External Threat Management
March 24, 2021
For more than ten years, RiskIQ has been crawling and absorbing the internet to define the web's identity and map the relationships between its infrastructure to show customers how they, and attackers targeting them, fit within it. To continue to strengthen our Internet Intelligence Graph, RiskIQ's research team has begun analyzing popular malware families' known campaigns to fingerprint trends in threat infrastructure.
We analyzed infrastructure that likely belongs to Agent Tesla remote access trojans (RATs) to determine commonalities and identify trends that will help us detect them.
RiskIQ Named a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: External Threat Intelligence Services, Q1 2021
March 23, 2021
The digital, cloud-centric transformation that was already enveloping the enterprise was set into overdrive by changes driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there's no going back.
Unfortunately, this breakneck speed in digital transformation creates significant hidden risks—global-scale vulnerabilities enable massive APT attacks like the ones against Microsoft and SolarWinds servers, and threat infrastructure hides in plain sight across the internet, meshing with the benign to remain well-hidden. Meanwhile, a surge in digital threats is fueled by global events and the advent of easy access to malicious systems, kits, and infrastructure that even novice threat actors can use to execute effective cyberattacks.
For security teams, the best defense against this new threat landscape is next-gen security intelligence that evolves as fast as the threat actors do; intelligence fortified with real-world observations of the enterprise attack surface coupled with deep insight into global threat infrastructure.
The Forrester Wave™: External Threat Intelligence Services, Q1 2021, evaluated 12 top security intelligence vendors to educate security and risk professionals about which is right for them. Participants were judged on 26 criteria to determine rank. With RiskIQ mapping the relationships between internet infrastructure, both good and bad, for more than a decade, RiskIQ's Illuminate Platform received the highest possible scores in six criteria, including Brand Threat Intelligence, Market Approach, and Information Quality.
March 12, 2021
Frankly, it's a tough time to be in cybersecurity. Perhaps the toughest ever. There have been over a dozen zero-days in the past three months alone, with countless organizations across the world affected.
We're barely four months removed from SolarWinds—a watershed attack some thought would set the standard for the impact a vulnerability could have—and already dealing with a new attack that dwarfs it in scale. While it started with espionage actors Hafnium, ESET Research shows that at least 10 APT groups have exploited Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities. Now more are jumping in, and some organizations are seeing ransomware actors leveraging the vulnerability as well.
With the prevalence of Microsoft Exchange servers across the global attack surface, the sheer size of this incident goes well beyond security. In reality, this is a big data problem.
RiskIQ has continuously collected internet data for more than a decade to solve such a problem. We built our technology to help security teams handle global attacks, and we're experts at discovering attack surfaces from organizational to global in scale. Now, we're working overtime to put this vulnerability’s scope into context and help the world understand if they are exposed and enable them to respond rapidly.
March 10, 2021
When cryptocurrency value rises, we can expect a parallel rise in crypto-related crime, including phishing, fake brokers, and scams impersonating exchanges and other legitimate services. As expected, the recent surge in the global cryptocurrency market has made it a hot target for cybercrime.
While the blockchain technology that protects cryptocurrency investments is robust, widespread fraud on social media and across the web circumvents those protections, targeting the general public directly to fool and ultimately rob them. As a result, keeping the pulse of the crypto-threat landscape requires an always-on, internet-wide view. At RiskIQ, we've been tracking crypto-threats to understand their prevalence and how they're evolving.
Below, we've outlined the most prevalent that we see, including infrastructure analysis via our Internet Intelligence Graph to drill down into the mechanics of each threat and show how they work and why they're effective.
March 08, 2021
On March 2, 2021, Microsoft announced that four previously unknown zero-day vulnerabilities were exploited to attack on-premises versions of the Microsoft Exchange Servers. Microsoft has reported that attackers exploited these vulnerabilities to gain access to Exchange servers, gain access to email accounts, and deploy malware (typically web shells) for long-term persistent access to victim organizations. Microsoft credited a security company called Volexity for first observing these exploits on January 6, 2021. These vulnerabilities do not affect Microsoft Office 365 or Azure Cloud deployments of Exchange email servers.
