Friday, December 21, 2018

Threat Roundup for Dec. 14 to Dec. 21


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. 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.

Submissions for talks at the 2019 Talos Threat Research Summit are now open




When Cisco Talos launched the first ever Talos Threat Research Summit last year, we never could have anticipated how popular it would be. Tickets sold out quickly, and our inaugural Talos-backed conference was packed in the days leading up to Cisco Live. This year, we are bringing back the Threat Research Summit, and making it even bigger.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Year in Malware 2018: The most prominent threats Talos tracked this year



It was easy to see a wild year coming in cybersecurity. It started with a bang, with Olympic Destroyer targeting the Winter Olympics in February in an attempt to disrupt the opening ceremonies. Things only got crazier from there, with cryptocurrency miners popping up everywhere, and VPNFilter taking the world by storm over the summer. There was never a shortage of cybersecurity news this year, and Talos was there to dissect all of it. As the year wraps up, here’s a look back on the most prominent malware we discovered and the major trends we saw — some of which we expect to continue into 2019. Take a look below for our malware Year in Review, as well as a timeline of the major attacks Talos discovered this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Microsoft Patches Out-of-Band Internet Explorer Scripting Engine Vulnerability After Exploitation Detected in the Wild

Overview

Microsoft released an out-of-band (OOB) patch on Wednesday related to a vulnerability in the scripting engine of Internet Explorer. This particular vulnerability is believed to be actively exploited in the wild and should be patched immediately.

This remote code execution bug lies in the way that Internet Explorer's scripting engine handles objects in memory. Triggering this vulnerability can corrupt memory in such a way to allow arbitrary code execution using the current user's rights. This vulnerability can be triggered in a variety of ways, including via a specially crafted web page that a user visits. The full details of the vulnerability can be found here.

Coverage

In response to these vulnerability disclosures, Talos is releasing the following SNORTⓇ rules that detect attempts to exploit them as well as coverage via AMP. Please note that additional SNORTⓇ rules may be released at a future date and current rules are subject to change pending additional information. Firepower customers should use the latest update to their ruleset by updating their SRU. Open Source Snort Subscriber Rule Set customers can stay up-to-date by downloading the latest rule pack available for purchase on Snort.org.

Snort rules: 48699 - 48702.

AMP coverage




Tuesday, December 18, 2018

As Cryptocurrency Crash Continues, Will Mining Threat Follow?

Post authored by Nick Biasini.

Executive Summary

As 2018 draws to a close, one technology has definitively left its mark on the year: cryptocurrencies. Digital currencies started the year out strong after a meteoric rise toward the end of 2017. Since then, it's safe to say that cryptocurrencies have had a massive impact globally, especially on the threat landscape. However, 2018 is ending on a sour note for these currencies, as they have been in steady decline, ending in a sudden drop resulting in losses in excess of 75 percent of their value from the highs of late 2017 and early 2018.

Malicious cryptocurrency mining was the new payload of choice for adversaries and recurring revenue, dislodging the lump-sum payouts of threats like ransomware atop the threat landscape.

But the sudden collapse of the market, after a gradual decline, raises the question about how the threat landscape would be impacted, if at all. Despite conventional wisdom, Cisco Talos hasn't seen a notable shift away from cryptocurrency mining. We have seen pockets of movement, but they have lived explicitly in the email space where both threat distribution and botnets play a crucial role. As 2018 proceeded, adversaries have shifted payloads in the email space away from cryptocurrency mining and toward more modular threats like Emotet and remote access trojans (RATs). Talos is also releasing another blog today outlining some of the campaigns we've seen recently from some well-known actors who have a history with cryptocurrency mining.

After reviewing the real-world impact and associated data, it appears that cryptocurrency mining is not slowing down, and if anything, could be slightly increasing in frequency for certain aspects of the landscape. As we move into 2019, it's likely that the payloads of choice will continue to diverge between different aspects of the threat landscape. Regardless, enterprises need to be prepared to deal with malicious or unauthorized cryptocurrency mining activities on their respective networks, because it's not going away — at least not yet.

Connecting the dots between recently active cryptominers

Post authored by David Liebenberg and Andrew Williams.

