Home Digitalisation Maritime Cyber Security & Threats Nov 2020 Week 3

Maritime Cyber Security & Threats Nov 2020 Week 3

Dryad and cyber partners RedSkyAlliance continue to monitor attempted attacks within the maritime sector. Here we continue to examine how email is used to deceive the recipient and potentially expose the target organisations.

“Fraudulent emails designed to make recipients hand over sensitive information, extort money or trigger malware installation on shore-based or vessel IT networks remains one of the biggest day-to-day cyber threats facing the maritime industry.”

Dryad Global’s cyber security partners, Red Sky Alliance, perform weekly queries of  backend databases, identifying all new data containing Motor Vessel (MV) and Motor Tanker (MT) in the subject line of malicious emails.  Email subject line Motor Vessel (MV) or Motor Tanker (MT) keyword usage is a common lure to entice users in the maritime industry to open emails containing malicious attachments.

With our cyber security partner we are providing a weekly list of Motor Vessels where it is observed that the vessel is being impersonated, with associated malicious emails.

The identified emails attempted to deliver malware or phishing links to compromise the vessels and/or parent companies.  Users should be aware of the subject lines used and the email addresses that are attempting to deliver the messages.

Malicious Email collection 14 – 21 Nov 2020

 First Seen Subject Line Used Malware Detections Sending Email Targets
Nov 16, 2020 REQUIRED FREIGHT INVOICE MEDUMG020289 339712677 HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a Rupith Shoby <[email protected]> 703f400124f8d6b.com
Nov 16, 2020 Sea Arrival notice BL : SANTSSWK20100001 S/-JF 2000133 Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml Maersk Customer Service <[email protected]> maersk.com
Nov 16, 2020 Port agency appointment by Cargow shipping agency, HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic CARGOW SHIPPING <[email protected]> c0034.com
Nov 16, 2020 EPDA & PORT INFO REQUEST MV TBN Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.ARJ!MTB M/V PLATIN SHIPPING.<[email protected]> 2ad411a201.com
Nov 16, 2020 MV. MIREILLE SELMER – 31500 mt Rice Calling Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.ARJ!MTB “Nicola Dallaporta.”

<[email protected]>

a694174ef.com
Nov 16, 2020 Cargo AIRLINES CSR 2ND FN Nov-2020 Backdoor:Win32/Bladabindi!ml “Ashish Jain” <[email protected]> electroputere.ro
Nov 16, 2020 PORT INFO/ EPDA REQUEST Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.ARJ!MTB PANOCEAN (CHINA) CO.,LTD 泛洋(中国)有限公司<[email protected]> 963212c1fc.com
Nov 16, 2020 MV SBI   ACHILLES Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.ARJ!MTB SPIMARINE CO, LTD <[email protected]> a694174ef.com
Nov 16, 2020 MV WILTON (VOY 32 ) AGENCY NOMINATION FOR DISCHARGING ABOUT 55, Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.ARJ!MTB GAC <[email protected]> c2634.net
Nov 17, 2020 New Quotation ATB-PR28/500/KINH Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.JR!MTB Nguyen Minh Dung <[email protected]> milkywayzs.xyz
Nov 17, 2020 Fwd: FW: MV \”CORAL EMERALD\” -voy TBN -Proforma Payment HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Stelega.gen “Bobsin, Tim” <[email protected]> Targets Not Disclosed
Nov 17, 2020 RE: RE: LCL! General Chemicals Shipment DDP Inquiry // Payment problem Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl [email protected] <[email protected]> electroputere.ro
Nov 17, 2020 Longstanding Container(s) : 204103842 Trojan:MSIL/AgentTesla.AL!MTB Maersk Customer Service <[email protected]> maersk.com
Nov 17, 2020 RE: Offer Cooperation | Exw Jurong Port Backdoor:WinNT/Knockex!rfn Serena Kum Lai <[email protected]> Targets Not Dislosed
Nov 17, 2020 RFQ – New Order 2×20\’ container of Ruglue Cans 400gr Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.BK!MTB Sunny Park <[email protected]> Targets Not Disclosed
Nov 18, 2020 MAERSK LINE – World\’s shipping leader…. Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml Maersk <[email protected]> [email protected]
Nov 18, 2020 MV Sea Proteus/Cargill CP DD 14th Dec 2020 – NEXT HIRE Trojan:Win32/Glupteba!ml “Ace Chartering Corp.” <[email protected]> a694174ef.com
Nov 18, 2020 Re: MV AGIA DOXA / Annaba Pre arrival docs MSOffice/Agent.CF44!tr <[email protected]> Targets Not Disclosed
Nov 19, 2020 MV Artemis / Shanghai / Disc Wheat – Agency Appointment HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a “Shenzhen Shenjian Shipping Agency Co.,Ltd” <[email protected]> Targets Not Disclosed
Nov 19, 2020 WG: MV   GRAN LOBO V.008//Request For EPDA and Liner Expenses HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a “Hochheim, Jens” <[email protected]> smag.de
Nov 20, 2020 Dangjin / Cigading – Freight inquiry Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml “Johnsong” <[email protected]> c3eba6e71120.com

