Cyber spies are still using these old Windows flaws to target their victims

‘Dropping Elephant’ cyber-espionage group is using old and long-patched flaws as part of its strategy, but appears to be still finding successes.

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Government officials are being targeted by very simple methods of cyber-espionage.

Hackers using only the most basic forms of cyberattack have been able to successfully steal files from high-profile governmental and diplomatic targets.

A cyber-espionage operation has targeted individuals and organisations across the globe, although the vast majority of attacks have focused on Chinese government and diplomatic entities, individuals associated with them and partners of these organisations.

Cybersecurity researchers from Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis team have been investigating the “aggressive cyber-espionage activity” since February. The researchers suggest that it originates in India and that attacks are undertaken using old exploits, low-budget malware tools and basic social engineering methods.

The simple, but effective threat actor has been dubbed ‘Dropping Elephant’ and use emails which are sent in mass to large numbers to identify potential victims.

While the email itself doesn’t contain a malicous payload, it does send a ping request back to the attackers’ server when the message is opened. The ping providers the cyber-spies with information about the victim, including IP address, type of browser, the device used and its location.

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Henry Sapiecha

 

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