Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

10/13/2015
07:45 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Prolific Cybercrime Gang Favors Legit Login Credentials

FireEye researchers shed more light on infamous cybercriminals associated with RawPOS malware. and christen it 'FIN5.'

FIREEYE CYBER DEFENSE SUMMIT -- Washington, D.C. -- No 0days. No spearphishing, either: The cybercriminal group tied to numerous payment card breaches including Goodwill and best known by its so-called "RawPOS" malware employed legitimate user credentials to access its targets' networks.

Researchers at FireEye here today shared their recent findings on this prolific and long-running cybercrime gang that has been the subject of multiple Visa security alerts to merchants. The RawPOS memory scraper malware has been infecting the lodging industry in epidemic proportions over the past year, and is considered one of the first memory scrapers to target point-of-sale systems.

FireEye has dubbed the cybercrime gang FIN5. "One of the most unique things about FIN5 is that in every intrusion we responded to where FIN5 has been active, legitimate access was identified. They had valid user credentials to remotely log into the network," said Barry Vengerik, principal threat analyst at FireEye. "No sexy zero-days, no remote exploits -- not even spearphishing. They had credentials from somewhere."

FIN5, which earlier this year was profiled by researchers at Trend Micro and has been in action since at least 2008, uses real credentials from the victim organization's virtual private network, Remote Desktop Protocol, Citrix, or VNC. Vengerik says the attackers got those credentials via third parties associated with the victims' POS systems.

"Most of the maintenance and administration of POS systems are done by a third party -- the maintenance, patching, troubleshooting" is done remotely via those credentials, he said.  

"FIN5 maintained access to two or more payment processor networks primarily for the goal of logging into and accessing their customers' environments," he said. "It's a textbook case of a lateral compromise between companies based on trust."

FireEye last year investigated a massive breach at a casino hotel with 1,200 endpoints that suffered losses to more than 150,000 payment cards. Vengerik declined to name the hotel.

The casino attackers used a stolen VPN account to gain access, said Emmanuel Jean-Georges, senior consultant with FireEye's Mandiant.

FIN5 uses a tool called GET2 Penetrator, a brute force scanning tool that looks for remote login and hard-coded credentials, as well as a free tool called EssentialNet that scans the victim's network to give the attackers "the lay of the land," Vengerik said.

RawPOS pulls information from a POS system's memory. The malware includes several components, FireEye found: Duebrew, which ensures the malware remains on the infected Windows machine, even when it gets rebooted; Fiendcry, a memory scraper that grabs the payment card data; Driftwood, which encodes the stolen payment card information to hide it from analysis tools.

Another unusual feature of FIN5's operation is that the malware code is "well-commented," Vengerik said. "That's incredibly rare in malware, the author taking time to comment on the code and to show what section of code is doing what," he said. It's like a secure development lifecycle approach, he noted.

The release notes for the Driftwood code are written in an older Russian language character set, the researchers showed.

Why would the malware author actively comment on the code? "It points to a possible ecosystem -- for advertising or support" of the malware as a product, Vengerik told Dark Reading.

FireEye says the attackers first target the Active Directory to get to the card data, and use tools such as Windows Credentials Editor in their quest for legit credentials. They also created several custom tools for covering their tracks and cleaning up any traces of the malware, as well as proxy tools for accessing segregated network segments.

"They also encoded hard kill-times into most of their malware for a hard end date" of the attack, he said.

Trend Micro earlier this year noted how RawPOS was able to evolve to target various types of POS software. "Aside from being multi-component, RawPOS is notable for its support for multiple PoS software. Since business establishments would have different PoS software, attackers have modified RawPOS’ code to support multiple PoS software over time," Trend Micro researchers wrote in a blog post in late April.

Meanwhile, FireEye today also announced that is has partnered with Visa Inc. to power a new threat intelligence service for merchants and card issuers. The so-called Visa Threat Intelligence service is the first product under a newly forged partnership between Visa and FireEye.

"We want to offer faster, actionable intelligence to our constituents," said Mark Nelson, senior vice president of risk products at Visa.

 

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. 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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17476
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Mibew Messenger before 3.2.7 allows XSS via a crafted user name.
CVE-2020-9525
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
CS2 Network P2P through 3.x, as used in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from an authentication flaw that allows remote attackers to perform a man-in-the-middle attack, as demonstrated by eavesdropping on user video/audio streams, capturing credentials, and compromising devices.
CVE-2020-9526
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
CS2 Network P2P through 3.x, as used in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from an information exposure flaw that exposes user session data to supernodes in the network, as demonstrated by passively eavesdropping on user video/audio streams, capturing credentials, and compromising devic...
CVE-2020-9527
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Firmware developed by Shenzhen Hichip Vision Technology (V6 through V20, after 2018-08-09 through 2020), as used by many different vendors in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from buffer overflow vulnerability that allows unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via ...
CVE-2020-9528
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Firmware developed by Shenzhen Hichip Vision Technology (V6 through V20), as used by many different vendors in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from cryptographic issues that allow remote attackers to access user session data, as demonstrated by eavesdropping on user video/audio strea...