May 22 2023

What is Insider Attacks? : How Prepared Are You?

Category: Information Security,Insider Threatdisc7 @ 10:21 am

Insider attacks often catch organizations by surprise because they’re tricky to spot.

Banking on reactive solutions like antivirus software or a patch management solution to avoid such attacks is not wise.

Understanding what contributes to the increasing number of insider threats and addressing these factors is the only way to secure your enterprise against such attacks.

An insider attack is often defined as an exploit by malicious intruders within an organization.

This type of attack usually targets insecure data. Insider threats might lurk within any company; in some industries, they can account for more than 70% of cyberattacks.

More often than not, insider attacks are neglected. Perhaps this is why they have been on a constant rise.

A survey by CA Technologies in 2018 found that about 90% of organizations feel vulnerable to insider attacks.

Organizations also feel that the data most vulnerable to insider attacks is sensitive personal information (49%), intellectual property (32%), employee data (31%), and privileged account information (52%).

Many insider attacks are associated with excessive access privileges. While it might be unpleasant or inconvenient not to trust employees, organizations must be vigilant.

This can be accomplished by monitoring possible sources of cyberattacks. A big problem is that many companies are unaware of how to identify and combat insider threats.

Questions then arise: Where can you find the best network security tools to gain more knowledge on combating insider attacks? What security standards should you follow to stay within your industry’s security compliance requirements and protect your digital assets better? How do you differentiate between a malicious insider and a non-malicious one?

Insider Threat Warnings That You Should Look Out For

Here are some tell-tale signs you can monitor to avoid an insider attack. Be on the lookout for anyone who:

  • Downloads large amounts of data on personal portable devices or attempts to access data they don’t normally use for their day-to-day work.
  • Requests network or data access to resources not required for their job, or searches for and tries to access confidential data.
  • Emails sensitive information to a personal email account or people outside your organization.
  • Accesses the network and corporate data outside of regular work hours.
  • Exhibits negative attitudes or behaviors—for instance, a disgruntled employee leaving the organization.
  • Ignores security awareness best practices, such as locking screens, not using USBs or external drives, not sharing passwords and user accounts, or does not take cyber threats seriously.

Once you have started monitoring, you can implement security measures to prevent attacks from occurring. We’ve put together a short list of solutions for curbing insider threats.

1. Zero Trust

Zero Trust, a new cybersecurity buzzword, is a holistic approach for tightening network security by identifying and granting access, or “trust”.

No specific tool or software is associated with this approach, but organizations must follow certain principles to stay secure.

More users, applications, and servers and embracing various IoT devices expands your network perimeter.

How do you exert control and reduce your overall attack surface in such cases?

How can you ensure that the right access is granted to each user?

IT security at some organizations reflects the age-old castle-and-moat defense mentality that everything inside an organization’s perimeter should be trusted while everything outside should not.

This concept focuses on trust too much and tends to forget that we might know little about the intentions of those we deem “insiders.”

The remedy is Zero Trust, which revokes excessive access privileges of users and devices without proper identity authentication.

By implementing Zero Trust, you can:

  • Understand your organization’s access needs.
  • Decrease risk by monitoring device and user traffic.
  • Lower the potential for a breach.
  • Profoundly increase your business’s agility.

2. Privileged access management

Privileged access management (PAM) means extending access rights to trusted individuals within an organization.

A privileged user has administrative access to critical systems and applications.

For example, if an IT admin can copy files from your PC to a memory stick, they are said to be privileged to access sensitive data within your network.

This also applies to accessing data via physical devices, logging in, and using different applications and accounts associated with the organization.

A privileged user with malicious intent might hijack files and demand your organization pay a ransom.

PAM takes some effort, but you can start simple. For instance, you can remove an employee’s access to the data associated with their previous role.

Consider an employee moving from finance to sales. In this case, the rights to access critical financial data must be revoked because we do not want to risk the organization’s financial security.

By implementing PAM, you can:

  • Make dealing with third-party devices and users safer and more accessible.
  • Protect your password and other sensitive credentials from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Eliminate excess devices and users with access to sensitive data.
  • Manage emergency access if and when required.

3. Mandatory Security Training for Existing & New Employees

Not all insider attacks are intentional; some happen because of negligence or lack of awareness.

Organizations should make it mandatory for all their employees to undergo basic security and privacy awareness training sessions regularly.

Employees can also be quizzed on these sessions to make the training more effective.

Ensuring employees are acquainted with the cost consequences that negligence can cause the organization can help prevent unintentional insider threats significantly.

With so much to lose, it’s a wonder more companies aren’t taking steps to reduce their chance of suffering from an insider attack.

As mentioned earlier, no particular software or tool is behind the security approaches mentioned above.

Rather, your organization must address these aspects while developing a homegrown security solution or utilizing a similar service or product from a vendor.

By doing so, you can protect your organization from bad actors within or outside of your organization.

However, to specifically tackle the threat posed by insiders who regularly misuse their access credentials or bring malicious plug-and-play devices to work, we recommend looking into other security protocols, such as identity and access management and user behavior analytics, to prevent internal security mishaps.

Predicting Insider Attacks: Using Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Algorithms

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May 15 2023

Salt Security Achieves AWS WAF Ready Designation

Category: App Security,Information Security,Web Securitydisc7 @ 9:30 am

Today, API security company Salt Security announced it is now an Amazon Web Service (AWS) Web Application Firewall (WAF) Ready Partner. This service helps customers discover Partner solutions validated by AWS Partner Network (APN) Solutions Architects that integrate with AWS WAF to accelerate adoption of an enhanced and holistic security approach. AWS WAF is available to all AWS customers and all AWS Regions and can be deployed directly from the AWS console.

This partnership differentiates Salt Security as an APN member with a product that works with AWS WAF and is generally available for AWS customers. AWS WAF Ready Partners help customers quickly identify easy-to-deploy solutions that can help detect, mitigate, and analyse some of the most common internet threats and vulnerabilities.

