• An internal host is communicating with an outside IP using HTTPS where another protocol is running over the top of the HTTPS sessions. The sessions appear to go to different domains but are all served by a single Content Delivery Network (CDN) and all utilize a JA3 hash which is only used by this host with this one CDN.
  • This represents a hidden tunnel involving multiple shorter sessions over a longer period of time mimicking normal encrypted Web traffic

Possible Root Causes

  • A targeted attack may use hidden tunnels to hide communication with command and control servers over TLS on port 443 and other ports  
  • Intentionally installed software is using a domain-fronted hidden tunnel utilizing multiple benign domains to bypass expected firewall rules

Business Impact

  • The use of a hidden tunnel with multi-domain fronting is quite unusual, and it represents significant risk as the intention is to bypass security controls
  • Hidden tunnels used as part of a targeted attack are meant to slip by your perimeter security controls and indicate a sophisticated attacker

Steps to Verify

  • Ask the user of the host whether they are using hidden tunnel software for any purpose and if not, whether they intentionally connected to the list of domains in the detection (the JA3- hash in the detection may provide a clue to the software utilized)
  • Before removing the offending software via antivirus or reimaging, take a memory snapshot for future analysis of the incident
  • If the behavior reappears shortly after a reimaging, this may be a hardware/BIOS tunnel