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Countering the Cartel: Darktrace’s Investigation into CyberCartel Attacks Targeting Latin America

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08
Jan 2024
08
Jan 2024
This blog explores Darktrace’s investigation into a series of CyberCartel compromises that were detected across its customer base throughout 2023. CyberCartel is known to target government agencies and taxpaying individuals throughout Latin America.

Einführung

In September 2023, Darktrace published its first Half-Year Threat Report, highlighting Threat Research, Security Operation Center (SOC), model breach, and Cyber AI Analyst analysis and trends across the Darktrace customer fleet. According to Darktrace’s Threat Report, the most observed threat type to affect Darktrace customers during the first half of 2023 was Malware-as-a-Service (Maas). The report highlighted a growing trend where malware strains, specifically in the MaaS ecosystem, “use cross-functional components from other strains as part of their evolution and customization” [1].  

Darktrace’s Threat Research team assessed this ‘Frankenstein’ approach would very likely increase, as shown by the fact that indicators of compromise (IoCs) are becoming “less and less mutually exclusive between malware strains as compromised infrastructure is used by multiple threat actors through access brokers or the “as-a-Service” market” [1].

Darktrace investigated one such threat during the last months of summer 2023, eventually leading to the discovery of CyberCartel-related activity across a significant number of Darktrace customers, especially in Latin America.

CyberCartel Overview and Darktrace Coverage

During a threat hunt, Darktrace’s Threat Research team discovered the download of a binary with a unique Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) pattern. When examining Darktrace’s customer base, it was discovered that binaries with this same URI pattern had been downloaded by a significant number of customer accounts, especially by customers based in Latin America. Although not identical, the targets and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) resembled those mentioned in an article regarding a botnet called Fenix [2], particularly active in Latin America.

During the Threat Research team’s investigation, nearly 40 potentially affected customer accounts were identified. Darktrace’s global Threat Research team investigates pervasive threats across Darktrace’s customer base daily. This cross-fleet research is based on Darktrace’s anomaly-based detection capability, Darktrace DETECT™, and revolves around technical analysis and contextualization of detection information.

Amid the investigation, further open-source intelligence (OSINT) research revealed that most indicators observed during Darktrace’s investigations were associated to a Latin American threat group named CyberCartel, with a small number of IoCs being associated with the Fenix botnet. While CyberCartel seems to have been active since 2012 and relies on MaaS offerings from well-known malware families, Fenix botnet was allegedly created at the end of last year and “specifically targets users accessing government services, particularly tax-paying individuals in Mexico and Chile” [2].

Both groups share similar targets and TTPs, as well as objectives: installing malware with information-stealing capabilities. In the case of Fenix infections, the compromised device will be added to a botnet and execute tasks given by the attacker(s); while in the case of CyberCartel, it can lead to various types of second-stage info-stealing and Man-in-the-Browser capabilities, including retrieving system information from the compromised device, capturing screenshots of the active browsing tab, and redirecting the user to fraudulent websites such as fake banking sites. According to a report by Metabase Q [2], both groups possibly share command and control (C2) infrastructure, making accurate attribution and assessment of the confidence level for which group was affecting the customer base extremely difficult. Indeed, one of the C2 IPs (104.156.149[.]33) observed on nearly 20 customer accounts during the investigation had OSINT evidence linking it to both CyberCartel and Fenix, as well as another group known to target Mexico called Manipulated Caiman [3] [4] [5].

CyberCartel and Fenix both appear to target banking and governmental services’ users based in Latin America, especially individuals from Mexico and Chile. Target institutions purportedly include tax administration services and several banks operating in the region. Malvertising and phishing campaigns direct users to pages imitating the target institutions’ webpages and prompt the download of a compressed file advertised in a pop-up window. This file claims enhance the user’s security and privacy while navigating the webpage but instead redirects the user to a compromised website hosting a zip file, which itself contains a URL file containing instructions for retrieval of the first stage payload from a remote server.

pop-up window with malicious file
Figure 1: Example of a pop-up window asking the user to download a compressed file allegedly needed to continue navigating the portal. Connections to the domain srlxlpdfmxntetflx[.]com were observed in one account investigated by Darktrace

During their investigations, the Threat Research team observed connections to 100% rare domains (e.g., situacionfiscal[.]online, consultar-rfc[.]online, facturmx[.]info), many of them containing strings such as “mx”, “rcf” and “factur” in their domain names, prior to the downloads of files with the unique URI pattern identified during the aforementioned threat hunting session.

