Menu
North Korea is likely behind attacks exploiting a Korean word processing program

North Korea is likely behind attacks exploiting a Korean word processing program

FireEye said forensic details match those of other cyberattacks attributed to the country

North Korea is likely behind cyberattacks that have focused on exploiting a word processing program widely used in South Korea, security firm FireEye said Thursday in a report.

The proprietary program, called Hangul Word Processor, is used primarily in the south by the government and public institutions.

The vulnerability, CVE-2015-6585, was patched three days ago by its developer Hancom.

FireEye's conclusion is interesting because only a handful of attacks have been publicly attributed to the secretive nation, which is known to have well-developed cyber capabilities.

One of the most prominent instances was the devastating attack in November 2014 against Sony Pictures, which lost sensitive corporate data and email and saw many of its computers rendered inoperable.

In a rare move, the FBI blamed North Korea for the Sony hack based on an analysis of malware suspected to have been developed by the country and used in other attacks.

FireEye said its attribution wasn't conclusive, but the targeting of a proprietary South Korean software program combined with targets in the country led it to "assess that this activity may be associated with North Korea-based threat actors."

If the malicious HWP file is opened, it installs a backdoor which FireEye nicknamed "Hangman." It's used for downloading files and probing file systems.

Once Hangman has collected data, it sends it to command-and-control servers over an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection. The IP addresses of those servers are hard-coded into Hangman and have been linked to other suspected North Korea-related attacks.

Hangman is also similar to another backdoor FireEye calls Peachpit, which may have been developed by North Korea, the report said. 

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments