I’m honoured to represent The Diana Initiative again this year at RSA! We’ll be hosting an interactive and engaging session on Career Paths as part of the “Birds of a Feather” series. What better way to give back and welcome in new talent and ideas! Our session will be on Wednesday May 19, starting at 10:05 PST / 1:05 EST just after the amazing opening talk by Caroline Wong. https://www.rsaconference.com/usa
Author Archives: Cheryl Biswas
Taking a mental health break
I’m sorry for not posting these past two weeks. My tank is low and what I had was used for work and volunteering. Please take care of yourself and don’t feel bad if you need to scale back because these times are hard on all of us. Your best is enough
Geopolitics: Yesterday the US hit back hard at Russian cyberattacks and meddling. An exec order from the Oval Office delivers wide-ranging economic sanctions that hit right where it hurts, so that Russia won’t be able to raise the funds it needs the way it has been, plus adds in some diplomatic expulsions. And it prohibits US banks from buying ruble bonds. The EO impacts several tech firms including Positive Technologies. You can read the details here. Be prepared for fallout.
Severe bug warning for OT in EtherNet/IP Stack per The Hacker News
CISA issued this advisory on Thursday for a number of severe vulnerabilities in OpENer EhterNet/IP stack that could put industrial systems at risk of RCE, DoS and data leaks. The warning extends to all OpENer commits and versions before February 10 2021. To exploit, an attacker need only send crafted ENIP or CIP packets to a device. As we now know (because I keep telling you 😊) OT and industrial systems are different and need our attention.
Codecov Possible Supply Chain compromise 😱 per Bleeping Computer
In a year of supply chain compromise, here’s another. Codecov is an online platform used by over 29,000 enterprise organizations like Atlassian, GoDaddy, proctor &Gamble. Yeah. It helps measure source code execution during testing, because stats matter.
Looks like a threat actor may have found their way into the system back in January, and tampered with the Bash Uploader script, the tool clients use to upload their code reports. The tainted version – omg does this feel like SolarWinds?!- could allow access and export of sensitive client info including credentials, tokens, keys plus services, app codes etc. If you are using this service you need to get on this asap.
Daily Perk 4/14/2021
Patch it NOW: Patch Tuesday walloped us with four exciting new RCE vulnerabilities for on-prem Exchange servers. Thankfully no known exploits and Cloud servers are safe. But if you have on-premise Exchange, stop reading and get patching. Please
Patch it Now: per Malwarebytes Lab, There are active exploits 2 vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-21206 and 21220, affecting the Chrome browser but also Edge, Brave and Vivaldi. You can let Google update Chrome automagically but better to make sure it does. Based on current malware trends, there are a hella lot more browser exploits happening.
Buyer Be Wary: per Threatpost. We know a lot of nasty stuff finds its way into GooglePlay store and Google sites. ESentire wrote a report detailing a hundred thousand malicious web pages loaded with malware, awaiting victims sent there via SEO tactics, all for the sake of an invoice template.
This drive-by-download compromise is increasing, bacause it works. And given the new way or working remote, the potential for individual compromise to become corporate is definitely a concern. Case in point: a victim in FI who sought a free version of a document and trusted their search results via Google to a Google site page where threat actors took over. Given these are cybercriminals at work, their dirt RATs are all about “show me the money”.
Daily Perk 4/13/2021
Happy Patch Tuesday!
Chrome 0day exploit shared on Twitter per Threatpost
A security researcher perhaps a little too eagerly shared their Pwn2Own discovery by tweeting a link to the exploit code yesterday. The code is for a remote code execution vulnerability that affects current versions of browsers using Chromium, like Google Chrome but also Mucrosoft Edge and others. Potentially all kinds of bad.
Now, Pwn2Own rules are that companies get notified before the bug gets dropped, so they can make and issue patches. That was the intention but the patch had not yet been deployed into official releases of the browsers. Oops 😬 Google will be releasing a new version of Chrome today which may or may not fix it. The upside fwiw is that the code shared is not “fully weaponized” ie it is not a full exploit chain capable of escaping the sandbox.
NAME:WRECK vulnerabilities impact IoT/OT per ZDNet
From the things that brought you Urgent/11 and Ripple20, now there’s NAME:WRECK. Vulnerabilities in millions of IoT devices that could let attackers disable them or control them remotely, ultimately gaining more network access. Nine vulnerabilities, four TCP/IP stacks, and potentially 100 million devices used by consumers, industry and enterprise.
