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You are here: May 2020

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This week in security news, week ending May 2, 2020

This week brings another end to another encryption tool that cyber actors were using. Over 750,000 keys were released in good faith.

There are other articles that I may not have read that are in this week’s news too.

Did you spot something within the attached article you found of interest you want to talk about? Contact me at tech at menvi.org and let me know what you think.

Article: This Week in Security News: Shade Ransomware Shuts Down, Releases Decryption Keys and WebMonitor RAT Bundled with Zoom Installer

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A researcher found zero-days in one city’s software. Then he realized the problem could be bigger.

I’m glad for researchers. According to this article which I’m using the title of for this post, a City was involved where researchers found problems within its spoftware.

For Quentin Rhoads-Herrera, this was not a typical security test.

A big municipal government in the U.S. had just handed him the source code for software the city uses to manage contracts and track infrastructure projects.

There were more than a dozen zero days that were found, according to the article.

The product, known as CIPAce, has been used by public and private sector organizations to collect invoices and manage contracts and budgets, according
to CIPPlanner Corp., the company that makes it. 

“If one attacker happens to exploit this city, then they can look and see, easily, every other city that’s using this … and attack them using the same
methods,” said Rhoads-Herrera, a penetration tester at CriticalStart, a Texas-based cybersecurity company. He tried to contact another municipality to
warn it about the issue.

I want to acknowledge these researchers for doing the job required to keep our software safe! Without you, ransomware and all kinds of things can be used to harm our governments, and that could be a problem. Thank you so much for all you do in this field.

To learn more about this initiative read this Cyber Scoop article: A researcher found zero-days in one city’s software. Then he realized the problem could be bigger. and lets praise these people for doing the job required to keep us safe.

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Microsoft Teams is now targeted in research, could it get real? Only time will tell

Just like anything, software every day is buggy and bugs and things are found. I sent this to someone when I read this Cyberscoop on research that proved Teams is just as vulnerable as anything else.

With that said, I am part of an email list that sends out a weekly vulnerability list from all kinds of products, some in which I’ve never heard of. I’m glad for the CVE project because it jhelps us know how severe our vulnerabilities may be.

Zoom isn’t the only video conferencing service attracting scrutiny from security researchers.

Microsoft Teams, the technology giant’s professional collaboration tool, included a software bug that could have made it possible for hackers to steal
data. Hackers could have used a malicious GIF to scrape user data from Microsoft Teams user accounts, spreading through an organization’s entire roster
of employees who use the service, researchers from CyberArk announced Monday.

There are a lot of companies out there that do research, so its no wonder I don’t know who these folks are.

For the entire story, Cyber Scoop: Researchers used a GIF to prove they could access Microsoft Teams user data has all of the details in which you can read at your own time.

Thanks researchers, for doing your jobs. We’re better educated with your work.

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Where was the supply chain in this critical exercise? Non-existant I’d say

On the 28th of April, I read an article dealing with a drill to see what could be hacked or taken control of in the space that is the electric space.

I’m happy to see that this drill took place, but I’m saddened at the fact that the supply chain venders had nothing to say for themselves.

In recent articles through the years, we’ve found that the supply chain brings a big part in to how things work in our world. Let us take the breach at Target for example. In this breach, we’ll remind you that an HVAC contractor had access to Target’s billing system in some way, and when people swiped their cards, hackers who went in through the already existing hole found in the HVAC contractor’s permission set, they were able to get in and make off with a bunch of data.

Whether I have the facts correct exactly or not is not the point, and I am willing to be corrected because I don’t remember the exact story. Suffice it to say, the supply chain where the HVAC company was doing some type of work had this access, and it came back to bite them all in the long run.

A November drill involving electric utilities across North America mimicked the disruptive malware used to cut power in Ukraine in 2016, testing operators’
ability to expunge the malicious code from their systems.

The fictional scenario, revealed Tuesday in a press briefing on the exercise, saw the malware compromise the industrial control systems that utilities
use to manage their operations. An electric equipment vendor helped the utilities replace some of the industrial computers that had been “bricked,” or
rendered useless, by the malware. (The code was not actually executed on live systems; it was all simulated.)

The intense scenario forced participants to “start implementing their incident response plans” and “really upped the training value for many utilities,”
said Matt Duncan, an official at the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the regulator that runs the biennial drill, known as GridEx.

In the breach of Target, it wasn’t any type of code, but it was the making off of all that data which was the problem. I’m happy to see that this drill took place, but the supply chain must be a part of this work.

What do you think?

Read more from Cyber Scoop: North American utilities drill ‘GridEx’ brings record turnout — except from supply chain vendors is the article.

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