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.

ABTV //

Malware

// // //
1/11/2018
11:45 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now

McAfee: Attackers Targeting North Korean Dissidents, Journalists

A report from McAfee finds that a group of attackers is targeting North Korean dissidents, as well as some journalists, through social networks and a South Korean chat app called KakaoTalk.

A previously unknown group of attackers is targeting North Korean dissidents, as well as journalists, through a combination of social media and a popular South Korean chat app called Kakao Talk, according to a new report from McAfee.

In this case, the McAfee Mobile Research Team found that the attackers use social media platforms, such as Facebook, or the chat app to deliver Trojan malware to a user's mobile device, particularly Android.

Specifically the attack uses malicious APK files, which use a file format that installs software on the Android OS, according to the January 11 report.

A shot of the 'droppers' that appear on smartphones\r\n(Source: McAfee)\r\n
A shot of the "droppers" that appear on smartphones
\r\n(Source: McAfee)\r\n

The McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) team dubbed this group "Sun Team," after some information in one of the files that were studied. It seems that Sun Team has only been active since 2016. Although there was one North Korean IP address associated with these malicious files, it's not clear who the group is working for at this time.

"However, WiFi was on so we cannot exclude the possibility that the IP address is private," according to McAfee.

In its conclusion, McAfee states:

This malware campaign is highly targeted, using social network services and KakaoTalk to directly approach targets and implant spyware. We cannot confirm who is behind this campaign, and the possible actor Sun Team is not related to any previously known cybercrime groups. The actors are familiar with South Korea and appear to want to spy on North Korean defectors, and on groups and individuals who help defectors.

In an analysis of the files, the McAfee researchers found that attackers used two different prongs to target people. The first is called "Blood Assistant," which is a healthcare app, and the other is called "Pray for North Korea," which is an English translation.

To hide itself from the person who downloaded it, the malware can pop a video onto the screen until it's done installing. The malware also checks to see if the smartphone or any other device is already infected. If not, it uses a phishing technique to try getting the user to turn on the accessibility settings to gain control.

After it's installed, the Trojan uses a number of different cloud services to upload data, as well as to receive commands.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Machine Learning, AI & Deep Learning Improve Cybersecurity
Machine intelligence is influencing all aspects of cybersecurity. Organizations are implementing AI-based security to analyze event data using ML models that identify attack patterns and increase automation. Before security teams can take advantage of AI and ML tools, they need to know what is possible. This report covers: -How to assess the vendor's AI/ML claims -Defining success criteria for AI/ML implementations -Challenges when implementing AI
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-39268
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-30
### Impact In a CSRF attack, an innocent end user is tricked by an attacker into submitting a web request that they did not intend. This may cause actions to be performed on the website that can include inadvertent client or server data leakage, change of session state, or manipulation of an end use...
CVE-2022-34428
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-30
Dell Hybrid Client prior to version 1.8 contains a Regular Expression Denial of Service Vulnerability in the UI. An adversary with WMS group admin access could potentially exploit this vulnerability, leading to temporary denial-of-service.
CVE-2022-34429
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-30
Dell Hybrid Client below 1.8 version contains a Zip Slip Vulnerability in UI. A guest privilege attacker could potentially exploit this vulnerability, leading to system files modification.
CVE-2022-40923
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-30
A vulnerability in the LIEF::MachO::SegmentCommand::virtual_address function of LIEF v0.12.1 allows attackers to cause a denial of service (DOS) through a segmentation fault via a crafted MachO file.
CVE-2022-40943
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-30
Dairy Farm Shop Management System 1.0 is vulnerable to SQL Injection via bwdate-report-ds.php file.