Three Ways AI Secures OT & ICS from Cyber Attacks  

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09
Jan 2024
09
Jan 2024
This blog will explore three challenges facing industries managing OT (Operational Technology) and ICS (Industrial Control Systems), the perceived benefits of adopting AI technology to address these challenges, and Darktrace/OT’s unique role in this process.

What is OT and ICS?

Operational technologies and industrial control systems are the networked technologies used for the automation of physical processes. These are the technologies that allow operators to control processes and retrieve real time process data from a factory, rail system, pipeline, and other industrial processes.  

The role of AI in defending OT/ICS networks  

While largely adopted by industrial organizations, OT is utilized by Critical Infrastructures, these being the industries that directly affect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. As these organizations expand and adopt new networked industrial technologies, they are simultaneously expanding their attack surface.  

With a larger attack surface, more attacks targeting OT/ICS, and focused coordination around cyber security from regulatory authorities, security personnel have increasing workloads that make it difficult to keep pace with threats and vulnerabilities. Defenders are managing growing attack surfaces due to IT and OT convergence. Thus, the adoption of AI technology to protect, detect, respond, and recover from cyber incidents in industrial systems is paramount for keeping critical infrastructure safe.

This blog will explore three challenges facing industries managing OT/ICS, the perceived benefits of adopting AI technology to address these challenges, and Darktrace/OT’s unique role in this process.  

Darktrace also delivers complete AI-powered solutions to defend US federal government customers from cyber disruptions and ensure mission resilience. Learn more about high fidelity detection in Darktrace Federal’s TAC report.

Figure 1: AI statistics from Gartner and Deloitte

Three ways AI helps improves OT/ICS security  

1. Anomaly detection and response

In this heightened security landscape, OT/ICS environments face a spectrum of external cyber threats that demand vigilant defense. From the looming risk of industrial ransomware to the threat of insiders, yet another dimension is added to security challenge, meaning security professionals must be equipped to detect and respond to internal and external threats.  

While threats are eminent from both inside and outside the organization, many organizations rely on Indicator of Compromises (IOCs) for threat detection. By definition, these solutions can only detect network activity they recognize as an indicator of compromise; therefore, often miss insider threats and novel (zero-day) attacks because the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and attack toolkits have never been seen in practice.  

Anomaly-based detection is best suited to combat never-before-seen threats and signatureless threats from the inside. However, not all detection methods are equal. Most anomaly-based detection solutions that leverage AI rely on a combination of supervised machine learning, deep learning, and transformers to train and inform their systems. This entails shipping your company’s data out to a large data lake housed somewhere in the cloud where it gets blended with attack data from thousands of other organizations. This data set gets used to train AI systems — yours and everyone else’s — to recognize patterns of attack based on previously encountered threats.  

While this method reduces the workload for security teams who would have to input attack data otherwise manually, it runs the same risk of only detecting known threats and has potential privacy concerns when shipping this data externally.  

To improve the quality and speed of anomaly detection, Darktrace/OT uses Self-Learning AI that leverages Bayesian Probabilistic Methodologies, Graph Theory, and Deep Neural Networks to learn your organization from the ground up in real time. By learning your unique organization, Darktrace/OT develops a sophisticated baseline knowledge of your network and assets, identifying abnormal activity that indicates a threat based on your unique network data at machine speed. Because the AI engine is local to the organization and/or assets, concerns of data residency and privacy are reduced, and the result is faster time to detect and triage incidents.  

Leveraging Self-Learning AI, Darktrace/OT uses autonomous response that severs only the anomalous or risky behaviors allowing the assets to continue to operate as normal. Organizations work with Darktrace to customize how they want Darktrace’s autonomous response to be applied. These options vary from on a device- by-device basis, device type by device type, or subnet by subnet basis and can be done completely autonomously or in human confirmation mode. This gives security teams more time to respond to an incident and reduces operational downtime when facing a threat.  

