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Thursday, 20 July 2017 10:45

Vault 7: Documents provide details of malware attack vectors


WikiLeaks has released details of proof-of-concept ideas and assessments for malware attack vectors from CIA contractor Raytheon Blackbird as part of its ongoing Vault 7 document release.

The whistleblower website has been releasing details of various CIA attack tools since March.

The documents released overnight are based on public documents from security researchers and security companies.

Two of the malware attack vectors are said to be used by Chinese state actors while one is claimed to be used by attackers allied to Russia.

Unlike some earlier releases, the details of the five vectors are sketchy and all date back to September 2015.

One of the vectors, HTTPBrowser is described as a very simple remote attack tool which communicates with a command-and-control server using plain text "which speaks to the low level of sophistication of this RAT", according to the accompanying documentation.

A similar description is used for another vector, a new variant of the NfLog remote access tool.

A third vector, Regin, is however said to be an extremely sophisticated tool.

HammerToss, another vector, is described as "interesting" because of "its architecture, which leverages Twitter accounts, GitHub or compromised websites, basic steganography, and Cloud-storage to orchestrate command and control functions of the attack".

Finally details were provided about an information stealing trojan known as Gamker. In the case of this trojan, the contractor Raytheon Blackbird deferred the decision of whether a proof-of-concept should be developed to the CIA, while in the other four cases, it recommended that there was no need to create a PoC.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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