SANS

ISC Stormcast For Thursday, July 20th 2017 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=5590, (Thu, Jul 20th)

20 Jul 2017

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Old posts >>

Bots Searching for Keys & Config Files, (Wed, Jul 19th)

19 Jul 2017

If youdont know our 404project[1], I would definitively recommend having a look at it! The idea is to track HTTP 404 errors returned by your web servers. I like to compare the value of 404 errors found in web sites log files to dropped events in firewall logs. They can have a huge value to detect ongoing attacks or attackers performing some reconnaissance. Reviewing 404 errors is one task from my daily hunting-todo-list but it may quickly become unmanageable if you have a lot of websites or popular ones. The idea is to focus on rare events that could usually pass below the radar. Here is a Splunk query that I padding:5px 10px"> index=web sourcetype=access_combined status=404 | rex field=uri (?new_uri^\/{1}[a-zA-Z0-9_\-\~]+\.\w+$) | cluster showcount=true t=0.6 field=new_uri | table _time, cluster_count, cluster_label, new_uri | sort cluster_count

ISC Stormcast For Wednesday, July 19th 2017 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=5588, (Wed, Jul 19th)

19 Jul 2017

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Investigation of BitTorrent Sync (v.2.0) as a P2P Cloud Service (Part 4 ? Windows Thumbnail Cache, Registry, Prefetch Files, and Link Files artefacts), (Tue, Jul 18th)

18 Jul 2017

[This is fourth guest diary by Dr.Ali Dehghantanha. Previous diaries in the series are:

ISC Stormcast For Tuesday, July 18th 2017 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=5586, (Tue, Jul 18th)

18 Jul 2017

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

ISC Stormcast For Monday, July 17th 2017 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=5584, (Mon, Jul 17th)

17 Jul 2017

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

SMS Phishing induces victims to photograph its own token card, (Sun, Jul 16th)

17 Jul 2017

Introduction

Office maldoc + .lnk, (Sat, Jul 15th)

15 Jul 2017

Reader nik submitted a malicious document. It width:867px" />

NemucodAES and the malspam that distributes it, (Fri, Jul 14th)

14 Jul 2017

Introduction


Sophos

Watch out for the Android malware that snoops on your phone

21 Jul 2017

GhostCtrl, being distributed by rogue versions designed to look like legitimate apps, can monitor what you do and lock up your device - beware!

Global police swoop shutters Hansa and AlphaBay dark web markets

21 Jul 2017

Two key marketplaces for illegal drugs go dark as it's revealed that Dutch police secretly ran Hansa for a month during its investigation

News in brief: Street View goes out of this world; GoT fans warned on torrenting; Citadel man jailed

20 Jul 2017

Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news

ATM crooks up the ante by using infrared to steal your PIN

20 Jul 2017

Using infrared for data transfer isn't new, but finding an IR transmitter on an ATM in Oklahoma took law enforcement by surprise

“Orpheus’ Lyre” – where it came from, and what to do [VIDEO]

20 Jul 2017

From how the "Orpheus' Lyre" bug got its weird name all the way to what we can learn from it. No jargon, just plain English. Enjoy...

Facebook has got your number – even if it’s not your number

20 Jul 2017

Make sure you check which phone number you have associated with your Facebook account - if it's assigned to someone else, they could take over your profile

Twitter users targeted by an army of 86,262 sex-starved bots

20 Jul 2017

More than 30m wishful thinkers clicked on the links tweeted out by the bots - who were after your wallet rather than after your heart

BSidesLV: What’s on the agenda in Las Vegas

20 Jul 2017

Dropping in to BSidesLV while you're in Vegas? Come and see our data scientists talk about machine learning and the threats there - we'd love to say hi

Old posts >>

News in brief: moving Segway hacked; Google Glass resurrected; 308 Oracle fixes

19 Jul 2017

Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news

Windows security hole – the “Orpheus’ Lyre” attack explained

19 Jul 2017

A long-standing bug in the network authentication protocol called Kerberos led to a security hole in Windows, Linux and more.


TrendMicro

Old posts >>

ProMediads Malvertising and Sundown-Pirate Exploit Kit Combo Drops Ransomware and Info Stealer

19 Jul 2017

We’ve uncovered a new exploit kit in the wild through a malvertising campaign we’ve dubbed “ProMediads”. We call this new exploit kit Sundown-Pirate, as it’s indeed a bootleg of its precursors and actually named so by its back panel.

ProMediads has been active as early as 2016, employing Rig and Sundown exploit kits to deliver malware. Its activities dropped off in mid-February this year, but suddenly welled on June 16 via Rig. However, we noticed that ProMediads eschewed Rig in favor of Sundown-Pirate on June 25.

It’s worth noting that Sundown-Pirate is only employed by ProMediads so far. This could mean that it’s yet another private exploit kit, like the similarly styled GreenFlash Sundown exploit kit that was exclusively used by the ShadowGate campaign.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

ProMediads Malvertising and Sundown-Pirate Exploit Kit Combo Drops Ransomware and Info Stealer

Linux Users Urged to Update as a New Threat Exploits SambaCry

18 Jul 2017

A seven-year old vulnerability in Samba—an open-source implementation of the SMB protocol used by Windows for file and printer sharing—was patched last May but continues to be exploited. According to a security advisory released by the company, the vulnerability allows a malicious actor to upload a shared library to a writable share, causing the server to load and execute it. If leveraged successfully, an attacker could open a command shell in a vulnerable device and take control of it. It affects all versions of Samba since 3.5.0.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

Linux Users Urged to Update as a New Threat Exploits SambaCry 

Android Backdoor GhostCtrl can Silently Record Your Audio, Video, and More

17 Jul 2017

The information-stealing RETADUP worm that affected Israeli hospitals is actually just part of an attack that turned out to be bigger than we first thought—at least in terms of impact. It was accompanied by an even more dangerous threat: an Android malware that can take over the device.

Detected by Trend Micro as ANDROIDOS_GHOSTCTRL.OPS / ANDROIDOS_GHOSTCTRL.OPSA, we’ve named this Android backdoor GhostCtrl as it can stealthily control many of the infected device’s functionalities.

There are three versions of GhostCtrl. The first stole information and controlled some of the device’s functionalities without obfuscation, while the second added more device features to hijack. The third iteration combines the best of the earlier versions’ features—and then some. Based on the techniques each employed, we can only expect it to further evolve.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

Android Backdoor GhostCtrl can Silently Record Your Audio, Video, and More

Are Your Online Mainframes Exposing You to Business Process Compromise?

13 Jul 2017

Legacy mainframes are still used by enterprises to handle big data transactions across a range of industries, from financial institutions, telecoms, and internet service providers (ISPs) to airlines and government agencies.

Why are they still in use? As the saying goes: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But what if they’re not necessarily “broken”—but unsecure? Exposing a mainframe online, even unintentionally, can be detrimental to the security not only of the company’s crown jewels, but also their customers. This is what we found using data from Shodan, a public search engine for internet-connected devices.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

Are Your Online Mainframes Exposing You to Business Process Compromise?

Examining CVE-2017-9791: New Apache Struts Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

13 Jul 2017

The Apache Struts framework is useful for building modern Java-based web applications, with two major versions, Apache Struts 1 and Apache Struts 2, released so far. Support for Apache Struts 1 ended in 2008 with the adoption of Apache Struts 2, which reached its first full release at the start of 2007. A Struts 1 plugin is available that allows developer to use existing Struts 1 Actions and ActionForms in Struts 2 web applications. A vulnerability has been found in this plugin that could allow remote code execution on the affected server, if used with Struts 2.3.x. (Versions 2.5.x are not affected.)

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

Examining CVE-2017-9791: New Apache Struts Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

July Patch Tuesday Addresses Critical Vulnerability in Microsoft HoloLens

12 Jul 2017

Last month’s Patch Tuesday highlighted updates for older Windows versions to address vulnerabilities responsible for the WannaCry outbreak. This July, Patch Tuesday shifts its focus to other technologies, with an update that addresses 54 vulnerabilities – including one in the augmented reality sphere.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

July Patch Tuesday Addresses Critical Vulnerability in Microsoft HoloLens

Spam Campaign Delivers Cross-platform Remote Access Trojan Adwind

11 Jul 2017

Cybercriminals are opportunists. As other operating systems (OS) are more widely used, they, too, would diversify their targets, tools, and techniques in order to cash in on more victims. That’s the value proposition of malware that can adapt and cross over different platforms. And when combined with a business model that can commercially peddle this malware to other bad guys, the impact becomes more pervasive.

Case in point: Adwind/jRAT, which Trend Micro detects as JAVA_ADWIND. It’s a cross-platform remote access Trojan (RAT) that can be run on any machine installed with Java, including Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and Android.

Unsurprisingly we saw it resurface in another spam campaign. This time, however, it’s mainly targeting enterprises in the aerospace industry, with Switzerland, Ukraine, Austria, and the US the most affected countries.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

Spam Campaign Delivers Cross-platform Remote Access Trojan Adwind

OSX Malware Linked to Operation Emmental Hijacks User Network Traffic

10 Jul 2017

The OSX_DOK malware showcases sophisticated features such as certificate abuse and security software evasion that affects machines using Apple’s OS X operating system. This malware, which specifically targets Swiss banking users, uses a phishing campaign to drop its payload, which eventually results in the hijacking of a user’s network traffic using a Man-in-the- Middle (MitM) attack. OSX_DOK seems to be another version of WERDLOD, which is a malware that was used during the Operation Emmental campaigns.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

OSX Malware Linked to Operation Emmental Hijacks User Network Traffic

July’s Android Security Bulletin Addresses Continuing Mediaserver and Qualcomm Issues

07 Jul 2017

Google has released their Android security bulletin for July in two security patch level strings: the first dated 2017-07-01 and the succeeding one dated 2017-07-05. As always, Google urges users to update and avoid any potential security issues. Owners of native Android devices should apply the latest over-the-air (OTA) updates, and non-native Android device users...

