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

May 08 2023

1M NextGen Patient Records Compromised in Data Breach

Category: Data Breach,hipaa,Ransomwaredisc7 @ 1:44 pm

BlackCat ransomware operators reportedly stole the sensitive data.

Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar via Alamy Stock Photo

A database containing the personal information of more than 1 million people was stolen from NextGen Healthcare, Inc., a provider of cloud-based healthcare technology.

NextGen Heathcare provided a disclosure to the Maine Attorney General’s office that said the breach occurred on March 29 and lasted through April 14. The compromise was discovered on April 24, the company reported.

The compromise occurred due to “unauthorized access to database stemming from use of stolen client credentials that appear to have been stolen from other sources or incidents unrelated to NextGen,” the healthcare technology provider said.

Samples of NextGen’s stolen data reportedly popped up on ransomware operator BlackCat’s leak site, but were later removed without explanation.

NextGen’s disclosure indicated the databased contained “name or other personal identifier in combination with Social Security Number.”

NextGen had not responded to Dark Reading’s request for comment at the time of this post.

NextGen Breach Follow-on Attacks Likely

The NextGen breach poses a major threat to its victims, according to Tom Kellermann, senior vice president of cyber strategy at Contrast Security.

“This is a massive cybercrime which will result in widespread identity theft,” Kellermann said in a statement provided to Dark Reading. “Healthcare providers have long been preferred targets by cybercriminals who specialize in identity theft due to two reasons: First they have woeful inadequate cybersecurity and second, they store the most sensitive PII.”

In 2021, there were more data breaches of healthcare-related organizations than any other sector, accounting for 24% of all cybersecurity incidents, according to Steve Gwizdala, vice president of healthcare at ForgeRock.

“Vigilance and new ways of enhancing cybersecurity measures will be crucial to healthcare organizations and businesses responsible for protecting the personal information of consumers stored online — across the entire supply chain,” Gwizdala said in a statement.

Research Anthology on Securing Medical Systems and Records

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Tags: Patient Records Compromised

May 08 2023


Category: Cybercrime,Security Toolsdisc7 @ 1:21 pm

Kimsuky is an advanced persistent threat (APT) organization that originates in North Korea and has a lengthy history of launching targeted attacks all around the globe. According to what is currently known about the organization, they have been mainly tasked with conducting information gathering and espionage activities in behalf of the North Korean government from at least the year 2012. Throughout the course of history, Kimsuky targets have been spread throughout several nations in North America, Asia, and Europe. In its most recent efforts, the organization has continued their strategy of worldwide targeting, which is centered on a variety of contemporary geopolitical concerns. The most recent Kimsuky ads, for instance, have been centered on nuclear agendas between China and North Korea; these agendas are pertinent to the continuing confrontation between Russia and Ukraine. In 2018, the gang was seen deploying a malware family known as BabyShark, and  most recent observations show that the group has developed the malware with an enhanced capacity for reconnaissance. Experts call to this component of BabyShark as ReconShark.

During a recent campaign, Kimsuky targeted the employees of the Korea Risk Group (KRG), which is an information and analysis organization that specializes in subjects that have both direct and indirect effects on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Kimsuky continues to employ phishing emails that have been carefully designed by himself for the purpose of deploying ReconShark. Notably, spear-phishing emails are created with a degree of design quality customized for certain persons, which increases the possibility that the target would open the email. This involves using correct formatting, language, and visual signals so that the content seems authentic to readers who are not paying attention. Notably, both the targeted emails, which include links to download harmful papers, as well as the malicious documents themselves, exploit the names of genuine people whose knowledge is relevant to the subject matter of the bait, such as Political Scientists.

Kimsuky’s nefarious emails include a link that, when clicked, will direct the recipient to a file that requires a password in order to access it. Most recently, they started hosting the infected document for download on Microsoft OneDrive, which is a cloud storage service.Exfiltrating information about the infected platform is the primary function of ReconShark. This includes information about current processes, information about the battery that is attached to the device, and information about endpoint threat detection measures that have been implemented.

In a manner similar to those of earlier iterations of BabyShark, ReconShark depends on Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to query information on processes and batteries. ReconShark does more than just steal information; it also distributes additional payloads in a multi-stage process. These payloads may be built as scripts (VBS, HTA, and Windows Batch), macro-enabled Microsoft Office templates, or Windows DLL files. The types of detecting mechanism processes that are active on compromised computers are taken into consideration when ReconShark chooses which payloads to send out.

In order to avoid being detected by static analysis methods, some ReconShark sequences are encoded using a pretty simple encryption. Typically, the instructions or scripts that are included inside these strings are for downloading and/or running payloads. All of the infrastructure that has been spotted as part of this campaign is housed on a shared hosting server provided by NameCheap. LiteSpeed Web Server (LSWS) was often used by operators of the Kimsuky malware in order to manage the harmful functionality. The continual attacks by Kimsuky and their use of the innovative reconnaissance tool ReconShark provide insight on the ever-changing nature of the North Korean threat environment. Organizations and people need to be aware of the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) utilized by North Korea state-sponsored advanced persistent threats (APTs) and take the required steps to defend themselves against attacks of this kind.

Field Manual FM 3-98 Reconnaissance and Security Operations

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May 05 2023


Category: Web Securitydisc7 @ 9:48 am

Your company website should be protected from bugs, hackers, and other online threats. If it isn’t, it might crash, your data will be put at risk, and the company might lose a lot of money. 


  • Using anti-malware.
  • Obtaining a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
  • Setting tough passwords to crack.
  • Keeping the site updated.
  • Controlling who can leave comments. 

The first step is obtaining an SSL certificate. Anti-malware helps detect malicious agents and prevent attacks. 

Make sure you look out for phishing emails and other scams. Finally, it might be a good idea to accept comments manually if you wish to enable this function on your site. Don’t forget to run regular backups.

Below, each suggestion is explored in detail. 


Some providers of this type of software offer free plans, but the more effective ones are paid. They have features like malware detection and removal, web scanning, web application firewalls, DDoS protection, vulnerability patching, and PCI compliance. 

If you choose a reliable hosting platform for your website, it will do all the work around your site’s security for you. Many hosting services provide anti-malware tools and devices as part of their plans.


There are a few ways to get SSL installed. Your hosting company might have a free certificate with your plan. Platforms like WordPress typically have this option too. A high-quality website builder will have free SSL. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a basic Let’s Encrypt SSL and install it for free. However, an advanced certificate is imperative as a guarantee of the best security level possible. The prices of these certificates vary. You can purchase them from domain registrars and hosting providers. 

The free SSL version might suffice for a startup or small company. However, if you’re processing large volumes of personal or financial data or operating a big online store, free SSL will not suffice for your needs.


It’s tempting to use simple, but easy-to-guess passwords and passphrases. You should never reuse passwords for multiple profiles. Instead, opt for a password manager and use unique ones everywhere. 

You could combine a few random but memorable phrases or use a randomly generated character sequence. Use long passwords or passphrases, and don’t use personal information in them. 

You can create a truly uncrackable password using the above and other tips. Of course, you should never share passwords with anyone. It would help if you changed them occasionally too. 


