Russian Intrusion Unveiled:
Detecting Anomalous User Logins via OneDrive with Cyberseer


At Cyberseer, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve when it comes to spotting and stopping threats before they wreak havoc on our client's systems. In this blog post, we delve into a recent incident where our vigilant monitoring uncovered suspicious activities, highlighting our methodology and the value it brings to our clients.

Detecting Anomalous User Logins:

At 4 am an analyst was alerted to a priority threat flagged by Cyberseer’s ASPECT customer threat escalation platform. The alert was triggered by a behavioural anomaly in a customer environment relating to a “First Time Login & File Activity” from a suspect source. This anomaly was further reinforced using the customer’s integrated Microsoft Defender logs.

Using OSINT (Open-Source Intelligence), the analyst investigated the source IP of the user actions, revealing that the login activity and subsequent file read events were attributed to a Moscow-based hosting provider. The user’s timeline of actions proceeding the 04:10 initial “Indicator of Compromise” were reviewed and highlighted further login attempts from a range of cloud providers, email rule manipulation and file read and write events from IPs not matching that of the genuine user’s normal behaviour. These malicious indicators lead the analyst to promptly notify the client via agreed priority escalation channels, providing verbal and written details of the suspected compromised accounts, and alerting them to the potential threat of data loss or lateral movement.

Russian Intrusion Unveiled first time activity user login on onedrive

Confirmation of Compromise:

After confirming the threat and discussing the necessary actions with the customer, the analyst continued to review the post-compromise timeline of events. Upon closer examination, it became evident that one user account, holding a management role, was observed engaging in unauthorised activities, including the creation of a OneDrive folder in the user’s directory – a potential indication of illicit access.


Two distinct motives were highlighted for this action, each presenting its own set of risks:

  1. Weaponising the Folder:

One plausible scenario is that the malicious actors intended to exploit the OneDrive folder as a conduit for delivering malicious payloads onto the compromised host. This could have allowed them to evade traditional antivirus measures on the user's host, and establish persistence on the network or extract credentials via the dropped payload. 


  1. Data Exfiltration:

Alternatively, the OneDrive folder could have served as a clandestine repository for stolen data. In this scenario, the attackers could have exfiltrated sensitive information from the compromised environment and stored it within the folder for subsequent retrieval. The ease of sharing OneDrive folders would facilitate seamless communication between the adversaries, enabling them to siphon off valuable data, potentially blending in with Business as Usual (BAU) actions.

Response and Mitigation:

The further findings were relayed to the client as part of the ongoing incident, with the analyst working alongside their team to advise on the best remediation steps. These initially focused on removing the access by locking the account, revoking 2FA sessions and reviewing 0365 & OneDrive forwarding rules.

The Cyberseer SOC runs on real-time monitoring technology, powered by advanced AI algorithms and machine learning models. This allows us to sift through mountains of data, identifying patterns and anomalies indicative of potential threats. Reinforced by our team of analysts who are experts in defence, intelligence and interpreting suspicious activities around probable threats and recommending mitigation appropriate and suitable to you. For each incident detected, our analysts draw on their expertise, external sources of intelligence and the context of the network before presenting an informed and considered explanation of the threats faced. Investigative work is collated into a comprehensive threat report, categorising discovered threats by severity and confidence level, along with recommended actions.


This incident is a testament to the effectiveness of Cyberseer's threat detection and response capabilities. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and a proactive mindset, we don’t just spot threats; we mitigate and contain them, limiting further risks to our customers. It’s a reminder of the importance of robust cybersecurity measures in today's digital landscape. Here at Cyberseer, we are committed to keeping our clients safe and protected in the face of ever-evolving threats and technologies.

Contact us today to learn more about our Managed Security Services and discover how we can help keep your data, systems and reputation safe.


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