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Threat Labs News Roundup: February 2023

Mar 07 2023


The purpose of the Netskope Threat Labs News Roundup series is to provide enterprise security teams an actionable brief on the top cybersecurity news from around the world. The brief includes summaries and links to the top news items spanning cloud-enabled threats, malware, and ransomware.

Top Stories

Three zero-days patched by Microsoft

Microsoft released fixes to more than 70 CVEs during February’s Patch Tuesday, including three zero-day vulnerabilities that were being exploited in the wild. Details

APT37 targeting South Korea with new malware

Researchers linked the North Korean threat group APT37 to a new malware family named M2RAT in attacks targeting South Korea. Details

Russians sanctioned for TrickBot, Ryuk, and Conti ransomware attacks

The UK and US governments sanctioned seven Russians nationals for affiliations to TrickBot, Ryuk, and Conti cybercrime operations in a coordinated action. Details

New backdoor from OilRig threat group

The Iranian APT group known as OilRig (a.k.a. APT34, Cobalt Gypsy) is using a new backdoor to exfiltrate data, targeting government organizations in the Middle East. Details

Cybersecurity Events in Ukraine

Hacktivists defaced Russian websites

A hacktivist group named CH01 defaced at least 32 websites in protest over the one-year mark after Russia invaded Ukraine. Details

CERT-UA says Russian hackers backdoored govt websites in 2021

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) says that Russian attackers have breached multiple government websites using backdoors installed in 2021. Details

Russian attackers disrupt NATO earthquake relief operations

The Russian-based group Killnet has claimed responsibility for attacking NATO with DDoS attacks, which disrupted organizations that were aiding victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey and -Syria. Details

Russian govt proposed immunity to hackers

The Russian government is evaluating a sort of immunity to hackers that are acting in the interests of Moscow, according to the head of the Duma Committee on Information Policy. Details

New infostealer being used against Ukraine

Researchers discovered the Russian group known as Nodaria is using a new infostealer malware named Gaphiron to steal data from Ukrainian organizations. Details

UK politician’s email hacked by suspected Russian attackers

A UK politician says that he was targeted with a spear phishing email containing a password-protected document that allegedly contained an update on Ukraine’s military situation. Details

Anonymous leaked data stolen from Russian ISP

The Anonymous hacking group has leaked 128 GB of data allegedly stolen from the Russian ISP Convex, revealing evidence of FSB (Federal Security Service) surveillance. Details

Cloud-Enabled Threats

PureCrypter malware abusing Discord to target government entities

Researchers found that an attacker is targeting government entities with PureCrypter malware downloaders to deliver multiple infostealers and ransomware strains, using Discord to host the initial payload. Details

US military misconfigured server publicly opened for weeks

A now secured Microsoft Azure email server from the US Department of Defense was found to be publicly accessible for about two weeks, containing internal messages and sensitive personal information. Details

Researchers hijack popular npm package via GitHub

Researchers found a way to reset a GitHub password of an npm package that has 3.5 million weekly downloads, by recovering an expired domain and resetting the account’s password. Details

New threat actor abusing multiple cloud services to fly under the radar

A new threat actor named WIP26 is targeting telecom service providers in the Middle East, heavily abusing Microsoft 365, Azure, Google Firebase, and Dropbox for multiple purposes. Details

Enigma infostealer abusing Telegram

Researchers found a malware campaign that is targeting cryptocurrency users in Eastern Europe using Enigma infostealer, which abuses Telegram throughout the attack. Details

Attackers abusing LinkedIn to steal Venmo credentials

The SANS Internet Storm Center found a phishing email that abuses LinkedIn URLs to redirect victims to a page that attempts to steal Venmo credentials, credit cards, and bank information. Details

Malicious npm package delivering malware

A package named “aabquerys” hosted on the open-source npm repository was found downloading malware payloads to infect systems. Details

Scammers abusing PayPal and Twitter

BleepingComputer found that attackers are taking advantage of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Turkey and Syria to steal donations through Twitter and PayPal. Details

AWS phishing campaign abusing Google ads

Attackers are abusing Google Ads to spread phishing campaigns that aim to steal Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts. Details

Attackers abusing Telegram Bot for Phishing

The SANS Internet Storm Center released an analysis of a simple HTML Phishing that mimics a Microsoft login and exfiltrate usernames and passwords via Telegram. Details


BlackCat targeting healthcare facility in Pennsylvania

The BlackCat ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) group attacked a healthcare network composed of 13 hospital campuses and other health facilities in Pennsylvania. Details

HardBit ransomware asking insurance details to determine ransom

Operators behind the new version of the HardBit ransomware are trying to negotiate the ransom value based on the victim’s insurance company. Details

ESXiArgs ransomware compromises new targets in European countries

The ESXiArgs ransomware has compromised more than 500 hosts located in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and Ukraine. Details

The City of Oakland declared state of emergency after ransomware attack

The City of Oakland has declared a local state of emergency after a ransomware attack that took down IT systems earlier in February. Details

New ransomware named MortalKombat

Researchers have observed a financially motivated campaign that is using a novel ransomware named MortalKombat and a clipper malware known as Laplas. Details

New ESXiArgs ransomware variant

Attackers behind the ESXiArgs ransomware have released a new variant of their encryptor to bypass the decryptor software released by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Details

Clop ransomware using GoAnywhere zero day

The Clop ransomware group has claimed responsibility for attacks that exploited a zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2023-0669) in the GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution, saying that they stole data from more than 130 organizations. Details

North Korean ransomware attacks against healthcare

The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released a new advisory with information about North Korean ransomware attacks against healthcare and other critical infrastructure sectors. Details

Linux Clop ransomware contains a flawed encryption algorithm

Researchers have found a flaw in the encryption algorithm of a new Linux variant of the Clop ransomware, allowing victims to decrypt locked files without paying the ransom. Details

Royal ransomware adds Linux and VMware ESXi support

The Royal ransomware group has recently added support for encrypting Linux devices and target VMware ESXi virtual machines. Details

author image
Gustavo Palazolo
Gustavo Palazolo is an expert in malware analysis, reverse engineering and security research, working many years in projects related to electronic fraud protection. He is currently working on the Netskope Research Team, discovering and analyzing new malware threats.

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