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JP Morgan Hacked – WSWiR Episode 119

Gaming DDoS, Malvertising, and U.S. Banks Breached

You really need to keep up with the latest attacks to learn how to adjust your defenses to survive. However, with so much infosec news and so little time, it’s hard for many administrators to stay current. This weekly videos tries to keep you in the loop by summarizing the top news items each week.

Today’s show covers a big DDoS campaign against gaming sites that included a diverted plane, a malicious advertising attack that infected popular web sites, and an allegedly Russian attack against U.S. banks. See the video for the details, and check the references for other stories.

If you live in the U.S., enjoy your Labor Day weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 11:26)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4dz4wjY5hQ

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Breach Trio – WSWiR Episode 118

Healthcare, UPS, and US Nuclear Organization Breached

Need to learn the latest security news so you can figure out how to protect your network from evolving threats? Well, this weekly video series will help. Every Friday I summarize the biggest security stories and share some advice in a video, as well as compile a list of other important stories below. Subscribe to this blog and the YouTube channel to follow along.

This week’s episode is all about breaches. Three organizations disclosed major network and data breaches this week; a healthcare record management company, UPS, and the US Nuclear Regulator Commission. Today’s video covers those breaches, and more importantly explores what we can learn about them. Watch below.

As an aside, sorry the episode is going up a bit late. Note to the video producers out there… Always check that your microphone is on so you don’t have to shoot the whole thing twice. Oops! Have a great weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 10:16 plus a optional extra)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDHCnCNBq7w

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Avoid MS14-045; Windows Kernel-mode Drivers Patch

Last week, I covered Microsoft Patch Day and recommend you install all the latest Windows, IE, Office, and server updates. This week, I need to warn you against one of those updates.

According to recent reports, the Windows kernel-mode driver update (MS14-045) is causing some computers to have blue screens of death (BSOD). If you haven’t installed this update yet, I recommend you avoid it until further notice. If you have installed it, and have suffered issues, Microsoft has shared instructions on how to remove it.

In the past, I’ve argued that Microsoft’s QA has gotten better, with fewer crash inducing updates. I guess they’re still not perfect. In general, this is a great example of why you should always test updates before pushing them into production. You can do this by maintaining a virtual version of your infrastructure and testing updates there.  — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Blackhat and More – WSWiR Episode 116

Blackhat Summary,Lots of Patches, and MonsterMind

Times have changed. Cyber attacks have increased 10-fold, causing a ton of information security (infosec) news each week. Can’t keep up with it all? Let me help out. In this weekly video summary, I highlight the biggest information and security news every week.

Last week, I had meant to post a Black Hat video summary, but simply couldn’t find the time during my two week travel schedule. I try to make up for it in this week’s episode. In today’s video, I share a bit about Black Hat, cover the latest security patches, comment on the alleged huge password theft, and highlight Snowden’s latest interview and disclosures. Watch the video for the details.

Also, don’t forget to check out the big reference section below for two weeks of security news links, and some videos from Black Hat. Have a great weekend.

(Episode Runtime: 9:09)

Direct YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1fUT15AP8

Episode References:

Extras:

— Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

Office Patches Mend SharePoint and OneNote

Severity: High

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: Microsoft Office related products like OneNote and SharePoint Server
  • How an attacker exploits them: Varies. Typically by enticing users to open or interact with maliciously crafted Office documents
  • Impact: Many. In the worst case, an attacker can gain complete control of your Windows computer
  • What to do: Install the appropriate Microsoft patches as soon as possible, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

Today, Microsoft released two security bulletins that fix a like number of vulnerabilities in OneNote and SharePoint. We summarize these security bulletins below, in order from highest to lowest severity.

