A Russian hacking group tracked as TA473, aka ‘Winter Vivern,’ has been actively exploiting vulnerabilities in unpatched Zimbra endpoints since February 2023 to steal the emails of NATO officers, governments, army personnel, and diplomats.
Two weeks in the past, Sentinel Labs reported on a current operation by ‘Winter Vivern’ utilizing websites mimicking European companies preventing cybercrime to unfold malware that pretends to be a virus scanner.
As we speak, Proofpoint has printed a brand new report on how the menace actor exploits CVE-2022-27926 on Zimbra Collaboration servers to entry the communications of NATO-aligned organizations and individuals.
Focusing on Zimbra
Winter Vivern assaults start with the menace actor scanning for unpatched webmail platforms utilizing the Acunetix device vulnerability scanner.
Subsequent, the hackers ship a phishing electronic mail from a compromised tackle, which is spoofed to look as somebody the goal is conversant in or is by some means related to their group.
These payloads are then used to to steal usernames, passwords, and tokens from cookies obtained from the compromised Zimbra endpoint. This data permits the menace actors to entry the targets’ electronic mail accounts freely.
“In some situations, researchers noticed TA473 particularly concentrating on RoundCube webmail request tokens as nicely.”
This element demonstrates the diligence of the menace actors in pre-attack reconnaissance, determining which portal their goal makes use of earlier than crafting the phishing emails and setting the touchdown web page operate.
Lastly, the menace actors can entry delicate data on the compromised webmails or keep their maintain to watch communications over a time frame. Moreover, the hackers can use the breached accounts to hold out lateral phishing assaults and additional their infiltration of the goal organizations.
Regardless of researchers stating that ‘Winter Vivern’ shouldn’t be significantly refined, they observe an efficient operational strategy that works even towards high-profile targets who fail to use software program patches shortly sufficient.
On this case, CVE-2022-27926 was fastened in Zimbra Collaboration 9.0.0 P24, launched in April 2022.
Contemplating that the earliest assaults have been noticed in February 2023, the delay in making use of the safety replace is measured to a minimum of ten months.