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SLAM Attack: New Spectre-based Vulnerability Impacts Intel, AMD, and Arm CPUs

SLAM Attack: New Spectre-based Vulnerability Impacts Intel, AMD, and Arm CPUs

Dec 09, 2023 Cyber Threat / Hardware Security
Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have disclosed a new side-channel attack called  SLAM  that could be exploited to leak sensitive information from kernel memory on current and upcoming CPUs from Intel, AMD, and Arm. The attack is an end-to-end exploit for Spectre based on a new feature in Intel CPUs called  Linear Address Masking  ( LAM ) as well as its analogous counterparts from AMD (called  Upper Address Ignore  or  UAI ) and Arm (called  Top Byte Ignore  or  TBI ). "SLAM exploits unmasked gadgets to let a userland process leak arbitrary ASCII kernel data," VUSec researchers  said , adding it could be leveraged to leak the root password hash within minutes from kernel memory. While LAM is presented as a security feature, the study found that it ironically degrades security and "dramatically" increases the  Spectre attack surface , resulting in a transient execution attack, which exploits  speculative execution  to extract sensitive data via
Researchers Unveil GuLoader Malware's Latest Anti-Analysis Techniques

Researchers Unveil GuLoader Malware's Latest Anti-Analysis Techniques

Dec 09, 2023 Malware / Cyberattack
Threat hunters have unmasked the latest tricks adopted by a malware strain called  GuLoader  in an effort to make analysis more challenging. "While GuLoader's core functionality hasn't changed drastically over the past few years, these constant updates in their obfuscation techniques make analyzing GuLoader a time-consuming and resource-intensive process," Elastic Security Labs researcher Daniel Stepanic  said  in a report published this week. First spotted in late 2019, GuLoader (aka CloudEyE) is an advanced shellcode-based malware downloader that's used to distribute a wide range of payloads, such as information stealers, while incorporating a bevy of sophisticated anti-analysis techniques to dodge traditional security solutions. A  steady stream  of  open-source reporting  into the malware in recent months has revealed the threat actors behind it have continued to improve its ability to bypass existing or new security features alongside other implemented fe
Timing is Everything: The Role of Just-in-Time Privileged Access in Security Evolution

Timing is Everything: The Role of Just-in-Time Privileged Access in Security Evolution

Apr 15, 2024Active Directory / Attack Surface
To minimize the risk of privilege misuse, a trend in the privileged access management (PAM) solution market involves implementing just-in-time (JIT) privileged access. This approach to  privileged identity management  aims to mitigate the risks associated with prolonged high-level access by granting privileges temporarily and only when necessary, rather than providing users with continuous high-level privileges. By adopting this strategy, organizations can enhance security, minimize the window of opportunity for potential attackers and ensure that users access privileged resources only when necessary.  What is JIT and why is it important?   JIT privileged access provisioning  involves granting privileged access to users on a temporary basis, aligning with the concept of least privilege. This principle provides users with only the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks, and only for the amount of time required to do so. One of the key advantages of JIT provisioning
New 5G Modem Flaws Affect iOS Devices and Android Models from Major Brands

New 5G Modem Flaws Affect iOS Devices and Android Models from Major Brands

Dec 08, 2023 Vulnerability / Mobile Network
A collection of security flaws in the firmware implementation of 5G mobile network modems from major chipset vendors such as MediaTek and Qualcomm impact USB and IoT modems as well as hundreds of smartphone models running Android and iOS. Of the 14 flaws – collectively called  5Ghoul  (a combination of "5G" and "Ghoul") – 10 affect 5G modems from the two companies, out of which three have been classified as high-severity vulnerabilities. "5Ghoul vulnerabilities may be exploited to continuously launch attacks to drop the connections, freeze the connection that involve manual reboot or downgrade the 5G connectivity to 4G," the researchers  said  in a study published today. As many as 714 smartphones from 24 brands are impacted, including those from Vivo, Xiaomi, OPPO, Samsung, Honor, Motorola, realme, OnePlus, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, Sony, Meizu, Nokia, Apple, and Google. The vulnerabilities were disclosed by a team of researchers from the ASSET (Automated
cyber security

Today's Top 4 Identity Threat Exposures: Where To Find Them and How To Stop Them

websiteSilverfortIdentity Protection / Attack Surface
Explore the first ever threat report 100% focused on the prevalence of identity security gaps you may not be aware of.
N. Korea's Kimsuky Targeting South Korean Research Institutes with Backdoor Attacks

N. Korea's Kimsuky Targeting South Korean Research Institutes with Backdoor Attacks

Dec 08, 2023 Cyber Espionage / Cryptocurrency
The North Korean threat actor known as  Kimsuky  has been observed targeting research institutes in South Korea as part of a spear-phishing campaign with the ultimate goal of distributing backdoors on compromised systems. "The threat actor ultimately uses a backdoor to steal information and execute commands," the AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC)  said  in an analysis posted last week. The attack chains commence with an import declaration lure that's actually a malicious JSE file containing an obfuscated PowerShell script, a Base64-encoded payload, and a decoy PDF document. The next stage entails opening the PDF file as a diversionary tactic, while the PowerShell script is executed in the background to launch the backdoor. The malware, for its part, is configured to collect network information and other relevant data (i.e., host name, user name, and operating system version) and transmit the encoded details to a remote server. It's also capable of
Ransomware-as-a-Service: The Growing Threat You Can't Ignore

