Category Archives: Under our observation

In order to avoid MS ‘.Group’ file handling RCE vulnerability. Think it before click – Jan 2020

Preface: Perhaps you would say the ‘.group’ file handling is the design defect. So hacker exploit social engineer trigger this vulnerability (GROUP FILE URL FIELD CODE EXECUTION). Do you agree?

What is a GROUP file? The file is located inside this location: C:\Program Files\Windows Mail.

Vulnerability details: Microsoft Windows is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. Attackers can exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user. Failed attacks will cause denial of service conditions.

Former 0-day record: About eleven months ago, Microsoft ‘.contact’ File vulnerability found. It allow Arbitrary Code Execution. Less than 1 year, there is another vulnerability occurs on ‘.group’ file handling. Perhaps the WAB.exe features could be do a re-engineering.

Reference url: https://www.symantec.com/security-center/vulnerabilities/writeup/111355?om_rssid=sr-advisories

about ransomware attack on Maastricht University – 24th Dec 2019

Preface: Maastricht University (UM) encountered serious cyber attack,” the university announced on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019.

Synopsis: Not known the root cause but if ransomware can spread out in a quick way most likely it exploit of the Microsoft SMB Protocol.
Perhaps it is affected by RYUK Ransomware !
Other than that Maastricht University relies on Github with technology programs development. Meanwhile, it similar create a pathway let the cybercriminals fork other projects, which on Github means producing a copy of someone else’s project, to build upon the project or to use as a starting point and subsequently push a new commit with the malware to the project. Such malware can connecting to a GitHub account to obtain the exact location of its C&C servers. Then activate ransomware infection.

Observation: Has any personal information leaked? Therefore, this will be relevant to GDPR regulations.
It is currently unknown if scientific data was also accessed or exfiltrated by the attackers during the attack.

Headline News: Please refer to https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/ransomware-hits-maastricht-university-all-systems-taken-down/

CVE 2019-19492 (FreeSWITCH 1.6.10 through 1.10.1 has a default password in event_socket.conf.xml) Remote command execution – Last update: 26th Dec 2019

Preface: FreeSWITCH is a Software Defined Telecom Stack enabling the digital transformation from proprietary telecom switches to a versatile software implementation that runs on any commodity hardware.

Background: FreeSWITCH listens on port 8021 by default and will accept and run commands sent to it after authenticating. By default commands are not accepted from remote hosts.

Design weakness: FreeSWITCH 1.6.10 through 1.10.1 has a default password in event_socket.conf.xml. How do hackers exploit vulnerabilities: Since the design weakness shown the default password in event_socket.conf.xml. By default commands are not accepted from remote hosts. If an attacker do python socket programming. It can use the default password and excute the command remotely.

Remedy: It is recommended to block all untrusted python socket connections with a firewall on this device until the vendor provides an official patch.

Not a serious mistake and could cause more trouble! (21st Dec, 2019)

Preface: Computer technology especially software application is the soul of digital world.

Background: Pingbacks (also known as trackbacks) are a form of automated comment for a page or post, created when another WordPress blog links to that page or post. When you publish a new blog post, WordPress attempts to ‘ping‘ all the sites that were linked to in your post. i.e. Your WordPress website is informing other websites that you’ve linked to them.

Design weakness: Trackbacks and Pingbacks were meant to help inter-blog conversation when the specification was created years ago. These days almost 100% of Trackbacks and Pingbacks are spam, said Akismet. May cause more trouble!

Comments: WordPress release ver 5.3.1 on December 2019. However above concerns seem not been addressed in the moment. Heard that attacker can exploit the weakness of pingback. And work together with XML-RPC. As a result, it will consume system resources causes a denial of service. So we must staying alert!

Remedy: Refer to diagram

5.3.1 Official announcementhttps://wordpress.org/support/wordpress-version/version-5-3-1/

How we focus design weakness?

Preface: Flaws that require root access are not considered security issues in existing policy. If we are not using cloud computing concept. It is acceptable. But we need cloud system!

Security focus: Turkish information security specialist found a design weakness in Windows kernel design. According to the vendor’s Bug Bounty program rules, flaws that require root access are not considered security issues and are not classified as vulnerabilities. However our the whole IT world in the trend of cloud technology. It is hard to guarantee similar type of vulnerability will be impact the public cloud farm. Perhaps it might have possibility to do a re-engineering become as a Surveillance tool.

Defect details: An PoC tool proof that it can hijacks the HalPrivateDispatchTable table to create a early-bugcheck hook. Utilizing this early-bugcheck hook it collects information about the exception and basically provides a simple interface to register a high-level system-wide exception handler. My intention is going to urge Microsoft should be consider this technical issue. Perhaps it may become a zero-day. So I do not display related url.Should you have interested of this topic, not difficult to do a search. You will find the details.

Reference:

The ntoskrnl.exe kernel service, which is responsible for handling exceptions, system call procedures, and thread scheduling in Windows.

Kernel Patch Protection (KPP), informally known as PatchGuard, is a feature of 64-bit (x64) editions of Microsoft Windows that prevents patching the kernel.

Fundamental design concept – related to this matter:

  1. RSPx is loaded in whenever an interrupt causes the CPU to change PL to x. The TSS in long mode also holds the Interrupt Stack Table, which is a table of 7 known good stack pointers that can be used for handling interrupts.
  2. BKPT #0x3 ; Breakpoint with immediate value set to 0x3 (debugger can ; extract the immediate value by locating it using the PC- (program counter))
  3. x86_64 also has a feature which is not available on i386, the ability to automatically switch to a new stack for designated events such as double fault or NMI, which makes it easier to handle these unusual events on x86_64. This feature is called the Interrupt Stack Table (IST). There can be up to 7 IST entries per CPU. The IST code is an index into the Task State Segment (TSS). The IST entries in the TSS point to dedicated stacks; each stack can be a different size.

