Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vulnerability Spotlight: A deep dive into WAGO’s cloud connectivity and the vulnerabilities that arise

 

Vulnerability Spotlight: A deep dive into WAGO’s cloud connectivity and the vulnerabilities that arise

Report and research by Kelly Leuschner.

WAGO makes several programmable automation controllers that are used in many industries including automotive, rail, power engineering, manufacturing and building management. Cisco Talos discovered 41 vulnerabilities in their PFC200 and PFC100 controllers. In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with WAGO to ensure that these issues were resolved and that a firmware update is available for affected customers.

Since a patch has been available to affected customers for some time, we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss several attack chains that exploit WAGO’s cloud connectivity client known as “dataagent” to gain root access to the device. You can also catch a technical presentation of these vulnerabilities at the virtual CS3Sthlm conference on Oct. 22, 2020. 

WAGO provides a cloud connectivity feature for users to access remote telemetry from their devices and even issue firmware updates remotely. Cloud connectivity provides an interesting attack vector, where the attack originates from a trusted cloud provider but the cloud instance itself is attacker-controlled. The scenario we will dive into today is one where the attacker has access to legitimate cloud infrastructure and can abuse WAGO’s custom protocol to gain root privileges on the device.

We’ll first dive into the technical details of each of the vulnerabilities themselves. Then we’ll discuss how these vulnerabilities can be combined in two distinct attack chains that result in the ability to gain root privileges on the device.

What to expect when you’re electing: A recap

We’re roughly two weeks out from Election Day in America, although millions of early and mail-in votes have already been cast. In the coming days, there’s sure to be a flurry of news stories about disinformation, allegations of voter fraud, the back-and-forth between parties and talks of when the results can be trusted, and someone can call the presidential race. 

While Cisco Talos can’t provide you all the answers, we can at least give you an idea of what American election officials at the state, local and national levels are currently facing. We at Talos and elsewhere across Cisco Secure have released several research papers, blog posts, graphics, videos and more discussing election security and disinformation this year. 

Here’s a complete list of everything we’ve covered so far. Please share this information with friends, family members and colleagues as we all try to keep up with the news cycle between now and Nov. 3 (and likely far beyond that). 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Vulnerability Spotlight: Code execution vulnerability in Google Chrome WebGL

 

Marcin Towalski of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

The Google Chrome web browser contains a vulnerability that could be exploited by an adversary to gain the ability to execute code on the victim machine. Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers currently available to users. Cisco Talos researchers recently discovered a bug in WebGL, which is a Chrome API responsible for displaying 3-D graphics.

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

Dynamic Data Resolver - Version 1.0.1 beta

By Holger Unterbrink.

Cisco Talos is releasing a new beta version of Dynamic Data Resolver (DDR) today. This release comes with a new architecture for samples using multi-threading. The process and thread tracing has been completely reimplemented.

We also fixed a few bugs and memory leaks. Another new feature is that the DDR backend now comes in two flavors: a release version and a debugging version. The latter will improve code quality and bug hunting. It helps to detect memory leaks and minor issues which are silently handled by the underlying DynamoRIO framework in the release version. We also improved the installer and the IDA plugin is now installed to the user plugin directory instead to the IDA installation directory under Program Files. The IDA plugin and all its dependencies are also now automatically installed by a script.  

You can download DDR, version 1.0.1 beta here

Fantastic news! DDR has won the HexRays IDA plugin contest 2020

We would like to thank HexRays for recognizing this plugin and awarding it with the first prize in their IDA plugin contest. We hope HexRays keeps up the fantastic work they are doing with IDA. It makes our reverse-engineering lives a bit easier every day.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Threat Roundup for October 9 to October 16


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Oct. 9 and Oct. 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.

Beers with Talos ep. #94: Nigel is marching on, victorious and glorious



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast episode No. 94 is now available. Download this episode and
subscribe to Beers with Talos:
If iTunes and Google Play aren't your thing, click here.

By Mitch Neff.

Recorded Sept. 25, 2020


Today is Nigel’s last episode as a regular host of BWT. Join us in wishing him a happy transition to his next chapter. As we all know, Nigel won’t ever actually retire. Today’s show is us chatting with Nigel — about his career and his take on the industry as he entered, and now as he moves on to whatever comes next. Every aspect of Talos is better off because Nigel was here, as well as so many of the people he came across along the way.

We will all miss your daily presence, but we are excited to see what you come up with next. Cheers.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Threat Source newsletter (Oct. 15, 2020)



Newsletter compiled by Jon Munshaw.

Good afternoon, Talos readers. 

