Russia-linked Armageddon APT targets Ukrainian state organizations, CERT-UA warns

Pierluigi Paganini April 05, 2022

Ukraine CERT-UA spotted a spear-phishing campaign conducted by Russia-linked Armageddon APT targeting local state organizations.

Ukraine CERT-UA published a security advisory to warn of spear-phishing attacks conducted by Russia-linked Armageddon APT (aka Gamaredon, Primitive Bear, Armageddon, Winterflounder, or Iron Tilden) targeting local state organizations. The phishing messages have been sent from “vadim_melnik88@i[.]ua,” the campaign aims at infecting the target systems with malware.

The Gamaredon group was first discovered by Symantec and TrendMicro in 2015, but evidence of its activities has been dated back to 2013. The group targeted government and military organizations in Ukraine. In December 2019, the APT group targeted several Ukrainian diplomats, government and military officials, and law enforcement.

In November 2021, Ukraine’s premier law enforcement and counterintelligence revealed the real identities of five FSB members behind the Gamaredon cyberespionage group.

The Ukraine CERT-UA warns that the emails sent to local government agencies used “Information on war criminals of the Russian Federation” as bait.

The messages use the HTML-file “War criminals of the Russian Federation.htm” as attachment. Upon opening the file, a RAR-archive named “Viyskovi_zlochinci_RU.rar” is created. 

Armageddon ukraine campaign 2

The archive contains a link file named “War criminals destroying Ukraine (home addresses, photos, phone numbers, pages on social networks) .lnk,” Once opened, the malicious code will download an HTA-file containing VBScript-code, which, in its turn downloads and runs the powershell script “get.php” (GammaLoad.PS1). The script calculates a unique identifier of the computer based on its.

The Ukraine CERT-UA published indicators of compromise (IoCs) for this campaign.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Armageddon)

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