Tropic Trooper

A new hacking group, dubbed Earth Centaur which was previously known as Tropic Trooper has recently targeted transportation and government companies.

This hacking group has been active since 2011, in short, it’s a long-running cyberespionage hacking group. While the security company, Trend Micro in July 2020 has detected some suspicious activity of Earth Centaur and since then the security analysts at Trend Micro have been monitoring the group.

The appearance of the Earth Centaur hacking group is the resurgence of Tropic Trooper. They targeted the transportation and government companies to breach the following sensitive data:- 

  • Flight schedules
  • Financial planning documents
  • Intranet
  • Dump credentials
  • Wipe out event logs

Why Earth Centaur dubbed as Tropic Trooper?

Here, the cybersecurity analysts named the Earth Centaur hacking group as Tropic Trooper, all because they found similar code in the configuration decoding of Earth Centaur.

Here’s what the security experts at Trend Micro stated:-

“Currently, we have not discovered substantial damage to these victims as caused by the threat group. However, we believe that it will continue collecting internal information from the compromised victims and that it is simply waiting for an opportunity to use this data.”

The threat actors have targeted several sectors and they are:-

  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • High-tech industries

Tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of Earth Centaur

The tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by the Earth Centaur are quite sophisticated, as to exploit known vulnerabilities they use spear-phishing emails with weaponized attachments.

Not only that even the operators of this group also developing their TTPs with several malicious add-ons like obfuscation, stealthiness, and striking power.

In recent times, the attackers implemented a USB trojan known as USBFerry to refine their strategies and attacks.

Implants and tools used

The implants or payloads used by the threat actors are:-

  • ChiserClient
  • SmileSvr
  • ChiserClient
  • HTShell
  • Bespoke versions of Lilith RAT and Gh0st RAT

Here below e have mentioned the tools used by the threat actors:- 

  • SharpHound
  • FRPC
  • Chisel
  • RClone

Commands used

Here are the commands that are used by the threat actors:-

  • CMDCommand: Executes commands
  • DownloadCloudFile: Downloads files
  • UploadCloudFile: Uploads files
  • GetDir: Lists directories
  • GetDirFile: Lists files in a directory
  • DeleteSelf: Deletes itself 

Here’s what the experts stated:-

“The group can map their target’s network infrastructure and bypass firewalls. It uses backdoors with different protocols, which are deployed depending on the victim. It also has the capability to develop customized tools to evade security monitoring in different environments, and it exploits vulnerable websites and uses them as C2 servers.”

Moreover, with the passage of the Infrastructure Deal in November across the transportation sector enormous investments will occur due to this deal and here the threat actors seemed to poised the cash in perfectly.

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