Category Archives: Under our observation

CISA urges to be vigilant! About GPS Daemon (GPSD) Rollover Bug (21st Oct, 2021)

Preface: If you are using a security token (fobs or software), when there is a problem with the NTP time source. This is unforeseen. Maybe there is nothing wrong with it. Or, in the worst case, similar you mistaken reset the NTP server time setting. Therefore, all your tokens should be suspended.

Background: Because in the original GPS protocol, only 10 bits were used to represent the week number. If there are 10 bits, it will overflow after counting to 1023, so it can only indicate about 19.6 years. Since the GPS time epoch (epoch) began in the early 1980s, there have been two rollover events (in 1999 and 2019, respectively). In April 2019, Headline News (The Register) announced this vulnerability to the public. It indicates that if you do not or cannot update, there will be a problem. Over time, the deadline has arrived.

Vulnerability details: Due to the design of the GPS protocol, time rollback (or technically termed “GPS Week Rollover”) can be anticipated and usually closely monitored by manufacturers. The next occurrence should have been in November 2038 , but a bug in some sanity checking code within GPSD would cause it to subtract 1024 from the week number on October 24, 2021. This would mean NTP servers using the bugged GPSD version would show a time/date of March 2002 after October 24, 2021.

Official details for reference: https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Keeping+Track+of+Time+Network+Time+Protocol+and+a+GPSD+Bug/27886/

Fastly CDN outage, perhaps not cyber attack (4th Oct, 2021)

Preface: In addition to cyber security attacks. Cloud service providers face different technical challenges, including software and hardware levels.

Background: Fastly is a company that provides content delivery network (CDN) services, mainly providing host static content and quickly showing it to Internet users. Fastly peers with other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Networks with IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity on Autonomous System (AS) 54113 for the purpose of exchanging traffic between these networks.

Service instability Report on October 4, 2021: It is reported that during the partial paralysis of Fastly CDN, Internet websites and services using the Fastly Content delivery Network (CDN) could not be used normally for more than an hour. Some users cannot access it directly, while others have entered an unexpected version of the website.

Their design attracted my attention: Fastly cloud distributed routing agent, called Silverton, which orchestrates route configuration within Fastly POPs. Silverton peers with the BGP daemon, BIRD, which interfaces with the outside internet. BIRD supports Internet Protocol version 4 and version 6 by running separate daemons. It establishes multiple routing tables,hand uses BGP, RIP, and OSPF routing protocols, as well as statically defined routes. If one service node have problem occurred which let the service up and down frequently (reboot). OSPF will update the routing table until completed. Whereby, it cause network traffic in slow response.

Current Status: Maybe we should wait for the supplier to announce the reason.

Stealth attack of UEFI bootkit (29th Sep 2021)

Preface: Digital spyware and monitoring tech that allows the user to covertly monitor a target’s communications, or collect personal data emitted from their devices.

Background: FinFisher, also known as FinSpy, is surveillance software marketed by Lench IT Solutions plc, which markets the spyware through law enforcement channels. On August 6, 2014, FinFisher source code, pricing, support history, and other related data were retrieved from the Gamma International internal network and made available on the Internet.

Synopsis: Found a UEFI bootkit that was loading FinSpy. All machines infected with the UEFI bootkit.

Impact:
– Bypasses kernel protections (NX and Patch guard)
– Bypasses local authentication
– Elevated process privileges

Technical details: Found a UEFI bootkit that was loading FinSpy. All machines infected with the UEFI bootkit had the Windows Boot Manager (bootmgfw.efi) replaced with a malicious one. Kaspersky said.

Ref: FinSpy is a full-fledged surveillance software suite, capable of intercepting communications, accessing private data, and recording audio.

For more detailed information on the findings of this survey, please visit the Kaspersky website for details – https://securelist.com/finspy-unseen-findings/104322/#iocs

Security Focus on Microsoft windows CMD Stack Buffer Overflow (19-09-2021)

Preface: Twenty years ago, content filter firewalls were not popular. A quick way to harden the Microsoft Internet Information server is to delete all cmd commands to avoid network attacks.

Background: If you would like to run cmd in privileged mode. You have to do the following:

  1. type “CMD” you can hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter to open as administration
  2. Explorer – Hold Shift and right click on a folder, and choose “Open command window here”

To use multiple commands for , separate them by the command separator && and enclose them in quotation marks.

Vulnerability details: Expert found that special crafted payload will trigger a Stack Buffer Overflow in the NT Windows “cmd[.]exe” commandline interpreter. Furthermore, running file type especially [dot]cmd or [bot]bat will be risky. However, when cmd[.]exe accepts arguments using /c /k flags which execute commands specified by string, that will trigger the buffer overflow condition.

Above attack only exploit in local workstation. Do you think it can do it remotely? As far as I remember, if the situation is available. For example, Windows OS server encounter zero day or not patched.The netcat tool can do a remote command execution by CMD. Refer to attached diagram, if the stack buffer overflow run by tool to exploit by concept. Therefore this vulnerability will become more risky.

Observation: If your are using application firewall. It will drop the malicious traffic including netcat command automatically. Since this idea is still in concept stage. So, no need to worries.

Unkown backdoor run on TCP 7614, virtual patching is one of the protective control methods (12th Sep, 2021)

Preface: Virtual patching acts as a safety measure against threats that exploit known and unknown vulnerabilities. Virtual patching works by implementing layers of security policies and rules that prevent and intercept an exploit from taking network paths to and from a vulnerability.

Background: This is so called Evasion Techniques. One of the first techniques that attackers use to avoid antivirus detection. The idea used by malware authors is do reverse engineering the software design. The goal is to obfuscate the defense mechanism detection. The files using de-assembly method for landing the victim workstation.

Create a hidden worksheet. Use a base 64 encoded to convert the exe to text. Store that text in worksheet cells on the hidden worksheet. Since there is a limit on the number of characters in a cell (32,767), cyber criminals need to break the string into chunks.

Security Focus: A Backdoor program (Backdoor.Win32.Wollf.h) was found in victim workstation. It has been rated as critical. Affected by this issue is some unknown functionality of the component Service Port 7614. Wollf backdoor creates a service named “wrm” and listens on TCP port 7614, there is no authentication allowing anyone to take over the infected system.

Workaround: Addressing this vulnerability is possible by firewalling or MSSP can be used to assist in implementing virtual patches to solve this problem.

Infection channel: Excel file with malicious code embedded in email attachment.

Interested topic last week (AWS “AKIA” discussion) – 5th Sep, 2021

Preface: On 2014, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is asking those that write code and use GitHub to go back and check their work to make sure they didn’t forget to remove login credentials. The warning comes as news is circulating about the availability of nearly 10,000 AWS keys in plain sight on GitHub just by running a simple query.

Background: Security expert found that search for it through source-code on the web, you can find further words by doing find the word ‘AKIA’ to find the Access Key and you can get the Secret key too, if you have found it you can do AWS Configuration.

GitHub does not allow searching of regular expressions in code, and thus the naive approach to search for such patterns is to create a clone of every repository – essentially a mirror of GitHub – and then search their contents for such patterns.

Ref:IAM access key IDs beginning with AKIA are long-term credentials, and access key IDs beginning with ASIA are temporary credentials. ASIA credentials are used with AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) operations for temporary access to AWS services.

Best practice recommended by vendor:

-Note that we recommended against using the root user for everyday work in AWS.

-As a security best practice, we recommended that you regularly rotate (change) IAM user access keys.

-You can review the AWS access keys in your code to determine whether the keys are from an account that you own.

Another flaw prompted an urgent U.S. government warning and providing Guidance (Azure Cosmos DB) – 29th Aug 2021

Preface: Data scientists are big data wranglers, gathering and analyzing large sets of structured and unstructured data. Jupyter Notebooks allow data scientists to create and share their documents, from codes to full blown reports (Help them streamline their work).

Background: Azure Cosmos DB built-in Jupyter Notebooks are directly integrated into the Azure portal and Azure Cosmos DB accounts, let data scientists easy to use. The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more.

Speculation related to this matter: A trojan malware campaign found November last year (2020) is targeting businesses and higher education in what appears to be an effort to steal usernames, passwords and other private information as well as creating a persistent backdoor onto compromised systems.

Vulnerability details: A misconfiguration vulnerability in Microsoft’s Azure Cosmos DB that may have exposed customer data. In the first step, the attacker will gained access to the client’s Cosmos DB primary key. For example, exploit the vulnerability on Jupyter Notebook (virtual machine) to get the key.

Ref: Primary keys are long-lived and allow full READ/WRITE/DELETE access to customer data.

Workaround: Navigate to your Azure Cosmos DB account on the Azure portal and Regenerate Secondary Key. Please refer to url for details – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cosmos-db/secure-access-to-data?tabs=using-primary-key#primary-keys

CISA announcement – https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/current-activity/2021/08/27/microsoft-azure-cosmos-db-guidance

CISA cyber Security Alert – About the May 2021 MS patch (21st Aug, 2021)

Preface: With Exchange Server vNext, Microsoft is phasing out the on-premise delivery model, making Exchange Server 2019 the last on-premise product version.

Point of view: Perhaps quite a lot of people will be surprised of this notification. Since more and more organizations has been migrated the mail server to office 365. The patch issued on May 2021 was applied already. But the patch management from small to medium firm not easy to managed. It is quite common that a one I.T. technical support person supporting everything. It is unbelievable but it is factual. You can see a lot of large size mailbox not being managed. Furthermore, the patch management may not do it immediately. It wait for their schedule time window to do the patch management. As a result, before they conduct patch management. Attacker may landed to their email server. Apart of lack of SIEM facility, only relies on a single firewall is hard to defense such vulnerability attack. Or you will say, will the local OS antivirus can be do the detection. The answer is that if the antivirus feature do not involve to content security filter function. Therefore the attack might have chance to do the evasion . I believe that CISA on their malware sink hole infrastructure will see the details. And this is the objective of this alert.

Ref: Apart from design weakness (vulnerability). The modern architecture is virtual machine infrastructure. It is not rare that the exchange server front-end and back-end are located in same hardware box because we are living in virtual machine world. So if such vulnerability occur in an on premise infrastructure. The risk will be rapidly increase.

Vulnerability details: Malicious cyber actors are actively exploiting the following ProxyShell vulnerabilities:
CVE-2021-34473, CVE-2021-34523, and CVE-2021-31207.

An attacker exploiting these vulnerabilities could execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable machine. Details can be found in the following link (CISA official announcement) – https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/current-activity/2021/08/21/urgent-protect-against-active-exploitation-proxyshell

Kubernetes Hardening Guidance by NSA & CISA (3rd Aug 2021)

Preface: Docker helps to “create” containers, and Kubernetes allows you to “manage” them at runtime. What is Kubernetes Security? That is Cloud, Cluster, Container and code.

Background: Kubernetes is commonly targeted for three reasons observing by NSA and CISA. They are data theft, computational power theft, or denial of service. Cyber attacks encountered in the Kubernetes environment in 2020. Details are as follow:

Capital One – Occurring in 2019, this breach saw 30GB of credit application data affecting about 106 million people being exfiltrated.
A mis-configured firewall that allowed an attacker to query internal metadata and gain credentials of an Amazon Web Services
Docker hub – Attackers managed to plant malicious images in the Docker hub. unknowingly deployed cryptocurrency miners in the form of Docker
containers that then diverted compute resources toward mining cryptocurrency for the attacker.
Microsoft Azure – Microsoft is another organization that’s been seeing a lot of cryptojacking woes of its own. After disclosing that there was a large-scale cryptomining attack against Kubernetes cluster in Azure in April 2020.
Telsa – Automaker Tesla was one of the earlier victims of cryptojacking when a Kubernetes cluster was compromised due to an administrative
console not being password protected.(Mis-configuration)
Jenkins – Hackers managed to exploit a vulnerability in Jenkins to cryptomine to the tune of about $3.5 million, or 10,800 Monero in 18 months. In Docker’s operation environment, it was discovered that six malicious images had been collectively pulled over 2 million times, that’s 2 million users potentially mining Monero for the attacker.

To avoid similar incidents from happening – The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a Cybersecurity Technical Report, “Kubernetes Hardening Guidance,” Primary actions include the scanning of containers and Pods for vulnerabilities or mis-configurations, running containers and Pods with the least privileges possible, and using network separation, firewalls, strong authentication, and log auditing. Please refer to the link for details – https://www.nsa.gov/News-Features/Feature-Stories/Article-View/Article/2716980/nsa-cisa-release-kubernetes-hardening-guidance/

DarkSide Ransomware ready to move. Operational Technology (OT) should staying alert (7-7-2021)

Preface: IDC report predicted that By 2024, 60% of industrial organizations will integrate data from edge OT systems with cloud-based reporting and analytics, moving from single-asset views to sitewide operational awareness.

Background: PowerShell provides an adversary with a convenient interface for enumerating and manipulating a host system after the adversary has gained initial code execution.

Security Focus: According to the observation of the security company. You can use PowerShell to execute various Base64 encoding commands. The trend of operation technology will be programmed and developed on powershell.
Cybercriminals responsible for ransomware activities often try to delete them so that their victims cannot restore file access by restoring to shadow copies. The method is to use this (Invoke-ReflectivePEInjection to directly inject DLL into PowerShell).
Meanwhile, they require system administrator privileges, so they rely on zero-day and unpatched victim workstations for privilege escalation.

Remark: What’s more telling is the inclusion of function names that correspond with a PowerShell payload called “Invoke-ReflectivePEInjection”, which lets an attacker inject a dynamic link library (DLL) directly into PowerShell.

Should you have interested of above details. CISA Publishes Malware Analysis Report and Updates Alert on DarkSide Ransomware. For more details, please refer to link – https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/alerts/aa21-131a