Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 09:54

Malwarebytes also hit by SolarWinds attackers, but through different vector

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Malwarebytes also hit by SolarWinds attackers, but through different vector Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Security vendor Malwarebytes was also hit by the same actor that was implicated in the attacks using SolarWinds Orion network management software, but says the attack vector was not the software.

In a blog post, Malwarebytes' Marcin Kleczynski confirmed the existence of another intrusion vector, but did not say what it was, only that it worked using privileged access through Microsoft Office 365 and Azure environments.

He said Malwarebytes had been told by the Microsoft Security Response Centre on 15 December about suspicious activity from a third-party application in its Microsoft Office 365 tenant.

"We immediately activated our incident response group and engaged Microsoft’s Detection and Response Team," Kleczynski wrote. "Together, we performed an extensive investigation of both our cloud and on-premises environments for any activity related to the API calls that triggered the initial alert.

"The investigation indicates the attackers leveraged a dormant email protection product within our Office 365 tenant that allowed access to a limited subset of internal company emails. We do not use Azure cloud services in our production environments."

He was asked on Twitter whether this email product was Mimecast but replied in the negative. "A dormant email protection application was leveraged, one that we were trialing. Blog edited to clarify," he said.

Mimecast said on 13 January that it had been informed by Microsoft that a certificate it issued for authentication of Mimecast Sync and Recover, Continuity Monitor, and IEP products to Microsoft 365 Exchange Web Services had been compromised.

Kleczynski said due to the supply chain nature of the SolarWinds attack, and exercising caution, "we immediately performed a thorough investigation of all Malwarebytes source code, build and delivery processes, including reverse engineering our own software".

"Our internal systems showed no evidence of unauthorised access or compromise in any on-premises and production environments. Our software remains safe to use."


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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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