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.

Risk

8/27/2019
02:35 PM
50%
50%

New 'Lyceum' Threat Group Eyes Critical Infrastructure

Researchers report Lyceum, otherwise known as Hexane, has targeted organizations in South Africa and the Middle East.

Newly discovered threat group Lyceum has been spotted attacking critical infrastructure firms in the oil and gas, and possibly telecommunications, industries with the goal of gaining and expanding access inside target networks, Secureworks' Counter Threat Unit researchers report.

Lyceum may have been active as early as April 2018, when domain registrations indicate an attack on South African targets. One year later, after developing and testing its toolkit against a public malware-scanning service, Lyceum launched a May 2019 campaign against oil and gas businesses in the Middle East. It prioritizes organizations in strategically important industries.

Attackers typically use password spraying or brute force to gain credentials they need to break in. They use access to compromised accounts to send spearphishing emails containing malicious Excel attachments, which install DanBot malware to deploy post-intrusion tools. DanBot is one of several attack tools researchers have observed in Lyceum's arsenal, they write in a blog post.

Spear-phishing emails are usually sent from compromised accounts to specific executives, human resources staff, and IT personnel. Targets are more likely to open emails from internal accounts, and each of these groups could further attackers' access to sensitive data: HR personnel may have information that could prove useful for future spearphishing attacks, and IT personnel have access to high-privilege accounts and data specific to the firm's environment.

The group is an emerging threat to energy organizations in the Middle East, researchers say, but organizations should assume Lyceum will branch out to other sectors. Critical infrastructure firms should pay particular attention, they caution. The group doesn't appear to have demonstrated an interest in industrial control systems or OT staff thus far; however, there is a possibility attackers could leverage access to IT environments to spread into the OT environment.

Lyceum's tactics are similar to activities from other groups Cobalt Gypsy and Cobalt Trinity, but none of the malware or infrastructure linked to Lyceum has been directly linked to other groups. Researchers say there isn't enough technical evidence to support attribution.

Read more details here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "'Culture Eats Policy for Breakfast': Rethinking Security Awareness Training."

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
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6852
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-200: Information Exposure vulnerability exists in Modicon Controllers (M340 CPUs, M340 communication modules, Premium CPUs, Premium communication modules, Quantum CPUs, Quantum communication modules - see security notification for specific versions), which could cause the disclosure of FTP har...
CVE-2019-6853
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-79: Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure vulnerability exists in Andover Continuum (models 9680, 5740 and 5720, bCX4040, bCX9640, 9900, 9940, 9924 and 9702) , which could enable a successful Cross-site Scripting (XSS attack) when using the products web server.
CVE-2013-2092
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
Cross-site Scripting (XSS) in Dolibarr ERP/CRM 3.3.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML in functions.lib.php.
CVE-2013-2093
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
Dolibarr ERP/CRM 3.3.1 does not properly validate user input in viewimage.php and barcode.lib.php which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands.
CVE-2015-3166
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
The snprintf implementation in PostgreSQL before 9.0.20, 9.1.x before 9.1.16, 9.2.x before 9.2.11, 9.3.x before 9.3.7, and 9.4.x before 9.4.2 does not properly handle system-call errors, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive information or have other unspecified impact via unknown vectors, as d...