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Not Your Average Rodent: Darktrace’s Mitigation of the Sectop Remote Access Trojan (RAT)

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20
Nov 2023
20
Nov 2023
This blog discusses how Darktrace was able to successfully detect and respond to several incidents of SectopRAT compromise across its customer base.

Introduction

As malicious actors across the threat landscape continue to look for new ways to gain unauthorized access to target networks, it is unsurprising to see Remote Access Trojans (RATs) leveraged more and more. These RATs are downloaded discretely without the target’s knowledge, typically through seemingly legitimate software downloads, and are designed to gain highly privileged network credentials, ultimately allowing attackers to have remote control over compromised devices. [1]

SectopRAT is one pertinent example of a RAT known to adopt a number of stealth functions in order to gather and exfiltrate sensitive data from its targets including passwords, cookies, autofill and history data stores in browsers, as well as cryptocurrency wallet details and system hardware information. [2]

In early 2023, Darktrace identified a resurgence of the SectopRAT across customer environments, primarily targeting educational industries located in the United States (US), Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. Darktrace DETECT™ was able to successfully identify suspicious activity related to SectopRAT at the network level, as well as any indicators of post-compromise on customer environments that did not have Darktrace RESPOND™ in place to take autonomous preventative action.

What is SectopRAT?

First discovered in early 2019, the SectopRAT is a .NET RAT that contains information stealing capabilities. It is also known under the alias ‘ArechClient2’, and is commonly distributed through drive-by downloads of illegitimate software and utilizes malvertising, including via Google Ads, to increase the chances of it being downloaded.

The malware’s code was updated at the beginning of 2021, which led to refined and newly implemented features, including command and control (C2) communication encryption with Advanced Encryption Stanard 256 (AES256) and additional commands. SectopRAT also has a function called "BrowserLogging", ultimately sending any actions it conducts on web browsers to its C2 infrastructure. When the RAT is executed, it then connects to a Pastebin associated hostname to retrieve C2 information; the requested file reaches out to get the public IP address of the infected device. To receive commands, it connects to its C2 server primarily on port 15647, although other ports have been highlighted by open source intelligence (OSINT), which include 15678, 15649, 228 and 80. Ultimately, sensitive data data gathered from target networks is then exfiltrated to the attacker’s C2 infrastructure, typically in a JSON file [3].

Darktrace Coverage

During autonomous investigations into affected customer networks, Darktrace DETECT was able to identify SSL connections to the endpoint pastebin[.]com over port 443, followed by failed connections to one of the IPs and ports (i.e., 15647, 15648, 15649) associated with SectopRAT. This resulted in the devices breaching the ‘Compliance/Pastebin and Anomalous Connection/Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint’ models, respectively.

In some instances, Darktrace observed a higher number of attempted connections that resulted in the additional breach of the model ‘Compromise / Large Number of Suspicious Failed Connections’.

Over a period of three months, Darktrace investigated multiple instances of SectopRAT infections across multiple clients, highlighting indicators of compromise (IoCs) through related endpoints.Looking specififically at one customer’s activity which centred on January 25, 2023, one device was observed initially making suspicious connections to a Pastebin endpoint, 104.20.67[.]143, likely in an attempt to receive C2 information.

Darktrace DETECT recognized this activity as suspicious, causing the 'Compliance / Pastebin' DETECT models to breach. In response to this detection, Darktrace RESPOND took swift action against the Pastebin connections by blocking them and preventing the device from carrying out further connections with Pastebin endpoints. Darktrace RESPOND actions related to blocking Pastebin connections were commonly observed on this device throughout the course of the attack and likely represented threat actors attempting to exfiltrate sensitive data outside the network.

Darktrace UI image
Figure 1: Model breach event log highlighting the Darktrace DETECT model breach ‘Compliance / Pastebin’.

Around the same time, Darktrace observed the device making a large number of failed connections to an unusual exernal location in the Netherlands, 5.75.147[.]135, via port 15647. Darktrace recognized that this endpoint had never previously been observed on the customer’s network and that the frequency of the failed connections could be indicative of beaconing activity. Subsequent investigation into the endpoint using OSINT indicated it had links to malware, though Darktrace’s successful detection did not need to rely on this intelligence.

