Events

APT Research Discourse at Virus Bulletin 2015

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:

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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.

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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!

APT Research Discourse at Virus Bulletin 2015

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Reports

Lazarus targets defense industry with ThreatNeedle

In mid-2020, we realized that Lazarus was launching attacks on the defense industry using the ThreatNeedle cluster, an advanced malware cluster of Manuscrypt (a.k.a. NukeSped). While investigating this activity, we were able to observe the complete life cycle of an attack, uncovering more technical details and links to the group’s other campaigns.

Sunburst backdoor – code overlaps with Kazuar

While looking at the Sunburst backdoor, we discovered several features that overlap with a previously identified backdoor known as Kazuar. Our observations shows that Kazuar was used together with Turla tools during multiple breaches in past years.

Lazarus covets COVID-19-related intelligence

As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, some threat actors are trying to speed up vaccine development by any means available. We have found evidence that the Lazarus group is going after intelligence that could help these efforts by attacking entities related to COVID-19 research.

Sunburst: connecting the dots in the DNS requests

We matched private and public DNS data for the SUNBURST-malware root C2 domain with the CNAME records, to identify who was targeted for further exploitation. In total, we analyzed 1722 DNS records, leading to 1026 unique target name parts and 964 unique UIDs.

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