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.

News

4/19/2021
04:30 PM
50%
50%

Lazarus Group Uses New Tactic to Evade Detection

Attackers conceal malicious code within a BMP file to slip past security tools designed to detect embedded objects within images.

Security researchers with Malwarebytes have observed North Korea-affiliated advanced persistent threat actor Lazarus Group employing a new technique to deliver malware while evading security tools.

Related Content:

US Unseals Indictments Against North Korean Cyberattackers for Thefts Totaling $1.3B

Special Report: How Data Breaches Affect the Enterprise

New From The Edge: How to Create an Incident Response Plan From the Ground Up

Lazarus Group, an active and sophisticated group known for attacking targets around the world, recently expanded its primary mission beyond monetary theft to include stealing defense secrets. The group is known for developing custom malware families and using novel tactics.

One of its newest methods involves embedding a malicious HTML Application (HTA) file within a compressed zlib file, within a PNG file. During run time, the PNG file is converted into a BMP file format. Because the BMP file is uncompressed, converting from PNG to BMP automatically decompresses the malicious zlib object. Researchers call this a clever way to evade detection. Because the malicious object is compressed within the PNG image, it bypasses static detection.

This attack likely started with a phishing campaign in which emails arrives with a malicious file attached. When opened, the file prompts its viewer to enable macros. Doing this will lead to a message box; clicking this will load the final phishing lure — a participation form for a fair in a South Korean city. The document is weaponized with a macro that executes when it's opened.

While attribution is consistently a challenge in cyberattacks, the team found several signs that connect this activity with Lazarus Group, as outlined in a blog post on their findings.

"There are several similarities between this attack and past Lazarus operations and we believe these are strong indicators to attribute this attack to the Lazarus threat actor," writes Hossein Jazi, senior threat intelligence analyst.

Read the full blog post for more information.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-27610
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
SAP NetWeaver ABAP Server and ABAP Platform, versions - 700, 701, 702, 731, 740, 750, 751, 752, 753, 754, 755, 804, does not create information about internal and external RFC user in consistent and distinguished format, which could lead to improper authentication and may be exploited by malicious u...
CVE-2021-34801
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Valine 1.4.14 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application outage) by supplying a ua (aka User-Agent) value that only specifies the product and version.
CVE-2021-34803
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
TeamViewer before 14.7.48644 on Windows loads untrusted DLLs in certain situations.
CVE-2020-8299
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Citrix ADC and Citrix/NetScaler Gateway 13.0 before 13.0-76.29, 12.1-61.18, 11.1-65.20, Citrix ADC 12.1-FIPS before 12.1-55.238, and Citrix SD-WAN WANOP Edition before 11.4.0, 11.3.2, 11.3.1a, 11.2.3a, 11.1.2c, 10.2.9a suffers from uncontrolled resource consumption by way of a network-based denial-o...
CVE-2020-8300
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Citrix ADC and Citrix/NetScaler Gateway before 13.0-82.41, 12.1-62.23, 11.1-65.20 and Citrix ADC 12.1-FIPS before 12.1-55.238 suffer from improper access control allowing SAML authentication hijack through a phishing attack to steal a valid user session. Note that Citrix ADC or Citrix Gateway must b...