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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: digital Certificate

Researcher Releases PoC for Recent Java Cryptographic Vulnerability

Researcher Releases PoC for Recent Java Cryptographic Vulnerability
April 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A proof-of-concept (PoC) code demonstrating a newly disclosed digital signature bypass vulnerability in Java has been shared online.  The  high-severity flaw  in question,  CVE-2022-21449  (CVSS score: 7.5), impacts the following versions of Java SE and Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition - Oracle Java SE: 7u331, 8u321, 11.0.14, 17.0.2, 18 Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition: 20.3.5, 21.3.1, 22.0.0.2 The issue resides in Java's implementation of the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm ( ECDSA ), a  cryptographic mechanism  to  digitally sign  messages and data for verifying the authenticity and the integrity of the contents. In a nutshell, the cryptographic blunder — dubbed Psychic Signatures in Java — makes it possible to present a totally blank signature, which would still be perceived as valid by the vulnerable implementation. Successful exploitation of the flaw could permit an attacker to forge signatures and bypass authentication measures put in place. The PoC,

New SolarMarker Malware Variant Using Updated Techniques to Stay Under the Radar

New SolarMarker Malware Variant Using Updated Techniques to Stay Under the Radar
April 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed an advanced version of the SolarMarker malware that packs in new improvements with the goal of updating its defense evasion abilities and staying under the radar. "The recent version demonstrated an evolution from Windows Portable Executables (EXE files) to working with Windows installer package files (MSI files)," Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers  said  in a report published this month. "This campaign is still in development and going back to using executables files (EXE) as it did in its earlier versions." SolarMarker, also called Jupyter, leverages manipulated search engine optimization (SEO) tactics as its primary infection vector. It's known for its information stealing and backdoor features, enabling the attackers to steal data stored in web browsers and execute arbitrary commands retrieved from a remote server. In February 2022, the operators of SolarMarker were  observed  using stealthy Windows Registry

Chinese Hackers Target VMware Horizon Servers with Log4Shell to Deploy Rootkit

Chinese Hackers Target VMware Horizon Servers with Log4Shell to Deploy Rootkit
April 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A Chinese advanced persistent threat tracked as Deep Panda has been observed exploiting the  Log4Shell vulnerability  in VMware Horizon servers to deploy a backdoor and a novel rootkit on infected machines with the goal of stealing sensitive data. "The nature of targeting was opportunistic insofar that multiple infections in several countries and various sectors occurred on the same dates,"  said  Rotem Sde-Or and Eliran Voronovitch, researchers with Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs, in a report released this week. "The victims belong to the financial, academic, cosmetics, and travel industries." Deep Panda , also known by the monikers Shell Crew, KungFu Kittens, and Bronze Firestone, is said to have been active since at least 2010, with recent attacks "targeting legal firms for data exfiltration and technology providers for command-and-control infrastructure building,"  according  to Secureworks. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which assigned the panda

New Infinite Loop Bug in OpenSSL Could Let Attackers Crash Remote Servers

New Infinite Loop Bug in OpenSSL Could Let Attackers Crash Remote Servers
March 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The maintainers of OpenSSL have  shipped patches  to resolve a high-severity security flaw in its software library that could lead to a denial-of-service (DoS) condition when parsing certificates. Tracked as  CVE-2022-0778  (CVSS score: 7.5), the issue stems from parsing a malformed certificate with invalid explicit  elliptic-curve  parameters, resulting in what's called an "infinite loop." The flaw resides in a function called BN_mod_sqrt() that's used to compute the modular square root. "Since certificate parsing happens prior to verification of the certificate signature, any process that parses an externally supplied certificate may thus be subject to a denial-of-service attack," OpenSSL said in an advisory published on March 15, 2022. "The infinite loop can also be reached when parsing crafted private keys as they can contain explicit elliptic-curve parameters." While there is no evidence that the vulnerability has been exploited in the w

