Home   Blog   Twitter   Database  

Steam cleaned of zero-day security holes after Valve turned off by bug bounty snub outrage

Security bod may be invited back into vuln reward program, Half-Life 3 still ain't happening

Games giant Valve is attempting to make nice with the infosec bod who disclosed zero-day exploits for vulnerabilities in Steam after the corporation refused to pay out bug bounties for the flaws.…

Posted: 22 Aug 2019 | 4:14 pm

Quick thinking by Portland Public Schools stops $2.9m BEC scam

Employees at Portland Public Schools were breathing easier this week after thwarting a business email compromise (BEC) scam that could have cost them almost $3m.

Posted: 22 Aug 2019 | 1:18 pm

19 Cloud Security Best Practices for 2019

Now well into its second decade of commercial availability, cloud computing has become near-ubiquitous, with roughly 95 percent of businesses reporting that they have a cloud strategy. While cloud providers are more secure than ever before, there are still risks to using any cloud service. Fortunately, they can be largely mitigated by following these cloud security best practices:

Protect Your Cloud Data

  1. Determine which data is the most sensitive. While applying the highest level of protection across the board would naturally be overkill, failing to protect the data that is sensitive puts your enterprise at risk of intellectual property loss or regulatory penalties. Therefore, the first priority should be to gain an understanding of what to protect through data discovery and classification, which is typically performed by a data classification engine. Aim for a comprehensive solution that locates and protects sensitive content on your network, endpoints, databases and in the cloud, while giving you the appropriate level of flexibility for your organization.
  2. How is this data being accessed and stored? While it’s true that sensitive data can be stored safely in the cloud, it certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion. According to the McAfee 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, 21 percent of all files in the cloud contain sensitive data—a sharp increase from the year before1. While much of this data lives in well-established enterprise cloud services such as Box, Salesforce and Office365, it’s important to realize that none of these services guarantees 100 percent safety. That’s why it’s important to examine the permissions and access context associated with data in your cloud environment and adjust appropriately. In some cases, you may need to remove or quarantine sensitive data already stored in the cloud.
  3. Who should be able to share it, and how? Sharing of sensitive data in the cloud has increased by more than 50% year over year.1 Regardless of how powerful your threat mitigation strategy is, the risks are far too high to take a reactive approach: access control policies should be established and enforced before data ever enters the cloud. Just as the number of employees who need the ability to edit a document is much smaller than the number who may need to view it, it is very likely that not everyone who needs to be able to access certain data needs the ability to share Defining groups and setting up privileges so that sharing is only enabled for those who require it can drastically limit the amount of data being shared externally.
  4. Don’t rely on cloud service encryption. Comprehensive encryption at the file level should be the basis of all your cloud security efforts. While the encryption offered within cloud services can safeguard your data from outside parties, it necessarily gives the cloud service provider access to your encryption keys. To fully control access, you’ll want to deploy stringent encryption solutions, using your own keys, before uploading data to the cloud.

