Weekly InfoSec Roundup 11/10/17
November 10, 2017 by Syed Abdur

We have lots of interesting news and updates in this week’s InfoSec roundup. With ever evolving and increasing cyber threats, it is more important than ever to address cyber risk proactively, rather than waiting to act until an incident occurs.

 

  • AWS S3 Buckets at Risk of “GhostWriter” MiTM Attack
  • “The exposure of sensitive data via misconfigured AWS S3 buckets has been regular over the last few years. In two months this summer, researchers discovered thousands of potentially sensitive files belonging to the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA); information on millions of Verizon customers; and a database containing details of 198 million American voters.”
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  • The Internet Sees Nearly 30,000 Distinct DoS Attacks Each Day : Study
  • “The incidence of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks has consistently grown over the last few years, steadily becoming one of the biggest threats to Internet stability and reliability. Over the last year or so, the emergence of IoT-based botnets — such as Mirai and more recently Reaper, with as yet unknown total capacity — has left security researchers wondering whether a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack could soon take down the entire internet.”
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  • Global CISOs Unprepared for Evolving Threats
  • “Drawing on insights from 184 global CISOs, the report noted that today’s IT security strategies and tactics are shifting away from a focus on strong perimeters to smart data, networks, devices and applications.”
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  • Majority of US Companies’ DDoS Defenses Breached
  • “Survey finds 69% of companies’ distributed denial-of-service attack defenses were breached in the past year – despite confidence in their mitigation technologies.”
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  • 4 Proactive Steps to Avoid Being the Next Data Breach Victim
  • “Despite highly publicized data breaches, most companies are not taking the necessary actions to prevent them.”
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  • IoT devices are an enterprise security time bomb
  • “The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing serious security concerns for enterprises worldwide with few companies capable of securing them as they are unable to identify devices properly, according to new research.”
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  • Amazon Adds New Encryption, Security Features to S3
  • “Amazon announced this week that it has added five new security and encryption features to its Simple Storage Service (S3), including one that alerts users of publicly accessible buckets.”
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  • ‘Goldilocks’ Legislation Aims to Clean up IoT Security
  • “Cybercrime in general — and most recently, crime perpetrated using IoT devices — has become a serious problem. Legislatures around the world have struggled to write laws to rein things in. The problem has been that governments have issued cybersecurity laws that are either too burdensome or ineffective.”
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  • Forrester: Expect POS Ransomware Outages in 2018
  • “Cyber-criminals will up their game in 2018 to drive profits, targeting IoT systems and installing ransomware on mission critical POS systems, according to Forrester Research”
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  • BankBot Android malware sneaks into the Google Play Store – for the third time
  • “BankBot first appeared in the official Android marketplace in April this year, was removed, and then was discovered to be have returned in September before being removed again. Now BankBot has appeared in the Google Play store yet again, having somehow bypassed the application vetting and security protocols for a third time.”
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  • Google: Our hunt for hackers reveals phishing is far deadlier than data breaches
  • “Google has released the results of a year-long investigation into Gmail account hijacking, which finds that phishing is far riskier for users than data breaches, because of the additional information phishers collect.”
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  • The growing importance of network security for retail brand protection
  • “Information technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the retail sector, and having effective security in place has never been more important when it comes to brand protection. Security incidents can have a big hit on a retailer’s reputation, causing customers reduce their spend or shift allegiance to a competitor.”
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  • How better data governance can help banks keep pace with the rising tide of regulations
  • “Like their counterparts around the world, Australian banks have to operate in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment. Shifting APRA restrictions on lending and looming mandatory data breach notification requirements mean they must constantly review their activities to ensure compliance.”
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  • Brinqa @ Cyber Security Summit, Boston
  • Brinqa was a platinum sponsor at this week’s Cyber Security Summit event in Boston, MA and we had a great time at the conference. Read our recap of the event below.
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  • Brinqa Threat & Vulnerability Management : Connectors
  • Regardless of the scope of Vulnerability Management programs, the ability to connect all relevant systems efficiently and seamlessly is a distinct competitive advantage. This article describes core data integration competencies that security architects and program managers must address when designing their vulnerability management and cyber risk programs.
    Read More

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March 24, 2022
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities and risks to watch for in 2022 – and how to manage them

