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The Rise of the Lumma Info-Stealer | Malware-as-a-Service

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06
Sep 2023
06
Sep 2023
The emergence of Lumma Stealer, an information stealer that has recently been observed across the Darktrace fleet. Learn more about this new threat!

What are Malware-as-a-Service information stealers?

The Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) model continues provide would-be threat actors with an inexpensive and relatively straightforward way to carry out sophisticated cyber attacks and achieve their nefarious goals. One common type of MaaS are information stealers that specialize in gathering and exfiltrating sensitive data, such as login credentials and bank details, from affected devices, potentially resulting in significant financial losses for organizations and individuals alike.

What is Lumma Information Stealer?

One such information stealer, dubbed “Lumma”, has been advertised and sold on numerous dark web forums since 2022. Lumma stealer primarily targets cryptocurrency wallets, browser extensions and two-factor authentication (2FA), before ultimately stealing sensitive information from compromised machines. The number of sightings of this malware being distributed on dark web forums is on the rise [1], and thus far, more than a dozen command-and-control (C2) servers have been observed in the wild.

Between January and April 2023, Darktrace observed and investigated multiple instances of Lumma stealer activity across the customer base. Thanks to its anomaly-based approach to threat detection, Darktrace DETECT™ is able to successfully identify and provide visibility over activity associated with such info-stealers, from C2 activity through to the eventual exfiltration of sensitive data.

Lumma Stealer Background

Lumma stealer, previously known as LummaC2, is a subscription-based information stealer that has been observed in the wild since 2022. It is believed to have been developed by the threat actor “Shamel”, under the the alias “Lumma”. The info-stealer has been advertised on dark web forums and also a channel on the Telegram messenger server, which boasts over a thousand subscribers as of May 2023 [2], and is also available on Lumma’s official seller page for as little as USD 250 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: LummaC2’s official seller website [3].

Research on the Russian Market selling stolen credentials has shown that Lumma stealer has been an emerging since early 2023, and joins the list of info stealers that have been on the rise, including Vidar and Racoon [1].

Similar to other info-stealers, Lumma is able to obtain system and installed program data from compromised devices, alongside sensitive information such as cookies, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, connection history, and cryptocurrency wallet data.

Between January and April 2023, Darktrace has observed Lumma malware activity across multiple customer deployments mostly in the EMEA region, but also in the US. This included data exfiltration to external endpoints related to the Lumma malware. It is likely that this activity resulted from the download of trojanized software files or users falling victim to malicious emails containing Lumma payloads.

Lumma Attack Details and Darktrace Coverage

Typically, Lumma has been distributed disguised as cracked or fake popular software like VLC or ChatGPT. Recently though, threat actors have also delivered the malware through emails containing payloads in the form of attachments or links impersonating well-known companies. For example, in February 2023, a streamer in South Korea was targeted with a spear-phishing email in which the sender impersonated the video game company Bandai Namco [4].

Lumma is known to target Windows operating systems from Windows 7 to 11 and at least 10 different browsers including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox [5]. It has also been observed targeting crypto wallets like Binance and Ethereum, as well as crypto wallet and 2FA browser extensions like Metamask and Authenticator respectively [6]. Data from applications such as AnyDesk or KeePass can also be exfiltrated by the malware [7].

An infection with Lumma can lead to the user's information being abused for fraud, for example, using stolen credentials to hijack bank accounts, which in turn could result in significant financial losses.

Once the targeted data is obtained, it is exfiltrated to a C2 server, as Darktrace has observed on multiple customer environments affected with Lumma stealer. Darktrace DETECT identified multiple infected devices exfiltrating data via HTTP POST requests to known Lumma C2 servers. During these connections, DETECT commonly observed the URI “/c2sock” and the user agent “TeslaBrowser/5.5”.

In one instance, Darktrace detected a device using the “TeslaBrowser/5.5” user agent, which it recognized as a new user agent for this device, whilst making a HTTP post request to an unusual IP address, 82.117.255[.]127 (Figure 3). Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI understood that this represented a deviation from expected behavior for this device and brought it to the attention of the customer’s security team.

Figure 2: Device Event Log on the Darktrace DETECT Threat Visualizer showing activity from a device infected with Lumma stealer and the DETECT models it breached.

Further investigation revealed that accessing the IP address using a web browser and changing the the URI to “/login”, would take a user to a Russian Lumma control panel access page (Figure 4)

Figure 3: One of Lumma stealer’s C2 servers accessed via a web browser in a secured environment.

