Newly discovered cyber espionage group DarkHydrus carrying out credential harvest attack on government entities and educational institutions in the Middle East. DarkHydrus used the open-source Phishery tool to carry out the targeted attacks.

Palo Alto observed the ongoing spear-phishing email campaign with the subject “Project Offer” that contains malicious word documents as an attachment.

DarkHydrus Campaign

When the user opens the malicious word document present in the phishing email it attempts to load a template from a remote server and pops-up an authentication dialog box and ask the user to input the login credentials.

The authentication prompt connected with the domain [“<redacted>. 0utl00k[.]net“] which is the C&C server for the cyber espionage group DarkHydrus. Attackers use 0utl00k[.]net which resembles the Microsoft’s legitimate “” to make the user less suspicious.

Once user enter’s the credentials in the dialog box it will be sent to attackers C&C server and the dialog box will go away and open’s an empty document.

Palo Alto researchers also found another two malicious word documents using the domain 0utl00k[.]net that is associated with September and November 2017 campaigns. Both of the campaigns appear particularly targeting an organization.

Out of the three malicious Word documents, two of the documents created using Phishery tool which provides the ability to install inject the URL into a .docx Word document and hosting a C&C server.

DarkHydrus carrying out all the credential harvesting attacks that use weaponized Word documents created through Phishery tool and continues to target the government and educational institutions.


C&C Server IP and Domain

How to stay safe

1. Have a unique Email address.
2. Do not open any attachments without proper validation.
3. Don’t open emails voluntary emails.
4. Use Spam filters & Antispam gateways.
5. Never respond to any spam emails.

Also Read

Real-Time Intelligence Feed to Catch Malicious Phishing Domains SSL Certificate

Phishing and Keylogging Major Threats to Google Accounts Security

Hackers can Bypass Two-Factor Authentication with Phishing Attack

BALAJI is a Former Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


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