Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

8/27/2019
02:35 PM
50%
50%

New 'Lyceum' Threat Group Eyes Critical Infrastructure

Researchers report Lyceum, otherwise known as Hexane, has targeted organizations in South Africa and the Middle East.

Newly discovered threat group Lyceum has been spotted attacking critical infrastructure firms in the oil and gas, and possibly telecommunications, industries with the goal of gaining and expanding access inside target networks, Secureworks' Counter Threat Unit researchers report.

Lyceum may have been active as early as April 2018, when domain registrations indicate an attack on South African targets. One year later, after developing and testing its toolkit against a public malware-scanning service, Lyceum launched a May 2019 campaign against oil and gas businesses in the Middle East. It prioritizes organizations in strategically important industries.

Attackers typically use password spraying or brute force to gain credentials they need to break in. They use access to compromised accounts to send spearphishing emails containing malicious Excel attachments, which install DanBot malware to deploy post-intrusion tools. DanBot is one of several attack tools researchers have observed in Lyceum's arsenal, they write in a blog post.

Spear-phishing emails are usually sent from compromised accounts to specific executives, human resources staff, and IT personnel. Targets are more likely to open emails from internal accounts, and each of these groups could further attackers' access to sensitive data: HR personnel may have information that could prove useful for future spearphishing attacks, and IT personnel have access to high-privilege accounts and data specific to the firm's environment.

The group is an emerging threat to energy organizations in the Middle East, researchers say, but organizations should assume Lyceum will branch out to other sectors. Critical infrastructure firms should pay particular attention, they caution. The group doesn't appear to have demonstrated an interest in industrial control systems or OT staff thus far; however, there is a possibility attackers could leverage access to IT environments to spread into the OT environment.

Lyceum's tactics are similar to activities from other groups Cobalt Gypsy and Cobalt Trinity, but none of the malware or infrastructure linked to Lyceum has been directly linked to other groups. Researchers say there isn't enough technical evidence to support attribution.

Read more details here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "'Culture Eats Policy for Breakfast': Rethinking Security Awareness Training."

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Overcoming the Challenge of Shorter Certificate Lifespans
Mike Cooper, Founder & CEO of Revocent,  10/15/2020
US Counterintelligence Director & Fmr. Europol Leader Talk Election Security
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/16/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-26895
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-21
Prior to 0.10.0-beta, LND (Lightning Network Daemon) would have accepted a counterparty high-S signature and broadcast tx-relay invalid local commitment/HTLC transactions. This can be exploited by any peer with an open channel regardless of the victim situation (e.g., routing node, payment-receiver,...
CVE-2020-26896
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-21
Prior to 0.11.0-beta, LND (Lightning Network Daemon) had a vulnerability in its invoice database. While claiming on-chain a received HTLC output, it didn't verify that the corresponding outgoing off-chain HTLC was already settled before releasing the preimage. In the case of a hash-and-amount collis...
CVE-2020-5790
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-20
Cross-site request forgery in Nagios XI 5.7.3 allows a remote attacker to perform sensitive application actions by tricking legitimate users into clicking a crafted link.
CVE-2020-5791
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-20
Improper neutralization of special elements used in an OS command in Nagios XI 5.7.3 allows a remote, authenticated admin user to execute operating system commands with the privileges of the apache user.
CVE-2020-5792
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-20
Improper neutralization of argument delimiters in a command in Nagios XI 5.7.3 allows a remote, authenticated admin user to write to arbitrary files and ultimately execute code with the privileges of the apache user.