Feeds

Snooping, RAT-flinging, hack-happy crew targeting governments worldwide – researchers

Molerats reportedly targeted US, UK... and Macedonia?

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The Middle East-based Molerats hacker crew are even more active than first suspected, according to a report by researchers who claim the team has launched attacks against an unnamed US financial institution and multiple European governments.

FireEye said it had identified the expanded list of targets after putting the command-and-control infrastructure used by the hacker crew under the microscope. In the process the firm uncovered both Palestinian and Israeli surveillance targets as well as evidence that the gang targeted government departments in the the UK, US, UK, Turkey, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia and New Zealand, among others.

The group also had a pop at a major US financial institution and the BBC since its first analysis of the group back in August 2013, FireEye claimed. The hacking team commonly uses basic but effective malware, such as the Poison Ivy Remote Access Tool (RAT), to hack into the systems of targeted organisations.

The new attacks use the same old tactics that have become the hallmark of Molerats' spying since the group first surfaced in October 2011, FireEye researchers have discovered.

Previous Molerats campaigns have used several garden-variety, freely available backdoors such as CyberGate and Bifrost, but, most recently, we have observed them making use of the PIVY and Xtreme RATs.

Previous campaigns made use of at least one of three observed forged Microsoft certificates, allowing security researchers to accurately tie together separate attacks even if the attacks used different backdoors. There also appears to be a habitual use of lures or decoy documents – in either English or Arabic-language – with content focusing on active conflicts in the Middle East.

Topics of the decoy documents used in spear-phishing attacks by the Molerats include news articles about ongoing Palestinian reconciliation meetings between Fatah and Hamas in the Gaza strip, as explained in greater detail in a blog post by FireEye here. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
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
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.