Darktrace model breach event log
Figure 2: Model breach event log highlighting the multiple failed connectiosn to the suspicious IP address, 5.75.147[.]135 on January 25, 2023, causing the Darktrace DETECT model ‘Anomalous Connection / Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint’ to breach.

After these initial set of breaches on January 25, the same device was observed engaging in further external connectivity roughly a month later on February 27, including additional failed connections to the IP 167.235.134[.]14 over port 15647. Once more, multiple OSINT sources revealed that this endpoint was indeed a malicious C2 endpoint.

Darktrace model breach event log 2
Figure 3: Model breach event log highlighting the multiple failed connectiosn to the suspicious IP address, 167.235.134[.]14 on February 27, 2023, causing the Darktrace DETECT model ‘Anomalous Connection / Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint’ to breach.

While the initial Darktrace coverage up to this point has highlighted the attempted C2 communication and how DETECT was able to alert on the suspicious activity, Pastebin activity was commonly observed throughout the course of this attack. As a result, when enabled in autonomous response mode, Darktrace RESPOND was able to take swift mitigative action by blocking all connections to Pastebin associated hostnames and IP addresses. These interventions by RESPOND ultimately prevented malicious actors from stealing sensitive data from Darktrace customers.

Darktrace RESPOND action list
Figure 4: A total of nine Darktrace RESPOND actions were applied against suspicious Pastebin activity during the course of the attack.

In another similar case investigated by the Darktrace, multiple devices were observed engaging in external connectivity to another malicious endpoint,  88.218.170[.]169 (AS207651 Hosting technology LTD) on port 15647.  On April 17, 2023, at 22:35:24 UTC, the breach device started making connections; of the 34 attempts, one connection was successful – this connection lasted 8 minutes and 49 seconds. Darktrace DETECT’s Self-Learning AI understood that these connections represented a deviation from the device’s usual pattern of behavior and alerted on the activity with the ‘Multiple Connections to new External TCP Port’ model.

Darktrace model breach event log
Figure 5: Model breach event log highlighting the affected device successfully connecting to the suspicious endpoint, 88.218.170[.]169.
Darktrace advanced search query
Figure 6: Advanced Search query highlighting the one successful connection to the endpoint 88.218.170[.]169 out of the 34 attempted connections.

A few days later, on April 20, 2023, at 12:33:59 (UTC) the source device connected to a Pastebin endpoint, 172.67.34[.]170 on port 443 using the SSL protocol, that had never previously be seen on the network. According to Advanced Search data, the first SSL connection lasted over two hours. In total, the device made 9 connections to pastebin[.]com and downloaded 85 KB of data from it.

Darktrace UI highlighting connections
Figure 7: Screenshot of the Darktrace UI highlighting the affected device making multiple connections to Pastebin and downloading 85 KB of data.

Within the same minute, Darktrace detected the device beginning to make a large number of failed connections to another suspicious endpoints, 34.107.84[.]7 (AS396982 GOOGLE-CLOUD-PLATFORM) via port 15647. In total the affected device was observed initiating 1,021 connections to this malicious endpoint, all occurring over the same port and resulting the failed attempts.

Darktrace advanced search query 2
Figure 8: Advanced Search query highlighting the affected device making over one thousand connections to the suspicious endpoint 34.107.84[.]7, all of which failed.

Conclusion

Ultimately, thanks to its Self-Learning AI and anomaly-based approach to threat detection, Darktrace was able to preemptively identify any suspicious activity relating to SectopRAT at the network level, as well as post-compromise activity, and bring it to the immediate attention of customer security teams.

In addition to the successful and timely detection of SectopRAT activity, when enabled in autonomous response mode Darktrace RESPOND was able to shut down suspicious connections to endpoints used by threat actors as malicious infrastructure, thus preventing successful C2 communication and potential data exfiltration.

