UNC3944 Leverages SMS Phishing Campaigns for SIM Swapping, Ransomware, Extortion, and Notoriety

UNC3944 is a financially motivated threat cluster that has persistently used phone-based social engineering and SMS phishing campaigns (smishing) to obtain credentials to gain and escalate access to victim organizations. At least some UNC3944 threat actors appear to operate in underground communities, such as Telegram and underground forums, which they may leverage to acquire tools, services, and/or other support to augment their operations.

This activity overlaps with activity that has been reported in open sources as “0ktapus,” “Scatter Swine,” and “Scattered Spider.” Since 2022 and through early 2023, UNC3944 appeared to focus on accessing credentials or systems used to enable SIM swapping attacks, likely in support of secondary criminal operations occurring outside of victim environments.

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Source: Mandiant