This topic is under our observation.

Gun and bullet – SMBV1 and Ransomware (Nov 2019)

Preface: Starting from around 2012 the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally.

Background: About 5 days ago, headline news of Bloomberg told that cyber criminals compromised the IT infrastructure for Mexican Petroleum. Meanwhile, hacker hopes to extract nearly $5 million from the company, with a final deadline of 30th November, 2019.

Tremendous incident record: EternalBlue leaked by the Shadow Brokers hacker group on April 14, 2017, one month after Microsoft released patches for the vulnerability. EternalBlue opened the door to one of the nastiest ransomware outbreaks in history, known as WannaCryptor.

Our point of view: Most older NAS devices do not support SMB version 2 or above, even though it can be do a firmware upgrade. But system admin sometimes lack of awareness or running out of labor resources. And therefore remains SMB V1 on the workstation. As a matter of fact, it let the small to medium size enterprise shot by ransomware. Even though manufacturing and petroleum industries you might found SMB v1 still alive in their place. Perhaps this is the story began.

For more information on headline news, please refer – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-13/a-hacker-wants-about-5-million-from-pemex-by-end-of-november

Suspected that Podman-Varlink encounter Remote Code Execution – Under observation (14th Oct 2019)

Preface: Red Hat is investing in CRI-O and Podman. Meanwhile they are involved in the Open Container Initiative Standards Organization. The goal is to contribute and introduce drive innovation in their products, such as Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Background: Podman decide to provide a simple CLI for managing pods and containers. The design goal of Varlink aims to make services accessible to both humans and machines in the simplest feasible way. They described its product is an “interface description format and protocol”. It is just such another. Podman decided to build the Podman API based on varlink so users and developers can interact with Podman programmatically.

Design Synopsis: Podman relies on a Systemd feature called socket activation. Systemd allows developers to create socket unit files that tells systemd to listen on a particular socket like the unix domain socket “/run/io.projectatomic.podman”. When a process connects to this socket, systemd will launch the command specified in the service file with the same name. The launched command then handles the socket communications.

Vulnerability details: Depend on how Podman and Varlink are deployed, they can be susceptible to local and remote attacks. There are a few API bugs in Podman itself, as well as a way to execute arbitary commands if one can hit Podman via the Remote API. Running Podman with Varlink over tcp listening either on localhost or the network interface is the most vulnerable setup. For more details, please refer to diagram.

NCSC prediction – DNS monitoring will get harder (Sep 2019)

Preface: DNS monitoring can let you predict the user behaviour. According to Cisco’s research, over 90% of attacks are done over DNS and only two-thirds of organizations monitor their DNS records.

Technical details:
Go to options->Advanced->Network->Settings->Automatic proxy configuration url and enter 8.8.8.8 All you Mozilla traffic uses Google dns now. Google Public DNS fully supports DNSSEC for Domain Name Security Extensions which works against cache poisoning attacks. Meanwhile if mobile device leave company network, DDNS given by wireless hotspot might have way to leave your monitoring. Due to above feature, the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a fact sheet on the increasing difficulty of Domain Name System (DNS) monitoring. For more details, please refer to URL: https://english.ncsc.nl/publications/factsheets/2019/oktober/2/factsheet-dns-monitoring-will-get-harder

Previous NFS 4.1 vulnerability (CVE-2018-16884) show linux kernel design weakness.

Preface: A vulnerability in the NFS41+ subsystem of the Linux Kernel could allow an authenticated, adjacent attacker execute arbitrary code on a targeted system. The vulnerability exists because the bc_svc_process() function of the affected software uses the wrong back-channel ID. use-after-free in svc_process_common

The defect not only affected software uses the wrong back-channel ID. Furthermore it causes access freed memory because of use-after-free vulnerability in svc_process_common(). Perhaps Use-After-Free Vulnerabilities in Linux Kernel are common. Most likely causes by the following factors.

  • use an object without checking whether the pointer is valid
  • free an object without cleaning the pointer

Doubt: If all the objects in a cache are freed, the whole space of the cache is going to be recycled by the kernel.
Was the space definitely to be re-used for a cache storing the objects of the original type? No.
So it is benefit for attacker.

For NFS 4.1 matter, it was highly recommended to following Best Practices guideline. For instance, If you use NFS version 3 and NFS version 4.1, do not mix them on the same volumes/data shares. Separate the backend storage NFS network from any client traffic.

For remedy of the “use after free” vulnerability of NFS41 – Please refer to url: https://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/10733769/

it might be new path way in cyber attack. yes, it is uefi.

Preface: UEFI has slowly come to replace BIOS. Whereby Intel schedule to completely replace BIOS with UEFI on all chipsets by 2020.

Quote: Firmware is software, and is therefore vulnerable to the same threats that typically target software.

Technical details: From technical point of view, EFI Runtime services are usually located below 4GB. As a result it has a way into Linux on high memory EFI booting systems.

What is the different when malware alive into these areas?

  • Malware injected into the address space is transient, and will be cleaned up on the next boot.
  • Malware injected into the firmware flash regions is persistent, and will run on every subsequent boot

Using the follow command can display x509 v3 digital certificate and confirm thatgrubx64.efi can read (/boot/efi/EFI/fedora/)grub.cfg. Oh! It is easy to access this file when you have root privileges. But do not contempt this issue.

  • sudo tree /boot/efi
  • sudo hexdump -C /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/shim.efi | egrep -i -C 2 ‘grub|g.r.u.b’
  • sudo strings /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grubx64.efi | grep grub.cfg

Sound interesting. Should you have interested, please refer below guide book :NIST Special Publication 800-147 BIOS Protection Guidelines https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nistspecialpublication800-147.pdf