Lab Matters – The Underground Economy and Ecosystem of the SMS-based cybercrime

In some Eastern European countries (Russia and Ukraine especially), there are legal loopholes that allow the use of SMS premium rate numbers anonymously. In addition, some Russian mobile operators allow people to transfer money from prepaid SIM cards to bank accounts or credit cards. When combined, these two things allow cyber-crime activity that generate illegal profits. In this issue of Lab Matters webcast, Kaspersky Lab malware researcher Denis Maslennikov discusses this component of mobile security and talks about the ways cyber-criminals are maliciously exploiting prepaid SIM cards and money transfers. Maslennikov also describes the main pillar of the underground economy and ecosystem of his type of fraud.

Lab Matters – The Underground Economy and Ecosystem of the SMS-based cybercrime

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The leap of a Cycldek-related threat actor

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.

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.

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