Cyber Bear Brawl: Germany Identifies Russian Hackers Behind Recent Digital Attacks

When Fancy Bear plays too rough: Germany pins cyberattacks on Russia’s GRU-linked APT28, vows consequences. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s security epiphany promises a safer future. Now, anyone seen a D-Link router? Asking for a hacker friend. #InfosecInBrief #CybersecurityClash

Hot Take:

When cyber bears go hunting, they apparently like to take a swipe at everything from government agencies to political parties, and this time they’ve set their sights on Germany. Fancy that, APT28 is at it again, and they’re about as subtle as a bear in a china shop. Germany’s response? “Unbearable” and “unacceptable.” As for the US, they’re standing with their buddy Germany, condemning the cyber growls and helping to lock the digital honey pots. But let’s be real, when it comes to Fancy Bear, the only real surprise is when they decide to hibernate.

Key Points:

  • German officials point the claw at APT28 (a.k.a. Fancy Bear) for cyberattacks, with the bear paw prints leading back to Russia’s GRU.
  • Germany’s digital fort holds strong against the bear’s paws as the attacks were largely ineffective.
  • The Social Democratic Party of Germany also finds itself on Fancy Bear’s picnic list.
  • Germany stands with picnic basket in hand, declaring the cyber intrusions intolerable, while the US chimes in with a growl of support.
  • APT28’s past bear hugs include creating NotPetya and various attacks on Ukraine, proving that they’re a bear that doesn’t like to sleep.
Title: Unitronics Vision Standard Unauthenticated Password Retrieval
Cve id: CVE-2024-1480
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: Dragos
Cve date updated: 04/19/2024
Cve description: Unitronics Vision Standard line of controllers allow the Information Mode password to be retrieved without authentication.

Cve id: CVE-2015-2051
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: mitre
Cve date updated: 12/29/2016
Cve description: The D-Link DIR-645 Wired/Wireless Router Rev. Ax with firmware 1.04b12 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a GetDeviceSettings action to the HNAP interface.

Title: Stack-based Buffer Overflow vulnerability in Delta Electronics CNCSoft-G2 DOPSoft
Cve id: CVE-2024-4192
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: icscert
Cve date updated: 04/30/2024
Cve description: Delta Electronics CNCSoft-G2 lacks proper validation of the length of user-supplied data prior to copying it to a fixed-length stack-based buffer. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability to execute code in the context of the current process.

Title: Microsoft Outlook Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability
Cve id: CVE-2023-23397
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: microsoft
Cve date updated: 12/14/2023
Cve description: Microsoft Outlook Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability

Need to know more?

Bear Necessities of Cyber Warfare

Let's dive into the den of APT28, where the cyber bears have been busy clawing at the pillars of German infrastructure. It's not just a random mauling; these attacks are a Russian growl in response to Germany sending tanks to Ukraine. The bears hit their targets but, like a poorly thrown salmon, they didn't do much damage. Germany's digital bear-proofing seems to have held up, and the officials are not just growling back, they're promising consequences. As for the US, they're acting like the friend who helps you chase away pesky bears by aiding in the cleanup of compromised routers.

When Bears Attack... Your PLCs and Software

Moving from bears to bugs, let's squish into the world of vulnerabilities where the creepy-crawlies are just as dangerous. From CyberPower PowerPanel business management software to Delta Electronics systems, the vulnerabilities are out there, and they're serious with CVSS scores that make you want to put on your bug-squishing boots. Unitronics PLCs are also in the mix, carelessly leaving password crumbs for the attackers to follow. Wrap up your digital picnic because the bugs are hungry!

Microsoft's Security New Year's Resolution

Next, we have Microsoft's EVP of security, Charlie Bell, making a New Year's resolution that security will be the belle of the ball at Microsoft. They've been down this road before, with Bill Gates's "Trustworthy Computing" memo back in 2002, but let's hope this isn't just another case of déjà vu. Microsoft is setting up six security pillars, but they'll need more than just architectural plans to build a fortress that can keep the bears out.

Antique Routers: Not Just for Hipsters

Over in the land of ancient tech, the D-Link DIR-645 router is serving as a reminder that hipsters aren't the only ones who like vintage. This old-school router is the new hot spot for a botnet named Goldoon, which is using an old vulnerability to launch attacks. It's like finding out your favorite vinyl record can hypnotize you into becoming a hacker's minion. If you're still using this antique, it's time to upgrade – unless you're into the whole "unwitting cybercriminal" vibe.

A Drop in the Bucket of Cyber Threats

Last but not least, let's talk about water systems, which are apparently the new playground for pro-Russian hacktivists. A joint statement from 11 international agencies is basically a tutorial on how not to secure your water systems. With outdated software and factory default passwords that might as well be "password," these systems are sitting ducks – or sitting bears, if you will. So, if you're in charge of critical infrastructure, maybe it's time to stop using "1234" as your super-secret code.

Tags: APT28, botnet threats, critical vulnerabilities, Fancy Bear, information security, IoT Exploits, Microsoft Security, Russian Cyber Attacks