The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again alerted members of the public of the existence of another hacking group orchestrating cyber-espionage in the African telecoms space.
In a statement signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the agency disclosed that an Iranian hacking group known as Lyceum (also known as Hexane, Siamesekitten, or Spirlin) had 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 cyber-espionage.
According to the statement, “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.”
The NCC quoted the advisory, which stated that the hacking group was 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 statement revealed.
“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,” the statement…