Russian Pushing New State-run TLS Certificate Authority to Deal With Sanctions

Russian Pushing New State-run TLS Certificate Authority to Deal With Sanctions
March 11, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Russian government has established its own TLS certificate authority ( CA ) to address issues with accessing websites that have arisen in the wake of sanctions imposed by the west following the country's unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. According to a message posted on the  Gosuslugi  public services portal, the Ministry of Digital Development is expected to provide a domestic replacement to handle the issuance and renewal of TLS certificates should they get revoked or expired. The service is offered to all legal entities operating in Russia, with the certificates delivered to site owners upon request within 5 working days. TLS certificates are used to digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details, enabling web browsers to confirm the domain's authenticity and ensure that the communication between a client computer and the target website is secure. The proposal comes as companies like DigiCert have been restricted from doing business in

New BLISTER Malware Using Code Signing Certificates to Evade Detection

New BLISTER Malware Using Code Signing Certificates to Evade Detection
December 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of an evasive malware campaign that makes use of valid code signing certificates to sneak past security defenses and stay under the radar with the goal of deploying Cobalt Strike and BitRAT payloads on compromised systems. The binary, a loader, has been dubbed "Blister" by researchers from Elastic Security, with the malware samples having  negligible  to  zero  detections on VirusTotal. As of writing, the infection vector used to stage the attack, as well as the ultimate objectives of the intrusion, remains unknown. A notable aspect of the attacks is that they leverage a valid code signing certificate issued by  Sectigo . The malware has been observed signed with the certificate in question dating back to September 15, 2021. Elastic said it reached out to the company to ensure that the abused certificates are revoked. "Executables with valid code signing certificates are often scrutinized to a lesser degree than unsig

Google Warns of a New Way Hackers Can Make Malware Undetectable on Windows

Google Warns of a New Way Hackers Can Make Malware Undetectable on Windows
September 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed a novel technique adopted by a threat actor to deliberately evade detection with the help of malformed digital signatures of its malware payloads. "Attackers created malformed code signatures that are treated as valid by Windows but are not able to be decoded or checked by OpenSSL code — which is used in a number of security scanning products," Google Threat Analysis Group's Neel Mehta  said  in a write-up published on Thursday. The new mechanism was observed to be exploited by a notorious family of unwanted software known as  OpenSUpdater  that's used to download and install other suspicious programs on compromised systems. Most targets of the campaign are users located in the U.S. who are prone to downloading cracked versions of games and other grey-area software. The findings come from a set of OpenSUpdater  samples   uploaded  to VirusTotal at least since mid-August. While adversaries in the past have relied on illega

A New Bug in Microsoft Windows Could Let Hackers Easily Install a Rootkit

A New Bug in Microsoft Windows Could Let Hackers Easily Install a Rootkit
September 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Security researchers have disclosed an unpatched weakness in Microsoft Windows Platform Binary Table (WPBT) affecting all Windows-based devices since Windows 8 that could be potentially exploited to install a rootkit and compromise the integrity of devices. "These flaws make every Windows system vulnerable to easily-crafted attacks that install fraudulent vendor-specific tables," researchers from Eclypsium  said  in a report published on Monday. "These tables can be exploited by attackers with direct physical access, with remote access, or through manufacturer supply chains. More importantly, these motherboard-level flaws can obviate initiatives like  Secured-core  because of the ubiquitous usage of  ACPI  [Advanced Configuration and Power Interface] and WPBT." WPBT, introduced with Windows 8 in 2012, is a  feature  that enables "boot firmware to provide Windows with a platform binary that the operating system can execute."  In other words, it allows

OpenSSL Releases Patches for 2 High-Severity Security Vulnerabilities

OpenSSL Releases Patches for 2 High-Severity Security Vulnerabilities
March 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The maintainers of OpenSSL have released a fix for two high-severity security flaws in its software that could be exploited to carry out denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and bypass certificate verification. Tracked as CVE-2021-3449 and CVE-2021-3450 , both the  vulnerabilities  have been resolved in an update (version OpenSSL 1.1.1k) released on Thursday. While CVE-2021-3449 affects all OpenSSL 1.1.1 versions, CVE-2021-3450 impacts OpenSSL versions 1.1.1h and newer. OpenSSL is a software library consisting of cryptographic functions that implement the Transport Layer Security protocol with the goal of securing communications sent over a computer network. According to an advisory published by OpenSSL, CVE-2021-3449 concerns a potential DoS vulnerability arising due to NULL pointer dereferencing that can cause an OpenSSL TLS server to crash if in the course of renegotiation the client transmits a malicious "ClientHello" message during the  handshake  between the server and

