Information Security Report – February 2018


Over the past month, we have seen a number of threats, vulnerabilities, and spear phishing attacks affecting organisations worldwide. Read on for a summary of these events to help you assess their implication on your environment.

Current Threats and Exploits


  • Refined Exploits Targeting Legacy Windows Servers and PCs: – The vulnerabilities discovered in SMBv1 servers (CVE-2017-0146 and CVE-2017-0143), can be used by remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via crafted packets, to the Microsoft SMB servers. Three exploits linked to these Microsoft vulnerabilities, have been rewritten and stabilised and can now impact all Windows operating systems starting with Windows 2000 up to and including Server 2016 edition. It is highly recommended to apply all software patches available as it is reported that these exploits are being used by worm malware to enable them to spread. Additional details on the recommended actions to take against these exploits can be found in the references below. (1)
  • WannaMine: Cryptocurrency Mining Malware: An EternalBlue based malware dubbed WannaMine was discovered to be using computing resources to mine cryptocurrency on infected systems. The malware initially uses password harvesting kit Mimikatz to steal usernames and passwords from system memory and EternalBlue exploits in order to spread around the network. (2)(3)
  • CISCO ASA Remote code execution and Denial of Service vulnerability:  A vulnerability in the Cisco SSL VPN functionality of Cisco ASA was discovered and is being actively scanned and attacked across the internet. Successful attacks allow the attacker to reload the device resulting in a denial of service, or run arbitrary code on the device by sending crafted XML packets to the webVPN interface. Users of Cisco ASA devices are recommended to check the running operating system version and upgrade soon as possible.(4)
  • Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software EnergyWise Denial of Service Vulnerabilities:  Multiple vulnerabilities in the EnergyWise module of Cisco IOS and Cisco IOS XE Software have been disclosed. These are caused by the improper parsing of crafted EnergyWise packets destined to an affected device. These vulnerabilities could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a buffer overflow condition or a reload of an affected device, leading to a denial of service (DoS) condition. Cisco has released software updates that address these vulnerabilities. (5)
  • Lenovo Networking OS backdoor: A backdoor that has existed since 2004 has been removed from the Lenovo Networking OS in use by 16 IBM and 16 Lenovo network switches. This backdoor allows for administrative access to the device and Lenovo claim the backdoor was placed into the product by the now-defunct Nortel Networks. (6)
  • CISCO ASA 9000 IPv6 Fragmentation Packet Denial of Service:  Due to an incorrect handling of IPv6 packets in the Cisco ASA 9000 series, an unauthenticated reload of trident line cards is possible in routers running Cisco IOS XR Software Release 5.3.4. with IPv6 configured. Cisco have released software updates that resolve this issue. (7)(8)

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Recent Breaches


  • Russian hackers hacked and published 2018 Winter Olympics emails: It is reported that Russian hackers calling themselves ‘FancyBear’ have retaliated to the banning of Russia from participating in the Winter Olympics by releasing emails regarding Olympic games scheduled in February in South Korea. It is alleged that the group is associated with military intelligence. The International Olympic Committee have not commented on the allegations brought forward by the leaked documents. (9)

Other News


  • Netflix phishing campaign: A phishing campaign was reported to hijack the Netfilix brand by tricking users to handing over their login details, credit card, mugshot, and their ID. The fraudsters used a fake website that had a valid HTTPS certificate to attempt to reassure users of the legitimacy of the website. (10)

References

Information Security Report – January 2018


Current Threats and Exploits


  • Meltdown? Spectre? Where Can We Find Out More? – Early January saw the industry start the year with a bang as rumors of an Intel bug being released online. Google’s Project Zero quickly announced on the 3rd of January that nearly all modern processors are affected by a vulnerability that when exploited can allow for potentially sensitive information to be accessed from memory across local security boundaries. A combined response from processor and operating system vendors is currently underway with most vendors releasing a statement or patch where applicable. It is recommended that local administrators investigate their organisations exposure to the bug and begin a remediation plan where possible. Additional detail and vendor responses can be found in the references below. (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Risks Created by Bitcoins Surge in Popularity – Driven by the rise in value of bitcoin over in recent months, crypto currency has become a hot topic for those in and out of the IT space. With a large number of people newly becoming curious or looking to make some quick money in crypto markets, scammers and attackers have also been thinking about how they can leverage the new found popularity of these currencies. In recent months there has been an increase in bitcoin related phishing and online scams in an attempt to either steal bitcoin or wallet private keys / passwords from unsuspecting users.