A deep dive into the packet captures (PCAP) of the HTTP POST requests taken from one device also confirmed that browser data, including Google Chrome history files, system information in the form of a System.txt file, and other program data such as AnyDesk configuration files were being exfiltrated from the customer’s network(Figures 5 and 6).

Figure 4: HTTP objects observed during Lumma Stealer POSTing of data to another one of its  C2 servers.
Figure 5: PCAP of HTTP stream showing the different types of data being exfiltrated.

Additionally, on one particular device, Darktrace observed malicious external connections related to other malware strains, like Laplas Clipper, Raccoon Stealer, Vidar, RedLine info-stealers and trojans, around the same time as the Lumma C2 connections. These info-stealers are commonly marketed as MaaS and can be bought and used for a relatively inexpensive price by even the most inexperienced threat actors. It is also likely that the developers of these info-stealers have been making efforts to integrate their strains into the activities of traffer teams [8], organized cybercrime groups who specialize in credential theft with the use of info-stealers.

Conclusion

Mirroring the general emergence and rise of information stealers across the cyber threat landscape, Lumma stealer continues to represent a significant concern to orgaizations and individuals alike.

Moreover, as yet another example of MaaS, Lumma is readily available for threat actors to launch their attacks, regardless of their level of expertise, meaning the number of incidents is only likely to rise. As such, it is essential for organizations to have security measures in place that are able to recognize unusual behavior that may be indicactive of an info-stealer compromise, while not relying on a static list of indicators of compromise (IoCs).

Darktrace DETECT’s anomaly-based detection enabled it to uncover the presence of Lumma across multiple customer environments across different regions and industries. From the detection of unusual connections to C2 infrastructure to the ultimate exfiltration of customer data, Darktrace provided affected customers full visibility over Lumma infections, allowing them to identify compromised devices and take action to prevent further data loss and reduce the risk of incurring significant financial losses.

Credit to: Emily Megan Lim, Cyber Security Analyst, Signe Zaharka, Senior Cyber Security Analyst

Appendices

Darktrace DETECT Models

·      Anomalous Connection / New User Agent to IP Without Hostname  

·      Device / New User Agent and New IP

·      Device / New User Agent

·      Anomalous Connection / Posting HTTP to IP Without Hostname

Cyber AI Analyst Incidents

·      Possible HTTP Command and Control

·      Possible HTTP Command and Control to Multiple Endpoints

List of IoCs

IoC - Type - Description + Confidence

144.76.173[.]247

IP address

Lumma C2 Infrastructure

45.9.74[.]78

IP address

Lumma C2 Infrastructure

77.73.134[.]68

IP address

Lumma C2 Infrastructure

82.117.255[.]127

IP address

Lumma C2 Infrastructure

82.117.255[.]80

IP address

Lumma C2 Infrastructure

82.118.23[.]50

IP address

Lumma C2 Infrastructure

/c2sock

URI

Lumma C2 POST Request

TeslaBrowser/5.5

User agent

Lumma C2 POST Request

MITRE ATT&CK Mapping

Tactic: Command and Control -

Technique: T1071.001 – Web Protocols

References

[1] https://www.kelacyber.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/KELA_Research_Infostealers_2023_full-report.pdf

[2] https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/the-new-info-stealing-malware-operations-to-watch-out-for/

[3] https://blog.cyble.com/2023/01/06/lummac2-stealer-a-potent-threat-to-crypto-users/

[4] https://medium.com/s2wblog/lumma-stealer-targets-youtubers-via-spear-phishing-email-ade740d486f7

[5] https://socradar.io/malware-analysis-lummac2-stealer/

[6] https://outpost24.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-lummac2-stealer

[7] https://asec.ahnlab.com/en/50594/

[8] https://blog.sekoia.io/bluefox-information-stealer-traffer-maas/

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Emily Megan Lim
Cyber Analyst
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Email

How to Protect your Organization Against Microsoft Teams Phishing Attacks

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21
May 2024

The problem: Microsoft Teams phishing attacks are on the rise

Around 83% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Office products and services1, with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint in particular emerging as critical platforms to the business operations of the everyday workplace. Researchers across the threat landscape have begun to observe these legitimate services being leveraged more and more by malicious actors as an initial access method.

As Teams becomes a more prominent feature of the workplace many employees rely on it for daily internal and external communication, even surpassing email usage in some organizations. As Microsoft2 states, "Teams changes your relationship with email. When your whole group is working in Teams, it means you'll all get fewer emails. And you'll spend less time in your inbox, because you'll use Teams for more of your conversations."

