'MuddyWater' APT

Posted: April 10, 2019

'MuddyWater' APT Description

The 'MuddyWater' APT is a group of threat actors believed to be operating from Iran and conducting spyware campaigns throughout the Middle East currently. Their threats can collect information through various methods and include ones compatible with different environments, including mobile phones. Users can protect themselves by avoiding unsafe download sources and having anti-malware programs available for confining and removing the 'MuddyWater' APT spyware easily.

The Water's Getting Muddier for Android

Threat actors preferring Middle Eastern victims are expanding their reach and switching their C&C infrastructure, both implying long-term interests and persistence on the part of this APT. The group of criminals, the 'MuddyWater' APT, may or may not have an affiliation with any nation's government, but, in either case, takes great lengths to cover its tracks and conceal its identity. In spite of those precautions from the Black Hats, malware experts can recommend traditional security guidelines that should maintain reasonable effectuality at containing their attacks.

The 'MuddyWater' APT attacks targets with a distinct regional preference, with victims including entities in Turkey, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabi and Afghanistan. While it uses multiple threats, including a variety of security tools and services that it reconfigures for attacking the 'MuddyWater' APT is consistent about focusing on espionage and advanced theft of information. Examples of security risks from the 'MuddyWater' APT infections include stolen SMS messages and the harvesting of both geographical locational stats and contact lists.

The latest of what malware experts rate as being likely the 'MuddyWater' APT campaign uses a different infection method: it compromises Android devices with threatening applications. This tactic, while not uncommon (one could compare it with the Anubis Trojan, for example), is a definitive change for these threat actors, who are more likely of using spam e-mails with corrupted documents. Another update to their methodology is in the C&C network, which is abandoning the previous model of hacked WordPress websites en masse.

Cleaning Out the Digital Dirty Water

While the 'MuddyWater' APT's ranks aren't full of amateurs, they are making occasional mistakes showing a possible lack of preparation or self-discipline for combating the cyber-security industry at large. Poor cryptographic choices for data security and less-than-perfect C&C integrity is giving free information to researchers, over time. However, the 'MuddyWater' APT's goals and sponsorship, still, are unknown factors.

Because the 'MuddyWater' APT attacks trend towards using multiple backdoor Trojans, depending on the compromised environment, users should disable network connections for halting a remote attacker's control over the device or computer. Just like with other, spyware-based infections, a 'MuddyWater' APT attack can compromise most sensitive information in the target hardware, and users should swap their passwords and other credentials as soon as possible. Standard anti-malware solutions should delete most the 'MuddyWater' APT backdoor Trojans, mobile applications, and similar threats.

Although much of the 'MuddyWater' APT's technical achievements are transparent, what's as obtuse as a muddy river is the threat actors' long-term objectives. There's no telling what they're doing with users' data, but it can't be anything positive for the victims.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to 'MuddyWater' APT 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.

Download SpyHunter's Malware Scanner

Note: SpyHunter's free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware tool to remove the malware threats. Learn more on SpyHunter. If you would like to uninstall SpyHunter for any reason, please follow these uninstall instructions. To learn more about our policies and practices, visit our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

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.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to 'MuddyWater' APT 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.

Download SpyHunter's Malware Scanner

Note: SpyHunter's free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware tool to remove the malware threats. Learn more on SpyHunter. If you would like to uninstall SpyHunter for any reason, please follow these uninstall instructions. To learn more about our policies and practices, visit our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

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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