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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

The Next Step of Botnets

September 15, 2012 Leave a comment

A BlackHole (Exploit Kit) absorbing an Onion (Ring), the future of Botnets?

This information security week has offered many interesting points: the brand new CRIME attack against SSL/TLS, the release of BlackHole Exploit Kit 2.0 that promises new stealth vectors of Drive-By download infections, the takedown of the emerging Nitol botnet by Microsoft, and, last but not least, the first (?) known example of a new generation of a C&C Server leveraging the anonymization granted by Tor Service.

The latter is in my opinion the news with the most important consequences for the Information Security community, since delineates the next step of Botnets’ evolution, after the common, consolidated, C&C communication schema, and its natural evolution consisting in Peer-to-Peer (P2P) communication.

The first (I wonder if it is really the first) discovery of a Botnet command server hidden in Tor, using IRC protocol to communicates with its zombies,  has been announced in a blog post by G-Data. Of course the advantages of such a similar communication schema are quite simple: the Botnet may use the anonymity granted by the Deep Web to prevent the identification and the likely takedown of the server, and the encryption of the Tor protocol to make traffic identification harder by traditional layers of defense. Two advantages that greatly exceed the Tor latency which represents the weakness of this communication schema.

Maybe it was only a matter of time, in any case it is not a coincidence that in the same weeks researchers have discovered BlackHole 2.0 and the first (maybe) C&C infrastructure hidden inside the Deep Web: Cyber Criminals are continuously developing increasingly sophisticated methods to elude law enforcement agencies and to evade the security controls of the traditional bastions, and the botnets are confirming more than ever to be the modern biblical plague for the Web…

And even if every now and then good guys are able to obtain a victory (as the Nitol takedown), the war is far from over.

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Consumer AVs And Exploit Prevention

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Targeted attacks exploiting endpoint vulnerabilities are becoming more and more common and increasingly aggressive.

For this reason I could not help but notice the last report from NSS Labs dealing with the capability of 13 consumer grade AV products, to protect against two critical Microsoft vulnerabilities (CVE-2012-1875 and CVE-2012-1889). The successful exploitation of these critical vulnerabilities could result in arbitrary remote code execution by the attacker leading to very harmful consequences for the victim, such as, for instance, to make it become part of a botnet. Unfortunately a very common scenario in these troubled days.

Even if these vulnerabilities are a couple of months old (and patched), the resulting report is not so encouraging, and renews the dramatic question: are endpoint protection technologies, on their own, capable to offer adequate protection in the current cyber-landscape?

Probably not, considering the the findings which are quite frustrating:

  • Only 4 of the 13 products blocked all attacks: exploit prevention remains a challenge for most products;
  • More than half of the products failed to protect against attacks over HTTPS that were blocked over HTTP, a serious deficiency for a desktop AV / host intrusion prevention system (HIPS.);
  • Researchers are not the only ones testing security products – criminal organizations also have sophisticated testing processes in order to determine which product detects which malware, and how the various products can be evaded. Some crimewares will (already) include various one-click buttons to “Bypass VendorX,” for example.

Ok, you might argue that only consumer-grade AV products were tested, so enterprise organizations are not so exposed against exploit attacks. Mmh… Do not jump to conclusions, as I believe the reality is pretty much different and enterprise organizations are even more exposed for the following reasons:

  • More and more organizations are approaching the BYOD philosophy policy in which users are free to use their own devices. Even worse, too often these are equipped with outdated EPPs (how many organizations enforce NAC policies to check the integrity of the endpoint?).
  • Most of all… If cyber criminals have sophisticated testing processes in place, aimed to test the detection capability of the various products, why should they use them only for consumer products and not (also) for the most appealing enterprise crime market?

Yes, definitively I believe endpoint protection technologies, on their own, do not offer adequate protection for exploit prevention, and the time has come for Advanced Threat Detection/Prevention technologies (like Lastline :-)).

February 2012 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

February 16, 2012 1 comment

February 2012 brings a new domain for my blog (it’s just a hackmaggedon) and confirms the trend of January with a constant and unprecedented increase in number and complexity of the events. Driven by the echo of the ACTA movement, the Anonymous have performed a massive wave of attacks, resuming the old habits of targeting Law Enforcement agencies. From this point of view, this month has registered several remarkable events among which the hacking of a conf call between the FBI and Scotland Yard and the takedown of the Homeland Security and the CIA Web sites.

