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Kazakh Attackers, Disguised as Azerbaijanis, Hit Former Soviet States

The YoroTrooper group claims to be from Azerbaijan and even routes its phishing traffic through the former Soviet republic.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

October 25, 2023

1 Min Read
The flags of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan on a chess board next to the king pieces
Source: GoodIdeas via Alamy Stock Photo

A Kazakhstan attack group with a penchant for sending phishing messages is doing its dirty work in an Azerbaijani disguise.

YoroTrooper was first detected in June 2022 and often targets former Soviet republics, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, and Moldova, as well as Azerbaijan, and typically targets government entities.

But given YoroTrooper's language preferences, its use of Kazakhstani currency, and very limited targeting of Kazakhstani entities, researchers from Cisco Talos have concluded that the group is from Kazakhstan.

Researchers also determined "with high confidence" that YoroTrooper made numerous efforts to disguise its origin by hosting a majority of their infrastructure in Azerbaijan, while still targeting institutions in that country.

Most of YoroTrooper's operations are routed via Azerbaijan, although the attackers do not appear to speak the Azerbaijani language.

"Our primary observation that points toward the actor being of Kazakh origin is that they speak Kazakh and Russian, both of which are official languages of Kazakhstan," researchers said. "YoroTrooper frequently visits websites written in Kazakh and has used Russian in debugging and logging messages in their custom Python Remote Access Trojans."

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Dark Reading Staff

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