Kaspersky claims hyperlink between Solorigate and Kazuar backdoors

Iaroslav Neliubov – stock.adobe.

Researchers stutter they’ve chanced on reveal code similarities between the Solorigate/Sunburst malware and the Kazuar backdoor, suggesting some relationship

Alex Scroxton


Published: 11 Jan 2021 11: 18

The Solorigate/Sunburst malware deployed in opposition to SolarWinds Orion possibilities on the finish of 2020 shares some code similarities with identified versions of the Kazuar backdoors, suggesting some originate of genetic relationship between the two, in response to Kasperksy’s security be taught workers.

Kazuar is a backdoor written utilizing the .NET framework and used to be first seen in 2017 by Palo Alto’s Unit 42 security workers, and tentatively linked on the time to the Moscow-backed Turla evolved power threat (APT) community. It has been carefully broken-down in cyber espionage attacks all over the enviornment over the previous few years, and Kaspersky’s findings lend more weight to the speculation that the December 2020 cyber assault used to be a Russian-ordered espionage operation.

The overlapping aspects between the two encompass the sufferer UID generation algorithm, the napping algorithm, and use of the FNV-1a hash, said Kasperksy’s Costin Raiu, director of the agency’s Worldwide Be taught and Prognosis Staff.

Raiu said the code fragments weren’t 100% an identical, that way that the nature of the relationship, if any, is no longer totally clear, but he added that since Solorigate/Sunburst used to be first deployed nearly 12 months ago, Kazaur itself has also evolved extra, with its most most modern variants way more similar in some respects.

“The diagnosed connection doesn’t give away who used to be in the back of the SolarWinds assault; on the change hand, it gives more insights that may presumably well maybe help the researchers lag forward on this investigation,” said Raiu. “We mediate it is necessary that other researchers all over the enviornment examine these similarities and are trying to ogle more info about Kazuar and the origin of Sunburst, the malware broken-down in the SolarWinds breach.

“Judging from previous expertise, as an illustration looking back to the WannaCry assault, in the early days there had been entirely a couple of information linking them to the Lazarus community. In time, more proof appeared and allowed us, and others, to hyperlink them along with high self belief. Extra be taught on this topic is necessary for connecting the dots.”

Raiu said there had been several attainable explanations for the similarities. As an instance, Solorigate/Sunburst and Kazuar will had been developed by the same community or the developers of Solorigate/Sunburst, identified as Darkish Halo or UNC2452, will had been impressed by the makers of Kazuar. Alternatively, both groups will have bought their malware from a third birthday celebration, or anyone will have swapped groups, taking data and tools with them.

The coding similarities may presumably well maybe even be a untrue flag, said Kaspersky – Turla has itself been popular for its opportunistic “hijacking” of others’ infrastructure as an obfuscation methodology in the previous.

The Kaspersky workers added that whatever the overlap signified, their be taught may presumably well moreover honest quiet no longer substitute anything else for defenders – provide chain attacks are, usually, highly refined and extraordinarily unsafe, no topic their lineage.

To limit probably exposure to such attacks, Kaspersky recommends that defenders take three key steps. First, community management instrument may presumably well moreover honest quiet be isolated on a separate VLAN and monitored individually from the user community. 2nd, outgoing recordsdata superhighway connections from servers or other home equipment that traipse third-birthday celebration instrument may presumably well moreover honest quiet be dinky. Third, defenders may presumably well moreover honest quiet set apart in location frequent memory dumping and diagnosis, checking for malicious code that is working in a decrypted say utilizing a code similarity instrument that suits it in opposition to malware databases – Kaspersky’s delight in Menace Attribution Engine is one such instrument, others are accessible in.

The vendor also recommends giving security groups gain entry to to a threat intelligence provider.

More recordsdata on the obvious hyperlinks between the two malwares, along side in-depth technical details, would be chanced on on Kaspersky’s SecureList blog.

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