Colin Mc Hugo

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Colin Mc Hugo
Security Engineer Manager & CEO at Quantum Infinite Solutions Group Ltd.

NK Hackers Deploy Browser Exploits on South Korean Sites to Spread Malware

August 18, 2021

A North Korean risk actor has been found profiting from two exploits in Web Explorer to contaminate victims with a customized implant as a part of a strategic net compromise (SWC) concentrating on a South Korean on-line newspaper.

Cybersecurity agency Volexity attributed the assaults to a risk actor it tracks as InkySquid, and extra broadly identified by the monikers ScarCruft and APT37. Each day NK, the publication in query, is claimed to have hosted the malicious code from no less than late March 2021 till early June 2021.

The “intelligent disguise of exploit code amongst respectable code” and using customized malware allows the attackers to keep away from detection, Volexity researchers stated.

Stack Overflow Teams

The assaults concerned tampering with the jQuery JavaScript libraries hosted on the web site to serve extra obfuscated JavaScript code from a distant URL, utilizing it to leverage exploits for 2 Web Explorer flaws that had been patched by Microsoft in August 2020 and March 2021. Profitable exploitation resulted within the deployment of a Cobalt Strike stager and novel backdoor known as BLUELIGHT.

  • CVE-2020-1380 (CVSS rating: 7.5) – Scripting Engine Reminiscence Corruption Vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-26411 (CVSS rating: 8.8) – Web Explorer Reminiscence Corruption Vulnerability

It is price noting that each the issues have been actively exploited within the wild, with the latter put to make use of by North Korean hackers to compromise safety researchers engaged on vulnerability analysis and improvement in a marketing campaign that got here to mild earlier this January.

In a separate set of attacks disclosed final month, an unidentified risk actor was discovered exploiting the identical flaw to ship a fully-featured VBA-based distant entry trojan (RAT) on compromised Home windows techniques.

Enterprise Password Management

BLUELIGHT is used as a secondary payload following the profitable supply of Cobalt Strike, functioning as a full-featured distant entry software that gives full entry to a compromised system.

Along with gathering system metadata and details about put in antivirus merchandise, the malware is able to executing shellcode, harvesting cookies and passwords from Web Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome browsers, gathering information and downloading arbitrary executables, the outcomes of that are exfiltrated to a distant server.

“Whereas SWCs usually are not as fashionable as they as soon as had been, they proceed to be a weapon within the arsenal of many attackers,” the researchers famous. “The usage of not too long ago patched exploits for Web Explorer and Microsoft Edge will solely work towards a restricted viewers.”

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