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Three Dutch banks and Tax Agency under DDoS Attacks … is it a Russian job?

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 10:24 AM PST

Three Dutch Banks (ABN AMRO, ING Bank, Rabobank) and Tax Agency were targeted by a coordinated DDoS Attacks a few days the revelation of the Russian APT Hack.

Early this week a massive DDoS attack targeted three Dutch banks, ABN AMROING BankRabobank, and the Dutch Taxation Authority (Belastingdienst).

The attack against the system of ABN AMRO started over the weekend, while both ING Bank and Rabobank suffered coordinated DDoS attacks on Monday.
while the other two banks were hit on Monday.

The DDoS attacks caused severe accessibility problems to the bank infrastructure, they prevented customers from accessing the web services.

The attack against the Dutch Tax Authority prevented taxpayers filing tax-related documents.

DDoS attack three dutch banks ABN_AMRO_Hoofdkantoor_04

Who is behind the attack?

According to security experts from ESET, the origins of the attacks are servers in Russia.

“The DDoS attacks that hit  and  over the weekend and on Monday, came from servers in Russia, according to security company ESET. The company adds that this does not automatically mean that the perpetrators are also in Russia, the Telegraaf reports.states NL Times.

“The perpetrators used a so-called botnet – an army of hijacked computers and smart devices – to commit the DDoS attacks. Using the program Zbot, they remotely ordered these devices to visit a certain site en masse, thereby overloading the site’s server and crashing the site. The command and control servers are mainly in Russia, ESET determined.”

It is difficult to attribute the attack to a specific threat actor. anyway, the cybersecurity expert Richey Gevers noted that the attacks came a few days after the story of the Cozy Bear hack operated by the Dutch Intelligence Agency AIVD. According to Gevers, the DDoS attack peaked 40 Gbps in volume of traffic.

The expert also added that the attackers powered the attacks using a botnet composed of home routers.

 

The Ministry of Justice and Security called the attacks on the Dutch institutions very advanced, according to BNR. “But for example Dutch banks are known in Europe for having their cyber security in order. You often see that this provokes more advanced attacks. We are now fighting at a very high level”, the Ministry said. The Ministry can’t yet say who is behind these attacks.

Researchers from ESET claimed the attackers used the Zbot malware, a very old threat based on the infamous ZeuS banking trojan.

According to BNR, even is the malware is not complex, the Ministry of Justice and Security has classified the attacks on the Dutch institutions as very complex

“But for example Dutch banks are known in Europe for having their cyber security in order. You often see that this provokes more advanced attacks. We are now fighting at a very high level”, the Ministry said. The Ministry can’t yet say who is behind these attacks.

 

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – DDoS attacks, Dutch banks)

The post Three Dutch banks and Tax Agency under DDoS Attacks … is it a Russian job? appeared first on Security Affairs.

Cisco ASA software is affected by a flaw with 10 out of 10 severity rating. Patch it asap

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 05:27 AM PST

Cisco released security updates to address a critical security vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2018-0101, in Cisco ASA software

Cisco addressed a critical security flaw, tracked as CVE-2018-0101, in Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software.

The vulnerability could be exploited by a remote and unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code or trigger a denial-of-service (DoS) condition causing the reload of the system.

The vulnerability was discovered by the researcher Cedric Halbronn from NCC Group, he will disclose technical details on February 2 at the Recon Brussels 2018 conference.

The flaw resides in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN feature implemented by CISCO ASA software.

According to CISCO, it is related to the attempt to double free a memory region when the "webvpn" feature is enabled on a device. An attacker can exploit the vulnerability by sending specially crafted XML packets to a webvpn-configured interface.

“A vulnerability in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN functionality of the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a reload of the affected system or to remotely execute code.” reads the security advisory published by CISCO.

“The vulnerability is due to an attempt to double free a region of memory when the webvpn feature is enabled on the Cisco ASA device. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending multiple, crafted XML packets to a webvpn-configured interface on the affected system. An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the system, or cause a reload of the affected device.”

Below the list of affected CISCO ASA products:

  • 3000 Series Industrial Security Appliance (ISA)
  • ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances
  • ASA 5500-X Series Next-Generation Firewalls
  • ASA Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches and Cisco 7600 Series Routers
  • ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall
  • Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv)
  • Firepower 2100 Series Security Appliance
  • Firepower 4110 Security Appliance
  • Firepower 9300 ASA Security Module
  • Firepower Threat Defense Software (FTD)

The vulnerability was introduced in Firepower Threat Defense 6.2.2 that implemented the remote access VPN feature since September 2017.

Cisco has addressed the vulnerability by issuing security updates for each of the affected CISCO ASA software that are still supported by the company.

The Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) is aware of public knowledge of the vulnerability, but Cisco confirmed that it is not aware of any attacks in the wild that are exploiting this vulnerability.

 

 

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Cisco ASA software, hacking)

The post Cisco ASA software is affected by a flaw with 10 out of 10 severity rating. Patch it asap appeared first on Security Affairs.

Crooks target ATMs with Ploutus-D malware, these are the first confirmed cases of Jackpotting in US

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 03:42 AM PST

Cybercriminals are targeting ATM machines in the US forcing them to spit out hundreds of dollars with ‘jackpotting‘ attacks.

