Octopus malware used to target Central Asian diplomats

There was a cyber attack aimed at Central Asian diplomatic organizations. The malware used by the hackers is named Octopus Trojan – a threat able to disguise itself as a popular online messenger.
After running a malware analysis on it researchers found that the trojan – a malicious program for Windows – leads to DustSquad, a Russian-language cyber-espionage that is specialized on Central Asian users.

The cyber-spies have successfully leveraged the news that the widely used Telegram messenger may become banned in Kazakhstan. So they distributed the Octopus Trojan in a package that appeared to be a legitimate version of the Telegram messenger for Kazakh opposition parties, researchers said. Once installed, Octopus gives attackers remote access to victims’ computers.

Remember everything can be hacked. In order to stay away from any threats related to the cyber world, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running. If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests;

The malicious launcher was ingeniously disguised with a recognizable symbol of one of the opposing political parties from the region, and the Trojan was hidden inside.

Once activated, the Trojan gave the hackers behind the malware opportunities to perform various operations with data on the infected computer, including deletion, blocks, modifications, copying and downloading.

Trough this remote access the spies were able to spy on victims, steal sensitive data and gain backdoor access to the systems.
DustSquad has been involved in espionage operations conducted in the region for several years. Researchers strongly advise users and companies that operate in the region to keep an eye on their systems and instruct employees to do the same. This can be done by educating staff on digital hygiene in order to reduce risk. In addition, a robust cybersecurity solution must be used in order to strengthen defenses.

We would continue to monitor this cybersecurity problem. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.