July 18, 2024
Snowflake Customers Focused for Knowledge Theft and Extortion

A brand new report from Mandiant, a part of Google Cloud, reveals {that a} financially motivated risk actor named UNC5537 collected and exfiltrated data from about 165 organizations’ Snowflake customer instances. Snowflake is a cloud information platform used for storing and analyzing giant volumes of knowledge.

The risk actor managed to get entry to those information by triggering credentials that had been beforehand stolen by infostealer malware or bought from different cybercriminals.

Based on Mandiant, the risk actor UNC5537 advertises sufferer information on the market on cybercrime boards and makes an attempt to extort most of the victims. When the information is bought, any cybercriminal would possibly purchase this data for various functions reminiscent of cyber espionage, aggressive intelligence or extra financially-oriented fraud.

How had been some Snowflake customers focused for this information theft and extortion?

A joint statement provided by Snowflake, Mandiant and cybersecurity company CrowdStrike signifies there isn’t a proof suggesting the fraudulent exercise can be attributable to a vulnerability, misconfiguration or breach of Snowflake’s platform. There may be additionally no proof the exercise would have been attributable to compromised credentials from present or previous Snowflake workers.

As an alternative, proof reveals the attackers obtained credentials from a number of infostealer malware campaigns that contaminated non-Snowflake owned programs. The risk actor then gained entry to the affected accounts, which allowed the exfiltration of a big quantity of buyer information from the respective Snowflake buyer cases.

Attack path diagram.
Assault path diagram. Picture: Mandiant

Mandiant researchers said the vast majority of the credentials utilized by UNC5537 had been accessible from historic infostealer malware; a few of these credentials date again to November 2020 however had been nonetheless usable. Completely different infostealer malware households had been answerable for the credentials theft  — essentially the most used ones being Vidar, Risepro, Redline, Racoon Stealer, Lumma and Metastealer.

Based on Mandiant and Snowflake, a minimum of 79.7% of the accounts leveraged by the risk actor had prior credential publicity.

Mandiant additionally reported the preliminary compromise of infostealer malware occurred on contractor programs that had been additionally used for private actions, together with gaming and downloads of pirated software program, which is a strong vector for spreading infostealers.

How did UNC5537 acquire the stolen credentials?

As reported, the risk actor obtained credentials from quite a lot of infostealer malware, but UNC5537 also leveraged credentials that were previously purchased.

Whereas no further data is supplied by Mandiant, it’s affordable to suppose these credentials had been purchased in a single or a number of cybercriminal underground marketplaces on to so-called Preliminary Entry Brokers, that are a class of cybercriminals who promote stolen company entry to different fraudsters.

As written by Mandiant in its report, “the underground infostealer economic system can be extraordinarily strong, and huge lists of stolen credentials exist each totally free and for buy inside and out of doors of the darkish internet.” Mandiant additionally reported that, in 2023, 10% of total intrusions started with stolen credentials, representing the fourth most notable preliminary intrusion vector.

What was the preliminary entry and information exfiltration strategies on this Snowflake assault?

On this assault marketing campaign, the preliminary entry to Snowflake buyer cases typically occurred by way of the native person interface accessible from the online (Snowflake SnowSight) or from the command-line interface instrument supplied by Snowflake (SnowSQL). An extra attacker-named instrument known as “rapeflake” and tracked below FROSTBITE by Mandiant has been used to carry out reconnaissance in opposition to Snowflake cases.

FROSTBITE exists in a minimum of two variations: one utilizing .NET to work together with the Snowflake .NET driver, and one model utilizing Java to work together with the Snowflake JDBC driver. The instrument permits the attackers to carry out SQL actions reminiscent of itemizing customers, present roles, present IP addresses, session IDs and organizations’ names.

A public instrument for managing databases, DBeaver Ultimate, has additionally been utilized by the risk actor to run queries on the Snowflake cases.

Utilizing SQL queries, the risk actor was in a position to exfiltrate data from databases. As soon as attention-grabbing information was discovered, it was compressed as GZIP utilizing the “COPY INTO” command to cut back the scale of the information to be exfiltrated.

The attacker primarily used Mullvad and Non-public Web Entry VPN providers to entry the victims’ Snowflake cases. A moldovan VPS supplier, ALEXHOST SRL, was additionally used for information exfiltration. The risk actor saved sufferer information on a number of worldwide VPS suppliers, in addition to on the cloud storage supplier MEGA.

What organizations are in danger?

The assault marketing campaign seems to be a focused marketing campaign aimed toward Snowflake customers with single-factor authentication. All customers with multifactor authentication are secure from this assault marketing campaign and weren’t focused.

As well as, the impacted Snowflake buyer cases didn’t have permit lists in place to solely permit connections from trusted places.

Suggestions from Snowflake on find out how to defend your online business from this cybersecurity risk

Snowflake printed data on detecting and preventing unauthorized user access.

The corporate supplied an inventory of just about 300 suspicious IP addresses utilized by the risk actor and shared a question to determine entry from the suspect IP addresses. The corporate additionally supplied a question to determine the utilization of the “rapeflake” and “DBeaver Final” instruments. Any person account returning outcomes from these queries should instantly be disabled.

Safety hardening is very really helpful by Snowflake:

  • Enforce MFA for customers.
  • Arrange account-level and user-level community insurance policies for extremely credentialed customers/providers accounts.
  • Evaluation account parameters to limit information exportation from Snowflake accounts.
  • Monitor Snowflake accounts for unauthorized privilege escalation or configuration modifications and examine any of these occasions.

Moreover, it’s strongly really helpful to have all software program and working programs updated and patched to keep away from being compromised by a typical vulnerability, which could result in credentials leak.

Safety options should be deployed on each endpoint to forestall infostealer an infection.

Additionally it is suggested to boost consciousness on laptop safety and practice employees to detect and report suspicious cybersecurity occasions.

Disclosure: I work for Pattern Micro, however the views expressed on this article are mine.