However, Teams can be exploited to send targeted phishing messages to individuals either internally or externally, while appearing legitimate and safe. Users might receive an external message request from a Teams account claiming to be an IT support service or otherwise affiliated with the organization. Once a user has accepted, the threat actor can launch a social engineering campaign or deliver a malicious payload. As a primarily internal tool there is naturally less training and security awareness around Teams – due to the nature of the channel it is assumed to be a trusted source, meaning that social engineering is already one step ahead.

Screenshot of a Microsoft Teams message request from a Midnight Blizzard-controlled account (courtesy of Microsoft)
Figure 1: Screenshot of a Microsoft Teams message request from a Midnight Blizzard-controlled account (courtesy of Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams Phishing Examples

Microsoft has identified several major phishing attacks using Teams within the past year.

In July 2023, Microsoft announced that the threat actor known as Midnight Blizzard – identified by the United States as a Russian state-sponsored group – had launched a series of phishing campaigns via Teams with the aim of stealing user credentials. These attacks used previously compromised Microsoft 365 accounts and set up new domain names that impersonated legitimate IT support organizations. The threat actors then used social engineering tactics to trick targeted users into sharing their credentials via Teams, enabling them to access sensitive data.  

At a similar time, threat actor Storm-0324 was observed sending phishing lures via Teams containing links to malicious SharePoint-hosted files. The group targeted organizations that allow Teams users to interact and share files externally. Storm-0324’s goal is to gain initial access to hand over to other threat actors to pursue more dangerous follow-on attacks like ransomware.

For a more in depth look at how Darktrace stops Microsoft Teams phishing read our blog: Don’t Take the Bait: How Darktrace Keeps Microsoft Teams Phishing Attacks at Bay

The market: Existing Microsoft Teams security solutions are insufficient

Microsoft’s native Teams security focuses on payloads, namely links and attachments, as the principal malicious component of any phishing. These payloads are relatively straightforward to detect with their experience in anti-virus, sandboxing, and IOCs. However, this approach is unable to intervene before the stage at which payloads are delivered, before the user even gets the chance to accept or deny an external message request. At the same time, it risks missing more subtle threats that don’t include attachments or links – like early stage phishing, which is pure social engineering – or completely new payloads.

Equally, the market offering for Teams security is limited. Security solutions available on the market are always payload-focused, rather than taking into account the content and context in which a link or attachment is sent. Answering questions like:

  • Does it make sense for these two accounts to speak to each other?
  • Are there any linguistic indicators of inducement?

Furthermore, they do not correlate with email to track threats across multiple communication environments which could signal a wider campaign. Effectively, other market solutions aren’t adding extra value – they are protecting against the same types of threats that Microsoft is already covering by default.

The other aspect of Teams security that native and market solutions fail to address is the account itself. As well as focusing on Teams threats, it’s important to analyze messages to understand the normal mode of communication for a user, and spot when a user’s Teams activity might signal account takeover.

The solution: How Darktrace protects Microsoft Teams against sophisticated threats

With its biggest update to Darktrace/Email ever, Darktrace now offers support for Microsoft Teams. With that, we are bringing the same AI philosophy that protects your email and accounts to your messaging environment.  

Our Self-Learning AI looks at content and context for every communication, whether that’s sent in an email or Teams message. It looks at actual user behavior, including language patterns, relationship history of sender and recipient, tone and payloads, to understand if a message poses a threat. This approach allows Darktrace to detect threats such as social engineering and payloadless attacks using visibility and forensic capabilities that Microsoft security doesn’t currently offer, as well as early symptoms of account compromise.  

Unlike market solutions, Darktrace doesn’t offer a siloed approach to Teams security. Data and signals from Teams are shared across email to inform detection, and also with the wider Darktrace ActiveAI security platform. By correlating information from email and Teams with network and apps security, Darktrace is able to better identify suspicious Teams activity and vice versa.  

Interested in the other ways Darktrace/Email augments threat detection? Read our latest blog on how improving the quality of end-user reporting can decrease the burden on the SOC. To find our more about Darktrace's enduring partnership with Microsoft, click here.

References

[1] Essential Microsoft Office Statistics in 2024

[2] Microsoft blog, Microsoft Teams and email, living in harmony, 2024

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About the author
Carlos Gray
Product Manager

Blog

A l'intérieur du SOC

Don’t Take the Bait: How Darktrace Keeps Microsoft Teams Phishing Attacks at Bay

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20
May 2024

Social Engineering in Phishing Attacks

Faced with increasingly cyber-aware endpoint users and vigilant security teams, more and more threat actors are forced to think psychologically about the individuals they are targeting with their phishing attacks. Social engineering methods like taking advantage of the human emotions of their would-be victims, pressuring them to open emails or follow links or face financial or legal repercussions, and impersonating known and trusted brands or services, have become common place in phishing campaigns in recent years.

