Critical Flaw Exposes Many Cisco Devices to Remote Attacks
30.3.2018 securityweek 

Cisco has patched more than 30 vulnerabilities in its IOS software, including a critical remote code execution flaw that exposes hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of devices to remote attacks launched over the Internet.

A total of three vulnerabilities have been rated critical. One of them is CVE-2018-0171, an issue discovered by researchers at Embedi in the Smart Install feature in IOS and IOS XE software.

An unauthenticated attacker can send specially crafted Smart Install messages to an affected device on TCP port 4786 and cause it to enter a denial-of-service (DoS) condition or execute arbitrary code.

Cisco pointed out that Smart Install is enabled by default on switches that have not received a recent update for automatically disabling the feature when it’s not in use.

Embedi has published a blog post detailing CVE-2018-0171 and how it can be exploited. Researchers initially believed the vulnerability could only be exploited by an attacker inside the targeted organization’s network. However, an Internet scan revealed that there are roughly 250,000 vulnerable Cisco devices that have TCP port 4786 open.

Furthermore, Embedi told SecurityWeek that it has identified approximately 8.5 million devices that use this port, but researchers have not been able to determine if the Smart Install technology is present on these systems.

Another IOS vulnerability patched by Cisco and rated critical is CVE-2018-0150, a backdoor that allows an attacker to remotely access a device. This security hole is introduced by the existence of an undocumented account with a default username and password. The credentials provide access to a device with privilege level 15, the highest level of access for Cisco network devices.

The last critical security hole is CVE-2018-0151, which affects the quality of service (QoS) subsystem of IOS and IOS XE software. The flaw can allow a remote an unauthenticated attacker to cause a DoS condition or execute code with elevated privileges by sending malicious packets to a device.

The networking giant has patched a total of 17 high severity flaws in IOS and IOS XE software. The list includes mostly DoS issues, but some of the vulnerabilities can be exploited for remote code execution and privilege escalation.

Cisco also patched over a dozen IOS vulnerabilities rated “medium severity.” A majority of the bugs were discovered by the company itself and there is no evidence that any of them have been exploited for malicious purposes.

"Fauxpersky" Credential Stealer Spreads via USB Drives
30.3.2018 securityweek  Safety

A recently discovered credential stealing malware is masquerading as Kaspersky Antivirus and spreading via infected USB drives, according to threat detection firm Cybereason.

Dubbed Fauxpersky, the keylogger was written in AutoIT or AutoHotKey, which are simple tools to write small programs for various automation tasks on Windows. AHK can be used to write code to send keystrokes to other applications, and to create a ‘compiled’ exe with their code in it.

On systems infected with Fauxpersky, the security researchers discovered four dropped files, each named similarly to Windows system files: Explorers.exe, Spoolsvc.exe, Svhost.exe, and Taskhosts.exe.

Once executed, the malware gathers a list of drives on the machine and starts replicating itself to them, which allows it to spread to any of the connected external drives.

Furthermore, the keylogger renames the external drives to match its naming scheme. Specifically, the drive’s new name would include its original name, its size, and the string “(Secured by Kaspersky Internet Security 2017)”.The malware also creates an autorun.inf file to point to a batch script.

Explorers.exe includes a function called CheckRPath() designed to check the connected drives for the aforementioned files and to create them if they are not already present on the drive. The malware sets the attributes System and Hidden to the files and also creates the necessary directories, with parameters of Read-Only, System, and Hidden.

The attackers use a fairly basic method to ensure that all the necessary files are present in the source directory (called Kaspersky Internet Security 2017) when it is copied to the new destination. A text file in the directory instructs users to disable their antivirus if execution fails and also includes a list of security tools “incompatible with Kaspersky Internet Security 2017” (Kaspersky Internet Security included).

To perform the keylogging activities, Fauxpersky (specifically, svhost.exe) monitors the currently active window using the AHK functions WinGetActiveTitle() and input() (monitors user keystrokes to the window). Keystrokes are appended to Log.txt, which is saved in %APPDATA%\Kaspersky Internet Security 2017.

For persistence, the malware changes the working directory of the malware to %APPDATA% and creates the Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 folder. It also checks that all the necessary files are created in %APPDATA% and copies them there if they aren’t.

Spoolsvc.exe changes the values of registry keys to prevent the system from displaying hidden files and to hide system files (this explains why it sets the attributes of its own files to both System and Hidden). Next, it verifies if explorers.exe is running and launches it if not, thus ensuring persistent execution of the malware.

The keylogger also creates shortcuts to itself in the start menu startup directory to ensure persistence.

To exfiltrate the keylogged data, the malware uses a Google form, freeing the attackers from having to maintain an anonymized command and control server.

“This malware is by no means advanced or even very stealthy. Its authors didn’t put any effort into changing even the most trivial things, such as the AHK icon that’s attached to the file. However, this malware is highly efficient at infecting USB drives and collecting data from the keylogger, exfiltrating it through Google Forms and depositing it in the attacker’s inbox,” Cybereason concludes.

