Skip to main content

North Korean Hidden Cobra APT targets Turkish financial industry with new Bankshot malware

North Korea-linked APT group Hidden Cobra (aka Lazarus Group) is targeting the Turkish financial system.

Experts from McAfee observed the hackers using the Bankshot implant in targeted attacks against the financial organizations in Turkey. The attack resembles previous attacks conducted by Hidden Cobra against the global payment network SWIFT.

Bankshot was first reported by the US DHS in December, now new variants of the malicious code were observed in the wild  The sample analyzed by McAfee is 99% similar to the variants detected in 2017.

The hackers used spear-phishing messages with a weaponized Word document containing an embedded Flash exploit that triggers the CVE-2018-4878, Flash vulnerability that was disclosed in late January.
Adobe promptly patched the vulnerability with an emergency patch, but many computers are still vulnerable because the owners did not apply the patch.

According to McAfee, the implant’s first target was a major government-controlled financial organization that was targeted on March 2 and 3.
Later, the same malware implant infected a Turkish government organization involved in finance and trade and a large financial institution.
The implant has so far not surfaced in any other sector or country. This campaign suggests the attackers may plan a future heist against these targets by using Bankshot to gather information.

McAfee’s report on the campaign says that one government-controlled financial organization, a government organization involved in finance and trade, and three large financial organizations.

The attackers leveraged the Flash exploit to deliver the Bankshot RAT.
“Bankshot implants are distributed from a domain with a name similar to that of the cryptocurrency-lending platform Falcon Coin, but the similarly named domain is not associated with the legitimate entity.” reads the analysis published by McAfee.

“The malicious domain was created December 27, 2017, and was updated on February 19, only a few days before the implants began to appear. These implants are variations of earlier forms of Bankshot, a remote access tool that gives an attacker full capability on a victim’s system. “
Spear phishing messaged used a Word document with the filename Agreement.docx, that appears as a template for Bitcoin distribution.
Hidden Cobra bait document
When the open it, the code it contains download malicious DLLs from domain.

Experts discovered that the DLLs communicate with three control servers whom URLs are hardcoded in the implants’ code.

“The implants (DLLs) are disguised as ZIP files and communicate with three control servers, two of them Chinese-language online gambling sites. These URLs can be found hardcoded in the implants’ code” continues McAfee.
The malicious code is able to perform several malicious operations, including file deletion, process injection, and exfiltration over command and control channel.
Further details, included the Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) are included in the analysis.


Popular posts from this blog

Javascript Miner: Hacker's Wet Dream

Experiencing lags on your computer? You're probably running a miner that consumes 100% of your CPU. Coin Hive (a JavaScript based miner) is becoming rapidly popular among Malware developers.

Coinhive, as a tool, is a JavaScript library that website owners can load on their site. When users access the site, the Coinhive JavaScript code library executes and mines for Monero, but using the user's CPU resources.

Very smart idea as it was meat to be a replacer for publicities. Coinhive launched on September 14, and its authors advertise it as an alternative to classic advertising. Coinhive claims that webmasters can remove ads from their sites, and load the Coinhive library and mine for Monero using a small portion of the user's CPU while the user is navigating the site. Site owners can make money and support their business, but without peppering their visitors with annoying ads.

The idea got some traction, and two days after it launched The Pirate Bay ran it as a tes…

NiceHash: security breach leads to 60 million lost - Iceman is behind?

A dark day for crypto currency miners, NiceHash has been hacked. Closely to 60$ millions (4,736.42 BTC) have been stolen while the bitcoin is crossing the 14k$ mark for the first time.

The hacker's bitcoin address cleary shows the steal of  4,736.42 BTC in a window of 48 hours:

NiceHash users are furious by the time of reaction of the team. It took about 24 hours to realise that big amounts have been stolen.

I've contacted a member of Iceman and knowing this security breach for some reason he explained that NiceHash actually owned their users bitcoin wallets in order to save transactions fees and collect unclaimed BTC. This issue leads to a massive security breach which allow access to all NiceHash wallets. He claimed that by reverse engineering of their miner client, Iceman group was able to access their API. Is Iceman really behind this attack?

ICEMAN: Banks holes like in Cheese

Operation "Emmenthal" is the nickname for a grand-scale phishing campaign targeting bank clients. The goal of the campaign is to receive fraudulent payments by taking actions (e.g. money transfers) on behalf of the legitimate end user.

By phishing the victims with a mobile application which mimics the bank’s genuine application, the hackers steals the two-factor-authentication tokens used during the login (both user/passwords and SMS verification code) and then issuing money transfers by SMS Services offered by the bank, together with sending these sensitive credentials to the hackers infrastructure.

The ICEMAN group, which first came to knowing after contacting me to claim responsibility for the Banrisul Bank attack in Brazil, now claim they have committed many of the reported "Emmental" attacks as well. The hacker’s intentions and motives are shown at first in this exclusive interview.

What was your goal of the attack?

We need more bank accounts to sell. The b…