The reference to “rfc” is likely a reference to the Registro Federal de Contribuyentes, a unique registration number issued by Mexico’s tax collection agency, Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). These domains were observed as being 100% rare for the environment and were connected to a few minutes prior to connections to CyberCartel endpoints. Most of the endpoints were newly registered, with creation dates starting from only a few months earlier in the first half of 2023. Interestingly, some of these domains were very similar to legitimate government websites, likely a tactic employed by threat actors to convince users to trust the domains and to bypass security measures.

Figure 2: Screenshot from similarweb[.]com showing the degree of affinity between malicious domains situacionfiscal[.]online and facturmx[.]info and the legitimate Mexican government hostname sat[.]gob[.]mx
Figure 3: Screenshot of the likely source infection website facturmx[.]info taken when visited in a sandbox environment

In other customer networks, connections to mail clients were observed, as well as connections to win-rar[.]com, suggesting an interaction with a compressed file. Connections to legitimate government websites were also detected around the same time in some accounts. Shortly after, the infected devices were detected connecting to 100% rare IP addresses over the HTTP protocol using WebDAV user agents such as Microsoft-WebDAV-MiniRedir/10.0.X and DavCInt. Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning, in its full form, is a legitimate extension to the HTTP protocol that allows users to remotely share, copy, move and edit files hosted on a web server. Both CyberCartel and Fenix botnet reportedly abuse this protocol to retrieve the initial payload via a shortcut link. The use (or abuse) of this protocol allows attackers to evade blocklists and streamline payload distribution. In cases investigated by Darktrace, the use of this protocol was not always considered unusual for the breach device, indicating it also was commonly used for its legitimate purposes.

HTTP methods observed included PROPFIND, GET, and OPTIONS, where a higher proportion of PROPFIND requests were observed. PROPFIND is an HTTP method related to the use of WebDAV that retrieves properties in an exactly defined, machine-readable, XML document (GET responses do not have a define format). Properties are pieces of data that describe the state of a resource, i.e., data about data [7]. They are used in distributed authoring environments to provide for efficient discovery and management of resources.  

Figure 4: Device event log showing a connection to facturmx[.]info followed by a WebDAV connection to the 100% rare IP 172.86.68[.]104

In a number of cases, connections to compromised endpoints were followed by the download of one or more executable files with names following the regex pattern /(yes|4496|[A-Za-z]{8})/(((4496|4545)[A-Za-z]{24})|Herramienta_de_Seguridad_SII).(exe|jse), for example 4496UCJlcqwxvkpXKguWNqNWDivM.exe. PROPFIND and GET HTTP requests for dynamic-link library (DLL) files such as urlmon.dll and netutils.dll were also detected. These are legitimate Windows files that are essential to handle network and internet-related tasks in Windows. Irrespective of whether they had malicious or legitimate signatures, Darktrace DETECT was able to recognize that the download of these files was suspicious with rare external endpoints not previously observed on the respective customer networks.

Figure 5: Advanced Search results showing some of the HTTP requests made by the breach device to a CyberCartel endpoint via PROPFIND, GET, or OPTIONS methods for executable and DLL files

Following Darktrace DETECT’s model breaches, these HTTP connections were investigated by Cyber AI Analyst™. AI Analyst provided a summary and further technical details of these connections, as shown in figure 6.

Figure 6: Cyber AI Analyst incident showing a summary of the event, as well as technical details. The AI investigation process is also detailed

AI Analyst searched for all HTTP connections made by the breach device and found more than 2,500 requests to more than a hundred endpoints for one given device. It then looked for the user agents responsible for these connections and found 15 possible software agents responsible for the HTTP requests, and from these identified a single suspicious software agent, Microsoft-WebDAV-Min-Redir. As mentioned previously, this is a legitimate software, but its use by the breach device was considered unusual by Darktrace’s machine learning technology. By performing analysis on thousands of connections to hundreds of endpoints at machine speed, AI Analyst is able to perform the heavy lifting on behalf of human security teams and then collate its findings in a single summary pane, giving end-users the information needed to assess a given activity and quickly start remediation as needed. This allows security teams and administrators to save precious time and provides unparalleled visibility over any potentially malicious activity on their network.