Today, businesses of all shapes and sizes are focused on ensuring that websites and applications are protected from external threats that can lead to a loss of revenue, loss of customer trust, and loss of brand reputation. Implementing a WAF can be a challenging task that requires deep security experience that can be expensive and hard to find in-house. AWS WAF Ready Partners offer customers a simpler solution to deploying and maintaining their application layer security solution through easy-to-deploy solutions in order to detect, mitigate, and analyze some of the most common internet threats and vulnerabilities.

Gilad Barzilay, head of business development, Salt Security said: “As an AWS Software Path Partner and member of AWS ISV Accelerate Program, Salt is proud to expand our existing relationship with AWS by becoming an AWS WAF Ready Partner. Many of our customers rely on Salt to secure their APIs on AWS. By achieving these designations, we make it easier and faster for businesses to protect the APIs running on their AWS environments. Our customers benefit from our unique cloud-scale API data lake architecture, which applies AI and ML for API discovery and threat protection.”

“Deploying the Salt platform took almost no effort,” said Jason Weitzman, senior application security engineer at Xolv Technology Solutions. “It integrated quickly with our existing Cloudflare, AWS, Jira and other systems. It also started identifying errors and delivering insights on how to craft better APIs within minutes.”

The Salt platform deploys out of band, to avoid any interference with application performance or availability. The Salt platform pairs with AWS WAF as an API traffic collection point and to block detected attackers. To support the seamless integration and deployment of solutions such as the Salt platform, AWS established the AWS Service Ready Program. The program helps customers identify solutions integrated with AWS services and spend less time evaluating new tools, and more time scaling their use of solutions that are integrated with AWS services.

APIs are a hot topic among cybersecurity professionals and C-suites at the moment due to their increasingly vital business roles. Earlier this year Salt released a new API report that showed a 400% Increase in Attackers, demonstrating the prevalence.

Security of services hosted in the Cloud with Le WAF: Web Application Firewall

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Tags: WAF, Web Application Firewall

May 11 2023

Millions of mobile phones come pre-infected with malware, say researchers

Category: Information Security,Malware,Mobile Securitydisc7 @ 12:03 pm

The threat is coming from inside the supply chain

BLACK HAT ASIA Threat groups have infected millions of Androids worldwide with malicious firmware before the devices have even been shipped from their manufacturers, according to Trend Micro researchers at Black Hat Asia.

The mainly mobile devices, but also smartwatches, TVs and more, have their manufacturing outsourced to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), a process the researchers say makes them easily infiltrated.

“What is the easiest way to infect millions of devices?” posed senior threat researcher Fyodor Yarochkin, speaking alongside colleague Zhengyu Dong.

He compared infiltrating devices at such an early stage of their life cycle to a tree absorbing liquid: you put the infection at the root, and it gets distributed everywhere, out to every single limb and leaf.

The malware installation technique began as the price of mobile phone firmware dropped. Competition between firmware distributors became so furious that eventually the providers could not charge money for their product.

“But of course there’s no free stuff,” said Yarochkin, who explained that the firmware started to come with an undesirable feature – silent plugins. The team manually analyzed dozens of firmware images looking for malicious software. They found over 80 different plugins, although many of those were not widely distributed.

The plugins that were the most impactful were those that had built a business model around them and were selling underground services, marketing them out in the open on places like Facebook, in blog posts, and on YouTube.

    The objective of the malware is to steal info or make money from information collected or delivered.

    The malware turns the devices into proxies which are used to steal and sell SMS messages, social media and online messaging accounts, and used as monetization opportunities via adverts and click fraud.

    One type of plugin, proxy plugins, allow the criminal to rent out devices for up to around five minutes at a time. For example, those renting the control of the device could acquire data on keystrokes, geographical location, IP address and more.

    “The user of the proxy will be able to use someone else’s phone for a period of 1200 seconds as an exit node,” said Yarochkin. He also said the team found a Facebook cookie plugin that was used to harvest activity from the Facebook app.

    Through telemetry data, the researchers estimated that at least millions of infected devices exist globally, but are centralized in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. A statistic self-reported by the criminals themselves, said the researchers, was around 8.9 million.

    As for where the threats are coming from, the duo wouldn’t say specifically, although the word “China” showed up multiple times in the presentation, including in an origin story related to the development of the dodgy firmware. Yarochkin said the audience should consider where most of the world’s OEMs are located and make their own deductions.

    “Even though we possibly might know the people who build the infrastructure for this business, its difficult to pinpoint how exactly the this infection gets put into this mobile phone because we don’t know for sure at what moment it got into the supply chain,“ said Yarochkin.

    The team confirmed the malware was found in the phones of at least 10 different vendors, but that there was possibly around 40 more affected. For those seeking to avoid infected mobile phones, they could go some way of protecting themselves by going high end.

    “Big brands like Samsung, like Google took care of their supply chain security relatively well, but for threat actors, this is still a very lucrative market,” said Yarochkin. ®

    #Pegasus: How a Spy in Your Pocket Threatens the End of Privacy, Dignity, and Democracy

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    Tags: Mobile phone security, Pegasus

    May 09 2023

    7 Rules Of Risk Management For Cryptocurrency Users

    Category: Crypto,Information Securitydisc7 @ 3:30 pm

    Trading or investing in cryptocurrencies can be highly lucrative. But the extreme price movements often discourage beginners to buy cryptocurrencies. However, with a carefully charted risk management plan, it is possible to make gains and minimize losses.

    Here are the 7 golden rules of risk management for cryptocurrency traders

    Diversify your portfolio

    One of the effective risk management strategies for a cryptocurrency trader is to diversify your portfolio. You must ensure that you put only some of the investments in a few carefully chosen cryptocurrencies, instead of putting all your money in just one. For instance, you might consider buying Kusama along with Bitcoin or Ethereum, after checking the Kusama Price on that day.

    Set up your stop-loss orders

    A stop-loss order, in simple terms, is a preset order that will sell a part or all of the holdings automatically if the cryptocurrency price drops to some extent. It works like a safety net that helps in minimizing the loss for you, provided the market moves against you. When you set stop loss orders, you can reduce the losses and protect the investments. You need to put stop-loss orders at the proper levels.

