Rocket Kitten refers to a cyber threat group that has been hitting different public and private Israeli/European organizations. It has launched two campaigns so far: a malware campaign that exclusively makes use of GHOLE malware, as well as a targeted attack dubbed as “Operation Woolen-GoldFish” that's possibly state-sponsored.
GHOLE is a malware family that was discussed in the 31st Chaos Communication Congress of the Chaos Computer Club (31C3), during a lecture that tackled its ongoing involvement in targeted attacks. Based on the compilation date of its oldest samples, the malware is believed to have been active since 2011, and has been used by Rocket Kitten in their targeted attacks.
Operation Woolen-GoldFish, on the other hand, is a cyber attack campaign that we suspect to be state-sponsored, or at the very least politically-motivated. It has been attacking the following targets:
Background, Analysis, Findings
GHOLE Malware Campaign:
Analyzing the malicious documents in the spear phishing emails of their Microsoft Office metadata, we narrowed down the suspects to one “Wool3n.H4t”, whose name appears in most of the document samples found as the last known modifier. His other accomplices include entities who go by the names “aikido1” and “Hoffman”.
We looked deeper into the identity of Wool3n.H4t and discovered the following:
This report explores Rocket Kitten by analyzing the tools used to leverage its malicious activities. From our findings we can definitely say that threat actor team is alive and active, and while the tracks they left behind—as well as their use of macros—might make them seem a bit inexperienced, they are slowly improving and gaining traction.
We are also able to confirm that Wool3n.H4T is not only responsible for most of the infecting Office documents used, but also capable of developing malware.
With all the evidence, Rocket Kitten’s attacks can be construed as politically-motivated, as the targeted entities do share a particular interest in the Islamic Republic of Iran. While motives behind targeted attack campaigns differ, the end results are one and the same: shift in power control either in the economically or politically.
Read the research paper Operation Woolen-GoldFish: When Kittens Go Phishing for a full, detailed look into the activities and methods of Rocket Kitten.
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