Security patches are available but unlike with IT, it’s not a simple process for IoT or OT. Chances are that many will remain unpatched rather than risk breaking software, configurations and older equipment that has been painstakingly put in place. At high risk will be healthcare, already hard hit by ransomware attacks. Network segmentation and monitoring network traffic will provide mitigation when patching can’t be done.
Watch for the QBot / IcedID rotation per Bleeping Computer
Just to mix it up, malware operators are shuffling between IcedID (kinda the new Emotet) and QBot banking trojans. Both are nasty, multi-stage attack functional and will deliver a ransomware payload. and both are using Ettersilent, an increasingly popular service to build malicious documents.
Daily Perk 4/9/2021
IcedID – The new Emotet? per Threatpost
Don’t worry – Emotet isn’t really gone. It just stepped back a bit, and as we’ve seen happen, a new contender has stepped up. In this case, modular malware banking trojan IcedID aka BokBot has made its presence known in 2021, serving as a dropper for other malware via Email campaigns using MS Excel attachments. Sounds familiar right? Evasion techniques include:
“Hiding macro formulas in three different sheets; masking the macro formula using a white font on white background; and shrinking the cell contents and making the original content invisible“
Microsoft’s blog today delved further into a “unique form of email delivery for IcedID malware, looking at the abuse of website contact forms and emails with malicious links sent to enterprises. Contents download – you guessed it – IcedID. This is a good heads up for organizations because the abuse of website contact forms can bypass protections by piggybacking on legitimate infrastructure.
Pwn2Own finds critical Zoom vulnerability for RCE per ZDNet
Zoom really stepped up efforts last year to secure a platform that was never intended for the volume of use it received during the pandemic. It’s become a mainstay for personal and business purposes. With so many users, that’s a big target. The annual Pwn2Own hacking competition is a great way to test what we think is secure and patch potential holes, or open our minds to all kinds of attacker thinking. This year, researchers from Computest showed a how a chain built from three vulnerabilities could lead to RCE on a target device with NO user interaction required, as per the animated attack here. Currently, the attack has been shown to work against Zoom on Windows and Mac. It’s not tested yet on iOS or Android. The browser version is SAFE. Zoom has been notified and has 90 days to develop a security solution for something nobody was looking for – except an attack. This is effective collaboration!
Daily Perk 4/7/2021
Trends of 2021: if it isn’t patched it’s getting ransomware.
Unpatched Fortinet VPNs being targeted by Cring ransomware per Bleeping Computer
Remember that joint FBI CISA warning about APTs scanning for Fortinet SSL VPNs? These attacks exploits CVE-2018-13379 on unpatched Fortigate SSL VPN servers per this Kaspersky report. It gets domain admin creds using Mimikatz, removes backup files, and kills MS Office and Oracle Database processes.
Yes, attackers are actively hunting for them online. And industrial operations in Europe are victims. Those IT networks getting pwned are alongside OT networks running ICS devices and things on that side don’t tend to come back up well. AND – assume that anything compromise will be useful in future attacks as we keep learning.
Wormable Android Malware posing as Netflix per ZDNet
Just take in the first three words. While not “sky is falling” wormable anything is scary, and given the sheer prevalence of Android devices that’s a lot of potential compromise. Compounded by a global pandemic and lockdowns, online entertainment subscriptions like Netflix are the virtual escape for millions.
Check Point researchers have reported on wormable Android malware posing as a legit Netflix app in the Google Play store, which is supposed to be the place to safely get your Android Apps (I know, I know). The malware takes advantage of things we probably gloss over and agree to at installation: overlay permissions and battery optimization ignore, so it can grab credentials and stay on. And permission to reply to WhatsApp messages. With that, it spreads by replying to WhatsApp messages and further malicious links. While this app has now been removed from Google Playstore, be wary of all the others like it and how conditioned we are to just install apps without reviewing their demands thoroughly.
Daily Perk 4/6/2021
Unsecured critical SAP applications under active attack per Bleeping Computer
SAP enterprise applications are used by more than 400,000 organizations globally, which includes 92% of Forbes 2000. Attackers are seeking out exposed, unpatched applications online, and in some cases linking or chaining these vulnerabilities together to increase their success of intrusion. Per cloud security firm Onapsis,
“Observed exploitation techniques would lead to full control of the unsecured SAP applications, bypassing common security and compliance controls, and enabling attackers to steal sensitive data, perform financial fraud or disrupt mission-critical business processes by deploying ransomware or stopping operations”
We know that patching is complicated (don’t get me started 😉) and typically larger organizations are behind by a couple cycles. The truth is that can often be considerably more when legacy systems, proprietary programs and operational concerns factor in.