Following the successful identification of CyberCartel activity by DETECT, Darktrace RESPOND™ is then able to contain suspicious behavior, such as by restricting outgoing traffic or enforcing normal patterns of life on affected devices. This would allow customer security teams extra time to analyze potentially malicious behavior, while leaving the rest of the network free to perform business critical operations. Unfortunately, in the cases of CyberCartel compromises detected by Darktrace, RESPOND was not enabled in autonomous response mode meaning preventative actions had to be applied manually by the customer’s security team after the fact.

Figure 7. Device event log showing connections to 100% rare CyberCartel endpoint 172.86.68[.]194 and subsequent suggested RESPOND actions.

Schlussfolgerung

Threat actors targeting high-value entities such as government offices and banks is unfortunately all too commonplace.  In the case of Cyber Cartel, governmental organizations and entities, as well as multiple newspapers in the Latin America, have cautioned users against these malicious campaigns, which have occurred over the past few years [8] [9]. However, attackers continuously update their toolsets and infrastructure, quickly rendering these warnings and known-bad security precautions obsolete. In the case of CyberCartel, the abuse of the legitimate WebDAV protocol to retrieve the initial payload is just one example of this. This method of distribution has also been leveraged by in Bumblebee malware loader’s latest campaign [10]. The abuse of the legitimate WebDAV protocol to retrieve the initial CyberCartel payload outlined in this case is one example among many of threat actors adopting new distribution methods used by others to further their ends.

As threat actors continue to search for new ways of remaining undetected, notably by incorporating legitimate processes into their attack flow and utilizing non-exclusive compromised infrastructure, it is more important than ever to have an understanding of normal network operation in order to detect anomalies that are indicative of an ongoing compromise. Darktrace’s suite of products, including DETECT+RESPOND, is well placed to do just that, with machine-speed analysis, detection, and response helping security teams and administrators keep their digital environments safe from malicious actors.

Credit to: Nahisha Nobregas, SOC Analyst

References

[1] https://darktrace.com/blog/darktrace-half-year-threat-report

[2] https://www.metabaseq.com/fenix-botnet/

[3] https://perception-point.io/blog/manipulated-caiman-the-sophisticated-snare-of-mexicos-banking-predators-technical-edition/

[4] https://www.virustotal.com/gui/ip-address/104.156.149.33/community

[5] https://silent4business.com/tendencias/1

[6] https://www.metabaseq.com/cybercartel/

[7] http://www.webdav.org/specs/rfc2518.html#rfc.section.4.1

[8] https://www.csirt.gob.cl/alertas/8ffr23-01415-01/

[9] https://www.gob.mx/sat/acciones-y-programas/sitios-web-falsos

[10] https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/bumblebee-malware-returns-in-new-attacks-abusing-webdav-folders/

Appendices  

Darktrace DETECT Model Detections

AI Analyst Incidents:

• Possible HTTP Command and Control

• Suspicious File Download

Model Detections:

• Anomalous Connection / New User Agent to IP Without Hostname

• Device / New User Agent and New IP

• Anomalous File / EXE from Rare External Location

• Multiple EXE from Rare External Locations

• Anomalous File / Script from Rare External Location

List of IoCs

IoC - Type - Description + Confidence

f84bb51de50f19ec803b484311053294fbb3b523 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel Payload IoCs

4eb564b84aac7a5a898af59ee27b1cb00c99a53d - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

8806639a781d0f63549711d3af0f937ffc87585c - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

9d58441d9d31b5c4011b99482afa210b030ecac4 - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

37da048533548c0ad87881e120b8cf2a77528413 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

2415fcefaf86a83f1174fa50444be7ea830bb4d1 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

15a94c7e9b356d0ff3bcee0f0ad885b6cf9c1bb7 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

cdc5da48fca92329927d9dccf3ed513dd28956af - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

693b869bc9ba78d4f8d415eb7016c566ead839f3 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

04ce764723eaa75e4ee36b3d5cba77a105383dc5 - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

435834167fd5092905ee084038eee54797f4d23e - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

