Evil Tor Exit Node – WSWiR Episode 127

Security FUD, Black Energy, and Tor Terror

Happy Halloween!

The Internet “threatscape” has changed drastically over the past few years, with many more cyber security incidents each year and tons of information security (infosec) news in the headlines. Can you keep up? If not, maybe my weekly infosec video will help.

In today’s quick update, I rant a bit about infosec misinformation, share the latest on the Black Energy ICS attack campaign, and talk about an Evil Tor exit node that dynamically adds malware to downloads. Press play for the scoop, and enjoy your spooky Halloween weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 10:44)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjejYd_9Oik

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Cryptowall Malvertising – WSWiR Episode 126

Windows 0day, iCloud MitM, and Cryptowall Rises

You’re a busy IT guy that barely has time to brush your teeth before running off to work, so who has time to follow security news too? Does this sound like you? If so, let our short weekly video inform you of the most important security news in the time it takes you to enjoy your first cup of coffee.

Today’s episode covers another Microsoft zero day flaw, a recent man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack against iCloud, and the latest developments with a nasty piece of ransomware called CryptoWall. Press play below to learn about all that and more, and peruse the Reference section for other stories.

(Episode Runtime: 8:40)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y5lBIQ0CEI

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

POODLE Bites SSL – WSWiR Episode 125

October Patch Bonanze, Leaky Apps, and POODLE

Cyber security has gone main stream, which means we’re getting a lot more security news each week than we used to. This week was even busier than usual, with updates fixing hundreds and hundreds of security vulnerabilities, as well as a significant vulnerabilities in a encryption standards. If you’re having trouble keeping track of the most important security info on your own, let our week video summary do it for you.

Today’s episode covers a ton of updates for October’s Patch Day, data leaks affecting SnapChat and DropBox, and a relatively serious SSL vulnerability called POODLE. The video is a bit longer than usual in order to better describe the POODLE flaw. Press play to learn more, and check the references for other interesting stories.

Enjoy your weekend, and beware what you click online.

(Episode Runtime: 16:37)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFX9DXDizu4

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

How to Neuter POODLE (New SSL Vulnerability)

Surprise, surprise… Researcher’s have found yet another OpenSSL vulnerability. They’ve named this one POODLE. Silly name, I know, but at least it stands for something—Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption.


In short, POODLE is a protocol level cryptography flaw in Secure Sockets Layer version 3 (SSLv3), which is one of the many encryption protocols available to SSL/TLS implementations like OpenSSL, used to encrypt network traffic. While SSL can encrypt any traffic, it’s most commonly associated with secure web communications (HTTPS). SSLv3 is one of the older encryption protocols in OpenSSL’s library, having been around for 18 years or so. Newer protocols like TLS 1.0-1.2 are much more secure, but we’ve kept SSLv3 around for legacy interoperability reasons. Since this new vulnerability allows attackers to decrypt SSLv3 traffic, it’s time we get rid of SSLv3 for good.

The POODLE flaw is fairly complex, and hard to understand without a deeper comprehension of cryptography. If you’d really like to dive into the details, I recommend you read the paper [PDF] by the Google researchers who found the flaw, or check out this detailed explanation. However, here are the basics:

  1. First, this vulnerability requires a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack to succeed. An attacker can only perform it if he can intercept traffic between you and the SSL server. Performing MitM attacks can range from extremely difficult to trivial, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if you join an unsecured WiFi network, attackers on the same network can quite easily intercept your traffic, whereas intercepting Internet traffic is exceptionally more difficult, and typically requires ISP level interception (or at least DNS poisoning) to pull off.
  2. Next, this attack only works against SSLv3 encrypted traffic, so the attacker needs to somehow force you to use it. This is a much easier hurdle for attackers to overcome. The SSL/TLS protocol includes a “downgrade” feature that allows SSL clients and servers to negotiate which encryption protocol they agree on, depending on what they both support. With a MitM attack, the attacker can intercept and manipulated the negotiations to ensure your browser and the server settle on SSLv3 encryption.
  3. At this point, an attacker can take advantage of the SSLv3 flaw (which is essentially a vulnerability in how SSLv3’s CBC cipher suites use padding) to decrypt certain bytes of your secured traffic. Again, see the paper if you are interested in the technical and mathematical detail. However, there are some caveats here. Basically, the educated guesses used in this attack will only work 1 in 256 times.  So this attack requires the same data be sent over newly created SSLv3 connection hundreds of times. Forcing hundreds of requests is easy when targeting web browsers, since the MitM attack allows the attacker to inject malicious javascript into your web session. This javascript allows the attacker to silently force your browser to do what he needs. However, there are many other clients that use SSL/TLS to encrypt communications, including VPN clients, and apps on your mobile device. Since this attack relies on malicious javascript, attackers can’t easily exploit it against non-browser SSL clients. In any case, once this attack succeeds in decrypting one byte, it’s trivial for the attacker to decrypt the rest of your secure message.
  4.  So what can attackers do by decrypting SSL encrypted web sessions? Most likely, they’d leverage this flaw to try to intercept your encrypted HTTP session cookie. This essentially allows them to hijack your secure web sessions, and do anything you could do on the particular secure site you’re visiting. They wouldn’t obtain your passwords, but they’d have access to your secure web account.

