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.

Attacks/Breaches

8/21/2013
06:25 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Poison Ivy Trojan Just Won't Die

Rash of attacks employing older remote access Trojan Poison Ivy spotted by researchers

A notorious—and relatively old—remote access Trojan (RAT) tool has been seen making a comeback with multiple attacker groups targeting the financial services, healthcare, defense, and telecommunications industries.

The eight-year-old Poison Ivy is most infamous for its use in the 2011 data breach of RSA's SecurID data, as well as in the Nitro targeted attack campaign against chemical, government, defense, and human rights organizations later that year. While other newer RATs since have taken front stage, Poison Ivy is still alive and well, according to new research from FireEye.

FireEye says it has seen cyberespionage actors behind the [email protected], th3bug, and menuPass, campaigns all using Poison Ivy in their attacks. The five-year old [email protected] has mostly been focused on financial service targets; th3bug on higher education and healthcare; and menuPass on U.S. and other defense contractors. Both th3bug and MenuPass were first discovered in 2009, according to FireEye.

Why the resurgence of Poison Ivy? "[Poison Ivy] is simple to use--point and click. Therefore, it's easy for a nation-state threat actor to quickly build a team with lower skill sets to be able to use this tool and accomplish their mission objectives. The attractiveness to PIVY is that it doesn't require a sophisticated operator to use," says Darien Kindlund, manager of threat intelligence at FireEye.

FireEye says Poison Ivy has evolved with different configurations by different threat actors, as well as their various infrastructures to launch its attack. "All of these artifacts can be combined together to form a 'fingerprint' of each threat actor," Kindlund says.

"We know that many more nation-state threat actors are still using PIVY and they are highly successful with it," even though it's an older tool, he says.

Commodity tools like Poison Ivy also make it easier for attackers to mask their activity by hiding in plain sight among other Poison Ivy malware, according to FireEye.

The RAT also uses encryption in its command-and-control traffic, which also makes it more difficult to identify on the wire, Kindlund says.

The security firm today also released a technical report and free tools for detecting and studying Poison Ivy infections called Calamine. "Calamine tools are also helpful for incident responders," he says.

Some indicators of Poison Ivy compromise are available here from FireEye.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 11/19/2020
New Proposed DNS Security Features Released
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/19/2020
How to Identify Cobalt Strike on Your Network
Zohar Buber, Security Analyst,  11/18/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: A GONG is as good as a cyber attack.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-26890
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-24
Matrix Synapse before 1.20.0 erroneously permits non-standard NaN, Infinity, and -Infinity JSON values in fields of m.room.member events, allowing remote attackers to execute a denial of service attack against the federation and common Matrix clients. If such a malformed event is accepted into the r...
CVE-2020-28348
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-24
HashiCorp Nomad and Nomad Enterprise 0.9.0 up to 0.12.7 client Docker file sandbox feature may be subverted when not explicitly disabled or when using a volume mount type. Fixed in 0.12.8, 0.11.7, and 0.10.8.
CVE-2020-15928
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-24
In Ortus TestBox 2.4.0 through 4.1.0, unvalidated query string parameters to test-browser/index.cfm allow directory traversal.
CVE-2020-15929
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-24
In Ortus TestBox 2.4.0 through 4.1.0, unvalidated query string parameters passed to system/runners/HTMLRunner.cfm allow an attacker to write an arbitrary CFM file (within the application's context) containing attacker-defined CFML tags, leading to Remote Code Execution.
CVE-2020-28991
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-24
Gitea 0.9.99 through 1.12.x before 1.12.6 does not prevent a git protocol path that specifies a TCP port number and also contains newlines (with URL encoding) in ParseRemoteAddr in modules/auth/repo_form.go.