A couple of common questions that arise whenever cyberpropaganda and hacktivism issues come up: who engages in it? Where do the people acquire the tools, skills, and techniques used? As it turns out, in at least one case, it comes from the traditional world of cybercrime. We’ve come across a case where a cybercriminal based in Libya turned from cybercrime to cyberpropaganda. This highlights how the cybercrime underground in the Middle East/North African region (covered in our paper titled Digital Souks: A Glimpse into the Middle Eastern and North African Underground) can expand their activity into areas beyond their original area of expertise.Read More
BlackTech is a cyber espionage group operating against targets in East Asia, particularly Taiwan, and occasionally, Japan and Hong Kong. Based on the mutexes and domain names of some of their C&C servers, BlackTech’s campaigns are likely designed to steal their target’s technology.
Following their activities and evolving tactics and techniques helped us uncover the proverbial red string of fate that connected three seemingly disparate campaigns: PLEAD, Shrouded Crossbow, and of late, Waterbear.
Over the course of their campaigns, we analyzed their modus operandi and dissected their tools of the trade—and uncovered common denominators indicating that PLEAD, Shrouded Crossbow, and Waterbear may actually be operated by the same group.Read More
Pawn Storm is an active and aggressive espionage actor group that has been operating since 2004. The group uses different methods and strategies to gain information from their targets, which are covered in our latest research. However, they are particularly known for dangerous credential phishing campaigns. In 2016, the group set up aggressive credential phishing attacks against the Democratic National Convention (DNC), German political party Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the parliament and government of Turkey, the parliament of Montenegro, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Al Jazeera, and many other organizations.
This blog post discusses how Pawn Storm abused Open Authentication (OAuth) in advanced social engineering schemes. High profile users of free webmail were targeted by campaigns between 2015 and 2016.Read More