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Comment on IN: Ransomware attack forces emergency shutdown of Lake County government servers, IT working through weekend to purge system

Will Racke and Anna Ortiz report: Lake County has been hit with a cyber attack that forced the shutdown of email service and several internal applications throughout county government, officials said Friday. As of Thursday afternoon, the county’s IT staff was installing cyber security software on.... (more)

Posted on 25 August 2019 4:13 pm


Mastercard Reports Data Breach to German and Belgian DPAs

Mastercard disclosed a data breach to the German and Belgian Data Protection Authorities (DPA) involving customer data from the company's Priceless Specials loyalty program. The data was made available on the Internet, with customers' names, payment card numbers, email addresses, home addresses,.... (more)

Posted on 25 August 2019 4:21 am


Down and Out in Hacktivist Land

Activism via hacking efforts in the early 2010s conducted under such banners as Anonymous, AntiSec and LulzSec made "hacktivism" a widely used term. But since 2016, the number of website hacks, defacements and information leakage - or doxing - campaigns that can be definitively traced to hacktivists has sharply declined. (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 8:45 pm


Chinese APT Groups Target Cancer Research Facilities: Report

Chinese advanced persistent threat groups are targeting cancer research organizations across the globe with the goal of stealing their work and using it to help the country address growing cancer rates among its population, according to researchers at cybersecurity company FireEye In a wide-ranging.... (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 8:45 pm


German army seeks cyber-savvy recruits, turns to gamers - Deccan Herald

Among countless stands of car manufacturers, software developers and engineering universities at Cologne's video games convention, the sight of fatigue-clad soldiers manning the German military's brightly-lit stall draws in the curious. With a stand boasting a helicopter simulator and ultra-fast.... (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 6:29 pm


Nasa investigating first ever ‘space crime’ as astronaut accused of committing theft from ISS

“I was pretty appalled that she would go that far. I knew it was not okay,” Ms Worden said. The five space agencies involved in the space station — from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada — have long-established procedures to handle any jurisdictional questions that arise when.... (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 2:46 pm


NCSC warns devs to shed Python 2 over fears of WannaCry-style incident

CYBER COPS at the UK's National Cyber Security Centre have sounded the alarms over the impending end of life (EOL) of Python 2, warning companies that continue to use unsupported software that they could face a WannaCry-alike incident. Python 2 reaches EOL on 1 January 2020, after which there will.... (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 2:23 pm


AutoRDPwn v5.0 releases: The Shadow Attack Framework

and designed to automate the Shadow Powershell attack on Microsoft Windows computers. This vulnerability allows a remote attacker to view his victim’s desktop without his consent, and even control it on request. For its correct operation, it is necessary to comply with the requirements described in the user guide. (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 10:41 am


FBI takes down alleged Nigerian fraudsters in $46-million case based in Los Angeles - Los Angeles Times

In reality, there were no diamonds and there was no Garcia: They were part of an elaborate scam hatched by an international ring of cyber thieves operating mainly out of Los Angeles and Nigeria. Federal authorities cited the case of the Japanese woman, known only as “F.K. (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 6:48 am


Movie Tickets Service Exposed Customer Records, Researchers Say | Avast

Movie Tickets Service Exposed Customer Records, Researchers Say | Avast. Cybersecurity researchers discovered an unprotected and unencrypted database containing over 161 million records belonging to movie ticket subscription service MoviePass. TechCrunch reported that many of the records pertained.... (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 12:26 am


Friday Squid Blogging: Vulnerabilities in Squid Server

. It's always nice when I can Multiple versions of the Squid web proxy cache server built with Basic Authentication features are currently vulnerable to code execution and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks triggered by the exploitation of a heap buffer overflow security flaw. The vulnerability present in Squid 4. (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 12:22 am


Healthcare: Research Data and PII Continuously Targeted by Multiple Threat Actors

The healthcare industry faces a range of threat groups and malicious activity. Given the critical role that healthcare plays within society and its relationship with our most sensitive information, the risk to this sector is especially consequential. It may also be one of the major reasons why we.... (more)

Posted on 24 August 2019 12:11 am


IRS Warns of New Email Scam

IT Security news and articles about information security, vulnerabilities, exploits, patches, releases, software, features, hacks, laws, spam, viruses, malware, breaches. Original release date: August 23, 2019. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning about a new email scam in which.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 11:49 pm


Cyber attacks put city governments in Texas on their guard

CHICAGO (AP) — Cyberattacks that recently crippled nearly two dozen Texas cities have put other local governments on guard, offering the latest evidence that hackers can halt routine operations by locking up computers and public records and demanding steep ransoms. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 8:39 pm


FISMA Annual Report to Congress

Original release date: August 23, 2019. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has published its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Annual Report to Congress on the implementation of the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA) . The document includes data reported by agencies to OMB and.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 7:24 pm


Black Hat 2019: Bounties, Breaches and Deepfakes, Oh My!

Black Hat 2019 recently wrapped in Las Vegas, where somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 experts descended to experience the latest developments in the world of cybersecurity. While we saw the expected releases of new threat research, vulnerabilities and breakdowns on nation-state level attacks, the.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 7:24 pm


FBI solves BEC scam by freezing $2.9 million lost by Portland Public schools

The scammer had impersonated one of the district’s construction contractors to trick PPS into sending the amount. The fund was approved by two employees who work for the district schools. Oregon urban school district Portland Public Schools (PPS) is in the process of recovering roughly $2. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 7:19 pm


New Tool From Cisco Hunts Flaws in Automotive Computers

Cisco has released a new hardware tool designed to help researchers, developers and automakers discover vulnerabilities in automobile computers. Modern vehicles contain hundreds of sensors that feed information about the surrounding environment to the vehicle computer. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 7:07 pm


CISA Strategic Intent: Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow

Original release date: August 22, 2019The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released the CISA Strategic Intent document, framing the new agency’s mission to protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber … Original release date: August 22, 2019 The.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 6:18 pm


80 Indicted for Scams, Including Business Email Compromises

Eighty suspects, most of them Nigerian nationals, have been indicted on charges of running global business email compromise and romance scams that led to millions of dollars in fraud and allegedly involved a complex money-laundering operation, according to the See Also: 10 Incredible Ways You Can Be.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 6:06 pm


Cybercrook hands cops £923k in Bitcoin made from selling phished deets on the dark web

A hacker from Kent has handed over almost a million quid in Bitcoin following a lengthy police investigation. Grant West, 27, of Ashcroft Caravan Park, Sheerness, made most of the money through phishing scams targeting companies and individuals around the world since 2015. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 3:59 pm


ZigDiggity – ZigBee Hacking Toolkit

ZigDiggity a ZigBee Hacking Toolkit is a Python-based IoT (Internet of Things) penetration testing framework targeting the ZigBee smart home protocol. ZigBee continues to grow in popularity as a method for providing simple wireless communication between devices (i.e. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 3:41 pm


Google Proposes ‘Privacy Sandbox’ to Develop Privacy-Focused Ads

Google today announced a new initiative—called Privacy Sandbox —in an attempt to develop a set of open standards that fundamentally enhances privacy on the web while continuing to support a free, open and democratic Internet through digital advertisements. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 2:58 pm


