Kaspersky Lab Internet Security Archives

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Woburn, MA – February 24, 2016 - Together with Novetta and other industry partners, Kaspersky Lab is proud to announce its contribution to Operation Blockbuster. The goal of the operation is to disrupt the activity of the Lazarus Group – a highly malicious entity responsible for data destruction as well as conventional cyber-espionage operations against multiple companies around the world. The attackers are believed to be behind the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014, and operation DarkSeoul that targeted media and financial institutions in 2013.

After a devastating attack against the famous movie production company, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) in 2014, Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) began its investigation into samples of the Destover malware publicly named as used in the attack. This led to wider research into a cluster of related cyber-espionage and cyber-sabotage campaigns targeting financial institutions, media stations, and manufacturing companies, among others.

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Based on the common characteristics of the different malware families, the company’s experts were able to group together tens of isolated attacks and determine that they all belong to one threat actor, as other participants in Operation Blockbuster confirmed in their own analysis.

2017

The Lazarus Group threat actor was active several years before the SPE incident, and it appears that it is still active. Kaspersky Lab and other Operation Blockbuster research confirms a connection between malware used in various campaigns, such as Operation DarkSeoul against Seoul-based banks and broadcasters, Operation Troy targeting military forces in South Korea, and the Sony Pictures incident.

During the investigation, Kaspersky Lab researchers exchanged preliminary findings with AlienVault Labs. Eventually researchers from the two companies decided to unite efforts and conduct a joint investigation. Simultaneously, the activity of the Lazarus Group was being investigated by many other companies and security specialists. One of these companies, Novetta started an initiative aimed at publishing the most extensive and actionable intelligence on the activity of the Lazarus Group. As part of Operation Blockbuster, together with Novetta, AlienVault Labs, and other industry partners, Kaspersky Lab is publishing its findings for the benefit of the wider public.

A haystack full of needles

By analyzing multiple samples of malware spotted in different cyber-security incidents and creating special detection rules, Kaspersky Lab, AlienVault and other Operation Blockbuster specialists were able to identify a number of attacks as having been conducted by the Lazarus Group.

The link from multiple samples to a single group was found during the analysis of methods used by this actor. In particular, it was discovered that the attackers were actively re-using code –borrowing fragments of code from one malicious program to use in another.

Besides that, researchers were able to spot similarities in the modus operandi of attackers. While analyzing artefacts from different attacks, they discovered that droppers – special files used to install different variations of a malicious payload – all kept their payloads within a password-protected ZIP archive. The password for archives used in different campaigns was the same and was hardcoded inside the dropper. The password protection was implemented in order to prevent automated systems from extracting and analyzing the payload, but in reality it just helped researchers to identify the group.

A special method used by the criminals to try to wipe traces of their presence from an infected system, along with some techniques they used to evade detection by anti-virus products also gave researchers additional means of clustering related attacks. Eventually tens of different targeted attacks, whose operators had been considered unknown, were linked to a single threat actor.

The Operation’s Geography

The analysis of samples’ compilation dates showed that the earliest might have been compiled as long ago as 2009, five years before the infamous attack against Sony. The number of new samples has grown dynamically since 2010. This characterizes the Lazarus Group as a stable, longstanding threat actor. Based on metadata extracted from investigated samples, most of the malicious programs used by the Lazarus Group appear to have been compiled during the working hours of GMT+8 – GMT+9 time zones.

“As we predicted, the number of wiper attacks grows steadily. This kind of malware proves to be a highly effective type of cyber-weapon. The power to wipe thousands of computers at the push of a button represents a significant bounty to a Computer Network Exploitation team tasked with disinformation and the disruption of a target enterprise. Its value as part of hybrid warfare, where wiper attacks are coupled with kinetic attacks to paralyze a country’s infrastructure remains an interesting thought experiment closer to reality than we can be comfortable with. Together with our industry partners, we are proud to put a dent in the operations of an unscrupulous actor willing to leverage these devastating techniques,” said Juan Guerrero, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“This actor has the necessary skills and determination to perform cyberespionage operations with the purpose of stealing data or causing damage. Combining that with the use of disinformation and deception techniques, the attackers have been able to successfully launch several operations over the last few years,” said Jaime Blasco, chief scientist, AlienVault. “Operation Blockbuster is an example of how industry-wide information sharing and collaboration can set the bar higher and prevent this actor from continuing its operations.”

“Through Operation Blockbuster, Novetta, Kaspersky Lab and our partners have continued efforts to establish a methodology for disrupting the operations of globally significant attack groups and attempting to mitigate their efforts to inflict further harm,” said Andre Ludwig, senior technical director, Novetta Threat Research and Interdiction Group. “The level of in-depth technical analysis conducted in Operation Blockbuster is rare, and sharing our findings with industry partners, so we all benefit from increased understanding, is even rarer.”