Darktrace leverages a combination of AI methods:

  • Self-Learning AI
  • Bayesian classification probabilistic models  
  • Deep neural networks
  • Transformers
  • Graph theory models
  • Clustering models  
  • Anomaly detection models
  • Generative and applied AI  
  • Natural language processing  
  • Supervised machine learning for investigation process of alerts

2. Vulnerability & Asset Management

At present, managing OT cyber risk is labor and resource intensive. Many organizations use third-party auditors to identify assets and vulnerabilities, grade compliance, and recommend improvements.  

At best, these exercises become tick-box exercises for companies to stay in compliance with little measurable reduction in cyber risk. At worst, asset owners can be left with a mountain of vulnerability information to work through, much of it irrelevant to the security risks Engineering and Operations teams deal with day to day, and increasingly out of date each passing day after the annual or biannual audit has been completed.  

In both cases, organizations are left using a patchwork of point products to address different aspects of preventative OT cyber security, most of which lack wider business context and lead to costly inefficiencies with no real impact to vulnerability or risk exposure.  

Darktrace’s technology helps in three unique ways:

  1. AI populates asset inventories: Self-Learning AI technology listens and learns from network traffic to populate or update asset inventories. It does this not just by identifying simple IPs, mac addresses, and hostnames, it learns from what it sees and automatically classifies or tags specific types of assets with the function that they perform. For example, if a specific device is performing functions like a PLC, sending commands to and from an HMI, it can appropriately tag and label these systems.
  2. AI prioritizes risk: Leveraging Bayesian Probabilistic Methodologies, Graph Theory, and Deep Neural Networks, Darktrace/OT assesses the strategic risks facing your organization in real time. Using knowledge of data points on all your networked assets, data flow topology, your assets vulnerabilities and OSINT, Darktrace identifies and prioritizes high-value assets, potential attack pathways based on an existing vulnerabilities targetability and impact.
  3. AI explains remediation tactics: Many OT devices run 24/7 operations and cannot be taken offline to apply a patch, assuming a patch is even available. Darktrace/OT uses natural language processing to provide and explain prioritized remediation and mitigation associated with a given cyber risk across all MITRE ATT&CK techniques. Thus, where a CVE exists but a patch cannot be applied, a different technical mitigation can be recommended to remove a potential attack path before it can be exploited, preemptively securing vital internal systems and assets.
Figure 2: A critical attack path which starts with the compromise of a PC in the internal IT network, and ends with a PLC in the OT network. Each step is mapped out to the real world TTPs including abuse of SSH sessions and the modifications of ICS programs

3. Simplify compliance and reporting

Organizations, regardless of size or resources, have compliance regulations they need to adhere to. What this creates is an increased workload for security professionals. For smaller organizations, security teams might lack the manpower or resources to report in the short time frame that is required. For large organizations, keeping track of a massive amount of assets proves to be a challenge. Both cases emanate the risk of reporting fatigue where organizations might be hesitant to report incidents due to the complexity and time requirements they demand.  

An AI engine within the Darktrace/OT platform, Cyber AI analyst autonomously investigates incidents, summarize findings in natural language, and provides comprehensive insights into the nature and scope of cyber threats to improve the time it takes to triage and report on incidents. The ability to stitch together and present related security events provides a holistic understanding of the incident, enabling security analysts to identify patterns, assess the scope of potential threats, and prioritize responses effectively.  

Darktrace's detection capabilities identify every stage of an intrusion, from a compromised domain controller to network reconnaissance and privilege escalation. The AI technology is capable of detecting infections across several devices and generating incident reports that piece together disparate events to give a clear security narrative containing details of the attack, bridging the communication gap between IT and OT specialists.  

Post-incident, the technology assists in outlining timelines, discerning compromised data, pinpointing unusual activities, and aiding security teams in proactive threat mitigation.  

With its capabilities, organizations can swiftly understand the attack timeline, affected assets, unauthorized accesses, compromised data points, and malicious interactions, facilitating appropriate communication and action. For example, when Cyber AI Analyst shows an attack path, the security team gains insight on the segmentation or lack thereof between two subnets allowing the security team to appropriately segment the subnets.  

Cyber AI improves critical infrastructure operators’ ability to report major cyber-attacks to regulatory authorities. Considering that 72 hours is the reporting period for most significant incidents — and 24 hours for ransomware payments — Cyber AI Analyst is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for critical infrastructure.

Figure 3: The tabs labeled 1-4 denote model breaches, each with a specific action and severity indicated by color dots. Darktrace integrates these breaches, offering the security team a unified view of interconnected security events.  

The right AI for the right challenge


Incident Phase:

Protect

Role of AI:

Cyber risk prioritization

Attack path modelling

Compliance reporting

Darktrace Product:

PREVENT/OT

Incident Phase:

Detect

Role of AI:

Anomaly detection

Triaging and investigating

Darktrace Product:

Cyber AI analyst

DETECT/OT

Incident Phase:

Respond

Role of AI: 

Autonomous response  

Incident reporting

Darktrace Product:

RESPOND/OT

Incident Phase:

Recover

Role of AI:

Incident preparedness

Incident simulations

Darktrace Product:

HEAL

Credit to: Nicole Carignan, VP of Strategic Cyber AI - Kendra Gonzalez Duran, Director of Technology Innovation - & Daniel Simonds, Director of Operational Technology for their contribution to this blog.

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.
AUTHOR
ABOUT ThE AUTHOR
Oakley Cox
Analyst Technical Director, APAC

Oakley is a technical expert with 5 years’ experience as a Cyber Analyst. After leading a team of Cyber Analysts at the Cambridge headquarters, he relocated to New Zealand and now oversees the defense of critical infrastructure and industrial control systems across the APAC region. His research into cyber-physical security has been published by Cyber Security journals and CISA. Oakley is GIAC certified in Response and Industrial Defense (GRID), and has a Doctorate (PhD) from the University of Oxford.

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Attack Trends: VIP Impersonation Across the Business Hierarchy

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22
Feb 2024

What is VIP impersonation?

VIP impersonation involves a threat actor impersonating a trusted, prominent figure at an organization in an attempt to solicit sensitive information from an employee.

VIP impersonation is a high-priority issue for security teams, but it can be difficult to assess the exact risks, and whether those are more critical than other types of compromise. Looking across a range of Darktrace/Email™ customer deployments, this blog explores the patterns of individuals targeted for impersonation and evaluates if these target priorities correspond with security teams' focus on protecting attack pathways to critical assets.

How do security teams stop VIP Impersonation?

Protecting VIP entities within an organization has long been a traditional focus for security teams. The assumption is that VIPs, due to their prominence, possess the greatest access to critical assets, making them prime targets for cyber threats.  

Email remains the predominant vector for attacks, with over 90% of breaches originating from malicious emails. However, the dynamics of email-based attacks are shifting, as the widespread use of generative AI is lowering the barrier to entry by allowing adversaries to create hyper-realistic emails with minimal errors.

Given these developments, it's worth asking the question – which entities (VIP/non-VIP) are most targeted by threat actors via email? And, more importantly – which entities (VIP/non-VIP) are more valuable if they are successfully compromised?

There are two types of VIPs:  

1. When referring to emails and phishing, VIPs are the users in an organization who are well known publicly.  

2. When referring to attack paths, VIPs are users in an organization that are known publicly and have access to highly privileged assets.  

Not every prominent user has access to critical assets, and not every user that has access to critical assets is prominent.  

Darktrace analysis of VIP impersonation

We analyzed patterns of attack pathways and phishing attempts across 20 customer deployments from a large, randomized pool encompassing a diverse range of organizations.  

Understanding Attack Pathways

Our observations revealed that 57% of low-difficulty attack paths originated from VIP entities, while 43% of observed low-difficulty attack paths towards critical assets or entities began through non-VIP users. This means that targeting VIPs is not the only way attackers can reach critical assets, and that non-VIP users must be considered as well.  

While the sample size prevents us from establishing statistical significance across all customers, the randomized selection lends credence to the generalizability of these findings to other environments.

Phishing Attempts  

On average, 1.35% of total emails sent to these customers exhibited significantly malicious properties associated with phishing or some form of impersonation. Strikingly, nearly half of these malicious emails (49.6%) were directed towards VIPs, while the rest were sent to non-VIPs. This near-equal split is worth noting, as attack paths show that non-VIPs also serve as potential entry points for targeting critical assets.  

Darktrace/Email UI
Figure 1: A phishing email actioned by Darktrace, sent to multiple VIP and non-VIP entities

For example, a recent phishing campaign targeted multiple customers across deployments, with five out of 13 emails specifically aimed at VIP users. Darktrace/Email actioned the malicious emails by double locking the links, holding the messages, and stripping the attachments.

Given that non-VIP users receive nearly half of the phishing or impersonation emails, it underscores the critical importance for security teams to recognize their blind spots in protecting critical assets. Overlooking the potential threat originating from non-VIP entities could lead to severe consequences. For instance, if a non-VIP user falls victim to a phishing attack or gets compromised, their credentials could be exploited to move laterally within the organization, potentially reaching critical assets.

This highlights the necessity for a sophisticated security tool that can identify targeted users, without the need for extensive customization and regardless of VIP status. By deploying a solution capable of promptly responding to email threats – including solicitation, phishing attempts, and impersonation – regardless of the status of the targeted user, security teams can significantly enhance their defense postures.

Darktrace vs Traditional Email Detection Methods

Traditional rules and signatures-based detection mechanisms fall short in identifying the evolving threats we’ve observed, due to their reliance on knowledge of past attacks to categorize emails.

Secure Email Gateway (SEG) or Integrated Cloud Email Security (ICES) tools categorize emails based on previous or known attacks, operating on a known-good or known-bad model. Even if tools use AI to automate this process, the approach is still fundamentally looking to the past and therefore vulnerable to unknown and zero-day threats.  

Darktrace uses AI to understand each unique organization and how its email environment interoperates with each user and device on the network. Consequently, it is able to identify the subtle deviations from normal behavior that qualify as suspicious. This approach goes beyond simplistic categorizations, considering factors such as the sender’s history and recipient’s exposure score.  

This nuanced analysis enables Darktrace to differentiate between genuine communications and malicious impersonation attempts. It automatically understands who is a VIP, without the need for manual input, and will action more strongly on incoming malicious emails  based on a user’s status.

Email does determine who is a VIP, without a need of manual input, and will action more strongly on incoming malicious emails.

Darktrace/Email also feeds into Darktrace’s preventative security tools, giving the interconnected AI engines further context for assessing the high-value targets and pathways to vital internal systems and assets that start via the inbox.

Leveraging AI for Enhanced Protection Across the Enterprise  

The efficacy of AI-driven security solutions lies in their ability to make informed decisions and recommendations based on real-time business data. By leveraging this data, AI driven solutions can identify exploitable attack pathways and an organizations most critical assets. Darktrace uniquely uses several forms of AI to equip security teams with the insights needed to make informed decisions about which pathways to secure, reducing human bias around the importance of protecting VIPs.

With the emergence of tools like AutoGPT, identifying potential targets for phishing attacks has become increasingly simplified. However, the real challenge lies in gaining a comprehensive understanding of all possible and low-difficulty attack paths leading to critical assets and identities within the organization.

At the same time, organizations need email tools that can leverage the understanding of users to prevent email threats from succeeding in the first instance. For every email and user, Darktrace/Email takes into consideration changes in behavior from the sender, recipient, content, and language, and many other factors.

Integrating Darktrace/Email with Darktrace’s attack path modeling capabilities enables comprehensive threat contextualization and facilitates a deeper understanding of attack pathways. This holistic approach ensures that all potential vulnerabilities, irrespective of the user's status, are addressed, strengthening the overall security posture.  

Conclusion

Contrary to conventional wisdom, our analysis suggests that the distinction between VIPs and non-VIPs in terms of susceptibility to impersonation and low-difficulty attack paths is not as pronounced as presumed. Therefore, security teams must adopt a proactive stance in safeguarding all pathways, rather than solely focusing on VIPs.  

Attack path modeling enhances Darktrace/Email's capabilities by providing crucial metrics on potential impact, damage, exposure, and weakness, enabling more targeted and effective threat mitigation strategies. For example, stronger email actions can be enforced for users who are known to have a high potential impact in case of compromise. 

In an era where cyber threats continue to evolve in complexity, an adaptive and non-siloed approach to securing inboxes, high-priority individuals, and critical assets is indispensable.  

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About the author
Kendra Gonzalez Duran
Director of Technology Innovation

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Inside the SOC

Gootloader Malware: Detecting and Containing Multi-Functional Threats with Darktrace

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15
Feb 2024

What is multi-functional malware?

While traditional malware variants were designed with one specific objective in mind, the emergence of multi-functional malware, such as loader malware, means that organizations are likely to be confronted with multiple malicious tools and strains of malware at once. These threats often have non-linear attack patterns and kill chains that can quickly adapt and progress quicker than human security teams are able to react. Therefore, it is more important than ever for organizations to adopt an anomaly approach to combat increasingly versatile and fast-moving threats.

Example of Multi-functional malware

One example of a multi-functional malware recently observed by Darktrace can be seen in Gootloader, a multi-payload loader variant that has been observed in the wild since 2020. It is known to primarily target Windows-based systems across multiple industries in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and South Korea [1].  

How does Gootloader malware work?

Once installed on a target network, Gootloader can download additional malicious payloads that allow threat actors to carry out a range of harmful activities, such as stealing sensitive information or encrypting files for ransom.

The Gootloader malware is known to infect networks via search engine optimization (SEO) poisoning, directing users searching for legitimate documents to compromised websites hosting a malicious payload masquerading as the desired file.

If the malware remains undetected, it paves the way for a second stage payload known as Gootkit, which functions as a banking trojan and information-stealer, or other malware tools including Cobalt Strike and Osiris [2].

Darktrace detection of Gootloader malware

In late 2023, Darktrace observed one instance of Gootloader affecting a customer in the US. Thanks to its anomaly-focused approach, Darktrace DETECT™ quickly identified the anomalous activity surrounding this emerging attack and brought it to the immediate attention of the customer’s security team. All the while, Darktrace RESPOND™ was in place and able to autonomously intervene, containing the suspicious activity and ensuring the Gootloader compromise could not progress any further.

In September 2023, Darktrace identified an instance of the Gootloader malware attempting to propagate within the network of a customer in the US. Darktrace identified the first indications of the compromise when it detected a device beaconing to an unusual external location and performing network scanning. Following this, the device was observed making additional command-and-control (C2) connections, before finally downloading an executable (.exe) file which likely represented the download of a further malicious payload.

As this customer had subscribed to the Proactive Notification Service (PTN), the suspicious activity was escalated to the Darktrace Security Operations Center (SOC) for further investigation by Darktrace’s expert analysts. The SOC team were able to promptly triage the incident and advise urgent follow-up actions.

Gootloader Attack Overview

Figure 1: Timeline of Anomalous Activities seen on the breach device.

Initial Beaconing and Scanning Activity

On September 21, 2023, Darktrace observed the first indications of compromise on the network when a device began to make regular connections to an external endpoint that was considered extremely rare for the network, namely ‘analyzetest[.]ir’.

Although the endpoint did not overtly seem malicious in nature (it appeared to be related to laboratory testing), Darktrace recognized that it had never previously been seen on the customer’s network and therefore should be treated with caution.  This initial beaconing activity was just the beginning of the malicious C2 communications, with several additional instances of beaconing detected to numerous suspicious endpoints, including funadhoo.gov[.]mv, tdgroup[.]ru’ and ‘army.mil[.]ng.

Figure 2: Initial beaconing activity detected on the breach device.

Soon thereafter, Darktrace detected the device performing internal reconnaissance, with an unusually large number of connections to other internal locations observed. This scanning activity appeared to primarily be targeting the SMB protocol by scanning port 445.

Within seconds of DETECT’s detection of this suspicious SMB scanning activity, Darktrace RESPOND moved to contain the compromise by blocking the device from connecting to port 445 and enforcing its ‘pattern of life’. Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI enables it to learn a device’s normal behavior and recognize if it deviates from this; by enforcing a pattern of life on an affected device, malicious activity is inhibited but the device is allowed to continue its expected activity, minimizing disruption to business operations.

Figure 3: The breach device Model Breach Event Log showing Darktrace DETECT identifying suspicious SMB scanning activity and the corresponding RESPOND actions.

Following the initial detection of this anomalous activity, Darktrace’s Cyber AI Analyst launched an autonomous investigation into the beaconing and scanning activity and was able to connect these seemingly separate events into one incident. AI Analyst analyzes thousands of connections to hundreds of different endpoints at machine speed and then summarizes its findings in a single pane of glass, giving customers the necessary information to assess the threat and begin remediation if necessary. This significantly lessens the burden for human security teams, saving them previous time and resources, while ensuring they maintain full visibility over any suspicious activity on their network.

Figure 4: Cyber AI Analyst incident log summarizing the technical details of the device’s beaconing and scanning behavior.

Beaconing Continues

Darktrace continued to observe the device carrying out beaconing activity over the next few days, likely representing threat actors attempting to establish communication with their malicious infrastructure and setting up a foothold within the customer’s environment. In one such example, the device was seen connecting to the suspicious endpoint ‘fysiotherapie-panken[.]nl’. Multiple open-source intelligence (OSINT) vendors reported this endpoint to be a known malware delivery host [3].

Once again, Darktrace RESPOND was in place to quickly intervene in response to these suspicious external connection attempts. Over the course of several days, RESPOND blocked the offending device from connecting to suspicious endpoints via port 443 and enforced its pattern of life. These autonomous actions by RESPOND effectively mitigated and contained the attack, preventing it from escalating further along the kill chain and providing the customer’s security team crucial time to take act and employ their own remediation.

Figure 5: A sample of the autonomous RESPOND actions that was applied on the affected device.

Possible Payload Retrieval

A few days later, on September 26, 2023, Darktrace observed the affected device attempting to download a Windows Portable Executable via file transfer protocol (FTP) from the external location ‘ftp2[.]sim-networks[.]com’, which had never previously been seen on the network. This download likely represented the next step in the Gootloader infection, wherein additional malicious tooling is downloaded to further cement the malicious actors’ control over the device. In response, Darktrace RESPOND immediately blocked the device from making any external connections, ensuring it could not download any suspicious files that may have rapidly escalated the attackers’ efforts.

Figure 6: DETECT’s identification of the offending device downloading a suspicious executable file via FTP.

The observed combination of beaconing activity and a suspicious file download triggered an Enhanced Monitoring breach, a high-fidelity DETECT model designed to detect activities that are more likely to be indicative of compromise. These models are monitored by the Darktrace SOC round the clock and investigated by Darktrace’s expert team of analysts as soon as suspicious activity emerges.

In this case, Darktrace’s SOC triaged the emerging activity and sent an additional notice directly to the customer’s security team, informing them of the compromise and advising on next steps. As this customer had subscribed to Darktrace’s Ask the Expert (ATE) service, they also had a team of expert analysts available to them at any time to aid their investigations.

Figure 7: Enhanced Monitoring Model investigated by the Darktrace SOC.

Conclusion

Loader malware variants such as Gootloader often lay the groundwork for further, potentially more severe threats to be deployed within compromised networks. As such, it is crucial for organizations and their security teams to identify these threats as soon as they emerge and ensure they are effectively contained before additional payloads, like information-stealing malware or ransomware, can be downloaded.