3341b4f46c2f45b87f95168893a7485e35f825fe - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

f6375a1f954f317e16f24c94507d4b04200c63b9 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

252efff7f54bd19a5c96bbce0bfaeeecadb3752f - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

8080c94e5add2f6ed20e9866a00f67996f0a61ae - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

c5117cedc275c9d403a533617117be7200a2ed77 - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

19dd866abdaf8bc3c518d1c1166fbf279787fc03 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

548287c0350d6e3d0e5144e20d0f0ce28661f514 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

f0478e88c8eefc3fd0a8e01eaeb2704a580f88e6 - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

a9809acef61ca173331e41b28d6abddb64c5f192 - SHA1 hash - Likely CyberCartel payload

be96ec94f8f143127962d7bf4131c228474cd6ac - SHA1 hash -Likely CyberCartel payload

44ef336395c41bf0cecae8b43be59170bed6759d - SHA1 hash - Possible CyberCartel payload

facturmx[.]info - Hostname - Likely CyberCartel infection source

consultar-rfc[.]online - Hostname - Possible CyberCartel infection source

srlxlpdfmxntetflx[.]com - Hostname - Likely CyberCartel infection source

facturmx[.]online - Hostname - Possible CyberCartel infection source

rfcconhomoclave[.]mx - Hostname - Possible CyberCartel infection source

situacionfiscal[.]online - Hostname - Likely CyberCartel infection source

descargafactura[.]club - Hostname - Likely CyberCartel infection source

104.156.149[.]33 - IP - Likely CyberCartel C2 endpoint

172.86.68[.]194 - IP - Likely CyberCartel C2 endpoint

139.162.73[.]58 - IP - Likely CyberCartel C2 endpoint

172.105.24[.]190 - IP - Possible CyberCartel C2 endpoint

MITRE ATT&CK Mapping

Tactic - Technique

Command and Control - Ingress Tool Transfer (T1105)

Command and Control - Web Protocols (T1071.001)

EINBLICKE IN DAS SOC-Team
Darktrace Cyber-Analysten sind erstklassige Experten für Threat Intelligence, Threat Hunting und Incident Response. Sie bieten Tausenden von Darktrace Kunden auf der ganzen Welt rund um die Uhr SOC-Support. Einblicke in das SOC-Team wird ausschließlich von diesen Experten verfasst und bietet Analysen von Cyber-Vorfällen und Bedrohungstrends, die auf praktischen Erfahrungen in diesem Bereich basieren.
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Looking Beyond Secure Email Gateways with the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/Email

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09
Apr 2024

Organizations Should Demand More from their Email Security

In response to a more intricate threat landscape, organizations should view email security as a critical component of their defense-in-depth strategy, rather than defending the inbox alone with a traditional Secure Email Gateway (SEG). Organizations need more than a traditional gateway – that doubles, instead of replaces, the capabilities provided by native security vendor – and require an equally granular degree of analysis across all messaging, including inbound, outbound, and lateral mail, plus Teams messages.  

Darktrace/Email is the industry’s most advanced cloud email security, powered by Self-Learning AI. It combines AI techniques to exceed the accuracy and efficiency of leading security solutions, and is the only security built to elevate, not duplicate, native email security.  

With its largest update ever, Darktrace/Email introduces the following innovations, finally allowing security teams to look beyond secure email gateways with autonomous AI:

  • AI-augmented data loss prevention to stop the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats
  • an easy way to deploy DMARC quickly with AI
  • major enhancements to streamline SOC workflows and increase the detection of sophisticated phishing links
  • expansion of Darktrace’s leading AI prevention to lateral mail, account compromise and Microsoft Teams

What’s New with Darktrace/Email  

Data Loss Prevention  

Block the entire spectrum of outbound mail threats with advanced data loss prevention that builds on tags in native email to stop unknown, accidental, and malicious data loss

Darktrace understands normal at individual user, group and organization level with a proven AI that detects abnormal user behavior and dynamic content changes. Using this understanding, Darktrace/Email actions outbound emails to stop unknown, accidental and malicious data loss.  

Traditional DLP solutions only take into account classified data, which relies on the manual input of labelling each data piece, or creating rules to catch pattern matches that try to stop data of certain types leaving the organization. But in today’s world of constantly changing data, regular expression and fingerprinting detection are no longer enough.

