A Chinese espionage group from China has been employing actively a new technique of backdoor to run multiple cyber espionage operations that are targeting military organizations in South East Asia. The backdoor is used to gain persistence on infected systems and it has been identified as nebulae.
Naikon APT conducted malicious activity between June 2019 and March 2021.
- This APT group used the Aria-Body loader and Nebulae in the first stage of the attack at the beginning of their operation in 2019.
- From September 2020, this group started including the RainyDay backdoor in its toolkit. The attribution to Naikon is based on the artifacts and the C2 servers used in the attack.
- The APT group has started the delivery of RainyDay (aka FoundCore) as a first stage payload for the propagation of the second stage malware and tools, including the Nebulae backdoor.
- It can collect information of the LogicalDrive, manipulate files and folders, conduct uploading and downloading of files from the C2 servers. It can also terminate, list or execute the processes on the infected devices.
- The malware also adds a registry key which runs on the system automatically after the system reboots after login. This technique works as a backup access point for the victims in case of an adverse scenario for the threat actor.
Some additional insights-
Naikon has targeted many organizations that were located around the South China Sea, like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. It mainly focuses on military entities of the government.
Naikon APT group has been running silent operations for over two years and has attacked many organizations through cyber espionage operations. This group still poses a threat to the military organization of SouthEast Asia. So, it is important for the cyber security experts and professionals to keep their eyes open for such attacks.