Connect with us

Security

A dozen US web servers are spreading 10 malware families, Necurs link suspected

Published

on

Leading data security firm leaves own server unsecured
Data management firm Veeam leaked millions of records

Researchers have uncovered over a dozen servers, unusually registered in the United States, which are hosting ten different malware families spread through phishing campaigns potentially tied to the Necurs botnet.

On Thursday, researchers from Bromium said they have monitored scams connected to this infrastructure during the May 2018 to March 2019 time period.

Five families of banking Trojans — Dridex, Gootkit, IcedID, Nymaim, and Trickbot — two ransomware variants, Gandcrab and Hermes, as well as three information stealers, Fareit, Neutrino, and Azorult, were all found on the servers.

It is unusual for such malware to be found on infrastructure hosted in the US, given the country’s law enforcement agencies are generally quick off the mark to seize and take down malicious infrastructure when informed of its existence.

One of the servers belongs to a single autonomous system and is a so-called “bulletproof” hosting service, which generally turns a blind eye to the subject material hosted, whether or not it is malicious or illegal. Another 11 servers involved belong to a company which is based in Nevada and sells virtual private server (VPS) hosting.

“One possible reason for choosing a US hosting provider is so that the HTTP connections to download the malware from the web servers are more likely to succeed inside organizations that block traffic to and from countries that fall outside of their typical profile of network traffic,” Bromium suggests.

The cybersecurity researchers say that the malware families hosted on the servers have been distributed in multiple, mass phishing campaigns. Email and hosting infrastructure has been separated from command-and-control (C2) systems, which further suggests the servers are being used by “distinct” threat groups — some of which are responsible for email and hosting, while others are responsible for managing malware.

After tracing the spam and phishing campaigns tied to the malicious infrastructure, Bromium says that email is the main attack vector of all attacks detected. Microsoft Word files containing malicious VBA macros are the weaponized document of choice.

The phishing campaigns also appear to be US-centric, with lure emails written in English and masquerading as well-known US organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

See also: Home DNA kit company asks you to upload your family tree for the FBI

The most popular phishing lure was a job application, followed by an unpaid invoice demand.

Another interesting element of the infrastructure is the rapid compilation of malware samples and how quickly they were hosted. In some cases, such as with samples of Hermes and Dridex, compilation and hosting would take only a few hours and no longer than 24 hours.

“The quick turnaround from compilation to hosting suggests an organized relationship between malware developers and the operators of the distribution infrastructure,” the researchers say.

The cyberattackers were also observed hosting multiple malware families designed to work in tandem with each other. Phishing campaigns spotted in July and August 2018 were connected to this behavior, in which Azorult — an information stealer — was paired with the Hermes ransomware.

Servers are also being reused for different campaigns. On March 9, for example, a server was being used to distribute the IcedID banking Trojan. A week later, the same server was being used to host Dridex. In another case, Bromium observed a single web server being used to host no less than six different malware families over 40 days.

TechRepublic: What is the Dark Web, and why is it so bad if your information is there?

Bromium says that there are indicators present which suggest the servers may be tied to campaigns related to the Necurs botnet.

One of the servers was used to host a recent sample of Dridex in March this year. In addition, all of the malware hosted on the US infrastructure has been used for high-volume spam campaigns conducted by means which are consistent with the tactics used by the Necurs botnet operators.

Unlike the other campaigns, the web server used for Dridex had basic HTTP authentication in place, potentially to thwart researchers in their discovery of the malware’s presence on the server.

CNET: Kaspersky Lab will warn you if your phone is infected with stalkerware

“The username and password pair in that campaign was ‘username’ and ‘password’, and the name of the delivered file was ‘test1.exe’, suggesting that this may have been a trial campaign,” Bromium says. “Given the relative lull of Dridex activity for several months, this may be an indication of preparation for larger Dridex campaigns to come, or the adoption of HTTP basic authentication in other campaigns.” 

Previous and related coverage

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Security

Cloud Data Security

Published

on

Data security has become an immutable part of the technology stack for modern applications. Protecting application assets and data against cybercriminal activities, insider threats, and basic human negligence is no longer an afterthought. It must be addressed early and often, both in the application development cycle and the data analytics stack.

The requirements have grown well beyond the simplistic features provided by data platforms, and as a result a competitive industry has emerged to address the security layer. The capabilities of this layer must be more than thorough, they must also be usable and streamlined, adding a minimum of overhead to existing processes.

To measure the policy management burden, we designed a reproducible test that included a standardized, publicly available dataset and a number of access control policy management scenarios based on real world use cases we have observed for cloud data workloads. We tested two options: Apache Ranger with Apache Atlas and Immuta. This study contrasts the differences between a largely role-based access control model with object tagging (OT-RBAC) to a pure attribute-based access control (ABAC) model using these respective technologies.

