Apple Addresses HSTS User Tracking in WebKit
21.3.2018 securityweek Apple

Apple has added new protections to the WebKit framework to prevent possible abuse of the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) security standard to track users.

HSTS offers a mechanism through which web sites declare themselves accessible only via secure connections and direct browsers to where that secure version resides. Basically, when a user attempts to connect to the insecure version of a website, HSTS forces the browser to go to the HTTPS version of the site instead.

“This is a great feature that prevents a simple error from placing users in a dangerous state, such as performing financial transactions over an unauthenticated connection,” WebKit software engineer Brent Fulgham points out.

However, because HSTS tells web browsers to remember when redirected to a secure location and to automatically go there in the future, a “super cookie” can be created, and it can be read by cross-site trackers, Fulgham says.

An attacker could leverage the user’s HSTS cache to store one bit of information on the device. Through registering a large number of domains and forcing the loading of resources from controlled subset of domains, the attacker “can create a large enough vector of bits to uniquely represent each site visitor.”

The issue is described in the HSTS specs: “it is possible for those who control one or more HSTS Hosts to encode information into domain names they control and cause such UAs to cache this information as a matter of course in the process of noting the HSTS Host. This information can be retrieved by other hosts through cleverly constructed and loaded web resources, causing the UA to send queries to (variations of) the encoded domain names.”

According to Fulgham, mitigating such tracking attacks isn’t easy, as it requires balancing security and privacy goals. However, because the privacy risks of HSTS have been presented only as a theoretical tracking vector but evidence of actual malicious abuse of the protocol hasn’t been provided yet, browsers would honour all HSTS instructions provided by sites.

The engineer also reveals that Apple recently became aware that this theoretical attack has started being deployed against Safari users. This prompted the tech giant to create a solution to both protect secure web traffic and mitigate tracking.

Because the HSTS exploit requires creating an initial tracking identifier and then reading it, Apple proposes mitigations for both sides of the attack.

On the one hand, Apple revised the network stack to only permit HSTS state to be set for the loaded hostname or the Top Level Domain + 1. Thus, trackers can no longer efficiently set HSTS across large numbers of different bits, but need to individually visit each domain that has an active bit in the tracking identifier. WebKit also caps the number of redirects that can be chained together, thus limiting the number of bits that can be set.

On the other hand, Apple also modified WebKit to ignore HSTS upgrade requests (and use the original URL) when dynamic HSTS results in an insecure third-party subresource loaded from a domain with blocked cookies being upgraded to an authenticated connection.

“Telemetry gathered during internal regression testing, our public seeds, and the final public software release indicates that the two mitigations described above successfully prevented the creation and reading of HSTS super cookies while not regressing the security goals of first party content. We believe them to be consistent with best practices, and to maintain the important security protections provided by HSTS,” Fulgham concludes.

Orbitz Data Breach Impacts 880,000 Payment Cards
21.3.2018 securityweek Incindent

Expedia-owned travel website Orbitz announced on Tuesday that it has discovered and addressed a data security incident affecting hundreds of thousands of users.

In a statement provided to SecurityWeek and other news websites, Orbitz revealed that malicious actors apparently gained access to a legacy platform between October 1 and December 22, 2017. The attackers may have stolen personal and financial data from this platform, which stored both consumer and business partner information.

The breach was discovered on March 1 following an investigation conducted by Orbitz. The company said in contracted forensic investigation and other cybersecurity experts to help it analyze the incident and eliminate vulnerabilities. Law enforcement has also been notified.

Orbitz has highlighted that the hackers targeted a legacy platform and there is no evidence that the current website is affected.

The investigation showed that the attackers may have accessed personal information submitted by consumers who made certain purchases between January 1 and June 22, 2016. Information on Orbitz partners who made purchases between January 1, 2016 and December 22, 2017 may have also been stolen.

The exposed information includes full name, gender, date of birth, phone number, email address, physical and billing address, and payment card data. The company said the breach impacted roughly 880,000 payment cards.

There is no evidence that passport and travel itinerary information has been compromised, and Orbitz does not store social security numbers (SSNs) for customers in the United States.

“We are working quickly to notify impacted customers and partners. We are offering affected individuals one year of complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection service in countries where available. Additionally, we are providing partners with complimentary customer notice support for partners to inform their customers, if necessary,” Orbitz stated.

“Anyone who is notified is encouraged to carefully review and monitor their payment card account statements and contact their financial institution or call the number on the back of their card if they suspect that their payment card may have been misused,” the company added.

Potentially impacted customers can obtain more information by calling 1-855-828-3959 (toll-free in the U.S.) or 1-512-201-2214 (international), or by visiting is used by millions of people to search for and book hotels, flights, cruises, cars and other vacation-related activities. The company was acquired by Expedia in 2015 for $1.6 billion.

Online Sandbox Services Used to Exfiltrate Data: Researcher
21.3.2018 securityweek

Attackers can use online sandbox services to exfiltrate data from an isolated network, a SafeBreach security researcher has discovered.

The new research is based on the discovery that cloud anti-virus programs can be exploited for data pilfering. Last year, SafeBreach Labs’ Itzik Kotler and Amit Klein demonstrated proof-of-concept (PoC) malware abusing this exfiltration method, and said it would work even on endpoints that have no direct Internet connection.

The technique, the researchers revealed, relied on packing data inside an executable created by the main malware process on the compromised endpoint. Thus, if the anti-virus program on the endpoint uploads the executable to the cloud for further inspection, data is exfiltrated even if the file is executed in an Internet connected sandbox.

Now, SafeBreach security researcher Dor Azouri says that online sandbox services can be used for the same purposes and in similar circumstances. However, the researcher notes in a report (PDF) that an attacker using this method would need technical knowledge about their target network.

Unlike the previous technique, the new one doesn’t rely on code that can actively communicate out of the sandbox, but uses the sandbox service database itself as an intermediary for transferring data. The attack method does require incorporating the desired data into an executable and retrieving it by querying the sandbox service’s databases.

The attack starts with malware infecting the endpoint, gathering sensitive information from the machine, and packing it inside a file that is written to disk and executed to trigger the anti-virus agent. Next, a sandbox site is used to inspect the file by executing it, and the analysis results are saved in the site’s database. Finally, the attackers use the site’s API to grab the file.

Unlike last year’s method, the new one does not require the created executable to emit outbound network traffic for data exfiltration. Moreover, it makes the attacker less visible and more difficult to track, given that they gather the data passively from the sandbox service database.

However, the new technique can only be used in networks where suspicious samples are sent to an online sandbox engine, and also requires the attacker to know which kind of sandbox service the organization is using. Furthermore, although hidden, the exfiltraded data remains public in the service’s online databases.

The attack can be used for data exfiltration when the target organization sends suspicious files to VirusTotal for analysis, the security researcher says. The service requires a subscription to access information about the analysed files, but an attacker could find the exact executable they are looking for in the database.

The researcher presents a couple of manners in which the attack can be performed, namely Magic String using spacebin (where the attackers could both encode and encrypt the data to be exfiltrated) and the embedding of data inside well-known malware.

“Public sandbox services that allow both upload and search capabilities may be used as a means for data exfiltration. The database for these services is an intermediary for transferring hidden data from a source machine to an attacker who is looking for the expected data. Many permutations of this exfiltration model may be created - each features a different stealth level, ease of implementation, accuracy, capacity etc. We only demonstrated a couple of them,” Azouri concludes.

Virsec Raises $24 Million in Series B Funding
21.3.2018 securityweek IT

Virsec, a cybersecurity company that protects applications from various attacks, today announced that it has closed a $24 million Series B funding round led by tech investment firm BlueIO.

This latest funding round brings the total amount raised to-date by the company to $32 million. The company previously raised $1 million in seed funding and $7 million in a Series A funding round.

Virsec explains that its technology can protect applications by protecting processes in memory and pinpointing attacks in real-time, within any application. In more detail, the company explains that its Trusted Execution technology “maps acceptable application execution, and instantly detects deviations caused by attacks.”

