The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) on Monday said that an Iranian hacking group has been reported to be engaging in cyber espionage across Africa.
A statement by the NCC said the group, known as Lyceum, has been reported to be targeting telecoms, Internet Service Providers, and Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria and other African countries.
The group, also known as Hexane, Siamesekitten, or Spirlin, is targeting these companies with upgraded malware in recent politically motivated attacks, the NCC said.
The statement, signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs, said information about this cyber-attack is contained in the latest advisory issued by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team.
“The ngCERT rated the probability and damage level of the new malware as high,” the NCC said.
“According to the advisory, the hacking group is known to be focused on infiltrating the networks of telecoms companies and ISPs. Between July and October 2021, Lyceum was implicated in attacks against ISPs and telecoms organisations in Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.
“The advanced persistent threat group has been linked to campaigns that hit Middle Eastern oil and gas companies in the past. Now, the group appears to have expanded its focus to the technology sector. In addition, the APT is responsible for a campaign against an unnamed African government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“By the attackers’ mode of operation, Lyceum’s initial onslaught vectors include credential stuffing and brute-force attacks. So, once a victim’s system is compromised, the attackers conduct surveillance on specific targets. In that mode, Lyceum will attempt to deploy two different kinds of malware: Shark and Milan (known together as James).”
The commission said that both malware are backdoors and are able to communicate with the group’s command-and-control (C2) servers.