The end of the year is always a nice time to take a look on the main developments and incidents that took place in the cyber security industry over the preceding 12 months. To review the impact these events had on organizations and individuals, and predict what they could mean for the overall evolution of the threat landscape, Kaspersky continues its series of annual Kaspersky Security Bulletin publications.
All the statistics used in the reports were obtained using Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), a distributed network that works with various anti-malware protection components. The anonymized data was collected from KSN users who agreed to provide it.
The investigation described in this article started with one such file which caught our attention due to the various improvements it brought to this well-known infection vector.
A41APT is a long-running campaign with activities detected from March 2019 to the end of December 2020. Most of the discovered malware families are fileless malware and they have not been seen before.
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.