The Hacktivism front has been very hot as well, with attacks in Europe and Syria (with the presidential e-mail hacked) and even against United Nations (once again) and NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

Scroll down the list and enjoy to discover the (too) many illustrious victims including Intel, Microsoft, Foxconn and Philips. After the jump you find all the references and do not forget to follow @paulsparrows for the latest updates. Also have a look to the Middle East Cyberwar Timeline, and the master indexes for 2011 and 2012 Cyber Attacks.

Addendum: of course it is impossible to keep count of the huge amount of sites attacked or defaced as an aftermath of the Anti ACTA movements. In any case I suggest you a couple of links that mat be really helpful:

Read more…

Categories: Cyber Attacks Timeline, Cyberwar, Security Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

December 30, 2011 2 comments

This infamous 2011 is nearly gone and here it is the last post for this year concerning the 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline. As you will soon see from an infosec perspective this month has been characterized by two main events: the LulzXmas with its terrible Stratfor hack (whose effects are still ongoing with the recent release of 860,000 accounts), and an unprecented wave of breaches in China which led to the dump of nearly 88 million of users for a theoretical cost of nearly $19 million (yes the Sony brech is close). For the rest an endless cyberwar between India and Pakistan, some hactivism and (unfortunately) the usual amounts of “minor” breaches and defacement. After the page break you find all the references.

Last but not least… This post is my very personal way to wish you a happy new infosec year.

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December 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part I)

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

As usual, here it is my compilation of December Cyber Attacks.

It looks like that Christmas approaching is not stopping hackers who targeted a growing number of  organizations including several security firms (Kaspersky, Nod 32 and Bitdefender) even if in secondary domains and with “simple” defacements.

Cyber chronicles report of Gemnet, another Certification Authority Breached in Holland (is the 12th security incident targeting CAs in 2011) and several massive data breaches targeting Finland (the fifth this year, affecting 16,000 users), online gambling (UB.com affecting 3.5 million of users),  Telco (Telstra, affecting 70,000 users), and gaming, after the well known attacks to Sony, Sega and Nintendo, with Square Enix, which suffered a huge attacks compromising 1,800,000 users (even if it looks like no personal data were affected).

Online Payment services were also targeted by Cybercrookers: a Visa East European processor has been hit by a security breach, but also four Romanian home made hackers have been arrested for a massive credit card fraud affecting 200 restaurants for a total of 80,000 customers who had their data stolen.

As usual, hacktivism was one of the main trends for this first half of the month, which started with a resounding hacking to a Web Server belonging to ACNUR (United Nations Refugees Agency) leaking more than 200 credentials including the one belonging to President Mr. Barack Obama.

But from a mere hactvism perspective, Elections in Russia have been the main trigger as they indirectly generated several cyber events: not only during the election day, in which three web sites (a watchdog and two independent news agencies) were taken down by DDoS attacks, but also in the immediately following days, when a botnet flooded Twitter with Pro Kremlin hashtags, and an independent forum was also taken down by a further DDoS attacks. A trail of events which set a very dangerous precent.

Besides the ACNUR Hack, the Anonymous were also in the spotlight (a quite common occurrence this year) with some sparse attacks targeting several governments including in particular Brazil, inside what is called #OpAmazonia.

Even if not confirmed, it looks like that Anonymous Finland might somehow be related to the above mentioned breach occurred in Finland.

Other interesting events occurred in the first two weeks of December: the 0-day vulnerability affecting Adobe products, immediately exploited by hackers to carry on tailored phishing campaigns and most of hall, a targeted attack to a contractor, Lockheed Martin, but also another occurrence of DNS Cache Poisoning targeting the Republic of Congo domains of Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others.

Last but not least, the controversial GPS Spoofing, which allegedly allowed Iran to capture a U.S. Drone, even the GPS Spoofing on its own does not completely solve the mistery of the capture.

Other victims of the month include Norwich Airport, Coca Cola, and another Law Enforcement Agency (clearusa.org), which is currently unaivalable.

As usual after the page break you find all the references.

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Categories: Cyber Attacks Timeline, Cyberwar, Security Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

The second half of November has confirmed the trend seen in the previous report covering the first half of the month. The period under examination has confirmed a remarkable increase in Cyber Attacks from both a quality and quantity perspective.

