IT Security

Why is user awareness training important for IT security? Phishing operations represent 41% of cyber breach incidents according to the IBM X-Force report. Deloitte estimates phishing to be the initial attack vector in 91% of cyber breaches.   These estimates put phishing at the forefront of corporate attack surface because they identify phishing as the most successful method used by attackers to compromise a system and gain initial access to a victim’s network.  In response, organizations need to increase their resilience against phishing and other types of social engineering attacks. By testing their staff’s ability to effectively identify phishing attempts and malspam and providing educational material, an organization can identify potential weaknesses and reduce the chance that an employee will fall prey to an attack.  Of course, secondary cybersecurity measures should be in place to detect and respond to a successful phishing attack, user awareness training is a good practice…

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@0x0SojalSec tweeted out a pure genius one-liner for automated SQL Injection pentesting and it while it was mind-blowing, it is also useful to dissect into the various elements.  Along the way we can learn some great tools for command line penetration testing! Check out the original tweet or the image below: This is a great example of how automated toolkits can provide do a lot of work that doesn’t cost a lot of time.  So, let’s disect the command and learn 5 great command line tools from @0x0SojalSec’s sorcery that will certainly prove useful on a pen-testing engagement. #1 – subfinder Subfinder is a command line tool from ProjectDiscovery.io  that accepts a top-level domain and will return a set of subdomains from historical DNS records.  Whenever relying on historical DNS records, the output is only as good as the service’s repository of historical data, but ProjectDiscovery’s service is top notch. …

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Nessus is an enterprise vulnerability scanner that can perform external and internal credentialed scans and can support a continuous vulnerability management program.  Nessus favors ease of use as compared to granular control over scanning which allows quick and efficient scanning configuration.  Nessus comes with many pre-configured scans for PCI-DSS, compliance OVAL, and SCAP scanning, and many scans for novel threats such as Solarigate, CISA threat advisories, Log4Shell, Ransomware attacks, and more. Watch the video below to get the full scoop on how Nessus can support enterprise vulnerability management.    

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What is Snyk and how does it contribute to DevSecOps?

What is Snyk?  It’s classified as an SCA (software composition analysis) security tool meaning it scans your source code for use of known vulnerabilities in functions, libraries, packages, and can also scan entire docker images, cloud servers, and IaC (Infrastructure as Code) deployments for vulnerabilities.  Watch the video below for a summary and demo on how Snyk’s can contribute to your DevSecOps program.

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From the defender’s perspective ransomware is the biggest threat in the modern cybersecurity landscape. From a criminal perspective it’s a highly lucrative form of cybercrime, and perpetrators face only negligible chances of being prosecuted with less than 20 arrests reported in 2020 [1]. The highest amount of ransom ever paid by a single company for a single incident is $40 million US dollars [2][3], however, the cost of a ransomware attack is not limited to ransom payments. Companies can incur millions more in remediation costs, service downtime, legal settlements, higher insurance premiums, and potentially suffer long-term deleterious effects to their brand reputation [4]. One report estimates that 74% of ransomware payments go to Russian backed groups; more than $400 million USD in 2021 [5]. Another report from blockchain research group Chainalysis suggests that nearly $700 million USD in ransomware ransom was paid in 2020 [6] [7]. Not all ransomware strains…

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In an MSNBC interview posted to YouTube on February 24th, 2022, approximately 24 hours after the initial invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, Leon Panetta former US Secratary of Defence and former head of the CIA was asked whether now is a good time for the US to use offensive cyber-war against Russia.  Rather that address the question directly, Panetta addressed the greater context of the invasion for Ukrainian national security.  The question is worth addressing though. So, is now a good time for counter forces to launch a cyber offensive? Is now the time for offensive cyber-attack? It Depends. That is the short and true answer. Here comes the why. Probably the most effective use of cyber weapons in warfare is when they are purposed for for gathering information, aka spying. The most advanced forms of cyber weapons (known as advanced persistent threats or APT for short) are…

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We Have All Heard This Story Before It’s no doubt that ransomware is is the biggest threat in the modern cybersecurity landscape. The highest amount of ransom ever paid by a single company for a single incident is $40 million US dollars. Companies can incur millions more in remediation costs, service downtime, legal settlements, higher insurance premiums, and potentially suffer long-term deleterious effects to their brand reputation. Blockchain research group Chainalysis suggests that nearly $700 million USD in ransomware ransom was paid in 2020. Defenders have all been hearing this story for years, and know how to secure against ransomware right? The most common initial access vector is phishing so staff training sessions educating our staff on how to spot a deceptive url is required to keep the bad guys out. Installing endpoint security products and keeping them updated, and of course keep bulletproof backups right? Well, yes and no….

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What Is “Fake Ransomware”? The term “fake ransomware” might conjure up some feelings of relief. After all, if the ransomware is fake, then it must not have encrypted files, right? However, the term has been used to refer to a few different variants of a true ransomware attack. Firstly, it has been used to describe ransomware that does not encrypt files, but instead attempts to trick the victim into thinking their files are encrypted while demanding a payment to recover them. Secondly, the term has also been used to refer to ransomware that does in fact encrypt your files, but does not offer a decryption key if ransom is paid. This is much more nefarious and destructive than the first type; a real sucker punch. And most recently, the term has been used to refer to a case where ransomware was deployed by a company against itself to cover up…

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In part 1 of PHP Malware series, we learned what a web-shell is and learned some basic ways that an attacker can build web-shell in PHP. In part two we took a look at how web-shells can be hidden using base 64 encoding and AES encryption techniques. In part three we’re gonna look at other crafty ways that an attacker could obfuscate PHP web shell or other malware such as a stealer which would exfiltrate sensitive data as it’s processed by a website. Cyber criminals want to avoid malware being found, and when it is found, they want it to be difficult for a researcher to discover what the malware is doing. An an attack technique is novel, attackers don’t want defensive security researchers to be able to use the technique information to build defensive strategy or make the information public. In order to demonstrate the skill’s of reverse engineering…

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PHP Malware – Hiding A Payload

In part 1 of this series on PHP malware, we learned what a web shell is and looked at some basic examples. Basic web-shells are not too difficult to find since there are only so many commands that can be used to execute a string as a shell command. However, most attackers would not include a basic web shell such as the ones discussed in the first video. They know it would be much too easy to find and dwell time would be short. Instead the attacker will encode or encrypt the malware so it is more difficult to find.  Also, there is an important difference between encrypting and encoding. Before we look at some more advanced ways to hide malware, let’s understand the difference between these two terms. What is Encoding? Encoding refers to the process of converting data from one form to another. Encoding does not normally imply…

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