Category Archives: Public safety

What is the situation of Edward Snowden (whistle blower)? Do you still remember him?

Preface:
The samurai (or bushi) were the warriors of premodern Japan.Lone Wolf and Cub is a manga created by Japanese comics writer.Samurai respected justice.

Synopsis:
Justice is the legal or philosophical theory by which fairness is administered. It is the fundamental of human nature. But the concept of justice differs in every countries and culture.

Who is he?
Edward Snowden, an American contract employee at the National Security Agency, is the whistleblower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the US government’s top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes. Snowden flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii in May 2013, and supplied confidential US government documents to media outlets including the Guardian.

What’s the situation now?
He is on exile. His most recent interview in Moscow Russia on September 2018. (Refer below url)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wimHE6SNddc

Why Edward Snowden should be pardoned?(Refer below url)
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-pardon

 

Unknown APT reference number ? Suspect that it targeting Advantech WebAccess/SCADA customer

 

Advantech, a leader within the IPC global market. Advantech offers a comprehensive IPC product range that delivers reliability and stability for extreme environments, providing its customers with a one-stop shopping experience implementing Industry 4.0 and fulfilling their Industrial IoT needs.

IoT and SCADA are the APT (Advanced Persistent threat) targeting devices so far. Meanwhile this type of manufacturer will be lured attacker interest. Regarding to the technical details, please refer below url for reference.

https://www.eset.com/int/greyenergy-exposed/

So, It is possible to make people predict the attack may targeting Advantech customer.

Factor:
In Advantech WebAccess/SCADA versions prior to V8.2_20170817.
WebAccess/SCADA does not properly sanitize its inputs for SQL commands.

Synopsis:
Chosen with servers that have a high uptime, where reboots and patch management are rare.
In order to mislead people, threat actor will use the vendor official server cert to conducting data exfiltration.
Since malware alive and therefore C&C server is able to conduct hacker job task (exploit the SQL vulnerability).

Should you have interest to know the specifics vulnerabilities. Please refer below hyperlink for reference.

Advantech WebAccess/SCADA – CVE-2018-5443 – CVE-2018-5445

Reflections – New 5G network edge server design

NSA Senior Cybersecurity Advisor questions Bloomberg Businessweek’s China iCloud spy chip claim (see below url)

http://macdailynews.com/2018/10/10/nsa-senior-cybersecurity-advisor-questions-bloomberg-businessweeks-china-icloud-spy-chip-claim/

Now we take a quick discussion but do not related to conspiracy. From technical point of view, if hardware is polluted (spy feature). It is hard to imagine what the impact was?

In the SD-branch, routing, firewall, and WAN optimization are provided as virtual functions in a cloud-like NaaS model, replacing expensive hardware. As a result, the telephone company will use SD-branch to provide virtual CPE and unversal CPE services.

Meanwhile uCPE consists of software virtual network functions (VNFs) running on a standard operating system hosted on an open server. So uCPE in reposible of very import role in future technology. What if there is vulnerability occurs in this place. It make the problem worst, complicated!

Supermicro Designs New Open Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Platform Optimized for 5G and Telco Applications and Launches verified Intel® Select Solution for uCPE

http://ir.supermicro.com/news-releases/news-release-details/supermicro-designs-new-open-software-defined-networking-sdn

Could ring 2 have the same momentum as a IoT backdoor?

Preface:

In x86 protected mode, the CPU is always in one of 4 rings. The Linux kernel only uses 0 and 3:

  • 0 for kernel
  • 3 for users

Hidden janitor living in your computer

SMM is triggered through a System Management Interrupt (SMI), a signal sent from the chipset to the CPU. During platform initialization, the firmware configures the chipset to cause a System Management Interrupt for various events that the firmware developer would like the firmware to be made aware of.

Whether you remember the Intel chipsets for some years have included a Management Engine?

On May 2017, an official announcement by Intel, design found a design limitation on their product. The problem is that Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability encountered vulnerability (escalation of Privilege). Reference url shown as below:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/security-center/advisory/intel-sa-00075.html

If we are not talking about conspiracy, it looks that backdoor appear in the chipset not a rumour. It is a true statement.

Why Ring 2 isn’t used?

Rings 1 and 2 is for the OS to put device drivers at that level, so they are privileged, but somewhat separated from the rest of the kernel code.

An exploitation on Ring 2

We strongly believe that the person who familiar of code for the UEFI kernel and SMM half kernel is the CPU manufacturer. Both components are run on Ring 2. Above mentioned Intel design flaw run in Ring -2 OS (UEFI). UEFI can run in 32-bit or 64-bit mode and has more addressable address space than BIOS, which means your boot process is faster. Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification for a software program that connects a computer’s firmware to its operating system (OS). UEFI is expected to eventually replace BIOS. Like BIOS, UEFI is installed at the time of manufacturing and is the first program that runs when a computer is turned on. Dual boot computer with Windows and Linux conducted by UEFI firmware. But UEFI firmware has become a target for hackers.

