A newly discovered nation-state cyber espionage campaign targeting Africa and the Middle East infects network routers in order to snare administrative credentials from its targets and then move freely throughout the network.
Kaspersky Lab researchers unearthed the stealthy and highly sophisticated operation – named “Slingshot” after a word found in the attack code – that has infected at least 100 victims since at least 2012, with nearly half in Kenya, and the rest in Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Tanzania, Greece, Jordan, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkey, Mauritius, and the United Arab Emirates. The attackers ultimately gain kernel-mode access to victim machines where they then gather screenshots, network information, keyboard data, passwords, USB connections, and other activity and data.
Just how Slingshot initially compromises the target’s network routers is unclear, but Kaspersky researchers say the goal is to gain access to valuable systems admin credentials that then give the attackers a foothold in the network.
Read more about the advanced hacking group that appears to involve native English speakers targeting Africa and the Middle East on DarkReading.