Malaysia Organizations More Likely to be Targeted with Cyber Attacks: FireEye Report
FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE), the leader in stopping today’s advanced cyber attacks, shared the findings of a new report on advanced cyber attacks against organizations in Southeast Asia at an industry event in Kuala Lumpur. In the first half of the year, organizations observed in Malaysia faced a 65 percent higher risk of facing a targeted cyber attack than the global average.
In Malaysia, 33 percent of observed organizations were targeted with advanced cyber attacks in the first half of 2015. Thailand and the Philippines were the hardest hit in Southeast Asia, with 40% and 39% of observed organizations exposed to these attacks, respectively.
More than one-third of malware detections associated with advanced persistent threat (APT) groups originated within the entertainment, media and hospitality industries. By targeting media organizations, threat groups can gain access to news before it’s published and potentially identify undisclosed sources.
FireEye observed at least 13 APT groups targeting national government organizations and at least four APT groups targeting regional or state governments around the world.
“Espionage isn’t new but it is increasingly conducted online, and Southeast Asia is a hot spot,” said Eric Hoh, president for Asia Pacific Japan at FireEye. “Geopolitics can drive cyber attacks. As Southeast Asia becomes a larger economic player on the world stage and tensions flare in the South China Sea, organizations should be prepared for targeted attacks.”
Threat intelligence is an important tool for organizations seeking to stay ahead of attackers. The report contains insights into recent developments in Southeast Asia’s cyber threat landscape, such as groups targeting prominent institutions to gather political and economic intelligence, the detection of a known cyber espionage campaign, and threat actors’ evolving techniques to evade detection.
State-owned Bank Compromised
FireEye observed malware beaconing from a state-owned bank in Southeast Asia. FireEye Threat Intelligence believes the malware, called CANNONFODDER, is most likely used by Asian cyber threat groups to collect political and economic intelligence. In late-2014, FireEye observed the malware beaconing from an Asian telecommunications company. In mid-2014, the company observed threat actors sending spear phishing emails with malicious attachments to employees of an Asian government. Once opened, the attachments installed the CANNONFODDER implant.
Decade-Long Cyber Espionage Campaign Detected
In April 2015, FireEye released a report documenting an advanced persistent threat group referred to as APT30 which conducted a cyber espionage operation against businesses, governments and journalists in Southeast Asia for ten years. Organizations in Malaysia were targeted by APT30 during this period. This group’s malware, called Lecna, comprised 7 percent of all detections at FireEye customers in Southeast Asia in the first half of 2015.
Stealthy Group Targets Southeast Asia Government
FireEye has been tracking ongoing activity associated with a unique and relatively stealthy group it first identified in 2013 as APT.NineBlog. One of the probable targets of the group’s 2015 campaign is a Southeast Asian government, based on the specificity of some of the decoy documents. The group’s malware uses encrypted SSL communications to evade detection. In addition, the malware attempts to detect the presence of applications used to analyze malware, and it quits if any is detected.
About FireEye, Inc.
FireEye has invented a purpose-built, virtual machine-based security platform that provides real-time threat protection to enterprises and governments worldwide against the next generation of cyber attacks. These highly sophisticated cyber attacks easily circumvent traditional signature-based defenses, such as next-generation firewalls, IPS, anti-virus, and gateways. The FireEye Threat Prevention Platform provides real-time, dynamic threat protection without the use of signatures to protect an organization across the primary threat vectors and across the different stages of an attack life cycle. The core of the FireEye platform is a virtual execution engine, complemented by dynamic threat intelligence, to identify and block cyber attacks in real time. FireEye has over 4,000 customers across 67 countries, including more than 650 of the Forbes Global 2000.