Click2Gov software vulnerable for the second time; breach hits 8 US cities - Security Boulevard

Click2Gov software vulnerable for the second time; breach hits 8 US cities

A vulnerable municipality software, Click2Gov, is known to be part of a breach involving eight cities last month, Threatpost reports. The Click2Gov software is used in self-service bill-paying portals used by utilities and community development organizations for paying parking tickets online etc.

This is not the first time the software vulnerability has affected a huge bunch of people. The flaw was first discovered in December 2018, where using the vulnerable software, hackers compromised over 300,000 payment card records from dozens of cities across the United States and Canada between 2017 and late 2018.

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Hackers are taking a second aim at Click2Gov

The team of researchers at Gemini Advisory who covered the breach in 2018 have now observed a second wave of Click2Gov breaches beginning in August 2019 and affecting over 20,000 records from eight cities across the United States. The portals of six of the eight cities had been compromised in the initial breach. They also revealed that these user records have been offered for sale online via illicit markets. The impacted towns include Deerfield Beach, Fla., Palm Bay, Fla., Milton, Fla., Coral Springs. Fla., Bakersfield Calif., Pocatello Ida., Broken Arrow, Okla. and Ames, Iow

“While many of the affected cities have patched their systems since the original breach, it is common for cybercriminals to strike the same targets twice. Thus, several of the same cities were affected in both waves of breaches,”  the Gemini Advisory researchers write in their official post.

The researchers said, “Analysts confirmed that many of the affected towns were operating patched and up-to-date Click2Gov systems but were affected nonetheless. Given the success of the first campaign, which generated over $1.9 million in illicit revenue, the threat actors would likely have both the motive and the budget to conduct a second Click2Gov campaign,” they further added.

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According to a FireEye report published last year, in the 2018 attack, attackers compromised the Click2Gov webserver. Due to the vulnerability, the attacker was able to install a web shell, SJavaWebManage, and then upload a tool that allowed them to parse log files, retrieve payment card information and remove all log entries.

Superion (now CentralSquare Technologies and owner of the Click2Gov software) acknowledged directly to Gemini Advisory that despite broad patch deployment the system remains vulnerable for an unknown reason.

On similar lines of this year’s attack, researchers say “the portal remains a viable attack surface. These eight cities were in five states, but cardholders in all 50 states were affected. Some of these victims resided in different states but remotely transacted with the Click2Gov portal in affected cities, potentially due to past travels or to owning property in those cities.”

Click2Gov softwareMap depicting cities affected only by the original Click2Gov breach (yellow) and those affected by the second wave of Click2Gov breaches (blue).

Source: Gemini Advisory

These eight towns were contacted by Threatpost wherein most of them did not respond. However, some towns confirmed the breach in their Click2Gov utility payment portals. Some even took their Click2Gov portals offline shortly after contact. CentralSquare Technologies did not immediately comment on this scenario.

To know more about this news in detail, read Gemini Advisory’s official post.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Security News – Packt Hub authored by Savia Lobo. Read the original post at: https://hub.packtpub.com/click2gov-software-vulnerable-for-the-second-time-breach-hits-8-us-cities/