Latest Joint Technical Alert from Multiple Agencies - “FASTCash 2.0: North Korea's BeagleBoyz Robbing Banks.”


Today, the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury (TREASURY), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) released a joint Technical Alert that have attributed malicious cyber activity to the North Korean government.

The Technical Alert provides detailed analysis of North Korean government activity in an automated teller machine (ATM) cash-out scheme-referred to by the U.S. Government as "FASTCash 2.0: North Korea's BeagleBoyz Robbing Banks." "BeagleBoyz" is a newly identified group that is a subset of activity by the threat actors known as HIDDEN COBRA/LAZARUS/APT 38. In addition to the release of the joint Technical Alert, three Malware Analysis Reports (MAR) were released as well and they are:

MAR-10301706.-1.v1 - 4 samples (ECCENTRICBANDWAGON)

MAR-10301706.-2..v1 - 6 samples (VIVACIOUSGIFT)

MAR-10257062.-1.v2 - 3 samples (FASTCASH)

Why is Hidden Cobra Significant? Also, is this Hidden Cobra Renamed?

HIDDEN COBRA has been linked to multiple high-profile, financially-motivated attacks in various parts of the world - some of which have caused massive infrastructure disruptions. Notable attacks include the 2014 attack on a major entertainment company and a 2016 Bangladeshi financial institution heist that almost netted nearly $1 Billion (USD) for the attackers. Had it not been for a misspelling in an instruction that caused a bank to flag and block thirty transactions, HIDDEN COBRA would have pulled off a heist unlike any other. Although HIDDEN COBRA failed in their attempt, they were still able to net around 81 million dollars in total.

The most recent and most notable attack attributed to HIDDEN COBRA was the Wannacry Ransomware attack, which resulted in massive disruption and damage worldwide to numerous organizations, especially manufacturers. Various estimates of the impact were in the hundreds of millions of dollars, with some estimates claiming billions. Other verticals which this group has targeted include critical infrastructures, entertainment, finance, healthcare, and telecommunication sectors across multiple countries.

According to the Technical Alert, the BeagleBoyz are now attributed by the United States government as being behind the $81 million heist from the financial institution in Bangladesh; whereas past reports linked it to HIDDEN COBRA/LAZARUS activity.

What is the Severity of Impact?

The severity should be regarded as MEDIUM, due to the fact that these campaigns have been observed in limited to targeted attacks.

It Appears that Some Malware Variants have Been Reported Before. Is this Correct?

Yes. Some of the malware variants in this report, such as CROWDEDFLOUNDER, HOPLIGHT, and ELECTRICFISH were previously reported back in February of this year, as well as in 2019.

What is the status of AV/IPS and Web Filtering coverage?

FortiGuard Labs deployed coverage to ensure protections were in place immediately after the announcement by the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). CISA in coordination with the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), shared the samples ahead of the announcement with CTA partners to ensure that customers of CTA members were immediately protected.

Customers running the latest definition sets are protected by the following (AV) signatures:












Customers running the latest definition sets are protected by the following (IPS) signatures: