Cisco discloses a security breach, the Yanluowang ransomware group breached its corporate network in late May and stole internal data.

Cisco disclosed a security breach, the Yanluowang ransomware group breached its corporate network in late May and stole internal data.

The investigation conducted by Cisco Security Incident Response (CSIRT) and Cisco Talos revealed that threat actors compromised a Cisco employee’s credentials after they gained control of a personal Google account where credentials saved in the victim’s browser were being synchronized. 

Once obtained the credentials, the attackers launched voice phishing attacks in an attempt to trick the victim into accepting the MFA push notification started by the attacker.

Upon achieving an MFA push acceptance, the attacker had access to the VPN in the context of the targeted user.

“Initial access to the Cisco VPN was achieved via the successful compromise of a Cisco employee’s personal Google account. The user had enabled password syncing via Google Chrome and had stored their Cisco credentials in their browser, enabling that information to synchronize to their Google account.” reads the analysis published by Cisco Talos. “After obtaining the user’s credentials, the attacker attempted to bypass multifactor authentication (MFA) using a variety of techniques, including voice phishing (aka “vishing”) and MFA fatigue, the process of sending a high volume of push requests to the target’s mobile device until the user accepts, either accidentally or simply to attempt to silence the repeated push notifications they are receiving.”

The attacker conducted a series of sophisticated voice phishing attacks under the guise of various trusted organizations attempting to convince the victim to accept multi-factor authentication (MFA) push notifications initiated by the attacker. The attacker ultimately succeeded in achieving an MFA push acceptance, granting them access to VPN in the context of the targeted user. 

According to Talos, once the attacker had obtained initial access, they enrolled a series of new devices for MFA and authenticated successfully to the Cisco VPN. Then the threat actors escalated to administrative privileges before logging into multiple systems. The attackers were able to drop multiple tools in the target network, including remote access tools like LogMeIn and TeamViewer, Cobalt Strike, PowerSploit, Mimikatz, and Impacket.

Talos researchers added that the attackers were not able to steal sensitive data from the IT giant.

“We confirmed that the only successful data exfiltration that occurred during the attack included the contents of a Box folder that was associated with a compromised employee’s account. The data obtained by the adversary in this case was not sensitive.” continues the analysis.

Cisco said that the Yanluowang gang did not deploy any ransomware on its network during the attack.

The Yanluowang ransomware group is attempting to extort the company and published a list of files stolen from the company threatening to leak all stolen data if Cisco will not pay the ransom.

Cisco said that the Yanluowang gang did not deploy any ransomware on its network during the attack.

“While we did not observe ransomware deployment in this attack, the TTPs used were consistent with “pre-ransomware activity,” activity commonly observed leading up to the deployment of ransomware in victim environments. Many of the TTPs observed are consistent with activity observed by CTIR during previous engagements.” Talos experts conclude. “Our analysis also suggests reuse of server-side infrastructure associated with these previous engagements as well. In previous engagements, we also did not observe deployment of ransomware in the victim environments.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Yanluowang ransomware)

The post Cisco was hacked by the Yanluowang ransomware gang appeared first on Security Affairs.

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