Tracking Elirks Variants in Japan: Similarities to Previous Attacks

A recent, well-publicized attack on a Japanese business involved two malware families, PlugX and Elirks, that were found during the investigation. PlugX has been used in a number of attacks since first being discovered in 2012, and we have published several articles related to its use, including an analysis of an attack campaign targeting Japanese

Bookworm Trojan: A Model of Modular Architecture

Recently, while researching attacks on targets in Thailand, Unit 42 discovered a tool that initially appeared to be a variant of the well-known PlugX RAT based on similar observed behavior such as the usage of DLL side-loading and a shellcode file. After closer inspection, it appears to be a completely distinct Trojan, which we have

PlugX Uses Legitimate Samsung Application for DLL Side-Loading

Summary While threat actors using the PlugX Trojan typically leverage legitimate executables to load their malicious DLLs through a technique called DLL side-loading, Unit 42 has observed a new executable in use for this purpose. Threat actors are now using this previously unseen executable, created by Samsung, to load variants of the PlugX Trojan. Using

Unit 42 Identifies New DragonOK Backdoor Malware Deployed Against Japanese Targets

Summary Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 used the AutoFocus threat intelligence service to identify a series of phishing attacks against Japanese organizations. Using AutoFocus to quickly search and correlate artifacts across the collective set of WildFire and other Palo Alto Networks threat intelligence, we were able to associate the attacks with the group publicly known

Attacks on East Asia using Google Code for Command and Control

Recently, FireEye published a blog titled “Operation Poisoned Hurricane” which detailed the use of PlugX malware variants signed with legitimate certificates that used Google Code project pages for command and control (C2). We were able to uncover multiple additional samples exploiting the same technique as well as an additional Google Code account with multiple projects