Feeds

Trojans target pro-Tibet organisations

Gh0st RAT implicated again in attacks targeting Mac and Windows systems

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Security experts are warning of yet another targeted malware campaign using socially engineered emails to infiltrate pro-Tibet organisations in a bid to covertly nab sensitive files.

Trend Micro threat research manager Ivan Macalintal explained in a blog post that the attacks are linked to the same command and control server used in the Gh0st RAT (remote access Trojan) campaign most recently observed at the end of March.

The Gh0st Trojan has been used by suspected Chinese hackers in several advanced persistent threat (APT) style attacks, most notably the ‘Nitro’ attacks against energy firms in 2011.

Following the classic modus operandi for such attacks, the threat arrives as an innocuous looking email socially engineered to encourage the recipient to click on an embedded malicious link – in this instance it is an invitation to a Tibetan film festival.

Macalintal explained that the user is then taken to a site which determines whether they are on a Mac or Windows system before loading a Java applet designed to exploit a vulnerability in the Java Runtime Environment.

If successful, the exploit will then install a SASFIS backdoor for Windows or an OLYX backdoor for Mac OSX.

Both backdoors report back to the same C&C server, which is the same as that used in Gh0st RAT attacks and the attacks uncovered by AlienVault recently.

“Moreover, both backdoors have functionalities that include features to allow them to upload and download files and navigate through files and directories in the affected system, providing them further means for their lateral movement and data exfiltration activities,” explained Macalintal.

The covert hacking of pro-Tibetan organisations is nothing new, given Communist China’s strained relationship with the country which it has asserted power over since the 1950s.

However, this latest discovery goes some way further to uncovering the true scale and sophistication of such attacks and creating a clearer picture of the actors behind Gh0st RAT. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.