“The battleground has shifted in cybersecurity and the industry is not keeping up,” said Atiq Raza, CEO of San Jose, California-based Virsec. “With our deep understanding of process memory, control flow, and application context, we have developed a revolutionary solution that stops attacks in their tracks, where businesses are most vulnerable – within applications and processes.”

Additional investors participating in the round include Artiman Ventures, Amity Ventures, Raj Singh, and Boston Seed Capital.

AMD Says Patches Coming Soon for Chip Vulnerabilities
21.3.2018 securityweek

AMD Chip Vulnerabilities to be Addressed Through BIOS Updates - No Performance Impact Expected

After investigating recent claims from a security firm that its processors are affected by more than a dozen serious vulnerabilities, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Tuesday said patches are coming to address several security flaws in its chips.

In its first public update after the surprise disclosure of the vulnerabilities by Israeli-based security firm CTS Labs, AMD said the issues are associated with the firmware managing the embedded security control processor in some of its products (AMD Secure Processor) and the chipset used in some socket AM4 and socket TR4 desktop platforms supporting AMD processors.

Vulnerabilities found in Ryzen and other AMD processors

CTS Labs, which was unheard of until last week, came under fire shortly after its disclosure for giving AMD only a 24-hour notice before going public with its findings, and for apparently attempting to short AMD stock. The company later made some clarifications regarding the flaws and its disclosure method.

CTS Labs claimed that a number of vulnerabilities could be exploited for arbitrary code execution, bypassing security features, stealing data, helping malware become resilient against security products, and damaging hardware.

“AMD has rapidly completed its assessment and is in the process of developing and staging the deployment of mitigations,” the chipmaker wrote in an update on Tuesday. “It’s important to note that all the issues raised in the research require administrative access to the system, a type of access that effectively grants the user unrestricted access to the system and the right to delete, create or modify any of the folders or files on the computer, as well as change any settings.”

AMD said that patches will be released through BIOS updates to address the flaws, which have been dubbed MASTERKEY, RYZENFALL, FALLOUT and CHIMERA. The company said that no performance impact is expected for any of the forthcoming mitigations.

AMD attempted to downplay the risks, saying that any attacker gaining administrative access could have a wide range of attacks at their disposal “well beyond the exploits identified in this research.”

“Further, all modern operating systems and enterprise-quality hypervisors today have many effective security controls, such as Microsoft Windows Credential Guard in the Windows environment, in place to prevent unauthorized administrative access that would need to be overcome in order to affect these security issues,” the notice continued.

AMD also linked to a blog post from Trail of Bits, which was the first to independently review the findings from CTS. The company, which has been paid for its services, confirmed that the proof-of-concept (PoC) exploits developed by CTS Labs work as intended, but believes that there is “no immediate risk of exploitation of these vulnerabilities for most users.”

“Even if the full details were published today, attackers would need to invest significant development efforts to build attack tools that utilize these vulnerabilities. This level of effort is beyond the reach of most attackers,” Trail of Bits added.

Check Point has also confirmed two of the RYZENFALL vulnerabilities following its own review. The security firm says it does not have any relationship with CTS Labs and it has not received any payment for its services. It also noted that it does not agree with the way CTS disclosed its findings, describing it as “very irresponsible.”

Alex Ionescu, a reputable researcher and Windows security expert, also confirmed the findings and warned that “admin-level access and persistence are legitimate threats in multi-tenant IaaS and even things such as VTL0/1 (Credential Guard) when firmware and chipset trust boundaries are broken.”

“This company was previously unknown to AMD and we find it unusual for a security firm to publish its research to the press without providing a reasonable amount of time for the company to investigate and address its findings,” AMD stated last week.

Some have compared the recent AMD vulnerabilities to Meltdown and Spectre, which impact CPUs from Intel, AMD, ARM and others. However, some argued that the issues disclosed by CTS Labs are nowhere near as severe due to the fact that they mostly impact AMD’s Secure Processor technology rather than the hardware itself.

AMD did not provide specific dates that patches are expected to be released, but said it would provide additional updates on both its analysis of the issues and the related mitigation plans in the coming weeks.

