Monthly Archives: January 2019

Unchecked open source components introducing more risk to businesses

At Veracode, we’ve been the first and the loudest in proclaiming that companies need to be vigilant in how they use open source components in their software.

Our research shows that open source components are used with increasing regularity in the enterprise. The State of Software Security Volume 9 report, which examined 700,000 scans over 12 months, found that 87.5 percent of Java applications had at least one vulnerability in a component. In addition, open source applications were found to be among the slowest of all applications to be fixed: developers remediated 25 percent of open source flaws after 93 days had passed following identification.

A separate recent industry report pointed to the fact that a vulnerable version of the open source Apache Struts library, the same vulnerable library that hackers accessed to steal information on millions of consumers, is still being downloaded and used by some of the most profitable and prominent global enterprises. In March 2017, a number of high profile targets were zapped by what we dubbed the “Struts-Shock” flaw. This critical vulnerability in the Apache Struts 2 library enables remote code execution (RCE) attacks using command injection, for which as many as 35 million sites were vulnerable. The bad guys exploited the vulnerability in a range of victims’ applications, most notably the Canada Revenue Agency and the University of Delaware, in a breach of records that USA Today reported could cost the organization as much as $19 million.

The fact that vulnerable software is still in use even after such damaging effects illustrates both the ubiquitous use of open source code in software applications worldwide and that the race to deploy and evolve applications is pushing companies to build software more quickly. As Veracode CTO Chris Wysopal wrote in Forbes, “The benefits of open source code can be so alluring that businesses can forget about the risks involved with using public, unvetted chunks of software throughout their applications. Vulnerabilities in open source code are prized by hackers simply because of the prevalence of their use.”

The open source conundrum for businesses is getting more complex: there are 5 million open source libraries now but the growth rate is exponential – we will see millions more developers releasing up to half a billion libraries within the next decade. This increases the threat vector for businesses that use open source in their applications because while open source creates efficiency, developers also inherit vulnerabilities in the components they use.

Scanning code to reveal flaws and recommend fixes to developers is critical. As organizations tackle bug-ridden components, they should consider not just the open flaws within libraries and frameworks, but also how they are using those components. By understanding not just the status of the component, but whether or not a vulnerable method is being called, organizations can pinpoint their component risk and prioritize fixes based on the riskiest uses of components.

To address the risk of open source vulnerabilities in the software supply chain, groups such as PCI, OWASP, and FS-ISAC now have specific controls and policies in place to govern the use of open source components. But for global enterprises with multiple and vast repositories of code, identifying all the applications where open source vulnerabilities may exist can be difficult.

That’s where Veracode comes in. Our solution allows enterprises to quickly identify every application with vulnerable components, making it easy to address open source vulnerabilities and continue realizing the benefits of open source software.

When news breaks about new open source vulnerabilities, Veracode helps you quickly identify which applications in your organization are vulnerable, saving time as you plan for remediation.

Veracode’s cloud-based platform scans software to identify both open source vulnerabilities and flaws in proprietary code with the same scan, providing greater visibility into security across the entire application landscape. During the mitigation process, Veracode’s team of experts supports your people, processes and technology, and coaches your engineers on secure coding practices and ways to manage mitigation and remediation.

Learn more about controlling your risk with the Veracode platform here.

What You Need to Know About DNS Flag Day

This blog was written by Michael Schneider, Lead Product Manger.

The internet is built on Postel’s law, often referred to as the robustness principle: “Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.” In the protocol world, this means that receivers will try to accept and interpret data that they receive to their best knowledge and will be flexible if the data doesn’t fully match a specification. Senders should adhere to specifications and comply with protocol specifications, as laid out in Request for Comment documents (RFCs) by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

DNS was released as RFC 1035 in 1987 and was superseded by EDNS in 1999 with RFCs 2671 and 6891. EDNS, or extension mechanisms for DNS, aimed to flexibly deploy new features into the DNS protocol, including protection against DNS flooding attacks amongst other performance and security enhancements. These attacks can cause a major outage for cloud-based infrastructure, which happened in 2016 with the DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn.

To avoid such attacks and improve DNS efficiency, several DNS software and service providers—like Google, Cisco, and Cloudflare—have agreed to “coordinate removing accommodations for non-compliant DNS implementations from their software or service,” beginning Feb. 1, 2019, or DNS Flag Day.

Before DNS Flag Day, if an EDNS server requested a name resolution from a non-EDNS resolver, it would first send an EDNS query. If there was no response, the server would then send a legacy DNS query. That means that the timeout for the first query would need to be reached before the legacy DNS query was sent, generating a delayed response. These delays ultimately make DNS operations less efficient.

But with the new changes introduced for DNS Flag Day, any DNS server that doesn’t respond to EDNS will be seen as “dead” and no additional DNS query will be sent to that server. The result? Certain domains or offerings may no longer be available, as name resolution will fail. Organizations should plan to provide a bridge between their internal DNS and a provider’s DNS to ensure that the EDNS protocol is used. They should also work with their vendors to verify that EDNS is part of DNS communication and obtain a version of the respective product that complied with the requirements of EDNS.

The DNS Flag Day protocols are a disruptive move, as they break from Postel’s law—servers can no longer automatically accept every query. But as with most internet-related innovations, progress requires a little disruption.

The post What You Need to Know About DNS Flag Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Teach Kids The 4Rs Critical for Online Safety on Safer Internet Day

What are you doing?”

Uploading pics of our school fest. And don’t peer over my shoulder, Aunty. I have already uploaded a few so check them out on your Instagram account.”

I beat a hasty retreat and did as instructed. The photos brought out a smile- such fresh, innocent faces of kids having a good time! But that feeling rapidly changed when I read the comments on one particular pic.

Now why are you frowning?” asked the niece.

Perhaps you shouldn’t have shared this one. It’s attracting rude comments. “

Instantly remorseful, the niece took down the picture, but I decided to nevertheless give her a talk on responsible posting.

On the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID) 2019, let us find out what can make our digital world a happier and safer place, and our digital experience a more positive one.

There are many, like you my dear readers, well aware digital users who endeavor to take measures and ensure that your accounts are secure and devices safe. However, one needs to keep in mind that we are linked online, and therefore the key word is ‘together’. No single entity or product can guarantee 100% safety online, but together we can strive to bring about a better digital experience for all. That’s the theme for 2019 too – ‘Together for a better internet’.

Incidentally, McAfee too has a similar tagline, ‘Together is Power’, underlining the fact that it needs the collaboration of all players- digital users, organizations and vendors- to make cybersecurity effective.

Organizations lay down rules and monitor usage, vendors provide security tools and that leaves us, the users.  What can we do?

‘What can we do as parents?’ Let us start by helping our kids develop four critical skills – the 4Rs of online safety:

  • Respect– I treat myself and others the way I like to be treated
  • Responsibility – I am accountable for my actions and I take a stand when I feel something is wrong
  • Reasoning – I question what is real
  • Resilience – I get back up from tough situations


How do we teach what respect means? We respect those we love or admire. But we also need to learn to respect rules, people’s feelings and take a sympathetic view of differences in physical and emotional aspects of people.  The two values that this calls for are tolerance and empathy.

Here are a few ways you can teach kids respect:

  1. Appreciate when they are tactful and kind
  2. Correct them if they are mean
  3. Make it a family practice to use ‘sorry’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’ a lot
  4. Role model respectful behavior like being silent in the library, sharing photos with permission, treating boys and girls as equals
  5. Set rules and specify penalties for breaching them

At the same time, help your kids identify undesirable behavior that may show disrespect and abuse.

  1. Being approached by strangers online who ask for photos, personal thoughts
  2. Being a witness to rude, aggressive behavior that causes anguish
  3. Being belittled for beliefs, appearance, race, gender
  4. Being challenged to perform a dare the child isn’t comfortable with


Standing up to injustice and aggression as well as springing back to normalcy despite a negative experience is what resilience is about. Let’s accept it, bullies will continue to exist and so it is in the interest of the kids to know how to survive tough situations online. The recipe also calls for dollops of love, support, patience from the family and friends.

Actions that may lead to negative experiences:

  1. Cyberbullying
  2. Risky challenges
  3. Being ignored by peers online
  4. Befriending child groomers
  5. Falling prey to hackers and scammers

You know what to do, right? Teach them cybersafety practices; change account settings and passwords or even delete accounts if necessary; report scam and abuse; rope in teachers to stop bullying in school. Stand by your child. Encourage them to get back on their feet and resume normal life. Help them be tough and face the world- they will thank you for it.


We have often discussed responsible online behavior in these pages, so will not rehash it. Suffice to say that we are the digital space users, content generators and consumers. So, our actions online will ultimately affect us and those in contact with us and their contacts and so on and so forth, covering the entire digital populace. Practice STOP. THINK. CONNECT. SHARE.


We will do the kids a big favour if we can help them to think and act instead of following the herd mentality. Encourage them to question, to reason before accepting any online content to be true. Help them understand the reach and consequences of digital posts and ways to distinguish between a fake news and a real one. Kids have wonderful reasoning power and let us push them to exercise it fully.

What can we do as a community? I think South Korea has set a sterling example:

A civil activist group in South Korea, Sunfull Internet Peace Movement, initiated the “Internet Peace Prize” in 2018 to promote online etiquette and fight cyberbullying. The award went to two people from Japan for their effort to protect human rights by tackling cyberbullying. We can start something similar in our children’s school or our neighbourhood. Schools can set up cyber armies to identify and stop cyberbullying and offer support to victims. The possibilities are many.

Stay safe online everyday; it just calls for a little care. Just like in the real world.


Office of the eSafety Commissioner, An Australian Government initiative


The post Teach Kids The 4Rs Critical for Online Safety on Safer Internet Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

GRA Quantum Welcomes Project Manager

Filaree Way, Project ManagerWe’re excited to welcome Filaree Way to our GRA Quantum team as Project Manager.  Filaree has 10 years of project management experience in diverse companies with the primary focus being IT, eCommerce and Cybersecurity.

As a Project Manager, Filaree is responsible for communicating the value of our programs to clients and ensuring security projects are delivered on-time and on-budget. A large part of this is identifying security risks and building a program to mitigate these risks, including training programs, regular security assessments and implementing secure IT equipment.

Since most of this work is done behind the scenes, Filaree will be faced with the challenge of helping clients realize the many benefits of these programs after kick-off.

Filaree eagerly takes on this challenge, though.  “I love how dynamic the cybersecurity industry is,” explained Filaree.  “Not only is it constantly changing, but its importance is growing all the time.  There is an unlimited amount of work, and while there are foundational security practices, each business has unique needs that need to be addressed.”

When not at work, Filaree spends her time in the mountains, snowboarding in the winter and hiking and camping come summertime.  She also has a great love of animals and growing plants.  Originally from California, she has learned to appreciate her garden even more now, living in Utah’s cold climate.

We are grateful to have Filaree on our team while we continue to grow.  As the need for GRA Quantum’s services increases, so will the need for Project Managers with her expertise to support the implementation of these services.

The post GRA Quantum Welcomes Project Manager appeared first on GRA Quantum.

Information Security no longer the Department of “NO”

The information security function within business has gained the rather unfortunate reputation for being the department of “no”, often viewed as a blocker to IT innovation and business transformation. A department seen as out of touch with genuine business needs, and with the demands of evolving workforce demographic of increasing numbers of numbers Millennials and Centennials. However, new research by IDC\Capgemini reveals that attitudes are changing, and business leaders are increasingly relying on their Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to create meaningful business impact.

