Daily Archives: January 7, 2019

6 Ways To Learn New Infosec Skills

Staying up-to-date with the latest threats and techniques as well as how to counter them is a challenge for all security professionals. To help boost your efforts with what is a steep learning curve, here are 6 ways to advance your skills — and stimulate your career at the same time.

1. Read a good ol’ book

Because you can read them while you’re commuting to work or before you fall asleep, reading books is a great way to make the most of your valuable time. Or better yet, put down the video game controller, stop binge-watching the latest shows and get to work! Reading will allow you to learn the basics, methodologies, and techniques of whatever topics that you feel you need to push your career forward. Here are some books of varying levels that you can start to read this new year:

Helpful hint! Although there’s nothing like the feel of an actual, physical book, reading electronic copies of books has many advantages for the life-long learner. Highlighting text of a word, phrase or idea that is unfamiliar, allows you to make notes or search for more information before continuing. This is especially helpful when learning an entirely new skill and getting the foundational concepts solidified in your head. And, of course, it’s great on your back not having to lug huge volumes everywhere you go. It’s especially handy for reference materials that you won’t need every day.

2. Find a mentor

Seeking a mentor can be an extremely effective strategic career move.

There’s nothing better than learning by doing, but you will get stuck. And there’s only so much time to try harder when facing a real-world crisis, especially when no amount of trial-and-error or searching is getting you the solutions you need. That’s why having an expert to lean on is one of the best ways to quickly learn new skills. No one can be an expert in everything, so having multiple mentors is incredibly helpful.

But don’t be greedy with their time and always remember to help in return either directly or by paying it forward.

Not only can mentors help you acquire new technical skills, but they can also assist with soft skills such as identifying your strengths and weaknesses, how to better communicate and what pitfalls you might face when advancing your career. According to John White, here’s how to seek out a good mentor.

3. Attend security conferences

Security conferences are another great way to learn new skills, because you can not only attend keynote speeches to discover new topics but also participate in CTF challenges and training of all sorts. One great thing to do at conferences is networking with other professionals. That way, you’ll get an idea about what other career paths and jobs are like, and get a clearer view of what can work for you, too.

To know more about the wide range of security conferences 2019 has in store around the world, check out The Ethical Hacker Network’s Global Calendar of Security Events.

4. Network with other professionals

By networking with other professionals, you will discover new areas of security, techniques, skills or career paths available to take your own career to the next level. This is not just at conferences or online via LinkedIn but also at local meetups or online communities.

Another untapped resource could be the very company for which you already work. If it’s a large organization, there might just be email lists or slack channels of like-minded professionals that you would never meet otherwise.

Who knows? You might even meet your future employer or business partner. 😉

5. Make good use of free resources

In an industry as tactical as cybersecurity, practical skills are a MUST. Many online tools are available for you to test and practice your skills at no cost to you! Here are a few examples:

Another proven way to build your skillset and get more confidence for free is by hunting for vulnerabilities and bugs on dedicated platforms, such as Bugcrowd. You’ve got nothing to lose, everything to win. Interested? Here’s how to get started with bug bounties.

6. Enroll in practical training courses

Finally, the most complete way to learn new skills and acquire real-life security know-how is by enrolling in an online training course. Online training courses are such good options because they allow you to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home. Here’s what to look for in an online training course:

  • Non-expiry or lifetime access to course materials
  • Mobile-Accessible materials for studying on the go
  • Up-to-date study materials (in terms of what is taught and techniques used)
  • Highly practical training, with numerous virtual labs, preferably based on real-life scenarios
  • Different formats of training materials (slides, videos, labs, etc.)
  • Availability of practical certification, to prove your skills

To help security professionals stay up-to-date with the latest cyber threats and techniques to defend against them, numerous books, security conferences, free online resources, and practical training courses are at your disposal. Whatever options best fit you, be sure to remember that consistent practice and determination will always be the best path to success. For this reason, it shouldn’t just be your resolution for 2019, but rather make it your personal mission this year and beyond to take advantage of these opportunities. Good luck!

Aspiring to advance your InfoSec career? Have a look at our various red team and blue team training courses, or combine them for the best that purple-teaming can do for your resume.

Connect with us on Social Media:

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

Anonymous published new details of the campaign against Russia

On Saturday, January 5, the hacker group Anonymous published another evidence of the alleged interference of London in the Affairs of other States.

The published documents clearly indicate that the anti-Russian campaign was prepared long before the scandalous case of Skripale appeared. The plan was developed three years ago and has been consistently implemented.

By the way, on the same day, a number of British tabloids published information according to which Prince Harry will join the Royal Marine Corps in Norway. He will take part in one of the largest British military exercises against Russia in the last 20 years.

According to Russian diplomats, the participation of the representative of the house of Windsor in the exercise "may mean that certain forces seek to involve the Royal Family in the campaign against Russia led by the conservative British Government."

Russian diplomats have been talking about the existence of such a force in the UK for a long time. According to employees of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in this way, the idea of aggressive Russia is introduced into society.

"Apparently, the authority of politicians and generals is no longer enough to provide public support for this line," the Embassy stressed.

Documents published by Anonymous indirectly confirm the opinion of Russian diplomats.

What Keeps You Up At Night?

