je internetový portál zaměřený na počítačovou bezpečnost, hacking, anonymitu, počítačové sítě, programování, šifrování, exploity, Linux a BSD systémy. Provozuje spoustu zajímavých služeb a podporuje příznivce v zajímavých projektech.


ThreatList: Credential Theft Spikes by Triple Digits in U.S.

Threatpost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 22:19
Meanwhile, the LokiPWS (a.k.a. Lokibot) malware family distribution is surging.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Adaptable, All-in-One Android Trojan Shows the Future of Malware

Threatpost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 20:11
GPlayed may be the new face of malware -- flexible and adaptable, with a Swiss Army knife-like toolbox that can be used to target pretty much anyone.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Fake Adobe Flash Updates Hide Malicious Crypto Miners

Threatpost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 16:19
A fake Adobe update actually updates victims' Flash - but also installs malicious cryptomining malware.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Calif. Law Takes Aim at Weak IoT Passwords

Threatpost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 16:03
Concerns over data privacy and security push California to roll out the first legislation on connected devices.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Instagram tests sharing your location history with Facebook

Sophos Naked Security - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 15:47
Instagram is testing Facebook Location History - which allows the tracking of precise locations from your device - in its app.

Millions at risk from default webcam passwords

Sophos Naked Security - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 15:45
Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co.,Ltd (Xiongmai), the Chinese manufacturer that made many of the devices left vulnerable to Mirai, is back with another vulnerability that puts millions of devices across the world at risk yet again.

Jailbroken PS4 seller sued by Sony

Sophos Naked Security - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 15:36
The consoles allegedly sold on eBay by the California man were packed with over 60 pirated games.

Advanced attacks on Microsoft Active Directory: detection and mitigation

Positive Research Center - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 15:35
Attacks on Microsoft Active Directory have been a recurrent topic of reports on Black Hat and Defcon during the last four years. Speakers tell about new vectors, share their inventions, and give recommendations on detection and avoidance of these vectors. I believe that the IT department is capable of creating a secure infrastructure, which can be monitored by the security department. High-quality monitoring, in its turn, requires good tools. That's like a military base: you have erected guard towers around the perimeter but still keep watch over the area.

Six strategies that would not be overlookedNumerous vendors provide security software that supports monitoring of the following malicious activities:

Pass-the-HashThis attack is conditioned by architecture of NTLM, an authentication protocol created by Microsoft in 1990s. Logging in to a remote host requires password hash stored on the computer that is used for the authentication process. Therefore, the hash can be extracted from that computer.

MimikatzTo achieve that, a French researcher Benjamin Delpy developed in 2014 Mimikatz, the utility that allows dumping cleartext passwords and NTLM hashes from the computer memory.

Brute ForceIf credentials extracted from one host are not enough, the attacker can opt for a rough but effective technique of guessing the password.

net user /domainWhere do we take a username dictionary to conduct this attack? Any domain member is allowed to execute the net user /domain command that returns a full list of AD domain users.

KerberoastingIf a domain uses Kerberos as the authentication protocol, an attacker can try a Kerberoasting attack. Any user authenticated on the domain can request a Kerberos ticket for access to the service (Ticket Granting Service). TGS is encrypted with the password hash of the account used to run the service. The attacker who requested the TGS can now bruteforce it offline without any fear of being blocked. In case of success, the attacker gains the password to the account associated with the service, usually a privileged one.

PsExecAs soon as the attacker obtains the required credentials, the next task is remote command execution. This task can be easily solved using the PsExec utility from the Sysinternals set, which proved remarkably effective and is appreciated by both IT administrators and hackers.

Seven spells of hackersNow we are going to review seven spells of hackers that can help to gain full control over Active Directory.

[The figure shows four steps of the attack. Each step features a set of methods]

Let's start with reconnaissance.

PowerViewPowerView is a part of PowerSploit, a well-known PowerShell framework for penetration testing. PowerView supports Bloodhound, the tool that gives graph representation of object connections in AD.

Graph representation of relationships between Active Directory objects
Bloodhound immediately provides such possibilities as:

  • Finding accounts of all domain administrators
  • Finding hosts, on which domain administrators are logged
  • Finding the shortest path from the attacker's host to the host with the domain admin session

The last possibility replies to the question, what hosts need to be hacked to get to the domain admin account. This approach significantly reduces the time required for gaining full control over the domain.

