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US Cyber Command Links 'MuddyWater' Hacking Group to Iranian Intelligence

US Cyber Command Links 'MuddyWater' Hacking Group to Iranian Intelligence

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) on Wednesday officially confirmed MuddyWater's ties to the Iranian intelligence apparatus, while simultaneously detailing the various tools and tactics adopted by the espionage actor to burrow into victim networks. "MuddyWater has been seen using a variety of techniques to maintain access to victim networks," USCYBERCOM's Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF)  said  in a statement. "These include side-loading  DLLs  in order to trick legitimate programs into running malware and obfuscating PowerShell scripts to hide command and control functions." The agency characterized the hacking efforts as a subordinate element within the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), corroborating earlier reports about the nation-state actor's provenance. Also tracked under the monikers Static Kitten, Seedworm, Mercury and TEMP.Zagros,  MuddyWater  is known for its  attacks  primarily directed against a wide gamut of en
Apple Releases iPhone and iPad Updates to Patch HomeKit DoS Vulnerability

Apple Releases iPhone and iPad Updates to Patch HomeKit DoS Vulnerability

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Apple on Wednesday rolled out software updates for iOS and iPadOS to remediate a persistent  denial-of-service (DoS) issue  affecting the HomeKit smart home framework that could be potentially exploited to launch ransomware-like attacks targeting the devices. The iPhone maker, in its  release notes  for iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, termed it as a "resource exhaustion issue" that could be triggered when processing a maliciously crafted HomeKit accessory name, adding it addressed the bug with improved validation. The so-called "doorLock" vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2022-22588, affects HomeKit, the software API for connecting smart home devices to iOS applications. Should it be successfully exploited, iPhones and iPads can be sent into a crash spiral simply by changing the name of a HomeKit device to a string larger than 500,000 characters and tricking the target into accepting a malicious Home invitation. Even worse, since HomeKit device names are backed up to iClou
Hackers Use Cloud Services to Distribute Nanocore, Netwire, and AsyncRAT Malware

Hackers Use Cloud Services to Distribute Nanocore, Netwire, and AsyncRAT Malware

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Threat actors are actively incorporating public cloud services from Amazon and Microsoft into their malicious campaigns to deliver commodity remote access trojans (RATs) such as  Nanocore ,  Netwire , and  AsyncRAT  to siphon sensitive information from compromised systems. The spear-phishing attacks, which commenced in October 2021, have primarily targeted entities located in the U.S., Canada, Italy, and Singapore, researchers from Cisco Talos said in a report shared with The Hacker News. Using existing legitimate infrastructure to facilitate intrusions is increasingly becoming part of an attacker's playbook as it obviates the need to host their own servers, not to mention be used as a cloaking mechanism to evade detection by security solutions. In recent months, collaboration and communication tools like  Discord, Slack, and Telegram  have found a place in many an infection chain to  commandeer and exfiltrate data  from the victim machines. Viewed in that light, the abuse of
New SysJoker Espionage Malware Targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux Users

New SysJoker Espionage Malware Targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux Users

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new  cross-platform backdoor  called " SysJoker " has been observed targeting machines running Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems as part of an ongoing espionage campaign that's believed to have been initiated during the second half of 2021. "SysJoker masquerades as a system update and generates its [command-and-control server] by decoding a string retrieved from a text file hosted on Google Drive," Intezer researchers Avigayil Mechtinger, Ryan Robinson, and Nicole Fishbein  noted  in a technical write-up publicizing their findings. "Based on victimology and malware's behavior, we assess that SysJoker is after specific targets." The Israeli cybersecurity company, attributing the work to an advanced threat actor, said it first discovered evidence of the implant in December 2021 during an active attack against a Linux-based web server belonging to an unnamed educational institution. A C++-based malware, SysJoker is delivered via a dr
XDR: Redefining the game for MSSPs serving SMBs and SMEs

XDR: Redefining the game for MSSPs serving SMBs and SMEs

January 12, 2022The Hacker News
SMBs and SMEs are increasingly turning to MSSPs to secure their businesses because they simply do not have the resources to manage an effective security technology stack. However, it's also challenging for MSSPs to piece together an effective but manageable security technology stack to protect their clients, especially at an affordable price point. This is where Extended Detection and Response (XDR) comes in and can help MSSPs boost their profitability from SMB and SME and improve their protections. XDR is heating up within the MSSP market as these security service providers stand to gain tremendous financial and operational benefits from this nascent technology. XDR promises far better security outcomes at a lower cost than the current security stack approaches most MSSPs currently have in place. One sticky point that keeps arising in the XDR discussion has to do with the different technology approaches XDR providers rely upon to deliver platform capabilities. Most of us have heard
FBI, NSA and CISA Warns of Russian Hackers Targeting Critical Infrastructure

FBI, NSA and CISA Warns of Russian Hackers Targeting Critical Infrastructure

January 12, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Amid renewed tensions between the U.S. and Russia over  Ukraine  and  Kazakhstan , American cybersecurity and intelligence agencies on Tuesday released a joint advisory on how to detect, respond to, and mitigate cyberattacks orchestrated by Russian state-sponsored actors. To that end, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA) have laid bare the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adopted by the adversaries, including spear-phishing, brute-force, and  exploiting known vulnerabilities  to gain initial access to target networks. The list of flaws exploited by Russian hacking groups to gain an initial foothold, which the agencies said are "common but effective," are below — CVE-2018-13379  (FortiGate VPNs) CVE-2019-1653  (Cisco router) CVE-2019-2725  (Oracle WebLogic Server) CVE-2019-7609  (Kibana) CVE-2019-9670  (Zimbra software) CVE-2019-10149  (Exim Simple Mail Transf
First Patch Tuesday of 2022 Brings Fix for a Critical 'Wormable' Windows Vulnerability

First Patch Tuesday of 2022 Brings Fix for a Critical 'Wormable' Windows Vulnerability

January 11, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Tuesday kicked off its first set of updates for 2022 by  plugging 96 security holes  across its software ecosystem, while urging customers to prioritize patching for what it calls a critical "wormable" vulnerability. Of the 96 vulnerabilities, nine are rated Critical and 89 are rated Important in severity, with six zero-day publicly known at the time of the release. This is in addition to  29 issues  patched in Microsoft Edge on January 6, 2022. None of the disclosed bugs are listed as under attack. The patches cover a swath of the computing giant's portfolio, including Microsoft Windows and Windows Components, Exchange Server, Microsoft Office and Office Components, SharePoint Server, .NET Framework, Microsoft Dynamics, Open-Source Software, Windows Hyper-V, Windows Defender, and Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Chief among them is  CVE-2022-21907  (CVSS score: 9.8), a remote code execution vulnerability rooted in the HTTP Protocol Stack. "In
How Can You Leave Log4J in 2021?

How Can You Leave Log4J in 2021?

January 11, 2022The Hacker News
With the last month of 2021 dominated by the log4J vulnerabilities discovery, publication, and patches popping up in rapid succession, odds are you have patched your system against Log4J exploitation attempts. At least some systems, if not all. You might even have installed the latest patch – at the time of writing, that is 2.17.1, but, if the last rapid patching cycle persists, it might have changed by the time this is published. In the meantime, defenders might have been working overtime to plug Log4J born security gaps, but so did cyber-attackers. Log4J's well-deserved fame also alerted cyber-attackers to a potential entry pathway into their target. And, while log4J will hopefully vanish from the headlines,  cyber-attackers are likely to continue trying to exploit it  in the hope of finding unpatched or incompletely patched targets. As human error still accounts  for 95% of all security breaches , cyber-attackers actively rely on these human errors to exploit them and take advant
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