Director, Global Research & Analysis TeamCostin specializes in analyzing advanced persistent threats and high-level malware attacks. He is leading the Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky that researched the inner workings of Stuxnet, Duqu, Carbanak and more recently, Lazarus, BlueNoroff, Moonlight Maze and the Equation group. Costin’s work includes analyzing malicious websites, exploits and online banking malware. Costin has over 24 years of experience in anti-virus technologies and security research. He is a member of the Virus Bulletin Technical Advisory Board, a member of the Computer AntiVirus Researchers’ Organization (CARO) and a reporter for the Wildlist Organization International. Before joining Kaspersky, Costin worked for GeCad as Chief Researcher and as a Data Security Expert with the RAV antivirus developers group. Costin joined Kaspersky Lab in 2000 and became the Director of the Global Research & Analysis Team in 2010. Some of his hobbies include chess, photography and the Science Fiction literature.
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.
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.
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.
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.