Jul 23 2023

Citrix ADC zero-day exploitatation: CISA releases details about attack on CI organization (CVE-2023-3519)

Category: CISA,Zero daydisc7 @ 9:40 am

The exploitation of the Citrix NetScaler ADC zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2023-3519) was first spotted by a critical infrastructure organization, who reported it to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

“In June 2023, threat actors exploited this vulnerability as a zero-day to drop a webshell on a critical infrastructure organization’s non-production environment NetScaler ADC appliance. The webshell enabled the actors to perform discovery on the victim’s active directory (AD) and collect and exfiltrate AD data. The actors attempted to move laterally to a domain controller but network-segmentation controls for the appliance blocked movement,” the agency shared in an advisory published on Thursday.

IoCs, IR and mitigation advice

The attack was reported to CISA and Citrix in July 2023, and Citrix announced fixes for it on July 18.

The security bulletin mentioned that “exploits of CVE-2023-3519 on unmitigated appliances have been observed,” but no additional details about the attacks or how to check whether an organizations had been a target had been publicly shared.

A list of indicators of compromise (IoCs) had been shared with select organizations, under the understanding that the info would not be widely shared (i.e., that the contents would be restricted to those organization and shared with its clients “on a need-to-know basis”).

“As we hear from the Citrix community, more and more attacked systems are being found. The first exploits have also been available for purchase on the dark web for some time,” German IT consultant Manuel Winkel said on July 19.

He shared advice on how to check whether one’s organization has been hit, and advised on what to do if the result is positive.

CISA’s advisory offers more details about the threat actor activity in the attack detected at the critical infrastructure organization, delineates attack detection methods, and offers advice on incident response if compromise is detected.

In-the-wild exploitation of CVE-2023-3519

Greynoise has created a tag to show in-the-wild probing of internet-facing NetScaler ADC platforms and Gateways with authentication attempts through CVE-2023-3519, but so far there have been no detections.

Standalone and Nmap scripts for identifying vulnerable installations have been published on GitHub.

If what Winkel says is true – namely, that first exploits for CVE-2023-3519 have been available for purchase on the dark web for a while – it’s possible that there are many compromised organizations out there who didn’t manage to block the attackers’ lateral movement.

It’s currently impossible to say what the attackers’ ultimate goal is, but affected organizations may discover it soon if they don’t react quickly.

UPDATE (July 22, 2023, 10:55 a.m. ET):

Technical analyses of the flaw are now public and threat actors could use them to create a reliable exploit soon. Patch quickly!

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon

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Tags: Citrix ADC, Countdown to Zero Day, CVE-2023-3519, Stuxnet, zero Day

Jul 18 2023

CISA Released Free Cloud Security Tools to Secure Cloud Data

Category: CISA,Security Toolsdisc7 @ 8:59 am

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released a list of free tools for organizations to secure themselves in cloud environments.

The post from CISA stated that these tools will help incident response analysts and network defenders to mitigate, identify and detect threats, known vulnerabilities, and anomalies in the cloud or hybrid environments.

Threat actors have traditionally targeted internal servers during an attack. However, the rapid growth of cloud migration has attracted several threat actors to target cloud environments as the attack vector is massive when it comes to the cloud.

The tools provided by CISA will aid organizations that lack the necessary tools to defend against cloud threats. These tools can help in protecting their cloud resources from information theft, data theft, and information exposure.

Tools + Pre-built Security features

CISA also mentioned that organizations should use the security features provided by the Cloud Service Providers and combine them with the free tools suggested by the CISA for protecting against these threats. The tools provided by the CISA are,

  • The Cybersecurity Evaluation Tool (CSET) (CISA)
  • SCuBAGear (CISA)
  • The Untitled Goose Tool (CISA)
  • Decider (CISA)
  • Memory Forensic on Cloud (JPCERT/CC)

The Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET)

This tool was developed by the CISA that uses industry-recognized standards, frameworks, and recommendations to assist organizations in their cybersecurity posture evaluation. The tool asks multiple questions about system components, architecture, and operational policies and procedures.

