Cobalt strike apt

Many of you have likely heard of Domain Fronting. This is a great technique for red teamers to hide their traffic. Amazon CloudFront was a popular service for making Domain Fronting happen. Is all lost with CloudFront and Cobalt Strike? In my opinion, no! CloudFront can still be extremely useful for multiple reasons:. In this post, I will walk you through the steps that I typically use for getting CloudFront up and going with Cobalt Strike.

The general steps are as follows:. Grab the latest Cobalt Strike. Unzip the. Note that you will need to enter your license key at this point.

This is all the setup that we need to do for now on CS. We will do some more configuration as we go. CloudFront requires that you have a valid domain with an HTTPS cert that is pointed at a server that is running something like Apache so that it can verify that the certificate is valid. The domain does not need to be categorized, which makes things easy. One of the reasons that I like namesilo. After you register the domain, use namesilo.

cobalt strike apt

I typically delete the default records that it creates. Wait until the DNS records propagate before moving onto the next step. In my experience, this will typically take about minutes. Run your favorite DNS lookup tool on the domain that you registered and wait until the IP address returned matches the IP address of your server.

In this case, we run the following until we see In the old days, you had to pay money for valid certificates that were signed by a respected Certificate Authority. Nowadays, we can generate them quickly and freely by using LetsEncrypt.This is an ideal use case for Cobalt Strike.

You will need to set up infrastructure to use for your engagement. I recommend that you host each piece of attack infrastructure on a VPS.

Make sure you factor the cost for multiple VPSs into your assessment budget. Attack infrastructure, for the purpose of this blog post, comes in two flavors: team servers and redirectors. A team server is the server component of Cobalt Strike. Multiple people may connect to a team server at one time. You will want to follow the Cobalt Strike system requirements when you spec out a team server. I like to set it up with a bit flavor of Ubuntu This script is distributed with the Cobalt Strike Linux package.

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Run quick-msf-setup, choose your install preference, and everything else is taken care of for you. Redirectors give you IP diversity.

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You may configure listeners for Meterpreter and Beacon that call home through different redirectors. Beacon will phone home through multiple redirector addresses if you tell it to.

I get away with low powered servers for my redirectors. An EC2 micro instance is fine here. I also recommend that you obtain several domain names to use for your engagement.

cobalt strike apt

You will want to assign A records that point to each of your redirectors and team servers. If you choose to use the DNS Beacon, you will want to make its team server authoritative for multiple domains. This could work, but Cobalt Strike lets you take it one step further. The Cobalt Strike client connects to multiple team servers at one time. Each server may have its own listeners supported by its own set of redirectors.Cobalt Strike is a paid penetration testing product that allows an attacker to deploy an agent named 'Beacon' on the victim machine.

Beacon includes a wealth of functionality to the attacker, including, but not limited to command execution, key logging, file transfer, SOCKS proxying, privilege escalation, mimikatz, port scanning and lateral movement. Cobalt Strike comes with a toolkit for developing shellcode loaders, called Artifact Kit.

The Beacon implant has become popular amongst targeted attackers and criminal users as it is well written, stable, and highly customizable. If your designated proposal does not fit in any other category, feel free to write a free-text in the comment field below. Please propose all changes regarding references on the Malpedia library page. Your suggestion will be reviewed before being published. Thank you for contributing! Please enable JavaScript to use all features of this site.

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Please select an option Add new actor Remove existing actor. New Actor for win. Periscope, TEMP.The assets of well-off companies and governments have always attracted attackers. That's why potential targets commit considerable resources to securing their information.

But attackers rarely give up on a target even if their first attempts are unsuccessful.

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According to FireEye statistics64 percent of companies attacked in were attacked again in the following 19 months. A cyberattack against a company with well-organized protection system is time-consuming, expensive, and requires special knowledge and tools.

Multistage, well-planned, and organized attacks targeting a specific industry or company are called advanced persistent threats APTs. To conduct such attacks, hackers form criminal groups, known as APT groups. It's extremely difficult to detect an APT attack when it is underway. After obtaining a foothold in a company's infrastructure, criminals can stay there unnoticed for years. For example, the cybersecurity team at German pharmaceutical giant Bayer observed malware activity for over a year.