The study bears out a shift in executive perceptions that information security is indeed important to the business. With the modern CISO evolving from that of a responder, to a driver of change, enabling to build businesses to be secure by design. The survey found CISOs are now involved in 90% of significant business decisions, with 25% of business executives perceive CISOs as proactively enabling digital transformation, which is a key goal for 89% of organisations surveyed by IDC.

Key findings from the research include: 

  • Information security is a business differentiator – Business executives think the number one reason for information security is competitive advantage and differentiation, followed by business efficiency. Just 15% of business executives think information security is a blocker of innovation, indicating that information security is no longer the ‘department of no’ 
  • CISOs are now boardroom players – 80% of business executives and CISOs think their personal influence has improved in the last three years. CISOs are now involved in 90% of medium or high influence boardroom decisions 
  • CISOs must lead digital transformation efforts – At present, less than 25% of business executives think CISOs proactively enable digital transformation. To stay relevant, CISOs must become business enablers. They need to adopt business mindsets and push digital transformation forward, not react to it. CISOs that fail to adopt a business mindset will be replaced by more forward-thinking players.
From NO to GO
CISOs have made great leaps forward
  • Focused on making security operations effective and efficient 
  • Engaged with the rest of the business 
  • Seen as key SMEs to the board 
  • Responding to business requests and enabling change

CISOs now need to pivot to because business leaders
  • Need to be part of the business change ecosystem
  • Must be seen as drivers rather than responders
  • CISO as entrepreneur and innovator

What Goals Are Right for Your AppSec Program?

Clear objectives and goals are key to success for any initiative, and AppSec is no exception. But many organizations struggle to establish application security goals, or focus on the wrong goals to the detriment of their program. Below we outline factors to consider when creating goals for your application security program.


At a high level, the goals for your AppSec program should focus on a set of core software quality metrics:

  • Fix rate: Your fix rate = fixed flaws divided by (fixed + open flaws).
  • Flaw density, for instance flaws per MB of code:  Flaw density —measured as the number of flaws divided by the size of the application —makes it easier to compare apples to apples across different teams or business units.
  • Applications compliant with your policy.

Additional factors

The above are only the core metrics; you might have more based on your business goals, such as developer education benchmarks, or the number of applications that have been assessed or retired, or the level of scan activity.

In addition, when developing the goals and policy for your application security program, you should always consider the following factors:

Types of apps and types of vulnerabilities

Not all apps are created equal, nor are all vulnerabilities. Make your AppSec goals more targeted and effective by focusing on certain applications and vulnerabilities. For instance, an application that has IP, is public facing and has third-party components may require all medium to very critical flaws to be fixed. A one-page temporary marketing site may only require high/very high flaws to be fixed.

In addition, don’t give every vulnerability the same level of attention. Rank vulnerabilities so that you are focused first and foremost on those that are actually increasing your risk. For instance, it’s important to distinguish between flaws that represent a remote risk and those that represent more substantial, real-world risks. In some cases, the likelihood of a vulnerability being exploited may be low, but the potential damage might be great. In other instances, the chance of exploit might be high, but the damage may not be substantial.

For example, when collecting data for our most recent State of Software Security report, we found code quality flaws in twice as many applications as SQL injection vulnerabilities. However, that does not mean they pose twice as much risk as SQLi to the state of software security. Probably quite the opposite. As a class, SQLi tends to present flaws of a much higher severity and exploitability than code quality vulnerabilities.

Security know-how of your team

If security is being introduced for the first time or being enforced for the first time, start off with some achievable policy standards. Don’t make a team that has never had security built into their daily cycle try to meet PCI or all OWASP requirements; they will not pass, feel defeated, and give up before they start.

Start with a simple policy: no high or very high critical flaws. Then get more stringent over time as developers adopt security into their daily routine.

Industry you’re in

Your industry might dictate the regulations you are subject to, and the type of testing you need to conduct and goals you need to meet. For instance, retail will be subject to PCI, and finance might need to comply with the NY DFS cybersecurity regulations.

To see how others in your industry are tackling application security, what vulnerabilities they are seeing most often, and where they are seeing success or falling short, check out our most recent State of Software Security report, which includes data from our platform broken out by industry.

Learn more

Get more details on setting realistic and effective goals for your application security program in Everything You Need to Know About Application Security Policies.

Fixing Virtualbox RDP Server with DetectionLab

Yesterday I posted about DetectionLab, but noted that I was having trouble with the RDP servers offered by Virtualbox. If you remember, DetectionLab builds four virtual machines:

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" list runningvms
"logger" {3da9fffb-4b02-4e57-a592-dd2322f14245}
"dc.windomain.local" {ef32d493-845c-45dc-aff7-3a86d9c590cd}
"wef.windomain.local" {7cd008b7-c6e0-421d-9655-8f92ec98d9d7}
"win10.windomain.local" {acf413fb-6358-44df-ab9f-cc7767ed32bd}

I was having a problem with two of the VMs sharing the same port for the RDP server offered by Virtualbox. This meant I could not access one of them. (Below, port 5932 has the conflict.)

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo logger | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5955, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address  = ""

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo dc.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5932, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = ""

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo wef.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5932, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = ""

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo win10.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5981, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = ""

To fix this, I explicitly added port values to the configuration in the Vagrantfile. Here is one example:

      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--vrde", "on"]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--vrdeaddress", ""]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--vrdeport", "60101"]

After a 'vagrant reload', the RDP servers were now listening on new ports, as I hoped.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo logger | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 60101, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address  = ""

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo dc.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 60102, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = ""

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo wef.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 60103, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = ""

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage" showvminfo win10.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde | findstr /I address
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 60104, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = ""

This is great, but I am still encountering a problem with avoiding port collisions when Vagrant remaps ports for services on the VMs.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant status
Current machine states:

logger                    running (virtualbox)
dc                        running (virtualbox)
wef                       running (virtualbox)
win10                     running (virtualbox)

This environment represents multiple VMs. The VMs are all listed
above with their current state. For more information about a specific
VM, run `vagrant status NAME`.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant port logger
The forwarded ports for the machine are listed below. Please note that
these values may differ from values configured in the Vagrantfile if the
provider supports automatic port collision detection and resolution.

    22 (guest) => 2222 (host)

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant port dc
The forwarded ports for the machine are listed below. Please note that
these values may differ from values configured in the Vagrantfile if the
provider supports automatic port collision detection and resolution.

  3389 (guest) => 3389 (host)
    22 (guest) => 2200 (host)
  5985 (guest) => 55985 (host)
  5986 (guest) => 55986 (host)

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant port wef
The forwarded ports for the machine are listed below. Please note that
these values may differ from values configured in the Vagrantfile if the
provider supports automatic port collision detection and resolution.

  3389 (guest) => 2201 (host)
    22 (guest) => 2202 (host)
  5985 (guest) => 2203 (host)
  5986 (guest) => 2204 (host)

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant port win10
The forwarded ports for the machine are listed below. Please note that
these values may differ from values configured in the Vagrantfile if the
provider supports automatic port collision detection and resolution.

  3389 (guest) => 2205 (host)
    22 (guest) => 2206 (host)
  5985 (guest) => 2207 (host)
  5986 (guest) => 2208 (host)

The entry in bold is the problem. Vagrant should not be mapping port 3389, which is already in use by the RDP server on the Windows 10 host, such that it tries to be available to the guest.

I tried telling Vagrant by hand in the Vagrantfile to map port 3389 elsewhere, but nothing worked. (I tried entries like the following.) :forwarded_port, guest: 3389, host: 5789

I also searched to see if there might be a configuration outside the Vagrantfile that I was missing. Here is what I found:

ds61@ds61:~/DetectionLab-master$ find . | xargs grep "3389" *
./Terraform/Method1/    from_port   = 3389
./Terraform/Method1/    to_port     = 3389
./Packer/vagrantfile-windows_2016.template: :forwarded_port, guest: 3389, host: 3389, id: "rdp", auto_correct: true
./Packer/scripts/enable-rdp.bat:netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="Open Port 3389" dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=3389
./Packer/vagrantfile-windows_10.template: :forwarded_port, guest: 3389, host: 3389, id: "rdp", auto_correct: true

I wonder if those Packer templates have anything to do with it, or if I am encountering a problem with Vagrant? I have seen many people experience similar issues, so I don't know.

It's not a big deal, though. Now that I can directly access the virtual screens for each VM on Virtualbox via the RDP server, I don't need to RDP to port 3389 on each Windows VM in order to interact with it.

If anyone has any ideas, though, I'm interested!

Apple Users: Here’s What to Do About the Major FaceTime Bug

FaceTime is a popular way for people of all ages to connect with long-distance loved ones. The feature permits Apple users to video chat with other device owners from essentially anywhere at any time. And now, a bug in the software takes that connection a step further – as it permits users calling via FaceTime to hear the audio coming from the recipient’s phone, even before they’ve accepted or denied the call.

Let’s start with how the eavesdropping bug actually works. First, a user would have to start a FaceTime video call with an iPhone contact and while the call is dialing, they must swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap “Add Person.” Then, they can add their own phone number to the “Add Person” screen. From there, the user can start a group FaceTime call between themselves and the original person dialed, even if that person hasn’t accepted the call. What’s more – if the user presses the volume up or down, the victim’s front-face camera is exposed too.

This bug acts as a reminder that these days your smartphone is just as data rich as your computer. So, as we adopt new technology into our everyday lives, we all must consider how these emerging technology trends could create security risks if we don’t take steps to protect our data.

Therefore, it’s crucial all iOS users that are running iOS 12.1 or later take the right steps now to protect their device and their data. If you’re an Apple user affected by this bug, be sure to follow these helpful security steps:

  • Update, update, update. Speaking of fixes – patches for bugs are included in software updates that come from the provider. Therefore, make sure you always update your device as soon as one is available. Apple has already confirmed that a fix is underway as we speak.
  • Be sure to disable FaceTime in iOS settings now. Until this bug is fixed, it is best to just disable the feature entirely to be sure no one is listening in on you. When a fix does emerge from Apple, you can look into enabling the service again.
  • Apply additional security to your phone. Though the bug will hopefully be patched within the next software update, it doesn’t hurt to always cover your device with an extra layer of security. To protect your phone from any additional mobile threats coming its way, be sure to use a security solution such as McAfee Mobile Security.

And, of course, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Apple Users: Here’s What to Do About the Major FaceTime Bug appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

43% of Cybercrimes Target Small Businesses – Are You Next?

Cybercrimes cost UK small companies an average of £894 in the year ending February of 2018. Small businesses are an easy target for cybercrooks, so it little surprise that around about 43% of cybercrime is committed against small businesses. According to research conducted by EveryCloud, there is much more at stake than a £900 annual loss, with six out of ten small businesses closing within six months of a data breach.

Damage to a small company’s reputation can be difficult to repair and recover from following a data breach. Since the GDPR data privacy law came in force in May 2018, companies face significant financial sanctions from regulators if found negligent in safeguarding personal information. Add in the potential for civil suits the potential costs start mounting up fast, which could even turn into a business killer.  Case in point is political consulting and data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, which went under in May 2018 after being implicated with data privacy issues related to its use of personal data held on Facebook. However, most small businesses taken out by cyber attacks don't have the public profile to make the deadly headlines.

Most big companies have contingency plans and resources to take the hit from a major cyber attack, although major cyber attacks prove highly costly to big business, the vast majority are able to recover and continue trading. Working on a tight budget, small businesses just doesn't the deep pockets of big business. Cyber resilience is not a high priority within most small businesses strategies, as you might image business plans are typically very business growth focused.

