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Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”

Summary

According to a whistleblower, Ubiquiti's previous security breach was much worse than they had disclosed. Allegedly, the attacker used a compromised LastPass account of an employee of the company to gain root administrator access to all Ubiquiti AWS accounts which included user credentials and secrets - meaning all Ubiquiti endpoint devices and accounts registered at the time of the attack are potentially compromised or could be compromised with a malicious "update" to the device.

 

Quotes

What happened:

Quote

A security professional at Ubiquiti who helped the company respond to the two-month breach beginning in December 2020 contacted KrebsOnSecurity after raising his concerns with both Ubiquiti’s whistleblower hotline and with European data protection authorities. The source — we’ll call him Adam — spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by Ubiquiti.

 

“It was catastrophically worse than reported, and legal silenced and overruled efforts to decisively protect customers,” Adam wrote in a letter to the European Data Protection Supervisor. “The breach was massive, customer data was at risk, access to customers’ devices deployed in corporations and homes around the world was at risk.”

[...]

According to Adam, the hackers obtained full read/write access to Ubiquiti databases at Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was the alleged “third party” involved in the breach. Ubiquiti’s breach disclosure, he wrote, was “downplayed and purposefully written to imply that a 3rd party cloud vendor was at risk and that Ubiquiti was merely a casualty of that, instead of the target of the attack.”

 

What was taken & how:

Quote

“They were able to get cryptographic secrets for single sign-on cookies and remote access, full source code control contents, and signing keys exfiltration,” Adam said.

 

Adam says the attacker(s) had access to privileged credentials that were previously stored in the LastPass account of a Ubiquiti IT employee, and gained root administrator access to all Ubiquiti AWS accounts, including all S3 data buckets, all application logs, all databases, all user database credentials, and secrets required to forge single sign-on (SSO) cookies.

 

Such access could have allowed the intruders to remotely authenticate to countless Ubiquiti cloud-based devices around the world. According to its website, Ubiquiti has shipped more than 85 million devices that play a key role in networking infrastructure in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

 

Adam says Ubiquiti’s security team picked up signals in late December 2020 that someone with administrative access had set up several Linux virtual machines that weren’t accounted for.

Then they found a backdoor that an intruder had left behind in the system.

 

When security engineers removed the backdoor account in the first week of January, the intruders responded by sending a message saying they wanted 50 bitcoin (~$2.8 million USD) in exchange for a promise to remain quiet about the breach. The attackers also provided proof they’d stolen Ubiquiti’s source code, and pledged to disclose the location of another backdoor if their ransom demand was met.

Ubiquiti did not engage with the hackers, Adam said, and ultimately the incident response team found the second backdoor the extortionists had left in the system. The company would spend the next few days furiously rotating credentials for all employees, before Ubiquiti started alerting customers about the need to reset their passwords.

 

But he maintains that instead of asking customers to change their passwords when they next log on — as the company did on Jan. 11 — Ubiquiti should have immediately invalidated all of its customer’s credentials and forced a reset on all accounts, mainly because the intruders already had credentials needed to remotely access customer IoT systems.


Ubiquiti had negligent logging (no access logging on databases) so it was unable to prove or disprove what they accessed, but the attacker targeted the credentials to the databases, and created Linux instances with networking connectivity to said databases,” Adam wrote in his letter. “Legal overrode the repeated requests to force rotation of all customer credentials, and to revert any device access permission changes within the relevant period.”

 

Recommendation to Ubiquity Users on how to protect themselves:

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If you have Ubiquiti devices installed and haven’t yet changed the passwords on the devices since Jan. 11 this year, now would be a good time to care of that.

 

It might also be a good idea to just delete any profiles you had on these devices, make sure they’re up to date on the latest firmware, and then re-create those profiles with new [and preferably unique] credentials. And seriously consider disabling any remote access on the devices.

 

 

My thoughts

This caught my eye since they have partnered with LTT for sponsored videos in the past and Linus is deeply invested in their ecosystem at home. It is incredibly baffling for a company of Ubiquiti's size (and the market they are in) to not have access logging set up in their environment (cloud or otherwise). If you are a Ubiquiti user, I urge you to follow the recommendations above and also set up 2FA if you haven't already.

 

Sources

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/03/whistleblower-ubiquiti-breach-catastrophic/

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Well this sucks. I had recommended Ubiquiti to a number of people over last several months. Most of those people have indeed purchased Ubiquiti products. Now I'll look like a giant ass for that.

 

Also, this is irresponsible as hell. They should have said how bad it was from the start, rather than a whistleblower having to break the news. People could have at least taken some action, like removing those devices entirely from their network or home/business. This does not bode well at all. Kinda reminds me of what happened with NordVPN.

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😱 NOT Good.

 

WTH is going on with Ubiquiti lately? They're really pushing for cloud management vs on-prem. My gut feeling is that someone is eyeballing the same playbook that made Meraki so successful; as in they got bought (by Cisco) 😱😱😱

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Hahaha that's awesome

ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D???????r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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̌̅̒̾̈́̆͌̌̾̎̽̐̅̏́̈̔͛̀̋̃͊̒̓͗͒̑͒̃͂̌̄̇̑̇͛̆̾͛̒̇̍̒̓̀̈́̄̐͂̍͊͗̎̔͌͛̂̏̉̊̎͗͊͒̂̈̽̊́̔̊̃͑̈́̑̌̋̓̅̔́́͒̄̈́̈̂͐̈̅̈̓͌̓͊́̆͌̉͐̊̉͛̓̏̓̅̈́͂̉̒̇̉̆̀̍̄̇͆͛̏̉̑̃̓͂́͋̃̆̒͋̓͊̄́̓̕̕̕̚͘͘͘̚̕̚͘̕̕͜͜͝͝͝͠͝͝͝͝͠ͅS̷̢̨̧̢̡̨̢̨̢̨̧̧̨̧͚̱̪͇̱̮̪̮̦̝͖̜͙̘̪̘̟̱͇͎̻̪͚̩͍̠̹̮͚̦̝̤͖̙͔͚̙̺̩̥̻͈̺̦͕͈̹̳̖͓̜͚̜̭͉͇͖̟͔͕̹̯̬͍̱̫̮͓̙͇̗̙̼͚̪͇̦̗̜̼̠͈̩̠͉͉̘̱̯̪̟͕̘͖̝͇̼͕̳̻̜͖̜͇̣̠̹̬̗̝͓̖͚̺̫͛̉̅̐̕͘͜͜͜͜ͅͅͅ.̶̨̢̢̨̢̨̢̛̻͙̜̼̮̝̙̣̘̗̪̜̬̳̫̙̮̣̹̥̲̥͇͈̮̟͉̰̮̪̲̗̳̰̫̙͍̦̘̠̗̥̮̹̤̼̼̩͕͉͕͇͙̯̫̩̦̟̦̹͈͔̱̝͈̤͓̻̟̮̱͖̟̹̝͉̰͊̓̏̇͂̅̀̌͑̿͆̿̿͗̽̌̈́̉̂̀̒̊̿͆̃̄͑͆̃̇͒̀͐̍̅̃̍̈́̃̕͘͜͜͝͠͠z̴̢̢̡̧̢̢̧̢̨̡̨̛̛̛̛̛̛̛̛̲͚̠̜̮̠̜̞̤̺͈̘͍̻̫͖̣̥̗̙̳͓͙̫̫͖͍͇̬̲̳̭̘̮̤̬̖̼͎̬̯̼̮͔̭̠͎͓̼̖̟͈͓̦̩̦̳̙̮̗̮̩͙͓̮̰̜͎̺̞̝̪͎̯̜͈͇̪̙͎̩͖̭̟͎̲̩͔͓͈͌́̿͐̍̓͗͑̒̈́̎͂̋͂̀͂̑͂͊͆̍͛̄̃͌͗̌́̈̊́́̅͗̉͛͌͋̂̋̇̅̔̇͊͑͆̐̇͊͋̄̈́͆̍̋̏͑̓̈́̏̀͒̂̔̄̅̇̌̀̈́̿̽̋͐̾̆͆͆̈̌̿̈́̎͌̊̓̒͐̾̇̈́̍͛̅͌̽́̏͆̉́̉̓̅́͂͛̄̆͌̈́̇͐̒̿̾͌͊͗̀͑̃̊̓̈̈́̊͒̒̏̿́͑̄̑͋̀̽̀̔̀̎̄͑̌̔́̉̐͛̓̐̅́̒̎̈͆̀̍̾̀͂̄̈́̈́̈́̑̏̈́̐̽̐́̏̂̐̔̓̉̈́͂̕̚̕͘͘̚͘̚̕̚̚̚͘̕̕̕͜͜͝͠͠͝͝͝͝͠͝͝͝͠͝͝͝͝͝͝ͅͅͅī̸̧̧̧̡̨̨̢̨̛̛̘͓̼̰̰̮̗̰͚̙̥̣͍̦̺͈̣̻͇̱͔̰͈͓͖͈̻̲̫̪̲͈̜̲̬̖̻̰̦̰͙̤̘̝̦̟͈̭̱̮̠͍̖̲͉̫͔͖͔͈̻̖̝͎̖͕͔̣͈̤̗̱̀̅̃̈́͌̿̏͋̊̇̂̀̀̒̉̄̈́͋͌̽́̈́̓̑̈̀̍͗͜͜͠͠ͅp̴̢̢̧̨̡̡̨̢̨̢̢̢̨̡̛̛͕̩͕̟̫̝͈̖̟̣̲̖̭̙͇̟̗͖͎̹͇̘̰̗̝̹̤̺͉͎̙̝̟͙͚̦͚͖̜̫̰͖̼̤̥̤̹̖͉͚̺̥̮̮̫͖͍̼̰̭̤̲͔̩̯̣͖̻͇̞̳̬͉̣̖̥̣͓̤͔̪̙͎̰̬͚̣̭̞̬͎̼͉͓̮͙͕̗̦̞̥̮̘̻͎̭̼͚͎͈͇̥̗͖̫̮̤̦͙̭͎̝͖̣̰̱̩͎̩͎̘͇̟̠̱̬͈̗͍̦̘̱̰̤̱̘̫̫̮̥͕͉̥̜̯͖̖͍̮̼̲͓̤̮͈̤͓̭̝̟̲̲̳̟̠͉̙̻͕͙̞͔̖͈̱̞͓͔̬̮͎̙̭͎̩̟̖͚̆͐̅͆̿͐̄̓̀̇̂̊̃̂̄̊̀͐̍̌̅͌̆͊̆̓́̄́̃̆͗͊́̓̀͑͐̐̇͐̍́̓̈́̓̑̈̈́̽͂́̑͒͐͋̊͊̇̇̆̑̃̈́̎͛̎̓͊͛̐̾́̀͌̐̈́͛̃̂̈̿̽̇̋̍͒̍͗̈͘̚̚͘̚͘͘͜͜͜͜͜͜͠͠͝͝ͅͅͅ☻♥■∞{╚mYÄÜXτ╕○\╚Θº£¥ΘBM@Q05♠{{↨↨▬§¶‼↕◄►☼1♦  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44 minutes ago, StDragon said:

