Data theft using a zero-day in the secure managed file transfer software MOVEit Transfer has been claimed to be carried out by the Cl0p ransomware group, with the incidents starting on 27 May.
The vulnerability was announced by the company that makes the software, Progress Software Corporation on 31 May, according to a post from the Google-owned Mandiant security firm.
Security outfit Rapid7 said in a blog post that the vulnerability, which initially did not have a CVE, was a SQL injection flaw that allowed remote attackers to gain unauthorised access to MOVEit Transfer’s database.
“The advisory notes that ‘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…exploitation of unpatched systems can occur via HTTP or HTTPS’,” the post said.
The claim about Cl0p being behind the attacks was made by the website Bleeping Computer, which said it had been told by a representative of the group that servers at multiple firms had been breached and data stolen.
Known victims appear to be in Europe, with Aer Lingus and British payroll and HR solutions provider Zellis confirming they had been hit, the site said A third affected company was British Airways, the CIA-backed site The Record claimed.
Satnam Narang, senior staff research engineer at security shop Tenable, commented: “Recent reports suggest that exploitation of the zero-day vulnerability in MOVEit Transfer is attributed to the Cl0p ransomware group.
“This isn’t surprising when you consider that this falls under the modus operandi of Cl0p: they were also responsible for exploiting zero-days in other file transfer solutions like CVE-2023-0669 in GoAnywhere earlier this year, and four Acellion vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-27101, CVE-2021-27102, CVE-2021-27103, CVE-2021-27104) in late 2020.
“Cl0p has been around since 2019, and while the group has operated using double extortion tactics (data encryption and exfiltration with threat to publish stolen data), they’ve slowly pivoted towards a focus on data exfiltration, as evidenced in the targeting of file transfer solutions.
“In the grand scheme of things, data encryption alone is not enough of an incentive for victim organisations to pay exorbitant ransom demands.
“However, data exfiltration and threats to publish stolen data hold much more weight and are largely what has powered double extortion and ransomware groups to find so much success.
“The writing is on the wall; file transfer solutions are a prime target for the Clop ransomware group, and they are likely to seek out their next target for exploitation in the near future.”
The Rapid7 post said there were roughly 2500 instances of MOVEit Transfer exposed to the public Internet, with most being in the US.
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