Although the month has been characterized by many small attacks, several remarkable events have really made the difference.

Among the victims of the month, Finland deserves a special mention in this unenviable rank: the second half of the month has confirmed the emerging trend for this country, which suffered in this period two further breaches of huge amounts of personal data, for a global cumulative cost, computed on the whole month, around $25 million.

But Finland was not the only northern European country hit by cybercrookers (maybe the term cyberprofessionals would be more appropriate): Norwegian systems associated with the country’s oil, gas and energy sectors were hit with an APT based cyber attack resulting in a loss of sensitive information including documents, drawings, user names and passwords.

But once again the crown of the most remarkable breach of the month is placed upon the head of South Korea which suffered another huge data dump affecting users of the popular MMORPG “Maple Story” affecting theoretically 13 million of users, nearly the 27% of the Korean population, for an estimated cost of the breach close to $2.8 billion.

The list of affected countries this month includes also 243,089 Nigerian users, victims of the hack of Naijaloaded, a popular forum.

Microsoft has been another victim in this November, with a phishing scam targeting Xbox Live users. Details of the scam are not clear, although each single affected user in U.K. might have lost something between £100 and £200 for a total cost of the breach assimilable to “million of Pounds”.

November will make history for showing for the first time to information security professionals the dangers hidden inside the SCADA universe (and not related to Nuclear Reactors). The echo of Stuxnet and Duqu is still alive, but this month was the the turn of SCADA water pumps, that have suffered a couple of attacks (Springfield and South Houston), the first one allegedly originated from Russia and the second one from a “lonely ranger” who considered the answer from DHS concerning the first incident, too soft and not enough satisfactory. My sixth sense (and one half) tells me that we will need to get more and more used to attacks against SCADA driven facilities.

The Anonymous continued their operations against governments with a brand new occurrence of their Friday Releases, targeting a Special Agent of the CA Department and leaking something like 38,000 emails. Besides from other some sparse “small” operations, the other remarkable action performed by the Anonymous collective involved the hacking of an United Nations (old?) server, that caused personal data of some personnel to be released on the Internet.

November Special mentions are dedicated (for opposite reasons) to HP and AT&T. HP for the issue on their printers discovered by a group of Researchers of Columbia Univerity, which could allow a malicious user to remotely control (and burn) them. AT&T deserved the special mention for the attack, unsuccessful, against the 1% of its 100 million wireless accounts customer base.

In any case, counting also the “minor” attacks of the month, the chart shows a real emergency for data protection issues: schools, e-commerce sites, TVs, government sites, etc. are increasingly becoming targets. Administrators do not show the deserved attention to data protection and maybe also the users are loosing the real perception of how much important is the safeguard of their personal information and how serious the aftermaths of a compromise are.

As usual, references for each single cyber attack are reported below. Have a (nice?) read and most of alle share among your acquaintances the awareness that everyone is virtually at risk.

Related articles

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Categories: Cyber Attacks Timeline, Security Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline (Part II)

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Halloween has just gone and here it is Part II of the October 2011 Cyber Attacks Timeline covering the second half (15-31) of this month.

From an Information Security Perspective, the 10th month of 2011 has been characterized by Duqu, the brand new Advanced Persistent Threat dubbed “The Sun Of Stuxnet”, whose echo is far from being silent (a brand new 0-day vulnerability targeting Windows Kernel has just been discovered in the Malware Installer). Duqu affected the timeline in two circumstances: not only the malware was discovered, but also an Indian Provider called Web Werks had some servers seized from a Data Center in Mumbai because they were discovered to be involved in the C&C communication of the infected endpoints.

Other noticeable events of the month involved:

  • The wave of alleged Cyber Attacks from China against Japan Parliament and Embassies and also against Canadian Finance and Treasury Board. These were not the only Cyber Events allegedly affecting China in October: even if occurred months before, news were reported that the attack against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries led to the theft of sensitive data, moreover other 760 organizations worldwide were attacked with the same methodology used for RSA Breach and originating from China as well.
  • A new tide of Hacktivism by Anonyomous and Antisec, encouraged from the OccupyWallStreet Movement, including a dramatic face-to-face of Anonymous Mexico against Las Zetas one of the most powerful Mexican Drug Cartel.

