Beneath analysis is reflecting our observations throughout month of March 2022. We additionally wish to thank Maria Jose Erquiaga for her contribution in introduction and assist in the course of the technique of writing.
Because the Russian-Ukrainian battle continues over typical warfare, cybersecurity professionals witnessed their area turning into an actual frontier. Menace actors selecting sides , group members turning in opposition to one another , some folks handing out DDoS instruments , some folks mixing in to show it into revenue , and plenty of different tales, proving that this new frontier is altering every day, and its direct influence is just not restricted to geographical boundaries.
Whereas assaults appear to be evolving every day, it’s difficult for one to remain updated with all that’s going round. Subsequently, we consider that you will need to distinguish between info and actionable intelligence. In Cisco International Menace Alerts, we wish to share our observations associated to this battle throughout March of 2022 and uncover how we will flip them into actionable intelligence collectively.
Menace Actors within the Russian-Ukrainian Battle
For the reason that speedy escalation of the battle in 2022, safety researchers and analysts have been gathering info concerning the adversarial teams, malware, methods, and forms of assaults applied [1, 5, 6]. A few of the teams and malware associated to the battle are described in Desk 1:
|Gamaredon ||Pteranodon ||Crimea|
|Sandworm ||CyclopsBlink ||Russia|
|WizardSpider ||Cobalt Strike , Emotet , Conti , Ryuk , Trickbot ||Russia|
Desk 1: Menace actors and their relations
Gamaredon group, also called Primitive Bear, Shuckworm and ACTINIUM, is a complicated persistent risk (APT) based mostly in Russia. Their actions could be traced again as early as 2013, previous to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. They’re identified to focus on state establishments of Ukraine and western authorities entities situated in Ukraine. Ukrainian officers attribute them to Russian Federal Safety Service, also called FSB .
Gamaredon usually leverages malicious workplace recordsdata, distributed by spear phishing as the primary stage of their assaults. They’re identified to make use of a PowerShell beacon known as PowerPunch to obtain and execute malware for ensuing levels of assaults. Pterodo and QuietSieve are in style malware households that they deploy for stealing info and numerous actions on goal .
We have been capable of accumulate community IoC’s associated to Gamaredon infrastructure. Throughout our preliminary evaluation, a lot of the indicators weren’t attributed on to any particular malware they usually have been slightly listed as a part of Gamaredon’s infrastructure. Subsequently, we needed to investigate their infrastructure to know their arsenal and deployment in larger element.
The primary a part of this analysis is concentrated on WHOIS report evaluation. We noticed that Gamaredon domains have been dominantly registered by REG[.]RU. Creation dates are going again as early as February 2019 and have a altering sample for the registrant e-mail. Till August 2020, we noticed that message-yandex.ru@mail[.]ru was the primary registrant e-mail. Later, it shifted to macrobit@inbox[.]ru, blended with the occasional utilization of message-yandex.ru@mail[.]ru and tank-bank15@yandex[.]ru. Area creation dates in a few of the WHOIS data are as current as March 2022.
Apart from WHOIS info, the domains we noticed that have been associated to Gamaredon campaigns had a distinguishing naming conference. Whereas dataset consisted of domains (with out TLDs) various between 4 to 16 characters, 70% p.c of them have been between 7 to 10 characters. Mixed with a restricted group of top-level domains (TLDs) used (see Desk 2), this leads us to a naming sample for additional attribution. Moreover, the utilization of TLDs on area creation appears to be rotating.
