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Worm-like propagation of Sysrv-hello crypto-jacking botnet: Network traffic analysis and latest TTPs

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25
May 2022
25
May 2022
This blog details the sequence of events in the cyber kill chain of a Sysrv-hello botnet infection seen on a deployment at an organization in France which was trialing Darktrace. Darktrace provided visibility at the network level through model detections and Cyber AI Analyst, giving insights into the latest TTPs of the botnet in March and April 2022.

In recent years, the prevalence of crypto-jacking botnets has risen in tandem with the popularity and value of cryptocurrencies. Increasingly crypto-mining malware programs are distributed by botnets as they allow threat actors to harness the cumulative processing power of a large number of machines (discussed in our other Darktrace blogs.1 2 One of these botnets is Sysrv-hello, which in addition to crypto-mining, propagates aggressively across the Internet in a worm-like manner by trolling for Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities and SSH worming from the compromised victim devices. This all has the purpose of expanding the botnet.

First identified in December 2020, Sysrv-hello’s operators constantly update and change the bots’ behavior to evolve and stay ahead of security researchers and law enforcement. As such, infected systems can easily go unnoticed by both users and organizations. This blog examines the cyber kill chain sequence of a Sysrv-hello botnet infection detected at the network level by Darktrace DETECT/Network, as well as the botnet’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) in March and April 2022.

Figure 1: Timeline of the attack

Delivery and exploitation

The organization, which was trialing Darktrace, had deployed the technology on March 2, 2022. On the very same day, the initial host infection was seen through the download of a first-stage PowerShell loader script from a rare external endpoint by a device in the internal network. Although initial exploitation of the device happened prior to the installation and was not observed, this botnet is known to target RCE vulnerabilities in various applications such as MySQL, Tomcat, PHPUnit, Apache Solar, Confluence, Laravel, JBoss, Jira, Sonatype, Oracle WebLogic and Apache Struts to gain initial access to internal systems.3 Recent iterations have also been reported to have been deployed via drive-by-downloads from an empty HTML iframe pointing to a malicious executable that downloads to the device from a user visiting a compromised website.4

Initial intrusion

The Sysrv-hello botnet is distributed for both Linux and Windows environments, with the corresponding compatible script pulled based on the architecture of the system. In this incident, the Windows version was observed.

On March 2, 2022 at 15:15:28 UTC, the device made a successful HTTP GET request to a malicious IP address5 that had a rarity score of 100% in the network. It subsequently downloaded a malicious PowerShell script named ‘ldr.ps1'6 onto the system. The associated IP address ‘194.145.227[.]21’ belongs to ‘ASN AS48693 Rices Privately owned enterprise’ and had been identified as a Sysrv-hello botnet command and control (C2) server in April the previous year. 3

Looking at the URI ‘/ldr.ps1?b0f895_admin:admin_81.255.222.82:8443_https’, it appears some form of query was being executed onto the object. The question mark ‘?’ in this URI is used to delimit the boundary between the URI of the queryable object and the set of strings used to express a query onto that object. Conventionally, we see the set of strings contains a list of key/value pairs with equal signs ‘=’, which are separated by the ampersand symbol ‘&’ between each of those parameters (e.g. www.youtube[.]com/watch?v=RdcCjDS0s6s&ab_channel=SANSCyberDefense), though the exact structure of the query string is not standardized and different servers may parse it differently. Instead, this case saw a set of strings with the hexadecimal color code #b0f895 (a light shade of green), admin username and password login credentials, and the IP address ‘81.255.222[.]82’ being applied during the object query (via HTTPS protocol on port 8443). In recent months this French IP has also had reports of abuse from the OSINT community.7

On March 2, 2022 at 15:15:33 UTC, the PowerShell loader script further downloaded second-stage executables named ‘sys.exe’ and ‘xmrig.2 sver.8 9 These have been identified as the worm and cryptocurrency miner payloads respectively.

Establish foothold

On March 2, 2022 at 17:46:55 UTC, after the downloads of the worm and cryptocurrency miner payloads, the device initiated multiple SSL connections in a regular, automated manner to Pastebin – a text storage website. This technique was used as a vector to download/upload data and drop further malicious scripts onto the host. OSINT sources suggest the JA3 client SSL fingerprint (05af1f5ca1b87cc9cc9b25185115607d) is associated with PowerShell usage, corroborating with the observation that further tooling was initiated by the PowerShell script ‘ldr.ps1’.

