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Palo Alto Networks Releases Urgent Fixes for Exploited PAN-OS Vulnerability

Palo Alto Networks Releases Urgent Fixes for Exploited PAN-OS Vulnerability

Apr 15, 2024 Firewall Security / Vulnerability
Palo Alto Networks has released hotfixes to address a maximum-severity security flaw impacting PAN-OS software that has come under active exploitation in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2024-3400  (CVSS score: 10.0), the critical vulnerability is a case of command injection in the GlobalProtect feature that an unauthenticated attacker could weaponize to execute arbitrary code with root privileges on the firewall. Fixes for the shortcoming are available in the following versions - PAN-OS 10.2.9-h1 PAN-OS 11.0.4-h1, and PAN-OS 11.1.2-h3 Patches for other commonly deployed maintenance releases are expected to be released over the next few days. "This issue is applicable only to PAN-OS 10.2, PAN-OS 11.0, and PAN-OS 11.1 firewalls configured with GlobalProtect gateway or GlobalProtect portal (or both) and device telemetry enabled," the company  clarified  in its updated advisory. It also said that while Cloud NGFW firewalls are not impacted by CVE-2024-3400, specific PAN-OS
Hackers Deploy Python Backdoor in Palo Alto Zero-Day Attack

Hackers Deploy Python Backdoor in Palo Alto Zero-Day Attack

Apr 13, 2024
Threat actors have been exploiting the newly disclosed zero-day flaw in Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS software dating back to March 26, 2024, nearly three weeks before it came to light yesterday. The network security company's Unit 42 division is  tracking  the activity under the name  Operation MidnightEclipse , attributing it as the work of a single threat actor of unknown provenance. The security vulnerability, tracked as  CVE-2024-3400  (CVSS score: 10.0), is a command injection flaw that enables unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code with root privileges on the firewall. It's worth noting that the issue is applicable only to PAN-OS 10.2, PAN-OS 11.0, and PAN-OS 11.1 firewall configurations that have GlobalProtect gateway and device telemetry enabled. Operation MidnightEclipse entails the exploitation of the flaw to create a cron job that runs every minute to fetch commands hosted on an external server ("172.233.228[
The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

Apr 08, 2024Ransomware / Cybercrime
The  ransomware industry surged in 2023  as it saw an alarming 55.5% increase in victims worldwide, reaching a staggering 5,070.  But 2024 is starting off showing a very different picture.  While the numbers skyrocketed in Q4 2023 with 1309 cases, in Q1 2024, the ransomware industry was down to 1,048 cases. This is a 22% decrease in ransomware attacks compared to Q4 2023. Figure 1: Victims per quarter There could be several reasons for this significant drop.  Reason 1: The Law Enforcement Intervention Firstly, law enforcement has upped the ante in 2024 with actions against both LockBit and ALPHV. The LockBit Arrests In February, an international operation named "Operation Cronos" culminated in the arrest of at least three associates of the infamous LockBit ransomware syndicate in Poland and Ukraine.  Law enforcement from multiple countries collaborated to take down LockBit's infrastructure. This included seizing their dark web domains and gaining access to their backend sys
Zero-Day Alert: Critical Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS Flaw Under Active Attack

Zero-Day Alert: Critical Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS Flaw Under Active Attack

Apr 12, 2024 Network Security / Zero-Day
Palo Alto Networks is warning that a critical flaw impacting PAN-OS software used in its GlobalProtect gateways is being actively exploited in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2024-3400 , the issue has a CVSS score of 10.0, indicating maximum severity. "A command injection vulnerability in the GlobalProtect feature of Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS software for specific PAN-OS versions and distinct feature configurations may enable an unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges on the firewall," the company  said  in an advisory published today. The flaw impacts the following versions of PAN-OS, with fixes expected to be released on April 14, 2024 - PAN-OS < 11.1.2-h3 PAN-OS < 11.0.4-h1 PAN-OS < 10.2.9-h1 The company also said that the issue is applicable only to firewalls that have the configurations for both  GlobalProtect gateway  (Network > GlobalProtect > Gateways) and  device telemetry  (Device > Setup > Telemetry) enabled.
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Critical Flaws Leave 92,000 D-Link NAS Devices Vulnerable to Malware Attacks

