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[Part 1] Analysis of a Raccoon Stealer v1 Infection

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07
Nov 2022
07
Nov 2022
Darktrace’s SOC team observed a fast-paced compromise involving Raccoon Stealer v1. See which steps the Raccoon Stealer v1 took to extract company data!

Introduction

Towards the end of March 2022, the operators of Raccoon Stealer announced the closure of the Raccoon Stealer project [1]. In May 2022, Raccoon Stealer v2 was unleashed onto the world, with huge numbers of cases being detected across Darktrace’s client base. In this series of blog posts, we will follow the development of Raccoon Stealer between March and September 2022. We will first shed light on how Raccoon Stealer functioned before its demise, by providing details of a Raccoon Stealer v1 infection which Darktrace’s SOC saw within a client network on the 18th March 2022. In the follow-up post, we will provide details about the surge in Raccoon Stealer v2 cases that Darktrace’s SOC has observed since May 2022.  

What is Raccoon Stealer?

The misuse of stolen account credentials is a primary method used by threat actors to gain initial access to target environments [2]. Threat actors have several means available to them for obtaining account credentials. They may, for example, distribute phishing emails which trick their recipients into divulging account credentials. Alternatively, however, they may install information-stealing malware (i.e, info-stealers) onto users’ devices. The results of credential theft can be devastating. Threat actors may use the credentials to gain access to an organization’s SaaS environment, or they may use them to drain users’ online bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets. 

Raccoon Stealer is a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) info-stealer first publicized in April 2019 on Russian-speaking hacking forums. 

Figure 1: One of the first known mentions of Raccoon Stealer on a Russian-speaking hacking forum named ‘Hack Forums’ on the 13th April 2019

The team of individuals behind Raccoon Stealer provide a variety of services to their customers (known as ‘affiliates’), including access to the info-stealer, an easy-to-use automated backend panel, hosting infrastructure, and 24/7 customer support [3]. 

Once Raccoon Stealer affiliates gain access to the info-stealer, it is up to them to decide how to distribute it. Since 2019, affiliates have been observed distributing the info-stealer via a variety of methods, such as exploit kits, phishing emails, and fake cracked software websites [3]/[4]. Once affiliates succeed in installing Raccoon Stealer onto target systems, the info-stealer will typically seek to obtain sensitive information saved in browsers and cryptocurrency wallets. The info-stealer will then exfiltrate the stolen data to a Command and Control (C2) server. The affiliate can then use the stolen data to conduct harmful follow-up activities. 

Towards the end of March 2022, the team behind Raccoon Stealer publicly announced that they would be suspending their operations after one of their core developers was killed during the Russia-Ukraine conflict [5]. 

Figure 2: Raccoon Stealer resignation post on March 25th 2022

Recent details shared by the US Department of Justice [6]/[7] indicate that it was in fact the arrest, rather than the death, of a key Raccoon Stealer operator which led the Raccoon Stealer team to suspend their operations [8].  

The closure of the Raccoon Stealer project, which ultimately resulted from the FBI-backed dismantling of Raccoon Stealer’s infrastructure in March 2022, did not last long, with the completion of Raccoon Stealer v2 being announced on the Raccoon Stealer Telegram channel on the 17th May 2022 [9]. 

 

Figure 3: Telegram post about new version of Raccoon Stealer

In the second part of this blog series, we will provide details of the recent surge in Raccoon Stealer v2 activity. In this post, however, we will provide insight into how the old version of Raccoon Stealer functioned just before its demise, by providing details of a Raccoon Stealer v1 infection which occurred on the 18th March 2022. 

Attack Details

On the 18th March, at around 13:00 (UTC), a user’s device within a customer’s network was seen contacting several websites providing fake cracked software. 

Figure 4: The above figure — obtained from the Darktrace Event Log for the infected device — highlights its connections to cracked software websites such as ‘licensekeysfree[.]com’ and ‘hdlicense[.]com’ before contacting ‘lion-files[.]xyz’ and ‘www.mediafire[.]com’

The user’s attempt to download cracked software from one of these websites resulted in their device making an HTTP GET request with a URI string containing ‘autodesk-revit-crack-v2022-serial-number-2022’ to an external host named ‘lion-filez[.]xyz’

Figure 5: Screenshot from hdlicense[.]com around the time of the infection shows a “Download” button linking to the ‘lion-filez[.]xyz’ endpoint

The device’s HTTP GET request to lion-filez[.]xyz was immediately followed by an HTTPS connection to the file hosting service, www.mediafire[.]com. Given that threat actors are known to abuse platforms such as MediaFire and Discord CDN to host their malicious payloads, it is likely that the user’s device downloaded the Raccoon Stealer v1 sample over its HTTPS connection to www.mediafire[.]com.  

After installing the info-stealer sample, the user’s device was seen making an HTTP GET request with the URI string ‘/g_shock_casio_easy’ to 194.180.191[.]185. The endpoint responded to the request with data related to a Telegram channel named ‘G-Shock’.

Figure 6: Telegram channel ‘@g_shock_casio_easy’

The returned data included the Telegram channel’s description, which in this case, was a base64 encoded and RC4 encrypted string of characters [10]/[11]. The Raccoon Stealer sample decoded and decrypted this string of characters to obtain its C2 IP address, 188.166.49[.]196. This technique used by Raccoon Stealer v1 closely mirrors the espionage method known as ‘dead drop’ — a method in which an individual leaves a physical object such as papers, cash, or weapons in an agreed hiding spot so that the intended recipient can retrieve the object later on without having to come in to contact with the source. In this case, the operators of Raccoon Stealer ‘left’ the malware’s C2 IP address within the description of a Telegram channel. Usage of this method allowed the operators of Raccoon Stealer to easily change the malware’s C2 infrastructure.  