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

July’s Android Security Bulletin Addresses Continuing Mediaserver and Qualcomm Issues

SLocker Mobile Ransomware Starts Mimicking WannaCry

05 Jul 2017

Early this month, a new variant of mobile ransomware SLocker (detected by Trend Micro as ANDROIDOS_SLOCKER.OPST) was detected, copying the GUI of the now-infamous WannaCry. The SLocker family is one of the oldest mobile lock screen and file-encrypting ransomware and used to impersonate law enforcement agencies to convince victims to pay their ransom. After laying low for a few years, it had a sudden resurgence last May. This particular SLocker variant is notable for being one of the first Android file-encrypting ransomware, and the first mobile ransomware to capitalize on the success of the previous WannaCry outbreak.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog - by Trend Micro

SLocker Mobile Ransomware Starts Mimicking WannaCry


Kaspersky

A King’s Ransom It is Not

20 Jul 2017

The first half of 2017 began with two intriguing ransomware events, both partly enabled by wormable exploit technology dumped by a group calling themselves “The ShadowBrokers”. These WannaCry and ExPetr ransomware events are the biggest in the sense that they spread the quickest and most effectively of known ransomware to date.

Old posts >>

The NukeBot banking Trojan: from rough drafts to real threats

19 Jul 2017

This spring, the author of the NukeBot banking Trojan published the source code of his creation. Now, three months after the source code was published, we decided to have a look at what has changed in the banking malware landscape.

No Free Pass for ExPetr

13 Jul 2017

Recently, there have been discussions around the topic that if our product is installed, ExPetr malware won’t write the special malicious code which encrypts the MFT to MBR. Some have even speculated that some kind of conspiracy might be ongoing.… Read Full Article

The Magala Trojan Clicker: A Hidden Advertising Threat

12 Jul 2017

Magala falls into the category of Trojan Clickers that imitate a user click on a particular webpage, thus boosting advertisement click counts. It’s worth pointing out that Magala doesn’t actually affect the user, other than consuming some of the infected computer’s resources. The main victims are those paying for the advertising.

Bitscout – The Free Remote Digital Forensics Tool Builder

06 Jul 2017

Being a malware researcher means you are always busy with the struggle against mountains of malware and cyberattacks around the world. Over the past decade, the number of daily new malware findings raised up to unimaginable heights: with hundreds of thousands of malware samples per day!

In ExPetr/Petya’s shadow, FakeCry ransomware wave hits Ukraine

04 Jul 2017

While the world was still shaking under the destructive ExPetr/Petya attack that hit on June 27, another ransomware attack targeting Ukraine at the same time went almost unnoticed.

From BlackEnergy to ExPetr

30 Jun 2017

To date, nobody has been able to find any significant code sharing between ExPetr/Petya and older malware. Given our love for unsolved mysteries, we jumped right on it. We’d like to think of this ongoing research as an opportunity for an open invitation to the larger security community to help nail down (or disprove) the link between BlackEnergy and ExPetr/Petya.

ExPetr/Petya/NotPetya is a Wiper, Not Ransomware

28 Jun 2017

After an analysis of the encryption routine of the malware used in the Petya/ExPetr attacks, we have thought that the threat actor cannot decrypt victims’ disk, even if a payment was made. This supports the theory that this malware campaign was not designed as a ransomware attack for financial gain. Instead, it appears it was designed as a wiper pretending to be ransomware.

Schroedinger’s Pet(ya)

27 Jun 2017

Earlier today (June 27th), we received reports about a new wave of ransomware attacks spreading around the world, primarily targeting businesses in Ukraine, Russia and Western Europe. Our investigation is ongoing and our findings are far from final at this time. Despite rampant public speculation, the following is what we can confirm from our independent analysis.

Neutrino modification for POS-terminals

27 Jun 2017

From time to time authors of effective and long-lived Trojans and viruses create new modifications and forks of them, like any other software authors. One of the brightest examples amongst them is Zeus, which continues to spawn new modifications of itself each year.


ThreatPost

Apple Patches BroadPwn Bug in iOS 10.3.3

20 Jul 2017

Apple released iOS 10.3.3 Wednesday that serves as a cumulative patch update for multiple vulnerabilities including the high-profile BroadPwn bug.

US, European Law Enforcement Shutter Massive AlphaBay Market

20 Jul 2017

U.S. authorities along with law enforcement Europe and Asia announced today the takedown of the dark web’s largest illicit market, AlphaBay.

Tor Project Opens Bounty Program To All Researchers

20 Jul 2017

The Tor Project is launching a public bug bounty program to encourage security researchers to responsibly report issues they find in the software.

Old posts >>

Senator Calls For Use Of DMARC To Curb Phishing

19 Jul 2017

Senator Ron Wyden is pushing to mandate government-wide use of the email authentication protocol DMARC “to ensure that hackers cannot send emails that impersonate federal agencies.”

Modified Versions of Nukebot in Wild Since Source Code Leak

19 Jul 2017

Criminals have made use of the leaked source code for the Nukebot banking Trojan, crafting modified versions of the malware to target banks in the U.S. and France.

Bad Code Library Triggers Devil’s Ivy Vulnerability in Millions of IoT Devices

19 Jul 2017

Tens of millions of products ranging from airport surveillance cameras, sensors, networking equipment and IoT devices are vulnerable to a flaw that allows attackers to remotely gain control over devices or crash them.

Oracle Releases Biggest Update Ever: 308 Vulnerabilities Patched

18 Jul 2017

Oracle's July Critical Patch Update included fixes for 308 vulnerabilities, 165 of which are remotely exploitable.

Oracle E-Business Suite Flaw Allows Downloads of Documents

18 Jul 2017

Oracle today in its Critical Patch Update addressed a critical vulnerability in its Oracle E-Business Suite of business applications that allows for the download of business documents.

CoinDash Hacked During its ICO

18 Jul 2017

Hackers hijacked CoinDash’s initial coin offering Monday, stealing $7.7 million in cryptocurrency from the nascent trading platform.

Privacy Activists Suffer Legal Setback In National Security Letter Case

18 Jul 2017

Cloudflare and network operator Credo Mobile suffered a legal defeat when U.S. appeals court ruled to uphold a gag order on FBI surveillance data.


Symantec

Old posts >>

Attackers are increasingly living off the land

12 Jul 2017

The use of fileless threats and dual-use tools by attackers is becoming more common.

Read More

Microsoft Patch Tuesday – July 2017

12 Jul 2017

This month the vendor has patched 54 vulnerabilities, 19 of which are rated Critical.

Read More

Latest Intelligence for June 2017

11 Jul 2017

A rise in instances of a particular bitcoin mining malware for Macs, the chaos causing Petya outbreak, and an increase in phishing emails for the third month in a row.

Read More

Petya ransomware outbreak: Here’s what you need to know

27 Jun 2017

Petya ransomware impacting large organizations in multiple countries

Read More

Microsoft Patch Tuesday – June 2017

14 Jun 2017

This month the vendor has patched 94 vulnerabilities, 18 of which are rated Critical.

Read More

Latest Intelligence for May 2017

13 Jun 2017

The WannaCry outbreak dominated the news cycle, while the phishing rate reached a high for 2017.

Read More

Criminals increasingly using malvertising to direct victims to exploit kits

06 Jun 2017

Once popular exploit kit redirection campaigns see a significant decline as redirection through malvertising increases

Read More

Financial malware more than twice as prevalent as ransomware

01 Jun 2017

Three Trojans dominated the financial threat landscape in 2016 and attackers increased their focus on corporate finance departments

Read More

Bachosens: Highly-skilled petty cyber criminal with lofty ambitions targeting large organizations

31 May 2017

Eastern Europe based attacker’s advanced malware bears comparison with that used by nation-state actors, but basic missteps indicate a threat actor who is skilled but lacking in expertise

Read More

WannaCry: Ransomware attacks show strong links to Lazarus group

22 May 2017

Similarities in code and infrastructure indicate close connection to group that was linked to Sony Pictures and Bangladesh Bank attacks

Read More

Adylkuzz Cryptocurrency Miner Is Not The Next WannaCry

17 May 2017

Adylkuzz impact and prevalence is much lower than WannaCry

Read More

What you need to know about the WannaCry Ransomware

12 May 2017

The WannaCry ransomware struck across the globe in May 2017. Learn how this ransomware attack spread and how to protect your network from similar attacks.

Read More

Latest Intelligence for April 2017

10 May 2017

Number of web attacks blocked by Symantec rises to more than 1 million per day and Longhorn cyber espionage group linked to malware detailed in Vault 7 leak.

Read More

Microsoft Patch Tuesday – May 2017

10 May 2017

This month the vendor has patched 56 vulnerabilities, 17 of which are rated Critical.

Read More

Hajime worm battles Mirai for control of the Internet of Things

18 Apr 2017

The Hajime worm appears to be the work of a white hat hacker attempting to wrestle control of IoT devices from Mirai and other malicious threats.

Read More

Latest Intelligence for March 2017

14 Apr 2017

Number of blocked web attacks increases to highest level since July 2016 and Necurs botnet returns with new spam campaigns.

Read More

Android O no! Android O causes problems for mobile ransomware developers

12 Apr 2017

Changes in Google’s newest mobile OS will impact the functionality of many Android ransomware threats.

Read More

Microsoft Patch Tuesday – April 2017

11 Apr 2017

This month the vendor has patched 44 vulnerabilities, 13 of which are rated Critical.

Read More

Kelihos/Waledac: US law enforcement hits botnet with major takedown

11 Apr 2017

Alleged botnet operator arrested in Spain, faces multiple charges in the US.

Read More

Longhorn: Tools used by cyberespionage group linked to Vault 7

10 Apr 2017

First evidence linking Vault 7 tools to known cyberattacks.