Under Armour Says 150 Million Affected in Data Breach
30.3.2018 securityweek IT

Under Armour Data Breach Impacts 150 Million Users

Sports gear maker Under Armour said Thursday a data breach of its fitness application was hacked, affecting some 150 million user accounts.

The Baltimore, Maryland-based company said it had contacted law enforcement and outside consultants after learning of the breach.

Under Armour said it learned on March 25 of the breach of its MyFitnessPal application, which enables users to track activity and calorie intake using a smartphone.

It said an unauthorized party obtained usernames, email addresses, and "hashed" passwords, which make it harder for a hacker to ascertain.

The hack did not affect social security numbers, drivers licenses or credit card data, according to the company.

"The company's investigation is ongoing, but indicates that approximately 150 million user accounts were affected by this issue," a statement said.

Users were being notified by email and messaging to update settings to protect account information.

The attack is the latest affecting companies with large user bases such as Yahoo, retailer Target and credit reporting agency Equifax.

Foreign Companies in China Brace for VPN Crackdown
30.3.2018 securityweek  BigBrothers

Chinese people and foreign firms are girding for a weekend deadline that will curb the use of unlicensed software to circumvent internet controls, as the government plugs holes in its "Great Firewall".

A virtual private network (VPN) can tunnel through the country's sophisticated barrier of online filters to access the global internet.

VPNs give users a way to see blocked websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Western news outlets, as well as certain business network tools such as timesheets, email and directories.

But new government regulations unveiled last year sent chills among users of the software, with a March 31 deadline for companies and individuals to only use government-approved VPNs.

Currently, many foreign companies have their own VPN servers in locations outside of China. But in the future, dedicated lines can only be provided by China's three telecom operators.

Critics have slammed the new policy as a revenue grab that will eliminate cheaper VPN options and make internet users more vulnerable to surveillance.

But some companies are still planning to comply.

"We will apply for a VPN line with (the government)," the chief executive of a foreign-owned technology company told AFP.

"As a company that is globally-focused based in Beijing, I think that's the best option... because we don't want to break the rules or have our VPN access disrupted," she said, requesting anonymity.

Some embassies in Beijing experienced disruptions to their communications due to restrictions on VPN usage late last year, prompting the European Union delegation to send a letter to the government to complain, diplomatic sources told AFP.

American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai President Kenneth Jarrett warned that foreign companies and their employees could "bear the brunt of the new policies".

"Foreign companies, especially entrepreneurs and smaller companies rely on overseas platforms such as Google Analytics and Google Scholar," Jarrett told AFP.

"Limiting access to affordable VPNs will make it harder for these companies to operate efficiently and just adds to the frustration of doing business in China."

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has dismissed concerns that using state-approved providers could jeopardise the security of private data, saying they "are not able to see information related to your business".

'At the mercy of regulators'

A member of China-based anti-censorship group, which tracks internet restrictions, said the new rules are aimed at wiping out low-cost Chinese VPN providers and increasing control over access to information.

"Are foreign companies at the mercy of Chinese regulators? Yes, probably. Will there be more surveillance? Absolutely," said the member, who uses the alias Charlie Smith.

Under the new licensing regulations, it is unclear whether companies or individuals will be punished for using unauthorised VPNs, or if the software will be blocked.

But on December 21, Chinese citizen Wu Xiangyang from the south Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region was given a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence and 500,000 yuan ($76,000) fine.

Wu "illegally profited" from setting up VPN servers and selling software "without obtaining relevant business licenses", according to a news site managed by the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

It was the most severe known VPN-related conviction.

Last September, a 26-year-old man from Guangdong province was sentenced to nine months in prison in a similar case.

Samm Sacks, who researches China's technology policy at the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said it is likely that China will be lenient to most foreign companies.

"We will probably see selective enforcement. So far, there have not been many foreign companies that have experienced problems with their company VPNs," Sacks said.

"It just adds a new layer of uncertainty at a time when foreign companies are already facing a host of challenges to doing business in China," she said.

In the European Chamber of Commerce in China's 2017 survey of its members, companies reported suffering from restricted internet and slow and unstable connections in China, before new VPN restrictions were announced.

"Poor internet connectivity not only damages China's efforts to portray itself as an innovative society, it also impacts overall productivity," chamber president Mats Harborn told AFP.

"Some reported losses of more than 20 percent of their annual revenue as a result."

'No, we don't sell VPNs'

Earlier this month, in the southern trade hub of Guangzhou, a small shop with the letters "VPN" painted in red on its wall said they no longer offered them.

"No, we don't sell VPNs," a Chinese shopkeeper said curtly, refusing to explain why.

But it was business as usual for a nearby store that was licensed to sell VPNs from state-owned telecommunications operator China Telecom.