Phishing with Microsoft Teams

The malicious use of the popular communications platform Microsoft Teams has become widely observed and discussed across the threat landscape, with many organizations adopting it as their primary means of business communication, and many threat actors using it as an attack vector. As Teams allows users to communicate with people outside of their organization by default [1], it becomes an easy entry point for potential attackers to use as a social engineering vector.

In early 2024, Darktrace/Apps™ identified two separate instances of malicious actors using Microsoft Teams to launch a phishing attack against Darktrace customers in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Interestingly, in this case the attackers not only used a well-known legitimate service to carry out their phishing campaign, but they were also attempting to impersonate an international hotel chain.

Despite these attempts to evade endpoint users and traditional security measures, Darktrace’s anomaly detection enabled it to identify the suspicious phishing messages and bring them to the customer’s attention. Additionally, Darktrace’s autonomous response capability, was able to follow-up these detections with targeted actions to contain the suspicious activity in the first instance.

Darktrace Coverage of Microsoft Teams Phishing

Chats Sent by External User and Following Actions by Darktrace

On February 29, 2024, Darktrace detected the presence of a new external user on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environment of an EMEA customer for the first time. The user, “REDACTED@InternationalHotelChain[.]onmicrosoft[.]com” was only observed on this date and no further activities were detected from this user after February 29.

Later the same day, the unusual external user created its first chat on Microsoft Teams named “New Employee Loyalty Program”. Over the course of around 5 minutes, the user sent 63 messages across 21 different chats to unique internal users on the customer’s SaaS platform. All these chats included the ‘foreign tenant user’ and one of the customer’s internal users, likely in an attempt to remain undetected. Foreign tenant user, in this case, refers to users without access to typical internal software and privileges, indicating the presence of an external user.

Darktrace’s detection of unusual messages being sent by a suspicious external user via Microsoft Teams.
Figure 1: Darktrace’s detection of unusual messages being sent by a suspicious external user via Microsoft Teams.
Advanced Search results showing the presence of a foreign tenant user on the customer’s SaaS environment.
Figure 2: Advanced Search results showing the presence of a foreign tenant user on the customer’s SaaS environment.

Darktrace identified that the external user had connected from an unusual IP address located in Poland, 195.242.125[.]186. Darktrace understood that this was unexpected behavior for this user who had only previously been observed connecting from the United Kingdom; it further recognized that no other users within the customer’s environment had connected from this external source, thereby deeming it suspicious. Further investigation by Darktrace’s analyst team revealed that the endpoint had been flagged as malicious by several open-source intelligence (OSINT) vendors.

External Summary highlighting the rarity of the rare external source from which the Teams messages were sent.
Figure 3: External Summary highlighting the rarity of the rare external source from which the Teams messages were sent.

Following Darktrace’s initial detection of these suspicious Microsoft Teams messages, Darktrace's autonomous response was able to further support the customer by providing suggested mitigative actions that could be applied to stop the external user from sending any additional phishing messages.

Unfortunately, at the time of this attack Darktrace's autonomous response capability was configured in human confirmation mode, meaning any autonomous response actions had to be manually actioned by the customer. Had it been enabled in autonomous response mode, it would have been able promptly disrupt the attack, disabling the external user to prevent them from continuing their phishing attempts and securing precious time for the customer’s security team to begin their own remediation procedures.

Darktrace autonomous response actions that were suggested following the ’Large Volume of Messages Sent from New External User’ detection model alert.
Figure 4: Darktrace autonomous response actions that were suggested following the ’Large Volume of Messages Sent from New External User’ detection model alert.

External URL Sent within Teams Chats

Within the 21 Teams chats created by the threat actor, Darktrace identified 21 different external URLs being sent, all of which included the domain "cloud-sharcpoint[.]com”. Many of these URLs had been recently established and had been flagged as malicious by OSINT providers [3]. This was likely an attempt to impersonate “cloud-sharepoint[.]com”, the legitimate domain of Microsoft SharePoint, with the threat actor attempting to ‘typo-squat’ the URL to convince endpoint users to trust the legitimacy of the link. Typo-squatted domains are commonly misspelled URLs registered by opportunistic attackers in the hope of gaining the trust of unsuspecting targets. They are often used for nefarious purposes like dropping malicious files on devices or harvesting credentials.

Upon clicking this malicious link, users were directed to a similarly typo-squatted domain, “InternatlonalHotelChain[.]sharcpoInte-docs[.]com”. This domain was likely made to appear like the SharePoint URL used by the international hotel chain being impersonated.

