From The Blog

The idea of DLL hijacking is a well known one and one that is used by attackers to compromise security tools and even sophisticated anti-malware solutions. DLLs (Dynamic Link Library) are not much more than static files that sit idle on a system until loaded. These libraries contain information that is important to the operation of the program calling it. If an attacker can replace a DLL with one of their own that prevents or alters the operation of the calling program, they have successfully hijacked it. Because of the flexibility and shared nature of DLL they are an easy target.

Ransomware is a huge shadow over many businesses and individuals’ heads. It has loomed as a significant threat since the first stains hit the internet inside malicious zip files masquerading as “Xerox” documents. Since that time ransomware and the groups behind it have evolved significantly. At the top of the food chain are groups like Hive and Conti who have not only evolved their own tools but utilize strategic approaches to their organizations complete with acquisitions and, in some cases, attempted legitimate business fronts to further their activities.

Google is an odd company. They have used the personal vs corporate data ownership line like a jump rope over the years. We have watched them for a long time and all we can say is that their track record on protecting personal information and privacy has been both good and bad with them being on the bad side for most of recent history. After being a vehement opposer of bills like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect our Intellectual Property Act) they quickly dropped those stances and started facilitating blanket takedown noticed from the MPAA (now the MPA) and RIAA. The blanket notices often came from law firms that provided little more than links to Google which Google then removed from their search engine and YouTube.

It Cloud services are exceptionally popular as a cost effective and simple method to maintain common operational needs. Everything from email to fully fledged infrastructures can be maintained in the “cloud”. All of these can be accomplished at lower overall cost than trying to maintain the same systems on prem. By shifting the general operation, maintenance and even security to the cloud service provider organizations get to reduce their total ownership cost including reducing the number of skilled employees they need to keep on staff. This reduction in the total cost of ownership and maintenance is a huge item when you are trying to ensure profitability.

April must be the month for new malware tools to be released, or at least announced as we have already heard about new forms of attack/infection from the group behind Emotet and now we hear that Conti has replaced BazarLoader with new malware tracked as Bumblebee. The newly disclosed malware is also under active development with multiple new features showing up this month.

A new flaw has been identified in the Node.js package manager, NPM. The flaw is being described as a logical flaw, but in reading over the data it seems more like a permissions flaw. The good news is that as of April 26, the flaw has been addressed by NPM, the bad is that it was in play until then. According to the researchers that discovered it, the flaw related to the way you can attach other accounts to an uploaded package.

Yesterday we told you that the gang behind Emotet was looking to used Excel add-ins as a possible new technique to compromise systems as part of their spamming campaigns. The detected techniques were labeled as potentially being part of research and development efforts on the part of the group TA542 due to changes Microsoft is making in Office (and ones many admins already push). The R&D efforts do not stop there though as multiple security research teams are now saying they have identified another new technique associated with Emotet.

TA542 the wonderful people that brought you Emotet appears to be in the middle of a development and testing cycle on new delivery methods. According to researchers at ProofPoint the creators or the Emotet Botnet are potentially looking to find a new delivery method in response to the, long overdue, default disabling of VBA based Macros by Microsoft in their office products. Although ProofPoint seems to think this is development testing, the activity could also be part of a more targeted campaign.

It seems that Amazon’s hotfix for Log4Shell in their AWS environment might have been a bit rushed. According to a review of the hot there are a total of four CVEs specifically related to the hotfix and how it functions. CVE-2021-3100, CVE-2021-3101, CVE-2022-0070, and CVE-2022-0071 have a CVSS score of 8.8 and allow for privilege escalation and container escape. It is not often that a fix for one bad bug contains a potentially worse one, but here we are.

The breach of IDAM group Okta in January by the self-promoting group Lapsus$ amidst other high-profile breaches and data leaks this year was a significant concern. The concern rose because when the incident first happened, Okta passed it off as an unsuccessful attempt to breach a third-party vendor’s system that had access to Okta systems. However, in March the Lapsus$ group released screenshots of internal systems including what appeared to be Okta’s superuser system.