State-Sponsored Russian Phishing Campaigns Target a Variety of Industries

Russian Phishing CampaignsResearchers at IBM X-Force are monitoring several ongoing phishing campaigns by the Russian state-sponsored threat actor ITG05 (also known as “APT28” or “Fancy Bear”). APT28 has been tied to Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.

“As of March 2024, X-Force is tracking multiple ongoing ITG05 phishing campaigns featuring lure documents crafted to imitate authentic documents of government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and North and South America,” the researchers write.

“The uncovered lures include a mixture of internal and publicly available documents, as well as possible actor-generated documents associated with finance, critical infrastructure, executive engagements, cyber security, maritime security, healthcare, business, and defense industrial production.”

The threat actor is also using documents containing blurred images that trick the user into clicking on links that enable malware execution.

“In an update to their methodologies ITG05 is utilizing the freely available hosting provider, firstcloudit[.]com to stage payloads to enable ongoing operations,” X-Force says. “To engender victim engagement ITG05 presents an intentionally opaque image of the lures to entice the victim to click through the content and reveal the document. Upon clicking, the victim ultimately launches the infection chain to deliver MASEPIE malware.”

The researchers conclude, “ITG05 remains adaptable to changes in opportunity by delivering new infection methodologies and leveraging commercially available infrastructure, while consistently evolving malware capabilities. X-Force assesses with high confidence that ITG05 will continue to leverage attacks against world governments and their political apparatus to provide Russia with advanced insight into emergent policy decisions.”

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IBM has the story.

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