Desk 2: TLD distribution and time in use
Within the case of area resolutions, we aimed to investigate the distribution of autonomous system numbers (ASN) utilized by resolved IP addresses (see Desk 3). As soon as extra, the proprietor REG[.]RU is main the checklist, proudly owning a lot of the domains. TimeWeb was the second this time, with 28% of the domains we discovered to be associated to Gamaredon actions. Domains having ‘. on-line’ and ‘.ru’ TLDs are commonly updating their IP resolutions, virtually every day.
|System Service Ltd.||AS50448||184.108.40.206/24||1.82%|
Desk 3: Distribution of IP addresses per ASN and proprietor
After understanding the infrastructure, let’s proceed with their arsenal. We checked out related file samples for the domains by Umbrella and Virustotal. A pattern of the outcomes could be seen beneath. Referring to a file kind, we will see that the Gamaredon group prefers malicious workplace paperwork with macros. Additionally, they’re identified to make use of Pterodo, which is a continuously evolving customized backdoor [8, 18].
|acetica[.]on-line||4c12713ef851e277a66d985f666ac68e73ae21a82d8dcfcedf781c935d640f52||Workplace Open XML Doc||Groooboor|
|arvensis[.]xyz||03220baa1eb0ad80808a682543ba1da0ec5d56bf48391a268ba55ff3ba848d2f||Workplace Open XML Doc||Groooboor|
|email-smtp[.]on-line||404ed6164154e8fb7fdd654050305cf02835d169c75213c5333254119fc51a83||Workplace Open XML Doc||Groooboor|
|gurmou[.]web site||f9a1d7e896498074f7f3321f1599bd12bdf39222746b756406de4e499afbc86b||Workplace Open XML Doc||Groooboor|
|mail-check[.]ru||41b7a58d0d663afcdb45ed2706b5b39e1c772efd9314f6c1d1ac015468ea82f4||Workplace Open XML Doc||Groooboor|
|office360-expert[.]on-line||611e4b4e3fd15a1694a77555d858fced1b66ff106323eed58b11af2ae663a608||Workplace Open XML Doc||Groooboor|
|achilleas[.]xyz||f021b79168daef8a6359b0b14c0002316e9a98dc79f0bf27e59c48032ef21c3d||Workplace Open XML Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|anisoptera[.]on-line||8c6a3df1398677c85a6e11982d99a31013486a9c56452b29fc4e3fc8927030ad||MS Phrase Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|erythrocephala[.]on-line||4acfb73e121a49c20423a6d72c75614b438ec53ca6f84173a6a27d52f0466573||Workplace Open XML Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|hamadryas[.]on-line||9b6d89ad4e35ffca32c4f44b75c9cc5dd080fd4ce00a117999c9ad8e231d4418||Workplace Open XML Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|intumescere[.]on-line||436d2e6da753648cbf7b6b13f0dc855adf51c014e6a778ce1901f2e69bd16360||MS Phrase Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|limosa[.]on-line||0b525e66587e564db10bb814495aefb5884d74745297f33503d32b1fec78343f||MS Phrase Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|mesant[.]on-line||936b70e0babe7708eda22055db6021aed965083d5bc18aad36bedca993d1442a||MS Phrase Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|sufflari[.]on-line||13b780800c94410b3d68060030b5ff62e9a320a71c02963603ae65abbf150d36||MS Phrase Doc||Macro enabled Phrase Trojan|
|buhse[.]xyz||aa566eed1cbb86dab04e170f71213a885832a58737fcab76be63e55f9c60b492||Workplace Open XML Doc||Pterodo|
|coagula[.]on-line||c3eb8cf3171aa004ea374db410a810e67b3b1e78382d9090ef9426afde276d0f||MS Phrase Doc||Pterodo|
|gorimana[.]web site||90cb5319d7b5bb899b1aa684172942f749755bb998de3a63b2bccb51449d1273||MS Phrase Doc||Pterodo|
|melitaeas[.]on-line||55ad79508f6ccd5015f569ce8c8fcad6f10b1aed930be08ba6c36b2ef1a9fac6||Workplace Open XML Doc||Pterodo|
|upload-dt[.]hopto[.]org||4e72fbc5a8c9be5f3ebe56fed9f613cfa5885958c659a2370f0f908703b0fab7||MS Phrase Doc||Pterodo|
Desk 4: Domains, recordsdata (hash and kind), and malware identify related to the Gamaredon group
After reviewing the behaviors of the related malicious samples, it’s simpler to construct attribution between the malicious area and the corresponding pattern. IP addresses resolved by the area are later used to ascertain uncooked IP command and management (C2) communication with a distinguishing URL sample. The next instance exhibits how 1c7804155248e2596ec9de97e5cddcddbafbb5c6d066d972bad051f81bbde5c4 resolves gorigan[.]ru and makes use of its IP deal with to construct a C2 URL (http|https<IP>/<random alphanumerical string>). Subsequently, DNS and outgoing net visitors is essential for its detection.
