Kaspersky Lab researchers presented a closing keynote and three other papers related to targeted attacks and APT research at Virus Bulletin 2015 in Prague. Our work covered a set of significant topics most related to current APT research:
- Keynote address: One man’s anti-malware researcher is…, Costin Raiu (and a mysterious spook)
- The ethics and perils of APT research: an unexpected transition into intelligence brokerage, Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade
- Last-minute paper: TurlaSat: The Fault in our Stars, Kurt Baumgartner
- The TAO of .NET and PowerShell malware analysis, Santiago Pontiroli and Roberto Martinez
Topics arising at the conference that were most interesting included APT research and threat intelligence, Linux (and embedded) as a targeted platform in much higher prevalence, and Patrick Wardle’s talk on Apple’s security technology Gatekeeper flaws. Costin, the mysterious spook, and Juan’s talks and papers reflected on the threat intelligence industry as a transformation. One from malware analysis to intelligence brokerage and the challenges already encountered by both individuals being warned to “take a break”, and an industry in need of validation when its work is mostly behind closed doors. When the discussion went to the floor, participants agreed that this discussion and its many relevant issues is a very important one worth discussing. Guerrero-Saade’s paper is required reading for researchers anticipating their work naively turning towards cyber-espionage investigations. It is a brashly honest assessment of a key turning point for many organizations and efforts.
My talk discussed the Turla APT’s satcomm hijack techniques from the perspective of reviewing connective clusters of components to better identify and discuss Turla activity, including some discussion of components almost within grasp but unknown since 2008. It included some connections with stolen Phonoelit concepts, tools, and code, from Penquin Turla source to GRE attack inspiration PoC for satcomm hijacks. And Roberto and Santiago’s talk discussed a newer set of technologies, from Powershell to .NET components, more commonly deployed by APT this past year.
Conference slides that were shared by speakers can be found here. Upcoming Securelist posts may elaborate on our papers and topics. And cheers to the hardworking and talented Virus Bulletin team for their conference’s 25th anniversary!