Category Archives: Cyberattacks

Understanding What Is Malware Analysis

What is malware analysis? This is the process involved in studying and learning how a particular malware works and what it can do. Their code can differ radically from one another, so they can have many functionalities. But the main purpose of these malicious programs is to gain information from an infected device without the user’s knowledge or authorization.

Malware Analysis Use Cases

Computer Security

One of the use cases in understanding what is malware analysis is to determine if an organization is indeed infected with a malware, its type, and impact on the network so a response team can formulate the right actions to get rid of it.

Malware Research

Understanding what and how malware works is one of the best defenses against it. This leads to the best understanding of malicious programs and what different organizations can do to implement proactive security.

Extracting Indicators of Compromise

Software solution sellers conduct malware analysis in bulk to find any new indicators of compromise, which can help an organization defend itself against potential attacks.

Four Stages of Malware Analysis

In understanding what is malware analysis, it is important to look at the four stages it undergoes.

Automated Analysis

If you find a suspicious program inside the organization’s network, the easiest way to determine if it is a threat is to make use of full-automated analysis programs. They can quickly find out the functionalities and purpose of a potential malware. While not the most comprehensive solution, it is the fastest.

Static Property Analysis

Looking at the static properties of a malware provides a more in-depth look at what it can do. This is safe because looking at the static properties does not entail running the program. This step should show elementary-level indicators of compromise.

Interactive Behavior Analysis

Placing a malicious program in an isolated laboratory allows for safe observation of what it can do. The information that an analyst gathers from this will allow them to replicate it and implement automated tools for faster and easier discovery and prevention.

Reverse Manual Coding

The most comprehensive way to understand what is malware analysis is manually reverse-engineering its code. This provides the knowledge of what the malware is, what it can do, and what the organization can implement in order to defend against it.

Also Read,

What is Malware?

Static Malware Analysis Vs Dynamic Malware Analysis

Automated Malware Analysis in the Cloud

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Essential practices to strengthen your business’ cybersecurity

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

With enterprises being the centre of attention of an ever-evolving threat landscape, foolproof security of business assets has become the need of the hour. To counter the menace of cyberattacks, today we have businesses that specialize in the development and deployment of advanced and futuristic solutions that have the capability to defend businesses from the most dangerous of malware.

However, this vigilance may falter if enterprise stakeholders are not cautious about the basics of cybersecurity. Every critical aspect such as email, user access, software updates et al. needs to be optimized so that even a worst-case scenario pertaining to cyberattacks turns in the business’ favour.

Seqrite intends to educate its esteemed customers about very simple but effective steps that organizations need to integrate into their status quo to bolster cybersecurity.

Regular data backups

Data backups are essential because ransomware is notorious for locking enterprise data and demanding monetary benefits in exchange for data release. There is other malware too that may make businesses lose 100 % of their critical data.

Hence –

  • Back up your important data regularly and keep a recent backup copy offline
  • Encrypt your backup
  • Always use a combination of online and offline backup
  • If your computer gets infected with ransomware, your files can be restored from the offline backup, once the malware has been removed
  • Do not keep offline backups connected to your system as this data could be encrypted when ransomware strikes

Grants

Administrators should practice extreme caution while granting rights to the business workforce. Pin-point accuracy is a must while assigning access rights to employees. Admins should have absolute clarity about what parts of the business should be accessible to which users.

Hence –

  • Regularly audit local/domain Users and remove/disable unwanted users
  • Set strong passwords for every business account
  • A strong password includes a combination of –
  • Letters in upper case
  • Letters in lower case
  • Numbers & special characters
  • Password should consist of a minimum 8-10 characters
  • Mandating a password change on a periodic basis
  • A bad example would be common passwords like P@ssw0rd, Admin@123#, etc.
  • Set password expiration & account lockout policies (in case the wrong password is entered)
  • Don’t assign Administrator privileges to users
  • If possible enable Multi-Factor authentication to ensure all logins are legitimate
  • Don’t stay logged in as an administrator, unless it is strictly necessary.
  • Avoid browsing, opening documents or other regular work activities while logged in as an administrator

Software updates

Software updates drop the latest fixes to bugs and patches to every software entity present in your business.

