Retool Falls Victim to SMS-Based Phishing Attack Affecting 27 Cloud Clients

3 days ago 26

Sep 18, 2023THNCyber Attack / Data Breach

SMS-Based Phishing Attack

Software improvement institution Retool has disclosed that the accounts of 27 of its unreality customers were compromised pursuing a targeted and SMS-based societal engineering attack.

The San Francisco-based steadfast blamed a Google Account unreality synchronization feature precocious introduced successful April 2023 for making the breach worse, calling it a "dark pattern."

"The information that Google Authenticator syncs to the unreality is simply a caller onslaught vector," Snir Kodesh, Retool's caput of engineering, said. "What we had primitively implemented was multi-factor authentication. But done this Google update, what was antecedently multi-factor-authentication had silently (to administrators) go single-factor-authentication."

Retool said that the incident, which took spot connected August 27, 2023, did not let unauthorized entree to on-prem oregon managed accounts. It besides coincided with the institution migrating their logins to Okta.


It each started with an SMS phishing onslaught aimed astatine its employees, successful which the menace actors masqueraded arsenic a subordinate of the IT squad and instructed the recipients to click connected a seemingly morganatic nexus to code a payroll-related issue.

One worker fell for the phishing trap, which led them to a bogus landing leafage that tricked them into handing implicit their credentials. In the adjacent signifier of the attack, the hackers called up the employee, again posing arsenic the IT squad idiosyncratic by deepfaking their "actual voice" to get the multi-factor authentication (MFA) code.

"The further OTP token shared implicit the telephone was critical, due to the fact that it allowed the attacker to adhd their ain idiosyncratic instrumentality to the employee's Okta account, which allowed them to nutrient their ain Okta MFA from that constituent forward," Kodesh said. "This enabled them to person an progressive G Suite [now Google Workspace] league connected that device."

The information that the worker besides had activated Google Authenticator's unreality sync diagnostic allowed the menace actors to summation elevated entree to its interior admin systems and efficaciously instrumentality implicit the accounts belonging to 27 customers successful the crypto industry.

The attackers yet changed the emails for those users and reset their passwords. Fortress Trust, 1 of the impacted users, saw adjacent to $15 cardinal worthy of cryptocurrency stolen arsenic a effect of the hack, CoinDesk reported.

"Because power of the Okta relationship led to power of the Google account, which led to power of each OTPs stored successful Google Authenticator," Kodesh pointed out.

If anything, the blase onslaught shows that syncing one-time codes to the unreality tin interruption the "something the idiosyncratic has" factor, necessitating that users trust connected FIDO2-compliant hardware information keys oregon passkeys to decision phishing attacks.

While the nonstop individuality of the hackers was not disclosed, the modus operandi exhibits similarities to that of a financially motivated menace histrion tracked arsenic Scattered Spider (aka UNC3944), which is known for its blase phishing tactics.


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"Based connected investigation of suspected UNC3944 phishing domains, it is plausible that the menace actors have, successful immoderate cases, utilized entree to unfortunate environments to get accusation astir interior systems and leveraged that accusation to facilitate much tailored phishing campaigns," Mandiant disclosed past week.

"For example, successful immoderate cases the menace actors appeared to make caller phishing domains that included the names of interior systems."

The usage of deepfakes and synthetic media has besides been the taxable of a new advisory from the U.S. government, which warned that audio, video, and substance deepfakes tin beryllium utilized for a wide scope of malicious purposes, including concern email compromise (BEC) attacks and cryptocurrency scams.

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