APT41 Using New Speculoos Backdoor to Target Organizations Globally

On March 25, 2020, FireEye published a research blog regarding a global attack campaign operated by an espionage motivated adversary group known as APT41. This attack campaign was thought to have operated between January 20 and March 11, specifically targeting Citrix, Cisco, and Zoho network appliances via exploitation of recently disclosed vulnerabilities. Based on WildFire and AutoFocus data available to Unit 42, we were able to obtain samples of the payload targeting Citrix appliances, which were executables compiled to run on FreeBSD. We also used this data to identify multiple victims in industries such as healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, government and technology services in multiple regions around the world, such as North America, South America, and Europe.

This blog will be specific to the FreeBSD-based payload that we have named Speculoos. We identified a total of five samples from our dataset, all of which were approximately the same file size, but contain minute differences amongst the sample set. The subtle differences indicate that they likely originated from the same developer and were either recompiled or patched.

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Source: Palo Alto