Maybe you have nightmares about accidentally posting AWS console credentials on Github? Some CISOs undoubtedly have dreams where they must explain to the board that the company has just set the record for the world’s largest data breach. As a developer of security products, I spend many early mornings thinking about how hacking and data […]… Read More

The post What Keeps You Up At Night? appeared first on The State of Security.

Vulnerability in Java Deserialization Affecting Cisco Products

A vulnerability in the Java deserialization used by the Apache Commons Collections (ACC) library could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.

The vulnerability is due to insecure deserialization of user-supplied content by the affected software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by submitting crafted input to an application on a targeted system that uses the ACC library. After the vulnerable library on the affected system deserializes the content, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the system, which could be used to conduct further attacks.

On November 6, 2015, Foxglove Security Group published information about a remote code execution vulnerability that affects multiple releases of the ACC library. The report contains detailed proof-of-concept code for a number of applications, including WebSphere Application Server, JBoss, Jenkins, OpenNMS, and WebLogic. This is a remotely exploitable vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject any malicious code or execute any commands that exist on the server. A wide range of potential impacts includes allowing the attacker to obtain sensitive information.

Object serialization is a technique that many programming languages use to convert an object into a sequence of bits for transfer purposes. Deserialization is a technique that reassembles those bits back to an object. This vulnerability occurs in Java object serialization for network transport and object deserialization on the receiving side.

Many applications accept serialized objects from the network without performing input validation checks before deserializing it. Crafted serialized objects can therefore lead to execution of arbitrary attacker code.

Although the problem itself is in the serialization and deserialization functionality of the Java programming language, the ACC library is known to be affected by this vulnerability. Any application or application framework could be vulnerable if it uses the ACC library and deserializes arbitrary, user-supplied Java serialized data.

Additional details about the vulnerability are available at the following links:

Official Vulnerability Note from CERT
Foxglove Security
Apache Commons Statement
Oracle Security Alert

Cisco will release software updates that address this vulnerability. There are no workarounds that address this vulnerability.

This advisory is available at the following link:
Security Impact Rating: High
CVE: CVE-2015-6420

Cyber researcher cancels public talk on hacking Apple’s Face ID

A cyber security researcher Wish Wu canceled a hacking conference briefing on how he said he could crack biometric facial recognition on Apple iPhones, at the request of his employer, which called the work “misleading.”

Apple's facial recognition uses a combination of cameras and special sensors to capture a three-dimensional scan of a face that allows it to identify spoofs with photographs or determine if the user is asleep or otherwise not looking at the phone.

The prospect that Face ID could be defeated is troubling because it is used to lock down functions on tens of millions of iPhones from banking and healthcare apps to emails, text messages and photos.

There is a one in 1 million chance a random person could unlock a Face ID, versus one in 50,000 chance that would happen with the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor, according to Apple.

Face ID has proven more secure than its predecessor, Touch ID, which uses fingerprint sensors to unlock iPhones. Touch ID was defeated within a few days of its 2013 launch.

China-based researcher Wish Wu was scheduled to present a talk entitled “Bypass Strong Face ID: Everyone Can Deceive Depth and IR Camera and Algorithms” at the Black Hat Asia hacking conference in Singapore in March.

Wu told Reuters that his employer, Ant Financial, asked him to withdraw the talk from Black Hat, one of the largest and most prestigious organizers of hacking conferences.

Ant Financial’s Alipay payment system is compatible with facial recognition technologies including Face ID. Nobody has publicly released details on a successful Face ID hack that others have been able to replicate since Apple introduced the feature in 2017 with the iPhone X, according to biometric security experts. The company has introduced three other Face ID phones: iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

Wu told Reuters that he agreed with the decision to withdraw his talk, saying he was only able to reproduce hacks on iPhone X under certain conditions, but that it did not work with iPhone XS and XS Max.

ICANN housecleaning revokes old DNS security key

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) this week will do some important housecleaning from its successful, first-ever cryptographic key change performed last October.

In October, ICANN rolled out a new, more secure root zone Key Signing Key -2017 (KSK-2017), but the process wasn’t complete because the old key, KSK-2010 remained in the zone. On Jan. 10, ICANN will revoke the old key and remove it from the root zone. The KSK helps protect the internet’s address book — the Domain Name System (DNS) and overall Internet security.

To read this article in full, please click here

NBlog Jan 8 – audit questions (braindump)

"What questions should an auditor ask?" is an FAQ that's tricky to answer since "It depends" is true but unhelpful.  

