DHS Warns Energy Firms Of Malware Used In Targeted Attacks

The Department of Homeland Security warned firms in the energy sector about new, targeted malware infecting industrial control systems and stealing data. DHS’s ICS CERT, the Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Response Team, said it is analyzing malware associated with an ICS-focused malware campaign. The malicious software, dubbed “Havex” that was being spread by way of phishing emails and so-called “watering hole” attacks that involved compromises of ICS vendor web sites. DHS was alerted to the attacks by researchers at the security firms Symantec (which dubbed the malware campaign “Dragonfly”) and F-Secure (“Havex”) -a remote access trojan (or RAT) that also acts as an installer (or “downloader”) – fetching other malicious applications to perform specific tasks on compromised networks. One of those additional payloads is a Trojan Horse program dubbed Karagany (by Symantec) that has been liked to prior attacks on energy firms. According to Symantec, the malware targeted energy grid operators, major electricity generation firms, […]

Cisco: MS Word Macro Attacks Still Work Just Fine

We like to throw around the term ‘Advanced Persistent Threat’ casually these days to refer to a whole range of sophisticated and persistent attacks – usually on high value targets. But a blog post today by Cisco Systems makes clear that many otherwise sophisticated attackers do just fine with some pretty low tech and old school methods. Case in point: an attack Cisco is dubbing “String of Paerls-” a series of attacks on companies involved in research and what Cisco calls the ‘industrial manufacturing vertical.’ According to the report, the attacks start with a decidedly old school attack: a Microsoft Word document that includes a malicious Office Macro.”When the victim opens the Word document, an On-Open macro fires, which results in downloadin and executable and launching it on the victim’s machine.” Now, macro-based attacks are truly vintage. They first came to light in the late 1990s, with the Melissa virus – an early and successful […]