The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has removed two internet domains used in recent phishing attacks under the pretext of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to spread malware and breach internal networks.
The two domains seized by the DOJ are theyardservice[.]com and worldhomeoutlet[.]com, websites used to receive data from victims of targeted phishing attacks and to send commands to execute the malware on infected computers.
Microsoft made these attacks public for the first time last week, stating that they were carried out by a Russian state-run hacking group called NOBELIUM, a group that is also believed to be affiliated with Russia’s SVR, a Russian intelligence agency.
NOBELIUM compromised a USAID contact account used for email campaigns and posed as USAID in phishing emails sent to about 3,000 email accounts in more than 150 organizations, including government agencies and human rights groups.
Recipients who received and clicked on these emails would be asked to download HTML attachments, which in turn would install four new malware created by the hackers.
This would then lead to the installation of remote access software such as Cobalt Strike beacons, which provide full access to the victims’ computers and networks.
Microsoft announced that there are a total of 34 domains that were used during the attacks, including two domains that were seized by the FBI.
For more information, read the original story in BleepingComputer.