The UK and US cybersecurity agencies have recently linked a new malware called Cyclops Blink to the Russian state hacker group, Sandworm which is also known as Voodoo Bear.
While cybersecurity analysts have claimed that the Cyclops Blink malware is the replacement for the VPNFilter malware that was revealed in 2018 and the deployment of this malware could allow the operators of Sandworm to access the networks remotely.
This Cyclops Blink malware has been used by the threat actors in several attacks against the WatchGuard Firebox network security appliances and other small office/home office (SOHO) network devices.
Security Agencies Involved
Here below we have mentioned all the UK and US security agencies that are involved in this analysis:-
- NCSC from the UK
- CISA from the USA
- FBI from the USA
- NSA from the USA
Steadiness via Firmware Updates
The UK National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) asserted that with VPNFilter, the deployment of Cyclops Blink malware appears to be indiscriminate and widespread. And this malware has already affected 1% of all active WatchGuard firewall devices used by business customers.
Moreover, this malware comes with multiple modules that are primarily designed to do the following things:-
- Upload files to and from the C&C.
- Steal device information.
- Update malware.
Here on the infected devices, the malware uses legitimate firmware update channels to retain access to the compromised systems by:-
- Injecting the malicious code.
- Deploying repackaged firmware images.
The security agencies have recommended a few mitigations, and here we have mentioned them below:-
- Management interfaces of network devices should not be exposed to the internet.
- Make sure to update your devices and networks with the latest update.
- Always use multi-factor authentication.
- Always use strong and complex passwords.
- Use robust security mechanisms and AV tools.
- Make sure to treat people as your first line of defense.
- Set up a security monitoring capability.
- Make sure to prevent and detect lateral movement in your organization’s networks
Apart from this, the cybersecurity agencies, FBI, CISA, NSA, and NCSC are working with WatchGuard to provide all the necessary tools and recommendations to deliver custom updates to remove the Cyclops Blink malware from all the vulnerable WatchGuard devices.