June 21, 2024

Woburn, MA – Might 19, 2023 – Kaspersky researchers have supplied additional particulars on the CommonMagic marketing campaign, which was first noticed in March concentrating on firms within the Russo-Ukrainian battle space. The brand new analysis reveals extra refined malicious actions from the identical risk actor. The investigation recognized that the newly-discovered framework has expanded its victimology to incorporate organizations in Central and Western Ukraine. Kaspersky consultants have additionally linked the unknown actor to earlier APT campaigns, resembling Operation BugDrop and Operation Groundbai (Prikormka).

In March 2023, Kaspersky reported a brand new APT marketing campaign within the Russo-Ukrainian battle space. This marketing campaign, named CommonMagic, makes use of PowerMagic and CommonMagic implants to conduct espionage actions. Lively since September 2021, it employs a beforehand unidentified malware to gather knowledge from focused entities. Though the risk actor liable for this assault remained unknown on the time, Kaspersky consultants have continued with their investigation, tracing the unknown exercise again to forgotten campaigns to be able to collect additional insights.

The lately uncovered marketing campaign utilized a modular framework known as CloudWizard. Kaspersky’s analysis recognized a complete of 9 modules inside this framework, every liable for distinct malicious actions resembling gathering recordsdata, keylogging, capturing screenshots, recording microphone enter, and stealing passwords. Notably, one of many modules focuses on exfiltrating knowledge from Gmail accounts. By extracting Gmail cookies from browser databases, this module can entry and smuggle exercise logs, contact lists, and all electronic mail messages related to the focused accounts.

Moreover, the researchers have uncovered an expanded sufferer distribution within the marketing campaign. Whereas the earlier targets have been primarily situated within the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea areas, the scope has now widened to incorporate people, diplomatic entities, and analysis organizations in Western and Central Ukraine.

After in depth analysis into CloudWizard, Kaspersky consultants have made vital progress in attributing it to a identified risk actor. They’ve noticed notable similarities between CloudWizard and two beforehand documented campaigns: Operation Groundbait and Operation BugDrop. These similarities embody code similarities, file naming and itemizing patterns, internet hosting by Ukrainian internet hosting providers, and shared sufferer profiles in Western and Central Ukraine, in addition to the battle space in Jap Europe.

Furthermore, CloudWizard additionally displays resemblances to the lately reported marketing campaign CommonMagic. Some sections of the code are similar, they make use of the identical encryption library, comply with the same file naming format, and share sufferer areas throughout the Jap European battle space.

Based mostly on these findings, Kaspersky consultants have concluded that the malicious campaigns of Prikormka, Operation Groundbait, Operation BugDrop, CommonMagic, and CloudWizard might all be attributed to the identical energetic risk actor.  

“The risk actor liable for these operations has demonstrated a persistent and ongoing dedication to cyberespionage, constantly enhancing their toolset and concentrating on organizations of curiosity for over fifteen years,” stated Georgy Kucherin, safety researcher at Kaspersky’s World Analysis and Evaluation Staff. “Geopolitical components proceed to be a major motivator for APT assaults and, given the prevailing rigidity within the Russo-Ukrainian battle space, we anticipate that this actor will stick with its operations for the foreseeable future.”

Learn the complete report in regards to the CloudWizard marketing campaign on Securelist.

To be able to keep away from falling sufferer to a focused assault by a identified or unknown risk actor, Kaspersky researchers suggest implementing the next measures:

  • Present your SOC staff with entry to the most recent risk intelligence (TI). The Kaspersky Threat Intelligence Portal is a single level of entry for the corporate’s TI, offering it with cyberattack knowledge and insights gathered by Kaspersky spanning over 20 years.
  • Upskill your cybersecurity staff to deal with the most recent focused threats with Kaspersky online training developed by GReAT consultants
  • For endpoint degree detection, investigation, and well timed remediation of incidents, implement EDR options resembling Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response
  • Along with adopting important endpoint safety, implement a corporate-grade safety answer that detects superior threats on the community degree at an early stage, resembling Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform
  • As many focused assaults begin with phishing or different social engineering strategies, introduce safety consciousness coaching and train sensible expertise to your staff – for instance, by the Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform