North Korea-linked Andariel APT Group exploited an ActiveX Zero-Day in recent attacks

Pierluigi Paganini June 01, 2018

A North Korea-linked APT group, tracked as  Andariel Group, leveraged an ActiveX zero-day vulnerability in targeted attacks against South Korean entities.

According to a report published by South Korean cyber-security firm AhnLab, the Andariel Group is a division of the dreaded Lazarus APT Group, it  already exploited ActiveX vulnerabilities in past attacks

The attackers exploited at least nine separate ActiveX vulnerabilities, including a new zero-day flaw, in a wave of watering hole attacks aimed to infect visitors of compromised websites with a backdoor trojan.

The zero-day vulnerability seems to be connected to a series of attacks against Samsung SDS Acube installations.

Acube is an application developed by Samsung’s enterprise division widely used in South Korean enterprises that supports ActiveX controls to implement interactive features.

“According to the security industry, from late last month until this month, attacks against North Korean research institutes and websites have been spotlighted.” reported the local media DDaily.

“The attacker, who is believed to be carrying the Andaleri Group, exploited about 9 ActiveX vulnerabilities, including Samsung SDS “eCube”, and tried to collect information through a water ring attack.”

The malicious code was used to control the infected systems and gather intelligence.

“The zero-day vulnerability has been found in this attack, but it is unclear whether the attacker actually used it,” said a government official from the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA).

Samsung addressed the Acube zero-day flaw with the release of an update, while South Korea’s CERT team has issued a security advisory for the zero-day issue.

North Korea-linked APT groups are among the most active threat actors, recently the US-CERT issued an alert on two malware associated with North Korea-linked APT Hidden Cobra, the Brambul and Joanap.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – ActiveX zero-day, North Korea)

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