 

 


Top 5 Malicious Senders

Sender Malware Sent
[email protected] HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a
[email protected] Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl, Trojan:Win32/Guloader.SS!MTB, Trojan:MSIL/AgentTesla.AL!MTB, Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml
[email protected] Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.AT!MTB, Trojan:MSIL/Stealer.J!MTB
[email protected] Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl
[email protected] HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Agensla.gen

In the above collection, we see malicious actors attempting to use vessel names to try to spoof companies in the maritime supply chain. This week we observed a wide variety of maritime-related subject lines. Some of the new vessel names used this week include “MV Coral Emerald” and “MV Wilton” among others.

Analysts observed malicious subject line, “MAERSK LINE – World\’s shipping leader…..” used this week. This email leverages a few techniques to get the targeted users to open the malicious attachments.

The malicious email sender identifies herself as Marilyn Foster of the Shipping & Logistics Dept. of Maersk Line Asia. However, the sending email “docs[at]maersk[.]com” is not listed anywhere according to open source information. The email is generic enough to be used as a template to send to multiple recipients. Although the email is supposedly sent from a Maersk domain, the reply-to email address is jp.intl555[at]gmail[.]com. This email was seen sending other malicious emails (with Korean subject lines) last October.

The message body of the email has a few different components that can help identify it as illegitimate. The first is the “Dear Shipment Owner” greeting which is generic and can address thousands of companies in the maritime sector. The font is different sizes throughout the email as well which is unusual. Last, the signature does not contain any contact information and shows an image of a Maersk ship that was most likely pulled from open source.

The malicious attachment in this case is a disc image file titled “Maersk Original Doc 101.img.” A .img file is essentially a virtual copy of a disk, CD, or DVD. These image files contain a malicious executable which, when mounted, can activate spyware on the victim host and steal sensitive information. The image in this instance contains HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Agensla.gen malware. This malware has the ability to steal sensitive credentials from the victim host, and specifically targets FTP and browser credentials.

These analytical results illustrate how a recipient could be fooled into opening an infected email. They also demonstrate how common it is for attackers to specifically target pieces of a company’s supply chain to build up to cyber-attacks on the larger companies. Doing so could cause the recipient to become an infected member of the maritime supply chain and thus possibly infect victim vessels, port facilities and/or shore companies in the marine, agricultural, and other industries with additional malware.

Fraudulent emails designed to make recipients hand over sensitive information, extort money or trigger malware installation on shore-based or vessel IT networks remains one of the biggest day-to-day cyber threats facing the maritime industry.  These threats often carry a financial liability to one or all those involved in the maritime transportation supply chain.   Preventative cyber protection offers a strong first-line defence by preventing deceptive messages from ever reaching staff inboxes, but malicious hackers are developing new techniques to evade current detection daily.  Using pre-emptive information from Red Sky Alliance-RedXray diagnostic tool, our Vessel Impersonation reports, and Maritime Blacklists offer a proactive solution to stopping cyber-attacks.    Recent studies suggest cyber-criminals are researching their targets and tailoring emails for staff in specific roles.  Another tactic is to spoof emails from the chief executive or other high-ranking maritime contemporaries in the hope staff lower down the supply chain will drop their awareness and follow the spoofed email obediently.  Analysts across the industry are beginning to see maritime-specific examples of these attacks.

Pre-empt, don’t just defend

Preventative cyber protection offers a strong first-line defense by preventing deceptive messages from ever reaching staff inboxes, but malicious hackers are developing new techniques to evade current detection daily. Using preemptive information from Red Sky Alliance RedXray diagnostic tool, our Vessel Impersonation reports and Maritime Blacklists offer a proactive solution to stopping cyber-attacks. Recent studies suggest cyber-criminals are researching their targets and tailoring emails for staff in specific roles. Another tactic is to spoof emails from the chief executive or other high-ranking maritime contemporaries in the hope staff lower down the supply chain will drop their awareness and follow the spoofed email obediently. Analysts across the industry are beginning to see maritime-specific examples of these attacks.


The more convincing an email appears, the greater the chance employees will fall for a scam.  To address this residual risk, software-based protection should be treated as one constituent of a wider strategy that also encompasses the human-element as well as organizational workflows and procedures.

It is imperative to:

  • Train all levels of the marine supply chain to realize they are under constant cyber-attack.
  • Stress maintaining constant attention to real-world cyber consequences of careless cyber practices or general inattentiveness.
  • Provide practical guidance on how to look for a potential phishing attempt.
  • Use direct communication to verify emails and supply chain email communication.
  • Use Red Sky Alliance RedXray proactive support, our Vessel impersonation information and use the Maritime Black Lists to proactively block cyber attacks from identified malicious actors.

Source: Dryad Global