Nobelium Hackers: FG issues cyberattack alert

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he federal government has issued a cyberattack alert over a wide-scale malicious email campaign operated by Nobelium, the threat actor behind the attacks against SolarWinds, the SUNBURST backdoor, TEARDROP malware, GoldMax malware, and other related components.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) urged Nigerians to beware of the widespread malicious email campaign undertaken by Nobelium masquerading as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Hadiza Umar, the NITDA spokeswoman, issued the alert late on Sunday in Abuja.

Ms Umar said the malicious group, uncovered by Microsoft, leveraged the legitimate mass-mailing service to masquerade as USAID and distribute malicious uniform resource locator (URLs) to a wide variety of organisations.

According to her, the group targets government organisations, non-government organisations, think tanks, the military, IT service providers, health, technology, and telecommunications providers.

“Their antics involve the use of emails claiming to be an alert from USAID about new documents published by former President Donald Trump about election fraud.

“Once users click the link in the email, the URL would direct them to the legitimate Constant Contact Service and then redirect to Nobelium-controlled infrastructure through a URL that delivers a malicious International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) file.

“This, in turn, enables the criminals to execute further malicious objectives, such as lateral movement, data exfiltration, and delivery of additional malware,” said the NITDA.

The agency urged organisations and individuals to enable network protection to prevent applications or users from accessing malicious domains and other malicious content on the Internet.

Other measures suggested by the NITDA included enabling investigation and remediation in “fully automated” mode to allow antivirus to take immediate action on alerts to resolve breaches.

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It added, “Use device discovery to increase your visibility into your network by finding unmanaged devices on your network and onboarding them.

“Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to mitigate compromised credentials and block all office applications from creating child processes.”

Ms Umar advised Nigerians to report any incident by contacting NITDA’S Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team via email support@cerrt.ng or telephone +2348178774580.

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