To illustrate my point, here are some typical audit questions or inquiries:
  • What do you do in the area of X
  • Tell me about X
  • Show me the policies and procedures relating to X
  • Show me the documentation arising from or relating to X
  • Show me the X system from the perspectives of a user, manager and administrator
  • Who are the users, managers and admins for X
  • Who else can access or interact or change X
  • Who supports X and how good are they
  • Show me what happens if X
  • What might happen if X
  • What else might cause X
  • Who might benefit or be harmed if X
  • What else might happen, or has ever happened, after X
  • Show me how X works
  • Show me what’s broken with X
  • Show me how to break X
  • What stops X from breaking
  • Explain the controls relating to X
  • What are the most important controls relating to X, and why is that
  • Talk me through your training in X
  • Does X matter
  • In the grand scheme of things, is X important relative to, say, Y and Z
  • Is X an issue for the business, or could it be
  • Could X become an issue for the business if Y
  • Under what circumstances might X be a major problem
  • When might X be most problematic, and why
  • How big is X - how wide, how heavy, how numerous, how often ... 
  • Is X right, in your opinion
  • Is X sufficient and appropriate, in your opinion
  • What else can you tell me about X
  • Talk me through X
  • Pretend I am clueless: how would you explain X
  • What causes X
  • What are the drivers for X
  • What are the objectives and constraints relating to X
  • What are the obligations, requirements and goals for X
  • What should or must X not do
  • What has X achieved to date
  • What could or should X have achieved to date
  • What led to the situation involving X
  • What’s the best/worst thing about X
  • What’s the most/least successful or effective thing within, about or without X
  • Walk or talk me through the information/business risks relating to X
  • What are X’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • What are the most concerning vulnerabilities in X
  • Who or what might threaten X
  • How many changes have been made in X
  • Why and how is X changed
  • What is the most important thing about X
  • What is the most valuable information in X
  • What is the most voluminous information in X
  • How accurate is X …
  • How complete is X …
  • How up-to-date is X …
    • … and how do you know that (show me)
  • Under exceptional or emergency conditions, what are the workarounds for X
  • Over the past X months/years, how many Ys have happened … how and why
  • If X was compromised in some way, or failed, or didn’t perform as expected etc., what would/might happen
  • Who might benefit from or be harmed by X 
  • What has happened in the past when X failed, or didn’t perform as expected etc.
  • Why hasn’t X been addressed already
  • Why didn’t previous efforts fix X
  • Why does X keep coming up
  • What might be done to improve X
  • What have you personally tried to address X
  • What about your team, department or business unit: what have they done about X
  • If you were the Chief Exec, Managing Director or god, what would you do about X
  • Have there been any incidents caused by or involving X and how serious were they
  • What was done in response – what changed and why
  • Who was involved in the incidents
  • Who knew about the incidents
  • How would we cope without X
  • If X was to be replaced, what would be on your wishlist for the replacement
  • Who designed/built/tested/approved/owns X
  • What is X made of: what are the components, platforms, prerequisites etc.
  • What versions of X are in use
  • Show me the configuration parameters for X
  • Show me the logs, alarms and alerts for X
  • What does X depend on
  • What depends on X
  • If X was preceded by W or followed by Y, what would happen to Z
  • Who told you to do ... and why do you think they did that
  • How could X be done more efficiently/effectively
  • What would be the likely or possible consequences of X
  • What would happen if X wasn’t done at all, or not properly
  • Can I have a read-only account on system X to conduct some enquiries
  • Can I have a full-access account on test system X to do some audit tests
  • Can I see your test plans, cases, data and  results
  • Can someone please restore the X backup from last Tuesday 
  • Please retrieve tape X from the store, show me the label and lend me a test system on which I can explore the data content
  • If X was so inclined, how could he/she cause chaos, or benefit from his/her access, or commit fraud/theft, or otherwise exploit things
  • If someone was utterly determined to exploit, compromise or harm X, highly capable and well resourced, what might happen, and how might we prevent them succeeding
  • If someone did exploit X, how might they cover their tracks and hide their shenanigans
  • If X had been exploited, how would we find out about it
  • How can you prove to me that X is working properly
  • Would you say X is top quality or perfect, and if not why not
  • What else is relevant to X
  • What has happened recently in X
  • What else is going on now in X
  • What are you thinking about or planning for the mid to long term in relation to X
  • How could X be linked or integrated with other things
  • Are there any other business processes, links, network connections, data sources etc. relating to X
  • Who else should I contact about X
  • Who else ought to know about the issues with X
  • A moment ago you/someone else told me about X: so what about Y
  • I heard a rumour that Y might be a concern: what can you tell me about Y
  • If you were me, what aspects of X would concern you the most
  • If you were me, what else would you ask, explore or conclude about X
  • What is odd or stands out about X
  • Is X good practice
  • What is it about X that makes you most uncomfortable
  • What is it about this audit that makes you most uncomfortable
  • What is it about me that makes you most uncomfortable
  • What is it about this situation that makes you most uncomfortable
  • What is it about you that makes me most uncomfortable
  • Is there anything else you’d like to say
I could go on all day but that is more than enough already and I really ought to be earning a crust! If I had more time, stronger coffee and thought it would help, I might try sorting and structuring that braindump ... but in many ways it would be better still if you did so, considering and revising the list to suit your purposes if you are planning an audit. 

Alternatively, think about the questions you should avoid or not ask. Are there any difficult areas? What does that tell you?

It's one of those situations where the journey trumps the destination. Developing a set of audit concerns and questions is a creative process. It's fun.

I’m deliberately not specifying “X” because that is the vital context. The best way I know of determining X and the nature of the questions/enquiries arising is risk analysis. The auditor looks at the subject area, considers the possibilities, evaluates the risks and picks out the ones that are of most concern, does the research and fieldwork, examines the findings … and re-evaluates the situation (possibly leading to further investigation – it’s an iterative process, hence all the wiggly arrows and loops on the process diagram). 