Minimize Internal Cloud Security Threats  

  1. Bring employee cloud usage out of the shadows. Just because you have a corporate cloud security strategy in place doesn’t mean that your employees aren’t utilizing the cloud on their own terms. From cloud storage accounts like Dropbox to online file conversion services, most people don’t consult with IT before accessing the cloud. To measure the potential risk of employee cloud use, you should first check your web proxy, firewall and SIEM logs to get a complete picture of which cloud services are being utilized, and then conduct an assessment of their value to the employee/organization versus their risk when deployed wholly or partially in the cloud. Also, keep in mind that shadow usage doesn’t just refer to known endpoints accessing unknown or unauthorized services—you’ll also need a strategy to stop data from moving from trusted cloud services to unmanaged devices you’re unaware of. Because cloud services can provide access from any device connected to the internet, unmanaged endpoints such as personal mobile devices create a hole in your security strategy. You can restrict downloads to unauthorized devices by making device security verification a prerequisite to downloading files.
  2. Create a “safe” list. While most of your employees are utilizing cloud services for above-the-board purposes, some of them will inadvertently find and use dubious cloud services. Of the 1,935 cloud services in use at the average organization, 173 of them rank as high-risk services.1 By knowing which services are being used at your company, you’ll be able to set policies 1.) Outlining what sorts of data are allowed in the cloud, 2.) Establishing a “safe” list of cloud applications that employees can utilize, and 3.) Explaining the cloud security best practices, precautions and tools required for secure utilization of these applications.
  3. Endpoints play a role, too. Most users access the cloud through web browsers, so deploying strong client security tools and ensuring that browsers are up-to-date and protected from browser exploits is a crucial component of cloud security. To fully protect your end-user devices, utilize advanced endpoint security such as firewall solutions, particularly if using IaaS or PaaS models.
  4. Look to the future. New cloud applications come online frequently, and the risk of cloud services evolves rapidly, making manual cloud security policies difficult to create and keep up to date. While you can’t predict every cloud service that will be accessed, you can automatically update web access policies with information about the risk profile of a cloud service in order to block access or present a warning message. Accomplish this through integration of closed-loop remediation (which enforces policies based on a service-wide risk rating or distinct cloud service attributes) with your secure web gateway or firewall. The system will automatically update and enforce policies without disrupting the existing environment.
  5. Guard against careless and malicious users. With organizations experiencing an average of 14.8 insider threat incidents per month—and 94.3 percent experiencing an average of at least one a month—it isn’t a matter of if you will encounter this sort of threat; it’s a matter of when. Threats of this nature include both unintentional exposure—such as accidentally disseminating a document containing sensitive data—as well as true malicious behavior, such as a salesperson downloading their full contact list before leaving to join a competitor. Careless employees and third-party attackers can both exhibit behavior suggesting malicious use of cloud data. Solutions leveraging both machine learning and behavioral analytics can monitor for anomalies and mitigate both internal and external data loss.
  6. Trust. But verify. Additional verification should be required for anyone using a new device to access sensitive data in the cloud. One suggestion is to automatically require two-factor authentication for any high-risk cloud access scenarios. Specialized cloud security solutions can introduce the requirement for users to authenticate with an additional identity factor in real time, leveraging existing identity providers and identity factors (such as a hard token, a mobile phone soft token, or text message) already familiar to end users.

