The US Department of Justice has seized two Internet domains i.e. theyardservice[.]com and worldhomeoutlet[.]com, which was used in recent phishing attacks impersonating the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to distribute malware and gain access to internal networks.

Both domains were used to receive data exfiltrated from victims of the targeted phishing attacks and send further commands malware to execute on infected machines.

Last week, The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) has discovered that the Russian-backed hackers behind the SolarWinds supply-chain attack are coordinating an ongoing phishing campaign targeting government agencies worldwide.

The latest attack by the group named ‘Nobelium’ has targeted around 3,000 email accounts across 150 organizations.

“Cyber intrusions and spear-phishing email attacks can cause widespread damage throughout affected computer networks, and can result in significant harm to individual victims, government agencies, NGOs, and private businesses,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As demonstrated by the court-authorized seizure of these malicious domains, we are committed to using all available tools to protect the public and our government from these worldwide hacking threats.”

“Friday’s court-authorized domain seizures reflect the FBI Washington Field Office’s continued commitment to cyber victims in our region,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “These actions demonstrate our ability to quickly respond to malicious cyber activities by leveraging our unique authorities to disrupt our cyber adversaries.”

“The FBI remains committed to disrupting this type of malicious cyber activity targeting our federal agencies and the American public,” said Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran of the FBI’s Cyber Division. “We will continue to use all of the tools in our toolbelt and leverage our domestic and international partnerships to not only disrupt this type of hacking activity but to impose risk and consequences upon our adversaries to combat these threats.”

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On or about May 25, malicious actors commenced a wide-scale spear-phishing campaign leveraging a compromised USAID account at an identified mass email marketing company. Specifically, the compromised account was used to send spear-phishing emails, purporting to be from USAID email accounts and containing a “special alert,” to thousands of email accounts at over one hundred entities.

The National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia are investigating this matter in coordination with the FBI’s Cyber Division and Washington Field Office.