The difference between PowerView and built-in utilities that allow obtaining data on AD objects (such as net.exe) is that PowerView uses LDAP, not SAMR. To detect this activity, we can use domain controller event 1644. Logging of this event is enabled by adding the relevant value in the register:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NTDS\Diagnostic\\15 Field Engineering = 5

Enabling logging of LDAP event 1644Event 1644 with properties of an LDAP query

Note that there can be multiple events of this kind, and a good alternative to analysis of events is analysis of traffic, because LDAP is a cleartext protocol and all queries are seen clearly in traffic.

LDAP SearchRequestOne more feature of the framework is that it uses only PowerShell and has no dependencies. Moreover, PowerShell v5 has a new option of advanced audit, which is very useful in detection. Event 4104 shows the script body, which can be searched for function names that are specific for PowerView.

SPN ScanThis utility can be a substitute for Nmap. As soon as a hacker knows what users and groups exist in AD, he or she needs information about services to get the whole picture.

Commonly, scanning ports with Nmap provides this information. But now these data can be retrieved from AD—they are already stored there. The query result looks as follows: the reply returns an SPN (Service Principal Name) that consists of a service class, which is unique for each service type, host name in FQDN format, and port for some services.

Examples of SPN for different servicesFor the full list of SPNs, see

To detect SPN Scan, audit of LDAP events can be used.

SPN Scan has a clear advantage over Nmap: it is less noisy. When you use Nmap, you need to connect to each host and send packets to the range of ports specified by you, whereas the SPN list is a consequence of only one query.

Remote Sessions EnumerationDuring the phase that is called lateral movement, an important task is to match users with computers they are logged on: the attacker either already has the user credentials (hash or a Kerberos ticket) and searches for hosts to log in flawlessly, or searches for the host with a session of the domain administrator.

Both cases trigger the following scenario: hunt –> compromise any host –> upload Mimikatz – > profit.

To detect the use of this scenario, two events can be used: 4624—a successful logon to a remote system (logon type 3), and events of access to the network share IPC$, with one nuance, the named pipe "srvsvc". Why the pipe is named like this can be guessed from the traffic.

Red boxes in the left part show SMB connections, and then connections to the pipe "srvsvc". This pipe allows interacting via the Server Service Remote Protocol. End hosts receive various administrative information from the pipe; for example, one of the requests is NetSessEnum. This request returns a full list of users logged in to the remote system with their IP addresses and names.

MaxPatrol SIEM allows detection based on correlation of these two events with srvsvc taken into account. PT Network Attack Discovery performs similar detection based on traffic analysis.

Overpass-the-HashPass-the-Hash reincarnation. Let's continue with lateral movement. What an attacker can do with NTLM hash on hand? Conduct a Pass-the-Hash attack. But it is already well-known and can be detected. Therefore, a new attack vector—Overpass-the-Hash—has been found.

The Kerberos protocol was developed specifically to prevent sending user passwords over the network in any form. To avoid that, the user encrypts an authentication request using password hash on its own computer. A Key Distribution Center (a special service running on the domain controller) replies with a ticket to get other tickets, the so-called Ticket-Granting Ticket (TGT). Now the client is deemed authenticated and can request tickets to access other services within the next 10 hours. Therefore, if the attacker dumps hash of a user who is a member of a trusted group of the target service (for example, ERP system or database), the attacker can issue a ticket for itself and successfully log in to the target service.

How to detectIf a hacker uses the PowerShell version of Mimikatz for an attack, logging the script body would help, because Invoke-Mimikatz is quite an indicative line.

Another symptom is event 4688—creating a process with extended audit of the command line. Even if a binary file is renamed, the command line would contain the command, which is very peculiar to Mimikatz.

If you want to detect an Overpass-the-Hash attack by analyzing traffic, the following anomaly can be used: Microsoft recommends using AES256 encryption for authentication requests in modern domains, and if Mimikatz sends authentication request data, it encrypts the data with an outdated ARCFOUR.

Another specific feature is the cipher suite sent by Mimikatz, which is different from a legitimate domain's suite, and thus stands out in the traffic.

Golden TicketA well-known method.

What can an attacker get out of password hash of a special account called krbtgt? Previously, we reviewed a case where the user could be unprivileged. Now, we review a case where the user's password hash is used for signing absolutely all tickets for gaining other tickets (TGT). There is no need to address to a Key Distribution Center: an attacker can generate this ticket, because a Golden Ticket is in fact a TGT. Then the attacker can send authentication requests on any service in AD for an unlimited period. The result is unrestricted access to target resources—Golden Ticket has its name for a reason.

How to detect based on events Event 4768 informs that a TGT was granted, and event 4769 informs that a service ticket required for authentication on some service in AD was granted.

