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Pakistan-linked Hackers Deploy Python, Golang, and Rust Malware on Indian Targets

Pakistan-linked Hackers Deploy Python, Golang, and Rust Malware on Indian Targets

May 27, 2024 Malware / Threat Intelligence
The Pakistan-nexus  Transparent Tribe  actor has been linked to a new set of attacks targeting Indian government, defense, and aerospace sectors using cross-platform malware written in Python, Golang, and Rust. "This cluster of activity spanned from late 2023 to April 2024 and is anticipated to persist," the BlackBerry Research and Intelligence Team  said  in a technical report published early last week. The spear-phishing campaign is also notable for its abuse of popular online services such as Discord, Google Drive, Slack, and Telegram, once again underscoring how threat actors are  adopting legitimate programs  into their attack flows. According to BlackBerry, the targets of the email-based attacks included three companies that are crucial stakeholders and clients of the Department of Defense Production ( DDP ). All the three companies targeted are headquartered in the Indian city of Bengaluru. While the names of the firms were not disclosed, indications are that the
Stealthy BLOODALCHEMY Malware Targeting ASEAN Government Networks

Stealthy BLOODALCHEMY Malware Targeting ASEAN Government Networks

May 24, 2024 APT Malware / Cyber Espionage
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered that the malware known as  BLOODALCHEMY  used in attacks targeting government organizations in Southern and Southeastern Asia is in fact an updated version of Deed RAT, which is believed to be a successor to ShadowPad. "The origin of BLOODALCHEMY and Deed RAT is ShadowPad and given the history of ShadowPad being utilized in numerous APT campaigns, it is crucial to pay special attention to the usage trend of this malware," Japanese company ITOCHU Cyber & Intelligence  said . BLOODALCHEMY was  first documented  by Elastic Security Labs in October 2023 in connection with a campaign mounted by an intrusion set it tracks as REF5961 targeting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. A barebones x86 backdoor written in C, it's injected into a signed benign process ("BrDifxapi.exe") using a technique called DLL side-loading, and is capable of overwriting the toolset, gathering host information, load
New Frontiers, Old Tactics: Chinese Espionage Group Targets Africa & Caribbean Govts

New Frontiers, Old Tactics: Chinese Espionage Group Targets Africa & Caribbean Govts

May 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Network Security
The China-linked threat actor known as Sharp Panda has expanded their targeting to include governmental organizations in Africa and the Caribbean as part of an ongoing cyber espionage campaign. "The campaign adopts Cobalt Strike Beacon as the payload, enabling backdoor functionalities like C2 communication and command execution while minimizing the exposure of their custom tools," Check Point said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "This refined approach suggests a deeper understanding of their targets." The Israeli cybersecurity firm is tracking the activity under a new name  Sharp Dragon , describing the adversary as careful in its targeting, while at the same time broadening its reconnaissance efforts. The adversary  first came to light  in June 2021, when it was detected targeting a Southeast Asian government to deploy a backdoor on Windows systems dubbed VictoryDLL. Subsequent attacks mounted by Sharp Dragon have set their sights on high-profile gov
cyber security

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.
It's Time to Master the Lift & Shift: Migrating from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure

It's Time to Master the Lift & Shift: Migrating from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure

May 15, 2024Enterprise Security / Cloud Computing
While cloud adoption has been top of mind for many IT professionals for nearly a decade, it's only in recent months, with industry changes and announcements from key players, that many recognize the time to make the move is now. It may feel like a daunting task, but tools exist to help you move your virtual machines (VMs) to a public cloud provider – like Microsoft Azure – with relative ease. Transitioning from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth migration process. In this guide, we'll walk through the steps involved in moving your virtualized infrastructure to the cloud giant, Microsoft Azure. Whether you're migrating your entire data center or specific workloads, these steps will help you navigate the transition effectively. 1. Assess Your Environment: Before diving into the migration process, assess your current VMware vSphere environment thoroughly. Identify all virtual machines (VMs), dependencies, and resource
Inside Operation Diplomatic Specter: Chinese APT Group's Stealthy Tactics Exposed