As breach remediation costs rise, seemingly in direct proportion to the number of attackers and attacks, what are you doing to manage your cybersecurity vulnerabilities and risks?  Sufficient proof is easily found to reinforce that how you respond to threats and breaches can have a significant impact on your business. For example…   The 2021 Ponemon Institute Annual Cost of a Breach Report found that the average cost of a breach rose 10% to $4.24M.  The report also found that it took an average of 287 days to identify and contain a data breach.  Even if you can handle the reputation hit of a breach, and even if your insurer agrees to cover a portion of the damages, do you want to be on the hook for millions of dollars in remediation and restoration costs?  Prevention is easier and less expensive. Your data and intellectual property (IP) are often the most valuable assets you own, and as such are deserving of all the resources your team can muster for effective security vulnerability and risk management. Read on to learn more about the cyber risks to watch out for in 2022 and how you can plan and prepare for them.   What types of cyberattacks can you expect?  Counterintuitive, of course, because many organizations don’t expect  their network to be attacked, any more than they expect it to contain dangerous vulnerabilities. You want to believe those events occur to others, not you. Right?   Except competent hackers can infiltrate your network and steal your data and IP while remaining undetected.   Ransomware attacks For several years now, ransomware attacks have been the fastest growing segment of cybersecurity breaches. Typically, criminals breach an organization and encrypt its data, rendering it unusable. Inaccessible data renders a firm unproductive and unprofitable for as long as the data remains inaccessible. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, for example, led to the shutdown of the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S, which in turn caused fuel shortages across the East Coast.  Criminals also threaten to publicize intellectual property (IP) and customer information, unless they receive a ransom.      Although small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) are at the most risk of criminal ransom demands, payouts can reach seven or eight figures. The highest ransom amount confirmed to have been paid is $40 million USD, by CNA Financial, in May 2021. Few SMBs can afford such extravagance.    Cloud vulnerabilities  The first researchers to discover and report on critical vulnerabilities in the cloud focused on Microsoft Azure infrastructure. In detailing the vulnerabilities, those researchers, who were with Check Point, “wanted to disprove the assumption that cloud infrastructures are secure.”  And did they ever disprove it — the discovered vulnerabilities included those that received the highest possible score of 10.0. The qualitative severity ranking of a score of 9.0-10.0 is “critical.” The discovered vulnerabilities allowed malicious actors to compromise applications and data of those using similar cloud infrastructure. Firmware vulnerabilities Firmware vulnerabilities expose not only the major computer manufacturers, but also their customers. Undiscovered firmware vulnerabilities are especially damaging, because they grant criminals free reign over any network on which the devices are installed, leaving networks open until the vulnerability gets reported and patched.  As the number of connected devices continues to grow, Internet of Things (IoT) security becomes increasingly important to analyze.   Software vulnerabilities Applications contain vulnerabilities. According to Veracode, 75.2% of applications have security flaws, although 24% of those are considered high-severity.  Common flaws include: Information leakage. Carriage Return and Line Feed (CRLF) injection.  Cryptographic challenges. Code quality. Credentials management. Insider threats  Insider theft and trading of secrets is another growing vulnerability area. As demonstrated by recent Cisco and GE breaches,  employees with perceived grievances or bad intentions can choose to steal or wreak all kinds of damage on their employers’ data and networks.  Carelessness and poor training also contribute to insider threats.  Cyber threats to healthcare In recent years criminals have increasingly trained their sights onto hospitals, insurers, clinics, and others in that industry.  A 2016 report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute found the frequency of healthcare industry data breaches has been rising since 2010, and it is now among the sectors most targeted by cyberattacks globally.  Whether or not the reputation is deserved,healthcare industry computer networks are often considered soft targets by malicious actors. In 2021 Armis discovered nine vulnerabilities in critical systems used by 80% of major North American hospitals.  Additionally, rapid health device adoption has increased the number of available targets for malicious breachers. Numerous healthcare devices suffer security flaws, including imaging equipment. Added together, those factors point to an increase in attacks on health care institutions.  Attacks against health care networks threaten lives, not just productivity. Criminals might believe health care administrators are willing to pay ransoms faster to retrieve health data and help patients. That’s not always the case, as ransomware allegedly led to the death of an infant and was initially thought responsible for the death of a German patient.   Individual medical data – name, birth date, blood type, surgeries, diagnoses, and other personally identifiable information – is particularly interesting to criminals. Once compromised, it’s impossible to restore patient privacy, just as it’s impossible to reverse the social and psychological harm inflicted.  Forgotten cyber hygiene  When IT professionals are always in stressful firefighting mode, they can’t be expected to remember everything. 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Brinqa and Apache Log4j Vulnerabilities

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