    Use the proper position sizing

    Position sizing plays a crucial role in risk management. Regarding position sizing, you need to allocate some specific trade amount in your portfolio. You have to use the correct position size to manage the risk well. You need to ensure that you do not take a lot of trouble on a single trade, as it can lead to a lot of losses. In simple terms, you need to raise only one to 2% of the complete portfolio on one trade, so even if there is a loss, it will not impact your portfolio to a great extent.

    Set only realistic profit goals

    When you have a clear profit goal at the back of your mind, you can manage risk to a great extent. You need to ensure realistic profit goals depending on the market trends and technical analysis. Avoid getting greedy when you are in the grade you set unrealistic high profits, which can lead to risky trading decisions. You have to ensure that you are disciplined, stick to the profit target, and lock in the gain at the right time.

    Do your own research (DYOR)

    Information and market sentiment play a crucial role in the cryptocurrency market, so you must have all the information regarding the trade and prices. When you have the correct information on the latest developments and news, you can trade well. To have the correct information, you must do some research on all the cryptocurrencies that you are trading, like the technology market capitalization trading volume and historical price performance.

    Consider using leverage with care

    Leverage makes it very easy for you to trade with a considerable capital amount, and it is eventually more than what you have. Leverage is both a boon and, of course, it can lead to huge profits and losses at the same time. 

    Even though leverage can help in improving your potential income, it can also increase the risk of losses to a great extent. You need to use leverage with a lot of care and thoroughly understand all the risks involved before you consider implementing it in your strategy.

    Lastly, you need to ensure that you keep your leverage high and have the right stop-loss orders whenever you are trading with leverage. This will help you in managing your risk well.

    Manage your emotions

    Emotions like fear or greed can have a significant impact on your decision-making process, and they can also lead to impulsive trading decisions. This can lead to risks unnecessarily, so it is essential for you to keep a check on your emotions and maintain a rational approach while you are trading. You need to ensure that you avoid making any impulsive decisions based on fear or greed and stick to your risk management plan. It is OK to take a step back and reconsider your emotions when you feel that your emotions are taking over. 

    In short, risk management is a critical element of cryptocurrency trading, considering the volatile nature of the market. When you follow these rules for risk management, you can indeed reduce your potential losses.

    Cryptocurrency Risk Management

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    Tags: cryptocurrency, Cryptocurrency Risk Management

    Apr 16 2023

    We are no longer securing computers, we’re securing Society

    Category: Blockchain,Information SecurityDISC @ 10:12 am

    Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications

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    Tags: blockchain, securing Society

    Apr 09 2023

    Red Teaming Toolkit

    Category: Information Security,Security ToolsDISC @ 11:09 am

    Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything – Free with Kindle trial

    Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything

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    Tags: Red teaming, Security Toolkit

    Apr 09 2023

    Malware types and analysis

    Category: Information Security,MalwareDISC @ 9:48 am

    Accelerated Windows Malware Analysis with Memory Dumps: Training Course Transcript and WinDbg Practice Exercises, (Windows Internals Supplements)

    Malware analysis reports – Reports and IoCs from the NCSC malware analysis team

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    Tags: Malware, Malware Analysis, windows malware

    Apr 08 2023

    What is a smart sustainable city?

    Category: Information Security,Smart CitiesDISC @ 12:02 pm
    Smart Cities World - Cultural space - Smart city futures showcased in Dubai

    Smart sustainable cities

    Abu Dhabi and Dubai have  have been ranked as the smartest cities in the Middle East and North Africa the ‘Smart City Index 2021’. The index, by the Institute for Management Development (IMD), in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD) surveys residents in ranked cities to assess smart infrastructure and services covering health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance.

    What is a smart sustainable city?

    According to ITU, a smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects.

    In 2016, the ITU, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Habitat launched the initiative ‘United for Smart Sustainable Cities’ (U4SSC). The U4SSC developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for Smart Sustainable Cities (SSC) to establish the criteria to evaluate the contribution of ICT in making cities smarter and more sustainable, and to provide cities with the means for self-assessments in order to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

    The State of Play of Sustainable Cities and Buildings in the Arab Region-2017

    The State of Play of Sustainable Cities and Buildings in the Arab Region Report (PDF 26.19 MB) is a compilation of the main public policies, programmes, case studies, organisations and initiatives associated with sustainable city and building practices in twelve countries in the Arab region. Read about the UAE’s current situation with respect to sustainable cities from pages 79 to 86.

    Read more on:

    Smart sustainable cities in the UAE

    The UAE Government aims to ensure sustainable development while preserving the environment and to achieve a perfect balance between economic and social development. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are planning and developing several smart sustainable cities.

    Smart city index

    For the second year in a row, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been ranked as the smartest cities in the Middle East and North Africa region, as per the Smart City Index 2021.

    While Abu Dhabi is ranked 28, Dubai is closely behind at 29, out of 118 cities. Compared to 2020, both the emirates climbed up 14 places globally.

    The top three smart cities are:

    1. Singapore (1st)
    2. Zurich (2nd)
    3. Oslo (3rd).

    Smart City Index report 2023

    Smart Cities

    Explore how New Zealand is using technology and data to design sustainable smart cities.

    Smart Cities: MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series – audio book $0.00

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    Tags: Oslo, Singapore, Smart Citi, Smart Citi Dubai, Zurich

    Apr 06 2023

    Hackers use Rilide browser extension to bypass 2FA, steal crypto

    Category: 2FA,Crypto,Information SecurityDISC @ 12:45 pm
    Hackers use Rilide browser extension to bypass 2FA, steal crypto
    Security researchers discovered a new malicious browser extension called Rilide, that targets Chromium-based products like Google Chrome, Brave, Opera, and Microsoft Edge.

    The malware is designed to monitor browser activity, take screenshots, and steal cryptocurrency through scripts injected in web pages.

    Researchers at Trustwave SpiderLabs found that Rilide mimicked benign Google Drive extensions to hide in plain sight while abusing built-in Chrome functionalities.

    The cybersecurity company detected two separate campaigns that distributed Rilide. One was using Google Ads and Aurora Stealer to load the extension using a Rust loader. The other one distributed the malicious extension using the Ekipa remote access trojan (RAT).

