Threat Group Abusing Azure Serial Console for VM Takeover

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Aug 17, 2017
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A financially motivated cyber actor has been observed abusing Microsoft Azure Serial Console on virtual machines (VMs) to install third-party remote management tools within compromised environments.

"This method of attack was unique in that it avoided many of the traditional detection methods employed within Azure and provided the attacker with full administrative access to the VM," the threat intelligence firm said.

Subsequently, Mandiant also found UNC3944 utilizing a loader named STONESTOP to install a malicious signed driver dubbed POORTRY that's designed to terminate processes associated with security software and delete files as part of a BYOVD attack.

It's currently not known how the threat actor conducts the SIM swaps, although the initial access methodology is suspected to involve the use of SMS phishing messages targeting privileged users to obtain their credentials and then staging a SIM swap to receive the two-factor authentication (2FA) token to a SIM card under their control.
 

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