Auditing is not simply a case of picking up and completing a questionnaire or checklist, although that might be part of the audit preparation. Competent, experienced auditors feed on lists, books, standards and Google as inputs and thought-provokers for the audit work, not definitive or restrictive descriptions of what to do. On top of all that, the stuff they discover often prompts or leads to further enquiries, sometimes revealing additional issues or risks or concerns almost by accident. The real trick to auditing is to go in with eyes, ears and minds wide open – curious, observant, naïve, doubtful (perhaps even cynical) yet willing to consider and maybe be persuaded.

[For yet more Hinson tips along these lines, try the computer audit FAQ.]

Championing Equality: McAfee to Achieve Gender Pay Parity in 2019

Recently, the World Economic Forum revealed it will take 202 years for women to achieve economic gender parity at our current rate. Two hundred and two. Let that sink in for a moment. Doesn’t quite seem right does it? At McAfee, we believe every single employee should be compensated fairly and equally for their individual contribution and impact to the company, regardless of gender. Which is why we’re committed to acting now to address any gender pay parity discrepancy in the first half of 2019.

This announcement underlines our unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity. When McAfee reaches global pay parity in 2019, we will be the first pure-play cybersecurity company to do so. And while study after study reinforces the simple fact that diversity drives prosperity, we’re still falling short with just 11% female representation in cybersecurity.


Making significant progress is not going to happen overnight. It also won’t happen on its own. We need greater collaboration to help drive the actions that will change the conversation. So in the spirit of transparency and sharing best practice, here are four steps McAfee is undertaking to achieve gender pay parity:

  1. We define pay parity. At McAfee, pay parity means fair and equal pay for employees in the same job, level and location, controlling for pay differentiators such as performance, tenure and experience, regardless of gender.
  2. We complete our inaugural review. Create job groups by role, level and location to evaluate any discrepancies outside of the predetermined controlling factors.
  3. We adjust pay. If a gap is found between females and males within the group, our purpose is to ensure nothing about a person’s gender is causing the discrepancy and to make adjustments if needed.
  4. We uphold pay parity. This will not be just a point in time review, but an annual analysis to stay the course. But maintaining pay parity also means keeping it at the forefront throughout the year—from our hiring practices to how we promote and reward our employees.

In these four steps lies a momentous promise to equality. Each day, I’m proud to work alongside a team dedicated to creating a workplace where all voices, perspectives and experiences are welcomed, where everyone can belong. But our investment in pay parity is among the most important steps in showing our people we value them, equally.

With this commitment, we continue to live our values, build an inclusive culture, create better workplaces and build stronger communities. I’m honored to join companies beyond the world of cyber already striving towards pay parity and I hope more will join us in reaching this milestone in equality.

Ready to work for a company committed to equality? McAfee is hiring!

Disclaimer: This blog was originally published on LinkedIn

The post Championing Equality: McAfee to Achieve Gender Pay Parity in 2019 appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

More Questions as Expert Recreates Chinese Super Micro Hardware Hack

Though the companies named in a blockbuster Bloomberg story have denied that China hacked into Supermicro hardware that shipped to Amazon, Apple and nearly 30 other firms, a recent demonstration at hacking conference in Germany proves the plausibility of the alleged hack.  

The post More Questions as Expert Recreates Chinese Super Micro Hardware...

Read the whole entry... »

Related Stories

Marriott Confirms Less Than 383 Million Unique Guests Affected in Starwood Data Breach

Veracode Marriott Starwood Hotel Breach November 2018

Marriott has confirmed that the number of guests affected in the breach of Starwood’s guest reservation database is down from the originally estimated 500 million to “fewer than 383 million unique guests.” At this time, the hotel giant is unable to confirm an exact number of guests impacted.

According to the statement, approximately 5.25 million unique unencrypted passport numbers and 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers were stolen. Attackers also accessed 8.6 million unique payment card numbers, all of which were encrypted, but only 354,000 cards were active and unexpired at the time of the breach. In its earlier notice in November of last year, the hotel giant confirmed that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014.

Marriott said that it has completed the phase out of Starwood’s reservation database, and now runs guest bookings through its Marriott database, which wasn’t accessed in the breach.

A Breach of Immense Scale and Scope

According to an initial report from the BBC, for roughly 327 million guests, the attacker was able to access personally identifiable information including a combination of name, address, phone number, email address, passport number, account information, date of birth, and gender. In some cases, the compromised records also included encrypted credit card information. At this time, the company was still trying to determine whether the encryption keys had also been stolen.

In a statement published on Nov. 30, Marriott said that it received an alert from an internal security tool that an unauthorized user had attempted to access the Starwood database in the US on Sept. 8, 2018. An investigation into the incident confirmed that an attacker had copied and encrypted the information. Marriott was able to decrypt the information to confirm that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database.

Marriott reported the incident to both law enforcement and regulatory authorities, and the UK's data regulator is investigating. While Marriott’s headquarters are in the US, it works with and hosts European citizens, so it must ensure that it meets GDPR complianceIt’s anticipated that Marriott International will receive a substantial penalty because of the size and scale of the breach.

To read initial coverage of this story, with commentary from Veracode Co-Founder and CTO Chris Wysopal, click here.

Putting Artificial Intelligence to Work

Our guest this week is Thomas H. Davenport. He’s a world-renowned thought leader and author, and is the president’s distinguished professor of information technology and management at Babson College, a fellow of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and an independent senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics.

