To hack or not to hack

We’ve received an inquiry from some of our readers regarding the usage of the term “hacker” on our website. Here, at Viruslist.com we rely on this term to denote any malicious activity related to gaining unauthorized access to a computer system.

Some of our readers have noted that in the early days of computing the term was used with a different meaning, denoting a person skilled at optimizing computer systems, patching kernels to them it work more efficiently or reset the administrator password when lost.

Over time however, the original meaning was lost, as not all “hackers” limited themselves to patching kernels and resetting passwords when asked. Some started to break into poorly secured systems to prove “it’s possible” and eventually, crossed the border into breaking into systems specifically to steal information and/or services.

So, the term “hacking” became a gray border definition. To cope with that, new terms such as “black hat”/”white hat” were invented.

More about these and other parts of the history of “hacking” in an upcoming article, on Viruslist.com.

To hack or not to hack

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



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.

Subscribe to our weekly e-mails

The hottest research right in your inbox