Hackers Siphon Over 600 Gigs From PC Microphones

Researchers have uncovered an advanced malware-based operation that siphoned more than 600 gigabytes from about 70 targets in a broad range of industries, including critical infrastructure, news media, and scientific research.

The operation uses malware to capture audio recordings of conversations, screen shots, documents, and passwords, according to a blog post published last week by security firm CyberX. Targets are initially infected using malicious Microsoft Word documents sent in phishing e-mails. Once compromised, infected machines upload the pilfered audio and data to Dropbox, where it’s retrieved by the attackers. The researchers have dubbed the campaign Operation BugDrop because of its use of PC microphones to bug targets and send the audio and other data to Dropbox.

“Operation BugDrop is a well-organized operation that employs sophisticated malware and appears to be backed by an organization with substantial resources,” the CyberX researchers wrote. “In particular, the operation requires a massive back-end infrastructure to store, decrypt, and analyze several GB per day of unstructured data that is being captured from its targets. A large team of human analysts is also required to manually sort through captured data and process it manually and/or with Big Data-like analytics.”

Examples of targets infected in the campaign include:

  • A company that designs remote monitoring systems for oil and gas pipelines
  • An international organization that monitors human rights, counter-terrorism, and computer attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure
  • An engineering company that designs electrical substations, gas distribution pipelines, and water supply plants
  • A scientific research institute
  • Editors of Ukrainian newspapers

Source: Packet Storm – News @ February 21, 2017 at 07:57AM

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