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Comodo Joins Joint Effort to Ehance NGINX with SSL Revocation Checking

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Today GlobalSign, DigiCert, Comodo, and NGINX announced a joint effort and a sponsored development contract, to enhance the NGINX open source Web server to support OCSP-stapling. This collaboration further advances the SSL ecosystem by improving the privacy, reliability and revocation checking for all websites using the NGINX web server — currently run by more than 25 percent of the top 1,000 websites, and by 70,000,000 websites on the Internet overall.

“The team at NGINX is delighted that GlobalSign, DigiCert, and Comodo support the OCSP stapling enhancement to the NGINX webserver,” said Igor Sysoev CTO and principal architect at NGINX, “We have been continuously working on enhancements to NGINX that increase performance, reliability and security. With improved SSL functionality we expect the vast majority of our customers to share our enthusiasm for increased safety on the Internet.”

The Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) is used to present the revocation status, or current validity, of an SSL certificate, and provides an alternative to the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) method. OCSP offers efficiencies when compared to the CRL method, which requires the client, such as a browser, to download potentially large databases of revocation information reflecting the status as of its last publication date In contrast, OCSP can provide more up-to-date status information by allowing the browser to query the revocation status at the very point of encountering the certificate, without relying on cached information.

OCSP-stapling enhances the basic OCSP method by allowing the presenter of a certificate, such as the website hosting the SSL certificate, to deliver the OCSP response to the browser instead of it being delivered by the issuing CA. By keeping the certificate response within the web host and not with the CA, OCSP-stapling ensures the browser receives the same response performance for the certificate status information as it does for the website content. This helps to maintain a high-quality user experience and avoids delays otherwise caused by request volume or network congestion that can slow CA response under the standard OCSP method. Compared with basic OCSP, privacy concerns are also addressed, as the CA is no longer receiving revocation requests directly from the browser.

In a collective statement by GlobalSign, DigiCert and Comodo, Ryan Hurst the Chief Technology Officer of GlobalSign stated “By addressing the issues holding back common usage of OCSP, NGINX is contributing toward a unified goal of widespread OCSP adoption across all webservers on the Internet. This project is another major initiative where certification authorities are working closely to improve the ecosystem for everyone relying on SSL for a safer, private and more secure Internet experience.”

NGINX is the second most popular open source webserver and, according to the W3Techs server survey, is currently used by more than 25 percent of the top 1,000 most visited websites. The new version with full OCSP-stapling support will be available in late August 2012. IIS on Microsoft Server 2008 and Apache 2.3.6 already support OCSP-stapling; thus, the enhancements to NGINX mean that nearly all webservers can now deploy this critical technology.

For current release information on the new version of NGINX, please visit Nginx.com.

About NGINX

Run by the busiest websites on the Internet, NGINX enables businesses worldwide to match rapidly increasing demand for faster web experience without incurring unnecessary costs in capital investments or time. In almost 10 years of its history, NGINX became key software component of most famous web architectures. Today NGINX serves over 25 percent of the top 1,000 websites, and 70 million of websites overall. Successful online services, transforming and shaping the future of the Internet—such as Netflix, Pinterest, CloudFlare, Airbnb, WordPress, GitHub, SoundCloud, Zynga, Eventbrite, Zappos, Media Temple, Heroku, RightScale, Engine Yard, use NGINX as part of their infrastructures.

In July 2011, NGINX founded its commercial arm, Nginx, Inc, to facilitate the development of NGINX. For more information, please visit Nginx.com.

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TEST YOUR EMAIL SECURITY GET YOUR INSTANT SECURITY SCORECARD FOR FREE Source: https://blog.comodo.com/e-commerce/comodo-joins-joint-effort-to-ehance-nginx-with-ssl-revocation-checking/

Cyber Security

Denmark’s News Agency Rejected a Ransom Demand by Hackers to Release Locked Data

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Hackers

Following a hacking attack this week, Denmark’s biggest news agency will remain offline for at least another day and has refused a ransom demand by hackers to open locked records, the wire service said Wednesday.

Ritzau CEO Lars Vesterloekke could not tell how high the demand for ransom was because those behind the “professional assault” left “a file with a message” that was not opened by the department following his advisers’ orders.

Ritzau, which sends text and images to the Danish media, said it had moved its consumer emergency delivery to six “better overview” live blogs.

“If it goes as expected, then on Thursday we can gradually return to normal,” Vesterloekke said, adding that the attack forced the editorial systems to shut down as approximately a quarter of Ritzau’s 100 servers were destroyed.

Ritzau employed an external defence firm that specialises in washing up after hacker attacks, in addition to the agency’s own IT department, and the insurance company helped with specialists.

It was unclear who was behind the assault that began Tuesday.