  • MS14-048OneNote Code Execution Vulnerability

OneNote is a collaborative, multiuser note taking application that ships with Office. It suffers from an unspecified vulnerability having to do with how it handles specially crafted OneNote files. If an attacker can lure you into opening such a file, she could exploit this flaw to execute code on your computer, with you privileges. As usual, if you are a local administrator, the attacker gains complete control of your PC.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-050: SharePoint Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability

SharePoint Server is Microsoft’s web and document collaboration and management platform. It suffers from a privilege escalation vulnerability. SharePoint offers an extensibility model that allows you to create apps that can access and use SharePoint resources. However, SharePoint suffers some unspecified flaw that allows specially crafted apps to bypass permission management. In short, by running a specially crafted application, an attacker may be able to access all the SharePoint resources of the currently logged-in user.

Microsoft rating: Important

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released Office and SharePoint-related patches that correct these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate updates throughout your network as soon as possible. If you choose, you can also let Windows Update automatically download and install these updates for you.

Keep in mind, however, that we highly recommend you test updates before running them in your production environment; especially updates for critical production servers.

The links below point directly to the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of each bulletin, where you can find all of Microsoft’s update links:

For All WatchGuard Users:

We recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from these flaws.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches correcting these issues.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).


What did you think of this alert? Let us know at your.opinion.matters@watchguard.com.

SQL Server Update Fixes XSS and DoS Vulnerability

Severity: Medium

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: Most current versions of SQL Server
  • How an attacker exploits it: Various, including enticing someone to click a specially crafted link
  • Impact: In the worst case, an attacker can steal your web cookie, hijack your web session, or essentially take any action you could on the SQL server
  • What to do: Deploy the appropriate SQL Server updates as soon as possible

Exposure:

SQL Server is Microsoft’s popular database server. According to Microsoft’s security bulletin, SQL Server suffers from both a Cross-site Scripting (XSS) and Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability.

The XSS flaw poses the most risk. The SQL Master Data Services (MDS) component suffers from a Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability due to its inability to properly encode output. By enticing someone to click a specially crafted link, an attacker could leverage this flaw to inject client-side script into that user’s web browser. This could allow the attacker to steal web cookie, hijack the web session, or essentially take any action that user could on your SQL Server’s associated web site. In some cases, attackers can even leverage XSS attacks to hijack your web browser, and gain unauthorized access to your computer.

The DoS flaw poses less risk, but is worth patching too. Essentially, if an attacker can send specially crafted queries to you SQL server, he could lock it up. However, since most administrator block SQL queries from the Internet, the attacker would have to reside on the local network to launch this attack.

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released SQL Server updates  to correct this vulnerability. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate update as soon as possible. You can find the updates in the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of Microsoft’s SQL Server bulletin.

As an aside, the Cross-site Scripting (XSS) protection mechanisms built into many modern web browsers, like Internet Explorer (IE) 8 and above, can often prevent these sorts of attacks. We recommend you enable these mechanisms, if you haven’t already.

For All WatchGuard Users:

Since attackers might exploit some of these attacks locally, we recommend you download, test, and apply the SQL Server patches as quickly as possible.

Status:

Microsoft has released updates to fix this vulnerability.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).


What did you think of this alert? Let us know at your.opinion.matters@watchguard.com.

Windows Updates for Media Center, .NET, and LRPC

Severity: Medium

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of Windows (and related components like .NET Framework)
  • How an attacker exploits them: Multiple vectors of attack, such as enticing you into opening maliciously crafted Office file.
  • Impact: In the worst case, an remote attacker can gain complete control of your Windows computer
  • What to do: Install the appropriate Microsoft patches as soon as possible, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

Today, Microsoft released five security bulletins describing seven vulnerabilities in Windows and related components, such as the .NET Framework. A remote attacker could exploit the worst of these flaws to potentially gain complete control of your Windows PC. We recommend you download, test, and deploy these critical updates as quickly as possible.

The summary below lists the vulnerabilities, in order from highest to lowest severity.

  • MS14-043:  Windows Media Center Code Execution Flaw

Windows Media Center is the media player and Digital Video Recording (DVR) application that ships with the popular operating system. MCplayer.dll, a component Media Center uses for audio and video playback, suffers from a “use after free” vulnerability. By tricking you into running a specially crafted Office file, a remote attacker could leverage this flaw to execute code on your computer, with your privileges. If you’re a local adminstrator, the attacker could gain complete control of your machine. Note, this flaw mostly affects the latest versions of Windows.

