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Thursday, November 23, 2017
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One good thing about having a lot of Facebook friends is that you simply act as a honey pot when your friends click on malicious things.

A few days ago I got a message on Facebook from a person I very rarely speak to, and I knew that something fishy was going on.
NEWS ANALYSIS: Ransomware is a significant problem for small and medium-size business.

But now there’s a new military-grade means of fighting back. You already know how ransomware works. Malware gets loaded on to a computer, and quietly encrypts everything of use. When it’s done, you see a message displayed on your screen demanding payment in Bitcoins, and you’re told that if you don’t pay up, you’ll never get your data back.For many companies, the only choice is to pay up, but that has two complications.

First, it costs you a lot of money.
Second, it labels you as being willing to pay the ransom, which means you can expect more ransomware attacks.However, successfully fighting off ransomware is tough. Ransomware varieties rapidly evolve and change almost daily.

The chances of your antivirus or your antimalware catching it aren’t very good.Since ransomware is spread through a variety of vectors, you can’t depend on some of the more traditional methods such as screening email or social network feeds to reliably bock attacks.

Even large companies with good security practices sometimes get stung by ransomware. But there is an anti-ransomware system for SMBs that was developed from an enterprise system that's already in place in the field.
It's called RansomFree, from security company Cybereason. Cybereason was organized by a group of former military intelligence officers using skills they acquired fighting the worst of bad guys.

This explains why they refer to their products as military-grade prevention.

The company uses techniques developed by the military to detect, deceive and kill ransomware.The company has been active in the enterprise security space for some time and its products have been widely adopted there.

But the software doesn’t lend itself to most SMB users because of the expense and the expertise required to use it.
So Cybereason’s developers created a version that small companies and individuals can implement and they are giving it away for free.Right now, RansomFree only works on Windows computers.

But once it’s installed, it does three things.

First it can detect the ransomware malware when it arrives on a computer if it has a signature it recognizes.

But because of ransomware families rapidly evolve, it also watches the activity of the ransomware looking for attempts to encrypt files.

Finally it deceives the ransomware into thinking its working, when in reality all that it’s doing is operating in a secure honey pot of a container.A honey pot is a simulated environment that looks normal to the malware, but which exists only as a place for the malware to execute, while the anti-ransomware software studies it. Once it’s done with that, the ransomware attack is stopped in its tracks and the malware is killed.
Still using the password from the back of the router? Oops! Hackers have graduated from planting malware on the vulnerable routers supplied to consumers by various ISPs towards stealing Wi-Fi keys. Andrew Tierney, a security researcher at UK consultancy Pen Test Partners, noticed the switch-up in tactics in attacks against its honeypot network over the weekend. Customers of UK ISP TalkTalk are among those at the most immediate risk of having their Wi-Fi credentials stolen.

The TalkTalk router firmware fix fails to solve this problem because it reverts customers back to a default password hackers might already have snatched, Pen Test Partners warns. TalkTalk published a fix to the TR-064 / Annie issue. What this does is disable the TR-064 interface and reset the router.
It resets the passwords, back to the ones written on the back of the router. [But] nearly all customers never change their Wi-Fi key from that written on the router.
So, the Annie worm and hackers have already stolen their Wi-Fi keys, and the TalkTalk fix simply resets the router, to the exact same keys that have already been stolen! The TR-064 vulnerability<sup1 means that hackers can access or alter the device's LAN configuration from the WAN-side using TR-064 protocol. “Attackers appear to have cottoned on to the fact that the TR-064 vulnerability can be used for more than just recruiting the router into a botnet,” Pen Test Partners explain. “We run a TR-064 / Annie honeypot and saw requests last night, which alerted us to the issue. Here you can see someone trying to steal our Wi-Fi network key using the ‘GetSecurityKeys’ command.” The hacker has to be physically close to the router to compromise the Wi-Fi, a major mitigating factor. However, if you know the SSID (also stolen using the Annie worm) they can use databases such as https://wigle.net to find your victim’s house. TalkTalk and other ISP customers that use similar routers are likely to have had their Wi-Fi keys stolen, opening them up to hackers, Pen Test Partners concludes.

The security consultancy recommends that TalkTalk take the radical step of replacing customer routers in all cases where it’s impossible to rule out compromise. Users in the short term can act themselves by resetting their router (follow the TalkTalk advice) and then changing their Wi-Fi password.

TalkTalk supplies its customers with routers manufactured by D-Link, as previously reported. Other ISPs using kit from other manufacturers may be affected since the TR-064 / Annie issue is not restricted to D-Link. Pen Test Partners’ honey pot shows hacker activity targeting UK in particular, which means that TalkTalk’s customers may be at greater risk than most. El Reg ran this response past TalkTalk, which said that the situation was under control and that kit replacement was needed and offered the following statement. As is widely known, the Mirai worm is an industry issue, affecting many ISPs around the world.

