A significant new revelation was the exposure of the long-running “Operation Triangulation” campaign involving the use of a previously unknown iOS malware platform. Experts also observed other interesting developments that they believe everyone should be aware of. Here are key highlights from the report:
Asia-Pacific witnesses a new threat actor – Mysterious Elephant
Kaspersky uncovered a new threat actor belonging to the Elephants family, operating in the Asia-Pacific region, dubbed “Mysterious Elephant”. In their latest campaign, the threat actor employed new backdoor families, capable of executing files and commands on the victim’s computer, and receive files or commands from a malicious server for execution on the infected system. While Kaspersky researchers have observed overlaps with Confucius and SideWinder, Mysterious Elephant possesses a distinctive and unique set of TTPs, setting them apart from these other groups.
Toolsets upgraded: Lazarus’ develops new malware variant, BlueNoroff attacks macOS, and more
Threat actors are constantly improving their techniques, with Lazarus upgrading its MATA framework and introducing a new variant of the sophisticated MATA malware family, MATAv5. BlueNoroff, a financial attack-focused subgroup of Lazarus, now employs new delivery methods and programming languages, including the use of Trojanized PDF readers in recent campaigns, the implementation of macOS malware, and the Rust programming language. Additionally, ScarCruft APT group has developed new infection methods, evading Mark-of-the-Web (MOTW) security mechanism. The ever-evolving tactics of these threat actors present new challenges for cybersecurity professionals.
Geopolitical influences remain primary drivers of APT activity
APT campaigns remain geographically dispersed, with actors concentrating their attacks on regions such as Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and various parts of Asia. Cyber-espionage, with a solid geopolitical backdrop, continues to be a dominant agenda for these endeavors.
“While some threat actors stick to familiar tactics like social engineering, others have evolved, refreshing their toolsets and expanding their activities. Moreover, new advanced actors, such those conducting the ‘Operation Triangulation’ campaign, constantly emerge. This actor uses a previously unknown iOS malware platform distributed through zero-click iMessage exploits. Staying vigilant with threat intelligence and the right defense tools is crucial for global companies, so they can protect themselves against both existing and emerging threats. Our quarterly reviews are designed to highlight the most significant developments among APT groups to help defenders combat and mitigate related risks,” comments David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT).
To read the full APT Q2 2023 trends report, please visit Securelist.
In order to avoid falling victim to a targeted attack by a known or unknown threat actor, Kaspersky researchers recommend implementing the following measures:
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection, specialized security products and services, as well as Cyber Immune solutions to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help over 220,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.