In our latest entry into our election security series, we’re turning our attention to the professionals who are responsible for securing our elections. After months of research, we’ve compiled a series of recommendations for local, state and national officials to combat disinformation and secure Americans’ faith in the election system. 

Patch Tuesday was also this week, which as usual, brought with it a big Snort rule release and our breakdown of the important Microsoft vulnerabilities you need to know about. 

What to expect when you're electing: How election officials can counter disinformation

 

By Matthew Olney and the communications and public relations professionals at Cisco.

Editor's Note: For more on this topic, sign up for a Cisco Duo webinar on election security on Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. ET here.

In our work with our partners in the election security space, the most difficult question we’ve been asked is “What do we do about disinformation campaigns?” This isn’t something Talos usually specializes in, as it’s not a true technical security problem. However, one of the great benefits of working at Cisco is the incredible breadth of capability of our coworkers and partners. So, correctly framing the question as a communications issue, we worked with Cisco communications professionals and our outside communications partners to put together an outline of a communications plan for elections officials facing disinformation campaigns. 

To help the reader understand why we’re making the recommendations we are, we will summarize here the findings of our previous reports on elections security and disinformation. In short, we have found that while one of the goals of foreign adversaries may be to favor a particular candidate, the primary objective of both disinformation campaigns and election interference up to this point is to aggravate existing social, cultural and political divisions and sow doubt about the fairness and integrity of Western democracies. The driving goal here is to weaken the United States and other global democratic powers to allow foreign adversaries to more easily achieve their geopolitical objectives. Here's a similar set of recommendations specifically for voters.

Vulnerability Spotlight: Code execution, information disclosure vulnerabilities in F2FS toolset



Vulnerabilities discovered by a Cisco Talos researcher. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

Cisco Talos recently discovered multiple code execution and information disclosure vulnerabilities in various functions of the F2FS toolset. F2FS is a filesystem toolset commonly found in embedded
devices that creates, verifies and/or fixes Flash-Friendly File System files. An attacker could provide a malicious file to the target to trigger these vulnerabilities, causing a variety of negative conditions for the target.

In accordance with Cisco’s coordinated disclosure policy, we are disclosing these vulnerabilities without an update from F2FS after the organization failed to meet the 90-day deadline.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Vulnerability Spotlight: Denial of service in AMD ATIKMDAG.SYS driver

  

Piotr Bania of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

Cisco Talos recently discovered a denial-of-service vulnerability in the ATIKMDAG.SYS driver for some AMD graphics cards. An attacker could send the victim a specially crafted D3DKMTCreateAllocation API request to cause an out-of-bounds read, leading to a denial-of-service condition. This vulnerability could be triggered from a guest account.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with AMD to disclose this vulnerability and ensure an update is available

Microsoft Patch Tuesday for Oct. 2020 — Snort rules and prominent vulnerabilities



By Jon Munshaw, with contributions from Alex McDonnell and Nick Biasini.

Microsoft released its monthly security update Tuesday, disclosing just under 100 vulnerabilities across its array of products.  

Fourteen of the vulnerabilities are considered “critical" while the vast remainder are ranked as “important.” Users of all Microsoft and Windows products are urged to update their software as soon as possible to avoid possible exploitation of all these bugs.

Vulnerability Spotlight: Information leak vulnerability in Google Chrome WebGL



Marcin Towalski of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

The Google Chrome web browser contains a vulnerability that could be exploited by an adversary to carry out a range of malicious actions. Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers currently available to users. Cisco Talos researchers recently discovered a bug in WebGL, which is a Chrome API responsible for displaying 3-D graphics.

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

Lemon Duck brings cryptocurrency miners back into the spotlight



By Vanja Svajcer, with contributions from Caitlin Huey.

  • We are used to ransomware attacks and big-game hunting making headlines, but there are still methods adversaries use to monetize their efforts in less intrusive ways.
  • Cisco Talos recently recorded increased activity of the Lemon Duck cryptocurrency-mining botnet using several techniques likely to be spotted by defenders, but are not immediately obvious to end-users.
  • These threats demonstrate several techniques of the MITRE ATT&CK framework, most notably T1203 (Exploitation for Client Execution), T1089 (Disabling Security Tools), T1105 (Remote File Copy), T1027 (Obfuscated Files or Information), T1086 (PowerShell), T1035 (Service Execution), T1021.002 (Remote Services: SMB/Windows Admin Shares), T1053 (Scheduled Task), T1562.004 (Impair Defenses: Disable or Modify System Firewall) and T1218.005 (Signed Binary Proxy Execution: Mshta).


