Incidents

Good news?

Today the University of Groningen in The Netherlands announced that they had been compromised. About 150 workstations were found to have a backdoor with keylogging functionality installed.

The interesting part is how the university found out about this. Namely through an anonymous phone call, most likely from someone involved in the hack.
This move by the hackers has led the university to believe that the intrusion was just for fun and without malicious intent.

I, on the other hand, am not so optimistic. Lately we’ve been seeing a number of stories where the hackers of university networks get caught. Therefore I think it’s much more likely that the hackers got cold feet.

By reporting their crime they were probably hoping that the university would forgive them and not follow up on the incident. After all, if the university decides not to press charges, the hackers won’t be investigated.

A nice example of social engineering – hack a network and then report it so the victim doesn’t press charges. Although I somehow doubt that it will become very popular with hackers around the world. 🙂

It would be bad news if the university decides not to press charges. In any case, the good news is that hackers seem to be wary of the authorities and unwilling to end up facing criminal charges.

Good news?

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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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