Recent Breaches


  • Forever 21 POS Malware Reminds about Encrypting Data at Rest – Retailer Forever 21 announced that for 7 months last year a number of cash register and point of sale devices were infected with malware that was successfully able to swipe payment card details. In addition to this it was reported that the malware was also present on some systems and were able to view transactional logs on a central server that were generated by non-compromised devices. It has been confirmed that encryption on these devices was not always enabled, and during periods where encryption was not enabled the logs could be read by the malware which would search for payment card details. Although POS malware is a constant threat, it is also important to ensure you are aware of all systems in your organisation that hold or process any form of payment card information. Regular testing and quality control of controls such as encryption of data at rest, and reduction of sensitive information in logs can ensure that in the event of compromise, the malware would not be able to find sensitive information. (8)
  • Leaky (S3) Buckets At it Again – Once again, a publicly exposed Amazon S3 bucket containing sensitive information was found. This time the information contained details on an estimated 123 million American households. With more companies using cloud services for storage and business, it is important to gain a good understanding of the access controls in place for data kept in the cloud. Regular reviews of access to your cloud services and data is also recommended. If you are looking for more information about securing S3, see this article here. (9)

 

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Other News


  • What to expect in 2018 – With 2017 teaching us all some new lessons about patch management, ransomware, crypto currencies and securing the cloud, it is expected that 2018 will provide a similar education. With more companies looking to invest in the cloud and in new technologies, there is an increased risk in how we can better secure the modern business. The internet of things and the issues these devices have faced in the past is a constant reminder of this. Further to this it is expected that financially motivated cybercrime will remain a constant threat through the means of social engineering/phishing, crypto-currency targeted malware and possibly more organisation specific ransomware. From a defender perspective, it is expected that two factor authentication (2FA) will increase significantly. As many credential based attacks can be mitigated by enabling 2FA, and with 2FA gaining wide-spread support (especially in the cloud and online services), 2018 should see a welcomed increase in 2FA uptake. (10)

References

Information Security Report – December 2017


Over the past month, we have seen a number of threats, vulnerabilities, and spear phishing attacks affecting organisations worldwide. Read on for a summary of these events to help you assess their implication on your environment.

Threats and Exploits


Mailsploit

Mailsploit Allows Spoofed Mails to Fool DMARC. Mailsploit is a collection of vulnerabilities in various email clients which allow an attacker to perform code injection attacks, spoof senders and bypass email protection mechanisms such as DMARC(DKIM/SPF). The security researcher who developed Mailsploit described how Mailsploit allows an attacker to send emails from any address they choose by taking advantage of how servers validate the DKIM signature of the original domain and not the spoofed one. It has been reported that this technique does not currently get detected or blocked by the majority of mail client vendors.

All major email clients and web mail vendors were notified about Mailsploit prior to its public release, however a large number of popular clients still remain vulnerable.

The list of impacted mail clients can be found here >>

It is recommended that users should update their email client whenever there’s a software update available, use end-to-end encrypted messages for personal conversations and at work and/or use PGP/GPG to verify the identities and encrypt email contents.

You can read more on Mailsploit on info security magazine and mailsploit.com

Spear Phishing

Huge Increase in Email Impersonation Attacks: According to Email Security Risk Assessment (ESRA) report, a report released byMimecast Data Security, it was discovered that although organisations continue to face an ongoing threat from malware, the fastest growing threat is impersonation attacks. An organisation is seven times more likely to be hit by an impersonation attack than by email-borne malware. These attacks are also known as whaling or spear phishing where attackers trick recipients into wiring money transfers to the fraudster. These scams are highly targeted and often done after a cybercriminal has gathered enough information to send the right person the right message. These attacks continue to grow faster than malware due to the fact that it’s very hard for traditional defenses like email filters to detect them.

Good user training will give an edge in avoiding most of these payment and impersonation scams. A few other tips for security teams to help combat the social engineering threat include:

  • Conducting internal phishing by phishing your own employees and sharing the results of the testing with them so that they can learn what to look out for. This should be combines with good training on how the users can detect the phishing emails.
  • Impersonation attacks often try to mimic emails from C-level executives. Implement a company policy that closes scam avenues for would-be spear phishers (e.g., never request the sharing of sensitive documents via email).
  • Disable links inside email bodies to force users to manually navigate to the site mentioned in the email. It adds extra steps, but it can prevent a user from clicking on a phishing link by accident.

Read more on info security magazine and TechRepublic

 

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Breaches


Virtual Keyboard App Data Breach

Massive Breach Exposes Keyboard App that Collects Personal Data on its 31 Million Users. A team of security researchers have discovered a huge trove of personal data of the users of the virtual keyboard app ‘AI.type’ that was accidentally leaked online for any one to download. This app is a customization for on-screen keyboards on mobile phones and tablets with more than 40 million users worldwide. It is reported that the app requests for ‘full access’ to all user data stored on the phone and appears to collect everything from contacts to keystrokes. The leaked data includes full names, phone numbers, email addresses, device information including device name, screen resolution, model details, android version, mobile network name, country of residence, GPS location and even links and information associated with social media profiles.

Events such as this raise the question about what permissions mobile applications have on our devices (and just how much access these applications NEED). In order to best protect yourself against this form of application privilege abuse, it is recommended to always read and be cautious of what access is granted to applications.

Read more on The Hacker News

Uber Technologies Data Breach

Personal data of 57 million customers and drivers was stolen last year from ride-sharing company Uber with the breach revealed to have been concealed by the company for more than a year. It is suggested that the company paid $100,000 to the attackers. The company however advised that no social security numbers, credit card information, trip location details or other data were taken. Uber is being condemned for how it chose to deal with the issue after discovery of the attack and has also been sued for negligence over the breach by a customer.

