Billbug: State-sponsored Actor Targets Cert Authority, Government Agencies in Multiple Asian Countries

State-sponsored actors compromised a digital certificate authority in an Asian country during a campaign in which multiple government agencies were also targeted.

Symantec, by Broadcom Software, was able to link this activity to a group we track as Billbug due to the use in this campaign of tools previously attributed to this group. Billbug (aka Lotus Blossom, Thrip) is a long-established advanced persistent threat (APT) group that is believed to have been active since at least 2009. Symantec has previously published on this group’s activity in 2018 and 2019 under the Thrip name, but following our 2019 investigation, we determined that Thrip and Billbug were most likely the same group so now track all activity under the Billbug name.

In activity documented by Symantec in 2019, we detailed how the group was using a backdoor known as Hannotog (Backdoor.Hannotog) and another backdoor known as Sagerunex (Backdoor.Sagerunex). Both these tools were also seen in this more recent activity.

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Source: Symantec