New SandStrike spyware targets Android users with booby-trapped VPN application
November 7, 2022 1:32 p.m.
In the third quarter of 2022, Kaspersky researchers uncovered a previously unknown Android espionage campaign dubbed SandStrike.
The actor targets a Persian-speaking religion minority, Baháʼí, via distributing VPN app that contains highly sophisticated spyware. Kaspersky experts also discovered an advanced upgrade of DeathNote cluster and – together with SentinelOne – investigated never-seen-before malware Metatron. This, and other discoveries are revealed in Kaspersky’s latest quarterly threat intelligence summary.
To lure victims into downloading the spyware implants, adversaries set up Facebook and Instagram accounts with more than 1,000 followers and designed attractive religious-themed graphic materials, setting up an effective trap for adherents of this belief. Most of these social media accounts contain a link to a Telegram channel also created by the attacker.
In this channel, the actor behind SandStrike distributed a seemingly harmless VPN application to access sites banned in certain regions, for example, religious-related materials. To make this application fully functional, adversaries also set up their own VPN infrastructure.
However, the VPN client contains fully-functioning spyware with capabilities allowing threat actors to collect and steal sensitive data, including call logs, contact lists, and also track any further activities of persecuted individuals.
Throughout the third quarter of 2022, APT actors were continuously changing their tactics, sharpening their toolsets and developing new techniques. The most significant findings include:
- The new sophisticated malware platform targeting telecoms companies, ISPs and universities
Together with SentinelOne, Kaspersky researchers analyzed a never-seen-before sophisticated malware platform dubbed Metatron. Metatron primarily targets telecommunications, internet service providers, and universities in Middle Eastern and African countries. Metatron is designed to bypass native security solutions while deploying malware platforms directly into memory.
- The upgrade of advanced and sophisticated tools
Kaspersky experts observed Lazarus use the DeathNote cluster against victims in South Korea. The actor possibly used a strategic web compromise, employing an infection chain similar to that which Kaspersky researchers have previously reported, attacking an endpoint security program. However, experts discovered that the malware and infection schemes have also been updated. The actor used malware that hadn’t been seen before, with minimal functionality to execute commands from the C2 server. Using this implanted backdoor, the operator lay hidden in the victim’s environment for a month and collected system information.
- Cyber-espionage continues to be a prime aim of APT campaigns
In the third quarter of 2022, Kaspersky researchers detected numerous APT campaigns, whose main target is governmental institutions. Our recent investigations show that this year, from February onwards, HotCousin has attempted to compromise foreign affairs ministries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
“As we can see from the analysis of the last three months, APT actors are now strenuously used to create attack tools and improve old ones to launch new malicious campaigns. In their attacks, they use cunning and unexpected methods: SandStrike, attacking users via VPN service, where victims tried to find protection and security, is an excellent example. Today it is easy to distribute malware via social networks and remain undetected for several months or even more. This is why it is so important to be as alert as ever and make sure you are armed with threat intelligence and the right tools to protect from existing and emerging threats,” comments Victor Chebyshev, lead security researcher at Kaspersky’s GReAT.
To read the full APT Q3 2022 trends report, please visit Securelist.com
In order to avoid falling victim to a targeted attack by a known or unknown threat actor, Kaspersky researchers recommend implementing the following measures:
- Provide your SOC team with access to the latest threat intelligence (TI). The Kaspersky Threat Intelligence Portal is a single point of access for the company’s TI, providing cyberattack data and insights gathered by Kaspersky over the past 20 years. To help businesses enable effective defenses in these turbulent times, Kaspersky announced free access to independent, continuously updated and globally sourced information on ongoing cyberattacks and threats. Request access online.
- Upskill your cybersecurity team to enable them to tackle the latest targeted threats with Kaspersky online training developed by GReAT experts.
- Use enterprise-grade EDR solution such as Kaspersky EDR Expert. It is essential to detect threats among a sea of scattered alerts thanks to automatic merging of alerts into incidents as well as to analyze and respond to an incident in the most effective way.
- In addition to adopting essential endpoint protection, implement a corporate-grade security solution that detects advanced threats on the network level at an early stage, such as Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform.
- As many targeted attacks start with social engineering techniques, such as phishing, introduce security awareness training and teach practical skills to your team – using tools such as the Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform.
LG’s Inverter Direct Drive motor reaches milestone with 100M units produced
March 14, 2023 11:32 a.m.
A Key Component of Premium LG Washing Machines for More than Two Decades, Company’s Innovative Motor Technology Continues to Evolve for Excellence
LG Electronics (LG) announces that production of its Inverter Direct Drive™ (DD™) motor has exceeded 100 million units. The company’s differentiated motor technology is a major factor in the strong, reliable performance and continuing global popularity of LG’s industry-leading laundry solutions.
From 1998 to the end of 2022, the company produced, on average, over 12,000 Inverter DD motors per day. LG’s Inverter DD motor connects directly to the washing drum, an innovation that helps make LG washing machines more durable and dramatically reduces noise and energy consumption during operation.
LG has refined the Inverter DD motor over four generations, continuously improving the technology and its performance capabilities to deliver greater customer value. The company holds over 240 Inverter DD motor related technology patents in Korea and internationally. In 2019, the company applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the Inverter DD motor to further enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. Used in LG’s premium washing machines and dryers, the AI DD motor leverages deep learning technology to detect the weight of each load and the types of fabrics being washed. It then selects the optimal combination of drum movements from the company’s proprietary 6 Motion tech – which enables six discrete drum movements – to care and clean for users’ laundry.
Last year, LG brought its advanced Inverter DD motor to its dryers for the first time. Like the company’s washers, LG dryers also offer 6 Motion (Tumble, Swing, Rolling, Stepping, Scrubbing, and Filtration) technology to boost drying performance and minimize fabric damage. LG’s inverter motor technology – specifically, the AI DD – became the first home appliance technology to earn Deep Learning AI Verification from global safety science company, (UL) Underwriters Laboratories.
“The number of Inverter DD motors produced points to the excellence of the motor technology LG has developed for its premium laundry solutions,” said Kim Yang-sun, head of the Component Solution Business Unit at LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. “We will continue to create highly efficient core components that boost the performance and reliability of our products while also reducing carbon emissions during operation.”
Kaspersky study reveals basic cybersecurity terms unfamiliar to C-level executives in SEA
February 20, 2023 3:05 p.m.
Every fourth business executive in Southeast Asia (SEA) prefers not to flag lack of understanding when discussing cybersecurity issues. A recent Kaspersky study also reveals one in ten C-level managers have never heard of threats such as Botnet, APT and Zero-Day exploit.
The same proportion appeared to be unfamiliar with cyber security concepts like DecSecOps, ZeroTrust, SOC and Pentesting.
According to a PwC’s study, while backing cybersecurity in every business decision has already become the norm in every other company, more than half of executives lack confidence that their cyber spending is being allocated to the most significant risks their organization is facing. Kaspersky conducted their own research to help IT and C-level find common ground and explore the root of their misunderstandings, where a total of 300 executives from the SEA region were surveyed.
The Kaspersky poll indicates that C-suite sometimes struggle to understand their IT security peers and are not always ready to show their confusion. Thus, 26% of non-IT executives here say they would not feel comfortable flagging that they don’t understand something during a meeting with IT and IT security.
Although most of them hide their confusion because they prefer to clarify everything after the meeting or choose to figure everything out by themselves, more than half (55%) don’t ask additional questions because they don’t believe the IT peers will be able to explain it in a clear way. Almost two-in-five also feel embarrassed revealing they don’t understand the topic and 42% don’t want to look ignorant in front of their IT colleagues.
Also, even though all surveyed top-managers from SEA regularly discuss security related issues with IT security managers more than one-in-ten respondents have never heard of threats such as Zero-Day exploit (11%), Botnet (9%), and APT (9%). At the same time Spyware, Malware, Trojan and Phishing appeared to be more familiar for top-managers.
More than one-in-ten top managers here admit they have never heard of cybersecurity terms like DecSecOps (10%), SOC (10%), Pentesting (10%), and ZeroTrust (6%).
“Non-IT top management do not have to be experts in complex cybersecurity terminology and concepts and IT security executives should keep this in mind when communicating with the board,” comments Sergey Zhuykov, Solution Architect at Kaspersky.
“To establish efficient cooperation CISO should be able to focus C-level attention precisely on meaningful details and clearly explain what exactly the company is doing to minimize cybersecurity risks. In addition to communicating clear metrics to stakeholders, this approach requires offering solutions instead of problems,” says Zhuykov.
“On the other end of the communications spectrum, only 6% of IT security professionals in SEA admit facing difficulty in discussing aspects of their work to the C-level. This means the majority of our technical workforce deem that their updates are understood by the decision makers. To bridge this dangerous gap, security teams should also incorporate effective tools – real life examples and use of reports and numbers – to ensure that discussions are done effectively,” adds Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.
To ease the communication between IT security and business functions within the company, Kaspersky recommends the following:
- IT security should be positioned as a driver for growth and innovation in the organization. To achieve this the IT security team should move away from prohibitive tactics and rather explain how the business can achieve its goals while mitigating cybersecurity risks.
- CISO should actively engage in operational activities and build relationships with the company’s stakeholders. While fewer than 20% of CISOs have established partnerships with key executives in sales, finance, and marketing, it is hard for them to stay abreast of the needs of the business.
- When communicating with the board, use arguments based on an overview of threats by experts, your company’s attack status and best practices.