Continual Pastebin C2 connections were still being made by the device almost two months since the initiation of such connections. These Pastebin C2 connections point to new tactics and techniques employed by Sysrv-hello — reports earlier than May do not appear to mention any usage of the file storage site. These new TTPs serve two purposes: defense evasion using a web service/protocol and persistence. Persistence was likely achieved through scheduling daemons downloaded from this web service and shellcode executions at set intervals to kill off other malware processes, as similarly seen in other botnets.10 Recent reports have seen other malware programs also switch to Pastebin C2 tunnels to deliver subsequent payloads, scrapping the need for traditional C2 servers and evading detection.11

Figure 2: A section of the constant SSL connections that the device was still making to ‘pastebin[.]com’ even in the month of April, which resembles beaconing scheduled activity

Throughout the months of March and April, suspicious SSL connections were made from a second potentially compromised device in the internal network to the infected breach device. The suspicious French IP address ‘81.255.222[.]82’ previously seen in the URI object query was revealed as the value of the Server Name Indicator (SNI) in these SSL connections where, typically, a hostname or domain name is indicated.

After an initial compromise, attackers usually aim to gain long-term remote shell access to continue the attack. As the breach device does not have a public IP address and is most certainly behind a firewall, for it to be directly accessible from the Internet a reverse shell would need to be established. Outgoing connections often succeed because firewalls generally filter only incoming traffic. Darktrace observed the device making continuous outgoing connections to an external host listening on an unusual port, 8443, indicating the presence of a reverse shell for pivoting and remote administration.

Figure 3: SSL connections to server name ‘81.255.222[.]8’ at end of March and start of April

Accomplish mission

On March 4, 2022 at 15:07:04 UTC, the device made a total of 16,029 failed connections to a large volume of external endpoints on the same port (8080). This behavior is consistent with address scanning. From the country codes, it appears that public IP addresses for various countries around the world were contacted (at least 99 unique addresses), with the US being the most targeted.

From 19:44:36 UTC onwards, the device performed cryptocurrency mining using the Minergate mining pool protocol to generate profits for the attacker. A login credential called ‘x’ was observed in the Minergate connections to ‘194.145.227[.]21’ via port 5443. JSON-RPC methods of ‘login’ and ‘submit’ were seen from the connection originator (the infected breach device) and ‘job’ was seen from the connection responder (the C2 server). A high volume of connections using the JSON-RPC application protocol to ‘pool-fr.supportxmr[.]com’ were also made on port 80.

When the botnet was first discovered in December 2020, mining pools MineXMR and F2Pool were used. In February 2021, MineXMR was removed and in March 2021, Nanopool mining pool was added,12 before switching to the present SupportXMR and Minergate mining pools. Threat actors utilize such proxy pools to help hide the actual crypto wallet address where the contributions are made by the crypto-mining activity. From April onwards, the device appears to download the ‘xmrig.exe’ executable from a rare IP address ‘61.103.177[.]229’ in Korea every few days – likely in an attempt to establish persistency and ensure the cryptocurrency mining payload continues to exist on the compromised system for continued mining.

On March 9, 2022 from 18:16:20 UTC onwards, trolling for various RCE vulnerabilities (including but not limited to these four) was observed over HTTP connections to public IP addresses:

  1. Through March, the device made around 5,417 HTTP POSTs with the URI ‘/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/src/Util/PHP/eval-stdin.php’ to at least 99 unique public IPs. This appears to be related to CVE-2017-9841, which in PHPUnit allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary PHP code via HTTP POST data beginning with a ‘13 PHPUnit is a common testing framework for PHP, used for performing unit tests during application development. It is used by a variety of popular Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal and Prestashop. This CVE has been called “one of the most exploitable CVEs of 2019,” with around seven million attack attempts being observed that year.14 This framework is not designed to be exposed on the critical paths serving web pages and should not be reachable by external HTTP requests. Looking at the status messages of the HTTP POSTs in this incident, some ‘Found’ and ‘OK’ messages were seen, suggesting the vulnerable path could be accessible on some of those endpoints.