CISA Chief Unveils Vision for Federal Cybersecurity

Federal civilian agencies shouldn’t have to fend for themselves when it comes to managing cyber risk, Chris Krebs said on Thursday. According to the Director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the current arrangement is “not a particularly defensible posture,” and may.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 1:25 pm


Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining at Ukraine Nuclear Plant Exposed Sensitive Data

Sensitive information from a nuclear power plant in Ukraine was exposed due to an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation run by workers, according to several media reports. Local media reported that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) last month discovered unauthorized computer equipment at the.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 12:55 pm


How Domain Expiration Can Potentially Disrupt Other Websites

A website owner recently reached out to us about a pop-up advertisement problem on their website which occurred any time someone clicked anywhere on the web page. This irritating pop-up didn’t come from malware placed in the website’s files or database, but rather from a single JavaScript source.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 10:59 am


VMware $5B acquisition of Pivotal Software and Carbon Black

As per the details of the deal available to our Cybersecurity Insiders, Pivotal Software will be acquired for $2.7 Billion while Carbon Black Inc will be grabbed for $2 billion in cash. Since Dell Technologies happens to be VMware’s parent company; it will occupy an equal percentage of share in both companies. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 6:26 am


Hackers attack Indian healthcare website, steal 6.8 million records

New Delhi: In a startling revelation, US-based cyber security firm FireEye said on Thursday that hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing 68 lakh records containing patient and doctor information. Without naming the website, FireEye said cyber criminals — mostly.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 6:23 am


Facebook phishing surges, Microsoft still most impersonated brand

Vade Secure published the results of its Phishers’ Favorites report for Q2 2019. According to the report, which ranks the 25 most impersonated brands in phishing attacks, Microsoft was by far the top target for the fifth straight quarter. There was also a significant uptick in Facebook phishing, as.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 5:36 am


Xiaomi banks on phone data for finance play in India

The stakes are high for the world’s fourth largest mobile phone vendor, whose business model relies on low-margin hardware sales with services as a key long-term profit center. The company reported disappointing second-quarter earnings on Tuesday and its shares are trading at slightly over half their 2018 IPO price. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 4:56 am


Cyber Espionage Campaign Uses Spoofed Websites

A cyber espionage campaign, which may have ties to North Korea, is suspected of targeting foreign ministries, academic institutions and think thanks that are studying or writing reports about the nation's regime, according to an analysis by the security firm The campaign was discovered after.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 2:54 am


Regular User Training Most Effective Security Antidote

Social engineering remains the top vulnerability organizations face because humans remain the easiest way to access networks or databases, says Stu Sjouwerman, Founder and CEO of KnowBe4. Regular training sessions coupled with creation of a "human firewall" remain the most effective protections against social engineering and phishing, he adds. (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 2:51 am


US charges 80 in Internet fraud and money laundering scheme

LOS ANGELES: US authorities on Thursday (Aug 22) announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of Internet con jobs. Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 1:56 am


Israel eases restrictions on offensive cyber weapons exports

Israel is easing export rules on offensive cyber weapons, despite accusations by human rights and privacy groups that its technologies are used by some governments to spy on political foes and crush dissent. A rule change by the defence ministry means companies can now obtain exemptions on.... (more)

Posted on 23 August 2019 1:42 am


Shodan and Censys: Finding Hidden Parts On the Internet With Special Search Engines

Our digital lives connect massive things with the Internet. Starting with Smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, Surveillance Camera, Smart TV, SCADA networks and leading to traffic light management systems are exposed to the internet. In 2016 impact of Mirai botnet attack, which was orchestrated as a.... (more)

Posted on 22 August 2019 11:32 pm


Mitsubishi Electric smartRTU and INEA ME-RTU

CISA is aware of a public report of a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code vulnerability affecting Mitsubishi Electric smartRTU devices. According to this report, there are multiple vulnerabilities that could result in remote code execution with root privileges. CISA is issuing this alert to provide early notice of the report. (more)

Posted on 13 August 2019 2:15 pm


CAN Bus Network Implementation in Avionics

CISA is aware of a public report of insecure implementation of CAN bus networks affecting aircraft. According to this report, the CAN bus networks are exploitable when an attacker has unsupervised physical access to the aircraft. CISA is issuing this alert to provide early notice of the report. (more)

Posted on 30 July 2019 1:00 pm


AA19-168A: Microsoft Operating Systems BlueKeep Vulnerability

Original release date: June 17, 2019 Summary The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is issuing this Activity Alert to provide information on a vulnerability, known as “BlueKeep,” that exists in the following Microsoft Windows Operating Systems (OSs), including both 32- and 64-bit versions, as well as all Service Pack versions: Windows 2000 Windows Vista Windows XP Windows 7 Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003 R2 Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 R2 An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.      Technical Details BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) exists within the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) used by the Microsoft Windows OSs listed above. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to perform remote code execution on an unprotected system.  According to Microsoft, an attacker can send specially crafted packets to one of these operating systems that has RDP enabled. [1] After successfully sending the packets, the attacker would have the ability to perform a number of actions: adding accounts with full user rights; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or installing programs. This exploit, which requires no user interaction, must occur before authentication to be successful. BlueKeep is considered “wormable” because malware exploiting this vulnerability on a system could propagate to other vulnerable systems; thus, a BlueKeep exploit would be capable of rapidly spreading in a fashion similar to the WannaCry malware attacks of 2017. [2] CISA has coordinated with external stakeholders and determined that Windows 2000 is vulnerable to BlueKeep. Mitigations CISA encourages users and administrators review the Microsoft Security Advisory [3] and the Microsoft Customer Guidance for CVE-2019-0708 [4] and apply the appropriate mitigation measures as soon as possible: Install available patches. Microsoft has released security updates to patch this vulnerability. Microsoft has also released patches for a number of OSs that are no longer officially supported, including Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. As always, CISA encourages users and administrators to test patches before installation. For OSs that do not have patches or systems that cannot be patched, other mitigation steps can be used to help protect against BlueKeep: Upgrade end-of-life (EOL) OSs. Consider upgrading any EOL OSs no longer supported by Microsoft to a newer, supported OS, such as Windows 10. Disable unnecessary services. Disable services not being used by the OS. This best practice limits exposure to vulnerabilities.   Enable Network Level Authentication. Enable Network Level Authentication in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2. Doing so forces a session request to be authenticated and effectively mitigates against BlueKeep, as exploit of the vulnerability requires an unauthenticated session. Block Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) port 3389 at the enterprise perimeter firewall. Because port 3389 is used to initiate an RDP session, blocking it prevents an attacker from exploiting BlueKeep from outside the user’s network. However, this will block legitimate RDP sessions and may not prevent unauthenticated sessions from being initiated inside a network. References [1] Microsoft Security Advisory for CVE-2019-0708 [2] White House Press Briefing on the Attribution of the WannaCry Malware Attack to North Korea [3] Microsoft Security Advisory for CVE-2019-0708 [4] Microsoft Customer Guidance for CVE-2019-0708 Revisions June 17, 2019: Initial version June 17, 2019: Revised technical details section. This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 17 June 2019 1:37 pm


DICOM Standard in Medical Devices

NCCIC is aware of a public report of a vulnerability in the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard with proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code. The DICOM standard is the international standard to transmit, store, retrieve, print, process, and display medical imaging information. According to this report, the vulnerability is exploitable by embedding executable code into the 128 byte preamble. This report was released without coordination with NCCIC or any known vendor. (more)