😱 NOT Good.

 

WTH is going on with Ubiquiti lately? They're really pushing for cloud management vs on-prem. My gut feeling is that someone is eyeballing the same playbook that made Meraki so successful; as in they got bought (by Cisco) 😱😱😱

ive heard from alleged former employees of them that the company shifted focus to always having new products instead of polishing what they already have. Some of their firmwares and such for some devices have been kinda sketchy lately (though it did get a bit better in last couple months). 

The UDM for example was a nightmare until like 4 months ago lol. Every now and then i still hear ppl complain about the UDM Pro too.

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59 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

Well this sucks. I had recommended Ubiquiti to a number of people over last several months. Most of those people have indeed purchased Ubiquiti products. Now I'll look like a giant ass for that.

 

Also, this is irresponsible as hell. They should have said how bad it was from the start, rather than a whistleblower having to break the news. People could have at least taken some action, like removing those devices entirely from their network or home/business. This does not bode well at all. Kinda reminds me of what happened with NordVPN.

same i've recommended their stuff to lots of ppl. Their AP's at least are solid. plug them in, set them up with your phone and done. I do find it hard to recommend some of their other stuff with all the complaints i've heard though. 

"There is nothing more difficult than fixing something that isn't all the way broken yet." - Author Unknown

"A redline a day keeps depression at bay" - Author Unknown

Spoiler

Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6 GHz - Asus P9X79WS/IPMI - 12GB DDR3-1600 quad-channel - EVGA GTX 1080ti SC - Fractal Design Define R5 - 500GB Crucial MX200 and 2 x Seagate ST2000DM006 (in RAID 0 for games!) - The good old Corsair GS700 - Yamakasi Catleap 2703 27" 1440p and ASUS VS239H-P 1080p 23" - NH-D15 - Logitech G710+ - Mionix Naos 7000 - Sennheiser PC350 w/Topping VX-1

 

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Yikes. I never used a cloud password manager, that always sounded like asking for trouble.

 

Also shout out to the employee who didn’t even setup two-step verification.

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8 hours ago, StDragon said:

😱 NOT Good.

 

WTH is going on with Ubiquiti lately? They're really pushing for cloud management vs on-prem. My gut feeling is that someone is eyeballing the same playbook that made Meraki so successful; as in they got bought (by Cisco) 😱😱😱

Subscription models are the new norm, it allows them to have a guaranteed monthly income stream rather than relying on sales alone.

 

IMO by the end of this decade EVERYTHING (at least that's possible) will be subscription based.

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Does anyone knows if this also effects their Amplifi line of products? And what if you use something else other then an ubiquiti account to login? Like a google account?

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On 3/31/2021 at 2:42 AM, StDragon said:

WTH is going on with Ubiquiti lately?

Ubiquiti were never that good.

They have always been kind of a hobby-tier manufacturer with buggy and unstable software and hardware.

 

There is a reason why Ubiquiti is so cheap compared to other brands like Aruba and Cisco.

From what I've heard, the only good product line from Ubiquiti is their airFiber.

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1 hour ago, YubinTheBunny said:

Does anyone knows if this also effects their Amplifi line of products? And what if you use something else other then an ubiquiti account to login? Like a google account?

You should assume all accounts hosted by Ubiquiti is breached and change passwords and check that your devices access permissions does not include something strange.

 

In the related HN thread about this there are some former employee's account of the company as it is now and the new(?) CEO seems have dropped everything that made all the goodwill from the customers.

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UBNT is leaving a massive hole in the networking market between enterprise and consumer products.  

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1 hour ago, LAwLz said:

From what I've heard, the only good product line from Ubiquiti is their airFiber.

Their UAP access points are actually good for the price, not much better in the target market. I would personally keep deployments to around 6-10 max before going with a better brand. The config and management is just at the right level for homes and smaller businesses to be able to self manage after being deployed by someone more expert.

 

Friends parents place has 3 UAP-AC Pros in it with the Cloud Key (the older one) and their small PoE switch. The house is used as a rental/borders accommodation so there's a private SSID and a guest client isolated SSID, generating password with timed expiry is simple and not something you could really do or easily (without extra crap) on anything else consumer oriented.

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2 hours ago, LAwLz said:

Ubiquiti were never that good.

They have always been kind of a hobby-tier manufacturer with buggy and unstable software and hardware.

 

There is a reason why Ubiquiti is so cheap compared to other brands like Aruba and Cisco.

From what I've heard, the only good product line from Ubiquiti is their airFiber.

I agree with this, and I have firsthand experience with dealing with corrupted MongoDBs on CloudKeys (because Mongo is crap). FWIW, don't bother salvaging the historical analytical database. Just wipe it to factory and restore just the settings from a backup config; it least those are portable to get the Controller spun up in a VM, but I digress....

 

As for their hardware, actually, it's rather robust and the best cheapest option from a performance/price ratio. If I recall, some of the RF scientists and engineers came from Motorola in the past. This isn't your typical reference design passed around in China to make cheap WiFi crap. We're talking real engineering here, well designed.

 

Their software and firmware on the other hand, yeah, could use some improvement in that area for sure.

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4 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

Subscription models are the new norm, it allows them to have a guaranteed monthly income stream rather than relying on sales alone.

 

IMO by the end of this decade EVERYTHING (at least that's possible) will be subscription based.

The HaaS model has always been the "holy grail" of a business model. Vendor lock-in, perpetual upgrades, and reoccurring revenue and expenditures for ease of budgeting.

 

The problem is, say, 95+% of businesses aren't going to be taking down their APs and other WiFi equipment on a constant refresh cycle; that takes labor which is another expense. EOL-ed equipment, vulnerabilities, performance, yada yada, I get it. But you know how it is "if it ain't physically broke, don't fix it"; that's why the Meraki stuff stops working when you don't pay the renewal. In fact, because of that I've seen more businesses rip that shit out than feel like a being taken as a hostage.