This information is then used to generate a report that provides a complete insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the organizations including the recommendations to fix them. The CSET version 11.5 includes Cross-Sector Cyber Performance Goals (CPG) which was developed by the CISA and the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).

CPG can provide best practices and guidance that all organizations should follow. This tool can help against common and impactful TTPs. 

SCuBAGear M365 Secure Configuration Baseline Assessment Tool

SCuBAGear is a tool that was a part of the SCuBA (Secure Cloud Business Applications) project that was initiated in response to the Supply Chain compromise of SolarWinds Orion Software. SCuBA is an automated script that compares the Federal Civilian Executive Branch (FECB) against M365 Secure configurations of the CISA.

In collaboration with SCuBAGear, CISA created multiple documents that can guide cloud security that can help all organizations. Three documents were created as part of this tool,

  • SCuBA Technical Reference Architecture (TRA) – Provides essential components for hardening cloud security. The scope of TRA adds cloud business applications (for SaaS models) and the security services used to secure and monitor them.
  • Hybrid Identity Solutions Architecture – Provides best approaches for addressing identity management in a Cloud environment.
  • M365 security configuration baseline (SCB) – provides basic security configurations for Microsoft Defender 365, OneDrive, AAD, Exchange Online etc.

This tool provides an HTML report highlighting policy deviations described in the M365 SCB guides.

Untitled Goose Tool

This tool was developed alongside Sandia National Laboratories which can help network defenders identify malicious activities in Microsoft Azure, AAD, and M365. It can also help query, export, and investigate audit logs.

This tool is extremely useful for organizations that do not ingest these kinds of logs into their Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) tool. It was developed as an alternative to PowerShell tools since they did not have data collection capacity for Azure, AAD, and M365.

Network Defenders can use this tool to,

  • Cloud artifacts extraction from AAD, Azure, and M365
  • Perform time bounding of the Unified Audit Logs (UAL)
  • Extra data within time bound
  • Collect data using the capability of time bounding for MDE(Microsoft Defender Endpoint) data

Decider Tool

This tool can help incident response analysts to map malicious activities with the MITRE ATT&CK framework. It also provides an easier approach to their techniques and provides guidance for mapping the activities accordingly.

Just like CSET, this tool also asks several questions to provide relevant user queries for determining the best possible identification method. With this information, the users can now,

  • Export ATT&CK Navigator heatmaps
  • Publish Threat Intelligence reports 
  • Identify and execute mitigation procedures
  • Prevent Exploitation

The CISA has also provided a link on how to use the Decider tool.

Memory Forensic on Cloud (JPCERT/CC)

It was developed for building and analyzing the Windows Memory Image on AWS using Volatility 3. Furthermore, Memory Forensics is required when it comes to the newly trending LOTL (Living-Off-the-Land) attacks which are otherwise called fileless malware.

A memory image analysis can help during incident response engagements that usually require high-specification machines, time, and resources to prepare a sufficient environment.

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Tags: Secure Cloud Data

May 30 2023

The essence of OT security: A proactive guide to achieving CISA’s Cybersecurity Performance Goals

Category: CISA,OT/ICS,Security ToolsDISC @ 9:27 am

The widespread adoption of remote and hybrid working practices in recent years has brought numerous benefits to various industries, but has also introduced new cyber threats, particularly in the critical infrastructure sector.

These threats extend not only to IT networks but also to operational technology (OT) and cyber-physical systems, which can directly influence crucial physical processes.

In response to these risks, the US government reinforced critical infrastructure security by introducing Cross-Sector Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs) mandated by the US Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency (CISA).

Recently, CISA updated the CPGs to align with NIST’s standard cybersecurity framework, establishing each of the five goals as a prioritized subset of IT and OT cybersecurity practices.

In this article, we will look in more detail at CISA’s revamped CPGs and discuss the potential solutions available to help organizations achieve these critical goals.