Microsoft has reported they have attributed these attacks to a threat actor group it calls HAFNIUM and assessed it is a People’s Republic of China sponsored campaign. Additional details of HAFNIUM targeting and attack techniques are included in Microsoft’s security blog. Meanwhile, FireEye’s analysis indicates this attack has ties activity it tracks across three unknown attack clusters and provides additional analysis and indicators in their blog.
February 24, 2021
Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was a spike in threat infrastructure using the crisis to bait, deceive, and social engineer victims. Reports of threat campaigns attempting to fool Turkish-speaking users into downloading Android apps containing the Cerberus and Anubis banking trojans surfaced. Today, new RiskIQ data shows these attacks have not stopped, shedding light on the full extent of these campaigns.
In May 2020, threat researcher BushidoToken authored a blog pulling together multiple indicators, some appearing as early as April 2020, from researchers tracking Cerberus and Anubis activity targeting Turkish speakers. These two remote access Trojans (RATs), which follow a malware-as-a-service model, steal user credentials to access bank accounts. Highly deceptive, they can overlay over other apps (dynamic overlays), capture keystrokes, SMS harvest and send, call forward, and access other sensitive data across the device.
The campaigns exploited the pandemic to distribute malicious Android applications via web pages promising free internet packages to encourage people to stay home. To get the "free internet," users only had to install an application on their phones. In all, BushidoToken compiled 24 .apk filenames connected to the campaigns and a long list of domains and URLs. However, recent RiskIQ research shows these campaigns went on for much longer, with more infrastructure and tactics than outlined in May reporting.
February 18, 2021
A recent Interisle Consulting Group research report, WHOIS Contact Data Availability, and Registrant Classification Study, finds that more than half of the top-level-domains under ICANN's remit are now controlled by unidentifiable parties. According to the report, "ICANN's policy has allowed registrars and registry operators to hide much more contact data than is required by the GDPR-perhaps five times as much..."
Regardless of if contact data is ultimately needed to maintain a secure and interoperable Internet, it is now more important than ever to leverage available threat intelligence to combat harmful cyber activity. Traditionally, WHOIS has told analysts who owns a domain. Threat hunters used to be able to use this information to pivot on names, addresses, and phone numbers to find other domains registered to the same owner. For the most part, GDPR broke that.
With WHOIS becoming significantly less useful to build out threat investigations, threat analysts must rely more frequently on other internet data sets as part of their digital tool belt. RiskIQ has made it a core part of our business to collect and correlate as much relevant Internet data as possible to supercharge threat investigations—data that's become even more valuable to analysts since the advent of the GDPR.
February 10, 2021
We recently analyzed LogoKit, a simple, modularized, and adaptable phish kit running on thousands of domains. Easy to use and able to accommodate a wide range of attacker skill levels, LogoKit is a hot commodity on the black market.
LogoKit's popularity has given rise to enterprising threat actors who manufacture, package, and sell the kit to meet a strong and still growing demand among cybercriminals worldwide. However, these crimeware purveyors are more than just cybercriminals; they're also expert marketers who use social media sites, web forums, and messaging apps to build their brand, advertise their product, and streamline transactions.
After analyzing LogoKit itself last week, we took a closer look at the infrastructure and criminal enterprise behind it. The resulting investigation illuminated a massive phishing ecosystem and thriving crimeware economy driven by a high demand for simple, effective phishing tools. Below, we'll look at a major player in the sale of LogoKit.
February 02, 2021
Each year, businesses invest more in mobile as the lifestyle of the average consumer becomes more mobile-centric. Mobile growth exploded in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic advancing mobile adoption "by at least two to three years." According to App Annie, due to the pandemic, Americans are now spending more time on mobile than watching live TV, and social distancing has caused them to migrate more of their physical needs to mobile. App Annie also shows that mobile spending grew to a staggering $143 billion in 2020, year over year growth of 20%.
This ravenous demand for mobile creates a massive proliferation of mobile apps. Users downloaded 218 billion apps in 2020 and spent more than $240 billion in app stores worldwide. Meanwhile, RiskIQ noted a 33% overall growth in mobile apps available. For organizations, these apps drive business outcomes. However, they can be a dual-edged sword—the app landscape is a significant portion of an enterprise's overall attack surface that exists beyond the firewall, where their security teams often suffer from a critical lack of visibility.