FireEye Study: Chinese Hacker Group Uses Obfuscation Method to Target Websites

cyber hack network computerFireEye has collaborated with Microsoft to analyze a command and control obfuscated tool that attempted to compromise the security of a Microsoft-run information technology community portal.

FireEye said Thursday it determined that the China-based hacker group APT17 employed an obfuscation method to encode C2 communications on Microsoft TechNet website’s profile pages and forum threads.

Hackers used the online forum to host Internet protocol addresses that would send a Blackcoffee malware program to C2 servers, according to FireEye.

“This latest tactic by APT17 of using websites’ legitimate functionalities to conduct their communications shows just how difficult it is for organizations to detect and prevent advanced threats,” said Laura Galante, manager of FireEye’s threat intelligence group.

According to the company, APT17 has also targeted websites across the defense, IT, mining and legal sectors and used Google and Bing search engines to hide the group’s malicious activity.

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