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SANS NewsBites is a semiweekly high-level executive summary of the most important news articles that have been published on computer security during the last week. Each news item is very briefly summarized and includes a reference on the web for detailed information, if possible.

Spend five minutes per week to keep up with the high-level perspective of all the latest security news. New issues are delivered free every Tuesday and Friday.

Volume XVI - Issue #87

October 31, 2014

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ICS-CERT Issues Alert About Ongoing BlackEnergy Malware Campaign
NIST Issues Information Sharing Guidelines for Public Comment


European Security Agency Holds Cyber Security Exercise
Survey Shows Organizations Disable Firewall Security to Improve Network Performance
Malware on Popular Science Website
Danish Court Finds Pirate Bay Co-Founder Warg Guilty of Computer Intrusions
Drupal Team Warns Users to Assume Sites are Compromised
Deloitte & Touche Report Offers Guidance for Determining Veracity of Data Leak Claims
London Police Arrest Three In Connection with Theft of Millions from ATMs
White House Unclassified Network Breached
US Defense Department Starting to Roll Out Chip-and-PIN Cards for Travelers



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ICS-CERT Issues Alert About Ongoing BlackEnergy Malware Campaign (October 29, 2014)

Groups have been using malware known as BlackEnergy to target industrial control systems (ICS) since 2011, according to a security advisory released earlier this week by the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) ICS-CERT. The malware affects human-machine interface (HMI) software from several different vendors. (The GE report is especially informative)



[Editor's Note (Assante): This is another revelation of special-purpose ICS-targeted malware engineered to be modular and deliver a foothold onto an ICS component. The earlier reports focused on one ICS supplier's HMI implementation, but it was expected to see an exploit capability against additional targets. This delivery vehicle was designed to take advantage of poor architectures as the scope of the problem of ICS components being connected with direct Internet accessibility is increasing (see Project SHINE
[SHINE meaning SHodan Intelligence Extraction ]
report by Bob Radvanovsky, of www.infracritical.com).
(McBride): ICS-CERT is emphasizing the "automated" nature of attacks against Internet-connected ICS (especially GE Cimplicity), but hasn't said much about how the attacks are "automated". At present, the attacks do not appear quite as advanced as what we saw with Havex/Yeti/Dragonfly - -- which looks for ICS on the internal network. It is also interesting that GE's advisory on the issue mentions: 1) attacks against GE Cimplicity software connected to the business network; and, 2) phishing attacks trying to get users to load malicious CIMPLICITY software files. The ICS-CERT Alert has not mentioned those techniques. ]

NIST Issues Information Sharing Guidelines for Public Comment (October 30, 2014)

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a draft of its Guide to Cyber Threat Information Sharing for public comment. "The goal of the publication is to provide guidance that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of defensive cyber operations and incident response activities, by introducing safe and effective information sharing practices." NIST will be accepting comments through November 28.
[Editor Note (Murray): All infrastructure enterprises should read and respond to this guidance. Response should begin with comparing the maturity of one's program to that implied by the guidance. However, it should be noted that these recommendations do not imply, suggest, or require the sharing of PII, IP or, business plans or programs. Compliance is good business and does not require the granting of any special legislative authority or immunity.
(Northcutt): The document is well worth reading, The concepts of security intelligence and and information sharing are crucial. In fact they may mandated by law:

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European Security Agency Holds Cyber Security Exercise (October 30, 2014)

On Thursday, October 30, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) held a cyber security exercise that drew the participation of more than 200 organizations and 400 cyber security professionals from 29 countries. The exercise simulated a real attack to gauge the responses of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), ministries, and companies in the communications, financial, and energy sectors.


Survey Shows Organizations Disable Firewall Security to Improve Network Performance (October 30, 2014)

According to a report from McAfee, while 60 percent of 504 surveyed IT professionals say security is paramount in network design, about 30 percent of organizations responding to the survey said that firewall security features are often disabled to boost network performance. McAfee senior director of network security Jennifer Geisler noted that "the way most firewalls are designed, it forces the trade-off so this is not a negative reflection on the administrator."

Malware on Popular Science Website (October 29 & 30, 2014)

The Popular Science website was reportedly hosting a malicious iFrame that redirects visitors to a third-party domain where an exploit kit attempts to infect their machines.

Danish Court Finds Pirate Bay Co-Founder Warg Guilty of Computer Intrusions (October 30, 2014)

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, co-founder of The Pirate Bay, has been found guilty of breaking into computers and downloading sensitive information, including police files and Danish social security and driver's license data. Warg could face up to six years in prison when he is sentenced on October 31.


Drupal Team Warns Users to Assume Sites are Compromised (October 29 & 30, 2014)

The Drupal security team says that users should assume that all Drupal 7 websites have been compromised unless they were patched within seven hours of the October 15, 11pm UTC announcement of a vulnerability that could be exploited through an SQL injection attack. Automated attacks were launched within hours of the flaw's disclosure. While updating to the most recent version, 7.32, does fix the vulnerability, websites that were compromised prior to the update will remain compromised. The team recommends that sites be restored with backups created before October 15.




