Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

4/5/2021
05:15 PM
50%
50%

Kaspersky Uncovers New APAC Cyberespionage Campaign

A group related to Chinese-speaking threat group Cycldek is targeting government and military organizations in Vietnam.

Kaspersky researchers have uncovered an advanced cyberespionage campaign targeting government and military organizations in Vietnam.

They believe this campaign was conducted by a group related to Cycldek, a Chinese-speaking threat group that has been active since at least 2013. New tactics seen in this campaign represent "a major advancement in terms of sophistication," Kaspersky says in a statement on the findings.

Related Content:

Kaspersky IDs Sophisticated New Malware Targeted at Air-Gapped Systems

Special Report: How Data Breaches Affect the Enterprise

New From The Edge: How to Build a Resilient IoT Framework

A penchance for technique and methodology sharing is common among Chinese-speaking threat actors. When researchers saw attackers using a well-known tactic, "the DLL side-loading triad," in this newly discovered campiagn, they immediately took notice.  

DLL, or dynamic-link libraries, are pieces of code meant to be used by other programs on a computer. In this campaign, the DLL side-loading infection chain executes a shellcode that decrypts a remote access Trojan that Kaspersky calls FoundCore. This gives attackers full control over an infected device. 

"More interesting, however, was the method used to protect the malicious code from analysis; a method that signals a major advancement in sophistication for attackers in this region," Kaspersky explains in a release. "The headers (the destination and source for the code) for the final payload were completely stripped away, and the few that remained contained incoherent values. In doing this, the attackers make it significantly more difficult for researchers to reverse engineer the malware for analysis."

The components of this particular infection chain are tightly coupled, meaning single pieces can be difficult, or impossible, to analyze in isolation. This can prevent analysts from gaining a full picture of malicious activity. 

Analysis suggests this activity was conducted by a group related to Cycldek, also known as Goblin Panda and Conimes. Cycldek has been using a variety of tools, tactics, and procedures in attacks against government agencies in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand since 2018. Last year, Kaspersky research revealed previously unknown information suggesting its operators had a foothold in the networks of several high-profile targets in these countries. 

More detail on today's research is included in this press release.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20733
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Improper authorization in handler for custom URL scheme vulnerability in ????????? (asken diet) for Android versions from v.3.0.0 to v.4.2.x allows a remote attacker to lead a user to access an arbitrary website via the vulnerable App.
CVE-2021-20734
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in Welcart e-Commerce versions prior to 2.2.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary script or HTML via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-20735
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in ETUNA EC-CUBE plugins (Delivery slip number plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.10 and earlier, Delivery slip number csv bulk registration plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.8 and earlier, and Delivery slip number mail plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.8 and earlier) allows remote attackers to ...
CVE-2021-20736
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
NoSQL injection vulnerability in GROWI versions prior to v4.2.20 allows a remote attacker to obtain and/or alter the information stored in the database via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-20737
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Improper authentication vulnerability in GROWI versions prior to v4.2.20 allows a remote attacker to view the unauthorized pages without access privileges via unspecified vectors.