U.S. Military Should Step Up Cyber Ops: General
21.3.2018 securityweek BigBrothers

Washington - US efforts to conduct offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace are falling short, a top general warned Tuesday amid ongoing revelations about Russian hacking.

General John Hyten, who leads US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told lawmakers the US has "not gone nearly far enough" in the cyber domain, also noting that the military still lacks clear rules of cyber engagement.

"We have to go much further in treating cyberspace as an operational domain," Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Cyberspace needs to be looked at as a warfighting domain, and if somebody threatens us in cyberspace we need to have the authorities to respond."

Hyten noted, however, that the US had made some progress in conducting cyber attacks on enemies in the Middle East, such as the Islamic State group.

His testimony comes weeks after General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of NATO forces in Europe, warned that US government agencies are not coordinating efforts to counter the cyber threat from Russia, even as Moscow conducts a "campaign of destabilization."

And last month, Admiral Michael Rogers, who heads both the NSA -- the leading US electronic eavesdropping agency -- and the new US Cyber Command, said President Donald Trump had not yet ordered his spy chiefs to retaliate against Russian interference in US elections.

The US has accused Russia of actively interfering in the 2016 presidential election, stealing Democratic party communications and pushing out disinformation through social media.

It also accuses Moscow of stealing hacking secrets of the US intelligence community -- while US cyber security investigators have accused the Russian government of a sustained effort to take control of critical US infrastructure systems including the energy grid.

Hyten added the military needs clear authorities and rules of engagement so operators know when and how to respond to attacks.

"We need to have specific rules of engagement in cyber that match the other domains that we operate in," Hyten said.

"We need to delegate that authority all the way down so we can deal with threats that exist that challenge the United States."

'Slingshot' Campaign Outed by Kaspersky is U.S. Operation Targeting Terrorists: Report
21.3.2018 securityweek CyberSpy

The Slingshot cyber espionage campaign exposed recently by Kaspersky Lab is a U.S. government operation targeting members of terrorist organizations, according to a media report.

Earlier this month, Kaspersky published a report detailing the activities of a threat actor targeting entities in the Middle East and Africa — sometimes by hacking into their Mikrotik routers. The group is believed to have been active since at least 2012 and its members appear to speak English, the security firm said.

The main piece of malware used by the group has been dubbed Slingshot based on internal strings found by researchers. Kaspersky identified roughly 100 individuals and organizations targeted with the Slingshot malware, mainly in Kenya and Yemen, but also in Afghanistan, Libya, Congo, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania.

CyberScoop claims to have learned from unnamed current and former U.S. intelligence officials that Slingshot is actually an operation of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a component of Special Operations Command (SOCOM), aimed at members of terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. SOCOM is well known for its counterterrorism operations, which can sometimes include a cyber component.

CyberScoop’s sources expressed concern that the exposure of the campaign may result in the U.S. losing a valuable surveillance program and it could even put the lives of soldiers at risk. The Slingshot infrastructure was likely already abandoned and “burned” following the disclosure, one former intelligence official told the publication.

Kaspersky has always insisted that its role is to protect customers against cyber threats, regardless of the source of an attack. The company typically refrains from attributing attacks, but it has exposed operations believed to be linked to Russia, China, the United States and others.

In the case of Slingshot, Kaspersky has not directly attributed the campaign to the United States, but it did note that the hackers appear to speak English. The company also pointed out that some of the techniques used by this actor are similar to ones leveraged by a group known as Longhorn and The Lamberts, which is believed to be associated with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

It’s also worth noting that the WikiLeaks Vault7 files, which are believed to be tools developed and used by the CIA, describe a Mikrotik router exploit, although it is unclear if it’s the one used in Slingshot attacks.

Another clue that shows a potential connection between Slingshot and U.S. intelligence is the use of tools and code strings referencing “Lord of the Rings” characters, including Gollum, which is also the name of an implant referenced in NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

Kaspersky’s products were recently banned in U.S. federal agencies due to the company’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence. The security firm has denied the accusations and it has taken legal action in hopes of overturning the ban.

