As soon as the first indicator of compromise is located, the most common next step is to try to pivot from that indicator to find additional indicators or evidence on the network. While it is sometimes necessary to perform your own research to determine what additional additional indicators may be present, it is common to make use of previous research when looking for new indicators to hunt for.
This is especially true when dealing with an indicator of malicious software. Perhaps you have found a host communicating with an IP address known to be associated with a particular malware variant; the logical next step would be to search for communication with other IPs, domains and URLs the malware may be associated with, along with looking for the host-based activity the malware is known to use.
For example, suppose an IDS alerted on the IP address 144.202.87[.]106. A quick search on VirusTotal indicates that this IP address may be malicious, however, it does not provide much information which could be used to pivot to other indicators. So where does every good analyst turn at this point? Google, of course! A quick Google search for the IP address returns several results, including a blog post from MalwareBytes on the Hidden Bee miner.
Along with a detailed analysis of the Hidden Bee miner, the post also includes several other IP addresses and URLs which analysts observed in this attack. Now we have some data to pivot and hunt with!
This entire analysis from the MalwareBytes team can easily be added into DFLabs’ IncMan SOAR platform by copying and pasting the blog into the Additional Info section of the incident. In addition to allowing this information to be accessed by the working on this incident, adding this text to the Additional Info field has an additional advantage we have not yet discussed; Automatic Observable Harvesting.
When text is added to a field such as the Additional Info fields in IncMan, Automatic Observable Harvesting will automatically parse through the text and attempt to harvest observables from the unstructured text.
In the case of the Hidden Bee analysis from MalwareBytes, Automatic Observable Harvesting automatically harvested four IP addresses, a URL and a domain from the unstructured text and added them to the observables section.
While six observables may not take long to manually enter into the platform, it is not uncommon to find detailed malware analysis that contains dozens of IP addresses, hash values, domains, and other observables. Entering this many observables into IncMan manually in order to take advantage of IncMan’s automation and orchestration features on the new observables would be a time-consuming process. Automatic Observable Harvesting performs this task automatically.
Once these new observables are added into IncMan, analysts can take advantage of IncMan’s automation and orchestration features to begin performing additional enrichment on the observables, as well as searching across any internal data sources for evidence of the observables and blocking them if needed.