"We've had no problems. Our clients are mostly Chinese and African traders who want to keep in touch using Whatsapp," a technician said. jch/lth/klm/aph

Microsoft Fixes Windows Flaw Introduced by Meltdown Patches
30.3.2018 securityweek 

Microsoft has released out-of-band updates for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to address a serious privilege escalation vulnerability introduced earlier this year by the Meltdown mitigations.

Researcher Ulf Frisk reported this week that the patches released by Microsoft in January and February for the Meltdown vulnerability created an even bigger security hole that allows an attacker to read from and write to memory at significant speeds.

Frisk disclosed details of the bug since Microsoft’s security updates for March appeared to have addressed the issue. However, an investigation conducted by the tech giant revealed that the flaw had not been properly fixed.

Microsoft informed customers on Thursday that a new patch has been released for Windows 7 x64 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Service Pack 1 to fully resolve the problem. “Customers who apply the updates, or have automatic updates enabled, are protected.” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2018-1038 and rated “important,” has been patched with the KB4100480 update. Users are advised to install the update as soon as possible, particularly since some Microsoft employees believe it will likely be exploited in the wild soon.

“An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when the Windows kernel fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights,” Microsoft said in an advisory.

Frisk explained in a blog post that while the Meltdown vulnerability allows an attacker to read megabytes of data per second, the new flaw can be exploited to read gigabytes of data per second. In one of the tests he conducted, the researcher managed to access the memory at speeds of over 4 Gbps. The security hole can also be exploited to write to memory.

Exploiting the flaw is easy once the attacker has gained access to the targeted system. A direct memory access (DMA) attack tool developed by Frisk can be used to reproduce the vulnerability.

Under Armour data breach affected about 150 million MyFitnessPal users
30.3.2018 securityaffairs Hacking

Under Armour became aware of a potential security breach on March 25, the company said an unauthorized party had accessed MyFitnessPal user data.
Under Armour learned of the data breach on March 25, it promptly reported the hack to law enforcement and hired security consultants to investigate the incident.

Attackers hacked the MyFitnessPal application that is used by its customers to track fitness activity and calorie consumption.

MyFitnessPal under armour

According to the firm, an unauthorized party obtained access to user data, including usernames, email addresses, and “hashed” passwords.

The good news is that hackers did not access financial data (i.e. payment card data) or social security numbers and drivers licenses.

“On March 25, the MyFitnessPal team became aware that an unauthorized party acquired data associated with MyFitnessPal user accounts in late February 2018. The company quickly took steps to determine the nature and scope of the issue and to alert the MyFitnessPal community of the incident.” reads a statement issued by the company.

“The affected data did not include government-issued identifiers (such as Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers), which the company does not collect from users. Payment card data was also not affected because it is collected and processed separately. The company’s investigation is ongoing, but indicates that approximately 150 million user accounts were affected by this issue.”

The company notified de data breach by email and in-app messaging to update settings to protect account information.

“The notice contains recommendations for MyFitnessPal users regarding account security steps they can take to help protect their information. The company will be requiring MyFitnessPal users to change their passwords and is urging users to do so immediately.” continues the statement.

The latest variant of the Panda Banker Trojan target Japan
30.3.2018 securityaffairs

Security researchers at Arbor Networks have discovered a threat actor targeting financial institutions in Japan using the Panda Banker banking malware (aka Zeus Panda, PandaBot)
Panda Banker was first spotted 2016 by Fox-IT, it borrows code from the Zeus banking Trojan.

In November 2017, threat actors behind the Zeus Panda banking Trojan leveraged black Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to propose malicious links in the search results. Crooks were focused on financial-related keyword queries.

The main feature of the Panda Banker is the stealing of credentials and account numbers, it is able to steal money from victims by implementing “man in the browser” attack.

The Panda Banker is sold as a kit on underground forums, the variant used in the last attacks against Japan if the version 2.6.6 that implements the same features as the previous releases.

“A threat actor using the well-known banking malware Panda Banker (a.k.a Zeus Panda, PandaBot) has started targeting financial institutions in Japan.” reads the analysis published by Arbor Networks.

“Based on our data and analysis this is the first time that we have seen Panda Banker injects targeting Japanese organizations.”

An interesting aspect of this campaign targeting Japan is that none of the indicators of compromise (IOC) was associated with previous attacks.

The threat actor delivered the banking trojan through malvertising, victims were redirected to the domains hosting the RIG-v exploit kit.

Crooks leveraged on multiple domains and C&C servers, but at the time of the analysis, only one of them was active. The unique active domain hillaryzell[.]xyz was registered to a Petrov Vadim and the associated email address was

The campaign that hit Japan also targeted websites based in the United States, search engines, and social media sites, an email site, a video search engine, an online shopping site, and an adult content hub.