Develop Strong Partnerships with Reputable Cloud Providers

  1. Regulatory compliance is still key. Regardless of how many essential business functions are shifted to the cloud, an enterprise can never outsource responsibility for compliance. Whether you’re required to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA or other regulatory policies, you’ll want to choose a cloud architecture platform that will allow you to meet any regulatory standards that apply to your industry. From there, you’ll need to understand which aspects of compliance your provider will take care of, and which will remain under your purview. While many cloud service providers are certified for myriad industry and governmental regulations, it’s still your responsibility to build compliant applications and services on the cloud, and to maintain that compliance going forward. It’s important to note that previous contractual obligations or legal barriers may prohibit the use of cloud services on the grounds that doing so constitutes relinquishing control of that data.
  2. But brand compliance is important, too. Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your branding strategy. Develop a comprehensive plan to manage identities and authorizations with cloud services. Software services that comply with SAML, OpenID or other federation standards make it possible for you to extend your corporate identity management tools into the cloud.
  3. Look for trustworthy providers. Cloud service providers committed to accountability, transparency and meeting established standards will generally display certifications such as SAS 70 Type II or ISO 27001. Cloud service providers should make readily accessible documentation and reports, such as audit results and certifications, complete with details relevant to the assessment process. Audits should be independently conducted and based on existing standards. It is the responsibility of the cloud provider to continuously maintain certifications and to notify clients of any changes in status, but it’s the customer’s responsibility to understand the scope of standards used—some widely used standards do not assess security controls, and some auditing firms and auditors are more reliable than others.
  4. How are they protecting you? No cloud service provider offers 100 percent security. Over the past several years, many high profile CSPs have been targeted by hackers, including AWS, Azure, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, and others. It’s important to examine the provider’s data protection strategies and multitenant architecture, if relevant—if the provider’s own hardware or operating system are compromised, everything hosted within them is automatically at risk. For that reason, it’s important to use security tools and examine prior audits to find potential security gaps (and if the provider uses their own third-party providers, cloud security best practices suggest you examine their certifications and audits as well.) From there, you’ll be able to determine what security issues must be addressed on your end. For example, fewer than 1 in 10 providers encrypt data stored at rest, and even fewer support the ability for a customer to encrypt data using their own encryption keys.1 Finding providers that both offer comprehensive protection as well as the ability for users to bridge any gaps is crucial to maintaining a strong cloud security posture.
  5. Investigate cloud provider contracts and SLAs carefully. The cloud services contract is your only guarantee of service, and your primary recourse should something go wrong—so it is essential to fully review and understand all terms and conditions of your agreement, including any annexes, schedules and appendices. For example, a contract can make the difference between a company who takes responsibility for your data, and a company that takes ownership of your data. (Only 37.3 % of providers specify that customer data is owned by the customer. The rest either don’t legally specify who owns the data, creating a legal grey area—or, more egregiously, claim ownership of all uploaded data.1) Does the service offer visibility into security events and responses? Is it willing to provide monitoring tools or hooks into your corporate monitoring tools? Does it provide monthly reports on security events and responses? And what happens to your data if you terminate the service? (Keep in mind that only 13.3 percent of cloud providers delete user data immediately upon account termination. The rest keep data for up to a year, with some specifying they have a right to keep it indefinitely.) If you find parts of the contract objectionable, you can try to negotiate—but in the case where you’re told that certain terms are non-negotiable, it is up to you to determine whether the risk presented by accepting the terms as-is is an acceptable one to your business. If not, you’ll need to find alternate means of managing the risk, such as encryption or monitoring, or find another provider.
  6. What happens if something goes wrong? Since no two cloud service providers offer the same set of security controls—and again, no cloud provider delivers 100 percent security—developing an Incident Response (IR) plan is critical. Make sure the provider includes you and considers you a partner in creating such plans. Establish communication paths, roles and responsibilities with regard to an incident, and to run through the response and hand-offs ahead of time. SLAs should spell out the details of the data the cloud provider will provide in the case of an incident, how data will be handled during incidents to maintain availability, and guarantee the support necessary to effectively execute the enterprise IR plan at each stage. While continuous monitoring will offer the best chance at early detection, full-scale testing should be performed on at least an annual basis, with additional testing coinciding with major changes to the architecture.
  7. Protect your IaaS environments. When using IaaS environments such as AWS or Azure, you retain responsibility for the security of operating systems, applications, and network traffic. Advanced anti-malware technology should be applied to the OS and virtual network to protect your infrastructure. Deploy application whitelisting and memory exploit prevention for single-purpose workloads and machine learning-based protection for file stores and general-purpose workloads.
  8. Neutralize and remove malware from the cloud.Malware can infect cloud workloads through shared folders that sync automatically with cloud storage services, spreading malware from an infected user device to another user’s device. Use a cloud security solution program to scan the files you’ve stored in the cloud to avoid malware, ransomware or data theft attacks. If malware is detected on a workload host or in a cloud application, it can be quarantined or removed, safeguarding sensitive data from compromise and preventing corruption of data by ransomware.
  9. Audit your IaaS configurations regularly.  The many critical settings in IaaS environments such as AWS or Azure can create exploitable weaknesses if misconfigured. Organizations have, on average, at least 14 misconfigured IaaS instances running at any given time, resulting in an average of nearly 2,300 misconfiguration incidents per month. Worse, greater than 1 in 20 AWS S3 buckets in use are misconfigured to be publicly readable.1 To avoid such potential for data loss, you’ll need to audit your configurations for identity and access management, network configuration, and encryption. McAfee offers a free Cloud Audit to help get you started.