Ransomware-as-a-Service: The Growing Threat You Can't Ignore

Dec 08, 2023 Ransomware / Threat Intelligence
Ransomware attacks  have become a significant and pervasive threat in the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity. Among the various iterations of ransomware, one trend that has gained prominence is Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). This alarming development has transformed the cybercrime landscape, enabling individuals with limited technical expertise to carry out devastating attacks. Traditional and double extortion ransomware attacks Traditionally, ransomware refers to a type of malware that encrypts the victim's files, effectively blocking access to data and applications until a ransom is paid to the attacker. However, more contemporary attackers often employ an additional strategy. The bad actors create copies of the compromised data and leverage the threat of publishing sensitive information online unless their demands for ransom are met. This dual approach adds an extra layer of complexity and potential harm to the victims. A new model for ransomware RaaS is the latest busin
Mac Users Beware: New Trojan-Proxy Malware Spreading via Pirated Software

Mac Users Beware: New Trojan-Proxy Malware Spreading via Pirated Software

Dec 08, 2023 Endpoint Security / Malware
Unauthorized websites distributing trojanized versions of cracked software have been found to infect Apple macOS users with a new  Trojan-Proxy  malware. "Attackers can use this type of malware to gain money by building a proxy server network or to perform criminal acts on behalf of the victim: to launch attacks on websites, companies and individuals, buy guns, drugs, and other illicit goods," Kaspersky security researcher Sergey Puzan  said . The Russian cybersecurity firm said it found evidence indicating that the malware is a cross-platform threat, owing to artifacts unearthed for Windows and Android that piggybacked on pirated tools. The macOS variants propagate under the guise of legitimate multimedia, image editing, data recovery, and productivity tools. This suggests that users searching for pirated software are the targets of the campaign. Unlike their genuine, unaltered counterparts, which are offered as disk image (.DMG) files, the rogue versions are delivered
WordPress Releases Update 6.4.2 to Address Critical Remote Attack Vulnerability

WordPress Releases Update 6.4.2 to Address Critical Remote Attack Vulnerability

Dec 08, 2023 Vulnerability / Website Security
WordPress has released version 6.4.2 with a patch for a critical security flaw that could be exploited by threat actors by combining it with another bug to execute arbitrary PHP code on vulnerable sites. "A remote code execution vulnerability that is not directly exploitable in core; however, the security team feels that there is a potential for high severity when combined with some plugins, especially in multisite installations," WordPress  said . According to WordPress security company Wordfence, the  issue  is rooted in the WP_HTML_Token class that was introduced in version 6.4 to improve HTML parsing in the block editor. A threat actor with the ability to exploit a PHP object injection vulnerability present in any other plugin or theme to chain the two issues to execute arbitrary code and seize control of the targeted site. "If a  POP [property-oriented programming] chain  is present via an additional plugin or theme installed on the target system, it could all
Founder of Bitzlato Cryptocurrency Exchange Pleads Guilty in Money-Laundering Scheme

Founder of Bitzlato Cryptocurrency Exchange Pleads Guilty in Money-Laundering Scheme

Dec 08, 2023 Cryptocurrency / Cyber Crime
The Russian founder of the now-defunct Bitzlato cryptocurrency exchange has pleaded guilty, nearly 11 months after he was  arrested in Miami  earlier this year. Anatoly Legkodymov (aka Anatolii Legkodymov, Gandalf, and Tolik), according to the U.S. Justice Department, admitted to operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business that enabled other criminal actors to launder their illicit proceeds. He faces up to five years in prison. "Legkodymov operated a cryptocurrency exchange that was open for business to money launderers and other criminals,"  said  Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "He profited from catering to criminals, and now he must pay the price. Transacting in cryptocurrency does not put you beyond the reach of the law." Bitzlato, which served as a safe haven for fraudsters and ransomware crews such as  Conti , is estimated to have received $2.5 billion in cryptocurrency bet
Microsoft Warns of COLDRIVER's Evolving Evasion and Credential-Stealing Tactics

Microsoft Warns of COLDRIVER's Evolving Evasion and Credential-Stealing Tactics

Dec 07, 2023 Threat Intelligence / Cyber Espionage
The threat actor known as COLDRIVER has continued to engage in credential theft activities against entities that are of strategic interests to Russia while simultaneously improving its detection evasion capabilities. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence team is tracking under the cluster as  Star Blizzard  (formerly SEABORGIUM). It's also called Blue Callisto, BlueCharlie (or TAG-53), Calisto (alternately spelled Callisto), Gossamer Bear, and TA446. The adversary "continues to prolifically target individuals and organizations involved in international affairs, defense, and logistics support to Ukraine, as well as academia, information security companies, and other entities aligning with Russian state interests," Redmond  said . Star Blizzard , linked to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), has a  track record  of setting up lookalike domains that impersonate the login pages of targeted companies. It's known to be active since at least 2017. In August 2023,
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