“The threat actor named this campaign “ank”.” continues the analysis. “At the time of research, the C2 server returned 27 webinjects that can be broken down into the following categories:

17 Japanese banking web sites mostly focusing on credit cards
1 US based web email site
1 US based video search engine
4 US based search engines
1 US based online shopping site
2 US based social media sites
1 US based adult content hub”
The webinjects employed in this campaign leverage the Full Info Grabber automated transfer system (ATS) to capture user credentials and account information.

Panda Banker

CISCO addresses two critical remote code execution flaws in IOS XE operating system
30.3.2018 securityaffairs

This week Cisco patched three critical vulnerabilities affecting its operating system IOS XE, two of them are remote code execution flaws that could be exploited by an attacker to gain full control over vulnerable systems.
Cisco March 2018 Semiannual Cisco IOS and IOS XE Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication addressed 22 vulnerabilities, 3 of them rated as critical and 19 as high.

Let’s give a close look at the critical vulnerabilities.

The first issue. tracked as CVE-2018-0151, is an IOS and IOS XE Software Quality of Service Remote Code Execution Vulnerability.

“A vulnerability in the quality of service (QoS) subsystem of Cisco IOS Software and Cisco IOS XE Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition or execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.” reads the advisory published by Cisco.

“The vulnerability is due to incorrect bounds checking of certain values in packets that are destined for UDP port 18999 of an affected device. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending malicious packets to an affected device”


The second vulnerability tracked as CVE-2018-0171 affects the Smart Install feature of Cisco IOS Software and Cisco IOS XE Software, it could be exploited by an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a reload of a vulnerable device or to execute arbitrary code on an affected device.

“The vulnerability is due to improper validation of packet data. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a crafted Smart Install message to an affected device on TCP port 4786.” reads the security advisory published by Cisco.

“A successful exploit could allow the attacker to cause a buffer overflow on the affected device, which could have the following impacts:

Triggering a reload of the device
Allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the device
Causing an indefinite loop on the affected device that triggers a watchdog crash”
The third flaw affects the Cisco IOS XE Software is due to an undocumented user account “with privilege level 15” hat has a default username and password.

The issue tracked as CVE-2018-0150 could be exploited by an unauthenticated, remote attacker to log in to a device running an affected release of Cisco IOS XE Software with the default credentials.

“A vulnerability in Cisco IOS XE Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to log in to a device running an affected release of Cisco IOS XE Software with the default username and password that are used at initial boot.” reads the security advisory published by Cisco.

“The vulnerability is due to an undocumented user account with privilege level 15 that has a default username and password. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by using this account to remotely connect to an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to log in to the device with privilege level 15 access.”

Drupal finally addressed the critical CVE-2018-7600 Drupalgeddon2 vulnerability
30.3.2018 securityaffairs

The Drupal development team has fixed the drupalgeddon2 vulnerability that could be exploited by an attacker to take over a website.
A few days ago, Drupal Security Team confirmed that a “highly critical” vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2018-7600, affects Drupal 7 and 8 core and announced the availability of security updates on March 28th.

The vulnerability was discovered by the Drupal developers Jasper Mattsson.

Both Drupal 8.3.x and 8.4.x are not supported, but due to the severity of the flaw the Drupal Security Team decided to address it with specific security updates.

Now the Drupal development team has fixed the vulnerability that could be exploited by an attacker to run arbitrary code on the CMS core component and take over a website just by accessing an URL.

The Drupal CMS currently runs on over one million websites, it is the second most popular content management system behind WordPress.

Website administrators should immediately upgrade their sites to Drupal 7.58 or Drupal 8.5.1.

The flaw was dubbed Drupalgeddon2 after the CVE-2014-3704 Drupalgeddon security vulnerability that was discovered in 2014 that was exploited in numerous successful attacks in the wild.

The good news is that at the time there is no public proof-of-concept code available online.

The Drupal security team declared that it was not aware of any attacks exploiting the Drupalgeddon2 vulnerability in the wild.
“A remote code execution vulnerability exists within multiple subsystems of Drupal 7.x and 8.x. This potentially allows attackers to exploit multiple attack vectors on a Drupal site, which could result in the site being completely compromised.” reads the security advisory published by Drupal.

“The security team has written an FAQ about this issue. Solution:

Upgrade to the most recent version of Drupal 7 or 8 core.

If you are running 7.x, upgrade to Drupal 7.58. (If you are unable to update immediately, you can attempt to apply this patch to fix the vulnerability until such time as you are able to completely update.)
If you are running 8.5.x, upgrade to Drupal 8.5.1. (If you are unable to update immediately, you can attempt to apply this patch to fix the vulnerability until such time as you are able to completely update.)”
Patching the websites it essential, the popular expert Kevin Beaumont noticed that the Drupal homepage was taken down for half an hour to address the Drupalgeddon2.

