Organizations in the health care, telecommunications, hospitality and education sectors are being targeted by the Indexsinas SMB worm, also known as NSABuffMiner, which leverages the weapons arsenal of the Equation Group to deploy cryptominers on impacted machines and aggressively use lateral movement to compromise its targets, according to a Guadicore Labs analysis reported by Threatpost
"Propagation is achieved through the combination of an open-source port scanner and three Equation Group exploits – EternalBlue, DoublePulsar and EternalRomance. These exploits are used to breach new victim machines, obtain privileged access and install backdoors," researchers said.
Guadicore Labs also noted the Indexsinas attackers' measured tactics.
"The campaign has been running for years with the same command-and-control domain, hosted in South Korea. The [command-and-control] C2 server is highly protected, patched and exposes no redundant ports to the internet. The attackers use a private mining pool for their cryptomining
operations, which prevents anyone from accessing their wallets’ statistics," researchers said.