Posted on 11 June 2019 4:15 pm


AA19-122A: New Exploits for Unsecure SAP Systems

Original release date: May 2, 2019 | Last revised: May 3, 2019 Summary The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is issuing this activity alert in response to recently disclosed exploits that target unsecure configurations of SAP components. [ 1 ] Technical Details A presentation at the April 2019 Operation for Community Development and Empowerment (OPCDE) cybersecurity conference describes SAP systems with unsecure configurations exposed to the internet. Typically, SAP systems are not intended to be exposed to the internet as it is an untrusted network. Malicious cyber actors can attack and compromise these unsecure systems with publicly available exploit tools, termed “10KBLAZE.” The presentation details the new exploit tools and reports on systems exposed to the internet. SAP Gateway ACL The SAP Gateway allows non-SAP applications to communicate with SAP applications. If SAP Gateway access control lists (ACLs) are not configured properly (e.g., gw/acl_mode = 0), anonymous users can run operating system (OS) commands.[ 2 ] According to the OPCDE presentation, about 900 U.S. internet-facing systems were detected in this vulnerable condition. SAP Router secinfo The SAP router is a program that helps connect SAP systems with external networks. The default secinfo configuration for a SAP Gateway allows any internal host to run OS commands anonymously. If an attacker can access a misconfigured SAP router, the router can act as an internal host and proxy the attacker’s requests, which may result in remote code execution. According to the OPCDE presentation, 1,181 SAP routers were exposed to the internet. It is unclear if the exposed systems were confirmed to be vulnerable or were simply running the SAP router service. SAP Message Server SAP Message Servers act as brokers between Application Servers (AS). By default, Message Servers listen on a port 39XX and have no authentication. If an attacker can access a Message Server, they can redirect and/or execute legitimate man-in-the-middle (MITM) requests, thereby gaining credentials. Those credentials can be used to execute code or operations on AS servers (assuming the attacker can reach them). According to the OPCDE presentation, there are 693 Message Servers exposed to the internet in the United States. The Message Server ACL must be protected by the customer in all releases. Signature CISA worked with security researchers from Onapsis Inc.[ 3 ] to develop the following Snort signature that can be used to detect the exploits: alert tcp $EXTERNAL_NET any -> $HOME_NET any (msg:"10KBLAZE SAP Exploit execute attempt"; flow:established,to_server; content:"|06 cb 03|"; offset:4; depth:3; content:"SAPXPG_START_XPG"; nocase; distance:0; fast_pattern; content:"37D581E3889AF16DA00A000C290099D0001"; nocase; distance:0; content:"extprog"; nocase; distance:0; sid:1; rev:1;)   Mitigations CISA recommends administrators of SAP systems implement the following to mitigate the vulnerabilities included in the OPCDE presentation: Ensure a secure configuration of their SAP landscape. Restrict access to SAP Message Server. Review SAP Notes 1408081 and 821875. Restrict authorized hosts via ACL files on Gateways ( gw/acl_mode and secinfo ) and Message Servers ( ms/acl_info ).[ 4 ], [ 5 ] Review SAP Note 1421005. Split MS internal/public: rdisp/msserv=0 rdisp/msserv_internal=39NN . [ 6 ] Restrict access to Message Server internal port ( tcp/39NN ) to clients or the internet. Enable Secure Network Communications (SNC) for clients. Scan for exposed SAP components. Ensure that SAP components are not exposed to the internet. Remove or secure any exposed SAP components. References [1] Comae Technologies: Operation for Community Development and Empowerment (OPCDE) Cybersecurity Conference Materials [2] SAP: Gateway Access Control Lists [3] Onapsis Inc. website [4] SAP Note 1408081 [5] SAP Note 821875 [6] SAP Note 1421005 Revisions May 2, 2019: Initial version This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 2 May 2019 10:54 pm


AA19-024A: DNS Infrastructure Hijacking Campaign

Original release date: January 24, 2019 | Last revised: February 13, 2019 Summary The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), part of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), is aware of a global Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure hijacking campaign. Using compromised credentials, an attacker can modify the location to which an organization’s domain name resources resolve. This enables the attacker to redirect user traffic to attacker-controlled infrastructure and obtain valid encryption certificates for an organization’s domain names, enabling man-in-the-middle attacks. See the following links for downloadable copies of open-source indicators of compromise (IOCs) from the sources listed in the References section below: IOCs (.csv) IOCs (.stix) Note: these files were last updated February 13, 2019, to remove the following three non-malicious IP addresses: 107.161.23.204 192.161.187.200 209.141.38.71 Technical Details Using the following techniques, attackers have redirected and intercepted web and mail traffic, and could do so for other networked services. The attacker begins by compromising user credentials, or obtaining them through alternate means, of an account that can make changes to DNS records. Next, the attacker alters DNS records, like Address (A), Mail Exchanger (MX), or Name Server (NS) records, replacing the legitimate address of a service with an address the attacker controls. This enables them to direct user traffic to their own infrastructure for manipulation or inspection before passing it on to the legitimate service, should they choose. This creates a risk that persists beyond the period of traffic redirection. Because the attacker can set DNS record values, they can also obtain valid encryption certificates for an organization’s domain names. This allows the redirected traffic to be decrypted, exposing any user-submitted data. Since the certificate is valid for the domain, end users receive no error warnings. Mitigations NCCIC recommends the following best practices to help safeguard networks against this threat: Update the passwords for all accounts that can change organizations’ DNS records. Implement multifactor authentication on domain registrar accounts, or on other systems used to modify DNS records. Audit public DNS records to verify they are resolving to the intended location. Search for encryption certificates related to domains and revoke any fraudulently requested certificates. References Cisco Talos blog: DNSpionage Campaign Targets Middle East CERT-OPMD blog: [DNSPIONAGE] – Focus on internal actions FireEye blog: Global DNS Hijacking Campaign: DNS Record Manipulation at Scale Crowdstrike blog: Widespread DNS Hijacking Activity Targets Multiple Sectors Revisions January 24, 2019: Initial version February 6, 2019: Updated IOCs, added Crowdstrike blog February 13, 2019: Updated IOCs This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 24 January 2019 8:01 pm