In this case, we can speculate in difference: while Golden Ticket does not request a TGT from the domain controller (because it generates the TGT itself), it has to request a TGS. Therefore, if we see that obtained TGT and TGS differ, we can assume that the Golden Ticket attack is underway.
MaxPatrol SIEM uses table lists to log all issued TGTs and TGSs to implement this method of detection.

WMI Remote ExecutionAfter being authenticated and authorized on target hosts, the hacker can start remote execution of tasks. WMI is a built-in mechanism that fits perfectly for this purpose. For the last few years, living off the land is on trend, which means using built-in Windows mechanisms. The main reason is the ability to mimic legitimate activities.

The figure below demonstrates the use of wmic, a built-in utility. The utility is given a host address for connection, credentials, the process call create operator, and a command to be executed on the remote host.

How to detect Check the combination of remote logon events 4624. An important parameter is the Logon ID. Also check event 4688 that informs about creating a process with the command line. Event 4688 shows that the parent of the created process is WmiPrvSE.exe, a special wmi service process used for remote administration. We can see the command net user /add sent by us, and the Logon ID, which is the same as in event 4624. Thus, we can tell absolutely precisely from which host this command was initiated.

Detection based on traffic analysisWe can clearly see words typical of Win32 process create, and the command line, which is going to be executed. The malware on the figure below was distributed on virtual networks in the same way as WannaCry, but instead of encryption, it set up a crypto miner. The malware used Mimikatz and EthernalBlue, dumped accounts, and used them to log in to hosts it could reach on the network. Using WMI, the malware ran PowerShell on these hosts and downloaded PowerShell payload, which also contained Mimikatz, EthernalBlue, and a miner. Thus, a chain reaction was created.


  1. Use complex and long passwords (at least 25 symbols) for service accounts. An attacker would not have any chance to conduct a Kerberoasting attack, because it takes too much time to bruteforce such passwords. 
  2. Enable PowerShell logging. This would help to reveal the use of various modern tools for attacks on AD. 
  3. Upgrade to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.  Microsoft created Credential Guard: it prevents dumping of NTLM hashes and Kerberos tickets. 
  4. Implement role-based access control. It is risky to assign permissions of AD, DC, server, and workstation admins to one role. 
  5. Reset the krbtgt (account used for signing TGT) password twice every year and every time the AD administrator changes. It is important to change the password twice, because the current and the previous passwords are stored. Even if a network is compromised and attackers issued a Golden Ticket, changing the password makes this Ticket useless, and they have to bruteforce the password once again. 
  6. Use protection tools with a continuously updating expert database. This helps revealing current ongoing attacks.

On January 24, 2018, Benjamin Delpy and Vincent Le Toux released during the Microsoft BlueHat in Israel a new Mimikatz module that implements the DCShadow attack. The idea of the attack is to create a rogue domain controller to replicate objects in AD. The researchers defined a minimum set of Kerberos SPNs required for successful replication—only two SPNs are required. They also showed a special function that can start forced replication of controllers. The authors assure that this attack can make your SIEM go blind. A rouge domain controller would not send events to SIEM, which means that attackers can do various evil tricks with AD and SIEM, and nobody would know about that.

The attack scheme:

Two SPNs should be added to the system the attack is run from. These SPNs are required for other domain controllers to authenticate using Kerberos for replication. Because the domain controller is represented as the object of class nTDSDSA in the AD base according to the specification, such an object should be created. Finally, replication is triggered by the DRSReplicaAdd function.

How to detect This is what DCShadow looks like in traffic. By analyzing the traffic, we can clearly see that a new object is added to the domain controller configuration scheme, and then replication is triggered.

Although the attack creators say that SIEM would not help in its detection, we found a way to inform the security department about suspicious activity on the network.

Our correlation has a list of legitimate domain controllers, and it would be triggered at every replication from a domain controller, which not included into this whitelist. Therefore, the security department can conduct an investigation to check if that is a legitimate domain controller added by the IT service, or a DCShadow attack.

An example of DCShadow confirms that new enterprise attack vectors appear. It is essential to stay on the crest of the wave in this ocean of information security, look ahead, and act quickly.

Every day, we at PT Expert Security Center research new threats and develop methods and tools to detect them. And we'll continue sharing this information with you

Author: Anton Tyurin, Head of Attack Detection Team, Positive Technologies

How STACKLEAK improves Linux kernel security

Positive Research Center - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 14:32

STACKLEAK is a Linux kernel security feature initially developed by Grsecurity/PaX. I'm working on introducing STACKLEAK into the Linux kernel mainline. This article describes the inner workings of this security feature and why the vanilla kernel needs it.