  1. McAfee 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report


The post 19 Cloud Security Best Practices for 2019 appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Posted: 22 Aug 2019 | 9:33 am

Asruex Backdoor Variant Infects Word Documents and PDFs Through Old MS Office and Adobe Vulnerabilities

By Ian Mercado and Mhica Romero

Since it first emerged in 2015, Asruex has been known for its backdoor capabilities and connection to the spyware DarkHotel. However, when we encountered Asruex in a PDF file, we found that a variant of the malware can also act as an infector particularly through the use of old vulnerabilities CVE-2012-0158 and CVE-2010-2883, which inject code in Word and PDF files respectively.

The use of old, patched vulnerabilities could hint that the variant was devised knowing that it can affect targets who have been using older versions of Adobe Reader (versions 9.x up to before 9.4) and Acrobat (versions 8.x up to before 8.2.5) on Windows and Mac OS X.

Because of this unique infection capability, security researchers might not consider checking files for an Asruex infection and continue to watch out for its backdoor abilities exclusively. Awareness of this new infection method could help users defend against the malware variant.

Technical details

Asruex infects a system through a shortcut file that has a PowerShell download script, and spreads through removable drives and network drives. The diagram below illustrates the malware’s infection chain.

Figure 1. Infection chain of Asruex

Infected PDF files

We first encountered this variant as a PDF file. Further investigation revealed that the PDF file itself was not a malicious file created by the actors behind this variant. It was simply a file infected by the Asruex variant.

Infected PDF files would drop and execute the infector in the background if executed using older versions of Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. As it does so it still displays or opens the content of the original PDF host file. This tricks the user into believing that the PDF had acted normally.

This behavior is due to a specially crafted template that takes advantage of the CVE-2010-2883 vulnerability while appending the host file. The vulnerability is found in the strcat function of Adobe’s CoolType.dll, which is a typography engine. Since this function does not check the length of the font to be registered, it can cause a stack buffer overflow to execute its shellcode. Finally, it decrypts the original PDF host file using XOR. This process is seen in the images below.

Figure 2. Vulnerability being exploited by the variant

Figure 3. Decrypting the original PDF host file

It will then drop and execute the embedded executable detected as Virus.Win32.ASRUEX.A.orig, as seen in figure 4.

Figure 4. The embedded executable dropped by the malware

This executable is responsible for several anti-debugging and anti-emulation functions. It detects if avast! Sandbox\WINDOWS\system32\kernel32.dll exists on any root, as an anti-debugging measure. It then checks the following information (listed below), to determine if it is running in a sandbox environment:

The executable file also injects the DLL c982d2ab066c80f314af80dd5ba37ff9dd99288f (detected as Virus.Win32.ASRUEX.A.orig) into a legitimate Windows process memory. This DLL is responsible for the malware’s infection and backdoor capabilities. It infects files with file sizes between 42,224 bytes and 20,971,520 bytes, possibly as a parameter to narrow down host files into which their malware code could fit.

Figure 5. Screenshot showing the added process

Figure 6. Template that the infector uses to infect PDF samples; the filename of the executable is highlighted

Infected Word documents

As mentioned earlier, it uses a specially crafted template to exploit the CVE-2012-0158 vulnerability to infect Word documents. The template is highlighted in figure 7.

Figure 7. Template used to infect Word documents

The CVE-2012-0158 vulnerability allows possible attackers to execute an arbitrary code remotely through a Word document or web site.  Similar to infected PDFs, it will drop and execute the infector in the background upon execution of the infected Word document file. At the same time, it will display the original DOC host file, letting users believe that the opened document is normal.

The infected file would use XOR to decrypt the original DOC host file, as seen in figure 8. The file would open like normal, with the only difference found in the filename used by the infector. It drops and executes itself as rundll32.exe (figure 9).

Figure 8. Use of an XOR to decrypt the original DOC host file

Figure 9. Use of a different file name to drop and execute the infector

Infected executables

Aside from the Word documents and PDF files, the malware also infects executable files. This Asruex variant compresses and encrypts the original executable file or host file and appends it as its .EBSS section. This allows the malware to drop the infector, while also executing the host file like normal. For infected executable files, the filename used by the infector when dropped is randomly assigned, as illustrated in figure 11.