Tom Davenport is author and co-author of 15 books and more than 100 articles. He helps organizations to revitalize their management practices in areas such as analytics, information and knowledge management, process management, and enterprise systems. His most recent book is “The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work (Management on the Cutting Edge).”

Returning to the show to join the discussion is Recorded Future’s chief data scientist, Bill Ladd.

This podcast was produced in partnership with the CyberWire.

The post Putting Artificial Intelligence to Work appeared first on Recorded Future.


A week in security (December 31, 2018 – January 6, 2019)

Last week on Labs, we looked back at 2018 as the year of data breaches, homed in on pre-installed malware on mobile devices, and profiled a malicious duo, Vidar and GandCrab.

Other cybersecurity news

  • 2019’s first data breach: It took less than 24 hours. An unauthorized third-party downloaded 30,000 details of Australian public servants in Victoria. It was believed that a government employee was phished prior to the breach. (Source: CBR Online)
  • Dark Overlord hackers release alleged 9/11 lawsuit documents. The hacker group known as The Dark Overlord (TDO) targeted law firms and banks related to the 9/11 attack. TDO has a history of releasing stolen information after receiving payment for its extortions. (Source: Sophos’ Naked Security Blog)
  • Data of 2.4 million Blur password manager users left exposed online. 2.4 million users of the password manager, Blur, were affected by a data breach that happened in mid-December of last year and publicly revealed on New Year’s Eve. No passwords stored in the managers were exposed. (Source: ZDNet)
  • Hacker leaked data on Angela Merkel and hundreds of German lawmakers. A hacker leaked sensitive information, which includes email addresses and phone numbers, of Angela Merkel, senior German lawmakers, and other political figures on Twitter. The account was suspended following this incident. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • Hackers seize dormant Twitter accounts to push terrorist propaganda. Dormant Twitter accounts are being hacked and used to further push terrorist propaganda via the platform. It’s easy for these hackers to guess the email addresses of these accounts since Twitter, by default, reveals partly-concealed addresses which clue them in. (Source: Engadget)
  • MobSTSPY spyware weaseled its way into Google Play. Another spyware app made its way into Google Play and onto the mobile devices of thousands of users. The malware steals SMS messages, call logs, contact lists, and other files. (Source: SC Magazine UK)
  • Apple phone phishing scams getting better. A new phone-based scam targeting iPhone users was perceived to likely fool many because the scammer’s fake call is lumped together with a record of legitimate calls from Apple Support. (Source: KrebsOnSecurity)
  • Staying relevant in an increasingly cyber world. Small- to medium-sized businesses may not have the upper hand when it comes to hiring people with talent in cybersecurity, but this shouldn’t be an organization’s main focus. Dr. Kevin Harris, program director of cybersecurity for the American Military University, advised that employers must focus on giving all their employees “cyber skills.” (Source: Federal News Network)
  • Adobe issues emergency patch following December miss. Adobe released an out-of-band patch to address critical vulnerabilities in Acrobat and Reader. (Source: Dark Reading)

Stay safe, everyone!

The post A week in security (December 31, 2018 – January 6, 2019) appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Phone-Based Phishing Scam Reveals the Growing Sophistication of Attacks Against Apple Users

A new phone-based phishing scam reveals how fraudsters are devising more sophisticated schemes to prey on Apple device users.

According to KrebsOnSecurity, the phishing scam began for Global Cyber Risk LLC CEO Jody Westby when she received an automated call that displayed Apple’s logo, physical address, company domain and customer support phone number. The call warned Westby that unknown attackers had compromised multiple servers containing users’ Apple IDs. It then urged her to ring a 1-866 number immediately.

Suspicious of the call, Westby contacted Apple’s support number directly and requested a callback from a support representative. The agent who called back reassured Westby that Apple had not placed the original call. But when she looked at her phone, Westby observed that her iPhone had lumped together both the scam call and the official callback under Apple’s contact profile on her device. Not surprisingly, this failure of Apple’s own devices to spot a spoof call could potentially fool many users.

The Prevalence of Phishing Attacks Targeting Apple Users

This phony call scam stands out for its extensive use of Apple branding. But by no means is it the only phone-related phishing scam targeting Apple users in recent history. For example, in July 2018, Ars Technica identified an India-based tech support scam using a fake Apple website that popped up a system dialog box with a prompt to call the fraudsters.

These phishing instances come after enterprise mobile security and data management provider Wandera found in 2017 that nearly two-thirds of mobile phishing attacks occur on iOS devices. This rate means that Apple users are twice as likely to experience phishing on their devices than Android users.

Help Your Employees Defend Against Phishing Scams

Security professionals can help employees defend against phishing scams by creating a security awareness training program that uses clear, concise policies based around business requirements. Organizations should also take a layered approach to email security — requiring a mix of both technology and education — to better defend against email-borne phishing campaigns.

The post Phone-Based Phishing Scam Reveals the Growing Sophistication of Attacks Against Apple Users appeared first on Security Intelligence.

