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PolySwarm Threat Bulletin: Armageddon Activity Targeting Ukraine

Feb 9, 2022 11:16:05 AM / by PolySwarm Team

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Background


Last week we released a report and blog post on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, past cyber altercations between the two nations, and potential cyber implications if the current conflict escalates. In our report, we mentioned historical activity perpetrated by the threat actor group Armageddon. Palo Alto’s Unit 42 recently reported ongoing activity targeting Ukraine, which they attributed to Armageddon, also known in the industry as Gameredon or Primitive Bear. While Unit 42 did not elaborate on the magnitude or implications of these attacks, they did provide a breakdown of Armageddon’s infrastructure.

Who is Armageddon?

According to Unit 42, Armageddon is currently one of the most active APT groups targeting Ukrainian assets. The group’s activity has traditionally involved espionage activity aligned with Russian interests. In November 2021, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) publicly linked five Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers based in Crimea to the group. A report by the SSU stated Armageddon has been active since at least 2014 and has engaged in multiple cyber-espionage campaigns from 2017-2021. The SSU report notes Armageddon does not typically use sophisticated TTPs and does not seem to emphasize OPSEC. Some of the tools and TTP used by Armageddon include spearphishing, Pteranodon RAT, PowerShell, FileStealer, and EvilGnome.


Armageddon Infrastructure

Unit 42 mapped out Armageddon’s infrastructure and discovered three major clusters made up of over 700 malicious domains, 215 IP addresses, and 100 samples of malware. While monitoring these clusters, Unit 42 reportedly observed Armageddon targeting a Western government entity based in Ukraine on January 19th of this year, presumably with espionage as a goal.


Unit 42’s report includes a breakdown of the three Armageddon infrastructure clusters they identified:

  • Cluster 1 is used for initial downloaders for Armageddon’s tools and malware. 
  • Cluster 2 is used for Armageddon’s file stealer tools. 
  • Cluster 3 is associated with Armageddon’s Pteranodon RAT. 

They note instead of abandoning domains after a campaign, the group tends to recycle their domains, rotating them across new infrastructure. For example, the domain name libre4[.]space has been attributed to the group since at least 2019 but is still active and resolves to new IP addresses daily. Unit 42’s mapping of Armageddon infrastructure discovered both legacy domains previously used by the group and new, unused domains. Unit 42 assesses Armageddon rotates their domains out regularly as a sort of shell game to obfuscate their activity and evade researchers. Unit42 has published IOCs from their research on GitHub, including domains and IP addresses associated with Armageddon’s infrastructure.

IOCs

PolySwarm has multiple samples associated with Armageddon activity, including Pteranodon RAT samples. Contact us for more information.

Hashes

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Topics: Ukraine, Russia, Threat Bulletin

PolySwarm Team

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