Bringing Access Back — Initial Access Brokers Exploit F5 BIG-IP (CVE-2023-46747) and ScreenConnect

During the course of an intrusion investigation in late October 2023, Mandiant observed novel N-day exploitation of CVE-2023-46747 affecting F5 BIG-IP Traffic Management User Interface.

Additionally, in February 2024, Mandiant researchers observed exploitation of Connectwise ScreenConnect CVE-2024-1709 by the same actor. This mix of custom tooling and the SUPERSHELL framework leveraged in these incidents is assessed with moderate confidence to be unique to a People’s Republic of China (PRC) threat actor, UNC5174. Mandiant assesses UNC5174 (believed to use the persona “Uteus”) is a former member of Chinese hacktivist collectives that has since shown indications of acting as a contractor for China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) focused on executing access operations.

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Source: Mandiant