July 20, 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 menace actor named UNC5537 collected and exfiltrated data from about 165 organizations’ Snowflake customer instances. Snowflake is a cloud knowledge platform used for storing and analyzing giant volumes of knowledge.

The menace actor managed to get entry to those knowledge by triggering credentials that have been beforehand stolen by infostealer malware or bought from different cybercriminals.

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

How have been some Snowflake customers focused for this knowledge theft and extortion?

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

As an alternative, proof exhibits the attackers obtained credentials from a number of infostealer malware campaigns that contaminated non-Snowflake owned methods. The menace actor then gained entry to the affected accounts, which allowed the exfiltration of a big quantity of buyer knowledge from the respective Snowflake buyer situations.

Attack path diagram.
Assault path diagram. Picture: Mandiant

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

Based on Mandiant and Snowflake, no less than 79.7% of the accounts leveraged by the menace actor had prior credential publicity.

Mandiant additionally reported the preliminary compromise of infostealer malware occurred on contractor methods that have 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 menace actor obtained credentials from quite a lot of infostealer malware, but UNC5537 also leveraged credentials that were previously purchased.

Whereas no further info is offered by Mandiant, it’s affordable to suppose these credentials have 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 free of charge 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 knowledge exfiltration strategies on this Snowflake assault?

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

FROSTBITE exists in no less than 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 device permits the attackers to carry out SQL actions corresponding to itemizing customers, present roles, present IP addresses, session IDs and organizations’ names.

A public device for managing databases, DBeaver Ultimate, has additionally been utilized by the menace actor to run queries on the Snowflake situations.

Utilizing SQL queries, the menace actor was in a position to exfiltrate info from databases. As soon as fascinating knowledge was discovered, it was compressed as GZIP utilizing the “COPY INTO” command to cut back the dimensions of the info to be exfiltrated.

The attacker primarily used Mullvad and Non-public Web Entry VPN providers to entry the victims’ Snowflake situations. A moldovan VPS supplier, ALEXHOST SRL, was additionally used for knowledge exfiltration. The menace actor saved sufferer knowledge 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 geared 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 situations didn’t have enable lists in place to solely enable connections from trusted places.

Ideas from Snowflake on learn how to shield your corporation from this cybersecurity menace

Snowflake printed info on detecting and preventing unauthorized user access.

The corporate offered an inventory of just about 300 suspicious IP addresses utilized by the menace actor and shared a question to determine entry from the suspect IP addresses. The corporate additionally offered 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 extremely really helpful by Snowflake:

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

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

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

It’s also suggested to boost consciousness on pc safety and prepare workers to detect and report suspicious cybersecurity occasions.

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