A particular rank in this month is deserved by Israel and Sweden, the first reported a huge data breach (affecting 9,000,000 users) occurred in 2006, while the latter suffered a Black October with a data leak involving nearly 200,000 users of the social platform bloggtoppen.se including Politicians and Journalists. At this point is clear that the cold Sweden won the Prize for the “Hottest Breach of The Month”.

Also Facebook was targeted with an alleged dump of 10,000 accounts, nothing if compared with the 600,000 compromised logins per day that the social network admitted to suffer).

According to my very personal estimate (based on the indications from the Ponemon’s insitute) the cost of the breaches for this months (in all those cases where enough information was available) is around $500 million, excluding the massive data breach in Israel reported today but occurred in 2006.

As usual, this Timeline was compiled with Useful Resources by:

And my inclusion criteria do not take into consideration “simple” defacement attacks (unless they are particularly resounding) or small data leaks.

Date

Author

Description

Organization

Attack

Oct 16

Fatal Error

UNESCO E-Platform Domain

The E-Platform domain of one of the Biggest Organizations: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gets hacked and defaced by Fatal Error Crew hackers.

Defacement

Oct 17

10,000+ FaceBook accounts

A Hacking Crew From Nepal called TeamSwaStika hacks more than 10,000 facebook accounts. The hacking crew declares next target will be Nepal Government website and e-governance for Freedom. Estimated cost of the breach is $2,140,000.

Account Hacking (Phishing?)

Oct 17

?

Sesame Street’s Youtube Channel

Sesame Street had its YouTube channel hacked on Sunday, and its highly popular child-friendly videos of muppets like Kermit the frog and the Big Bird replaced with hard core porn movies.

Account Hacking

Oct 17

?

NHS Direct Twitter Account

NHS Direct, the UK helpline which provides expert health advice via the telephone and internet, has had its Twitter account taken over by spammers promoting an Acai Berry diet.

Account Hacking

Oct 18

TurkisH -RuleZ

proXPN

proXPN, one of the famous VPN client based on OpenVPN Service, is hacked by TurkisH-RuleZ.

Defacement

Oct 19

?

Gameloft

Gameloft, a Paris-based video game company that’s a leading mobile-game developer, acknowledges that a security breach has prompted it to pull the plug on one of its Web sites, the Order and Chaos online site.

SQLi?

Oct 19

?

Duqu

In a blog post, Symantec explains it came across the first samples of a new malware infecting some computer systems in Europe that appears to be very similar to Stuxnet. More analysis shows the malware is a “simple” keylogger using the same Stuxnet Technology

N/A

APT

Oct 19

?

Lord Of The Rings On Line

A FAQ on the official forum of the Lord Of The Rings Community On Line reveals that the site was breached although no financial data has been obtained by the attackers.

SQLi?

Oct 20

?

Phishing The Phisher

Finally someone decides to give a lesson to a phisherm by hacking the phishing website with a message educating the potential victims.

Phishing

Oct 21

Vikram Pandit (Citigroup CEO)

Mobile phone number and home address of Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, have been placed on the web by hacking group CabinCr3w in retaliation for the cuffing of protesters at an Occupy Wall Street demo. In their online statement the hackers say that they had accessed the data – which also included family information and some financial figures – and uploaded it online in response to events during the recent anti-bank protests on Wall Street.

N/A

Oct 21

Law Enforcement Agencies

Anonymous and Antisec broke their apparent October silence and renewed the tradition of the Friday Dumps against law enforcement agencies releasing a 600MB data dump of confidential data belonging to Law enforcement agencies. A couple of days later an AntiSec hacker tells police in a phone call that boredom drove him to hack their website.

Defacement

Oct 22

40 Child Porn Websites

As part as what they call #OpDarknet, Anonymous takes down more than 40 darknet-based child porn websites over the last week. They also leak personal details of 1500 users. Detalils on “AnonMessage” and “BecomeAnonymous” YouTube channels.

40 child Porn Websites

SQLi

DDoS

Oct 23

?

Microsoft’s Official YouTube Channel

Hackers take control of Microsoft’s official YouTube Channel (24,000+ subscribers), remove the company’s videos and replace them with videos of their own. Neither Microsoft nor Google (which owns YouTube) have disclosed information on how the security breach was perpetrated.

N/A

Oct 23

One Hit Play

@DiabloElite dumps 1008 accounts from onehitplay.com, with no other reason beside to show the need of a stronger security. All the accounts have been stored as plain text. Estimated cost of the breach is around $214,000.

