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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Search results for watering hole

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
Watering Hole Attack Was Used to Target Florida Water Utilities

Watering Hole Attack Was Used to Target Florida Water Utilities

May 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An investigation undertaken in the aftermath of the  Oldsmar water plant hack  earlier this year has revealed that an infrastructure contractor in the U.S. state of Florida hosted malicious code on its website in what's known as a watering hole attack. "This malicious code seemingly targeted water utilities, particularly in Florida, and more importantly, was visited by a browser from the city of Oldsmar on the same day of the poisoning event," Dragos researcher Kent Backman  said  in a write-up published on Tuesday. The site, which belongs to a Florida-based general contractor involved in building water and wastewater treatment facilities, had no bearing on the intrusion, the American industrial cybersecurity firm said. Watering hole attacks typically allow an adversary to compromise a specific group of end-users by compromising a carefully selected website, which members of that group are known to visit, with an intention to gain access to the victim's system an
Critical Print Spooler Bug allows Attackers to Hack any version of Microsoft Windows

Critical Print Spooler Bug allows Attackers to Hack any version of Microsoft Windows

July 13, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft's July Patch Tuesday offers 11 security bulletins with six rated critical resolving almost 50 security holes in its software. The company has patched a security flaw in the Windows Print Spooler service that affects all supported versions of Windows ever released, which if exploited could allow an attacker to take over a device via a simple mechanism. The "critical" flaw ( CVE-2016-3238 ) actually resides in the way Windows handles printer driver installations as well as the way end users connect to printers. The flaw could allow an attacker to install malware remotely on victim machine that can be used to view, modify or delete data, or create new accounts with full user rights; Microsoft said in MS16-087 bulletin posted Tuesday. Users who are logged in with fewer user rights on the system are less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights, such as some home accounts and server users. Microsoft said the critical flaw could
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
Advanced StrongPity Hackers Target Syria and Turkey with Retooled Spyware

Advanced StrongPity Hackers Target Syria and Turkey with Retooled Spyware

June 30, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered new details of watering hole attacks against the Kurdish community in Syria and Turkey for surveillance and intelligence exfiltration purposes. The advanced persistent threat behind the operation, called StrongPity , has retooled with new tactics to control compromised machines, cybersecurity firm Bitdefender said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Using watering hole tactics to selectively infect victims and deploying a three-tier C&C infrastructure to thwart forensic investigations, the APT group leveraged Trojanized popular tools, such as archivers, file recovery applications, remote connections applications, utilities, and even security software, to cover a wide range of options that targeted victims might be seeking," the researchers said. With the timestamps of the analyzed malware samples used in the campaign coinciding with the Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria (codenamed Operation Peace Spring )
Internet Explorer 8 zero-day attack spreads on 9 other sites

Internet Explorer 8 zero-day attack spreads on 9 other sites

May 08, 2013Mohit Kumar
Watering hole Internet Explorer 8 zero-day attack on the US Department of Labor website last week has spread to 9 more global websites over the weekend, including those run by a big European company operating in the aerospace, defense , and security industries as well as non-profit groups and institutes Attacks exploiting a previously unknown and currently unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser have spread to at least. Researchers analyzing the attacks say that the attack tie it to a China-based hacking group known as " DeepPanda ". Security firm CrowdStrike said its researchers unearthed evidence suggesting that the campaign began in mid-March. Their analysis of logs from the malicious infrastructure used in the attacks revealed the IP addresses of visitors to the compromised sites. The logs showed addresses from 37 different countries, with 71 percent of them in the US, 11 percent in South/Southeast Asia, and 10 percent in Europe. Micros
Iranian Hackers Pose as Journalists to Trick Victims Into Installing Malware

Iranian Hackers Pose as Journalists to Trick Victims Into Installing Malware

August 28, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
An Iranian cyberespionage group known for targeting government, defense technology, military, and diplomacy sectors is now impersonating journalists to approach targets via LinkedIn and WhatsApp and infect their devices with malware. Detailing the new tactics of the "Charming Kitten" APT group, Israeli firm Clearsky said, "starting July 2020, we have identified a new TTP of the group, impersonating 'Deutsche Welle' and the 'Jewish Journal' using emails alongside WhatsApp messages as their main platform to approach the target and convince them to open a malicious link." This development is the first time the threat actor is said to have carried out a watering hole attack through WhatsApp and LinkedIn, which also includes making phone calls to victims, Clearsky noted in a Thursday analysis. After the company alerted Deutsche Welle about the impersonation and the watering hole in their website, the German broadcaster confirmed, "the repor
Adobe releases another Emergency Security Patch for Flash Player