Figure 4: PCAP of CVE-2017-9841 vulnerability trolling

Figure 5: The CVE-2017-9841 vulnerable path appears to be reachable on some endpoints

  1. Through March, the device also made around 5,500 HTTP POSTs with the URI ‘/_ignition/execute-solution’ to at least 99 unique public IPs. This appears related to CVE-2021-3129, which allows unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code using debug mode with Laravel, a PHP web application framework in versions prior to 8.4.2.15 The POST request below makes the variable ‘username’ optional, and the ‘viewFile’ parameter is empty, as a test to see if the endpoint is vulnerable.16

Figure 6: PCAP of CVE-2021-3129 vulnerability trolling

  1. The device made approximately a further 252 HTTP GETs with URIs containing ‘invokefunction&function’ to another minimum of 99 unique public IPs. This appears related to a RCE vulnerability in ThinkPHP, an open-source web framework.17

Figure 7: Some of the URIs associated with ThinkPHP RCE vulnerability

  1. A HTTP header related to a RCE vulnerability for the Jakarta Multipart parser used by Apache struts2 in CVE-2017-563818 was also seen during the connection attempts. In this case the payload used a custom Content-Type header.

Figure 8: PCAP of CVE-2017-5638 vulnerability trolling

Two widely used methods of SSH authentication are public key authentication and password authentication. After gaining a foothold in the network, previous reports3 19 have mentioned that Sysrv-hello harvests private SSH keys from the compromised device, along with identifying known devices. Being a known device means the system can communicate with the other system without any further authentication checks after the initial key exchange. This technique was likely performed in conjunction with password brute-force attacks against the known devices. Starting from March 9, 2022 at 20:31:25 UTC, Darktrace observed the device making a large number of SSH connections and login failures to public IP ranges. For example, between 00:05:41 UTC on March 26 and 05:00:02 UTC on April 14, around 83,389 SSH connection attempts were made to 31 unique public IPs.

Figure 9: Darktrace’s Threat Visualizer shows large spikes in SSH connections by the breach device

Figure 10: Beaconing SSH connections to a single external endpoint, indicating a potential brute-force attack

Darktrace coverage

Cyber AI Analyst was able to connect the events and present them in a digestible, chronological order for the organization. In the aftermath of any security incidents, this is a convenient way for security users to conduct assisted investigations and reduce the workload on human analysts. However, it is good to note that this activity was also easily observed in real time from the model section on the Threat Visualizer due to the large number of escalating model breaches.

Figure 11: Cyber AI Analyst consolidating the events in the month of March into a summary

Figure 12: Cyber AI Analyst shows the progression of the attack through the month of March

As this incident occurred during a trial, Darktrace RESPOND was enabled in passive mode – with a valid license to display the actions that it would have taken, but with no active control performed. In this instance, no Antigena models breached for the initial compromised device as it was not tagged to be eligible for Antigena actions. Nonetheless, Darktrace was able to provide visibility into these anomalous connections.

Had Antigena been deployed in active mode, and the breach device appropriately tagged with Antigena All or Antigena External Threat, Darktrace would have been able to respond and neutralize different stages of the attack through network inhibitors Block Matching Connections and Enforce Group Pattern of Life, and relevant Antigena models such as Antigena Suspicious File Block, Antigena Suspicious File Pattern of Life Block, Antigena Pastebin Block and Antigena Crypto Currency Mining Block. The first of these inhibitors, Block Matching Connections, will block the specific connection and all future connections that matches the same criteria (e.g. all future outbound HTTP connections from the breach device to destination port 80) for a set period of time. Enforce Group Pattern of Life allows a device to only make connections and data transfers that it or any of its peer group typically make.

Conclusion

Resource hijacking results in unauthorized consumption of system resources and monetary loss for affected organizations. Compromised devices can potentially be rented out to other threat actors and botnet operators could switch from conducting crypto-mining to other more destructive illicit activities (e.g. DDoS or dropping of ransomware) whilst changing their TTPs in the future. Defenders are constantly playing catch-up to this continual evolution, and retrospective rules and signatures solutions or threat intelligence that relies on humans to spot future threats will not be able to keep up.