 

If they're pushing hard for HaaS, it's only because they've given up on the SMB (Small and Medium Business) market.

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4 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

Subscription models are the new norm, it allows them to have a guaranteed monthly income stream rather than relying on sales alone.

 

IMO by the end of this decade EVERYTHING (at least that's possible) will be subscription based.

I don't feel to strongly on this as the other alternative (if you want to make as much money as possible as a business) is to have the customers upgrade their hardware for every new feature and not doing any software update for already sold devices.

 

I really hope this is not true but if UBNT is now a company more interested in the bottom line then in quality/goodwill then these are more or less the only two paths to for them.

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13 hours ago, Dark Force said:

Allegedly, the attacker used a compromised LastPass account of an employee of the company to gain root administrator access to all Ubiquiti AWS accounts which included user credentials and secrets

Let me just confirm this, they had their AWS root account configured without MFA? If so they asked for this. One of the first things they teach you about AWS is to put MFA on your root account and basically use it just to create initial users and then create users with minimum required privilege and setup MFA on each account. Usually CTO or other high ranking company official only should have root account access, not engineers. Those are basics of a basics and this incident happened only because of their sheer negligence. 

 

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Can anyone confirm if your AP was just connected to a controller hosted locally running their controller software without remote connection access are you safe? That's what he seems like to me. Obviously update account passwords but does the password to my AP need to be updated or do I need to wipe everything?

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44 minutes ago, SlidewaysZ said:

Can anyone confirm if your AP was just connected to a controller hosted locally running their controller software without remote connection access are you safe?

If you have a cloudkey and was forced to register no. IDK exactly where it is but you have to disable remote access in the settings AFAIK, i have a gen1 cloudkey (i have a nanohd ap) so im not affected by this fiasco. And contrary to some whining here its actually rock stable. No signal loss, no sudden reboots, no freezing.

Edited by jagdtigger
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56 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

If you have a cloudkey and was forced to register no. IDK exactly where it is but you have to disable remote access in the settings AFAIK, i have a gen1 cloudkey (i have a nanohd ap) so im not affected by this fiasco. And contrary to some whining here its actually rock stable. No signal loss, no sudden reboots, no freezing.

Ok Yeah I've had remote access disabled forever now. Having that one was a security risk anyway IMHO always remote in with a VPN. Ok I'll probably change the local account password to be safe but I think I'm good.

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14 minutes ago, SlidewaysZ said:

Ok Yeah I've had remote access disabled forever now. Having that one was a security risk anyway IMHO always remote in with a VPN. Ok I'll probably change the local account password to be safe but I think I'm good.

If its a local account you dont have to do anything.

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Glad I went with Omada to set up my new house.

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And that why kids, I don't recommend Cloud "networking gear" because shit like this happens. Why does "cloud management" have to be a thing? I get it is a nice "feature" that you can use to manage your gear from anywhere but come on... 

CPU: i7 4790K |CPU Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo | Motherboard: Z97-A | RAM: 4x4GB Kingston Memory 1600mhz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB Zotac Mini | Case: K280 Case | PSU: Cooler Master B600 Power supply | SSD: 120GB Kingston V300 SSD | HDDs: 1x 250GB & 1x 1TB WD Blue | Monitors: 24" Acer S240HLBID + 24" Samsung  | OS: Win 10 Pro

 

Audio: Behringer 302USB Xenyx 5 Input Mixer |  U-PHORIA UMC204HD | Neewer NW-700 Mic | Sound Blaster Audigy Fx PCI-E card

 

Networking gear:  Lenovo ThinkCenter M82 ESXi 6.7 | Lenovo M93 Tiny Exchange 2019 | TP-LINK TL-SG1024D 24-Port Gigabit | Cisco ASA 5506 firewall  | Cisco Catalyst 3750 Gigabit Switch | HP MicroServer G7 NAS | Dell PowerEdge R210 II SCCM Server

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7 minutes ago, Sir Asvald said:

And that why kids, I don't recommend Cloud "networking gear" because shit like this happens. Why does "cloud management" have to be a thing? I get it is a nice "feature" that you can use to manage your gear from anywhere but come on... 

I agree any management should be done through a VPN

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