Read More


F-Secure

Old posts >>

Break your own product, and break it hard

19 Jul 2017

Hello readers, I am Andrea Barisani, founder of Inverse Path, which is now part of F-Secure. I lead the Hardware Security consulting team within F-Secure’s Cyber Security Services. You may have heard of our USB armory product, an innovative compact computer for security applications that is 100% open hardware, open source and Made in Italy. […]

Retefe Banking Trojan Targets Both Windows And Mac Users

14 Jul 2017

Based on our telemetry, customers (mainly in the region of Switzerland and Germany) are being targeted by a Retefe banking trojan campaign which uses both Windows and macOS-based attachments. Its massive spam run started earlier this week and peaked yesterday afternoon (Helsinki time). TrendMicro did a nice writeup on this threat earlier this week. The […]

How EternalPetya Encrypts Files In User Mode

04 Jul 2017

On Thursday of last week (June 29th 2017), just after writing about EternalPetya, we discovered that the user-mode file encryption-decryption mechanism would be functional, provided a victim could obtain the correct key from the malware’s author. Here’s a description of how that mechanism works. EternalPetya malware uses the standard Win32 crypto API to encrypt data. […]

What Good Is A Not For Profit (Eternal) Petya?

30 Jun 2017

Following up on our post from yesterday, as an intellectual thought experiment, let’s take the position that there’s something to the idea of (Eternal) Petya not being motivated by money/profit. Let’s also just go ahead and imagine that it’s been developed by a nation state. In my mind, it raises the following question: WTF WHY? […]

(Eternal) Petya From A Developer’s Perspective

30 Jun 2017

In our previous post about Petya, we speculated that the short-cuts, design flaws, and non-functional mechanisms observed in the  malware could have arisen due to it being developed under a tight deadline. I’d now like to elaborate a little on what we meant by that. As a recap, this is what the latest version of Petya […]

Petya: “I Want To Believe”

29 Jun 2017

There’s been a lot of speculation and conjecture around this “Petya” outbreak. A great deal of it seems to have been fueled by confirmation bias (to us, at least). Many things about this malware don’t add up (at first glance). But it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened. And yet everyone seems to have […]

Processing Quote Tweets With Twitter API

23 Jun 2017

I’ve been writing scripts to process Twitter streaming data via the Twitter API. One of those scripts looks for patterns in metadata and associations between accounts, as streaming data arrives. The script processes retweets, and I decided to add functionality to also process quote Tweets. Retweets “echo” the original by embedding a copy of the […]

Super Awesome Fuzzing, Part One

22 Jun 2017

An informative guide on using AFL and libFuzzer. Posted on behalf of Atte Kettunen (Software Security Expert) & Eero Kurimo (Lead Software Engineer) – Security Research and Technologies. The point of security software is to make a system more secure. When developing software, one definitely doesn’t want to introduce new points of failure, or to […]

TrickBot Goes Nordic… Once In A While

13 Jun 2017

We’ve been monitoring the banking trojan TrickBot since its appearance last summer. During the past few months, the malware underwent several internal changes and improvements, such as more generic info-stealing, support for Microsoft Edge, and encryption/randomization techniques to make analysis and detection more difficult. Unlike the very fast expansion of banks targeted during the first […]

OSINT For Fun And Profit: Hung Parliament Edition

09 Jun 2017

The 2017 UK general election just concluded, with the Conservatives gaining the most votes out of all political parties. But they didn’t win enough seats to secure a majority. The result is a hung parliament. Both the Labour and Conservative parties gained voters compared to the previous general election. Some of those wins came from […]

Why Is Somebody Creating An Army Of Twitter Bots?

02 Jun 2017

There’s been some speculation this week regarding Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Why? Because its follower count “dramatically” increased (according to reports) due to a bunch of bots. Since Twitter analytics are my thing at the moment, I decided to do some digging. Sean examined some of Trump’s new followers and found they had something in […]

Now Hiring: Developers, Researchers, Data Scientists

31 May 2017

We’re hiring right now, and if you check out our careers page, you’ll find over 30 new positions ranging from marketing (meh) to malware analysis (woot!). A select number of these new positions are in F-Secure Labs. If you’re on the lookout for a job in cyber security, you might find one of these jobs […]

WannaCry, Party Like It’s 2003

15 May 2017

Let’s take a moment to collect what we know about WannaCry (W32/WCry) and what we can learn from it. When looked at from a technical perspective, WCry (in its two binary components) has the following properties. Comprised of two Windows binaries. mssecsvc.exe: a worm that handles spreading and drops the payload. tasksche.exe: a ransomware trojan […]

WCry: Knowns And Unknowns

13 May 2017

WCry, WannaCry, Wana Decrypt0r. I’m sure at this point you’ve heard something about what the industry has dubbed the largest crypto ransomware outbreak in history. Following its debut yesterday afternoon, a lot of facts have been flying around. Here’s what we know, and don’t know. WCry has currently made a measly $25,000 They now made […]

OSINT For Fun And Profit: #Presidentielle2017 Edition

11 May 2017

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m writing scripts designed to analyze patterns in Twitter streams. One of the goals of my research is to follow Twitter activity around a newsworthy event, such as an election. For example, last weekend France went to the polls to vote for a new president. And so I […]

Unicode Phishing Domains Rediscovered

26 Apr 2017

There is a variant of phishing attack that nowadays is receiving much attention in the security community. It’s called IDN homograph attack and it takes advantage of the fact that many different Unicode characters look alike. The use of Unicode in domain names makes it easier to spoof websites as the visual representation of an […]

F-Secure XFENCE (Little Flocker)

25 Apr 2017

I use Macs both at home and at work, and as a nerd, I enjoy using interesting stand-alone tools and apps to keep my environment secure. Some of my favorites are knockknock, ransomwhere?, and taskexplorer, from the objective-see website. I’ve also been recently playing around with (and enjoying)  Monitor.app from FireEye. When I heard that […]

Ransomware Timeline: 2010 – 2017

18 Apr 2017

I’ve seen numerous compliments for this graphic by Micke, so… here’s a high-res version. Enjoy! Source: State of Cyber Security 2017 Tagged: Ransomware, Th3 Cyb3r, Threat Report

The Callisto Group

13 Apr 2017

We’ve published a White Paper today titled: The Callisto Group. And who/what is the Callisto Group? A good question, here’s the paper’s summary. Heavy use of spear phishing, and malicious attachments sent via legitimate, but compromised, email accounts. Don’t click “OK”. Tagged: APT, Callisto Group, Th3 Cyb3r, White Paper

OSINT For Fun & Profit: @realDonaldTrump Edition

10 Apr 2017

I’ve just started experimenting with Tweepy to write a series of scripts attempting to identify Twitter bots and sockpuppet rings. It’s been a while since I last played around with this kind of stuff, so I decided to start by writing a couple of small test scripts. In order to properly test it, I needed to point […]


McAfee

Darknet Markets Will Outlive AlphaBay and Hansa Takedowns

20 Jul 2017

On June 20, law enforcement took over the Hansa marketplace after investigations that began in 2016. On July 5, police in Thailand arrested Alexandre Cazes, alleged to be the operator of the large underground market AlphaBay. These efforts have taken two of the largest darknet markets offline. AlphaBay, and later Hansa, was one of many …

The post Darknet Markets Will Outlive AlphaBay and Hansa Takedowns appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Old posts >>

Analyzing CVE-2017-9791: Apache Struts Vulnerability Can Lead to Remote Code Execution

19 Jul 2017

Apache Struts is a model-view-controller framework for creating Java web applications. Struts has suffered from a couple of vulnerabilities using the technique of object-graph navigation language (OGNL) injection. OGNL is an expression language that allows the setting of object properties and execution of various methods of Java classes. OGNL can be used maliciously to perform …

The post Analyzing CVE-2017-9791: Apache Struts Vulnerability Can Lead to Remote Code Execution appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Analyzing a Patch of a Virtual Machine Escape on VMware

17 Jul 2017

A virtual machine is a completely isolated guest operating system installation within a normal host operating system. Virtual machine escape is the process of breaking out of a virtual machine and interacting with the host operating system, which can lead to infections and malware execution. VMware escapes demonstrated at the most recent PwnFest, organized by …

The post Analyzing a Patch of a Virtual Machine Escape on VMware appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

LeakerLocker: Mobile Ransomware Acts Without Encryption

07 Jul 2017

We recently found on Google Play a type of mobile ransomware that does not encrypt files. This malware extorts a payment to prevent the attacker from spreading a victim’s private information. LeakerLocker claims to have made an unauthorized backup of a phone’s sensitive information that could be leaked to a user’s contacts unless it receives …

The post LeakerLocker: Mobile Ransomware Acts Without Encryption appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Petya More Effective at Destruction Than as Ransomware

01 Jul 2017

At the beginning of the recent Petya malware campaign, the world was quick to exclaim this attack was ransomware. Now, with time to analyze the facts and make comparisons to other ransomware campaigns, this Petya attack does not look so much like ransomware. To back up this claim, let’s examine three other well-known ransomware campaigns: …

The post Petya More Effective at Destruction Than as Ransomware appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

How to Protect Against Petya Ransomware in a McAfee Environment

28 Jun 2017

A new variant of the ransomware Petya (also called Petrwrap) began spreading around the world on June 27. Petya is ransomware that exploits the vulnerability CVE-2017-0144 in Microsoft’s implementation of the Server Message Block protocol. This ransomware encrypts the master boot records of infected Windows computers, making the machines unusable.

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New Variant of Petya Ransomware Spreading Like Wildfire

27 Jun 2017

The world woke up today to another ransomware outbreak wreaking havoc throughout companies’ networks. This time, the family causing the fuss is Ransomware Petya, a nasty variant that encrypts files and the computer’s master boot record (MBR), rendering the machine unusable.

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‘McAfee Labs Threats Report’ Explores Malware Evasion Techniques, Digital Steganography, Password-Stealer Fareit

20 Jun 2017

We got a little carried away in the McAfee Labs Threats Report: June 2017, published today. This quarter’s report has expanded to a rather hefty 83 pages! It contains three highly educational topics, in addition to the usual set of threats statistics: We broadly examine evasion techniques and how malware authors use them to accomplish …

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McAfee Discovers Pinkslipbot Exploiting Infected Machines as Control Servers; Releases Free Tool to Detect, Disable Trojan

16 Jun 2017

McAfee Labs has discovered that banking malware Pinkslipbot (also known as QakBot/QBot) has used infected machines as control servers since April 2016, even after its capability to steal personal and financial data from the infected machine has been removed by a security product. These include home users whose computers are usually behind a network address …

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Is WannaCry Really Ransomware?