Hence –

  • Keep your Operating System and other software updated. Software updates frequently include patches for newly discovered security vulnerabilities which could be exploited by attackers. Apply patches and updates for software like Microsoft Office, Java, Adobe Reader, Flash, and Internet Browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc., including Browser Plugins
  • Always keep your security software (antivirus, firewall, etc.) up-to-date to protect your computer from new variants of malware
  • Do not download cracked/pirated software, as they risk backdoor entry for malware into your computer
  • Avoid downloading software from untrusted P2P or torrent sites. In most cases, they harbour malicious software

Securing network and shared folders

Typically, network and shared folders are home to the most confidential business data. Hackers are always on a prowl to break-in to these folders and gain access to highly-sensitive information.

Hence –

  • Keep strong and unique passwords for login accounts and network shares
  • Disable unnecessary, admin share. i.e. admin$. Give access permission to shared data as per requirement
  • Audit RDP access & disable it if not required or, set appropriate rules to allow only specific & intended systems
  • Change RDP port to a non-standard port
  • Configure firewall in the following way –
    • o Deny access to all to important ports (in this case RDP port 3389)
    • o Allow access to only IP’s which are under your control
  • Use a VPN to access the network, instead of exposing RDP to the Internet
  • Possibly implement Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • Set lockout policy which hinders guessing of credentials
  • Create a separate network folder for each user when managing access to shared network folders
  • Don’t keep shared software in executable form

Email

No business can function without email. History is proof that email is one of the most go-to channels for hackers to propel cyber attacks.

Hence –

  • Enable Multi-Factor authentication to ensure all logins are legitimate
  • Set password expiration & account lockout policies (in case the wrong password is entered)
  • Don’t open attachments and links in an email sent by an unknown, unexpected or unwanted source. Delete suspicious-looking emails you receive from unknown sources, especially if they contain links or attachments
  • Cybercriminals use ‘Social Engineering’ techniques to trick users into opening attachments or clicking on links that lead to infected websites
  • Always turn on email protection of your antivirus software

Disable macros for Microsoft Office

Fairly self-explanatory, macros should be disabled because a lot of malware penetrates due to the enablement of macros.

Hence –

  • Do not enable ‘macros’ or ‘editing mode’ by default upon execution of the document, especially for attachments received via emails. A lot of malware infections rely on your action to turn on macros
  • Consider installing Microsoft Office Viewers. These viewer applications let you see what documents look like without even opening them in Word or Excel. More importantly, the viewer software doesn’t support macros at all, so this reduces the risk of enabling macros unintentionally

Secure browsing

Web browsers are the most sought out channels for malware attacks – everybody knows it.

Hence –

  • Always update your browser
  • Try to avoid downloading pirated/cracked media or software from sites like torrents
  • Block the ad pop-ups in the browser.
  • Always verify whether you are accessing the genuine site by checking the address bar of the browser. Phishing sites may show contents like a genuine one
  • Bookmark important sites to avoid being a victim of phishing
  • Do not share your personal details like name, contact number, email id, social networking site credentials for any unknown website
  • Do not install extensions in browsers which you are not fully aware of. Lookout for impersonating web-pages and do not allow any prompt on an unknown web page that you are visiting. Avoid visiting crack software download websites
  • Policies should be clearly communicated for employees opting for BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) facilities
  • Policies for using official applications on platforms other than office infrastructure should be established

 

Lastly, for pen drives, disable the autorun feature if not needed and regularly educate employees for best cybersecurity practices.

Seqrite is Quick Heal Technologies’ flagship enterprise product – the company is a stalwart and an industry major that has spearheaded the movement about the importance of cybersecurity. Hope, this educational document helps.