SQLi?

Oct 23

Xbox A new hackers’ crew @DestructiveSec dumps some Xbox Live accounts.

SQLi?

Oct 24

?

cheaptickets.nl

The database of CheapTickets.nl (containing 715,000 customers) is leaked. Stolen information include 1,200,000 tickets and 80,000 passport numbers. Total cost of the breach might exceed $153 million.

SQLi?

Oct 24

Intra Web Security Exploit Team

LG Australia Web Site

One of the Australian websites belonging to global electronics giant LG (lge.com.au) is hacked by a collective calling itself the Intra Web Security Exploit Team. The attackers replaced the site with some lightly-obfuscated JavaScript pretending to be conducting an injection attack.

Defacement,

Simulated SQli

Oct 24

Malicious Employee

Israely Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare

Employee with access to the Population Registry has been discovered to steal the details of over 9 million residents and then passed them to someone else. Estimated cost of the breach is nearly $2 billion.

Malicious Access

Oct 24

760 Organizations Worldwide

Brian Kerbs publishes in his blog a list of companies whose networks were shown to have been connecting to the same control infrastructure that was used in the attack on RSA. The first victims appear to have begun communicating with the attacker’s control networks as early as November 2010. According to the list 760 other organizations had networks compromised with some of the same resources used to hit RSA and almost 20 percent of the current Fortune 100 companies are on this list.

760 Organizations Worldwide

APT

Oct 25

?

bloggtoppen.se

The usernames and passwords of around 90,000 accounts at Bloggtoppen.se have been made public after a hacker attack against the website. Several journalists and politicians are among the bloggers whose log-in details have been published. On Oct 26, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that a further 57 other websites had also been hacked, and the login details of up to 200,000 people are at risk. Estimated cost of the breach is around $42 million.

SQLi?

Oct 25

Chinese Hacker?

Japanese Parliament

According to local media reports, hackers were able to snoop upon emails and steal passwords from computers belonging to lawmakers at the Japanese parliament for over a month. PCs and servers were infected after a Trojan horse was emailed to a a Lower House member in July. The Trojan horse then downloaded malware from a server based in China – allowing remote hackers to secretly spy on email communications and steal usernames and passwords from lawmakers.

APT

Oct 25

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a high-tech military contractor, which suffered an attack from hackers earlier this year, is reported to have lost sensitive data related to defence equipment including fighter jet planes and nuclear power plant plans, according to The Ashai Shimbun. Once again suspects are directed to China.

APT

Oct 25

Inside Error

United States Department Of Education

Highly sensitive information (including SSN) belonging to around 5,000 students was exposed after a computer error causing a federal government student loan website to reveal the data: a glitch in the website allowed students who were logged in to freely view the data of other scholars. Fortunately, the site was compromised only for 7 minutes at most, but it is possible that some users were able to steal sensitive information. Estimated cost of the breach is around $ 1 million.

Inside Error

Oct 26

?

awurval.se

314 job seekers’ e-mail addresses and clear-text passwords acquired and dumped. Estimated Cost of the breach is around $67,000.

SQLi?

Oct 26

?

Mobile Tele Systems

MTS is a primary Mobile Operator in Russia with more than 70 million subscribers. Personal data of 1.6 million mobile phone users appeared online in the second such leak in three months. The database, posted on Zhiltsy.net, included the full names and phone numbers of MTS subscribers in St. Petersburg and Bashkortostan, as well as residential addresses and passport data for some of them. According to MTS the database goes back to 2006 and most numbers are no longer valid. Estimated cost of the breach could potentially achieve $300 million.

N/A

Oct 26

@_V4ND

nationmultimedia.com

@_V4ND dumps what they say is a teaser of accounts obtained from nationmultimedia.com in what appears to be another havij or similar SQLi vun tool based attack. The leak contains user emails and passwords in clear text.

SQLi

Oct 26

Robert Delgado

Massive Identity Theft

Robert Delgado, a 40 years old California man, was sentenced to eight years in prison for identity theft after federal police GPS-tracked his phone and discovered a hard drive with over 300,000 victim profiles during a raid of his home. Estimated Cost of the thiet (not including purchases made with stolen data) is around $65 million.

