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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,
Hackers Gain Fileless Persistence on Targeted SQL Servers Using a Built-in Utility

Hackers Gain Fileless Persistence on Targeted SQL Servers Using a Built-in Utility

May 18, 2022
Microsoft on Tuesday warned that it recently spotted a malicious campaign targeting SQL Servers that leverages a built-in PowerShell binary to achieve persistence on compromised systems. The intrusions, which leverage brute-force attacks as an initial compromise vector, stand out for their use of the utility " sqlps.exe ," the tech giant  said  in a series of tweets. The ultimate goals of the campaign are unknown, as is the identity of the threat actor staging it. Microsoft is tracking the malware under the name " SuspSQLUsage ." The sqlps.exe utility, which comes by default with all versions of SQL Servers, enables an SQL Agent — a Windows service to run scheduled tasks — to run jobs using the PowerShell subsystem. "The attackers achieve fileless persistence by spawning the sqlps.exe utility, a PowerShell wrapper for running SQL-built cmdlets, to run recon commands and change the start mode of the SQL service to LocalSystem," Microsoft noted. Addi
How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

How Nation-State Actors Target Your Business: New Research Exposes Major SaaS Vulnerabilities

Feb 15, 2024SaaS Security / Risk Management
With many of the highly publicized 2023 cyber attacks revolving around one or more SaaS applications, SaaS has become a cause for genuine concern in many boardroom discussions. More so than ever, considering that GenAI applications are, in fact, SaaS applications. Wing Security (Wing), a SaaS security company, conducted an analysis of 493 SaaS-using companies in Q4 of 2023.  Their study reveals  how companies use SaaS today, and the wide variety of threats that result from that usage. This unique analysis provides rare and important insights into the breadth and depth of SaaS-related risks, but also provides practical tips to mitigate them and ensure SaaS can be widely used without compromising security posture.  The TL;DR Version Of SaaS Security 2023 brought some now infamous examples of malicious players leveraging or directly targeting SaaS, including the North Korean group UNC4899, 0ktapus ransomware group, and Russian Midnight Blizzard APT, which targeted well-known organizat
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