A threat actor dubbed “Void Rabisu” used social engineering to target attendees of the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit that was held in Brussels from June 7 to 8, 2023, Trend Micro has found.
“Since many current and future political leaders had attended this conference, it presented an interesting target for espionage campaigns and served as a possible avenue for threat actors to gain an initial foothold in political organizations,” Trend Micro says.
“It is therefore not surprising that Void Rabisu set up a campaign targeting WPL Summit 2023 attendees. Our telemetry provided concrete evidence that this campaign was aimed at targets working on gender equality in EU politics.”
The threat actor set up a website that impersonated the WPL Summit’s site, and invited users to download a gallery of photos from the summit. The ZIP file contained a folder of real photos from the event (gathered from various social media sites), alongside a malware downloader. The downloader installed a new version of ROMCOM backdoor, which is designed to steal information.
Trend Micro says Void Rabisu uses various technical and social engineering techniques to conduct social cyberespionage.
“Void Rabisu is one of the clearest examples where we see a mix of the typical tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by cybercriminal threat actors and TTPs used by nation-state-sponsored threat actors motivated primarily by espionage goals,” the researchers write.
“For example, Void Rabisu has been signing malware with certificates most likely bought from a third-party service provider that other cybercriminal groups are also using. The threat actor has also employed malicious advertisements on both Google and Bing to generate search engine traffic to their lure sites, which contain malicious copies of software often used by system administrators.”
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