Dust-sized battery-free AI sensor with RF-free wireless

The title of this post is the announcement I just received in a CES invite to assess product security. Well, technically it was a “VIP lounge” invite more than a “please break our product” invite, but I treat them the same if you know what I mean. Perhaps most infamously when I went to CES … Continue reading Dust-sized battery-free AI sensor with RF-free wireless

Top Ways to Get ROI From Your AppSec Program

When you make an investment in an application security program, you’re expecting to derive value from the initiative; in other words, you’re expecting to get some kind of return on your investment. After more than 10 years working with organizations to implement and build out application security programs, we have a pretty clear sense of what that value is. We find that the value derived from an AppSec program stems from:

  • Cost-effectively scaling secure software delivery
  • Rapidly reducing the risk of breach from insecure software
  • Making security a competitive advantage
  • Meeting the compliance requirements of customers and regulators

But you won’t reap these benefits unless you follow best practices and implement certain facets of an application security program. Those who simply plug in a tool and focus on scanning only will not derive the value listed above, but might in fact hinder the progress and productivity of their development teams.

You won’t get a solid return on your AppSec investment unless you consider application security a program, not a tool, and work to incorporate several best practices that go beyond simply scanning your code. Those best practices include:

Secure coding education: Prevention is key to deriving value from application security, and the best way to prevent security-related defects in your code is to train your developers to identify and avoid them. Even better, provide targeted training that hones in on specific defects emerging in your code. This is especially important because the reality is that most developers simply don’t have the skills or experience to code securely. We recently conducted a survey that found that the vast majority of developers don’t get security training either in school or on the job. And we’ve seen first-hand the effects of educating developers on secure coding – our customers who take advantage of eLearning on secure coding improve their fix rates by 20 percent.

Integrated and automated testing: You will lessen the value derived from application security testing if it hinders and slows your development process. And human intervention will slow you down. True value lies in maintaining your development speed while producing high-quality, secure code. You won’t achieve this unless security testing is integrated into development processes, and automated as much as possible. For instance, embed testing into the development process as developers are writing code. In addition, automate testing in the CI/CD pipeline, and automatically open and close tickets related to security issues. The more you can automate and integrate, the more value you will see.

Remediation guidance: Ultimately, application security offers very little value if you aren’t fixing the defects you find and reducing your risk of breach. But, as mentioned above, most developers are not trained to identify or remediate security-related defects. With remediation guidance, developers will efficiently and effectively fix what they find, and learn to do so going forward. With this know-how, you’ll derive both real risk reduction and a real boost to your bottom line. We’ve found that our customers that take advantage of remediation coaching see a 70 percent improvement in fix rates over those that don’t.

Security champions: Security skills are hard to come by, application security skills even harder. Leverage your security team and its skills without adding headcount by creating security champions. A security champion is a developer with an interest in security who helps amplify the security message at the team level. Security champions don’t need to be security pros; they just need to act as the security conscience of the team, keeping their eyes and ears open for potential issues. Once the team is aware of these issues, it can then either fix the issues in development or call in your organization’s security experts to provide guidance. In the end, security champions will help you derive more value from your application security program without incurring significant costs.

For more information

We know application security can produce a solid return on investment, but only if you understand what that return looks like and the best ways to achieve it. Get more details on boosting the ROI from your AppSec program, and measuring that ROI, in our eBook, Making Application Security Pay.

Pre-Installed Malware Targets Critical System Apps on Mobile Devices

Several new types of pre-installed malware are targeting critical system apps on mobile devices, making them difficult to remove.

Researchers at Malwarebytes came across two instances of pre-installed malware targeting applications in /system/priv-app/, where critical apps such as settings and system UI reside. The first infection occurred on a THL T9 Pro device. The malware repeatedly installed variants of Android/Trojan.HiddenAds, which is known for displaying lock screen advertisements that take up the device’s entire screen. In this particular case, the infection wrapped itself up in the critical system Android app System UI.

The second infection occurred on a UTOK Q55. In that case, the threat came hardcoded in the device’s Settings app. It fit the “monitor” category of potentially unwanted programs (PUP), which are capable of collecting and reporting users’ information.

The Pre-Installed Malware Problem Persists

These two instances of pre-installed malware aren’t the first detected by Malwarebytes. In March 2017, researchers at the security software provider observed mobile devices manufactured by BLU being shipped out with Android/Adware.YeMobi. Then in December of that year, the researchers found an auto-installer known as FWUpgradeProvider pre-installed on devices bought from legitimate phone carriers in the U.K. and elsewhere.

Other security firms have detected pre-installed malware more recently. For instance, Check Point discovered RottenSys disguised as a system Wi-Fi service; the threat targeted nearly 5 million users for fraudulent ad revenues as of March 2018. A few months later, Avast Threat Labs found adware known as Cosiloon pre-installed on hundreds of Android device models.

How to Protect Mobile Devices From Pre-Installed Malware

Security professionals can protect mobile devices from pre-installed malware and other threats by using a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution to monitor how these devices report to the corporate IT environment. They should also use behavioral analysis to help defend mobile devices against zero-day threats.

The post Pre-Installed Malware Targets Critical System Apps on Mobile Devices appeared first on Security Intelligence.

Marriott lowers estimate of customers affected by breach to 383 million, says 8.6 million encrypted payment cards involved

Following last year’s disclosure that hackers breached its systems, Marriot has released an update on the number of affected customers, the type of data that was leaked, as well as some changes to its practices and policies.