In this case, it appears the botnet operator has added an object query in the URL of the initial PowerShell loader script download, added Pastebin C2 for evasion and persistence, and utilized new cryptocurrency mining pools. Despite this, Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI was able to identify the threats the moment attackers changed their approach, detecting every step of the attack in the network without relying on known indicators of threat.

Appendix

Darktrace model detections

  • Anomalous File / Script from Rare Location
  • Anomalous File / EXE from Rare External Location
  • Compromise / Agent Beacon (Medium Period)
  • Compromise / Slow Beaconing Activity To External Rare
  • Compromise / Beaconing Activity To External Rare
  • Device / External Address Scan
  • Compromise / Crypto Currency Mining Activity
  • Compromise / High Priority Crypto Currency Mining
  • Compromise / High Volume of Connections with Beacon Score
  • Compromise / SSL Beaconing to Rare Destination
  • Anomalous Connection / Multiple HTTP POSTs to Rare Hostname
  • Device / Large Number of Model Breaches
  • Anomalous Connection / Multiple Failed Connections to Rare Endpoint
  • Anomalous Connection / SSH Brute Force
  • Compromise / SSH Beacon
  • Compliance / SSH to Rare External AWS
  • Compromise / High Frequency SSH Beacon
  • Compliance / SSH to Rare External Destination
  • Device / Multiple C2 Model Breaches
  • Anomalous Connection / POST to PHP on New External Host

MITRE ATT&CK techniques observed:

IoCs

Thanks to Victoria Baldie and Yung Ju Chua for their contributions.

Footnotes

1. https://www.darktrace.com/en/blog/crypto-botnets-moving-laterally

2. https://www.darktrace.com/en/blog/how-ai-uncovered-outlaws-secret-crypto-mining-operation

3. https://www.lacework.com/blog/sysrv-hello-expands-infrastructure

4. https://www.riskiq.com/blog/external-threat-management/sysrv-hello-cryptojacking-botnet

5. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/ip-address/194.145.227.21

6. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/url/c586845daa2aec275453659f287dcb302921321e04cb476b0d98d731d57c4e83?nocache=1

7. https://www.abuseipdb.com/check/81.255.222.82

8. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/586e271b5095068484446ee222a4bb0f885987a0b77e59eb24511f6d4a774c30

9. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/f5bef6ace91110289a2977cfc9f4dbec1e32fecdbe77326e8efe7b353c58e639

10. https://www.ironnet.com/blog/continued-exploitation-of-cve-2021-26084

11. https://www.zdnet.com/article/njrat-trojan-operators-are-now-using-pastebin-as-alternative-to-central-command-server

12. https://blogs.juniper.net/en-us/threat-research/sysrv-botnet-expands-and-gains-persistence

13. https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2017-9841

14. https://www.imperva.com/blog/the-resurrection-of-phpunit-rce-vulnerability

15. https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2021-3129

16. https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Laravel+v842+exploit+attempts+for+CVE20213129+debug+mode+Remote+code+execution/27758

17. https://securitynews.sonicwall.com/xmlpost/thinkphp-remote-code-execution-rce-bug-is-actively-being-exploited

18. https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2017-5638

19. https://sysdig.com/blog/crypto-sysrv-hello-wordpress

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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Email

Looking Beyond Secure Email Gateways with the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/Email

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09
Apr 2024

Organizations Should Demand More from their Email Security

In response to a more intricate threat landscape, organizations should view email security as a critical component of their defense-in-depth strategy, rather than defending the inbox alone with a traditional Secure Email Gateway (SEG). Organizations need more than a traditional gateway – that doubles, instead of replaces, the capabilities provided by native security vendor – and require an equally granular degree of analysis across all messaging, including inbound, outbound, and lateral mail, plus Teams messages.  

Darktrace/Email is the industry’s most advanced cloud email security, powered by Self-Learning AI. It combines AI techniques to exceed the accuracy and efficiency of leading security solutions, and is the only security built to elevate, not duplicate, native email security.  

