August 22, 2016

Kaspersky Lab tracks 100+ sophisticated malicious campaigns hitting commercial and government organizations around the world

Kaspersky Lab tracks 100+ sophisticated malicious campaigns
Advanced threat intelligence now available as a service for enterprise customers

There used to only be dozens of threat actors, but the Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis team now tracks the activity of more than a hundred threat actors and sophisticated malicious operations targeting commercial and government organizations in 85 countries.

The growing numbers show that sophisticated threat actors are actively improving and extending their arsenal, and a lot of new actors are coming to the stage, significantly raising the overall levels of danger.

Targeted attacks are not an elite activity anymore. While in previous years this kind of operation would require a lot of specialists with specific skills and a lot of funding, nowadays Kaspersky Lab researchers are observing the emergence of smaller - and not necessarily sophisticated - yet efficient cyberespionage campaigns.

These groups are hunting for sensitive information, which can be used to gain geopolitical advantages or even sold to anyone willing to pay.

Based on the analysis of the intelligence gathered on these campaigns, Kaspersky Lab researchers have been able to create a top list of organizations, which are more at risk than others of becoming a target of cyber espionage, or a sophisticated cybercriminal operation.

  • Government and diplomatic organizations
  • Financial institutions
  • Energy companies
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Aerospace organizations
  • Military contractors
  • Educational organizations
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Activists 
  • IT companies 
  • Diplomatic organizations

Targeted attacks are a major problem because the tactics of almost any of the existing groups involve utilizing tools that overcome traditional endpoint and network protection solutions.

Even if solutions are effective in regards to usual, and some sophisticated, malware, they cannot provide a 100% detection guarantee when it comes to targeted attacks.  This is because actors behind sophisticated campaigns are professionals in social engineering, they may use zero-day vulnerabilities, and they’re increasingly using legitimate tools for remote access instead of actual malware.

That is why reliable security software in a corporate IT infrastructure must be accompanied by intelligence nowadays – security teams need to be backed up with expertise, so that they know when to be alarmed, and what clues to look for if their organization becomes a threat actor target.

“We’ve been tracking sophisticated targeted attacks for more than six years now and we have seen this kind of activity become a widely used tool for espionage and money theft. Targeted attacks can affect many different types of organizations, it’s not just governments that are affected. Multiple commercial organizations – especially from the enterprise sector – are in danger as well,” said Costin Raiu, Director of Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab.

“They might become an organization of interest for attackers because they cooperate with government and military entities, or because they hold valuable intellectual property, or just because they have access to large financial assets. In this situation getting an early warning on an emerging malicious campaign targeting a certain type of organizations is crucial for entities that are willing to protect their sensitive data reliably. Intelligence based services that make it possible for enterprise security teams to access data about the latest sophisticated threats is a must nowadays,” he added.

The Intelligence collected by Kaspersky Lab’s security experts is available as a special product for enterprise and government customers. It is available via subscription-based access to the special APT Reporting Portal, which contains detailed reports on threat actors, and actionable data to identify attacks on a company’s infrastructure.

Intelligence as a Service
As a leading endpoint security and threat intelligence company, Kaspersky Lab provides its clients with a comprehensive database of valuable threat data – the APT Intelligence Reporting service. Kaspersky Lab’s subscriber-only APT Reporting Portal is a convenient interface for Kaspersky Lab’s customers to access, view and obtain actionable data from our private reports.

All private reports come with context data, which makes it possible for clients to understand an actor’s tactics, the type of organizations it hunts for, and the geography of its activity. This is accompanied with actionable intelligence like Indicators of Compromise, YARA rules and mitigation strategies, which enable the security team of a company to scan its infrastructure for signs of an attack that has already happened, and to protect it from possible upcoming attacks.

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