Feeds

Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

Korean message forum becomes cyber-espionage hub

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Security researchers have discovered a targeted attack against Russian hi-tech firm that appears to originate in Korea.

The "Sanny" attack* is malware-based and geared towards stealing login information from Russian telecommunications, information technology and space research organisations. The first stage of the assault features a malicious Russian language MS Word document designed to drop malware onto compromised PCs. This establishes a backdoor on infected machines, establishing a botnet in the process.

The Command and Control channel for this botnet is embedded on a legitimate page, a Korean message board called "nboard.net", according to an analysis of the attack by web security firm FireEye. The malware sends messages to two pre-programmed Yahoo! webmail address, one in Korea, if the board becomes unavailable.

Extracted data is normally sent to a public message board that does not require authentication, so details of victims are visible. Stolen data includes Outlook login credentials as well as username/passwords that Firefox remembers for different online services such as Hotmail, Facebook, etc. Apart from login credentials, the malware also profiles the victims, for example by victim_locale, victim_region, and other relevant information from the Windows REGISTRY of infected computers. This information is then posted to the Korean message board before been extracted and purged over a two day cycle by the unidentified attacker.

Apparent victims include a Russian Space Science research unit at a Russian University and ITAR-TASS, the Russian state-owned news agency.

Although it doesn't have proof, FireEye reckons that a Korean is the most likely perpetrator of the attack.

"Though we don’t have full concrete evidence, we have identified many indicators leading to Korea as a possible origin of attack." FireEye researchers Alex Lanstein and Ali Islam conclude in a jointly authored blog post on the attack.

More technical details can be found in a blog post by FireEye here. ®

* So named by the security researchers for one of the email addresses used by the attackers.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.