- Explain to the board what the main responsibilities of the IT security team are. If possible, provide them with an opportunity to walk in a CISO’s shoes to get insights on the most relevant IT security challenges.
- Allocate cybersecurity investments in tools with proven efficacy and ROI. This means tools that lower the level of false positives, and reduce times of attack detection, the time spent per case and other metrics are important to any IT security team.
Kaspersky in Southeast Asia also has launched a Buy 1 Free 1 promo to help SMBs and midrange enterprises in beefing their cybersecurity capabilities. Businesses can now enjoy two years of enterprise-grade endpoint protection for the price of 1 with Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business or Cloud or Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum, with 24×7 phone support. Interested customers can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full report and more insights on communications issues between C-level and IT security managers are available via the link.
Kaspersky Threat Intelligence enhances its threat data feeds, threat analysis, brand protection capabilities
February 4, 2023 9:41 a.m.
The latest release of Kaspersky Threat Intelligence service includes a range of improved feeds that contribute to a deeper understanding of cyberattackers’ behavior, tactics, techniques and procedures regardless of region or language.
It also contains new integrated elements allowing for the protection of companies’ brands on social networks and in marketplaces.
Cybercriminals can remain undetected in companies’ networks, obtaining sensitive information resulting in financial loss, reputational damage, and long-lasting system failures. According to statistics provided by Kaspersky Global Emergency Response Team, the average duration of a prolonged attack is 94.5 days before it is detected by an InfoSec specialist.
To protect businesses from hidden threats like these, companies should provide their security teams with reliable solutions that help them stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and eliminate cyber risks before they can do any harm.
To implement this goal, Kaspersky updated its Threat Intelligence with new Threat Hunting and Incident Investigation capabilities. Providing information in human- and machine-readable formats, the solution supports security teams with meaningful context throughout the incident management cycle, boosts incident investigations and informs strategic decision-making.
Advanced Threat Data Feeds for better protection
The latest release of Kaspersky Threat Intelligence contains new feeds on crimeware, cloud services and threats to open-source software. These feeds will help customers to detect or prevent confidential data leakage and mitigate risks of supply chain attacks and vulnerable or politically compromised software components.
It also introduces Industrial Vulnerability data feed in OVAL format. It allows customers to find vulnerable ICS software easily on Windows hosts in their networks by using popular vulnerability scanners.
The existing feeds are enriched with additional valuable and actionable information such as new threat categories, attack tactics and techniques in MITRE ATT&CK classification, which will help customers identify their adversary, investigate and respond to the threats faster and more efficiently.
Integration with Security information and event management (SIEM) solutions via Kaspersky CyberTrace is also enhanced with the automated parsing of indicators of compromise (IoCs) directly from emails and PDFs.
Moreover, CyberTrace now supports flexible export format of IoCs, allowing seamless integration of filtered Threat Data Feeds into third-party security controls.
Better visibility for in-depth investigation
Kaspersky Threat Intelligence extended its coverage to IP addresses and added new categories such as DDoS, Intrusion, Brute-force and Net scanners, as customers previously made many searches related to these types of threats.
The updated solution also supports filters that can help users specify criteria sources, sections and periods for automated schedule searches.
The Research Graph, a graphic visualization tool, was also updated to support two new nodes: actors and reports.
Users can apply them to find additional connections with IoCs. This option accelerates threat response and threat hunting activities by highlighting IoCs from high profile attacks described in APT, crimeware and industrial reports as well as in Actor profiles.
Reliable brand protection on social networks and marketplaces
Reliable brand protection on social networks and marketplaces
The brand protection capability of Threat Intelligence was improved by adding new notifications to the Digital Footprint Intelligence service. Now it supports real time alerts for Targeted Phishing, faked Social Networks accounts or applications in Mobile Marketplace.
It helps to track the appearance of the phishing website targeting their brand company name, online services or trademarks and provide relevant, accurate and detailed information about phishing activities. The updated solution also monitors and detects malicious mobile applications impersonating the customer’s brand and fake organization profiles on social networks.
Improved threat analysis tools
The updated Kaspersky Cloud Research Sandbox now supports Android OS and MITRE ATT&CK mapping, related metrics will be displayed on a dashboard of the Cloud Sandbox. It also provides all network activities across all protocols, including IP, UDP, TCP, DNS, HTTP(S), SSL, FTP, POP3, IRC. The user can now specify command lines and file parameters to launch the emulation in a tailored way.
“We have been focusing on threat research at Kaspersky for over two decades. With petabytes of rich threat data, advanced machine learning technologies and a unique pool of global experts we work to support customers with the latest threat intelligence from all over the world, helping them to defend themselves even from previously unseen cyberattacks,” comments Anatoly Simonenko, Head of Technology Solutions Product Management at Kaspersky.
Learn more about Kaspersky Threat Intelligence.