Cyber resilience within small business need not be difficult, but it does involve going beyond installing antivirus. A great starting point is UK National Cyber Security Centre's Cyber Essentials Scheme, a simple but effective approach to help businesses protect themselves from the most common cyber attacks. You’ll also need to pay attention to staff security awareness training in the workplace.

Every employee must ensure that the company is protected from attacks as much as possible. It’s your responsibility to make sure that everyone understands this and knows what preventative measures to put in place.

It may cost a few bob, but getting an expert in to check for holes in your cybersecurity is a good place to start. They can check for potential risk areas and also educate you and your staff about security awareness.

We all know the basics, but how many times do we let convenience trump good common sense? For example, how many times have you used the same password when registering for different sites?

How strong is the password that you chose? If it’s easy for you to remember, then there’s a good chance that it’s not as secure as you’d like. If you’d like more tips on keeping your information secure, then check out the infographic below.

Trying DetectionLab

Many security professionals run personal labs. Trying to create an environment that includes fairly modern Windows systems can be a challenge. In the age of "infrastructure as code," there should be a simpler way to deploy systems in a repeatable, virtualized way -- right?

Enter DetectionLab, a project by Chris Long. Briefly, Chris built a project that uses Packer and Vagrant to create an instrumented lab environment. Chris explained the project in late 2017 in a Medium post, which I recommend reading.

I can't even begin to describe all the functionality packed into this project. So much of it is new, but this is a great way to learn about it. In this post, I would like to show how I got a version of DetectionLab running.

My build environment included a modern laptop with 16 GB RAM and Windows 10 professional. I had already installed Virtualbox 6.0 with the appropriate VirtualBox Extension Pack. I had also enabled the native OpenSSH server and performed all DetectionLab installation functions over an OpenSSH session.

Install Chocolatey

My first step was to install Chocolatey, a package manager for Windows. I wanted to use this to install the Git client I wanted to use to clone the DetectionLab repo. Commands I typed at each stage are in bold below.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>@"%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -NoProfile -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "ie
x ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))" && SET "PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin"
Getting latest version of the Chocolatey package for download.
Getting Chocolatey from
Downloading 7-Zip commandline tool prior to extraction.
Extracting C:\Users\root\AppData\Local\Temp\chocolatey\chocInstall\ to C:\Users\root\AppData\Local\Temp\chocolatey\chocInstall...
Installing chocolatey on this machine
Creating ChocolateyInstall as an environment variable (targeting 'Machine')
  Setting ChocolateyInstall to 'C:\ProgramData\chocolatey'
WARNING: It's very likely you will need to close and reopen your shell
  before you can use choco.
Restricting write permissions to Administrators
We are setting up the Chocolatey package repository.
The packages themselves go to 'C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib'
  (i.e. C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\yourPackageName).
A shim file for the command line goes to 'C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\bin'
  and points to an executable in 'C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\yourPackageName'.

Creating Chocolatey folders if they do not already exist.

WARNING: You can safely ignore errors related to missing log files when
  upgrading from a version of Chocolatey less than 0.9.9.
  'Batch file could not be found' is also safe to ignore.
  'The system cannot find the file specified' - also safe.
chocolatey.nupkg file not installed in lib.
 Attempting to locate it from bootstrapper.
PATH environment variable does not have C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\bin in it. Adding...
WARNING: Not setting tab completion: Profile file does not exist at 'C:\Users\root\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1'.
Chocolatey (choco.exe) is now ready.
You can call choco from anywhere, command line or powershell by typing choco.
Run choco /? for a list of functions.
You may need to shut down and restart powershell and/or consoles
 first prior to using choco.
Ensuring chocolatey commands are on the path
Ensuring chocolatey.nupkg is in the lib folder

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>choco
Chocolatey v0.10.11
Please run 'choco -?' or 'choco -?' for help menu.

Install Git

With Chocolatey installed, I could install Git.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>choco install git -params '"/GitAndUnixToolsOnPath"'
Chocolatey v0.10.11
Installing the following packages:
By installing you accept licenses for the packages.
Progress: Downloading git.install 2.20.1... 100%
Progress: Downloading chocolatey-core.extension 1.3.3... 100%
Progress: Downloading git 2.20.1... 100%

chocolatey-core.extension v1.3.3 [Approved]
chocolatey-core.extension package files install completed. Performing other installation steps.
 Installed/updated chocolatey-core extensions.
 The install of chocolatey-core.extension was successful.
  Software installed to 'C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\extensions\chocolatey-core'

git.install v2.20.1 [Approved]
git.install package files install completed. Performing other installation steps.
The package git.install wants to run 'chocolateyInstall.ps1'.
Note: If you don't run this script, the installation will fail.
Note: To confirm automatically next time, use '-y' or consider:
choco feature enable -n allowGlobalConfirmation
Do you want to run the script?([Y]es/[N]o/[P]rint): y

@{Inno Setup CodeFile: Path Option=CmdTools; PSPath=Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Git_
is1; PSParentPath=Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall; PSChildName=Git_is1; PSDrive=HKLM; PS
Using Git LFS
Installing 64-bit git.install...
git.install has been installed.
git.install installed to 'C:\Program Files\Git'
  git.install can be automatically uninstalled.
Environment Vars (like PATH) have changed. Close/reopen your shell to
 see the changes (or in powershell/cmd.exe just type `refreshenv`).
 The install of git.install was successful.
  Software installed to 'C:\Program Files\Git\'

git v2.20.1 [Approved]
git package files install completed. Performing other installation steps.
 The install of git was successful.
  Software install location not explicitly set, could be in package or
  default install location if installer.

Chocolatey installed 3/3 packages.
 See the log for details (C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\logs\chocolatey.log).

Clone DetectionLab

With Git installed, I can clone the DetectionLab repo from Github.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>mkdir git

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>cd git

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git>mkdir detectionlab

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git>cd detectionlab

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab>git clone
'git' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab>refreshenv
Refreshing environment variables from registry for cmd.exe. Please wait...Finished..

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab>git clone
Cloning into 'DetectionLab'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 1, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (1/1), done.
remote: Total 1163 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 1162R
Receiving objects: 100% (1163/1163), 11.81 MiB | 12.24 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (568/568), done.

Install Vagrant

Before going any further, I needed to install Vagrant.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab>cd ..\..\

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>choco install vagrant
Chocolatey v0.10.11
Installing the following packages:
By installing you accept licenses for the packages.
Progress: Downloading vagrant 2.2.3... 100%

vagrant v2.2.3 [Approved]
vagrant package files install completed. Performing other installation steps.
The package vagrant wants to run 'chocolateyinstall.ps1'.
Note: If you don't run this script, the installation will fail.
Note: To confirm automatically next time, use '-y' or consider:
choco feature enable -n allowGlobalConfirmation
Do you want to run the script?([Y]es/[N]o/[P]rint): y

Downloading vagrant 64 bit
  from ''
Progress: 100% - Completed download of C:\Users\root\AppData\Local\Temp\chocolatey\vagrant\2.2.3\vagrant_2.2.3_x86_64.msi (229.22 MB).
Download of vagrant_2.2.3_x86_64.msi (229.22 MB) completed.
Hashes match.
Installing vagrant...
vagrant has been installed.
Repairing currently installed global plugins. This may take a few minutes...
Installed plugins successfully repaired!
  vagrant may be able to be automatically uninstalled.
Environment Vars (like PATH) have changed. Close/reopen your shell to
 see the changes (or in powershell/cmd.exe just type `refreshenv`).
 The install of vagrant was successful.
  Software installed as 'msi', install location is likely default.

Chocolatey installed 1/1 packages.
 See the log for details (C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\logs\chocolatey.log).

Packages requiring reboot:
 - vagrant (exit code 3010)

The recent package changes indicate a reboot is necessary.
 Please reboot at your earliest convenience.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>shutdown /r /t 0

Installing DetectionLab

Now we are finally at the point where we can install DetectionLab. Note that in my example, I downloaded boxes already built by Chris. I did not build my own, in order to save time. You can follow his instructions to build boxes yourself.

I saw an error regarding the win10 host, but that did not appear to be a real problem.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab>powershell
Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab> .\build.ps1 -ProviderName virtualbox -VagrantOnly
[preflight_checks] Running..
[preflight_checks] Checking if Vagrant is installed
[preflight_checks] Checking for pre-existing boxes..
[preflight_checks] Checking for vagrant instances..
[preflight_checks] Checking disk space..
[preflight_checks] Checking if vagrant-reload is installed..
The vagrant-reload plugin is required and not currently installed. This script will attempt to install it now.
Installing the 'vagrant-reload' plugin. This can take a few minutes...
Installed the plugin 'vagrant-reload (0.0.1)'!
[preflight_checks] Finished.
[download_boxes] Running..
[download_boxes] Downloading

[download_boxes] Downloading
[download_boxes] Getting filehash for:
[download_boxes] Getting filehash for:
[download_boxes] Checking Filehashes..
[download_boxes] Finished.
[main] Running vagrant_up_host for: logger
[vagrant_up_host] Running for logger
Attempting to bring up the logger host using Vagrant
[vagrant_up_host] Finished for logger. Got exit code: 0
[main] vagrant_up_host finished. Exitcode: 0
Good news! logger was built successfully!
[main] Finished for: logger
[main] Running vagrant_up_host for: dc
[vagrant_up_host] Running for dc
Attempting to bring up the dc host using Vagrant
[vagrant_up_host] Finished for dc. Got exit code: 0
[main] vagrant_up_host finished. Exitcode: 0
Good news! dc was built successfully!
[main] Finished for: dc
[main] Running vagrant_up_host for: wef
[vagrant_up_host] Running for wef
Attempting to bring up the wef host using Vagrant
[vagrant_up_host] Finished for wef. Got exit code: 0
[main] vagrant_up_host finished. Exitcode: 0
Good news! wef was built successfully!
[main] Finished for: wef
[main] Running vagrant_up_host for: win10
[vagrant_up_host] Running for win10
Attempting to bring up the win10 host using Vagrant
[vagrant_up_host] Finished for win10. Got exit code: 1
[main] vagrant_up_host finished. Exitcode: 1
WARNING: Something went wrong while attempting to build the win10 box.
Attempting to reload and reprovision the host...
[main] Running vagrant_reload_host for: win10
[vagrant_reload_host] Running for win10
[vagrant_reload_host] Finished for win10. Got exit code: 1
C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\build.ps1 : Failed to bring up win10 after a reload. Exiting
At line:1 char:1
+ .\build.ps1 -ProviderName virtualbox -VagrantOnly
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,build.ps1

[main] Running post_build_checks
[post_build_checks] Running Caldera Check.
[download] Running for, looking for
[download] Found at
[post_build_checks] Cladera Result: True
[post_build_checks] Running Splunk Check.
[download] Running for, looking for This browser is not supported by Splunk
[download] Found This browser is not supported by Splunk at
[post_build_checks] Splunk Result: True
[post_build_checks] Running Fleet Check.
[download] Running for, looking for Kolide Fleet
[download] Found Kolide Fleet at
[post_build_checks] Fleet Result: True
[post_build_checks] Running MS ATA Check.
[download] Running for, looking for
[post_build_checks] ATA Result: True
[main] Finished post_build_checks

Checking the VMs

I used the Virtualbox command line program to check the status of the new VMs.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage list runningvms
"logger" {3da9fffb-4b02-4e57-a592-dd2322f14245}
"dc.windomain.local" {ef32d493-845c-45dc-aff7-3a86d9c590cd}
"wef.windomain.local" {7cd008b7-c6e0-421d-9655-8f92ec98d9d7}
"win10.windomain.local" {acf413fb-6358-44df-ab9f-cc7767ed32bd}

Interacting with Vagrant and the Logger Host

Next I decided to use Vagrant to check on the status of the boxes, and to interact with one if I could. I wanted to find the Bro and Suricata logs.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab>cd Vagrant

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant status
Current machine states:

logger                    running (virtualbox)
dc                        running (virtualbox)
wef                       running (virtualbox)
win10                     running (virtualbox)

This environment represents multiple VMs. The VMs are all listed
above with their current state. For more information about a specific
VM, run `vagrant status NAME`.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant ssh logger

Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.4.0-131-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:
 * Management:
 * Support:

29 packages can be updated.
24 updates are security updates.

