US-UK Gov Warning: SolarWinds Attackers Add Open-Source PenTest Tool to Arsenal

Agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom on Friday published a joint report providing more details on the activities of the Russian cyberspy group that is believed to be behind the attack on IT management company SolarWinds. The report reveals that the hackers started using the open-source adversary simulation framework Sliver after some of their operations were exposed.

The FBI, NSA, CISA and the UK’s NCSC say the Russian threat actor tracked as APT29 (aka the Dukes, Cozy Bear and Yttrium) was behind the SolarWinds attack, which resulted in hundreds of organizations having their systems breached through malicious updates served from compromised SolarWinds systems.

The agencies previously published several other reports on the activities of the group, which they say is controlled by a Russian intelligence agency named the Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR.

The latest report shares more information on the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) associated with the cyberspies, and also describes some of the changes made by the group in response to the previous reports.

Last year, the government agencies described APT29 operations targeting organizations in the US, UK and Canada that were involved in research and development of vaccines for the SARS‑CoV‑2 coronavirus. Those attacks involved pieces of malware tracked as WellMess and WellMail.

Apparently in response to the exposure of their operation targeting vaccine makers, the hackers started using an open-source framework named Sliver to maintain access to existi ..

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