If Slingshot really is a U.S. government operation, Kaspersky's disclosure of the campaign will likely not help its case. One senior U.S. intelligence official told CyberScoop it was unlikely that Kaspersky had been totally unaware of what it was dealing with. CyberScoop cited a source close to Kaspersky saying that researchers may have suspected a Five Eyes nation, but they couldn’t have known for sure.

“Kaspersky Lab does not know the identity of the attackers behind the Slingshot APT or the identity of its victims. As a result of anonymized data, it's impossible for us to tell who the specific targets are. All the company can state is that our users are protected against malicious software that can spy, steal or sabotage data from their computers,” Kaspersky Lab told SecurityWeek in an emailed statement.

“Kaspersky Lab has always been very clear about our policy concerning the detection of malware: we detect and remediate all forms of malicious programs, regardless of origin or purpose. Furthermore, the company does not 'whitelist' any malware samples, not even malware used for so called 'legal surveillance'. One can easily imagine the situation in which such malware falls into the wrong hands and can be used to launch attacks against law enforcement or just regular users,” the company added.

One of the incidents that led officials to believe Kaspersky may be linked to the Kremlin involved an NSA contractor from which Russian hackers allegedly stole information on how the U.S. penetrates foreign networks and how it defends against cyberattacks. Kaspersky’s analysis showed that its antivirus product did automatically upload some files related to the NSA-linked Equation Group from a user’s computer, but the company said the files were deleted from its systems after it noticed that they contained classified information.

Siemens Patches Flaws in SIMATIC Controllers, Mobile Apps
21.3.2018 securityweek

German industrial giant Siemens has released security patches for several of its SIMATIC products, including some controllers and a mobile application.

Organizations using SIMATIC products were informed by both Siemens and ICS-CERT this week of a denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability that can be exploited by sending specially crafted PROFINET DCP packets to affected systems.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2018-4843 and classified as medium severity, can be exploited by an attacker who has access to the network housing the targeted device. While DoS vulnerabilities are generally seen as less severe compared to code execution and other types of flaws, in the case of industrial control systems (ICS), they can have serious impact.

The security hole affects several SIMATIC central processing units (CPUs) and software controllers, SINUMERIK CNC automation solutions, and Softnet PROFINET IO controllers. Siemens has released patches for some of the impacted systems, and provided workarounds and mitigations for the rest.

Siemens also informed customers on Tuesday of an access control vulnerability affecting the Android and iOS versions of its SIMATIC WinCC OA UI mobile application. This app is designed to allow users to remotely access WinCC OA facilities from their mobile devices.

“The latest update for the Android app and iOS app SIMATIC WinCC OA UI fix a security vulnerability which could allow read and write access from one HMI project cache folder to other HMI project cache folders within the app’s sandbox on the same mobile device,” Siemens wrote in its advisory.

“This includes HMI project cache folders of other configured WinCC OA servers. Precondition for this scenario is that an attacker tricks an app user to connect to an attacker-controlled WinCC OA server,” it added.

The SIMATIC WinCC OA UI application vulnerability was discovered by experts at IOActive and Embedi as part of their research into SCADA mobile apps. They analyzed applications from 34 vendors and found security holes in a vast majority of them.

18.5 Million Websites Infected With Malware at Any Time
21.3.2018 securityweek

There are more than 1.86 billion websites on the internet. Around 1% of these -- something like 18,500,000 -- are infected with malware at a given time each week; while the average website is attacked 44 times every day.

Sitelock has published its Q4 2017 Website Security Insider analysis of malware and websites based on statistics from 6 million of its 12 million customers. All these customers use at least one of Sitelock's malware scanners, while a smaller subset also use the firm's cloud-based web application firewall (WAF). The WAF provides insight into DDoS attacks against websites, while the sca≈nners provide insight to the state of malware in websites.

The analysis shows an increase of around 20% in the number of infected websites over Q3 2017. "We went from about 0.8% of our user base in Q3 to a little over 1% in Q4," Sitelock research analyst Jessica Ortega told SecurityWeek. A 0.2% increase seems a small number, but it implies that up to 18.5 million websites worldwide may be infected with malware at any given time.

