A new malware, called Ramsay, can jump air gaps:
ESET said they’ve been able to track down three different versions of the Ramsay malware, one compiled in September 2019 (Ramsay v1), and two others in early and late March 2020 (Ramsay v2.a and v2.b).
Each version was different and infected victims through different methods, but at its core, the malware’s primary role was to scan an infected computer, and gather Word, PDF, and ZIP documents in a hidden storage folder, ready to be exfiltrated at a later date.
Other versions also included a spreader module that appended copies of the Ramsay malware to all PE (portable executable) files found on removable drives and network shares. This is believed to be the mechanism the malware was employing to jump the air gap and reach isolated networks, as users would most likely moved the infected executables between the company’s different network layers, and eventually end up on an isolated system.
ESET says that during its research, it was not able to positively identify Ramsay’s exfiltration module, or determine how the Ramsay operators retrieved data from air-gapped systems.
Honestly, I can’t think of any threat actor that wants this kind of feature other than governments:
The researcher has not made a formal attribution as who might be behind Ramsay. However, Sanmillan said that the malware contained a large number of shared artifacts with Retro, a malware strain previously developed by DarkHotel, a hacker group that many believe to operate in the interests of the South Korean government.
Posted on May 18, 2020 at 6:15 AM •
Last month, Kaspersky discovered that Asus’s live update system was infected with malware, an operation it called Operation Shadowhammer. Now we learn that six other companies were targeted in the same operation.
As we mentioned before, ASUS was not the only company used by the attackers. Studying this case, our experts found other samples that used similar algorithms. As in the ASUS case, the samples were using digitally signed binaries from three other Asian vendors:
- Electronics Extreme, authors of the zombie survival game called Infestation: Survivor Stories,
- Innovative Extremist, a company that provides Web and IT infrastructure services but also used to work in game development,
- Zepetto, the South Korean company that developed the video game Point Blank.
According to our researchers, the attackers either had access to the source code of the victims’ projects or they injected malware at the time of project compilation, meaning they were in the networks of those companies. And this reminds us of an attack that we reported on a year ago: the CCleaner incident.
Also, our experts identified three additional victims: another video gaming company, a conglomerate holding company and a pharmaceutical company, all in South Korea. For now we cannot share additional details about those victims, because we are in the process of notifying them about the attack.
Me on supply chain security.
EDITED TO ADD (6/12): Kaspersky’s expanded report.
Posted on May 16, 2019 at 1:34 PM •
There are a lot:
The cybersecurity company McAfee recently uncovered a cyber operation, dubbed Operation GoldDragon, attacking South Korean organizations related to the Winter Olympics. McAfee believes the attack came from a nation state that speaks Korean, although it has no definitive proof that this is a North Korean operation. The victim organizations include ice hockey teams, ski suppliers, ski resorts, tourist organizations in Pyeongchang, and departments organizing the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Meanwhile, a Russia-linked cyber attack has already stolen and leaked documents from other Olympic organizations. The so-called Fancy Bear group, or APT28, began its operations in late 2017— according to Trend Micro and Threat Connect, two private cybersecurity firms—eventually publishing documents in 2018 outlining the political tensions between IOC officials and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officials who are policing Olympic athletes. It also released documents specifying exceptions to anti-doping regulations granted to specific athletes (for instance, one athlete was given an exception because of his asthma medication). The most recent Fancy Bear leak exposed details about a Canadian pole vaulter’s positive results for cocaine. This group has targeted WADA in the past, specifically during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Assuming the attribution is right, the action appears to be Russian retaliation for the punitive steps against Russia.
A senior analyst at McAfee warned that the Olympics may experience more cyber attacks before closing ceremonies. A researcher at ThreatConnect asserted that organizations like Fancy Bear have no reason to stop operations just because they’ve already stolen and released documents. Even the United States Department of Homeland Security has issued a notice to those traveling to South Korea to remind them to protect themselves against cyber risks.
One presumes the Olympics network is sufficiently protected against the more pedestrian DDoS attacks and the like, but who knows?
EDITED TO ADD: There was already one attack.
Posted on February 12, 2018 at 6:36 AM •
South Korea gets it:
The South Korean government is introducing legislation that will make it mandatory for financial institutions to compensate customers who have fallen victim to online fraud and identity theft.
The new laws will require financial firms in the country to compensate customers for virtually all financial losses resulting from online identity theft and account hacking, even if the banks are not directly responsible.
Of course, by itself this action doesn’t solve identity theft. But in a vibrant capitalist economic market, this action is going to pave the way for technical security improvements that will effectively deal with identity theft.
The good news for the rest of us is that we can watch what happens now.
Posted on December 14, 2005 at 7:14 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.