Sophisticated Turkish Hacking Operation Revealed

Security professionals have discovered a cyber attack campaign that used custom-made Trojan malware to target several high-profile victims in Turkey. The attackers reportedly used 12 email addresses, multiple remote access Trojans, 12 command and control hostnames, three cellular services, and four instances of physical access to systems all to avoid single points of failure. Based on the custom designed malware—which show signs of Turkish origin—and the robust command and control infrastructure, it seems the hackers were highly motivated and were targeting security conscious victims.
The Cipher Take: The techniques employed by the hackers bear resemblance to those that targeted journalists at the Turkish media company OdaTV in 2011; this attack employed the exact same email addresses, Trojan malware, and cellular services. As a result of that hack, Baris Pehlivan, an investigative journalist, was jailed for 19 months on terrorism charges based on documents found on his computer. Prior to this, Pehlivan experienced multiple attempts at remote intrusion into his computer via malicious email attachments and thumb drives carrying malware which enables remote control of a target’s device, including downloading files.


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