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Firing Your Entire Cybersecurity Team? Are You Sure?

Firing Your Entire Cybersecurity Team? Are You Sure?

September 23, 2022The Hacker News
What on earth were they thinking? That's what we – and other security experts – were wondering when content giant Patreon recently dismissed its entire internal cybersecurity team in exchange for outsourced services. Of course, we don't know the true motivations for this move. But, as outsiders looking in, we can guess the cybersecurity implications of the decision would be inescapable for any organization. Fire the internal team and you take a huge risk Patreon is a content-creator site that handles billions of dollars in revenue. For reasons unknown to us, Patreon fired not just a couple of staff members or someone in middle management. No: the company fired its entire security team.  It's a big decision with significant consequences because it results in an incalculable loss of organizational knowledge. At the technical level, it's a loss of soft knowledge around deep system interdependencies that internal security experts will just "know" about and ac
SparklingGoblin APT Hackers Using New Linux Variant of SideWalk Backdoor

SparklingGoblin APT Hackers Using New Linux Variant of SideWalk Backdoor

September 14, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A Linux variant of a backdoor known as SideWalk was used to target a Hong Kong university in February 2021, underscoring the cross-platform abilities of the implant.  Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET, which detected the malware in the university's network, attributed the backdoor to a nation-state actor dubbed  SparklingGoblin . The unnamed university is said to have been already targeted by the group in May 2020 during the  student protests . "The group continuously targeted this organization over a long period of time, successfully compromising multiple key servers, including a print server, an email server, and a server used to manage student schedules and course registrations," ESET  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. SparklingGoblin is the name given to a Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) group with connections to the  Winnti umbrella  (aka APT41, Barium, Earth Baku, or Wicked Panda). It's primarily known for its attacks targeting various en
New Stealthy Shikitega Malware Targeting Linux Systems and IoT Devices

New Stealthy Shikitega Malware Targeting Linux Systems and IoT Devices

September 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new piece of stealthy Linux malware called Shikitega has been uncovered adopting a multi-stage infection chain to compromise endpoints and IoT devices and deposit additional payloads. "An attacker can gain full control of the system, in addition to the cryptocurrency miner that will be executed and set to persist," AT&T Alien Labs  said  in a new report published Tuesday. The findings add to a growing list of Linux malware that has been found in the wild in recent months, including  BPFDoor ,  Symbiote ,  Syslogk ,  OrBit , and  Lightning Framework . Once deployed on a targeted host, the attack chain downloads and executes the Metasploit's " Mettle " meterpreter to maximize control, exploits vulnerabilities to elevate its privileges, adds persistence on the host via crontab, and ultimately launches a cryptocurrency miner on infected devices. The exact method by which the initial compromise is achieved remains unknown as yet, but what makes Shikitega
"As Nasty as Dirty Pipe" — 8 Year Old Linux Kernel Vulnerability Uncovered

"As Nasty as Dirty Pipe" — 8 Year Old Linux Kernel Vulnerability Uncovered

August 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Details of an eight-year-old security vulnerability in the Linux kernel have emerged that the researchers say is "as nasty as Dirty Pipe." Dubbed  DirtyCred  by a group of academics from Northwestern University, the security weakness exploits a previously unknown flaw ( CVE-2022-2588 ) to escalate privileges to the maximum level. "DirtyCred is a kernel exploitation concept that swaps unprivileged  kernel credentials  with privileged ones to escalate privilege," researchers Zhenpeng Lin, Yuhang Wu, and Xinyu Xing noted. "Instead of overwriting any critical data fields on kernel heap, DirtyCred abuses the heap memory reuse mechanism to get privileged." This entails three steps - Free an in-use unprivileged credential with the vulnerability Allocate privileged credentials in the freed memory slot by triggering a privileged userspace process such as su, mount, or sshd Operate as a privileged user The novel exploitation method, according to the resea
CISA Issues Warning on Active Exploitation of UnRAR Software for Linux Systems

CISA Issues Warning on Active Exploitation of UnRAR Software for Linux Systems

August 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Tuesday added a recently disclosed security flaw in the UnRAR utility to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. Tracked as CVE-2022-30333 (CVSS score: 7.5), the issue concerns a path traversal vulnerability in the Unix versions of UnRAR that can be triggered upon extracting a maliciously crafted RAR archive. This means that an adversary could exploit the flaw to drop arbitrary files on a target system that has the utility installed simply by decompressing the file. The vulnerability was  revealed  by SonarSource researcher Simon Scannell in late June. "RARLAB UnRAR on Linux and UNIX contains a directory traversal vulnerability, allowing an attacker to write to files during an extract (unpack) operation," the agency  said  in an advisory. Although the flaw affects any Linux application that uses UnRAR to extract an archive file, a successful exploitation of
Resolving Availability vs. Security, a Constant Conflict in IT

Resolving Availability vs. Security, a Constant Conflict in IT

August 05, 2022The Hacker News
Conflicting business requirements is a common problem – and you find it in every corner of an organization, including in information technology. Resolving these conflicts is a must, but it isn't always easy – though sometimes there is a novel solution that helps. In IT management there is a constant struggle between security and operations teams. Yes, both teams ultimately want to have secure systems that are harder to breach. However, security can come at the expense of availability – and vice versa. In this article, we'll look at the availability vs. security conflict, and a solution that helps to resolve that conflict. Ops team focus on availability… security teams lock down Operations teams will always have stability, and therefore availability, as a top priority. Yes, ops teams will make security a priority too but only as far as it touches on either stability or availability, never as an absolute goal. It plays out in the "five nines" uptime goal that sets an incredibly high
New Linux Malware Framework Lets Attackers Install Rootkit on Targeted Systems

New Linux Malware Framework Lets Attackers Install Rootkit on Targeted Systems

July 21, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A never-before-seen Linux malware has been dubbed a "Swiss Army Knife" for its modular architecture and its capability to install rootkits. This previously undetected Linux threat, called  Lightning Framework  by Intezer, is equipped with a plethora of features, making it one of the most intricate frameworks developed for targeting Linux systems. "The framework has both passive and active capabilities for communication with the threat actor, including opening up SSH on an infected machine, and a polymorphic malleable command and control configuration," Intezer researcher Ryan Robinson  said  in a new report published today. Central to the malware is a downloader ("kbioset") and a core ("kkdmflush") module, the former of which is engineered to retrieve at least seven different plugins from a remote server that are subsequently invoked by the core component. In addition, the downloader is also responsible for establishing the persistence of t
Researchers Warn of New OrBit Linux Malware That Hijacks Execution Flow

Researchers Warn of New OrBit Linux Malware That Hijacks Execution Flow

July 07, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have taken the wraps off a new and entirely undetected Linux threat dubbed  OrBit , signally a growing trend of malware attacks geared towards the popular operating system. The malware gets its name from one of the filenames that's utilized to temporarily store the output of executed commands ("/tmp/.orbit"), according to cybersecurity firm Intezer. "It can be installed either with persistence capabilities or as a volatile implant," security researcher Nicole Fishbein  said . "The malware implements advanced evasion techniques and gains persistence on the machine by hooking key functions, provides the threat actors with remote access capabilities over SSH, harvests credentials, and logs TTY commands." OrBit is the fourth Linux malware to have come to light in a short span of three months after  BPFDoor ,  Symbiote , and  Syslogk . The malware also functions a lot like Symbiote in that it's designed to infect all of t
New 'FabricScape' Bug in Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Impacts Linux Workloads

New 'FabricScape' Bug in Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Impacts Linux Workloads

June 29, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42  disclosed  details of a new security flaw affecting Microsoft's Service Fabric that could be exploited to obtain elevated permissions and seize control of all nodes in a cluster. The issue, which has been dubbed  FabricScape  ( CVE-2022-30137 ), could only be weaponized on containers that are configured to have  runtime access . It has been  remediated  as of June 14, 2022, in  Service Fabric 9.0 Cumulative Update 1.0 . Azure Service Fabric  is Microsoft's platform-as-a-service ( PaaS ) and a container orchestrator solution used to build and deploy microservices-based cloud applications across a cluster of machines. "The vulnerability enables a bad actor, with access to a compromised container, to escalate privileges and gain control of the resource's host SF node and the entire cluster," Microsoft  said  as part of the coordinated disclosure process. "Though the bug exists on both Operating Syste
CISA Warns of Active Exploitation of 'PwnKit' Linux Vulnerability in the Wild

