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Recent MNKit Exploit Activity Reveals Some Common Threads

posted by: on June 30, 2016 1:30 PM

filed in: Malware, Threat Prevention, Unit 42
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Unit 42 recently identified a variant of MNKit-weaponized documents being used to deliver LURK0 Gh0st, NetTraveler, and Saker payloads. The documents were delivered to targets involved with universities, NGOs, and political/human rights groups concerning Islam and South Asia. Reuse of this MNKit variant, sender email addresses, email subject lines, attachment filenames, command and control domains, XOR keys, and targeted recipients show a connection between the different payload families delivered.

MNKit is the name given to a builder that generates CVE-2012-0158 exploit documents. The documents are in MHTML format and install a malicious payload on the compromised host. We believe MNKit is privately shared between multiple attack groups, but is not widely available. …Continue reading

Prince of Persia – Game Over

posted by: , and on June 28, 2016 3:00 PM

filed in: Malware, Threat Prevention, Unit 42
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Unit 42 published a blog at the beginning of May titled “Prince of Persia,” in which we described the discovery of a decade-long campaign using a formerly unknown malware family, Infy, that targeted government and industry interests worldwide.

Subsequent to the publishing of this article, through cooperation with the parties responsible for the C2 domains, Unit 42 researchers successfully gained control of multiple C2 domains. This disabled the attacker’s access to their victims in this campaign, provided further insight into the targets currently victimized in this operation, and enabled the notification of affected parties. …Continue reading

Tracking Elirks Variants in Japan: Similarities to Previous Attacks

posted by: on June 23, 2016 4:00 PM

filed in: Cybersecurity, Threat Prevention, Unit 42
tagged: , , , ,

A recent, well-publicized attack on a Japanese business involved two malware families, PlugX and Elirks, that were found during the investigation. PlugX has been used in a number of attacks since first being discovered in 2012, and we have published several articles related to its use, including an analysis of an attack campaign targeting Japanese companies.

Elirks, less widely known than PlugX, is a basic backdoor Trojan, first discovered in 2010, that is primarily used to steal information from compromised systems. We mostly observe attacks using Elirks occurring in East Asia. One of the unique features of the malware is that it retrieves its C2 address by accessing a pre-determined microblog service or SNS. Attackers create accounts on those services and post encoded IP addresses or the domain names of real C2 servers in advance of distributing the backdoor. We have seen multiple Elirks variants using Japanese blog services for the last couple of years. Figure 1 shows embedded URL in an Elirks sample found in early 2016.

…Continue reading

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