Executive Summary

Through Cisco Talos' investigation of illicit cryptocurrency mining campaigns in the past year, we began to notice that many of these campaigns shared remarkably similar TTPs, which we at first mistakenly interpreted as being attributed to a single actor. However, closer analysis revealed that a spate of illicit mining activity over the past year could be attributed to several actors that have netted them hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars combined.

This blog examines these actors' recent campaigns, connects them to other public investigations and examines commonalities among their toolsets and methodologies.

We will cover the recent activities of these actors:
  • Rocke —A group that employs Git repositories, HTTP FileServers (HFS), and Amazon Machine Images in their campaigns, as well as a myriad of different payloads, and has targeted a wide variety of servers, including Apache Struts2, Jenkins and JBoss.
  • 8220 Mining Group —Active since 2017, this group leverages Pastebin sites, Git repositories and malicious Docker images. The group targets Drupal, Hadoop YARN and Apache Struts2.
  • Tor2Mine —A group that uses tor2web to deliver proxy communications to a hidden service for command and control (C2).
These groups have used similar TTPs, including:
  • Malicious shell scripts masquerading as JPEG files with the name "logo*.jpg" that install cron jobs and download and execute miners.
  • The use of variants of the open-source miner XMRig intended for botnet mining, with versions dependent on the victim's architecture.
  • Scanning for and attempting to exploit recently published vulnerabilities in servers such as Apache Struts2, Oracle WebLogic and Drupal.
  • Malicious scripts and malware hosted on Pastebin sites, Git repositories and domains with .tk TLDs.
  • Tools such as XHide Process Faker, which can hide or change the name of Linux processes and PyInstaller, which can convert Python scripts into executables.
We were also able to link these groups to other published research that had not always been linked to the same actor. These additional campaigns demonstrate the breadth of exploitation activity that illicit cryptocurrency mining actors engaged in.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Beers with Talos EP 43: Espionage, Encryption, and CISO Square One



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast Ep. #43 is now available. Download this episode and subscribe to Beers with Talos:

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

Ep. #43 show notes: 

Recorded Dec. 7, 2018.

Several of us are under the weather, but the show must go on. We did our best, as always. After running through some recent research, we spend a good bit of this EP looking through the lens of a recent breach at the first things a new security leader should get a handle on - what questions need to be answered? What information and practices are day-1 vital? We wrap up taking a look at a slew of vulns Talos uncovered in secure messaging apps.

Bitcoin Bomb Scare Associated with Sextortion Scammers

This blog was written by Jaeson Schultz.

Organizations across the country are on edge today after a flurry of phony bomb threats hit several public entities Thursday, such as universities, schools and news outlets, among others. The attackers distributed malicious emails claiming to have placed some type of explosive materials in the recipient's building. The emails stated the attackers would detonate these explosives unless the victim made a Bitcoin payment of several thousand dollars.

Cisco Talos discovered that this campaign is actually an evolution of sextortion and extortion attacks that we reported on in October. The claims in the emails we've seen from this actor are completely false, yet they have caused untold amounts of damage as organizations have evacuated buildings and called upon law enforcement to investigate.


An example of the malicious, phony emails that attackers sent out to organizations across the U.S. yesterday.


Threat Roundup for Dec. 7 to Dec. 14


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Dec. 07 and Dec. 14. 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.

Cisco Coverage for Shamoon 2 & 3

Update Dec. 14, 2018 10:30 CST: Added new Shamoon 3 IOCs

Shamoon is a type of destructive malware that has been previously associated with attacks against various organizations in the oil and gas industry that we've been tracking since 2012. A new variant of this threat, identified as Shamoon 2, has been used against several compromised organizations and institutions. Throughout 2017, Talos observed an increase in Shamoon 2 activity and responded to ensure our customers remained protected. 

On Dec. 10, Talos observed a new Shamoon 3 variant (c3ab58b3154e5f5101ba74fccfd27a9ab445e41262cdf47e8cc3be7416a5904f) that was uploaded to VirusTotal. While it is unclear where this sample came from, it shares many of the characteristics of the Shamoon 2 variant. Talos once again responded to ensure our customers are protected with all the existing coverage mechanisms. Additionally, Talos will continue to monitor for new developments to ensure our customers remain protected.

Propagation

Shamoon 2 has been observed targeting very specific organizations and propagating within a network via network enumeration and the use of stolen credentials. Some of the credentials are organization specific from individuals or shared accounts. Other credentials are the default accounts of products used by the targeted customers.

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.

Monday, November 19, 2018

What scams shoppers should look out for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Every year, more and more Americans are taking care of their holiday shopping on Cyber Monday.

Last year, consumers spent a record $6.59 billion during the annual online shopping day, an all-time record, according to Adobe Insights. Still, that doesn’t mean no one is rushing out the night of Thanksgiving to do their shopping. Shoppers still went out in droves on Black Friday last year — Adobe estimated that Americans spent $2.43 billion on Nov. 25, 2017.

Vulnerability Spotlight: Multiple remote vulnerabilities in TP-Link TL-R600VPN



Vulnerabilities discovered by Carl Hurd and Jared Rittle of Cisco Talos.

Cisco Talos is disclosing multiple vulnerabilities in the TP-Link TL-R600VPN router. TP-Link produces a number of different types of small and home office (SOHO) routers. Talos discovered several bugs in this particular router model that could lead to remote code execution.

Overview


There are two root causes of the vulnerabilities: a lack of input sanitisation and parsing errors. The lack of proper input sanitisation leads the vulnerabilities TALOS-2018-0617/18, which can be exploited without authentication. Parsing errors are responsible for the vulnerabilities TALOS-2018-0619/20. However, these can only be exploited with an authenticated session. The remote code execution is done under the context of HTTPD However, since the HTTPD process is running under root, an attacker can run code with elevated privileges.

All vulnerabilities were found on HWv3 FRNv1.3.0 and HWv2 FRNv1.2.3, except for TALOS 2018-0620, which was found only on HWv3 FRNv1.3.0.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Threat Roundup for Nov. 9 to Nov. 16


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Nov. 09 and Nov. 16. 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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Beers with Talos Ep. #41: Sex, money and malware



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast Ep. #41 is now available. Download this episode and subscribe to Beers with Talos:

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

Ep. #41 show notes: 

Recorded Nov. 9, 2018 — We tried to make this episode last week, but thanks to some technical difficulties, we ended up calling that one a practice run. Here is take two, focused on recent sextortion scams and the pending machine learning apocalypse. We also review why vulnerability discovery and red teams are the most import line items in your security budget by looking a recent story where a breach cost dozens of lives.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Microsoft Patch Tuesday — November 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 53 vulnerabilities, 11 of which are rated "critical," 40 that are rated "important” and one “moderate” and “low” vulnerability, each.

The advisories cover bugs in the Chakra scripting engine, Microsoft Outlook and DirectX.

This update also includes three advisories. One covers vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player, and another covers important bugs in the Microsoft Surface tablet. Additionally, there is guidance for how users should configure BitLocker in order to properly enforce software encryption.

For more on our coverage for these vulnerabilities, check out the SNORTⓇ blog post here.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Threat Roundup for November 2 to November 9


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Nov. 02 and Nov. 09. 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.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Metamorfo Banking Trojan Keeps Its Sights on Brazil

This blog post was authored by Edmund Brumaghin, Warren Mercer, Paul Rascagneres, and Vitor Ventura.

Executive Summary


Financially motivated cybercriminals have used banking trojans for years to steal sensitive financial information from victims. They are often created to gather credit card information and login credentials for various online banking and financial services websites so this data can be monetized by the attackers. Cisco Talos recently identified two ongoing malware distribution campaigns being used to infect victims with banking trojans, specifically financial institutions' customers in Brazil. Additionally, during the analysis of these campaigns, Talos identified a dedicated spam botnet that is currently delivering malicious spam emails as part of the infection process.

Distribution campaigns


While analyzing these campaigns, Talos identified two separate infection processes that we believe attackers have used between late October and early November. These campaigns used different file types for the initial download and infection process, and ultimately delivered two separate banking trojans that target Brazilian financial institutions. Both campaigns used the same naming convention for various files used during the infection process and featured the abuse of link-shortening services to obscure the actual distribution servers used. The use of link shorteners also allows some additional flexibility. Many organizations allow their employees to access link shorteners from corporate environments, which could enable the attacker to shift where they are hosting malicious files, while also enabling them to leverage these legitimate services in email-based campaigns.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Persian Stalker pillages Iranian users of Instagram and Telegram

This blog post is authored by Danny Adamatis, Warren Mercer, Paul Rascagneres, Vitor Ventura and with the contributions of Eric Kuhla.

Introduction

State-sponsored actors have a number of different techniques at their disposal to remotely gain access to social media and secure messaging applications. Starting in 2017 and continuing through 2018, Cisco Talos has seen different techniques being used to attack users and steal their private information. These techniques used fake login pages, malicious apps disguised as their legitimate counterparts and BGP hijacking, and were specifically targeting Iranian users of the secure messaging app Telegram and the social media site Instagram.

Telegram has become a popular target for greyware in Iran, as the app is used by an estimated 40 million users. While it's mostly used for daily communication, protest organizers also used it in the past to organize demonstrations against the Iranian government, specifically in December 2017. In a few instances, the Iranian government asked Telegram to shut down certain channels for "promoting violence." The tactics outlined in this post have been in use since 2017 in an effort to gather information about Telegram and Instagram users. The campaigns vary in complexity, resource needs and methods. Below, we outline examples of a network attack, application clones and classic phishing. It is our belief that these campaigns were used to specifically target Iranian users of the Telegram app in an effort to steal personal and login information.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Threat Roundup for Oct. 26 to Nov. 2



Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Oct. 26 and Nov. 02. 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.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

CyberVets U.S.A.: The mission after transition

Christopher Marshall, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, currently serves as Director of Cybersecurity Research for Cisco Talos Intelligence Group.

As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I’ve had the opportunity to use some of the greatest technology this country has to offer — from night vision goggles, to thermal cameras, to radio and satellite command and control equipment — even the care and feeding of nuclear reactors. When it was time for me to transition from the military to the civilian world, my post-military career led me to work for the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group, where I’ve found that many who served are also excellent teammates in the fast-paced, ever-shifting domain of cybersecurity. These men and women exhibit leadership, teamwork, inclusion, integrity, efficiency, and (importantly) the ability to acquire technical prowess. These are highly desirable traits in any industry, especially one that is predicated on trust and a willingness to always learn and evolve.

Talos Vulnerability Deep Dive - TALOS-2018-0636 / CVE-2018-3971 Sophos HitmanPro.Alert vulnerability

Marcin Noga of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability.

Introduction


Sophos patched two vulnerabilities in Sophos HitmanPro.Alert in version 3.7.9.759. We publicly disclosed these issues last week here, Cisco Talos will show you the process of developing an exploit for one of these bugs. We will take a deep dive into TALOS-2018-0636/CVE-2018-3971 to show you the exploitation process.

Sophos HitmanPro.Alert is a threat-protection solution based on heuristic algorithms that detect and block malicious activity. Some of these algorithms need kernel-level access to gather the appropriate information they need. The software's core functionality has been implemented in the `hmpalert.sys` kernel driver by Sophos. This blog will show how an attacker could leverage TALOS-2018-0636 to build a stable exploit to gain SYSTEM rights on the local machine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: Multiple Vulnerabilities in Yi Technology Home Camera


Vulnerabilities Discovered by Lilith [x_x] of Cisco Talos.

Overview


Cisco Talos is disclosing multiple vulnerabilities in the firmware of the Yi Technology Home Camera. In order to prevent the exploitation of these vulnerabilities, Talos worked with Yi Technology to make sure a newer version of the firmware is available to users. These vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to gain remote code execution on the devices via a command injection, bypass methods of network authentication, or disable the device.

The Yi Home Camera is an internet-of-things (IoT) home camera sold globally. The 27US version is one of the newer models sold in the U.S. and is the most basic model out of the Yi Technology camera lineup.

