Jan 30 2024

Aembit Announces New Workload IAM Integration With CrowdStrike To Help Enterprises Secure Workload-To-Workload Access

Category: Access Control,Information Securitydisc7 @ 3:12 pm

Aembit Becomes the First Workload IAM Platform to Integrate with the Industry-Leading CrowdStrike Falcon Platform to Drive Workload Conditional Access

Aembit, the Workload Identity and Access Management (IAM) platform that enables DevOps and security teams to discover, manage, enforce and audit access between workloads, today announced the availability of a new integration with the industry-leading CrowdStrike Falcon® platform to give enterprises the ability to dynamically manage and enforce conditional access policies based on the real-time security posture of their applications and services.

This integration signifies a significant leap in Aembit’s mission to empower organizations to apply Zero Trust principles to make workload-to-workload access more secure and manageable. 

Workload IAM transforms enterprise security by securing workload-to-workload access through policy-driven, identity-based, and secretless access controls, moving away from the legacy unmanaged, secrets-based approach. 

Through this partnership, the Aembit Workload IAM solution checks to see if a CrowdStrike Falcon agent is running on the workload and evaluates its real-time security posture to drive workload access decisions to applications and data.

With this approach, now enterprises can protect their workloads from unauthorized access, even against the backdrop of changing conditions and dynamic access requirements. Additional customer benefits from this partnership include:

  • Managed Workload-to-Workload Access: Enforce and manage workload access to other applications, SaaS services, and third-party APIs based on identity and policy set by the security team, driving down risk.
  • Seamless Deployment: Drive consolidation by effortlessly integrating the Aembit Workload IAM Platform with the Falcon platform in a few clicks, providing a unified experience for managing workload identities while understanding workload security posture.
  • Zero Trust Security Model: Embrace a Zero Trust approach, ensuring that every access request, regardless of the source, is verified before granting access rights. Aembit’s solution enforces the principle of least privilege based on identity, policy, and workload security posture, minimizing potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Visibility and Monitoring: Gain extensive visibility into workload identities and access permissions, enabling swift detection and response to potential security threats. Monitor and audit access logs based on identity for comprehensive security oversight.

This industry-first collaboration builds on the recent CrowdStrike Falcon Fund strategic investment in Aembit, underscoring the global cybersecurity leader’s commitment to fostering innovation within the space. The investment reflects the recognition of the growing demands for securing workload access.

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Tags: Aembit, CrowdStrike Falcon, IAM

Dec 16 2023


Category: Email Securitydisc7 @ 10:15 am

CVE-2023-35628 is a critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability affecting the Microsoft Windows MSHTML platform, with a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 8.1, indicating a high level of risk. This flaw is particularly concerning because it can be exploited without any interaction from the user. The vulnerability can be triggered when Microsoft Outlook retrieves and processes a specially crafted email, even before the email is viewed in the Outlook Preview Pane. This makes it a particularly insidious threat, as users may be unaware of the lurking danger​​​​​​.

The nature of CVE-2023-35628 allows a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on the victim’s system. The exploit can be initiated by sending a specially crafted email, and it has been noted that ransomware gangs and other malicious entities are likely to find this vulnerability an attractive target. Although the exploit code maturity for CVE-2023-35628 is currently unproven, which means there might not yet be a reliable method for exploiting this vulnerability in the wild, the potential for remote code execution makes it a critical issue for all Windows users​​.


The vulnerability in the MSHTML platform, specifically CVE-2023-35628, can be attributed to several factors that are commonly found in software vulnerabilities:

  1. Parsing and Rendering of HTML Content: MSHTML, being a component used for parsing and rendering HTML content in applications like Microsoft Outlook, processes a large amount of untrusted input. This input, which often includes complex HTML and scripting content, can contain flaws or unexpected sequences that are not properly handled by the software.
  2. Memory Management Issues: Vulnerabilities often arise due to memory management issues such as buffer overflows, use-after-free errors, or other similar problems. These issues can occur when the software does not correctly allocate, manage, or free memory when processing HTML content. Attackers can exploit these weaknesses to execute arbitrary code.
  3. Insufficient Input Validation: Software vulnerabilities can also stem from insufficient input validation. If MSHTML does not properly validate or sanitize the HTML content it processes, malicious input could be used to trigger an exploit. This could include specially crafted scripts or malformed HTML structures designed to take advantage of the parser’s weaknesses.
  4. Complexity of Web Standards: The complexity of modern web standards can also contribute to vulnerabilities. As standards evolve and become more complex, it becomes increasingly challenging to ensure that every aspect of the parsing and rendering process is secure against all potential attack vectors.
  5. Integration with Email Clients: The integration of MSHTML with email clients like Outlook adds another layer of complexity. Emails are a common vector for delivering malicious content, and the automatic processing of emails (including the rendering of HTML content) can make it easier for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities without direct interaction from the user.