In the face of a Remote Access Trojan, like SectopRAT, designed to steal sensitive corporate and personal information, the Darktrace suite of products is uniquely placed to offer organizations full visibility over any emerging activity on their networks and respond to it without latency, safeguarding their digital estate whilst causing minimal disruption to business operations.

Credit to Justin Torres, Cyber Analyst, Brianna Leddy, Director of Analysis

Appendices

Darktrace Model Detection:

  • Compliance / Pastebin
  • Anomalous Connection / Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint
  • Compromise / Large Number of Suspicious Failed Connections
  • Anomalous Connection / Multiple Connections to New External TCP Port

List of IoCs

IoC - Type - Description + Confidence

5.75.147[.]135 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

5.75.149[.]1 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

34.27.150[.]38 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

34.89.247[.]212 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

34.107.84[.]7 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

34.141.16[.]89 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

34.159.180[.]55 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

35.198.132[.]51 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

35.226.102[.]12 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

35.234.79[.]173 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

35.234.159[.]213 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

35.242.150[.]95 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

88.218.170[.]169 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

162.55.188[.]246 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

167.235.134[.]14 - IP - SectopRAT C2 Endpoint

MITRE ATT&CK Mapping

Model: Compliance / Pastebin

ID: T1537

Tactic: EXFILTRATION

Technique Name: Transfer Data to Cloud Account

Model: Anomalous Connection / Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint

ID: T1090.002

Sub technique of: T1090

Tactic: COMMAND AND CONTROL

Technique Name: External Proxy

ID: T1095

Tactic: COMMAND AND CONTROL

Technique Name: Non-Application Layer Protocol

ID: T1571

Tactic: COMMAND AND CONTROL

Technique Name: Non-Standard Port

Model: Compromise / Large Number of Suspicious Failed Connections

ID: T1571

Tactic: COMMAND AND CONTROL

Technique Name: Non-Standard Port

ID: T1583.006

Sub technique of: T1583

Tactic: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Technique Name: Web Services

Model: Anomalous Connection / Multiple Connections to New External TCP Port

ID: T1095        

Tactic: COMMAND AND CONTROL    

Technique Name: Non-Application Layer Protocol

ID: T1571

Tactic: COMMAND AND CONTROL    

Technique Name: Non-Standard Port

References

1.     https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/RAT-remote-access-Trojan

2.     https://malpedia.caad.fkie.fraunhofer.de/details/win.sectop_rat

3.     https://threatfox.abuse.ch/browse/malware/win.sectop_rat

INSIDE THE SOC
Darktrace cyber analysts are world-class experts in threat intelligence, threat hunting and incident response, and provide 24/7 SOC support to thousands of Darktrace customers around the globe. Inside the SOC is exclusively authored by these experts, providing analysis of cyber incidents and threat trends, based on real-world experience in the field.
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Justin Torres
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Safeguarding Distribution Centers in the Digital Age

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12
Jun 2024

Challenges securing distribution centers

For large retail providers, e-commerce organizations, logistics & supply chain organizations, and other companies who rely on the distribution of goods to consumers cybersecurity efforts are often focused on an immense IT infrastructure. However, there's a critical, often overlooked segment of infrastructure that demands vigilant monitoring and robust protection: distribution centers.

Distribution centers play a critical role in the business operations of supply chains, logistics, and the retail industry. They serve as comprehensive logistics hubs, with many organizations operating multiple centers worldwide to meet consumer needs. Depending on their size and hours of operation, even just one hour of downtime at these centers can result in significant financial losses, ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour.

Due to the time-sensitive nature and business criticality of distribution centers, there has been a rise in applying modern technologies now including AI applications to enhance efficiency within these facilities. Today’s distribution centers are increasingly connected to Enterprise IT networks, the cloud and the internet to manage every stage of the supply chain. Additionally, it is common for organizations to allow 3rd party access to the distribution center networks and data for reasons including allowing them to scale their operations effectively.