It is reported that two attackers were able to retrieve login credentials from a private GitHub coding site which they used to access Uber data from an Amazon Web Services account where they discovered customer and driver related information. Although there are state and federal laws in the United States that require companies to alert people and government agencies when sensitive data breaches occur, Uber failed to comply.

Read more on Bloomberg.com

Breach at PayPal Subsidiary Affects 1.6 Million Customers. Paypal disclosed on 1st December 2017 a data breach on its recently acquired company TIO Networks. Personal information for 1.6 million individuals may have been compromised. TIO is based in Canada and serves some of the largest telecom and utility network operator in North America. Paypal pointed out that the Paypal platform has not been impacted as the TIO systems have not been integrated into its own platform. Paypal advised that affected companies and individuals would be contacted via mail and email, and offered free credit monitoring services via Experian. The data breach was discovered as part of ongoing investigations for identifying vulnerabilities in the processing platform.

Read more on SecurityWeek.com

Other News


Simulated Attacks Uncover Real-World Problems in IT Security. A research report by SafeBreach, a cybersecurity company that has developed a platform that simulates hacker breach methods, reveals that virtual hackers “have a 60% success rate of using malware to infiltrate networks. And once in, the malware could move laterally almost 70% of the time. In half the cases, they could exit networks with data.” The research found that it was not hard to get past the perimeter and once in, it was easy for attackers to move around and exfiltrate data. This is because most organisations overlook concerns over lateral movement as they mostly focus on the perimeter.

According to the report, malware infiltration methods like nesting or “packing” malware executables were effective in bypassing security controls 50% of the time. The success rate of infiltrating a network using packed executables was found to be 55%-61% using JavaScript, VBScript (VBS) using HTTP and using HTML file format (CHM) extension. It is recommended that network security controls should be VBScript (VBS) using HTTP and using HTML file format (CHM) extension. It is recommended that network controls should be configured to scan for malicious files and block them before they make their way to the endpoints/hosts for installation to disk. The report
further outlines how cybercriminals exfiltrate data using the easiest methods which are often through traditional clear or encrypted Web traffic. Ports having the highest exfiltration success rate include Port 443 (HTTPS) and Port 123 (NTP).

It is recommended that in order to better protect resources, organisations should optimize their current security solutions, constantly update the configurations as needed, and then test the changes they make.

Read more on DARKReading.com

December 2016 Internet Security Report


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! December 2016 was full of the usual Phishing, Malvertising, weak security of IoT devices and large breaches of user accounts that the rest of the year had delivered. If you have a Yahoo email account or an email service that is run through Yahoo’s mail service, please change your passwords for those accounts and consider moving to another provider as Yahoo has had two major publicly disclosed breaches in 2016 alone.

If you are still thinking of a new year’s resolution, please consider “changing your passwords to passphrases”.

Threats

Breaches

  • Yahoo released in December that there was another breach, separate from the previously disclosed breach earlier in the year. In this newly disclosed breach, the thieves stole more than a billion user accounts’ data. Yahoo states that “potentially affected accounts, the stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or un-encrypted security questions and answers.”
    If you have a Yahoo account please change your password for this account. If you have used your Yahoo account password for anything else, please change that password too.
    https://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/12/yahoo-one-billion-more-accounts-hacked/

Patches and Updates

October 2016 Internet Security Report


Joomla takes the cake for most serious exploits doing the rounds this month, with a combination of account creation and privilege escalation vulnerabilities proving an easy way to take complete control of various versions of Joomla. The diagnosis is grim for anyone who was not paying enough attention to patch within 24 hours as mass exploitation of these vulnerabilities have been reported, if you have not patched you should assume your Joomla site is already compromised.

Threats

  • Joomla 3.6.4 was released to address account creation, elevation, and modification vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited in mass across the web just days after the vulnerabilities were disclosed. Anyone who has not already updated should consider their site compromised.
    https://www.joomla.org/announcements/release-news/5678-joomla-3-6-4-released.html
  • Microsoft patched 45 security flaws in their October 2016 patches, one of which is being actively exploited as part of a malvertising campaign. This also being Microsoft first month with their new patching approach, removing the ability to pick-and-choose patches to apply. This new system puts much more pressure on software maintainers to push out patches for their applications that break due to patching, as companies would otherwise have to choose with being vulnerable to exploits, or have a functional application.
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms16-oct.aspx
  • Google has released some unpatched 0-day vulnerabilities in Windows after the time limit of responsible disclosure of actively exploited vulnerabilities ran out. This vulnerability has no patch available and is “local privilege escalation in the Windows kernel that can be used as a security sandbox escape”. Windows 10 Anniversary update is not vulnerable and Microsoft reports that older versions of Microsoft will provide patches on Tuesday, November 8.
    https://security.googleblog.com/2016/10/disclosing-vulnerabilities-to-protect.html
    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mmpc/2016/11/01/our-commitment-to-our-customers-security/
  • Linux Kernel local privilege escalation vulnerability known as Dirty COW has been patched 9 years after its introduction. As this vulnerability has existed for so long, it will affect practically all Linux-powered devices, from cars, to android phones, routers, etc… Cleaning up this Dirty COW is not going to be easy, with many devices simply no longer supported, or patches take months to be released.
    http://dirtycow.ninja/
  • DNS hosting provider DynDNS has been hit by a huge DDoS attack that shook much of their services offline. Being a DNS provider this had very long reaching effects with many major websites being brought offline because users were unable to perform DNS lookups for websites using DynDNS services.
    Read more on Krebs on Security website
  • Spam has been found to be delivered through a calendar invite file “.ics” that contained a cancellation request with many recipients. Depending on how the calendar invite is managed it could cause the spam email to be forwarded to all the recipients from your email address.
    https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Spam+Delivered+via+ICS+Files/21611/

