Cybersecurity firms are reporting widespread exploitation of the MOVEit Transfer vulnerability across a wide range of organizations large and small, with some publicly confirming that known ransomware groups are leveraging the flaw.
That includes Microsoft, which is attributing the attacks exploiting the bug, tracked as CVE-2023-34362, to a group it calls “Lace Tempest,” which is known for ransomware operations and running the Clop extortion site.
The Redmond, Wash. tech giant says the group has used similar vulnerabilities in file transfer tools to steal data and extort victims in the past.
In a series of tweets, the Microsoft Threat Intelligent Twitter account revealed several details on the attacks, saying exploitation is typically followed by deployment of a web shell with data exfiltration capabilities.
Microsoft is attributing attacks exploiting the CVE-2023-34362 MOVEit Transfer 0-day vulnerability to Lace Tempest, known for ransomware operations & running the Clop extortion site. The threat actor has used similar vulnerabilities in the past to steal data & extort victims. pic.twitter.com/q73WtGru7j
— Microsoft Threat Intelligence (@MsftSecIntel) June 5, 2023
According to Progress Software, the vulnerability in MOVEit Transfer could lead to escalated privileges and potential unauthorized access to the environment. MOVEit Transfer customers are advised to take immediate action to help protect their environment. Organizations are urged to apply the patch immediately.
According to a statement from a MOVEit spokesperson, the company promptly launched an investigation, alerted MOVEit customers about the issue and provided immediate mitigation steps. “We disabled web access to MOVEit Cloud to protect our Cloud customers, developed a security patch to address the vulnerability, made it available to our MOVEit Transfer customers, and patched and re-enabled MOVEit Cloud, all within 48 hours. We have also implemented a series of third-party validations to ensure the patch has corrected the exploit.”
Affecting all supported MOVEit Transfer versions, CVE-2023-34362 is an SQL injection vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to gain access to MOVEit Transfer’s database.
“Depending on the database engine being used (MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, or Azure SQL), an attacker may be able to infer information about the structure and contents of the database in addition to executing SQL statements that alter or delete database elements,” the company says.
In the meantime, the MOVEit says its continuing to work with cybersecurity experts to investigate the issue. A company spokesperson said in a statement, “We have engaged with federal law enforcement and other agencies with respect to the vulnerability. We are also committed to playing a leading and collaborative role in the industry-wide effort to combat increasingly sophisticated and persistent cybercriminals intent on maliciously exploiting vulnerabilities in widely used software products. Additional details are available on our knowledge base articles for MOVEit Transfer and MOVEit Cloud.”
Experts Weigh in On MOVEit Vulnerability
On Monday, reports of widespread exploitation came pouring in, as several security firms say their customers are under active attack.
Caitlin Condon, senior manager for security research at Rapid7, says the company has responded to alerts across a range of organizations from small businesses to enterprises with “tens of thousands of assets.”
There doesn’t appear to be any particular target vertical of organizational profile, Condon says, as victim organizations have so far included technology, insurance, manufacturing, municipal government, healthcare and financial services. The amount of data varies case by case, but Rapid7 has responded to “multiple incidents where several dozen gigabytes of data was stolen,” Condon says.
In a Rapid7 blog, the company says it has observed an uptick in related cases since the bug was disclosed last week, and the company’s researchers say the vulnerability was exploited at least four days prior to Progress Software’s first advisory on May 31.
These updates confirm what Satnam Narang, senior staff research engineer at Tenable, said last week, attributing the exploitation of file transfer tools to double extortion ransomware groups like Clop.
“While we don’t know the specifics around the group behind the zero day attacks involving MOVEit, it underscores a worrisome trend of threat actors targeting file transfer solutions,” Narang said last week. “Organizations that use MOVEit software should assume compromise and engage in incident response to determine the potential impact, if any.”
MOVEit customers are advised to check for indicators of compromise and unauthorized access over at least the past 30 days.
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