Oct 2019 – The crisis of Indian nuclear power plant’s

Preface: In fact, of system design weakness, the chances of a hacker getting remote access to systems significantly intensifies.

About Indian nuclear power plant’s network was hacked -They have confirmed its newest nuclear power plant was the victim of a cyber attack, exposing the vulnerability of one of the country’s most critical sectors to cyber espionage, said the government of India.

Current status: As mentioned in the headline news, cyber attack happened in Indian nuclear power plant is unplanned. Perhaps it did not involve any hostile country conspiracy. However we found quite a lot of cyber defense vendor could not detect such malware. In reference to the status shown in VirusTotal on 31st Oct 2019 (Asia time).

For more details about this accident, please refer url: https://www.ft.com/content/e43a5084-fbbb-11e9-a354-36acbbb0d9b6

past history, new attacks (cve-2015-0008) – 28th Oct 2019

Preface: Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 on January 14, 2020. This means no more security patching and no more support from Microsoft.

Vulnerability details: Found design flaw on 2015. Microsoft Windows Group Policy could allow a remote attacker to take complete control of the system, caused by improper application of policy data. By social engineering attacks to convinces a privileges user with domain-configured system to connect to an attacker-controlled network, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code and take complete control of the system.

Current status: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 suffers from a Group Policy remote code execution vulnerability.

Proof of concept release on 29th October 2019. The exploit code targets vulnerable systems in order to modify registry keys to disable SMB signing, achieve SYSTEM level remote code execution (AppInit_DLL) and a user level remote code execution (Run Keys).

Perhaps this vulnerability without any significant impact to MS product in the moment. But information security expert should be take care of this issue.

samba releases security updates – Oct 2019

Samba releases security updates – Oct 2019

Preface: Samba like a middle man bridging all the races in cyber world.

Background: Samba is a free software for connecting the UNIX operating system to the SMB/CIFS network protocol of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The third edition not only accesses and shares SMB folders and printers, but also integrates into the Windows Server domain, acting as a domain control station and joining Active Directory members.

Vulnerability details:
1) Path traversal (Severity – medium) – CVE-2019-10218 https://www.samba.org/samba/security/CVE-2019-10218.html

2)Use of Obsolete Function (Severity-low) – CVE-2018-18433 https://www.samba.org/samba/security/CVE-2019-14833.html

3)NULL pointer dereference (Severity-medium) – CVE-2019-14847

For the details of design weakness, please refer to attached diagram.

CVE-2019-1346 A denial of service vulnerability exists when Windows improperly handles objects in memory.

Preface: Doing web browsing and open document is our daily life. Opps! But it will hit a DoS vulnerability.

Background: x64 extends x86’s 8 general-purpose registers to be 64-bit, and adds 8 new 64-bit registers. The 64-bit registers have names beginning with “r”, so for example the 64-bit extension of eax is called rax. The new registers are named r8 through r15.

Remember that rip is the instruction pointer and whatever code present at the rip is executed. If the code is invalid however, something will go wrong .

Vulnerability details: A denial of service vulnerability exists when Windows improperly handles objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could cause a target system to stop responding. The crash occurs when any system component calls LoadLibraryEx(LOAD_LIBRARY_AS_DATAFILE | LOAD_LIBRARY_AS_IMAGE_RESOURCE) against the file, either directly or through another API such as GetFileVersionInfoSizeExW() or GetFileVersionInfoW().

Official announcementhttps://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2019-1346

About Emotet malware (2019)

Preface: Emotet malware found in 2015. But he is still aggressive nowadays. It shown that it is a long life cyber attack product .

Details: Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released an advisory that Emotet malware widespread in rapidly. The Emotet malware is distributed mostly by means of phishing email that contains either links to malicious sites, or malicious attachments.
Since Emotet is a polymorphic design.Emotet is a polymorphic engine to mutate different values and operations. From observation, it now link with ransomware.
The change in shape of Emotet more or less proof that his design is equivalent as a cyber weapon. It provide the functions for infiltration. Meanwhile, after finished the mission. It can link to ransomware. Such design can avoid forensic investigator conduct the validations.

For more details, please refer to ACSC announcement. https://www.cyber.gov.au/threats/advisory-2019-131-emotet-malware-campaign

Please be vigilant. Spyware will be installed on your phone at any time – Oct 2019

Preface: Since the spyware runs in a stealth mode, it will let you track the device without being detected.

Background: Patroit Act empower law enforcement agency or related department can legally monitor the movements of suspect especially Terrorism. And therefore law enforcement agency will be used spyware monitor what’ the target movement. As time goes by, quite a lot of software vendors do a transformation of mobile phone monitoring tool (spyware) to consumer product. Flexispy and Spyzie are popular in the market. You can purchase this product though vendor web portal. The slogan by vendor is that no rooting or jailbreaking required. It can easy to track SMS, CallLogs, Social Apps and locations.

Legal point of view: If the spyware was ‘used on a case,’ a detail document of report should be provided. Given the functionality of FlexiSpy, it would require a wiretap order, not just a search and seizure warrant, said attorney.

The reasons why cyber criminals want to hack your phone?