In short, STACKLEAK is needed because it mitigates several types of Linux kernel vulnerabilities, by:

  •  Reducing the information that can be revealed to an attacker by kernel stack leak bugs,
  •  Blocking some uninitialized stack variable attacks,
  •  Detecting kernel stack overflow during Stack Clash attack against Linux Kernel.

This security feature fits the mission of the Kernel Self Protection Project (KSPP): security is more than just fixing bugs. Fixing absolutely all bugs is impossible, which is why the Linux kernel has to fail safely in case of an error or vulnerability exploitation. More details about KSPP are available on its wiki.

STACKLEAK was initially developed by the PaX Team, going as PAX_MEMORY_STACKLEAK in the Grsecurity/PaX patch. But this patch is no longer freely available to the Linux kernel community. So I took its last public version for the 4.9 kernel (April 2017) and got to work. The plan has been as follows:

  • First extract STACKLEAK from the Grsecurity/PaX patch.
  • Then carefully study the code and create a new patch.
  • Send the result to the Linux kernel mailing list (LKML), get feedback, make improvements, and repeat until the code is accepted into the mainline.

As of October 9, 2018, the 15th version of the STACKLEAK patch series has been submitted. It contains the common code and x86_64/x86_32 support. The arm64 support developed by Laura Abbott from Red Hat has already been merged into mainline kernel v4.19.

Security features
Most importantly, STACKLEAK erases the kernel stack at the end of syscalls. This reduces the information that can be revealed through some kernel stack leak bugs. An example of such an information leak is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Kernel stack leak exploitation, pre-STACKLEAKHowever, these leaks become useless for the attacker if the used part of the kernel stack is filled by some fixed value at the end of a syscall (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Kernel stack leak exploitation, post-STACKLEAKHence, STACKLEAK blocks exploitation of some uninitialized kernel stack variable vulnerabilities, such as CVE-2010-2963 and CVE-2017-17712. For a description of exploitation of vulnerability CVE-2010-2963, refer to the article by Kees Cook.

Figure 3 illustrates an attack on an uninitialized kernel stack variable.

Figure 3. Uninitialized kernel stack variable exploitation, pre-STACKLEAKSTACKLEAK mitigates this type of attack because at the end of a syscall, it fills the kernel stack with a value that points to an unused hole in the virtual memory map (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Uninitialized kernel stack variable exploitation, post-STACKLEAK
There is an important limitation: STACKLEAK does not help against similar attacks performed during a single syscall.

Runtime detection of kernel stack depth overflow
In the mainline kernel, STACKLEAK would be effective against kernel stack depth overflow only in combination with CONFIG_THREAD_INFO_IN_TASK and CONFIG_VMAP_STACK (both introduced by Andy Lutomirski).

The simplest type of stack depth overflow exploit is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Stack depth overflow exploitation: mitigation with CONFIG_THREAD_INFO_IN_TASKOverwriting the thread_info structure at the bottom of the kernel stack allows an attacker to escalate privileges on the system. However, CONFIG_THREAD_INFO_IN_TASK moves thread_info out of the thread stack and therefore mitigates such an attack.

There is a more complex variant of the attack: make the kernel stack grow beyond  the end of the kernel's preallocated stack space and overwrite security-sensitive data in a neighboring memory region (Figure 6). More technical details are available in:

Figure 6. Stack depth overflow exploitation: a more complicated version
CONFIG_VMAP_STACK protects against such attacks by placing a special guard page next to the kernel stack (Figure 7). If accessed, the guard page triggers an exception.

Figure 7. Stack depth overflow exploitation: mitigation with guard pagesFinally, the most interesting version of a stack depth overflow attack is a Stack Clash (Figure 8). Gael Delalleau published this idea in 2005. It was later revisited by the Qualys Research Team in 2017. In essence, it is possible to jump over a guard page and overwrite data from a neighboring memory region using Variable Length Arrays (VLA).

Figure 8. Stack Clash attackSTACKLEAK mitigates Stack Clash attacks against the kernel stack. More information about STACKLEAK and Stack Clash is available on the grsecurity blog.

