A group of hackers known as “Gaza cybergang” and “Gaza Hackers Team” has been targeting IT and Incident Response Team in the Mena (Middle East North Africa) area. The Gaza cybergang appears to be politically motivated and has been active since at least 2012, but it has intensified its activity in the Q2 2015.
According to the experts at Kaspersky that are monitoring the group, the hackers are targeting IT and IR staff to gather intelligence on the targeted organizations.
“IR people are also known for having access to sensitive data related to ongoing cyber investigations in their organizations, in addition to special access and permissions enabling them to hunt for malicious or suspicious activities on the network,” states a blog post. published by Kaspersky’s Global Research & Analysis Team.
According to researchers at Kaspersky, the Gaza cybergang focused its espionage activity on government entities, particularly embassies, in United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Yemen.
The hackers don’t use complicated malware to spy on victims’ machine, Kaspersky noticed they rely on common remote access Trojans (RATs) such as PoisonIvy and XtremeRAT. FireEye published a detailed analysis on the activity of the group in April 2013, the expert of the security firm called the operation “Molerats.”
The Gaza cybergang is targeting IT and IR teams by sending their staff malware disguised as common security software used by such personnel.
The hackers use malicious files having politics-related names written in Arabic, such as “Signs of a new dispute between the UAE and Saudi Arabia” and “Scandalous pictures of Egyptian militants, judges and consultants.”
The researchers believe that the Gaza cybergang also launched phishing campaigns from official-looking domain names (e.g. gov.uae.kim) in order to steal victims’ Google login credentials.
The experts tracked the Gaza cybergang since October 2012 when spotted a malware-based attack on the Israeli government and police force. Later the experts discovered a cyber espionage campaign targeting the Palestine and other government entities worldwide (i.e. United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Slovenia, Latvia, Macedonia, and New Zealand).
below some of the most interesting findings of the analysis made by Kaspersky on the Gaza cybergang:
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(Security Affairs – Hamas, Israel)