08 Jun 2017

Ransomware follows a relatively simple model: data is encrypted, the victim pays, data is decrypted. At least that is what those who create ransomware want you to believe. This was also our assumption when we began our analysis of WannaCry—that those behind the campaign would decrypt victims’ data once they received payment. However, for a campaign with incredibly effective propagation techniques, reasonable key and data management, and a working anonymous communication fabric with Bitcoin payments, we found a major flaw: The WannaCry attackers appear to be unable to determine which users have paid the ransom and they cannot decrypt on a per-user basis.

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Misuse of DocuSign Email Addresses Leads to Phishing Campaign

01 Jun 2017

DocuSign, which provides electronic signatures and digital transaction management, reported that email addresses were stolen by an unknown party on May 15. Although the company confirmed that no personal information was shared, DocuSign has reported that a malicious third party gained temporary access to a separate, non-core system that allows it to communicate service-related announcements to …

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Fake WannaCry ‘Protectors’ Emerge on Google Play

23 May 2017

Are Android devices affected by the self-propagating ransomware WannaCry? No—because this threat exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. This malware cannot harm mobile systems. Nonetheless, some developers are taking advantage of the uproar and possible confusion to promote apps that promise to protect Android devices. While searching for “WannaCry” on GooglePlay we found several new …

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How to Protect Against WannaCry Ransomware in a McAfee Environment

18 May 2017

WannaCry is a ransomware family targeting Microsoft Windows. On Friday May 12, a large cyberattack based on this threat was launched. At this time, it is estimated that more than 250,000 computers in 150 countries have been infected, each demanding a ransom payment.

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Adylkuzz CoinMiner Spreading Like WannaCry

17 May 2017

The last few days have been very busy for security teams all around the globe due to the nasty ransomware WannaCry, which spread widely using an exploit for a Server Message Block v1 vulnerability (MS17-010) leaked by the ShadowBroker team a few weeks ago. We have reported on this malware in our previous blog and …

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Analysis of Chrysaor Keylogging Mechanism Shows Power of Simple Malicious Code

15 May 2017

Many attacks on mobile devices use social engineering to initially infect a victim’s system. They download malware and elevate privileges by exploiting vulnerabilities. Mobile malware often uses persistence mechanisms to hide and monitor the victim’s behavior. Unlike personal computers, mobile devices are used more often by their owners, and carry sensitive information such as phone …

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Further Analysis of WannaCry Ransomware

14 May 2017

McAfee Labs has closely monitored the activity around the ransomware WannaCry. Many sources have reported on this attack and its behavior, including this post by McAfee’s Raj Samani and Christiaan Beek and this post by Steve Grobman. In the last 24 hours, we have learned more about this malware. These findings mainly concern the malware’s …

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WannaCry: The Old Worms and the New

13 May 2017

The morning of Friday, May 12 multiple sources in Spain began reporting an outbreak of the ransomware now identified as WannaCry. Upon learning of these incidents, McAfee immediately began working to analyze samples of the ransomware and develop mitigation guidance and detection updates for its customers. By Friday afternoon, McAfee’s Global Threat Intelligence system was …

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An Analysis of the WannaCry Ransomware Outbreak

12 May 2017

Charles McFarland was a coauthor of this blog. Over the course of Friday, May 12 we received multiple reports of organizations across multiple verticals being victim to a ransomware attack. By Friday afternoon, McAfee’s Global Threat Intelligence system was updated to identify all known WannaCry samples and the company had delivered DAT signature updates to …

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Vulnerable OpenSSL Handshake Renegotiation Can Trigger Denial of Service

09 May 2017

OpenSSL, the popular general-purpose cryptographic library that implements SSL/TLS protocols for web authentication, has recently suffered from several vulnerabilities. We have written about “CVE-2017-3731: Truncated Packets Can Cause Denial of Service in OpenSSL” and “SSL Death Alert (CVE-2016-8610) Can Cause Denial of Service to OpenSSL Servers” among others. Today we examine the high-severity bug CVE-2017-3733, …

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Mirai, BrickerBot, Hajime Attack a Common IoT Weakness

03 May 2017

We know that devices in the Internet of Things make enticing targets for attack. They are often insecure and can act as open windows into trusted networks. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on that more and more each day, gathering hundreds of thousands of insecure IoT devices into giant botnets. Remember what happened last fall when Mirai …

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Cerber Ransomware Evades Detection With Many Components

03 May 2017

Cerber is a quickly evolving type of malware called crypto-ransomware. Cerber encrypts files on an infected computer and demands a ransom to restore them. (Read more about Cerber in this post.) Cerber ransomware first appeared in early 2016 and remains hard to detect. It uses multicomponent behavior (installing several malicious files on the victim’s machine) …

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Banned Chinese Qvod Lives on in Malicious Fakes

02 May 2017

Qvod used to be a popular video player and developer in China. Due to piracy allegations and a threatened fine, the company went out of business in 2014. In spite of this, we have recently seen a number of malicious fake versions of Qvod. One common feature of these malicious apps is to disguise their …

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Mirai Botnet Creates Army of IoT Orcs

20 Apr 2017

This post was based on analysis by Yashashree Gund and RaviKant Tiwari. There is a lot of speculation in the news about surveillance from home appliances, personal electronics, or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Although some statements may be hyperbole, we know that these devices, in homes and offices, are being compromised and used …

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Critical Office Zero-Day Attacks Detected in the Wild

07 Apr 2017

At McAfee, we have put significant efforts in hunting attacks such as advanced persistent threats and “zero days.” Yesterday, we observed suspicious activities from some samples. After quick but in-depth research, this morning we have confirmed these samples are exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows and Office that is not yet patched. This blog post …

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McAfee Labs Threats Report Explores Threat Intelligence Sharing and Mirai, the IoT Botnet

06 Apr 2017

In the McAfee Labs Threats Report: April 2017, published today, we explore two key topics. Following an announcement by the Cyber Threat Alliance of its formal incorporation and the release of a threat intelligence sharing platform, we provide some perspective about threat intelligence sharing. The story provides a detailed analysis of the background and drivers of …

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Ransomware Families Use NSIS Installers to Avoid Detection, Analysis

28 Mar 2017

Malware families are constantly seeking new ways to hide their code, thwart replication, and avoid detection. A recent trend for the delivery of ransomware is the use of the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) with an encrypted payload. The list of the most common families using this technique is diverse and includes Cerber, Locky, Teerac, Crysis, …

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Analyzing a Fresh Variant of the Dorkbot Botnet

09 Mar 2017

At McAfee Labs, we have recently observed a new variant of the Dorkbot botnet. Dorkbot is a well-known bot, famous for its various capabilities including backdoor, password stealing, and other malicious behavior. Dorkbot relies on social networking as its infection vector. In this post, we offer our analysis of this new variant. The malware downloads …

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CHIPSEC Support Against Vault 7 Disclosure Scanning

09 Mar 2017

Following recent WikiLeaks Vault 7 disclosures, including details regarding firmware vulnerabilities, there has been significant concern regarding the integrity of devices and operating systems used within society. As part of our commitment to provide technology that can preserve the integrity of devices we rely upon, we have developed a simple module for the CHIPSEC framework …

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Analyzing CVE-2017-3731: Truncated Packets Can Cause Denial of Service in OpenSSL

08 Mar 2017

OpenSSL is a popular open-source library for SSL and is used by various software and companies across the world. In January, OpenSSL released an update that fixed multiple vulnerabilities. One of them is CVE-2017-3731, which can cause a denial of service due to a crash. McAfee Labs analyzed this vulnerability to provide detection for customers.  …

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Spora Ransomware Infects ‘Offline’—Without Talking to Control Server

22 Feb 2017

Spora is a ransomware family that encrypts victims’ files and demands money to decrypt the files. It has infected many computers in a short time due to a huge spam campaign. It has a very special feature—to work offline. Propagation vector The spam campaign carries a .zip file, which contains an HTA (HTML Application) file to …

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Macro Malware Targets Macs

14 Feb 2017

Macro malware has been spreading for years. New techniques arise all the time to hide malicious code and thus increase the difficulty of analysis. However, just targeting Microsoft Windows no longer seems to be enough for the malware authors. The Mac appears to be the new challenge, and attackers appear to be rising to this …

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The Cyber Threat Alliance Steps Up to Boost Protection

14 Feb 2017

With each new cyber threat report, we learn about the increasing volume of new, complex threats appearing across a myriad of server systems, networking equipment, personal computing platforms, and IoT devices. We also read about the real-world challenges that information security professionals face when attempting to identify, scope, and prioritize security events generated by their …

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Analyzing KillDisk Ransomware, Part 2: Variants and Screen Unlocking

14 Feb 2017

At McAfee Labs we recently analyzed the ransomware KillDisk. In part 1 of this analysis, we discussed the basics of the malware and its whitelisting to protect itself. In this part, we will provide more information about the malware’s internals, this variant, and steps to unlock the ransomware lock screen. Variant 1. This variant seems to be inspired by …

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Intel Security Launches ‘Threat Landscape Dashboard’

10 Feb 2017

Every week, we read in the news of another breach or targeted campaign, as more patches are released to protect against the next strain of sophisticated malware. For the administrators responsible for safeguarding a company’s systems, networks, and digital information, keeping up is an overwhelming task, made doubly difficult because it is often hard to …

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Analyzing CVE-2016-9311: NTPD Vulnerability Can Lead to Denial of Service

03 Feb 2017

The network time protocol synchronizes time across various devices on a network. The network time protocol daemon (NTPD) is an open-source implementation of this protocol. In the last couple of months, a number of vulnerabilities have been reported in NTPD. One is CVE-2016-9311, which can cause a crash leading to a denial of service. We …

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Spotlight on Shamoon

27 Jan 2017

Our analysis this month has pointed to Shamoon emerging in the Middle East. We have recently seen a number of similarities that we had highlighted in our earlier blogs (on mcafee.com). The campaign continues to target organizations in the Middle East from a variety of verticals. Reports suggest that a further 15 disk-wiping Shamoon incidents …

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With Release of Windows 10, Questions About BitLocker Arise Again