CISA Warns of Active Exploitation of 'PwnKit' Linux Vulnerability in the Wild

June 29, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) this week moved to  add  a Linux vulnerability dubbed  PwnKit  to its  Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog , citing evidence of active exploitation. The issue, tracked as  CVE-2021-4034  (CVSS score: 7.8), came to light in January 2022 and concerns a case of  local privilege escalation  in polkit's pkexec utility, which allows an authorized user to execute commands as another user. Polkit (formerly called PolicyKit) is a toolkit for controlling system-wide privileges in Unix-like operating systems, and provides a mechanism for non-privileged processes to communicate with privileged processes. Successful exploitation of the flaw could induce pkexec to execute arbitrary code, granting an unprivileged attacker administrative rights on the target machine. It's not immediately clear how the vulnerability is being weaponized in the wild, nor is there any information on the identity of the threat actor that may
Panchan: A New Golang-based Peer-To-Peer Botnet Targeting Linux Servers

Panchan: A New Golang-based Peer-To-Peer Botnet Targeting Linux Servers

June 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new Golang-based peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet has been spotted actively targeting Linux servers in the education sector since its emergence in March 2022. Dubbed  Panchan  by Akamai Security Research, the malware "utilizes its built-in concurrency features to maximize spreadability and execute malware modules" and "harvests SSH keys to perform lateral movement." The feature-packed botnet, which relies on a basic list of default SSH passwords to carry out a  dictionary attack  and expand its reach, primarily functions as a cryptojacker designed to hijack a computer's resources to mine cryptocurrencies. The cybersecurity and cloud service company noted it first spotted Panchan's activity on March 19, 2022, and attributed the malware to a likely Japanese threat actor based on the language used in the administrative panel baked into the binary to edit the mining configuration. Panchan is known to deploy and execute two miners, XMRig and nbhash, on the host
HelloXD Ransomware Installing Backdoor on Targeted Windows and Linux Systems

HelloXD Ransomware Installing Backdoor on Targeted Windows and Linux Systems

June 13, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Windows and Linux systems are being targeted by a ransomware variant called HelloXD, with the infections also involving the deployment of a backdoor to facilitate persistent remote access to infected hosts. "Unlike other ransomware groups, this ransomware family doesn't have an active leak site; instead it prefers to direct the impacted victim to negotiations through  Tox chat  and onion-based messenger instances," Daniel Bunce and Doel Santos, security researchers from Palo Alto Networks Unit 42,  said  in a new write-up. HelloXD  surfaced in the wild on November 30, 2021, and is based off leaked code from Babuk, which was  published  on a Russian-language cybercrime forum in September 2021. The ransomware family is no exception to the norm in that the operators follow the tried-and-tested approach of  double extortion  to demand cryptocurrency payments by exfiltrating a victim's sensitive data in addition to encrypting it and threatening to publicize the inform
Symbiote: A Stealthy Linux Malware Targeting Latin American Financial Sector

Symbiote: A Stealthy Linux Malware Targeting Latin American Financial Sector

June 09, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have taken the wraps off what they call a "nearly-impossible-to-detect" Linux malware that could be weaponized to backdoor infected systems. Dubbed  Symbiote  by threat intelligence firms BlackBerry and Intezer, the stealthy malware is so named for its ability to conceal itself within running processes and network traffic and drain a victim's resources like a  parasite . The operators behind Symbiote are believed to have commenced development on the malware in November 2021, with the threat actor predominantly using it to target the financial sector in Latin America, including banks like Banco do Brasil and Caixa, based on the domain names used. "Symbiote's main objective is to capture credentials and to facilitate backdoor access to a victim's machine," researchers Joakim Kennedy and Ismael Valenzuela said in a report shared with The Hacker News. "What makes Symbiote different from other Linux malware is that it infec
Even the Most Advanced Threats Rely on Unpatched Systems

Even the Most Advanced Threats Rely on Unpatched Systems

June 09, 2022The Hacker News
Common cybercriminals are a menace, there's no doubt about it – from bedroom hackers through to ransomware groups, cybercriminals are causing a lot of damage. But both the tools used and the threat posed by common cybercriminals pale in comparison to the tools used by more professional groups such as the famous hacking groups and state-sponsored groups. In fact, these tools can prove almost impossible to detect – and guard against. BVP47 is a case in point. In this article, we'll outline how this powerful state-sponsored malware has been quietly circulating for years, how it so cleverly disguises itself, and explain what that means for cybersecurity in the enterprise. Background story behind BVP47 It's a long story, fit for a spy novel. Earlier this year, a Chinese cybersecurity research group called Pangu Lab published an in-depth, 56-page report covering a piece of malicious code that the research group decided to call BVP47 (because BVP was the most common string in
EnemyBot Linux Botnet Now Exploits Web Server, Android and CMS Vulnerabilities

