Charting TA2541 Flight

TA2541 is a persistent cybercriminal actor that distributes various remote access trojans (RATs) targeting the aviation, aerospace, transportation, and defense industries, among others.
Proofpoint has tracked this threat actor since 2017, and it has used consistent tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) in that time.
Entities in the targeted sectors should be aware of the actor’s TTPs and use the information provided for hunting and detection.

TA2541 uses themes related to aviation, transportation, and travel.
When Proofpoint first started tracking this actor, the group sent macro-laden Microsoft Word attachments that downloaded the RAT payload.
The group pivoted, and now they more frequently send messages with links to cloud services such as Google Drive hosting the payload.
Proofpoint assesses TA2541 is a cybercriminal threat actor due to its use of specific commodity malware, broad targeting with high volume messages, and command and control infrastructure.

While public reporting detailing similar threat activities exists since at least 2019, this is the first time Proofpoint is sharing comprehensive details linking public and private data under one threat activity cluster we call TA2541.

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