Breaches

Other

  • The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 has passed its second reading in the Australian House of Representatives. If passed, this bill will require entities subject to the Privacy Act 1988 to issue a notification in case personal information (that may result in serious harm) gets lost.
  • The Register has published an interesting post on the potential liabilities of being hacked.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/14/been_hacked_what_are_you_liable_for/

September 2016 Internet Security Report


September 2016 successfully delivered an eventful month for cyber security with a handful of threats, breaches and interesting developments in the security of Internet of Things devices. A Denial of Service attack on the website of investigative journalist Brian Kerbs was found to be largely comprised of compromised Internet of Things devices.  Ransomware continued to cause troubles for computer users on all level with a number of new variants and delivery methods being mixed into the threat landscape.

 

Threats

  • Ransomware continues to be a major threat to organisations worldwide with cybercriminals finding new ways to infect users. This month a new variant of ransomware called Mamba was identified which encrypts the whole disk instead of individual files. This is achieved by using a pirated version of the open source disk encryption tool DiskCryptor to encrypt the victim’s hard drive(s). Similar to most other ransomware variants, Mamba uses malicious attachments to deliver its payload and compromise the user’s system.Please ensure that you have adequate backup and restore policies in place and routinely test them to reduce the threat posed by Ransomware.

https://threatpost.com/mamba-ransomware-encrypts-hard-drives-rather-than-files/120730/
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/09/27/mamba-ransomware-strikes-at-your-whole-disk-not-just-your-files/

  • A new Ransomware campaign appears to be targeting educational institutions and government agencies. This Ransomware is called MarsJoke and is distributed via emails with a link that downloads a file called ‘file_6.exe’. These emails bare the branding of popular shipping and postal companies.

https://threatpost.com/marsjoke-ransomware-targets-edu-gov-agencies/120856/

  • Victorian Police have released an advisory that unmarked USB drives have been placed in the letterboxes of Melbourne residents. The USB drives contain malicious software which appears to render victim computers useless.If you receive an unexpected USB drive in the mail, do not plug it into your computer or other devices. On top of malware contained on USB devices, these devices can contain hardware to emulate your computers keyboard and mouse to deliver malware, or in the case of the “USB Killer” permanently disable your USB port or even your computer.

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/melbourne-residents-are-receiving-harmful-usb-drives-in-their-letterboxes-2016-9
https://www.usbkill.com/usb-killer/8-usb-killer.html

  • APT group under the names APT28, Fancy Bear, Sednit, and Pawn Storm are undergoing a phishing campaign targeted at Mac OS X users. The campaign involves emails sent with attachments designed to look like a PDF document, however, the attachment is not a pdf document but an executable that opens a pdf document after running it in order to not arouse suspicion. User interaction is still required to deliver malware, but Mac users may be less cautious after the common fallacy that Mac OS X does not have viruses.

https://threatpost.com/sofacy-apt-targeting-os-x-machines-with-komplex-trojan/120882/

  • Malvertising is a term used for an online add or pop-up that is used as a means to compromise an end user through malicious scripting. These malicious ads are encountered as a result of general internet use and are often able to seamlessly compromise a user without generating visual prompts. Although not a new method for actors to compromise a host it has recently seen a resurgence in certain cases to spread ransomware.One example of this occurring recently was when popular website answers.com was observed to have been distributing malware through embedded advertising where users would be exposed to the RIG Exploit Kit serving up ransomware potentially without answers.com even realising it was happening.Ensuring that your operating system and applications are adequately patched is still the most effective way to mitigate this sort of drive-by download attack.

https://blog.malwarebytes.com/cybercrime/exploits/2016/09/rig-exploit-kit-takes-on-large-malvertising-campaign/
http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/malvertising-attack-threatens-2/

 

Breaches

  • Point of Sale merchant H&L Australia has reportedly been breached by an unknown threat actor. The treat actor allegedly sold access to a database server and it is believed that at the very least a 14.1Gb database dump has been stolen. Customers of H&L Australia include Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group who operate around 330 pubs and clubs in Australia.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/20/exclusive_hackers_claim_pos_tech_firm_breach/

