Menu
Custom developed Dripion backdoor used in highly targeted attacks in Asia, US

Custom developed Dripion backdoor used in highly targeted attacks in Asia, US

The malware may be linked to a known cyberespionage group that targets companies with interests in Taiwan

A new custom developed backdoor program has been used in highly targeted attacks against organizations from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. over the past year.

Malware researchers from Symantec first came across the program, which they've named Dripion, in August 2015. However, due to its custom nature and sparse use, it has managed to fly under the radar since as early as November 2013.

When their analysis began, the Symantec researchers believed Dripion was a local threat used against organizations in Taiwan, where most of its victims were found. However, since then, they have found computers infected with the backdoor in other countries as well.

The program's creators went to great lengths to disguise the malware's activities. It is installed on computers by another malicious program known as Blugger, which uses encryption to hide its communications.

Blugger downloads the Dripion backdoor from what appear to be English-language blogs. It's not clear if these are legitimate blogs that have been compromised, or if the attackers intentionally created the sites.

After it's installed on a computer, Dripion connects to command-and-control domains with names similar to those of several antivirus companies in an attempt to further hide the malicious traffic in victims' network logs.

Dripion allows attackers to steal information and files from infected computers, as well as upload new files and execute them.

Symantec has also found links between Dripion and a cyberespionage group known as Budminer that, until 2014, has used a different backdoor program called Taidoor. Budminer is known for launching targeted attacks since 2009 against international think tanks, manufacturers and defense contractors with interests in Taiwan.

It's possible that Dripion is Budminer's new malware tool, created after Taidoor was exposed and documented by security researchers. There are no code similarities between the two programs, though, suggesting that Dripion was developed from scratch.

The Dripion case shows that custom developed backdoors used in a small number of highly targeted attacks can easily bypass traditional anti-malware defenses and remain undetected for a long time. Defending against them requires a multi-layered security approach.

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