  • To eavesdrop on calls
  • To steal money
  • To blackmail people

So the Federal Trade Commission recommended Smartphone users who suspect an illegitimate stalking app on their device should consider their recommendations. Refer to URL for more details. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/10/stalking-apps-retina-x-settles-charges

CVE-2019-12941 – AutoPi ( Wi-Fi/NB and 4G/LTE) devices wifi password vulnerability (Oct 2019)

Preface: Are you afraid of someone suddenly controlling your car?

Background: AutoPi is a small device that plugs into the OBD-II port of your car.

What is OBD-II port? OBD-II port of the car which gives the dongle access to the cars internal systems. AutoPi also provides a cloud service that lets you communicate with the dongle remotely over the Internet.

Vulnerability details: When user connected to the WiFi, it is also possible to SSH into the device. Both the web portal terminal and the SSH terminal grants root access, meaning that full access of the devices is given when connected through WiFi.

Since the wifi password mechanism design weakness. Attacker can use following method to receive the WPA2 authentication password. The default WiFi password and WiFi SSID are derived from the same hash function output (input is only 8 characters), which allows an attacker to deduce the WiFi password from the WiFi SSID. So it only take few hours can be cracked. For more details, please refer to attached infographic for reference.

Should you have interested, please download the technical white paper to review. https://www.kth.se/polopoly_fs/1.931922.1571071632!/Burdzovic_Matsson_dongle_v2.pdf

Oct 2019 – When hostile countries are prepared to take military action. They took cyber attacks as a 1st step.

Preface: Both ransomware and malware are powerful cyber attack tools. This is equivalent to the army entering a hostile country.

Background: On yesterday 21st Oct 2019, NSA and NCSC release joint advisory on Turla Group Activities article. The attack target is the aspx shell. It appeared to use these ASPX shells to preparing 2nd round of cyber attack.

We seen the trend for cyber attack in future will be target to the web API. The hacker still maintain interest on Microsoft product especially .Net framework. Traditionally, ASP.NET Web API does not utilize the request validation feature to sanitize user input. You will need to add this protection manually if any input will be used in HTML output. Apart from that, there are more and more Microsoft SharePoint deployment is also one of the factor.

Quite a lot of web programming feature lure the cyber attacker put their interest into software programming side (see below).

  • User-mode rootkits run in Ring 3, along with other applications as user, rather than low-level system processes. And therefore it does not require elevation of privileges.
  • A ring 0 rootkit in this instance would be a kernel mode driver (*.sys file) that also requires administrator privileges when installing.
  • Query parameter text is not checked before saving in user cookie NameValueCollection request = Request.QueryString
  • Adding cookies to the response Response.Cookies[“userName”] Value = request [“text”]

Here comes along with the cyber attack in continuous way.

Technical article for reference: https://media.defense.gov/2019/Oct/18/2002197242/-1/-1/0/NSA_CSA_TURLA_20191021%20VER%203%20-%20COPY.PDF

CVE-2019-6475 Bind 9 vulnerability

Preface: Existing internet service require DNS lookup function. See whether artificial intelligence world will be replaced this function?

Background: There are currently 13 root servers in operation. In order to avoid DNS request in high volume could not handle immediately. And therefore when requests are made for a certain root server, the request will be routed to the nearest mirror of that root server. The mirror zone feature is most often used to serve a local copy of the root zone. Mirror zones are a BIND feature allowing recursive servers to pre-cache zone data provided by other servers.

Vulnerability details: Found design flaw in BIND version 9.14.0 up to 9.14.6, and 9.15.0 up to 9.15.4. Found that attacker was able to insert themselves into the network path between a recursive server using a mirror zone and a root name server.
The attack method is that the hacker sniffs on the network.
Since DNS uses TCP for Zone transfer and UDP for name queries either regular (primary) or reverse.
When he receive the ports & sequence numbers (e.g., on-path attacker), attacker can inject data into any TCP connection.

An on-path attacker who manages to successfully exploit this vulnerability can replace the mirrored zone (usually the root) with data of their own choosing, effectively bypassing DNSSEC protection.

Official announcement https://kb.isc.org/docs/cve-2019-6475

(CVE-2019-16919) VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Harbor Container Registry for PCF address broken access control vulnerability 16th oct 2019

Preface: It seems that humans are hard to avoid living with robots and AI, because this is our destiny.

Background: VMware Harbor Registry is an enterprise-class registry server that stores and distributes container images. The release of Harbor 1.8 revealed a number of new features, including the ability to share Harbor with other registries. The design goal of Harbor, allows you to store and manage images for use with VMware Enterprise PKS. If you are a project admin, you can create a Robot Account for automated operations. The name will become robot$ and will be used to distinguish a robot account from a normal harbor user. Furthermore, robot account that allows Harbor to be integrated and used by automated systems, such as CI/CD (Continuous Integration / Delivery & Deployment) tools.

Vulnerability details: CVE-2019-16919 – Found that the original design of Harbor do not enforcing project permissions and scope during robot account creation via the Harbor API. As a result, a broken access control vulnerability in the API of Harbor may allow for unauthorized access to push/pull/modify images in an adjacent project. We predicted that attacker might have way to exploit this vulnerability to conduct the session hijack. For more detail, please refer to attach diagram for reference.

Official announcement – For more details, please refer to url https://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2019-0016.html