Detecting Gamaredon Exercise with International Menace Alerts
In Cisco International Menace Alerts, we’re monitoring the Gamaredon group underneath the Gamaredon Exercise risk object. The risk description is enriched with MITRE references (see Determine 3).
Determine 4 exhibits a detection pattern of Gamaredon exercise. Observe that the contaminated machine tried to speak with the domains alacritas[.]ru, goloser[.]ru, and libellus[.]ru, which appeared to be sinkholed to the OpenDNS IP deal with of 146.112.61.[.]107.
We’ve walked by the steps of manufacturing intelligence from info we’ve collected. We started our evaluation with an unattributed checklist of community IoC’s and have been capable of determine distinctive patterns of their metadata. Then, we pivoted to endpoint IoC’s and attributed domains to malware households. Subsequent, we confirmed how we turned it right into a detection of the Gamaredon group displayed within the Cisco International Menace Alerts portal.
To your comfort, right here’s a abstract of the intelligence we developed on this weblog put up:
|Aliases||Primitive Bear, Shuckworm, ACTINIUM|
|Targets||Ukranian State Organizations|
|Malware used||Pterodo, Groooboor|
|File Sort||Macro enabled workplace recordsdata, Win32 Exe, VBA|
|TLD’s used||.on-line, .xyz, .ru, .web site, .house|
|ASN’s used||REG.RU, Ltd, TimeWeb Ltd., EuroByte LLC, AS-CHOOPA, LLC Baxet, System Service Ltd.|
References Cyber Group Tracker: https://cyberknow.medium.com/update-10-2022-russia-ukraine-war-cyber-group-tracker-march-20-d667afd5afff  Conti ransomware’s inside chats leaked after siding with Russia: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/information/safety/conti-ransomwares-internal-chats-leaked-after-siding-with-russia/  Hackers sound name to arms with digital weapon geared toward Russian web sites: https://cybernews.com/information/hackers-sound-call-to-arms-with-digital-weapon-aimed-at-russian-websites/  Menace advisory: Cybercriminals compromise customers with malware disguised as pro-Ukraine cyber instruments: https://weblog.talosintelligence.com/2022/03/threat-advisory-cybercriminals.html  Ukraine-Cyber-Operations: https://github.com/curated-intel/Ukraine-Cyber-Operations  What You Must Know About Russian Cyber Escalation in Ukraine: https://socradar.io/what-you-need-to-know-about-russian-cyber-escalation-in-ukraine/  Gamaredon: https://assault.mitre.org/teams/G0047/  Pteranodon: https://assault.mitre.org/software program/S0147/  Sandworm: https://assault.mitre.org/teams/G0034/  Menace Advisory: Cyclops Blink: https://weblog.talosintelligence.com/2022/02/threat-advisory-cyclops-blink.html  Wizard Spider: https://assault.mitre.org/teams/G0102/  Cobalt Strike: https://assault.mitre.org/software program/S0154  Emotet: https://assault.mitre.org/software program/S0367  Conti: https://assault.mitre.org/software program/S0575  Ryuk: https://assault.mitre.org/software program/S0446  TrickBot: https://assault.mitre.org/software program/S0446  Technical Report Gamaredon/Armageddon group: https://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/recordsdata/DKIB/Technicalpercent20reportpercent20Armagedon.pdf  ACTINIUM targets Ukrainian organizations: https://www.microsoft.com/safety/weblog/2022/02/04/actinium-targets-ukrainian-organizations/
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