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Unified Threat Management: The All-in-One Cybersecurity Solution

Unified Threat Management: The All-in-One Cybersecurity Solution
Aug 16, 2022
UTM (Unified threat management) is thought to be an all-in-one solution for cybersecurity. In general, it is a versatile software or hardware firewall solution integrated with IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and other security services. A universal gateway allows the user to manage network security with one comprehensive solution, which makes the task much easier. In addition, compared to a conventional firewall, such systems are capable of detecting and blocking more sophisticated attacks. SafeDNS has recently released such a solution, and this is what this article is going to be about. Who needs UTMs? Most of all, UTMs are valued by SMEs - the all-in-one solution makes it simple to manage all their cybersecurity solutions and services. This also cuts down a lot of communications between vendors, since UTMs are easily supported by one IT team. This leads to another upside of the system - it can be cost-effective, as there is no need to pay a bunch of vendors & extra for tech

Credential Theft Is (Still) A Top Attack Method

Credential Theft Is (Still) A Top Attack Method
Aug 15, 2022
Credential theft is clearly still a problem. Even after years of warnings, changing password requirements, and multiple forms of authentication,  password  stealing remains a top attack method used by cyber criminals. The latest  report  from the Ponemon Institute shares that 54% of security incidents were caused by credential theft, followed by ransomware and DDoS attacks. 59% of organizations aren't revoking credentials that are no longer needed, meaning passwords can go unattended and dormant like a sitting duck (similar to what happened with Colonial Pipeline). And  Verizon's Data Breach Investigations Report  cites that nearly 50% of all data breaches were caused by stolen credentials. The stats don't lie. Cybercriminals are advancing, there's no doubt, but if there's an option to take the path of least resistance, they'll take it. Too often, that means compromising passwords and exploiting vulnerable access points.  Credential Theft and Critical Access

CISA, FBI, NSA Issue Advisory on Severe Increase in Ransomware Attacks

CISA, FBI, NSA Issue Advisory on Severe Increase in Ransomware Attacks
Feb 10, 2022
Image Source: TechPrivacy Cybersecurity authorities from Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. have published a joint advisory warning of an increase in sophisticated, high-impact ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure organizations across the world in 2021. The incidents singled out a broad range of sectors, including defense, emergency services, agriculture, government facilities, IT, healthcare, financial services, education, energy, charities, legal institutions, and public services. "Ransomware tactics and techniques continued to evolve in 2021, which demonstrates ransomware threat actors' growing technological sophistication and an increased ransomware threat to organizations globally," the agencies  said  in the  joint bulletin . Spear-phishing, stolen or brute-forced Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials, and exploitation of software flaws emerged as the top three initial infection vectors that were used to deploy ransomware on compromised netwo

U.S. Authorities Charge 6 Indian Call Centers Scamming Thousands of Americans

U.S. Authorities Charge 6 Indian Call Centers Scamming Thousands of Americans
Feb 04, 2022
A number of India-based call centers and their directors have been indicted for their alleged role in placing tens of millions of scam calls aimed at defrauding thousands of American consumers. The indictment charged Manu Chawla, Sushil Sachdeva, Nitin Kumar Wadwani, Swarndeep Singh, Dinesh Manohar Sachdev, Gaje Singh Rathore, Sanket Modi, Rajiv Solanki and their respective call centers for conspiring with previously indicted VoIP provider E Sampark and its director, Guarav Gupta, to forward the calls to U.S. citizens. "Criminal India-based call centers defraud U.S. residents, including the elderly, by misleading victims over the telephone utilizing scams such as Social Security and IRS impersonation as well as loan fraud," the U.S. Justice Department  said  in a release. According to the  November 2020 indictment  issued against E Sampark and Gupta, the calls from India-based phone scammers led to reported losses of over $20 million from May 2015 to June 2020, with the c