Inside Operation Diplomatic Specter: Chinese APT Group's Stealthy Tactics Exposed

May 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Network Security
Governmental entities in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia are the target of a Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) group as part of an ongoing cyber espionage campaign dubbed  Operation Diplomatic Specter  since at least late 2022. "An analysis of this threat actor's activity reveals long-term espionage operations against at least seven governmental entities," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers Lior Rochberger and Daniel Frank  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "The threat actor performed intelligence collection efforts at a large scale, leveraging rare email exfiltration techniques against compromised servers." The cybersecurity firm, which previously tracked the activity cluster under the name CL-STA-0043, said it's graduating it to a temporary actor group codenamed TGR-STA-0043 owing to its assessment that the intrusion set is the work of a single actor operating on behalf of Chinese state-aligned interests. Targets of the attacks i
Researchers Warn of Chinese-Aligned Hackers Targeting South China Sea Countries

Researchers Warn of Chinese-Aligned Hackers Targeting South China Sea Countries

May 22, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of a previously undocumented threat group called  Unfading Sea Haze  that's believed to have been active since 2018. The intrusion singled out high-level organizations in South China Sea countries, particularly military and government targets, Bitdefender said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "The investigation revealed a troubling trend beyond the historical context," Martin Zugec, technical solutions director at Bitdefender,  said , adding it identified a total of eight victims to date. "Notably, the attackers repeatedly regained access to compromised systems. This exploitation highlights a critical vulnerability: poor credential hygiene and inadequate patching practices on exposed devices and web services." There are some indications that the threat actor behind the attacks is operating with goals that are aligned with Chinese interests despite the fact that the attack signatures do not overlap wit
Iranian MOIS-Linked Hackers Behind Destructive Attacks on Albania and Israel

Iranian MOIS-Linked Hackers Behind Destructive Attacks on Albania and Israel

May 20, 2024 Cyber Attack / Threat Intelligence
An Iranian threat actor affiliated with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has been attributed as behind destructive wiping attacks targeting Albania and Israel under the personas Homeland Justice and Karma, respectively. Cybersecurity firm Check Point is tracking the activity under the moniker  Void Manticore , which is also referred to as  Storm-0842  (formerly DEV-0842) by Microsoft. "There are clear overlaps between the targets of Void Manticore and  Scarred Manticore , with indications of systematic hand off of targets between those two groups when deciding to conduct destructive activities against existing victims of Scarred Manticore," the company  said  in a report published today. The threat actor is known for its disruptive cyber attacks against Albania since July 2022 under the name Homeland Justice that involve the use of bespoke wiper malware called  Cl Wiper  and  No-Justice  (aka LowEraser). Similar wiper malware attacks have also targeted Wi
Foxit PDF Reader Flaw Exploited by Hackers to Deliver Diverse Malware Arsenal

Foxit PDF Reader Flaw Exploited by Hackers to Deliver Diverse Malware Arsenal

May 20, 2024 Vulnerability / Malware
Multiple threat actors are weaponizing a design flaw in Foxit PDF Reader to deliver a variety of malware such as Agent Tesla, AsyncRAT, DCRat, NanoCore RAT, NjRAT, Pony, Remcos RAT, and XWorm. "This exploit triggers security warnings that could deceive unsuspecting users into executing harmful commands," Check Point  said  in a technical report. "This exploit has been used by multiple threat actors, from e-crime to espionage." It's worth noting that Adobe Acrobat Reader – which is more prevalent in sandboxes or antivirus solutions – is not susceptible to this specific exploit, thus contributing to the campaign's low detection rate. The issue stems from the fact that the application shows "OK" as the default selected option in a pop-up when users are asked to trust the document prior to enabling certain features to avoid potential security risks. Once a user clicks OK, they are displayed a second pop-up warning that the file is about to execute
Grandoreiro Banking Trojan Resurfaces, Targeting Over 1,500 Banks Worldwide