Adobe releases another Emergency Security Patch for Flash Player

February 21, 2014Anonymous
Security Firm FireEye has uncovered yet another critical zero-day vulnerability in widely used Adobe Flash Software and Adobe has been forced to issue a second emergency patch update  in less than a month. All versions of Adobe Flash Player released before today's patch are vulnerable to the zero-day exploit and the patch addresses a critical vulnerability  CVE-2014-0502 , being used in a watering hole attack -dubbed " Operation Greedywonk",  that allows attackers to remotely take control of infected systems. The vulnerability affects the latest versions of Flash, is reported to be targeting the websites of three non-profit institutions, being redirected to an malicious server hosting the zero-day exploit. " Visitors to the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics (www.piie[.]com) were redirected to an exploit server hosting this Flash zero-day through a hidden iframe ." FireEye said. Security updates tackle a number of flaws includi
Internet Explorer zero-day exploit targets U.S. nuke researchers

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit targets U.S. nuke researchers

May 06, 2013Anonymous
Security researchers revealed that series of " Watering Hole " has been conducted exploiting a IE8 zero-day vulnerability to target U.S. Government experts working on nuclear weapons research. The news is not surprising but it is very concerning, the principal targets of the attacks are various groups of research such as the components of U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Energy, the news has been confirmed by principal security firms and by Microsoft corporate. The flaw has been used in a series of "watering hole" attacks, let's remind that "Watering Hole" is a technique of attack realized compromising legitimate websites using a " drive-by " exploit. The attackers restrict their audience to a individuals interested to specific content proposed by targeted website, in this way when the victim visits the page a backdoor Trojan is installed on his computer. The website compromised to exploit the IE8 zero-day is the Dep
Chinese Hackers Using New iPhone Hack to Spy On Uyghur Muslims

Chinese Hackers Using New iPhone Hack to Spy On Uyghur Muslims

April 22, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A Chinese hacking group has been found leveraging a new exploit chain in iOS devices to install a spyware implant targeting the Uyghur Muslim minority in China's autonomous region of Xinjiang. The findings, published by digital forensics firm Volexity , reveal that the exploit — named "Insomnia" — works against iOS versions 12.3, 12.3.1, and 12.3.2 using a flaw in WebKit that was patched by Apple with the release of iOS 12.4 in July 2019. Volexity said the attacks were carried out by a state-sponsored hacking group it calls Evil Eye , the same threat actor that it said was behind a series of attacks against the Uyghurs last September following a bombshell disclosure by Google's Project Zero team . China has long considered Xinjiang a breeding ground for " separatists, terrorists and religious extremists ," with the residents of the region — ethnically Turkic Muslims — thrown into concentration camps , and subjected to persecution and high-tech surv
Searching for Best Encryption Tools? Hackers are Spreading Malware Through Fake Software

Searching for Best Encryption Tools? Hackers are Spreading Malware Through Fake Software

October 11, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Over the past few years, Internet users globally have grown increasingly aware of online privacy and security issues due to mass monitoring and surveillance by government agencies, making them adopt encryption software and services. But it turns out that hackers are taking advantage of this opportunity by creating and distributing fake versions of encryption tools in order to infect as many victims as possible. Kaspersky Lab has revealed an advanced persistent threat (APT) group, nicknamed StrongPity , which has put a lot of efforts in targeting users of software designed for encrypting data and communications. The StrongPity APT group has been using watering-hole attacks, infected installers, and malware for many years to target users of encryption software by compromising legitimate sites or setting up their own malicious copycat sites. Watering hole attacks are designed to lure specific groups of users to their interest-based sites that typically house malicious files or
Hackers Used Local News Sites to Install Spyware On iPhones

