Bismuth APT

Posted: December 2, 2020

Bismuth APT Description

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors are among the most skilled, resourceful, and experienced cybercriminals. Their operations frequently involved multiple payloads, complicated social engineering tricks, and ever-evolving tactics. Recently, a gang known as the Bismuth APT attracted the cybersecurity field's attention because of their innovative method to hide the true purpose of their attacks. This group's activities can be traced back to 2012, and their attacks are usually focused on companies and organizations operating in the financial and educational sectors, as well as against various civil rights movements. Their most recent campaign, however, poses as a cryptocurrency mining operation, which has been discovered on networks in France and Vietnam.

The Bismuth APT Uses a Basic Cryptojacking Campaign to Disguise Its True Activity

Cybersecurity researchers believe that the Bismuth APT hackers are not using the cryptocurrency miners for profit and, instead, they are meant to serve as a disguise for the true purpose of their operation – collecting sensitive credentials, documents, and espionage. The targets of the Bismuth APT are usually reached via spear-phishing emails, which appear to be tailored to fit the profile of each victim – this hints that the criminals are likely to have researched their targets thoroughly.

The latest Bismuth APT campaign involves different payloads, which allows hackers to execute the following tasks:

  • Collect login credentials.
  • Gather hardware, software, and network information.
  • Abuse the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service to connect to other devices on the compromised network.
  • Install Cobalt Strike beacons.

As mentioned earlier, the Bismuth APT cryptojacking campaign has not generated a lot of money for the criminals, but it might have created a big enough diversion to allow them to complete plenty of other threatening deeds on the compromised systems.

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