Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS issue new alerts about malware out of North Korea

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The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have released an alert saying the government of North Korea appears to have been using a malware to home in on telecommunications, finance and aerospace sectors since 2016, ZDNet reported Tuesday.

The alert - issued jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - identifies IP addresses that North Korean actors are suspected of using to maintain a presence on victims' networks. The tools appear to target the financial, aerospace, and media industries and other critical infrastructure sectors in the U.S. and globally.

The report said some networks could be infected with the Volgmer "backdoor Trojan" or a remote administration tool known as Fallchill, which can give hackers complete control of a system.

The malware typically infects a system as a file dropped by other North Korean malware or as a file unknowingly downloaded from a compromised site.

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It said FBI investigators suspect the Fallchill tool has been used since 2016 and Volgmer since 2013.

In terms of operation, Fallchill allows the malicious actors to retrieve information about all installed disks; create, start and terminate new processes and their primary thread; read, search, write, move and execute files; access and modify file or directory timestamps; change the directory for a process or file and delete malware and related artifacts from the infected system.

Further information on the hallmarks of Fallchill and Hidden Cobra activity, as well as how to resolve an infection, can be found here.

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