Google Drops FLoC and Introduces Topics API to Replace Tracking Cookies for Ads

Google Drops FLoC and Introduces Topics API to Replace Tracking Cookies for Ads
Jan 26, 2022
Google on Tuesday announced that it is abandoning its controversial plans for replacing third-party cookies in favor of a new Privacy Sandbox proposal called  Topics , which categorizes users' browsing habits into approximately 350 topics. The new mechanism , which takes the place of  FLoC  (short for Federated Learning of Cohorts), slots users' browsing history for a given week into a handful of top pre-designated interests (i.e., topics), which are retained only on the device for a revolving period of three weeks. Subsequently, when a user visits a participating site, the Topics API selects three of the interests — one topic from each of the past three weeks — to share with the site and its advertising partners. To give more control over the framework, users can not only see the topics but also remove topics or disable it altogether. By labeling each website with a recognizable, high-level topic and sharing the most frequent topics associated with the browsing history,

Researchers Bypass SMS-based Multi-Factor Authentication Protecting Box Accounts

Researchers Bypass SMS-based Multi-Factor Authentication Protecting Box Accounts
Jan 18, 2022
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of a now-patched bug in Box's multi-factor authentication (MFA) mechanism that could be abused to completely sidestep SMS-based login verification. "Using this technique, an attacker could use stolen credentials to compromise an organization's Box account and exfiltrate sensitive data without access to the victim's phone," Varonis researchers  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. The cybersecurity company said it reported the issue to the cloud service provider on November 2, 2021, post which fixes were issued by Box. MFA is an authentication method that relies on a combination of factors such as a password (something only the user knows) and a temporary one-time password aka TOTP (something only the user has) to provide users a second layer of defense against credential stuffing and other account takeover attacks. This two-step authentication can either involve sending the code as an SMS or alternat

Meta Expands Facebook Protect Program to Activists, Journalists, Government Officials

Meta Expands Facebook Protect Program to Activists, Journalists, Government Officials
Dec 02, 2021
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, on Thursday announced an expansion of its Facebook Protect security program to include human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and government officials who are more likely to be targeted by bad actors across its social media platforms. "These people are at the center of critical communities for public debate," said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Meta. "They enable democratic elections, hold governments and organizations accountable, and defend human rights around the world. Unfortunately this also means that they are highly targeted by bad actors." Facebook Protect , currently being launched globally in phases, enables users who enroll for the initiative to adopt stronger account security protections, like two-factor authentication (2FA), and watch out for potential hacking threats. Meta said more than 1.5 million accounts have enabled Facebook Protect to date, of which nearly 950,000 account

Apple's New iCloud Private Relay Service Leaks Users' Real IP Addresses

Apple's New iCloud Private Relay Service Leaks Users' Real IP Addresses
Sep 24, 2021
A new as-yet unpatched weakness in Apple's iCloud Private Relay feature could be circumvented to leak users' true IP addresses from iOS devices running the latest version of the operating system. Introduced as a beta with iOS 15, which was officially released this week,  iCloud Private Relay  aims to improve anonymity on the web by employing a dual-hop architecture that effectively shields users' IP address, location, and DNS requests from websites and network service providers. It achieves this by routing users' internet traffic on the Safari browser through two proxies in order to mask who's browsing and where that data is coming from in what could be viewed as a simplified version of Tor.  However, the feature is available only to iCloud+ subscribers running iOS 15 or macOS 12 Monterey and above. "If you read the IP address from an HTTP request received by your server, you'll get the IP address of the egress proxy," FingerprintJS researcher Se

A New PHP Composer Bug Could Enable Widespread Supply-Chain Attacks

A New PHP Composer Bug Could Enable Widespread Supply-Chain Attacks
Apr 29, 2021
The maintainers of Composer, a package manager for PHP, have shipped an update to address a critical vulnerability that could have allowed an attacker to execute arbitrary commands and "backdoor every PHP package," resulting in a supply-chain attack. Tracked as CVE-2021-29472, the security issue was discovered and reported on April 22 by researchers from  SonarSource , following which a hotfix was deployed less than 12 hours later. "Fixed command injection vulnerability in HgDriver/HgDownloader and hardened other VCS drivers and downloaders," Composer  said  its  release notes  for versions 2.0.13 and 1.10.22 published on Wednesday. "To the best of our knowledge the vulnerability has not been exploited." Composer  is billed as a tool for dependency management in PHP, enabling easy installation of packages relevant to a project. It also allows users to install PHP applications that are available on  Packagist , a repository that aggregates all public P

Google Speech-to-Text API Can Help Attackers Easily Bypass Google reCAPTCHA

Google Speech-to-Text API Can Help Attackers Easily Bypass Google reCAPTCHA
Jan 05, 2021
A three-year-old attack technique to bypass Google's audio reCAPTCHA by using its own Speech-to-Text API has been found to still work with 97% accuracy. Researcher Nikolai Tschacher disclosed his findings in a proof-of-concept (PoC) of the attack on January 2. "The idea of the attack is very simple: You grab the MP3 file of the audio reCAPTCHA and you submit it to Google's own speech-to-text API," Tschacher  said  in a write-up. "Google will return the correct answer in over 97% of all cases." Introduced in 2000, CAPTCHAs (or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) are a type of challenge-response tests designed to protect against automated account creation and service abuse by presenting users with a question that is easy for humans to solve but difficult for computers. reCAPTCHA  is a popular version of the CAPTCHA technology that was acquired by Google in 2009. The search giant released the  third iteration  of re

How to Defend Against Malware, Phishing, and Scams During COVID-19 Crisis

How to Defend Against Malware, Phishing, and Scams During COVID-19 Crisis
Dec 23, 2020
As if the exponential rise in phishing scams and malware attacks in the last five years wasn't enough, the COVID-19 crisis has worsened it further. The current scenario has given a viable opportunity to cybercriminals to find a way to target individuals, small and large enterprises, government corporations. According to Interpol's  COVID-19 Cybercrime Analysis Report , based on the feedback of 194 countries, phishing/scam/fraud, malware/ransomware, malicious domains, and fake news have emerged as the biggest digital threats across the world in the wake of the pandemic. Image source: interpol.int There are primarily two reasons for emerging cyber threats in 2020: Most of the population is working, learning, shopping, or running their business from home, where they're using personal devices from the home/public internet connection, which are usually unsafe and hence highly vulnerable to cybercrimes. The cybercriminals are using the COVID-19 theme to exploit people and

Common Security Misconfigurations and Their Consequences

Common Security Misconfigurations and Their Consequences
Dec 21, 2020
Everyone makes mistakes. That one sentence was drummed into me in my very first job in tech, and it has held true since then. In the cybersecurity world, misconfigurations can create exploitable issues that can haunt us later - so let's look at a few common security misconfigurations. The first one is development permissions that don't get changed when something goes live. For example, AWS S3 buckets are often assigned permissive access while development is going on. The issues arise when security reviews aren't carefully performed prior to pushing the code live, no matter if that push is for the initial launch of a platform or for updates. The result is straight-forward; a bucket goes live with the ability for anyone to read and write to and from it. This particular misconfiguration is dangerous; since the application is working and the site is loading for users, there's no visible indication that something is wrong until a threat actor hunting for open buckets stum

New Raccoon Attack Could Let Attackers Break SSL/TLS Encryption

New Raccoon Attack Could Let Attackers Break SSL/TLS Encryption
Sep 10, 2020
A group of researchers has detailed a new timing vulnerability in Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol that could potentially allow an attacker to break the encryption and read sensitive communication under specific conditions. Dubbed " Raccoon Attack ," the server-side attack exploits a side-channel in the cryptographic protocol (versions 1.2 and lower) to extract the shared secret key used for secure communications between two parties. "The root cause for this side channel is that the TLS standard encourages non-constant-time processing of the DH secret," the researchers explained their findings in a paper. "If the server reuses ephemeral keys, this side channel may allow an attacker to recover the premaster secret by solving an instance of the Hidden Number Problem." However, the academics stated that the vulnerability is hard to exploit and relies on very precise timing measurements and on a specific server configuration to be exploitable.

