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12/18/2020
10:40 AM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
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5 Key Takeaways From the SolarWinds Breach

New details continue to emerge each day, and there may be many more lessons to learn from what could be among the largest cyberattacks ever.
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Some Compromises Have Long Tails
As organizations around the world realized this week, some cyberattacks are nearly impossible to detect, complex to piece together, and difficult to mitigate. Assumptions about how a breach happened can be wrong, as can estimates of its scope and impact.
Early reports of this massive cyber-espionage campaign suggested its initial infection vector was SolarWinds' Orion network management platform. However, on Thursday, CISA disclosed an analysis indicating attackers likely used additional access vectors to gain a foothold on target networks. For organizations that had already installed SolarWinds patches and deployed recommended mitigation measures against the initial attack vector, the news likely raised fresh concerns about their potential exposure to further attacks.
This incident was a reminder of how the obfuscation, anti-forensics, and persistence tactics, which adversaries use to conceal malicious activity and maintain persistence, can cause problems long after a breach has been detected and seemingly mitigated. Tactics reportedly used here, according to CISA and others, included virtual private servers with IP addresses in the victim's home country, rotating 'last-mile' IP addresses to different endpoints, steganography, and spoofed tokens and forged credentials for lateral movement and privileged access. 'CISA expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations,' the agency says.
Image credit: Graphic Compressor via Shutterstock

Some Compromises Have Long Tails

As organizations around the world realized this week, some cyberattacks are nearly impossible to detect, complex to piece together, and difficult to mitigate. Assumptions about how a breach happened can be wrong, as can estimates of its scope and impact.

Early reports of this massive cyber-espionage campaign suggested its initial infection vector was SolarWinds' Orion network management platform. However, on Thursday, CISA disclosed an analysis indicating attackers likely used additional access vectors to gain a foothold on target networks. For organizations that had already installed SolarWinds patches and deployed recommended mitigation measures against the initial attack vector, the news likely raised fresh concerns about their potential exposure to further attacks.

This incident was a reminder of how the obfuscation, anti-forensics, and persistence tactics, which adversaries use to conceal malicious activity and maintain persistence, can cause problems long after a breach has been detected and seemingly mitigated. Tactics reportedly used here, according to CISA and others, included virtual private servers with IP addresses in the victim's home country, rotating "last-mile" IP addresses to different endpoints, steganography, and spoofed tokens and forged credentials for lateral movement and privileged access. "CISA expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations," the agency says.

Image credit: Graphic Compressor via Shutterstock

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robert.cox@gapac.com
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[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
1/25/2021 | 11:39:59 AM
Any new information or updates?
This story broke a little over a month ago; I'm curious if there are new updates worth reviewing?
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