This morning I wrote about a large-scale
The Emissary Panda APT (aka
The group was involved in cyber espionage campaigns aimed at new generation weapons and in surveillance activities on dissidents and other civilian groups.
The cyber espionage group leverage both readily available tools and custom malware in their operations, many tools are available for years, but in recent attacks, their code was updated.
“In 2018, CTU researchers identified evidence of BRONZE UNION leveraging tools that have been publicly available for years. However, the variants used in 2018 included updated code.” states the report published by Secureworks.
In 2018, Emissary Panda was observed using an updated version of the ZxShell RAT first developed in 2006 and whom code was released in 2007. The malware includes the well-known HTran packet redirection tool and was signed with digital certificates that were signed by Hangzhou Shunwang Technology
In 2018, Emissary Panda also used a modified version of Gh0st RAT to infect multiple systems and make lateral movements.
“This Gh0st RAT sample communicated with IP address 43
The threat actors were also observed using custom tools in attacks observed since 2016, such as SysUpdate and HyperBro.
In the arsenal of the
“After performing this download, SysUpdate Main reverts to its binary protocol for any additional commands from the C2 server, beaconing every three minutes.”
Experts described SysUpdate as a flexible malware that could expand its capabilities by loading new payload files.
“During complex intrusion scenarios, the threat actors leverage their proprietary tools, which offer custom functionality and lower detection rates. They appear to prefer using widely available tools and web shells to maintain access to networks over longer periods.”
“After accessing a network, the threat actors are adept at circumventing common security controls, escalating privileges, and maintaining their access to high-value systems over long periods of time,”