Microsoft rating: Critical

  • MS14-045:  Multiple Kernel-Mode Driver Elevation of Privilege Vulnerabilities

The kernel is the core component of any computer operating system. Windows also ships with a kernel-mode device driver (win32k.sys), which handles the OS’s device interactions at a kernel level. The Windows kernel-mode driver suffers from three local code execution flaws. The flaws differ technically, but most have to do with the kernel-mode driver improperly handling certain objects, which can result in memory corruptions. Smart attackers can leverage memory corruption flaws to execute code. In a nutshell, if a local attacker can run a specially crafted application, he could leverage most of these flaws to gain complete control of your Windows computers. However, in order to run his malicious program, the attacker first needs to gain local access to your Windows computer, or needs to trick you into running the program yourself, which somewhat lessens the severity of this vulnerability.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-046:  .NET Framework ASLR Bypass Flaw

The .NET Framework is software framework used by developers to create new Windows and web applications. Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is a memory obfuscation technique that some operating systems use to make it harder for attackers to find specific things in memory, which in turn makes it harder for them to exploit memory corruption flaws. In short, the .NET framework doesn’t use ASLR protection. This means attackers can leverage .NET to bypass Windows’ ASLR protection features. This flaw alone doesn’t allow an attacker to gain access to your Windows computer. Rather, it can help make other memory corruption vulnerabilities easier to exploit. This update fixes the ASLR bypass hole.

Microsoft rating: Important

Local Remote Procedure Call (LRPC) is a protocol Microsoft Windows uses to allow processes to communicate with each other and execute tasks, whether on the same computer or another computer over the network. It suffers from a ASLR bypass vulnerability that has the same scope and impact as the .NET one described above.

Microsoft rating: Important

  • MS14-049:  Windows Installer Service Elevation of Privilege Flaw

As its name suggests, the Windows Installer services is a component that helps you install and configure stuff in Windows. It suffers from a privilege escalation vulnerability involving the way it improperly handles the repair of a previous application. If a local attacker can log into one of your Windows systems and run a specially crafted application, he could exploit this flaw to gain complete control of the system (even if he started out with only Guest privileges). Of course, the attacker would need valid login credentials, which significantly lowers the severity of this issue.

Microsoft rating: Important

Solution Path:

Microsoft has released various updates that correct all of these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate updates throughout your network immediately. If you choose, you can also let Windows Update automatically download and install them for you. As always, you should test your updates before deploying them.

The links below point directly to the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of each bulletin, where you can find links to the various updates:

For All WatchGuard Users:

Though WatchGuard’s XTM appliances offer defenses that can mitigate the risk of some of these flaws (such as blocking Office files), attackers can exploit others locally. Since your gateway XTM appliance can’t protect you against local attacks, we recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from these flaws.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches correcting these issues.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).


What did you think of this alert? Let us know at your.opinion.matters@watchguard.com.

Latest IE Patch Corrects 26 Vulnerabilities

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: All current versions of Internet Explorer
  • How an attacker exploits it: By enticing one of your users to visit a web page containing malicious content
  • Impact: Various, in the worst case an attacker can execute code on your user’s computer, potentially gaining complete control of it
  • What to do: Deploy the appropriate Internet Explorer patches immediately, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

In a security bulletin released as part of Patch Day, Microsoft released an update that fixes a 26 new vulnerabilities in all current versions of Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft rates the aggregate severity of these new flaws as Critical.

Most of the vulnerabilities described in this alert (24 of the 26) are memory corruption vulnerabilities, which share the same general scope and impact. If an attacker can lure you to a web page containing malicious web code, he can exploit these flaws to execute code on your computer, inheriting your privileges. If you have local administrative privileges, which most Windows users do, the attack could potentially gain full control of your computer

The patch also fixes a pair of privilege escalation vulnerabilities, but the memory corruption flaws alone should convince you to update IE as soon as you can.

