Leading Anti-Virus software maker Avast hacked by unknown cyber-espionage groups using compromised credentials and gained the internal network access over their own VPN in earlier March 2019.
Avast is one of the well-known cybersecurity company that making various internet security software including Anti-virus, VPN, Endpoint Security, content filtering software for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Experts from Avast learned the incident on September 23, in which attackers gained access to the internal network through successfully privilege escalation attack and obtain the domain admin privilege.
Intruded via Avast’s Own VPN
Further investigation reveals that the attacker attempted to gain access through Avast’s own VPN and the connection was made from a public IP hosted out of the UK.
According to Avast report ” we found that the internal network was successfully accessed with compromised credentials through a temporary VPN profile that had erroneously been kept enabled and did not require 2FA.”
Attackers used multiple sets of users’ credentials for a part of this breach, and users’ accounts are temporary VPN users profile. Avast believes that the hackers performed a credential theft attack.
Avast collaborating with the Czech intelligence agency, Security Information Service (BIS), and an external forensics team to investigate further regarding this security breach.
“In order to track the actor, we left open the temporary VPN profile, continuing to monitor and investigate all-access going through the profile until we were ready to conduct remediation actions.” Avast Said.
The attack on the Avast network was extremely sophisticated, and the attacker’s main intention was to leave no traces of the intruder or their purpose.
Also, the threat actors carefully initiated this attack to make sure that no traces to be left in the post-attack and used a variety of techniques to evade detection.
“Avast said that they do not know if this was the same actor as before and it is likely we will never know for sure, so they have named this attempt ‘Abiss’.”
Similarly, Avast owned CCleaner was hacked in 2017 via supply chain attack. CCleaner Estimated Downloads around 2 Billion users and one of the most widely downloaded software lists.