    Two campaigns pushing Rilide
    Two campaigns pushing Rilide (Trustwave)

    While the origin of the malware is unknown, Trustwave reports that it has overlaps with similar extensions sold to cybercriminals. At the same time, portions of its code were recently leaked on an underground forum due to a dispute between cybercriminals over unresolved payment.

    A parasite in the browser

    Rilide’s loader modifies the web browser shortcut files to automate the execution of the malicious extension that is dropped on the compromised system.

    Malicious extension on Edge
    Malicious extension on Edge (Trustwave)

    If there’s a match, the extension loads additional scripts injected into the webpage to steal from the victim information related to cryptocurrencies, email account credentials, etc.

    The extension also disables ‘Content Security Policy,’ a security feature designed to protect against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, to freely load external resources that the browser would normally block.

    In addition to the above, the extension regularly exfiltrates browsing history and can also capture screenshots and send them to the C2.

    Capabilities graph
    Rilide’s capabilities graph (Trustwave)

    Bypassing two-factor authentication

    An interesting feature in Rilide is its 2FA-bypassing system, which uses forged dialogs to deceive victims into entering their temporary codes.

    The system is activated when the victim initiates a cryptocurrency withdrawal request to an exchange service that Rilide targets. The malware jumps in at the right moment to inject the script in the background and process the request automatically.

    Once the user enters their code on the fake dialog, Rilide uses it to complete the withdrawal process to the threat actor’s wallet address.

    “Email confirmations are also replaced on the fly if the user enters the mailbox using the same web browser,” explains Turstwave in the report.

    “The withdrawal request email is replaced with a device authorization request tricking the user into providing the authorization code.”

    Replacing the email while extracting the 2FA code
    Replacing the legitimate email (right) while extracting the 2FA code (Trustwave)

    Rilide showcases the growing sophistication of malicious browser extensions that now come with live monitoring and automated money-stealing systems.

    While the roll-out of Manifest v3 on all Chromium-based browsers will improve resistance against malicious extensions, Trustwave comments that it won’t eliminate the problem.


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    Tags: bypass 2FA, Rilide browser extension

    Mar 30 2023

    What is a blockchain security implication

    Category: Blockchain,cyber security,Information SecurityDISC @ 3:14 pm

    Table of Contents

    What is Blockchain Security?

    What Are the Types of Blockchain?

    Blockchain Security Challenges

    6 Blockchain Security Examples

    Blockchain 2035: The Digital DNA of Internet 3.0

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    Tags: blockchain security implications

    Mar 30 2023

    API Security Checklist

    Category: API security,Information SecurityDISC @ 12:43 pm

    Hacking APIs: Breaking Web Application Programming Interfaces

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    Mar 27 2023

    Hackers Exploited Critical Microsoft Outlook Vulnerability To Gain Exchange Server Access

    Category: Information SecurityDISC @ 10:15 pm

    In response to a recent vulnerability identified in Outlook, Microsoft recently published a proper guide for its customers to help them discover the associated IoCs.

    That Outlook vulnerability in question has been tracked as “CVE-2023-23397” with a CVSS score of 9.8 and marked as Critical.

    As a result of this flaw, NTLM hashes can be stolen, and without any user interaction, they can be reused to execute a relay attack.

    The threat actors use specially crafted malicious emails to exploit the vulnerability and manipulate the victim’s connection. As a result, this allows them to get control of an untrusted location.

    The attacker can authenticate as the victim with the Net-NTLMv2 hash leaked to the untrusted network.

    Microsoft patched the flaw

    In the Patch Tuesday updates for March 2023, Microsoft fixed the vulnerability in order to prevent the possibility of any further attacks.

    The problem is that this approach was taken after it was weaponized by Russian threat actors and used as a weapon against the following sectors in Europe:

    • Government
    • Transportation
    • Energy
    • Military

    It was reported in April 2022 that Microsoft’s incident response team had found evidence that the shortcoming could be exploited.

    Attack chain & threat hunting Guidance

    It has been identified that a Net-NTLMv2 Relay attack allowed a threat actor to gain unauthorized entry to an Exchange Server in one attack chain.

    By exploiting this vulnerability, the attacker could modify mailbox folder permissions and maintain persistent access, posing a significant security risk.

    The adversary used the compromised email account in the compromised environment to extend their access. It has been discovered that this is done by sending additional malicious messages through the same organization to other members.

    CVE-2023-23397 can lead to credential compromise in organizations if they do not implement a comprehensive threat-hunting strategy. 

    As a first step, running the Exchange scanning script provided by Microsoft is important to detect any malicious activity. However, it’s imperative to note that for all scenarios, this script is not capable of providing any visibility into messages that are malicious in nature.

    Multiple mailboxes can be opened at the same time by Outlook users. Messages received through one of the other services will still trigger the vulnerability if a user configured Outlook to open mailboxes from multiple services. The scanned mailboxes do not contain that message.

    If a user wishes to move a message to a local file, they can do so. Finding evidence of a prior compromise in Archived messages may be possible in some cases.

    You can no longer access your Exchange messages if they have been deleted from Exchange. It is recommended that incident responders review the security telemetry collected from all available channels in order to confirm the presence of IP addresses and URIs obtained from the PidLidReminderFileParameter values. 

    There are a number of data sources that can be used to gather data, including:-

    • Firewall logs
    • Proxy logs
    • Azure Active Directory sign-in logs for users of Exchange Online
    • IIS Logs for Exchange Server
    • VPN logs
    • RDP Gateway logs
    • Endpoint telemetry from endpoint detection and response (EDR)
    • Forensic endpoint data


    Here below we have mentioned all the recommendations:-

    • To mitigate the issue, make sure to update Microsoft Outlook immediately.
    • Ensure that defense-in-depth mitigations are active in organizations leveraging Microsoft Exchange Server on-premises.
    • The script should be used to remove either the messages or just the properties if suspicious or malicious reminder values are observed.
    • In the event that a targeted or compromised user receives suspicious reminders or initiates incident response activities, they should be instructed to reset their passwords.
    • To mitigate the impact of possible Net-NTLMv2 Relay attacks, it is recommended that you use multifactor authentication.
    • On Exchange, you should disable unnecessary services that you don’t need.
    • Block all IP addresses except those on an allowlist from requesting connections on ports 135 and 445.
    • If your environment has NTLM enabled, you should disable it.