To prevent a Stack Clash in the kernel stack, a stack depth overflow check is performed before each alloca() call. This is the code from v14 of the patch series:

void __used stackleak_check_alloca(unsigned long size)
       unsigned long sp = (unsigned long)&sp;
       struct stack_info stack_info = {0};
       unsigned long visit_mask = 0;
       unsigned long stack_left;

       BUG_ON(get_stack_info(&sp, current, &stack_info, &visit_mask));

       stack_left = sp - (unsigned long)stack_info.begin;

       if (size >= stack_left) {
                * Kernel stack depth overflow is detected, let's report that.
                * If CONFIG_VMAP_STACK is enabled, we can safely use BUG().
                * If CONFIG_VMAP_STACK is disabled, BUG() handling can corrupt
                * the neighbour memory. CONFIG_SCHED_STACK_END_CHECK calls
                * panic() in a similar situation, so let's do the same if that
                * option is on. Otherwise just use BUG() and hope for the best.
               panic("alloca() over the kernel stack boundary\n");

However, this functionality was excluded from the 15th version of the STACKLEAK patch series. The main reason is that Linus Torvalds has forbidden use of BUG_ON() in kernel hardening patches. Moreover, during discussion of the 9th version, the maintainers decided to remove all VLAs from the mainline kernel. There are 15 kernel developers participating in that work, which will be finished soon.

Performance impact
Cursory performance testing was performed on x86_64 hardware: Intel Core i7-4770, 16 GB RAM.

Test 1, looking good: compiling the Linux kernel on one CPU core.

    # time make
    Result on 4.18:
        real 12m14.124s
        user 11m17.565s
        sys 1m6.943s
    Result on 4 .18+stackleak:
        real 12m20.335s (+0.85%)
        user 11m23.283s
        sys 1m8.221s

Test 2, not so hot:

    # hackbench -s 4096 -l 2000 -g 15 -f 25 –P
    Average on 4.18: 9.08 s
    Average on 4.18+stackleak: 9.47 s (+4.3%)

In summary: the performance penalty varies for different workloads. Test STACKLEAK on your expected workload before deploying it in production.

Inner workings
STACKLEAK consists of:

  • The code that erases the kernel stack at the end of syscalls,
  • The GCC plugin for kernel compile-time instrumentation.

Erasing the kernel stack is performed in the stackleak_erase() function. This function runs before returning from a syscall to userspace and writes STACKLEAK_POISON (-0xBEEF) to the used part of the thread stack (Figure 10). For speed, stackleak_erase() uses the lowest_stack variable as a starting point (Figure 9). This variable is regularly updated in stackleak_track_stack() during system calls.

Figure 9. Erasing the kernel stack with stackleak_erase()Figure 10. Erasing the kernel stack with stackleak_erase(), continuedKernel compile-time instrumentation is handled by the STACKLEAK GCC plugin. GCC plugins are compiler-loadable modules that can be project-specific. They register new compilation passes via the GCC Pass Manager and provide the callbacks for these passes.

So the STACKLEAK GCC plugin inserts the aforementioned stackleak_track_stack() calls for the functions with a large stack frame. It also inserts the stackleak_check_alloca() call before alloca and the stackleak_track_stack() call after it.

As I already mentioned, inserting stackleak_check_alloca() was dropped in the 15th version of the STACKLEAK patch series.

The way to the mainline
The path of STACKLEAK to the Linux kernel mainline is very long and complicated (Figure 11).

Figure 11. The way to the mainlineIn April 2017, the authors of grsecurity made their patches commercial. In May 2017, I decided to work on upstreaming STACKLEAK. It was the beginning of a very long story. My employer Positive Technologies allows me to spend a part of my working time on this task, although I mainly spend my free time on it.

As of October 9, 2018, the 15th version of the STACKLEAK patch series is contained in the linux-next branch. It fits Linus' requirements and is ready for the merge window of the 4.20/5.0 kernel release.

I gave a talk on STACKLEAK at the Linux Security Summit NA 2018. Slides and video is already available.

STACKLEAK is a very useful Linux kernel self-protection feature that mitigates several types of vulnerabilities. Moreover, the PaX Team has made it rather fast and technically beautiful. Considering the substantial work done in this direction, upstreaming STACKLEAK would benefit Linux users with high information security requirements and also focus the attention of the Linux developer community on kernel self-protection.

Author: Alexander Popov, Positive Technologies

Novinky v antivirech: jsou tu Avast Antivirus 2019 a AVG Internet Security 2019 - bezpečnost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 14:05
Rok 2018 sice ještě neskončil, přesto se již na trhu objevují produkty s číslem 2019. To je i případ nově představených verzí bezpečnostních balíků Avast Antivirus 2019 a AVG Internet Security 2019. Avast Antivirus 2019 Avast Antivirus 2019 v první řadě láká na umělou inteligenci, kterou ...
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Update now! Microsoft fixes 49 bugs, 12 are critical

Sophos Naked Security - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 13:05
Microsoft’s October Patch Tuesday update made its scheduled appearance on Tuesday with fixes for 49 security flaws across its family of products, 12 of which are listed as ‘critical’.