On Nov. 30, 2018, the world’s largest hotel chain issued an embarrassing notice that its servers were breached, leaving 500 million guest records in criminal wrong hands. With the help of internal and external forensics and analytics teams, Marriot now knows that the number of affected customers is lower – albeit still high, by any standards.

“Working closely with its internal and external forensics and analytics investigation team, Marriott determined that the total number of guest records involved in this incident is less than the initial disclosure,” Marriot says in the update, posted to its news center Friday. “Also, the number of payment cards and passport numbers involved is a relatively small percentage of the overall total records involved,” the hotel chain said.

According to the updated news release, Marriott now believes 383 million guests may have been affected, a number it refers to as “the upper limit” for the number of guest records involved in the incident. The number could be lower, Marriot says, considering that many guests have multiple records.

“The company has concluded with a fair degree of certainty that information for fewer than 383 million unique guests was involved, although the company is not able to quantify that lower number because of the nature of the data in the database,” it clarifies.

The investigation has brought to light several other details as well. For example, approximately 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers and 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers were among the records accessed by the intruder. Investigators found no evidence that the master encryption key was accessed, but they haven’t ruled it out either. Guests can contact Marriott’s call center and ask reps to look up their passport number to see if and how they are affected.

Around 8.6 million encrypted payment cards were involved in the incident, including 354,000 that were unexpired as of September 2018. Again, Marriot believes hackers have not accessed either of the components needed to decrypt the encrypted payment card numbers, but investigators are not ruling out this scenario either. Notably, a small number of customers may be more affected than others because of the way Marriot encrypted some form fields while others were not subject to encryption. According to the notice:

“While the payment card field in the data involved was encrypted, Marriott is undertaking additional analysis to see if payment card data was inadvertently entered into other fields and was therefore not encrypted. Marriott believes that there may be a small number (fewer than 2,000) of 15-digit and 16-digit numbers in other fields in the data involved that might be unencrypted payment card numbers. The company is continuing to analyze these numbers to better understand if they are payment card numbers and, if they are payment card numbers, the process it will put in place to assist guests.”

Lastly, Marriot has discontinued the Starwood reservations database, and is now taking registrations solely through its own system. The breach, as readers might remember, occurred via Starwood’s servers, following Marriott’s acquisition of the leisure company in 2015.

Some say Chinese spies could be behind the Marriott breach, as part of a larger intelligence-gathering campaign targeting the U.S. and operated from Beijing.

IDG Contributor Network: Managing identity and access management in uncertain times

If we remember one thing from 2018, it is that we are all victims now through one breach or another. Every day, we hear more news about another data breach affecting millions of users with significant financial and reputational consequences to its victims. With massive breaches like Equifax, Facebook, Deloitte, Quora and Yahoo, it is clear that breach notification services and multi-factor authentication (MFA) are not enough to prevent the next data breach headline from appearing in tomorrow’s newspapers.

Organizations have started thinking holistically, and rightly so, about risk and approaches to security using frameworks such as CARTA, Zero Trust, NIST SP 800 and IDSA.  These frameworks offer progressive thinking and valuable approaches to modern identity strategy, but there is no one size fits all. These frameworks are akin to buying furniture from IKEA; assembly required, but with a lot more complexity and a lot more at stake.

To read this article in full, please click here

Kubernetes: Master Post

I have a few Kubernetes posts queued up and will make this the master post to index and give references for the topic. If i'm missing blog posts or useful resources ping me here or twitter.

Talks you should watch if you are interested in Kubernetes:

Hacking and Hardening Kubernetes Clusters by Example [I] - Brad Geesaman
https://github.com/bgeesaman/hhkbe [demos for the talk above]
https://schd.ws/hosted_files/kccncna17/d8/Hacking%20and%20Hardening%20Kubernetes%20By%20Example%20v2.pdf [slide deck]

Perfect Storm Taking the Helm of Kubernetes Ian Coldwater

A Hacker's Guide to Kubernetes and the Cloud - Rory McCune
Shipping in Pirate-Infested Waters: Practical Attack and Defense in Kubernetes

Blog posts by others:


Auditing tools


CVE-2018-1002105 resources


CG Posts:

Open Etcd: http://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-open-etcd.html
Etcd with kube-hunter: http://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-kube-hunterpy-etcd.html
cAdvisor: http://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-cadvisor.html

Kubernetes ports: https://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-list-of-ports.html
Kubernetes dashboards: http://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-kubernetes-dashboard.html
Kublet 10255: https://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-kube-hunter-10255.html
Kublet 10250
     - Container Logs: http://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-kubelet-api-containerlogs.html
     - Getting shellz 1: https://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-unauth-kublet-api-10250.html
     - Getting shellz 2: https://carnal0wnage.attackresearch.com/2019/01/kubernetes-unauth-kublet-api-10250_16.html

Cloud Metadata Urls and Kubernetes

-I'll update as they get posted

HHS Publishes Voluntary Healthcare Cybersecurity Practices for Medical Organizations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released voluntary healthcare cybersecurity practices to help medical organizations strengthen their security posture.

On December 28, HHS released “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients” in response to a mandate to develop healthcare cybersecurity standards laid out by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. More than 150 cybersecurity and healthcare experts from the private and public sectors worked together for two years to fulfill this directive.