Kevin Beaumont, Actual Porg 👻

The Drupal team took the site offline before the announcement to do a version upgrade, and now the site doesn’t work 😃💃🏽

9:52 PM - Mar 28, 2018 · Manchester, England
See Kevin Beaumont, Actual Porg 👻's other Tweets
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The Drupal team also issued security patches for the 6.x versions that were discontinued in February 2016.

“This issue also affects Drupal 6. Drupal 6 is End of Life. For more information on Drupal 6 support please contact a D6LTS vendor.” continues the advisory.

Panda Banker Trojan Goes to Japan
30.3.2018 securityweek

The banking Trojan known as Panda Banker is now targeting financial institutions in Japan for what appears to be first time.

Also known as Panda Zeus, the malware was first observed in 2016, based on the leaked source code of the infamous Zeus banking Trojan. The threat has been involved in multiple infection campaigns targeting users worldwide, including an attack that leveraged poisoned Google searches for malware delivery.

Designed to steal user credentials via man-in-the-browser and webinjects that specify what websites to target and how, Panda Banker has received consistent, incremental updates ever since its first appearance on the threat landscape.

The Trojan is being sold as a kit on underground forums, meaning that it has a large number of users. Cybercriminals using it target various countries, likely based on their ability to convert the stolen credentials into real money.

Since the beginning of 2016, Panda Banker has been observed in campaigns targeting financial institutions in Italy, Canada, Australia, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and now in attacks focusing on Japan as well.

The Panda Banker iteration observed in the new attacks is version 2.6.6, which features the same capabilities as the previous releases, without significant changes.

However, not only does the malware feature webinjects targeting Japan now, but Arbor Networks security researchers discovered that none of the indicators of compromise (IOC) in this campaign overlaps with IOCs from previous attacks.

For the distribution of the malware, the threat actors behind these attacks used malicious advertisements (malvertising) to redirect victims to the RIG-v exploit kit. The toolkit then attempts to exploit vulnerabilities on the victims’ systems to download and execute the Trojan.

The campaign operators used multiple domains as their command and control (C&C) servers, but only one of them was found to be operational. The domain was registered to a Petrov Vadim using the email address

As part of the campaign, which the threat actor named ank, 27 webinjects were included in Panda Banker, 17 of which target Japanese banking websites. The remaining 10 target websites based in the United States: four search engines, 2 social media sites, an email site, a video search engine, an online shopping site, and an adult content hub.

The webinjects used in this campaign employ the Full Info Grabber automated transfer system (ATS) to capture user credentials and account information.

According to Arbor Networks, while this was the first time they encountered a Panda Banker variant targeting Japan, the country is no stranger to banking Trojans. Previously, it was hit by attacks that employed the Ursnif and Urlzone financial malware.

Microsoft Patches for Meltdown Introduced Severe Flaw: Researcher
30.3.2018 securityweek

Some of the Windows updates released by Microsoft to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability introduce an even more severe security hole, a researcher has warned.

Microsoft has released patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities every month since their disclosure in January. While at this point the updates should prevent these attacks, a researcher claims some of the fixes create a bigger problem.

According to Ulf Frisk, the updates released by Microsoft in January and February for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 patch Meltdown, but they allow an attacker to easily read from and write to memory.

He noted that while Meltdown allows an attacker to read megabytes of data per second, the new vulnerability can be exploited to read gigabytes of data per second – in one of the tests he conducted, the expert managed to access the memory at speeds of over 4 Gbps. Moreover, the flaw also makes it possible to write to memory.

Frisk says exploitation does not require any sophisticated exploits – standard read and write instructions will get the job done – as Windows 7 has already mapped the memory for each active process.

“In short - the User/Supervisor permission bit was set to User in the PML4 self-referencing entry. This made the page tables available to user mode code in every process. The page tables should normally only be accessible by the kernel itself,” the researcher explained. “The PML4 is the base of the 4-level in-memory page table hierarchy that the CPU Memory Management Unit (MMU) uses to translate the virtual addresses of a process into physical memory addresses in RAM.”

“Once read/write access has been gained to the page tables it will be trivially easy to gain access to the complete physical memory, unless it is additionally protected by Extended Page Tables (EPTs) used for Virtualization. All one have to do is to write their own Page Table Entries (PTEs) into the page tables to access arbitrary physical memory,” he said.

The researcher says anyone can reproduce the vulnerability using a direct memory access (DMA) attack tool he developed a few years ago. The attack works against devices running Windows 7 x64 or Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Microsoft patches from January or February installed. The issue did not exist before January and it appears to have been addressed by Microsoft with the March updates. Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 are not affected, Frisk said.

A Microsoft spokesperson told SecurityWeek that the company is aware of the report and is looking into it.

Frisk previously discovered a macOS vulnerability that could have been exploited to obtain FileVault passwords, and demonstrated some UEFI attacks.

Kaspersky Open Sources Internal Distributed YARA Scanner
30.3.2018 securityweek

Kaspersky Lab has released the source code of an internally-developed distributed YARA scanner as a way of giving back to the infosec community.