Last login: Sun Jan 27 19:24:05 2019 from

root@logger:~# /opt/bro/bin/broctl status
Name         Type    Host             Status    Pid    Started
manager      manager localhost        running   9848   27 Jan 17:19:15
proxy        proxy   localhost        running   9893   27 Jan 17:19:16
worker-eth1-1 worker  localhost        running   9945   27 Jan 17:19:17
worker-eth1-2 worker  localhost        running   9948   27 Jan 17:19:17

vagrant@logger:~$ ls -al /opt/bro
total 32
drwxr-xr-x 8 root root 4096 Jan 27 17:19 .
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Jan 27 17:19 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jan 27 17:19 bin
drwxrwsr-x 2 root bro  4096 Jan 27 17:19 etc
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan 27 17:19 lib
drwxrws--- 3 root bro  4096 Jan 27 18:00 logs
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Jan 27 17:19 share
drwxrws--- 8 root bro  4096 Jan 27 17:19 spool

vagrant@logger:~$ ls -al /opt/bro/logs
ls: cannot open directory '/opt/bro/logs': Permission denied

vagrant@logger:~$ sudo bash

root@logger:~# ls -al /opt/bro/logs/
2019-01-27/ current/

root@logger:~# ls -al /opt/bro/logs/current/
total 3664
drwxr-sr-x 2 root bro    4096 Jan 27 19:20 .
drwxrws--- 8 root bro    4096 Jan 27 17:19 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro     475 Jan 27 19:19 capture_loss.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro     127 Jan 27 17:19 .cmdline
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro   83234 Jan 27 19:30 communication.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro 1430714 Jan 27 19:30 conn.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro    1340 Jan 27 19:00 dce_rpc.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro  185114 Jan 27 19:28 dns.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro     310 Jan 27 17:19 .env_vars
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro  139387 Jan 27 19:30 files.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro  544416 Jan 27 19:30 http.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro     224 Jan 27 19:05 known_services.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro     956 Jan 27 19:19 notice.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro       5 Jan 27 17:19 .pid
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.capture_loss
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.communication
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.conn
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.conn-summary
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.dce_rpc
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.dns
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 18:00 .rotated.dpd
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.files
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.http
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.kerberos
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.known_certs
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.known_hosts
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.known_services
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 18:00 .rotated.loaded_scripts
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.notice
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 18:00 .rotated.packet_filter
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 18:00 .rotated.reporter
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.smb_files
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.smb_mapping
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.ssl
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.stats
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.weird
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 19:00 .rotated.x509
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro    1311 Jan 27 19:24 smb_mapping.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro   15767 Jan 27 19:30 ssl.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      58 Jan 27 17:19 .startup
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro   11326 Jan 27 19:30 stats.log
-rwx------ 1 root bro      18 Jan 27 17:19 .status
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro      80 Jan 27 19:00 stderr.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro     188 Jan 27 17:19 stdout.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro 1141860 Jan 27 19:30 weird.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bro    2799 Jan 27 19:20 x509.log

root@logger:~# cd /opt/bro/logs/

root@logger:/opt/bro/logs# ls
2019-01-27  current

root@logger:/opt/bro/logs# cd current

root@logger:/opt/bro/logs/current# ls

capture_loss.log   conn.log     dns.log    http.log            notice.log     smb_mapping.log  stats.log   stdout.log  x509.log
communication.log  dce_rpc.log  files.log  known_services.log  smb_files.log  ssl.log          stderr.log  weird.log

root@logger:/opt/bro/logs/current# jq  -c . dce_rpc.log  | head


root@logger:~# head /var/log/suricata/fast.log

01/27/2019-17:19:08.133030  [**] [1:2013028:4] ET POLICY curl User-Agent Outbound [**] [Classification: Attempted Information Leak] [Priority: 2] {TCP} 10.0
.2.15:51574 ->
01/27/2019-17:19:08.292747  [**] [1:2013504:5] ET POLICY GNU/Linux APT User-Agent Outbound likely related to package management [**] [Classification: Not Su
spicious Traffic] [Priority: 3] {TCP} ->
01/27/2019-17:19:08.356618  [**] [1:2013504:5] ET POLICY GNU/Linux APT User-Agent Outbound likely related to package management [**] [Classification: Not Su
spicious Traffic] [Priority: 3] {TCP} ->
01/27/2019-17:19:08.432477  [**] [1:2013504:5] ET POLICY GNU/Linux APT User-Agent Outbound likely related to package management [**] [Classification: Not Su
spicious Traffic] [Priority: 3] {TCP} ->
01/27/2019-17:19:08.448249  [**] [1:2013504:5] ET POLICY GNU/Linux APT User-Agent Outbound likely related to package management [**] [Classification: Not Su
spicious Traffic] [Priority: 3] {TCP} ->

Docker on the Logger Host

Chris is using Docker to provide some of the Logger host functions, e.g.:

root@logger:~# docker container ls
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                    COMMAND                   CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                              NAMES
343c18f933d9        kolide/fleet:latest      "sh -c 'echo '\\n' | …"   3 hours ago         Up 3 hours>8412/tcp             kolidequic
513cb0d61401        mysql:5.7                "docker-entrypoint.s…"    3 hours ago         Up 3 hours          3306/tcp, 33060/tcp                kolidequic
b0278855b130        mailhog/mailhog:latest   "MailHog"                 3 hours ago         Up 3 hours          1025/tcp,>8025/tcp   kolidequic
ddcd3e59dda2        redis:3.2.4              "docker-entrypoint.s…"    3 hours ago         Up 3 hours          6379/tcp                           kolidequic

Troubleshooting Localhost Bindings

One of the issues I encountered involved the IP addresses to which VMs bound their Virtualbox Remote Display Protocol servers. The default configuration bound them to localhost on my Windows laptop. That was ok if I was interacting with that laptop in person, but I was doing this work remotely.

I could RDP to the laptop, and then RDP from the laptop to the VMs. This works, but it was a slight hassle to log into the Windows 2016 server which required a ctrl-alt-del sequence. This is a nuanced issue that can be solved by using the on screen keyboard (osk.exe) to enter the ctrl-alt-end sequence on the remote laptop, but I wanted an easier solution.

Dustin Lee, who has done a lot of work customized DetectionLab to include Security Onion (a future post maybe?) suggested I modify the Vagrantfile with the following bolded content. This example is for the wef host in the Vagrantfile.

    cfg.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |vb, override|
      vb.gui = true = "wef.windomain.local"
      vb.default_nic_type = "82545EM"
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--vrde", "on"]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--vrdeaddress", ""]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--memory", 2048]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--cpus", 2]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--vram", "32"]
      vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--clipboard", "bidirectional"]
      vb.customize ["setextradata", "global", "GUI/SuppressMessages", "all" ]
Basically, add the bold entries wherever you see a "virtualbox" option, to enable the VRDP server binding to (which should be all IP addresses, to include the public IP, as I want).

Before I restarted the wef host, you can see below how the VRDE server is listening only on localhost on port 5932 (in bold).

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" showvminfo wef.windomain.local
| findstr /I vrde

VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5932, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)

After changing the Vagrant file, I restarted the wef host using Vagrant.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant reload wef
==> wef: Attempting graceful shutdown of VM...
==> wef: Clearing any previously set forwarded ports...
==> wef: Fixed port collision for 3389 => 3389. Now on port 2201.
==> wef: Fixed port collision for 22 => 2222. Now on port 2202.
==> wef: Fixed port collision for 5985 => 55985. Now on port 2203.
==> wef: Fixed port collision for 5986 => 55986. Now on port 2204.
==> wef: Clearing any previously set network interfaces...
==> wef: Preparing network interfaces based on configuration...
    wef: Adapter 1: nat
    wef: Adapter 2: hostonly
==> wef: Forwarding ports...
    wef: 3389 (guest) => 2201 (host) (adapter 1)
    wef: 22 (guest) => 2202 (host) (adapter 1)
    wef: 5985 (guest) => 2203 (host) (adapter 1)
    wef: 5986 (guest) => 2204 (host) (adapter 1)
==> wef: Running 'pre-boot' VM customizations...
==> wef: Booting VM...
==> wef: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
    wef: WinRM address:
    wef: WinRM username: vagrant
    wef: WinRM execution_time_limit: PT2H
    wef: WinRM transport: negotiate
==> wef: Machine booted and ready!
==> wef: Checking for guest additions in VM...
    wef: The guest additions on this VM do not match the installed version of
    wef: VirtualBox! In most cases this is fine, but in rare cases it can
    wef: prevent things such as shared folders from working properly. If you see
    wef: shared folder errors, please make sure the guest additions within the
    wef: virtual machine match the version of VirtualBox you have installed on
    wef: your host and reload your VM.
    wef: Guest Additions Version: 5.2.16
    wef: VirtualBox Version: 6.0
==> wef: Setting hostname...
==> wef: Configuring and enabling network interfaces...
==> wef: Mounting shared folders...

    wef: /vagrant =>  

The bolded entry about port 2201 means I can log into the wef host as user vagrant / password vagrant, over RDP, directly from another computer.

After restarting the wef host, I check to see what IP address and port the RDP server is listening (in bold):

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" showvminfo wef.windomain.local
| findstr /I vrde
VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5932, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)

This should allow me to access the "screen" of the VM via port 5932 and the IP of the host laptop. Unfortunately, there is some sort of conflict, as I saw the domain controller also reserved the same port for its VRDE.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root>"c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" showvminfo dc.windomain.local | findstr /I vrde

VRDE:                        enabled (Address, Ports 5932, MultiConn: off, ReuseSingleConn: off, Authentication type: null)

I encountered a similar issue with the domain controller also failing to resolve a conflict with the host system RDP port.

root@LAPTOP-HT4TGVCP C:\Users\root\git\detectionlab\DetectionLab\Vagrant>vagrant reload dc
==> dc: Attempting graceful shutdown of VM...
==> dc: Clearing any previously set forwarded ports...
==> dc: Fixed port collision for 22 => 2222. Now on port 2200.
==> dc: Clearing any previously set network interfaces...
==> dc: Preparing network interfaces based on configuration...
    dc: Adapter 1: nat
    dc: Adapter 2: hostonly
==> dc: Forwarding ports...
    dc: 3389 (guest) => 3389 (host) (adapter 1)
    dc: 22 (guest) => 2200 (host) (adapter 1)
    dc: 5985 (guest) => 55985 (host) (adapter 1)
    dc: 5986 (guest) => 55986 (host) (adapter 1)

I haven't solved these problems yet. I wonder if it's a result of using pre-built VMs, which use the 5.x series of Virtualbox extensions, while my Virtualbox system runs 6.0?