The publication is broken down into three sections. The first examines cybersecurity threats confronting the healthcare industry. The second portion identifies weaknesses that render healthcare organizations vulnerable to threats, and the third and final segment outlines strategies that medical entities can use to defend against digital threats.

Healthcare Data Breaches on the Rise

Healthcare data breaches are on the rise. In a study published by the JAMA Network, researchers analyzed all the data security incidents reported to the Office of Civil Rights at HHS between January 2010 and December 2017. They found a total of 2,149 breaches affecting 176.4 million patient records. The annual number of data breaches increased each year during the analyzed time period except 2015, starting with 199 in 2010 and growing to 344 in 2017.

Of the incidents that exposed patients’ personal health information (PHI), 53 percent originated inside the organization. That’s consistent with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC) quarterly statistics for Q3 2018. OAIC received 45 data breach notifications from healthcare organizations during the quarter, 56 percent of which resulted from human error.

Healthcare Cybersecurity Best Practices

Security professionals can begin enforcing healthcare cybersecurity best practices by producing creative employee awareness content that specifically appeals to the company’s workforce. Healthcare organizations should also adopt a security immune system strategy that, among other things, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to mitigate risk across the network.

The post HHS Publishes Voluntary Healthcare Cybersecurity Practices for Medical Organizations appeared first on Security Intelligence.

Alert Service Compromised to Send Out Spam Message

An unknown individual compromised an alert service and abused their access to send out a spam message to some of the service’s customers. The Australian Early Warning Network (EWN) alert service disclosed first in a Facebook post and later on its website that the compromise took place near the beginning of the year: At around […]… Read More

The post Alert Service Compromised to Send Out Spam Message appeared first on The State of Security.

Kicking off CES 2019 with New Security Solutions and Collaborations

Today, we at McAfee are announcing some exciting new security solutions and integrations at CES in Las Vegas. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CES, it is the global stage for innovators to showcase the next generation of consumer technologies. McAfee now delivers protection to more than 500 million customers worldwide, and we understand the importance of creating new solutions for those who want to live their connected lives with confidence. To help empower our customers to do this, we’ve added to our security lineup and are working with other tech innovators who understand the importance of protecting users’ online safety.

One addition to our lineup of security solutions is McAfee Gamer Security. In a recent gaming survey, we discovered that 75% of gamers are worried about the security of gaming as online threats continue to rise. To help combat these threats, we developed McAfee Gamer Security, which protects gamers while optimizing their gaming experience. Some of the product’s key features include Game Mode, a gamer-centric interface, and minimal security resource consumption. These features help optimize gamers’ computing resources, provide system status updates, and equip users with lightweight security protection.

In addition to our latest product advancements, we’ve also teamed up with other companies looking to better the cybersecurity landscape for consumers. The first is Google. In order to further simplify the process of securing today’s connected home, McAfee will provide McAfee Secure Home Platform voice commands for the Google Assistant. McAfee Secure Home Platform provides an extra layer of security to help automatically protect all of the connected devices on the user’s home network. Soon, Google Assistant users can easily manage their connected home security by just using their voice.

While it’s important to secure the connected home, it is also important to protect your mobile and IoT devices as well. According to McAfee Labs 2019 predictions, cybercriminals will leverage trusted devices like smartphones and tablets to try and access users’ IoT devices in the upcoming year. To help customers stay safeguarded from this threat, we’ve teamed up with Verizon to protect their home networks through Verizon Home Network Protection. This McAfee-powered solution helps Verizon Fios customers stay secured against malicious websites, provide parental controls, and protect all devices connected to their home network.

Furthermore, we at McAfee and Dell have teamed up to protect consumers and small businesses as they enjoy the benefits of today’s technology. To do this, we’ve expanded our collaboration to provide pre-installed McAfee software on PCs and laptops globally to both consumer and small business customers. Customers who purchase a new laptop or PC will also have the option to extend McAfee protection beyond their Dell device to their smartphones and tablets. This allows users to have a more robust security shield around all of their connected devices, creating a safer overall online experience. Dell consumer and small business customers who purchase Dell Inspiron, XPS, Vostro, and G-Series laptops will receive a 30-day or 1-year subscription. Customers who purchase Alienware, OptiPlex, Latitude, and Precision will have the option of adding a 30-day free subscription or purchasing a 1-year subscription.

Another one of our latest innovations is the addition of Cryptojacking Blocker to McAfee WebAdvisor. As we observed in our latest McAfee Labs report, coin mining malware is on the rise, growing more than  4000% in the last year. Cryptojacking Blocker helps protect users from having their devices hijacked without their knowledge or permission. The tool helps prevents websites from mining for cryptocurrency and is included in all McAfee suites that include McAfee WebAdvisor. Users can update their existing WebAdvisor software to get Cryptojacking Blocker or download WebAdvisor for free.

So far, CES 2019 has proven that innovation will continue to evolve, just as the cybersecurity landscape will continue to mature. By working together to improve the technology that protects connected devices, we can help users optimize their digital life without compromising their online safety.

To stay on top of McAfee’s CES news and 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 Kicking off CES 2019 with New Security Solutions and Collaborations appeared first on McAfee Blogs.