Despite the increase in infected sites, continued Ortega, "The total number of attacks or attempted attacks actually decreased by about 20% -- so what we're seeing is that it takes fewer attack attempts to compromise the websites. Attackers are becoming sneakier, and more difficult-to-decode malware is coming through."

The majority of Sitelock's customers are typically small businesses and blogs. "Many website owners remain unaware that website security is their responsibility and rely too heavily on popular search engines and other third parties to notify them when they've been compromised," said Ortega. This doesn't work -- less than 1 in 5 infected websites are blacklisted by the search engines.

Other owners rely on their CMS software provider to keep them secure with security updates. But according to Sitelock, 46% of WordPress sites infected with malware were up to date with the latest core updates. Those also using plug-ins were twice as likely to be compromised.

It is the sheer volume of both threats and compromises that is most surprising. During Q4 2017, Sitelock cleaned an average of 672,655 malicious files every week. It found an average of 309 infected files per site. Sixteen percent of malware results in site defacements, while more than 12% are backdoors facilitating the upload of thousands of other malicious files including exploit kits and phishing pages.

Jessica Ortega, research analyst at Sitelock, comments that the malicious files are often stored on websites in zip files. Even if active files are removed, the site can be compromised again, and the zip file extracted for the attacker to continue precisely as before.

One of the problems is that the average website is very easy to compromise. Sitelock's analysis in Q4 found an average of 414 pages per site containing cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities; 959 pages per site containing SQL injection (SQLi) vulnerabilities; and 414 pages per site containing cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities.

Even CSM security updates can be used against the website if they are not immediately installed. "Attackers can see what vulnerabilities have been patched in the latest update, and develop an exploit for those vulnerabilities. They then scan the internet for, for example, WordPress sites that haven't yet been updated, and compromise them."

Understanding the attackers' motives is key to understanding the threat to small business websites. "A lot of attackers go for the low-hanging fruit, and small business websites are among the softest and easiest targets because so many owners don't even realize they need security," explains Ortega. One of the primary motivations is to improve the search engine rankings of the attackers' own customers, by inserting backlinks to the customer website.

"Or they use it to attack the website's visitors -- for example, by phishing credentials," she continued; "and obviously the longer that a phishing site stays up, the greater the number of credentials it can potentially steal. Or they're just trying to further spread their malware to visitors via exploit kits."

Compromising small business websites is a numbers game for the criminals. Each site has a relatively small reach in the volume of visitors that can be exploited; but the sheer number of sites combined with the ease of compromise makes it worthwhile. And it is complicated by being perhaps the last refuge of the skiddie. As large companies improve their own security, small companies increasingly attract low-skilled skiddies who hack for personal aggrandizement -- those who do it because they can, and then boast about it.

Sixteen percent of infected sites were subsequently defaced, often with a political or religious message, often by such skiddies.

Code Execution Flaws Found in ManageEngine Products
21.3.2018 securityweek

Researchers at cybersecurity technology and services provider Digital Defense have identified another round of vulnerabilities affecting products from Zoho-owned ManageEngine.

ManageEngine provides network, data center, desktop, mobile device, and security solutions to more than 40,000 customers, including three out of every five Fortune 500 company.

Earlier this year, Digital Defense reported finding several potentially serious flaws in ManageEngine’s ServiceDesk Plus help desk software, and on Wednesday the company disclosed the details of six additional security holes found by its researchers in ManageEngine Log360, EventLog Analyzer, and Applications Manager products.

The vulnerabilities have been described by Digital Defense as file upload, blind SQL injection, local file inclusion, and API key disclosure issues that can be exploited without authentication for arbitrary code execution and obtaining potentially sensitive information.

According to the security firm, the Log360 and EventLog Analyzer log management products are affected by an unauthenticated file upload vulnerability that can be exploited to upload a JavaServer Pages (JSP) web shell to the root directory. This is possible due to the fact that a file upload feature’s security checks can be easily bypassed.