However, profit-driven cybercriminals prefer to act quickly.

cobalt strike apt

In other words, criminals' behavior, techniques, and tools depend on their target. In this research, we will try to assess the cost of tools used for APT attacks and how easily these tools can be obtained.

We will also analyze how attackers choose their tools based on their target. We hope that our study will assist security decision-makers to better protect their systems from industry-specific attacks. It is impossible to make an exact estimate of how much an APT attack costs. One reason is the difficulty of putting a value on the unique software used by criminal groups.

All amounts stated in this report are approximate; actual APT expenses may be significantly higher. We have analyzed the tools used by 29 APT groups conducting attacks worldwide with activity during the last two years and threatening key sectors such as government, finance, and industrial companies. Data is based on our incident response expertise and retrospective analysis of security events on corporate infrastructure, as well as on constant monitoring of active APT groups by PT ESC.

We have also drawn upon publicly available reports on APT groups from reputable security companies. We identified two main categories of APT groups based on attack motive.

The first category includes financially motivated groups, which attack banks and other organizations to steal money. Cyberespionage groups, by contrast, target valuable information and seek long-term control over infrastructure.

Cobalt Strike

Tools used to obtain initial access to a company's local network are different from those used during the later stages of the attack. However, the two types of groups tend to use similar tools when gaining a foothold in the system and performing lateral movement.

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Therefore, we have split APT tools into two categories:. We analyzed postings on darkweb sites and venues about purchase or sale of APT tools, as well as custom malware development.

We focused on forums, specialized marketplaces, and chats. On average, over 70 million people visit them each month.

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Expenses at the initial compromise stage depend on how exactly attackers deliver malware to the company's infrastructure. The method depends on the attackers' motives and the victim's level of protection. Spear phishing is the main tool of financially motivated attackers. To conduct a phishing attack, a hacker prepares a document containing malware and a loader dropper. Documents containing malicious code can be created using special programs known as exploit builders. These programs generate a file with malicious code, which runs when the file is opened.

Hack at all cost: putting a price on APT attacks

This code downloads and runs the loader a small program responsible for downloading the main malware module.The administrator of your personal data will be Threatpost, Inc. Detailed information on the processing of personal data can be found in the privacy policy.

In addition, you will find them in the message confirming the subscription to the newsletter. A phishing campaign bent on espionage, believed to be launched by the nation-state threat group known as APT29, is targeting high-value targets across the think-tank, law enforcement, media, U. According to researchers at FireEye, the phishing emails purport to be from the U. Department of State with links to zip files containing malicious Windows shortcuts. If a target clicks on a link in the phishing email, this will lead to a ZIP archive with a weaponized Windows shortcut file, hosted on a compromised legitimate domain.

The shortcut file was crafted to execute a PowerShell command that downloads both a benign decoy document and the Cobalt Strike Beacon payload. For its part, Cobalt Strike is a commercially available exploitation framework.

Beacon is a backdoor module that executes PowerShell scripts, logs keystrokes, takes screenshots, downloads files and spawns other payloads. APT29, a. Its last known widespread phishing campaign was post-election, in Novemberwhen was implicated in attacks against the White House, State Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Its history stretches back a few years; it was also seen by Kaspersky Lab carrying out data-mining attacks against the White House and the Department of State in While it was seen in November last year executing a Tor backdoorit has been largely quiet on the spear phishing front since — so its re-emergence two years later is notable. The researchers believe that APT29 is behind the offensive because several of its unique aspects directly link to that previous phishing expedition.

These include elements of the phishing email and network infrastructure, the metadata from the weaponized shortcut file payload, and the specific victim individuals and organizations targeted previous APT29 activity targeted some of the same recipients of the new email campaignresearchers noted. This included a seemingly deliberate reuse of old phishing tactics, techniques and procedures TTPsincluding using the same system to weaponize a Windows shortcut LNK file.