While this sounds pretty bad, and it can be when the attack succeeds, the mitigating factors mentioned above really lessen the severity of this flaw. MitM attacks are not trivial to pull off in most cases, and this exploit’s javascript requirement means it can only easily target web browsers, not other SSL-based clients. Furthermore, if either end (client or server) disables SSLv3, the attack is dead in the water. In fact, NIST only assigns this vulnerability (CVE-2014-3566) a CVSS severity rating of 4.3, which is on the lower medium range of their severity scale. Though many of the media outlet reporting on this flaw have made it sound extremely dangerous, I would only give it a medium severity. It’s definitely something you want to mitigate, but it is not nearly as dangerous as the Heartbleed and Shellshock flaws the media has compared it to.

How to Protect Yourself from POODLE:

Simply put, disable SSLv3!

SSLv3 is an antiquated and broken encryption protocol. Every modern browser and SSL client supports much more recent encryption options. Disabling SSLv3 is the only way to completely protect yourself.

That said, some organizations may still use some legacy web applications, especially ones that require Internet Explorer (IE) 6 running on XP, which depend on SSLv3. Frankly, it’s time you get rid of those applications. In order to quantify today’s minimal SSLv3 usage, CloudFlare monitored all their customers’ traffic and found only 0.09% of it was SSLv3. When monitoring only secure web (HTTPS) traffic, SSLv3 usage jumped to 0.65%, but that’s still a tiny fraction of web traffic. We recommend you help bring this number to zero by getting rid of SSLv3 in your organization

So how do you disable SSLv3? There are two sides to the equation—the server and the client. You only have to disable one side for the attack to fail.

Since this attack targets clients, and seems to primarily affect web browsers, I recommend you disable SSLv3 in your browsers first. All popular web browsers have configuration settings that allow you to do so. The folks at Zmap.io have kindly provided an instruction page detailing how to disable SSLv3 in the popular browsers; check it out. Furthermore, most browser vendors have promised to disable SSLv3 by default in their next software release. Once you have disabled SSLv3 in your browser, attackers cannot leverage this flaw to decrypt your traffic, even if you connect to a web server that still has SSLv3 enabled.

That said, you also should disable SSLv3 on any servers you run, just to help protect the rest of the world against this flaw. The creators of OpenSSL have released an update that fixes this vulnerability (and three others). Besides allowing you to disable SSLv3 on your server, the latest version of OpenSSL supports a feature called TLS_FALLBACK_SCSC, which essentially prevents MitM attackers from forcing clients to downgrade to a certain encryption protocol. Many other Linux distributions and SSL implementations have also released updates. Go get them.

As an aside, once you’ve disabled SSLv3 in your browsers and servers, you can check the results using the following sites:

Are WatchGuard Products Affected by POODLE?

In short, yes.