Figure 10. Code showing the host file being appended to the malware’s .EBSS section

Figure 11. Random filename used for the dropped infector

Conclusion and security recommendations

As mentioned earlier, past reports have tagged Asruex for its backdoor capabilities. The discovery of this particular infection capability can help create adequate defenses against the malware variant.

This case is notable for its use of vulnerabilities that have been discovered (and patched) over five years ago, when we’ve been seeing this malware variant in the wild for only a year. This hints that the cybercriminals behind it had devised the variant knowing that users have not yet patched or updated to newer versions of the Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader software.

Understandably, this could pose a challenge for organizations as updating widely-used software could result in downtime of critical servers, and it could be costly and time consuming. If patching and updating might not be a present option, organizations can consider security measures like virtual patching to help complement existing security measures and patch management processes.

In general, users can take the necessary measures to defend against similar threats by following security best practices. We list down some of the steps users can take to defend against Asruex and similar malware:

Users and enterprises can also benefit from a solution that uses a multilayered approach against threats that are similar to Asruex. We recommend employing endpoint application control that reduces attack exposure by ensuring that only files, documents, and updates associated with whitelisted applications and sites can be installed, downloaded, and viewed. Endpoint solutions powered by XGen™ security such as Trend Micro™ Security and Trend Micro Network Defense can detect related malicious files and URLs and protect users’ systems. Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Suites and Trend Micro Worry-Free™ Business Security, which have behavior monitoring capabilities, can additionally protect from these types of threats by detecting malicious files, as well as blocking all related malicious URLs.

Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)

SHA256 Detection Name
b261f49fb6574af0bef16765c3db2900a5d3ca24639e9717bc21eb28e1e6be77 Virus.Win32.ASRUEX.A.orig

The post Asruex Backdoor Variant Infects Word Documents and PDFs Through Old MS Office and Adobe Vulnerabilities appeared first on .

Posted: 22 Aug 2019 | 5:22 am

Measuring up to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework: A Q&A with Matt Barrett

Read the Q&A with Matt Barrett, Chief Operating Officer of CyberESI, published on JUNTO by eRiskHub. Exchanging ideas on cyber risk & privacy liability

First introduced in 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) CyberSecurity Framework (CSF) has since become a widely held best practice far beyond the commerce industry. To get some perspective on the framework and how it’s evolved over the past five years, we talked to Matt Barrett, who was the program manager for CSF. (Note: Barrett currently serves as COO for Cyber Engineering Services Inc (CyberESI), a cyber risk management firm.)

The post Measuring up to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework: A Q&A with Matt Barrett appeared first on CyberESI.

Posted: 28 Jun 2019 | 10:29 am

HiddenWasp Linux malware backdoor samples

Here are Hidden Wasp Linux backdoor samples. 



Intezer HiddenWasp Malware Stings Targeted Linux Systems 


Download. Email me if you need the password (see in my profile)

File informatio




 elf shared-lib

64bits elf shared-lib



tar-bundle gzip contains-elf

 tar-bundle gzip

64bits elf 

Posted: 3 Jun 2019 | 9:31 pm

Introducing Reneo

Reneo is a Windows tool to help incident responders, forensics specialists, and security researchers analyze and reverse engineer malicious and obfuscated scripts and other content. This tool can convert from/to various formats, transform, deobfuscate, encode/decode, encrypt/decrypt, and hash strings. The … Continue reading

Posted: 27 Jun 2018 | 8:14 am

Freedome VPN For Mac OS X

Take a look at this:

F-Secure Freedome Mac OS X

F-Secure Freedome for OS X (freshly installed on a Labs Mac Team MacBook).


The beta is now open for everyone to try for 60 days at no cost.

Download or share.

On 24/04/15 At 12:37 PM

Posted: 24 Apr 2015 | 1:37 am