However, this influx of new technologies and interconnected systems across IT, OT and cloud introduces new risks on the cybersecurity front. Distribution center networks include industrial operational technologies ICS/OT, IoT technologies, enterprise network technology, and cloud systems working in coordination. The convergence of these technologies creates a greater chance that blind spots exist for security practitioners and this increasing presence of networked technology increases the attack surface and potential for vulnerability. Thus, having cybersecurity measures that cover IT, OT or Cloud alone is not enough to secure a complex and dynamic distribution center network infrastructure.  

The OT network encompasses various systems, devices, hardware, and software, such as:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Warehouse Execution System (WES)
  • Warehouse Control System (WCS)
  • Warehouse Management System (WMS)
  • Energy Management Systems (EMS)
  • Building Management Systems (BMS)
  • Distribution Control Systems (DCS)
  • Enterprise IT devices
  • OT and IoT: Engineering workstations, ICS application and management servers, PLCs, HMI, access control, cameras, and printers
  • Cloud applications

Distribution centers: An expanding attack surface

As these distribution centers have become increasingly automated, connected, and technologically advanced, their attack surfaces have inherently increased. Distribution centers now have a vastly different potential for cyber risk which includes:  

  • More networked devices present
  • Increased routable connectivity within industrial systems
  • Externally exposed industrial control systems
  • Increased remote access
  • IT/OT enterprise to industrial convergence
  • Cloud connectivity
  • Contractors, vendors, and consultants on site or remoting in  

Given the variety of connected systems, distribution centers are more exposed to external threats than ever before. Simultaneously, distribution center’s business criticality has positioned them as interesting targets to cyber adversaries seeking to cause disruption with significant financial impact.

Increased connectivity requires a unified security approach

When assessing the unique distribution center attack surface, the variety of interconnected systems and devices requires a cybersecurity approach that can cover the diverse technology environment.  

From a monitoring and visibility perspective, siloed IT, OT or cloud security solutions cannot provide the comprehensive asset management, threat detection, risk management, and response and remediation capabilities across interconnected digital infrastructure that a solution natively covering IT, cloud, OT, and IoT can provide.  

The problem with using siloed cybersecurity solutions to cover a distribution center is the visibility gaps that are inherently created when using multiple solutions to try and cover the totality of the diverse infrastructure. What this means is that for cross domain and multi-stage attacks, depending on the initial access point and where the adversary plans on actioning their objectives, multiple stages of the attack may not be detected or correlated if they security solutions lack visibility into OT, IT, IoT and cloud.

Comprehensive security under one solution

Darktrace leverages Self-Learning AI, which takes a new approach to cybersecurity. Instead of relying on rules and signatures, this AI trains on the specific business to learn a ‘pattern of life’ that models normal activity for every device, user, and connection. It can be applied anywhere an organization has data, and so can natively cover IT, OT, IoT, and cloud.  

With these models, Darktrace /OT provides improved visibility, threat detection and response, and risk management for proactive hardening recommendations.  

Visibility: Darktrace is the only OT security solution that natively covers IT, IoT and OT in unison. AI augmented workflows ensure OT cybersecurity analysts and operation engineers can manage IT and OT environments, leveraging a live asset inventory and tailored dashboards to optimize security workflows and minimize operator workload.

Threat detection, investigation, and response: The AI facilitates anomaly detection capable of detecting known, unknown, and insider threats and precise response for OT environments that contains threats at their earliest stages before they can jeopardize control systems. Darktrace immediately understands, identifies, and investigates all anomalous activity in OT networks, whether human or machine driven and uses Explainable AI to generate investigation reports via Darktrace’s Cyber AI Analyst.

Proactive risk identification: Risk management capabilities like attack path modeling can prioritize remediation and mitigation that will most effectively reduce derived risk scores. Rather than relying on knowledge of past attacks and CVE lists and scores, Darktrace AI learns what is ‘normal’ for its environment, discovering previously unknown threats and risks by detecting subtle shifts in behavior and connectivity. Through the application of Darktrace AI for OT environments, security teams can investigate novel attacks, discover blind spots, get live-time visibility across all their physical and digital assets, and reduce the time to detect, respond to, and triage security events.