WatchGuard appliances use OpenSSL and are affected by this vulnerability to varying degrees. The impacted products include:

  • XTM appliances – WatchGuard’s web-based user interfaces (UI), whether the administrative interface or the VPN client portal, do support SSLv3, and are vulnerable to this. However, you can mitigate this flaw by limiting exposure to the Web UI. There is no reason to allow Internet users to access that administrative interface. Also, our SSL VPN clients do NOT support SSLv3. So mobile VPN connections are not affected. We are making updates to our XTM firmware to disable SSLv3 by default.
  • XCS appliances – The XCS’s Web UI does support SSLv3 by default. However, you can disable it for the Web UI, and should do so. Our mail engine does also support SSLv3, and you can’t currently disabled it in the mail engine. That said, this exploit primarily targets web browsers, so the exposure in the mail engine should be low. In any case, we are making changes to the XCS firmware to disable SSLv3.
  • SSL VPN appliances – The SSL VPN appliances administrative Web UI uses SSLv3, and your currently can’t disable it. However, you can limit exposure simply by not allowing external access to the Web UI. As far as client VPN connections, you can disable SSLv3 in the Manage System => Device Setting page. Doing so ensures attackers can’t exploit this flaw to intercept and decrypt mobile SSL VPN traffic. We will release and update to disable SSLv3 in the Web UI.

This vulnerability’s impact to our appliances is relatively low. Nonetheless, WatchGuard will release updated versions for all affected software and devices that are under support. We are currently planning all these releases, and we will update this post as the dates and releases become available. In any case, if you limit access to the web-based administration interfaces on your WatchGuard appliances, the vulnerability poses you little risk. Furthermore, if you disable SSLv3 in your browser, attackers can’t even leverage it against you, whether or not the appliance uses SSLv3.

To summarize, POODLE is a big enough issue that you should definitely disable SSLv3 in all your browsers and servers as soon as you can. However, despite the wide and alarming coverage of this issue, it does not pose a huge, real-world risk to most users. If you update your browsers, and avoid unsecured WiFi connections, POODLE will likely not bite, and is easy to neuter. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)


ATM Trojan – WSWiR Episode 124

Nine MS Bulletins, Sneaky DRM, and ATM Trojan

Every week, the security community learns about new attacks, exploits, breaches, security patches, and more. However, keeping track of all this fresh information security (infosec) news can be challenging for most IT practitioners. If you need a little help separating the security wheat from the chaff, this weekly video podcast is for you.

Today’s episode warns you about next week’s upcoming Microsoft patch, covers how Adobe DRM snoops on your reading habits, and shares details about an ATM trojan that has helped its creators steal millions in cold hard cash. Watch the video for details, and check out the reference section for most interesting infosec stories.

(Episode Runtime: 5:45)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xi3vtc5bAQ

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

WatchGuard Security Week in Review in Writing (Oct.3, 2014)

iOS Trojan, BadUSB PoC, and Gamer Hackers Charged

Normally, I post a weekly video that summarizes the three biggest information and network security stories every Friday. However, due to a busy travel and work schedule I couldn’t find a convenient time to shoot. But fear not… Instead, I’ll post a written summary this week, and continue with the video posts next week. Read on for the latest security news:

  1. “First” iOS Trojan released in the wild – A mobile security company, Lacoon, claims they have found the “first” iOS trojan being used in the wild. They call the malware Xsser mRAT, and it’s related to a similar Android trojan called Xsser. If it infects your mobile device, it’s capable of stealing all kinds of information including texts, emails, passwords, and so forth. Allegedly, the malware comes from Chinese government actors targeting the Occupy Central protesters in Hong Kong. However, the trojan can only infect jailbroken iPhones.
  2. BadUSB malware exploit is now available to the public – In previous videos, I told you about the extremely dangerous new threat against USB devices. At Black Hat this year, Karsten Nohl of SRlabs showed how you could exploit flaws in USB controller firmware to create malicious USB devices that are almost impossible to detect. Thankfully, Nohl did not release Proof-0f-Concept (PoC) code for the attack, since USB manufacturers did not yet have a solution to the problem. However, this week some of his co-researchers decided to release PoC on Github during DerbyCON; apparently in hopes of pressuring USB vendors into figuring out a fix. Personally, I think this was a major mistake. While I think “full disclosure” is a good thing, I believe it should be done responsibly, after giving vendors time to protect their customers. While historically researchers have used early disclosure as a way to pressure companies to do the right thing, this is an industry-wide, standards-level vulnerability with no easy solution. All these researchers have done is make it easier for the bad guys to start exploiting this issue (IMHO).
  3. Four hacker’s charged with stealing millions in IP from Microsoft, Epic, Valve, and the military – This week, legal documents came out detailing the charges against four hackers who stole data and games from many gaming companies, and even the military. The alleged hackers are from the US, Canada, and Australia. According to documents, this group used mostly SQL injection (SQLi) techniques to steal a ton of data. They stole Xbox ONE and Xbox Live information, games like Gears of War 3, and they even stole a military Apache simulator. This case is related to the SuperDAE hacker I mentioned in a video months ago.