Please get in touch with us for any specific questions.

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Don’t put the network visibility of your enterprise at risk

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

We live in a connected world – thanks to the rise of new trends and concepts like Internet of Things (IoT) or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), enterprise networks can’t restrict themselves to a specific set of predefined devices. Hence, the number of devices that now exist on enterprise networks are rapidly multiplying.

Obviously, this would mean that the importance of network visibility has grown by multifold. Just a few years back, it was far simpler to get an outline of a business network, but courtesy to the ever-expanding number of devices that connect to business networks now, it is a whole new ball game.  From a cybersecurity perspective, network visibility is extremely important – it is important to monitor what an enterprise is trying to secure.

How does network visibility help an enterprise? Here are some ways:

Identifying anomalies in network activity

Network visibility enables cybersecurity administrators to observe network activity. This can allow them to spot and benchmark patterns, leading to easy identification of anomalies. Normal activity is thus easily detected and anything which stands out can be sent for investigation.

User activity

Are employees following their information security policy seriously? Proper network visibility will provide answers to this question with detailed information on how employees are using confidential and sensitive data. Network administrators can also readily find out if their policies are being followed and if there are backdoors in the network.

Secure Remote Connectivity

A secure connection from an endpoint to the company’s network for its remote users is very important and a virtual private network (VPN) does just that. It also helps build site-to-site connections to ensure protected and seamless connectivity. Typically, Secure Sockets Layer or IPsec is used to verify the communication between the endpoint and the network.

Ease of use and operational benefits

A single centralized solution offering network visibility helps provide an easy snapshot to understand what is happening in an enterprise network. It allows for operational benefits by eliminating the need to have multiple security solutions to perform the task.

Sensitive assets

Network visibility allows administrators to understand their network’s weak points. What part of the network gets attacked the most and what kind of attack vectors are used? Through these trends, network administrators stay up-to-date on the everyday changes happening in a fairly massive enterprise network.

Seqrite’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution offers a one-stop solution for network visibility. UTM reduces security complexities by integrating key IT security features in one integrated network security product. The platform brings network security, management, backup and recovery of UTM data and many other critical network services together under a single unified umbrella, tailored to suit the complexity of emerging threat scenarios.

A few benefits of the UTM solution are:

  • All traffic through the firewall is tracked and logged and pre-defined business rules are applied to block all threats and non-business traffic. This improves productivity and ensures security. The antivirus built into it scans all inbound and outbound traffic for malware at the gateway level. The IPS system can detect and prevent attacks from a wide range of DoS and DDoS attacks before they infiltrate the network.
  • It validates and encrypts every IP packet of communication using Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) and NAT traversal. VPN compression, Multiple Subnet Support, and DNS Setting for PPTP Server as well as SSL VPN, Remote Access VPN, Site-to-Site VPN, dead peer detection are some of the other features of this tool to ensure secure remote connectivity.
  • It includes mail antivirus and anti-spam as well as keyword blocking for emails and HTTP(S) traffic fortifying your email communication. Website category and custom web lists based filtering are also provided.
  • It boasts of a revamped ISP load balance and failover feature including policy-based failover routing and automatic divert of data traffic from inactive ISP to active ISPs. IPv6, VLAN, USB Internet support for 3G/4G and NTP support, configurable LAN/WAN/DMZ ports, and Layer 2 bridging and link aggregation are also provided.
  • A user-friendly web-based logging and reporting console gives a complete view of the network. Configurable scheduling of diagnostic tools and monitoring CPU/RAM/Disk usage with timely reports and alerts through SMS or email. Stronger access control with enhanced user/group bandwidth and quota management is also provided.

 

Seqrite UTM is a one-stop network security solution for your enterprise ensuring round-the-clock security for your network.

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Cybersecurity in a 5G World, What You Should Know

These days, it seems that all people can talk about is 5G technology and how it will change the world. For those that don’t really quite understand the magnitude of what 5G means, then you’ve come to the right place.