If you wish to enable comments on your company blog, don’t let visitors post comments directly. This makes you vulnerable to malicious links, on which other visitors to your site might click, thereby installing malware or exposing personal data. Sometimes, comments are just plain annoying.

One option is setting up the website so that comments need to be manually approved before they appear. You can use an anti-spam plugin or software or obligate people to register to leave comments. 

After a few weeks have passed, you could turn off comments on posts. 


Most website builders handle security issues and software updates, so this shouldn’t concern you if you’re using a reputable one. 

WordPress and other free platforms tend to leave updates to the user. It depends on what type of hosting you choose. Managed hosting is more expensive, but the hosting provider will run updates when necessary. Unmanaged hosting is more affordable, but you’ll be responsible for the updates for your core software as well as for any installed plugins. 

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May 04 2023

World Password Day: 2 + 2 = 4

Category: Password SecurityDISC @ 8:46 am

World Password Day is always hard to write tips for, because the primary advice you’ll hear has been the same for many years.

That’s because the “passwordless future” that we’ve all been promised is still some time away, even if some services already support it.

Simply put, we’re stuck with the old, while at the same time preparing for the new.

That’s why we’ve come up with four tips for 2023, but split them into two halves.

Thus the headline: 2 + 2 = 4.

We’ve got two Timeless Tips that you already know (but might still be putting off), plus two Tips To Think About Today.


Use a password manager if you can.

Password managers help you choose a completely different password for every site. They can come up with 20 random characters as easily as you can remember your cat’s name. And they make it hard to put the right password into the wrong site, because they can’t be tricked by what a site looks like. They always check the URL of the website instead.


Use 2FA when you can.

2FA is short for two-factor authentication, where a password alone is not enough. 2FA often relies on one-time codes, typically six digits long, that you have to put in as well as your same-every-time password. So it’s a minor inconvenience for you, but it makes things harder for the crooks, because they can’t jump straight in with just a stolen password.


Get rid of accounts you aren’t using.

Lots of sites force you to create a permanent account even if you only want to use them once. That leaves them holding personal data that they don’t need, but that they could leak at any time. (If sites can’t or won’t close your account and delete your data when asked, consider reporting them to the regulator in your country.)


Revisit your account recovery settings.

You may have old accounts with recovery settings such as phone numbers or email addresses that are no longer valid, or that you no longer use. That means you can’t recover the account if ever you need to, but someone else might be able to. Fix the recovery settings if you can, or consider closing your account (see previous tip).

And with that, Happy World Password Day, everybody 🌻

Password Keeper Book: My Personal Keeper – The Ultimate Password Organizer With Alphabetical Tabs: Never Forget a Password Again with Our Secure Password Keeper Book

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Tags: The Vault, world password day

May 03 2023

What Is ISO 27001 And How To Go About It The Right Way

Category: ISO 27kDISC @ 11:10 pm

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is a globally recognized standard on information and cyber security. By being compliant with this standard, you are operating in accordance with globally identified best practices. By being ISO 27001 certified, you’re not only operating in accordance with it, but you will also receive a clear stamp as evidence to your customers and other stakeholders that you are working aligned with security best practices.

Common Trap When Pursuing ISO 27001

Often companies who want to pursue ISO 27001 will quickly drop the idea when they start looking into the standard – this is because, often companies fall into the trap of starting with the controls as specified in ISO 270002 . When you only focus on the controls and implementation guidance, it can feel overwhelming and be frustrating as you will notice a lot of the implementation guidance will not make sense to your company and you can be under the impression that you are required to follow all the implementation guidance in order to become compliant or go for the certification.

This is false!

Falling into this trap, you are missing out on the core purpose of the standard. It is not about implementing all the controls and all the guidance you get from the standard – it is about building a functional management system that is aligned with your company context – it is about understanding the issues and risks you as a company are facing, and taking the appropriate measures to protect your assets and information.

How To Go About It The Right Way!

You should always start by focusing on the standard clauses in ISO 27001 that provide clear guidance on how to build a functional management system, when this is done correctly the controls will fall into place in the correct order at the right time in accordance with your company context and the risks that you as a company need to manage.

When people say that small companies should not pursue iso because it is too complex and has too many requirements – the above is the reason why it does not have to be.

All companies should prioritize and have a functional management system on how they secure their own company and the company assets. Protecting your values is a crucial element to stay in business!

Make sure you understand your company, your needs, and please avoid looking at other companies and the measures they have taken to protect themself and think that you have to do the same. Make your management system your own, build it so that it isdesigned to protect your assets. This way, you will have greater success and security will not be something that is forced on your company, it will be a tool to help you work more efficiently and securely.


To sum it up, ISO 27001 is a great standard to pursue both for small and large organizations.

Make sure you understand the purpose of the standard, and as a result implement a management system that is a perfect fit for your organization for long term success. ISO 27001 done right will result in a more secure and effective company that will again support the main goal of business continuity.

ISO 27001 Risk Assessment and Gap Assessment

Cybersecurity Management Solution Pack:

What is BS ISO/IEC 27001:2022 – Expert Commentary about?
BS ISO/IEC 27001:2022 is the third edition of this standard. It technically revises, cancels, and replaces the Second Edition – ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (also published as BS EN ISO/IEC 27001:2017). BS ISO/IEC 27001:2022 presents the requirements for an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS assists an organization to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, in the face of an ever-changing threat landscape, no matter the source of risk. Thus, it deals with threats that can be technological, human, physical and environmental in nature.

The standard requires an organization to adopt a risk management framework to determine the necessary information security controls best suited to their business needs and risk appetite. To help organizations ensure that they have not inadvertently omitted any necessary control, the framework uses a reference set of controls (BS ISO/IEC 27001, Annex A), which also facilitates reliable comparisons to be drawn between organizations. The level of change incorporated into the revised version of the standard is medium.

The main changes compared to the previous edition are:
a fully revised reference information security control set (Annex A), which now aligns with ISO/IEC 27002:2022 and
alignment with the revised harmonized structure (HS) for management system standards.

Download ISO27000 family of information security standards today!

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Tags: ISO 27001:2022, ISO 27002 2022

May 03 2023

New BGP Protocol Flaws Let Attackers Trigger DoS Attacks

Category: DDoSDISC @ 9:44 pm

Forescout Vedere Labs recently highlighted the neglected BGP security aspect – software implementation vulnerabilities.

FRRouting’s BGP message parsing vulnerabilities discovered by Forescout Vedere Labs could enable attackers to trigger a DoS state on susceptible BGP peers.

Major networking vendors depend on software suites that implement BGP, which are widely used online.


What is BGP?

The internet’s primary routing protocol is BGP, and large data centers frequently use BGP for internal traffic routing, while BGP extensions like MP-BGP are extensively implemented for MPLS L3 VPNs.

Organizations should avoid relying solely on their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ensure BGP security. It appears that attackers can still exploit easily accessible vulnerabilities in current BGP implementations.

By enabling the exchange of routing and reachability information, BGP facilitates the interaction of autonomous systems (ASes), which are sets of leased IP addresses allocated to organizations by registrars for a specific period.

A BGP failure may make an AS unreachable, as others cannot route packets. A threat actor may abuse a BGP setting to reroute network traffic in an unintentional direction.


