Researchers link "Sunshop" group to recent espionage attacks

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An espionage group is spreading a remote access trojan (RAT) and other malware with the help of three recently patched vulnerabilities in Java and Internet Explorer.

According to researchers at FireEye, a collective dubbed the “Sunshop Group” is behind the malicious activities and has compromised several websites, including ones for Korean military and strategy think tanks, and a Uyghur news and discussion forum among others, according to a Monday blog post from Ned Moran, a researcher at FireEye.

The IE zero-day is the same exploit used earlier this month in a “watering hole” attack leveraging the U.S. Department of Labor website to serve malware.

In response to the hack, DoL took the compromised pages offline. A patch was issued last Tuesday for the flaw. The Java vulnerabilities were patched last month and in March.

According to Moran, the Sunshop Group also infected the Nobel Peace Prize's website back in 2010, using a Firefox zero-day in that instance.

In recent Sunshop attacks, users visiting compromised sites are redirected to a malicious page at a site called “Sunshop” – hence researchers' name for the group.

At the Sunshop site, victims download the a RAT known as "Lady Boyle" and additional malware, which include backdoor trojans.

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