Keep in mind, today’s attackers often hijack legitimate web pages and booby-trap them with malicious code. Typically, they do this via hosted web ads or through SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Even recognizable and authentic websites could pose a risk to your users if hijacked in this way, and the vulnerabilities described in today’s bulletin are perfect for use in drive-by download attacks.

Solution Path:

You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate IE updates immediately, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you. You can find links to the various IE updates in the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of Microsoft’s April IE security bulletin.

For All WatchGuard Users:

Good News! WatchGuard’s Gateway Antivirus and Intrusion Prevention services can often prevent these sorts of attacks, or the malware they try to distribute. For instance, our IPS signature team has developed signatures that can detect and block some of the memory corruption vulnerabilities described in Microsoft’s alert:

  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4063)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4057)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4050)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2824)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2823)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2820)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2799)

Your XTM appliance should get this new IPS signature update shortly.

Furthermore, our Reputation Enabled Defense (RED) and WebBlocker services can often prevent your users from accidentally visiting malicious (or legitimate but booby-trapped) web sites that contain these sorts of attacks. Nonetheless, we still recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from all of these flaws.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches to fix these vulnerabilities.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).

Black Hat 2014 – Briefing Summary – Day 2

Did any of the briefings from day one sound interesting to you? Do you want to know what happened the next day? If so, check out my day two Black Hat briefing summary below:

BadUSB – On Accessories that Turn Evil

Topic: Infecting USB microcontrollers to create undetectable evil USB devices

Speaker: Karsten Nohl, Sascha Krißler, Jakob Lell

News of this talk came out before the Black Hat conference, and I had mentioned it in my weekly video. It did not disappoint.

In the briefing, Nohl and Lell described how they analyzed the firmware from an off-the-shelf USB microcontroller, and figured out how to load malicious firmware instead. In case you hadn’t heard, every USB devicewhether it’s a storage device or keyboardhas a tiny micro-controller built into it that communicates with your computer, and tells it what the USB device is. In essence, Nohl and Lell figured out how to create a USB micro-controller that lied, and in so doing could do malicious things. For instance, they could create a USB storage device that acted like a keyboard, allowing it to actually launch commands, run code, and even key log.

You might be asking, “Why is this so scary? I already knew USB devices could be malicious.” Well in the past, USB attacks required malicious files on the storage device. The attack would either leverage auto-play issues, or exploit some underlying operation system vulnerability. In either case, security software might find the malicious file and block it. In this case, there are no files on the USB device. By infecting the firmware, that attacker makes it extremely hard for you to detect malicious USB devices.

During the talk, the speakers showed many interesting, and worrisome demos. For instance, a malicious USB key could be programmed to spread to other USB devices plugged into a system (assuming they other device also used the right micro-controller). Nohl and Lell also demonstrated that is is a cross-platform attack. Since all operating systems must communicate with USB devices, they all can succumb to malicious USB firmware.  The pair even showed this particular attack infecting an Android device.

In the end, this is a very scary attack. It makes it very difficult for us to trust the USB standard. Furthermore, since this is a firmware infection, it’s a perfect mechanism for persistent attacks. You could reformat the malicious USB device all you want, the infected firmware would still remain. The only good news is that the speakers only did this with a very specific 8051 microcontroller. In order to use the attack with other devices, hackers would have to reverse those devices firmwares and find new flaws.

So what can you do about this? Unfortunately, it’s a hard problem to crack. The USB standard is pretty set in stone, and security software like AV can’t detect this attack. One option is to force signing of USB firmware, but that would require industry-wide change, and would only help new USB devices. The one sure tip Nohl and Lell recommended was to have USB manufacturers  disable firmware updates in hardware, so that no one could change the software running on these devices.

 

Extreme Privilege Escalation on Windows8/UEFI Systems

Topic: Hacking Windows boot security to gain ultimate system privileges

Speaker: Corey Kallenberg, Xeno Kovah, Samuel Cornwell – MITRE

On modern systems, even when an attacker gains administrative or root privileges, he doesn’t have penultimate control. In computing, there are various processor-level security domains, from ring 3 to ring 0. An administrator may have the ultimate privileges in ring 3, but he doesn’t have kernel level ring 0 control. This presentation outlined a technique attackers could use to leverage the Windows secure boot system and gain that penultimate ring 0 control.

