February 4, 2023

Researchers have uncovered a new campaign conducted by the MuddyWater APT, aka SeedWorm that was targeting MiddleEastern countries.

The experts pointed out that the campaign exhibits updated TTPs. The initial MuddyWater campaign was observed in late 2017 when targeted entities in the Middle East.

The APT group also has also targeted European and North American nations. Earlier this year, US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) officially linked the MuddyWater APT group to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

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The new campaign uses a new remote admin tool named Syncro. MuddyWater is not the only threat actor abusing Syncro. The tool has also been employed in BatLoader and Luna Moth campaigns

The APT group used an HTML attachment, which is not blocked by any EDR and email soutions as a lure and used additional providers for hosting the archives containing the installers of the remote administration tool.

Threat actors were spotted using the ScreenConnect remote administration tool delivered using an installer named “promotion.msi.”. This is also used in the current campaign.

The target geolocations and sectors also align with previous targets of MuddyWater.

Researchers, while investigating some of the installers that MuddyWater used for each unique mail, a new MSI was used. In most cases, MuddyWater used a single subdomain with a single MSI installer.

This research was documented by researchers from DeepInstinct.

Indicators of Compromise

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