This study captures the time and effort involved in managing the ever-evolving access control policies at a modern data-driven enterprise. With this study, we show the impacts of data access control policy management in terms of:

  • Dynamic versus static
  • Scalability
  • Evolvability

In our scenarios, Ranger alone took 76x more policy changes than Immuta to accomplish the same data security objectives, while Ranger with Apache Atlas took 63x more policy changes. For our advanced use cases, Immuta only required one policy change each, while Ranger was not able to fulfill the data security requirement at all.

This study exposed the limitations of extending legacy Hadoop security components into cloud use cases. Apache Ranger uses static policies in an OT-RBAC model for the Hadoop ecosystem with very limited support for attributes. The difference between it and Immuta’s attribute-based access control model (ABAC) became clear. By leveraging dynamic variables, nested attributes, and global row-level policies and row-level security, Immuta can be quickly implemented and updated in comparison with Ranger.

Using Ranger as a data security mechanism creates a high policy-management burden compared to Immuta, as organizations migrate and expand cloud data use—which is shown here to provide scalability, clarity, and evolvability in a complex enterprise’s data security and governance needs.

The chart in Figure 1 reveals the difference in cumulative policy changes required for each platform configuration.

Figure 1. Difference in Cumulative Policy Changes

The assessment and scoring rubric and methodology is detailed in the report. We leave the issue of fairness for the reader to determine. We strongly encourage you, as the reader, to discern for yourself what is of value. We hope this report is informative and helpful in uncovering some of the challenges and nuances of data governance platform selection. You are encouraged to compile your own representative use cases and workflows and review these platforms in a way that is applicable to your requirements.

Continue Reading

Security

GigaOm Radar for Data Loss Prevention

Published

on

Data is at the core of modern business: It is our intellectual property, the lifeblood of our interactions with our employees, partners, and customers, and a true business asset. But in a world of increasingly distributed workforces, a growing threat from cybercriminals and bad actors, and ever more stringent regulation, our data is at risk and the impact of losing it, or losing access to it, can be catastrophic.

With this in mind, ensuring a strong data management and security strategy must be high on the agenda of any modern enterprise. Security of our data has to be a primary concern. Ensuring we know how, why, and where our data is used is crucial, as is the need to be sure that data does not leave the organization without appropriate checks and balances.

Keeping ahead of this challenge and mitigating the risk requires a multi-faceted approach. People and processes are key, as, of course, is technology in any data loss prevention (DLP) strategy.

This has led to a reevaluation of both technology and approach to DLP; a recognition that we must evolve an approach that is holistic, intelligent, and able to apply context to our data usage. DLP must form part of a broader risk management strategy.

Within this report, we evaluate the leading vendors who are offering solutions that can form part of your DLP strategy—tools that understand data as well as evaluate insider risk to help mitigate the threat of data loss. This report aims to give enterprise decision-makers an overview of how these offerings can be a part of a wider data security approach.

Continue Reading

Security

Key Criteria for Evaluating Data Loss Prevention Platforms

Published

on

Data is a crucial asset for modern businesses and has to be protected in the same way as any other corporate asset, with diligence and care. Loss of data can have catastrophic effects, from reputational damage to significant fines for breaking increasingly stringent regulations.

While the risk of data loss is not new, the landscape we operate in is evolving rapidly. Data can leave data centers in many ways, whether accidental or malicious. The routes for exfiltration also continue to grow, ranging from email, USB sticks, and laptops to ever-more-widely-adopted cloud applications, collaboration tools, and mobile devices. This is driving a resurgence in the enterprise’s need to ensure that no data leaves the organization without appropriate checks and balances in place.

Keeping ahead of this challenge and mitigating the risk requires a multi-faceted approach. Policy, people, and technology are critical components in a data loss prevention (DLP) strategy.

As with any information security strategy, technology plays a significant role. DLP technology has traditionally played a part in helping organizations to mitigate some of the risks of uncontrolled data exfiltration. However, both the technology and threat landscape have shifted significantly, which has led to a reevaluation of DLP tools and strategy.

The modern approach to the challenge needs to be holistic and intelligent, capable of applying context to data usage by building a broader understanding of what the data is, who is using it, and why. Systems in place must also be able to learn when user activity should be classified as unusual so they can better interpret signs of a potential breach.

This advanced approach is also driving new ways of defining the discipline of data loss prevention. Dealing with these risks cannot be viewed in isolation; rather, it must be part of a wider insider risk-management strategy.

Stopping the loss of data, accidental or otherwise, is no small task. This GigaOM Key Criteria Report details DLP solutions and identifies key criteria and evaluation metrics for selecting such a solution. The corresponding GigOm Radar Report identifies vendors and products in this sector that excel. Together, these reports will give decision-makers an overview of the market to help them evaluate existing platforms and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

Continue Reading

Trending