Advanced Persistent Threat


NEWS 
  • North Korean Kimsuky hacking group allegedly behind breach of South Korean nuclear institute

    June 21, 2021

    A North Korean hacking group with a history of high-profile attacks against South Korea allegedly breached the network of South Korea’s state-run nuclear research institute last month. Representative Ha Tae-keung of the People Power Party, South Korea’s main opposition party, claimed 13 unauthorised IP addresses accessed the internal network of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) ...

  • Ferocious Kitten: 6 years of covert surveillance in Iran

    June 16, 2021

    Ferocious Kitten is an APT group that since at least 2015 has been targeting Persian-speaking individuals who appear to be based in Iran. Although it has been active for a long time, the group has mostly operated under the radar and has not been covered by security researchers to the best of our knowledge. It ...

  • Gelsemium APT was behind February compromise of NoxPlayer

    June 9, 2021

    ESET has published details of an advanced persistent threat (APT) crew that appears to have deployed recent supply chain attack methods against targets including “electronics manufacturers,” although it didn’t specify which. “Victims of its campaigns are located in East Asia as well as the Middle East and include governments, religious organizations, electronics manufacturers and universities,” said ...

  • Novel ‘Victory’ Backdoor Spotted in Chinese APT Campaign

    June 7, 2021

    An ongoing surveillance operation has been uncovered that targets a Southeast Asian government, researchers said – using a previously unknown espionage malware. According to Check Point Research, the attack involves spear-phishing emails with malicious Word documents to gain initial access, along with the exploitation of older, known Microsoft Office security vulnerabilities. But most notable, researchers said, ...

  • New SkinnyBoy malware used by Russian hackers to breach sensitive orgs

    June 3, 2021

    Security researchers have discovered a new piece of malware called SkinnyBoy that was used in spear-phishing campaigns attributed to Russian-speaking hacking group APT28. The threat actor, also known as Fancy Bear, Sednit, Sofacy, Strontium, or PwnStorm, used SkinnyBoy in attacks targeting military and government institutions earlier this year. SkinnyBoy is intended for an intermediary stage of the ...

  • Email spoofing: how attackers impersonate legitimate senders

    June 3, 2021

    In a nutshell, email spoofing is the creation of fake emails that seem legitimate. This article analyzes the spoofing of email addresses through changing the From header, which provides information about the sender’s name and address. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the main email transmission protocol in TCP/IP networks) offers no protection against spoofing, so it ...

  • US seizes domains used by APT29 in recent USAID phishing attacks

    June 1, 2021

    The US Department of Justice has seized two Internet domains used in recent phishing attacks impersonating the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to distribute malware and gain access to internal networks. The two domains seized by the DOJ are theyardservicecom and were used to receive data exfiltrated from victims of the targeted phishing ...

  • Russian gang behind SolarWinds hack returns with phishing attack disguised as mail from US aid agency

    May 28, 2021

    Nobelium, the Russia-aligned gang identified as the perpetrators of the supply chain attack on SolarWinds’ Orion software, has struck again, Microsoft vice president Tom Burt in a blogpost Thursday. Burt’s post says the attacks saw Nobelium gain access to accounts on the email marketing service “Constant Contact” operated by The United States Agency for International Development ...

  • Re-Checking Your Pulse: Updates on Chinese APT Actors Compromising Pulse Secure VPN Devices

    May 27, 2021

    Mandiant published detailed results of our investigations into compromised Pulse Secure devices by suspected Chinese espionage operators. This blog post is intended to provide an update on our findings, give additional recommendations to network defenders, and discuss potential implications for U.S.-China strategic relations. Mandiant continues to gather evidence and respond to intrusions involving compromises of Pulse ...

  • Elizabethan England has nothing on modern-day Russia

    May 26, 2021

    The threat landscape is changing. Organizations need to defend against an ever-evolving tranche of threat actors. For a long time, the lines that distinguish state-sponsored and crimeware groups were well-defined. We believe this is no longer the case. In today’s landscape, there are groups that, although their modus operandi (MO) is consistent with crimeware groups, ...

