I’m sure you will have had a marketing firm or some random sales person on Linkedin tell you that security should be simple and that their product will save you from all the ATPs and nation state hax0rs under the sun. However let’s get real, thats almost certainly not true and also security isnt simple or we’d all be out of jobs and everyon woulndn’t be getting owned all the time.
Everything is much worse now, or is it?
”The world is burning, the world is burning but then if you look around, it always has been…”
Computer systems and security go together much like chalk and cheese! Probably sounds a bit odd but miniaturization, consumerization and mobility have put more technology out in the world than we can really comprehend, yet technology security is still dramatically overlooked by most organizations.
The insane pace of change, the drive for faster, better, cheaper and the reality that it probably isn’t a stretch to say most people (and organizations) do not really understand what ‘secure’ or ‘hardened’ looks like.Read more “Ransomware Realities”
We move around in many places, we sit in plain sight, you might know we are there, or you might not. We work in the shadows, yet we shine a light. You see we’ve been inside your networks; we’ve sat in your cabs, we’ve worked with your teams. We have read you annual reports and we’ve mapped your company; we do this in a way that often you can’t even see.Read more “Confessions of a white hat hacker”
In Part 1 (Initial Access Defence and Checklist) we looked at ways of hardening your attack surface to defend against initial access. When it comes to ransomware there is a range of elements and variables in the kill chain that need to be successful for the outcomes to be achieved by the criminals. Here we are going to move further into the kill chain to look at further defences. Remember you need to have an “Assume Breach” mindset if you are going to be able to defend against ransomware, that being said, there is a hell of a lot of things you can do for 0 to low investment costs that provide a great ROI. Now some of this is going to be repeated guidance from part 1, that’s ok repetition is good (make sure you are covered from multiple perspectives). Ok let us get to it! Read more “Ransomware Defence: Part 2a – Persistence, Privilege Escalation and Lateral Movement”
Defending the Realm
We keep seeing organization get hit, in some kind of a sick way I think me and some of my friends in the industry are bored with the over dramatic responses of “sophisticated” “advanced” and “unpreventable” because most times the kill chains simply are not like this. But still the onslaught keeps coming. Well I know this much, whilst I would love to deploy with the team and harden everyone’s networks that simply isn’t possible. So what we thought we would do is write something to try and spread the knowledge a bit further and hopefully have some positive impact.
It’s not just that your data will be encrypted, it will likely be exfiltrated and sold. You will likely have access sold, data sold and be extorted. The Ransomware business model is adapting to defender responses. Even if you can restore from backup they will likely try and attempt to extort. This brings a key point in this equation, the best position is to NOT get pwn3d to start with. Ok that might sound silly to say but when we look at these kill chains you might start to see the world from my perspective a little. Read more “Ransomware Defence Checklist – Part 1 : Initial Access”
Ok so you might think I’m mad with the title but bear with me!
So, the world is in an interesting place, we’ve got a pandemic, we’ve got prolific cyber crime and we have all kinds of different views on how we should tackle this problem.
Now I love a framework and there’s ton’s of them. But the truth is they are complex, detailed, nuanced and generally require a level of nerd that a lot of organistaions do not have.
In 2020 during the pandemic I decided to try and write something to simplify this position, whilst I didn’t want to be too narrow, I wanted to try and capture the breadth of cyber security that is relevent to the general purpose organistaion. I came up with a set of 140 questions which I believe are a good take on things to consider and ask when conducting a security review at a high level. (yes 140 questions is a high level view, this stuff is complex as hell at the detailed end of things, and the devil is in the detail).Read more “Cyber Security Assesments for Normal People”
Washington Police Department Pwn3d by Ransomware Group Babuk
So it’s all over the news outlets, a police department (Washington DC PD) has been hit by a ransomware syndicate, Babuk. So firstly, let’s be realistic everyone can get pwn3d and at this time our thoughts go out to those affected and to the teams working the response. Being hit by ransomware is NOT fun and not something we would wish upon anyone. That being said this isn’t an ambulance chase, what I want to do hear is look at the TTPs from Babuk in a bit more detail so hopefully we can help inform and educate people so they can strengthen their security postures.
Business email compromise can be a prelude to a range of attacks but commonly it’s either Ransomware of Scammers. In this post we are focsing on scammer activity which uses a ‘man in the mailbox’ attack to get in between two parties in an email converstation with the aim of attempting theft by fradulently altering a wire transfer so that the third party sends funds to the scammers not to the victim. There are cleary other avenues that can be leveraged (the compromised mailbox may be used to phish or email malware to another victim).
To gain access to the mailbox a range of techniques can be employed which includes:
- Credential stuffing
- Phishing and credential harvesting
Once they have your logon credentials, they now will attempt to access your mailbox.
Avoiding Geo Location Alerts
A scammer may use a public VPN service (such as services from AVAST etc.) to move their internet connection the target mailbox region. They can usually locate a person through some OSINT.
By moving to the normal area of the user they are less likely to trip geo location alerts. Read more “Business Email Compromise in Office 365”
If you read a book about management theory or specifically cyber security management you will find lots of frameworks, methods, formulas, models etc. None of them really let you know how insanely hard it can be to defend a moving target where regardless of how many controls you have, all it takes it someone doing something which may seem bonkers to you but perfectly reasonable for them. Their objective is to do business in an efficient manner, your objective is to protect the business in an efficient manner. Fundamentally these two things are not at odds, but there are a lot of human factors that come into play on top of some serious technical challenges. Read more “Cyber Defence is Hard”