AA18-337A: SamSam Ransomware

Original release date: December 3, 2018 Summary The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are issuing this activity alert to inform computer network defenders about SamSam ransomware, also known as MSIL/Samas.A. Specifically, this product shares analysis of vulnerabilities that cyber actors exploited to deploy this ransomware. In addition, this report provides recommendations for prevention and mitigation. The SamSam actors targeted multiple industries, including some within critical infrastructure. Victims were located predominately in the United States, but also internationally. Network-wide infections against organizations are far more likely to garner large ransom payments than infections of individual systems. Organizations that provide essential functions have a critical need to resume operations quickly and are more likely to pay larger ransoms. The actors exploit Windows servers to gain persistent access to a victim’s network and infect all reachable hosts. According to reporting from victims in early 2016, cyber actors used the JexBoss Exploit Kit to access vulnerable JBoss applications. Since mid-2016, FBI analysis of victims’ machines indicates that cyber actors use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to gain persistent access to victims’ networks. Typically, actors either use brute force attacks or stolen login credentials. Detecting RDP intrusions can be challenging because the malware enters through an approved access point. After gaining access to a particular network, the SamSam actors escalate privileges for administrator rights, drop malware onto the server, and run an executable file, all without victims’ action or authorization. While many ransomware campaigns rely on a victim completing an action, such as opening an email or visiting a compromised website, RDP allows cyber actors to infect victims with minimal detection. Analysis of tools found on victims’ networks indicated that successful cyber actors purchased several of the stolen RDP credentials from known darknet marketplaces. FBI analysis of victims’ access logs revealed that the SamSam actors can infect a network within hours of purchasing the credentials. While remediating infected systems, several victims found suspicious activity on their networks unrelated to SamSam. This activity is a possible indicator that the victims’ credentials were stolen, sold on the darknet, and used for other illegal activity. SamSam actors leave ransom notes on encrypted computers. These instructions direct victims to establish contact through a Tor hidden service site. After paying the ransom in Bitcoin and establishing contact, victims usually receive links to download cryptographic keys and tools to decrypt their network. Technical Details NCCIC recommends organizations review the following SamSam Malware Analysis Reports. The reports represent four SamSam malware variants. This is not an exhaustive list. MAR-10219351.r1.v2 – SamSam1 MAR-10166283.r1.v1 – SamSam2 MAR-10158513.r1.v1 – SamSam3 MAR-10164494.r1.v1 – SamSam4 For general information on ransomware, see the NCCIC Security Publication at https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/Ransomware . Mitigations DHS and FBI recommend that users and administrators consider using the following best practices to strengthen the security posture of their organization's systems. System owners and administrators should review any configuration changes before implementation to avoid unwanted impacts. Audit your network for systems that use RDP for remote communication. Disable the service if unneeded or install available patches. Users may need to work with their technology venders to confirm that patches will not affect system processes. Verify that all cloud-based virtual machine instances with public IPs have no open RDP ports, especially port 3389, unless there is a valid business reason to keep open RDP ports. Place any system with an open RDP port behind a firewall and require users to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access that system. Enable strong passwords and account lockout policies to defend against brute force attacks. Where possible, apply two-factor authentication. Regularly apply system and software updates. Maintain a good back-up strategy. Enable logging and ensure that logging mechanisms capture RDP logins. Keep logs for a minimum of 90 days and review them regularly to detect intrusion attempts. When creating cloud-based virtual machines, adhere to the cloud provider’s best practices for remote access. Ensure that third parties that require RDP access follow internal policies on remote access. Minimize network exposure for all control system devices. Where possible, disable RDP on critical devices. Regulate and limit external-to-internal RDP connections. When external access to internal resources is required, use secure methods such as VPNs. Of course, VPNs are only as secure as the connected devices. Restrict users' ability (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications. Scan for and remove suspicious email attachments; ensure the scanned attachment is its "true file type" (i.e., the extension matches the file header). Disable file and printer sharing services. If these services are required, use strong passwords or Active Directory authentication. Additional information on malware incident prevention and handling can be found in Special Publication 800-83, Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling for Desktops and Laptops , from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. [1] Contact Information To report an intrusion and request resources for incident response or technical assistance, contact NCCIC, FBI, or the FBI’s Cyber Division via the following information: NCCIC NCCICCustomerService@hq.dhs.gov 888-282-0870 FBI’s Cyber Division CyWatch@fbi.gov 855-292-3937 FBI through a local field office Feedback DHS strives to make this report a valuable tool for our partners and welcomes feedback on how this publication could be improved. You can help by answering a few short questions about this report at the following URL: https://www.us-cert.gov/forms/feedback . References [1] NIST SP 800-83: Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling for Desktops and Laptops Revisions December 3, 2018: Initial version This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. (more)

Posted on 3 December 2018 4:18 pm


TA18-331A: 3ve – Major Online Ad Fraud Operation

Original release date: November 27, 2018 Systems Affected Microsoft Windows Overview This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). DHS and FBI are releasing this TA to provide information about a major online ad fraud operation—referred to by the U.S. Government as "3ve"—involving the control of over 1.7 million unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses globally, when sampled over a 10-day window. Description Online advertisers desire premium websites on which to publish their ads and large numbers of visitors to view those ads. 3ve created fake versions of both (websites and visitors), and funneled the advertising revenue to cyber criminals. 3ve obtained control over 1.7 million unique IPs by leveraging victim computers infected with Boaxxe/Miuref and Kovter malware, as well as Border Gateway Protocol-hijacked IP addresses.  Boaxxe/Miuref Malware Boaxxe malware is spread through email attachments and drive-by downloads. The ad fraud scheme that utilizes the Boaxxe botnet is primarily located in a data center. Hundreds of machines in this data center are browsing to counterfeit websites. When these counterfeit webpages are loaded into a browser, requests are made for ads to be placed on these pages. The machines in the data center use the Boaxxe botnet as a proxy to make requests for these ads. A command and control (C2) server sends instructions to the infected botnet computers to make the ad requests in an effort to hide their true data center IPs. Kovter Malware Kovter malware is also spread through email attachments and drive-by downloads. The ad fraud scheme that utilizes the Kovter botnet runs a hidden Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) browser on the infected machine that the user cannot see. A C2 server tells the infected machine to visit counterfeit websites. When the counterfeit webpage is loaded in the hidden browser, requests are made for ads to be placed on these counterfeit pages. The infected machine receives the ads and loads them into the hidden browser. Impact For the indicators of compromise (IOCs) below, keep in mind that any one indicator on its own may not necessarily mean that a machine is infected. Some IOCs may be present for legitimate applications and network traffic as well, but are included here for completeness. Boaxxe/Miuref Malware Boaxxe malware leaves several executables on the infected machine. They may be found in one or more of the following locations: %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\lsass.aaa %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Temp\<RANDOM>.exe %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<Random eight-character folder name>\<original file name>.exe The HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) “Run” key is set to the path to one of the executables created above. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\<Above path to executable>\ Kovter Malware Kovter malware is found mostly in the registry, but the following files may be found on the infected machine: %UserProfile\AppData\Local\Temp\<RANDOM> .exe/.bat %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM FILENAME>.exe %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM>.lnk %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM>.bat Kovter is known to hide in the registry under: HKCU\SOFTWARE\<RANDOM>\<RANDOM> The customized CEF browser is dropped to: %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\<RANDOM> The keys will look like random values and contain scripts. In some values, a User-Agent string can be clearly identified. An additional key containing a link to a batch script on the hard drive may be placed within registry key: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run There are several patterns in the network requests that are made by Kovter malware when visiting the counterfeit websites. The following are regex rules for these URL patterns: /?ptrackp=\d{5,8} /feedrs\d/click?feed_id=\d{1,5}&sub_id=\d{1,5}&cid=[a-f0-9-]*&spoof_domain=[\w\.\d-_]*&land_ip=\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3} /feedrs\d/vast_track?a=impression&feed_id=\d{5}&sub_id=\d{1,5}&sub2_id=\d{1,5}&cid=[a-f\d-] The following is a YARA rule for detecting Kovter: rule KovterUnpacked {   meta:     desc = "Encoded strings in unpacked Kovter samples."   strings:     $ = "7562@3B45E129B93"     $ = "@ouhKndCny"     $ = "@ouh@mmEdctffdsr"     $ = "@ouhSGQ"   condition:     all of them } Solution If you believe you may be a victim of 3ve and its associated malware or hijacked IPs, and have information that may be useful to investigators, submit your complaint to www.ic3.gov and use the hashtag 3ve (#3ve) in the body of your complaint. DHS and FBI advise users to take the following actions to remediate malware infections associated with Boaxxe/Miuref or Kovter: Use and maintain antivirus software. Antivirus software recognizes and protects your computer against most known viruses. Security companies are continuously updating their software to counter these advanced threats. Therefore, it is important to keep your antivirus software up-to-date. If you suspect you may be a victim of malware, update your antivirus software definitions and run a full-system scan. (See Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more information.) Avoid clicking links in email. Attackers have become very skilled at making phishing emails look legitimate. Users should ensure the link is legitimate by typing the link into a new browser. (See Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks .) Change your passwords. Your original passwords may have been compromised during the infection, so you should change them. (See Choosing and Protecting Passwords .) Keep your operating system and application software up-to-date. Install software patches so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. You should enable automatic updates of the operating system if this option is available. (See Understanding Patches and Software Updates  for more information.) Use anti-malware tools. Using a legitimate program that identifies and removes malware can help eliminate an infection. Users can consider employing a remediation tool... (more)