French Dark-Web Drug Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in US Prison

The Hacker News - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 11:19
A dark web drugs kingpin who was arrested last year when he arrived in the United States to compete in the World Beard and Mustache Championships has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola sentenced 36-year-old French national Gal Vallerius, aka "OxyMonster," after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Silk Road Admin Pleads Guilty – Could Face Up to 20 Years in Prison

The Hacker News - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 10:56
An Irish national who helped run the now-defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road pleaded guilty on Friday to drug trafficking charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Gary Davis, also known as Libertas, was one of the site administrators and forum moderators for Silk Road, then-largest underground marketplace on the Internet used by thousands of users to sell and buy drugs
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Odposlouchávat mobily mohl kdokoliv. Kvůli chybě ve WhatsAppu - bezpečnost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 10:21
WhatsApp je jednou z nejpopulárnějších chatovacích aplikací na světě, používá ji několik stovek miliónů lidí. Nyní se ale ukázalo, že tento program, který je k dispozici především pro chytré telefony, obsahoval kritickou bezpečnostní chybu. Tu mohli hackeři zneužít klidně k tomu, aby odposlouchávali uživatele prostřednictvím mobilního telefonu.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

Threats in the Netherlands

Kaspersky Securelist - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 09:30


On October 4, 2018, the MIVD held a press conference about an intercepted cyberattack on the OPWC in the Netherlands, allegedly by the advanced threat actor Sofacy (also known as APT28 or Fancy Bear, among others). According to the MIVD, four suspects were caught red handed trying to break into the OPWC’s network. Sofacy activity in the Netherlands did not come as a surprise to us, since we have seen signs of its presence in that country before. However, aside from Sofacy we haven’t seen many other advanced persistent threat (APT) groups in the Netherlands, at least when compared to other areas, such as the Middle-East. Upon further reflection, we have concluded that this is rather odd. There are quite a few big multinationals and some high tech companies located in the Netherlands. In addition, there are other potential strategic targets for threat actors. So we decided to review cyber-threat activity targeting or affecting the Netherlands.

Providing an overview of one APT’s activity can be quite difficult, let alone all the APT activity affecting a country. First, we only see what we can see. That means we can only gather data from sources we have access to, such as that shared voluntarily by our customers with Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), and those sources also need to be supplied with data related to a specific APT. As a result, like any other cybersecurity vendor, our telemetry is naturally incomplete.

One way to improve our overview is to use sinkhole data. When a domain that is used by an APT expires, researchers can register that domain and direct the traffic to a sinkhole server. This is done quite frequently. For many of the APTs we track, we sinkhole at least one domain. In comparison to other sources, such as KSN and multi-scanner services, sinkhole data has a number of advantages. For example, in some cases you can get a better overview of the victimology of the APT. The drawback is that we need to filter the results, since there can be quite a few false positives (e.g. because other researchers are investigating the malware). This filtering can be quite cumbersome, because if we base it solely on the IP and the requests, it is quite difficult to come to a verdict.


For this blogpost we gathered all the sinkhole data for Dutch IPs in the last four years (September 2014 to September 2018), which amounts to around 85,000 entries. Of course, this is far too much to verify by hand, so the first step was to filter the results, and especially all the scanners. While some of these were relatively easy to spot and filter out (e.g. all the TOR exit nodes, all the Romanian.anti-sec), others required a bit more effort.

In order to filter out the scanners, we deleted all entries where the IP matched more than four “tags” (each tag stands for a different campaign). After doing this, we were left with around 11,000. That meant 77% fewer results, but there were still too many, so we applied some more aggressive filtering.

The table below describes the number of tags that were hit per IP.

0 10,532 1 1,149 2 618 3 344 4 234 >4 938

One way to determine whether a hit in the sinkhole database is a true positive (TP) or a false positive (FP), is to find out who the victim is. We thus reversed the IP and checked whether, at the time of the first entry in our sinkhole database, the DNS entry matched the entries in our passive DNS database. If this was not the case, the entry was ignored. The next step was to remove all the entries that would be difficult to investigate (e.g. IP addresses that belong to an ADSL connection). Even though this method was quite rigid and meant that some TPs might be missed, we still decided to use it, since we knew it would be too resource-intensive to investigate all the entries. The result: only around 1,000 entries remained for investigation.