Grandoreiro Banking Trojan Resurfaces, Targeting Over 1,500 Banks Worldwide

May 19, 2024 Banking Troja / Email Security
The threat actors behind the Windows-based  Grandoreiro  banking trojan have returned in a global campaign since March 2024 following a law enforcement takedown in January. The large-scale phishing attacks, likely facilitated by other cybercriminals via a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) model, target over 1,500 banks across the world, spanning more than 60 countries in Central and South America, Africa, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific, IBM X-Force said. While  Grandoreiro  is known primarily for its focus in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, the expansion is likely a shift in strategy after attempts to  shut down its infrastructure  by Brazilian authorities. Going hand-in-hand with the broader targeting footprint are significant improvements to the malware itself, which indicates active development. "Analysis of the malware revealed major updates within the string decryption and domain generating algorithm (DGA), as well as the ability to use Microsoft Outlook clients on infected
China-Linked Hackers Adopt Two-Stage Infection Tactic to Deploy Deuterbear RAT

China-Linked Hackers Adopt Two-Stage Infection Tactic to Deploy Deuterbear RAT

May 17, 2024 Malware / Artificial Intelligence
Cybersecurity researchers have shed more light on a remote access trojan (RAT) known as Deuterbear used by the China-linked  BlackTech  hacking group as part of a cyber espionage campaign targeting the Asia-Pacific region this year. "Deuterbear, while similar to Waterbear in many ways, shows advancements in capabilities such as including support for shellcode plugins, avoiding handshakes for RAT operation, and using HTTPS for C&C communication," Trend Micro researchers Pierre Lee and Cyris Tseng  said  in a new analysis. "Comparing the two malware variants, Deuterbear uses a shellcode format, possesses anti-memory scanning, and shares a traffic key with its downloader unlike Waterbear." BlackTech , active since at least 2007, is also tracked by the broader cybersecurity community under the monikers Circuit Panda, Earth Hundun, HUAPI, Manga Taurus, Palmerworm, Red Djinn, and Temp.Overboard. Cyber attacks orchestrated by the group have long involved the depl
Kimsuky APT Deploying Linux Backdoor Gomir in South Korean Cyber Attacks

Kimsuky APT Deploying Linux Backdoor Gomir in South Korean Cyber Attacks

May 17, 2024 Linux / Malware
The  Kimsuky  (aka Springtail) advanced persistent threat (APT) group, which is linked to North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), has been observed deploying a Linux version of its GoBear backdoor as part of a campaign targeting South Korean organizations. The backdoor, codenamed  Gomir , is "structurally almost identical to GoBear, with extensive sharing of code between malware variants," the Symantec Threat Hunter Team, part of Broadcom,  said  in a new report. "Any functionality from GoBear that is operating system-dependent is either missing or reimplemented in Gomir." GoBear was  first documented  by South Korean security firm S2W in early February 2024 in connection with a campaign that delivered a malware called Troll Stealer (aka TrollAgent), which overlaps with known Kimsuky malware families like AppleSeed and AlphaSeed. A subsequent analysis by the AhnLab Security Intelligence Center (ASEC) revealed that the malware is distributed via t
North Korean Hackers Exploit Facebook Messenger in Targeted Malware Campaign

North Korean Hackers Exploit Facebook Messenger in Targeted Malware Campaign

May 16, 2024 Malware / Cyber Espionage
The North Korea-linked  Kimsuky hacking group  has been attributed to a new social engineering attack that employs fictitious Facebook accounts to targets via Messenger and ultimately delivers malware. "The threat actor created a Facebook account with a fake identity disguised as a public official working in the North Korean human rights field," South Korean cybersecurity company Genians  said  in a report published last week. The multi-stage attack campaign, which impersonates a legitimate individual, is designed to target activists in the North Korean human rights and anti-North Korea sectors, it noted. The approach is a departure from the typical email-based spear-phishing strategy in that it leverages the social media platform to approach targets through Facebook Messenger and trick them into opening seemingly private documents written by the persona. The decoy documents, hosted on OneDrive, is a Microsoft Common Console document that masquerades as an essay or cont
Turla Group Deploys LunarWeb and LunarMail Backdoors in Diplomatic Missions

