Operation ‘Harvest’: A Deep Dive into a Long-term Campaign

A special thanks to our Professional Services’ IR team, ShadowServer, for historical context on C2 domains, and Thomas Roccia/Leandro Velasco for malware analysis support.

Executive Summary

Following a recent Incident Response, McAfee Enterprise‘s Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team worked with its Professional Services IR team to support a case that initially started as a malware incident but ultimately turned out to be a long-term cyber-attack.

From a cyber-intelligence perspective, one of the biggest challenges is having information on the tools, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) an adversary is using and then keeping them up to date. Within ATR we typically monitor many adversaries for years and collect and store data, ranging from indicators of compromise (IOCs) to the TTPs.

In this report, ATR provides a deep insight into this long-term campaign where we will map out our findings against the Enterprise MITRE ATT&CK model. There will be parts that are censored since we respect the confidentiality of the victim. We will also zoom in and look at how the translation to the MITRE Techniques, historical context, and evidence artifacts like PlugX and Winnti malware led to a link with another campaign, which we highly trust to be executed by the same adversary.

IOCs that could be shared are at the end of this document.

McAfee customers are protected from the malware/tools described in this blog. MVISION Insights customers will have the full details, IOCs and TTPs shared via their dashboard. MVISION Endpoint, EDR and UCE platforms provide signature and behavior-based prevention and detection capability for many of the techn ..

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