In this instance, Darktrace demonstrated its value when faced with a multi-payload threat by detecting Gootloader at the earliest stage and responding to it with swift targeted actions, halting any suspicious connections and preventing the download of any additional malicious tooling.

Darktrace DETECT recognized that the beaconing and scanning activity performed by the affected device represented a deviation from its expected behavior and was indicative of a potential network compromise. Meanwhile, Darktrace RESPOND ensured that any suspicious activity was promptly shut down, buying crucial time for the customer’s security team to work with Darktrace’s SOC to investigate the threat and quarantine the compromised device.

Credit to: Ashiq Shafee, Cyber Security Analyst, Qing Hong Kwa, Senior Cyber Analyst and Deputy Analyst Team Lead, Singapore

Appendices

Darktrace DETECT Model Detections

Anomalous Connection / Rare External SSL Self-Signed

Device / Suspicious SMB Scanning Activity

Anomalous Connection / Young or Invalid Certificate SSL Connections to Rare

Compromise / High Volume of Connections with Beacon Score

Compromise / Beacon to Young Endpoint

Compromise / Beaconing Activity To External Rare

Compromise / Slow Beaconing Activity To External Rare

Compromise / Beacon for 4 Days

Anomalous Connection / Suspicious Expired SSL

Anomalous Connection / Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint

Compromise / Sustained SSL or HTTP Increase

Compromise / Large Number of Suspicious Successful Connections

Compromise / Large Number of Suspicious Failed Connections

Device / Large Number of Model Breaches

Anomalous File / FTP Executable from Rare External Location

Device / Initial Breach Chain Compromise

RESPOND Models

Antigena / Network / Significant Anomaly / Antigena Breaches Over Time Block

Antigena / Network / Significant Anomaly / Antigena Significant Anomaly from Client Block

Antigena / Network/Insider Threat/Antigena Network Scan Block

Antigena / Network / Significant Anomaly / Antigena Enhanced Monitoring from Client Block

Antigena / Network / External Threat / Antigena Suspicious File Block

Antigena / Network / External Threat / Antigena File then New Outbound Block

Antigena / Network / External Threat / Antigena Suspicious Activity Block

List of Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)

Type

Hostname

IoCs + Description

explorer[.]ee - C2 Endpoint

fysiotherapie-panken[.]nl- C2 Endpoint

devcxp2019.theclearingexperience[.]com- C2 Endpoint

campsite.bplaced[.]net- C2 Endpoint

coup2pompes[.]fr- C2 Endpoint

analyzetest[.]ir- Possible C2 Endpoint

tdgroup[.]ru- C2 Endpoint

ciedespuys[.]com- C2 Endpoint

fi.sexydate[.]world- C2 Endpoint

funadhoo.gov[.]mv- C2 Endpoint

geying.qiwufeng[.]com- C2 Endpoint

goodcomix[.]fun- C2 Endpoint

ftp2[.]sim-networks[.]com- Possible Payload Download Host

MITRE ATT&CK Mapping

Tactic – Technique

Reconnaissance - Scanning IP blocks (T1595.001, T1595)

Command and Control - Web Protocols , Application Layer Protocol, One-Way Communication, External Proxy, Non-Application Layer Protocol, Non-Standard Port (T1071.001/T1071, T1071, T1102.003/T1102, T1090.002/T1090, T1095, T1571)

Collection – Man in the Browser (T1185)

Resource Development - Web Services, Malware (T1583.006/T1583, T1588.001/T1588)

Persistence - Browser Extensions (T1176)

References

1.     https://www.blackberry.com/us/en/solutions/endpoint-security/ransomware-protection/gootloader

2.     https://redcanary.com/threat-detection-report/threats/gootloader/

3.     https://www.virustotal.com/gui/domain/fysiotherapie-panken.nl

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About the author
Ashiq Shafee
Cyber Security Analyst

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