Feeds

Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

Korean message forum becomes cyber-espionage hub

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.