archive

APT

  1. Real News, Fake Flash: Mac OS X Users Targeted

    Volexity recently identified a breach to the website of a well regarded media outlet in the country of Georgia. As part of this breach, the media organization’s website was being leveraged as a component of a malware campaign targeting select visitors. The news organization provides reporting on its website in English, Georgian, and Russian. However, only the Georgian language portion of the website was impacted and used in an effort to distribute malware. The targets were then further narrowed to those that were running the Mac OS X operating system, had not previously visited the website, and had specific browser versions. The attackers accomplished much of this with JavaScript they placed on the media organization’s website. The following JavaScript code was observed on the index page of the Georgian language portion of the website. The attackers appear to have implemented multiple checks to make sure they limited the targeting and […]

  2. PowerDuke: Widespread Post-Election Spear Phishing Campaigns Targeting Think Tanks and NGOs

    In the wake of the 2016 United States Presidential Election, not even six hours after Donald Trump became the nation’s President-Elect, an advanced persistent threat (APT) group launched a series of coordinated and well-planned spear phishing campaigns. Volexity observed five different attack waves with a heavy focus on U.S.-based think tanks and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These e-mails came from a mix of attacker created Google Gmail accounts and what appears to be compromised e-mail accounts at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). These e-mails were sent in large quantities to different individuals across many organizations and individuals focusing in national security, defense, international affairs, public policy, and European and Asian studies. Two of the attacks purported to be messages forwarded on from the Clinton Foundation givingĀ  insight and perhaps a postmortem analysis into the elections. Two of the other attacks purported to be eFax links or documents pertaining to […]

  3. Virtual Private Keylogging: Cisco Web VPNs Leveraged for Access and Persistence

    In the world of information security, there is never a dull moment. Part of the fun of working in this space is that you always get to see attackers do something new or put a new spin on something old. Last month at the CERT-EU Conference in Brussels, Belgium, Volexity gave a presentation on a recent evolution in how attackers are maintaining persistence within victim networks. The method, which involves modifying the login pages to Cisco Clientless SSL VPNs (Web VPN), is both novel and surprisingly obvious at the same time. Attackers have been able to successfully implant JavaScript code on the login pages that enables them to surreptitiously steal employee credentials as they login to access internal corporate resources. Whether you are proactively monitoring your network or reactively undergoing an incident response, one of the last places you might examine for backdoors are your firewalls and VPN gateway appliances. […]

  4. APT Group Wekby Leveraging Adobe Flash Exploit (CVE-2015-5119)

    As if the recent breach and subsequent public data dump involving the Italian company Hacking Team wasn’t bad enough, it all gets just a little bit worse. Emerging from the bowels of Hacking Team data dump was a Flash 0-day exploit (CVE-2015-5119) that was just patched today by Adobe as covered in APSB15-16. The exploit has since been added into the Angler Exploit Kit and integrated into Metasploit. However, not to be out done, APT attackers have also started leveraging the exploit in targeted spear phishing attacks as well. Before we start dishing the details, there is going to be one main takeaway from this blog post: If you haven’t already, update/patch your Adobe Flash now. Spear Phishing This morning, a well known APT threat group, often referred to as Wekby, kicked off a rather ironic spear phishing campaign. The attackers launched spoofed e-mail messages purporting to be from Adobe. […]

  5. Afghan Government Compromise: Browser Beware

    Visiting a wide-ranging number of websites associated with the Government of Afghanistan may yield visitors an unwanted surprise. For the second time this year, malicious code has surfaced on, cdn.afghanistan.af, a host that serves as a content delivery network (CDN) for the Afghan government. Javascript code from this system is found on several different Afghan Offices, Ministries, and Authorities. This strategic web compromise (SWC) against the Afghan CDN server has effectively turned a large portion of the government’s websites into attack surfaces against visitors. Volexity recently detected malicious code being loaded after a user visited the websites for the President of Afghanistan (www.president.gov.af). Second Round of Attacks In a previous attack highlighted earlier in the year by ThreatConnect. One of the two primary Javascript files accessed from the CDN system was modified to load code from two different malicious URLs. In the past attacks, the following file was modified to […]

  6. Drupal Vulnerability: Mass Scans & Targeted Exploitation

    Yesterday (October 15, 2014), a critical SQL injection vulnerability in version 7 of the popular open source content management system (CMS) Drupal was disclosed by Stefan Horst and detailed in SA-CORE-2014-005. The description of the vulnerability is rather harrowing: Drupal 7 includes a database abstraction API to ensure that queries executed against the database are sanitized to prevent SQL injection attacks. A vulnerability in this API allows an attacker to send specially crafted requests resulting in arbitrary SQL execution. Depending on the content of the requests this can lead to privilege escalation, arbitrary PHP execution, or other attacks. This vulnerability can be exploited by anonymous users. If you think this sounds pretty bad, you are spot on. Along with the advisory, a patch was released to fix the security issue. Unfortunately, patches are also often leveraged to identify exactly how to exploit such vulnerabilities. In this case, it was only […]

  7. Democracy in Hong Kong Under Attack

    Over the last few months, Volexity has been tracking a particularly remarkable advanced persistent threat (APT) operation involving strategic web compromises of websites in Hong Kong and Japan. In both countries, the compromised websites have been particularly notable for their relevance to current events and the high profile nature of the organizations involved. In particular the Hong Kong compromises appear to come on the heels of the Occupy Central Campaign shifting into high gear. These compromises were discovered following the identification of malicious JavaScript that had been added to legitimate code on the impacted websites. This code meant that visitors were potentially subjected to exploit and malicious Java Applets designed to install malware on their systems. While investigating these cases, Volexity also discovered additional APT attack campaigns involving multiple other pro-democratic websites in Hong Kong. These attempts at exploitation, compromise, and digital surveillance are detailed throughout this post. Compromised Pro-Democratic […]