  • UK-based smartphone news and reviews forum MoDaCo has confirmed a breach of 880 000 member usernames, passwords, email and IP addresses. The breach itself is believed to have occurred in January 2016 through the use of a compromised administrator account. Although a lot of information has been leaked, MoDaCo says passwords were stored using the Blowfish cipher.”Security researcher Troy Hunt, who runs ‘Have I Been Pwnd?’, says that 70 percent of the email addresses exposed in this breach were already contained in data batches from previous breaches of other online services.” – (Zeljka Zorz – helpnetsecurity.com, 2016)

Read more on Help Net Security website

 

Other

  • Investigative journalist Brian Krebs has been the target of one of the largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks ever recorded, with a whopping 620Gbps. Brian Krebs’s website krebsonsecurity.com had DDoS protection provided by Akamai, who were able to absorb the DDoS attack, but have since dropped Brian Kerbs as a client. The website is now protected by the Google Project Shield initiative, a free service for select journalists to protect from online censorship.

Read more on Krebs on Security website

  • Threat actor ‘The Shadow Brokers’ have acquired stolen NSA hacking tools and are attempting to sell them on the black market. These tools have been confirmed to be NSA tools via an unnamed source within the FBI investigation group currently investigating the incident. It is believed these tools were stolen when these tools were left on a remote staging server 3 years ago, that has since been compromised.So far there has been reportedly little interest in buying these tools, likely due to the NSA currently looking for evidence that the tools are being used, and the fear that the use of these tools could garner too much attention from the NSA.

Read more on Naked Security website

  • There has been an increase in technology development into sandbox-aware malware. There have been observed cases where a document based macro will search a system for the presence of word documents in order to detect if it is running in a sandbox environment or a real user’s system. As a result of this if the script did not detect more than 2-word documents on the host the script would terminate. However, where more than 2-word documents are identified the macro would call back to download its desired malware for execution.These advancements are showing a growing requirement to tailor sandbox environments to be a more realistic snapshot of the kinds of machines that malware target.

https://it.slashdot.org/story/16/09/24/1834249/malware-evades-detection-by-counting-word-documents
https://threatpost.com/malware-evades-detection-with-novel-technique/120787/

August 2016 Internet Security Report


August 2016 was an overall interesting month for cyber security with the annual conferences taking place in America, the Census providing some interesting lessons learnt and discussion; and the Olympics creating an interesting platform for malicious actors. In addition to this, the industry as a whole experienced a diverse range of new threats, breaches and success stories.

Threats

  • Sophos have identified a trend where shortcut files (.LNK) have been used to hide ransomware downloaders. By using a shortcut file malicious actors are able to better mask malware by making the link appear benign. Users are reminded to always be wary of any links or attachments they receive in emails and when in doubt report it or have an extra opinion.

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/08/03/beware-of-ransomware-hiding-in-shortcuts/

  • US-based researcher Elie Bursztein presented his findings of a social experiment conducted at a US university where a number of USBs containing ‘phone home’ capabilities were dropped. Surprisingly 48% of the 297 USBs dropped were plugged into a computer and the phone home capabilities activated. When surveyed the majority of people who activated the USBs claimed to have been trying to return the USB to its rightful owner. This study highlights the level of trust that people have for USB devices and although the USBs used in the study were not actually malicious. It is important to always be wary as to the origin of a USB device, especially if they have been found or are free.

https://threatpost.com/never-trust-a-found-usb-drive-black-hat-demo-shows-why/119653/

  • It is believed that as a result of the increase in attention created by the Olympics has resulted in an increase in banking malware in Brazil. This is a good reminder as to how current events both globally and domestically can be used by malicious actors as a means to increase their chances in successful social engineering attacks.

http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/olympics-panda-zeus-chomps-into/
http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/brazil-hit-with-a-second-banking/

  • A new banking Trojan kit has been discovered being sold as a service that goes by the name of Scylex. This is likely to fill the gap in the malware as a service void created by the downfall of previously dominate trojans such as Zeus/SpyEye, Citadel and ZeroAccess. It is still unsure as to how operational or effective this new service is. However, if it is able to deliver on its promises it has the potential to wreck mayhem on financial institutions.

http://www.securitynewspaper.com/2016/08/13/new-scylex-banking-trojan-kit-surfaces-dark-web/
http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/meet-scylex-the-new-financial/

Breaches

  • Accountancy software providers The Sage Group experienced an incident in which a user used valid internal credentials to access a number of sensitive customer files. Unfortunately, as this is still an ongoing investigation it is uncertain as to the scale of the breach, however, there have been reports of an arrest in regards to this breach resulting in fraud charges. This incident highlights the reality of the risk that insider threats can pose to an organisation.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/15/sage_breached_in_apparent_insider_attack/
http://www.welivesecurity.com/2016/08/15/high-profile-data-breach-sage-draws-attention-internal-threats/
http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/sage-employee-arrested-data-breach/