Critical Flaws Leave 92,000 D-Link NAS Devices Vulnerable to Malware Attacks

Apr 09, 2024 Botnet / Vulnerability
Threat actors are actively scanning and exploiting a pair of security flaws that are said to affect as many as 92,000 internet-exposed D-Link network-attached storage (NAS) devices. Tracked as  CVE-2024-3272  (CVSS score: 9.8) and  CVE-2024-3273  (CVSS score: 7.3), the vulnerabilities impact  legacy D-Link products  that have reached end-of-life (EoL) status. D-Link, in an  advisory , said it does not plan to ship a patch and instead urges customers to replace them. "The vulnerability lies within the nas_sharing.cgi uri, which is vulnerable due to two main issues: a backdoor facilitated by hard-coded credentials, and a command injection vulnerability via the system parameter," security researcher who goes by the name netsecfish  said  in late March 2024. Successful exploitation of the flaws could lead to arbitrary command execution on the affected D-Link NAS devices, granting threat actors the ability to access sensitive information, alter system configurations, or even
New BIFROSE Linux Malware Variant Using Deceptive VMware Domain for Evasion

New BIFROSE Linux Malware Variant Using Deceptive VMware Domain for Evasion

Mar 01, 2024 Linux / Cyber Threat
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new Linux variant of a remote access trojan (RAT) called BIFROSE (aka Bifrost) that uses a deceptive domain mimicking VMware. "This latest version of Bifrost aims to bypass security measures and compromise targeted systems," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers Anmol Maurya and Siddharth Sharma  said . BIFROSE  is one of the long-standing threats that has been active since 2004. It has been offered for sale in underground forums for up to $10,000 in the past, according to a  report  from Trend Micro in December 2015. The malware has been put to use by a state-backed hacking group from China tracked as  BlackTech  (aka Circuit Panda, HUAPI, Manga Taurus, Palmerworm, PLEAD, Red Djinn, and Temp.Overboard), which has a history of striking organizations in Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S. It's suspected that the threat actor purchased the source code or gained access to it around 2010, and repurposed the malware for use in its own
Google Cloud Resolves Privilege Escalation Flaw Impacting Kubernetes Service

Google Cloud Resolves Privilege Escalation Flaw Impacting Kubernetes Service

Dec 28, 2023 Cloud Security / Data Protection
Google Cloud has addressed a medium-severity security flaw in its platform that could be abused by an attacker who already has access to a Kubernetes cluster to escalate their privileges. "An attacker who has compromised the  Fluent Bit  logging container could combine that access with high privileges required by  Anthos Service Mesh  (on clusters that have enabled it) to escalate privileges in the cluster," the company  said  as part of an advisory released on December 14, 2023. Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, which discovered and reported the shortcoming, said adversaries could weaponize it to carry out "data theft, deploy malicious pods, and disrupt the cluster's operations." There is no evidence that the issue has been exploited in the wild. It has been addressed in the following versions of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Anthos Service Mesh (ASM) - 1.25.16-gke.1020000 1.26.10-gke.1235000 1.27.7-gke.1293000 1.28.4-gke.1083000 1.17.8-asm.8 1.18.
Chinese Hackers Launch Covert Espionage Attacks on 24 Cambodian Organizations

Chinese Hackers Launch Covert Espionage Attacks on 24 Cambodian Organizations

Nov 13, 2023 National Security / Cyber Attack
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered what they say is malicious cyber activity orchestrated by two prominent Chinese nation-state hacking groups targeting 24 Cambodian government organizations. "This activity is believed to be part of a long-term espionage campaign," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers  said  in a report last week. "The observed activity aligns with geopolitical goals of the Chinese government as it seeks to leverage their strong relations with Cambodia to project their power and expand their naval operations in the region." Targeted organizations span defense, election oversight, human rights, national treasury and finance, commerce, politics, natural resources, and telecommunications sectors. The assessment stems from the persistent nature of inbound network connections originating from these entities to a China-linked adversarial infrastructure that masquerades as cloud backup and storage services over a "period of several month
New Report Uncovers 3 Distinct Clusters of China-Nexus Attacks on Southeast Asian Government

New Report Uncovers 3 Distinct Clusters of China-Nexus Attacks on Southeast Asian Government

Sep 25, 2023 Malware Attack / Cyber Threat
An unnamed Southeast Asian government has been targeted by multiple China-nexus threat actors as part of espionage campaigns targeting the region over extended periods of time. "While this activity occurred around the same time and in some instances even simultaneously on the same victims' machines, each cluster is characterized by distinct tools, modus operandi, and infrastructure," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers Lior Rochberger, Tom Fakterman, and Robert Falcone  said  in an exhaustive three-part report. The attacks, which targeted different governmental entities such as critical infrastructure, public healthcare institutions, public financial administrators and ministries, have been attributed with moderate confidence to three disparate clusters tracked as  Stately Taurus  (aka Mustang Panda),  Alloy Taurus  (aka Granite Typhoon), and  Gelsemium . Mustang Panda Uses TONESHELL Variant and ShadowPad "The attackers conducted a cyberespionage operation th
IcedID Malware Adapts and Expands Threat with Updated BackConnect Module

IcedID Malware Adapts and Expands Threat with Updated BackConnect Module

Jul 28, 2023 Malware / Cyber Threat
The threat actors linked to the malware loader known as IcedID have made updates to the BackConnect (BC) module that's used for post-compromise activity on hacked systems, new findings from Team Cymru reveal. IcedID, also called BokBot , is a strain of malware similar to  Emotet  and  QakBot  that started off as a banking trojan in 2017, before switching to the role of an initial access facilitator for other payloads. Recent versions of the malware have been  observed  removing functionality related to online banking fraud to prioritize ransomware delivery. The BackConnect (BC) module,  first documented  by Netresec in October 2022, relies on a proprietary command-and-control (C2) protocol to exchange commands between a server and the infected host. The protocol, which comes with a VNC component for remote access, has also been identified in other malware such as the now-discontinued  BazarLoader  and QakBot. In December 2022, Team Cymru  reported  the discovery of 11 BC C2s a
New P2PInfect Worm Targeting Redis Servers on Linux and Windows Systems

New P2PInfect Worm Targeting Redis Servers on Linux and Windows Systems

Jul 20, 2023 Malware / Cyber Threat
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new cloud targeting, peer-to-peer (P2P) worm called  P2PInfect  that targets vulnerable Redis instances for follow-on exploitation. "P2PInfect exploits Redis servers running on both Linux and Windows Operating Systems making it more scalable and potent than other worms," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers William Gamazo and Nathaniel Quist  said . "This worm is also written in Rust, a highly scalable and cloud-friendly programming language." It's estimated that as many as 934 unique Redis systems may be vulnerable to the threat. The first known instance of P2PInfect was detected on July 11, 2023. A notable characteristic of the worm is its ability to infects vulnerable Redis instances by exploiting a critical Lua sandbox escape vulnerability,  CVE-2022-0543  (CVSS score: 10.0), which has been previously exploited to deliver multiple  malware families  such as  Muhstik ,  Redigo , and  HeadCrab  over the past ye
Cybercrime Group 'Muddled Libra' Targets BPO Sector with Advanced Social Engineering

Cybercrime Group 'Muddled Libra' Targets BPO Sector with Advanced Social Engineering

Jun 23, 2023 Social Engineering / Phishing
A threat actor known as  Muddled Libra  is targeting the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry with persistent attacks that leverage advanced social engineering ploys to gain initial access. "The attack style defining Muddled Libra appeared on the cybersecurity radar in late 2022 with the release of the 0ktapus phishing kit, which offered a prebuilt hosting framework and bundled templates," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42  said  in a technical report. Libra is the constellation-themed  designation  given by the cybersecurity company for cybercrime groups. The "muddled" moniker for the threat actor stems from the prevailing ambiguity with regards to the use of the 0ktapus framework. 0ktapus , also known as Scatter Swine, refers to an intrusion set that first came to light in August 2022 in connection with smishing attacks against over 100 organizations, including Twilio and Cloudflare. Then in late 2022, CrowdStrike  detailed  a string of cyber assaults aimed
State-Backed Hackers Employ Advanced Methods to Target Middle Eastern and African Governments

State-Backed Hackers Employ Advanced Methods to Target Middle Eastern and African Governments

Jun 19, 2023 Cyber Attack / Hacking
Governmental entities in the Middle East and Africa have been at the receiving end of sustained cyber-espionage attacks that leverage never-before-seen and rare credential theft and Exchange email exfiltration techniques. "The main goal of the attacks was to obtain highly confidential and sensitive information, specifically related to politicians, military activities, and ministries of foreign affairs," Lior Rochberger, senior threat researcher at Palo Alto Networks,  said  in a technical deep dive published last week. The company's Cortex Threat Research team is  tracking  the activity under the temporary name  CL-STA-0043  (where CL stands for cluster and STA stands for state-backed motivation), describing it as a "true advanced persistent threat." The infection chain is triggered by the exploitation of vulnerable on-premises Internet Information Services ( IIS ) and Microsoft Exchange servers to infiltrate target networks. Palo Alto Networks said it det
Chinese Hackers Spotted Using Linux Variant of PingPull in Targeted Cyberattacks

