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Intense scanning activity detected for BlueKeep RDP flaw

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Sources networks of recent BlueKeep scans


Image: GreyNoise

Threat actors have started scanning the internet for Windows systems that are vulnerable to the BlueKeep (CVE-2019-0708) vulnerability.

This vulnerability impacts the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) service included in older versions of the Windows OS, such as XP, 7, Server 2003, and Server 2008.

Microsoft released fixes for this vulnerability on May 14, as part of the May 2019 Patch Tuesday updates train, and warned users and companies to patch vulnerable systems as soon as possible, classifying the issue as very dangerous, and warning that CVE-2019-0708 could be weaponized to create wormable (self-replicating) exploits.

Many have likened BlueKeep to the EternalBlue exploit that’s been used in 2017 during the WannaCry, NotPetya, and Bad Rabbit ransomware outbreaks.

No proof-of-concept demo code (yet)

For this reason, and because of Microsoft’s doom-and-gloom warning, for the past two weeks, the infosec community has been keeping an eye out for signs of attacks or the publication of any proof-of-concept demo code that could simplify the creation of RDP exploits — and inherently start subsequent attacks.

Until now, no one researcher or security firm has published any such demo exploit code — for obvious reasons, since it could help threat actors start massive attacks.

Nonetheless, several entities have confirmed that they’ve successfully developed exploits for BlueKeep, which they intend to keep private. The list includes Zerodium, McAfee, Kaspersky, Check Point, MalwareTech, and Valthek.

The NCC Group developed detection rules for network security equipment so that companies could detect any exploitation attempts, and 0patch developed a micropatch that can temporarily protect systems until they receive the official update.

Further, RiskSense security researcher Sean Dillon also created a tool that companies can use and test to see if their PC fleets have been correctly patched against the BlueKeep flaw.

BlueKeep scans started over the weekend

But while the infosec community was holding its collective breath thinking attacks may never start, things changed over the weekend.

On Saturday, threat intelligence firm GreyNoise started detecting scans for Windows systems vulnerable to BlueKeep.

Speaking to ZDNet, GreyNoise founder Andrew Morris said they believe the attacker was using the Metasploit module detected by RiskSense to scan the internet for BlueKeep vulnerable host.

“This activity has been observed from exclusively Tor exit nodes and is likely being executed by a single actor,” he said in a tweet on Saturday.

For now, these are only scans, and not actual exploitation attempts.

However, it appears that at least one threat actor is investing quite the time and effort into compiling a list of vulnerable devices, most likely in preparation for the actual attacks.

With at least six entities revealing they’ve come up with private BlueKeep exploits, and with at least two very detailed write-ups on the BlueKeep vulnerability details available online [1, 2], it is only a matter of time until the real bad guys come up with their own exploits as well.

The Tor-originating scans that GreyNoise is currently seeing — and which Morris told ZDNet that are still ongoing at the time of writing — are a first sign that things are about to get worse. Really worse!

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Security Tools Help Bring Dev and Security Teams Together

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Software development teams are increasingly focused on identifying and mitigating any issues as quickly and completely as possible. This relates not only to software quality but also software security. Different organizations are at different levels when it comes to having their development teams and security teams working in concert, but the simple fact remains that there are far more developers out there than security engineers.

Those factors are leading organizations to consider security tooling and automation to proactively discover and resolve any software security issues throughout the development process. In the recent report, “GigaOm Radar for Developer Security Tools,” Shea Stewart examines a roundup of security tools aimed at software development teams.

Stewart identified three critical criteria to bear in mind when evaluating developer security tools. These include:

  • Vendors providing tools to improve application security can and should also enhance an organization’s overall security posture.
  • The prevailing “shift-left” mindset doesn’t necessarily mean the responsibility for reducing risk should shift to development, but instead focusing on security earlier in the process and continuing to do so throughout the development process will reduce risk and the need for extensive rework.
  • Security throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) is critical for any organization focused on reducing risk.