  • Human error – Because it understands normal for every user, Darktrace/Email can recognize cases of misdirected emails. Even if the data is correctly labelled or insensitive, Darktrace recognizes when the context in which it is being sent could be a case of data loss and warns the user.  
  • Unclassified data – Whereas traditional DLP solutions can only take action on classified data, Darktrace analyzes the range of data that is either pending labels or can’t be labeled with typical capabilities due to its understanding of the content and context of every email.  
  • Insider threat – If a malicious actor has compromised an account, data exfiltration may still be attempted on encrypted, intellectual property, or other forms of unlabelled data to avoid detection. Darktrace analyses user behaviour to catch cases of unusual data exfiltration from individual accounts.

And classification efforts already in place aren’t wasted – Darktrace/Email extends Microsoft Purview policies and sensitivity labels to avoid duplicate workflows for the security team, combining the best of both approaches to ensure organizations maintain control and visibility over their data.

End User and Security Workflows

Achieve more than 60% improvement in the quality of end-user phishing reports and detection of sophisticated malicious weblinks1

Darktrace/Email improves end-user reporting from the ground up to save security team resource. Employees will always be on the front line of email security – while other solutions assume that end-user reporting is automatically of poor quality, Darktrace prioritizes improving users’ security awareness to increase the quality of end-user reporting from day one.  

Users are empowered to assess and report suspicious activity with contextual banners and Cyber AI Analyst generated narratives for potentially suspicious emails, resulting in 60% fewer benign emails reported.  

Out of the higher-quality emails that end up being reported, the next step is to reduce the amount of emails that reach the SOC. Darktrace/Email’s Mailbox Security Assistant automates their triage with secondary analysis combining additional behavioral signals – using x20 more metrics than previously – with advanced link analysis to detect 70% more sophisticated malicious phishing links.2 This directly alleviates the burden of manual triage for security analysts.

For the emails that are received by the SOC, Darktrace/Email uses automation to reduce time spent investigating per incident. With live inbox view, security teams gain access to a centralized platform that combines intuitive search capabilities, Cyber AI Analyst reports, and mobile application access. Analysts can take remediation actions from within Darktrace/Email, eliminating console hopping and accelerating incident response.

Darktrace takes a user-focused and business-centric approach to email security, in contrast to the attack-centric rules and signatures approach of secure email gateways

Microsoft Teams

Detect threats within your Teams environment such as account compromise, phishing, malware and data loss

Around 83% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Office products and services, particularly Teams and SharePoint.3

Darktrace now leverages the same behavioral AI techniques for Microsoft customers across 365 and Teams, allowing organizations to detect threats and signals of account compromise within their Teams environment including social engineering, malware and data loss.  

The primary use case for Microsoft Teams protection is as a potential entry vector. While messaging has traditionally been internal only, as organizations open up it is becoming an entry vector which needs to be treated with the same level of caution as email. That’s why we’re bringing our proven AI approach to Microsoft Teams, that understands the user behind the message.  

Anomalous messaging behavior is also a highly relevant indicator of whether a user has been compromised. Unlike other solutions that analyze Microsoft Teams content which focus on payloads, Darktrace goes beyond basic link and sandbox analysis and looks at actual user behavior from both a content and context perspective. This linguistic understanding isn’t bound by the requirement to match a signature to a malicious payload, rather it looks at the context in which the message has been delivered. From this analysis, Darktrace can spot the early symptoms of account compromise such as early-stage social engineering before a payload is delivered.

Lateral Mail Analysis

Detect and respond to internal mailflow with multi-layered AI to prevent account takeover, lateral phishing and data leaks

The industry’s most robust account takeover protection now prevents lateral mail account compromise. Darktrace has always looked at internal mail to inform inbound and outbound decisions, but will now elevate suspicious lateral mail behaviour using the same AI techniques for inbound, outbound and Teams analysis.

Darktrace integrates signals from across the entire mailflow and communication patterns to determine symptoms of account compromise, now including lateral mailflow

Unlike other solutions which only analyze payloads, Darktrace analyzes a whole range of signals to catch lateral movement before a payload is delivered. Contributing yet another layer to the AI behavioral profile for each user, security teams can now use signals from lateral mail to spot the early symptoms of account takeover and take autonomous actions to prevent further compromise.