Chinese Hackers Spotted Using Linux Variant of PingPull in Targeted Cyberattacks

Apr 26, 2023 Linux / Cyber Threat
The Chinese nation-state group dubbed  Alloy Taurus  is using a Linux variant of a backdoor called PingPull as well as a new undocumented tool codenamed Sword2033. That's according to findings from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, which  discovered  recent malicious cyber activity carried out by the group targeting South Africa and Nepal. Alloy Taurus is the constellation-themed moniker assigned to a threat actor that's known for its attacks targeting telecom companies since at least 2012. It's also tracked by Microsoft as Granite Typhoon (previously Gallium). Last month, the adversary was attributed to a campaign called  Tainted Love  targeting telecommunication providers in the Middle East as part of a broader operation referred to as Soft Cell. Recent cyber espionage attacks mounted by Alloy Taurus have also broadened their victimology footprint to include financial institutions and government entities. PingPull,  first documented  by Unit 42 in June 2022, is a remote
Realtek Vulnerability Under Attack: Over 134 Million Attempts to Hack IoT Devices

Realtek Vulnerability Under Attack: Over 134 Million Attempts to Hack IoT Devices

Jan 30, 2023 Internet of Things / Malware
Researchers are warning about a spike in exploitation attempts weaponizing a now-patched critical remote code execution flaw in Realtek Jungle SDK since the start of August 2022. According to Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, the ongoing campaign is said to have recorded 134 million exploit attempts as of December 2022, with 97% of the attacks occurring in the past four months. Close to 50% of the attacks originated from the U.S. (48.3%), followed by Vietnam (17.8%), Russia (14.6%), The Netherlands (7.4%), France (6.4%), Germany (2.3%0, and Luxembourg (1.6%). What's more, 95% of the attacks leveraging the security shortcoming that emanated from Russia singled out organizations in Australia. "Many of the attacks we observed tried to deliver malware to infect vulnerable IoT devices," Unit 42 researchers  said  in a report, adding "threat groups are using this vulnerability to carry out large-scale attacks on smart devices around the world." The vulnerability in q
Iranian Government Entities Under Attack by New Wave of BackdoorDiplomacy Attacks

Iranian Government Entities Under Attack by New Wave of BackdoorDiplomacy Attacks

Jan 18, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Risk
The threat actor known as  BackdoorDiplomacy  has been linked to a new wave of attacks targeting Iranian government entities between July and late December 2022. Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, which is tracking the activity under its  constellation-themed  moniker  Playful Taurus , said it observed the government domains attempting to connect to malware infrastructure previously identified as associated with the adversary. Also known by the names APT15, KeChang, NICKEL, and Vixen Panda, the Chinese APT group has a history of cyber espionage campaigns aimed at government and diplomatic entities across North America, South America, Africa, and the Middle East at least since 2010. Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET, in June 2021,  unpacked  the intrusions mounted by the hacking crew against diplomatic entities and telecommunication companies in Africa and the Middle East using a custom implant known as Turian. Then in December 2021, Microsoft  announced  the seizure of 42 domains operated
Hackers Using CAPTCHA Bypass Tactics in Freejacking Campaign on GitHub

Hackers Using CAPTCHA Bypass Tactics in Freejacking Campaign on GitHub

Jan 06, 2023 Cryptocurrency / GitHub
A South Africa-based threat actor known as Automated Libra has been observed employing CAPTCHA bypass techniques to create GitHub accounts in a programmatic fashion as part of a freejacking campaign dubbed PURPLEURCHIN. The group "primarily targets cloud platforms offering limited-time trials of cloud resources in order to perform their crypto mining operations," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers William Gamazo and Nathaniel Quist  said . PURPLEURCHIN first came to light in October 2022 when Sysdig  disclosed  that the adversary created as many as 30 GitHub accounts, 2,000 Heroku accounts, and 900 Buddy accounts to scale its operation. Now according to Unit 42, the cloud threat actor group created three to five GitHub accounts every minute at the height of its activity in November 2022, totally setting up over 130,000 bogus accounts across Heroku, Togglebox, and GitHub. More than 22,000 GitHub accounts are estimated to have been created between September and Novemb
Russian Hackers Targeted Petroleum Refinery in NATO Country During Ukraine War

Russian Hackers Targeted Petroleum Refinery in NATO Country During Ukraine War

Dec 20, 2022 Cyber War / Cyber Attack
The Russia-linked Gamaredon group attempted to unsuccessfully break into a large petroleum refining company within a NATO member state earlier this year amid the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. The attack, which took place on August 30, 2022, is just one of multiple intrusions orchestrated by the advanced persistent threat (APT) that's attributed to Russia's Federal Security Service ( FSB ). Gamaredon , also known by the monikers Actinium, Armageddon, Iron Tilden, Primitive Bear, Shuckworm, Trident Ursa, and Winterflounder, has a history of primarily going after Ukrainian entities and, to a lesser extent, NATO allies to harvest sensitive data. "As the conflict has continued on the ground and in cyberspace, Trident Ursa has been operating as a dedicated access creator and intelligence gatherer," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "Trident Ursa remains one of the most pervasive, intrusive, continuously active and focused AP
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