It seems that PC makers are not happy with the Intel’s Management Engine (IME) and the flaws that keep being found in it. The original flaw allowed attackers a clean way to compromise a system including uploading malware and exfiltrating data. This could be done in a way that bypassed most security systems and even allowed for tampering with the UEFI BIOS if the attacker was sophisticated enough. To their credit, Intel did warn people and manufacturers about this and patched it fairly quickly. The problem is, now that the cat is out of the bag about one flaw; there are sure to be more.
Def Con 25, Las Vegas, NV –
Your phone rings and you check the number as a precaution against marketing calls and it looks like it is from your office. The voice on the other end says that there is an issue on the network and they need your assistance to troubleshoot. The person is calm, friendly and helpful so you agree to assist. By the time it is all done you have in advertently given away vital information about your network to a potential attacker.
A few days ago we published an article that covered a leaked batch of emails that showed Kaspersky has worked with the Russian Government. We also covered that the pieces of the emails that were published were completely out of context, and also are nothing out of the ordinary for a company that has a contract with a Government body. Kaspersky's denial of cooperation is also nothing new, so why the big deal in the media? Well we might have found a few pieces to that puzzle which would certainly explain the big push to discredit Kaspersky.
Questionable security practices aside, it seems that just about every "big" scandal lately has had leaked emails as some sort of component. In the latest such scandal we find that leaked Kaspersky emails are at the core of the US National Security policy maker's concerns over the company and the use of the product inside the US. According to "internal company emails obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek" Kaspersky has had a rather close relationship with Russian intelligence agencies.
You have probably seen a message, or email, or even a recent Facebook post claiming that a dangerous Facebook Hacker by the name of Jayden K Smith working his way through the Facebook community and hacking user accounts with ease. In fact, this "hacker" is so good that you are at risk if even one of your friends has him in their friends list. This is quite scary and also not real at all. Yup, that message, email, or post is just like every other chain message out there, completely full of crap.
WikiLeaks is at it again with their "Vault 7" releases. This time part of the dump features a nice little took kit for continued exploitation of some Linux systems. The tool kit is called OutlawCountry and is, to be perfectly honest, not much more than a remote management, monitoring and exfiltration tool. It is intended to run in the background on a system after a vulnerability has been exploited to allow the payload to be pushed. It looks very similar to a tool that the NSA used for years and has now become the commercial product Kaseya.
Remote management and access tools are great things for IT staff to use, but if they are not set up correctly or they have bugs hidden in the code they can quickly become a nightmare. Intel’s AMT (Active Management Technology) suite of tools recently was found to have a rather nasty little surprise hidden in them. It seems that a flaw in the way their SOL (Serial on LAN) tool runs combined with the way Windows deals with AMT allowed attackers to use AMT to deploy malware and to exfiltrate data from a compromised system.
DEF CON 24 - Las Vegas, NV
The term Honey Pot is one that most people are very aware of. It is a form of detection that is designed to lure an attacker into targeting a simulated system so that you can identify their techniques and tools. Honey pots have been used to gather intelligence about bot nets, malware in the wild and many other forms of malicious activity. The problem now is that these simulated systems are very easy to identify and avoid by today’s advanced attackers.
These days it is not unheard of for something as simple as a printer to have all sorts of bells and whistles. You can find wireless, remote file access, remote (web) printing and more. These devices also have very advanced controls that are often accessible through a web interface. All of this technology can be had for very little money making advanced printers a common thing in the market. The downside? Well there is also very little security in these products. Walking through a business the other day with my WiFi sniffer on I found multiple, unprotected wireless networks screaming at me to join. Without exception these were all printers connected to the company’s network. All easy prey if I was up to no good.
We have written numerous articles on how bad corporate mentality is shaping security and risking your data, but we have one more to share with you today. We can also guarantee that this will not be the last one we write about. According to news reports the company EagleSoft has responded to a security researcher (part time) by asking the FBI to treat him like a criminal, instead of just fixing the issue as reported. The researcher’s name is Justin Shafer and his crime was reporting unencrypted patient data left on an open FTP server by EagleSoft. The FTP server did not require a logon to access the data, but EagleSoft, in order to protect themselves are trying to play this off as a criminal act.