about a new watering hole attack targeting the Korean diaspora that exploits vulnerabilities in web browsers such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer to deploy malware for espionage purposes. Dubbed " Operation Earth Kitsune " by Trend Micro, the campaign involves the use of SLUB (for SLack and githUB) malware and two new backdoors —  dneSpy and agfSpy  — to exfiltrate system information and gain additional control of the compromised machine. The attacks were observed during the months of March, May, and September, according to the cybersecurity firm. Watering hole attacks allow a bad actor to compromise a targeted business by compromising a carefully selected website by inserting an exploit with an intention to gain access to the victim's device and infect it with malware. Operation Earth Kitsune is said to have deployed the spyware samples on websites associated with North Korea, although access to these websites
Chinese Hackers Carried Out Country-Level Watering Hole Attack

Chinese Hackers Carried Out Country-Level Watering Hole Attack

June 14, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered an espionage campaign that has targeted a national data center of an unnamed central Asian country in order to conduct watering hole attacks. The campaign is believed to be active covertly since fall 2017 but was spotted in March by security researchers from Kaspersky Labs, who have attributed these attacks to a Chinese-speaking threat actor group called LuckyMouse . LuckyMouse, also known as Iron Tiger, EmissaryPanda, APT 27 and Threat Group-3390, is the same group of Chinese hackers who was found targeting Asian countries with Bitcoin mining malware early this year. The group has been active since at least 2010 and was behind many previous attack campaigns resulting in the theft of massive amounts of data from the directors and managers of US-based defense contractors. This time the group chose a national data center as its target from an unnamed country in Central Asia in an attempt to gain "access to a wide range of government
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