26 Jan 2017

This post was written by Ted Pan. For those of you who were around during the original release of Microsoft’s BitLocker, previously known as Secure Startup, you will remember that it was meant to completely eliminate the necessity for third-party security software. Yes, BitLocker was going to secure our machines against all forms of attack …

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Analyzing KillDisk Ransomware, Part 1: Whitelisting

20 Jan 2017

At McAfee Labs we recently analyzed the ransomware KillDisk. We will share our analysis in two parts: the first, this article, contains general information about the malware and its whitelisting technique; the second part will appear soon with an analysis of its variants and techniques, including how to unlock the locked screen in an infected …

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Stopping Malware With a Fake Virtual Machine

19 Jan 2017

As we explained in a previous post, some advanced malware can detect a virtual environment such as a sandbox to avoid detection and analysis. Some threats can also detect monitoring tools used for malware analysis. Often such malware will not execute or change their behavior to appear harmless. Because some malware uses these tactics, planting …

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Trojanized Photo App on Google Play Signs Up Users for Premium Services

13 Jan 2017

Mobile apps usually have names that give some indication of their function. In one recent case, however, we found a misnamed app that turned out to be malicious. Every Android app has an ID value, commonly known as the package name, to uniquely identify it on a device and in Google Play. Most package names …

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Turkish Instagram Password Stealers Found on Google Play

12 Jan 2017

Intel Security’s mobile malware research team has found several Instagram password stealers on the Google Play store. (Google has since removed the apps.) These malware are distributed as utilities and tools for analyzing access and automating the following of Instagram accounts. The main targets of the malware are Turkish Instagram users. The malware lead victims …

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Top Tips for Securing Home Cameras

05 Jan 2017

Installing a home surveillance camera system can add great benefits but also may introduce new risks to privacy and network security. The goal is to increase your security and peace of mind, while avoiding cybersecurity threats. Here are three tips to consider when purchasing, installing, and configuring your new home camera system. The risks Home …

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Digging Into a Windows Kernel Privilege Escalation Vulnerability: CVE-2016-7255

30 Dec 2016

The Windows kernel privilege escalation vulnerability CVE-2016-7255 has received a lot of media attention. On November’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released a fix for this vulnerability as part of bulletin MS16-135. CVE-2016-7255 was used to perform a targeted attack and a sample was found in the wild, according to Microsoft. Google and Microsoft have already confirmed …

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Next Targets for Cybercriminals: the Long Term (Part 2)

27 Dec 2016

In the previous post in this series, I outlined how cybercriminals will use the holiday season to victimize unwary consumers and target businesses. They will also dive deeper into leveraging devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). The long-term outlook expands their reach to more bold and potentially more lucrative pastures. Rise of blockchain …

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Next Targets for Cybercriminals: the Short Term (Part 1)

25 Dec 2016

  Knowing what cybercriminals are targeting today is easy. Their attacks are loud, impactful, and have the elegance of a herd of bulls crashing through a china shop. The tougher challenge is figuring out where they will take aim tomorrow. Knowing where cyber threats will arise gives us the necessary insights to remain one step …

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Floki Bot a Sensation With International Cybercriminals

23 Dec 2016

Floki Bot, new financial malware, is popular with English-, Portuguese-, and Russian-speaking underground criminal markets, winning over cybercriminals with new features and functionality. It is currently in use by a number of cybercrime groups around the world and is sold on the dark market for about US$1,000, according to Flashpoint and Cisco Talos. Improvements abound …

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Did You Forget to Patch Your IP Camera?

21 Dec 2016

IP cameras are usually “purchase, install, and don’t touch” devices. But in the current climate of cyberattacks, they now require regular updates and patches. Otherwise your security tool may be hacked, leak video, or join a cybercriminal botnet without your knowing. IP cameras are targets Like all Internet-connected devices, IP cameras are at risk of …

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An Overview of Malware Self-Defense and Protection

19 Dec 2016

Many malware authors spend a great deal of time and effort to develop complex code. Their success depends on a threat’s remaining undetected and avoiding sandbox analysis, antivirus efforts, or malware analysts. This post offers an overview of the mechanisms used by malware to evade detection. If malware is detected quickly, it has little time …

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‘Popcorn Time’ Ransomware Sure to Cause Indigestion

19 Dec 2016

In early December the new ransomware “Popcorn Time” was discovered. It gives the victim the option of paying the ransom or infecting two other individuals and getting them to pay. “Popcorn Time” is a legitimate application for streaming movies and series. The ransom note gives the victim seven days to choose either option or the …

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‘SSL Death Alert’ (CVE-2016-8610) Can Cause Denial of Service to OpenSSL Servers

14 Dec 2016

Recently we noticed a security patch has been published for the OpenSSL vulnerability called SSL Death Alert. As with other serious security vulnerabilities, this one grabbed our attention because the discoverer of the vulnerability says that it may cause a denial of service to an OpenSSL web server. To better protect our customers from this …

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McAfee Labs December Threats Report Explores Many Facets of Deception

13 Dec 2016

In the McAfee Labs Threats Report: December 2016 published today, we write about three seemingly disparate topics. However, on closer inspection, they have a common thread. All discuss deception in one way or another, whether ways in which ransomware authors have enhanced their code to sidestep sandboxes, how Trojans infect legitimate code to appear benign, …

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“Trojanization” of Legit Apps on the Rise

13 Dec 2016

Intel Security today released its McAfee Labs Threats Report: December 2016. The report’s third key topic illustrates how attackers are creating difficult-to-detect malware by infecting legitimate code with Trojans and leveraging that legitimacy to remain hidden as long as possible. Author Craig Schmugar of McAfee Labs also recommends policies and procedures that will help protect …

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Do You Need to Pull Up Your SOCs?

13 Dec 2016

This week’s McAfee Labs Threats Report: December 2016 revealed the results of a survey gauging the state of the security operations center (SOC). The following is an excerpt from this article. A few years ago, dedicated SOCs seemed to be going the way of the dinosaur—the era of big rooms with big monitors and teams …

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2016: A Year at Ransom

13 Dec 2016

This week’s McAfee Labs Threats Report: December 2016 provides an overview of how ransomware has evolved over the course of 2016, and how the industry has responded. Through the end of Q3, the number of new ransomware samples this year totaled 3,860,603, an increase of 80% since the beginning of the year. Beyond volume, ransomware exhibited notable …

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How to Protect Against OpenSSL 1.1.0a Vulnerability CVE-2016-6309

13 Dec 2016

Recently the OpenSSL security library gained a fix for a critical security issue (CVE-2016-6309) that affects OpenSSL Version 1.1.0a. The remote attackers can cause the OpenSSL server to crash, or execute arbitrary code on it, by simply sending a handshake packet with a message larger than 16KB. To defend against these attacks we analyzed the …

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Shamoon Rebooted in Middle East, Part 2

09 Dec 2016

Last week we provided some initial analysis on recent attacks targeting organizations in the Middle East.  The attack has hallmarks of the Shamoon campaign of 2012. We now have additional data related to the components used within the new campaign, which has three distinct components: dropper, wiper, and wiper driver. The language of these three …

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Farewell to the SHA-1 Hash Algorithm

01 Dec 2016

Rest in peace SHA-1. Like all security controls, they are valuable only for a certain time. SHA-1, a legacy hashing algorithm once used heavily in secure web browsing, has outlived its usefulness; it is time for its permanent retirement. Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google just announced they will finally drop all support for SHA-1 early next …

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Shamoon Rebooted?

29 Nov 2016

We have recently received notifications and samples from impacted organizations in the Middle East that have hallmarks of the Shamoon campaign from 2012. The main component of these attacks was the usage of a wiper component that, once activated, destroyed the hard disks of infected machines. The initial infection vector for the recent attacks is …

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Big, Hard-to-Solve Problems

29 Nov 2016

Improving the Lifecycle of Threat Defense Effectiveness When a new security tool or technique is released, Version 1.0 is usually pretty effective, and successive versions get even better with real-world scenarios and user feedback. Eventually, the bad guys realize that this new thing is causing them real problems, so they start looking for ways over, …

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‘McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions’ Report Zeroes In on Cloud and IoT Threats

29 Nov 2016

In the McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions report, published today, we cover a lot of ground but focus particularly on two areas that will impact IT security for years to come: threats to the cloud and the Internet of Things. The report kicks off with a big-picture examination of difficult-to-solve problems in cyber security and …

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You Can Outsource the Work, but You Cannot Outsource the Risk

29 Nov 2016

Threats, Regulations, and Vendor Responses to Risks in the Cloud As more companies get comfortable with cloud services, trust and usage will go up, and that will inevitably attract the attention of cybercriminals. Although an increasing array of sensitive and confidential data is moving to cloud storage and processing, we expect that most businesses will …

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Welcome to the Wild West, Again!