Posted on 27 November 2018 5:09 pm


AA18-284A: Publicly Available Tools Seen in Cyber Incidents Worldwide

Original release date: October 11, 2018 Summary This report is a collaborative research effort by the cyber security authorities of five nations: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] In it we highlight the use of five publicly available tools, which have been used for malicious purposes in recent cyber incidents around the world. The five tools are: Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost Webshell: China Chopper Credential Stealer: Mimikatz Lateral Movement Framework: PowerShell Empire C2 Obfuscation and Exfiltration: HUC Packet Transmitter To aid the work of network defenders and systems administrators, we also provide advice on limiting the effectiveness of these tools and detecting their use on a network. The individual tools we cover in this report are limited examples of the types of tools used by threat actors. You should not consider this an exhaustive list when planning your network defense. Tools and techniques for exploiting networks and the data they hold are by no means the preserve of nation states or criminals on the dark web. Today, malicious tools with a variety of functions are widely and freely available for use by everyone from skilled penetration testers, hostile state actors and organized criminals, to amateur cyber criminals. The tools in this Activity Alert have been used to compromise information across a wide range of critical sectors, including health, finance, government, and defense. Their widespread availability presents a challenge for network defense and threat-actor attribution. Experience from all our countries makes it clear that, while cyber threat actors continue to develop their capabilities, they still make use of established tools and techniques. Even the most sophisticated threat actor groups use common, publicly available tools to achieve their objectives. Whatever these objectives may be, initial compromises of victim systems are often established through exploitation of common security weaknesses. Abuse of unpatched software vulnerabilities or poorly configured systems are common ways for a threat actor to gain access. The tools detailed in this Activity Alert come into play once a compromise has been achieved, enabling attackers to further their objectives within the victim’s systems. How to Use This Report The tools detailed in this Activity Alert fall into five categories: Remote Access Trojans (RATs), webshells, credential stealers, lateral movement frameworks, and command and control (C2) obfuscators. This Activity Alert provides an overview of the threat posed by each tool, along with insight into where and when it has been deployed by threat actors. Measures to aid detection and limit the effectiveness of each tool are also described. The Activity Alert concludes with general advice for improving network defense practices. Technical Details Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost   First observed in May 2015, the JBiFrost RAT is a variant of the Adwind RAT, with roots stretching back to the Frutas RAT from 2012. A RAT is a program that, once installed on a victim’s machine, allows remote administrative control. In a malicious context, it can—among many other functions—be used to install backdoors and key loggers, take screen shots, and exfiltrate data. Malicious RATs can be difficult to detect because they are normally designed not to appear in lists of running programs and can mimic the behavior of legitimate applications. To prevent forensic analysis, RATs have been known to disable security measures (e.g., Task Manager) and network analysis tools (e.g., Wireshark) on the victim’s system. In Use JBiFrost RAT is typically employed by cyber criminals and low-skilled threat actors, but its capabilities could easily be adapted for use by state-sponsored threat actors. Other RATs are widely used by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actor groups, such as Adwind RAT, against the aerospace and defense sector; or Quasar RAT, by APT10, against a broad range of sectors. Threat actors have repeatedly compromised servers in our countries with the purpose of delivering malicious RATs to victims, either to gain remote access for further exploitation, or to steal valuable information such as banking credentials, intellectual property, or PII. Capabilities JBiFrost RAT is Java-based, cross-platform, and multifunctional. It poses a threat to several different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, MAC OS X, and Android. JBiFrost RAT allows threat actors to pivot and move laterally across a network or install additional malicious software. It is primarily delivered through emails as an attachment, usually an invoice notice, request for quotation, remittance notice, shipment notification, payment notice, or with a link to a file hosting service. Past infections have exfiltrated intellectual property, banking credentials, and personally identifiable information (PII). Machines infected with JBiFrost RAT can also be used in botnets to carry out distributed denial-of-service attacks. Examples Since early 2018, we have observed an increase in JBiFrost RAT being used in targeted attacks against critical national infrastructure owners and their supply chain operators. There has also been an increase in the RAT’s hosting on infrastructure located in our countries. In early 2017, Adwind RAT was deployed via spoofed emails designed to look as if they originated from Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, network services. Many other publicly available RATs, including variations of Gh0st RAT, have also been observed in use against a range of victims worldwide. Detection and Protection Some possible indications of a JBiFrost RAT infection can include, but are not limited to: Inability to restart the computer in safe mode, Inability to open the Windows Registry Editor or Task Manager, Significant increase in disk activity and/or network traffic, Connection attempts to known malicious Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and Creation of new files and directories with obfuscated or random names. Protection is best afforded by ensuring systems and installed applications are all fully patched and updated. The use of a modern antivirus program with automatic definition updates and regular system scans will also help ensure that most of the latest variants are stopped in their tracks. You should ensure that your organization is able to collect antivirus detections centrally across its estate and investigate RAT detections efficiently. Strict application whitelisting is recommended to prevent infections from occurring. The initial infection mechanism for RATs, including JBiFrost RAT, can be via phishing emails... (more)

Posted on 11 October 2018 3:19 pm


TA18-276B: Advanced Persistent Threat Activity Exploiting Managed Service Providers

