Attacks/Breaches

7/29/2015
05:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Anthem Breach Linked To Black Vine Group & Beijing InfoSec Firm

Health insurer's breach of 80 million records attributed to 'well-resourced cyberespionage group' Black Vine. Could they also be behind breaches at OPM and United Airlines?

The Anthem Healthcare breach, which exposed the personal records of 80 million individuals, was the handiwork of Black Vine, a cyberespionage group with the resources to afford its own infrastructure, zero-day vulnerabilities, and custom malware, according to researchers at Symantec.

The group has ties to Topsec, a Beijing-based security research, training, and auditing organization that run an annual hacking competition. Researchers believe Black Vine has been operating from the same region since 2012, aiming cyberespionage campaigns at mostly healthcare and aerospace organizations in the United States.

In addition to Anthem, Symantec is attributing to Black Vine a 2012 attack on gas turbine manufacturer Capstone Turbine, a 2014 attack on a European aerospace company and a 2013 attack against a "global airline." In a separate report by Bloomberg today, unnamed sources "close to the investigations" say that the attackers behind the Anthem breach are also to blame for the breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and had "in recent months" breached United Airlines in a previously undisclosed attack that reportedly exposed travel manifests. United Airlines has not confirmed there is an investigation.

Some of Black Vine's tools and methods are similar to the Hidden Lynx hacker-for-hire APT group based in China. Both use watering-hole attacks -- leaving exploits on websites relevant to targets' interests -- and use the same zero-day vulnerabilities, seemingly obtained via the Elderwood framework, but with different payloads attached.

Black Vine uses custom malware -- Hurix, Sakurel, and Mivast, specifically, which are backdoors for stealing data. Black Vine's custom malware of choice was generally made to look like technology-related applications, with command-and-control server domain names to match, to complete the disguise.

Against Anthem, the group used a variation of Mivast "disguised using Citrix and Juniper VPN lures, indicating that the initial attack may have been aimed at Anthem's technical staff."

However, the Anthem attack was a little different. Although attackers used multiple domains to pose as healthcare and technology-related organizations in the breach, a water-holing attack was never seen or reported, according to the researchers. They say "it is unclear what mechanisms were used to deliver the malware. It is likely that the threat was delivered through spear-phishing."

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
lorraine89
50%
50%
lorraine89,
User Rank: Ninja
10/4/2016 | 10:08:04 AM
Identity theft
These breach related stories tell us to beter start investing in some nice vn and anti malware provider. I encrypt my files and folders and also use purevpn server to secure my connection from scammers and phishy updates. 
Valentine's Emails Laced with Gandcrab Ransomware
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/14/2019
High Stress Levels Impacting CISOs Physically, Mentally
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  2/14/2019
Mozilla, Internet Society and Others Pressure Retailers to Demand Secure IoT Products
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  2/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-8948
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
PaperCut MF before 18.3.6 and PaperCut NG before 18.3.6 allow script injection via the user interface, aka PC-15163.
CVE-2019-8950
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
The backdoor account dnsekakf2$$ in /bin/login on DASAN H665 devices with firmware 1.46p1-0028 allows an attacker to login to the admin account via TELNET.
CVE-2019-8942
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
WordPress before 4.9.9 and 5.x before 5.0.1 allows remote code execution because an _wp_attached_file Post Meta entry can be changed to an arbitrary string, such as one ending with a .jpg?file.php substring. An attacker with author privileges can execute arbitrary code by uploading a crafted image c...
CVE-2019-8943
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
WordPress through 5.0.3 allows Path Traversal in wp_crop_image(). An attacker (who has privileges to crop an image) can write the output image to an arbitrary directory via a filename containing two image extensions and ../ sequences, such as a filename ending with the .jpg?/../../file.jpg substring...
CVE-2019-8944
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-20
An Information Exposure issue in the Terraform deployment step in Octopus Deploy before 2019.1.8 (and before 2018.10.4 LTS) allows remote authenticated users to view sensitive Terraform output variables via log files.