Russia’s Gamaredon aka Primitive Bear APT Group Actively Targeting Ukraine

Since November, geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine have escalated dramatically. It is estimated that Russia has now amassed over 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border, leading some to speculate that an invasion may come next. On Jan. 14, 2022, this conflict spilled over into the cyber domain as the Ukrainian government was targeted with destructive malware (WhisperGate) and a separate vulnerability in OctoberCMS was exploited to deface several Ukrainian government websites. While attribution of those events is ongoing and there is no known link to Gamaredon (aka Primitive Bear), one of the most active existing advanced persistent threats targeting Ukraine, we anticipate we will see additional malicious cyber activities over the coming weeks as the conflict evolves. We have also observed recent activity from Gamaredon. In light of this, this blog provides an update on the Gamaredon group.

Since 2013, just prior to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the Gamaredon group has primarily focused its cyber campaigns against Ukrainian government officials and organizations. In 2017, Unit 42 published its first research documenting Gamaredon’s evolving toolkit and naming the group, and over the years, several researchers have noted that the operations and targeting activities of this group align with Russian interests.

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Source: Palo Alto