Cyber Security Weekly Briefing January 16-22

ElevenPaths    22 January, 2021
Cyber Security Weekly Briefing January 16-22

SolarWinds Update

New details have been released about the software supply chain compromise unveiled in December.

  • FireEye researchers have published an analysis that puts the focus on the threat actor called UNC2452, to which the incident is attributed.  This group uses a combination of techniques to move laterally in the Microsoft 365 cloud: the theft of token signing certificates in ADFS; the modification or addition of trust domains in Azure AD; the compromise of local user credentials with high privileges synchronized to M365; and finally, the abuse of a legitimate app’s permissions by installing a backdoor.
  • Meanwhile, Symantec researchers have discovered an additional piece of malware that would have been used as a secondary payload on several of the systems compromised by UNC2452. This malware, called Raindrop, is a payload mainly intended for the installation of Cobalt Strike.
  • The software company MalwareBytes has admitted in a statement to have been compromised by UNC2452, although not through SolarWinds Orion, but through the abuse of a third-party application with permissions within the corporate Office365. They point out, however, that the threat actor only accessed a limited number of emails.
  • Microsoft researchers have provided more details on the mechanisms involved in the distribution of secondary payloads (Teardrop, Raindrop, etc.) from the Solorigate backdoor (SUNBURST, according to FireEye’s terminology), which is the origin of the compromises of public and private entities resulting from the trojanisation of the SolarWinds Orion software. The researchers show how the initial backdoor is only activated for specific victims by creating two files on disk: a VBScript, which is typically named after existing services or folders to simulate legitimate machine activities; and a DLL implant, which corresponds to a custom Cobalt Strike loader. The Cobalt Strike implant, however, is not executed directly, but instead the attackers generate an IFEO registry value for a commonly running process in Windows, thus making its activation completely detached from the backdoor, making it difficult to detect and ensuring that Solarigate remains hidden. Apart from Teardrop and Raindrop, Microsoft claims to have detected other custom Cobalt Strike beacons. These DLLs are mainly placed in existing Windows subdirectories and are assigned names similar to legitimate files and directories to camouflage themselves as much as possible with the environment.

New data on Intrusion at the European Medicines Agency

Further details of unauthorised access to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) by cybercriminals were revealed in December, when they gained access to confidential documentation on the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNtech. In the last statement issued by the Agency, it has been confirmed that the cybercriminals leaked some of the documents to which they had access in underground forums at the end of December, including internal emails related to the vaccine evaluation processes, Word documents, PDFs, etc. In addition, the EMA has reported that some of this correspondence was manipulated prior to publication, in order to undermine confidence in vaccines.

More details:

FBI Warns of New Vishing Attacks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a notice to the private industry warning of the detection of telephone social engineering techniques with the aim of acquiring corporate credentials that would allow access to the networks of national and international entities. The threat actors are reportedly using VoIP platforms (also known as IP telephone services) to contact employees of any category and guide them to access a fraudulent website (e.g. fake VPN interface) where they enter their login credentials. This first compromise provides them with an entry vector that is later used to gain greater privileges by finding other network users with permissions to create and modify e-mails and usernames. This is the second warning of active vishing attacks against employees issued by the FBI since the beginning of the pandemic, after a growing number of them became homeworkers.

More information:

DNSpooq: Seven Vulnerabilities that Allow DNS Hijacking

Security consultant JSOF has revealed seven vulnerabilities in Dnsmasq, an open source DNS redirection software widely used to add capabilities in IoT devices and other embedded systems. Together, these flaws have been referred to as DNSpooq, and could be exploited for DNS cache poisoning, remote code execution or denial of service attacks against millions of affected devices. Three of the vulnerabilities (classified as CVE-2020-25686, CVE-2020-25684, CVE-2020-25685) allow DNS spoofing attacks to be carried out by poisoning the cache. With this attack, the threat actors can redirect users to malicious servers under their control without them noticing. The rest are buffer overflow vulnerabilities (classified as CVE-2020-25687, CVE-2020-25683, CVE-2020-25682 and CVE-2020-25681) that could allow remote code execution. While several workarounds exist, JSOF advises that the best and only full mitigation is to update Dnsmasq to version 2.83 or above.

All the information:

Exposed RDP Services Used to Amplify DDoS Attacks

Security researchers at Netscout have recently detected malicious exploitation of the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) by threat actors as part of the infrastructure of stressers (on-demand DDoS tools). The RDP service is typically configured to receive requests on port 3389, TCP and/or UDP. When the second option is enabled, it is possible to achieve an amplification ratio of almost 86:1. The observed attacks range in size from 20 to 750 Gbps. All packets sent are consistent in size, 1,260 bytes. According to the researchers, there are more than 14,000 servers susceptible to this type of attack.

More details:

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