Figure 1. How Cybersecurity Applies Across Each Stage of the Software Development Lifecycle *Note: This report focuses only on the Developer Security Tooling area

Individual vendors have made varying levels of progress and innovation toward enhancing developer security. Following several acquisitions, Red Hat, Palo Alto Networks, and Rapid7 have all added tooling for developer security to their platforms. Stewart sees a couple of the smaller vendors like JFrog and Sonatype as continuing to innovate to remain ahead of the market.

Vendors delving into this category and moving deeper into “DevSecOps” all seem to be taking different approaches to their enhanced security tooling. While they are involving security in every aspect of the development process, some tend to be moving more quickly to match the pace of the SDLC. Others are trying to shore up existing platforms by adding functionality through acquisition. Both infrastructure and software developers are now sharing toolsets and processes, so these development security tools must account for the requirements of both groups.

While none of the 12 vendors evaluated in this report can provide comprehensive security throughout the entire SDLC, they all have their particular strengths and areas of focus. It is therefore incumbent upon the organization to fully and accurately assess its SDLC, involve the development and security teams, and match the unique requirements with the functionality provided by these tools. Even if it involves using more than one at different points throughout the process, focus on striking a balance between stringent security and simplifying the development process.

Read more: Key Criteria for Evaluating Developer Security Tools, and the Gigaom Radar for Developer Security Tool Companies.

The post Security Tools Help Bring Dev and Security Teams Together appeared first on Gigaom.

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Key Criteria for Evaluating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

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Cybersecurity is a multidisciplinary practice that not only grows in complexity annually but evolves nearly as quickly. A survey of the security landscape today would reveal concerns ranging from the classic compromised servers to the relatively new DevSecOps practices aimed at securing the rapid deployment of new code and infrastructure. However, some things remain constant no matter how much change is introduced. While technology evolves and complexity varies, there is almost always a human component in
risks presented to an organization.

User Behavior Analysis (UBA) was designed to analyze the actions of users in an organization and attempt to identify normal and abnormal behaviors. From this analysis, malicious or risky behaviors can be detected. UBA solutions identify events that are not detectable using other methods because, unlike classic security tools (an IDS or SIEM for example), UBA does not simply pattern match or apply rule sets to data to identify security events. Instead, it looks for any and all deviations from baseline user activity.

As technology advanced and evolved, and the scope of what is connected to the network grew, the need to analyze entities other than users emerged. In response, entity analysis has been added to UBA to create UEBA or User and Entity Behavior Analysis. The strategy remains the same, but the scope of analysis has expanded to include entities involving things like daemons, processes, infrastructure, and so on.

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.

The post Key Criteria for Evaluating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) appeared first on Gigaom.

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GigaOm Radar for Developer Security Tools

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As we learned in the associated GigaOm report, “Key Criteria for Evaluating Developer Security Tools,” the most cost-effective method for reducing risk in software development is to identify and fix issues as close to the developer as possible. As the number of software developers continues to vastly outnumber the number of security professionals allocated to any software project, organizations need to invest in security tooling and automation that can help software developers consider and mitigate security risks in a proactive manner.

Add to this situation an appreciation for how the role of the developer has changed vastly over the last few years: Developers aren’t just responsible for software components; they can write infrastructure components, security controls, automations/integrations, and so forth. This has blended the worlds of the traditional software developers and the infrastructure and operations teams responsible for the environments that software components are deployed to. A much wider range of job titles can be incorporated into the developer role now, which requires the same security tooling and process oversight as does traditional software development.

As we consider how to evaluate vendors for developer security tools, we need to take these points into account:

  • All vendors involved in improving application security can contribute to an organization’s overall enhanced security posture.
  • “Shift-left” mindsets do not imply that the work of reducing risk is simply shifted to the developer, but rather that adding a focus on security early in the process will reduce risk and rework as software moves through the delivery pipeline.
  • Security throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) is key for any organization that is focused on reducing risk.

In this report we have identified a number of vendors that address the specific need to catch and remediate security issues earlier in the software development lifecycle, which we articulate in the report as table stakes, key criteria, and evaluation metrics. While we review 12 vendor solutions here, we ruled out many more, including several offering capabilities focused on runtime protection, which merit review in upcoming GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar Reports.

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.

The post GigaOm Radar for Developer Security Tools appeared first on Gigaom.

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