Threat Signal Report
SEABORGIUM APT Group Targets NATO Members and European Countries
FortiGuard Labs is aware of a report published by Microsoft of a threat actor named "SEABORGIUM", which the vendor attributed to Russia, that targeted organizations in NATO member countries as well as in Northern and Eastern Europe for espionage. Also referred as Callisto, TA446 and COLDRIVER, the threat actor has been active since 2015 and reportedly used a spyware developed by infamous HackingTeam in their earlier campaigns.
Why is this Significant?
This is significant because the "SEABORGIUM" threat actor has been active since 2015 and reportedly targeted various industries including defense contractors, think tanks, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) in NATO member countries as well as other European countries for espionage.
What is SEABORGIUM APT Group?
SEABORGIUM is a threat actor that has reportedly targeted organizations that are associated with foreign and security policy making in Europe for at least seven years. Countries of interest include NATO partner nations as well as countries in Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe. The Microsoft blog indicates that the APT group targeted Ukraine's public sector prior to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.
The SEABORGIUM APT threat actor is also known as Callisto Group (Callisto), COLDRIVER, TA446, and is potentially related to Gamaredon Group.
Infection tactics of SEABORGIUM include credential phishing attacks, sending a Word doc attachment with malware embedded or malicious macros, and sending emails with themes that the target is likely interested in; also establishing relationships on Social Networking Service (SNS), all presumably for email credential theft. The stolen credentials allow the threat actor to gain access to the victim's mailbox and exfiltrate information. The attacker also is believed to set up email rules in the victim's mailboxes that automatically forward incoming messages to the attacker's email address for data gathering.
In earlier campaigns, the SEABORGIUM APT group is believed to have used the Scout implant from Galileo, one of the Remote Control Systems (RCS) developed by the infamous Italy based HackingTeam. The Scout agent sends victim's machine information and screen captures to the attacker's infrastructure.
What is the Status of Coverage?
FortiGuard Labs provides the following AV coverage for the samples believed to be related with the SEABORGIUM APT group:
All network IOCs associated with this attack are blocked by the WebFiltering client.
The Callisto Group (F-Secure)
Traffic Light Protocol
|Color||When Should it Be used?||How may it be shared?|
TLP: REDNot for disclosure, restricted to participants only.
|Sources may use TLP:RED when information cannot be effectively acted upon by additional parties, and could lead to impacts on a party's privacy, reputation, or operations if misused.||Recipients may not share TLP:RED information with any parties outside of the specific exchange, meeting, or conversation in which it was originally disclosed. In the context of a meeting, for example, TLP:RED information is limited to those present at the meeting. In most circumstances, TLP:RED should be exchanged verbally or in person.|
TLP: AMBERLimited disclosure, restricted to participants’ organizations.
|Sources may use TLP:AMBER when information requires support to be effectively acted upon, yet carries risks to privacy, reputation, or operations if shared outside of the organizations involved.||Recipients may only share TLP:AMBER information with members of their own organization, and with clients or customers who need to know the information to protect themselves or prevent further harm. Sources are at liberty to specify additional intended limits of the sharing: these must be adhered to.|
TLP: GREENLimited disclosure, restricted to the community.
|Sources may use TLP:GREEN when information is useful for the awareness of all participating organizations as well as with peers within the broader community or sector.||Recipients may share TLP:GREEN information with peers and partner organizations within their sector or community, but not via publicly accessible channels. Information in this category can be circulated widely within a particular community. TLP:GREEN information may not be released outside of the community.|
TLP: WHITEDisclosure is not limited.
|Sources may use TLP:WHITE when information carries minimal or no foreseeable risk of misuse, in accordance with applicable rules and procedures for public release.||Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction.|