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(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
 



Yes, theres some irony to this diary entry. In the past, I have been suggesting repeatedly that organizations who do not have an all-out requirement to keep a Java JRE runtime installed, should get rid of it. Yet, here I was, a couple of days ago, reviewing some SIEM events at a Community College where I help out with IT Security, when something caught my eye (URLs defanged to keep you from clicking):



src=192.168.36.25 media-type=application/x-jar url=GET hxxp://outdrygodo.mine. nu/finance/etzko5.jar

src=192.168.36.25 media-type=- url=GET hxxp://outdrygodo.mine. nu/finance/qkefaw.php

src=192.168.36.25 media-type=application/octet-stream url=GET hxxp://outdrygodo.mine. nu/finance/e32ezw.php?category=/news_id=314214date=1012gen=jlam=true



Basically, a user here is getting an unsolicited Java Applet. A little while later, the same workstation gets an octet stream (think: executable). This cant be good. But why isnt anti-virus alerting on it? [Yes, this is a purely rhetorical question :)]

Turns out, the workstation in fact has been infected. The JAR contained an exploit for CVE-2012-4681. And there is a skype.dll sitting in C:\ProgramData, and, even better, it apparently happily talks to some server in the Ukraine:

src=192.168.36.25 media-type=- url=POST hxxp://195.191.56. 242/posting.php?mode=replyf=72sid5=0ef2884d693eadc605e9bf726c1b9881

Checking through the logs in detail now, we determined that the PC was talking to this server in the Ukraine whenever the user was logging into some web page. User goes to GMail? PC talks to the Ukraine. User goes to Amazon? PC talks to the Ukraine. User goes to online bank? Yup: you get the drift. In between, the spyware kept mum. But whenever the user happened to enter some password, the spyware merrily ratted him out.

Looking through the logs even further back, we were able to determine that the original infection had happened when the user visited a - perfectly benign - newspaper web site, which at the time apparently was featuring a poisoned advertisement banner somewhere within the page content. The entire attack happened compeletely stealthily, there is nothing the user could have seen or done (maybe with the exception of Java popping up in the tray, but who pays attention to that?)

In short, if your Java JRE is unpatched, you will get hacked. Silently and stealthily. The bad guys will grab all your passwords for a week or so. And then, they will move in, and change your life.

In the case at hand, it was an e-banking application, of all things, that did not yet work with Java JRE 7, and had kept the user from upgrading his Java JRE. From other users, I hear that some releases of enterprise software from large vendors like SAP, Oracle, etc, are also not fully compatible with the latest Java JRE, and thus force their users to remain exposed to attacks like the one described above.



Bottom line:

If you dont need Java JRE on your PC, get rid of it.

If you need it, patch it.

If you cant patch it because some silly application is not compatible with the patch, kick the [beep] of whoever supplies that application.

In case you are in the latter situation, feel free to share in the comments box below. Maybe there are other ISC readers similarly affected, and if you join forces, the vendor might be more inclined to listen.




(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
 
Texas Instruments has partnered with AllGo Embedded Systems to announce a reference design that will allow Android 4.0 tablets to be built for under $70, the companies announced Wednesday.
 
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What better time to talk about business continuity and disaster recovery. The super storm Sandy showed how important, and how difficult it can be to prepare adequately. Business continuity and disaster recovery are two separate activities, but of course, they do affect each other and have to be considered together. Business continuity deals with keeping the business going during an event, and disaster recovery relates to getting back to normal after the event passed. The better you can maintain business as normal during the event, the easier it should be to recover. But in some cases, keeping the business open is just not an option.

All too often business continuity and disaster recovery planning (BCP/DRP) is associated with large natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. But I find that it is more useful to start with little things that happen regularly and scale your plan up from there. For example, some of these little things are:

- server failures

- component failures (switch, hard drive)

- road closures

- network provider outages

In its sum, the actions you take to cover yourself against these little issues can very well result in a plan to cover yourself against big problems. But these little issues are a lot easier to measure and test then the big problems.