With its largest update ever, Darktrace/Email introduces the following innovations, finally allowing security teams to look beyond secure email gateways with autonomous AI:

  • AI-augmented data loss prevention to stop the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats
  • an easy way to deploy DMARC quickly with AI
  • major enhancements to streamline SOC workflows and increase the detection of sophisticated phishing links
  • expansion of Darktrace’s leading AI prevention to lateral mail, account compromise and Microsoft Teams

What’s New with Darktrace/Email  

Data Loss Prevention  

Block the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats with advanced data loss prevention that builds on tags in native email to stop unknown, accidental, and malicious data loss

Darktrace understands normal at individual user, group and organization level with a proven AI that detects abnormal user behavior and dynamic content changes. Using this understanding, Darktrace/Email actions outbound emails to stop unknown, accidental and malicious data loss.  

Traditional DLP solutions only take into account classified data, which relies on the manual input of labelling each data piece, or creating rules to catch pattern matches that try to stop data of certain types leaving the organization. But in today’s world of constantly changing data, regular expression and fingerprinting detection are no longer enough.

  • Human error – Because it understands normal for every user, Darktrace/Email can recognize cases of misdirected emails. Even if the data is correctly labelled or insensitive, Darktrace recognizes when the context in which it is being sent could be a case of data loss and warns the user.  
  • Unclassified data – Whereas traditional DLP solutions can only take action on classified data, Darktrace analyzes the range of data that is either pending labels or can’t be labeled with typical capabilities due to its understanding of the content and context of every email.  
  • Insider threat – If a malicious actor has compromised an account, data exfiltration may still be attempted on encrypted, intellectual property, or other forms of unlabelled data to avoid detection. Darktrace analyses user behaviour to catch cases of unusual data exfiltration from individual accounts.

And classification efforts already in place aren’t wasted – Darktrace/Email extends Microsoft Purview policies and sensitivity labels to avoid duplicate workflows for the security team, combining the best of both approaches to ensure organizations maintain control and visibility over their data.

End User and Security Workflows

Achieve more than 60% improvement in the quality of end-user phishing reports and detection of sophisticated malicious weblinks1

Darktrace/Email improves end-user reporting from the ground up to save security team resource. Employees will always be on the front line of email security – while other solutions assume that end-user reporting is automatically of poor quality, Darktrace prioritizes improving users’ security awareness to increase the quality of end-user reporting from day one.  

Users are empowered to assess and report suspicious activity with contextual banners and Cyber AI Analyst generated narratives for potentially suspicious emails, resulting in 60% fewer benign emails reported.  

Out of the higher-quality emails that end up being reported, the next step is to reduce the amount of emails that reach the SOC. Darktrace/Email’s Mailbox Security Assistant automates their triage with secondary analysis combining additional behavioral signals – using x20 more metrics than previously – with advanced link analysis to detect 70% more sophisticated malicious phishing links.2 This directly alleviates the burden of manual triage for security analysts.

For the emails that are received by the SOC, Darktrace/Email uses automation to reduce time spent investigating per incident. With live inbox view, security teams gain access to a centralized platform that combines intuitive search capabilities, Cyber AI Analyst reports, and mobile application access. Analysts can take remediation actions from within Darktrace/Email, eliminating console hopping and accelerating incident response.

Darktrace takes a user-focused and business-centric approach to email security, in contrast to the attack-centric rules and signatures approach of secure email gateways

Microsoft Teams

Detect threats within your Teams environment such as account compromise, phishing, malware and data loss

Around 83% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Office products and services, particularly Teams and SharePoint.3

Darktrace now leverages the same behavioral AI techniques for Microsoft customers across 365 and Teams, allowing organizations to detect threats and signals of account compromise within their Teams environment including social engineering, malware and data loss.  

The primary use case for Microsoft Teams protection is as a potential entry vector. While messaging has traditionally been internal only, as organizations open up it is becoming an entry vector which needs to be treated with the same level of caution as email. That’s why we’re bringing our proven AI approach to Microsoft Teams, that understands the user behind the message.  

Anomalous messaging behavior is also a highly relevant indicator of whether a user has been compromised. Unlike other solutions that analyze Microsoft Teams content which focus on payloads, Darktrace goes beyond basic link and sandbox analysis and looks at actual user behavior from both a content and context perspective. This linguistic understanding isn’t bound by the requirement to match a signature to a malicious payload, rather it looks at the context in which the message has been delivered. From this analysis, Darktrace can spot the early symptoms of account compromise such as early-stage social engineering before a payload is delivered.