It includes all the functions that one would expect from an IoT device, including the ability to view the camera's feed from anywhere, offline storage, subscription-based cloud storage and easy setup.

There are many consequences to a security vulnerability within the firmware of this security camera. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to:

  • Disable the camera to prevent it from recording.
  • Delete stored videos on the camera.
  • View video feeds from the camera.
  • Potentially launch attacks against the camera owner's phone app.
  • Act as a foothold into the home network to attack other devices inside.


This list is not complete, and many other consequences could occur, so Talos highly recommends that the devices are patched as soon as possible via the Yi Home application.

Anatomy of a sextortion scam

This blog was written by Jaeson Schultz.

Since this July, attackers are increasingly spreading sextortion-type attacks across the internet. Cisco Talos has been investigating these campaigns over the past few months. In many cases the spammers harvested email addresses and passwords from a publicly available data breach, and then used this data to facilitate their sextortion attacks. While the attackers do not actually have any compromising videos showing the victim, the emails claim to have explicit videos that they will distribute if the victim doesn't pay the extortion payment by a certain time. By including the recipient's password along with their demands for payment, the attackers hope to legitimize their claims about having compromising material concerning the victim. While these attacks have been in the wild for months, Talos wanted to take a closer look at some of these campaigns to see why users were being tricked into sending the attackers large amounts of bitcoin despite the attackers' empty threats. By examining some of the sextortion spam campaigns in detail, our researchers were able to gain insight into how these criminals operate.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Talos Vulnerability Discovery Year in Review - 2018


Introduction


Cisco Talos' Vulnerability Discovery Team investigates software and operating system vulnerabilities in order to discover them before malicious threat actors. We provide this information to vendors so that they can create patches and protect their customers as soon as possible. We strive to improve the security of our customers with detection content, which protects them while the vendor is creating, testing, and delivering the patch. These patches ultimately remove the vulnerability in question, which increases security not only for our customers but for everyone. Once these patches become available, the Talos detection content becomes public, as well. You can find all of the release information via the Talos vulnerability information page here.

Over the past several years, our research team has improved the pace at which we disclose vulnerabilities. Talos increased the number of vulnerabilities it disclosed 22 percent year-over-year, and we hope to continue to grow that number. As of Oct. 23, Cisco has updated it's vendor vulnerability and discovery policy. You can read the complete details here.

Monday, October 29, 2018

GPlayed's younger brother is a banker — and it's after Russian banks

This blog post is authored by Vitor Ventura.

Introduction


Cisco Talos published its findings on a new Android trojan known as "GPlayed" on Oct. 11. At the time, we wrote that the trojan seemed to be in the testing stages of development, based on the malware's code patterns, strings and telemetry visibility. Since then, we discovered that there's already a predecessor to GPlayed, which we are calling "GPlayed Banking." Unlike the first version of GPlayed, this is not an all-encompassing banking trojan. It is specifically a banking trojan that's looking to target Sberbank AutoPay users, a service offered by the Russian state-owned bank.

GPlayed Banking is spread in a similar way to the original GPlayed. It's disguised as a fake Google app store, but actually installs the malware once it's launched. This further illustrates the point that Android users need to be educated on how to spot a malicious app, and that they should be careful as to what privileges they assign to certain programs.
The malicious application is on the left-hand side.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Threat Roundup for October 19 to October 26


Today, Talos is is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Oct. 19 and Oct. 26. 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.

Vulnerability Spotlight: Talos-2018-0694 - MKVToolNix mkvinfo read_one_element Code Execution Vulnerability


Piotr Bania, Cory Duplantis and Martin Zeiser of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability.

Overview


Today, Cisco Talos is disclosing a vulnerability that we identified in the MKVToolNix mkvinfo utility that parses the Matroska file format video files (.mkv files).

MKVToolNix is a set of tools to create, alter and inspect Matroska files on Linux, Windows and other operating systems.

Matroska is a file format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows, with implementations consisting of mostly of open-source software. Matroska file extensions are MKV for video, MK3D for stereoscopic video, MKA for audio-only files and MKS for subtitle-only files.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: TALOS-2018-0635/0636 - Sophos HitmanPro.Alert memory disclosure and code execution vulnerabilities

Marcin Noga of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability.