29 Nov 2016

Threats, Regulations, and Vendor Responses to Risks in the Internet of Things The Wild West, a place of exaggerated lawlessness in the United States during the 1800s, has returned once again as a metaphor for the Internet of Things (IoT). Driven by similar issues of exploration, homesteading, and prospecting for riches, IoT devices are becoming …

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Upcoming Intel Security Webcast on McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions Moderated by Intel Security CTO Raj Samani

23 Nov 2016

McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions The cyberattack surface is growing faster than ever before, driven by trends and technologies like the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT). As the digital landscape evolves, so will threats. What can we expect a year from now—or four years from now? Prepare for the future by attending the …

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Worms Could Spread Like Zombies via Internet of Things

21 Nov 2016

Security researchers recently created a proof-of-concept attack against Internet-connected lightbulbs, causing breached devices to infect their neighbors. The propagation continues and spreads itself across the community. This hack highlights the insecurity in one of many Internet of Things (IoT) network protocols. Researchers say the worm, which currently targets Philips Hue lightbulbs, can set off a …

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More Capable IoT Botnets to Emerge as the ‘Pros’ Enter the Fray

09 Nov 2016

On the heels of severe distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, we see new botnets emerging that are powered by the Internet of Things (IoT). There are already hundreds of such botnets in the underground hacking ecosystem, from which services, code, and specific attacks can be purchased or acquired. New botnets are being developed to …

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Talking About Cyber Risks Educates the Community

07 Nov 2016

In the last 12 months, we have seen an unprecedented number of cyberattacks occur or come to light. Sophisticated attacks against governments, businesses, consumers, and the pillars of the Internet itself. The future appears to be fraught with runaway risks. Can security tame data breaches, ransomware, massive denial of service assaults, cyber theft, and attacks against autonomous and …

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Cerber Ransomware Now Hunts for Databases

04 Nov 2016

Cerber is one of the most popular ransomware packages. It has upgraded itself to also target databases. It is available for purchase as a service (ransomware as a service) on the “dark net” as part of an affiliate program. Cerber is part of a turnkey service in which clients share 40% of their profits with …

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Top 5 Things to Know About Recent IoT Attacks

02 Nov 2016

Recent Internet attacks have resulted in several popular sites becoming unreachable. The list includes Twitter, Etsy, Spotify, Airbnb, Github, and The New York Times. These incidents have brought to light a new threat to online services: botnets powered by the Internet of Things (IoT). Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been commonplace for more …

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The Latest IoT Device I Do Not Want Hacked

01 Nov 2016

What if someone hacked this remotely controlled semiautonomous tractor? I am a cybersecurity guy and a huge fan of technology. One of the challenges we face in the security industry is the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is about connecting everyday objects to the Internet. It might be a toaster, alarm clock, …

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A ‘Second Economy’ Prognosis for Health Care Cybersecurity

26 Oct 2016

Intel Security CTO Steve Grobman has pointed out that gaining the upper hand in cybersecurity requires that we extend our thinking beyond the physical economy of money, assets, goods, and services to a Second Economy defined by the currencies of trust, time, and money. As in other industries, health care is working toward maximizing efficiencies, …

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How ‘Weaponized’ Medical Data Could Be as Damaging as Clinton’s Emails or Trump’s Videos

26 Oct 2016

The 2016 presidential election in the United States will be remembered for a great many things. Never before in US history has the disclosure or nondisclosure of personal information figured so prominently in public debate. Never before has the ability to compromise and disclose personal information been used as a political weapon to damage the …

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How to Secure the Future of the Internet of Things

22 Oct 2016

The world of security for the Internet of Things just became more complex. IoT devices are no longer a potential threat to their owners; now they pose a significant threat to everything connected to the Internet. The old IoT security problem For the past year, the cybersecurity and IoT communities have been at odds regarding …

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Unfolding the Mystery of Cerber Ransomware’s Random File Extension

20 Oct 2016

In an earlier blog, we discussed the evolution of the popular Cerber ransomware from Version 1 to 2. Recently we came across two newer versions of Cerber (we’ll call them Versions 3 and X). Cerber 3 has few changes but Version X has some new behavior that caught our attention. (We call this version X, …

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Password-Protected Attachment Serves Ransomware

18 Oct 2016

Attacks by macro malware carrying ransomware are growing, as we have recently reported. Since early March we have seen macro malware using high-obfuscation algorithms to hide itself from static and traditional antimalware detection techniques. Macro malware continues to evolve and use new tricks to evade detection. In addition to these evasion techniques, McAfee Labs researchers have …

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No More Ransom Adds Law Enforcement Partners From 13 Countries

17 Oct 2016

  Intel Security and Kaspersky Labs today announced that 13 law enforcement agencies have joined No More Ransom, a partnership between cybersecurity industry and law enforcement organizations to provide ransomware victims education and decryption tools through www.nomoreransom.org. Intel Security, Kaspersky Labs, Dutch National Police, and Europol will be joined by members from Bosnia and Herzegovina, …

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Ransomware Variant XTBL Another Example of Popular Malware

17 Oct 2016

We have seen a huge increase in ransomware during the past couple of years. At McAfee Labs we have recently received a sample of the low-profile XTBL, a ransomware family that encrypts files and demands ransom from its victims to decrypt the files. Like other ransomware variants, XTBL propagates through a wide range of spam campaigns. Attackers …

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Android Banking Trojan Asks for Selfie With Your ID

14 Oct 2016

In the first half of 2016 we noticed that Android banking Trojans had started to improve their phishing overlays on legitimate financial apps to ask for more information. Victims were requested to provide “Mother’s Maiden Name,” “Father’s Middle Name,” “Maternal Grandmothers Name,” or a “Memorable Word.” Attackers used that data to respond to security questions and obtain …

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Everyone Loves Selfies, Including Malware!

13 Oct 2016

I was talking with some of my coworkers the other day about why I wanted to jump to the larger iPhone 7 Plus.  For me it came down to the camera.  I travel a lot for work and even though photography is something of a hobby of mine, I don’t always have my “good camera” …

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New Security Reality for Internet of Things

04 Oct 2016

  Recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are forcing a shift in how we think about the Internet of Things (IoT). The dangers are expanding as attackers are taking advantage of billions of IoT devices, conscripting them into their botnet armies for massive DDoS attacks.   Nontraditional risks The estimates vary, but they suggest between …

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CTO Q&A: Campaign Hacks, Yahoo! and Clinton-Trump

03 Oct 2016

Over the last several days, we’ve seen headlines on potential cyberattacks on state voter registries, cybersecurity front and center in the Clinton-Trump presidential debate, and new revelations into the Yahoo! cyber-breach that appears to have compromised more than 500 million user accounts. Intel Security CTO Steve Grobman fielded a number of questions on these events …

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Sharing Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence Is the Only Way We Win

30 Sep 2016

Cybersecurity is a team sport. The bad guys share information, expertise, and code as they help one another. The good guys must do the same to keep pace. Sharing threat intelligence is a key aspect in which the knowledge gained by the owners of sensor networks can share data with the security analysis community.  This generosity …

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Macro Malware Employs Advanced Sandbox-Evasion Techniques

29 Sep 2016

During the past couple of weeks, McAfee Labs has observed a new variant of macro malware. With this variant when we click on a doc file, we see the message “This document is protected against unauthorized use. Enable Editing and Enable Content to read content” along with a request to enable macros. If a user clicks …

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How Can We Stop ‘ROP’ Cyberattacks?

28 Sep 2016

IBM recently announced a software-oriented solution to help eradicate attacks by return-oriented programming (ROP) malware. ROP malware is a significant and growing problem in the industry. Crafty hackers will use snippets of code from other trusted programs and stitch them together to create their attacks. This method has become a very popular and effective technique for …

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‘McAfee Labs Threats Report’ Offers Primer on Security Data Science, Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning

28 Sep 2016

Analytics, big data, automation, and machine learning are all terms we use when talking about the future of cybersecurity. As the volume of security data increases, data science will become an important weapon to disrupt adversaries. Too often, these terms are used as synonyms, but they refer to different parts of the domain of data …

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‘McAfee Labs Threats Report’ Delves Into Dangers of Data Loss

26 Sep 2016

Data is leaking out of your organization: accidentally or intentionally, by internals or externals, physically or electronically. During the past year, we have performed extensive research to identify what data is being targeted, who is taking it, how they are getting it out, and the best practices to reduce your exposure to data loss. We …

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‘McAfee Labs Threats Report’ Examines Whether Ransomware Is Coming to a Hospital Near You

23 Sep 2016

Delivering uninterrupted services with immediate access to information is not an easy task. Doing it with legacy systems, a fragmented workforce, and inconsistent security is a monumental job. Unfortunately, this is the state of many hospitals, leading the criminal underground to their back doors. Ransomware attackers have shifted focus, moving from consumers to organizations with …

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Hardware Hack Bypasses iPhone PIN Security Counter

22 Sep 2016

A security researcher from the University of Cambridge has found a way to hack the iPhone NAND memory hardware to sufficiently bypass an important security feature, allowing a brute-force attack against the passcode lock of an iPhone 5C. This is the same lock that stymied the FBI as part of the highly publicized privacy case in …

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Unregulated at Any Speed: DoT’s Cybersecurity Policy for Self-Driving Cars

21 Sep 2016

Despite headlines, hype, and hysteria, US government rightly chooses cybersecurity guidance over regulation. The Obama administration today unveiled its long-awaited safety policy for self-driving or automated vehicles (AVs). Despite the recent tragic death of a passenger travelling in a Tesla-built AV, and persistent discussions of spectacular cyber-sabotage scenarios, the government chose a wise, sober course …

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Cryptocurrencies a Target for Cybercriminals, Part 2: Social Platforms Come Next

19 Sep 2016

One target of cybercriminals is cryptocurrencies, which hold tremendous wealth but are largely anonymous. This limits the attack surface mostly to avenues requiring complex technical approaches. Always preferring the path of least resistance, many fraudsters and online thieves prefer to target people rather than systems. This is the second of two posts on threats to …

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Locky Ransomware Hides Inside Packed .DLL

16 Sep 2016

McAfee Labs has seen a huge increase in Locky ransomware in recent months (discussed in an earlier blog). Locky is aggressively distributed via a JavaScript-based downloader sent as an attachment in spam emails. Since its first variant Locky has taken advantage of compromised domains to download its malicious executable. Recently it has downloaded a malicious dynamic link …

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Cryptocurrencies a Target for Cybercriminals, Part 1: the Risks of Innovation

14 Sep 2016

All cryptocurrencies are a target for cybercriminals. Anywhere there is value, criminals, fraudsters, and charlatans will soon follow. Call it the Willie Sutton principle. Sutton, a famous bank robber in the 1920s–30s, was asked why he robbed banks. His reply was “Because that’s where the money is.” The simplicity rings true. That same age-old principle …

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The Quarterly Threats Report: What Does It Mean for You?