The rest of the flaws discovered by Digital Defense researchers impact ManageEngine Applications Manager and many of them can be exploited for arbitrary code execution.

Experts have identified several blind SQL injection flaws that can be leveraged by unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges and gain complete control of the targeted host.

The list of security holes also includes a local file inclusion issue that can be exploited to download files that may contain sensitive information.

Researchers also discovered that an attacker can obtain an Applications Manager user’s API key by sending a specially crafted GET request.

“Depending on the privilege level of the compromised user, this could result in full compromise of both the Applications Manager web application and the host running it,” Digital Defense warned.

The vulnerabilities were reported to ManageEngine on February 12 and fixes were developed a few weeks later. Patches were made available to customers on March 7.

Fraud Prevention Firm Sift Science Raises $53 Million
21.3.2018 securityweek IT

Fraud prevention and risk management solutions provider Sift Science today announced that it has closed a $53 million Series D funding round, bringing the total raised to date by the company to $107 million.

The latest funding round was led by New York-based growth equity firm Stripes Group, with participation from SPINS, Remitly, Flatiron Health, Udemy, GrubHub, and previous investors Union Square Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Spark Capital.

Sift Science plans on using the newly acquired funds to expand its global footprint in the fraud detection and prevention market, which is estimated to reach roughly $42 billion by 2022.

Sift’s Digital Trust Platform relies on machine learning to protect businesses against fraud and abuse, including payment fraud, fake accounts, account hijacking, and abusive user-generated content.

The platform uses data from thousands of websites and apps to identify fraud patterns based on connections between users, behaviors, locations, devices and more. Sift says its customers include Airbnb, Twitter, Twilio, Shutterstock, Yelp, Wayfair and Jet.

“We believe Sift is uniquely positioned to leverage its best-in-class software platform and data network to fundamentally reshape the way businesses and consumers interact online – with more confidence, transparency and security. We are thrilled to be partnering with Sift as it accelerates its already exceptional growth trajectory,” said Ron Shah, partner at Stripes Group.

AMD will release the patches for the recently discovered flaws very soon
21.3.2018 securityaffairs 

AMD concluded its investigation on the vulnerabilities recently discovered by CTS Labs and announced that security patches will be released very soon.
AMD has finally acknowledged 13 critical vulnerabilities and exploitable backdoors in its Ryzen and EPYC processors that were first disclosed earlier March by the researchers at the security firm CTS Labs.

The CTS Labs researchers did not disclose any technical details about the vulnerabilities to avoid abuses in the wild.

The vendor plans to roll out firmware updates in the incoming weeks to address the flaws affecting millions of devices worldwide.

The flaws could be potentially exploited to steal sensitive data, install malicious code on AMD-based systems, and gain full access to the compromised systems. The flaws expose servers, workstations, and laptops running vulnerable AMD Ryzen, Ryzen Pro, Ryzen Mobile or EPYC processors to attacks.

CTS-Labs promptly reported the flaws to AMD, Microsoft and “a small number of companies that could produce patches and mitigations.”

The analysis conducted by the security experts revealed four classes (RYZENFALL, FALLOUT, CHIMERA, and MASTERKEY) of vulnerabilities affecting the AMD Zen architecture processors and chipsets that usually contain sensitive information such as passwords and encryption keys.

The flaw could allow to bypass AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology and also Microsoft Windows Credential Guard. AMD flaws

This week AMD published a press release trying to downplay the severity of the flaws.

“It’s important to note that all the issues raised in the research require administrative access to the system, a type of access that effectively grants the user unrestricted access to the system and the right to delete, create or modify any of the folders or files on the computer, as well as change any settings.” reads the press release published by AMD. “Any attacker gaining unauthorized administrative access would have a wide range of attacks at their disposal well beyond the exploits identified in this research.”

Differently from what has happened for Meltdown and Spectre attacks, AMD sustains that the patches it is going to release are not expected to impact system performance.

CTS Labs are skeptical about a rapid fix of the issues, they claimed that AMD could take several months to release patches for most of the flaws, even some of them could not be fixed.