  • This month 20 US hotels were identified as being infected with Point-of-Sale malware designed to harvest credit card information. These attacks continue to highlight how all devices on a network need to be considered and assessed from a security standpoint.With malicious actors becoming more creative and aware of the weakest points of an organisations information’s systems it is important to be aware of all hosts and their business importance within the scope of a network and to ensure that appropriate security and risk management controls are in place and adhered to.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/20-top-us-hotels-hit-by-fresh-malware-attacks/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/15/pos_malware_stings_20_us_hotels/

Patches and Updates

  • Microsoft Office patch MS16-099 resolved some issues that would allow remote code execution if a user opened a specially crafted document. These continue to be an issue, with common phishing emails claiming to be an invoice or a resume likely to make use of these exploits. Ensure these patches are deployed as soon as possible.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/MS16-099

  • In one of the most interesting security news events in recent history tools from the notorious ‘Equation Group’ which has been previously attributed to being an NSA backed threat actor were put up for auction in an underground forum by an actor known as ‘The Shadow Brokers’. The Shadow Broker initially floated the price of the tools to be 1 million bitcoin (roughly 580 million USD) which naturally drew a lot of suspicion and skepticism as to the legitimacy of the claim.As time continued and the tools up for auction were slowly released for proof of concept. The reality of the situation bean to set in with a number of large companies validating the legitimacy of the tools and exploits and subsequently releasing urgent patches to resolve the issue. Some of the companies who have released updates and comments include:

Cisco – https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20160817-asa-snmp
– FortiNet – http://fortiguard.com/advisory/FG-IR-16-023
– Juniper – https://kb.juniper.net/InfoCenter/index?page=content&id=JSA10605&actp=search

Other

  • Project Sauron also known as Strider is a high-level modular cyber-espionage platform believed to be part of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) campaign that has been documented in some detail in the below link. This cyber-espionage platform has been found to be attacking high profile targets in Government, Finance, Military, Telecommunications, and Scientific Research.

https://securelist.com/analysis/publications/75533/faq-the-projectsauron-apt/

  • Brisbane City Council have lost $450,000 AUD in a sophisticated spear-phishing scam where scammers pretending to be a legitimate professional services provider used a series of fake invoices to fraud the Brisbane City Council of just over $450,000 AUD thought 9 payments between the 13ht of July and the 16th of August. Unfortunately the likelihood of recovering the funds are low and law enforcement is currently pursuing the matter. Deloitte have also been engaged to conduct an investigation into the incident.Sadly this type of fraud is a constant threat and is most effective where financial payment controls and processes are less stringent or existing processes are being bypassed by staff. By ensuring outgoing payments are peer reviewed and structural separation of duties it is possible to better mitigate the risk of these scams being successful.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/16/brisbane_councillors_lose_500k_to_scammers/
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-16/brisbane-city-council-loses-450k-to-scammers/7746812

July 2016 Internet Security Report


Threats

  • Ransomware delivery through compromised websites continues to be a continued threat for end users despite the slowdown in major ransomware and exploit kit activity over previous months. There have been reports of the SoakSoak botnet performing automated reconnaissance and exploitation of websites through a vulnerable wordpress plugin resulting in the delivery of CryptXXX ransomware via the Neutrino Exploit Kit.With ransomware and access to malware as a service becoming easier for criminals looking to make a quick dollar it is important that user are conscious of their web browsing activities and their interactions with web sites and downloaded files.

http://www.itnews.com.au/news/aussie-site-caught-up-in-cryptxxx-ransomware-spreading-campaign-431101
– https://www.invincea.com/2016/07/major-websites-getting-soaksoakd-delivering-cryptxxx-ransomware/

  • Chimera ransomware private keys have been reportedly leaked on pastebin. Since this announcement the Kaspersky Lab have since updated their RakhniDecrypter to now decrypt files affected by Chimera ransomware. It is believed that the keys have been obtained and leaked by the authors of competing ransomware variants as somewhat of a business strategy to control the ransomware market.

– https://blog.malwarebytes.com/cybercrime/2016/07/keys-to-chimera-ransomware-leaked/
– https://threatpost.com/petya-sabotages-rival-ransomware-chimera-leaks-decryption-keys/119543/

  • New Android based malware named ‘SpyNote’ has reportedly surfaced that allows for a malicious actor to steal user messages, contacts and eavesdrop on voice calls. This provides a good reminder to users to keep mobile devices up to date and always double check the permissions you grant applications on installation. Especially when installing from a third party application store.

– http://researchcenter.paloaltonetworks.com/2016/07/unit42-spynote-android-trojan-builder-leaked/

Breaches

  • Although there has been a decrease in major breaches this month there have been some interesting observations being made as a result of mid-year reporting from the wider industry.Some of these key observations were:Continual employee security awareness training and education efforts are essential to ensure that end users are able to identify and understand the threats that face them at both work and home.The increasing need to always consider the security requirements of new technology trends to “eliminate the weaknesses exposed in an evolving computing environment.”The additional risk exposure that mobile devices and the internet of things can introduce into an environment.The importance of securing cloud applications and understanding where your important data is being stored, how it is handled and more importantly how it gets there.

