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Domains Linked to Phishing Attacks Targeting Ukraine

Secureworks® Counter Threat Unit™ (CTU) researchers investigated a Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) warning of phishing activity posted to Facebook on February 25, 2022 (see Figure 1). CERT-UA attributed the activity to the Minsk-based UNC1151 threat group. UNC1511 is reportedly linked to the Belarusian government and responsible for the Ghostwriter influence campaigns. As of this publication, CTU™ researchers have not validated this attribution assessment. CTU researchers attribute this activity to the MOONSCAPE threat group.

CERT-UA Facebook post warning of phishing attacks.
Figure 1. CERT-UA Facebook post warning of phishing attacks. (Source: Secureworks)

The rudimentary phishing message coaxes the target to use a malicious phishing link. It is possible that the phishing messages included imagery that was not included in the Facebook post.

CTU researchers analyzed the two domains listed in the Facebook post and identified seven additional domains based on WHOIS and passive DNS data. This cluster uses the ‘.space’ top-level domain (TLD), shares a common registrant “Apolena Zorka”, was registered via Public Domain Registry Ltd., and is primarily hosted behind Cloudflare infrastructure. Each of the domains aligns with a small set of common themes typical of MOONSCAPE infrastructure. Themes include information portals, email validation, cloud services, or government entities. The Apolena Zorka cluster is a mix of generic email validation and domains spoofing popular Ukrainian information services (see Figure 2). This combination suggests that the websites may have been created for Ukrainian targets, including those that prompted the CERT-UA warning.

Apolena Zorka cluster of domains used in phishing attacks against Ukrainian targets.
Figure 2. Apolena Zorka cluster of domains used in phishing attacks against Ukrainian targets. (Source: Secureworks)

CTU researchers identified another set of domains with similar characteristics to the Apolena Zorka cluster, although this cluster used the “Radka Dominika” registrant (see Figure 3). These domains included similar themes but used Polish words for verification (weryfikacja) and validation (walidacja) in several generic email validation-themed domains. Another identified domain (ron-mil . space) appears to spoof the legitimate domain of the Polish Ministry of National Defense (ron . mil . pl).

Radka Dominika cluster of domains likely used in phishing attacks against Polish-speaking targets.
Figure 3. Radka Dominika cluster of domains likely used in phishing attacks against Polish-speaking targets. (Source: Secureworks)

When ordered by creation date, the threat actors switch between domains aligned to Ukrainian targets and domains likely aligned with Polish-speaking targets. This pattern illustrates a regular cadence of new domain creation (see Figure 4). This activity likely reflects an operational rotation involving multiple demographics they target.

MOONSCAPE-associated domains ordered by creation date.
Figure 4. MOONSCAPE-associated domains ordered by creation date. (Source: Secureworks)

MOONSCAPE creates new infrastructure but maintains a preference for specific keywords and reuses old infrastructure. For example, the ‘verify-email . space’ domain was created on February 2 and resolves to IP address 185 . 244 . 180 . 13. This IP address also hosted ‘ua-passport . site’, which was created on June 22, 2021. With the exception of the TLD, the ‘ua-passport . site’ domain is identical to the ‘ua-passport . space’ domain created on December 15, 2021.

MOONSCAPE has conducted phishing campaigns for years, targeting military, diplomatic, and government personnel in Eastern European NATO countries such as Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia as well as countries that border Belarus such as Ukraine. The February phishing attacks demonstrate that the group’s espionage-focused activity continues and potentially contributes to intelligence collection on Ukrainian entities in support of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine that commenced on February 24, 2022.

To mitigate exposure to this malware, CTU researchers recommend that organizations use available controls to review and restrict access using the indicators listed in Table 1. The domains may contain malicious content, so consider the risks before opening them in a browser.

Indicator Type Context
ua-passport.space Domain name Used in MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
bigmir.space Domain name Used in MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
mirrohost.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
mil-gov.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
verify-email.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
verify-mail.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
creditals-email.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
meta-ua.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
i-ua.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Ukrainian government and military personnel
kontrola-poczty.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
walidacja-poczty.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
weryfikacja-poczty.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
konto-verify.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
weryfikacja-konta.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
walidacja-uzytkownika.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
akademia-mil.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals
ron-mil.space Domain name Linked to MOONSCAPE phishing attacks targeting Polish-speaking individuals

Table 1. Indicators for this threat.

originally published onhttps://www.secureworks.com/blog/domains-linked-to-phishing-attacks-targeting-ukraine

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