DMARC

Gain in-depth visibility and control of 3rd parties using your domain with an industry-first AI-assisted DMARC

Darktrace has created the easiest path to brand protection and compliance with the new Darktrace/DMARC. This new capability continuously stops spoofing and phishing from the enterprise domain, while automatically enhancing email security and reducing the attack surface.

Darktrace/DMARC helps to upskill businesses by providing step by step guidance and automated record suggestions provide a clear, efficient road to enforcement. It allows organizations to quickly achieve compliance with requirements from Google, Yahoo, and others, to ensure that their emails are reaching mailboxes.  

Meanwhile, Darktrace/DMARC helps to reduce the overall attack surface by providing visibility over shadow-IT and third-party vendors sending on behalf of an organization’s brand, while informing recipients when emails from their domains are sent from un-authenticated DMARC source.

Darktrace/DMARC integrates with the wider Darktrace product platform, sharing insights to help further secure your business across Email Attack Path and Attack Surface management.

Schlussfolgerung

To learn more about the new innovations to Darktrace/Email download the solution brief here.

All of the new updates to Darktrace/Email sit within the new Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform, creating a feedback loop between email security and the rest of the digital estate for better protection. Click to read more about the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform or to hear about the latest innovations to Darktrace/OT, the most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for critical infrastructures.  

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.

References

[1] Internal Darktrace Research

[2] Internal Darktrace Research

[3] Essential Microsoft Office Statistics in 2024

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Carlos Gray
Product Manager

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Managing Risk Beyond CVE Scores With the Latest Innovations to Darktrace/OT

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09
Apr 2024

Identifying Cyber Risk in Industrial Organizations

Compromised OT devices in ICS and SCADA environments pose significant physical risks, even endangering lives. However, identifying CVEs in the multitude of complex OT devices is labor-intensive and time-consuming, draining valuable resources.

Even after identifying a vulnerability, implementing a patch presents its own challenges limited maintenance windows and the need for uninterrupted operations strain IT and OT teams often leading organizations to prioritize availability over security leading vulnerabilities remaining unresolved for over 5 years on average. (1)

Darktrace’s New Innovation

Darktrace is an industry leader in cybersecurity with 10+ years of experience securing OT environments where we take a fundamentally different approach using Self-Learning AI to enhance threat detection and response.

Continuing to combat the expanding threat landscape, Darktrace is excited to announce new capabilities that enable a contextualized and proactive approach to managing cyber risk at industrial organizations.

Today we launch an innovation to our OT Cybersecurity solution, Darktrace/OT, that will add a layer of proactivity, enabling a comprehensive approach to risk management. This industry leading innovation for Darktrace/OT moves beyond CVE scores to redefine vulnerability management for critical infrastructure, tackling the full breadth of risks not limited by traditional controls.  

Darktrace/OT is the only OT security solution with comprehensive Risk Management which includes:

  • Contextualized risk analysis unique to your organization
  • The most realistic evaluation and prioritization of OT risk
  • Effectively mitigate risk across your OT infrastructure, with and without patching.
  • The only OT security solution that evaluates your defenses against Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Groups.

The most comprehensive prevention, detection, and response solution purpose built for Critical Infrastructures

Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI technology is a cutting-edge innovation that implements real time prevention, detection, response, and recovery for operational technologies and enables a fundamental shift from the traditional approach to cyber defense by learning a ‘pattern of life’ for every network, device, and user.  

Rather than relying on knowledge of past attacks, AI technology learns what is ‘normal’ for its environment, discovering previously unknown threats by detecting subtle shifts in behavior. Through identifying these unexpected anomalies, security teams can investigate novel attacks, discover blind spots, have live time visibility across all their physical and digital assets, and reduce time to detect, respond to, and triage security events.  

  • Achieve greater visibility of OT and IT devices across all levels of the Purdue Model.
  • The industry's only OT security to scale threat detection and response, with a 92% time saving from triage to recovery.  
  • The only OT focused security solution to provide bespoke Risk Management.

To learn more about how Darktrace/OT approaches unique use cases for industrial organizations visit the Darktrace/OT Webpage or join us LIVE at a city near you.

