cyber security

Muddled Libra Hackers Using Pentesting Tools To Gain Admin Access

Threat actors use pentesting tools to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in target systems or networks.

These tools provide a simulated environment for testing potential attack vectors that allow threat actors to exploit security gaps and gain unauthorized access. 

By using pentesting tools, threat actors can assess the effectiveness of their methods and refine their strategies to maximize the impact of their attacks.

Cybersecurity researchers at Unit 42 of Palo Alto Networks discovered that Muddled Libra hackers are actively using the pentesting tools to gain admin access.

Muddled Libra Hackers

The Muddled Libra hacking group emerged in late 2022 with the 0ktapus phishing kit, offering prebuilt hosting, easy C2 connectivity, and bundled attack templates.

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This kit enabled low-skilled attackers to emulate mobile authentication pages cheaply, gathering credentials and MFA codes for over 100 organizations. 

While previously documented as 0ktapus, Scattered Spider, and Scatter Swine, Muddled Libra clarified they are a distinct group using a common toolkit, social forum-based collaboration, and Agile-like team structure. 

Unit 42 attributed several complex supply chain attacks targeting cryptocurrency to Muddled Libra, who are adapting tactics and broadening their scope.

Evolved tactics of Muddled Libra (Source – Palo Alto Networks)

Unit 42 links incidents to Muddled Libra due to common tactics.

Muddled Libra shows a deep knowledge of targets, often from prior breaches and data brokers like Genesis and Russian Markets. 

Malware like Raccoon Stealer and RedLine Stealer harvests info from personal devices by exploiting BYOD policies and hybrid work setups, creating a prime target for data theft.

Muddled Libra attack chain (Source – Palo Alto Networks)

Muddled Libra uses lookalike domains in smishing attacks by exploiting the SMS link truncation.

They favor short-lived domains via Porkbun and Namecheap, and they are now adding Metaregistrar. 

The 0ktapus kit, which was adopted widely, requires little skill, targeting via smishing or direct social engineering. Helpdesk agents are key targets for password and MFA resets. 

Focus on maintaining access involves abusing RMM tools like Zoho Assist, AnyDesk, and TeamViewer.

Cloud platforms aid in establishing a foothold, but recent shifts indicate a move to an ‘encrypt and extort’ model, targeting larger organizations in the same industry.

Muddled Libra sticks to consistent discovery methods, using legit tools like SharpHound, ADRecon, and Angry IP Scanner. 

They aim for data and credential theft, sometimes adding BlackCat ransomware. They execute with PsExec or Impacket, leveraging the victim’s tools and RDP connections for stealth.

Defense Evasion Tactics

Here below, we have mentioned all the defense evasion tactics:-

  • Disabling antivirus and host-based firewalls
  • Attempting to delete firewall profiles
  • Creating defender exclusions
  • Deactivating or uninstalling EDR and other monitoring products
  • Standing up unmanaged cloud virtual machines
  • Elevating access in virtual desktop environments

Mitigations

Here below, we have mentioned all the mitigations:-

  • Implement MFA and SSO.
  • Enable security alerting and account lockout for repeated MFA failures.
  • Conduct user awareness training.
  • Maintain updated credential hygiene.
  • Monitor and restrict access to critical defenses using ITDR tools.
  • Restrict anonymization services at the firewall.
  • Utilize Next-Generation Firewall.
  • Implement XDR solutions.
  • Employ XSOAR or XSIAM for security automation.

IoCs

  • 104.247.82[.]11
  • 105.101.56[.]49
  • 105.158.12[.]236
  • 134.209.48[.]68
  • 137.220.61[.]53
  • 138.68.27[.]0
  • 146.190.44[.]66
  • 149.28.125[.]96
  • 157.245.4[.]113
  • 159.223.208[.]47
  • 159.223.238[.]0
  • 162.19.135[.]215
  • 164.92.234[.]104
  • 165.22.201[.]77
  • 167.99.221[.]10
  • 172.96.11[.]245
  • 185.56.80[.]28
  • 188.166.92[.]55
  • 193.149.129[.]177
  • 207.148.0[.]54
  • 213.226.123[.]104
  • 35.175.153[.]217
  • 45.156.85[.]140
  • 45.32.221[.]250
  • 64.227.30[.]114
  • 79.137.196[.]160
  • 92.99.114[.]231

With Perimeter81 malware protection, you can block malware, including Trojans, ransomware, spyware, rootkits, worms, and zero-day exploits. All are incredibly harmful and can wreak havoc on your network.

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Tushar Subhra Dutta

Tushar is a Cyber security content editor with a passion for creating captivating and informative content. With years of experience under his belt in Cyber Security, he is covering Cyber Security News, technology and other news.

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