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To learn more about Kaspersky Lab’s findings on the Lazarus Group visit Securelist.com.

To learn more about Novetta’s findings on the Lazarus Group visit: www.OperationBlockbuster.com.

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About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and wehelp 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

Learn more atwww.kaspersky.com.

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Deployment Overview

Threat Detection and Response (TDR) is a collection of advanced malware defense tools that correlate threat indicators from Fireboxes and Host Sensors to enable real-time, automated response to stop known, unknown, and evasive threats.

As part of the TDR solution, you install TDR Host Sensors to provide endpoint protection. In some cases, the TDR Host Sensor might have conflicts with the antivirus software installed on your endpoints. To resolve this issue, you can configure exclusions in the antivirus software and in TDR.

This document describes the steps to deploy a TDR Host Sensor on a host that runs Kaspersky software.

This document does not describe all steps necessary to set up your Threat Detection and Response account. Before you begin, make sure to set up your TDR account and enable TDR on the Firebox. For information about how to set up your TDR account, TDR deployment best practices, and how to enable TDR on a Firebox, see Quick Start — Set Up Threat Detection and Response.

Configuration Summary

To avoid conflicts between the TDR Host Sensor and Kaspersky, add these exclusions:

  • Exclusions in TDR for Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select — For Windows:
    • C:Program Files (x86)Kaspersky LabKaspersky Endpoint Security for Windows
    • C:Program FilesKaspersky LabKaspersky Endpoint Security for Windows
    • C:ProgramDataKaspersky Lab
  • Exclusions in TDR for Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select — For Mac:
    • /Library/Application Support/Kaspersky Lab/
  • Exclusions in TDR for Kaspersky Small Office Security — For Windows:
    • C:Program Files (x86)Kaspersky LabKaspersky Small Office Security 21.1
    • C:Program FilesKaspersky LabKaspersky Small Office Security 21.1
    • C:ProgramDataKaspersky Lab
  • Exclusions in TDR for Kaspersky Internet Security — For Mac:
    • /Library/Application Support/Kaspersky Lab/
  • Exclusions in TDR for Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud — For Windows:
    • C:Program Files (x86)Kaspersky Lab
    • C:Program FilesKaspersky Lab
    • C:ProgramDataKaspersky Lab
    • C:ProgramDataKasperskyLab
  • Exclusions in TDR for Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud — For Mac:
    • /Library/Application Support/Kaspersky Lab/
  • Exclusions in Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select for the TDR Host Sensor — For Windows:
    • C:Program Files (x86)WatchGuardThreat Detection and Response
    • C:Program FilesWatchGuardThreat Detection and Response
  • Exclusions in Kaspersky Small Office Security for the TDR Host Sensor — For Windows:
    • C:Program Files (x86)WatchGuardThreat Detection and Response
    • C:Program FilesWatchGuardThreat Detection and Response
  • Exclusions in Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud for the TDR Host Sensor — For Windows:
    • C:Program Files (x86)WatchGuardThreat Detection and Response
    • C:Program FilesWatchGuardThreat Detection and Response
  • Exclusions in Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select for the TDR Host Sensor — For Mac:
    • /usr/local/watchguard/
    • /Applications/WatchGuard/
  • Exclusions in Kaspersky Internet Security for the TDR Host Sensor — For Mac:
    • /usr/local/watchguard/
    • /Applications/WatchGuard/
  • Exclusions in Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud for the TDR Host Sensor — For Mac:
    • /usr/local/watchguard/
    • /Applications/WatchGuard/

If the Host Sensor and Kaspersky detect and respond to a threat at the same time, this can cause high utilization of system resources such as CPU, memory, and disk I/O.

Configuration Details

To complete this deployment, you must have:

  • An active Threat Detection and Response subscription with Host Sensor licenses
  • Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select
    • Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Windows 11.4.0.233
    • Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Mac 11.0.1.753a
  • Kaspersky Small Office Security
    • Kaspersky Small Office Security 21.1.15.500 — Windows
  • Kaspersky Internet Security
    • Kaspersky Internet Security 21.0.0.464a — Mac
  • Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud
    • Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Windows 11.4.0.233 — Windows
    • Kaspersky Security Center Network Agent 12.0.1.289 — Windows
    • Kaspersky Endpoint Security 11.0.0.501b.c.d — Mac

The TDR and Fireware versions tested for this deployment included:

  • TDR Host Sensor 5.9.0.9474
  • Firebox with Fireware v12.5.4 or higher
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The Windows test environment for this deployment included:

  • Windows 7, 8.1, 10 Enterprise 64-bit Operating System
  • Memory (RAM) — 8 GB
  • Processor — 2 CPU Cores

The Mac test environment for this deployment included:

  • macOS 10.13
  • Memory (RAM) — 8 GB
  • Processor — Intel Core i5

Configure Exclusions in TDR

In your TDR account, add the exclusions to manually identify paths for files and processes that you do not want Host Sensors to monitor. Before you deploy a Host Sensor on computers that have Kaspersky installed, Add exclusions for the Kaspersky file paths as TDR Exclusions in your TDR account. To add the exclusions to TDR, you can either use Predefined Exclusion Sets or add the exclusions manually.