An analysis was conducted by security analysts using both manual analysis methods and fuzzing techniques to assess the following seven popular BGP implementations:-

  • FRRouting (Open-source)
  • BIRD (Open-source)
  • OpenBGPd (Open-source) 
  • Mikrotik RouterOS (Closed-source)
  • Juniper JunOS (Closed-source)
  • Cisco IOS (Closed-source)
  • Arista EOS (Closed-source)

Analysts discovered three previously unknown vulnerabilities in Free Range Routing (FRRouting) version 8.4, released November 7th, 2022.

Here below, we have mentioned the complete flaw profile of the detected vulnerabilities:-

  • CVE ID: CVE-2022-40302
  • Description: Out-of-bounds read when processing a malformed BGP OPEN message with an Extended Optional Parameters Length option.
  • CVSSv3.1: 6.5
  • Potential Impact: DoS
  • CVE ID: CVE-2022-40318
  • Description: Out-of-bounds read when processing a malformed BGP OPEN message with an Extended Optional Parameters Length option. This is a different issue from CVE-2022-40302.
  • CVSSv3.1: 6.5
  • Potential Impact: DoS
  • CVE ID: CVE-2022-43681
  • Description: Out-of-bounds read when processing a malformed BGP OPEN message that abruptly ends with the option length octet (or the option length word, in case of OPEN with extended option lengths message).
  • CVSSv3.1: 6.5
  • Potential Impact: DoS

In 2016, FRRouting was created by developers from multiple commercial organizations by forking Quagga, another open-source project. FRRouting is now employed by major vendors, including nVidia Cumulus, and utilized by large organizations like:-

  • PayPal
  • Yahoo
  • Dutch National Police

While apart from this, Amazon supports DENT, and Microsoft supports SONiC, which is employed in some routers from Juniper.

In the case of repeated sending of malformed packets, the DoS condition can last indefinitely. Almost 1,000 of the 330,000 internet-enabled hosts with BGP enabled to respond to uninvited BGP OPEN messages.

It should be noted that most of the BGP hosts reside in the following countries:-

  • China (close to 100,000)
  • The US (50,000)
  • The UK (16,000)

A new open-source tool has been released ( by cybersecurity researchers for organizations to assess the security of their internally used BGP suites. Further, this tool can be used to discover new vulnerabilities in BGP implementations by cybersecurity researchers.

There are several scripts available with the tool to demonstrate how it can be used for testing the vulnerabilities found and testing the concept cases for:-

  • NOTIFICATION messages


Patching network infrastructure devices frequently is the most effective recommendation to minimize the risks associated with vulnerable BGP implementations like the ones discovered in FRRouting.

Maintaining an updated asset inventory that monitors the networking devices and software versions running on them is crucial to achieving this objective.

Protecting the Integrity of Internet Routing: Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Route Origin Validation: NIST SP 1800-14A, B & C

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Tags: BGP Protocol Flaws

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

May 01 2023

Using just-in-time access to reduce cloud security risk

Category: Cloud computingDISC @ 9:08 am

Cloud environments rely on identity as the security perimeter, and identities are mushrooming and making “identity sprawl” a serious challenge. Users often have multiple identities that span many resources and devices, while machine identities —used by apps, connected devices and other services—are growing at an accelerated pace.

This becomes a problem if an attacker manages to compromise an identity, allowing them to gain a foothold in the environment and exploit those privileges to move laterally throughout the cloud environment — or even escalate permissions to do even more damage across many other assets and resources.

One way to address the large attack surface and unnecessary risk in the cloud is to implement just-in-time (JIT) privileged access. This approach limits the amount of time an identity is granted privileged access before they are revoked. Even if an attacker compromises credentials, it may only have privileged access temporarily or not at all. This is a critical defense mechanism.

Simply put, JIT grants privileged access only temporarily and revokes it once the related task is completed. JIT builds on a least-privilege framework to include a time factor, so users only have access to those resources they need to carry out their functions, and only while they are performing those functions. That said, excessive privileges should, by default, be eliminated wherever possible.

“Right-sizing permissions” has become a buzzword for security professionals, but it’s a challenge. Enforcing the kind of granular permissions management necessary for good cloud security manually—going back and forth trying to determine which privileges are called for and what are the minimal escalations that can get the job done — can be time-consuming and frustrating for both users and security teams.

Organizations have reason to worry. As the annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report notes time and again: credentials can be the weak link in any network. The most recent report noted the use of stolen credentials has grown about 30% in the last five years. Since a large share of breaches can be traced back to credential theft and abuse, limiting the potential scope of account compromise will have an outsized effect on improving security.

How to implement JIT access

Deploying JIT access begins with gaining a clear view of who users are, what privileges they have and what privileges they need, including whether they are human and machine identities. Is the user an engineer or developer, an administrator or security staff?
Work can’t stop while a user waits to be validated. This is where automation can provide a workable system to provision temporary privileges and revoke them once they’re not necessary.

A few best practices can help security teams implement automated JIT:

  • A self-service portal: Security staff get a bad rap as creators of user friction, so any tool that can smooth out workflows is a good thing. A self-service portal can reduce friction by allowing users to request elevated privileges and tracking the approval process. This cuts back on delays and requests that fall through the cracks, while also enabling automated permissions management, which in turn reduces cloud attack surface and leads an audit trail for monitoring activity.
  • Automate policies for low-risk requests: Simple requests involving low-risk activity, such as work in non-production environments, can be automated with policies that approve requests for a limited time and without human intervention.
  • Define owners for each step of the process: Automation should not equal relinquishing control of business processes. It needs to be monitored to ensure unintended actions do not occur. Each step of the process —reviewing requests, monitoring implementation, and revoking privileges—must be assigned an owner and more complex and sensitive requests should be reviewed and approved by a human, when necessary.

By implementing JIT, security teams can move closer to achieving a least-privilege model and implementing zero trust security. Automation can make this possible by speeding up the process of granting and revoking permissions as necessary, without creating more work for security teams that are already stretched thin, or friction for users that impacts their agility and efficiency.


Securing Cloud Services: A pragmatic approach

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Tags: cloud security risk, Securing Cloud Services

Apr 30 2023


Category: Hacking,MalwareDISC @ 1:14 pm

A new piece of malware known as Atomic macOS Stealer (AMOS) was recently discovered by researchers as it was being offered for sale on Telegram. The threat actor who is promoting it charges $1,000 each month and continually updates the virus that they are selling. The Atomic macOS Stealer is capable of stealing a variety of information from the computer of the victim, such as passwords saved in the Keychain, comprehensive system information, files from the victim’s desktop and documents folder, and even the macOS password itself.

One of its many capabilities is the extraction of data from web browsers and cryptocurrency wallets such as Atomic, Binance, Coinomi, Electrum, and Exodus. This is only one of its many functions. When a threat actor purchases the stealer from the creators of the stealer, they are also given a web panel that is pre-configured and ready to use for managing the victims.

In the event that AMOS is installed, it has the potential to compromise a broad range of data, some of which include the passwords for iCloud Keychain, the password for the macOS system, cookies, passwords, and credit card credentials from browsers like as Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, and Opera, among others. Additionally, it has the ability to compromise cryptocurrency wallets such as Atomic, Binance, Exodus, Electrum, MetaMask, and a great number of others.

