In what may be the first public weaponizing of April’s Shadow Brokers dump of NSA exploits, a ransomware attack has crippled IT systems globally and disrupted operations at major organizations, including patient services at UK hospitals.
Last week, Intel published a security advisory (INTEL-SA-00075) regarding a new vulnerability in Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), Intel Standard Manageability (ISM), and Intel Small Business Technology (SBT). The firmware versions impacted are 6.x, 7.x, 8.x 9.x, 10.x, 11.0, 11.5, and 11.6. In addition to the vulnerability disclosure, details of how to exploit it remotely has been released publicly.
Exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to gain complete control of an affected system. Updated firmwares will be released by the system OEM, but Intel has provided mitigation steps to prevent remote exploitation of the vulnerability. The Qualys Cloud Platform can help you detect any vulnerable systems, allowing you to quickly target them for mitigation.
On Friday, a hacker group known as The Shadow Brokers publicly released a large number of functional exploit tools. Several of these tools make use of zero-day vulnerabilities, most of which are in Microsoft Windows. Exploiting these vulnerabilities in many cases leads to remote code execution and full system access.
Both end-of-support and current Windows versions are impacted, including Windows 2003, XP, Vista, 7, 2008, 8, and 2012. Microsoft has released patches for each vulnerability across all supported platforms, but will not be releasing patches for end-of-support versions of Windows. It is highly recommended that any end-of-support Windows systems be replaced or isolated, as these systems will often be impacted by new vulnerabilities, without the availability of a patch.
For zero-day vulnerabilities in Operating Systems, you can use your existing asset inventory information from Qualys AssetView, and search for any OS to determine how many vulnerable assets are deployed. This can be done without additional scanning if the data is relatively fresh.
A new zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2017-7269) impacting Microsoft IIS 6.0 has been announced with proof-of-concept code. This vulnerability can only be exploited if WebDAV is enabled. IIS 6.0 is a component of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (including R2.) Microsoft has ended support for Server 2003 on July 14, 2015, which means that this vulnerability will most likely not be patched. It is recommended that these systems be upgraded to a supported platform. The current workaround is to disable the WebDAV Web Service Extension if it is not needed by any web applications.
The Qualys Cloud Platform can help you detect the vulnerability, track and manage Server 2003 Assets, as well as block exploits against web-based vulnerabilities like this one.
Web application scanners often struggle to scan applications that incorporate parameters into their URL paths, specifically web apps that use URL-rewrite techniques or web apps with REST APIs that take URL parameters. One key approach is to fuzz the application’s URL parameter inputs in order to identify possible injection points for malicious code. But without knowledge of the URL structure, it’s difficult for scanners to fuzz those parameters efficiently and with full coverage, which is required for an effective scan.
With hackers taking advantage of the Apache Struts vulnerability and aggressively attacking enterprises worldwide, Qualys can protect your organization from this critical bug, which is hard to detect and difficult to patch.
Recently disclosed, the Struts vulnerability is being actively attacked in the wild, as hackers jump at the chance to hit high-profile targets by exploiting this critical bug. Struts, an Apache open source framework for creating “enterprise-ready” Java web applications, is abundantly present in large Internet companies, government agencies and financial institutions.
For an informative walkthrough of the vulnerability and the Qualys detections, please view the Detect and Block Apache Struts Bug webcast recording.
Considering that database systems hold extremely valuable and sensitive information, one would assume that most organizations would fiercely protect these “crown jewels” with great care. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Throngs of databases in organizations worldwide are unsafe, at high risk of being breached by malicious hackers, rogue employees and crooked partners. This sorry state of database security puts financial data, customer information, health records, intellectual property treasures and more in grave danger.
Below we’ll discuss the two main causes for database security breakdowns — unpatched vulnerabilities and configuration errors — along with helpful tips for reducing the risk of database breaches.
Login credentials have always been a weak link in cybersecurity’s protection chain, a situation that’s worsening. However, this trend could be reversed with a bit of effort from end users, website owners and software vendors.
2016: The Year of Stolen Credentials
Hackers made hay of the sorry state of credential security in 2016. They stole millions of username and password combinations from online services of all shapes and sizes. Blogs and discussion forums were hit particularly hard.
Exploiting credentials is an old attack vector that still works wonders for hackers. In its 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), Verizon added a section about credentials, revealing that 63% of data breaches involved weak, default or stolen passwords.
“This statistic drives our recommendation that this is a bar worth raising,” reads the report.
Most organizations enforce system configuration policies to reduce the chance of misconfiguration and improve their overall security posture. For Microsoft Windows systems, many organizations rely on guidance from Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) for proper configuration. For organizations deploying Windows 10, this Top 5 list helps you understand and implement the new settings introduced in SCM for Windows 10.
As an engineer on the Qualys Policy Compliance product team, I routinely compare compliance benchmarks, and have compiled this list based on my work. If you are already familiar with previous version of Windows, this blog post can help you to quickly adopt the new changes.
Controls (represented by Control IDs or CIDs) are the building blocks of the policies in Qualys Policy Compliance used to measure and report compliance for a set of hosts. For each of the Top 5 in this article, we include the CID that allows you to build policies to measure and report compliance for that new setting.
SQL as a language is vulnerable to injection attacks because it allows mixing of instructions and data, which attackers can conveniently exploit to achieve their nefarious objectives.
The root cause behind successful SQL injection attacks is the execution of user-supplied data as SQL instructions. This classic cartoon illustrates the perils of trusting user inputs, and how they can lead to a successful SQLi attack:
From the webcomic xkcd: