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Cybersecurity Priorities in 2021: How Can CISOs Re-Analyze and Shift Focus?

Cybersecurity Priorities in 2021: How Can CISOs Re-Analyze and Shift Focus?
September 21, 2021The Hacker News
2020 was a year of relentless disruptions. The protective layer of secured enterprise networks and controlled IT environments of the physical premises did not exist. Over the past year,  CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers)  have had to grapple with the challenges of bolstering the security posture, minimizing risks, and ensuring business continuity in the new normal. The rise in volumes and sophistication of cyberattacks in the rather borderless IT situation only compounded the challenges. All this has necessitated a shift in cybersecurity priorities in 2021. In this article, we have put together the top cybersecurity priorities for 2021 and beyond that will enable businesses to be fully equipped for future disruptions, without compromising on security. Cybersecurity Priorities for 2021 Strengthen the Cybersecurity Fundamentals CISOs must focus on security fundamentals, including asset management, password management, cyber hygiene, configuration,  vulnerability management

Unpatched Remote Hacking Flaw Disclosed in Fortinet's FortiWeb WAF

Unpatched Remote Hacking Flaw Disclosed in Fortinet's FortiWeb WAF
August 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Details have emerged about a new unpatched security vulnerability in Fortinet's web application firewall (WAF) appliances that could be abused by a remote, authenticated attacker to execute malicious commands on the system. "An OS command injection vulnerability in FortiWeb's management interface (version 6.3.11 and prior) can allow a remote, authenticated attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the system, via the SAML server configuration page," cybersecurity firm Rapid7  said  in an advisory published Tuesday. "This vulnerability appears to be related to  CVE-2021-22123 , which was addressed in  FG-IR-20-120 ." Rapid7 said it discovered and reported the issue in June 2021. Fortinet is expected to release a patch at the end of August with version Fortiweb 6.4.1. The command injection flaw is yet to be assigned a CVE identifier, but it has a severity rating of 8.7 on the CVSS scoring system. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability can allow auth

Attackers Can Weaponize Firewalls and Middleboxes for Amplified DDoS Attacks

Attackers Can Weaponize Firewalls and Middleboxes for Amplified DDoS Attacks
August 16, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Weaknesses in the implementation of TCP protocol in  middleboxes  and censorship infrastructure could be weaponized as a vector to stage reflected denial of service (DoS) amplification attacks against any target, surpassing many of the existing UDP-based amplification factors to date. Detailed by a group of academics from the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado Boulder at the USENIX Security Symposium, the volumetric attacks take advantage of TCP-non-compliance in-network middleboxes — such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and deep packet inspection (DPI) boxes — to amplify network traffic, with hundreds of thousands of IP addresses offering  amplification factors  exceeding those from DNS, NTP, and Memcached. The research, which received a Distinguished Paper Award at the conference, is the first of its kind to describe a technique to carry out DDoS reflected amplification attacks over the TCP protocol by abusing middlebox misconfigurations in the wild

Critical F5 BIG-IP Bug Under Active Attacks After PoC Exploit Posted Online

Critical F5 BIG-IP Bug Under Active Attacks After PoC Exploit Posted Online
March 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Almost 10 days after application security company F5 Networks  released patches  for critical vulnerabilities in its BIG-IP and BIG-IQ products, adversaries have begun opportunistically mass scanning and targeting exposed and unpatched networking devices to break into enterprise networks. News of in the wild exploitation comes on the heels of a proof-of-concept exploit code that surfaced online earlier this week by reverse-engineering the Java software patch in BIG-IP. The  mass scans  are said to have spiked since March 18. The flaws affect BIG-IP versions 11.6 or 12.x and newer, with a critical remote code execution (CVE-2021-22986) also impacting BIG-IQ versions 6.x and 7.x.  CVE-2021-22986  (CVSS score: 9.8) is notable for the fact that it's an unauthenticated, remote command execution vulnerability affecting the iControl REST interface, allowing an attacker to execute arbitrary system commands, create or delete files, and disable services without the need for any authentic

Hackers Exploiting Critical Zero-Day Bug in SonicWall SMA 100 Devices

Hackers Exploiting Critical Zero-Day Bug in SonicWall SMA 100 Devices
February 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
SonicWall on Monday warned of active exploitation attempts against a zero-day vulnerability in its Secure Mobile Access (SMA) 100 series devices. The flaw, which affects both physical and virtual SMA 100 10.x devices (SMA 200, SMA 210, SMA 400, SMA 410, SMA 500v), came to light after the NCC Group on Sunday  alerted  it had detected "indiscriminate use of an exploit in the wild." Details of the exploit have not been disclosed to prevent the zero-day from being misused further, but a patch is expected to be available by the end of day on February 2, 2021. "A few thousand devices are impacted," SonicWall  said  in a statement, adding, "SMA 100 firmware prior to 10.x is unaffected by this zero-day vulnerability." On January 22, The Hacker News exclusively  revealed  that SonicWall had been breached as a consequence of a coordinated attack on its internal systems by exploiting "probable zero-day vulnerabilities" in its SMA 100 series remote acc

Exclusive: SonicWall Hacked Using 0-Day Bugs In Its Own VPN Product

Exclusive: SonicWall Hacked Using 0-Day Bugs In Its Own VPN Product
January 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
SonicWall, a popular internet security provider of firewall and VPN products, on late Friday disclosed that it fell victim to a coordinated attack on its internal systems. The San Jose-based company said the attacks leveraged zero-day vulnerabilities in SonicWall secure remote access products such as NetExtender VPN client version 10.x and Secure Mobile Access ( SMA ) that are used to provide users with remote access to internal resources. "Recently, SonicWall identified a coordinated attack on its internal systems by highly sophisticated threat actors exploiting probable zero-day vulnerabilities on certain SonicWall secure remote access products," the company exclusively told The Hacker News. The development comes after The Hacker News received reports that SonicWall's internal systems went down earlier this week on Tuesday and that the source code hosted on the company's GitLab repository was accessed by the attackers. SonicWall wouldn't confirm the re

Apple Removes macOS Feature That Allowed Apps to Bypass Firewall Security

Apple Removes macOS Feature That Allowed Apps to Bypass Firewall Security
January 17, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple has removed a controversial feature from its macOS operating system that allowed the company's own first-party apps to bypass content filters, VPNs, and third-party firewalls. Called " ContentFilterExclusionList ," it included a list of as many as 50 Apple apps like iCloud, Maps, Music, FaceTime, HomeKit, the App Store, and its software update service that were routed through Network Extension Framework, effectively circumventing firewall protections. This exclusion list has been scrubbed now from macOS 11.2 beta 2. The issue first came to light last October following the release of macOS Big Sur, prompting concerns from security researchers who said the feature was ripe for abuse, adding it could be leveraged by an attacker to exfiltrate sensitive data by piggybacking it on to legitimate Apple apps included on the list and then bypass firewalls and security software. "After lots of bad press and lots of feedback/bug reports to Apple from developers such

Secret Backdoor Account Found in Several Zyxel Firewall, VPN Products

Secret Backdoor Account Found in Several Zyxel Firewall, VPN Products
January 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Zyxel has released a patch to address a critical vulnerability in its firmware concerning a hardcoded, undocumented secret account that could be abused by an attacker to login with administrative privileges and compromise its networking devices. The flaw, tracked as  CVE-2020-29583  (CVSS score 7.8), affects  version 4.60  present in a wide-range of Zyxel devices, including Unified Security Gateway (USG), USG FLEX, ATP, and VPN firewall products. EYE researcher  Niels Teusink  reported the vulnerability to Zyxel on November 29, following which the company released a firmware patch (ZLD V4.60 Patch1) on December 18. According to the  advisory  published by Zyxel, the undocumented account ("zyfwp") comes with an unchangeable password that's not only stored in plaintext but could also be used by a malicious third-party to login to the SSH server or web interface with admin privileges. Zyxel said the hardcoded credentials were put in place to deliver automatic firmware