Original release date: October 3, 2018 Systems Affected Network Systems Overview The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) is aware of ongoing APT actor activity attempting to infiltrate the networks of global managed service providers (MSPs). Since May 2016, APT actors have used various tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the purposes of cyber espionage and intellectual property theft. APT actors have targeted victims in several U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including Information Technology (IT), Energy, Healthcare and Public Health, Communications, and Critical Manufacturing. This Technical Alert (TA) provides information and guidance to assist MSP customer network and system administrators with the detection of malicious activity on their networks and systems and the mitigation of associated risks. This TA includes an overview of TTPs used by APT actors in MSP network environments, recommended mitigation techniques, and information on reporting incidents. Description MSPs provide remote management of customer IT and end-user systems. The number of organizations using MSPs has grown significantly over recent years because MSPs allow their customers to scale and support their network environments at a lower cost than financing these resources internally. MSPs generally have direct and unfettered access to their customers’ networks, and may store customer data on their own internal infrastructure. By servicing a large number of customers, MSPs can achieve significant economies of scale. However, a compromise in one part of an MSP’s network can spread globally, affecting other customers and introducing risk. Using an MSP significantly increases an organization’s virtual enterprise infrastructure footprint and its number of privileged accounts, creating a larger attack surface for cyber criminals and nation-state actors. By using compromised legitimate MSP credentials (e.g., administration, domain, user), APT actors can move bidirectionally between an MSP and its customers’ shared networks. Bidirectional movement between networks allows APT actors to easily obfuscate detection measures and maintain a presence on victims’ networks. Note: NCCIC previously released information related to this activity in Alert TA17-117A: Intrusions Affecting Multiple Victims Across Multiple Sectors published on April 27, 2017, which includes indicators of compromise, signatures, suggested detection methods, and recommended mitigation techniques. Technical Details APT APT actors use a range of “living off the land” techniques to maintain anonymity while conducting their attacks. These techniques include using legitimate credentials and trusted off-the-shelf applications and pre-installed system tools present in MSP customer networks. Pre-installed system tools, such as command line scripts, are very common and used by system administrators for legitimate processes. Command line scripts are used to discover accounts and remote systems. PowerSploit is a repository of Microsoft PowerShell and Visual Basic scripts and uses system commands such as netsh . PowerSploit, originally developed as a legitimate penetration testing tool, is widely misused by APT actors. These scripts often cannot be blocked because they are legitimate tools, so APT actors can use them and remain undetected on victim networks. Although network defenders can generate log files, APT actors’ use of legitimate scripts makes it difficult to identify system anomalies and other malicious activity. When APT actors use system tools and common cloud services, it can also be difficult for network defenders to detect data exfiltration. APT actors have been observed using Robocopy—a Microsoft command line tool—to transfer exfiltrated and archived data from MSP client networks back through MSP network environments. Additionally, APT actors have been observed using legitimate PuTTY Secure Copy Client functions, allowing them to transfer stolen data securely and directly to third-party systems. Impact A successful network intrusion can have severe impacts to the affected organization, particularly if the compromise becomes public. Possible impacts include Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, Disruption to regular operations, Financial losses to restore systems and files, and Potential harm to the organization’s reputation. Solution Detection Organizations should configure system logs to detect incidents and to identify the type and scope of malicious activity. Properly configured logs enable rapid containment and appropriate response. Response An organization’s ability to rapidly respond to and recover from an incident begins with the development of an incident response capability. An organization’s response capability should focus on being prepared to handle the most common attack vectors (e.g., spearphishing, malicious web content, credential theft). In general, organizations should prepare by Establishing and periodically updating an incident response plan. Establishing written guidelines that prioritize incidents based on mission impact, so that an appropriate response can be initiated. Developing procedures and out-of-band lines of communication to handle incident reporting for internal and external relationships. Exercising incident response measures for various intrusion scenarios regularly, as part of a training regime. Committing to an effort that secures the endpoint and network infrastructure: prevention is less costly and more effective than reacting after an incident. Mitigation Manage Supply Chain Risk MSP clients that do not conduct the majority of their own network defense should work with their MSP to determine what they can expect in terms of security. MSP clients should understand the supply chain risk associated with their MSP. Organizations should manage risk equally across their security, legal, and procurement groups. MSP clients should also refer to cloud security guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to learn about MSP terms of service, architecture, security controls, and risks associated with cloud computing and data protection. [1] [2] [3] Architecture Restricting access to networks and systems is critical to containing an APT actor’s movement. Provided below are key items that organizations should implement and periodically audit to ensure their network environment’s physical and logical architecture limits an APT actor’s visibility and access. Virtual Private Network Connection Recommendations Use a dedicated Virtual Private Network (VPN) for MSP connection. The organization’s local network should connect to the MSP via a dedicated VPN... (more)

Posted on 3 October 2018 11:47 am


TA18-276A: Using Rigorous Credential Control to Mitigate Trusted Network Exploitation

Original release date: October 3, 2018 Systems Affected Network Systems Overview This technical alert addresses the exploitation of trusted network relationships and the subsequent illicit use of legitimate credentials by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors. It identifies APT actors' tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and describes the best practices that could be employed to mitigate each of them. The mitigations for each TTP are arranged according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework core functions of Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. Description APT actors are using multiple mechanisms to acquire legitimate user credentials to exploit trusted network relationships in order to expand unauthorized access, maintain persistence, and exfiltrate data from targeted organizations. Suggested best practices for administrators to mitigate this threat include auditing credentials, remote-access logs, and controlling privileged access and remote access. Impact APT actors are conducting malicious activity against organizations that have trusted network relationships with potential targets, such as a parent company, a connected partner, or a contracted managed service provider (MSP). APT actors can use legitimate credentials to expand unauthorized access, maintain persistence, exfiltrate data, and conduct other operations, while appearing to be authorized users. Leveraging legitimate credentials to exploit trusted network relationships also allows APT actors to access other devices and other trusted networks, which affords intrusions a high level of persistence and stealth. Solution Recommended best practices for mitigating this threat include rigorous credential and privileged-access management, as well as remote-access control, and audits of legitimate remote-access logs. While these measures aim to prevent the initial attack vectors and the spread of malicious activity, there is no single proven threat response. Using a defense-in-depth strategy is likely to increase the odds of successfully disrupting adversarial objectives long enough to allow network defenders to detect and respond before the successful completion of a threat actor’s objectives. Any organization that uses an MSP to provide services should monitor the MSP's interactions within their organization’s enterprise networks, such as account use, privileges, and access to confidential or proprietary information. Organizations should also ensure that they have the ability to review their security and monitor their information hosted on MSP networks. APT TTPs and Corresponding Mitigations The following table displays the TTPs employed by APT actors and pairs them with mitigations that network defenders can implement. Table 1: APT TTPs and Mitigations APT TTPs Mitigations Preparation Allocate operational infrastructure, such as Internet Protocol addresses (IPs). Gather target credentials to use for legitimate access. Protect: Educate users to never click unsolicited links or open unsolicited attachments in emails. Implement an awareness and training program. Detect: Leverage multi-sourced threat-reputation services for files, Domain Name System (DNS), Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), IPs, and email addresses. Engagement Use legitimate remote access, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Leverage a trusted relationship between networks. Protect: Enable strong spam filters to prevent phishing emails from reaching end users. Authenticate inbound email using Sender Policy Framework; Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance; and DomainKeys Identified Mail to prevent email spoofing. Prevent external access via RDP sessions and require VPN access. Enforce multi-factor authentication and account-lockout policies to defend against brute force attacks. Detect: Leverage multi-sourced threat-reputation services for files, DNS, URLs, IPs, and email addresses. Scan all incoming and outgoing emails to detect threats and filter out executables. Audit all remote authentications from trusted networks or service providers for anomalous activity. Respond and Recover: Reset credentials, including system accounts. Transition to multifactor authentication and reduce use of password-based systems, which are susceptible to credential theft, forgery, and reuse across multiple systems. Presence Execution and Internal Reconnaissance: Write to disk and execute malware and tools on hosts. Use interpreted scripts and run commands in shell to enumerate accounts, local network, operating system, software, and processes for internal reconnaissance. Map accessible networks and scan connected targets. Lateral Movement: Use remote services and log on remotely. Use legitimate credentials to move laterally onto hosts, domain controllers, and servers. Write to remote file shares, such as Windows administrative shares. Credential Access: Locate credentials, dump credentials, and crack passwords. Protect: Deploy an anti-malware solution, which also aims to prevent spyware and adware. Prevent the execution of unauthorized software, such as Mimikatz, by using application whitelisting. Deploy PowerShell mitigations and, in the more current versions of PowerShell, enable monitoring and security features. Prevent unauthorized external access via RDP sessions. Restrict workstations from communicating directly with other workstations. Separate administrative privileges between internal administrator accounts and accounts used by trusted service providers. Enable detailed session-auditing and session-logging. Detect: Audit all remote authentications from trusted networks or service providers. Detect mismatches by correlating credentials used within internal networks with those employed on external-facing systems. Log use of system administrator commands, such as net, ipconfig, and ping. Audit logs for suspicious behavior. Use whitelist or baseline comparison to monitor Windows event logs and network traffic to detect when a user maps a privileged administrative share on a Windows system. Leverage multi-sourced threat-reputation services for files, DNS, URLs, IPs, and email addresses. Respond and Recover: Reset credentials. Monitor accounts associated with a compromise for abnormal behaviors, including unusual connections to nonstandard resources or attempts to elevate privileges, enumerate, or execute unexpected programs or applications. Effect Maintain access to trusted networks while gathering data from victim networks... (more)

