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APT Trends Report Q2 2018

These summaries are a representative snapshot of what has been discussed in greater detail in our private reports during Q2 2018. They aim to highlight the significant events and findings that we feel people should be aware of.

In cryptoland, trust can be costly

While the legal status of cryptocurrencies and laws to regulate them continue to be hammered out, scammers are busy exploiting the digital gold rush. Besides hacking cryptocurrency exchanges, exploiting smart-contract vulnerabilities, and deploying malicious miners, cybercriminals are also resorting to more traditional social-engineering methods that can reap millions of dollars.

To crypt, or to mine – that is the question

Way back in 2013 our malware analysts spotted the first malicious samples related to the Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Rakhni family. That was the starting point for this long-lived Trojan family, which is still functioning to this day. Now the criminals have decided to add a new feature to their creation – a mining capability.

Ransomware and malicious crypto miners in 2016-2018

This report will examine what is hopefully ransomware’s last breath, in detail, along with the rise of mining. The report covers the period April 2017 to March 2018, and compares it with April 2016 – March 2017.

Olympic Destroyer is still alive

In May-June 2018 we discovered new spear-phishing documents that closely resembled weaponized documents used by Olympic Destroyer in the past. This and other TTPs led us to believe that we were looking at the same actor again. However, this time the attacker has new targets.

LuckyMouse hits national data center to organize country-level waterholing campaign

In March 2018 we detected an ongoing campaign targeting a national data center in the Central Asia that we believe has been active since autumn 2017. The choice of target made this campaign especially significant – it meant the attackers gained access to a wide range of government resources at one fell swoop.

Netkids

Children today are completely at home in the digital space. They use digital diaries and textbooks at school, communicate via instant messaging, play games on mobile devices (not to mention PCs and consoles), and create mini masterpieces on tablets and laptops. This total immersion in the digital universe is a concern for many parents, but if they want their child to spend time online safely and usefully, they must not only understand the basic concepts of digital security and have a grasp of the threats, but also be able to explain them to their kid.

VPNFilter EXIF to C2 mechanism analysed

Our colleagues from Cisco Talos published their excellent analysis of VPNFilter, an IoT / router malware which exhibits some worrying characteristics. We’ve decided to look a bit into the C&C mechanism for the persistent malware payload.

Spam and phishing in Q1 2018

The quarter’s main topic, one that we will likely return to many times this year, is personal data. It remains one of the most sought-after wares in the world of information technology for app and service developers, owners of various agencies, and, of course, cybercriminals. Unfortunately, many users still fail to grasp the need to protect their personal information and don’t pay attention to who and how their data is transferred in social media.

Roaming Mantis dabbles in mining and phishing multilingually

In May, while monitoring Roaming Mantis, aka MoqHao and XLoader, we observed significant changes in their M.O. The group’s activity expanded geographically and they broadened their attack/evasion methods. Their landing pages and malicious apk files now support 27 languages covering Europe and the Middle East.

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