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Costa Rican Government Cyber-attack Revealed


Costa Rican Government Cyber-attack Revealed.

The attackers are known as "Conti" a ransomware group that can be found on the Dark Web, began their attack on April 11th, 2022.

Their entry was a compromised VPN-account, so don't share your login details and besides that make your passwords long and complicated.

Apparently the president of Costa Rica declared a state of emergency and claimed that traitors helped hackers during the attacks, whether this is true or not, always think security.

It only took three months for them to come clean about the breach, nice.

How they accessed the systems:

The group used a system of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Finance as the entry point. A member, named MemberX, gained access by using a VPN connection and compromised credentials. According to the report published by AdvIntel, in the early stages of the attack, the group set up over 10 Cobalt Strike beacons. The initial attack vector for this operation was compromised credential access via VPN.

According to the report, the group used the following methods:

  1. The infection followed a typical attack flow wherein the adversaries gained access from the compromised VPN log by installing a crypted form of Cobalt Strike inside the Costa Rica sub-network.
  2. The adversaries obtained local network domain administrator and enterprise administrator recon.
  3. The threat actors then performed network reconnaissance via Nltest domain trust enumeration, before scanning the network for file shares by leveraging the ShareFinder utility and AdFind from C:\ProgramData.
  4. The adversary (referenced by internal pseudonym “MemberX”) downloaded the fileshare output on their local machine via the Cobalt Strike channel.
  5. Then, the adversaries leveraged Cobalt Strike’s Mimikatz to dump logon passwords and NTDS hashes of the local machine users, obtaining plaintext and brute-forceable local admin, domain, and enterprise administrator hashes.
  6. The adversaries leveraged the enterprise user credentials to perform a DCSync and Zerologon attack. This effectively gained them access to every host on the Costa Rica interconnected networks.
  7. The adversaries then uploaded MSI scripts with Atera Remote Management Tool (RMM), the remote hosts selecting those with local admin access and less user activity. This established “anchoring” and safe return in case the threat actors’ beacons were burned or detected by the well-known EDR tool utilized by Costa Rica.
  8. The adversaries pinged the whole network and re-scanned the network domain trusts, leveraging enterprise administrator credentials with ShareFinder and compiling a list of all corporate assets and databases available under their new elevated privileges.
  9. On several network hosts, the adversaries also created a Rclone configuration file, which their data exfiltration tool leveraged as input with the MEGA Share uploader. They then began exfiltration from the network.
  10. The adversaries uploaded Process Hacker, Power Tools, and Do Not Sleep tools, and batch scripts filled in with the fileshare access locations.

This caused Rodrigo Chaves Robles, the President of Costa Rica to declare a state of national emergency due to cyber attack.

Free advice, don't use Windows:

Always use a long, very long and complicated password for everything from acessing your computer to a VPN and never use your own MasterCard or VISA.

All cash, zcash or Monero.


DO not use anyone related to you, also no known friends. No phone, birthdate, date when they got pregnant or equal.

No social media: Not as yourself anyways.

If you use Linux: Setup Honeypots for your server or you website.


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