Cybersecurity researchers have unmasked the identity of one of the individuals who is believed to be associated with the e-crime actor known as XE Group.
According to Menlo Security, which pieced together the information from different online sources, “Nguyen Huu Tai, who also goes by the names Joe Nguyen and Thanh Nguyen, has the strongest likelihood of being involved with the XE Group.”
XE Group (aka XeThanh), previously documented by Malwarebytes and Volexity, has a history of carrying out cyber criminal activities since at least 2013. It’s suspected to be a threat actor of Vietnamese origin.
Some of the entities targeted by the threat actor span government agencies, construction organizations, and healthcare sectors.
It’s known to compromise internet-exposed servers with known exploits and monetize the intrusions by installing password theft or credit card skimming code for online services.
“As far back as 2014, the threat actor was seen creating AutoIT scripts that automatically generated emails and a rudimentary credit card validator for stolen credit cards,” the cybersecurity company said.
Earlier this March, U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence authorities revealed XE Group’s attempts to exploit a critical three-year-old security flaw in Progress Telerik devices (CVE-2019-18935, CVSS score: 9.8) to obtain a foothold.
The adversary has also attempted to gain access to corporate networks in the past through phishing emails sent out using fraudulent domains mimicking legitimate companies such as PayPal and eBay.
Besides camouflaging .EXE files as .PNG files to avoid detection, select attacks have employed a web shell dubbed ASPXSpy to gain control of vulnerable systems.
“XE Group remains a continued threat to various sectors, including government agencies, construction organizations, and healthcare providers,” the researchers said.