Deactivated Domains Used For Spear-Phishing

Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) has started legal proceedings in the US courts against an Iranian threat actor called Bohrium for spear-phishing operations. Bohrium is said to have targeted entities in tech, transportation, government, and education sectors located in the US, Middle East, and India.

According to a US government order disclosed by Microsoft, the goal of the intrusions was to steal and exfiltrate sensitive information, take control over the infected machines, and carry out remote reconnaissance.

Microsoft has filed a complaint with the US District Court in Virginia, requesting a restraining order be granted against Bohrium in accordance with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. A hearing has been scheduled for June 10. "Bohrium actors create fake social media profiles, often posing as recruiters," Amy Hogan-Burney of the DCU said in a tweet. "Once personal information was obtained from the victims, Bohrium sent malicious emails with links that ultimately infected their target's computers with malware."

To halt the malicious activities of Bohrium, Microsoft said it took down 41 domains that were used as command-and-control infrastructure to facilitate the spear-phishing campaign, which enabled the attackers to deploy malicious tools designed to help them gain access to targets' devices and exfiltrate stolen information from compromised systems.

The disclosure comes as Microsoft revealed that it identified and disabled malicious OneDrive activity perpetrated by a previously undocumented threat actor codenamed Polonium since February 2022.

The incidents, which involved the use of OneDrive as command-and-control, were part of a larger wave of attacks the hacking group launched against over 20 organisations based in Israel and Lebanon. Microsoft has also recently successfully seized domains used by APT28, a state-sponsored group operated by Russian military intelligence, also known as Fancy Bear, to target institutions in Ukraine.

Microsoft said it obtained a court order on April 6 that authorized the company to take control of seven domains APT28 was using to carry out its cyber attacks. “We have since re-directed these domains to a sinkhole controlled by Microsoft, enabling us to mitigate Strontium’s current use of these domains and enable victim notifications,” said Microsoft’s vice president for customer security, Tom Burt.

Microsoft:    CyberArmyHB:    Threatpost:   Hacker News:   Techcrunch:    Bleeping Computer:   CyberNews

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