EnemyBot Linux Botnet Now Exploits Web Server, Android and CMS Vulnerabilities

May 30, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A nascent Linux-based botnet named Enemybot has expanded its capabilities to include recently disclosed security vulnerabilities in its arsenal to target web servers, Android devices, and content management systems (CMS). "The malware is rapidly adopting one-day vulnerabilities as part of its exploitation capabilities," AT&T Alien Labs  said  in a technical write-up published last week. "Services such as VMware Workspace ONE, Adobe ColdFusion, WordPress, PHP Scriptcase and more are being targeted as well as IoT and Android devices." First disclosed by  Securonix  in March and later by  Fortinet , Enemybot has been linked to a threat actor tracked as Keksec (aka Kek Security, Necro, and FreakOut), with early attacks targeting routers from Seowon Intech, D-Link, and iRZ. Enemybot, which is capable of carrying out  DDoS attacks , draws its origins from several other botnets like Mirai, Qbot, Zbot, Gafgyt, and LolFMe. An analysis of the latest variant reveals
SHIELDS UP in bite sized chunks

SHIELDS UP in bite sized chunks

May 09, 2022The Hacker News
Unless you are living completely off the grid, you know the horrifying war in Ukraine and the related geopolitical tensions have dramatically increased cyberattacks and the threat of even more to come. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provides guidance to US federal agencies in their fight against cybercrime, and the agency's advice has proven so valuable that it's been widely adopted by commercial organizations too. In February, CISA responded to the current situation by issuing an unusual " SHIELDS UP! " warning and advisory. According to CISA, "Every organization—large and small—must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber incidents." The announcement from CISA consisted of a range of recommendations to help organizations and individuals reduce the likelihood of a successful attack and limit damage in case the worst happens. It also contains general advice for C-level leaders, as well as a tip sheet on how to respond to r
Unpatched DNS Related Vulnerability Affects a Wide Range of IoT Devices

Unpatched DNS Related Vulnerability Affects a Wide Range of IoT Devices

May 03, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed an unpatched security vulnerability that could pose a serious risk to IoT products. The issue, which was originally reported in September 2021, affects the Domain Name System (DNS) implementation of two popular C libraries called  uClibc  and  uClibc-ng  that are used for developing embedded Linux systems. uClibc is known to be used by major vendors such as Linksys, Netgear, and Axis, as well as Linux distributions like Embedded Gentoo, potentially exposing millions of IoT devices to security threats. "The flaw is caused by the predictability of transaction IDs included in the DNS requests generated by the library, which may allow attackers to perform DNS poisoning attacks against the target device," Giannis Tsaraias and Andrea Palanca of Nozomi Networks  said  in a Monday write-up. DNS poisoning , also referred to as DNS spoofing, is the technique of corrupting a DNS resolver cache — which provides clients with the IP address a
Microsoft Discovers New Privilege Escalation Flaws in Linux Operating System

Microsoft Discovers New Privilege Escalation Flaws in Linux Operating System

April 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Tuesday disclosed a set of two privilege escalation vulnerabilities in the Linux operating system that could potentially allow threat actors to carry out an array of nefarious activities. Collectively called " Nimbuspwn ," the flaws "can be chained together to gain root privileges on Linux systems, allowing attackers to deploy payloads, like a root backdoor, and perform other malicious actions via arbitrary root code execution," Jonathan Bar Or of the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team  said  in a report. On top of that, the defects — tracked as  CVE-2022-29799 and CVE-2022-29800  — could also be weaponized as a vector for root access to deploy more sophisticated threats such as ransomware. The vulnerabilities are rooted in a  systemd  component called  networkd-dispatcher , a  daemon program  for the network manager system service that's designed to dispatch network status changes. Specifically, they relate to a combination of  directory t
Benchmarking Linux Security – Latest Research Findings

Benchmarking Linux Security – Latest Research Findings

April 18, 2022The Hacker News
How well do your Linux security practices stack up in today's challenging operating environment? Are you following the correct processes to keep systems up-to-date and protected against the latest threats? Now you can find out thanks to research independently conducted by the Ponemon Institute. The research sponsored by  TuxCare  sought to understand better how organizations are currently managing the security and stability of their Linux-based systems. The results allow all organizations operating Linux-based systems to benchmark their processes against their peers and best practices. You can get a copy of the complete report  HERE  if you can't wait to see the findings, but we've highlighted the key takeaways below if you'd like a preview. Research Goals  Understanding the current State of Enterprise Linux Security Management has never been more imperative. The number of high and critical vulnerabilities continues to grow each year significantly, and exploits aga
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