According to a senior US Secret Service official, the organization has managed to steal more than $1m from ATM machines using this technique.

Once crooks gain physical access to the ATM, they will infect it with a malware or specialized electronics that is designed to instruct the machine to deliver money in response to specific commands.

The jackpotting technique was first proposed by white hat hacker Barnaby Jack in 2010.

Barnaby Jack Jackpotting video

The popular investigator Brian Krebs obtained an alert issued by ATM maker manufacturers Diebold Nixdorf this month, the company warns of an ongoing campaign conducted by a gang in the US.

“On Jan. 21, 2018, KrebsOnSecurity began hearing rumblings about jackpotting attacks, also known as "logical attacks," hitting U.S. ATM operators. I quickly reached out to ATM giant NCR Corp. to see if they'd heard anything. NCR said at the time it had received unconfirmed reports, but nothing solid yet.” wrote Krebs.

“On Jan. 26, NCR sent an advisory to its customers saying it had received reports from the Secret Service and other sources about jackpotting attacks against ATMs in the United States.”

"While at present these appear focused on non-NCR ATMs, logical attacks are an industry-wide issue," the NCR alert reads. "This represents the first confirmed cases of losses due to logical attacks in the US. This should be treated as a call to action to take appropriate steps to protect their ATMs against these forms of attack and mitigate any consequences."

The crooks are infecting the ATM with the Ploutus-D malware, the vendor warns that Opteva 500 and 700 series machines are particularly vulnerable to these attacks.

These attacks are the first confirmed cases of jackpotting attacks against ATMs in the US. Jackpotting attacks were already reported in Europe, in May 27 people have been arrested by the Europol for jackpotting attacks on ATM across many countries in Europe.

Ploutus is one of the sophisticated ATM malware that was first discovered in Mexico back in 2013. The malicious code allows crooks to steal cash from ATMs using either an external keyboard attached to the machine or by sending it SMS messages.

In January, experts at FireEye Labs have discovered a new version of the Ploutus ATM malware, the so-called Ploutus-D, that works the KAL's Kalignite multivendor ATM platform.

The experts observed the Ploutus-D in attacks against ATM of the vendor Diebold, but the most worrisome aspect of the story is that minor changes to the malware code could allow Ploutus-D to target a wide range of ATM vendors in 80 countries.

Ploutus-D

The alert issued by Secret Service explains that the cybercriminals use an endoscope to inspect the internal parts of the ATM searching for the place where they can attach a cord that allows them to sync their laptop with the ATM's computer.

endoscope jackpotting

Diebold Nixdorf urges the improvement of physical security for ATMs, especially for those located in public places such as malls and pharmacies. Also, tightening the security configuration of the firmware is recommended.

The alert issued by Secret service recommends to limit physical access to the ATM machines and implement protection mechanisms for cash modules (i.e. Use firmware with latest security functionality. use the most secure configuration of encrypted communications incl. physical authentication).

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Jackpotting, banking)

The post Crooks target ATMs with Ploutus-D malware, these are the first confirmed cases of Jackpotting in US appeared first on Security Affairs.

Intel reportedly alerted Chinese companies before US Government about Meltdown and Spectre flaws

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 11:41 PM PST

According to the Wall Stree Journal, Intel reportedly alerted Chinese companies before US Gov about Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

There is no peace for Intel, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal the company warned Chinese tech giants about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities before notifying them to the US government.

Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter and some of the companies involved, The WSJ revealed that the list of Chinese companies includes Lenovo and Alibaba.

It is not clear when Intel notified the flaw to Lenovo, but a leaked memo from Intel to computer makers suggests the company reported the issues to an unnamed group of on November 29 via a non-disclosure agreement. The same day, the Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off his shares.

Last week, French tech publication LeMagIT’s Christophe Bardy disclosed the first page of the “Technical Advisory” issued by the Intel Product Security Incident Response Team.

Of course, security experts speculate the companies might have passed this information to the Chinese Government, but Alibaba spokesman refused any accusation.

I personally believe that the Chinese Government was informed by the companies about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities and it is disconcerting that the US intelligence agencies neither US CERTs were not aware of the flaws.

Meltdown Spectre patches

We also know that the Meltdown flaw is easy to exploit, this means that it is likely that threat actors might have triggered it to extract passwords and other sensitive data from a target machine. The situation is worrisome in cloud-computing environments were many customers share the same servers, in this scenario an attacker can launch a Meltdown attack to steal info belonging to other clients with applications hosted on the same server.

El Reg reached Intel for a comment, below the reply of the chip vendor:

“The Google Project Zero team and impacted vendors, including Intel, followed best practices of responsible and coordinated disclosure. Standard and well-established practice on initial disclosure is to work with industry participants to develop solutions and deploy fixes ahead of publication. In this case, news of the exploit was reported ahead of the industry coalition’s intended public disclosure date at which point Intel immediately engaged the US government and others.” states the El Reg.

Let me close with this eloquent Tweet published by security journalist Zach Whittaker:

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – China, Intel)

The post Intel reportedly alerted Chinese companies before US Government about Meltdown and Spectre flaws appeared first on Security Affairs.