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The U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has started to distribute informative materials ranging from brochures to videos to privately held companies around the country promoting increased awareness of rising cybersecurity threats from nation-state actors.

“Make no mistake, American companies are squarely in the cross-hairs of well-financed nation-state actors, who are routinely breaching private sector networks, stealing proprietary data, and compromising supply chains,” stated NCSC Director William Evanina.

Evanina also said that “The attacks are persistent, aggressive, and cost our nation jobs, economic advantage, and hundreds of billions of dollars.”

The campaign provides detailed info on the growing threat from foreign state hackers

NCSC is an Office of the Director of National Intelligence center, and it is designed to provide counterintelligence and security expertise in several areas, ranging from insider threat and supply chain risk management to personnel security.

To fight against this growing threat, NCSC decided to provide the U.S. private sector with the information it needs to understand and defend against cyber intrusions initiated by foreign governments.

 

Private sector also warned of rising foreign threat in December

This follows a statement made by Bill Priestap, Assistant Director, Counterintelligence Division of the FBI before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2018:

Many American businesses are just now starting to understand the new environment in which they are operating. The continued proliferation of cyber hacking tools and human intelligence capabilities means that this environment will only become more hostile and more treacherous for our companies. Our businesses face competitors in the form of aforeign enterprises assisted or directed by extremely capable intelligence and security services.

The materials distributed by the NCSC to raise awareness among private sector companies are part of a campaign dubbed “Know the Risk, Raise Your Shield.”

Moreover, the disseminated materials cover a wide range of subjects, from supply chain risks, spear-phishing, and social engineering, to economic espionage, social media deception, foreign travel risks, and mobile device safety.

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A massive malware outbreak that last week infected nearly half a million computers with cryptocurrency mining malware in just a few hours was caused by a backdoored version of popular BitTorrent client called MediaGet.

Dubbed Dofoil (also known as Smoke Loader), the malware was found dropping a cryptocurrency miner program as payload on infected Windows computers that mine Electroneum digital coins for attackers using victims’ CPU cycles. Dofoil campaign that hit PCs in Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine on 6th March was discovered by Microsoft Windows Defender research department and blocked the attack before it could have done any severe damages.

At the time when Windows Defender researchers detected this attack, they did not mention how the malware was delivered to such a massive audience in just 12 hours. However, after investigation Microsoft revealed that the attackers targeted the update mechanism of MediaGet BitTorrent software to push its trojanized version (mediaget.exe) to users’ computers.

A signed mediaget.exe downloads an update.exe program and runs it on the machine to install a new mediaget.exe. The new mediaget.exe program has the same functionality as the original but with additional backdoor capability,” the Microsoft researchers explain in their blog.

Researchers believe MediaGet that signed update.exe is likely to be a victim of the supply chain attack, similar to CCleaner bug that infected over 2.3 million users with the backdoored version of the software in September 2017.

 

Also, in this case, the attackers signed the poisoned update.exe with a different certificate and successfully passed the validation required by the legitimate MediaGet.

The dropped update.exe is a packaged InnoSetup SFX which has an embedded trojanized mediaget.exe, update.exe. When run, it drops a trojanized unsigned version of mediaget.exe.”

Once updated, the malicious BitTorrent software with additional backdoor functionality randomly connects to one (out of four) of its command-and-control (C&C) servers hosted on decentralized Namecoin network infrastructure and listens for new commands.

It then immediately downloads CoinMiner component from its C&C server, and start using victims’ computers mine cryptocurrencies for the attackers.

Using C&C servers, attackers can also command infected systems to download and install additional malware from a remote URL.

The researchers found that the trojanized BitTorrent client, detected by Windows Defender AV as Trojan:Win32/Modimer.A, has 98% similarity to the original MediaGet binary.

Microsoft says behavior monitoring and AI-based machine learning techniques used by its Windows Defender Antivirus software have played an important role to detect and block this massive malware campaign.

 

 

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is gathered from The Hacker News while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
Through this website, you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of CSIRT-CY. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, CSIRT-CY takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.

Orangeworm was first spotted in January 2015, it appears to be focused on the healthcare industry, 40% of the targets belong to this industry. The hackers also targeted including IT (15%), manufacturing (15%), logistics (8%), and agriculture (8%) industries, but in all the cases the victims are part of the supply chain for healthcare entities.

Most of the victims are located in the United States (17%), followed by Saudi Arabia and India, anyway Orangeworm hit organization in many countries including Philippines, Hungary, United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Hong Kong, Sweden, Canada, France.

Orangeworm targeted a small number of victims in 2016 and 2017, but infections most affected large international corporations in several countries.

The hackers use a custom backdoor tracked as Trojan.Kwampirs to remotely control infected machine on the compromised network.

Initially, the backdoor is used as a reconnaissance tool, if compromised machine contains data of interest the backdoor “aggressively” spread among other systems with open network shares.

 

The experts observed attackers run a wide range of commands within the compromised systems:

The Kwampirs backdoor was discovered by Symantec on machines hosting software used for high-tech imaging devices, such as MRI and X-Ray machines. It was also discovered on devices used to assist patients in completing consent forms.

Experts highlighted that the methods used by Kwampirs to propagate over the target network are particularly “noisy,” this suggests Orangeworm is not overly concerned with being discovered.

At the time of the report, the experts still haven’t determined the real motivation of the attackers or their origin, but even if they are conducting cyber espionage there is no evidence that the operation is backed by a nation-state actor.

Experts noted that the actors behind Orangeworm do not appear to be concerned about their activities being detected.

 

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is gathered from Security Affairs while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
Through this website, you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of CSIRT-CY. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.
Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, CSIRT-CY takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.