Refer to above diagram, we notice that the condition of Ring 2 will be depends on operation mode. So, if virtualization assist by hardware will let Ring 2 and Ring 3 work together. As a result, an attacker with write access to flash can inject malware into the firmware.

Remark: Malware injected into the firmware flash regions is persistent and will run on every subsequent boot.

SPI Flash Exploit – Malicious DXE drivers can disable security settings and install malicious code into the OS.

Additional:

Refer to above information. When a computer was installed and switched on, the microchip altered the operating system’s core so it could accept modifications. The chip could also contact computers controlled by the attackers in search of further instructions and code.

But who is the culprit, no further indicator proof. Perhaps it can shift the blame onto someone else. If you do not mind to read the articles announced by Bloomberg once more. Please refer below:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies

About cyber security threats in aero industry – Oct 2018

DHS has few critical cyber security announcement few days ago. Some technical articles may bring the practitioner attentions. Do you read technical article “Threats to Precision Agriculture” yet? My personal opinion is that the prediction of cyber attack scenario not only happen in agriculture. It may have happen in aero industry. Real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning is a technique used to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite -based systems. The GPS system is now considered a “crosssector dependency” for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 16 designated critical infrastructure sectors. GNSS is vulnerable to jamming and natural interference. When GNSS is denied, PNT information can be seriously affected in ways that increase risks to the safety of navigation. It is hard to avoid Microsoft operating system integrate to critical system infrastructure nowadays. Microsoft formalized Patch Tuesday schedule and zero day are the concerns of the world includes airline industry. What do you think? It looks that virtual patching service is the first choice in all IT industry coming year.

SIEMENS Vulnerabilities in SIMATIC STEP 7 (TIA Portal) and SIMATIC WinCC (TIA Portal) – Aug 2018

SIMATIC WinCC is a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and human-machine interface system from Siemens. Due to threats to actors’ interests, manufacturers have recently paid close attention to cybersecurity attacks. Hackers use Microsoft’s operating system entry point to become a channel for SCADA system facilities network attacks. Even Though Microsoft Office also pulled into SCADA security concerns! As far as we know, the new version of BLACKENERGY malware threat exploit an unpatched Office 2013 form the attack. From technical point of view, malware is hard to survival in 64 bit OS environment. However 32-bit operating system is common in SCADA related industries. So, it requires a longer time to do the design enhancement. The SCADA vendor found 2 items of Vulnerabilities in SIMATIC STEP 7 (TIA Portal) and SIMATIC WinCC (TIA Portal) on Aug 2018 (see below diagram). So, Tenable and Siemens partner to secure critical infrastructure & reduce cybersecurity risks. Please refer to the following URL:

https://www.windpowerengineering.com/business-news-projects/tenable-and-siemens-partner-to-secure-critical-infrastructure-reduce-cybersecurity-risks/

Are 64-bit OS malware proof?

Are 64-bit OS malware proof?

A vulnerability has been identified in IEC 61850 system configurator – CVE-2018-4858

When a lot of cyber security Guru focusing the nuclear power and critical facilities. It looks they also requires to includes the power substation. From techincal point of view, control central will be hardening both console and network environment. But how about the configuration console for substation? Does it allow install the configuration software (IEC 61850 system configurator) on notebook for outdoor work? Siemens IEC 61850 system configurator, DIGSI 5, DIGSI 4, SICAM PAS/PQS, SICAM PQ Analyzer, and SICAM SCC products are affected by a security vulnerability which could allow an attacker to either exfiltrate limited data from the system or to execute code with operating system user permissions. Cyber security attack will be exploited different channels. But the major pathway is the product vulnerabilities.

Official announcement by Siemens shown as below:

https://cert-portal.siemens.com/productcert/pdf/ssa-159860.pdf

Status update: 30th Jul 2018

A vulnerability confirm by vendor that a Denial-of-Service occurs in EN100 Ethernet Communication Module and SIPROTEC 5 relays.

Official announcement by Siemens shown as below:

https://cert-portal.siemens.com/productcert/pdf/ssa-635129.pdf

Defending the Power Grid From Hackers – Jul 2018

Cyber defense facilities today are very strong and effecive to fight against different of cyber attacks. Even though stealer deploy DNS steal technique to exfiltrate the data from a firm. Anti cyber technology have their way to quarantine and deny such activities. Perhaps you said the IoT devices attack that wreaked hovac worldwide. It is hard to avoid. But it still have resolution. Cyber security vendor deploy network discover facitiles. No matter Dot one X or non Dot one X devices they can find. So it looks perfect, no any concern any more. But why we still have cyber attack incident happens today?

The Next Cyber Battleground

Sound scary! The Next Cyber Battleground
Expert predict that digital infrastructure is the high target to receive cyber attack. That is even through smart City, manufacturing automation, geospatial data system,..etc.

Some experts believe cyber incidents go underreported in the nuclear sector. The reason is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission only requires the reporting of incidents that affect the safety, security functions, or emergency preparedness of the plant. May be it do not want to caused a public panic.

We heard cyber attack to SCADA in frequent. Whether SCADA contains design weakness or there is other factor?

