Again, NCC Alerts of Hacking Group Targeting Telcos, ISPs

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 / 09:39 AM / by
/ Header Image Credit: Tech Edge


In keeping with its commitment to continuously keep
stakeholders in the country’s telecoms sector informed, educated, and protected,
the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) wishes to, once again, notify the
public of the existence of another hacking group orchestrating cyberespionage
in the African telecoms space.


An Iranian hacking group known as Lyceum (also known
as Hexane, Siamesekitten, or Spirlin) has been reported to be targeting
telecoms, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Ministries of Foreign Affairs
(MFA) in Africa with upgraded malware in a recent politically motivated attacks
oriented in cyberespionage.

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Information about this cyber attack is contained in
the latest advisory issued by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team
(ngCERT). The ngCERT rated the probability and damage level of the new malware
as high.


According to the advisory, the hacking group is known
to be focused on infiltrating the networks of telecoms companies and ISPs.
Between July and October 2021, Lyceum was implicated in attacks against ISPs
and telecoms organisations in Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.


The advanced persistent threat (APT) group has been
linked to campaigns that hit Middle Eastern oil and gas companies in the past.
Now, the group appears to have expanded its focus to the technology sector. In
addition, the APT is responsible for a campaign against an unnamed African
government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


By the attackers’ mode of operation, Lyceum’s initial
onslaught vectors include credential stuffing and brute-force attacks. So, once
a victim’s system is compromised, the attackers conduct surveillance on
specific targets. In that mode, Lyceum will attempt to deploy two different
kinds of malware: Shark and Milan (known together as James).


Both malware are backdoors. Shark, a 32-bit executable
written in C# and .NET, generates a configuration file for domain name system
(DNS) tunneling or Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) C2 communications;
whereas Milan – a 32-bit Remote Access Trojan (RAT) retrieves data.