300,000 frauded users

Bank Fraud

Oct 26

Pakistani Hacker

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)

Another occurrence of the Cyberwar between Pakistan and India: A Pakistani hacker “KhantastiC haX0r” hacks into the official website of India’s leading telecom Company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

Defacement

Oct 27

Law Enforcement Authorities

@_f0rsaken a member of @TeaMp0isoN publishes a list of websites utilized by law enforcement authorities that are supposed to be vulnerable to MSAccess SQL injection attacks. A number of six sites that are listed are supposedly utilized by the police for their updates, the cybercriminals urging Occupy Wall Street supporters to take them down.

Law Enforcement Authorities

MSAccess SQLi

Oct 27

Oakland Police Department Web Site

Cyber activists associated with Anonymous target the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and other law enforcement agencies that participated in a controversial crackdown against OccupyOakland protestors with a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack against the department’s website. Moreover According to TG Daily, the infamous collective is offered a $1,000 reward for anyone who can provide information on an officer that allegedly injured a war veteran that was taking part in the protest.

DDoS

Oct 27

?

Clarinda Bank Iowa

In a letter dated Tuesday, Oct. 25, bank vice president Jon Baier notifies specific customers of a data breach. The letter states the bank was not provided details of the security compromise, but to protect the impacted debit card accounts, replacement cards with new numbers were ordered. The number of affected users is unknown.

N/A

Oct 27

Japanese Embassies

There are new reports that dozens of diplomatic computers Japanese embassies abroad were infected with malware this Summer. The news comes on the heels of recent news about malicious software attacks on Japanese defense contractors and the Japanese Parliament. A report in a local Japanese publication, The Daily Yomiuri, places the infected diplomatic computers in Canada, China, France, Myanmar, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the United States. Again China is suspected since a China Link is found on the malware.

APT

Oct 27

U.S. Government Satellites

Bloomberg reports that Computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway, according to a congressional commission.

N/A

Oct 28

Canadian Finance and Treasury Board

Ottawa Citizen reveals that, in Jan 2011, the Canadian Finance and Treasury Board’s networks were targeted by hackers in an attempt to steal sensitive information about the potash industry even though Finance and Treasury Board representatives denies it. It looks that the hackers were actually foreign, the first clues indicating that the attack originated from China.

APT

Oct 28

PayFail

PayPal Executives’ Contact Information

In what looks to be the first of a number of “name and shame” postings, an individual or individuals posting as “PAYFAIL” upload some personal information on dozens of former and current PayPal executives. The dumped data do not seem to be particularly sensivite, nevertheless, although deleted three times so far, the original statement keeps on appearing on pastebin.

N/A

Oct 28

?

Again on Duqu

Two workers at an Indian web-hosting company called Web Werks tell Reuters that last week officials from India’s Department of Information Technology seized several hard drives and other components from a server hosted on a Mumbai Data Center, that security firm Symantec Corp indicated as communicating with computers infected with Duqu.

APT

Oct 29

El Paso County Community College

@DestructiveSec hacks the El Paso Country Community College, defacing the web site and dumps some data.

SQLi?

Oct 29

Las Zetas (Mexican Drug Cartel)

Anonymous Mexico faces one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the World, the Las Zetas Mexican Drug Cartel. In a video they warn the Cartel to release one of their members kidnapped during a street protest, otherwise the hacker group will disclose (or dox) the identities of members of the cartel including corrupted politicians and policeman. Another example of an hacking action with huge real aftermaths in terms of possible deadly retaliations.

Mexican Droug Cartel

SQLi?

Oct 29

Dominican Republic Police

As part of their Spanish Solidarity Saturday Anonymous release a pastebin document containing a list of finds and vulnerabilities on the Dominican Republic Police system and some other sites too. They also left a website defaced.

Several Vulns,

Defacement

Oct 31

3xp1r3 cyber army

hi5ads.com

A hacker group going by the name of 3xp1r3 cyber army dumps two separate pastes with respectively 5,065 and 3,149 account details to www.hi5ads.com. The leaks contain emails and plain text passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is around $680,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

3xp1r3 cyber army

Bangla TV

The Same group hacks Bangla TV and releases 1,517 usernames and clear-text password. Estimated cost of the breach is around $320,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

ScreamDevz

Penguin Elite

A group or individual dubbed ScreamDevz hacks Club Penguin Elite Database and dumps nearly 400 usernames, emails and MD5 hashed passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is around $80,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

Chinese Government Web Site

@TehMaskz, a member of @ChaoticSec defaces a web site belonging to Chinese Government (at the time of writing http://www.wfaic.gov.cn/index.html is still defaced). In the same circumstance other 9 sites all over the World are defaced.

