Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC text field remote code execution vulnerability


Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability.

Executive summary

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC contains a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to remotely execute code on the victim’s machine. If the attacker tricks the user into opening a specially crafted PDF with specific JavaScript, they could cause heap corruption. The user could also trigger this bug if they open a specially crafted email attachment.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with Adobe to ensure that these issues are resolved and that an update is available for affected customers.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday — December 2018: Vulnerability disclosures and Snort coverage


Microsoft released its monthly security update today, disclosing a variety of vulnerabilities in several of its products. The latest Patch Tuesday covers 38 vulnerabilities, nine of which are rated “critical” and 29 that are considered “important.” There are no “moderate” or “low” vulnerabilities in this release.

The advisories cover bugs in the Chakra scripting engine, several Microsoft Office products and the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.

For coverage of these vulnerabilities, check out our Snort blog post on this week's rule update.

Monday, December 10, 2018

in(Secure) messaging apps — How side-channel attacks can compromise privacy in WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal

This blog post is authored by Vitor Ventura.

Executive summary


Messaging applications have been around since the inception of the internet. But recently, due to the increased awareness around mass surveillance in some countries, more users are installing end-to-end encrypted apps dubbed "secure instant messaging applications." These apps claim to encrypt users' messages and keep their content secure from any third parties.

However, after a deep dive into three of these secure messaging apps — Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal — we discovered that these services may not fulfill the promises they are meant to keep by putting users' confidential information at risk.

This is a serious problem, considering users download these apps in the hopes that their photos and messages will stay completely protected from third parties. These apps, which have countless users, cannot assume that their users are security educated and understand the risk of enabling certain settings on their device. As such, they have an obligation to explain the risks to users, and when possible, adopt safer defaults in their settings. In this post, we will show how an attacker could compromise these applications by performing side-channel attacks that target the operating system these apps delegated their security to. This post will dive into the methods in which these apps handle users' data. It will not include deep technical analysis of these companies' security.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Threat Roundup for Nov. 30 to Dec. 7



Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Nov. 30 and Dec. 07. As with previous roundups, this post isn't meant to be an in-depth analysis. Instead, this post will summarize the threats we've observed by highlighting key behavioral characteristics, indicators of compromise, and discussing how our customers are automatically protected from these threats.

As a reminder, the information provided for the following threats in this post is non-exhaustive and current as of the date of publication. Additionally, please keep in mind that IOC searching is only one part of threat hunting. Spotting a single IOC does not necessarily indicate maliciousness. Detection and coverage for the following threats is subject to updates, pending additional threat or vulnerability analysis. For the most current information, please refer to your Firepower Management Center, Snort.org, or ClamAV.net.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

An introduction to offensive capabilities of Active Directory on UNIX

Tim Wadhwa-Brown of Portcullis Labs authored this post.

In preparation for our talk at Black Hat Europe, Security Advisory EMEAR would like to share the background on our recent research into some common Active Directory integration solutions. Just as with Windows, these solutions can be utilized to join UNIX infrastructure to enterprises' Active Directory forests.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: Netgate pfSense system_advanced_misc.php powerd_normal_mode Command Injection Vulnerability


Brandon Stultz of Cisco Talos discovered these vulnerabilities.

Executive summary

Today, Cisco Talos is disclosing a command injection vulnerability in Netgate pfSense system_advanced_misc.php powerd_normal_mode. pfSense is a free and open source firewall and router that also features unified threat management, load balancing, multi WAN, and more.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with Netgate to ensure that these issues are resolved and that an update is available for affected customers.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Threat Roundup for Nov. 23 to Nov. 30



Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30. As with previous roundups, this post isn't meant to be an in-depth analysis. Instead, this post will summarize the threats we've observed by highlighting key behavioral characteristics, indicators of compromise, and discussing how our customers are automatically protected from these threats.

As a reminder, the information provided for the following threats in this post is non-exhaustive and current as of the date of publication. Additionally, please keep in mind that IOC searching is only one part of threat hunting. Spotting a single IOC does not necessarily indicate maliciousness. Detection and coverage for the following threats is subject to updates, pending additional threat or vulnerability analysis. For the most current information, please refer to your Firepower Management Center, Snort.org, or ClamAV.net.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

DNSpionage Campaign Targets Middle East

This blog post was authored by Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres.

Update 2018-11-27 15:30:00 EDT: A Russian-language document has been removed. Subsequent analysis leads us to believe it is unrelated to this investigation.

Executive Summary


Cisco Talos recently discovered a new campaign targeting Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) affecting .gov domains, as well as a private Lebanese airline company. Based on our research, it's clear that this adversary spent time understanding the victims' network infrastructure in order to remain under the radar and act as inconspicuous as possible during their attacks.

Based on this actor's infrastructure and TTPs, we haven't been able to connect them with any other campaign or actor that's been observed recently. This particular campaign utilizes two fake, malicious websites containing job postings that are used to compromise targets via malicious Microsoft Office documents with embedded macros. The malware utilized by this actor, which we are calling "DNSpionage," supports HTTP and DNS communication with the attackers.

In a separate campaign, the attackers used the same IP to redirect the DNS of legitimate .gov and private company domains. During each DNS compromise, the actor carefully generated Let's Encrypt certificates for the redirected domains. These certificates provide X.509 certificates for TLS free of charge to the user. We don't know at this time if the DNS redirections were successful.

In this post, we will break down the attackers' methods and show how they used malicious documents to attempt to trick users into opening malicious websites that are disguised as "help wanted" sites for job seekers. Additionally, we will describe the malicious DNS redirection and the timeline of the events.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Beers with Talos EP42: To the Moon, Everyone!



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast Ep. #42 is now available. Download this episode and subscribe to Beers with Talos:

If iTunes and Google Play aren't your thing, click here.

Ep. #42 show notes: 

Recorded Nov. 16, 2018.

Cyber moonshot, baby! It’s just like that time the U.S. raced everyone to the moon, except completely different and in no way related! Do we need a “cyber moonshot?” Is the plan that was just released the way to get there? ...and holy crap if Craig didn’t actually prepare for this podcast with notes and everything.

We hope that you enjoy our rants over the Thanksgiving holiday break (for our American friends) or just at work like usual for the rest of you that don’t have a four day weekend ahead. We are genuinely grateful for you, listeners, as the entire reason that we get to keep doing this podcast. We enjoy having fun spreading the word on security and calling out excellence where we find it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: Multiple remote code execution vulnerabilities in Atlantis Word Processor


A member of Cisco Talos discovered these vulnerabilities.

Executive summary

Today, Cisco Talos is disclosing three remote code execution vulnerabilities in the Atlantis Word Processor. Atlantis Word Processor is a traditional word processor that provides a number of basic features for users, in line with what is in other similar types of software. This application is written in Delphi and keeps the majority of its capabilities in a single, relocatable binary. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to corrupt the memory of the application, which can result in remote code execution under the context of the application.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with Atlantis to ensure that these issues are resolved and that an update is available for affected customers.