Researchers from SentinelLabs have uncovered a hacking group called “Metador,” which has been compromising telecom companies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and universities for two years.
The new threat group was discovered after one of the victims used Singularity, SentinelOne’s advanced XDR detection and response solutions, months after Metador compromised its network.
Although Metador was found in a Middle Eastern telecommunications company, researchers said the operation targets organizations in the Middle East and Africa with the goal to gain long-term persistence for cyber espionage.
Metador has not been associated with any group. SentinelLabs stated in its report that Metador is “managing carefully segmented infrastructure per victim and quickly deploying intricate countermeasures in the presence of security solutions.”
Details of initial infection are not known, but the custom implants were decrypted and loaded into memory through “cdb.exe,” the debugging tool in Windows that was used in the attack as LoLBin, which lives on the-binary). It was used to decrypt and load the two custom “metaMain” and “mafalda,” two custom Windows malware frameworks.
The metaMain implant is used for other “hands-on” operations such as screenshots, performing file actions, logging keyboard events, and executing arbitrary shell codes. Mafalda is a versatile implant, and its commands include file operations, reading contents or directories that manipulate the registry, exploring the network and system, and exfiltrating data to the command and control (C2) server.
The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.