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Microsoft Warns of Kremlin-Backed APT28 Exploiting Critical Outlook Vulnerability

Microsoft Warns of Kremlin-Backed APT28 Exploiting Critical Outlook Vulnerability

Dec 05, 2023 Email Security / Vulnerability
Microsoft on Monday said it detected Kremlin-backed nation-state activity exploiting a now-patched critical security flaw in its Outlook email service to gain unauthorized access to victims' accounts within Exchange servers. The tech giant  attributed  the intrusions to a threat actor it called  Forest Blizzard  (formerly Strontium), which is also widely tracked under the monikers APT28, BlueDelta, Fancy Bear, FROZENLAKE, Iron Twilight, Sednit, Sofacy, and TA422. The security vulnerability in question is  CVE-2023-23397  (CVSS score: 9.8), a critical privilege escalation bug that could allow an adversary to access a user's Net-NTLMv2 hash that could then be used to conduct a relay attack against another service to authenticate as the user. It was patched by Microsoft in March 2023. The goal, according to the Polish Cyber Command (DKWOC), is to obtain unauthorized access to mailboxes belonging to public and private entities in the country. "In the next stage of malici
Hackers Can Exploit 'Forced Authentication' to Steal Windows NTLM Tokens

Hackers Can Exploit 'Forced Authentication' to Steal Windows NTLM Tokens

Nov 28, 2023 Cyber Attack / Vulnerability
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a case of "forced authentication" that could be exploited to leak a Windows user's NT LAN Manager (NTLM) tokens by tricking a victim into opening a specially crafted Microsoft Access file. The attack takes advantage of a legitimate feature in the database management system solution that allows users to  link to external data sources , such as a remote SQL Server table. "This feature can be abused by attackers to automatically leak the Windows user's NTLM tokens to any attacker-controlled server, via any TCP port, such as port 80," Check Point security researcher Haifei Li  said . "The attack can be launched as long as the victim opens an .accdb or .mdb file. In fact, any more-common Office file type (such as a .rtf ) can work as well." NTLM, an authentication protocol introduced by Microsoft in 1993, is a challenge-response protocol that's used to authenticate users during sign-in. Over the years,
Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl
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