Researchers have spotted the Platinum group targeting organizations in the APAC region with a new Titanium backdoor.
In its analysis, Kaspersky Lab observed the Platinum group using this latest campaign to go after targets located in South and Southeast Asia. The campaign began by using an exploit that was capable of executing code as a SYSTEM user. It then leveraged shellcode to install a downloader, a resource that pulled down a password-encrypted SFX archive. This asset installed a Windows task to establish persistence on the infected computer. With that step complete, the campaign moved on to a Trojan backdoor installer that used an installer script and a COM object DLL to eventually load Titanium, the backdoor payload.
Kaspersky Lab found that this campaign used both encryption and fileless techniques to evade detection. The security firm also noted that each step mimicked the activity of known software, including security tools, as a means of further throwing researchers off the campaign’s trail.
A Look Back at Recent Platinum Group Activity
Titanium marks the latest innovation of the ever-evolving Platinum group. Back in June 2017, the Microsoft Defender ATP Research Team observed the group’s file-transfer tool relying on the Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) Serial-over-LAN (SOL) channel for communication, a technique that helped Platinum’s attacks avoid detection by firewalls and network monitoring tools. In June of this year, Kaspersky Lab spotted a new attack for which Platinum had modified its malicious utility and incorporated new evasion tactics.
How to Defend Your Network Against Evasive Attacks
Security professionals can help defend their organizations against evasive campaigns such as those launched by the Platinum group by properly configuring their security information and event management (SIEM) solutions and creating rules to alert the team in the event that a log source stops reporting to their SIEM tool. Companies should also create a data-centric risk management program to help identify and create risk profiles for their sensitive data and thereby better protect the network against all types of attack campaigns.