Attackers are constantly reinventing ways of monetizing their tools. Cisco Talos recently discovered a complex campaign employing a multi-modular botnet with multiple ways to spread. This threat, known as "Lemon Duck," has a cryptocurrency mining payload that steals computer resources to mine the Monero virtual currency. The actor employs various methods to spread across the network, like sending infected RTF files using email, psexec, WMI and SMB exploits, including the infamous Eternal Blue and SMBGhost threats that affect Windows 10 machines. Some variants also support RDP brute-forcing. In recent attacks we observed, this functionality was omitted. The adversary also uses tools such as Mimikatz, that help the botnet increase the amount of systems participating in its mining pool.

What's new?


Although this threat has been active since at least the end of December 2018, we have noticed an increase in its activity at the end of August 2020.

How did it work?


The infection starts with a PowerShell loading script, which is copied from other infected systems with SMB, email or external USB drives. The actor also employs several exploits for vulnerabilities such as SMBGhost and Eternal Blue. The code exploiting the Bluekeep vulnerability is also present but it is disabled in the version we analysed.

The botnet has executable modules that get downloaded and driven by the main module, which communicates with the command and control (C2) server over HTTP.

The email-spreading module uses COVID-19-related subject lines and text, with an infected attachment sent using Outlook automation to every contact in the affected user's address book.

So what?


Defenders need to be constantly vigilant and monitor the behavior of systems within their network to spot new resource-stealing threats such as cryptominers. Cryptocurrency-mining botnets can be costly in terms of the stolen computing cycles and power consumption costs. While organizations need to be focused on protecting their most valuable assets, they should not ignore threats that are not particularly targeted toward their infrastructure.


Vulnerability Spotlight: Denial-of-service vulnerabilities in Allen-Bradley Flex I/O



Jared Rittle of Cisco Talos discovered these vulnerabilities. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

The Allen-Bradley Flex input/output system contains multiple denial-of-service vulnerabilities in its ENIP request path data segment. These bugs exist specifically in the 1794-AENT FLEX I/O modular platform. It provides many I/O operations and servers as a smaller physical device compared to other similar hardware. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by sending a specially crafted, malicious packet to the target device, causing a loss of communication between the victim’s network and the device, resulting in a denial of service.

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

Friday, October 9, 2020

Threat Roundup for October 2 to October 9


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Oct. 2 and Oct. 9. 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, October 8, 2020

Threat Source newsletter for Oct. 8, 2020

 

Newsletter compiled by Jon Munshaw.

Good afternoon, Talos readers. 

We’ve been writing and talking about election security a ton lately. And as the U.S. presidential election draws closer, we decided it was time to summarize some things. So, we released this blog post with our formal recommendations for voters and how they can avoid disinformation and other bad actors trying to influence the election. 

Our researchers are also following the development of the PoetRAT malware. This remote access trojan is still targeting public and private entities in Azerbaijan, and we’ve seen the actor behind the threat make several tweaks over time to make it more agile and difficult to detect. 

If vulnerability research is more your thing, we also have a deep dive into our work discovering bugs in Microsoft Azure Sphere as part of a challenge from Microsoft. In all, we disclosed 16 vulnerabilities. Here’s what you need to know about them and how to stay protected. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Vulnerability Spotlight: DoS vulnerability in ATIKMDAG.SYS AMD graphics driver

 

Piotr Bania of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

Cisco Talos recently discovered a denial-of-service vulnerability in the ATIKMDAG.SYS driver for some AMD graphics cards. An attacker could send the victim a specially crafted D3DKMTCreateAllocation API request to cause an out-of-bounds read, leading to a denial-of-service condition. This vulnerability could be triggered from a guest account.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with AMD to disclose this vulnerability. AMD has disclosed this vulnerability and released notes on it but does not plan to have an official patch until Q1 of 2021.

What to expect when you’re electing: Voter recommendations



By Amy Henderson. 

Information operations have been around for millennia, yet with the advent of the internet and the democratization of content creation, the barriers to entry have lowered to a point that anyone can play now.   

In the course of our latest research on disinformation, with an eye toward election security, we have covered the what, how and why of disinformation campaigns, state and non-state actors that engage in this behavior, as well as the psychological effect on society.  To finalize this research, we want to ensure that we leave our audience with actionable guidance on how they can counteract disinformation, stop the spread and educate themselves.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

90 days, 16 bugs, and an Azure Sphere Challenge




Cisco Talos reports 16 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Azure Sphere's sponsored research challenge.


By Claudio Bozzato, Lilith [-_-]; and Dave McDaniel. 