The aim of this blogpost is to give an overview of which APT groups are active in the Netherlands and what they are interested in, and that requires TPs, not FPs. For each remaining entry, a reverse DNS lookup was made, and the ASN information was saved. This was checked against our passive DNS database to see whether this IP had the same domain as its first entry in the sinkhole database. If it did, the entry was kept, if it was not, we tried to find out to which organization the IP belonged.

At this point, for the entries that remained, the raw requests were retrieved against the template request made by the APT. Finally, for each of the IPs left on our list, we tried to tie them to a company or institution. If this was the case, the entry was kept and marked as a TP.

We also checked our APT reports for targets in the Netherlands and added these results to the review.


Using the methods described above, we found the following APTs that are or have been active in the Netherlands:


BlackOasis is an APT group we have been tracking since May 2016. It uses the commercially available FinFisher malware made by Gamma International and sold to law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and nation states. BlackOasis differentiates itself from other APT-groups by using a vast amount of 0-days: at least five since 2015. Victims are mostly found in Middle Eastern countries, where the group is particularly interested in politics. We have also seen it targeting members of the United Nations and regional news correspondents. Recently we have seen a shift in focus towards other countries such as Russia, the UK and now also the Netherlands. Its Dutch victims fit into its shift of interest.


Sofacy, also known as Pawn Storm, Fancy Bear and many other names is an active APT group that we have followed since 2011. It is known for using spear phishing emails to infect targets and for the active deployment of 0-days. In 2015, Trend Micro researchers reported that the group had targeted the MH17 investigation team. Last year, the Volkskrant published an article alleging it tried to infect several Dutch Ministries. Then there is the October 4, 2018 news of four alleged Sofacy members having been caught in April 2018 trying to hack the OPWC. Even though we cannot confirm these last two incidents, since we are not involved, we have observed several targets in the Netherlands infected with Sofacy. Interestingly, we observe fewer deployments of Xagent (one of Sofacy’s modules) after April 2018. Although one new Xagent deployment was noted in August 2018, it seems that the group pushed fewer, and then only new, deployments from April through June 2018.


Hades is the name given to the group held responsible for the Olympic Destroyer malware that was found targeting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Our initial thought was that the malware was related to the Lazarus group, because several of our Yara rules had 100% matches with the malware. However, after careful research we found many false flags that pointed to different APT groups. A few months later, in May 2018 (not long after the OPWC incident took place), we found that Hades had returned and was now targeting financial institutions and chemical threat prevention laboratories. Given this shift of interest, it is no surprise that entities in the Netherlands were targeted as well.


Buhtrap is one of the groups that targets financial institutions with the ultimate goal of stealing money. Its tools, techniques and processes (TTPs) don’t differ extensively from those of traditional APT groups. Buhtrap is one of those (Carbanak and Tyupkin are others) that started by infecting financial institutions in Russia and Ukraine, but after a while shifted its focus to other parts of the world. We found Buhtrap activity in the Netherlands in 2017.

The Lamberts

In March 2017, WikiLeaks published online a series of documents that they call “Vault 7”. Some of these documents feature malware that resembles that used by the Lamberts, a toolkit that has been used for several years, with most of its activity occurring in 2013 and 2014. One of The Lamberts’ variants we have been investigating is the “Green Lamberts”. We were surprised to see quite a few infections in the Netherlands, when the majority of attacks target Iran. We do not have any insight into the profile of the victims located in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the fact that Lamberts is active in the Netherlands shows a possible shift in focus, and reminds us that for APT groups, borders do not exist.


Turla, also known as Uroboros, is a very active APT group, believed to be connected to many high-profile incidents such as the US Central Command attack in 2008 and the breach of RUAG (a Swiss military contractor). Other Turla targets include ministries and governmental organizations. Given all this, the Netherlands is a logical target for the Turla group. In fact, we would have been surprised not to have found any Turla infections in the Netherlands.


Gatak, which also goes by the names of Stegoloader and GOLD, is a group that engages in data theft using watering hole attacks. It has been active since at least 2015, and its main interest is in intellectual property. Even though the use of watering hole attacks means the group does not have full control over who it infects, it has been able to hit a couple of high profile targets. In this case, our sinkhole database enabled us to determine that one of those was a high profile target in the Netherlands.

