Avast claims to have found backdoor in US government commission network

Security provider Avast says it found a backdoor on the Windows network by a US government commission associated with international rights, but was unable to get the organization to commit to a resolution of the issue .

In a blog post, the Avast Threat Intelligence Team said it decided to go public after contacting the affected organization directly, but concluded that afterwards “they would not respond, would not return communications or would not provide any information “.

Given the lack of engagement, Avast said it had little information to release. “We can only describe two files that we observed in the attack. In this blog, we provide our analysis of those two files,” the blog post reads.

However, Avast said it felt it was reasonable to conclude from an analysis of the two cases that “the attackers were able to intercept and possibly exfiltrate all local network traffic into this organization.”

“This could include information exchanged with other US government agencies and other international governmental and non-governmental organizations focused on international rights.

“We also have indications that attackers could execute code of their choice in the context of the operating system on infected systems, giving them full control.”

Avast described one file masquerading as oci.dll and abusing WinDivert, a kosher packet capture utility, to listen in on all communications.

“It allows attacker to download and execute any malicious code on the infected system. The main scope of this downloader may be to use local privileged rights to overcome firewalls and network monitoring “noted the Avast team.

He reported that the second file also masqueraded as oci.dll, replacing the first file at a later stage in the process and functioning as a decryptor.

The team concluded: “Because the affected organization would not engage, we no longer have factual information about this attack. It’s safe to assume that some form of data collection and network traffic exfiltration has occurred, but that’s educated speculation.

“Further, because it could have given full network visibility and complete control of an infected system, it is further reasonable to believe that this could be the first step in a multi-step attack to penetrate that network. or others more deeply into a classic APT-type operation. “

More details are available on the Avast Blog.


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