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10 June 2019

Operation Sharpshooter



I would like to learn more and more about how latest malware work. In fact, from time to time, I read about what are the techniques they are using to exploit operating systems and get the information they are looking for. I like this kind of information because I think it’s useful for my job. Firstly, it’s useful because we are updated about the latest vulnerabilities and this is a best practice. Secondly, it’s useful because we can protect services better when we know how attacks work. Finally, it’s funny and rewarding to know how malware work.

Today, I’m going to write about the Operation Sharpshooter which is one of the latest malware campaign. This operation uses the malware Rising Sun against critical infrastructures, government and finance such as nuclear power stations, banking, electrical companies and the army. This malware is similar to the backdoor Duuzer because both decode and exfiltrate the information in the same way. Security researchers think the Operation Sharpshooter come from the Lazarus Group.

How this operation work? Firstly, they get lots of information about people who work in the company they want to attack. Secondly, they send a malicious document to victims about a new and better job. Thirdly, victims open the malicious document which execute a shellcode. This shellcode download the malware Rising Sun and a decoy document. Finally, the malware get lots of information, such as operating system, computer name, IP address, and send this information encrypted to the control server.

Infection flow of the Rising Sun implant, which eventually
sends data to the attacker’s control servers

Actually, I’ve seen many operations like this where social engineering and spear phishing are the ways of inserting malware in the organization. However, this kind of operations are increasingly persistent and directed to some companies. Therefore, it’s more difficult to detect these campaign. For instance, we already know about this operation, against some critical infrastructures, but we don’t know yet what is the goal of getting and exfiltrate this information.

Thanks for reading my blog!! If you know books about malware, write it down in the comments!

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