Originally developed by VirusTotal software engineer Victor Alvarez, YARA is a tool that allows researchers to analyze and detect malware by creating rules that describe threats based on textual or binary patterns.

Kaspersky Lab has developed its own version of the YARA tool. Named KLara, the Python-based application relies on a distributed architecture to allow researchers to quickly scan large collections of malware samples.

Looking for potential threats in the wild requires a significant amount of resources, which can be provided by cloud systems. Using a distributed architecture, KLara allows researchers to efficiently scan one or more YARA rules over large data collections – Kaspersky says it can scan 10Tb of files in roughly 30 minutes.

“The project uses the dispatcher/worker model, with the usual architecture of one dispatcher and multiple workers. Worker and dispatcher agents are written in Python. Because the worker agents are written in Python, they can be deployed in any compatible ecosystem (Windows or UNIX). The same logic applies to the YARA scanner (used by KLara): it can be compiled on both platforms,” Kaspersky explained.

KLara provides a web-based interface where users can submit jobs, check their status, and view results. Results can also be sent to a specified email address.

The tool also provides an API that can be used to submit new jobs, get job results and details, and retrieve the matched MD5 hashes.

Kaspersky Lab has relied on YARA in many of its investigations, but one of the most notable cases involved the 2015 Hacking Team breach. The security firm wrote a YARA rule based on information from the leaked Hacking Team files, and several months later it led to the discovery of a Silverlight zero-day vulnerability.

The KLara source code is available on GitHub under a GNU General Public License v3.0. Kaspersky says it welcomes contributions to the project.

This is not the first time Kaspersky has made available the source code of one of its internal tools. Last year, it released the source code of Bitscout, a compact and customizable tool designed for remote digital forensics operations.

GoScanSSH Malware Targets Linux Servers
30.3.2018 securityweek

A recently discovered malware family written using the Golang (Go) programming language is targeting Linux servers and using a different binary for each attack, Talos warns.

Dubbed GoScanSSH because it compromises SSH servers exposed to the Internet, the malware’s command and control (C&C) infrastructure leverages the Tor2Web proxy service to prevent tracking and takedowns.

The malware operators, Talos believes, had a list of more than 7,000 username/password combinations they would use to authenticate to the servers, after which they would create a unique GoScanSSH binary to upload and execute on the server.

The actors behind this threat would target weak or default credentials used across a variety of Linux-based devices. Usernames used in the attack include admin, guest, oracle, osmc, pi, root, test, ubnt, ubuntu, and user.

The credential combinations used in these attacks targeted Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC); Raspberry Pi; Open Source Media Center (OSMC); jailbroken iPhones; Ubiquiti device, PolyCom SIP phone, Huawei device, and Asterisk default credentials; and various keyboard patterns and well-known commonly used passwords.

Talos discovered over 70 unique GoScanSSH samples compiled to target multiple system architectures (x86, x86_64, ARM, and MIPS64).

Following infection, the malware attempts to determine how powerful the infected system is by determining how many hash computations it can perform within a fixed time interval. The malware sends the information to the C&C, along with basic information about the machine and a unique identifier.

The malware was designed to access Tor-hosted C&C domains using the Tor2Web proxy service, without the need of installing the Tor client on the compromised system. The communication between the bot and the server is authenticated to ensure it cannot be hijacked.

GoScanSSH can scan and identify vulnerable SSH servers exposed to the Internet. For that, it randomly generates IP addresses, but avoids special-use addresses, such as those assigned to the U.S. Department of Defense or to an organization in South Korea.

The malware attempts to establish a TCP connection to the selected IP address and, if that succeeds, it checks if the IP address resolves to a domain name. If that is true, it checks if the domain is related to a government or military entity and terminates the connection if that happens.

Before starting the SSH scanning activity, the malware waits for a response from the C&C server and activates a sleep function if that doesn’t happen.

Due to an increase in the number of attempts to resolve one of the C&C domains, Talos believes the number of compromised hosts is increasing. They also discovered some resolution attempts dating back to June 19, 2017, suggesting that the campaign has been ongoing for at least nine months.

The C&C with the largest number of requests had been seen 8,579 times. The security researchers discovered a total of 250 domains associated with the malware’s activity.

“These attacks demonstrate how servers exposed to the internet are at constant risk of attack by cybercriminals. Organizations should employ best practices to ensure that servers they may have exposed remain protected from these and other attacks that are constantly being launched by attackers around the world. Organizations should ensure that systems are hardened, that default credentials are changed prior to deploying new systems to production environments, and that these systems are continuously monitored for attempts to compromise them,” Talos concludes.

Fileless Crypto-Mining Malware Discovered
30.3.2018 securityweek

Malicious crypto-miners have invaded the threat landscape over the past year, fueled by a massive increase in the value of crypto-currency.