A web panel, a program called Brute MetaMask, logs in Telegram with alerts, and more features are provided to customers by the malicious party that is offering malware as a service.

The following is the message that the threat actor posted on Telegram while trying to sell the malware:

After the malware has gained access to a user’s information, it places the information into a ZIP file, compresses it, and then sends it to the malicious party via a command and control server URL.

It is imperative that users only download and install software from trusted sources, enable two-factor authentication, review app permissions, and refrain from opening suspicious links received via email or SMS messages as a result of this development, which is another sign that macOS is increasingly becoming a lucrative target beyond nation-state hacking groups to deploy stealer malware. The development is also a sign that macOS is becoming a target for cybercriminals to deploy stealer malware.

To protect against it:

Only applications from the official Apple App Store should be downloaded and installed on your device.
Install an antivirus and internet security software package that has a good reputation on your computer.
Make sure to use secure passwords, and implement multi-factor authentication whenever it’s possible.
When it is feasible to do so, enable the biometric security capabilities of the device, such as fingerprint or face recognition, so that it can be unlocked.
Always use caution before clicking on any links that are delivered to you in emails.
When enabling any permissions, exercise extreme caution.
Make that all of your software, including operating systems and apps, is up to date.

The Art of Mac Malware: The Guide to Analyzing Malicious Software

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Tags: Mac Malware, MACOS COMPUTERS

Apr 28 2023


Category: Hacking,Web SecurityDISC @ 1:49 pm

The software known as cPanel is used extensively online as a control panel for web hosting. At the time this blog article was being written, there were precisely 1.4 million exposed cPanel installations on the public internet.

The researchers found a vulnerability known as reflected cross-site scripting, which could be exploited without the need for any authentication. Additionally, the XSS vulnerability could be exploited even if the cPanel management ports (2080, 2082, 2083, and 2086) were not open to the outside world. This was the case regardless of whether or not they were exposed. This means that if your website is hosted by cPanel and runs on ports 80 and 443, it was also susceptible to the cross-site scripting vulnerability.

An invalid webcall ID that may include XSS content is at the heart of CVE-2023-29489, the vulnerability that it causes. When this content is displayed on the error page for cpsrvd, it is not appropriately escaped, thus enabling the XSS attack.

The repercussions of being susceptible to these dangers are quite concerning. Using cPanel with its default configuration allows malicious actors to run arbitrary JavaScript pre-authentication on almost any port on a web server. This is as a result of the proxy rules that enable access to the /cpanelwebcall/ directory even on ports 80 and 443, which were previously inaccessible.

The effect of this vulnerability is that they are able to run arbitrary JavaScript, including scripts that need pre-authentication, on practically every port of a webserver that is using cPanel with its default configuration.

The proxy restrictions  are to blame for this situation. Even though it is being proxied to the cPanel administration ports by Apache on ports 80 and 443, they were still able to access the /cpanelwebcall/ directory.

Because of this, an adversary may launch attacks not only against the administrative ports of cPanel but also against the apps that are operating on ports 80 and 443.

An adversary may employ this cross-site scripting attack to take over the cPanel session of a legitimate user if the cPanel administration ports were exposed to the assault in the first place.

After successfully authenticating as a user of cPanel, it is often quite simple to upload a web shell in order to get command execution privileges for oneself.

Proof of Concept

For the purpose of demonstrating the vulnerability, the researchers supplied the following proof of concept URLs:


Please don’t be concerned if you believe that this vulnerability may be affecting your website. Because the majority of cPanel installations on the internet have the auto-update capability activated, it’s possible that you are no longer at risk of being exploited even if you don’t apply a patch. Upgrading to any of the following versions of cPanel or above will eliminate the risk associated with this vulnerability:


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Tags: Hacking Websites

Apr 28 2023


Category: cyber securityDISC @ 1:38 pm

In a presentation that is being called the world’s first ethical satellite hacking exercise, cybersecurity researchers will explain how they took control of a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite this week. The ESA satellite was part of an experiment that was touted as the world’s first ethical satellite hacking exercise. The European Space Agency (ESA) issued a challenge to cybersecurity professionals working in the ecosystem of the space sector, asking them to interfere with the functioning of the OPS-SAT demonstration nanosatellite that the ESA operates. Participants made use of a wide array of ethical hacking approaches in order to seize control of the system that was used to operate the payload’s onboard camera, global positioning system, and attitude control system. Unauthorized access to these systems poses a risk of severe damage to the satellite as well as a loss of command and control over the satellite’s intended purpose. The offensive cybersecurity team at Thales collaborated with the Group’s Information Technology Security Evaluation Facility (ITSEF2) to carry out this one-of-a-kind exercise. The goal of the exercise was to show the need of a high degree of cyber resilience in the very unusual operational environment of space.

Thales, a global defense and aerospace business, was able to successfully take control of a satellite that was being operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) during a test run that the company ran. In order to demonstrate how space systems are susceptible to cyberattacks, the experiment involves breaking into the satellite’s command and control system and sending instructions. Even though the experiments were carried out in a safe and controlled setting, they shed light on the dangers that exist when it comes to the possibility of an evil actor seizing control of a satellite in the real world, which may lead to potentially catastrophic results. Due to the fact that cyber attacks continue to provide a substantial obstacle to space exploration and safety, this event highlights how important it is to ensure the security of space-based infrastructure.

The team of four cybersecurity experts from Thales gained access to the satellite’s onboard system, utilized the conventional access permissions to take control of the satellite’s application environment, and then exploited multiple vulnerabilities in order to install malicious code into the satellite’s systems. This made it feasible to compromise the data that was transmitted back to Earth, in particular by changing the pictures that were collected by the satellite’s camera, as well as to accomplish other goals, such as masking specific geographic regions in the satellite imaging while disguising their operations in order to escape discovery by ESA. The simulation was put on especially for CYSAT in order to assist in determining how a genuine cyberattack may affect civilian networks and the possible fallout from an attack of this kind.

Cybersecurity for Space: Protecting the Final Frontier

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Apr 25 2023

PoC Exploit Code Released for Critical Papercut Flaw

Category: Security vulnerabilitiesDISC @ 9:39 am

Threat actors are actively taking advantage of critical vulnerabilities present in the PaperCut MF/NG print management software. 

This exploitation aims to plant Atera remote management software onto the targeted servers to gain control over them. From more than 70,000 companies globally, it has over 100 million active users. 

The vulnerabilities affecting the PaperCut MF/NG print management software are tracked as follows:-

Remote threat actors can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access and execute arbitrary code on PaperCut servers that have been compromised.

These flaws can be exploited without user interaction and are relatively easy to carry out, granting the attacker SYSTEM privileges. Recently, in the Shodan search engine, it has been observed that around 1700 PaperCut servers were exposed to the internet.

PoC Exploit Code

PaperCut MF and PaperCut NG versions 20.1.7, 21.2.11, and 22.0.9, and later releases, have addressed both vulnerabilities. 

That’s why security experts strongly advise users to upgrade to any of these patched versions to mitigate the risks associated with these flaws.

Horizon3 has recently released technical information, and a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for CVE-2023-27350

Attackers can leverage this exploit to bypass authentication and execute arbitrary code on PaperCut servers that have not been patched.

By misusing the ‘Scripting’ feature for printers, the RCE exploit enables cybercriminals to achieve remote code execution.