Overview

Cisco Talos is disclosing two vulnerabilities in Sophos HitmanPro.Alert, a malware detection and protection tool. Both vulnerabilities lie in the input/output control (IOCTL) message handler. One could allow an attacker to read kernel memory contents, while the other allows code execution and privilege escalation. Both vulnerabilities were patched by Sophos in version 3.7.9.759.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Beers with Talos EP40: BWT XL feat. SuperMicro, Giant Patches, and More Mobile Malware



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast Ep. #40 is now available. Download this episode and subscribe to Beers with Talos:

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

Ep. #40 show notes: 

Recorded Oct. 19, 2018 — In celebration of episode No. 40 and hitting over 1 million downloads(!!!), we go XL. This episode is a bit long, but we go a bit deeper than usual to discuss a few things that are highly unusual — namely, the extra-large patches dropped by Oracle, and the extra-large questions surrounding the Bloomberg/Super Micro story. We also talk about a few mobile threats we have seen and what we have brewing in the mobile threat space.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Threat Roundup for October 12 to October 19


Today, as we do every week, Talos is giving you a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we’ve observed this week — covering the dates between Oct. 12 and 19. As with previous roundups, this post isn’t meant to be an in-depth analysis. Instead, we will summarize the threats we’ve observed by highlighting key behavioral characteristics and 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.

Beers with Talos EP 39: VB 2018 Rundown and Prevalent Problems with PDF



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast Ep. #39 is now available. Download this episode and subscribe to Beers with Talos:

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

Ep. #39 show notes: 

Recorded Oct. 5, 2018 - We start out with a quick chat to get to know this week’s special guests from the Talos Outreach team: Paul Rascagneres, Vanja Svajcer and Warren Mercer. We discuss everyone’s work that was presented at Virus Bulletin, as well as Paul and Warren being nominated for the Péter Szőr Award. We also cover a lot of vulnerability discovery work that we recently released around various PDF software.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tracking Tick Through Recent Campaigns Targeting East Asia

This blog post is authored by Ashlee Benge and Jungsoo An, with contributions from Dazhuo Li.

Summary



Since 2016, an advanced threat group that Cisco Talos is tracking has carried out cyberattacks against South Korea and Japan. This group is known by several different names: Tick, Redbaldknight and Bronze Butler.

Although each campaign employed custom tools, Talos has observed recurring patterns in the actor's use of infrastructure, from overlaps in hijacked command and control (C2) domains to differing campaign C2s resolving to the same IP. These infrastructure patterns indicate similarities between the Datper, xxmm backdoor, and Emdivi malware families. In this post, we will dive into these parallels and examine the methods used by this actor.

Vulnerability Spotlight: Live Networks LIVE555 streaming media RTSPServer code execution vulnerability



These vulnerabilities were discovered by Lilith Wyatt of Cisco Talos.

Cisco Talos is disclosing a code execution vulnerability that has been identified in Live Networks LIVE555 streaming media RTSPServer.

LIVE555 Streaming Media is a set of open-source C++ libraries developed by Live Networks Inc. for multimedia streaming. The libraries support open standards such as RTP/RTCP and RTSP for streaming, and can also manage video RTP payload formats such as H.264, H.265, MPEG, VP8, and DV, and audio RTP payload formats such as MPEG, AAC, AMR, AC-3 and Vorbis. It is used internally by well-known software such as VLC and MPlayer.

An exploitable code execution vulnerability exists in the HTTP packet-parsing functionality of the LIVE555 RTSP server library, which is not part of media players, but interacts with them. A specially crafted packet can cause a stack-based buffer overflow, resulting in code execution. An attacker can send a packet to trigger this vulnerability.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: Linksys ESeries Multiple OS Command Injection Vulnerabilities



These vulnerabilities were discovered by Jared Rittle of Cisco Talos.

Cisco Talos is disclosing several vulnerabilities in the operating system on the Linksys E Series of routers.

