WellMail is a previously unclassified piece of malware that was recently involved in attack carried out by APT29, also known as Cozy Bear. Many of APT29's attacks were focused on foreign governments and espionage, and the recent 2020 campaign is not any different – this time the criminals have targeted UK, US, and Canada-based hospitals and research institutes that are involved in the development of treatments for the Coronavirus. The hackers are relying on both old and zero-day exploits to expose flaws in the security of the targeted networks – if their attack is successful, they aim to plant the WellMail, WellMass, or SoreFang malware.
While SoreFang appears to be a first-stage implant, WellMail is a fully functional backdoor Trojan that is able to exfiltrate sensitive information from compromised systems. Due to the type of targets that WellMail goes after, it is suspected that APT29's recent campaign is designed to obtain sensitive data regarding the COVID-19 treatments being developed.
The WellMail malware implant is able to receive and execute commands or pre-made scripts from a remote control server. The result of the executed commands or scripts is then saved to a log file that will be transferred to the control server periodically. An interesting characteristic of WellMail is that it is written in the Google Go programming language – so far, the APT29 criminals had not relied on the Go programming language for their projects.
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