These are minor issues, for the result of all this work is four systems offering Windows client and server features, plus instrumentation. That could be another topic for discussion. I'm also excited by the prospect of running all of this in the cloud. Furthermore, Dustin Lee has a fork of DetectionLab that replaces some of the instrumentation with Security Onion!

World Economic Forum Recognizes Cyberattacks in Top Risks for 2019

The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released The Global Risks Report 2019, ranking threats to cybersecurity among the top five risks facing society in the near future. The report presents the results of the WEF’s most recent Global Risks Perception Survey of nearly 1,000 respondents, and identifies challenges to consider for the year ahead, as well as potential future threats down the road.

Of the top risks identified by survey respondents, massive data fraud and theft was ranked the number-four global risk by likelihood over a 10-year horizon, followed closely by cyberattacks, which ranked fifth on the list. This is in trend with last year’s report, in which cyber risks were initially identified as a top concern, and likely remained on the list due to the large amount of data breaches that we saw over the past 12 months – both hardware and software.

Most recently, Marriott suffered a data breach that affected approximately 383 million guests, leaving their personally identifiable information – names, addresses, contact information, passport number, and more – exposed to cyber criminals. They certainly weren’t the only company who had a run-in with a cyberattack in 2018, and with the frequency that breaches are occuring, it’s only a matter of time before another significant attack reaches the news headlines.

Another area of consideration lies with the fact that we’re seeing an increasing integration of digital technologies into almost all aspects of our society, and there are even concerns about artificial intelligence being used to engineer more potent cyberattacks. With technological advances and new software emerging on a rapid basis, it’s no surprise that the potential for cyberattacks and data breaches remains a top concern for many in this digital landscape. This concern is deepened when we consider how extremely reliant we are on this technology, and how vulnerable much of the software in our world remains. According to Volume 9 of our State of Software Security report, more than 85 percent of all applications have at least one vulnerability in them, and more than 13 percent of applications have at least one very high severity flaw.

The WEF report specifically states that 82 percent of respondents expected “increased risks in 2019 of cyberattacks leading to theft of money and data,” and 80 percent seeing cyberattacks lead to a “disruption of operations.” This illustrates the awareness of the role that technology plays in shaping the global risk landscape for individuals, businesses, and governments alike.

While the future may look daunting, there are steps that you can take to start actively securing the software that your organization develops. Check out the below resources to get started, or schedule a demo to learn how we can help you secure your organization’s software.

Privacy and Security by Design: Thoughts for Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day has particular relevance this year, as 2018 brought privacy into focus in ways other years have not. Ironically, in the same year that the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, the public also learned of glaring misuses of personal information and a continued stream of personal data breaches. Policymakers in the United States know they cannot ignore data privacy, and multiple efforts are underway: bills were introduced in Congress, draft legislation was floated, privacy principles were announced, and a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Privacy Framework and a National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) effort to develop the administration’s approach to consumer privacy are in process.

These are all positive steps forward, as revelations about widespread misuse of personal data are causing people to mistrust technology—a situation that must be remedied.

Effective consumer privacy policies and regulations are critical to the continued growth of the U.S. economy, the internet, and the many innovative technologies that rely on consumers’ personal data. Companies need clear privacy and security expectations to not only comply with the diversity of existing laws, but also to grow businesses, improve efficiencies, remain competitive, and most importantly, to encourage consumers to trust organizations and their technology.

If an organization puts the customer at the core of everything it does, as we do at McAfee, then protecting customers’ data is an essential component of doing business. Robust privacy and security solutions are fundamental to McAfee’s strategic vision, products, services, and technology solutions. Likewise, our data protection and security solutions enable our enterprise and government customers to more efficiently and effectively comply with regulatory requirements.

Our approach derives from seeing privacy and security as two sides of the same coin. You can’t have privacy without security. While you can have security without privacy, we strongly believe the two should go hand in hand.

In comments we submitted to NIST on “Developing a Privacy Framework,” we made the case for Privacy and Security by Design. This approach requires companies to consider privacy and security on the drawing board and throughout the development process for products and services going to market. It also means protecting data through a technology design that considers privacy engineering principles. This proactive approach is the most effective way to enable data protection because the data protection strategies are integrated into the technology as the product or service is created. Privacy and Security by Design encourages accountability in the development of technologies, making certain that privacy and security are foundational components of the product and service development processes.

The concept of Privacy and Security by Design is aspirational but is absolutely the best way to achieve privacy and security without end users having to think much about them. We have some recommendations for organizations to consider in designing and enforcing privacy practices.

There are several layers that should be included in the creation of privacy and data security programs:

  • Internal policies should clearly articulate what is permissible and impermissible.
  • Specific departments should specify further granularity regarding policy requirements and best practices (e.g., HR, IT, legal, and marketing will have different requirements and restrictions for the collection, use, and protection of personal data).
  • Privacy (legal and non-legal) and security professionals in the organization must have detailed documentation and process tools that streamline the implementation of the risk-based framework.
  • Ongoing organizational training regarding the importance of protecting personal data and best practices is essential to the continued success of these programs.
  • The policy requirements should be tied to the organization’s code of conduct and enforced as required when polices are violated.

Finally, an organization must have easy-to-understand external privacy and data security policies to educate the user/consumer and to drive toward informed consent to collect and share data wherever possible. The aim must be to make security and privacy ubiquitous, simple, and understood by all.

As we acknowledge Data Privacy Day this year, we hope that privacy will not only be a talking point for policymakers but that it will also result in action. Constructing and agreeing upon U.S. privacy principles through legislation or a framework will be a complicated process. We better start now because we’re already behind many other countries around the globe.

The post Privacy and Security by Design: Thoughts for Data Privacy Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring: 3 Tips to Help Protect Your Online Privacy

It’s 2019 and technology is becoming more sophisticated and prevalent than ever. With more technology comes greater connectivity. In fact, by 2020, there will be more than 20 billion internet-connected devices around the world. This equates to more than four devices per person. As we adopt new technology into our everyday lives, it’s important to consider how this emerging technology could lead to greater privacy risks if we don’t take steps to protect our data. That’s why the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) started Data Privacy Day to help create awareness surrounding the importance of recognizing our digital footprints and safeguarding our data. To further investigate the impact of these footprints, let’s take a look at how we perceive the way data is shared and whose responsibility it is to keep our information safe.

The Impact of Social Media

Most of us interact with multiple social media platforms every day. And while social media is a great way to update your friends and family on your daily life, we often forget that these platforms also allow people we don’t really know to glimpse into our personal lives. For example, 82% of online stalkers use social media to find out information about potential victims, such as where they live or where they go to school. In other words, social media could expose your personal information to users beyond your intended audience.

Certain social media trends also bring up issues of privacy in the world of evolving technology. Take Facebook’s 10-year challenge, a recent viral trend encouraging users to post a side-by-side image of their profile pictures from 2009 and 2019. As WIRED reporter Katie O’Neill points out, the images offered in this trending challenge could potentially be used to train facial recognition software for age progression and age recognition. While the potential of this technology is mostly mundane, there is still a risk that this information could be used inequitably.

How to Approach Requests for Personal Data

Whether we’re using social media or other online resources, we all need to be aware of what personal data we’re offering out and consider the consequences of providing the information. While there are some instances where we can’t avoid sharing our personal data, such as for a government document or legal form, there are other areas where we can stand to be a little more conservative with the data that we divulge. For example, many of us have more than just our close family and friends on our social networks. So, if you’re sharing your location on your latest post, every single person who follows you has access to this information. The same goes for those online personality quizzes. While they may be entertaining, they put an unnecessary amount of your personal information out in the open. This is why it’s crucial to be thoughtful of how your data is collected and stored.

So, what steps can you take to better protect your online privacy? Check out the following tips to help safeguard your data:

  • Think before you post. Before tagging your friends on Instagram, sharing your location on Facebook, or enabling facial recognition, consider what this information reveals and how it could be used by a third-party.
  • Set privacy and security settings. If you don’t want the entire World Wide Web to be able to access your social media, turn your profiles to private. You can also go to your device settings and choose which apps or browsers you want to share your location with and which ones you don’t.
  • Enable two-factor authentication. In the chance your data does become exposed, a strong, unique password can help prevent your accounts from being hacked. Furthermore, you can implement two-factor authentication to stay secure. This will help strengthen your online accounts with a unique, one-time code required to log in and access your data.

And, of course, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Sharing Isn’t Always Caring: 3 Tips to Help Protect Your Online Privacy appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

#PrivacyAware: Will You Champion Your Family’s Online Privacy?

online privacyThe perky cashier stopped my transaction midway to ask for my email and phone number.

Not now. Not ever. No more. I’ve had enough. I thought to myself.

“I’d rather not, thank you,” I replied.

The cashier finished my transaction and moved on to the next customer without a second thought.

And, my email and phone number lived in one less place that day.

This seemingly insignificant exchange happened over a year ago, but it represents the day I decided to get serious and champion my (and my family’s) privacy.

I just said no. And I’ve been doing it a lot more ever since.

A few changes I’ve made:

  • Pay attention to privacy policies (especially of banks and health care providers).
  • Read the terms and conditions of apps before downloading.
  • Block cookies from websites.
  • Refuse to purchase from companies that (appear to) take privacy lightly.
  • Max my privacy settings on social networks.
  • Change my passwords regularly and keep them strong!
  • Delete apps I no longer use.
  • Stay on top of software updates on all devices and add extra protection.
  • Have become hyper-aware before giving out my email, address, phone number, or birth date.
  • Limit the number of photos and details shared on social media.


The amount of personal information we share every day online — and off — is staggering. There’s information we post directly online such as our birth date, our location, our likes, and dislikes. Then there’s the data that’s given off unknowingly via web cookies, Metadata, downloads, and apps.

While some data breaches are out of our control, at the end of the day, we — along with our family members — are one giant data leak.

Studies show that on average by the age of 13, parents have posted 1,300 photos and videos of their child to social media. By the time kids get devices of their own, they are posting to social media 26 times per day on average — a total of nearly 70,000 posts by age 18.

The Risksonline privacy

When we overshare personal data a few things can happen. Digital fallout includes data misuse by companies, identity theft, credit card fraud, medical fraud, home break-ins, reputation damage, location and purchasing tracking, ransomware, and other risks.

The Mind Shift

The first step toward boosting your family’s privacy is to start thinking differently about privacy. Treat your data like gold (after all, that’s the way hackers see it). Guiding your family in this mind-shift will require genuine, consistent effort.

Talk to your family about privacy. Elevate its worth and the consequences when it’s undervalued or shared carelessly.

Teach your kids to treat their personal information — their browsing habits, clicks, address, personal routine, school name, passwords, and connected devices — with great care. Consider implementing this 11 Step Privacy Take Back Plan.

This mind and attitude shift will take time but, hopefully, your kids will learn to pause and think before handing over personal information to an app, a social network, a retail store, or even to friends.

Data Protection Tips*

  1. Share with care. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what it reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.
  2. Own your online presence. Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps to your comfort level for information sharing. Each device, application or browser you use will have different features to limit how and with whom you share privacy
  3. Think before you act. Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts list, where you shop and your geographic location, has tremendous value. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and understand how it’s collected through websites and apps.
  4. Lock down your login. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect critical accounts like email, banking, and social media. Strengthen online accounts and use strong authentication tools like a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device.

* Provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

January 28 National Data Privacy Day. The day highlights one of the most critical issues facing families today — protecting personal information in a hyper-connected world. It’s a great opportunity to commit to taking real steps to protect your online privacy. For more information on National Data Privacy Day or to get involved, go to Stay Safe Online.

