The China-linked nation-state hacking group referred to as panda mustang makes use of decoys associated to the continued Russian-Ukrainian struggle to assault entities in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
That is in response to BlackBerry’s Analysis and Intelligence staff, which analyzed a RAR archive file titled “Coverage Steerage for the EU’s New Method to Russia.rar.” A number of the focused international locations are Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Turkey, Italy and Brazil.
Mustang Panda is a prolific cyber espionage group from China which can also be tracked as Bronze President, Earth Preta, HoneyMyte, RedDelta and Purple Lich.
It’s believed to have been lively since no less than July 2018, in response to Secureworks’ risk profile, though it seems the risk actor has been focusing on entities all over the world way back to 2012.
Mustang Panda is understood to rely closely on sending weaponized attachments by way of phishing emails to realize preliminary an infection, with intrusions ultimately resulting in deployment of the PlugX distant entry Trojan.
Nevertheless, the group’s current spear phishing assaults focusing on authorities, schooling and analysis sectors within the Asia-Pacific area have concerned customized malware corresponding to PUBLOAD, TONEINS and TONESHELL, suggesting an growth of its arsenal of malware.
BlackBerry’s newest findings present that the essential an infection course of has remained kind of the identical, at the same time as Mustang Panda continues to make use of geopolitical occasions to its benefit, echoing earlier studies from Google and Proofpoint.
The decoy archive incorporates a shortcut to a Microsoft Phrase file, which leverages DLL sideloading – a way that was additionally utilized in assaults focusing on Myanmar earlier this yr – to provoke PlugX execution in reminiscence, earlier than viewing the doc. Contents.
“Their assault chain stays in line with the continued use of archive information, shortcut information, malicious loaders and the usage of PlugX malware, though their supply configuration is mostly custom-made by area/nation to trick victims into working their payloads in hopes of building persistence with spying intent,” BlackBerry’s Dmitry Bestuzhev advised The Hacker Information.
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