Business continuity is covered as part of ISO 27002. The British standard institute created a distinct BCP standard, BS 25999 which is also referred to a lot. Like all the ISO 27000 series standards, the BCP/DRP is heavy on process improvement. There are however a couple of very important special items to consider:

First of all, you have to define the goal of your business continuity plan. 100% uptime is not a realistic goal. You need to distinguish business critical from non-critical functions. BCP/DRP is usually only applied for critical functions. For each function, you need to define:

- Recovery Point Objective: how much data are you willing to risk? For example, if you have daily off site backup tapes, you will risk one days worth of work. For a development shop, loosing one day of work may not be pretty, but probably acceptable. For a financial institution, loosing one day of transactions is probably catastrophic and not acceptable.

- Recovery Time Objective: How long can you afford to be out of business. In some cases, based on the disaster, there may also be no point being in business. If you have a shop in a subway station, and the subway is shut down, it doesnt help you to be open for business. It is important to be realistic and not to set overly optimistic goals.

For each critical business function, you need to map what resources are needed to fulfill the function (servers, networks, people...).

Once you define the critical business functions and the acceptable downtime, you need to consider different threats and how they affect the resources required for each function. As I mentioned in the beginning: Start with little events that happen regularly. This will make it easy to define the likelihood and also to test the mitigation techniques. I would use events like hard disk failure, network outage and power failure. Also consider compound failures (what if power goes out and as a result, one of our routers power supplies burns out cutting off internet access). These cascade/compound failures are quite common.

As part of this threat analysis, you should be able to figure out how likely it is to suffer a particular outage, and how you are going to react to each event.

Testing your failover plans is of course very important. I actually recommend regular failover even if there is no event. In my experience, if you dont do it at least once a month (better: once a week), it will not work if needed. The problem is that your networks and business processes are not static. They keep changing and your plans need to be updated in response. If you dont test it regularly, you are not going to uncover these changes. And regular tests will force everybody to keep the plan up to date in order to avoid regular failures.

Back tot he event at hand: Hurricane Sandy. This is an event in scale that will challenge any BCP. First of all, keeping the business running is not necessarily a sensible option in many cases. (see my subway store example above). Businesses are located in expensive and in many ways inconvenient locations like New York City because they derive special advantages from the concentration of businesses in the area. Just packing up and move to a different location will keep the network running, but you may lose physical proximty to customers and collaborators. For example, the stock exchange would have been able to operate all electronically. However, the decision was made to keep it closed as it wasnt safe for the traders to all come to the trading floor, and having them work from home remotely would remove the personal contact required for some of the trades. Another challenge is to define the worst possible disaster to prepare for. For flooding, a 100 year flood is usually used to drive planning. The national flood insurance program is publishing maps that indicate what a 100 year flood in your area means. However, Sandy exceeded these levels and as a result many business were not prepared and had equipment like fuel pumps for generators placed in locations that got flooded.



------

Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.

SANS Technology Institute

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(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
 
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Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

Forwarded from: Wenyuan Xu <wyxu (at) cse.sc.edu>

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Sixth ACM Conference on Security and Privacy
in Wireless and Mobile Networks

ACM WiSec '13

April 17-19, 2013
Budapest, Hungary...
 

Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9233080/Storm_forces_Internet_hubs_to_run_on_generator_power

By Patrick Thibodeau
Computerworld
October 30, 2012

Two monolithic buildings in lower Manhattan that serve as major network
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The buildings, known as carrier hotels, are a 2.9 million square foot
structure at 111 8th Ave., and a 1.8 million square foot facility at 60...
 

Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

http://www.informationweek.com/government/security/fbi-expands-cybercrime-division/240012560

By J. Nicholas Hoover
InformationWeek
October 30, 2012

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The FBI has long been...
 

Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/ddos-attacks-variant-foreseen-in-2006-a-5240

By Tracy Kitten
Bank Info Security
October 29, 2012

No new distributed denial of service attacks against banks occurred
during the week of Oct. 22. The hacktivist group claiming credit for the
earlier string of attacks against 10 U.S. banks said it took the week
off to observe an Islamic holiday. But additional attacks are expected,
perhaps as soon as Oct. 30, if...
 

Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/drinking-establishment-check-highly-anticipated-mobile-phone-release-check-lost-phone-check/

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Gadget Lab
Wired.com
10.26.12

Jamin Barton is a soft-spoken musician with a quick laugh and a winning
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“We find about...
 

Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/30/trojan_hits_israeli_cops/

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The Register
30th October 2012

Israeli police departments were pulled offline last Thursday following
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Posted by InfoSec News on Oct 31

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Oct 30 2012

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