  • Iranian hacking group targets Israel with wiper disguised as ransomware

    May 25, 2021

    An Iranian hacking group has been observed camouflaging destructive attacks against Israeli targets as ransomware attacks while maintaining access to victims’ networks for months in what looks like an extensive espionage campaign. The threat actor, tracked as Agrius by SentinelLabs researchers, has targeted Israel starting with December 2020. “Initially engaged in espionage activity, Agrius deployed a set ...

  • North Korean hackers behind CryptoCore multi-million dollar heists

    May 24, 2021

    Security researchers piecing together evidence from multiple attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges, attributed to a threat actor they named CryptoCore have established a strong connection to the North Korean state-sponsored group Lazarus. The group is believed to have stolen hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars by breaching cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S., Israel, Europe, and Japan over ...

  • Russian state hackers switch targets after US joint advisories

    May 7, 2021

    Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) operators have switched their attacks to target new vulnerabilities in reaction to US govt advisories published last month with info on SVR tactics, tools, techniques, and capabilities used in ongoing attacks. The warning comes after US and UK governments formally attributed the SolarWinds supply-chain attack and COVID-19 vaccine developer targeting to Russian SVR ...

  • Operation TunnelSnake

    May 6, 2021

    Formerly unknown rootkit used to secretly control networks of regional organizations Windows rootkits, especially those operating in kernel space, are pieces of malware infamous for their near absolute power in the operating system. Usually deployed as drivers, such implants have high privileges in the system, allowing them to intercept and potentially tamper with core I/O operations ...

  • The UNC2529 Triple Double: A Trifecta Phishing Campaign

    May 4, 2021

    In December 2020, Mandiant observed a widespread, global phishing campaign targeting numerous organizations across an array of industries. Mandiant tracks this threat actor as UNC2529. Based on the considerable infrastructure employed, tailored phishing lures and the professionally coded sophistication of the malware, this threat actor appears experienced and well resourced. This blog post will discuss the ...

  • UNC2447 SOMBRAT and FIVEHANDS Ransomware: A Sophisticated Financial Threat

    April 29, 2021

    Mandiant has observed an aggressive financially motivated group, UNC2447, exploiting one SonicWall VPN zero-day vulnerability prior to a patch being available and deploying sophisticated malware previously reported by other vendors as SOMBRAT. Mandiant has linked the use of SOMBRAT to the deployment of ransomware, which has not been previously reported publicly. UNC2447 monetizes intrusions by extorting ...

  • Cyberspies target military organizations with new Nebulae backdoor

    April 28, 2021

    A Chinese-speaking threat actor has deployed a new backdoor in multiple cyber-espionage operations spanning roughly two years and targeting military organizations from Southeast Asia. For at least a decade, the hacking group known as Naikon has actively spied on organizations in countries around the South China Sea, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, for ...

  • Ghostwriter Update: Cyber Espionage Group UNC1151 Likely Conducts Ghostwriter Influence Activity

    April 28, 2021

    In July 2020, Mandiant Threat Intelligence released a public report detailing an ongoing influence campaign we named “Ghostwriter.” Ghostwriter is a cyber-enabled influence campaign which primarily targets audiences in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland and promotes narratives critical of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) presence in Eastern Europe. Since releasing our public report, we have ...

  • APT trends report Q1 2021

    April 27, 2021

    For four years, the Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky has been publishing quarterly summaries of advanced persistent threat (APT) activity. The summaries are based on our threat intelligence research and provide a representative snapshot of what we have published and discussed in greater detail in our private APT reports. They are designed ...

  • Lazarus hacking group now hides payloads in BMP image files

    April 20, 2021

    The Lazarus group has tweaked its loader obfuscation techniques by abusing image files in a recent phishing campaign. Lazarus is a state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) group from North Korea. Known as one of the most prolific and sophisticated APTs out there, Lazarus has been in operation for over a decade and is considered responsible for worldwide ...