Introduction

SonicWall recently disclosed that its firewall appliances contain vulnerabilities within the code utilized for remote management.

Technical Information

To exploit the vulnerability an attacker would need access to the remote management interface of the firewall.  Tier1Net’s standard supported configuration mitigates against this vulnerability by blocking all public access to a firewall’s management interface.  Furthermore, SonicWall has stated that it has not received any reports of this vulnerability being actively exploited.

Steps Taken by Tier1Net

Tier1Net has identified all impacted firewalls within its customer and cloud networks and will be deploying patches once internal testing is complete.

Further Information

To view SonicWall’s vulnerability notification please visit: https://psirt.global.sonicwall.com/vuln-detail/SNWLID-2019-0009

SEC Issues Risk Alert on Cloud Storage of Client Records

 

Marc Capobianco

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has commenced a series of cybersecurity examinations on registered investment advisers (RIA’s).  It is evident the SEC is committed to understanding Cyber-related risks not only at RIAs, but with RIAs’ technology partners.  RIA’s are not able to simply move their client data and workloads to a third party cloud provider and consequently shift the compliance requirements to the cloud provider.  RIA’s must carefully assess their entire attack surface and implement a configuration management program that includes policies and procedures governing data classification, vendor oversight and proper security configuration to mitigate the risk of cloud-based providers.  As more firms continue to transition to cloud-based solutions, cybercriminals are simply shifting their focus and adapting their tactics to locate and steal valuable data.

What actions should your firm take when moving to a cloud provider?

1.  Enable advanced security features offered by the cloud provider.
-Enable data encryption (at rest and in transit)
-Enforce password complexity, account logouts and multi-factor authentication
-Enable audit tracking and event logging
-Disable legacy and weak authentication protocols
2.  Implement policies and procedures designed to support the installation, ongoing maintenance and regular reviews of cloud providers.
3.  Establish a baseline security standard and guidelines for security controls to ensure each cloud instance is properly configured.
4.  Implement vendor management policies and procedures that include regular patch management and hardware updates. Review and verify whether patches or updates did not unintentionally alter or weaken the established baseline security configuration.

For more information on this SEC Risk Alert please see:  https://www.sec.gov/files/OCIE%20Risk%20Alert%20-%20Network%20Storage.pdf

#compliance #cybersecurity #OneStepAhead

Introduction

A critical vulnerability impacting Dell’s SupportAssist software could allow a remote attacker to execute code with admin privileges on impacted devices.  SupportAssist is installed by default on all Dell laptops and PCs and may also be installed or updated when visiting Dell’s Support website.

Technical Information

To exploit the vulnerability an attacker could lure a target to a malicious web page which would then allow remote code to compromise the SupportAssist tool.  Since the SupportAssist tool has admin privileges the attacker would then have full access into the system.

Steps Taken by Tier1Net

Tier1Net has identified all impacted devices within its customer networks and is deploying the patch which was recently released by Dell.  The patch should run with no user intervention required.

Recommendation for Home Users

For home users with Dell PCs please visit this Tier1Net knowledgebase article for instructions on identifying whether SupportAssist is installed and in need of the update.

Additional Information

https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln316857/dsa-2019-051-dell-supportassist-client-multiple-vulnerabilities?lang=en
https://www.zdnet.com/article/dell-laptops-and-computers-vulnerable-to-remote-hijacks/

Earlier this week, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published a risk alert for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers regarding compliance issues related to Regulation S-P – Privacy Notices and Safeguard Policies.

The key areas identified by the OCIE were failure of firms to provide clients with privacy and opt-out notices, lack of policies and procedures and policies not implemented or reasonably designed to safeguard customer records and information.

Recent SEC examinations identified the following areas as most frequent compliancy deficiencies. 

What steps should your firm be taking?

Personal Devices: Ensure that employees do not regularly store or maintain customer information on their personal laptop without having policies and procedures to address how these devices are to be properly configured to safeguard the customer information.

Electronic Communication: Ensure your firm has policies and procedures to address the inclusion of customer personally identifiable information (PII) in electronic communication.

Training and monitoring: Maintain policies and procedures that require customer information to be encrypted, password-protected, and transmitted using only firm approved methods.  Secondly, provide adequate training and monitoring on these procedures to ensure they are being properly adhered to.

Unsecure networks: Implement policies & procedures to prohibit employees from sending customer PII to unsecure locations outside of the firm’s network.

Outside vendors: Require outside vendors to contractually agree to keep customers’ PII confidential.

PII inventory: Maintain an inventory and identify all systems on which customer PII is maintained.

