Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Intel debugger interface open to hacking via USB

New Intel processors contain a debugging interface accessible via USB 3.0 ports that can be used to obtain full control over a system and perform attacks that are undetectable by current security tools.

A talk on the mechanisms needed for such attacks and ways to protect against them was given by Positive Technologies experts Maxim Goryachy and Mark Ermolov at the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) in Hamburg, Germany.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Protecting the Perimeter: Old Attacks Work Just as Well as New Ones

When we think about external threats to information security, often our first thoughts are of hacker attacks on the network perimeter—say, advanced persistent threats (APTs) targeting large companies and governments. One example is the compromise of the Equation Group with publication of some of the group's tools for breaching the network perimeter. But as it turns out, many of the exploits have been known for a long time, although the “cherry on the cake” was a zero-day vulnerability for SNMP services (with SNMP standing for “Security Not My Problem”). While we do not have a full list of the compromised exploits, we can start with the other end of the equation by evaluating the state of protection of corporate perimeters with the help of real-world vulnerability statistics.

One such study was presented at PHDays VI as part of Positive Research 2016. The sample spanned approximately 10,000 accessible addresses and 15,000 vulnerabilities over a two-year period (2014–2015). Note that these numbers include ONLY network perimeters with above-average security. Only companies with asset inventory and vulnerability management processes (which, in turn, enable collecting statistics) were included.

Let's start with the “sexiest” morsel from the published exploit pack: the SNMP 0-Day. Is this something to be worried about? Our study shows that the answer is “yes”. A few reasons:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Industrial Control Systems 2016 Report: Connected and Vulnerable

Industrial control systems (ICS) are part and parcel of everyday life, from smart homes to nuclear power stations. ICS bridge the gap between the digital world and the physical world by interpreting the commands that control turbines, switches, valves, and more. Because these systems are complex, critical to infrastructure, and often Internet-connected, they make a very tempting target for hackers.

The number of vulnerable ICS components grows every year. Nearly half of the vulnerabilities identified in 2015 are high-risk – and the majority of vulnerabilities were found in the products of the most well-known vendors. Widespread poor security practices, such as default passwords and dictionary-guessable passwords, make it easy for outsiders to access the systems and gain control.

These are the sobering conclusions of research by Positive Technologies, which analyzed data on ICS vulnerabilities from 2012 to 2015, as well as information on the Internet availability of ICS components in 2015. Below is a summary of the findings.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Online Banking Vulnerabilities: Authorization Flaws Lead the Way

Online banking (OLB) systems are publicly available web and mobile applications, so they suffer from vulnerabilities typical of both applications and banking systems. Bank-specific threats include theft of funds, unauthorized access to payment card data,  personal data and bank secrets, denial of service and many other attacks that can trigger significant financial and reputation losses.

This report synthesizes statistics that were gathered during OLB security audits performed by Positive Technologies in 2015. Comparison with the results obtained in 2013 and 2014 vividly illustrates the dynamics of information security development in modern OLB systems.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Attacking SS7: Mobile Operators Security Analysis

The interception of calls is quite a challenging task, but not only intelligence services can pull it off. A subscriber may become a victim of an average hacker who is familiar with the architecture of signaling networks. Commonly known SS7 vulnerabilities allow for the interception of phone calls and texts, can reveal a subscriber’s location, and can disconnect a mobile device from a network.

In 2015, Positive Technologies experts conducted 16 sets of testing involving SS7 security analysis for leading mobile EMEA and APAC operators. The results of the top three projects are included in the statistics below. In this article, we will review the security level experienced by mobile network subscribers, as well as all industrial and IoT devices — from ATMs to GSM gas pressure control systems, which are also considered mobile network subscribers. This article describes detected issues and suggests ways to counter threats.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pattern language for a universal signature-based code analyzer

The process of signature-based code analysis in PT Application Inspector is divided into the following stages:
  1. Parsing into a language dependent representation (abstract syntax tree, AST).
  2. Converting an AST to a language (agnostic) unified format.
  3. A direct comparison with patterns described in the DSL.

The present article focuses on the third stage, namely: ways of describing patterns, development of a custom DSL language, which allows to describe patterns, and patterns written in this language.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Web Application Vulnerabilities-2016: Users Unprotected

Modern web technologies allow businesses to solve organizational issues cost-effectively and efficiently and demonstrate their services and products to a wide range of audiences through the Internet. However, attackers may exploit websites as an easy access point to company infrastructure. This can cause financial and reputational damage, and despite well documented incidents involving compromised security, developers and administrators still pay little attention to the security of web applications.

Positive Technologies experts examine around 300 web applications each year using various techniques from instrument to source-code analysis. This report provides a summary of statistics and findings gathered during penetration testing of web applications in 2015. It also compares 2015 results to those in 2013 and 2014 and tracks the dynamics of web application development in the context of delivering information security.