CPG 1.0 Identify: Scoping out the vulnerabilities in the OT environment

CISA’s first CPG is “Identify”, which includes identifying the vulnerabilities in the IT and OT assets inventory, establishing supply chain incident reporting and vulnerability disclosure program, validating the effectiveness of third-party security controls across your IT and OT networks, establishing OT security leadership, and mitigating known vulnerabilities. Critical infrastructure organizations must address all these sub-categories exclusively to achieve the first CPG.

Addressing these responsibilities requires a dynamic effort. Firstly, organizations must strengthen their IT and OT relationship by fostering more effective collaboration between the security teams of both departments. But, most importantly, IT and OT teams must come together to understand the potential cyber threats and risks of each environment and how it affects the other. To achieve the first CPG, it is critical that these departments are not kept in isolation but rather collaborate and communicate frequently.

At the same time, organizations must establish OT leadership by clearly identifying a single leader who will be responsible and accountable for OT-specific cybersecurity. From there, organizations must create an asset inventory or glossary that clearly identifies and tracks all OT and IT assets across the entire ecosystem. These assets should be regularly audited based on their vulnerability management program. It’s also highly critical to have an open, public, and easily accessible communication channel where vendors, third parties, or employees can disclose any potential vulnerability in relation to the OT and IT assets.

CPG 2.0 Protect: Safeguarding privileged access to OT assets

CISA’s second CPG is “Protect”, which emphasizes the account security aspects of OT assets. To achieve this goal, critical infrastructure organizations are required to strengthen their password policies, change default credentials across OT remote access systems, apply network segmentation to segregate OT and IT networks, and separate general user and privileged accounts.

Addressing all these aspects of account security can be a chore for most organizations, but they can turn to unified secure remote access (SRA) solutions that can extend multiple account-level security controls to OT remote users via enforcement of multi-factor authentication (MFA), least privilege policies, and role-based access. Such solutions can also support advanced credential policies to further reduce the risk of unauthorized access and denial of service attacks.

It’s also important that organizations only leverage SRA solutions that are based on zero trust policies. This will help organizations establish effective network segmentation that eliminates direct, unfettered remote connectivity to OT assets, and to continuously monitor personnel activity during all remote OT connections.

CPG 3.0 Detect: Awareness of critical threats and potential attack vectors across your OT environment

CISA’s third CPG emphasizes the detection of relevant threats and knowledge of potential attack vectors and TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) that can compromise OT security and potentially disrupt critical services.

Detecting relevant threats and TTPs across OT assets and networks requires a proactive approach that combines advanced monitoring and analysis. Real-time monitoring solution should be complemented with comprehensive network visibility, allowing for the swift detection of anomalies and unusual patterns.

A critical aspect of threat detection in OT environments — and meeting the CPG mandate — is the sharing of information and collaboration between various stakeholders. Threat intelligence platforms play an essential role in gathering and disseminating information about current and emerging threats. By leveraging this valuable data, organizations can stay ahead of potential risks, fine-tune their defenses, and ensure the safety and security of their OT assets. Additionally, conducting regular security assessments, penetration testing, and vulnerability scanning will help uncover any weaknesses in the infrastructure, allowing for timely remediation and improved resilience against cyberattacks.

CPG 4.0 and 5.0: Respond and Recover

The final two CISA’s CPGs stress the importance of incident reporting and planning. Regardless of how robust your OT security practices are, cyber threats are almost inevitable in today’s interconnected and increasingly remote networking era. So, while proactive security solutions are necessary, attacks still are unavoidable, especially in a highly targeted sector like critical infrastructure.

Therefore, CISA stresses that organizations must have a comprehensive plan and process outlined for reporting security incidents and effectively recovering their affected systems or services upon a breach.

Advanced SRA solutions can help organizations to achieve these goals through automated recording of user activities and asset-related data, as well as creating automated backups of critical data. More specifically, they can log all user sessions, encrypt all user- and asset-related data, and retain logs of OT remote user activity. These measures help to ensure that critical information is stored in accordance with all relevant regulatory requirements and backup and recovery needs.


Overall, the vulnerabilities of ageing OT assets and siloed OT and IT networks have created a significant threat to critical infrastructure entities, which has been further exacerbated by the prevalence of remote access.