    Mar 24 2023

    Hacking contest Pwn2Own: Ubuntu, Tesla, macOs and Windows 11 cracked

    Category: Hacking,Information SecurityDISC @ 7:08 am

    It is the third day of the PWN2OWN VANCOUVER 2023 hacking contest. So far, security researchers managed to crack the operating systems Ubuntu, macOS and Windows 11, and other products, including Tesla cars and Adobe Reader.

    Security researchers who managed to hack their targets win price money and the hacked devices, even if it is a Tesla.

    Six of the eight hacks on day one were successful, a seventh was also successful, but it used an exploit that was known previously. Only one attempt failed to hack the target in time.

    Here is the day one overview:

    • AbdulAziz Hariri of Haboob SA used a 6-bug logic chain exploiting multiple failed patches against Adobe Reader to escape the application’s sandbox and bypass a banned API list.
    • STAR Labs hacked Microsoft SharePoint successfully, using a 2-bug chain attack.
    • Bien Pham from Qrious Security exploited Oracle VirtualBox successfully using an OOB Read and a stacked-based buffer overflow.
    • Synacktiv successfully hacked a Tesla Model 3. They executed a TOCTOU (Time-of-Check-to-Time-of-Use) attack against Tesla – Gateway.
    • Marcin Wi?zowski managed to elevate privileges on Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system using an improper input validation bug.
    • Synacktiv was able to escalate privileges on Apple macOS using a TOCTOU bug.
    • STAR Labs used an already known exploit to successfully hack Ubuntu Desktop.
    • last_minute_pwnie fafiled to get an Ubuntu exploit working.

    A total price money of $375,000 was awarded to the successful researchers and teams. The Tesla Model 3 changed owner as well.

    On day two, security researchers managed to hack Oracle VirtualBox, Microsoft Teams, another Tesla, and Ubuntu Desktop.

    Here is the day two overview:

    • Thomas Imbert  and Thomas Bouzerar  from Synacktiv used a 3-bug chain against Oracle VirtualBox with a Host EoP.
    • Team Viettel hacked Microsoft Teams successfully using a 2-bug chain.
    • David Berard and Vincent Dehors from Synacktiv managed to get an exploit working that gave them unconfined root access in a Tesla. They used heap overflow and an OOB write for that.
    • dungdm of Team Viettel exploited Oracle VirtualBox using an uninitialized variable and a UAF bug.
    • Tanguy Dubroca from Synacktiv managed to escalate privilege on Ubuntu Desktop using an incorrect pointer scaling.

    The researchers received $475,000 in price money on the second day.

    Attacks against Ubuntu Desktop, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Windows 11, and VMWare Workstation are planned for the third and final day of the hacking competition.

    Additional information about the successful hacks and exploits have not been released to the public.  Companies whose products have been exploited will create security patches to protect their devices and applications from potential attacks targeting the bugs.

    Expect security updates for all hacked products in the coming days and weeks.

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    Tags: pwn2own

    Mar 13 2023

    Vendor Security Checklist

    Category: Information Security,Vendor AssessmentDISC @ 12:36 pm

    Vendor Security Checklist – by Ministry of Security

    Third Party Risk Management

    Previous posts on Vendor Assessment

    DISC performs Vendor assessment, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to help and we’re always looking for ways to improve our services. You can reach us by email (, or through our website’s contact form

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    Mar 12 2023

    Bring a firewall anywhere you go with this Deeper Connect Pico

    As threats to both data security and personal privacy pile up, fighting back has never been more important. The Deeper Connect Pico packs both privacy tools and cybersecurity protection into a unit you can drop into your pocket.

    The Pico is easy to install, taking just a minute to set up and connect. It has no subscriptions to manage or add-ons to buy, as it’s a hardware tool. Nor will it require any updates, as it’s built to be a plug-and-play device and comes with a wireless adapter.

    Powered from any USB source and drawing only 1W of power, it weighs just .11 lbs and is only 3.4 inches long by 1.2 inches wide. The brushed aluminum casing is rugged and discreet, so you can throw it in your bag, hang it off your keychain, or keep it in your pocket.

    Once connected, the Pico drops an enterprise-grade seven-layer firewall in front of snoops and malicious actors. Using an onboard quad-core ARM processor strong enough to work on the blockchain while you’re idle, the firewall prevents common attacks and alerts you when they happen, so you can take further action.

    Also built into the hardware is an ad blocker that cuts off certain attacks and guards your privacy. It’s backed up by one-click parental control, so kids can log onto public networks while you keep the rules in place.

    Providing extra security, the decentralized private network (DPN) uses other Picos as nodes for its network, with smart routing, multi-routing, and other functions across an ever-changing network that adds an extra layer of obfuscation for would-be snoops.

    The world is becoming more complex, with more risks to your data when you connect to public networks. This hardware cybersecurity and VPN tool takes the worry out of connecting with others.

    TP-Link ER7206 | Multi-WAN Professional Wired Gigabit VPN Router | Increased Network Capacity| SPI Firewall | Omada SDN Integrated | Load Balance | Lightning Protection

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    Mar 10 2023

    US Lawmakers Face Cyberattacks, Potential Physical Harm After DC Health Link Breach

    The threat actor who posted the data for sale has claimed credit for multiple other breaches, including one at grocery platform Weee! that exposed data on more than 1.1 million customers.

    Jai VijayanContributing Writer, Dark Reading

    US House of Representatives seal
    Source: Ron Adar via Shutterstock

    Hundreds of US lawmakers and their families are at risk of identity theft, financial scams, and potentially even physical threats after a known info-theft threat actor called IntelBroker made House of Representatives members’ personally identifiable information (PII) available for sale on the “Breached” criminal forum.

    The information, confirmed as being obtained via a breach at health insurance marketplace DC Health Link, includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and other sensitive identifying information. The data on the House members was part of a larger data set of PII belonging to more than 170,000 individuals enrolled with DC Health Link that the threat actor put up for sale this week.