After obtaining the C2 IP address from the ‘G-Shock’ Telegram channel, the Raccoon Stealer sample made an HTTP POST request with the URI string ‘/’ to the C2 IP address, 188.166.49[.]196. This POST request contained a Windows GUID,  a username, and a configuration ID. These details were RC4 encrypted and base64 encoded [12]. The C2 server responded to this HTTP POST request with JSON-formatted configuration information [13], including an identifier string, URL paths for additional files, along with several other fields. This configuration information was also concealed using RC4 encryption and base64 encoding.  

Figure 7- Fields within the JSON-formatted configuration data [13]

In this case, the server’s response included the identifier string ‘hv4inX8BFBZhxYvKFq3x’, along with the following URL paths:

  • /l/f/hv4inX8BFBZhxYvKFq3x/77d765d8831b4a7d8b5e56950ceb96b7c7b0ed70
  • /l/f/hv4inX8BFBZhxYvKFq3x/0cb4ab70083cf5985b2bac837ca4eacb22e9b711
  • /l/f/hv4inX8BFBZhxYvKFq3x/5e2a950c07979c670b1553b59b3a25c9c2bb899b
  • /l/f/hv4inX8BFBZhxYvKFq3x/2524214eeea6452eaad6ea1135ed69e98bf72979

After retrieving configuration data, the user’s device was seen making HTTP GET requests with the above URI strings to the C2 server. The C2 server responded to these requests with legitimate library files such as sqlite3.dll. Raccoon Stealer uses these libraries to extract data from targeted applications. 

Once the Raccoon Stealer sample had collected relevant data, it made an HTTP POST request with the URI string ‘/’ to the C2 server. This posted data likely included a ZIP file (named with the identifier string) containing stolen credentials [13]. 

The observed infection chain, which lasted around 20 minutes, consisted of the following steps:

1. User’s device installs Raccoon Stealer v1 samples from the user attempting to download cracked software

2. User’s device obtains the info-stealer’s C2 IP address from the description text of a Telegram channel

3. User’s device makes an HTTP POST request with the URI string ‘/’ to the C2 server. The request contains a Windows GUID,  a username, and a configuration ID. The response to the request contains configuration details, including an identifier string and URL paths for additional files

4. User’s device downloads library files from the C2 server

5. User’s device makes an HTTP POST request with the URI string ‘/’ to the C2 server. The request contains stolen data

Darktrace Coverage 

Although RESPOND/Network was not enabled on the customer’s deployment, DETECT picked up on several of the info-stealer’s activities. In particular, the device’s downloads of library files from the C2 server caused the following DETECT/Network models to breach:

  • Anomalous File / Masqueraded File Transfer
  • Anomalous File / EXE from Rare External Location
  • Anomalous File / Zip or Gzip from Rare External Location
  • Anomalous File / EXE from Rare External Location
  • Anomalous File / Multiple EXE from Rare External Locations
Figure 8: Event Log for the infected device shows 'Anomalous File / Masqueraded File Transfer' model breach after the device's download of a library file from the C2 server

Since the customer was subscribed to the Darktrace Proactive Threat Notification (PTN) service, they were proactively notified of the info-stealer’s activities. The quick response by Darktrace’s 24/7 SOC team helped the customer to contain the infection and to prevent further damage from being caused. Having been alerted to the info-stealer activity by the SOC team, the customer would also have been able to change the passwords for the accounts whose credentials were exfiltrated.

If RESPOND/Network had been enabled on the customer’s deployment, then it would have blocked the device’s connections to the C2 server, which would have likely prevented any stolen data from being exfiltrated.

Conclusion

Towards the end of March 2022, the team behind Raccoon Stealer announced that they would be suspending their operations. Recent developments suggest that the arrest of a core Raccoon Stealer developer was responsible for this suspension. Just before the Raccoon Stealer team were forced to shut down, Darktrace’s SOC team observed a Raccoon Stealer infection within a client’s network. In this post, we have provided details of the network-based behaviors displayed by the observed Raccoon Stealer sample. Since these v1 samples are no longer active, the details provided here are only intended to provide historical insight into the development of Raccoon Stealer’s operations and the activities carried out by Raccoon Stealer v1 just before its demise. In the next post of this series, we will discuss and provide details of Raccoon Stealer v2 — the new and highly prolific version of Raccoon Stealer. 

Thanks to Stefan Rowe and the Threat Research Team for their contributions to this blog.

References

[1] https://twitter.com/3xp0rtblog/status/1507312171914461188

[2] https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-29OTFFPI&ct=220411&st=sb

[3] https://www.cybereason.com/blog/research/hunting-raccoon-stealer-the-new-masked-bandit-on-the-block

[4] https://www.cyberark.com/resources/threat-research-blog/raccoon-the-story-of-a-typical-infostealer

[5] https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/raccoon-stealer-malware-suspends-operations-due-to-war-in-ukraine/

[6] https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/newly-unsealed-indictment-charges-ukrainian-national-international-cybercrime-operation

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsz6acw-ZJY

[8] https://riskybiznews.substack.com/p/raccoon-stealer-dev-didnt-die-in

[9] https://medium.com/s2wblog/raccoon-stealer-is-back-with-a-new-version-5f436e04b20d

[10] https://blog.cyble.com/2021/10/21/raccoon-stealer-under-the-lens-a-deep-dive-analysis/

[11] https://decoded.avast.io/vladimirmartyanov/raccoon-stealer-trash-panda-abuses-telegram/

[12] https://blogs.blackberry.com/en/2021/09/threat-thursday-raccoon-infostealer

[13] https://cyberint.com/blog/research/raccoon-stealer/

Appendices

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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Sam Lister
SOC Analyst
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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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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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