Read more below to discover how new innovations to Darktrace/OT are bringing a new, contextualized approach to Risk Management for Industrial organizations.

For more information on the entire Darktrace/OT Solution read our solution brief here.

Darktrace/OT and New Risk Management

Risk Identification

Leveraging the visibility of Darktrace/OT which identifies individual systems throughout the Purdue Model and the relationship between them, Darktrace/OT identifies high-risk CVEs and presents potential attack routes that go beyond techniques requiring a known exploit, such as misuse of legitimate services. Each attack path will have a mathematical evaluation of difficulty and impact from initial access to the high value objectives.  

Together this gives comprehensive coverage over your real and potential risks from both an attacker and known vulnerability perspectives. OT attack paths as seen here even leverage insights between the industrial and corporate communications to reveal ways threat actors may take advantage of IT-OT convergence. This revelation of imperceptible risks fills gaps in traditional risk analysis like remote access and insider threats.

Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 1: Darktrace/OT visualizing the most critical attack paths at an organization
Figure 2: A specific Attack Path identified by Darktrace/OT

Risk Prioritization

Darktrace/OT prioritizes remediations and mitigations based on difficulty and damage to your unique organization, using the established Attack Paths.

We ascertain the priorities that apply to your organization beyond pure theoretical damage answering questions like:

  • How difficult is a particular vulnerability to exploit considering the steps an attacker would require to reach it?
  • And, how significant would the impact be if it was exploited within this particular network?

This expanded approach to risk prioritization has a much more comprehensive evaluation of your organization's unique risk than has ever been possible before. Traditional approaches of ranking only known vulnerabilities with isolated scores using CVSS and exploitability metrics, often leaves gaps in IT-OT risks and is blind to legitimate service exploitation.

Figure 3: Darktrace/OT leverages its contextual understand of the organization’s network to prioritize remediation that will have the positive impact on the risk score

Darktrace provides mitigation strategies associated with each identified risk and the relevant impact it has on your overall risk posture, across all MITRE ATT&CK techniques.

What sets Darktrace apart is our ability to contextualize these mitigations within the broader business. When patching vulnerabilities directly isn’t possible, Darktrace identifies alternative actions that harden attack paths leading to critical assets. Hardening the surrounding attack path increases the difficulty and therefore reduces the likelihood and impact of a breach.

That means unpatched vulnerabilities and vulnerable devices aren’t left unprotected. This also has an added bonus, those hardening techniques work for all devices in that network segment, so apply one change, secure many.

Figure 4: Darktrace prioritizes mitigation reducing accessibility of vulnerability and the overall risk score when patches aren’t available

Communicate Board Level Risk with APT Threat Mapping

Darktrace/OT bridges theory and practice as the only security solution that maps MITRE techniques, frequently used by APT Groups, onto AI-assessed critical Attack Paths. This unique solution provides unparalleled insights including sector and location intelligence, possible operating platforms, common techniques, exploited CVEs, and the number of potential devices affected in your environment, supporting holistic risk assessment and proactive defense measures.

Ultimately, this becomes a power dashboard to communicate board level risk, using both metric based evidence and industry standard threat mapping.

Schlussfolgerung

Darktrace/OT is part of the Darktrace ActiveAI Security Platform a native, holistic, AI-driven platform built on over ten years of AI research. It helps security teams shift to more a productive mode, finding the known and the unknown attacks and transforming the SOC with the various Darktrace products to drive efficiency gains. It does this across the whole incident lifecycle to lower risk, reduce time spent on active incidents, and drive return on investment.

Discover more about Darktrace's ever-strengthening platform with the upcoming changes coming to our Darktrace/Email product and other launch day blogs.

Join Darktrace LIVE half-day event to understand the reality versus the hype surrounding AI and how to achieve cyber resilience.

Learn about the intersection of cyber and AI by downloading the State of AI Cyber Security 2024 report to discover global findings that may surprise you, insights from security leaders, and recommendations for addressing today’s top challenges that you may face, too.  

References

1. https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/313646831/Catch_Me_if_You_Can.pdf

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About the author
Mitchell Bezzina
VP, Product and Solutions Marketing
Our ai. Your data.

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