Hackers Used Local News Sites to Install Spyware On iPhones

March 27, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A newly discovered watering-hole campaign is targeting Apple iPhone users in Hong Kong by using malicious website links as a lure to install spyware on the devices. According to research published by Trend Micro and Kaspersky , the " Operation Poisoned News " attack leverages a remote iOS exploit chain to deploy a feature-rich implant called 'LightSpy' through links to local news websites, which when clicked, executes the malware payload and allows an interloper to exfiltrate sensitive data from the affected device and even take full control. Watering-hole attacks typically let a bad actor compromise a specific group of end-users by infecting websites that they are known to visit, with an intention to gain access to the victim's device and load it with malware. The APT group, dubbed "TwoSail Junk" by Kaspersky, is said to be leveraging vulnerabilities present in iOS 12.1 and 12.2 spanning all models from iPhone 6 to the iPhone X, with the attac
Experts Unveil Cyber Espionage Attacks by CopyKittens Hackers

Experts Unveil Cyber Espionage Attacks by CopyKittens Hackers

July 25, 2017Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have discovered a new, massive cyber espionage campaign that mainly targets people working in government, defence and academic organisations in various countries. The campaign is being conducted by an Iran-linked threat group, whose activities, attack methods, and targets have been released in a joint, detailed report published by researchers at Trend Micro and Israeli firm ClearSky. Dubbed by researchers CopyKittens (aka Rocket Kittens) , the cyber espionage group has been active since at least 2013 and has targeted organisations and individuals, including diplomats and researchers, in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, Jordan and Germany. The targeted organisations include government institutions like Ministry of Foreign Affairs, defence companies, large IT companies, academic institutions, subcontractors of the Ministry of Defense, and municipal authorities, along with employees of the United Nations. The latest report [ PDF ], dubbed &q
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 11, 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
CFR watering hole attack also target Capstone Turbine Corporation

CFR watering hole attack also target Capstone Turbine Corporation

January 02, 2013Mohit Kumar
Last week Council on Foreign Relations website was compromised and recently hit by a drive-by attack using a zero day Internet Explorer 6 vulnerability for Cyber Espionage attack, suspected by Chinese Hackers. Later Microsoft confirmed that  Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 are vulnerable to remote code execution hacks. According to researcher  Eric Romang , CFR watering hole attack (CVE-2012-4969 and CVE-2012-4792) has also target Capstone Turbine Corporation website since mid-September. He was able to find a cached version of the first JavaScript that starts the drive-by attack. Then on further search finds that by doing a Google dork search site:capstoneturbine.com "_include"  we can see something strangely like CFR.org "news_14242aa.html" file. Capstone Turbine Corporation is the world's leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems, and was first to market with commercially viable microturbine energy products. Capstone Turbine has shipped thousands of Capstone MicroTurbi
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
Duuzer Trojan: A New Backdoor Targeting South Korean Organizations

Duuzer Trojan: A New Backdoor Targeting South Korean Organizations

October 27, 2015Khyati Jain
Security researchers at Symantec have uncovered a new Backdoor Trojan that grants hackers remote access and some control over infected machines. " Duuzer ," as dubbed by the researchers, has been targeting organizations in South Korea and elsewhere in an attempt to steal valuable information. The Trojan is designed to infect both 32-bit and 64-bit computers running Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Duuzer gives attackers remote access to the compromised computer, allowing them to: Collect system and drive information Create, enumerate, and end processes Access, modify and delete files Upload and Download additional files Change the time attributes of files Execute malicious commands Steal data from infected system Know about victim's Operating System Duuzer Infects via Spear Phishing or Watering Hole Attacks It is currently unclear how the malware is being distributed, but according to Symantec Researchers, the most obvious routes ar
Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability actively being exploited in the wild

Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability actively being exploited in the wild

November 11, 2013Anonymous
Security researchers at FireEye have detected a new series of drive-by attacks based on a new Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability. The attackers breached a website based in the US to deploy the exploit code to conduct a classic watering hole attack. The discovery was announced just a few days after Microsoft revealed the Microsoft Zero-day CVE-2013-3906 , a Zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft graphics component that is actively exploited in targeted attacks using crafted Word documents sent by email. Microsoft graphics component zero-day vulnerability allows attackers to install a malware via infected Word documents and target Microsoft Office users running on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Recently reported new Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability detected by FireEye affects the English versions of IE 7 and 8 in Windows XP and IE 8 on Windows 7, but according the experts it can be easily changed to leverage other languages. Experts at FireEye conf
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