– https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/company/press/2016/cybersecurity-education-efforts-yielding-results
– http://www.pandasecurity.com/mediacenter/src/uploads/2016/05/Pandalabs-2016-T1-EN-LR.pdf-
– http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/349272/2016-1h-Shadow_Data_Report/ShadowDataReport_1H_2016.pdf

Patches and Updates

  • Google researchers through Project Zero released a report on some critical issues in the cloud based password management system LastPass. The identified issues where confirmed to only affect users who use the LastPass Firefox add on. The issues allowed for a malicious actor to compromise the LastPass account and gain access to the stored passwords through the use of malicious code on a website.The issue has since been resolved by LastPass with updates being pushed to affected versions of the FireFox addon.

-http://thehackernews.com/2016/07/lastpass-password-manager.html
-https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=884
-https://blog.lastpass.com/2016/07/lastpass-security-updates.html/

Other

  • SANS have produced an interesting write up on CEO Fraud in this month’s edition of OUCH!. CEO Fraud also known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) occurs when a malicious actor pretends to be a CEO or senior executive of an organisation as a means to manipulate users through spear phishing emails or phone calls. Examples of these attacks can include requests for urgent money transfers, sensitive and employee information or emails advising the recipient to expect an urgent phone call to discuss confidential matters.Users are advised to always question emails or correspondents that just don’t look or feel right and to always ensure that correct security policy and procedures are followed regardless as to how urgent the situation may appear and when in doubt, ask for a second opinion.

– http://securingthehuman.sans.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-201607_en.pdf

 

April 2016 Internet Security Report



April continues on a growing trend of high-profile vulnerabilities with Badlock, a man-in-the-middle vulnerability in Windows and Samba services. The author of Badlock provided a very long patch preparation time so that teams could apply the patch within the shortest possible time after release. There is a growing need for critical patches that need to be applied within the shortest possible period of time after their release, especially in open source components, however, many vendors are lagging behind in providing a quick turnaround for patch releases, if at all. Apple Quicktime for Windows is an example of a company deciding to abandon its product, rather than fixing its discovered vulnerabilities, leaving any users who may still be using the software or still have it installed, vulnerable to serious exploits.
 
PCI DSSv3.2 has now been released with new requirements. The biggest impact of these requirements is on service providers. Some of these new requirements are recommended practices until June 2018 while others must be in place by June 30, 2016. We have released an overview of the changes on our website https://www.shearwater.com.au/new-version-of-pci-dss-released-v3-2/

 

Threats

 

 

Breaches


Patches and Updates

  • Badlock is a man in the middle vulnerability that affected DCERPC traffic that allowed an attacker to impersonate an authenticated user. This vulnerability affected windows computers, and any computer using the SAMBA software. The CVE number for windows is CVE-2016-0128 and the CVE number for SAMBA is CVE-2016-2118. Patches are available for windows and SAMBA. http://rhelblog.redhat.com/2016/04/15/how-badlock-was-discovered-and-fixed/
  • US-CERT advises windows users to uninstall Apple Quicktime. The Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative have discovered two new unpatched vulnerabilities that could be used to remotely compromise Windows computers. As Apple will no longer be providing security updates for Quicktime for Windows it should be uninstalled on all systems as soon as possible.
    http://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/04/us-cert-to-windows-users-dump-apple-quicktime/
  • OpenSSL will release versions 1.0.2h and 1.0.1t that will fix a range of vulnerabilities that are rated as high severity.
    https://www.openssl.org/news/secadv/20160503.txt
  • Oracle has released a Critical Patch advisory for April 2016 which contains 136 security fixes across the various Oracle products including: Oracle Database Server, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Sun Products, Oracle Java SE, and Oracle MySQL. It is recommended that these updates are applied as soon as possible.
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/security-advisory/cpuapr2016v3-2985753.html
  • SAMBA patched multiple vulnerabilities including denial of service and man in the middle vulnerabilities. In addition to applying these patches, they recommend that additional configuration steps be taken to protect from man in the middle vulnerabilities. The changes involve setting mandatory server signing and disable NTLMv1 authentication. Without these settings man in the middle attacks are still possible. For more information please see the following link.
    https://www.samba.org/samba/history/samba-4.4.2.html


Other

January 2016 Internet Security Report


Threats

  • Microsoft DNS patching – Microsoft released a patch for DNS this month. Reported internally, however may allow remote code execution and should be applied to all Microsoft DNS servers. (MS15-127). Soon after release traffic to port 53 increased on the internet suggesting there may be an exploit available.

 If you have external facing Microsoft DNS server these should be patched as soon as possible.

  • Drive-by Ransomware – Cryptowall 4.0 is being used in another drive-by campaign. This campaign is conducted in stages, the first being the installation of Pony which harvests all usable usernames and passwords. Second is the installation of the angler exploit kit which is used to find flaws on the victims system. Once the flaws have been identified, they are used to install Cryptowall 4.0 onto the victim’s computer. This is actively being distributed using emails with word attachments as well as Excel spreadsheets. http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/12/newest-ransomware-pilfers-passwords-before-encrypting-gigabytes-of-data/

Educate users regarding opening emails with attachments, especially those that ask for content to be enabled.