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Daniel Simonds
Director of Operational Technology

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Inside the SOC

Medusa Ransomware: Looking Cyber Threats in the Eye with Darktrace

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10
Jun 2024

What is Living off the Land attack?

In the face of increasingly vigilant security teams and adept defense tools, attackers are continually looking for new ways to circumvent network security and gain access to their target environments. One common tactic is the leveraging of readily available utilities and services within a target organization’s environment in order to move through the kill chain; a popular method known as living off the land (LotL). Rather than having to leverage known malicious tools or write their own malware, attackers are able to easily exploit the existing infrastructure of their targets.

The Medusa ransomware group in particular are known to extensively employ LotL tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) in their attacks, as one Darktrace customer in the US discovered in early 2024.

What is Medusa Ransomware?

Medusa ransomware (not to be confused with MedusaLocker) was first observed in the wild towards the end of 2022 and has been a popular ransomware strain amongst threat actors since 2023 [1]. Medusa functions as a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform, providing would-be attackers, also know as affiliates, with malicious software and infrastructure required to carry out disruptive ransomware attacks. The ransomware is known to target organizations across many different industries and countries around the world, including healthcare, education, manufacturing and retail, with a particular focus on the US [2].

How does medusa ransomware work?

Medusa affiliates are known to employ a number of TTPs to propagate their malware, most prodominantly gaining initial access by exploiting vulnerable internet-facing assets and targeting valid local and domain accounts that are used for system administration.

The ransomware is typically delivered via phishing and spear phishing campaigns containing malicious attachments [3] [4], but it has also been observed using initial access brokers to access target networks [5]. In terms of the LotL strategies employed in Medusa compromises, affiliates are often observed leveraging legitimate services like the ConnectWise remote monitoring and management (RMM) software and PDQ Deploy, in order to evade the detection of security teams who may be unable to distinguish the activity from normal or expected network traffic [2].

According to researchers, Medusa has a public Telegram channel that is used by threat actors to post any data that may have been stolen, likely in an attempt to extort organizations and demand payment [2].  

Darktrace’s Coverage of Medusa Ransomware

Established Foothold and C2 activity

In March 2024, Darktrace /NETWORK identified over 80 devices, including an internet facing domain controller, on a customer network performing an unusual number of activities that were indicative of an emerging ransomware attack. The suspicious behavior started when devices were observed making HTTP connections to the two unusual endpoints, “wizarr.manate[.]ch” and “go-sw6-02.adventos[.]de”, with the PowerShell and JWrapperDownloader user agents.

Darktrace’s Cyber AI Analyst™ launched an autonomous investigation into the connections and was able to connect the seemingly separate events into one wider incident spanning multiple different devices. This allowed the customer to visualize the activity in chronological order and gain a better understanding of the scope of the attack.

At this point, given the nature and rarity of the observed activity, Darktrace /NETWORK's autonomous response would have been expected to take autonomous action against affected devices, blocking them from making external connections to suspicious locations. However, autonomous response was not configured to take autonomous action at the time of the attack, meaning any mitigative actions had to be manually approved by the customer’s security team.

Internal Reconnaissance

Following these extensive HTTP connections, between March 1 and 7, Darktrace detected two devices making internal connection attempts to other devices, suggesting network scanning activity. Furthermore, Darktrace identified one of the devices making a connection with the URI “/nice ports, /Trinity.txt.bak”, indicating the use of the Nmap vulnerability scanning tool. While Nmap is primarily used legitimately by security teams to perform security audits and discover vulnerabilities that require addressing, it can also be leveraged by attackers who seek to exploit this information.

Darktrace / NETWORK model alert showing the URI “/nice ports, /Trinity.txt.bak”, indicating the use of Nmap.
Figure 1: Darktrace /NETWORK model alert showing the URI “/nice ports, /Trinity.txt.bak”, indicating the use of Nmap.

