Welcome to this week’s edition of the Threat Source newsletter.

I’m fascinated by how things live and die on the internet. Things that are ubiquitous to our daily lives are simply gone the next. LiveJournal and Myspace we hardly knew you. Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and the subsequent exodus led me down the nostalgic path of thinking about how times change and platforms change but things largely remain the same. Until now. We’ve grown as an entire internet community and we remember the pain of moving from app to app and site to site. Many top infosec follows have deactivated their accounts while others are weighing when and if they will leave. Several have moved to decentralized solutions like mastodon.social which saw an uptick of more than 70,000 new users in a single day after the purchase was official. In theory Mastodon can’t be controlled by a single person or entity and to me it feels like this is the next step in our path as an internet community. Will it catch on and be the answer to all of our needs? Doubtful. It is a step in the evolution of the internet and I’m very interested to see what the next adaptation brings.

The one big thing

Cisco Talos Incident Response recently released their Quarterly Report highlighting the ransomware and pre-ransomware engagements, making up nearly 40 percent of threats this quarter. This quarter saw ongoing Qakbot, Hive, and Vice Society activity as well as the emergence of Black Basta, which first surfaced in April 2022. Adversaries continue to leverage not only LoLBins but a variety of publicly available tools and scripts hosted on GitHub repositories or free to download from third-party websites to support operations across multiple stages of the attack lifecycle. Defenders continue to struggle with MFA rollouts, as lack of MFA remains one of the biggest impediments to enterprise security. Nearly 18 percent of engagements either had no MFA or only had it enabled on a handful of accounts and critical services.

Why do I care?

Understanding the current tools and trends used by attackers, as well as understanding the vulnerabilities that are targeted are intrinsic to good security posture. Knowing your environment is step one. Understanding that same environment from the view of the attacker is the next step. Per the report “In nearly 15 percent of engagements this quarter, adversaries identified and/or exploited misconfigured public-facing applications by conducting SQL injection attacks against external websites, exploiting Log4Shell in vulnerable versions of VMware Horizon, and targeting misconfigured and/or publicly exposed servers.”

So now what?

Ensuring that you know your environment and are covering the base of the security pyramid well is critical. Patch, self-assess, and follow trusted threat intelligence sources. Talos IR recommends disabling VPN access for all accounts that are not using two-factor authentication and to disable or delete inactive accounts from Active Directory to prevent suspicious activity.

For the OpenSSL vulnerability we strongly recommend users mitigate affected OpenSSL systems as soon as possible by upgrading to version 3.0.7. Talos has released coverage across the device portfolio including Snort Rules: 60790, 300306-300307 to protect against exploitation of CVE-2022-3602 and ClamAV signature, Multios.Exploit.CVE_2022_3602-9976476-0, to detect malware artifacts related to this threat.

Top security headlines of the week

Security researchers were once again falsely implied by a ransomware gang in an effort to indicate their involvement. This time around Azov implicated BleepingComputer, Hasherazade, MalwareHunterTeam, Michael Gillespie, Lawrence Abrams, and Vitali Kremez, urging infected users to contact them via their accounts on Twitter to recover files.

Dropbox was the target of a recent phishing campaign that led to attackers gaining access to code stored in Github and copying 130 code repositories, including third-party libraries, internal software projects, and a few tools and configuration files maintained by the Dropbox security team. The attackers didn't gain access to any user content, passwords, or payment information. The Dropbox security team released a report detailing how they handled the incident.

Can't get enough Talos?

Upcoming events where you can find Talos

BSides Lisbon (Nov. 10 - 11)
Cidade Universitária, Lisboa, Portugal

SIS(Security Intelligence Summit), 2022.ON (Nov. 29)
Josun Palace, Seoul

Most prevalent malware files from Talos telemetry over the past week

SHA 256:
MD5: 2915b3f8b703eb744fc54c81f4a9c67f
Typical Filename: VID001.exe
Detection Name: Simple_Custom_Detection

MD5: 69fbf6849d935432bac8b04bdb00fd68
Typical Filename: KMSAuto++.exe
Detection Name: W32.File.MalParent

MD5: 93fefc3e88ffb78abb36365fa5cf857c
Typical Filename: Wextract
Claimed Product: Internet Explorer
Detection Name: PUA.Win.Trojan.Generic::85.lp.ret.sbx.tg

SHA 256:
MD5: 2c8ea737a232fd03ab80db672d50a17a
Typical Filename: LwssPlayer.scr
Claimed Product: 梦想之巅幻灯播放器
Detection Name: Auto.125E12.241442.in02

SHA 256:
MD5: d47fa115154927113b05bd3c8a308201
Typical Filename: outlook.exe
Claimed Product: MS Outlook
Detection Name: W32.00AB15B194-95.SBX.TG