A Google Drive 'Feature' Could Let Attackers Trick You Into Installing Malware

A Google Drive 'Feature' Could Let Attackers Trick You Into Installing Malware
Aug 22, 2020
An unpatched security weakness in Google Drive could be exploited by malware attackers to distribute malicious files disguised as legitimate documents or images, enabling bad actors to perform spear-phishing attacks comparatively with a high success rate. The latest security issue—of which Google is aware but, unfortunately, left unpatched—resides in the " manage versions " functionality offered by Google Drive that allows users to upload and manage different versions of a file, as well as in the way its interface provides a new version of the files to the users. Logically, the manage versions functionally should allow Google Drive users to update an older version of a file with a new version having the same file extension, but it turns out that it's not the case. According to A. Nikoci, a system administrator by profession who reported the flaw to Google and later disclosed it to The Hacker News, the affected functionally allows users to upload a new version wit

New Ripple20 Flaws Put Billions of Internet-Connected Devices at Risk of Hacking

New Ripple20 Flaws Put Billions of Internet-Connected Devices at Risk of Hacking
Jun 16, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security and CISA ICS-CERT today issued a critical security advisory warning about over a dozen newly discovered vulnerabilities affecting billions of Internet-connected devices manufactured by many vendors across the globe. Dubbed " Ripple20 ," the set of 19 vulnerabilities resides in a low-level TCP/IP software library developed by Treck, which, if weaponized, could let remote attackers gain complete control over targeted devices—without requiring any user interaction. According to Israeli cybersecurity company JSOF—who discovered these flaws—the affected devices are in use across various industries, ranging from home/consumer devices to medical, healthcare, data centers, enterprises, telecom, oil, gas, nuclear, transportation, and many others across critical infrastructure. "Just a few examples: data could be stolen off of a printer, an infusion pump behavior changed, or industrial control devices could be made to malfunction. An

L1ght Looks to Protect Internet Users from Toxic and Predatory Behavior

L1ght Looks to Protect Internet Users from Toxic and Predatory Behavior
Mar 11, 2020
Cybersecurity has been regarded as a necessity for all computer users, especially today when data breaches and malware attacks have become rampant. However, one of the more overlooked aspects of cybersecurity is the prevention of other forms of cybercrime, such as the spread of harmful content and predatory behavior. Most current discussions on cybersecurity revolve around organizations needing to protect customer data or for individual users to prevent their sensitive data from being intercepted. However, given the prevalence of toxic behavior, it's about time the cybersecurity community also gives internet safety, especially for children and younger users, its due attention. Israel-based startup L1ght aims to curb the spread of bad behavior online. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect harmful content, hate speech, bullying, and other predatory behavior in social networks, communication applications, and online video games. The firm

Why Minimizing Human Error is the Only Viable Defense Against Spear Phishing

Why Minimizing Human Error is the Only Viable Defense Against Spear Phishing
Feb 25, 2020
Phishing attacks have become one of the business world's top cybersecurity concerns. These social engineering attacks have been rising over the years, with the most recent report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group coalition identifying over 266,000 active spoofed websites, which is nearly double the number detected during Q4 2018. Hackers have evolved their methods, from regular phishing attacks to spear phishing, where they use email messages disguised as coming from legitimate sources to dupe specific individuals. This is why the global spear phishing protection software market is estimated to reach $1.8 billion by 2025. However, conventional defenses can still fall short due to one particular weakness in the security perimeter – the human factor. Indeed, some 33 percent of 2019's data breaches involved humans falling victim to social engineering attacks. And given how sophisticated and creative the phishing perpetrators have been getting, it's easy to see h
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