A financially motivated threat actor is intensifying its efforts to distribute the SmokeLoader backdoor Trojan, as revealed by Ukrainian cyber defenders.
SmokeLoader, a notorious Trojan family known since 2011, not only loads malware but also comes with plug-ins for information exfiltration. Its deceptive and self-protective features make it a formidable threat, according to Mitre. The impact of increased hacking activity in Ukraine, post-Russia’s invasion in February 2022, goes beyond the country’s borders, as highlighted in a recent threat assessment by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center. The Russian invasion has caused a significant impact on the financial services cyber threat landscape, resulting in various cyber activities like hacktivism, ransomware attacks, and distributed denial-of-service attacks.
The State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine notes that the malware has a high number of detections domestically, particularly in the months of May and June. The recent attacks utilize archive file attachments to initiate an infection chain that ultimately deploys SmokeLoader. The increased activity of UAC-0006 hackers poses a threat of more fraud cases using remote banking systems, with the group’s focus on compromising accountants’ computers to steal authentication data for unauthorized payments.
Businesses and accountants are strongly advised to reinforce the protection of automated workplaces used in financial activities by leveraging software protection tools to combat these threats.