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Threat Labs News Roundup: May 2023

Jun 09 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

Security incident on Twitter exposing tweets

A security issue on Twitter has publicly exposed private tweets that were sent to Twitter Circle, which is a feature that allows users to share tweets with specific people. Details

Operation MEDUSA takes down Snake malware

The FBI, in coordination with multiple foreign governments, has disrupted the infrastructure of a malware known as Snake, which is linked to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB). Details

New malware used in espionage attacks against governments

Researchers uncovered a sophisticated espionage campaign targeting government organizations in Central Asia with a previously unknown malware named DownEx. Details

Zero-click vulnerability in Microsoft’s MSHTML

Researchers have released details about a now fixed vulnerability in Windows MSHTML (a.k.a. Trident), which is a proprietary browser engine developed by Microsoft. Details

Cybersecurity Events in Ukraine

Sandworm APT group targeting Ukraine

The Russian-linked group known as Sandworm has been linked to attacks on Ukraine state networks aimed to wipe files on Windows and Linux using a batch script and WinRar commands. Details

Attack on French Senate website claimed by pro-Russian hackers

A Pro-Russian group that calls themselves “NoName” has claimed an attack on the French Senate’s website due to France helping Ukraine amid war. Details

Newspaper evading Russian media restriction through popular video game

A Finnish newspaper is evading Russian censorship by hiding news inside a map in the popular video game Counter-Strike, showing news and pictures about the Russian-Ukraine war. Details

SmokeLoader campaign targeting Ukraine

A new phishing campaign that aims to distribute SmokeLoader was found by the Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA), which can be used to deliver other malware onto infected systems. Details

Espionage operation targeting Ukraine state bodies

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) released details about a cyber espionage campaign targeting Ukraine state bodies, linked to a threat actor tracked as UAC-0063. Details

New malware CosmicEnergy able to disrupt electric grids

A new Russia-linked malware named CosmicEnergy was discovered by researchers, developed to target industrial control systems (ICS) and disrupt electric grids. Details

Cloud-enabled Threats

LOBSHOT malware abusing Google Ads

A new backdoor and infostealer malware named LOBSHOT was discovered abusing Google Ads to spread itself disguised as legitimate software for remote access, like AnyDesk. Details

New infostealer malware abusing Facebook

A new infostealer named NodeStealer was found being distributed on Facebook, capable of stealing browser cookies to hijack Facebook, Gmail, and Outlook accounts. Details

New malware abusing PyPI through multiple packages

Researchers have found several malicious Python packages hosted on PyPI delivering a malware named “KEKW”, able to steal sensitive information, and hijack cryptocurrency transactions. Details

Malicious npm packages delivering TurkoRat malware

Researchers discovered two malicious packages hosted in the public npm repository delivering TurkoRat, which is an open source remote access trojan commonly used by attackers. Details

PyPI temporarily suspends new users and projects

The official Python repository PyPI has temporarily suspended the creation of new users and new projects due to the high volume of malware abusing the repository. Details

Attackers abusing AWS to mine cryptocurrency

An Indonesian threat actor was found abusing Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 instances to conduct crypto mining operations for financial gain. Details

Lazarus APT group abusing IIS servers

A new campaign from the Lazarus APT group has been targeting vulnerable versions of Microsoft IIS servers to deploy malware. Details

Legion malware targeting AWS and SSH servers

A Python-based malware named Legion was recently updated with new features to compromise SSH servers and Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts associated with CloudWatch and DynamoDB. Details


Avos ransomware hijacked university alert system

The ransomware group known as Avos has hijacked Bluefield University’s emergency broadcast system to send SMS and emails informing that they hacked the university network. Details

New ransomware named Akira

A new ransomware operation named Akira has been found breaching corporate networks around the world, having leaked data from at least four victims so far. Details

New ransomware named CACTUS

A new ransomware strain named CACTUS has been found leveraging vulnerabilities in VPN applications to gain an initial foothold on targeted networks. Details

Multiple ransomware groups adopting leaked Babuk code

New research shows that at least 10 different ransomware groups have been using the source code of Babuk ransomware, which was leaked in 2021. Details

New ransomware named MichaelKors

A new ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) group named MichaelKors is targeting Linux and VMware ESXi systems. Details

Russian ransomware affiliate charged by the U.S.

The U.S. Justice Department is charging a Russian citizen named Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev (a.k.a. Wazawaka) for association with three ransomware operations that targeted victims in the United States. Details

BrianLian ransomware switched to extortion only model

A joint cybersecurity advisory confirms that BrianLian ransomware has adjusted its operation to only extort victims based on stolen data, without encryption involved. Details

New ransomware operation named MalasLocker

A new ransomware operation named MalasLocker has been found targeting Zimbra servers to encrypt files and steal emails, asking victims to donate to charity instead of asking for a ransom payment. Details

Cuba ransomware claiming attack on Philadelphia Inquirer

The Cuba ransomware group has claimed responsibility over a cyber attack that disrupted the newspaper distribution on the Philadelphia Inquirer. Details

New ransomware named Buhti

A new ransomware group named Buhti was found using leaked source codes of LockBit and Babuk ransomware to target Windows and Linux systems. 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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