The Turla APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) is a hacking group that appears to have been active since 2008. This APT has been linked to the Russian government and is likely being sponsored by them as this highly-skilled hacking group has proven to be useful in furthering the interests of the Kremlin. Recently, the Turla APT has added a new hacking tool to their rich arsenal – the Topinambour Trojan dropper. In campaigns, the Topinambour malware is not the main actor but serves as a backdoor to allow additional, more sophisticated threats on the compromised system.
It seems that the propagation method chosen by the Turla hacking group is via legitimate program installers, which carry the payload of the Topinambour. Once the user installs the desired software, it will run normally, and thus the threatening activity that had gone on behind the curtains will remain under the radar of the victim. It is likely that the Turla hacking group has set up fraudulent Web pages where they would host these infected installers. Samples of the Topinambour Trojan also were found embed in pirated versions of popular software suites, as well as in illicit activators for products like Microsoft Office.
Hijacked WordPress Installations
As soon as the Topinambour dropper penetrates a system, it will seek to establish contact with the C&C (Control & Command) servers of the attackers. Then, it will lay low and await commands quietly. The Command & Control servers used by the attackers appear to be WordPress installations that they have taken control of successfully. This way, non-suspecting victims may end up having their servers used to operate the Topinambour Trojan.
Dropping Additional Malware
- Taking screenshots.
- Collecting files.
- Planting more malware.
- Executing remote commands.
- Gathering system information.
The Turla hacking group is a very well-equipped APT. However, as they tend to be used to further the political goals of the Russian government, they do not target regular users but high-end targets like foreign officials or large corporations. However, it is crucial that you have installed a reputable anti-virus application as there are countless other threats lurking the Internet, which are just awaiting an unprepared and unprotected user to show up in their realm.
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Security Doesn't Let You Download SpyHunter or Access the Internet?Solutions: Your computer may have malware hiding in memory that prevents any program, including SpyHunter, from executing on your computer. Follow to download SpyHunter and gain access to the Internet:
- Use an alternative browser. Malware may disable your browser. If you're using IE, for example, and having problems downloading SpyHunter, you should open Firefox, Chrome or Safari browser instead.
- Use a removable media. Download SpyHunter on another clean computer, burn it to a USB flash drive, DVD/CD, or any preferred removable media, then install it on your infected computer and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.
- Start Windows in Safe Mode. If you can not access your Window's desktop, reboot your computer in "Safe Mode with Networking" and install SpyHunter in Safe Mode.
- IE Users: Disable proxy server for Internet Explorer to browse the web with Internet Explorer or update your anti-spyware program. Malware modifies your Windows settings to use a proxy server to prevent you from browsing the web with IE.