An exploit for the CVE-2023-35628 vulnerability in the Windows MSHTML platform would typically involve a few key steps, tailored to leverage the specific nature of this flaw. Here’s a generalized overview of how such an exploit could work:

  1. Crafting a Malicious Email: The attacker starts by creating a specially crafted email. This email would contain malicious code or a payload designed to exploit the vulnerability in the MSHTML platform. The precise nature of this code depends on the specifics of the vulnerability and would be tailored to trigger the flaw in MSHTML.
  2. Email Delivery and Automatic Processing: The crafted email is then sent to the target. In the case of CVE-2023-35628, the critical aspect is that the vulnerability is triggered when Microsoft Outlook retrieves and processes the email. This processing happens automatically, often before the email is even displayed in the Outlook Preview Pane.
  3. Remote Code Execution: Upon processing the malicious email, the exploit code is executed. This code execution occurs within the context of the MSHTML platform, which is a key component used by Outlook for rendering HTML content in emails.
  4. Taking Control or Damaging the System: Once the code is executed, it can perform various malicious activities. This could range from taking control of the user’s system, stealing sensitive information, installing malware, or performing other harmful actions. The extent of the damage or control depends on the nature of the payload and the permissions available to the MSHTML process.

Memory shaping is an advanced exploitation technique often used in sophisticated cyber attacks, particularly those involving complex software systems and secure environments. It’s a method used by attackers to manipulate the layout or state of memory in a target application to facilitate the exploitation of vulnerabilities. Memory shaping can be a part of exploiting vulnerabilities like buffer overflows, use-after-free errors, or other memory corruption issues.

Here’s a simplified example to illustrate how memory shaping and its exploitation might work:

  1. Identifying a Vulnerability: First, the attacker finds a vulnerability in the target application that can be exploited to corrupt memory. For instance, this could be a buffer overflow, where the application fails to check the length of input, allowing an attacker to write more data to a buffer than it can hold.
  2. Analyzing Memory Layout: The attacker then studies the application’s memory layout to understand how data is stored and managed. This involves identifying where in memory different types of data are located and how they are accessed by the application.
  3. Memory Shaping: Once the attacker has a good understanding of the memory layout, they begin the process of memory shaping. This involves crafting inputs or actions that modify the application’s memory in a controlled way. For example, they might allocate and free memory in a specific pattern to arrange chunks of memory in a desired layout.
  4. Exploiting the Vulnerability: With the memory shaped to their advantage, the attacker then exploits the identified vulnerability. Using the buffer overflow example, they might overflow a buffer with data that includes malicious code (the payload) and carefully calculated addresses or commands that redirect the application’s execution flow to the payload.
  5. Executing Arbitrary Code: If successful, the exploit allows the attacker’s code to be executed with the privileges of the target application. This could lead to various malicious outcomes, such as data theft, installation of malware, or gaining control over the system.

It’s important to note that memory shaping is a complex and technical process that requires in-depth knowledge of both the target application and general exploitation techniques. It’s typically used in scenarios where standard exploitation methods are not effective, often due to security measures like Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) or other protections.

Due to the complexity and potential for misuse, specific exploit code or detailed methodologies for memory shaping are not shared publicly. The goal of cybersecurity research in this area is to understand and mitigate such advanced threats, ensuring software and systems are secure against potential attacks.

It’s important to note that the complexity of the exploit for CVE-2023-35628 is considered high. It requires specific knowledge and techniques, particularly related to memory shaping, to successfully exploit the vulnerability. This complexity might limit the exploitation to more skilled attackers.

The attack complexity is considered high due to the reliance on complex memory-shaping techniques to successfully exploit the vulnerability. Despite this complexity, the high impact of the vulnerability necessitates prompt attention and action. Microsoft has addressed this flaw in their December 2023 Patch Tuesday updates, recommending users to update their systems as a preventative measure​​.

It’s important to note that CVE-2023-35628 is just one of several vulnerabilities addressed in the December 2023 Patch Tuesday updates. Other notable vulnerabilities include CVE-2023-35630 and CVE-2023-35641, which are remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) with a CVSS score of 8.8, and a critical spoofing vulnerability in Microsoft Power Platform Connector (CVE-2023-36019) with a CVSS score of 9.6​​.


