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N. Korea’s BlueNoroff Blamed for Hacking macOS Machines with ObjCShellz Malware

Nov 07, 2023NewsroomEndpoint Safety / Malware

Hacking macOS

The North Korea-linked nation-state group referred to as BlueNoroff has been attributed to a beforehand undocumented macOS malware pressure dubbed ObjCShellz.

Jamf Menace Labs, which disclosed particulars of the malware, mentioned it is used as a part of the RustBucket malware marketing campaign, which got here to gentle earlier this yr.

“Primarily based on earlier assaults carried out by BlueNoroff, we suspect that this malware was a late stage inside a multi-stage malware delivered through social engineering,” safety researcher Ferdous Saljooki mentioned in a report shared with The Hacker Information.

BlueNoroff, additionally tracked beneath the names APT38, Nickel Gladstone, Sapphire Sleet, Stardust Chollima, and TA444, is a subordinate component of the notorious Lazarus Group that focuses on monetary crime, focusing on banks and the crypto sector as a technique to evade sanctions and generate illicit income for the regime.


The event arrives days after Elastic Safety Labs disclosed the Lazarus Group’s use of a brand new macOS malware referred to as KANDYKORN to focus on blockchain engineers.

Additionally linked to the risk actor is a macOS malware known as RustBucket, an AppleScript-based backdoor that is designed to retrieve a second-stage payload from an attacker-controlled server.

In these assaults, potential targets are lured beneath the pretext of providing them funding recommendation or a job, solely to kick-start the an infection chain by way of a decoy doc.

ObjCShellz, because the identify suggests, is written in Goal-C that features as a “quite simple distant shell that executes shell instructions despatched from the attacker server.”

“We do not have particulars of who it was formally used towards,” Saljooki informed The Hacker Information. “However given assaults that we’ve seen this yr, and the identify of the area that the attackers created, it was possible used towards an organization that works within the crypto forex trade or works carefully with it.”

The precise preliminary entry vector for the assault is presently not identified, though it is suspected that the malware is delivered as a post-exploitation payload to manually run instructions on the hacked machine.


“Though pretty easy, this malware continues to be very practical and can assist attackers perform their goals,” Saljooki mentioned.

The disclosure additionally comes as North Korea-sponsored teams like Lazarus are evolving and reorganizing to share instruments and techniques amongst one another, blurring the boundaries, whilst they proceed to construct bespoke malware for Linux and macOS.

“It’s believed the actors behind [the 3CX and JumpCloud] campaigns are creating and sharing a wide range of toolsets and that additional macOS malware campaigns are inevitable,” SentinelOne safety researcher Phil Stokes mentioned final month.

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