Defacement

Oct 31

One Hit Play

@ChaoticSec hacks One Hit Play (once again) and releases more than 1000 User information, including emails, passwords, and usernames. Estimated cost of the breach is around $214,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

comitet.ru

@DeleteSec attacks comitet.ru and dumps more than 2000 records with email and passwords. Estimated cost of the breach is around $420,000

SQLi

Oct 31

plusline.org

@DeleteSec attacks plusline.org and dumps more than 1000 records with email and passwords. Nearly in contemporary the same group dumps 700+ accounts from several sites. Estimated cost of the breach is around $420,000.

SQLi

Oct 31

Mr. DarkCoderz

Adult Site

Another occurrence of hackers dumping data from adult sites. Estimated cost of the breach is around $43,000.

Adult Site

SQLi?

XML Encryption Cracked!

October 23, 2011 3 comments

Broken CBC XMLWe have not completely assimilated the BEAST vulnerability, and here it comes, from Bochum, Germany, another serious flaw involving Encryption, or better, involving XML Encryption.

XML Encryption, is a W3C standard widely used to securely transmit information inside Application-to-Application Web services connections. It was believed to be a robust standard mechanism to protect data exchange between a wide class of applications using web services and deployed in different sectors, for instance business, e-commerce, financial, healthcare, governmental and military applications. For the generic user a typical scenario involves, for example, credit card information encryption for a payment within an XML-based purchase order.

Unfortunately it lools like the mechanism is not so robust as it was supposed to be, and the discovery comes from Juraj Somorovsky and Tibor Jager, two Researchers at the Ruhr University of Bochum (RUB) who were successful in cracking parts of the XML encryption process used in web services, thus making it possible to decrypt encrypted data. They demonstrated their work at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Chicago this week.

As far as the attack technique is concerned, once again CBC (Cipher-Block Chaining) is indicted since the new discovered vulnerability, as in case of the BEAST attack, is exploitable only in this encryption mode.

The attack strategy seems very similar to the one behind the BEAST Attack and allows to decrypt data, encrypted in AES-CBC, by sending modified ciphertexts to the server, and gathering information from the received error messages using the cryptographic weakness of the CBC mode, in particular the fact that, by conveniently manipulating the IV, ciphertexts encrypted in CBC mode can be modified so that the resulting ciphertext is related to the original ciphertext in a certain way (see the description of the BEAST attack for an example).

So, by choosing a given ciphertext, the attacker is able to recover the entire plaintext and the only prerequisite requires the availability of what the researchers define an “oracle”, that is a pattern telling the attacker if a given ciphertext contains a “correctly formed” plaintext that is a valid encoding (e.g. in UTF-8 or ASCII) of a message. Even worse XML signature is not able to mitigate the attack.

In their paper the authors showed that a moderately optimized implementation of the attack was able to decrypt 160 bytes of encrypted data within 10 seconds by issuing 2,137 queries to the Web Service, morever the complexity of the attack grows only linearly with the ciphertext size, thus allowing to recover a larger plaintext of 1,600 bytes takes about 100 seconds and 23,000 queries.

The proof of concept has been performed on a Web Service based on the Apache Axis2 XML framework and verified on JBoss, but many other vendors are affected, that is the reason why the two researchers announced the vulnerability to the W3C XML Encryption Working Group in February 2011. Vendors affected include the above mentioned Apache Software Foundation (Apache Axis2), RedHat Linux (JBoss), but also IBM and Microsoft.

Unfortunately fixing the flaw will not be that easy, the only suitable way is to replace CBC mode by using a symmetric cryptographic primitive providing confidentiality and integrity, this means to change the XML Encryption standard!

The 2011

Advanced Persistent Threats and Security Information Management

October 13, 2011 3 comments

Advanced Persistent Threats are probably the most remarkable events for Information Security in 2011 since they are redefining the infosec landscape from both technology and market perspective.