Attackers Abusing Citrix NetScaler Devices to Launch Amplified DDoS Attacks

Attackers Abusing Citrix NetScaler Devices to Launch Amplified DDoS Attacks
December 24, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Citrix has issued an emergency advisory warning its customers of a security issue affecting its NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC) devices that attackers are abusing to launch amplified distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against several targets . "An attacker or bots can overwhelm the Citrix ADC [Datagram Transport Layer Security] network throughput, potentially leading to outbound bandwidth exhaustion," the company  noted . "The effect of this attack appears to be more prominent on connections with limited bandwidth." ADCs are purpose-built  networking appliances  whose function is to improve the performance, security, and availability of applications delivered over the web to end-users. The desktop virtualization and networking service provider said it's monitoring the incident and is continuing to investigate its impact on Citrix ADC, adding "the attack is limited to a small number of customers around the world." The iss

Apple Lets Some of its Big Sur macOS Apps Bypass Firewall and VPNs

Apple Lets Some of its Big Sur macOS Apps Bypass Firewall and VPNs
November 18, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple is facing the heat for a new feature in macOS Big Sur that allows many of its own apps to bypass firewalls and VPNs, thereby potentially allowing malware to exploit the same shortcoming to access sensitive data stored on users' systems and transmit them to remote servers. The issue was first spotted last month by a Twitter user named Maxwell in a beta version of the operating system. "Some Apple apps bypass some network extensions and VPN Apps," Maxwell  tweeted . "Maps for example can directly access the internet bypassing any NEFilterDataProvider or NEAppProxyProviders you have running." But now that the iPhone maker has released the latest version of macOS to the public on November 12, the behavior has been left unchanged, prompting concerns from security researchers, who say the change is ripe for abuse. Of particular note is the possibility that the bypass can leave macOS systems open to attack, not to mention the inability to limit or block net

Mukashi: A New Mirai IoT Botnet Variant Targeting Zyxel NAS Devices

Mukashi: A New Mirai IoT Botnet Variant Targeting Zyxel NAS Devices
March 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new version of the infamous Mirai botnet is exploiting a recently uncovered critical vulnerability in network-attached storage (NAS) devices in an attempt to remotely infect and control vulnerable machines. Called " Mukashi ," the new variant of the malware employs brute-force attacks using different combinations of default credentials to log into Zyxel NAS, UTM, ATP, and VPN firewall products to take control of the devices and add them to a network of infected bots that can be used to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Multiple Zyxel NAS products running firmware versions up to 5.21 are vulnerable to the compromise, Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 global threat intelligence team said, adding they uncovered the first such exploitation of the flaw in the wild on March 12. Zyxel's Pre-Authentication Command Injection Flaw Mukashi hinges on a pre-authentication command injection vulnerability (tracked as CVE-2020-9054 ), for which a proof-

A Simple Tool Released to Protect Dasan GPON Routers from Remote Hacking

A Simple Tool Released to Protect Dasan GPON Routers from Remote Hacking
May 08, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Since hackers have started exploiting two recently disclosed unpatched critical vulnerabilities found in GPON home routers, security researchers have now released an unofficial patch to help millions of affected users left vulnerable by their device manufacturer. Last week, researchers at vpnMentor disclosed details of—an authentication bypass (CVE-2018-10561) and a root-remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2018-10562)—in many models of Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) routers manufacturer by South Korea-based DASAN Zhone Solutions. If exploited, the first vulnerability lets an attacker easily bypass the login authentication page just by appending ?images/ to the URL in the browser's address bar. However, when coupled with the second flaw that allows command injection, unauthenticated attackers can remotely execute malicious commands on the affected device and modified DNS settings, eventually allowing them to take full control of the device remotely.