On May 15, 2020, Microsoft kicked off the Azure Sphere Security Research Challenge, a three-month initiative aimed at finding bugs in Azure Sphere. Among the teams and individuals selected, Cisco Talos conducted a three-month sprint of research into the platform and reported 16 vulnerabilities of various severity, including a privilege escalation bug chain to acquire Azure Sphere Capabilities, the most valuable Linux normal-world permissions in the Azure Sphere context. 

The Azure Sphere platform is a cloud-connected and custom SoC platform designed specifically for IoT application security. Internally, the SoC is made up of a set of several ARM cores that have different roles (e.g. running different types of applications, enforcing security, and managing encryption). Externally, the Azure Sphere platform is supported by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, which handles secure updates, app deployment, and periodic verification of device integrity to determine if Azure Cloud access should be allowed or not. Note however, that while the Azure Sphere is updated and deploys through the Azure Cloud, customers can still interact with their own servers independently.

PoetRAT: Malware targeting public and private sector in Azerbaijan evolves



By Warren Mercer, Paul Rascagneres and Vitor Ventura.

  • The Azerbaijan public sector and other important organizations are still targeted by new versions of PoetRAT.
  • This actor leverages malicious Microsoft Word documents alleged to be from the Azerbaijan government.
  • The attacker has moved from Python to Lua script.
  • The attacker improves their operational security (OpSec) by replacing protocol and performing reconnaissance on compromised systems.

Executive summary


Cisco Talos discovered PoetRAT earlier this year. We have continued to monitor this actor and their behavior over the preceding months. We have observed multiple new campaigns indicating a change in the actor's capabilities and showing their maturity toward better operational security. We assess with medium confidence this actor continues to use spear-phishing attacks to lure a user to download a malicious document from temporary hosting providers. We currently believe the malware comes from malicious URLs included in the email, resulting in the user clicking and downloading a malicious document. These Word documents continue to contain malicious macros, which in turn download additional payloads once the attacker sets their sites on a particular victim. Previous versions of PoetRAT deployed a Python interpreter to execute the included source code which resulted in a much larger file size compared to the latest version's switch to Lua script. As the geopolitical tensions grow in Azerbaijan with neighbouring countries, this is no doubt a stage of espionage with national security implications being deployed by a malicious actor with a specific interest in various Azerbajiani government departments.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Threat Roundup for September 25 to October 2


Today, Talos is publishing a glimpse into the most prevalent threats we've observed between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. 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. An accompanying JSON file can be found here that includes the complete list of file hashes, as well as all other IOCs from this post. 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 1, 2020

Beers with Talos Ep. #93: “More Secure” myths and misconceptions



Beers with Talos (BWT) Podcast episode No. 93 is now available. Download this episode and
subscribe to Beers with Talos:
If iTunes and Google Play aren't your thing, click here.

By Mitch Neff.

Recorded Sept. 11, 2020


On today’s show, we take several of the larger security myths that are often heard around things like patching vulnerabilities — specifically the notion that more patches indicate less secure software. We also talk about other “common knowledge”-esque bits of advice we’ve all often come across. We could do a whole episode on silver bullets that (spoiler alert) wasn’t. Let us know some of your favorite silver flashes on Twitter or drop us an email.

Threat Source newsletter for Oct. 1, 2020

Newsletter compiled by Jon Munshaw.

Good afternoon, Talos readers. 

In the past, we’ve covered what disinformation (otherwise known as “fake news”) is and who spreads it. Now, we’re diving into why it works, and why it’s so easy for people to spread. Check out our full paper here to gain a lot of insight into the psychology of social media. 

On the malware front, we also have an update on LodaRAT. We've seen several new variants of this threat in the wild. Here’s what to look out for and how to protect your network. 

What to expect when you're electing: Information hygiene and the human levers of disinformation



Editor's note: Related reading on Talos election security research:  

https://blog.talosintelligence.com/2020/07/what-to-expect-when-youre-electing.html 

https://blog.talosintelligence.com/2020/09/election-roundtable-video.html 

https://blog.talosintelligence.com/2020/08/what-to-expect-electing-disinformation-building-blocks.html 

By Azim Khodjibaev and Ryan Pentney. 

As Cisco Talos researchers outlined in a paper earlier this summer, disinformation is one of the key cogs in the way foreign actors interfere in American elections. But why does disinformation work so well? And why are people so quick to share information, photos or videos that have been manipulated or faked entirely? 

Our latest entry into the “What to expect when you’re electing” series, our latest research paper looks at the psychology of disinformation.