A recent attack discovered by security researchers from Minerva Lab used malware dubbed GhostMiner, which has adopted the most effective techniques used by other malware families, including fileless infection attacks.

Focused on mining Monero crypto-currency, the new threat used PowerShell evasion frameworks – Out-CompressedDll and Invoke-ReflectivePEInjection – that employed fileless techniques to hide the malicious code.

Each of the malware’s components was designed for a different purpose: one PowerShell script to ensure propagation to new machines, and another to perform the actual mining operations.

“This evasive approach was highly effective at bypassing many security tools: some of the payloads analyzed were fully undetected by all the security vendors,” Minerva Labs’ Asaf Aprozper and Gal Bitensky reveal.

The security researchers compared the detection of the malicious executable with and without the fileless method and discovered that, once the fileless module is removed, most of the VirusTotal vendors would detect the payload.

The PowerShell script in charge with infecting new victims targets servers running Oracle’s WebLogic (leveraging the CVE-2017-10271 vulnerability), MSSQL, and phpMyAdmin.

Despite that, however, the attack only attempts to exploit WebLogic servers, the security researchers say. For that, the malicious code randomly probes IP addresses, creating numerous new TCP connections per second, in an attempt to discover vulnerable targets.

Communication with the command and control (C&C) server is performed via HTTP through Base64-encoded requests and replies. The protocol the malware uses to exchange messages involves a simple hand shake followed by a request to perform various tasks. Once the task is completed, a new request is sent to the server.

Launched directly from memory, the mining component is a slightly customized version of the open source XMRig miner.

The mining operation, Minerva Labs researchers say, had been running for about three weeks by the time they discovered it, but the attackers have made only 1.03 Monero (around $200) to date, based on the employed wallet. However, the attackers might also be using addresses that the researchers haven’t detected yet.

“Another potential explanation for the low ‘revenues’ of the GhostMiner campaign is the aggressive rivalry between mining gangs. There are plenty of potential victims, but the exploits and techniques they use are public. The attackers are aware that their competitors share the same toolset and try to infect the same vulnerable machines,” the security researchers note.

The analysed sample itself contained a variety of techniques meant to kill the process of any other miner running on the targeted machine. These include PowerShell’s “Stop-Process -force” command, stopping blacklisted services and blacklisted scheduled tasks by name using exe, and stopping and removing miners by their commandline arguments or by looking at established TCP connections.

Minerva Labs security researchers also suggest that defenders use similar methods as these “competitor killers” to prevent malicious miners from running on endpoints. They even provide a killer script that can be modified for such purposes.

The Big Business of Bad Bots
30.3.2018 securityweek BotNet

Bad bots are big news largely because of the FBI investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election. But bad bots are a bigger problem than automated tweeting: 42.2% of all website traffic comes from bots; and 21.8% of it is down to bad bots.

Distil Networks' 2018 Bad Bot Report, based on an analysis of hundreds of billions of bad bot requests, shows that bad bot traffic increased by 9.5% in 2017. Bad bots differ from good bots, whose traffic also increased by 8.8% to 20.4%. It means that only -- on average -- 57.8% of visiting traffic comes from a genuine human being interested in the website content.

Good bots are those that all websites require. They include the search engine page indexing bots from Google and Bing, and they bring humans to the site. Bad bots, however, are secretive and nefarious. They come from outright criminals and commercial competitors; and their purpose is to detract and/or steal from the website.

Distil highlights eight different bad bot functions: price scraping, content scraping, account takeover, account creation, credit card fraud, denial of service, gift card balance checking, and denial of inventory. They fall into three primary categories: competitive, organized criminal, and nuisance.

Price scraping and content scraping are generally competitor attacks. Price scraping allows competitors to maintain price levels slightly lower to score more highly in search engine rankings. Content scraping is simply the theft of proprietary content to augment another site's own content.

Account takeover bots are automated attempts at illegal log-ins. They can deliver brute-force attacks cycling through the most popular passwords to see if one of them works, or they can use the process known as credential stuffing.

Distil reports a 300% increase in credential stuffing bad bots in the weeks following a new major credential theft. This involves the automatic application of stolen passwords on different websites. "Here," notes the report, "bot operators make two assumptions. The first is that people reuse their credentials on many websites. The second is that newly stolen credentials are more likely to still be active. This is why businesses should anticipate bad bots running those credentials against their website after every breach."

Account creation bad bots simply generate vast numbers of new accounts -- for example, on Twitter -- to spam out messages or amplify propaganda.

Credit card fraud bots test out credit card numbers, trying to identify missing information -- such as the expiry date and the CVV.

The denial of service bad bot can be either competitive or nuisance. It can be used to reduce the performance of a competitor, or to disrupt the service of a small website either because of a grudge, or simply because it is possible. It can be effected either from a small number of attacking IP addresses, or from a larger number of rotating addresses. Automated defenses often fail because the number of accesses from each IP address is below the warning threshold before it moves to other addresses, while manual whack-a-mole IP blocking simply cannot keep up.