The CVE-2023-35628 vulnerability, which is a critical remote code execution flaw in the Windows MSHTML platform, affects a range of Microsoft products, including Office 365 and on-premises versions. This vulnerability is significant due to its potential to allow exploitation as soon as Outlook retrieves and processes a specially crafted malicious email, even before the user interacts with the email. This means that exploitation could occur without any action from the user, not even requiring the Preview Pane in Outlook.

In terms of impact on Office 365 and on-premises environments, it’s important to note that the MSHTML proprietary browser engine, which is the component affected by this vulnerability, is used by Outlook among other applications to render HTML content. The fact that this engine remains installed within Windows, regardless of the status of Internet Explorer 11, means that systems where Internet Explorer 11 has been fully disabled are still vulnerable until patched.

For addressing this vulnerability, Microsoft released patches as part of their December 2023 Patch Tuesday. These patches are essential for mitigating the risk posed by this vulnerability and are available for various versions of Windows and related software components. Given the critical nature of this vulnerability and its potential impact on confidentiality, integrity, and availability, it’s strongly recommended for users and administrators of both Office 365 and on-premises environments to apply these updates promptly.

The December 2023 Patch Tuesday from Microsoft addressed a total of 34 vulnerabilities, including this critical RCE vulnerability in MSHTML. It’s noteworthy that there were no security patches for Exchange, SharePoint, Visual Studio/.NET, or SQL Server in this particular update cycle.

The details about the patches and the specific versions they apply to can be found in Microsoft’s security bulletins and support documentation. For users and administrators, it is crucial to review these resources and ensure that all applicable security updates are applied to protect against potential exploits of this vulnerability​

Given the severity and the ease with which this vulnerability can be exploited, it is crucial for Windows users, particularly those using Microsoft Outlook, to ensure their systems are updated with the latest security patches provided by Microsoft. Regular review of patching strategies and overall cybersecurity methods is advisable to maintain a robust security posture.

The Microsoft Office 365 Bible: The Most Updated and Complete Guide to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, Teams, Access, and Publisher from Beginners to Advanced Paperback 

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Tags: CrowdStrike Falcon, CVE-2023-35628, Outlook

Sep 27 2023

It’s Time to Do Better as an Industry with MITRE Evaluations

Category: Attack Matrixdisc7 @ 12:37 pm

CrowdStrike achieved the highest coverage across the last two consecutive MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK® Evaluations. We achieved 100% protection, 100% visibility and 100% analytic detection coverage in the Enterprise Round 5 evaluation — which equates to 100% prevention and stopping the breach. We also achieved the highest detection coverage in the Managed Security Services Providers testing. 

However, interpreting the results of the Round 5 test can quickly become very confusing, with endless representations of test results from every provider. Unlike other third-party analysts, MITRE doesn’t place vendors on a quadrant or graph, or provide a comparative score. It leaves interpretation up to each vendor and customers themselves — meaning you’ll be flooded with claims of “winning” the evaluation. 

In MITRE, there are no winners or leaders, only raw data on a vendor’s coverage against either a known or unknown adversary. Without better guidelines and enforcement from MITRE, the results will continue to confuse customers, given the wildly different solutions being tested and approaches to the evaluation.

Evaluations like MITRE can help clarify your choice. We use the evaluations to further sharpen the capabilities of the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform, as well as ensure our customers understand our point of view on cybersecurity: Stopping the breach requires complete visibility, detection and protection that you can actually use in a real-world scenario.

How Should You Interpret the Results?

First, it’s important to understand the nuances of the two types of evaluations run by MITRE: open-book and closed-book tests.

Open-book testing for known attackers: The MITRE ATT&CK Enterprise Evaluations, such as the recent Round 5, give vendors months of advance notice on the adversary being emulated and their tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), and then measure for coverage in a noiseless lab environment. 

Figure 1. CrowdStrike detects 143 (100%) steps during the MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK Evaluation: Enterprise Round 5 with high-quality analytics (Tactic and Technique)

Not all results are equal, which is hard to see in a comparative chart like this, as vendors have the opportunity to tune their systems in advance and apply configuration changes on-the-fly with teams of experts who may be working behind the scenes 24/7 during the testing period. For instance, we’ve seen vendors make updates to operating systems for the test, while others manually fix verdicts or add new context and detections.

Round 5 emulated Turla, which CrowdStrike classifies as VENOMOUS BEAR, a sophisticated Russia-based adversary. Given their advanced tactics, few vendors were able to identify all of their tradecraft, with the average visibility being 83%. High-quality analytic detection of Tactic and Technique were even less, with the average dropping to 66% — with CrowdStrike achieving full 100% coverage with analytic detections.

