The Turla hacking group is a world-known APT (Advanced Persistent Threat). This hacking group is very likely working for the Russian government as their targets tend to be foreign officials and governments, as well as large companies in industries which the Kremlin has vested interests in. This cyber-attack-dog of the Russian government appears to have been active since 2007 and has been gradually improving their arsenal of hacking tools by updating older tools as well as adding new ones. One of the newest projects of the Turla APT is the KopiLuwak backdoor Trojan.
The KopiLuwak is being propagated via an infected Microsoft Office document. The malicious document is meant to execute an obfuscated macro script, which will execute several functions whose purpose is to decrypt & build the harmful payload. The KopiLuwak Trojan is often used in unison another one of the Turla APT’s hacking tools – the Topinambour Dropper. This means that the attackers can either inject the KopiLuwak Trojan directly into the targeted system or use the Topinambour Dropper as a backdoor for the Trojan to gain access to the computer. The KopiLuwak is located in the ‘mailform.js’ file which can be implanted in various Windows directories.
This Trojan is capable of executing commands on the infiltrated computer as well as gather data about the system which would help the attackers determine what other malware to launch on the target. When the KopiLuwak infiltrates a system, it may begin gathering information about the PC by running commands using the Windows ‘cmd.exe.’ The data is then sent to the servers of the attackers. In two of the variants of the KopiLuwak which were spotted by malware experts, they noticed that the C&C (Command & Control) servers of the Turla APT used in the campaigns are hijacked WordPress installations. Once the KopiLuwak siphons the gathered information to the C&C server, it awaits a response from the attackers. There are four options:
If the KopiLuwak gets a ‘Good’ command, it will halt activities for approximately one hour. In case the Trojan receives an ‘Exit’ command, it will cease all activity until the system is rebooted. The ‘Fail’ command instructs the KopiLuwak Trojan to terminate the operation and wipe off all tracks of its activity. The ‘Work’ command would have the KopiLuwak execute a remote command sent by the attackers.
Usually, the Turla hacking group does not pose a threat to regular users as they target big fish that would help the Kremlin further its interests globally. However, you still need to stay wary and make sure your system is safe by installing a reputable antivirus software tool.
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