    DC Health Link: A Significant Breach

    In a March 8 email to members of the House and their staff, US House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor said the attack on DC Health Link does not appear to have specifically targeted US lawmakers. But the breach was significant and potentially exposed PII on thousands of people enrolled with DC Health Link.

    “The FBI also informed us that they were able to purchase this PII, along with other enrollee information, on the Dark Web,” Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said in a joint letter to the executive director at DC Health Link on March 8. The letter sought specifics from the health exchange on the breach, including details on the full scope of the attack and DC Health Link’s plans to notify affected individuals and offer credit monitoring services for them.

    Despite the letter, details of the intrusion at DC Health Link are not yet available. The organization, governed by an executive board appointed by the DC mayor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.

    A report in BleepingComputer this week first identified the threat actor as the appropriately named IntelBroker, after the cybercriminals put the stolen data up for sale on March 6. According to the underground forum ad, the data set is available for “an undisclosed amount in Monero cryptocurrency.” Interested parties are asked to contact the sellers via a middleman for details.

    IntelBroker’s Resume of Previous Breaches

    This is not the first big heist for the group: A threat actor, using the same moniker in February, had claimed credit for a breach at Weee!, an Asian and Hispanic food delivery service. IntelBroker later leaked some 1.1 million unique email addresses and detailed information on over 11.3 million orders placed via the service. 

    Security vendor BitDefender, which covered the incident in its blog at the time, published an ad that IntelBroker placed on BreachedForums that showed the attacker boasting about obtaining full names, email addresses, phone number, and even order notes which included apartment and building access codes.

    Meanwhile, Chris Strand, chief risk and compliance officer at Cybersixgill says his company has been tracking IntelBroker since 2022 and is about to release a report on the actor. “IntelBroker is a highly active Breached member with an 9/10 reputation score, who claimed in the past to be the developer of Endurance ransomware,” Strand says.

    IntelBroker’s use of Breached to sell the health exchange PII, instead of a dedicated leak site or a Telegram channel, is consistent with the threat actor’s previous tactics. It suggests either a lack of resources or inexperience on the individual’s part, Strand says. 

    “In addition to IntelBroker’s presence on Breached, the threat actor has maintained a public GitHub repository titled Endurance-Wiper,” he tells Dark Reading.

    In November, IntelBroker claimed that it used Endurance to steal data from high level US government agencies, Strand notes. The threat actor has in total made some 13 claims about breaching top US government agencies, likely to attract customers to a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) program. Other organizations that IntelBroker claims to have broken into include Volvo, cult footwear maker Dr. Martens, and an Indonesian subsidiary of The Body Shop.

    “Our intelligence analysts have been tracking IntelBroker since 2022, and we have been collecting intel attributed to that threat actor since then, as well as associated threats that have been related or attributed to IntelBroker,” Strand says.

    Is House Members’ PII a National Security Threat?

    Justin Fier, senior vice president of red team operations at Darktrace, says the threat actor’s reason for putting the data up for sale appears to be purely financially motivated rather than political. And given the high profile of the victims, IntelBroker may find that the attention the breach is garnering will increase the value of the stolen data (or bring more heat than it would like).

    The buyers might be another story. Given the availability of physical addresses and electronic contact information, the kinds of potential follow-on attacks are myriad, ranging from social engineering for identity theft or espionage, to physical targeting, meaning that interested parties could run the gamut in terms of motivation.

    “The amount tells you a great deal about who they may be thinking of in terms of buyers,” he says. If all that the threat actor ends up asking is a couple of thousand dollars, they are likely to be a smaller criminal enterprise. But “you start talking millions, they are clearly then catering to nation-state buyers,” he says.

    Fier assesses that the data that the threat actor stole on US House members as potentially posing a national security issue. “We shouldn’t only think external nation-states that might want to purchase this,” Fier says. “Who is to say that other political parties and/or activists couldn’t weaponize it?”

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    Tags: Cyberattacks, US Lawmakers

    Mar 06 2023

    Browser Security report reveals major online security threats

    Category: Information Security,Web SecurityDISC @ 12:27 pm
    browser safety report 2022

    LayerX has published its annual browser security report in which the company highlights the most prominent browser security risks of 2022. The report includes predictions and recommendations for 2023 as well.

    The report focuses on Enterprise environments, but several of its key takeaways apply to small business and home environments as well. The browser security threats of 2022 make up the largest part of the document, but users find predictions, recommendations and an interesting monthly overview of major security events in the report as well.

    The nine major threats that LayerX identified in 2022 were the following ones:

    • Phishing attacks via high reputation domains.
    • Malware distribution via file sharing systems.
    • Data leakage through personal browser profiles.
    • Outdated browsers.
    • Vulnerable passwords.
    • Unmanaged devices.
    • High-risk extensions.
    • Shadow SaaS.
    • MFA bypass with AiTM attacks.

    Some of these are quite clear, others may require explanation. For phishing attacks, the researchers discovered that threat actors are hosting phishing URLs on legitimate SaaS platforms at an alarming rate. The rate of phishing attacks that use these legitimate platforms has increased by 1100% when compared to 2021, according to a Palo Alto Networks study.

    LayerX conducted tests on how well browsers and network security tools protected against 1-day phishing sites. According to the test, the best performing browser had a catch rate of just 36%. Network security software blocked 48% of threats.

    Similarly, malware is distributed via sanctioned services such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, to overcome blocks that may be in place for lesser known services and sites.

    An analysis of data leakage in browsers concluded that 29% of users connected work browsers to personal profiles, and that 5.8% of identities were exposed in data breaches.

    Outdated browsers are another threat to security, according to LayerX’s report. Ana analysis of 500 Chrome browsers revealed that a good number was either critically outdated or vulnerable to 1-day attacks.

    Weak passwords and the reuse of passwords continue to be major issues. According to LayerX’s report, 29% of users use weak or medium strength passwords, and 11% of users reuse passwords regularly. The company noticed that 29% browser profiles were personal and set to sync.

    Web browser extensions are another attack vector, as they “can grant excessive permissions once installed”. A recent Incogni study found that almost half of the analysed browser extensions posted either a high security or privacy risk.

