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Wednesday, 20 January 2021 09:26

FireEye releases update on attacks, offers Azure auditing script

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FireEye releases update on attacks, offers Azure auditing script Pixabay

Cyber security firm FireEye has released new guidance for those who have been compromised by the SolarWinds attackers to harden their environments and remediate areas where attacks are feared.

The company said in a blog post on Tuesday that it had observed the malware it reported last month as moving to the Microsoft 365 cloud using four main methods:

  • Stealing the Active Directory Federation Services token-signing certificate and using it to forge tokens for arbitrary users (sometimes described as Golden SAML).
  • Modifying or adding trusted domains in Azure AD to add a new federated Identity Provider that the attacker controlled.
  • Compromising the credentials of on-premises user accounts that are synchronised to Microsoft 365 that have high privileged directory roles, such as Global Administrator or Application Administrator.
  • Backdooring an existing Microsoft 365 application by adding a new application or service principal credential in order to use the legitimate permissions assigned to the application, such as the ability to read email, send email as an arbitrary user, access user calendars, etc.

FireEye disclosed on 9 December AEDT that it had been compromised and had its Red Team tools stolen. The campaign was later described as being widespread and tracked as UNC2452.

Five days later, FireEye published details about attacks using malware which it called SUNBURST; it said this malware had been used to hit both private and public entities, by corrupting the Orion network management software.

In a white paper, FireEye's Mandiant division went into greater detail about the remediation techniques.

The company also released an Azure auditing script that could be used to check Microsoft 365 tenants for indicators of some of the techniques used by UNC2452.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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