Notable differences from the earlier campaign include the use of Cobalt Strike, rather than custom malware, for instance. Also, during the phishing campaign, there were indications that the site hosting the malware was selectively serving payloads.

However, the re-emergence of APT29 in such a widespread campaign FireEye said that it spanned more than 20 organizations worldwide does show that such sophisticated actors remain active and engaged. More zero-day exploits coming up for sale by NSO Group and others is democratizing the attack vector and placing them within reach of less sophisticated attackers. The FBI is cracking down on the practice of Zoom bombing, saying the hijacking of web conferences can be punishable by jail time.

A new RAT is targeting the Azerbaijan energy sector with data-stealing tools. Infosec Insider content is written by a trusted community of Threatpost cybersecurity subject matter experts. Each contribution has a goal of bringing a unique voice to important cybersecurity topics.In addition to its own capabilities, Cobalt Strike leverages the capabilities of other well-known tools such as Metasploit and Mimikatz.

Cobalt Strike can steal access tokens from exiting processes and make tokens from known credentials. Cobalt Strike uses a command-line interface to interact with systems. Cobalt Strike uses a custom command and control protocol that communicates over commonly used ports. The C2 protocol is encapsulated in common application layer protocols. Cobalt Strike can deliver "beacon" payloads for lateral movement by leveraging remote COM execution.

Cobalt Strike can be configured to have commands relayed over a peer-to-peer network of infected hosts. This can be used to limit the number of egress points, or provide access to a host without direct internet access. Cobalt Strike can recover hashed passwords. Cobalt Strike allows adversaries to modify the way the "beacon" payload communicates.

Cobalt Strike can collect data from a local system. Cobalt Strike 's "beacon" payload is capable of running shell commands without cmd.

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Cobalt Strike can exploit vulnerabilities such as MS Cobalt Strike includes a capability to modify the "beacon" payload to eliminate known signatures or unpacking methods. Cobalt Strike can track key presses with a keylogger module. Cobalt Strike can perform browser pivoting and inject into a user's browser to inherit cookies, authenticated HTTP sessions, and client SSL certificates.

cobalt strike apt

Cobalt Strike 's "beacon" payload can receive C2 from one protocol and respond on another. Cobalt Strike can perform port scans from an infected host.

Cobalt Strike can query shared drives on the local system. Cobalt Strike can install a new service. Cobalt Strike can perform pass the hash.

Cobalt Strike can execute a payload on a remote host with PowerShell. This technique does not write any data to disk. Cobalt Strike 's "beacon" payload can collect information on process details. Cobalt Strike can use process hollowing for execution. Cobalt Strike can inject a variety of payloads into processes dynamically chosen by the adversary. Cobalt Strike can start a VNC-based remote desktop server and tunnel the connection through the already established C2 channel.

Cobalt Strike can SSH to a remote service. Cobalt Strike can set its "beacon" payload to reach out to the C2 server on an arbitrary and random interval.A few days ago, I ran a Trickbot sample in the lab and was quite surprised what occurred. The attackers ran Cobalt Strike across multiple machines within 30 minutes and confirmed hands on activity within 60 minutes.

They did additional recon and testing before deploying Ryuk. The attackers were able to go from Trickbot on one machine, to installing Ryuk on multiple machines, in just over two hours. The actors initiated Cobalt Strike within 30 minutes of the Trickbot execution. Next, came a Bloodhound scan to find attack paths in the environment. The attacker then moved laterally via Cobalt Strike to a Domain Controller and then started running recon scripts such as PowerView.

Run on Workstation1. Trickbot gtag ono This rule is not available for the free ET ruleset. File was copied over SMB and run as a service. This next sequence appears to be the actors testing to see if Ryuk would run successfully. The grub. The full script can be downloaded here. They used the IP address of the DC and not The attacker maps all machines to the DC as file shares. Ryuk will look at the arp table and then initiate a WoL packet to each system. Here is a listing of the binaries that seemed to do Ryuks bidding.

Ryuk was initiated by the highlighted binary. By this time all systems are encrypted with Ryuk. This is what the DC looks like after the drives were mapped and Ryuk run.

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