Hackers Used Government Servers in DNSMessenger Attacks

October 12, 2017


A recently discovered DNSMessenger campaign is abusing compromised U.S. state government servers to host malware, Cisco Talos security researchers say.

First uncovered in early March, the DNSMessenger attack involved the use of DNS requests to establish communication between a PowerShell RAT and its command and control (C&C) servers. Completely fileless and invisible to most standard defenses, the attack was highly targeted and researchers attributed it to a sophisticated threat actor.

Cisco now says that additional attacks leveraging this type of malware were discovered, targeting several organizations in an attempt to infect them with malware. Specific to this campaign is the use of DNS TXT records to create a bidirectional C&C channel and directly interact with the Windows Command Processor.

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