Posted on 3 October 2018 11:00 am


TA18-275A: HIDDEN COBRA – FASTCash Campaign

Original release date: October 2, 2018 | Last revised: December 21, 2018 Systems Affected Retail Payment Systems Overview This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Working with U.S. government partners, DHS, Treasury, and FBI identified malware and other indicators of compromise (IOCs) used by the North Korean government in an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme—referred to by the U.S. Government as “FASTCash.” The U.S. Government refers to malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government as HIDDEN COBRA. For more information on HIDDEN COBRA activity, visit https://www.us-cert.gov/hiddencobra . FBI has high confidence that HIDDEN COBRA actors are using the IOCs listed in this report to maintain a presence on victims’ networks to enable network exploitation. DHS, FBI, and Treasury are distributing these IOCs to enable network defense and reduce exposure to North Korean government malicious cyber activity. This TA also includes suggested response actions to the IOCs provided, recommended mitigation techniques, and information on reporting incidents. If users or administrators detect activity associated with the malware families associated with FASTCash, they should immediately flag it, report it to the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) or the FBI Cyber Watch (CyWatch), and give it the highest priority for enhanced mitigation. NCCIC conducted analysis on 10 malware samples related to this activity and produced a Malware Analysis Report (MAR). MAR-10201537, HIDDEN COBRA FASTCash-Related Malware, examines the tactics, techniques, and procedures observed in the malware. Visit the MAR-10201537 page for the report and associated IOCs. Description Since at least late 2016, HIDDEN COBRA actors have used FASTCash tactics to target banks in Africa and Asia. At the time of this TA’s publication, the U.S. Government has not confirmed any FASTCash incidents affecting institutions within the United States. FASTCash schemes remotely compromise payment switch application servers within banks to facilitate fraudulent transactions. The U.S. Government assesses that HIDDEN COBRA actors will continue to use FASTCash tactics to target retail payment systems vulnerable to remote exploitation. According to a trusted partner’s estimation, HIDDEN COBRA actors have stolen tens of millions of dollars. In one incident in 2017, HIDDEN COBRA actors enabled cash to be simultaneously withdrawn from ATMs located in over 30 different countries. In another incident in 2018, HIDDEN COBRA actors enabled cash to be simultaneously withdrawn from ATMs in 23 different countries.   HIDDEN COBRA actors target the retail payment system infrastructure within banks to enable fraudulent ATM cash withdrawals across national borders. HIDDEN COBRA actors have configured and deployed malware on compromised switch application servers in order to intercept and reply to financial request messages with fraudulent but legitimate-looking affirmative response messages. Although the infection vector is unknown, all of the compromised switch application servers were running unsupported IBM Advanced Interactive eXecutive (AIX) operating system versions beyond the end of their service pack support dates; there is no evidence HIDDEN COBRA actors successfully exploited the AIX operating system in these incidents. HIDDEN COBRA actors exploited the targeted systems by using their knowledge of International Standards Organization (ISO) 8583—the standard for financial transaction messaging—and other tactics. HIDDEN COBRA actors most likely deployed ISO 8583 libraries on the targeted switch application servers. Malicious threat actors use these libraries to help interpret financial request messages and properly construct fraudulent financial response messages. Figure 1: Anatomy of a FASTCash scheme A review of log files showed HIDDEN COBRA actors making typos and actively correcting errors while configuring the targeted server for unauthorized activity. Based on analysis of the affected systems, analysts believe that malware—used by HIDDEN COBRA actors and explained in the Technical Details section below—inspected inbound financial request messages for specific primary account numbers (PANs). The malware generated fraudulent financial response messages only for the request messages that matched the expected PANs. Most accounts used to initiate the transactions had minimal account activity or zero balances. Analysts believe HIDDEN COBRA actors blocked transaction messages to stop denial messages from leaving the switch and used a GenerateResponse* function to approve the transactions. These response messages were likely sent for specific PANs matched using CheckPan() verification (see figure 1 for additional details on CheckPan() ). Technical Details HIDDEN COBRA actors used malicious Windows executable applications, command-line utility applications, and other files in the FASTCash campaign to perform transactions and interact with financial systems, including the switch application server. The initial infection vector used to compromise victim networks is unknown; however, analysts surmise HIDDEN COBRA actors used spear-phishing emails in targeted attacks against bank employees. HIDDEN COBRA actors likely used Windows-based malware to explore a bank’s network to identify the payment switch application server. Although these threat actors used different malware in each known incident, static analysis of malware samples indicates similarities in malware capabilities and functionalities. HIDDEN COBRA actors likely used legitimate credentials to move laterally through a bank’s network and to illicitly access the switch application server. This pattern suggests compromised systems within a bank’s network were used to access and compromise the targeted payment switch application server. Upon successful compromise of a bank’s payment switch application server, HIDDEN COBRA actors likely injected malicious code into legitimate processes—using command-line utility applications on the payment switch application server—to enable fraudulent behavior by the system in response to what would otherwise be normal payment switch application server activity. NCCIC collaborated with Symantec cybersecurity researchers to provide additional context on existing analysis [1] . Malware samples analyzed included malicious AIX executable files intended for a proprietary UNIX operating system developed by IBM. The AIX executable files were designed to inject malicious code into a currently running process. Two of the AIX executable files are configured with an export function, which allows malicious applications to perform transactions on financial systems using the ISO 8583 standard... (more)