Although Huntress has developed a PoC exploit to illustrate the danger associated with the ongoing attacks, they have not made it publicly available.

Currently, unpatched PaperCut servers are under attack, and the exploit code developed by Horizon3 is expected to be adopted by other threat actors for launching similar attacks in the future.

The CVE-2023-27350 vulnerability has been included in the list of actively exploited vulnerabilities by CISA.

Not only that, but even CISA has directed all federal agencies to secure their systems within the next three weeks, by May 12, 2023, to prevent further exploitation.

To prevent remote exploitation of the PaperCut servers, Huntress urged administrators to immediately implement the necessary security measures that cannot currently patch their PaperCut servers. 

During the analysis, experts at Horizon3 identified a JAR that contains the SetupCompleted class in:-

  • C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\server\lib\pcng-server-web-19.2.7.jar

In the SetupCompleted flow, the session of the anonymous user is unintentionally authenticated due to an error in the code. 

While this function is triggered only after a user’s password is validated via a login process. In web applications, this type of vulnerability is dubbed:-

  • Session Puzzling

Huntress revealed that among the Windows machines with PaperCut installed in the customer environments they safeguard, approximately 1,000 were identified. 

As per their observation, nearly 900 of those machines were still unpatched, and only one had been patched among the three macOS machines they monitored.

Organizations using PaperCut must ensure they have installed either PaperCut MF or NG versions 20.1.7, 21.2.11, or 22.0.9 to prevent exploitation.

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Tags: Critical Papercut Flaw, PoC exploit code

Apr 24 2023

Preventing Malware & Cyber Attacks: Simple Tips for Your Computer

Category: Cyber Attack,MalwareDISC @ 8:15 am

Living without the Internet is hardly imaginable today. However, the anonymity of the internet has led to the flourishing of cyber attacks and malware. Malicious software can cause damage to our devices, steal personal data, and lead to monetary loss. Therefore, protecting your computer from these threats is crucial. This article will outline some methods and resources for protecting your devices from malicious software, and explain why it’s essential to use malware removal at all times.

Tip #1: Keep Your Operating System and Software Up to Date

One of the most crucial things you can do to keep your computer secure is to keep your operating system and software up to date. Security patches are frequently released by software developers to address flaws that hackers could exploit. Failing to update your system and software leaves your computer vulnerable to potential threats.

To ensure that your operating system and software are up to date, it’s important to turn on automatic updates. This will ensure that your system gets updates as soon as they become available. Additionally, you can manually check for updates by accessing the settings for your software or operating system. By doing this, you can be certain that your computer is protected against potential threats.

Tip #2: Use Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

Antivirus and malware removal software are essential tools for protecting your computer against malicious software such as viruses, spyware, and ransomware. These programs scan your computer on a regular basis for malware and remove it if found. By using antivirus and anti-malware software, you can safeguard your computer from malicious attacks and maintain its security.

When it comes to antivirus and anti-malware software, it’s crucial to choose a reputable and trustworthy option that offers comprehensive protection against various types of malware. With numerous software options available on the market, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. However, by doing some research and selecting the one that meets your needs, you can ensure that your computer remains protected from potential threats.

Tip #3: Use a Firewall

firewall is a crucial security system that monitors and controls network traffic, both incoming and outgoing. It serves as a barrier between your computer and the internet, blocking unauthorized access. By utilizing a firewall, you can protect your computer from potential cyber attacks and enhance its security.

Most operating systems come with a built-in firewall that you can enable by going to your system’s settings. However, you can further increase your computer’s security by installing a third-party firewall. These firewalls offer additional features and customization options that can help you tailor the protection to your needs. By using a firewall, you can safeguard your computer against potential threats and enhance its overall security.

Tip #4: Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Using strong and unique passwords is crucial in safeguarding your device against potential cyber attacks. Cybercriminals frequently use automated programs to guess passwords and weak passwords are easily guessed, allowing them to gain access to your computer more easily. By using strong and unique passwords, you can significantly enhance your computer’s security.

To create a strong password, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using common phrases or words that are easily guessed. Additionally, do not use the same password for multiple accounts, as this can leave you vulnerable if one account is compromised. Consider using a password manager to generate and store strong and unique passwords for all your accounts. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your computer remains protected against potential threats.

Tip #5: Be Wary of Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are a type of social engineering attack that cybercriminals use to trick people into disclosing sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers. These scams can be sent via email, text messages, or even social media. Falling prey to a phishing scam can lead to significant financial loss and compromise your personal information.

To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, it’s important to be cautious of any suspicious emails or messages. Do not click on any unknown links or download any attachments from suspicious sources. Always check the sender’s email address to ensure that it is from a legitimate source.

If you receive an email that appears to be from your bank or another financial institution, do not provide any sensitive information. Instead, contact the institution directly to confirm the authenticity of the email. By taking these steps, you can protect yourself from phishing scams and keep your personal information secure.

Tip #6: Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a crucial security measure that adds an extra layer of protection to your online accounts. This security measure requires users to provide two forms of identification before accessing their accounts, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to access your information. Two-factor authentication can prevent unauthorized access to your accounts and protect your sensitive information from being compromised.

Many online services, such as email and social media platforms, offer two-factor authentication as an additional security measure. To enable two-factor authentication, go to your account settings and follow the instructions provided by the service. You can usually choose between receiving a code via text message or using an authentication app. Enabling two-factor authentication can greatly improve the security of your accounts and help keep your personal information safe.

Tip #7: Back Up Your Data Regularly

The best practice to protect your data from cyber attacks is to regularly back it up. If your computer is infected with malware or hacked, you might lose all your data. By backing up your data regularly, you can easily restore your data in the event of a cyber attack.

In conclusion, adhering to the tips and tools mentioned above can not only safeguard your personal or business data but also prevent potential embarrassment and costly fines.
Use anti-virus and anti-malware software.

The Cybersecurity Playbook for Modern Enterprises: An end-to-end guide to preventing data breaches and cyber attacks

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Tags: cyber attacks, data breaches, Malware

Apr 20 2023


Category: Security vulnerabilities,Web SecurityDISC @ 7:56 am


The previous week, Google put out an emergency security fix for its browser, and today, the company rolled out another emergency security update to address a vulnerability that is being exploited in the wild.
The update is now available for desktop versions of Google Chrome as well as the Android version of Chrome. Users are encouraged to install updates as soon as they are made available in order to safeguard their devices against prospective attacks that exploit these vulnerabilities.

Google has listed five of the eight security problems that were addressed in the most recent version to Google Chrome. Google says that these issues have been handled. The official Chrome Releases blog has provided documentation of these recent improvements. On the other hand, Google does not make publicly known the security flaws that were found during the company’s own internal investigations.

Out-of-bounds memory access in the Service Worker API is a high-risk vulnerability (CVE-2023-2133).

Out-of-bounds memory access in the Service Worker API is a high-risk vulnerability (CVE-2023-2134).

Use after free in DevTools is a high-risk vulnerability (CVE-2023-2135).

Integer overflow in Skia, a high-risk vulnerability( CVE-2023-2136).

Heap buffer overflow in sqlite, rated as medium severity (CVE-2023-2137).

According to Google’s findings, the security flaw CVE-2023-2136 is being actively exploited in the wild.