The post #PrivacyAware: Will You Champion Your Family’s Online Privacy? appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

The Emergence of Geopolitical Fuelled Cyber Attacks

A new breed of cyberattack is emerging into the threat landscape, fuelled by geopolitical tension, there has been a rise in stealthy and sophisticated cyber attacks reported within recent industry reports. Carbon Blacks 2019 Global Threat Report, released on Wednesday (23/1/19), concluded global governments experienced an increase in cyberattacks during 2018 stemming from Russia, China and North Korea, while nearly 60% of all attacks involved lateral movement.

'Lateral Movement' is where an attacker progressively and stealthy moves through a victim's network as to find their targets, which are typically datasets or critical assets. This is an attack of sophistication, requiring skill, resources and persistence, beyond the interest of average criminal hackers, whom go after the lowest hanging fruit for an easier financial return.

Carbon Black concluded that as 2018 came to a close, China and Russia were responsible for nearly half of all cyberattacks they detected. 

The US and UK government agencies have publicly articulated their distrust of Chinese tech giant Huawei, which resulted in BT removing Huawei IT kit from their new 5G and existing 4G networks last month. UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said he had "very deep concerns" about Huawei being involved with the new UK mobile network due to security concerns. At end of 2017 the UK National Cyber Security Centre warned government agencies against using Kaspersky's products and services, which followed a ban by the US government. Barclays responded by removing their free offering of Kaspersky anti-virus its customers. The UK and US also blamed North Korea for the devastating WannaCry attacks in 2017.

Another interesting stat from the Carbon Black Global Threat Report that caught the eye, was 2018 saw an approximate $1.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency-thefts, which underlines the cyber-criminal threat still remains larger than ever within the threat landscape.

3 Red Flags to Look Out for When Choosing an MSSP

If you’ve decided to outsource your security to a managed security services provider (MSSP), you may now be on a mission to find the right one. The bad news is that not all companies that call themselves MSSPs have the same capabilities or processes.   How can you be sure you aren’t signing a contract with an MSSP that will fade into the background, only passively monitoring your network and sending vague alerts?

The good news is that there are a few indications that can signal an ineffective MSSP. Be on the lookout for these red flags:

1. A promise of a 5-minute deployment solution.

While it may be appealing to hire an MSSP that can be ready in no time at all, this isn’t feasible. It takes time for an MSSP to understand and incorporate into your existing environment.  If an MSSP advertises 5-minute deployment solutions, they aren’t taking the time needed to tailor alerts to your unique environment.

Instead, look for an MSSP that understands the value of custom solutions and takes the time to get to know and understand your needs.

2.  A provider that doesn’t assign you a clear point of contact or take the time to understand your communication style.

This could indicate an unorganized and impersonal relationship with the MSSP after hire.

Instead, look for an MSSP that provides you with a designated point of contact, ideally someone who understands your needs, from both a technical and business perspective. Your point of contact needs to be able to recognize what is required to resolve technical issues but is also comfortable negotiating service or contract issues.

Your initial interactions with an MSSP often set the stage for communication styles after hire. Does the MSSP jump on a call with you or just send a scoping questionnaire your way? This will give you an idea of the kind of customer service you will receive throughout your entire time working with the MSSP. Make sure your communication styles match and that they will be available when you need them.

3.  An MSSP that boasts their technology above their people and expertise.

This may be a sign that they’re lacking the critical human element.

It could also indicate that the MSSP can’t incorporate into your existing technology stack, which could end up costing you more money in the long run.  Instead, look for an MSSP that’s technology agnostic and staffed with experts from different backgrounds.  After all, technology is only half of what makes an effective MSSP effective.

Don’t wait until you’ve signed a contract to find out the MSSP is not the right fit for you.  Avoid this mistake by keeping these red flags in mind throughout your search.

Want to learn more?

Get the Full Guide to Choosing an MSSP

The post 3 Red Flags to Look Out for When Choosing an MSSP appeared first on GRA Quantum.

How Safe is Your Child’s School WiFi?

School WiFi. For many of our digital natives, school WiFi may even be a more important part of their daily life than the canteen!! And that is saying something…

You’d be hard pressed to find a child who rocked up to school without a device in their backpack in our digital age. The vast majority of schools have embraced the many positive learning benefits that internet-connected devices offer our kids. The traditional blackboard and textbook lessons that were confined to the four walls of the classroom are gone. Instead our kids can research, discover, collaborate, create and most importantly, learn like never before.

But in order for this new learning to occur, our kids need to be internet connected. And this is where school WiFi comes into play.

Do Parents Need to Be Concerned About School WiFi?

As parents, we have a responsibility to ensure our kids are safe and not at risk – and that includes when they are using the WiFi at school. Ideally, your child’s school should have a secure WiFi network but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that they do. School budgets are tight and top-notch secure WiFi networks are expensive, so in some cases, security maybe jeopardised.

The other factor we shouldn’t ignore is that our batch of digital natives are very tech literate. The possibility that one of them may choose to cause some mayhem to their school WiFi network should also not be ignored!!

At the end of the day, the security of a WiFi network is all about whether it has tight access controls. If it allows only approved devices and people to connect via a secure login then it is more secure than public WiFi. However, if it is open to anyone or easy for anyone to connect to it, then you need to treat it like public WiFi.

What Are the Risks?

An unsecured school WiFi network is as risky as public WiFi which, according to the Harvard Business Review, is as risky as rolling a dice,

Students and staff who use an unsecured WiFi network are at risk of receiving phishing emails, being the victim of a ransomware attack or even having their data or personal details stolen. There is also a risk that the entire school’s operations could be disrupted and possibly even closed down through a DDOS – a Denial of Service Attack.

What Can Parents Do to Ensure Their Kids Are Safe Using School WiFi?

There are several steps parents can take to minimise the risks when their offspring use school WiFi.

  1. Talk To Your School

The first thing to do is speak to your child’s school to understand exactly how secure their network is. I’d recommend asking who has access to the network, what security practices they have in place and how they manage your child’s private data.

  1. Install Security Software

Operating a device without security software is no different to leaving your front door unlocked. Installing security software on all devices, including smartphones, will provide protection against viruses, online threats, risky websites and dangerous downloads. Check out McAfee’s Total Protection security software for total peace of mind!

  1. Keep Device Software Up To Date

Software updates are commonly designed to address security issues. So ensuring ALL your devices are up to date is a relatively easy way of minimising the risk of being hacked.

  1. Schedule Regular Data Back Up

If you are the victim of a ransomware attack and your data is backed up then you won’t even have to consider paying the hefty fee to retrieve your (or your child’s) data. Backing up data regularly should be not negotiable however life can often get in the way. Why not schedule automatic backups? I personally love online backup options such as Dropbox and Google Drive however you may choose to invest in a hard drive.

  1. Public Wi-Fi Rules?

If after talking to your school, you aren’t convinced that your child’s school WiFi network is secure, then I recommend that your kids should treat it as if it was public WiFi. This means that they should NEVER conduct any financial transactions using it and never share any personal details. But the absolute best way of ensuring your child is safe using an unsecured WiFi network, is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN like McAfee’s Safe Connect creates an encrypted tunnel so anything that is shared over WiFi is completely safe.

As a mum of 4, I am very keen to ensure my kids are engaged with their learning. And in our digital times, this means devices and WiFi. So, let’s support our kids and their teachers in their quest for interactive, digital learning but please don’t forget to check in and ensure your kids are as safe as possible while using WiFi at school.

Take Care

Alex xx

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Happy New Year 2019! Anatova is here!

During our continuous hunt for new threats, we discovered a new ransomware family we call Anatova (based on the name of the ransom note). Anatova was discovered in a private peer-to-peer (p2p) network. After initial analysis, and making sure that our customers are protected, we decided to make this discovery public.

Our telemetry showed that although Anatova is relatively new, we already discovered a widespread detection of the thread around the globe

We believe that Anatova can become a serious threat since the code is prepared for modular extension.

Additionally, it will also check if network-shares are connected and will encrypt the files on these shares too. The developers/actors behind Anatova are, according our assessment, skilled malware authors. We draw this conclusion as each sample has its own unique key, as well as other functions we will describe, which we do not often see in ransomware families.

This post will explain the technical details of Anatova, as well as some interesting facts about this new ransomware family.

For the analysis we used this particular hash: 170fb7438316f7335f34fa1a431afc1676a786f1ad9dee63d78c3f5efd3a0ac0

The main goal of Anatova is to cipher all the files that it can before requesting payment from the victim.


Anatova Overview

Anatova usually uses the icon of a game or application to try and fool the user into downloading it. It has a manifest to request admin rights.

Information about the binary

The Anatova ransomware is a 64bits application with the compile date of January 1st, 2019. The file size of this particular hash is 307kb, but it can change due to the amount of resources used in the sample. If we remove all these resources, the size is 32kb; a very small program with a powerful mechanism inside.

Anatova has some strong protection techniques against static analysis which makes things slightly tricky:

  • Most of the strings are encrypted (Unicode and Ascii), using different keys to decrypt them, embedded in the executable.
  • 90% of the calls are dynamic;, they only use the following non-suspicious Windows API’s and standard library of C- programming language: GetModuleHandleW, LoadLibraryW, GetProcAddress, ExitProcess and MessageBoxA.
  • When we open the binary in IDA Pro (included the latest version of IDA) the functions are bad detected, and they finish being processed after 3 opcodes. We are not sure if this is a bug in IDA Pro or perhaps the malware authors created something to cause this on purpose (which we doubt).

Problem in IDA Pro 7.2 last version


Entry Vector

At the moment we don´t know all entry vectors that Anatova is using, or will be using, in the near future. Our initial finding location was in private p2p.

The goal of Anatova, as with other ransomware families, is to encrypt all or many files on an infected system and insist on payment to unlock them. The actor(s) demand a ransom payment in cryptocurrency of 10 DASH – currently valued at around $700 USD, a quite high amount compared to other ransomware families.


In-depth highlights of version 1.0

Since this is a novel family, we didn’t find any version number inside the code, but let’s call this version 1.0

The first action that the malware executes is to get the module handle of the library “kernel32.dll” and get 29 functions from it using the function “GetProcAddress”.

Get kernel32 functions after decrypt strings

If the malware can´t get the module handle of kernel32, or some of the functions can´t be found, it will quit without executing any encryption.

Later, the malware will try to create a mutex with a hardcoded name (in this case: 6a8c9937zFIwHPZ309UZMZYVnwScPB2pR2MEx5SY7B1xgbruoO) but the mutex name changes in each sample. If the mutex is created, and gets the handle, it will call the “GetLastError” function and look if the last error is ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS or ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED. Both errors mean that a previous instance of this mutex object exists. If that is the case, the malware will enter in a flow of cleaning memory, that we will explain later in this post, and finish.

Check mutex

After this check, Anatova will get some functions from the library “advapi32.dll”, “Crypt32.dll” and “Shell32.dll” using the same procedure as in the kernel case. All text is encrypted and decrypted one per one, get the function, free the memory, and continue with the next one.

If it fails in getting some of these modules or some of the functions it needs, it will go to the flow of cleaning tool and exit.

One interesting function we discovered was that Anatova will retrieve the username of the logged in and/or active user and compare with a list of names encrypted. If one of the names is detected, it will go to the cleaning flow procedure and exit.

The list of users searched are:

  • LaVirulera
  • tester
  • Tester
  • analyst
  • Analyst
  • lab
  • Lab
  • Malware
  • malware

Some analysts or virtual machines/sandboxes are using these default usernames in their setup, meaning that the ransomware will not work on these machines/sandboxes.