I consider the recent shopping in the SIEM arena made by IBM and McAfee a sign of the times and a demonstration of this trend. This is not a coincidence: as a matter of fact the only way to stop an APT before it reaches its goal (the Organization data), is an accurate analysis and correlation of data collected by security devices. An APT attack deploys different stages with different tactics, different techniques and different timeframes, which moreover affect different portion of the infrastructure. As a consequence an holistic view and an holistic information management are needed in order to correlate pieces of information spread in different pieces of the networks and collected by different, somewhat heterogeneous and apparently unrelated, security devices.

Consider for instance the typical cycle of an attack carried on by an APT:

Of course the picture does not take into consideration the user, which is the greatest vulnerability (but unfortunately an user does not generate logs except in a verbal format not so easy to analyze for a SIEM). Moreover the model should be multiplied for the numbers of victims since it is “unlikely” that such a similar attack could be performed on a single user at a time.

At the end, however, it is clear that an APT affects different components of the information security infrastructure at different times with different threat vectors:

  • Usually stage 1 of an APT attack involves a spear phishing E-mail containing appealing subject and argument, and a malicious payload in form of an attachment or a link. In both cases the Email AV or Antispam are impacted in the ingress stream (and should be supposed to detect the attack, am I naive if I suggest that a DNS lookup could have avoided attacks like this?). The impacted security device produce some logs (even if they are not straightforward to detect if the malicious E-mail has not been detected as a possible threat or also has been detected with a low confidence threshold). In this stage of the attack the time interval between the receipt of the e-mail and its reading can take from few minutes up to several hours.
  • The following stage involves user interaction. Unfortunately there is no human firewall so far (it is something we are working on) but user education (a very rare gift). As a consequence the victim is lured to follow the malicious link or click on the malicious attachment. In the first scenario the user is directed to a compromised (or crafted) web site where he downloads and installs a malware (or also insert some credentials which are used to steal his identity for instance for a remote access login). In the second scenario the user clicks on the attached file that exploits a 0-day vulnerability to install a Remote Administration Tool. The interval between reading the malicious email and installing the RAT takes likely several seconds. In any case Endpoint Security Tools may help to avoid surfing to malicious site or, if leveraging behavioral analysis, to detect anomalous pattern from an application (a 0-day is always a 0-day and often they are released after making reasonably sure not to be detected by traditional AV). Hopefully In both cases some suspicious logs are generated by the endpoint.
  • RAT Control is the following stage: after installation the malware uses the HTTP protocol to fetch commands from a remote C&C Server. Of course the malicious traffic is forged so that it may be hidden inside legitimate traffic. In any case the traffic pass through Firewalls and NIDS at the perimeter (matching allowed rules on the traffic). In this case both kind of devices should be supposed to produce related logs;
  • Once in full control of the Attacker, the compromised machine is used as a hop for the attacker to reach other hosts (now he is inside) or also to sweep the internal network looking for the target data. In this case a NIDS/anomaly detector should be able to detect the attack, monitoring, for instance, the number of attempted authentications or wrong logins: that is the way in which Lockheed Martin prevented an attack perpetrated by mean of compromised RSA seeds, and also, during the infamous breach, RSA detected the attack using a technology of anomaly detection Netwitness, acquired by EMC, its parent company immediately after the event.

At this point should be clear that this lethal blend of threats is pushing the security firms to redefine their product strategies, since they face the double crucial challenge to dramatically improve not only their 0-day detection ability, but also to dramatically improve the capability to manage and correlate the data collected from their security solutions.

As far as 0-day detection ability is concerned, next-gen technologies will include processor assisted endpoint security or also a new class of network devices such as DNS Firewalls (thanks to @nientenomi for reporting the article).

As far data management and correlation are concerned, yes of course a SIEM is beautiful concept… until one needs to face the issue of correlation, which definitively mean that often SIEM projects become useless because of correlation patterns, which are too complex and not straightforward. This is the reason why the leading vendors are rushing to include an integrated SIEM technology in their product portfolio in order to  provide an out-of-the-box correlation engine optimized for their products. The price to pay will probably be a segmentation and verticalization of SIEM Market in which lead vendors will have their own solution (not so optimized for competitor technologies) at the expense of generalist SIEM vendors.

On the other hand APT are alive and kicking, keep on targeting US Defense contractors (Raytheon is the latest) and are also learning to fly though the clouds. Moreover they are also well hidden considered that, according to the Security Intelligence Report Volume 11 issued by Microsoft, less than one per cent of exploits in the first half of 2011 were against zero-day vulnerabilities. The 1% makes the difference! And it is a big difference!

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