It seems that is the time once again to talk about the relationship between software vendors and the security posture of different business verticals. Why are we beating this particular dead horse? Well with the Covid-19 Pandemic, the rush to shift to remote work force and an increase in attacker activity aimed at the remote workforce and healthcare you would think that there would be an increase level of effort to fix vulnerabilities in remote access and healthcare services software. If you thought that, you would be wrong. Instead during this time, we are seeing more software vendors pushing FDA as law and healthcare organizations even refusing opportunities to patch critical software. This on top of an extremely slow response to threat to the remote workplace.
Although not a new subject here at DecryptedTech we thought it was time for us to dive into three of serious issues in the security world (out of many). The three we are covering today are emerging technologies, stale technologies and how the security, and IT, skill set seems to be diminishing. All three are cause for concern and often seen as at least contributing factors in breaches. What make this more interesting is that in many cases the three are connected.
When you think about operating system updates you probably do not think about the security team. Sure, there are security patches and such, but those are on the operations team and not really pushed out by the security team. Well, that is when they are done properly by the OS vendor.
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.
Black Hat 2017, Las Vegas, NV -
When an attacker gains a foothold in a network the first thing they need to do is learn the lay of the land. They have done some research on the target to gather information about possible systems they might encounter. In reality, they do not truly know what is going on. They are likely to have hit an exposed system with little true access into the good parts of the network. They are going to need to check shares, network connections and also scrape memory for and stored credentials. With these in had they begin the process of moving around the network and building their map of the target environment.
Black Hat USA 2017 - Las Vegas, NV.
Another company that we have the chance to sit down with was Attivo Networks. Attivo, if you are not familiar with them specialize in network deception through the use of projected systems. These are systems that do not really exist in the network but that occupy space and would appear real to someone looking at the network from behind the scenes. They use different methods to make these systems appear to be real including mapped drives (that are invisible to an actual user). This way when a system on the network is compromised an attacker might be fooled into interacting with a deception system and give themselves away.
Black Hat USA 2017 - Las Vegas, NV
When you think of Dell you might get many different images that come to mind. For some they might think about the 90s and the “you’re getting a Dell Dude” guy. Others might think about servers, or corporate desktops. In recent years, you might think about Dell’s push back into the performance market. However, for a large number of people you would not think about Security when the Dell name gets tossed out. This would be a mistake though as Dell does have a large team of people that work on security. This is not just for Dell products, but also for other products that are outside of the Dell realm. While at Black Hat 2017 I had the chance to site down with Brett Hansen, VIce President of Dell Data Security and we talked about some of the security offerings that Dell has.
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.