A 2D graphics library called Skia, which is frequently used in web browsers, operating systems, and other software applications, has a flaw known as CVE-2023-2136, which is an integer overflow vulnerability. An integer overflow happens when an arithmetic operation results in a number that is more than the maximum limit of the integer type. This causes the value to wrap around and become either much smaller or much bigger than what was meant for it to be. An integer overflow may be avoided by ensuring that the maximum limit of the integer type is not exceeded.

This indicates that threat actors have already started exploiting this vulnerability in order to target systems and breach them. The results of a successful exploit may be somewhat variable, but they almost always involve at least one of the following: unauthorized access to sensitive information; data corruption; or even a total system takeover.

The Chrome Stable channel has been updated to version 112.0.5615.137 for Windows and Mac, and it has been updated to version 112.0.5615.135 for Android; these updates will roll out over the next few days or weeks.

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Tags: Google Chrome

Apr 19 2023

What is Spear Phishing Attack? – Guide for Motives, Techniques & Prevention Methods

Category: PhishingDISC @ 11:47 am

Every day tens of thousands of Spear phishing emails are sent to millions of victims around the world.

Cyber-attacks have different pathways now; they can strike you from inside or outside, with equal damages across your network.

Targeted takedowns could be critical if analyzed and executed with absolute precision.

In this guide. We’ll look at Spear Phishing Attacks, techniques, examples, mitigation procedures, and a few best practices.

Spear Phishing

What is Spear Phishing?

Spear Phishing is a malicious practice that executes via Email campaigns that hackers research their target audience, understand their likes and dislikes, study their day to day operations, and customize the mail to steal sensitive data and install malware. This type of targeted email campaign deployment to infiltrate their target audience group is called Spear Phishing Attack.

Any anonymous email that drops into your inbox from an unknown sender can be assumed to be phishing Attack. Blasting millions of emails to the database of email id’s with malicious intent is called phishing.

It could be for the deployment of malware, remote code executions and more, however, this phishing may not be rewarding for hackers.

How does Spear Phishing Attack Work?

Spear Phishing is executed in four stages,

  1. Target identification
  2. Studying the target’s behavior
  3. Customizing the message
  4. Blasting emails

Target identification:

The hackers initially identify their target victims by narrowing down their audience based on their motive of the campaign, this could be targeted at corporate in a particular vertical or patients of a healthcare company.

The identification procedure is divided into two stages, the primary and secondary target, primary target will be executives working for an MNC, who will be receiving the blasted emails and the secondary target will be the key ones who will have access to business sensitive information.

These primary targets that have become victims to the spear phishing attack will be manipulated to exploit the secondary targets.

Studying the target’s behavior:

Gathering information about the targeted audience by digging deep into their social media profiles, job sites, portfolios, comments, likes and groups they belong to, and communities they belong to. One way or another the hackers will gain their personal information like email, phone numbers, first name, surname, history of experience, schooling, college, area of expertise and more which they will use to influence their potential targets.

Customizing the message

Hackers will customize their emails and message based on the information collected from these external resources for better open rates and reduced bounce rates. Once a successfully established message is obtained they will proceed for the email blasting procedure.

Blasting emails

After all the research hackers will prepare their attack vector and strategy to ensure the mail gets delivered to the target audience inbox and not into the spam folder.

They will disguise the sender details to be a legitimate one, to ensure the proper delivery of the mail is made and the end user opens it as expected.

After opening the email, the user will click a link or download an attachment-based on the content as it is made accurate.

With all research, the CTR will definitely be high. Thanks to the reliability of the mail crafting procedures the hackers have implemented.

What are 3 types of Spear-phishing emails?

Usually, hackers prefer one of three techniques below to manipulate their target audience.

  1. Impersonation
  2. Personalization
  3. Emotional Response


As the name defines, hackers pretend to be someone else or a legal entity to establish trust and elude with data. This technique is very commonly used by disguising a genuine person or entity in the sender section with an indistinguishable subject line.


This technique has an excellent success rate, as the message is very much customized for the recipient so he believes that this email will be of use to him or for his profession in general.

Emotional Response

This technique creates a fear, happiness, shock or surprise to make the end user open the mail and click/download the malicious content as planned.

What is an example of spear phishing?

Examples of Spear Phishing Attacks are very much targeted and often have disastrous outcomes for enterprises, below are few examples for successful spear phishing attacks.

Ubiquite Networks Inc

This Company paid more than USD $40 million in 2015, as a result of spear phishing attack because of a CEO fraud. The emails were impersonated as if they were from senior executives to transfer funds to a third party entity in Hong Kong, which was then found to be some anonymous entity and not a genuine third party.


RSA is a leading security firm but unfortunately, even they themselves become victim to a targeted spear phishing attack in 2011.

Mails with subject line ‘2011 Recruitment Plan’ were blasted, though most of it was marked as spam one user opened it, leading to the deployment of malware into the infected system and eventually gave remote access to the hackers to infiltrate the computer and network.


Amazon is another leader among the fortune 500 companies, targeting this firm will definitely improve your success rates for spear phishing.

In 2015, a mass spear phishing attack was unleashed targeting Amazon customers with a subject line ‘Your order has been dispatched’, followed by a code.

However, unlike the normal emails from Amazon, where you could see the dispatch status directly in the mail or via your Amazon account, in this case, it was mentioned to be available in the attachment.

Few employees become prey to this maneuver and a Locky ransomware was downloaded and installed in the infected systems to encrypt data and demand ransom.

How can you protect yourself from phishing?

Spear phishing prevention is a process that depends on different factors like awareness, tools, education, emotional response and more. Below are the best practices that both organizations and individuals should practice to protect yourself from phishing,

  1. Increasing cyber awareness
  2. Employing cyber tools
  3. Identifying fake emails
  4. Avoiding clicks and attachments
  5. Avoid mails that force urgency

According to a report from Intel 97% of people were unable to identify a phishing mail. The best suggestion to apply spear phishing prevention by creating cyber awareness and improving cyber education. Spear phishing prevention is a process that will depend on a number of factors and their amount of precision.

Increasing cyber awareness:

Organizations and individuals should improve their cyber awareness either themselves or through cyber guidelines. Understanding the attack vectors, their mechanisms, procedures and possible procedures can help the end users and individuals prepare themselves any potential phishing scams and ensure they avoid them all times.

Employing cyber tools

As already mentioned in earlier sections, no tools are good against phishing attacks but properly configured browser policies, email filters, and endpoint configurations can reduce the chances of becoming a victim to phishing scams. GPO policies for stronger passwords and firewall configurations could also help organizations secure their users against phishing mails.

Identifing fake emails

Users can also distinguish between a genuine and fake mail by looking at the subject line, the sender and the relativity. Based on the content of the email this can be re-confirmed. Any unknown senders or purpose of the mail could be a potential phishing scam.

Avoiding clicks and attachments

Not all phishing scams do work when the mail is opened, most is switched ON only when the link in the mail is being clicked or an attachment is being opened. So the users need to ensure they are aware of the links and attachments, perhaps by hovering over the link or looking at the attachment file.

Avoid mails the force urgency

Users should avoid emails that create an urgency; emotional response is what will become prey to these sort of phishing emails. Any emotional mail that create a fear, surprise, shock, or personalized emotional response based on your tax, and health metrics should be avoided.