Thanks for following our weekly summary, and be sure to join us next week when I resume the video. Also, don’t forget to check out references to many other interesting security stories below.

Extras Story References:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Shellshock – WSWiR Episode 123

Serious Bash Flaw affects *nix, Mac OS X, and IoT

Normally, my weekly video covers a number of important information and network security stories, in order to keep you informed of the latest threats. However, this week one story is so important I give it the primary focus.

Today’s show covers the critical “Shellshock” vulnerability in Bash. If you use Unix, Linux, or Mac systems, or any other embedded device that might run Linux, you’ll want to watch this episode to learn how this flaw affects you. Click play for more details.

Oh, and don’t forget WatchGuard appliances aren’t affected, and our IPS can protect you. Enjoy your weekend!

(Episode Runtime: 9:23)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6X5-bxj-Mw

Episode References:


I’m skipping the extra stories this week so you focus on taking care of the Bash flaw.

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Bash or “Shellshock” vulnerability

News is breaking about a major new high severity vulnerability, CVE-2014-6271, with widespread impact. Gnu Bourne again shell (Bash) is a UNIX like command shell that is included in most distributions of Linux and also Apple OS X. The vulnerability allows an attacker to create environment variables that include malicious code before the system calls the Bash shell. The nature of the exposure can vary depending on how Bash is used, but it can lead to arbitrary command execution on affected systems. There are reports that is has already been exploited in the wild.

Are WatchGuard products affected?
All Firebox and XTM models are not affected. The Fireware operating system is hardened to remove any unnecessary features, and does not include a Bash shell. WatchGuard Wireless Access Points, SSL 100 and 560, XCS, and  QMS also do not include or install Bash. They are not vulnerable.

The Linux distribution included in WatchGuard Dimension includes bash, but the exposure to this vulnerability is low since Dimension does not use AcceptEnv or CGI. Nevertheless Dimension automatically downloads security updates for its Linux components. Just make sure that you don’t have any upstream firewall that blocks access to security.ubuntu.com and archive.ubuntu.com.

Solution Path
Download and deploy patches from your vendors immediately.

For WatchGuard Users
The WatchGuard IPS signature team has developed and released a signature to identify exploits of the Bash vulnerability. It is included in signature set 4.454. If your Firebox and XTM appliances are configured to receive automatic updates, you will get the new signature.

We’ll keep this post updated as more news is available.


Security Blog - Redhat
Concerns over Bash vulnerability grow - Ars Technica

Printer Doom Hack – WSWiR Episode 122

Apple Patches, Kindle XSS, and Doom Printer Hack

If you want to stay current with the Internet “threatscape,” our weekly video can help. It summarizes each week’s top information and network security news in one convenient place. Subscribe today!

Today’s episode covers, Apple and Adobe security updates, a cross-site scripting flaw that affects Kindle users, and an interesting printer hack that allowed an attacker to run doom on a printer. Watch the video for details and see the Reference section below for more info.

Enjoy your weekend!

(Episode Runtime: 5:39

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ7-LdlMYHc

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Old Gmail Leak – WSWiR Episode 121

Patch Day, Home Depot Update, and Gmail Leak

Why go searching for all the week’s information security (infosec) news when you can find it in one convenient place. This weekly vlog summarizes the important security updates, hacks, and threats so you can protect yourself.

This week’s episode arrives a bit late due to my business travel in Europe. Today’s show covers the week’s Microsoft and Adobe patches, the latest news on the Home Depot breach, and a story about a potentially new (but likely old) Gmail credential leak. Watch the video for the details, and check the references below for more info and some extra stories.

I will be continuing my business travel next week as well. So my weekly post may arrive earlier or later than normal. Have a great day!

(Episode Runtime: 4:53)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1GZpvQV6dQ

Episode References:


— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)


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