CISA’s OT-specific goals and actions within the CPGs provide a much-needed set of guidelines for CNI organizations to strengthen their security posture and increase cyber resilience. By following CISA’s recommendations and employing innovative security technologies, organizations can minimize the risk of cyberattacks affecting the physical world and public safety.

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Tags: CISA, Cybersecurity Performance Goals, ICS, Industrial Cybersecurity, OT

May 02 2023

CISA adds TP-Link, Apache, and Oracle bugs to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities catalog

Category: CISA,Security vulnerabilitiesDISC @ 10:00 am

US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added TP-Link, Apache, and Oracle vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities catalog.

U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has added the following three new issues to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog:

CVE-2023-1389 (CVSS score: 8.8) – TP-Link Archer AX-21 Command Injection Vulnerability. The CVE-2023-1389 flaw is an unauthenticated command injection vulnerability that resides in the locale API of the web management interface of the TP-Link Archer AX21 router. The root cause of the problem is the lack of input sanitization in the locale API that manages the router’s language settings. A remote attacker can trigger the issue to inject commands that should be executed on the device.

The vulnerability was first reported to ZDI during the Pwn2Own Toronto 2022 event. Working exploits for LAN and WAN interface accesses were respectively reported by Team Viettel and Qrious Security. 

The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) threat-hunting team recently reported that the Mirai botnet attempting to exploit the CVE-2023-1389 vulnerability (aka ZDI-CAN-19557/ZDI-23-451, CVSS v3: 8.8) in TP-Link Archer AX21 Wi-Fi routers.

Tags: US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Aug 29 2022

CISA adds 10 new flaws to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog

Category: CISA,cyber security,Information SecurityDISC @ 9:05 am

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added 10 new flaws to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added 10 new vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, including a high-severity security flaw (

 CVSS score: 7.8) impacting Delta Electronics industrial automation software.

According to Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 22-01: Reducing the Significant Risk of Known Exploited Vulnerabilities, FCEB agencies have to address the identified vulnerabilities by the due date to protect their networks against attacks exploiting the flaws in the catalog.

Experts recommend also private organizations review the Catalog and address the vulnerabilities in their infrastructure.

According to the US agency, Delta Electronics DOPSoft 2 lacks proper validation of user-supplied data when parsing specific project files (improper input validation). An attacker can trigger the flaw to cause an out-of-bounds write and achieve code execution.

It is important to highlight that there are no security patches to fix this issue and that the impacted product is end-of-life.

CISA also added to the catalog a Sanbox Bypass Vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-31010 (CVSS score: 7.5), in Apple iOS, macOS, and watchOS.

“In affected versions of Apple iOS, macOS, and watchOS, a sandboxed process may be able to circumvent sandbox restrictions.” reads the advisory.

The other vulnerabilities added to the catalog are:

  • CVE-2022-26352 – dotCMS Unrestricted Upload of File Vulnerability
  • CVE-2022-24706 – Apache CouchDB Insecure Default Initialization of Resource Vulnerability
  • CVE-2022-24112 – Apache APISIX Authentication Bypass Vulnerability
  • CVE-2022-22963 – VMware Tanzu Spring Cloud Function Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
  • CVE-2022-2294 – WebRTC Heap Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
  • CVE-2021-39226 – Grafana Authentication Bypass Vulnerability
  • CVE-2020-36193 – PEAR Archive_Tar Improper Link Resolution Vulnerability
  • CVE-2020-28949 – PEAR Archive_Tar Deserialization of Untrusted Data Vulnerability

CISA orders federal agencies to fix these vulnerabilities by September 15, 2022.

CISA Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog

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CyberWire Inc. (Author)Flash cybersecurity advisories from the US Government. These alerts provide timely technical and operational information, indicators of compromise, and mitigations for current major security threats, vulnerabilities, and exploits. These alerts have been edited and adapted for audio by The CyberWire as a public service.

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Tags: CISA, CISA Cybersecurity, CISA Cybersecurity Alerts