Tibet phishers hit back at AlienVault

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Phishing emails impersonate security researchers.

Phishing scammers have impersonated AlienVault researchers in fake emails sent to Tibetan organisations.

The initial detection by Alienvault of spearphishing attacks from China was announced two weeks ago. Those attacks saw emails sent with malicious PDFs that contained a variant of Gh0st RAT (a remote-access trojan),  exploiting a known Microsoft vulnerability.

But the attack was a "case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery", according to AlienVault's chief researcher Jamie Blasco.

“The fact that the pro-Chinese sympathisers have taken our research seriously enough to start trying to blacken our name indicates that our message about the Chinese cyber attackers has hit home, and the cyber criminal activists are not happy," he said.

The emails were sent from ‘admin@alienvault.com' with a subject line of "Targeted attacks against Tibet organisations" and contain a malicious payload that loads a Java applet, which exploits CVE-2011-3544.

“Our research suggests that the attacks we have been tracking over the past month are linked to the Kalachakra Initiation, a Tibetan religious festival that took place in early January. The spearphishing emails are quite sophisticated and feature an attachment that exploits a stack overflow vulnerability dating back to last September.

“Yes, AlienVault has effectively been drawn into the cyber conflict itself, but we plan on continuing to report on this humanitarian cause for as long as it takes. Our email spoofing problems are nothing compared with the problems that Tibetans are facing.”

Blasco also said that automated bots were used to spam Twitter users with hashtags including #tibet and #freetibet. He said the junk tweets were from automated Twitter accounts controlled by the Chinese Government or its sympathisers.

Copyright © SC Magazine, UK edition


Tibet phishers hit back at AlienVault
 
 
 
Top Stories
There's no coke and hookers in the cloud
[Blog post] Where did the love go?
 
The True Cost of BYOD - 2014 survey
Twelve months on from our first study, is BYOD a better proposition?
 
Five zero-cost ways to improve MySQL performance
How to easily boost MySQL throughput by up to 5x.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  68%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  11%
 
Denial of service attacks
  6%
 
Insider threats
  12%
TOTAL VOTES: 1045

Vote