The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony was affected by a powerful malware

The cybercriminals hit the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. They targeted PCs using a powerful malware that terminated the Internet and television systems offered for on-site journalists that were present during the opening.

Officials reported that the IT failures weren’t failing because of common technicals problems, they were failing because of a coordinated cyber attack that was using a powerful malware.
This malware was analyzed quickly by our cybersecurity team. It is one of a kind piece of malware that doesn’t steal any data; its only purpose is to destroy and corrupt data. Devices are made unusable by removing shadow copies and event logs. After the damage is done, the malware does more infections by using PsExec & WMI. BadRabbit and Nyetya malware previously used this kind of technique.

The attack used a particular operation plan:

– the hackers started the attack by hitting a system with Olympic Destroyer
– the malware then installed a browser credentials stealer and a system credentials stealer
– first: the browser credentials stealer collected credentials from Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.
– second: the system credentials stealer gathered credentials from Windows Local Security Authority Subsystem Service by using Mimikatz based techniques.
– Olympic Destroyer checks ARP table for local hosts
– WMI is used to infect other PCs on the same network
– Using the stolen credentials and hard-coded credentials stored within its binary and the malware spreads further by exploiting the PsExec tool.
– the attack begins by using VSSAdmin to delete shadow volume copies
– cmd.exe and WBAdmin.exe are used to delete the OS system backup catalog silently
– cmd.exe and BCEdit.exe are used to disable the pre-boot Windows recovery console
– System & Security Windows event logs are deleted to hide its tracks
– all Windows services form the infected devices are disabled
– the attack end with infected devices shutting down and being unable to start.

For now, it is not clear who is responsible for this attack. There are multiple theories; it might be North Korea that is responsible because is technically at war with South Korea or it might be the Russians that were banned from participating in this Olympics.

Speculations can be made in a never-ending mode because a Twitter account, has been discovered, and it seems it is used to dump massive amounts of hacked information that are used to discredited the International Olympic Committee that banned the Russians.

Both Olympic Destroyer and Bad Rabbit are using hardcoded credentials. Bad Rabbit was linked with NotPetya last year, NotPetya attacks are attributed to Russian intelligence and because of this, it may seams that Olympic Destroyer is they work too. The speculations go further because in its code have been found links to cyber tools used by Chinese hackers in the past.

Until the attacker is discovered, it is better for everybody present at the Olympics to install a cybersecurity solution to protect their systems against such destructive attacks.

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Most of the companies don't care about cybersecurity until they suffer a breach.
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