Posted on 2 October 2018 3:45 pm


TA18-201A: Emotet Malware

Original release date: July 20, 2018 Systems Affected Network Systems Overview Emotet is an advanced, modular banking Trojan that primarily functions as a downloader or dropper of other banking Trojans. Emotet continues to be among the most costly and destructive malware affecting state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, and the private and public sectors. This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) analytic efforts, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). Description Emotet continues to be among the most costly and destructive malware affecting SLTT governments. Its worm-like features result in rapidly spreading network-wide infection, which are difficult to combat. Emotet infections have cost SLTT governments up to $1 million per incident to remediate. Emotet is an advanced, modular banking Trojan that primarily functions as a downloader or dropper of other banking Trojans. Additionally, Emotet is a polymorphic banking Trojan that can evade typical signature-based detection. It has several methods for maintaining persistence, including auto-start registry keys and services. It uses modular Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) to continuously evolve and update its capabilities. Furthermore, Emotet is Virtual Machine-aware and can generate false indicators if run in a virtual environment. Emotet is disseminated through malspam (emails containing malicious attachments or links) that uses branding familiar to the recipient; it has even been spread using the MS-ISAC name. As of July 2018, the most recent campaigns imitate PayPal receipts, shipping notifications, or “past-due” invoices purportedly from MS-ISAC. Initial infection occurs when a user opens or clicks the malicious download link, PDF, or macro-enabled Microsoft Word document included in the malspam. Once downloaded, Emotet establishes persistence and attempts to propagate the local networks through incorporated spreader modules. Figure 1: Malicious email distributing Emotet Currently, Emotet uses five known spreader modules: NetPass.exe, WebBrowserPassView, Mail PassView, Outlook scraper, and a credential enumerator. NetPass.exe is a legitimate utility developed by NirSoft that recovers all network passwords stored on a system for the current logged-on user. This tool can also recover passwords stored in the credentials file of external drives. Outlook scraper is a tool that scrapes names and email addresses from the victim’s Outlook accounts and uses that information to send out additional phishing emails from the compromised accounts. WebBrowserPassView is a password recovery tool that captures passwords stored by Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera and passes them to the credential enumerator module. Mail PassView is a password recovery tool that reveals passwords and account details for various email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Gmail and passes them to the credential enumerator module. Credential enumerator is a self-extracting RAR file containing two components: a bypass component and a service component. The bypass component is used for the enumeration of network resources and either finds writable share drives using Server Message Block (SMB) or tries to brute force user accounts, including the administrator account. Once an available system is found, Emotet writes the service component on the system, which writes Emotet onto the disk. Emotet’s access to SMB can result in the infection of entire domains (servers and clients). Figure 2: Emotet infection process To maintain persistence, Emotet injects code into explorer.exe and other running processes. It can also collect sensitive information, including system name, location, and operating system version, and connects to a remote command and control server (C2), usually through a generated 16-letter domain name that ends in “.eu.” Once Emotet establishes a connection with the C2, it reports a new infection, receives configuration data, downloads and runs files, receives instructions, and uploads data to the C2 server. Emotet artifacts are typically found in arbitrary paths located off of the AppData\Local and AppData\Roaming directories. The artifacts usually mimic the names of known executables. Persistence is typically maintained through Scheduled Tasks or via registry keys. Additionally, Emotet creates randomly-named files in the system root directories that are run as Windows services. When executed, these services attempt to propagate the malware to adjacent systems via accessible administrative shares. Note: it is essential that privileged accounts are not used to log in to compromised systems during remediation as this may accelerate the spread of the malware. Example Filenames and Paths: C:\Users\<username>\AppData \Local\Microsoft\Windows\shedaudio.exe C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia\bin\flashplayer.exe Typical Registry Keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run System Root Directories: C:\Windows\11987416.exe C:\Windows\System32\46615275.exe C:\Windows\System32\shedaudio.exe C:\Windows\SysWOW64\f9jwqSbS.exe Impact Negative consequences of Emotet infection include temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, disruption to regular operations, financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and potential harm to an organization’s reputation. Solution NCCIC and MS-ISAC recommend that organizations adhere to the following general best practices to limit the effect of Emotet and similar malspam: Use Group Policy Object to set a Windows Firewall rule to restrict inbound SMB communication between client systems. If using an alternative host-based intrusion prevention system (HIPS), consider implementing custom modifications for the control of client-to-client SMB communication. At a minimum, create a Group Policy Object that restricts inbound SMB connections to clients originating from clients. Use antivirus programs, with automatic updates of signatures and software, on clients and servers. Apply appropriate patches and updates immediately (after appropriate testing). Implement filters at the email gateway to filter out emails with known malspam indicators, such as known malicious subject lines, and block suspicious IP addresses at the firewall... (more)

Posted on 20 July 2018 9:24 pm


Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities (Update J)

This updated alert is a follow-up to the updated alert titled ICS-ALERT-18-011-01 Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities (Update I) that was published September 11, 2018, on the NCCIC/ICS-CERT website. (more)

Posted on 11 January 2018 5:51 pm


WAGO PFC200

NCCIC is aware of a public report of an improper authentication vulnerability affecting WAGO PFC200, a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) device. According to this report, the vulnerability is exploitable by sending a TCP payload on the bound port. This report was released after attempted coordination with WAGO. NCCIC has notified the affected vendor of the report and has asked the vendor to confirm the vulnerability and identify mitigations. NCCIC is issuing this alert to provide notice of the report and identify baseline mitigations for reducing risks to these and other cybersecurity attacks. (more)

Posted on 7 December 2017 9:11 pm


Eaton ELCSoft Vulnerabilities

NCCIC/ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of buffer overflow vulnerabilities affecting Eaton ELCSoft, a PLC programming software for Eaton Logic Control (ELC) controllers. According to the public report, which was coordinated with ICS-CERT prior to its public release, researcher Ariele Caltabiano (kimiya) working with Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative, identified that an attacker can leverage these vulnerabilities to execute arbitrary code in the context of the process. ICS-CERT has notified the affected vendor, who has reported that they are planning to address the vulnerabilities. No timeline has been provided. ICS-CERT is issuing this alert to provide notice of the report and to identify baseline mitigations for reducing risks to these and other cybersecurity attacks. (more)

Posted on 4 August 2017 7:11 pm


CAN Bus Standard Vulnerability

NCCIC/ICS-CERT is aware of a public report of a vulnerability in the Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus standard with proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code affecting CAN Bus, a broadcast based network standard. According to the public report, which was coordinated with ICS-CERT prior to its public release, researchers Andrea Palanca, Eric Evenchick, Federico Maggi, and Stefano Zanero identified a vulnerability exploiting a weakness in the CAN protocol that allows an attacker to perform a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. (more)

Posted on 28 July 2017 7:34 pm


CRASHOVERRIDE Malware

CRASHOVERRIDE, aka, Industroyer, is the fourth family of malware publically identified as targeting industrial control systems (ICS). It uses a modular design, with payloads that target several industrial communication protocols and are capable of directly controlling switches and circuit breakers. Additional modules include a data-wiping component and a module capable of causing a denial of service (DoS) to Siemens SIPROTEC devices. (more)

Posted on 25 July 2017 4:45 pm


Petya Malware Variant (Update C)

This updated alert is a follow-up to the updated alert titled ICS-ALERT-17-181-01B Petya Malware Variant that was published July 5, 2017, on the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site. ICS-CERT is aware of reports of a variant of the Petya malware that is affecting several countries. ICS-CERT is releasing this alert to enhance the awareness of critical infrastructure asset owners/operators about the Petya variant and to identify product vendors that have issued recommendations to mitigate the risk associated with this malware. (more)

Posted on 30 June 2017 9:09 pm


Indicators Associated With WannaCry Ransomware (Update I)

This updated alert is a follow-up to the updated alert titled ICS-ALERT-17-135-01H Indicators Associated With WannaCry Ransomware that was published May 31, 2017, on the NCCIC/ICS-CERT web site. (more)

Posted on 15 May 2017 11:16 pm



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