Menu
Russian spy group adopts new tools to hack defense contractor networks

Russian spy group adopts new tools to hack defense contractor networks

Pawn Storm uses air-gap defeating malware

A Russian cyberespionage group known as Pawn Storm has adopted new tools in an ongoing attack campaign against defense contractors with the goal of defeating network isolation policies.

Pawn Storm, also known as Sofacy, after its primary malware tool, has been active since at least 2007 and has targeted governmental, security and military organizations from NATO member countries, as well as media organizations, Ukrainian political activists and Kremlin critics.

Since August, the group has been engaged in an ongoing attack campaign focused on defense contractors, according to security researchers from Kaspersky Lab.

During this operation, the group has used a new version of a backdoor program called AZZY and a new set of data-stealing modules. One of those modules monitors for USB storage devices plugged into the computer and steals files from them based on rules defined by the attackers.

The Kaspersky Lab researchers believe that this module's goal is to defeat so-called network air gaps, network segments where sensitive data is stored and which are not connected to the Internet to limit their risk of compromise.

However, it's fairly common for employees in organizations that use such network isolation policies to move data from air-gapped computers to their workstations using USB thumb drives.

Pawn Storm joins other sophisticated cyberespionage groups, like Equation and Flame, that are known to have used malware designed to defeat network air gaps.

"Over the last year, the Sofacy group has increased its activity almost tenfold when compared to previous years, becoming one of the most prolific, agile and dynamic threat actors in the arena," the Kaspersky researchers said in a blog post. "This activity spiked in July 2015, when the group dropped two completely new exploits, an Office and Java zero-day."


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments