Tuesday, July 23, 2024
EHA

VHD Ransomware Linked to North Korea’s Cyber-Army Targets Financial Institutions

Experts from Trellix discovered that VHD Ransomware was linked to North Korea’s cyber army. The cyber-army of North Korea has been divided into several units, all of which have different tasks and report to ‘Bureau (or Lab) 121’.

Unit 180, also known as APT38 is responsible for the attacks on foreign financial systems, including banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.

The report says the actors of Unit 180 generally live in overseas countries such as China, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Kenya, and Mozambique to hide the unit’s link to the hermit kingdom that is North Korea.

Also, the defectors have exposed that obtaining funds for the government is done by more actors than the country’s ‘elite hackers’.

VHD Ransomware

VHD is a standard ransomware tool that spreads through the drives connected to the target device, encrypts all the files, and deletes all system volume information folders that prevent the impacted system could be restored.

Researchers used the source code of the VHD ransomware family and identified the following families:

  • BEAF ransomware
  • PXJ ransomware
  • ZZZZ ransomware
  • CHiCHi ransomware

From the analysis, four letters of the ransomware “BEAF” (BEAF is the extension used for the encrypted files), are exactly the same first four bytes of the handshake of APT38’s tool known as Beefeater.

The ZZZZ ransomware is a replica of the Beaf ransomware family. Researchers say the Tflower and ChiChi families share some little code with VHD, but that would be more generic functions than typical shared code and functionality.

The experts used the Hilbert curves to visualize the code of the different malware families and found both Tflower and ChiChi are vastly different when compared to VHD.

A picture containing textDescription automatically generated
Hilbert curve similarity

To identify financial trails with an overlap between the families, researchers extracted the Bitcoin (BTC) wallet addresses and started tracing and monitoring the transactions.

“We did not find any overlap in transfer wallets between the families. We did find, however, that the paid ransom amounts were relatively small.”, say the researchers.

Final Word

According to the experts from Trellix, besides global banks, blockchain providers and users from South Korea were also attacked using spear-phishing emails, fake mobile applications, and also fake companies.

All these attacks seemed to target the APAC region with targets in Japan and Malaysia. Therefore, experts suspect these attacks might have been executed to discover if ransomware is a valuable way of gaining income.

“Based on our research, combined intelligence, and observations of the smaller targeted ransomware attacks, Trellix attributes them to DPRK affiliated hackers with high confidence.”, concludes the blog.

Website

Latest articles

SonicOS IPSec VPN Vulnerability Let Attackers Cause Dos Condition

SonicWall has disclosed a critical heap-based buffer overflow vulnerability in its SonicOS IPSec VPN....

Hackers Registered 500k+ Domains Using Algorithms For Extensive Cyber Attack

Hackers often register new domains for phishing attacks, spreading malware, and other deceitful activities. Such...

Hackers Claim Breach of Daikin: 40 GB of Confidential Data Exposed

Daikin, the world's largest air conditioner manufacturer, has become the latest target of the...

Emojis Are To Express Emotions, But CyberCriminals For Attacks

There are 3,664 emojis that can be used to express emotions, ideas, or objects...

Beware Of Fake Browser Updates That Installs Malicious BOINC Infrastructre

SocGholish malware, also known as FakeUpdates, has exhibited new behavior since July 4th, 2024,...

Data Breach Increases by Over 1,000% Annually

The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support...

UK Police Arrested 17-year-old Boy Responsible for MGM Resorts Hack

UK police have arrested a 17-year-old boy from Walsall in connection with a notorious...
Guru baran
Guru baranhttps://gbhackers.com
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

Free Webinar

Low Rate DDoS Attack

9 of 10 sites on the AppTrana network have faced a DDoS attack in the last 30 days.
Some DDoS attacks could readily be blocked by rate-limiting, IP reputation checks and other basic mitigation methods.
More than 50% of the DDoS attacks are employing botnets to send slow DDoS attacks where millions of IPs are being employed to send one or two requests per minute..
Key takeaways include:

  • The mechanics of a low-DDoS attack
  • Fundamentals of behavioural AI and rate-limiting
  • Surgical mitigation actions to minimize false positives
  • Role of managed services in DDoS monitoring

Related Articles