VB2019 preview: A study of Machete cyber espionage operations in Latin America

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Aug 22, 2019

The US government considers China, Russia, Iran and North Korea to be the most prominent nation-state actors in cyber space. Apart from conveniently ignoring activities by the US and its Five Eyes allies, there is plenty of nation-state activity happening elsewhere, including South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

One of the most prominent Latin American actors is Machete, a group first described by Kaspersky in 2014 and later by Cylance in 2017. Earlier this month, ESET published a paper in which it looked at a new variant, first seen in April 2018, with this campaign particularly targeting Venezuela.

At VB2019 in London, Veronica Valeros, Maria Rigaki, Kamila Babayeva and Sebastian Garcia, researchers from the Czech Technical University in Prague, will present a paper on Machete, in which they analyse a large collection of Machete samples collected over the years, going back to the group's earliest known activity.

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To see this presentation - and more than 50 others - don't forget to secure your place for VB2019! And if you have some hot research to present, don't forget the call for last minute papers is open until 1 September.

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