14 Sep 2016

The latest edition of the Quarterly Threats Report (QTR) was released this week by McAfee Labs.  If you’re not familiar with them, McAfee Labs is our research organization tasked with researching all the latest threats that people are seeing out there in the wild as well as looking as trends that help indicate what the …

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Machine Learning, the Unsung Hero in the Latest ‘Threats Report’

14 Sep 2016

The story about ransomware in hospitals in our newly published McAfee Labs Threats Report: September 2016 will probably garner most of the media’s attention, but I think the most interesting story in the report is about machine learning. Here’s why. Intel Security has used machine learning in our classification models since the mid-2000s. Initially, we …

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Malware Hides in Installer to Avoid Detection

25 Aug 2016

At McAfee Labs we recently observed various threat families using the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS). This practice is not new, but our analysis shows that several malware families are employing the same technique to hide their packed executable code. Usually every malware family uses its own polymorphic packers to obfuscate its payload. In this …

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Improve Protection Against Cyberattacks Through Shared Threat Intelligence

25 Aug 2016

At the RSA Conference 2016 in San Francisco, Chris Young, GM and SVP of Intel Security, said that one of the best ways to improve response time to attacks and overall awareness of attacks and adversaries is through the timely sharing of threat intelligence. He also talked about Intel Security’s responsibility as a leading security …

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‘Wildfire’ Ransomware Extinguished by Tool From NoMoreRansom; Unlock Files for Free

23 Aug 2016

Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab, partners in the project NoMoreRansom, are pleased to announce today the availability of a decryption tool for victims of the Wildfire variant of ransomware. This tool is available following successful collaboration with the Dutch police and the European Cybercrime Centre. This strong public-private partnership has led to the seizure of …

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Cerber Ransomware Updates Configuration File

16 Aug 2016

McAfee Labs has recently analyzed Version 2 of Cerber, one of the leading ransomware programs. Cerber infects systems via social media tricks such as spam email with malicious links or documents, malvertising campaigns, exploits of vulnerable websites, and also takes advantages of exploit kits like Angler, Nuclear, and others. During our analysis of the new …

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Bing.VC Hijacks Browsers Using Legitimate Applications

10 Aug 2016

Browser hijackers are a type of malware that modifies a web browser’s settings without the user’s permission. Generally a browser hijacker injects unwanted advertising into the browser. It replaces the home page or search page with its own. It also steals cookies and can install a keylogger to fetch other sensitive information. McAfee Labs has recently …

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Obfuscated Malware Discovered on Google Play

10 Aug 2016

The McAfee Labs Mobile Malware Research team found early this week on Google Play a set of malware published by the developer account ValerySoftware: Each one of these apps have been downloaded and installed up to 500 times, which means up to 3,000 devices could be infected by this threat. Some characteristics of this malware: …

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Banload Trojan Targets Brazilians With Malware Downloads

09 Aug 2016

McAfee Labs has recently encountered new variants of the Banload Trojan. Banload has been around since the last decade. This malware generally arrives on a victim’s system through a spam email containing an archived file or bundled software as an attachment. In a few cases, this malware may also be dropped by other malware or …

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‘Cat-Loving’ Mobile Ransomware Operates With Control Panel

08 Aug 2016

Recently the McAfee Labs Mobile Malware Research team found a sample of ransomware for Android with botnet capabilities and a web-based control panel service. The malware is running on a legitimate cloud service provider. The payload of this malware can encrypt a victim’s files, steal SMS messages, and block access to the device. In this …

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Setting Up HTTPS for Google App Engine Applications

08 Aug 2016

Thursday, we posted advice on creating a custom domain name for an application developed with Google’s App Engine. In this post, we will learn how to add SSL support and force the App Engine application to use only SSL. Start by obtaining an SSL certificate for your domain from an authorized certificate authority. Consider following …

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Creating a Custom Domain Name with a Google App Engine Application

05 Aug 2016

Google’s App Engine is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) for developers that provides features and frameworks to quickly and easily build scalable web applications. Developers can create applications and deploy them to the App Engine. When a web application is created using the App Engine, the application is assigned a unique project ID. Developers …

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Active iOS Smishing Campaign Stealing Apple Credentials

29 Jul 2016

Intel Security Mobile Research recently found an active phishing campaign targeting iOS users via SMS messages. The message tells users that their Apple accounts have been temporarily locked to trick them into accessing a phishing site and steal the real Apple credentials. Here is an example of an SMS message from this campaign: The message pretends to be …

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Taking Steps to Fight Back Against Ransomware

27 Jul 2016

Ransomware is an attack in which malware encrypts files and extorts money from victims. It has become a favorite among cybercriminals because it is easy to develop, simple to execute, and does a very good job of compelling users to pay to regain access to their precious files or systems. Almost anyone and every business …

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Trojanized Propaganda App Uses Twitter to Infect, Spy on Terrorist Sympathizers

26 Jul 2016

The Mobile Malware Research Team of Intel Security has discovered in recent weeks a number of new threats in the Middle East. In May, we uncovered a spying campaign targeting cybersecurity professionals in Saudi Arabia. This week, the team exposed a strain of spyware targeting another specific group of mobile users: individuals with possible sympathies toward …

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No More Ransom: A New Initiative to Battle Ransomware

25 Jul 2016

Ransomware has seen a huge increase over the past couple of years.  According to our June Quarterly Threats Report, there was a 113% increase in ransomware over the past year.  However, the real indicator for me has been an increase in questions about ransomware I get from people once they find out I work for …

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Intel Security Teams With Industry, Law Enforcement to Thwart ‘Shade’ Ransomware

25 Jul 2016

Intel Security, Europol, Kaspersky Lab, and Dutch police have taken down the Shade ransomware botnet and captured encryption keys to unlock victims’ systems. Although we talk a great deal of the value of public-private partnerships in the fight against cybercrime, few events in the cybersecurity field are more inspiring than seeing such collaboration in action and …

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Phishing Attacks Employ Old but Effective Password Stealer

21 Jul 2016

A few months ago we received a sample from a customer that turned out to be a password stealer (PWS). One thing about this malware stood out: the subdirectory used in the access panel URL. It contained the string “***=**U=TEAM” (which we have obfuscated). Our investigations lead us to believe this may be a case of industrial …

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Patch Now: Simple Office ‘Protected View’ Bypass Could Have Big Impact

12 Jul 2016

Protected View is a security feature of Microsoft Office. According to research from MWR Labs, Protected View mode is a strong application-level sandbox. In a real-world attack scenario, Office documents from the Internet, such as downloaded documents from browsers (Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer), or attachments received on emails clients (such as Outlook), are opened by default in …

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Trojanized Pokémon GO Android App Found in the Wild

08 Jul 2016

Pokémon GO is a new mobile game that allows fans to “catch” Pokemons in the real world using augmented reality and their smartphones capabilities such as location technology and built-in cameras. The game was released on July 6 on both the Apple App Store and Google Play but only in Australia, New Zealand, and one day …

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Business Email Compromise Hurts Your Organization

06 Jul 2016

As many workers do today, you probably get emails from your boss asking you to perform various tasks. You may also get unusual requests under unusual circumstances—perhaps to put out a fire for a big client or to impress a potential customer. Sometimes in haste you don’t follow standard procedures. But that makes you vulnerable …

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June #SecChat Recap: Findings from the 2016 Verizon DBIR

30 Jun 2016

This year’s highly anticipated Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report (Verizon DBIR) analyzed cybersecurity findings from 100,000 incidents and 2,260 confirmed breaches, taking a deep dive into popular attack types and threats in 2015. During our June Twitter #SecChat, we discussed findings from the report, and examined prominent threats and their impact on industries. Participating …

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Security Best Practices for Azure App Service Web Apps, Part 4

24 Jun 2016

Microsoft’s Azure App Service is a fully managed Platform as a Service for developers that provides features and frameworks to quickly and easily build apps for any platform and any device. In spite of its ease of use, developers still need to keep security in mind because Azure will not take care of every aspect of security. …

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Macro Malware Adds Tricks, Uses MaxMind to Avoid Detection

21 Jun 2016

Macro malware continues to evolve and use new tricks to evade detection. This threat is responsible for downloading malicious Trojans such as Dridex and ransomware such as Locky. Recently McAfee Labs has encountered a new variant of macro malware that uses new techniques to avoid executing in an undesirable environment. With this variant when we …

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JavaScript-PHP Joint Exercise Delivers Nemucod Ransomware

21 Jun 2016

The ransomware Nemucod has been very prevalent in the last few months. Nemucod’s habit of frequently changing its delivery mechanism and infection vector to evade detection makes this threat very challenging to security researchers. Recently, we observed in the wild a new variant of Nemucod that shows another change. This variant downloads a PHP file along …

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Microsoft’s June Patch Kills Potential CFG Bypass

16 Jun 2016

After applying Microsoft’s June patch, we noticed some interesting changes that prevent a security bypass of Windows’ Control Flow Guard (CFG). The changes are in the Shader JIT compiler of the Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP) module (d3d10warp.dll). The Shader JIT compiler could formerly be used to create a CFG bypass. CFG is known to …

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Intel Innovates to Stop Cyberattacks

16 Jun 2016

Intel, in partnership with Microsoft, has published a technology preview, showing how innovation in silicon architecture can help protect against advanced code-reuse attack techniques. This is an example of how brilliant minds across the industry can think long term to address cybersecurity problems through improvements in hardware. Key components, such as the central processing unit, …

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Mobile App Collusion Highlights McAfee Labs Threats Report

14 Jun 2016

I would be lost without my smartphone and its many convenient features. I look at my calendar and click to schedule an online meeting, inviting attendees from my contact list. I use my airline app to make sure my flight is on time and click to check the weather at my destination. I pick a …

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‘Thrones’ Jon Snow Appears to Employ Neutrino Exploit Kit

10 Jun 2016

This blog post was written by Kalpesh Mantri. You read that right. Jon Snow appears to be back from the dead. That would make “Game of Thrones” fans happy, but unfortunately this Jon Snow is not the same character. This John (with an h) Snow is related to Neutrino exploit kits, one of the commonly used …

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Experts Discuss the 2016 Verizon DBIR: June #SecChat

10 Jun 2016

Cybersecurity in 2016 has been full of sensational headlines. Ransomware has shut down multiple hospitals, millions of credentials have been pilfered, and countless companies have had their records stolen using phishing tactics. But is it really accurate to judge the state of the industry by headlines alone? What if we took a more analytical approach …

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Zcrypt Expands Reach as ‘Virus Ransomware’

08 Jun 2016

Intel Security has recently seen a new kind of ransomware–Zcrypt—that can self-replicate. This “virus ransomware” arrives via email in a malicious attachment or by usurping an Adobe Flash Player installation. The malware copies itself onto removable drives to infect other machines. Zcrypt uses the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, which works like a Zip file, decompressing …