    The report includes an overview of browser security highlights of the year 2022. It is an interesting account that lists major security events in 2022. Some of these involved attacks, like the January 2022 video player attack that stole credit card information from over a hundred sites. Others highlight security advances, like the passwordless logins announcement by major tech companies in May, or the end of Internet Explorer in June.

    The report ends with four predictions and recommendations. Predictions include that browsers will become “the main attack surface”, that attacks will “be increasingly SaaS-based and less file-based”, and that malicious web pages “will become more sophisticated”.

    Closing Words

    The report offers insights on the browser threat landscape of 2022, and how threats will evolve in 2023 and beyond. While most of it is aimed at Enterprise and large business environments, it may still be of interest to home users and small businesses alike.

    The recommendations focus on SaaS and Enterprise-grade protections, but all users may use the listed threats to improve security. For example, outdated browsers may be updated more frequently, and weak or reused passwords may be replaced with unique strong passwords.

    The report is available for download here, but a short form needs to be filled out before the download link is made available.


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    Feb 25 2023

    10 Best Selling Security Hacking Books

    Best Selling #InfoSec Hacking Books

    1. The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers” by Kevin Mitnick
    2. “Hacking: The Art of Exploitation” by Jon Erickson
    3. “Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide” by David Kennedy, Jim O’Gorman, Devon Kearns, and Mati Aharoni
    4. Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters” by Justin Seitz
    5. Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking” by Georgia Weidman
    6. The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto
    7. Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software” by Michael Sikorski and Andrew Honig
    8. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook” by Allen Harper, Daniel Regalado, Ryan Linn, Stephen Sims, and Branko Spasojevic
    9. The Hacker Playbook 2: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing” by Peter Kim
    10. Violent Python: A Cookbook for Hackers, Forensic Analysts, Penetration Testers and Security Engineers” by TJ O’Connor
    11. The Shellcoder’s Handbook: Discovering and Exploiting Security Holes” by Chris Anley, John Heasman, Felix Lindner, and Gerardo Richarte

    Ethical Hacking Essentials (EHE)

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    Feb 24 2023

    Top 10 infoSec blogs

    Category: Information SecurityDISC @ 3:29 pm
    Top 10 Cybersecurity Blogs to Follow

    Here are the top 10 infoSec blogs: by ChatGPT

    1. Krebs on Security – Brian Krebs’ blog is a top resource for in-depth investigative reporting on cybersecurity news, data breaches, and the latest threats.
    2. Schneier on Security – Bruce Schneier is a renowned cybersecurity expert, and his blog offers a deep dive into the latest industry developments, policy issues, and encryption technologies.
    3. Dark Reading – This is a top online news source for cybersecurity professionals, covering a wide range of topics such as threat intelligence, vulnerability management, and cybersecurity trends.
    4. The Hacker News – A leading cybersecurity news website that delivers breaking news and analysis on hacking, cybercrime, and cybersecurity issues.
    5. Threatpost – Another popular cybersecurity news and analysis website that covers a broad range of topics, including malware, phishing, data breaches, and more.
    6. SecurityWeek – This website offers the latest information on cybersecurity news, analysis, and research, with a focus on enterprise security, vulnerability management, and threat intelligence.
    7. Graham Cluley – Graham Cluley is a well-known cybersecurity expert who shares his insights and opinions on his blog, covering everything from security news to privacy concerns and cybersecurity culture.
    8. Naked Security by Sophos – This blog by the Sophos cybersecurity company covers a wide range of cybersecurity topics, including malware, phishing, social engineering, and other cyber threats.
    9. SANS Institute – SANS is a trusted cybersecurity training organization, and their blog covers a wide range of cybersecurity topics, including threat intelligence, incident response, and security awareness.
    10. InfoSec Resources – A popular cybersecurity blog that covers a wide range of topics, including cybersecurity news, best practices, and career development.

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    Tags: InfoSec blog, Top 10 InfoSec blogs

    Feb 16 2023

    What is the tokenization process and why it is so important?

    Category: Information Security,pci dssDISC @ 10:27 am

    A large number of e-commerce payment platforms use effective payment gateway tools and effectively integrate them with an acceptable payment strategy. Today’s e-commerce websites need to integrate anti-fraud tools, renew bank cards, integrate multiple gateways, and manage alternative payment methods.

    It is important to get these complex integrations right and bring them together into one functioning system; choosing the right tokenization partner is the key to success in these processes.

    What is the tokenization process and why is it needed?

    Tokenization is an important process of replacing sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, with unique identifying information while preserving all important data information; a tokenization solution is a form of using a unique security key to provide an appropriate level of security to important confidential data.

    Think of tokenization as a secret code that uses a key to retrieve an encrypted message. Some versions of the credit card number store the last four digits; however, the remaining digits of the credit number are random.

    In this case, you can safely store the token in the database. Anyone with access to this token cannot use it to compromise your credit card account. For these tokens to be used to process credit card transactions, they must be re-linked to the original credit card numbers. Typically, this mapping is performed by a secure third party. All this is done to ensure full security.

    Blockchain technology is a technology that most people associate only with cryptocurrencies. This attribution is not entirely incorrect, as the blockchain was created for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. However, much has changed since 2009 (the year Bitcoin appeared), and the scope of blockchain technology continues to actively expand.

    One of the key applications of this technology today is tokenization, a secure form of digitization based on the blockchain technology mentioned above. The process of tokenization consists of assigning a specific value to a symbol, which can exist materially or immaterially, and is a digital “token” that stores data. With this efficient solution, you can securely buy and sell your assets online.

    Examples of this use of tokens include the value of the stock market. Most of us associate stocks and bonds with paper-based notices of ownership of those assets, but tokenization allows us to replace those paper notices with digital versions. The implementation of traditional solutions in the digital world simplifies and optimizes a large number of important processes, making them significantly more efficient.

    The terms “token” and “cryptocurrency” are often confused and used interchangeably; not surprisingly, both concepts are closely related to blockchain technology. The key difference between cryptocurrencies and tokens is that cryptocurrencies are a means of payment, whereas tokens cannot; they can be compared to a kind of chip.

