Unraveling the Layers: Analysis of Kimsuky's Multi-Staged Cyberattack

The Forrester Wave™: Managed Detection and Response, Q2 2023

Unraveling the Layers: Analysis of Kimsuky's Multi-Staged Cyberattack

Introduction In recent developments within the realm of cybersecurity, an alarming revelation has come to light—an intricate and multi-staged attack campaign executed by the Kimsuky Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group. This campaign is marked by its exceptional sophistication, designed to penetrate target systems with the utmost precision while eluding detection. 

In this report, we embark on an in-depth exploration of the technical intricacies and strategic maneuvers that underpin Kimsuky APT's malicious objectives. By dissecting each stage of this campaign, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the threat actor's methods and the potential risks they pose to cybersecurity.

Key findings include: 

  • The attack begins with an innocuous-seeming ITW URL, ultimately leading to a devious zip file named ',' housing both a dropper DLL and an executable. 
  •  A batch script is deployed to terminate the 'Chrome Updater' task and set up a scheduled task for the execution of a VBScript at regular intervals. 
  • Subsequent stages involve the utilization of PowerShell and VBScript to exploit Google Drive as a conduit for data exfiltration and command and control (C2) operations, all while maintaining a low profile. 
  • Our goal is to equip the cybersecurity community with the knowledge necessary to identify, mitigate, and respond to these evolving and sophisticated attacks effectively.

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