We found a document written in Vietnamese dealing with a summary about differents projects in the district Hải Châu of Đà Nẵng. In this article, we’ll detail the infection chains and the infrastructures of the attackers and the TTPs of this campaign. The infrastructures and TTPs during this campaign seem to the Chinese hacking group 1937CN.
In July 2018, Unit 42 analyzed a targeted attack using a novel file type against at least one government agency in the Middle East. It was carried out by a previously unpublished threat group we track as DarkHydrus. Based on our telemetry, we were able to uncover additional artifacts leading us to believe this adversary group has been in operation with their current playbook since early 2016. This attack diverged from previous attacks we observed from this group as it involved spear-phishing emails sent to targeted organizations with password protected RAR archive attachments that contained malicious Excel Web Query files (.iqy).
In early May, Unit 42 discovered an attack campaign against at least one defense company in Russia and one unidentified organization in South Korea delivering a variant of Bisonal malware. While not previously publicly documented, the variant has been in the wild since at least 2014. There are three primary differences between it and older Bisonal malware including a different cipher and encryption for C2 communication, and a large rewrite of the code for both network communication and maintaining persistence. To date, we have only collected 14 samples of this variant, indicating it may be sparingly used. The adversary behind these attacks lured the targets into launching the Microsoft Windows executable malware by masquerading it as a PDF file (using a fake PDF icon) and reusing publicly available data for the decoy PDF file’s contents.
Despite the notion that modern cybersecurity protocols have stopped email-based attacks, email continues to be one of the primary attack vectors for malicious actors — both for widespread and targeted operations. Recently, Cisco Talos has observed numerous email-based attacks that are spreading malware to users at both a large and small scale. In this blog post, we analyze several of those campaigns and their tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). These campaigns were all observed between mid-May and early July of this year, and can likely be attributed to one, or possibly two, groups. The attacks have become more sophisticated, and have evolved to evade detection on a continual basis. Other researchers have attributed these attacks to a group known as the Cobalt Gang, which has continued its activities even after the arrest of its alleged leader in Spain this year.
Unit 42 researchers have been tracking Subaat, an attacker, since 2017. Recently Subaat drew our attention due to renewed targeted attack activity. Part of monitoring Subaat included realizing the actor was possibly part of a larger crew of individuals responsible for carrying out targeted attacks against worldwide governmental organizations. Technical analysis on some of the attacks as well as attribution links with Pakistan actors have been already depicted by 360 and Tuisec, in which they found interesting connections to a larger group of attackers Unit 42 researchers have been tracking, which we are calling Gorgon Group.
Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT has identified a new wave of phishing emails with malicious attachments targeting primarily companies and organizations that are, in one way or another, associated with industrial production. The phishing emails are disguised as legitimate commercial offers and are sent mainly to industrial companies located in Russia. The content of each email reflects the activity of the organization under attack and the type of work performed by the employee to whom the email is sent. The malware used in these attacks installs legitimate remote administration software – TeamViewer or Remote Manipulator System/Remote Utilities (RMS). This enables the attackers to gain remote control of infected systems. The threat actor uses various techniques to mask the infection and the activity of malware installed in the system.
A number of security vendors reported a series of cyber-attacks involving the use of a malware family called SOCKSBOT and claimed to be associated with CANDLEFISH (a.k.a. Patchwork, Dropping Elephant). However, as disclosed in this report, research by iDefense analysts shows that SOCKSBOT was in fact used by a threat group in an 18- month-long campaign dubbed Goldfin, spoofing financial institutions in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries since as early as February 2017 to as recently as May 2018. Based on the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) observed in this campaign, iDefense assesses with moderate confidence that the reported campaign is unlikely to be associated with CANDLEFISH.
In June 2018, an Amnesty International staff member received a malicious WhatsApp message with Saudi Arabia-related bait content and carrying links Amnesty International believes are used to distribute and deploy sophisticated mobile spyware. Through the course of our subsequent investigation we discovered that a Saudi activist based abroad had also received similar malicious messages. In its analysis of these messages, Amnesty International found connections with a network of over 600 domain names. Not only are these domain names suspicious, but they also overlap with infrastructure that had previously been identified as part of Pegasus, a sophisticated commercial exploitation and spyware platform sold by the Israel surveillance vendor, NSO Group.
The OilRig group continues to adapt their tactics and bolster their toolset with newly developed tools. The OilRig group (AKA APT34, Helix Kitten) is an adversary motivated by espionage primarily operating in the Middle East region. We first discovered this group in mid-2016, although it is possible their operations extends earlier than that time frame. They have shown themselves to be an extremely persistent adversary that shows no signs of slowing down. Examining their past behaviors with current events only seems to indicate that the OilRig group’s operations are likely to accelerate even further in the near future.
In September 2017, FireEye identified the FELIXROOT backdoor as a payload in a campaign targeting Ukrainians and reported it to our intelligence customers. The campaign involved malicious Ukrainian bank documents, which contained a macro that downloaded a FELIXROOT payload, being distributed to targets. FireEye recently observed the same FELIXROOT backdoor being distributed as part of a newer campaign. This time, weaponized lure documents claiming to contain seminar information on environmental protection were observed exploiting known Microsoft Office vulnerabilities CVE-2017-0199 and CVE-2017-11882 to drop and execute the backdoor binary on the victim’s machine. Figure 1 shows the attack overview.
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