Multiple exploitable OS command injection vulnerabilities exist in the Linksys E Series line of routers. An attacker can exploit these bugs by sending an authenticated HTTP request to the network configuration. An attacker could then gain the ability to arbitrarily execute code on the machine.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Old dog, new tricks - Analysing new RTF-based campaign distributing Agent Tesla, Loki with PyREbox

This blog post was authored by Edmund Brumaghin and Holger Unterbrink with contributions from Emmanuel Tacheau.


Executive Summary


Cisco Talos has discovered a new malware campaign that drops the sophisticated information-stealing trojan called "Agent Tesla," and other malware such as the Loki information stealer. Initially, Talos' telemetry systems detected a highly suspicious document that wasn't picked up by common antivirus solutions. However, Threat Grid, Cisco's unified malware analysis and threat intelligence platform, identified the unknown file as malware. The adversaries behind this malware use a well-known exploit chain, but modified it in such a way so that antivirus solutions don't detect it. In this post, we will outline the steps the adversaries took to remain undetected, and why it's important to use more sophisticated software to track these kinds of attacks. If undetected, Agent Tesla has the ability to steal user's login information from a number of important pieces of software, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Outlook and many others. It can also be used to capture screenshots, record webcams, and allow attackers to install additional malware on infected systems.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Threat Roundup for October 5 to October 12


Today, as we do every week, Talos is giving you a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we’ve observed this week — covering the dates between Oct. 5 and 12. As with previous roundups, this post isn’t meant to be an in-depth analysis. Instead, we will summarize the threats we’ve observed by highlighting key behavioral characteristics and 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.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

GPlayed Trojan - .Net playing with Google Market

This blog post is authored by Vitor Ventura.

Introduction

In a world where everything is always connected, and mobile devices are involved in individuals' day-to-day lives more and more often, malicious actors are seeing increased opportunities to attack these devices. Cisco Talos has identified the latest attempt to penetrate mobile devices — a new Android trojan that we have dubbed "GPlayed." This is a trojan with many built-in capabilities. At the same time, it's extremely flexible, making it a very effective tool for malicious actors. The sample we analyzed uses an icon very similar to Google Apps, with the label "Google Play Marketplace" to disguise itself.

The malicious application is on the left-hand side.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Microsoft WindowsCodecs.dll SniffAndConvertToWideString Information Leak Vulnerability

These vulnerabilities were discovered by Marcin Noga of Cisco Talos.

Today, Cisco Talos is disclosing a vulnerability in the WindowsCodecs.dll component of the Windows operating system.

WindowsCodecs.dll is a component library that exists in the implementation of Windows Imaging Component (WIC), which provides a framework for working with images and their data. WIC makes it possible for independent software vendors (ISVs) and independent hardware vendors (IHVs) to develop their own image codecs and get the same platform support as standard image formats (ex. TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP and HDPhoto).

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Vulnerability Spotlight: VMWare Workstation DoS Vulnerability

Today, Cisco Talos is disclosing a vulnerability in VMware Workstation that could result in denial of service. VMware Workstation is a widely used virtualization platform designed to run alongside a normal operating system, allowing users to use both virtualized and physical systems concurrently.

TALOS-2018-0589

Discovered by Piotr Bania of Cisco Talos

Microsoft Patch Tuesday — October 18: 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 49 vulnerabilities, 12 of which are rated "critical," 34 that are rated "important,” two that are considered to have “moderate” severity and one that’s rated as “low.”

The advisories cover bugs in the Chakra scripting engine, the Microsoft Edge internet browser and the Microsoft Office suite of products, among other software.

This update also includes a critical advisory that covers updates to the Microsoft Office suite of products.

Please visit the SNORTⓇ blog here if you would like to know more about the coverage we have for these vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability in the Intel Unified Shader compiler for the Intel Graphics Accelerator

Vulnerabilities discovered by Piotr Bania of Cisco Talos

Talos is disclosing a pointer corruption vulnerability in the Intel Unified Shader compiler for the Intel Graphics Accelerator.


Overview

In order for the graphics to be produced, the graphics accelerators need to process the OpenGL scripts into actual graphics. That process is named "shader compilation." On the Intel Graphics accelerator, this is done inside the igdusc64 dynamic linked library (DLL), and this is where the vulnerability exists.