Redirected link to a fake SharePoint page attempting to impersonate an international hotel chain.
Figure 5: Redirected link to a fake SharePoint page attempting to impersonate an international hotel chain.

This fake SharePoint page used the branding of the international hotel chain and contained a document named “New Employee Loyalty Program”; the same name given to the phishing messages sent by the attacker on Microsoft Teams. Upon accessing this file, users would be directed to a credential harvester, masquerading as a Microsoft login page, and prompted to enter their credentials. If successful, this would allow the attacker to gain unauthorized access to a user’s SaaS account, thereby compromising the account and enabling further escalation in the customer’s environment.

Figure 6: A fake Microsoft login page that popped-up when attempting to open the ’New Employee Loyalty Program’ document.

This is a clear example of an attacker attempting to leverage social engineering tactics to gain the trust of their targets and convince them to inadvertently compromise their account. Many corporate organizations partner with other companies and well-known brands to offer their employees loyalty programs as part of their employment benefits and perks. As such, it would not necessarily be unexpected for employees to receive such an offer from an international hotel chain. By impersonating an international hotel chain, threat actors would increase the probability of convincing their targets to trust and click their malicious messages and links, and unintentionally compromising their accounts.

In spite of the attacker’s attempts to impersonate reputable brands, platforms, Darktrace/Apps was able to successfully recognize the malicious intent behind this phishing campaign and suggest steps to contain the attack. Darktrace recognized that the user in question had deviated from its ‘learned’ pattern of behavior by connecting to the customer’s SaaS environment from an unusual external location, before proceeding to send an unusually large volume of messages via Teams, indicating that the SaaS account had been compromised.

A Wider Campaign?

Around a month later, in March 2024, Darktrace observed a similar incident of a malicious actor impersonating the same international hotel chain in a phishing attacking using Microsoft Teams, suggesting that this was part of a wider phishing campaign. Like the previous example, this customer was also based in the EMEA region.  

The attack tactics identified in this instance were very similar to the previously example, with a new external user identified within the network proceeding to create a series of Teams messages named “New Employee Loyalty Program” containing a typo-squatted external links.

There were a few differences with this second incident, however, with the attacker using the domain “@InternationalHotelChainExpeditions[.]onmicrosoft[.]com” to send their malicious Teams messages and using differently typo-squatted URLs to imitate Microsoft SharePoint.

As both customers targeted by this phishing campaign were subscribed to Darktrace’s Proactive Threat Notification (PTN) service, this suspicious SaaS activity was promptly escalated to the Darktrace Security Operations Center (SOC) for immediate triage and investigation. Following their investigation, the SOC team sent an alert to the customers informing them of the compromise and advising urgent follow-up.

Conclusion

While there are clear similarities between these Microsoft Teams-based phishing attacks, the attackers here have seemingly sought ways to refine their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), leveraging new connection locations and creating new malicious URLs in an effort to outmaneuver human security teams and conventional security tools.

As cyber threats grow increasingly sophisticated and evasive, it is crucial for organizations to employ intelligent security solutions that can see through social engineering techniques and pinpoint suspicious activity early.

Darktrace’s Self-Learning AI understands customer environments and is able to recognize the subtle deviations in a device’s behavioral pattern, enabling it to effectively identify suspicious activity even when attackers adapt their strategies. In this instance, this allowed Darktrace to detect the phishing messages, and the malicious links contained within them, despite the seemingly trustworthy source and use of a reputable platform like Microsoft Teams.

Credit to Min Kim, Cyber Security Analyst, Raymond Norbert, Cyber Security Analyst and Ryan Traill, Threat Content Lead

Appendix

Darktrace Model Detections

SaaS Model

Large Volume of Messages Sent from New External User

SaaS / Unusual Activity / Large Volume of Messages Sent from New External User

Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)

IoC – Type - Description

https://cloud-sharcpoint[.]com/[a-zA-Z0-9]{15} - Example hostname - Malicious phishing redirection link

InternatlonalHotelChain[.]sharcpolnte-docs[.]com – Hostname – Redirected Link

195.242.125[.]186 - External Source IP Address – Malicious Endpoint

MITRE Tactics

Tactic – Technique

Phishing – Initial Access (T1566)

References

[1] https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/trusted-organizations-external-meetings-chat?tabs=organization-settings

[2] https://www.virustotal.com/gui/ip-address/195.242.125.186/detection

[3] https://www.virustotal.com/gui/domain/cloud-sharcpoint.com

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About the author
Min Kim
Cyber Security Analyst
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