Gift card balance checking bots are used to steal money from gift card accounts that contain a balance.

'Denial of inventory' is a relatively new competitor attack prompted by the growth of ecommerce. In this attack, bots place stock items in online shopping baskets, taking them out stock lists. If the item is no longer available, then visiting human buyers will go elsewhere to make the purchase.

Bad bots are a difficult problem. Many website owners are not aware of them, while common defenses have little effect. Geo-blocking, for example, is only somewhat effective. Many sites block all Russian traffic. While this will inevitably include some bad bot traffic, it may also exclude some genuine human traffic. Russia is, however, the most blocked country.

In reality, the greatest source of bad bot traffic is the U.S. (although the operators may be elsewhere). According to Distil, 45.2% of all bad bot traffic originates in the United States (China is second, but way down with just 10.5%). This is because nobody, anywhere in the world, is likely to block all traffic coming from the U.S.

"This year bots took over public conversation, as the FBI continues its investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and new legislation made way for stricter regulations," said Tiffany Olson Jones, CEO of Distil Networks. "Yet, as awareness grows, bot traffic and sophistication continue to escalate at an alarming rate. Despite bad bot awareness being at an all-time high, this year's Bad Bot Report illustrates that no industry is immune to automated threats and constant vigilance is required in order to thwart attacks of this kind."

Facebook Limits App Access to Users Data
30.3.2018 securityweek

Facebook has announced a series of changes to its developer platform to implement tighter user privacy controls and limit how apps can access to user data.

The changes were initially mentioned last week, when the social platform came under fire after reports emerged that millions of Facebook users' personal data was harvested by British firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the incident last week and said tighter controls would be coming. Also last week, Facebook paused app review in preparation for the upcoming changes to its developer platform.

The first of the announced privacy improvements have been already implemented, but more are planned for the near future.

“These are critical steps that involve reviewing developers' actions for evidence of misuse, implementing additional measures to protect data, and giving people more control of their information,” Facebook now says.

The first major change Facebook made toward improved user privacy was to prevent applications from “seeing” a person in one’s friends list unless both users have decided to share their list of friends with the app.

“In order for a person to show up in one person's friend list, both people must have decided to share their list of friends with your app and not disabled that permission during login. Also both friends must have been asked for user_friends during the login process,” Facebook explains.

Moving forth, the social platform plans investigating all apps that had access to large amounts of user data before that access was restricted in 2014. Facebook will ban developers from its platform if they are found to have misused personally identifiable information and will notify everyone who used the application.

The company will also require for developers who build applications for other businesses to comply with rigorous policies and terms that will be revealed within the following weeks.

Facebook also plans on encouraging people to manage the apps they use, making it easier for them to revoke apps’ ability to use their data. Users will find it easier to learn what apps are connected to their accounts and to control the data these apps have access to.

On top of that, Facebook also plans on expanding its bug bounty program to allow users file reports when data is misused by app developers, a move that many security experts approve of.

Craig Young, computer security researcher for Tripwire’s Vulnerability and Exposure Research Team, told SecurityWeek in an emailed comment that this move could “start a trend toward more policy-oriented bug bounties from social media platforms.”

“This move by Facebook really makes a lot of sense to me. By expanding their bounty program to include data misuse by app developers, Facebook may have found a way to mobilize their community to self-police. It will be interesting to see if this if spurs new bug bounty participation including people less technical than the typical bug hunter,” he said.

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company High-Tech Bridge, also believes that this step could determine other companies to start similar moves that would allow them to avoid severe sanctions for privacy violations.

“This is an exciting shift in the bug bounty industry, which untill now has focused on security vulnerabilities. Facebook is the first major company that is asking for researchers to identify data privacy issues. With the GDPR coming into force in a couple of months, data privacy is now high on many organizations’ agendas,” Kolochenko said.

Last week, Facebook said it would make its privacy tools more visible to its users, and today the company announced that it has already implemented the necessary changes.

The settings menu on mobile devices was redesigned, with all the necessary tools now available in a single place and cleared outdated settings to make it obvious what information can and can’t be shared with apps.

Facebook also implemented a new Privacy Shortcuts menu, where users can control their data with just a few taps, in addition to finding clearer explanations of how the controls work.

Now, users can add more layers of protection, such as two-factor authentication, can review the data they’ve shared and delete it, can manage the information the platform uses to show ads, and can also manage who sees their posts and the information included on their profiles.

Users can also find, download, and delete their Facebook data, via the Access Your Information option, where management of posts, reactions, comments, and things searched for is possible. Users can delete any information they no longer want on Facebook and can also download a copy of the data shared with Facebook.

Facebook also plans on updating its terms of service and data policy to make it clearer what data is collected and how it is used.

“These updates are about transparency – not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data,” Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Policy and Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel, Facebook, said.