Hackers Steal Mimecast Certificate Used to Securely Connect with Microsoft 365

Hackers Steal Mimecast Certificate Used to Securely Connect with Microsoft 365
January 12, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Mimecast said on Tuesday that "a sophisticated threat actor" had compromised a digital certificate it provided to certain customers to securely connect its products to Microsoft 365 (M365) Exchange. The discovery was made after the breach was notified by Microsoft, the London-based company  said in an alert  posted on its website, adding it's reached out to the impacted organizations to remediate the issue. The company didn't elaborate on what type of certificate was compromised, but Mimecast offers  seven different digital certificates  based on the geographical location that must be uploaded to M365 to create a server Connection in Mimecast. "Approximately 10 percent of our customers use this connection," the company said. "Of those that do, there are indications that a low single digit number of our customers' M365 tenants were targeted." Mimecast is a cloud-based email management service for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365

Kazakhstan Begins Intercepting HTTPS Internet Traffic Of All Citizens Forcefully

Kazakhstan Begins Intercepting HTTPS Internet Traffic Of All Citizens Forcefully
July 19, 2019Mohit Kumar
If you are in Kazakhstan and unable to access the Internet service without installing a certificate, you're not alone. The Kazakhstan government has once again issued an advisory to all major local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) asking them to make it mandatory for all their customers to install government-issued root certificates on their devices in order to regain access to the Internet services. The root certificate in question, labeled as " trusted certificate " or " national security certificate ," if installed, allows ISPs to intercept and monitor users' encrypted HTTPS and TLS connections, helping the government spy on its citizens and censor content. In other words, the government is essentially launching a "man in the middle" attack on every resident of the country. But how installing a "root certificate" allow ISPs to decrypt HTTPS connection? For those unaware, your device and web browsers automatically trust digi

Hackers Infect 50,000 MS-SQL and PHPMyAdmin Servers with Rootkit Malware

Hackers Infect 50,000 MS-SQL and PHPMyAdmin Servers with Rootkit Malware
May 29, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cyber Security researchers at Guardicore Labs today published a detailed report on a widespread cryptojacking campaign attacking Windows MS-SQL and PHPMyAdmin servers worldwide. Dubbed Nansh0u , the malicious campaign is reportedly being carried out by an APT-style Chinese hacking group who has already infected nearly 50,000 servers and are installing a sophisticated kernel-mode rootkit on compromised systems to prevent the malware from being terminated. The campaign, which dates back to February 26 but was first detected in early-April, has been found delivering 20 different payload versions hosted on various hosting providers. The attack relies on the brute-forcing technique after finding publicly accessible Windows MS-SQL and PHPMyAdmin servers using a simple port scanner. Upon successful login authentication with administrative privileges, attackers execute a sequence of MS-SQL commands on the compromised system to download malicious payload from a remote file server and

DHS Orders U.S. Federal Agencies to Audit DNS Security for Their Domains

DHS Orders U.S. Federal Agencies to Audit DNS Security for Their Domains
January 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has today issued an "emergency directive" to all federal agencies ordering IT staff to audit DNS records for their respective website domains, or other agency-managed domains, within next 10 business days. The emergency security alert came in the wake of a series of recent incidents involving DNS hijacking , which security researchers with "moderate confidence" believe originated from Iran. Domain Name System (DNS) is a key function of the Internet that works as an Internet's directory where your device looks up for the server IP addresses after you enter a human-readable web address (e.g., thehackernews.com). What is DNS Hijacking Attack? DNS hijacking involves changing DNS settings of a domain, redirecting victims to an entirely different attacker-controlled server with a fake version of the websites they are trying to visit, often with an objective to steal users' data. "The attacker alter