    A token is created using smart contracts on a specific blockchain network and can perform various key functions. Each blockchain network can contain an unlimited number of tokens.

    On the other hand, a smart contract is a kind of computer program embedded in a certain blockchain network that automatically enforces the terms contained in it. Both tokens and cryptocurrencies can be transferred on the blockchain network; however, token transaction fees depend on the cryptocurrency.

    What information must be provided for tokenization?

    Tokenization is commonly used to protect credit card numbers, a process mandated by the Payment Card Industry Council (PCI). However, there are many different use cases, tokenization terminology allows you to learn a variety of effective tools that provide active growth in the field of security for business organizations for which it is important to reliably protect confidential data.

    Consider personal or personally identifiable information. HIPPA, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires confidential processing, anonymization, and secure storage of personal data. Organizations and various business environments should use tokenization capabilities when the business needs to securely store confidential information, such as:

    • ID number;
    • Date of birth;
    • Gender or race;
    • Driver’s license;
    • Credit card number;
    • Valid phone number;
    • Bank account number;
    • Social insurance number;
    • Current residential address of clients;

    Due to the universality of tokens, they are divided into several types that perform different functions. One of the key differences is between mutual tokens and non-splitting tokens. For example, payment tokens are used to make payments. Their function is mainly to ensure the safety of investors. Issued security tokens are protected by law and represent specific stocks, bonds, or other assets of genuine interest.

    Are my tokens safe?

    Undoubtedly, there are many advantages to using tokens, but is it safe to store data? Security is considered one of the most important benefits of tokenization. Stability, irreversibility of transactions, and elimination of intermediaries are just some of the characteristics that affect security when using blockchain technology.

    In addition, the security of tokenization is provided by smart contracts that allow parties to trade directly. For example, selling real estate in the form of tokens does not require a notary or a real estate agent. Everything is done quickly and directly.

    Note that each contracting party must ensure that personal tokens are properly stored and protected from loss to properly act as guarantors of successful transactions. Tokenization is a form of business digitization based on blockchain technology.

    The potential of tokenization is huge and has yet to be fully explored. Tokens are divided into different types. The most common use of tokens is to digitize different types of assets, such as physical assets, digital assets, projects, company shares, shares, or loans.

    What are the different types of tokenization processes?

    When it comes to PCI tokens, there are three key types of tokenization: gateway tokenization, end-to-end tokenization, and payment service tokenization. Gateway tokenization. When you do e-commerce, you most likely get paid through a payment gateway.

    Most gateways have technology that allows you to securely store your credit card in the system, then issue a refund and delete your card data. The downside is that each gateway provides its token scheme. This means that you cannot use this gateway. Changing gateways is often a time-consuming and expensive process of moving customer data to a new gateway for secure processing. 

    In some cases, the gateway may not allow these actions. End-to-end tokenization. Some independent tokenization providers have their technology that sits between your e-commerce site and the gateway. These end-to-end token providers allow you to use your existing gateway integration code.

    One of the key advantages of this type of tokenization is that it uses existing technology and can be adapted at a very fast pace. It also has the advantage of modularity. Unlike gateway tokenization, modularity can be actively used for more than just credit card payments. You can use the tokenization model to connect to most APIs and tokenize data other than credit card data.

    End-to-end tokenization is an evolution of gateway tokenization. This gives payment solutions the freedom to route transactions to different gateways in real-time, avoiding costly and time-consuming transfers of card data between different payment platforms.

    Tokenization processes of various important payment services

    A key tokenization strategy is the payment service model. This model offers a single API that, when integrated, can route payments to multiple gateways. The payment service model is best suited for companies with more complex payment needs.

    This model works well when a company needs to pay in several regions or several different currencies or through several gateways. A disadvantage of the payment service model is that existing gateway embed code cannot be reused.

    In addition to reduced PCI coverage and increased security, the tokenized payment service model has unique key benefits from its active use. The payment services model not only simplifies your embed code but also takes control of your tokens away from the payment gateway. Unlike gateway tokenization, tokens provided by third parties can be actively used with supported gateways. 

    Tokens issued by payment gateways cannot be used against competing alternative gateways. Security and compliance alone are reasons enough to implement a popular solution like the tokenization of various assets that are important to you, your company, and your customers.

    The truth is that key security requirements for online payments are difficult to implement on your own. In particular, startups often choose to sacrifice security for time to market. Accepting online payments makes your business a target for cybercriminals. Hiring security experts and implementing effective tokenization processes can save your business environment valuable time and money in the long run.

    Keep these practical tips in mind. Choose a reliable tokenization partner, test the tokenization, what level of protection you can achieve by working on the integration, and find a vendor that can integrate multiple gateways, methods, and services into a single integration. One of the key technologies needed to connect all payment solutions is tokenization.

    A trusted provider fully controls tokens, provides redundancy, reduces PCI coverage, and improves the security standards in place in your business environment.

    What can be tokenized?

    The use cases for tokenization can grow endlessly. Since anything can be digitized, tokenization is often used in professional life. These are various business projects that can demonstrate the most practical examples of using tokenization.

    Digitization of the company involves the creation of tokens that are closely related to a specific project. Tokenization techniques that add value to tokens can be used as an indispensable tool for automating processes in companies and as a means of financing them. Real estate tokenization is becoming more and more popular worldwide due to the following features: transaction speed, lack of intermediaries, and security.

    The process of property tokenization involves issuing tokens on the blockchain network and linking them to certain properties. Thus, the investor becomes a co-owner or owner of a certain asset, the shares of which can be represented in tokens.

    Using blockchain technology and a specially designed platform, it is also possible to assign unique numbers to gems and certain forms of ore to determine their authenticity.

    Raw materials registered with digital numbers can then be identified by verifying their origin, properties, and associated processes. NFT tokens have the unique potential to revolutionize both the physical and digital art markets. Each NFT token has a unique, non-tradable value that allows you to express your interest in the rights to a work of art, making investing in art an easy and fast process.

    What is the tokenization process and why it is so important?

    Digital Finance: Security Tokens and Unlocking the Real Potential of Blockchain

    Blockchain and the Future of Finance

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