Operators associated with the Lazarus sub-group BlueNoroff have been linked to a series of cyberattacks targeting small and medium-sized companies worldwide with an aim to drain their cryptocurrency funds, in what’s yet another financially motivated operation mounted by the prolific North Korean state-sponsored actor.
Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky, which is tracking the intrusions under the name “SnatchCrypto,” noted that the campaign has been running since at 2017, adding the attacks are aimed at startups in the FinTech sector located in China, Hong Kong, India, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the U.A.E., the U.S., Ukraine, and Vietnam.
“The attackers have been subtly abusing the trust of the employees working at targeted companies by sending them a full-featured Windows backdoor with surveillance functions, disguised as a contract or another business file,” the researchers said. “In order to eventually empty the victim’s crypto wallet, the actor has developed extensive and dangerous resources: complex infrastructure, exploits and malware implants.”
BlueNoroff, and the larger Lazarus umbrella, are known for deploying a diverse arsenal of malware for a multi-pronged assault on businesses to illicitly procure funds, including relying on a mix of advanced phishing tactics and sophisticated malware, for the sanctions-hit North Korean regime and generate revenue for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
If anything, these cyber offensives are paying off big time. According to a new report published by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, the Lazarus Group has been linked to seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms that extracted almost $400 million worth of digital assets in 2021 alone, up from $300 million in 2020.
images from Hacker News