Spear Phishing Infographic

Spear Phishing

Organizations need to have few policies and configurations in place to keep phishing mails away from the enterprise network, however when users expose themselves to public networks only a self-analysis and cyber practices can keep them safe against spear phishing attack.

If you guys have ever experienced a phishing email, or do have an example to share, please free to comment below your experiences and message so we will see some real-time information on this threat.

Spear phishing attacks are hard to detect and mitigate, so keep your browsers and firewalls active and updated.

Spear Phishing Attack Detection

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Tags: Spear Phishing Attack

Apr 19 2023

How to Prepare Infrastructure for a War and Enable a Company’s Security

Category: Cyber War,Information WarfareDISC @ 11:29 am

Mykola Srebniuk, Head Of Information Security, MacPaw
Vira Tkachenko, CTO, MacPaw

MacPaw has been operating in Kyiv since the start of a full-scale war in Ukraine. This session will outline how the organization prepare its infrastructure for the Russian invasion, how plans were implemented, and the company’s security and Business continuity were ensured. This session will be helpful for businesses in various cases of natural and cyber disasters, from hurricanes and typhoons to cyberattacks.

Cyber Wars gives you the dramatic inside stories of some of the world’s biggest cyber attacks. These are the game-changing hacks that make organisations around the world tremble and leaders stop and consider just how safe they really are. Charles Arthur provides a gripping account of why each hack happened, what techniques were used, what the consequences were and how they could have been prevented. 

Cyber attacks are some of the most frightening threats currently facing business leaders, and this book provides a deep insight into understanding how they work and how hackers think as well as giving invaluable advice on staying vigilant and avoiding the security mistakes and oversights that can lead to downfall. No organization is safe, but by understanding the context within which we now live and what the hacks of the future might look like, you can minimize the threat.  

Cyber Wars: Hacks That Shocked the Business World

Russia’s digital warriors adapt to support the war effort in Ukraine, Google threat researchers say

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Tags: Cyber War, Prepare Infrastructure for a War

Apr 18 2023


Category: HackingDISC @ 11:01 am

Researchers from Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) presented their findings in the company’s Threat Horizons Report. Their findings showed that the hacking group APT41 was misusing the GC2 red teaming tool in its attacks. GC2, also known as Google Command and Control, is an open-source project that was built specifically for red teaming operations. It was written in the programming language Go. GC2 (Google Command and Control) is an application for Command and Control that enables an adversary to exfiltrate data using Google Drive and execute instructions on the target system using Google Sheet. During Red Teaming operations, this software was constructed in order to give a command and control that does not need any specific set up (such as a custom domain, VPS, CDN, etc.). This was done in order to make the application more accessible.

In addition, the application will only connect with Google domains (* in order to make detection more challenging.

In October 2022, the Threat Analysis Group (TAG) of Google was successful in disrupting a campaign that was being run by HOODOO, a Chinese government-backed attacker also known as APT41. This effort was aimed at a Taiwanese media organization, and it consisted of sending phishing emails that included links to a password-protected file that was housed on Drive. The payload was a piece of open source software known as “G oogle Command and Control” (GC2), which was a red teaming tool. The program is written in Go, and it receives instructions from Google Sheets. These orders are used to exfiltrate data to Google Drive, which is presumably done to conceal the malicious behavior. After it has been installed on the victim’s system, the malware will query Google Sheets in order to collect orders from the attacker.

The attacker is able to download more files from Drive onto the target machine using GC2, in addition to exfiltrating data via Drive. HOODOO has previously made use of GC2 in the month of July 2022 in order to target an Italian job search website. These attacks provide light on a few critical patterns in the security landscape posed by threat actors linked with China. First, rather than building its own unique tools, Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) organizations are increasingly turning to publicly accessible tooling like Cobalt Strike and other “pentest” software that can be purchased or found on sites like Github. This pattern may be seen, for instance, in HOODOO’s implementation of GC2. Second, the number of tools that are created in the Go programming language has been steadily increasing over the last several years. This is most likely attributable to the adaptability of the Go language as well as the ease with which module components may be added or removed. In conclusion, the targeting of Taiwanese media exemplifies the ongoing overlap of public sector threat actors attacking private sector entities with minimal links to the government.

The Google Cybersecurity Action Team (GCAT) and Mandiant conducted research on threat actors’ usage of Google Drive for hosting malware. The research revealed that threat actors store malware in Google Drive as encrypted ZIP files, most likely in an attempt to avoid detection. For instance, in the fourth quarter of 2022, Mandiant discovered a campaign that hosted the URSNIF binary on Google Drive in order to spread the URSNIF malware. URSNIF is a well-known piece of generic intrusion software that has a history of being used as a banking bot. Phishing emails were sent out by threat actors in an attempt to trick potential victims into downloading password-protected ZIP files that included harmful material. This content was subsequently installed on the victims’ computers.
The DICELOADER malware, which is another kind of broad intrusion malware that may be used for a variety of objectives, was employed by threat actors in the latter part of the fourth quarter of 2022 to implement an extension of this approach. During this campaign, Mandiant discovered phishing emails that had malicious links to Google Drive. Clicking on these links caused the recipient’s computer to download a ZIP file that included an LNK file. The Trojanized Zoom MSI installer was later downloaded and installed as a result of the LNK file, which ultimately resulted in the infection caused by the DICELOADER. Based on the phishing emails that were discovered by Mandiant, this campaign gave the impression that it was aimed at the financial services industry. The attackers further concealed their destructive purpose from the Google Drive download by removing the malware binary from the downloaded ZIP file and separating the two.
Google took a number of measures to put a stop to this behavior at the time, and the company also implemented new investigative skills to improve its ability to identify and thwart future instances of similar malicious usage of Google Drive.

These techniques bring to light the risk that is posed by threat actors using cloud services to host malicious content and their ongoing development of evasion techniques to avoid detection. For example, they have transitioned from using encrypted ZIP files that contained malware to encrypted ZIP files that linked to trojanized legitimate installers. Because this trend is expected to continue, businesses should exercise extreme caution while monitoring downloads, especially from websites that seem to be trustworthy.

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Apr 17 2023

Lynis – Open Source Security Auditing & Pentesting Tool – 2023

Category: Pen Test,Security ToolsDISC @ 8:50 am

Lynis is an open source security auditing tool. Its main goal is to audit and harden Unix and Linux based systems. It scans the system by performing many security control checks. Examples include searching for installed software and determine possible configuration flaws.

Many tests are part of common security guidelines and standards, with on top additional security tests. After the scan, a report will be displayed with all discovered findings. To provide you with initial guidance, a link is shared with the related Lynis control.

Lynis is one of the most trusted automated auditing tool for software patch management, malware scanning and vulnerability detecting in Unix/Linux based systems. This tool is useful for auditorsnetwork and system administratorssecurity specialists and penetration testers.

Intended audience:

Lynis assists auditors in performing Basel II, GLBA, HIPAA, PCI DSS and SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) compliance audits.

Security specialists, Penetration Testers, System auditors, System/network managers, Security Engineers.