Today, we will explore the capabilities of 5G technology, various benefits, and how cybersecurity ties into all the hoopla (you didn’t think that we’d forget about cybersecurity, right?).

woman using tablet and computer 5G

What is 5G?

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll probably find a glut of information detailing about 5G and the technical aspects of why this is so good, so we’ll try to keep things as simple as possible.

First off, to keep things simple, the ‘G’ in 5G, 4G, 3G, etc. all stand for “Generation.” Essentially, they are upgraded versions of wireless signal strength and speed at which data can travel.

For newer generations (reminder: the higher the G the better), such as 5G, this type of wireless signal will be capable of pushing data at peak speeds that are more than 20 times faster than 4G.

In terms of latency, which is a fancy term for data communication delays, 5G is more than 100 times faster than 4G.

Pretty much this means that 5G will have virtually zero chance of ever experiencing random drop times or speed slowdowns that plagues 4G networks right now.

If you thought your 4G mobile speed was already lightning fast, then you’re in for quite a ride with 5G.

To help you better understand just how fast 5G can actually be, here is a quick overview of the time it would take for different wireless generations to download a standard HD movie (roughly 3GB file size) according to Lifewire:

  • 3G: 1 hour and 8 minutes
  • 4G: 40 minutes
  • 4G LTE: 27 minutes
  • 5G: 35 seconds

As you can see, the jump in data speeds are quite stark. Add in the fact that the network connection will always be stable and connected, then we have some pretty powerful stuff on our hands.

But do we actually need this kind of ridiculous speed in our lives? The answer is YES!

 

What Will 5G Be Used For?

Now that we understand just how fast 5G actually is, then we can understand why we need this in our lives (no, it isn’t for you to download Netflix movies really fast, although most people will use it for that exact reason).

5G actually will serve a major purpose in our lives and that will come in the form of the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT is essentially a technology that enables us to connect all of our devices, appliances, vehicles, and even our homes to the internet. Check our previous blog post where we discuss this more in depth.

Wait, but can’t we already connect these items to the internet through 4G? Yes, this is indeed true, but 4G would really be limited to simple data retrieval like updating the weather, downloading new GPS maps, etc.

This is due to the fact that 4G’s maximum throughput (another fancy schmancy term for maximum data flow through the internet and your devices) peaks around 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) while 5G hits the 20 Gbps range.

Why is this even important? Well, this is what makes 5G the true difference maker in taking IoT to a whole different realm of possibilities.

Since 5G has much faster speeds and low latency connections, now we can really make dreams of autonomous driving vehicles, remotely controlled machines, or even online surgeries completed by doctors from around the world. The last one is a bit of a ways away, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.

Here’s an example of how South Korea is showcasing its 5G capabilities. The video below shows how companies in the future could begin remotely controlling heavy machinery at dangerous sites with 5G’s low latency and high speeds.

This could forever change how companies operate by enabling true experts to handle complex machines all without leaving their bedroom or even coming close to risking their lives.

Where Does Cybersecurity Fit?

As quick as we can imagine the amazing possibilities that 5G technology could provide, we need to really consider the dangers that come with such power. The biggest elephant in the room for future IoT devices connected by 5G technology will be the threat of cyber hackers.

Imagine a scenario where your loved one is having surgery performed remotely by one of the world’s most accomplished surgeons that is located halfway around the world. This situation could go one of two ways. It would either be a truly world changing event or it could simply be a disaster waiting to happen.

The scary part is that since remote connection only requires a connection to the internet, then this automatically leaves us exposed and vulnerable to cyber attacks. We don’t even want to think of the issues that could spring up if a hacker could maliciously take over a remote surgery in the future.

Now, the even scarier part is that since the rollout of 5G is still in its infancy, the thought of cybersecurity has not really crossed the minds of manufacturers and technology providers.

This could lead to a situation where a major hacking episode will scare everyone straight and bring a high priority red flag towards integrating cybersecurity. But we are here today to argue that cybersecurity needs to be just as important as the underlying technology here.

The issue is that most of these connections and data will be passed through new communications protocols. For instance, data travelling from an automobile will not rely on the same protocols as a simple blog about your favorite travel destinations.

This poses problems for many cybersecurity vendors who are at a disadvantage in protecting this fast growing market.

How Cloudbric Can Help

By leveraging our years of award winning web application security experience, as well as the development of new IoT based threat detection systems, we hope to shift the importance of cybersecurity into the IoT future.

Throughout time the internet has been somewhat disjointed from our lives. Back in the early days of the internet, users had to connect online through dial up services. As we continued to progress with connectivity, the closest the internet has come into our lives is through our mobile phones.

However, the future will be quite different once internet connected automobiles, household appliances, heavy machinery, etc. becomes a much more polished and prominent technology in our lives. This calls for a much higher need for cybersecurity to play a central role to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all users.

Here at Cloudbric, we will be leveraging our new patented deep learning detection and threat filtering system to help monitor data communications for IoT based devices.

Our new solution will be part of a growing suite of solutions at Cloudbric where we are focused on bringing our enterprise security experience to the general user crowd.

In the future, autonomous automobiles and even household appliances will be connected via Cloudbric IoT security platform that filters data in and out of each device. This will not only ensure high performance of each device, but will protect the end users from any harmful spying, remote manipulation of the device itself, and so on.

Conclusion

Whenever people think of 5G technology, their thoughts are extremely short sighted in the fact that they only concern themselves with speed for their mobile phones or PC. However, 5G technology’s true purpose and intention is to bring IoT technology to the forefront.

In other words, 5G will open our eyes to a whole new world of limitless possibilities now that daily appliances and new class of devices will be connected to the internet.

This will make even the wildest of dreams become a reality, such as deploying the world’s best surgeon to perform robotic real time connected surgery from halfway across the world.

Although this opens so many positive doors for mankind, the possibility of cyber threats will certainly play a central role since these devices will need to be connected to the internet at all times. This leaves the IoT appliances and its users vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Allowing the IoT world to flourish and protect its users will be a tough task, but this is where cybersecurity vendors will become a necessity. Security vendors are not without their challenges.

Protecting IoT data communications requires new solution technology that is able to monitor, detect, and block attacks aimed at its protocols. Cloudbric will be one of a handful of companies focusing resources to this endeavor within the next year.

In summary, 5G technology, with its impressive speed, stability, and connectivity, will power our future. As a society, we need to be heavily prepared for the risks involved in having all devices around our lives connected to the internet and even powered remotely by people across the globe.

The time for cybersecurity is now and the ability for vendors to protects users will be the difference maker.

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This Week in Security News: Phishing Attacks and Ransomware

Welcome to our weekly roundup, where we share what you need to know about the cybersecurity news and events that happened over the past few days. This week, learn about schemes used in phishing and other email-based attacks. Also, learn how ransomware continues to make a significant impact in the threat landscape.

Read on:

New Report Finds 25% of Phishing Attacks Circumvent Office 365 Security

As email remains to be a common infection vector because of how easily it can be abused, attackers continue to take advantage of it by crafting threats that are persistent in nature and massive in number. 

New Twist in the Stuxnet Story

What a newly discovered missing link to Stuxnet and the now-revived Flame cyber espionage malware add to the narrative of the epic cyber-physical attack.

Cybersecurity Proposal Pits Cyber Pros Against Campaign Finance Hawks

A Federal Election Commission proposal aims to help presidential and congressional campaigns steer clear of hacking operations by allowing nonprofits to provide cybersecurity free of charge.

New Sextortion Scheme Demands Payment in Bitcoin Cash

Trend Micro researchers uncovered a sextortion scheme targeting Italian-speaking users. Based on IP lookups of the spam emails’ senders, they appear to have been sent via the Gamut spam botnet.  