Turla Group Deploys LunarWeb and LunarMail Backdoors in Diplomatic Missions

May 15, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Threat Intelligence
An unnamed European Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and its three diplomatic missions in the Middle East were targeted by two previously undocumented backdoors tracked as LunarWeb and LunarMail. ESET, which identified the activity, attributed it with medium confidence to the Russia-aligned cyberespionage group Turla (aka Iron Hunter, Pensive Ursa, Secret Blizzard, Snake, Uroburos, and Venomous Bear), citing tactical overlaps with prior campaigns identified as orchestrated by the threat actor. "LunarWeb, deployed on servers, uses HTTP(S) for its C&C [command-and-control] communications and mimics legitimate requests, while LunarMail, deployed on workstations, is persisted as an Outlook add-in and uses email messages for its C&C communications," security researcher Filip JurĨacko  said . An analysis of the Lunar artifacts shows that they may have been used in targeted attacks since early 2020, or even earlier. Turla, assessed to be affiliated with Russia's Fe
North Korean Hackers Deploy New Golang Malware 'Durian' Against Crypto Firms

North Korean Hackers Deploy New Golang Malware 'Durian' Against Crypto Firms

May 10, 2024 Malware / Cyber Espionage
The North Korean threat actor tracked as Kimsuky has been observed deploying a previously undocumented Golang-based malware dubbed  Durian  as part of highly-targeted cyber attacks aimed at two South Korean cryptocurrency firms. "Durian boasts comprehensive backdoor functionality, enabling the execution of delivered commands, additional file downloads, and exfiltration of files," Kaspersky  said  in its APT trends report for Q1 2024. The attacks, which occurred in August and November 2023, entailed the use of legitimate software exclusive to South Korea as an infection pathway, although the precise mechanism used to manipulate the program is currently unclear. What's known is that the software establishes a connection to the attacker's server, leading to the retrieval of a malicious payload that kicks off the infection sequence. The first-stage serves as an installer for additional malware and a means to establish persistence on the host. It also paves the way fo
Kremlin-Backed APT28 Targets Polish Institutions in Large-Scale Malware Campaign

Kremlin-Backed APT28 Targets Polish Institutions in Large-Scale Malware Campaign

May 09, 2024 Mobile Security / Cyber Attack
Polish government institutions have been targeted as part of a large-scale malware campaign orchestrated by a Russia-linked nation-state actor called  APT28 . "The campaign sent emails with content intended to arouse the recipient's interest and persuade him to click on the link," the computer emergency response team, CERT Polska,  said  in a Wednesday bulletin. Clicking on the link redirects the victim to the domain run.mocky[.]io, which, in turn, is used to redirect to another legitimate site named webhook[.]site, a  free service  that allows developers to inspect data that's being sent via a webhook, in an effort to evade detection. The next step involves the download of a ZIP archive file from webhook[.]site, which contains the Windows Calculator binary that masquerades as a JPG image file ("IMG-238279780.jpg.exe"), a hidden batch script file, and another hidden DLL file ("WindowsCodecs.dll"). Should a victim run the application, the malic
APT42 Hackers Pose as Journalists to Harvest Credentials and Access Cloud Data

APT42 Hackers Pose as Journalists to Harvest Credentials and Access Cloud Data

May 07, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Malware
The Iranian state-backed hacking outfit called  APT42  is making use of enhanced social engineering schemes to infiltrate target networks and cloud environments. Targets of the attack include Western and Middle Eastern NGOs, media organizations, academia, legal services and activists, Google Cloud subsidiary Mandiant said in a report published last week. "APT42 was observed  posing as journalists  and event organizers to build trust with their victims through ongoing correspondence, and to deliver invitations to conferences or legitimate documents," the company  said . "These social engineering schemes enabled APT42 to harvest credentials and use them to gain initial access to cloud environments. Subsequently, the threat actor covertly exfiltrated data of strategic interest to Iran, while relying on built-in features and open-source tools to avoid detection." APT42 (aka Damselfly and UNC788),  first documented  by the company in September 2022, is an Iranian st
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