[Editor's Note (Ullrich): Please don't underestimate this Drupal vulnerability. We received multiple reports of compromises that took advantage of this vulnerability. For the most part, the attacks were pretty simple and it should be easy to spot an affected system. Many of the compromised systems are being used as DDoS bots. As usual, start by getting a good inventory of Drupal sites either passively by observing traffic, or by using standard vulnerability scanning tools. ]

Deloitte & Touche Report Offers Guidance for Determining Veracity of Data Leak Claims (October 29, 2014)

Deloitte & Touche has published a paper that contains advice for determining whether data found on the Internet are actually data stolen from a company or if posted information is fake. Companies can check to see if the posted data are duplicates of data that has been posted previously; they can also check to see if the listed usernames actually exist, and if the passwords abide by the company's password policy.


Deloitte Report:
[Editor's Note (Murray): Consider "watermarking" or "seeding" data so that one can recognize it later and demonstrate its provenance to third parties when necessary. ]

London Police Arrest Three In Connection with Theft of Millions from ATMs (October 29, 2014)

Police in London, UK, have arrested three people in connection with an ATM theft scheme that stole GBP 1.6 million (US $2.6 million) over three days in May. The targeted ATMs were standalone equipment and had been physically accessed to install malware, which allowed the thieves to withdraw large amounts of cash. According to police reports, the malware was not on the machines when they were later examined.

[Editor's Note (Murray): "Specialist malware" which disappeared before the authorities could see it is indistinguishable from fairy dust. ]

White House Unclassified Network Breached (October 28, 29, & 30, 2014)

Unnamed sources say that attackers managed to breach an unclassified White House network. The activity resulted in some service disruptions, but there appears to be no damage to the affected systems. The attack appears to have been the work of specialists working for the Russian government.



US Defense Department Starting to Roll Out Chip-and-PIN Cards for Travelers (October 28, 2014)

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has issued approximately 600 payment cards with chip-and-PIN technology to members of the military who travel. All 1.3 military travelers will have the new cards by the end of summer 2015. DOD military travelers may also request the cards starting in January 2015.


NCSAM: False positives from Management

Sandworm Vulnerability Used in Banking Trojan

Graphic Card Uses Radio to Leak Data

Advanced Fraud Platform Advertised to Cash Out Stolen Credit Cards

Microsoft Releases Fix It to disable SSLv3

CurrentC Beta User's Info Exposed

GMail used by malware for command and control

OS X 10.10 FTP remote command execution vulnerability

wget Vulnerability

Cisco ASA Vulnerabilities

Open source script to detect auto-start processes on OS X

Unsaved "recovery" documents saved to iCloud in OS X Yosemite

The Editorial Board of SANS NewsBites

John Pescatore was Vice President at Gartner Inc. for fourteen years. He became a director of the SANS Institute in 2013. He has worked in computer and network security since 1978 including time at the NSA and the U.S. Secret Service.

Shawn Henry recently retired as FBI Executive Assistant Director responsible for all criminal and cyber programs and investigations worldwide, as well as international operations and the FBI's critical incident response. He is now president of CrowdStrike Services.

Stephen Northcutt teaches advanced courses in cyber security management; he founded the GIAC certification and was the founding President of STI, the premier skills-based cyber security graduate school, www.sans.edu.

Dr. Johannes Ullrich is Chief Technology Officer of the Internet Storm Center and Dean of the Faculty of the graduate school at the SANS Technology Institute.

Ed Skoudis is co-founder of CounterHack, the nation's top producer of cyber ranges, simulations, and competitive challenges, now used from high schools to the Air Force. He is also author and lead instructor of the SANS Hacker Exploits and Incident Handling course, and Penetration Testing course.

Michael Assante was Vice President and Chief Security Officer at NERC, led a key control systems group at Idaho National Labs, and was American Electric Power's CSO. He now leads the global cyber skills development program at SANS for power, oil & gas and other critical infrastructure industries.

Mark Weatherford is a Principal at The Chertoff Group and the former Deputy Under Secretary of Cybersecurity at the US Department of Homeland Security.

William Hugh Murray is an executive consultant and trainer in Information Assurance and Associate Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Sean McBride is Director of Analysis and co-founder of Critical Intelligence, and, while at Idaho National Laboratory, he initiated the situational awareness effort that became the ICS-CERT.

Rob Lee is the SANS Institute's top forensics instructor and director of the digital forensics and incident response research and education program at SANS (computer-forensics.sans.org).

Tom Liston is a Senior Security Consultant and Malware Analyst for InGuardians, a handler for the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center, and co-author of the book Counter Hack Reloaded.

Dr. Eric Cole is an instructor, author and fellow with The SANS Institute. He has written five books, including Insider Threat and he is a founder with Secure Anchor Consulting.

Mason Brown is one of a very small number of people in the information security field who have held a top management position in a Fortune 50 company (Alcoa). He leads SANS' efforts to raise the bar in cybersecurity education around the world.

David Hoelzer is the director of research & principal examiner for Enclave Forensics and a senior fellow with the SANS Technology Institute.

Gal Shpantzer is a trusted advisor to CSOs of large corporations, technology startups, Ivy League universities and non-profits specializing in critical infrastructure protection. Gal created the Security Outliers project in 2009, focusing on the role of culture in risk management outcomes and contributes to the Infosec Burnout project.

Alan Paller is director of research at the SANS Institute.

Brian Honan is an independent security consultant based in Dublin, Ireland.

David Turley is SANS operations manager and serves as production manager and final editor on SANS NewsBites.

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