Recently, Check Point Research (CPR) discovered a malicious campaign targeting Armenian-based targets, including private companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government entities. The campaign, dubbed “Operation Armenium,” involves a sophisticated multi-stage attack that employs various methods to evade detection.
The first stage of the attack involves phishing emails that use social engineering techniques to trick victims into opening malicious documents. These documents contain a macro that, when activated, installs a backdoor on the victim’s computer. Once the backdoor is installed, the attackers can remotely control the infected computer and move on to the next stage of the attack.
The second stage involves the installation of additional malware that allows the attackers to carry out a variety of nefarious activities, such as stealing sensitive data and monitoring the victim’s activity. The malware used in this campaign is highly sophisticated, featuring advanced anti-analysis techniques and obfuscation methods to evade detection.
One of the most interesting aspects of Operation Armenium is the attackers’ use of a technique known as “domain fronting.” This technique involves using a legitimate domain as a front for malicious traffic, making it much more difficult for security solutions to detect and block the attack.
CPR believes that the attackers behind Operation Armenium are likely to be state-sponsored, given the level of sophistication and the specific targets involved. While the campaign appears to be focused on Armenian-based targets, the techniques and methods used could easily be adapted to target other organizations and individuals around the world.
It is important for organizations and individuals to be aware of the threat posed by campaigns like Operation Armenium and to take steps to protect themselves. This includes using anti-malware software, keeping all software up to date with the latest security patches, and being cautious when opening emails and downloading attachments.
The discovery of Operation Armenium highlights the ongoing and evolving threat posed by cyber attackers. As technology continues to advance, so too do the methods used by those seeking to exploit it for their own gain. It is crucial for organizations and individuals to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect themselves against these threats. By staying informed and up to date on the latest security best practices, we can all work together to create a safer and more secure online environment.