Darktrace observed actors using multiple credentials, including “svc-ndscans”, which was also seen alongside DCE-RPC activity that took place on March 1. Affected devices were also observed making ExecQuery and ExecMethod requests for IWbemServices. ExecQuery is commonly utilized to execute WMI Query Language (WQL) queries that allow the retrieval of information from WI, including system information or hardware details, while ExecMethod can be used by attackers to gather detailed information about a targeted system and its running processes, as well as a tool for lateral movement.

Lateral Movement

A few hours after the first observed scanning activity on March 1, Darktrace identified a chain of administrative connections between multiple devices, including the aforementioned internet-facing server.

Cyber AI Analyst was able to connect these administrative connections and separate them into three distinct ‘hops’, i.e. the number of administrative connections made from device A to device B, including any devices leveraged in between. The AI Analyst investigation was also able to link the previously detailed scanning activity to these administrative connections, identifying that the same device was involved in both cases.

Cyber AI Analyst investigation into the chain of lateral movement activity.
Figure 2: Cyber AI Analyst investigation into the chain of lateral movement activity.

On March 7, the internet exposed server was observed transferring suspicious files over SMB to multiple internal devices. This activity was identified as unusual by Darktrace compared to the device's normal SMB activity, with an unusual number of executable (.exe) and srvsvc files transferred targeting the ADMIN$ and IPC$ shares.

Cyber AI Analyst investigation into the suspicious SMB write activity.
Figure 3: Cyber AI Analyst investigation into the suspicious SMB write activity.
Graph highlighting the number of successful SMB writes and the associated model alerts.
Figure 4: Graph highlighting the number of successful SMB writes and the associated model alerts.

The threat actor was also seen writing SQLite3*.dll files over SMB using a another credential this time. These files likely contained the malicious payload that resulted in the customer’s files being encrypted with the extension “.s3db”.

Darktrace’s visibility over an affected device performing successful SMB writes.
Figure 5: Darktrace’s visibility over an affected device performing successful SMB writes.

Encryption of Files

Finally, Darktrace observed the malicious actor beginning to encrypt and delete files on the customer’s environment. More specifically, the actor was observed using credentials previously seen on the network to encrypt files with the aforementioned “.s3db” extension.

Darktrace’s visibility over the encrypted files.
Figure 6: Darktrace’s visibility over the encrypted files.


After that, Darktrace observed the attacker encrypting  files and appending them with the extension “.MEDUSA” while also dropping a ransom note with the file name “!!!Read_me_Medusa!!!.txt”

Darktrace’s detection of threat actors deleting files with the extension “.MEDUSA”.
Figure 7: Darktrace’s detection of threat actors deleting files with the extension “.MEDUSA”.
Darktrace’s detection of the Medusa ransom note.
Figure 8: Darktrace’s detection of the Medusa ransom note.

At the same time as these events, Darktrace observed the attacker utilizing a number of LotL techniques including SSL connections to “services.pdq[.]tools”, “teamviewer[.]com” and “anydesk[.]com”. While the use of these legitimate services may have bypassed traditional security tools, Darktrace’s anomaly-based approach enabled it to detect the activity and distinguish it from ‘normal’’ network activity. It is highly likely that these SSL connections represented the attacker attempting to exfiltrate sensitive data from the customer’s network, with a view to using it to extort the customer.

Cyber AI Analyst’s detection of “services.pdq[.]tools” usage.
Figure 9: Cyber AI Analyst’s detection of “services.pdq[.]tools” usage.

If this customer had been subscribed to Darktrace's Proactive Threat Notification (PTN) service at the time of the attack, they would have been promptly notified of these suspicious activities by the Darktrace Security Operation Center (SOC). In this way they could have been aware of the suspicious activities taking place in their infrastructure before the escalation of the compromise. Despite this, they were able to receive assistance through the Ask the Expert service (ATE) whereby Darktrace’s expert analyst team was on hand to assist the customer by triaging and investigating the incident further, ensuring the customer was well equipped to remediate.  

As Darktrace /NETWORK's autonomous response was not enabled in autonomous response mode, this ransomware attack was able to progress to the point of encryption and data exfiltration. Had autonomous response been properly configured to take autonomous action, Darktrace would have blocked all connections by affected devices to both internal and external endpoints, as well as enforcing a previously established “pattern of life” on the device to stop it from deviating from its expected behavior.