Stolen D-Link Certificate Used to Digitally Sign Spying Malware

Stolen D-Link Certificate Used to Digitally Sign Spying Malware
July 09, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Digitally signed malware has become much more common in recent years to mask malicious intentions. Security researchers have discovered a new malware campaign misusing stolen valid digital certificates from Taiwanese tech-companies, including D-Link, to sign their malware and making them look like legitimate applications. As you may know, digital certificates issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA) are used to cryptographically sign computer applications and software and are trusted by your computer for execution of those programs without any warning messages. However, malware author and hackers who are always in search of advanced techniques to bypass security solutions have seen been abusing trusted digital certificates in recent years. Hackers use compromised code signing certificates associated with trusted software vendors in order to sign their malicious code, reducing the possibility of their malware being detected on targeted enterprise networks and consumer

The Rise of Super-Stealthy Digitally Signed Malware—Thanks to the Dark Web

The Rise of Super-Stealthy Digitally Signed Malware—Thanks to the Dark Web
November 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Guess what's more expensive than counterfeit United States passports, stolen credit cards and even guns on the dark web? It's digital code signing certificates. A recent study conducted by the Cyber Security Research Institute (CSRI) this week revealed that stolen digital code-signing certificates are readily available for anyone to purchase on the dark web for up to $1,200. As you may know, digital certificates issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA) are used to cryptographically sign computer applications and software, and are trusted by your computer for execution of those programs without any warning messages. However, malware author and hackers who are always in search of advanced techniques to bypass security solutions have been abusing trusted digital certificates during recent years. Hackers use compromised code signing certificates associated with trusted software vendors in order to sign their malicious code, reducing the possibility of their malw

Critical DoS Flaw found in OpenSSL — How It Works

Critical DoS Flaw found in OpenSSL — How It Works
September 23, 2016Swati Khandelwal
The OpenSSL Foundation has patched over a dozen vulnerabilities in its cryptographic code library, including a high severity bug that can be exploited for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. OpenSSL is a widely used open-source cryptographic library that provides encrypted Internet connections using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) for the majority of websites, as well as other secure services. The vulnerabilities exist in OpenSSL versions 1.0.1, 1.0.2 and 1.1.0 and patched in OpenSSL versions 1.1.0a, 1.0.2i and 1.0.1u. The Critical-rated bug ( CVE-2016-6304 ) can be exploited by sending a large OCSP Status Request extension on the targeted server during connection negotiations, which causes memory exhaustion to launch DoS attacks, the OpenSSL Project said . What is OCSP Protocol? OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol), supported by all modern web browsers, is a protocol designed to perform verification and obtain the revocation status of a digital

Chinese Certificate Authority 'mistakenly' gave out SSL Certs for GitHub Domains

Chinese Certificate Authority 'mistakenly' gave out SSL Certs for GitHub Domains
August 29, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A Chinese certificate authority (CA) appeared to be making a significant security blunder by handing out duplicate SSL certificates for a base domain if someone just has control over its any subdomain. The certificate authority, named WoSign , issued a base certificate for the Github domains to an unnamed GitHub user. But How? First of all, do you know, the traditional Digital Certificate Management System is the weakest link on the Internet today and has already been broken? Billions of Internet users blindly rely on hundreds of Certificate Authorities (CA) around the globe to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their personal data. But, these CAs have powers to issue valid SSL cert for any domain you own, despite the fact you already have one purchased from another CA. ...and that's the biggest loophole in the CA system. In the latest case as well, WoSign issued a duplicate SSL certificate for GitHub domains without verifying ownership of the base domain.

What is Certificate Transparency? How It helps Detect Fake SSL Certificates

What is Certificate Transparency? How It helps Detect Fake SSL Certificates
April 11, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Do you know there is a huge encryption backdoor still exists on the Internet that most people don't know about? I am talking about the traditional Digital Certificate Management System … the weakest link, which is completely based on trust, and it has already been broken several times. To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their personal data, billions of Internet users blindly rely on hundreds of Certificate Authorities (CA) around the globe. In this article I am going to explain: The structural flaw in current Digital Certificate Management system. Why Certificate Authorities (CA) have lost the Trust. How Certificate Transparency (CT) fixes issues in the SSL certificate system. How to early detect every SSL Certificates issued for your Domain, legitimate or rogue? First, you need to know Certificate Authority and its role: Certificate Authority and its Role A Certificate Authority (CA) is a third-party organization that acts as a centr
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