How to Mitigate the Threat Cryptocurrency Mining Poses to Enterprise Security

How to Mitigate the Threat Cryptocurrency Mining Poses to Enterprise Security
February 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
The growing popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is generating curiosity—and concern—among security specialists. Crypto mining software has been found on user machines, often installed by botnets. Organizations need to understand the risks posed by this software and what actions, if any, should be taken. To better advise our readers, we reached out to the security researchers at Cato Networks. Cato provides a cloud-based SD-WAN that includes FireWall as a Service (FWaaS) . Its research team, Cato Research Labs, maintains the company's Cloud IPS, and today released a list of crypto mining pool addresses that you can use as a blacklist in your firewall. (To download the list, visit this page .) Cato Research Labs determined crypto mining represents a moderate threat to the organization. Immediate disruption of the organization infrastructure or loss of sensitive data is not likely to be a direct outcome of crypto mining. However, there are significant risks of i

Firewall Bursting: A New Approach to Better Branch Security

Firewall Bursting: A New Approach to Better Branch Security
December 18, 2017Wang Wei
One of the most common network security solutions is the branch firewall. Branch firewall appliances can pack into a single device a wide range of security capabilities including a stateful or next-generation firewall, anti-virus, URL filtering, and IDS/IPS. But the reality is that most of these edge devices lack the processing power to apply the full scope of capabilities on all of the necessary traffic. If the firewall deployed in the branch cannot scale to address critical security needs, an alternative strategy must be used. Wholesale appliance upgrades are easy but expensive. Regional security hubs are complex and also costly. A new approach, called firewall bursting , leverages cloud scalability to offer an easier, more cost-effective alternative to branch office security. (You can find a great table comparing the different Firewall approaches here .) Costly Appliance Upgrades and Secure Hub Architectures The existing methods of evolving branch security force IT int

DUHK Attack Lets Hackers Recover Encryption Key Used in VPNs & Web Sessions

DUHK Attack Lets Hackers Recover Encryption Key Used in VPNs & Web Sessions
October 24, 2017Mohit Kumar
DUHK — Don't Use Hard-coded Keys — is a new 'non-trivial' cryptographic implementation vulnerability that could allow attackers to recover encryption keys that secure VPN connections and web browsing sessions. DUHK is the third crypto-related vulnerability reported this month after KRACK Wi-Fi attack and ROCA factorization attack . The vulnerability affects products from dozens of vendors, including Fortinet , Cisco, TechGuard, whose devices rely on ANSI X9.31 RNG — an outdated pseudorandom number generation algorithm — 'in conjunction with a hard-coded seed key.' Before getting removed from the list of FIPS-approved pseudorandom number generation algorithms in January 2016, ANSI X9.31 RNG was included into various cryptographic standards over the last three decades. Pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs) don't generate random numbers at all. Instead, it is a deterministic algorithm that produces a sequence of bits based on initial secret values called a

IPS as a Service Blocks WannaCry Spread Across the WAN

IPS as a Service Blocks WannaCry Spread Across the WAN
August 14, 2017Mohit Kumar
One of the most devastating aspects of the recent WannaCry ransomware attack was its self-propagating capability exploiting a vulnerability in the file access protocol, SMB v1. Most enterprises defences are externally-facing, focused on stopping incoming email and web attacks. But, once attackers gain a foothold inside the network through malware, there are very few security controls that would prevent the spread of the attack between enterprise locations in the Wide Area Network (WAN). This is partly due to the way enterprises deploy security tools, such as IPS appliances, and the effort needed to maintain those tools across multiple locations. It's for those reasons Cato Networks recently introduced a context-aware Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) as part of its secure SD-WAN service . There are several highlights in this announcement that challenge the basic concept of how IT security maintains an IPS device and sustains the effectiveness of its protection. Cato Network

What is the hype around Firewall as a Service?

What is the hype around Firewall as a Service?
July 10, 2017Mohit Kumar
Admit it. Who would not want their firewall maintenance grunt work to go away? For more than 20 years, companies either managed their edge firewall appliances or had service providers rack-and-stack appliances in their data centers and did it for them. This was called a managed firewall — an appliance wrapped with a managed service, often from a carrier or managed security service provider (MSSP). The provider assumed the management of the firewall box, its software, and even its policy and management from the over-burdened IT team. But customers ended up paying for the inefficiency of dealing with appliances (i.e. "grunt work") because the problem just shifted to the provider. A new architecture was needed - a transformation from an appliance form factor to a true cloud service. In a 2016 Hype Cycle for Infrastructure Protection report , Gartner analyst Jeremy D'Hoinne initiated the emerging category of Firewall as a Service (FWaaS). He defined FWaaS as " ...a fire
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