On the 28th of May 2012, Kaspersky Lab announced the discovery of a highly sophisticated malicious program, known as The Flame, which was actively being used as a cyber weapon targeting entities in several countries. The Flame was discovered by Kaspersky Lab’s experts during an investigation prompted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the analysis of the malicious program revealed it was the largest and most complex attack toolkit to date.
Kaspersky Lab’s analysis of the malware revealed that it was currently being used for cyber-espionage and it would infect computers to steal data and sensitive information. The stolen data was then sent to one of The Flame’s command & control (C&C) servers.
Kaspersky Lab has been closely monitoring the C&C infrastructure of The Flame and has published a detailed research post today about the findings.
In collaboration with GoDaddy and OpenDNS, Kaspersky Lab succeeded in sinkholing most of the malicious domains used by The Flame’s C&C infrastructure. The following details summarize the results of the analysis:
- The Flame C&C infrastructure, which had been operating for years, went offline immediately after Kaspersky Lab disclosed the discovery of the malware’s existence last week.
- Currently there are more than 80 known domains used by Flame for C&C servers and its related domains, which have been registered between 2008 and 2012.
- During the past 4 years, servers hosting the Flame C&C infrastructure moved between multiple locations, including Hong Kong, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Malaysia, Latvia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
- The Flame C&C domains were registered with an impressive list of fake identities and with a variety of registrars, going back as far as 2008.
- According to Kaspersky Lab’s sinkhole, infected users were registered in multiple regions including the Middle East, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.
- The Flame attackers seem to have a high interest in PDF, Office and AutoCad drawings.
- The data uploaded to the Flame C&C is encrypted using relatively simple algorithms. Stolen documents are compressed using open source Zlib and modified PPDM compression.
- Windows 7 64 bit, which we previously recommended as a good solution against infections with other malware, seems to be effective against Flame
Kaspersky Lab would like to thank William MacArthur and “GoDaddy Network Abuse Department” for their fast reaction and exceptional support of this investigation. In addition, Kaspersky Lab would also like to thank the “OpenDNS Security Research Team,” who also offered invaluable assistance during the course of this investigation.
During the past week, Kaspersky Lab contacted CERT’s in multiple countries to inform them about the Flame C&C domain information and IP addresses of the malicious servers. Kaspersky Lab would like to thank all who participated for their support of this investigation.
If you are a GovCERT institution and would like to receive more information about the C2 domains, please contact us at: [email protected].
To read the full analysis of The Flame’s C&C infrastructure and all its technical details, please visit Securelist.