APT37

Posted: October 10, 2019

APT37 Description

APT37 is a threat actor estimated as being funded by North Korean state interests. The APT37 attacks target Asia with an emphasis on South Korean targets, with traditional goals such as setting up backdoor control, collecting information and removing evidence of infections. Users should monitor a variety of infection sources, including phishing e-mails, for possible attacks, and have anti-malware solutions available for the removal of APT37 Trojans and spyware.

Watching Korean Trojans Seep Outwards

The Lazarus Group umbrella term encompasses a variety of loose affiliations of hackers serving North Korean interests, but some of them are more active than others. APT37 is of note especially, thanks to its previous isolation, and sharp outbreak from those self-limitations over the past two years. Five years after their South Korea-targeting campaigns, APT37 started expanding operations to other nations throughout Asia, such as Japan, and even further regions like the Middle East.

APT37 is an 'ordinary' example of a state-sponsored threat, in the sense that its modus operandi and goals seem intelligence-oriented conventionally. It uses phishing e-mail messages with target-customized contents, along with more-indiscriminate methods like torrents, for infecting victims. The industries at risk are diverse and include healthcare services, automotive companies, manufacturers, aerospace ventures and others.

Threats that malware experts link to APT37 include ZUMKONG (password-collecting spyware), wiper Trojans that can destroy the MBR for rendering a system inoperable, injectible Remote Access Trojans like ROKRAT, and backdoor Trojans like WINERACK. Most attacks will emphasize collecting user data and valuable intelligence, spreading throughout compromised networks, and, in some cases, using wiper Trojans for destroying evidence or sabotaging the business's capacity for response.

Containing a Once-Regional Source of Hostile Software

APT37 no longer is highly-niche in its geographical preferences and shows some capabilities that make it a substantial danger, even to the well-prepared. As a threat actor, it shows an ability for exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities: unpatched and unknown-to-the-public code flaws in software such as Hangul Word Processor. In some cases, installing security patches may not be enough to defend against a typical attack, although it remains a commendable practice, along with avoiding torrents – APT37's other notable infection vector.

APT37 goes by many aliases as assigned by various members of the security industry, including Ricochet Chollima, Reaper, Red Eyes, Starcruft and similarly-intimidating monikers. Despite the shifting titles, its goals and methodologies are consistent, besides the upgrade in the list of target nations. Enterprise-level industries working antithetically to North Korean state interests can be considered potential priority targets.

Workers should be well-versed in traditional best practices for averting phishing-related attacks, and always can use anti-malware solutions for final defenses and removing APT37's threats. As the interests and goals of nations and their rules shift, so, too, do their hacking operations. Once, APT37 was only South Korea's problem, but now, it's the world's.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to APT37 may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.

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Why can't I open any program including SpyHunter? You may have a malware file running in memory that kills any programs that you try to launch on your PC. Tip: Download SpyHunter from a clean computer, copy it to a USB thumb drive, DVD or CD, then install it on the infected PC and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.

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