Conclusion

The threat actors in this Medusa ransomware attack attempted to utilize LotL techniques in order to bypass human security teams and traditional security tools. By exploiting trusted systems and tools, like Nmap and PDQ Deploy, attackers are able to carry out malicious activity under the guise of legitimate network traffic.

Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI, however, allows it to recognize the subtle deviations in a device’s behavior that tend to be indicative of compromise, regardless of whether it appears legitimate or benign on the surface.

Further to the detection of the individual events that made up this ransomware attack, Darktrace’s Cyber AI Analyst was able to correlate the activity and collate it under one wider incident. This allowed the customer to track the compromise and its attack phases from start to finish, ensuring they could obtain a holistic view of their digital environment and remediate effectively.

Credit to Maria Geronikolou, Cyber Analyst, Ryan Traill, Threat Content Lead

Appendices

Darktrace DETECT Model Detections

Anomalous Connection / SMB Enumeration

Device / Anomalous SMB Followed By Multiple Model Alerts

Device / Suspicious SMB Scanning Activity

Device / Attack and Recon Tools

Device / Suspicious File Writes to Multiple Hidden SMB Share

Compromise / Ransomware / Ransom or Offensive Words Written to SMB

Device / Internet Facing Device with High Priority Alert

Device / Network Scan

Anomalous Connection / Powershell to Rare External

Device / New PowerShell User Agent

Possible HTTP Command and Control

Extensive Suspicious DCE-RPC Activity

Possible SSL Command and Control to Multiple Endpoints

Suspicious Remote WMI Activity

Scanning of Multiple Devices

Possible Ransom Note Accessed over SMB

List of Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)

IoC – Type – Description + Confidence

207.188.6[.]17      -     IP address   -      C2 Endpoint

172.64.154[.]227 - IP address -        C2 Endpoint

wizarr.manate[.]ch  - Hostname -       C2 Endpoint

go-sw6-02.adventos[.]de.  Hostname  - C2 Endpoint

.MEDUSA             -        File extension     - Extension to encrypted files

.s3db               -             File extension    -  Created file extension

SQLite3-64.dll    -        File           -               Used tool

!!!Read_me_Medusa!!!.txt - File -   Ransom note

Svc-ndscans         -         Credential     -     Possible compromised credential

Svc-NinjaRMM      -       Credential      -     Possible compromised credential

MITRE ATT&CK Mapping

Discovery  - File and Directory Discovery - T1083

Reconnaissance    -  Scanning IP            -          T1595.001

Reconnaissance -  Vulnerability Scanning -  T1595.002

Lateral Movement -Exploitation of Remote Service -  T1210

Lateral Movement - Exploitation of Remote Service -   T1210

Lateral Movement  -  SMB/Windows Admin Shares     -    T1021.002

Lateral Movement   -  Taint Shared Content          -            T1080

Execution   - PowerShell     - T1059.001

Execution  -   Service Execution   -    T1059.002

Impact   -    Data Encrypted for Impact  -  T1486

References

[1] https://unit42.paloaltonetworks.com/medusa-ransomware-escalation-new-leak-site/

[2] https://thehackernews.com/2024/01/medusa-ransomware-on-rise-from-data.html

[3] https://www.trustwave.com/en-us/resources/blogs/trustwave-blog/unveiling-the-latest-ransomware-threats-targeting-the-casino-and-entertainment-industry/

[4] https://www.sangfor.com/farsight-labs-threat-intelligence/cybersecurity/security-advisory-for-medusa-ransomware

[5] https://thehackernews.com/2024/01/medusa-ransomware-on-rise-from-data.html

[6]https://any.run/report/8be3304fec9d41d44012213ddbb28980d2570edeef3523b909af2f97768a8d85/e4c54c9d-12fd-477f-8cbb-a20f8fb98912

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About the author
Maria Geronikolou
Cyber Analyst
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