Adversaries don’t work 9-5 and neither do we. At eSentire, our 24/7 SOCs are staffed with Elite Threat Hunters and Cyber Analysts who hunt, investigate, contain and respond to threats within minutes.
We have discovered some of the most dangerous threats and nation state attacks in our space – including the Kaseya MSP breach and the more_eggs malware.
Our Security Operations Centers are supported with Threat Intelligence, Tactical Threat Response and Advanced Threat Analytics driven by our Threat Response Unit – the TRU team.
In TRU Positives, eSentire’s Threat Response Unit (TRU) provides a summary of a recent threat investigation. We outline how we responded to the confirmed threat and what recommendations we have going forward.
Here’s the latest from our TRU Team…
What did we find?
- Recent email campaign delivering Qakbot malware to multiple customers
- Originally a banking trojan, Qakbot is now observed as a precursor to ransomware threats such as Egregor and Prolock
- Command and Control beacon identified performing reconnaissance and discovery activity within two hours of user opening malicious email
How did we find it?
- eSentire MDR for Network detected command and control beacon activity
- Our 24/7 SOC performed a multi-signal investigation and traced this through eSentire MDR for Endpoint to find the initial infection vector - a malicious email attachment
What did we do?
- We detected a command-and-control channel performing beaconing activity
- Our 24/7 SOC Analysts identified this as Cobalt Strike’s Beacon
- Beacon is a malware payload which allows an attacker greater control over a compromised machine
- Our SOC Cyber Analysts traced this infection back to an email containing a malicious attachment. This malicious attachment is attributed back to a recent Qakbot malware campaign. We alerted the customer about the Cobalt Strike activity.
- The host was isolated from the rest of the network and connections to command and control (C2) hosts were disrupted
- Our Threat Response Unit (TRU) performed threat hunts based on the information discovered in this incident and updated eSentire’s detection content to identify the threat going forward
- Qakbot and Cobalt Strike C2 network addresses were also to our eSentire Atlas XDR Platform to drive automated disruptions and blocks that protect our global customer base
What can you learn from this TRU positive?
- Opportunistic malware such as Qakbot is evolving to meet the growing demand for new ransomware victims
- A single foothold in your network can become a major incident if not rapidly identified and contained
- eSentire’s Threat Response Unit (TRU) has observed commodity malware automatically profiling victims using Living-off-the-Land techniques to make target selection easier for ransomware operators.
- Preventing email-borne malware requires a layered defense:
- Employ email filtering and protection measures:
- Implement anti-spoofing measures such as DMARC and SPF
- Employ a Multi-Factor Authentication solution to reduce the impact of compromised credentials
- Train users to identify and report suspicious emails
- Protect endpoints against malware
- Ensure antivirus signatures are up to date
- Use a Next-Gen AV (NGAV) or Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) product to detect and contain threats
- Limit or disable macros across the organization. See UK's National Cyber Centre guidance on Macro Security
- Ask yourself…
- What level of visibility do you have across your network, endpoint and overall environment to detect malicious behavior at scale?
- How are you defended from living-off-the-land techniques?
- How are you correlating data across multiple signals?
If you’re not currently engaged with a Managed Detection and Response provider, we highly recommend you partner with us for security services in order to disrupt threats before they impact your business.
Want to learn more? Connect with an eSentire Security Specialist.