Putter Panda

In 2015, the Dutch chip maker, ASML was allegedly breached by Putter Panda. ASML acknowledged the breach and stated that one file was stolen. No further details are publicly available, although there was an episode of the TV program “KRO reporter“, partially dedicated to the breach. ASML is one of relatively few high-tech companies in the Netherlands. The fact that it has been breached is a clear sign that foreign threat actors are aware of and interested in industrial espionage in the Netherlands.

Animal Farm

Animal Farm is a group that has been active since at least 2009. A relatively advanced threat actor, it has been targeting a variety of organizations over the past years. Victims include governmental organizations, military contractors, activists and journalists. Even though the group is mainly focused on French speaking countries, we still found a few infections in the Netherlands.


Although our visibility of threat actor activity in the Netherlands is incomplete, the results are nevertheless surprising. Some groups we did not expect to see appear to be active in the country (such as the Lamberts). However, upon further thought, and especially when looking at potential targets located in the Netherlands and comparing this with the interests of some of the APT groups, their activity in the Netherlands makes sense.

The presence of both expected and unexpected threat actors is a good argument for organizations staying informed of the latest developments in cyberspace, particularly through threat intelligence reports. Because if you know what APT groups are up to, which organisations they target and what TTPs they use, you can implement the protection you need to stay one step ahead of them.

Such precautions are important, because one of the most stunning findings from the review of sinkhole databases was the number of organizations infected using “ordinary cybercrime malware”. We saw infections among airlines, airports and other major companies (although it should be noted that this happens in other countries as well, not just in the Netherlands). It demonstrates again that it is not so difficult for (APT) groups to breach valuable targets and that basic cyber hygiene is important for everybody.

As a final note, one should always be careful about deriving hard conclusions from APT findings, particularly in terms of attribution. For example, even though we saw Olympic Destroyer malware being used to target chemical threat prevention laboratories shortly after the OPWC incident, this is not conclusive evidence that the groups behind these attacks are the same, or even related. However, using this fact to monitor your network for the presence of Olympic Destroyer malware if you think you might be a potential Sofacy target – and vice versa – seems like a good approach.

For more information on our private threat intelligence reporting service, please contact

Finanční společnosti zablokovaly většinu kyberútoků. Některé ale po více než týdnu - bezpečnost - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 08:39
Firmy z oboru finančních služeb zablokovaly 81 procent pokusů o kybernetický útok v porovnání s 66 procenty v roce předchozím. Přesto v průměru více než 40 procent útoků zůstalo neodhaleno po dobu delší než jeden týden a dalších devět procent po dobu více než jeden měsíc. Vyplývá to ze studie společnosti Accenture. Ta je založena na dotazování 800 finančních podniků a na šetření cílených kyberútoků, které mají potenciál proniknout do zabezpečení sítě.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

CCSP Domain 4: Cloud Application Security

InfoSec Institute Resources - 11 Říjen, 2018 - 00:06

Introduction The Certified Cloud Security Professional certification, or CCSP, is a certification hosted by the joint effort of (ISC)2 and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). This exciting credential is designed for cloud-based information security professionals and ensures that the certification holder has acquired the requisite skills, knowledge and abilities in cloud implementation, security design, controls, […]

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CCSP Domain 4: Cloud Application Security was first posted on October 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm.
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Kategorie: Hacking & Security

CCSP Domain 3: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security

InfoSec Institute Resources - 10 Říjen, 2018 - 23:53

Introduction The Certified Cloud Security Professional certification, or CCSP, is a certification hosted by the joint effort of (ISC)2 and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). This exciting credential is designed for cloud-based information security professionals and ensures that the certification holder has acquired the requisite skills, knowledge and abilities in cloud implementation, security design, controls, […]

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CCSP Domain 3: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security was first posted on October 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm.
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Kategorie: Hacking & Security

FruityArmor APT Exploits Yet Another Windows Graphics Kernel Flaw

Threatpost - 10 Říjen, 2018 - 23:52
This is the second local privilege-escalation zero-day this APT group has exploited.
Kategorie: Hacking & Security

CCSP Domain 2: Cloud Data Security

InfoSec Institute Resources - 10 Říjen, 2018 - 23:45

Introduction The Certified Cloud Security Professional certification, or CCSP, is a certification hosted by the joint effort of (ISC)2 and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). This exciting credential is designed for cloud-based information security professionals and ensures that the certification holder has acquired the requisite skills, knowledge and abilities in cloud implementation, security design, controls, […]

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CCSP Domain 2: Cloud Data Security was first posted on October 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm.
©2017 "InfoSec Resources". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at
Kategorie: Hacking & Security
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