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
The Promise and Reality of Cloud Security
Cloud security has been part of the cybersecurity conversation for years but has been on the sidelines for most enterprises. The shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and digital transformation projects have moved cloud infrastructure front-and-center as enterprises address the associated security risks. This report - a compilation of cutting-edge Black Hat research, in-depth Omdia analysis, and comprehensive Dark Reading reporting - explores how cloud security is rapidly evolving.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2023-25135
PUBLISHED: 2023-02-03
vBulletin before 5.6.9 PL1 allows an unauthenticated remote attacker to execute arbitrary code via a crafted HTTP request that triggers deserialization. This occurs because verify_serialized checks that a value is serialized by calling unserialize and then checking for errors. The fixed versions are...
CVE-2022-4634
PUBLISHED: 2023-02-03
All versions prior to Delta Electronic’s CNCSoft version 1.01.34 (running ScreenEditor versions 1.01.5 and prior) are vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow, which could allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code.
CVE-2023-0123
PUBLISHED: 2023-02-03
Delta Electronics DOPSoft versions 4.00.16.22 and prior are vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow, which could allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code when a malformed file is introduced to the software.
CVE-2023-0124
PUBLISHED: 2023-02-03
Delta Electronics DOPSoft versions 4.00.16.22 and prior are vulnerable to an out-of-bounds write, which could allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code when a malformed file is introduced to the software.
CVE-2023-24613
PUBLISHED: 2023-02-03
The user interface of Array Networks AG Series and vxAG through 9.4.0.470 could allow a remote attacker to use the gdb tool to overwrite the backend function call stack after accessing the system with administrator privileges. A successful exploit could leverage this vulnerability in the backend bin...