Vulnerabilities / Threats // Advanced Threats
7/2/2014
03:22 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

CosmicDuke: Cosmu & MiniDuke Mash-Up

F-Secure believes that the combo malware might have connections to the perpetrators of the miniDuke attacks.

F-Secure has discovered a new bit of info-stealing malware built for targeted attacks against government agencies. Combining the payload of the old, faithful Cosmu and the loader of the miniDuke malware that made such a splash last winter, this mash-up has been dubbed CosmicDuke -- and F-Secure thinks there's a connection between the operators of the Duke brothers.

CosmicDuke lifts PKI certificates, keys, password hashes, and password/login combinations by using a keylogger, snapping screenshots, snatching data from the clipboard, and grabbing access credentials saved in browsers, instant messaging apps, and email clients.

There are a few reasons researchers believe there is a connection between the Dukes. As F-Secure explains in its report:

The parallel usage of the loader in the CosmicDuke and MiniDuke families is interesting. The oldest samples we have of this loader that loads Cosmu malware show the compilation date of the loader as March 24, 2011, which predates the oldest publicly documented MiniDuke sample (with a recorded loader compilation date of June 18, 2012). The earlier use of the loader with a Cosmu payload leads us to suspect the existence of a link between the author(s) of Cosmu and MiniDuke.

"We haven't seen any other malware sharing code with miniDuke," says F-Secure senior researcher Timo Hirvonen, who adds that no other malware family uses this loader. He believes that the people behind CosmicDuke and miniDuke are at least sharing either code or tools, and might even be the very same malicious actors.

CosmicDuke's attack targets and presumed infection vectors are also similar to miniDuke. They both infect victims through the use of malicious PDFs and executables disguised as innocent files.

MiniDuke, outed by Kaspersky in February 2013, was aimed at a small number of government agencies in 23 countries, mostly European. Decoys included documents that appeared to be about human rights seminars, Ukraine's foreign policy, and NATO membership plans.

CosmicDuke may also be aimed at government agencies, mostly in Eastern Europe. The filenames of the decoy documents included references to the Polish Institute of International Affairs, Ukraine gas pipelines, and "civilian crisis center status report." They used a variety of languages, including Russian and Turkish.

The IP addresses of the servers CosmicDuke is using are located in the US, the UK, Sweden, Luxembourg, Russia, Holland, Romania, Germany, Poland, Greece, and the Czech Republic.

None of F-Secure's customers have been infected yet, but Hirvonen believes that CosmicDuke is in use in the wild.

For more information and technical details, see F-Secure's full report.

 

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
securityaffairs
50%
50%
securityaffairs,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2014 | 9:18:17 AM
state sponsored hacking?
As explained by Timo, the circumstance is very worrying, the evidence suggests that behind the Miniduke and CosmicDuke there are the same bad actors, or that the two distinct groups have collaborated. It is a movie already seen, I believe that a state is silently operating to infiltrate European entities.

 
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-2086
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the live preview in the Panopoly Magic module before 7.x-1.17 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a pane title.

CVE-2015-2087
Published: 2015-02-26
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in the Avatar Uploader module before 6.x-1.3 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary PHP code by uploading a file with a PHP extension, then accessing it via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2088
Published: 2015-02-26
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in unspecified administration pages in the Term Queue module before 6.x-1.1 for Drupal allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unknown vectors.

CVE-2015-2089
Published: 2015-02-26
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the CrossSlide jQuery (crossslide-jquery-plugin-for-wordpress) plugin 2.0.5 for WordPress allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) change plugin settings or conduct cross-site scripting (...

CVE-2015-2090
Published: 2015-02-26
SQL injection vulnerability in the ajax_survey function in settings.php in the WordPress Survey and Poll plugin 1.1.7 for Wordpress allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the survey_id parameter in an ajax_survey action to wp-admin/admin-ajax.php.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.