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Fancy Bear attacks Cisco routers using historic vulnerability

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in collaboration with agencies from the United States have published a security advisory warning that Russian state threat actors APT 28, also known as Fancy Bear, have been targeting Cisco routers globally for the purpose of reconnaissance and the deployment of malware.

On April 18, the NCSC published their advisory warning the cyber security community of the recent attacks conducted by APT 28 (also known as Fancy Bear, STRONTIUM, Pawn Storm, the Sednit Gang and Sofacy), who are assessed with confidence to be an element of the Russian military intelligence directorate – GRU.

The attacks are focused on accessing Cisco routers by exploiting devices vulnerable to CVE-2017-6742, a remote code execution vulnerability within the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

Following successful exploitation, the threat actors are in a position to collect sensitive information, deploy malware, or develop their access into a network even further.

The alert from the NCSC states that identified so far are a small number of compromises within Europe, US government institutions and approximately 250 Ukrainian victims. This suggests that although exploitation is underway, the focus may have so far been in relation to the Ukraine conflict, with western organisations being a second opportunity to mitigate the vulnerability originally published in 2017 before they are affected.

APT 28 established themselves within the threat landscape by being an aggressive and highly sophisticated nation state actor focusing on cyber espionage, often against western organisations.

To aid searches please see the affected product list here.



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