Manage service providers (MSPs) and government entities were on target by Chinese group APT 20 on quest to bypass two factor authentication. APT 20 which a Chinese state sponsored group working on the behest of Beijing government has been pretty active lately and targeting different organizations and trying to bypass their two factor authentication. With their particular focus on JBoss, which is an enterprise application used in many corporate and government organizations was targeted via web servers exploiting their vulnerabilities, installing web shells and then and then spread laterally through a victim’s internal systems.
In order to maximize their presence in the network, the threat actors were looking for administrative accounts with dumped passwords. Threat actors wanted to get credentials for VPN to access more secure areas in the victim’s infrastructure.
However, it remained unclear that how the threat actors stole an RSA SecurID software token from a hacked system, which the threat actor then used on its computers to generate valid one-time codes and bypass two factor authentication. It wouldn’t be possible without a physical hardware device and to generate a valid two factor authentication code it requires both a device and software. Without that the RSA SecureID software would generate an error.
The researchers said:
“As it turns out, the actor does not actually need to go through the trouble of obtaining the victim’s system specific value, because this specific value is only checked when importing the SecurID Token Seed, and has no relation to the seed used to generate actual 2-factor tokens. This means the actor can actually simply patch the check which verifies if the imported soft token was generated for this system, and does not need to bother with stealing the system specific value at all’.
In short, all the actor has to do to make use of the 2 factor authentication codes is to steal an RSA SecurID Software Token and to patch 1 instruction, which results in the generation of valid tokens”.
Bypass two factor authentication