After this user-check, Anatova will check the language of the system. When we say language, we mean the system language. When a user installs the Windows OS, they choose a language to install it with (though later the user could install a different language). Anatova checks for the first installed language on the system to ensure that a user cannot install one of these blacklisted languages to avoid encryption of the files.

The list of the countries that Anatova doesn’t affect are:

  • All CIS countries
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Morocco
  • Iraq
  • India

It’s quite normal to see the CIS countries being excluded from execution and often an indicator that the authors might be originating from one of these countries. In this case it was surprising to see the other countries being mentioned. We do not have a clear hypothesis on why these countries in particular are excluded.

Check system language

After the language check, Anatova looks for a flag that, in all samples we looked at, has the value of 0, but if this flag would change to the value of 1 (the current malware samples never change that value), it will load two DLLs with the names (after decryption) of “extra1.dll” and “extra2.dll”. This might indicate that Anatova is prepared to be modular or to be extended with more functions in the near future.

Load extra modules

After this, the malware enumerates all processes in the system and compares them with a large list including, for example “steam.exe”, “sqlserver.exe”, etc. If some of these processes are discovered, the malware will open them and terminate them. This action is typical of ransomware that attempts to unlock files that later will be encrypted, such as database files, game files, Office related files, etc.

The next action is to create an RSA Pair of Keys using the crypto API that will cipher all strings. This function is the same as in other ransomware families, such as GandCrab or Crysis, for example. It makes sure that the keys that will be used, are per user and per execution.

If the malware can´t create the keys, it will go to the clean flow and exit.

After this, Anatova will make a random key of 32 bits and another value of 8 bytes using the function of the crypto API “CryptGenRandom” to encrypt using the Salsa20 algorithm and the private previous blob key in runtime.

During the encryption process of the files, it will decrypt the master RSA public key of the sample of 2 layers of crypto, the first one is a XOR with the value 0x55 and the second one is to decrypt it using a hardcoded key and IV in the sample using the Salsa20 algorithm.

Decrypt from first layer the master RSA public key of sample

After this, it will import the public key and with it, will encrypt the Salsa20 key and IV used to encrypt the private RSA key in runtime.

The next step is to prepare a buffer of memory and with all of the info encrypted (Salsa20 key, Salsa20 IV, and private RSA key). It makes a big string in BASE64 using the function “CryptBinaryToStringA”. The ransomware will later clean the computer’s memory of the key, IV, and private RSA key values, to prevent anyone dumping this information from memory and creating a decrypter.

This BASE64 string will be written later in the ransom note. Only the malware authors can decrypt the Salsa20 key and IV and the private RSA key that the user would need  to decrypt the files.

If this does not work, Anatova will delete itself, enter in the clean flow and exit.

When the keys are encrypted in the memory buffer, Anatova will enumerate all logic units and will search for all existing instances of the type DRIVE_FIXED (a normal hard disk for example) or DRIVE_REMOTE (for remote network shares that are mounted). Anatova will try to encrypt the files on each of those locations. This means that one corporate victim can cause a major incident when files on network-shares are being encrypted.

Check all logic units

For each mounted drive – hard disk or remote share, Anatova will get all files and folders. It will later check if it is a folder and, if it is, will check that the folder name doesn’t have the name of “.” and “..”, to avoid the same directory and the previous directory.

In the list of gathered folder names, Anatova checks against a list of blacklisted names such as “Windows”, “Program Files”, “Program Files(x86)”, etc. This is usual in many ransomware families, because the authors want to avoid destroying the Operating System, instead targeting the high value files. Anatova does the same for file-extensions .exe, .dll and .sys that are critical for the Operating system as well.

Check file name and extension

If this check is passed, Anatova will open the file and get its size, comparing it to1 MB. Anatova will only encrypt files1 MB or smaller to avoid lost time with big files; it wants to encrypt fast. By setting pointers at the end of the encrypted files, Anatova makes sure that it does not encrypt files that are already encrypted.

Next, Anatova will create a random value of 32bits as a key for the Salsa20 algorithm and another value of 8 bytes that will be used as IV for Salsa20.

With these values, it will read all files in memory or files with a maximum size of 1 MB and encrypt this information with the key and IV using the Salsa20 algorithm (this is very popular lately because it is a very quick algorithm and has open source implementations).

Encryption of files function

It will import the RSA public key created in runtime and with it, encrypt the key and IV used to encrypt the file. Next, it will write the encrypted content in the same file from the beginning of the file and then it will set the pointer to the end of the file and write the next things:

  • The block encrypted of the Salsa20 key is ciphered with the public RSA key.
  • The block encrypted of the Salsa20 IV is ciphered with the public RSA key.
  • The size of the file is smaller than 1 MB.
  • A special hardcoded value for each sample that will appear in the ransom note.
  • A special hardcoded value in the sample that is the mark of infection checked before to avoid encrypting the same file twice.

When this is completed, Anatova will write a ransom note in the same folder. So, if Anatova can´t encrypt at least something in a folder, it won’t create a ransom note in this folder, only in the affected folders.

This behavior is different from other ransomware families that write a ransom note in all folders.

The ransom note text is fully encrypted in the binary, except for the mail addresses to contact the author(s) and the dash address to pay.

Anatova doesn’t overwrite the ransom note if it already exists in a folder in order to save time.The ransom note contains the base64 block with all encrypted information that is needed to decrypt the files in a block that start with the string “—-KEY—-”, as well asthe id number.

Responding victims are then allowed to decrypt one .jpg file of maximum size 200kb free of charge, as proof that they the decrypted files can be retrieved.

Example of ransom note

When all this is done, Anatova will destroy the Volume Shadow copies 10 times in very quick succession. Like most ransomware families, it is using the vssadmin program, which required admin rights, to run and delete the volume shadow copies.

Delete of Shadow Volumes 10 times

Finally, when all steps are completed, the ransomware will follow the flow of cleaning code, as described earlier, mainly to prevent dumping memory code that could assist in creating a decryption tool.


Customers of McAfee gateway and endpoint products are protected against this version. Detection names include Ransom-Anatova![partialhash].


The samples use the following MITRE ATT&CK™ techniques:

  • Execution through API
  • Application processes discovery
  • File and directory discovery: to search files to encrypt
  • Encrypt files
  • Process discovery: enumerating all processes on the endpoint to kill some special ones
  • Create files
  • Elevation of privileges: request it to run.
  • Create mutants









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5G Is Coming: Security Risks You Need to Know About

The future of connectivity is here ­– 5G. This new network is set to roll out across the nation this coming year and bring greater speed to our handheld devices, which means more data and lower latency. But perhaps one of the most anticipated and popular benefits is it will allow even more IoT devices to come online and encourage more connection between said devices. This would enable users to remotely connect to or monitor their IoT devices like kitchen or security gadgets. The promise of more connectivity, smoother IoT user experience, and even more devices online, means there are likely more opportunities and avenues for cyberattacks. 5G will no doubt shape the foreseeable future, let’s see how.

Today, interconnected devices operate on low-powered, low-data-rate networks, such as Cat-M and NB-IoT. With the introduction of 5G networks across the world, the capabilities of VR and AR, AI and ML, and automation and robotics will enhance immensely. Take self-driving cars, for example. These machines require close proximity to their computing to reduce the latency of decision making. The capabilities of 5G don’t end there either. From manufacturing, transportation and logistics, to public safety and the establishment of smart cities, industries are at the ready to take their business to the next level with 5G. With this newfound growing anticipation for the future of 5G, the question has to be asked, what are the security implications for smaller IoT devices?

From an innovation standpoint, 5G is a beacon of light, but from a cybersecurity standpoint, 5G is a “hotbed for a new era of intensified cyberwar.” Denial-of-service attacks, or DDoS, are particular causes of concern for cybersecurity researchers. Devices like refrigerators, thermometers, even light bulbs, will be able to come online because of 5G. Users will be able to remotely check on these appliances through a simple app, but these devices can also be usurped by malicious characters. This increased connectivity and power could see big name sites down for days, or even affect city utility capabilities. Government agencies and private entities are not immune either, but they do have plans in place in the event a DDoS attack occurs.

While consumers can only wait and see what happens with the rollout, industries across the board will want to harness the benefits of 5G. However, consumers and organizations alike need to be cautious in terms of how 5G could be used to help, or hinder, us in the future. Rest assured, even if malicious actors utilize this technology, McAfee’s security strategy will continue to keep pace with the ever-changing threat landscape.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security trends and information? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook.

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Are Smart TVs too smart for their own good?

Smart TVs give viewers instant access to streaming apps and provide a never-ending supply of binge-worthy shows and movies. But does this convenience come with a cost? Are internet-connected TVs as vulnerable to cybercrime as other smart devices?

In the latest episode of “Hackable?” our host Geoff Siskind plays a prank on our producer Pedro — in the name of education, of course. Pedro is a huge soccer fan, so Geoff drives by with two white-hat hackers to see if they can hack his smart TV during a big game. Can they take remote control in only a half an hour?   

Listen now to the award-winning podcast Hackable? on Apple Podcasts. You don’t want to miss this hilarious episode filled with pranks.   

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Is AI the Answer to never-ending Cybersecurity Problems?

Paul German, CEO, Certes Networks, talks about the impact and the benefits of Artificial Intelligence(AI) driven cybersecurity. And how AI adoption is helping organisations to stay ahead in the never-ending game that is cybersecurity.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With 20% of the C-suite already using machine learning and 41% of consumers believing that AI will improve their lives, wide scale adoption is imminent across every industry - and cybersecurity is no exception. A lot has changed in the cyber landscape over the past few years and AI is being pushed to the forefront of conversations. It’s becoming more than a buzzword and delivering true business value. Its ability to aid the cybersecurity industry is increasingly being debated; some argue it has the potential to revolutionise cybersecurity, whilst others insist that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.

With several issues facing the current cybersecurity landscape such as a disappearing IT perimeter, a widening skills gap, increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks and data breaches continuing to hit headlines, a remedy is needed. The nature of stolen data has also changed - CVV and passport numbers are becoming compromised, so coupled with regulations such as GDPR, organisations are facing a minefield.

Research shows that 60% think AI has the ability to find attacks before they do damage. But is AI the answer to the never-ending cybersecurity problems facing organisations today?

The Cost-Benefit Conundrum
On one hand, AI could provide an extremely large benefit to the overall framework of cybersecurity defences. On the other, the reality that it equally has the potential to be a danger under certain conditions cannot be ignored. Hackers are fast gaining the ability to foil security algorithms by targeting the data AI technology is training on. Inevitably, this could have devastating consequences.

AI can be deployed by both sides - by the attackers and the defenders. It does have a number of benefits such as the ability to learn and adapt to its current learning environment and the threat landscape. If it was deployed correctly, AI could consistently collect intelligence about new threats, attempted attacks, successful data breaches, blocked or failed attacks and learn from it all, fulfilling its purpose of defending the digital assets of an organisation. By immediately reacting to attempted breaches, mitigating and addressing the threat, cybersecurity could truly reach the next level as the technology would be constantly learning to detect and protect.

Additionally, AI technology has the ability to pick up abnormalities within an organisation’s network and flag it quicker than a member of the cybersecurity or IT team could; AI’s ability to understand ‘normal’ behaviour would allow it to bring attention to potentially malicious behaviour of suspicious or abnormal user or device activity.