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Threat Actors Employ COM Technology in Shellcode to Evade Detection

06 Jun 2016

COM (Component Object Model) is a technology in Microsoft Windows that enables software components to communicate with each other; it is one of the fundamental architectures in Windows. From the security point of view, several “features” built into COM have lead to many security vulnerabilities. These features include ActiveX (an Internet Explorer plug-in technology), the …

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Locky Ransomware Hides Under Multiple Obfuscated Layers of JavaScript

06 Jun 2016

This post was prepared with the invaluable assistance of Rahamathulla Hussain and Girish Kulkarni. During the last couple of weeks, McAfee Labs has observed a huge increase in spam related to Locky, a new ransomware threat spread via spam campaigns. The contents of the spam email are carefully crafted to lure victims using social engineering …

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Trillium Exploit Kit Update Offers ‘Security Tips’

02 Jun 2016

McAfee Labs has previously blogged about the Trillium Exploit Kit Version 3.0, which is commonly used to create and distribute malware. Last week, Version 4.0 appeared on several underground forums. We have analyzed the new version of the tool and it contains new functionality. These include: PDF downloader Password generator Security tips PDF downloader The user …

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Android Spyware Targets Security Job Seekers in Saudi Arabia

31 May 2016

The Middle East is the new Wild West of mobile malware, especially for targeted attacks and intelligence gathering campaigns. During the past few years, Intel Security Mobile Research has monitored and reported on several countries in the region and has found an alarming increase in campaigns using mobile malware for not only disruption and hacktivism …

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Seeing Through Darkleech Obfuscation: a Quick Hack to Iframes

27 May 2016

This blog post was written by Kalpesh Mantri. Darkleech is an Apache module on the dark web that distributes malware. This tool, which appeared in 2012, was first used to infect many Apache servers and later sites running Microsoft IIS. The campaign infecting IIS sites was named pseudo-Darkleech because it resembles the Apache infector module. (In this …

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Android Banking Trojan ‘SpyLocker’ Targets More Banks in Europe

26 May 2016

Since the discovery of the Android banking Trojan SpyLocker, Intel Security has closely monitored this threat. SpyLocker first appeared disguised as Adobe Flash Player and targeted customers of banks in Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey. Recently we have found that the distribution method for this malware has changed. In addition to employing malicious websites that …

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Which Cybersecurity Data Should You Trust?

24 May 2016

  Limitations of security data We are constantly battered by cybersecurity data, reports, and marketing collateral—and we shouldn’t treat all of this information equally. Security data has inherent limitations and biases, which result in varying value and relevance in how it should be applied. It is important to understand which data is significant and how best to …

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ISAO Group Hosts Productive 3rd Public Meeting

24 May 2016

This post first appeared at Policy@Intel. The Information Sharing and Analysis Organization Standards Organization (ISAO SO) held its Third Public Forum on May 18–19 in Anaheim, California. More than 100 participants from academia, government, and industry sectors, including multiple participants from Intel, assembled to discuss the initial drafts recently published by the ISAO SO and …

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Malware Mystery: JS/Nemucod Downloads Legitimate Installer

21 May 2016

JS/Nemucod is the detection name given to a family of malicious JavaScript downloaders that have appeared in spam campaigns since last year. They usually arrive as an email attachment, embedded in a ZIP archive, and pretend to be an invoice, a delivery notice, a resume, anything that may seem harmless and can be used as a social engineering …

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Attacks on SWIFT Banking System Benefit From Insider Knowledge

20 May 2016

In recent months, we’ve seen headlines about the compromise of a bank in Bangladesh from which cybercriminals attempted to steal US$951 million. The malware they used was able to manipulate and read unique messages from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), as well as adjust balances and send details to a remote control server. …

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5 Steps to Enhance Security of Cloud Applications

18 May 2016

When you move applications to the cloud, the attack surface changes while the vulnerabilities at application, database, and network level persist. To address these issues, securing the cloud perimeter, preventing unauthorized access, and protecting data is crucial. The first step is to reduce the attack surface. Run a port scan specific to an instance IP and lock …

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Can Zealous Security Cause Harm?

17 May 2016

Good security requires balancing risks, costs, and usability. Too much or too little of each can be unhealthy and lead to unintended consequences. We are entering an era where the risks of connected technology can exceed the inconveniences of interrupted online services or the release of sensitive data. Failures can create life-safety issues and major …

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Sex Sells: Looking at Android Adult Adware Apps

13 May 2016

Advertising is one of the primary methods to generate money from mobile devices. Ads can be displayed in the browser when you visit a specific website or can appear in free apps. In the case of mobile apps, the developer must select a theme that attracts many users to increase revenues. There is probably no …

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Key Lessons From Verizon’s ‘2016 Data Breach Investigations Report’

12 May 2016

The annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) is out and reinforces the value of well-established cybersecurity practices. The good folks at Verizon have once again published one of the most respected annual reports in the security industry. The report sets itself apart with the authors intentionally avoiding unreliable “survey” data and instead striving to communicate …

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Server-Side Request Forgery Takes Advantage of Vulnerable App Servers

12 May 2016

Server-side request forgery is an attack in which an attacker can force a vulnerable server to trigger malicious requests to third-party servers and or to internal resources. This vulnerability can then be leveraged to launch specific attacks such as a cross-site port attack, service enumeration, and various other attacks. This ability makes server-side request forgery …

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Current Campaign Delivers Hundreds of Thousands of Polymorphic Ransomware

10 May 2016

You might have been getting out of bed when attackers started sending hundreds of thousands of fake invoices the morning of April 27. Between 5:45 am and 11 am Pacific time, the first phase of the operation was steamrolling along. The invoices sent with fake .rtf files attached were in no way legitimate. In McAfee …

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Android Malware Clicker.G!Gen Found on Google Play

04 May 2016

Recently the Mobile Malware Research Team of Intel Security found on Google Play a new campaign of Android/Clicker.G in dozens of published malicious apps. This threat targets Russians but the apps are accessible worldwide. The attackers lure their victims with apps associated with health care, sports, food, games, and many other topics. Some of the …

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The Morning After: What Happens to Data Post-Breach?

02 May 2016

This post first appeared on the security website Dark Reading. We need consumers and businesses to not simply shrug off data breaches but to take active measures to protect their data. We are hopeful that new insights will provide a compelling answer to the question “So what?” No company is bulletproof when it comes to …

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Fake Android Update Delivers SMS, Click Fraud in Europe

29 Apr 2016

Intel Security Mobile Research has been monitoring a mobile malware campaign targeting users in Germany, France, and Russia since the beginning of the year. Several users have complained in forums and social networks about a suspicious file with the name Android_Update_6.apk being automatically downloaded when a website is loaded. Recently a user tweeted that one …

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CVE-2016-0018: DLL Planting Leads to a Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

27 Apr 2016

DLL planting, also known as DLL side loading, is a popular attack technique today. If we take a look at the list of advisories Microsoft has recently published, it is clear that a large number of vulnerabilities encompass DLL planting. We have seen many targeted attacks that abuse Windows OLE in many ways. At BlackHat USA 2015, an …

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Malware Takes Advantage of Windows ‘God Mode’

27 Apr 2016

Microsoft Windows has hidden an Easter Egg since Windows Vista. It allows users to create a specially named folder that acts as a shortcut to Windows settings and special folders, such as control panels, My Computer, or the printers folder. This “God Mode” can come in handy for admins, but attackers are now using this undocumented feature for evil …

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Macro Malware Employs Advanced Obfuscation to Avoid Detection

26 Apr 2016

Attacks by macro malware carrying ransomware are growing, as we have recently reported on Blog Central here and here. Now McAfee Labs researchers have witnessed a new variant of macro malware that employs fudging techniques such as virtual machine awareness, sandbox awareness, and more. Since early March we have seen macro malware using high-obfuscation algorithms to protect itself …

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Unsubscribing From Unwanted Email Carries Risks

18 Apr 2016

We all receive loads of unwanted email solicitations, warnings, and advertisements. The number can be overwhelming to the point of obnoxiousness. Some days it feels like an unending barrage of distracting deliveries that require a constant scrubbing of my inbox. Beyond being frustrating, there are risks. In addition to the desired and legitimate uses of email, …

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CVE-2016-0153: Microsoft Patches Possible OLE Typo

14 Apr 2016

Recently McAfee Labs discovered an interesting bug in Windows’ OLE implementation, which Microsoft patched this week. Now that the patch is available, we can discuss this vulnerability, which resides in the OleRegEnumVerbs() function of ole32.dll. During our research we found that a stack corruption vulnerability in ole32!OleRegEnumVerbs can be triggered if we embed any OLE1 …

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When It Comes To Cyberthreat Intelligence, Sharing Is Caring

13 Apr 2016

This blog was originally posted at Dark Reading on March 31. Shared cyberthreat intelligence will soon be a critical component of security operations, enabling organizations to better protect their digital assets and respond more quickly to emerging threats. On March 17, the US Department of Homeland Security announced the deployment of the Automated Indicator Sharing …

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Convergence and the Future of Cyber Security

12 Apr 2016

CSE 2016 Future of Cyber Security by Matthew Rosenquist from Matthew Rosenquist The security industry is changing. Technology innovation is eroding the distance between the roles and responsibilities of traditionally independent physical and cyber security teams. Modern physical security tools now rely heavily on networks, clouds, firmware, and software—which puts them at risk of cyber …

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DHS Accelerates Information Sharing Standards Effort; Intel to Chair Working Group

29 Mar 2016

This post first appeared at Policy@Intel on March 9. In an effort to accelerate cyber information sharing, and in response to a presidential executive order, the Department of Homeland Security recently announced the formation of the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) Standards Organization. The organization comprises six working groups, and I’ve been appointed chair …

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McAfee Labs Unlocks LeChiffre Ransomware

28 Mar 2016

At McAfee Labs we recently received a low-profile ransomware called LeChiffre. Unlike ransomware that is distributed by a spam campaign or downloaded by other malware, this sample needs to be run manually on a victim’s machine to encrypt files. As we analyzed this ransomware, we found that we could unlock all LeChiffre-encrypted files without having to pay …

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