This Free Tool Lets You Test Your Hacker Defenses

Organizations will be able to test their ability to deter hackers and cyberattacks with a free new tool designed by experts at the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre to prepare them against online threats including malware, phishing and other malicious activities.

Ransomware Hits County Offices, Knocks The Weather Channel Offline

On April 18, the systems of The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia, were infected by ransomware, disrupting the channel’s live broadcast for 90 minutes. 

Hacker Finds He Can Remotely Kill Car Engines After Breaking Into GPS Tracking Apps

A hacker broke into thousands of accounts belonging to users of two GPS tracker apps, giving him the ability to monitor the locations of tens of thousands of vehicles and even turn off the engines for some of them while they were in motion.

Uncovering CVE-2019-0232: A Remote Code Execution Vulnerability in Apache Tomcat

Trend Micro delves deeper into this vulnerability by expounding on what it is, how it can be exploited, and how it can be addressed. 

Hacker Dumps Thousands of Sensitive Mexican Embassy Documents Online

A hacker stole thousands of documents related to the inner workings of the Mexican embassy in Guatemala and posted them online.

Cybersecurity: UK Could Build an Automatic National Defense System, Says GCHQ Chief

The UK could one day create a national cyber-defense system built on sharing real-time cybersecurity information between intelligence agencies and business, the head of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters said at CYBERUK 19.

Do you think the new hacker defenses tool will decrease the number of cyber-attacks targeted at organizations and public sectors? Share your thoughts in the comments below or follow me on Twitter to continue the conversation: @JonLClay.

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Is Your Baby Monitor Susceptible to Hacking?

There’s no doubt that digital technology, in many of its forms, brings everyday tasks much closer-to-hand. From discovering breaking news, to online shopping, to keeping tabs on your home via security cameras—everything is within the touch of a button. Even so, with the growing reach of the Internet of Things (IoT), new and unsuspected threats are just around the corner—or are already here. 

 

One of the most alarming threats to emerge is the breach of privacy. In a number of high-profile cases, home surveillance cameras have been easily compromised and disturbing reports of hacked baby monitors are in the news.

For example, in early January of this year, a Western Australian mother voiced her worries when she discovered that the baby monitor she recently purchased was compromised. The monitor allowed her to log in with a QR code and a generic password in order to watch her child through a camera. Though she followed the instructions for installation, upon opening the monitoring website she was greatly alarmed to see a vision of a stranger’s bedroom, rather than her child’s.

This type of case isn’t isolated, as another report surfaced last year when a stranger allegedly hacked a baby monitor camera to watch a mother breastfeed. In yet another case, a Texas couple, whose devices were hacked, said they heard a man’s voice coming from their baby monitor threatening to kidnap their child. It doesn’t get much scarier than that.

Though you might not have prepared for it, it’s increasingly clear you need to take steps to protect yourself, your children, your privacy, and your new smart devices from these kinds of emerging privacy threats, as well as others. As a first precaution, you should always remember to change the default passwords on all your networked devices, starting with your router, creating strong new ones and securing them safely whenever possible with a password manager. You should then pick the best endpoint and network security solutions you can find to protect all the networked devices in your home.

Trend Micro Password Manager provides a password manager that lets you generate and sync strong passwords across your PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS devices.

In addition, Trend Micro Security provides the best endpoint security for PCs, Macs, Android and iOS—a key part of any home security strategy. Trend Micro Maximum Security includes Trend Micro Mobile Security as part of its subscription, so you can protect up to 10 devices.

Finally, Trend Micro Home Network Security is specifically designed to protect all your new “smart” connected devices in the home. It filters incoming and outgoing traffic to provide an extra layer of protection against intrusions or hacking of the home network. It protects your router and a wide range of smart devices, including security cameras, child monitoring devices, smart TVs, refrigerators, smart speakers, and even smart doorbells and thermostats, from emerging IoT threats—and the list goes on.

With our endpoint and network security solutions, we’ve got you covered! Click the links above for more details on our solutions.

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