Remind users regarding the reporting process in your organisation should they accidentally open and activate such email. The first action of the user should be to pull the network cable on their computer.

Ensure that there are viable backups of critical files in the organisation.

  • Since late November 2015, malicious spam (malspam) distributing TelsaCrypt ransomware has surged in a recent attack offensive [1]. Criminal groups are sending out massive amounts of emails containing attachments with zipped .js files. These zipped .js files–called Nemucod by ESET and some other security vendors [2]–download and install the TeslaCrypt ransomware. https://isc.sans.edu/diary/TeslaCrypt+ransomware+sent+using+malicious+spam/20507

Educate users regarding opening emails with attachments, especially those that ask for content to be enabled.

Remind users regarding the reporting process in your organisation should they accidentally open and activate such email. The first action of the user should be to pull the network cable on their computer.

Ensure that there are viable backups of critical files in the organisation

Whilst the risk currently in AU is considered low, it may need a rethink of how machines with malware are remediated. To ensure this threat, if present, is removed the volume boot records and master boot record should be rebuilt.

  • The war in Syria, which began several years ago, has recently become one of the most widely reported events in the media. Along with the growing interest of the international community in Middle East events, “Nigerian” scammers have also jumped on the bandwagon. Over the last few months, we have recorded an increase in the number of fraudulent emails utilizing the Syrian theme.” https://securelist.com/blog/spam-test/72867/arabian-tales-by-nigerians/

As these are standard phishing activities users should be educated regarding following links and opening attachments on emails.

Educate users regarding opening emails with attachments, especially those that ask for content to be enabled.

 

Breaches

  • Invest Bank in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates – A hacker has leaked customer data after the bank declined to pay approximately US $3 Million in Bitcoin as a ransom. The hacker has been identified as Hacker Buba. It is believed that Hacker Buba has a number of other files, other than those released, on customer data including entire SQL databases. Hacker Buba claimed to also have data from the following banks “UAE, Qater, ksa and etc”.

 

  • OPM breach update – A handful of hackers that allegedly broke into OPM’s database and stole data related to approximately 22 million current and former federal employees have been arrested by the Chinese government. Information about the suspects and their potential ties to the Chinese government have not been disclosed.

 

 

  • JD Wetherspoon – A breach consisting of around 656000 customers’ data has been made public by the retail company JD Wetherspoon. Data obtained includes names, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, and a ‘limited’ number of credit card details belonging to around 100 customers. It appears that the breach vector was their website, which has since had a ‘complete overhaul. http://www.zdnet.com/article/jd-wetherspoon-loses-data-of-over-650000-customers-in-cyberattack/

 

 

 

Patches and Updates*

 

 

  • It appears that all major AV vendors have a flaw with the way they allocate memory for read, write and execute permission. They allocate these RWX permissions in a predictable way which could allow an attacker to inject malicious code. McAfee, Kaspersky and AVG have released patches for the flaw, others will follow. “Given the possible widespread nature of the problem, enSilo has created a free checking utility called AVulnerabilityChecker and stuck it on Github for anyone to use.” http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/12/10/kaspersky_mcafee_avg_vulnerable/

 

 

Unauthorised admin access – ScreenOS 6.3.0r17 through 6.3.0r20.

VPN Traffic can be decrypted – ScreenOS 6.2.0r15 through 6.2.0r18 and 6.3.0r12 through 6.3.0r20.

 

  • The admin issue CVE-2015-7755 relates to a hardcoded backdoor password in the system. It allows access via SSH or Telnet, regardless of the userid used. The second issue CVE-2015-7756 relates to IPSEC VPNs and may allow someone who intercepts VPN traffic to decode the traffic.
    Please review the KB and determine whether you have systems that may be susceptible. Scans for accessible juniper devices is ongoing.

\* Please note these are not all patches released during December. Our list outlines those patches or notifications that may have been missed, or have changed status since released or after additional information has been made available.

 

Other

  • DNS – Between November 30 and December 1, distributed denial-of-service attacks were carried out against the internet’s root name servers, a set of 13 server networks that are at the root of the domain-name system, or DNS, sometimes called the internet’s address book. The root server zones contain information that allows browsers to find top-level domains such as .com, .org, .net, and the country-specific domains attached to them. According to an incident report by root-servers.org, “most, but not all” DNS root name servers were experiencing five million queries per second, which was enough junk traffic to prevent some normal queries. http://www.zdnet.com/article/mystery-attackers-bombard-servers-at-the-internets-core/

 

  • Google will no longer trust one of Symantec’s root certificates, PCA3-G1, as a result of Symantec’s advisory that “this particular root certificate is based on older, lower-strength security that is no longer recommended, hasn’t been used to generate new certificates in several years, and will now be repurposed to provide transition support for some of our enterprise customers’ legacy, non-public applications.” http://www.scmagazine.com/google-will-remove-trust-of-symantecs-pca3-g1-certificate/article/459688/