The Russia-linked APT group Turla employed two new pieces of malware in attacks launched over a period of roughly two months in the fall of 2019.
The Turla APT group (aka Snake, Uroburos, Waterbug, Venomous Bear and KRYPTON) has been active since at least 2007 targeting diplomatic and government organizations and private businesses in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and former Soviet bloc nations.
The list of previously known victims is long and includes also the Swiss defense firm RUAG, US Department of State, and the US Central Command.
Recently ESET experts have uncovered watering hole attacks targeting several high-profile Armenian
“ESET researchers found a watering hole (aka strategic web compromise) operation targeting several high-profile Armenian
“In this specific operation, Turla has compromised at least four Armenian websites, including two belonging to the government.”
As part of this campaign, state-sponsored hackers compromised the websites of the Embassy of Armenia in Russia, the Ministry of Nature Protection and Natural Resources of the Republic of Artsakh, the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs, and the Armenian Deposit Guarantee Fund. The experts believe that the websites have been compromised since at least the beginning of 2019.
Only victims of interest are served a payload in the form of a fake Adobe Flash update, according to ESET telemetry, only a very limited number of visitors were targeted Turla’s hackers.
Before September 2019, victims were delivered with a RAR-SFX archive containing a legitimate Adobe Flash v14 installer and a second RAR-SFX archive containing components of the Skipper backdoor.
From September to November 2019, Turla hackers delivered a previously undocumented .NET downloader dubbed NetFlash, which fetched a second-stage backdoor named PyFlash.
The C&C server can also send backdoor commands in JSON format, below a list of supported commands:
“On the other hand, the payload has changed, probably in order to evade detection, as Skipper has been known for many years. They switched to NetFlash, which installs a backdoor we call PyFlash and that is developed in the Python language.”