Feeds

Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

Korean message forum becomes cyber-espionage hub

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

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
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
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
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?