The Cycldek APT group has added a previously unknown malware dubbed USBCulprit to its arsenal, aimed at reaching air-gapped devices.
Cycldek (a.k.a. Goblin Panda, APT 27 and Conimes) has been targeting governments in Southeast Asia since 2013, according to analysis from Kaspersky, and has been steadily adding more sophisticated tools over time. In the case of USBCulprit, it has been deployed against targets in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, according to the firm.
“It possesses both lateral movement (ability to move through the network to obtain the targeted data) and data-stealing capabilities,” Kaspersky analysts said in research issued on Wednesday.
They added that USBCulprit’s other features suggest that it was built to reach physically isolated machines, where the only way to transfer inbound and outbound data is with removable media such as a USB drive.
“Once installed, it scans various paths on the infected device, collecting documents that possess certain extensions,” according to the analysis. “These documents are then transferred to USB drives connected to the system. This suggests the malware was designed to reach air-gapped machines, or those that are not directly connected to the internet or any other computer connected to internet.”
The newly discovered USBCulprit malware is part of the arsenal of an APT known as Cycledek, which targets government entities.