Incident response plans: Maintain a written incident response plan that identifies and addresses role assignments for implementing the plan, actions required to address a cybersecurity incident, and assessments of system vulnerabilities.

Unsecure physical locations: Ensure customer PII is stored in secure physical locations.

Login credentials: Ensure customer login credentials are not disseminated to more employees than permitted under firms’ policies and procedures.

Departed employees: Maintain controls to ensure former employees do not retain access rights after their departure.

For more information please visit:  https://www.sec.gov/files/OCIE%20Risk%20Alert%20-%20Regulation%20S-P.pdf

#Compliance #OneStepAhead #GetTier1Net

Google recently announced a zero-day vulnerability within its Chrome web browser and released a notification that the vulnerability is actively being exploited in the wild.  At this time they have provided very limited technical details on the exact nature of the vulnerability but reports indicate that if successfully exploited an attacker could remotely run arbitrary code on a PC.

As a result, Tier1Net has executed a script to update all instances of Google Chrome running on Tier1Net managed PCs which are susceptible to this vulnerability.

Regardless, it is highly recommended to verify that your PC’s instance of Google Chrome is running version 72.0.3626.121.

For more information on checking Google Chrome’s version and updating it please click here

By Marc Capobianco

Financial Services sector continues to be a lucrative target for cybercriminals, with statistics showing data breaches rose 480% for this industry in 2018 alone. Email phishing remains the avenue of choice for cybercriminals and accounts for 92% of all attacks.  Unlike the past occasional phishing emails one might receive, which seemed obvious to spot (i.e. the rich Nigerian prince with millions tied up in a central bank who just needs $10,000), today’s phishing efforts are constant and Cybercriminals are leveraging advanced machine learning techniques to evade most modern firewall and endpoint detections systems.

 Today’s more elaborate phishing attacks often mimic an email from a co-worker, a vendor or bank that you regularly do business with, a client, or a website that you frequent (Netflix, Amazon).  The email looks legitimate and might be about a recent payment declined, your order being returned, or the status of an invoice payment.  The victim clicks the embedded link to review the order or account details and is taken to a fake website that looks identical to the legitimate website.  This fake web site may be using a disposable domain name that was set up for a very specific attack and will then vanish after the cybercriminal has siphoned the necessary data from their victim.

How to stay one step ahead?

Recommended Actions: 

1.        Implement Advanced Perimeter Anti-Spam Filtering Service with URL Defense

Advanced Email Protection services filter and quarantine inbound junk mail and spoofed emails in an individual quarantine while denying delivery for items containing known viruses or malicious content. URL Defense protects financial firms against targeted spear phishing attacks, zero-day exploits and advanced persistent threats.  URL defense employs sophisticated techniques to perform real-time dynamic analysis of the embedded URL in the e-mail protecting the user from accessing malicious, fake web sites or command and controller centers.

2.        Leverage Secure DNS Servers

Many organizations rely on public DNS servers from their ISP to direct web traffic to the appropriate domain name.  However, traffic can be directed to malicious or fake websites using newly registered domains, disposable domains, and other phone home command and control centers. Tier1Net recommends leveraging Secure DNS servers for name resolution and web browsing. These secure DNS servers use the Internet’s infrastructure to block malicious destinations before a connection is ever established identifying targeted attacks.

3.        Endpoint Protection with Artificial Intelligence

With more than 400,000 new viruses discovered daily, traditional anti-virus software is simply unable to keep pace.  Tier1Net recommends enhancing traditional AV software by adding on Intelligent Endpoint Protection and endpoint detection and response (EDR) that utilizes Machine Learning to protect against zero-day attacks.

Read more at https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/23/icann-ongoing-attacks-dns/

Contact Tier1Net to learn more about how Tier1Net is mitigating this risk with its Financial Services Cybersecurity Framework.

#OneStepAhead  #Cybersecurity  #GetTier1Net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser

Microsoft publicly puts Internet Explorer on death notice

Stop using Internet Explorer, warns Microsoft’s own security chief

 The headlines are clear.  Microsoft is going so far as to no longer even describe Internet Explorer as a web browser.  However, many internal financial business line applications as well as cloud hosted applications rely heavily on IE.   So, what isn’t so clear is what actions should financial firms take to mitigate this security risk in addition to using Google Chrome?

Microsoft introduced Edge with the Launch of Windows 10, but it runs on different standards than the most popular browsers today (Chrome, Mozilla & Firefox).  That’s why Microsoft is finally rebuilding Edge to run on Google’s Chromium backend web standards. This update will make the browser widely compatible with many business line and cloud hosted applications.  Industry critics are anticipated this update to Edge to be included in Microsoft’s April 2019 update.

