Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Unraveling the Turla cyber-espionage campaign
Posted on 8-Aug-2014 12:49 | Tags Filed under: News



Researchers at Kaspersky Lab announced the discovery of a precursor to the Turla APT campaign called Epic. The attacks are known to use a cocktail of zero-days and off-the-shelf exploits against previously unknown and patched vulnerabilities to compromise victims.

Peaking during the first two months of the year, the Turla APT campaign, one of the most sophisticated ongoing cyber-espionage campaigns, has targeted municipal governments, embassies, militaries and other high-value targets worldwide in more than 45 countries.

The first research conducted on Turla however, did not reveal a vital element of the cyber-espionage campaign; the question of how victims get infected. The latest Kaspersky Lab research on this operation reveals that Epic is in fact the initial stage of the Turla victim infection mechanism.

Turla’s first stage:
During the analysis, Kaspersky Lab researchers observed the attackers using the Epic malware to deploy a more sophisticated backdoor known as the “Cobra/Carbon system”, also named “Pfinet” by some anti-virus products.

After some time, the attackers went further and used the Epic implant to update the “Carbon” configuration file with a different set of C&C servers. The unique knowledge to operate these two backdoors indicates a clear and direct connection between each other.

“The configuration updates for the ‘Carbon system’ malware are interesting, because this is another project from the Turla actor. This indicates that we are dealing with a multi-stage infection that begins with Epic Turla. The Epic Turla is used to gain a foothold and validate the high profile victim. If the victim is interesting, it gets upgraded to the full Turla Carbon system.” explains Costin Raiu, Director of the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab.

Turla outline
· Epic Turla / Tavdig: The early-stage infection mechanism.
· Cobra Carbon system/ Pfinet (+others): Intermediary upgrades and communication plugins.
· Snake / Uroburos: High-grade malware platform that includes a rootkit and virtual file systems.

The “Epic” project has been used since at least 2012, with the highest volume of activity observed in January-February 2014. More recently, Kaspersky Lab detected this attack against one of its users on August 5, 2014.

Using zero-day exploits, social engineering and watering hole techniques attacks to infect victims, the attackers aim to gain immediate and full control over the target system.

Links with other threat actors:
Interestingly, possible connections with different cyber-espionage campaigns have been observed. In February 2014, Kaspersky Lab experts observed that the threat actor known as Miniduke was using the same web-shells to manage infected web servers as the Epic team did.

With some of the backdoors compiled using the Russian language, as well as the use of Cyrillic characters, the attackers are likely to be of Russian-speaking origin.



comments powered by Disqus




Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

The President Of The USA: Donald Trump
Created by TimA, last reply by DarthKermit on 26-Feb-2017 04:49 (3318 replies)
Pages... 220 221 222


"Parents' lawsuit claims FaceTime caused daughter's death"
Created by kingdragonfly, last reply by richms on 23-Feb-2017 11:03 (23 replies)
Pages... 2


Vodafone / SKY merger
Created by wingbat45, last reply by tdgeek on 25-Feb-2017 07:34 (136 replies)
Pages... 8 9 10


I paid the wrong Bank Account, what can I do - advice wanted?
Created by harlansmart, last reply by Rikkitic on 25-Feb-2017 22:46 (40 replies)
Pages... 2 3


What is this green cabinet for?
Created by DarthKermit, last reply by MadEngineer on 24-Feb-2017 21:13 (20 replies)
Pages... 2


SureSignal missed calls
Created by hairy1, last reply by froob on 23-Feb-2017 20:23 (19 replies)
Pages... 2


Best way to network my computers
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by Rikkitic on 24-Feb-2017 11:24 (75 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Silly Cricket Scoring
Created by tdgeek, last reply by Jas777 on 22-Feb-2017 09:55 (46 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4