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.

Attacks/Breaches

2/11/2021
12:45 PM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail

7 Things We Know So Far About the SolarWinds Attacks

Two months after the news first broke, many questions remain about the sophisticated cyber-espionage campaign.
3 of 8

The Adversaries Used More Than One Attack Vector
For the most part, SolarWinds has been at the center of attention since news broke of the company's software updates being used to distribute the Sunburst backdoor to systems worldwide. The reality, however, is that the company's software was only one of the attack vectors that the adversaries used to deliver their payload. 
The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and others have warned of multiple other initial infection vectors being used in the campaign. These include password-guessing and password-spraying attacks to get access on targeted systems and acquiring improperly secured admin credentials via externally exposed remote access services. 
Malwarebytes is one example. In January the security vendor disclosed that the same APT group behind the SolarWinds attack had gained access to a limited number of its internal company emails. However, in this case the compromise did not result from a poisoned SolarWinds Orion update. Rather, the attackers exploited 'a dormant email protection product' with privileged access within the company's Office 365 environment to gain access to the emails.
The attackers have also been observed using multifactor authentication bypass techniques to access cloud-hosted apps. According to CISA, it is likely the threat group has also used other vectors that have not been discovered yet.
Image Source: PabloLagarto via Shutterstock

The Adversaries Used More Than One Attack Vector

For the most part, SolarWinds has been at the center of attention since news broke of the company's software updates being used to distribute the Sunburst backdoor to systems worldwide. The reality, however, is that the company's software was only one of the attack vectors that the adversaries used to deliver their payload.

The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and others have warned of multiple other initial infection vectors being used in the campaign. These include password-guessing and password-spraying attacks to get access on targeted systems and acquiring improperly secured admin credentials via externally exposed remote access services.

Malwarebytes is one example. In January the security vendor disclosed that the same APT group behind the SolarWinds attack had gained access to a limited number of its internal company emails. However, in this case the compromise did not result from a poisoned SolarWinds Orion update. Rather, the attackers exploited "a dormant email protection product" with privileged access within the company's Office 365 environment to gain access to the emails.

The attackers have also been observed using multifactor authentication bypass techniques to access cloud-hosted apps. According to CISA, it is likely the threat group has also used other vectors that have not been discovered yet.

Image Source: PabloLagarto via Shutterstock

3 of 8
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Commentary
What the FedEx Logo Taught Me About Cybersecurity
Matt Shea, Head of Federal @ MixMode,  6/4/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
A View From Inside a Deception
Sara Peters, Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/2/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Post a Comment
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-21439
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
DoS attack can be performed when an email contains specially designed URL in the body. It can lead to the high CPU usage and cause low quality of service, or in extreme case bring the system to a halt. This issue affects: OTRS AG ((OTRS)) Community Edition 6.0.x version 6.0.1 and later versions. OTR...
CVE-2021-23394
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-13
The package studio-42/elfinder before 2.1.58 are vulnerable to Remote Code Execution (RCE) via execution of PHP code in a .phar file. NOTE: This only applies if the server parses .phar files as PHP.
CVE-2021-34682
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
Receita Federal IRPF 2021 1.7 allows a man-in-the-middle attack against the update feature.
CVE-2021-31811
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an OutOfMemory-Exception while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-31812
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an infinite loop while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.