APT reports

Hashcat’s GPU-accelerated Gauss encryption cracker

2012 was a year full of major security incidents: Flame, Shamoon, Flashback, Wiper, Gauss, and so on. As we are about to turn the page, many unsolved mysteries remain still. Perhaps the most interesting unsolved mysteries are related to the Gauss Trojan: the Palida Narrow font and the unknown encrypted payload.

Previously, weve published a blogpost about the encrypted payload hoping that the crypto community will take on the challenge and break the encryption scheme to reveal the true purpose of the mysterious malware.

Yesterday, Jens atom Steube, who is best known as the author of (ocl)hashcat – a GPU accelerated password recovery tool, released his Gauss cracker as open source software under a GPL license. This is a major breakthrough towards solving the Gauss encryption scheme because of the speeds it achieves: 489k c/s on a AMD Radeon HD 7970 card. If youre wondering, this is over 30 times faster than an AMD FX 8120 CPU.

You can download the sources and Linux binary from Jens ‘hashcat’ page.

Happy New (Cracking) Year!

Hashcat’s GPU-accelerated Gauss encryption cracker

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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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