The SCADA Data Gateway (SDG) is a Windows™ application used by System Integrators and Utilities to collect data from OPC, IEC 60870-6 (TASE.2/ICCP), IEC 61850, IEC 60870-5, DNP3, or Modbus Server/Slave devices and then supplies this data to other control systems supporting OPC, IEC 60870-6 (TASE.2/ICCP) Client, IEC 60870-5, DNP3, and/or Modbus Client/Master communication protocols.

The core component supporting SCADA infrastructure build by Microsoft products in common. And therefore the attack surface will be divided in several ways. We understand that Nuclear facilties do not provided any public web portal. So direct attacks looks not possible. However Microsoft office products has full market coverage in the world. It is rare that people not using MS-Word for word processing work, right? As a matter of fact, hacker now transform MS office product become a cyber attack media. They re-use former MS office vulnerabilities. It has possibilities execute the Infiltration. From technical point of view, even though attacker send out the RTF format of file. It is also workable.

Remark: RTF is a text file format used by Microsoft products, such as Word and Office. RTF, or Rich Text Format, files were developed by Microsoft in 1987 for use in their products and for cross-platform document interchange. RTF is readable by most word processors.

Quote:

Hackers are using Microsoft Word documents (or more specifically, RTF files listed with a “.doc” extension) to trick people into opening the files.

On this discussion objective, I am not going to drill into any technical details. But our aim would like to provides hints see whether it can enrich the security awareness.
Below details common bad mailicious MS-word documents checklist for reference.

722154A36F32BA10E98020A8AD758A7A MD5 FILENAME:CV Controls Engineer.docx
243511A51088D57E6DF08D5EF52D5499 MD5 FILENAME:CV Control Engeneer.docx
277256F905D7CB07CDCD096CECC27E76 MD5 FILENAME:CV Jon Patrick.docx
4909DB36F71106379832C8CA57BA5BE8 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer.docx
4E4E9AAC289F1C55E50227E2DE66463B MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer.docx
5C6A887A91B18289A70BDD29CC86EBDB MD5 FILENAME:High R-Value Energy.docx
6C3C58F168E883AF1294BBCEA33B03E6 MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
78E90308FF107CE38089DFF16A929431 MD5 FILENAME:CV Jon Patrick.docx
90514DEE65CAF923E829F1E0094D2585 MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
C1529353E33FD3C0D2802BB558414F11 MD5 FILENAME:Build Hydroelectric Turbine.docx
CDA0B7FBDBDCEF1777657182A504283D MD5 FILENAME:Resume_Key_And_Personal.docx
DDE2A6AC540643E2428976B778C43D39 MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
E9A906082DF6383AA8D5DE60F6EF830E MD5 FILENAME:CV_Jon_Patrick.docx
038A97B4E2F37F34B255F0643E49FC9D MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (2).docx
31008DE622CA9526F5F4A1DD3F16F4EA MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (4).docx
5ACC56C93C5BA1318DD2FA9C3509D60B MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (7).docx
65A1A73253F04354886F375B59550B46 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (3).docx
8341E48A6B91750D99A8295C97FD55D5 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (5).docx
99AA0D0ECEEFCE4C0856532181B449B1 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer (8).docx
A6D36749EEBBBC51B552E5803ED1FD58 MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineeer.docx
3C432A21CFD05F976AF8C47A007928F7 MD5 FILENAME:Report03-23-2017.docx
34A11F3D68FD6CDEF04B6DF17BBE8F4D MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
141E78D16456A072C9697454FC6D5F58 MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
BFA54CCC770DCCE8FD4929B7C1176470 MD5 FILENAME:invite.docx
848775BAB0801E5BB15B33FA4FCA573C MD5 FILENAME:Controls Engineer.docx
MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
MD5 FILENAME:corp_rules(2016).docx
MD5 FILENAME:invite.docx

Happy hunting – bye!

New version of black energy cyber attack target Microsoft OLE product design weakness

Ukrainian intel agency has claimed it stopped a cyber attack against a chlorine plant that was launched using the notorious VPNFilter malware. Perhaps the world focusing VPN filter malware spreading and infection. We known earlier last month that such attack targets are the low end wireless router and network access storage (NAS).

However, from my point of view is that the main stream of the cyber attack so far happening not limit to this incident. The fact is that lure the attacker interest to do the re-engineering of their attacks seems maintain on Microsoft office product. What is the key component? Yes, it is OLE objective linking and embedding. Or you may say, if I am following Microsoft patch Tue remediation schedule it will be safe. It looks correct. But normal RTF file, it was able to avoid detection by many security products. And therefore attacker conduct similar hacking technology to execute cyber attack in Ukrainian. The political situation of Ukrainian given a never ending story. Meanwhile the world never without using MS office document!

Reference:

Headlines news – Ukraine claims it blocked VPNFilter attack at chemical plant : https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/13/ukraine_vpnfilter_attack/

My speculation on how Cisco (Talos) found the malware (VPNFilter malware)

My speculation on how Cisco (Talos) found the malware (VPNFilter malware).