Lateral Mail Analysis

Detect and respond to internal mailflow with multi-layered AI to prevent account takeover, lateral phishing and data leaks

The industry’s most robust account takeover protection now prevents lateral mail account compromise. Darktrace has always looked at internal mail to inform inbound and outbound decisions, but will now elevate suspicious lateral mail behaviour using the same AI techniques for inbound, outbound and Teams analysis.

Darktrace integrates signals from across the entire mailflow and communication patterns to determine symptoms of account compromise, now including lateral mailflow

Unlike other solutions which only analyze payloads, Darktrace analyzes a whole range of signals to catch lateral movement before a payload is delivered. Contributing yet another layer to the AI behavioral profile for each user, security teams can now use signals from lateral mail to spot the early symptoms of account takeover and take autonomous actions to prevent further compromise.

DMARC

Gain in-depth visibility and control of 3rd parties using your domain with an industry-first AI-assisted DMARC

Darktrace has created the easiest path to brand protection and compliance with the new Darktrace/DMARC. This new capability continuously stops spoofing and phishing from the enterprise domain, while automatically enhancing email security and reducing the attack surface.

Darktrace/DMARC helps to upskill businesses by providing step by step guidance and automated record suggestions provide a clear, efficient road to enforcement. It allows organizations to quickly achieve compliance with requirements from Google, Yahoo, and others, to ensure that their emails are reaching mailboxes.  

Meanwhile, Darktrace/DMARC helps to reduce the overall attack surface by providing visibility over shadow-IT and third-party vendors sending on behalf of an organization’s brand, while informing recipients when emails from their domains are sent from un-authenticated DMARC source.

Darktrace/DMARC integrates with the wider Darktrace product platform, sharing insights to help further secure your business across Email Attack Path and Attack Surface management.

Conclusion

To learn more about the new innovations to Darktrace/Email download the solution brief here.

All of the new updates to Darktrace/Email sit within the new Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform, creating a feedback loop between email security and the rest of the digital estate for better protection. Click to read more about the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform or to hear about the latest innovations to Darktrace/OT, the most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for critical infrastructures.  

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.

References

[1] Internal Darktrace Research

[2] Internal Darktrace Research

[3] Essential Microsoft Office Statistics in 2024

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Managing Risk Beyond CVE Scores With the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/OT

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09
Apr 2024

Identifying Cyber Risk in Industrial Organizations

Compromised OT devices in ICS and SCADA environments pose significant physical risks, even endangering lives. However, identifying CVEs in the multitude of complex OT devices is labor-intensive and time-consuming, draining valuable resources.

Even after identifying a vulnerability, implementing a patch presents its own challenges limited maintenance windows and the need for uninterrupted operations strain IT and OT teams often leading organizations to prioritize availability over security leading vulnerabilities remaining unresolved for over 5 years on average. (1)

Darktrace’s New Innovation

Darktrace is an industry leader in cybersecurity with 10+ years of experience securing OT environments where we take a fundamentally different approach using Self-Learning AI to enhance threat detection and response.

Continuing to combat the expanding threat landscape, Darktrace is excited to announce new capabilities that enable a contextualized and proactive approach to managing cyber risk at industrial organizations.

Today we launch an innovation to our OT Cybersecurity solution, Darktrace/OT, that will add a layer of proactivity, enabling a comprehensive approach to risk management. This industry leading innovation for Darktrace/OT moves beyond CVE scores to redefine vulnerability management for critical infrastructure, tackling the full breadth of risks not limited by traditional controls.  

Darktrace/OT is the only OT security solution with comprehensive Risk Management which includes:

  • Contextualized risk analysis unique to your organization
  • The most realistic evaluation and prioritization of OT risk
  • Effectively mitigate risk across your OT infrastructure, with and without patching.
  • The only OT security solution that evaluates your defenses against Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Groups.

The most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for Critical Infrastructures

Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI technology is a cutting-edge innovation that implements real time prevention, detection, response, and recovery for operational technologies and enables a fundamental shift from the traditional approach to cyber defense by learning a ‘pattern of life’ for every network, device, and user.  

Rather than relying on knowledge of past attacks, AI technology learns what is ‘normal’ for its environment, discovering previously unknown threats by detecting subtle shifts in behavior. Through identifying these unexpected anomalies, security teams can investigate novel attacks, discover blind spots, have live time visibility across all their physical and digital assets, and reduce time to detect, respond to, and triage security events.  