Over the years, operating systems like Windows have begun to adhere to more secure boot processes that make it harder for bad guys to infect our computer’s BIOS. A relatively new standard called the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) defines how computer systems should load firmware and the BIOS, and includes security mechanisms like secure boot, signed BIOS, and chipset protections.

Without going into all the details, the speakers at this talk found some vulnerabilities in the Windows UEFI system. UEFI is open source, which meant the researchers could easily audit its code for flaws. To their surprise, they found some, including a few pretty basic integer overflow flaws. That said, exploiting these flaws was no easy feat. UEFI only allows userland processes to communicate with it in a limited fashion. Of course, the researchers eventually found a Windows function (SetFirmwareEnvironmentVariable) that allowed them to manipulated enough inputs to trigger their vulnerabilities. While they still had to get past a few hurdles for their attack to succeed, they did, and were able to take control of the UEFI boot process.

In the end, this means an attacker with administrative privileges could leverage this UEFI flaw to gain full ring 0 control of your computer. This allows the attacker to overwrite your BIOS, even on a secure UEFI system. Attackers could exploit this to brick your system, defeat secure boot, create an undetectable rootkit, subvert your hypervisor, and much more.

The good news is the speakers had informed US-CERT, Intel, and BIOS manufacturers of this issue, and most have fixed it. The bad news is not everyone installs BIOS upgrades often.

Mission MPOSsible

Topic: Hacking mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems

Speaker: Nils and John Butler

This talk focused on vulnerabilities found in many popular mobile POS systems used by consumers and smaller businesses. There are not the enterprise POS systems used by large retailers, rather small cellular devices just meant to take a chip and pin cards, and process the payments online.

The researchers did not share the name of the affected devices (though they hinted strongly at what they were), but they did say that 75% of the solutions for mobile chip and pin processing use this solution. These mPOS devices are small embedded linux machines, running Arm5 processers. The speakers compared them to equipment used in cheap MP3 players.

As embedded linux machines, the devices suffered all the potential security issues you might expect. For instance, they allow both Bluetooth and USB access, which presents attack surface. Via USB, the researchers were able to recover the device’s firmware and analyze it. They also found a vulnerability involving unplugging the USB cable, which allowed them to load malicious firmware.

Nils and Butler also decided to fuzz the EMV library (the chip and pin communication standard) on these devices. During their fuzzing, they discovered a very basic stack buffer overflow—one of the most basic memory corruption issues possible. They then demonstrated how they could exploit this to gain full root control of these devices. Of course, they decided to make their root control fun. Rather than just owning the device, they loaded up a custom made version of the Flappy Bird game, which they called Chippy Pin. Any talk that ends with a mobile POS device playing a video game, is a good presentation in my book.

I hope you found this quick summary of the Black Hat briefings interesting and potentially useful. If anything, it should give you an idea of some of the types of attacks you might see in the future. As usual, I found the Black Hat briefings fascinating, even though I was only able to attend a fraction of the talks. If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas late July or early August, I recommend giving Black Hat and DEF CON a try. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

 

 

 

 

 

Nine Microsoft Security Bulletins Coming Tomorrow; Two Critical

Is it just me, or are the months flying by this year? It’s already time for yet another Microsoft Patch Day. According to their advanced notification post for August, Microsoft will release nine security bulletins tomorrow, two with a Critical severity rating. The bulletins will include updates to fix flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, the .NET Framework, SQL server, and other Microsoft Server Software. You can find a little more color about the upcoming patches at Microsoft’s Security Response Center blog.

In short, if you are a Microsoft administrator, you should prepare yourself for a busy day of patching. I’ll post more details about these updates tomorrow, as they come out. However, I am traveling this week to attend a show, so my posts may not go live as quickly as normal. Be sure to keep you eye on their summary post tomorrow, if you’d like to get the details early. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept)

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