EtterSilent Maldoc builder per Bleeping Computer
Something to keep watch for. EtterSilent is used to build malware-laden documents that can bypass detection in on Windows, Google and email services etc. It’s gaining popularity of underground forums and getting regular weaponized enhancements either as a malicious macro or an exploit against a vulnerability. These can masquerade as Docusign or Digicert documents that need the macro enabled. It’s been seen to recently drop TrickBot and BazarLoader malwares, which in turn can deliver a nasty ransomware payload. Verify with care.
Daily Perk 4/2/2021
FBI and CISA warn APTs using 3 Fortinet bugs for access per The Record
If you are running Fortinet, and have an unpatched version of the FortiOS, operating system, you’re gonna be going hunting but not for Easter eggs. Like many recently had to do with their on-prem Exchange servers, you need to go looking for signs of uninvited guests.
Both CISA and the FBI have released a joint report warning that state-backed, well-resourced adversaries (maybe possibly from Iran and China) are leveraging any or all of trio of bugs “to gain access to networks across multiple critical infrastructure sectors to gain access to key networks as pre-positioning for follow-on data exfiltration or data encryption attacks”. This would be the second joint report regarding a Fortinet security issue they have released, with the earlier one in October 2020.
The three security bugs you should have patched and now will are: CVE 2018-13379, CVE-2020-12812, and CVE-2019-5591. But remember – patching after exploitation won’t protect you if they’re already in your network. And you don’t know that unless you go looking.
Breach: Capital One warns of more exposure from 2019 per Bleeping Computer
Capital One has warned more customers that their SSNs were exposed in a data breach from July 2019. This would be the AWS GitHub theft involving Paige Thompson. Unfortunately it didn’t stop at Capital One. Other companies include Ford, Vodaphone and Michigan State U. The additional SSNs came to light when the bank used new tools to sift through and learned that indeed those SSNs they said weren’t taken actually were. Lessons here about penalties for failure to disclose all the info at the time as per regulations. And to conclude that if it was accessible, it was taken.
Zero-day warning for unsupported, out-dated QNAP storage devices per Threatpost
QNAP NAS or network access storage devices are pretty common. Which makes they them choice targets for attack, especially since they don’t always stay updated, monitored and maintained. We know what happened to thing neglected and unprotected, right?
APT easy as 1-2-3
Two critical zero-day bugs affect legacy QNAP model TS-231 systems: CVE-2020-2509 and CVE-2021-36195. We are talking unauthenticated RCE meaning an attacker doesn’t need credentials. The bugs affect some non-legacy systems too, but those now have patches available. There are a whole lotta boxes out there so take the time, check yours against this list, and update what you can.
Shout out to my security-aware colleague Chuck – this is why I watch for QNAP 😊.
Daily Perk 4/1/2021
North Korea sets up fake security firm lure per The Hacker News
Remember the reports back in January about North Korean attackers trying to lure security researchers with malware to investigate? They really went all out. There is a fake security firm, “SecuriElite” and social media accounts, like TrendMacro, with links back to the poisoned site. Attackers are getting better at dissolving and reappearing elsewhere, in a game of adversary “whak-a-mole”. Our job is to consider how else, where else, they can play this strategy.
Update: Ubiquiti – it just gets worse per Bleeping Computer
We knew this was coming, right? Ubiquiti now says there was an extortion attempt back in January when that breach happened – but not to worry, no indication that source code or client data was taken. Hmm 🤨 After this past year of extortion ransomware, and the massive pwnage of the Accellion breach, I am sceptical. Especially since there wasn’t really any logging system in place to verify what the attacker got into. There are big lessons in here for all of us.
Don’t neglect your firmware per ZDNet
“Out of sight, out of mind” is not a cyber security best practice. Unfortunately, that sums up how most of us handle firmware updates and awareness. Yet, it’s where we keep credentials and encryption keys. Per the Microsoft Security Signals report for March, 80% of enterprises have had a security incident involving firmware but less than 1/3 of security budgets are invested in protecting it.
Firmware attacks are specialized, and may target UEFI or hardware drivers. Visibility is a problem, because firmware is that layer below what AV and detection services are made to monitor. It’s the purview of advanced persistent adversaries with resources. Think stealth, dwell time and painful compromise – what you can’t see will hurt you.