Threat Intelligence

2/12/2015
06:20 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

How Anthem Shared Key Markers Of Its Cyberattack

Insurer shared the MD5 malware hashes, IP addresses, and email addresses used by its attackers.

Anthem isn't a member of the healthcare industry's information sharing and analysis center, the NH-ISAC, so the NH-ISAC got word of the attack via other members of the threat information-sharing community the morning after Anthem reported its massive data breach.

The NH-ISAC then confirmed and validate with Anthem the indicators of compromise that it had received that morning via its members. "We got the information from participating members. Once we received it, we did confirm with Anthem," says Josh Singletary, NH-ISAC CIO, who heads up intelligence operations. That information then was pushed out to other ISACs as well, he says. The ISAC pushed the indicators of compromise via email to its members as well as via its secure portal, which some members use to incorporate them into their IDS/IPSes, firewalls, and other systems.

The process of how Anthem's attack markers were shared among the healthcare industry and other relevant groups and organizations provides a rare peek at how potential victims are notified about the latest threat emerging from a major breach. As attacks and attack campaigns intensify and multiply, intelligence-sharing groups like ISACs and others are crunched to get usable information and intelligence to their members quickly so they can shore up their defenses and prevent becoming the next victims.

Anthem, meanwhile, shared with HITRUST's Cyber Threat Intelligence and Incident Coordination Center the MD5 malware hashes, IP addresses, and email addresses used by its attackers. As of now, only HITRUST has all of the Anthem attack IOCs, the organization says. Within an hour of getting that attack information from Anthem, HITRUST fed that information to its automated cyber threat exchange, as well as with US-CERT, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

"This crucial observable information was anonymously shared with the HITRUST C3 Community, through the automated threat exchange. It was quickly determined that the IOCs were not found by other organizations across the industry and this attack was targeted at a specific organization," according to an alert issued by HITRUST last week. "Upon further investigation and analysis it is believed to be a targeted advanced persistent threat (APT) actor. With that information, HITRUST determined it was not necessary to issue a broad industry alert."

The NH-ISAC took a different tack, sharing not only within the ISAC but with other ISACs, too. So far, there's been no sign or confirmation of other healthcare organizations in the NH-ISAC getting hit by the same attack Anthem suffered. But several security experts say that if the attackers are indeed a Chinese cyberespionage group, there would be other victims as well given the region's widespread and pervasive tactics in these types of attacks.

"We're not seeing any of those [indicators of compromise from the Anthem breach], so that's really good," says Rich Reybok, CTO of Vorstack, which provides an automation and collaboration platform to the NH-ISAC.

Anthem's attack, while targeted, in many ways was very similar to others out there in its methods and approach.

"What was different about this attack was how massive it was, how many records--80 million--affected. It has really raised awareness in the healthcare sector and other sectors on how critical intelligence- and information-sharing and coordinated response is," says Deborah Kobza, founder & CEO of NH-ISAC.

NH-ISAC's Kobza says once word got out about the Anthem breach, members of the ISAC started offering to help other members who needed the extra support. "Even their own resources and security teams to help any organization who may have been impacted by this type of attack," she says.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JPtaylorL
50%
50%
JPtaylorL,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/26/2015 | 12:56:10 PM
ISAC vs HITRUST
ISAC has a problem - it needs to be funded and paid for by the GOVT.  Until then, cheaper options that are just as good / better (e.g., HITRUST) will get the attention ISAC wishes it could.  Right now, ISACs (particularly NH-ISAC) cost a good chunk of change and businesses (always cash strapped) will go with an option that checks the box and provides the minimums they need.  What I struggle with is why ISACs charge at all?  These are public -private partnerships - they are simply a conduit for sharing information with others - the infrastructure costs, while their may be some, should be covered for the greater good.  ISACs defintely have HUGE adoption cross industry, but but the better solution for Healthcare is HITRUST and I'm not at all surprised with Anthem (whose on the HITRUST board) decision to trust their business partner over the government, whose track record for cyber isn't quite as strong or trusted by the public.
Crowdsourced vs. Traditional Pen Testing
Alex Haynes, Chief Information Security Officer, CDL,  3/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Reading Schneier's Friday Squid Blog again?
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
Organizations are responding to new threats with new processes for detecting and mitigating them. Here's a look at how the discipline of incident response is evolving.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6149
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-18
An unquoted search path vulnerability was identified in Lenovo Dynamic Power Reduction Utility prior to version 2.2.2.0 that could allow a malicious user with local access to execute code with administrative privileges.
CVE-2018-15509
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-18
Five9 Agent Desktop Plus 10.0.70 has Incorrect Access Control (issue 2 of 2).
CVE-2018-20806
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-17
Phamm (aka PHP LDAP Virtual Hosting Manager) 0.6.8 allows XSS via the login page (the /public/main.php action parameter).
CVE-2019-5616
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-15
CircuitWerkes Sicon-8, a hardware device used for managing electrical devices, ships with a web-based front-end controller and implements an authentication mechanism in JavaScript that is run in the context of a user's web browser.
CVE-2018-17882
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-15
An Integer overflow vulnerability exists in the batchTransfer function of a smart contract implementation for CryptoBotsBattle (CBTB), an Ethereum token. This vulnerability could be used by an attacker to create an arbitrary amount of tokens for any user.