Lynis is compatible with many Operating Systems, such as:

  • AIX
  • Arch Linux
  • BackTrack Linux
  • CentOS
  • Debian, DragonFlyBSD
  • Fedora Core, FreeBSD
  • Gentoo
  • HPUX
  • Kali, Knoppix
  • Linux Mint
  • MacOS X, Mageia, Mandriva
  • NetBSD
  • OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, openSUSE, Oracle Linux
  • PcBSD, PCLinuxOS
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and derivatives
  • Sabayon, Scientific Linux, Slackware, Solaris 10, SuSE
  • TrueOS
  • Ubuntu and derivatives

Lynis can also be auditing software such as :

  • Database servers: MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL
  • Time daemons: dntpd, ntpd, timed
  • Web servers: Apache, Nginx

Once lynis starts scanning your system, it will perform auditing in a number of categories:

  • System tools: system binaries
  • Boot and services: boot loaders, startup services
  • Kernel: run level, loaded modules, kernel configuration, core dumps
  • Memory and processes: zombie processes, IO waiting processes
  • Users, groups and authentication: group IDs, sudoers, PAM configuration, password aging, default mask
  • Shells
  • File systems: mount points, /tmp files, root file system
  • Storage: usb-storage, firewire ohci
  • NFS
  • Software: name services: DNS search domain, BIND
  • Ports and packages: vulnerable/upgradable packages, security repository
  • Networking: nameservers, promiscuous interfaces, connections
  • Printers and spools: cups configuration
  • Software: e-mail and messaging
  • Software: firewalls: iptables, pf
  • Software: webserver: Apache, nginx
  • SSH support: SSH configuration
  • SNMP support
  • Databases: MySQL root password
  • LDAP services
  • Software: php: php options
  • Squid support
  • Logging and files: Syslog daemon, log directories
  • Insecure services: inetd
  • Banners and identification
  • Scheduled tasks: crontab/cronjob, atd
  • Accounting: sysstat data, auditd
  • Time and synchronization: ntp daemon
  • Cryptography: SSL certificate expiration
  • Virtualization
  • Security frameworks: AppArmor, SELinux, security status
  • Software: file integrity
  • Software: malware scanners
  • Home directories: shell history files

How Lynis works:

In this Kali Linux Tutorial , To run it for the first time, it is recommended to use -c paramater. -c parameter means doing all tests to check the systems. If you want to put the Auditor name, just add –auditor parameter there. Here’s some

Download and Install the Lynis from GitHub 

git clone

$ cd lynis-2.7.3
# ./lynis

samples output :

Once Installed then Start with Auditor or Pentester name .

# lynis -c –auditor “BALAJI”

Figure 1. Initialize

Lynis – Open source security auditing tool

Figure 2. System Tools

Lynis – Open source security auditing tool

Figure 3. Boot & Services and Kernel

Lynis – Open source security auditing tool

Figure 4. Users and Group

Lynis – Open source security auditing tool

Figure 5. Shell and storage

Lynis – Open source security auditing tool

Figure 6. Software, Ports and Packages


Figure 7. Networking and Printer


Figure 8. Email, Firewalls and Web Server


Figure 9. SSH, SNMP and Databases

Lynis – Open source security auditing tool

Figure 10. PHP, Squid Proxy and Logging


Figure 11. Inetd, Banner and Cron


Figure 12. Accounting, NTP and Cryptography


Figure 13. Virtualization, Security Frameworks and File Integrity


Figure 14. Malware Scanners, System Tool and Home directory


Figure 15. Kernel Hardening


Figure 16. Hardening, Custom Tests and Result


Figure 17. Hardening Index


Run Lynis with Custom Tests

Your system may not need to run all the tests. If your server not running a web server, you don’t need to test it. For this purpose, we can use –tests parameter. The syntax is :

# lynis –tests “Test-IDs”

there are more than 100 tests that we can do. Here are some list of Lynis Tests-ID.

  • FILE-7502 (Check all system binaries)
  • BOOT-5121 (Check for GRUB boot loader presence).
  • BOOT-5139 (Check for LILO boot loader presence)
  • BOOT-5142 (Check SPARC Improved boot loader (SILO))
  • BOOT-5155 (Check for YABOOT boot loader configuration file)
  • BOOT-5159 (Check for OpenBSD i386 boot loader presence)
  • BOOT-5165 (Check for FreeBSD boot services)
  • BOOT-5177 (Check for Linux boot and running services)
  • BOOT-5180 (Check for Linux boot services (Debian style))
  • BOOT-5184 (Check permissions for boot files/scripts)
  • BOOT-5202 (Check uptime of system)
  • KRNL-5677 (Check CPU options and support)
  • KRNL-5695 (Determine Linux kernel version and release number)
  • KRNL-5723 (Determining if Linux kernel is monolithic)
  • KRNL-5726 (Checking Linux loaded kernel modules)
  • KRNL-5728 (Checking Linux kernel config)
  • KRNL-5745 (Checking FreeBSD loaded kernel modules)
  • [04:57:04] Reason to skip: Test not in list of tests to perform
  • KRNL-5770 (Checking active kernel modules)
  • KRNL-5788 (Checking availability new kernel)
  • KRNL-5820 (Checking core dumps configuration)

Below is a sample command to run Check uptime of system and Checking core dumps configuration tests. If you want to add more tests, just add more Test-ID separated by space.

# ./lynis –tests “BOOT-5202 KRNL-5820”


To get more Tests-IDs, you can find it inside /var/log/lynis.log. Here’s a trick how to do it.

1. First, we need to run lynis with -c (check-all) parameter.

# ./lynis -c -Q

2. Then look at inside /var/log/lynis.log file. Use cat command and combine it with grep. Let say you want to search Test-ID which related to Kernel. Use keyword KRNL to find it.

# cat /var/log/lynis.log | grep KRNL


Below is a complete keywords of Test-IDs that available in Lynis.

KRNL (kernel)
PROC (processor)
AUTH (authentication)
SHLL (shell)
STRG (storage)
NAME (dns)
PKGS (packaging)
NETW (network)
PRNT (printer)
FIRE (firewall)
HTTP (webserver)
DBS (database)
SQD (squid proxy)
LOGG (logging)
INSE (insecure services – inetd)
SCHD (scheduling – cron job)
ACCT (accounting)
TIME (time protocol – NTP)
CRYP (cryptography)
VIRT (virtualization)
MALW (malware)
HRDN (hardening)

Run lynis with categories

If you feel that put a lot of Test-IDs is painful, you can use –test-category parameter. With this option, Lynis will run Test-IDs which are included inside a specific category. For example, you want to run Firewall and Kernel tests. Then you can do this :

# ./lynis –tests-category “firewalls kernel”


Run Lynis as Cronjob

Since security needs consistency, you can automate Lynis to run periodically. Let’s say you want to run it every month to see if there is any improvement since the last Lynis run. To do this, we can run Lynis as a cronjob. Here’s a sample cronjob to run it every month.


DATE=$(date +%Y%m%d)

cd /usr/local/lynis
./lynis -c –auditor “${AUDITOR}” –cronjob > ${REPORT}

mv /var/log/lynis-report.dat ${DATA}

# End

Save the script into /etc/cron.monthly/lynis. Don’t forget to add related paths (/usr/local/lynis and /var/log/lynis), otherwise the script will not work properly.

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