Third Party Risk Management: Investigating a Leak of Sensitive Data from a Customer
A global data and infrastructure provider (The Client) determined a very tightly controlled database was for sale on the dark web. The Client discovered this database was being sold on criminal forums and needed to attribute the seller and the source of the leak.
While the Client subscribed to advanced datasets and had a robust investigative capability, they had limited ability to complete investigations of this complexity in-house.
The Client provided information regarding the leak including IP, hostnames, and dark web handles of the actor. Our analysts conducting the external attribution investigation did not need network access to the Client’s environment. We used our access to external telemetry and proprietary datasets to support the engagement.
We were able to determine the third-party origination point of the database leak and attribute the leak to an exposed Elasticsearch instance hosted within Microsoft Azure. We leveraged data sources and Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) analysis to positively identify the source of the leak by fingerprinting the structure of the data the third-party victim of the breach had used.
We provided the client with detailed information on the actor involved in selling the information, including a timeline of when the actor likely obtained the information, a profile on the actor’s location and heritage based on regional expertise, and analysis of the actor’s infrastructure to support prevention of future attacks for the Client and its third party partners.
The Client was able to prevent months of effort conducting insider threat investigations that ultimately would have not returned positive results and to provide stakeholders with assurance that no further damage occurred. Our ability to quickly integrate into the investigation with no need for internal network access encouraged the Client to take on additional challenging high impact investigations that would have otherwise remained unresolved.
Nisos is the Managed Intelligence™ company. Our services enable security, intelligence, and trust and safety teams to leverage a world-class intelligence capability tailored to their needs. We fuse robust data collection with a deep understanding of the adversarial mindset delivering smarter defense and more effective response against advanced cyber attacks, disinformation, and abuse of digital platforms.
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