Financial Firms should implement a Cybersecurity Framework that mitigates the risks associated with IE.  Tier1Net recommends removing and restricting IE from running on the corporate network where applicable.   In circumstances where IE may still be required, Tier1Net recommends implementing group policy restrictions and hardening standards that adhere to industry best practices to lock-down IE and mitigate any potential risks.  This Cybersecurity framework must take into consideration business line as well as cloud hosted applications to minimize any impact to business operations.

Contact Tier1Net to learn more about how Tier1Net is mitigating this risk in its Financial Services Cybersecurity Framework.

#CyberSecurity   #AlwaysLeading   #OneStepAhead   #GetTier1Net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background

The capability to conduct this type of “man in the middle attack”  is now widely available and in the hands of financially-driven cybercriminal groups.  The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) confirmed that SS7* is being used to intercept codes used for banking.  “We are aware of a known telecommunications vulnerability being exploited to target bank accounts by intercepting SMS text messages used as 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)”.  As the threat landscape continues to evolve so must a firm’s security posture.  The financial industry has seen an increased adoption rate in multi-factor authentication.  Many online financial providers now send a SMS text with a one-time code.  Consequently, Cyber criminals are now leveraging advanced machine learning techniques and launching more sophisticated attacks. 

*signaling System 7 (SS7) is a telephony protocol used world wide to setup and tear down  phone calls and used for SMS messaging.

 Technical Overview

Multi-factor authentication requires two of the following three components: 

  1. Something the user knows (like a password)
  2. Something the user has (like a mobile device)
  3. Something that is the user (fingerprint, iris scan, voice print)

Cyber Criminals typically gain access to the victim’s password through a phishing attempt or a credential spill from a previous data breach.  With the introduction of this “man in the middle attack” the Cyber Criminal no longer needs the victim’s cell phone as they are able to intercept the SMS message due to the inherent flaws in the global telecommunication signaling (SS7) infrastructure.

 Recommendation

  1. Implement a multi-layered Cybersecurity framework to mitigate the risk of phishing attempts and the impact of credential spills.
  2. Select a multi-factor authentication (MFA) provider that does not rely on SMS but rather requires an application on the mobile device.
  3. Leverage a Mobile Device Management Platform to properly secure mobile devices.

 Additional Details on these recent SS7 attacks can be found at:

https://www.technadu.com/telecom-infrastructure-ss7-attacks-rise/56704/

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mbzvxv/criminals-hackers-ss7-uk-banks-metro-bank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Start with the data.

2. Understand the value of the data to the business.

3. Elevate data awareness within the firm

https://www.financial-planning.com/news/what-rias-should-learn-from-blackrocks-data-leak

 

Introduction

Details of a critical vulnerability impacting Microsoft’s Exchange 2013 and 2016 servers were recently discovered and made public.  If successfully exploited this vulnerability would allow an attacker to gain Domain Admin permissions within a company’s Active Directory infrastructure allowing nearly unrestricted access to a compromised server.  At this time Microsoft has not released a patch for this vulnerability.  Tier1Net customer’s which have implemented Tier1Net’s Cisco Umbrella Secure DNS and/or Duo Authentication services have their exposure to this vulnerability greatly reduced.

Technical Information

In order to successfully exploit this vulnerability an attacker would first need to gain the credentials to any existing mailbox on a targeted Exchange server.  This can be accomplished via phishing attacks or credential stuffing where an attacker uses breached credentials from one service to gain access to another service.  Once an attacker has access to a mailbox on the Exchange server they can then combine three known vulnerabilities to elevate the compromised account’s permissions to that of a Domain Admin.   A Domain Admin has full access to an Exchange server and can perform such tasks as resetting password, creating mailboxes, deleting mailboxes, etc.

Steps Being Taken by Tier1Net

Due to Tier1Net’s expertise and emphasis on cybersecurity, many of its customers are already protected from this latest vulnerability.  Furthermore, Tier1Net deploys multiple security layers to both its own internal and hosted infrastructures as well as client supported networks to greatly reduce the exploit risk of any single vulnerability.  To further reduce customer exposure to this vulnerability Tier1Net will be deploying a Microsoft supported mitigation tool to all managed and hosted Exchange servers.

Additional Information

https://dirkjanm.io/abusing-exchange-one-api-call-away-from-domain-admin/
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/01/30/privilege-escalation-vulnerability-uncovered-in-microsoft-exchange/
https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2018-8581