Predefined Exclusion Sets

TDR has predefined AV exclusion sets for the most common third-party AV tools. This AV tool has a predefined exclusion set available. Predefined exclusion sets include all recommended exclusions for the AV tool. TDR updates these exclusion sets as needed. For information about predefined AV exclusion sets, see Configure TDR Exclusions.

You must also add the TDR exclusions to your AV software to avoid potential conflicts.

Manually Add AV Exclusions

If you do not want to exclude all the recommended paths in a predefined exclusion set, you can add exclusions manually.

In your TDR account, add the TDR exclusions for the paths shown in the Integration Summary.

Unless otherwise noted, configure each TDR exclusion with these options, which are selected by default:

  • Also exclude subfolders
  • Entities to exclude: Files and Processes

To add an exclusion in TDR:

  1. Log In to TDR in WatchGuard Cloud as an Owner.
  2. Select Configure > Threat Detection.
  3. In the Host Sensor section, select Exclusions.
    The Exclusion page opens with the Custom tab selected.
  4. Click + Add Exclusion.
    The Add Exclusion dialog box opens.
  5. In the Path text box, type the path to exclude. Folders specified in an exclusion must end with a backslash.
  6. (Optional) In the Description text box, type a description for this exclusion.
  7. To apply the exception to all hosts, in the Hosts / Groups text box, type All Hosts.
  8. Click Save & Close.

Repeat these steps to add each exclusion.

Configure Exclusions in Kaspersky

To exclude directories used by the TDR Host Sensor, add the exclusions for the paths listed in the Integration Summary.

To add a Windows exclusion in Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select:

  1. Open Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Windows.
  2. Click Settings.
    The Settings page opens.
  3. Select General Settings > Exclusions.
    A list of options appears .
  4. Click Settings in the Scan exclusions and Trusted applications section.
    The Trusted zone setting page opens.
  5. Click Scan exclusions.
  6. Click Add, select File or folder.
  7. Click Select file or folder, type or browse the path to exclude.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click Trusted applications.
  11. Click Add > Applications, select the TDR applications.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Select all Do not actions.
  14. Click OK.
  15. Click OK.
  16. Click Save.

To add a Windows exclusion in Kaspersky Small Office Security:

  1. Open Kaspersky Small Office Security.
  2. Click Settings.
    The Setting page opens.
  3. Select Additional.
    A list of options appears.
  4. Select Threats and Exclusions.
    The Threat and exclusion setting page opens.
  5. Select Exclusions > Manage exclusions.
  6. Click Add.
  7. In the File or folder text box, type or browse the path to exclude.
  8. Click Add.
  9. Click Continue.

To add a Windows exclusion in Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud:

  1. Log in to Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud Portal with your account credentials, and navigate to the workspace.
  2. Select Security management > Security profiles.
  3. Click your security profile name.
  4. Select Windows > Advanced > Threats and Exclusions.
  5. In the Virus scan exclusions section, click Settings.
  6. Click Add.
  7. In the Properties section, select the File or folder check box.
  8. In the Name or name mask of file or folder text box, type the TDR path to exclude.
  9. Select the Including subfolders check box.
  10. Select all of the protection components.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Click Save.

To add a Mac exclusion in Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select:

  1. Click the Kaspersky icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Preferences > Threats > Trusted Zone.
  3. Click Trusted files and folders.
  4. Click +, type or select the path to exclude.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click the lock to prevent furthers changes.

To add a Mac exclusion in Kaspersky Internet Security:

  1. Click the Kaspersky icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select Preferences > Threats > Trusted Zone.
  3. Click Trusted files and folders.
  4. Click +, type or select the path to exclude.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click the lock to prevent furthers changes.

To add a Mac exclusion in Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud:

Kaspersky Lab Internet Security Archives 2017

  1. Log in to Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud Portal with your account credentials, and navigate to the workspace.
  2. Select Security management > Security profiles.
  3. Click your security profile name.
  4. Select Mac > Advanced > Threats and Exclusions.
  5. In the Virus scan exclusions section, click Settings.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Select the File or folder check box, clear the Object name check box.
  8. In the Name or name mask of file or folder text box, type the TDR path to exclude.
  9. Select the Including subfolders check box.
  10. Make sure that File Threat Protection and Virus Scan are selected.
  11. Click Save.

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For information about the integration testing methods, see TDR Testing Methodology.