High-quality analytics are extremely important, as they provide insight into what an adversary is attempting to achieve and how they are attempting to achieve it. High-quality analytic detection provides the context that analysts need, letting them spend less time trying to determine if the alert is a true or false positive, and also provides insight into what an adversary is trying to do. With tactic and technique detections, security analysts can spend more doing what matters: stopping breaches.  

In a comparative chart like the one above, it isn’t possible to see if the capability provided is noisy annotated telemetry or important context added to a high-fidelity alert.

Closed-book testing for unknown attackers: MITRE’s Managed Security Services Providers test is a truer measure of how vendors will protect a customer in the real world, with no do-overs or chances to hunt for additional evidence. The only notification vendors receive in advance is a start date, with no visibility into the adversary being emulated or their TTPs. MITRE runs the test, and you get a coverage score.

Figure 2. CrowdStrike detected 99% of adversary techniques during MITRE ATT&CK Evaluations for Managed Security Services Providers.

To find the cybersecurity partner for you, it’s worth reviewing and correlating performance across many different tests that use different TTPs and force products to behave differently to find the true outcome of the platform. Ensure you look at the results of both open-book and closed-book tests, including those that measure false positives and performance, and know exactly what vendors did to achieve their results. Most importantly, make sure you can achieve those same outcomes in your enterprise. Sophisticated adversaries don’t provide the luxury of a heads-up, and customers won’t have potentially dozens of people working behind the scenes on their deployment in the real world.

Stopping Breaches Matters

Next, it’s critical to evaluate how effectively a vendor can stop adversaries without manual intervention. In the open-book Round 5 test, the average blocking rate was 86%, compared to CrowdStrike’s 100% protection. Even more important than the coverage is understanding how the scores were achieved.

When digesting the MITRE results, ask vendors these three questions, and ask them to prove it:

  1. Did they use easily bypassed signatures or custom detections requiring prior knowledge?
  2. Are the analytic detections and protections high-fidelity and suitable at enterprise scale? 
  3. How can I reproduce this result in my own environment?

For comparison, the CrowdStrike Falcon platform stopped 13 of the 13 scenarios with no prior knowledge, using advanced AI and behavior detection. Our AI-powered prevention will be just as effective in your environment as in MITRE’s testing, against both known and unknown adversaries in the real world.

How Do You Bring It All Together?

At the end of the day, how a platform achieved its results matters as much as coverage itself. With open-book tests like the Enterprise Evaluation Round 5, you could hire enough experts to manually add custom tags, detections and context to achieve perfect coverage. That’s why you’ll see vendors shouting their coverage from the rooftops — as at face value many did well.

All comparative charts, including the ones we’ve shown above, only tell part of the story. What’s important is looking at the details: how you do it matters as much as what you do. If you can’t actually achieve the results in your environment, it’s simply a number on a comparative chart. It can’t stop adversaries and it can’t stop breaches. 

Ask your provider, including us, how they achieved their scores — and ensure it wasn’t a herculean manual effort that could never work in the real world. It’s also important to understand exactly what the full bill-of-materials looks like to reproduce the results. Some vendors require a complex point product deployment, others an expensive combination of software and network security hardware, and others a significant headcount investment to operate. 

The factor to consider most carefully are vendors that use custom test configurations that are impossible to reproduce in a real-world production environment. With CrowdStrike, our platform will always be delivered via our single lightweight agent that’s easy to deploy, easy to manage and never requires a reboot. We consolidate cybersecurity, with better outcomes, at a much better ROI.

We stand behind our platform and the way we delivered our superior coverage across both MITRE’s open-book and closed-book testing for known and unknown adversaries — providing true breach prevention for the real world. 

We encourage everyone in the industry to follow MITRE’s intention: Its testing yields valuable raw data that needs to be applied in your environment — with the context around how a vendor achieved its results — to be meaningful. And to our friends at MITRE, the time is now to shut down the endless noise and ensure customers understand your purpose: to make the world safer with better-informed decisions.

If you want to learn more about using MITRE for your organization, register for our virtual event: MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK Evaluations: Inside the Enterprise Round 5 Results.

Source: https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/understanding-mitre-enterprise-round-5-evaluations/

DISC InfoSec previous posts on MITRE ATT&CK

Aligning Security Operations with the MITRE ATT&CK Framework: Level up your security operations center for better security

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Tags: CrowdStrike Falcon, MITRE ATTACK MATRIX, MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK Evaluations