A small number of TalkTalk customers have been affected, but we can reassure customers that no personal information is at risk.
If customers have an issue connecting to the internet, they should visit our help site where they can find a guide that will show them how to reset their router.

There is no need for customers to reset their wifi password. “I think TalkTalk haven’t realised that the Wi-Fi keys and related TR-064 issues are different consequences of the same bug last week,” Pen Test Partners Ken Munro told El Reg. “Whilst they’re fixing the bug and also blocking TCP port 7547 [maintenance interface] which it uses, it’s too late in the case of stolen Wi-Fi keys, as most users have never changed them from the default values.” “The fix resets the Wi-Fi key to the same value that has already been exposed,” he concluded. Lee Munson, security researcher at Comparitech.com, added: “If TalkTalk routers have, as one expert claims, been compromised following the theft of Wi-Fi passwords, customers of the telecoms company could potentially be in for a whole lot more pain following the well-publicised massive data breach and recent connectivity issues experienced by the firm." Bugnote 1Mirai and the TR-064 issue are different, but there are many similarities.

The Mirai malware uses default credential, TR-064 exploits a vulnerability.

The TR-064 bug started to be referred to as "Annie" though it’s also referred to as TR-06FAIL. Sponsored: Customer Identity and Access Management
NEWS ANALYSIS: The biggest single problem for security of the Internet of Things is that for the most part there isn't any and most of the things that need securing can't be readily updated to include it. SARATOGA, Calif. —It's probably impossible to accurately state how many "things" comprise the internet of things (IoT) in enterprises around the world.

Even best guesses are almost certainly wrong for the simple reason that until recently no one has even tried to count them.So let's agree that the number is significant, so large that some estimates place the total IoT traffic on carrier networks may be more than half of all traffic.Contrary to some popular conceptions that the IoT is made up of internet-enabled refrigerators and toasters, in reality the most connected to the IoT are so mission critical that they may be more important to your business than the workstations that you probably spend far more time and effort to secure.  Depending on your business, they may be the numerical control machines in your manufacturing plant or perhaps even the automated forklifts that are being deployed in your warehouse. Or perhaps worse, the things that could be attacked might be the printers in your office. Or they might be something really big and scary—such as a nuclear power plant. I spoke about these possibilities with James McNiel, CMO of network management and security company NetScout. McNiel was a keynote speaker at the NetEvents global press and analyst summit here. He said that one of the major problems that's currently below the security radar is ransomware being used not as a way to encrypt files, but instead as a way to prevent access to critical IoT devices. "How much is it worth to a hospital to regain access to their blood gas analyzer so they can do surgery," McNiel wondered.Unfortunately, the potential cost to the enterprise by attacks on its devices is significant. McNiel reminded me that the Stuxnet attack by the United States and Israel against the Iranian nuclear efforts was ultimately and IoT attack.

There, the Stuxnet worm drove the Iranian uranium centrifuges out of control while reporting normal operation to the operators.While Stuxnet was effective in delaying the Iran's nuclear program, the code escaped into the wild, where it's available to anyone who wants to modify it as an attack against any type of device controller.

There, the goal may not be to spin centrifuges out of control, but rather to implant software that sends a copy of all data handled by specific things to the party that launched the malware. Or it may be a ransomware attack that will make the thing unavailable until the ransom is paid.The amount of damage that can be done to an organization is hard to estimate, but there are examples. McNiel suggested that malware sent to a printer, for example, could result in a copy of every document being printed being sent to a competitor or to a nation-state trying to steal intellectual property.Or it could be used to infect an automated forklift or inventory barcode reader to tell someone else everything that's in your warehouse, which items move the fastest, when there are peaks in demand and even where the items are shipped.And that's just scratching the surface.The obvious question then is given that these devices are not secure and for the most part can't be made secure, what do you do about it? For starters, when you buy new devices, specify that they must have some level of security, even if it's just WPA2 encryption on WiFi.The next thing you need to do is protect your existing devices so that it's harder to break into them. McNiel suggests that this can be accomplished by protecting the network segments the devices connect to. He said that it's also important to monitor them."You need to look for anomalies," McNiel said. He said that there are other means to protect your devices, including deception, so that a hacker or the malware that's inserted on your network can't tell whether it's found the real device, or a simulation, such as a honey pot, which is a simulated device, frequently running on a server, that appears to be an inviting target, but instead is designed to trap the intruder or the malware.When you find anomalies, you then need to decide what's causing it.

But if it's malware and it's not preventing access to the device, then the next step is to monitor the device for exfiltration of data.
If you find that, you can block the outgoing data and then examine the malware to see where it's trying to transmit that data and what kind of data it want to send. With that information, you may be able to take further action such as blocking incoming connections from that site.But despite your best efforts, the bad guys will still get into your network. "You need to recognize when the device is legitimate and when it's not," McNiel said, adding that even with good security, your devices will be compromised.

That means it's always necessary to monitor those devices closely, so you can take corrective action before it spreads or gets worse, he said.