As with most new technologies, for each positive there is an equal negative. AI could be configured by hackers to learn the specific defences and tools that it runs up against which would give way to larger and more successful data breaches. Viruses could be created to host this type of AI, producing more malware that can bypass even more advanced security implementations. This approach would likely be favoured by hackers as they don’t even need to tamper with the data itself - they could work out the features of the code a model is using and mirror it with their own. In this particular care, the tables would be turned and organisations could find themselves in sticky situations if they can’t keep up with hackers.

Organisations must be wary that they don’t adopt AI technology in cybersecurity ‘just because.’ As attack surfaces expand and hackers become more sophisticated, cybersecurity strategies must evolve to keep up. AI contributes to this expanding attack surface so when it comes down to deployment, the benefits must be weighed up against the potential negatives. A robust, defence-in-depth Information Assurance strategy is still needed to form the basis of any defence strategy to keep data safe.

Paul German, CEO, Certes Networks

AI & Your Family: The Wows and Potential Risks

artificial intelligenceAm I the only one? When I hear or see the word Artificial Intelligence (AI), my mind instantly defaults to images from sci-fi movies I’ve seen like I, Robot, Matrix, and Ex Machina. There’s always been a futuristic element — and self-imposed distance — between AI and myself.

But AI is anything but futuristic or distant. AI is here, and it’s now. And, we’re using it in ways we may not even realize.

AI has been woven throughout our lives for years in various expressions of technology. AI is in our homes, workplaces, and our hands every day via our smartphones.

Just a few everyday examples of AI:

  • Cell phones with built-in smart assistants
  • Toys that listen and respond to children
  • Social networks that determine what content you see
  • Social networking apps with fun filters
  • GPS apps that help you get where you need to go
  • Movie apps that predict what show you’d enjoy next
  • Music apps that curate playlists that echo your taste
  • Video games that deploy bots to play against you
  • Advertisers who follow you online with targeted ads
  • Refrigerators that alert you when food is about to expire
  • Home assistants that carry out voice commands
  • Flights you take that operate via an AI autopilot

The Technology

While AI sounds a little intimidating, it’s not when you break it down. AI is technology that can be programmed to accomplish a specific set of goals without assistance. In short, it’s a computer’s ability to be predictive — to process data, evaluate it, and take action.

AI is being implemented in education, business, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and just about any other sector of industry and culture you can imagine. It’s the smarter, faster, more profitable way to accomplish manual tasks.

An there’s tons of AI-generated good going on. Instagram — the #2 most popular social network — is now using AI technology to detect and combat cyberbullying on in both comments and photos.

No doubt, AI is having a significant impact on everyday life and is positioned to transform the future.

Still, there are concerns. The self-driving cars. The robots that malfunction. The potential jobs lost to AI robots.

So, as quickly as this popular new technology is being applied, now is a great time to talk with your family about both the exciting potential of AI and the risks that may come with it.

Talking points for families

Fake videos, images. AI is making it easier for people to face swap within images and videos. A desktop application called FakeApp allows users to seamlessly swap faces and share fake videos and images. This has led to the rise in “deep fake” videos that appear remarkably realistic (many of which go viral). Tip: Talk to your family about the power of AI technology and the responsibility and critical thinking they must exercise as they consume and share online content.

Privacy breaches. Following the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal of 2018 that allegedly used AI technology unethically to collect Facebook user data, we’re reminded of those out to gather our private (and public) information for financial or political gain. Tip: Discuss locking down privacy settings on social networks and encourage your kids to be hyper mindful about the information they share in the public feed. That information includes liking and commenting on other content — all of which AI technology can piece together into a broader digital picture for misuse.

Cybercrime. As outlined in McAfee’s 2019 Threats Prediction Report, AI technology will likely allow hackers more ease to bypass security measures on networks undetected. This can lead to data breaches, malware attacks, ransomware, and other criminal activity. Additionally, AI-generated phishing emails are scamming people into handing over sensitive data. Tip: Bogus emails can be highly personalized and trick intelligent users into clicking malicious links. Discuss the sophistication of the AI-related scams and warn your family to think about every click — even those from friends.

IoT security. With homes becoming “smarter” and equipped with AI-powered IoT products, the opportunity for hackers to get into these devices to steal sensitive data is growing. According to McAfee’s Threat Prediction Report, voice-activated assistants are especially vulnerable as a point-of-entry for hackers. Also at risk, say security experts, are routers, smartphones, and tablets. Tip: Be sure to keep all devices updated. Secure all of your connected devices and your home internet at its source — the network. Avoid routers that come with your ISP (Internet Security Provider) since they are often less secure. And, be sure to change the default password and secure your primary network and guest network with strong passwords.

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Step Up on Emerging Technology, or Risk Falling Behind

Earlier last year, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) put out a call for public comment on criteria for identifying emerging technologies that could potentially be subject to future export control regulations. The tech industry responded in full force, providing recommendations for how the federal government can ensure U.S. competitiveness in the global market while supporting the development of emerging technology (read comments submitted by McAfee here).

Emerging technology poses an interesting challenge for tech companies and federal regulators alike. In many cases, technologies that BIS designates as “emerging,” such as AI and machine learning, are already in widespread use around the world. Other technologies like quantum computing are very much in the research and development phase but have the potential to alter the course of national security for decades to come. Many of these technologies are difficult to define and control, and many are software-based, which greatly complicates the development of regulation. Software technologies, by their very nature, are fundamentally different from physical items and physical process technologies. Their intangible, readily-reproducible character makes software-based technologies inherently difficult to define and control.

This task is enormous and must be handled cautiously, as history has provided countless examples of how overregulation has the capability to hamper development. A poignant example of overregulation at the cost of progress is the automobile industry. According to Deloitte, although tough restrictions on automobiles were nothing but well-intentioned in the late 1800’s, regulation greatly hampered research and advancement. The early days of the automobile industry should serve as a cautionary tale when it comes to regulating new and innovative technology.

The U.S. is in a unique position to act to protect our technological interest and secure the nation’s position as a global leader. The U.S. secured a pivotal tech leadership role, having spearheaded the development of the internet in the early 1990’s. The nation has immense power and potential to take the mantle on emerging technology, and the stakes are high. Some of the country’s greatest accomplishments have stemmed from empowering the private sector and encouraging innovation. For example, tremendous strides in private sector space exploration have been made possible due to the support and administration of empowering legislation. Companies like SpaceX and Boeing are creating next generation space technology, working each day to ensure that the U.S. maintains competitiveness.

Cybersecurity is another area that requires particular attention. Given the global availability of cybersecurity tools, many of which make use of the emerging technologies under review, McAfee understands that great care needs to be taken by our government before imposing additional export controls on American cyber companies. These rules can have the unintended and harmful consequence of stunting the growth and technical capabilities of the very companies that currently protect vital U.S. critical infrastructure, including federal and state government infrastructure, from cyber-attacks. As a leading nation, it is critical to stay ahead of threats by criminal actors. This is only possible if cyber companies have the ability to access global markets to fund the research and development needed to keep pace with rapid innovation. Controls should be implemented with a great understanding of the need to stay competitive in global innovation, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity.

Overregulation could cause great harm, and the U.S. government must tread carefully in administering a carefully-crafted, targeted approach. Rather than burdening U.S. software companies with new and substantial export control compliance costs, the U.S. should seek to empower these companies. Any controls deemed essential by the government should be as narrowly tailored as possible, especially given the broad range of current and future companies and technologies. A multilateral approach to export controls on emerging technologies is vital for U.S. companies to remain innovative and competitive in the global marketplace. This cautious approach would ensure alignment between the private and public sectors, ultimately allowing for emerging technology to be front and center. Providing an ecosystem in which the technology of tomorrow can flourish is essential to the U.S. continuing to blaze the trail on emerging technologies.

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The Collection #1 Data Breach: Insights and Tips on This Cyberthreat

As the cybersecurity landscape evolves to match new trends in technology, it’s important for consumers to prioritize the protection of their online presence. That means remaining aware of the internet’s more common cyberthreats, including malware, phishing, and data breaches, and how they could potentially affect you. And while most of us already know about the Equifax data breach, a new monster breach now has to become top of mind for us all. Say hello to Collection #1, a data set exposing 772,904,991 unique email addresses and over 21 million unique passwords.

Discovered by security researcher Troy Hunt, Collection #1 first appeared on the popular cloud service called MEGA. The Collection #1 folder held over 12,000 files that weigh in at over 87 gigabytes. When the storage site was taken down, the folder was then transferred to a public hacking site. What’s truly astonishing about this is that the data was not for sale; it was simply available for anyone to take.

You may be wondering, how was all this data collected? It appears that this data was comprised of a breach of breaches, aggregating over 2,000 leaked databases containing cracked passwords, in order to achieve maximum exposure. The sheer volume of this breach makes Collection #1 the second largest in size to Yahoo, and the largest public breach ever (given the data was openly exposed on the internet).

It appears that this data set is designed for use in credential-stuffing attacks, where cybercriminals will use email and password combinations to hack into consumers’ online accounts. The risks could be even greater for those who reuse credentials across multiple accounts. In order to help protect yourself from this threat, it’s vital that users act fast and use the following tips to help protect their data:

  • Use strong, unique passwords. In addition to making sure all of your passwords are strong and unique, never reuse passwords across multiple accounts. You can also enable a password manager to help keep track of your credentials.
  • Change your passwords. Even if it doesn’t appear that your data was breached, it’s better to err on the side of caution and change all of your passwords to better protect yourself.
  • Enable two-factor authentication. While a strong and unique password is a good first line of defense, enabling app-based two-factor authentication across your accounts will help your cause by providing an added layer of security.

And, of course, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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PCI Releases Software Security Framework

Today, PCI shared its new Software Security Framework. PCI describes this framework as “a collection of software security standards and associated validation and listing programs for the secure design, development and maintenance of modern payment software.”

The framework includes two standards for use by software vendors. The first, the Secure Software Standard, is a software security standard for payment software, and the second, the Secure Software Lifecycle (Secure SLC) Standard, is a set of security requirements throughout the software lifecycle for payment software vendors.

PCI developed these new requirements in response to a changing threat landscape, which increasingly includes attacks at the application layer. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, web application attacks remain the most frequent incident pattern in confirmed breaches. Further, Veracode’s State of Software Security Report v9, based on an analysis of the data created through customer testing on Veracode’s application security platform, found that more than 85 percent of all applications have at least one vulnerability in them; more than 13 percent have at least one critical severity flaw. PCI also updated their requirements in order to address changing development practices, such as the emergence of DevOps.

PCI Software Security Framework is a much-needed response to the increased web application attacks, the recognition that the health of an organization’s software is tied to the safety and privacy of its customers, and the fact that application security (AppSec) is an often-neglected discipline. The Framework encourages and prescribes the use of security testing across the entire software lifecycle, from development to production. It also acknowledges and requires training for developers on secure coding, stating “having staff knowledgeable of secure coding guidelines should minimize the number of security vulnerabilities introduced through poor coding practices.”

This framework will significantly impact the thousands of organizations that develop and rely on payment software, particularly in the financial and retail sectors. Simply put, payment application vendors, processors and merchants will have to implement a secure application development process. Further, organizations will have to find an integrated solution that is easy to manage and can meet audit deadlines without increasing overhead.

New regulations and standards, similar to what we’ve seen with the EU Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and New York Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity regulations, can be confusing and overwhelming for vendors to implement. At Veracode, we have the application security expertise to help you navigate changes in regulations.

To learn more about how Veracode can provide you with a single, comprehensive solution that helps you comply with the PCI Secure Software Standard, please contact us

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