Russian APT29 hackers' stealthy malware undetected for years


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Aug 17, 2014
EXCLUSIVE: Hackers associated with the Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) continued their incursions on networks of multiple organizations after the SolarWinds supply-chain compromise using two recently discovered sophisticated threats.
The malicious implants are a variant of the GoldMax backdoor for Linux systems and a completely new malware family that cybersecurity company CrowdStrike now tracks as TrailBlazer.
Both threats have been used in StellarParticle campaigns since at least mid-2019 but were identified only two years later, during incident response investigations.
StellarParticle attacks have been attributed to the APT29 hacking group has been running cyber espionage campaigns for more than 12 years and is also known as CozyBear, The Dukes, and Yttrium.
Bypassing MFA to access cloud resources by stealing browser cookies has been used since before 2020. CrowdStrike says that APT29 kept a low profile after decrypting the authentication cookies, likely offline, by using the Cookie Editor extension for Chrome to replay them; they deleted the extension afterwards.
“This extension permitted bypassing MFA requirements, as the cookies, replayed through the Cookie Editor extension, allowed the threat actor to hijack the already MFA-approved session of a targeted user” - CrowdStrike