  • Achieve greater visibility of OT and IT devices across all levels of the Purdue Model.
  • The industry's only OT security to scale threat detection and response, with a 92% time saving from triage to recovery.  
  • The only OT focused security solution to provide bespoke Risk Management.

To learn more about how Darktrace/OT approaches unique use cases for industrial organizations visit the Darktrace/OT Webpage or join us LIVE at a city near you.

Read more below to discover how new innovations to Darktrace/OT are bringing a new, contextualized approach to Risk Management for Industrial organizations.

For more information on the entire Darktrace/OT Solution read our solution brief here.

Darktrace/OT and New Risk Management

Risk Identification

Leveraging the visibility of Darktrace/OT which identifies individual systems throughout the Purdue Model and the relationship between them, Darktrace/OT identifies high-risk CVEs and presents potential attack routes that go beyond techniques requiring a known exploit, such as misuse of legitimate services. Each attack path will have a mathematical evaluation of difficulty and impact from initial access to the high value objectives.  

Together this gives comprehensive coverage over your real and potential risks from both an attacker and known vulnerability perspectives. OT attack paths as seen here even leverage insights between the industrial and corporate communications to reveal ways threat actors may take advantage of IT-OT convergence. This revelation of imperceptible risks fills gaps in traditional risk analysis like remote access and insider threats.

Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 2: A specific Attack Path identified by Darktrace/OT

Risk Prioritization

Darktrace/OT prioritizes remediations and mitigations based on difficulty and damage to your unique organization, using the established Attack Paths.

We ascertain the priorities that apply to your organization beyond pure theoretical damage answering questions like:

  • How difficult is a particular vulnerability to exploit considering the steps an attacker would require to reach it?
  • And, how significant would the impact be if it was exploited within this particular network?

This expanded approach to risk prioritization has a much more comprehensive evaluation of your organization's unique risk than has ever been possible before. Traditional approaches of ranking only known vulnerabilities with isolated scores using CVSS and exploitability metrics, often leaves gaps in IT-OT risks and is blind to legitimate service exploitation.

Figure 3: Darktrace/OT leverages its contextual understand of the organization’s network to prioritize remediation that will have the positive impact on the risk score

Darktrace provides mitigation strategies associated with each identified risk and the relevant impact it has on your overall risk posture, across all MITRE ATT&CK techniques.

What sets Darktrace apart is our ability to contextualize these mitigations within the broader business. When patching vulnerabilities directly isn’t possible, Darktrace identifies alternative actions that harden attack paths leading to critical assets. Hardening the surrounding attack path increases the difficulty and therefore reduces the likelihood and impact of a breach.

That means unpatched vulnerabilities and vulnerable devices aren’t left unprotected. This also has an added bonus, those hardening techniques work for all devices in that network segment, so apply one change, secure many.

Figure 4: Darktrace prioritizes mitigation reducing accessibility of vulnerability and the overall risk score when patches aren’t available

Communicate Board Level Risk with APT Threat Mapping

Darktrace/OT bridges theory and practice as the only security solution that maps MITRE techniques, frequently used by APT Groups, onto AI-assessed critical Attack Paths. This unique solution provides unparalleled insights including sector and location intelligence, possible operating platforms, common techniques, exploited CVEs, and the number of potential devices affected in your environment, supporting holistic risk assessment and proactive defense measures.

Ultimately, this becomes a power dashboard to communicate board level risk, using both metric based evidence and industry standard threat mapping.

Conclusion

Darktrace/OT is part of the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform a native, holistic, AI-driven platform built on over ten years of AI research. It helps security teams shift to more a productive mode, finding the known and the unknown attacks and transforming the SOC with the various Darktrace products to drive efficiency gains. It does this across the whole incident lifecycle to lower risk, reduce time spent on active incidents, and drive return on investment.

Discover more about Darktrace's ever-strengthening platform with the upcoming changes coming to our Darktrace/Email product and other launch day blogs.

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References

1. https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/313646831/Catch_Me_if_You_Can.pdf

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About the author
Mitchell Bezzina
VP, Product and Solutions Marketing
Our ai. Your data.

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