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Ankura CTIX FLASH Update - January 3, 2023

Malware Activity

Louisiana's Largest Medical Complex Discloses Data Breach Associated to October Attack

On December 23rd, 2022, the Lake Charles Memorial Health System (LCMHS) began sending out notifications regarding a newly discovered data breach that is currently impacting approximately 270,000 patients. LCMHS is the largest medical complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which contains multiple hospitals and a primary care clinic. The organization discovered unusual activity on their network on October 21, 2022, and determined on October 25, 2022, that an unauthorized actor gained access to the organization's network as well as "accessed or obtained certain files from [their] systems." The LCMHS notice listed the following patient information as exposed: patient names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record or patient identification numbers, health insurance information, payment information, limited clinical information regarding received care, and Social Security numbers (SSNs) in limited instances. While LCMHS has yet to confirm the unauthorized actor responsible for the data breach, the Hive ransomware group listed the organization on their data leak site on November 15, 2022, as well as posted files allegedly exfiltrated after breaching the LCMHS network. The posted files contained "bills of materials, cards, contracts, medical info, papers, medical records, scans, residents, and more." It is not unusual for Hive to claim responsibility for the associated attack as the threat group has previously targeted hospitals/healthcare organizations. CTIX analysts will continue to monitor the Hive ransomware group into 2023 and provide updates on the Lake Charles Memorial Health System data breach as necessary.

Threat Actor Activity

Kimsuky Threat Actors Target South Korean Policy Experts in New Campaign

Threat actors from the North Korean-backed Kimsuky group recently launched a phishing campaign targeting policy experts throughout South Korea. Kimsuky is a well-aged threat organization that has been in operation since 2013, primarily conducting cyber espionage and occasional financially motivated attacks. Aiming their attacks consistently at entities of South Korea, the group often targets academics, think tanks, and organizations relating to inter-Korea relations. In this recent campaign, Kimsuky threat actors distributed spear-phishing emails to several well-known South Korean policy experts. Within these emails, either an embedded website URL or an attachment was present, both executing malicious code to download malware to the compromised machine. One (1) tactic the threat actors utilized was distributing emails through hacked servers, masking the origin IP address(es). In total, of the 300 hacked servers, eighty-seven (87) of them were located throughout North Korea, with the others from around the globe. This type of social engineering attack is not new for the threat group as similar instances have occurred over the past decade. In January 2022, Kimsuky actors mimicked activities of researchers and think tanks in order to harvest intelligence from associated sources. CTIX continues to urge users to validate the integrity of email correspondence prior to visiting any embedded emails or downloading any attachments to lessen the risk of threat actor compromise. 


Netgear Patches Critical Vulnerability Leading to Arbitrary Code Execution

Network device manufacturer Netgear has just patched a high-severity vulnerability impacting multiple WiFi router models. The flaw, tracked as CVE-2022-48196, is described as a pre-authentication buffer overflow security vulnerability, which, if exploited, could allow threat actors to carry out a number of malicious activities. These activities include stealing sensitive information, creating Denial-of-Service (DoS) conditions, as well as downloading malware and executing arbitrary code. In past attacks, threat actors have utilized this type of vulnerability as an initial access vector by which they pivot to other parts of the network. Currently, there is very little technical information regarding the vulnerability and Netgear is temporarily withholding the details to allow as many of their users to update their vulnerable devices to the latest secure firmware. Netgear stated that this is a very low-complexity attack, meaning that unsophisticated attackers may be able to successfully exploit a device. CTIX analysts urge Netgear users with any of the vulnerable devices listed in Netgear's advisory to patch their device immediately.

The semi-weekly Ankura Cyber Threat Investigations and Expert Services (CTIX) FLASH Update is designed to provide timely and relevant cyber intelligence pertaining to current or emerging cyber events. The preceding is a collection of cyber threat intelligence leads assembled over the past few days and typically includes high level intelligence pertaining to recent threat group/actor activity and newly identified vulnerabilities impacting a wide range of industries and victims. Please feel free to reach out to the Flash Team ( if additional context is needed.

© Copyright 2022. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of Ankura Consulting Group, LLC., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. Ankura is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.


cyber response, cybersecurity & data privacy, data & technology, data privacy & cyber risk, f-risk, memo, technology media telecoms

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