Security News > 2022 > November > Chinese Cyber Espionage Hackers Using USB Devices to Target Entities in Philippines
A threat actor with a suspected China nexus has been linked to a set of espionage attacks in the Philippines that primarily relies on USB devices as an initial infection vector.
The reliance on infected USB drives to propagate the malware is unusual if not new.
The Raspberry Robin worm, which has evolved into an initial access service for follow-on attacks, is known to use USB drives as an entry point.
The threat intelligence and incident response firm said that the attacks led to the deployment of three new malware families dubbed MISTCLOAK, DARKDEW, and BLUEHAZE, alongside Ncat, the latter of which is a command-line networking utility that's used to create a reverse shell on the victim system.
MISTCLOAK, for its part, gets activated when a user plugs in a compromised removable device to a system, acting as a launchpad for an encrypted payload called DARKDEW that's capable of infecting removable drives, effectively proliferating the infections.
"The malware self-replicates by infecting new removable drives that are plugged into a compromised system, allowing the malicious payloads to propagate to additional systems and potentially collect data from air-gapped systems," the researchers explained.
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