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Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, January 23–27, 2023

Cyware Weekly Threat Intelligence, January 23–27, 2023

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The Good

This week, the FBI scored a big win against ransomware threats. The U.S. federal authority, along with other international partners, has successfully dismantled the network of Hive, one of the world’s top ransomware gangs. This comes months after the FBI had silently infiltrated the ransomware’s control panel and decrypted the network of some 1,300 victims. In another major development, the Australian government has commenced operations on the International Counter Ransomware Task Force, with members of governments from 37 countries.      

  • Australia formally commenced the International Counter Ransomware Task Force operation to combat the scourge of ransomware. A part of the U.S.-led Counter Ransomware Initiative, the Task Force comprises members of governments from 37 countries such as Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, and New Zealand.
  • The FBI busted the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang that raked in over $100 million in cryptocurrency payments. The crackdown is claimed to be a big win as the agency took down one of the world’s top five ransomware networks. While an investigation is ongoing, the takedown has stopped more than 300 entities from paying $130 million in ransom demands and helping around 1,000 prior victims to recover their encrypted files.
  • The CISA released a report and toolkit to bolster the cyber defense of K-12 schools and districts. The report is mandated by the K-12 cybersecurity Act and includes three recommendations to help educational institutions build, operate, and maintain resilient cybersecurity programs.   

The Bad

A new update on the cryptocurrency heist at Harmony’s Horizon bridge surfaced this week, as the FBI connected the attack with the Lazarus threat actor group. GoTo, the parent company of LastPass, also shared new details from its ongoing investigation of a security incident that occurred in November 2022. Meanwhile, LockBit and BlackCat ransomware gangs added multiple victims to their respective data leak websites.

  • This week, the FBI associated the Lazarus threat actor group with the cryptocurrency heist at Harmony’s Horizon bridge reported on June 24, 2022. It was observed that the gang used TraderTraitor malware that was sent via emails or private messages, to compromise employee systems. 
  • GoTo, the parent company of LastPass, updated that intruders stole encrypted backups from its cloud storage in the data breach that occurred last year. The backup contained user information for GoTo products such as Central, Pro, join.me, Hamachi, and Remotely Anywhere.
  • FortiGuard researchers reported a phishing campaign that targeted Chinese-speaking users with fake QR codes. The fake QR codes spread via Word document attachments were used to steal credentials for various online services by redirecting users to phishing sites.
  • Threat actors were found auctioning the source code for League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics (TFT), and Packman anti-cheat software, allegedly stolen in a recent hack at Riot Games. Reports revealed that the attackers gained access to the company’s network by performing a social engineering attack over SMS. 
  • Wisconsin-based BayCare Clinic revealed that the PHI of 134,000 patients was inadvertently disclosed to unauthorized third parties as a result of the use of pixels by its partner, Advocate Aurora Health. Previously Advocate Aurora Health had disclosed that the personal and protected health information of up to three million patients was disclosed to third parties such as Google and Meta.
  • In a joint advisory, the CISA warned that attackers are increasingly using legitimate RMM software for malicious purposes. In one such incident, the attackers had used the EINSTEIN intrusion detection system to gain unauthorized access to networks of multiple Federal Civilian Executive Branch (FCEB) agencies. 
  • Zacks Investment Research (Zacks) suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of 820,000 customers. The incident occurred between November 2021 and August 2022. Upon discovery, the firm took immediate action to implement additional security measures to protect its network.
  • The LockBit ransomware group added Circleville Municipal Court to its list of victims as it claimed to have stolen 500 GB of data. Meanwhile, the Ohio town is investigating the matter to understand the extent of the attack.   
  • The BlackCat ransomware group added Solar Industries India to its list of victims. The group claims to have stolen 2TB of data, including secret military data related to weapons production. Other stolen data includes personal information about the company’s employees, blueprints, and engineering documentation of weapons. 
  • The websites of German airports, public administration bodies, and financial sector organizations were hit by DDoS attacks, preventing systems from functioning normally. The Russia-based Killnet hacker group claimed responsibility for the attacks. 
  • Proofpoint researchers linked the North Korea-linked TA444 APT group with a credential harvesting campaign targeting a number of industry verticals. The group relied on two initial access techniques, an LNK-oriented delivery chain, and a chain using weaponized documents with remote templates. 
  • A threat actor has put up the data of more than 2.6 million Duolingo users on sale for $1,500 on an underground forum. The hacker exploited its API to scrape user data. However, the company has denied any breach of its systems.
  • Some of the source code of Yandex was leaked on a cybercrime forum as a torrent download by a former employee. The magnet link shared contained the source code for most major Yandex services such as Search, Maps, Taxi, Mail, Market, Travel, Cloud, Pay, and others.  

New Threats

Emotet was sighted for the first time in 2023, with new evasion tactics to fly under the radar. Two latest module additions include an SMB spreader and a credit card stealer. The threat landscape also witnessed the emergence of several new malware such as Titan Stealer, PY#RATION, and Mimic ransomware. While Titan Stealer and PY#RATION are designed to harvest sensitive information, Mimic ransomware abuses the API of a legitimate Windows search tool to encrypt files. 
  • Researchers at SentinelLabs tracked a new attack campaign by a Chinese hacking group, dubbed DragonSpark, that deployed SparkRAT malware on victims’ systems. The attack was targeted against organizations in East Asia and used compromised infrastructures located in China and Taiwan to launch the Golang malware. 
  • Uptycs published a report on the new Titan Stealer malware, currently advertised on a Russian-speaking Telegram channel. The malware is sold for $900 or rented for $150/month and can steal data from browsers, FTP clients, and crypto wallets.
  • A new malware, dubbed PY#RATION, was unearthed in a fresh attack campaign to gain control over compromised systems. Written in Python, the malware comes with the ability to harvest sensitive information. Furthermore, it can be used to deploy other malicious payloads malware, such as a Python-based info-stealer designed to siphon data from web browsers and cryptocurrency wallets.
  • A new ransomware, dubbed Mimic, has been found abusing the APIs of the ‘Everything’ search tool for Windows to encrypt files. The malware is equipped with multiple capabilities such as deleting shadow copies and terminating multiple applications and services.
  • Emotet returned with a new evasion tactic to fly under the radar. Two latest module additions include an SMB spreader and a credit card stealer. While the SMB spreader facilitates lateral movement using a list of hard-coded usernames and passwords, the credit card stealer targets the Chrome web browser.
  • In a new security alert, IBM’s X-Force team said that it detected a new attack with the Kronos banking trojan targeting Mexican financial institutions. The malware is installed through a malicious chrome extension called Seguridad. 
  • The ASEC analysis team discovered a new attack that targeted systems vulnerable to Sunlogin vulnerability to deploy Sliver backdoor and BYOVD malware that disabled security products and installed a reverse shell. In 2022, the flaw was exploited to distribute Gh0st RAT, XMRig coin miner, and Powercat.


blackcat ransomware
zacks investment research zacks
mimic ransomware
einstein intrusion detection system
titan stealer
lazarus threat actor group

Posted on: January 27, 2023

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