Feeds

Nasty nuke-lab data-slurper EVOLVES, now feeds off new Java hole

Latest version of data-stealer targets Uyghur dissidents

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A piece of malware linked to attacks against governments and organisations involved in hi-tech industries such as space exploration and nuclear power has been adapted to exploit a recently uncovered Java security flaw.

NetTraveler has been outfitted to exploit a recently patched Java bug as part of a watering-hole-style attack involving compromised websites that redirects victims to an attack site hosting exploit code.

The latest variants of the malware appear, which surfaced over the last few days, appear to be targeting dissident Uyghur activists from China, net security firm Kaspersky Lab warns.

Kaspersky Lab was first to warn about the cyber-nasty back in June but subsequent checks revealed that the malware has been silently doing the rounds since 2004.

NetTraveler (also known as “Travnet”, “Netfile” or Red Star APT) is an advanced persistent threat that has infected hundreds of high profile victims in more than 40 countries. Known targets of NetTraveler include Tibetan/Uyghur activists, oil industry companies, scientific research centres and institutes, universities, private companies, governments and their institutions, embassies and military contractors.

Immediately after the public exposure of NetTraveler's operations in June 2013, the attackers shut down all known command-and-control systems and moved them to new servers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. After the switch, the attacks continued more or less unabated.

Over the last few days, several spear-phishing emails were sent to multiple Uyghur activists. The Java exploit (CVE-2013-2465) used to distribute this new variant of the Red Star APT was only patched by Oracle in June 2013. Earlier attacks have used Office exploits (CVE-2012-0158) that were patched by Microsoft in April 2012.

More details on the evolution of the threat can be found in a blog post by Costin Raiu, director of global research at Kaspersky Lab, in a blog post on Securelist here.

The Uyghur community is an ethnic group who mostly live in Eastern and Central Asia. The community has long desired independence, or at the very least greater autonomy, from Han Chinese rule. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.