Ritzau, based in Copenhagen, has distributed information and produced news for the Danish newspapers, organisations and businesses since 1866.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/denmarks-news-rejected-ransom-demand-hackers-release-locked-data/

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What is Google Scraping Used For – 5 Use Cases

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Google update

Google and web scraping are two rather new technologies that are increasingly being used by large businesses. Put simply, a web scraping tool is a technology solution to extract data from web sites in a quick, efficient, and automated manner, offering data in a more structured and easy to use form. When Google is being scraped, the same process applies, except the data is being extracted from the search engine.

Businesses often use Google scrapers to automate data acquisition processes. Scraped data is used to enhance operations, inform executive decisions all the way down to individual customer service experiences.  Google provides its own Application Programming Interface (API), it chooses which information is more important to users based on its own analysis.  Yet, many businesses choose to build their Google scraper or use third-party services  in order to gather data in a more efficient manner.

Google isn’t too keen on letting other tools acquire data from their search engine. Often they will employ anti-bot measures to prevent automated applications from acquiring data. Quite ironically, they have themselves used exactly the same process to build their search engine. Whether people like it or not, web and Google scraping is here to stay as businesses have already started using it for several reasons.

Table of Contents

Piracy and Counterfeit Protection

Many large companies and well-known brands utilize Google scraping to monitor search engine results for any malicious entities attempting to illegally use their branding. For example, Adidas might use a search engine scraping tool to monitor for any illegitimate websites that attempt to profit off of their brand illegally.

Price Monitoring

Google scraping can be used to analyze the competitor pricing policy, evaluate prices and product policies of competitors which is a great deal of information for sales strategies. Data acquired in this manner can be used to create updated and advanced pricing strategies for brand and sales (for example, dynamic pricing utilizes scraping tools to implement their strategy). Implementing advanced pricing strategies requires having access to a reliable and consistent flow of premium data. Price monitoring using web scraped data gives companies the ability to have well-grounded information of the entire market, facilitating dynamic pricing, revenue optimization, and ensuring they’re always one step ahead of their competitor’s pricing strategies. Having detailed information related to competitor sales strategies helps businesses keep up with the competition and customer demand.

SEO Monitoring

Generating organic traffic on a website is mostly about ranking, location, and keyword combinations. Google scraping can show a company or a business the level at which its website page appears on the Google results page. It can also show the keywords the website uses on a given page and what exactly they rank for. SEO experts have to often use third party SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or others to gain insight into rankings. Unfortunately, these tools update their databases once every few days which is often not enough for extremely volatile search engine result pages. Therefore, SEO experts might use Google scraping tools to acquire data that is otherwise unavailable to gain insight into ranking changes.

Keyword Monitoring and Research

SEO experts rely on several sources of data to create their optimization strategies. The first source is often Google blogs, the search engine liaison, and a few other official sources. Other sources are third party providers that scrape the search engine in order to reverse engineer the algorithms. SEO experts use third party providers and Google scrapers to monitor search engine result pages. By monitoring SERPs, insights can be gleaned from the data such as why certain pages rank higher than others. Finding out why certain pages rank better than others can help SEO experts develop strategies that can help companies beat out the competition.

SEM Surveillance

Nearly everyone nowadays is buying PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads on search engines nowadays. Businesses even bet on the competitor keywords and brand names in order to attract visitors to their website. Keeping track of what the competition is doing is nearly impossible without utilizing Google scraping as all ads will not be shown to all users.

For SEM surveillance, businesses scrape Google or use a third party provider in order to acquire ads from any location and device without using their own business IP address. This way Google will display ads as if it was any regular user doing a search query.  As Google thinks the query has been sent by a regular internet user, it will often display many more ads without any restrictions. Business can then easily acquire significant amounts of data on their competitor ad campaigns.

Conclusion

Google scraping has proved purposeful, its advantages are so many, businesses have become successful with the use of Google scraping by gathering data and putting it to good use. A Google data extraction tool is an easy way for businesses to gain a competitive edge in nearly any market. With very little development effort, access to nearly infinite amounts of data appears within hands reach.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/what-is-google-scraping-used-for-5-use-cases/

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Cyber Security

Stantinko Observed Using a New Version of a Linux Proxy Trojan

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Linux

Using a new version of a Linux proxy Trojan, a threat community monitored as Stantinko was observed posing as Apache servers to stay undetected.

Stantinko is thought to have been running since at least 2012, initially outlined in 2017, ensnaring compromised networks into a botnet primarily used in large adware schemes, but also for backdoor operations, brute-force attacks, and more.

The Stantinko group was historically primarily known for attacking Windows applications, but recent attacks have revealed that they are now working on evolving their Linux malware, with a new proxy Trojan masquerading as httpd, the Apache Hypertext Transmission Protocol Server that is used on several Linux servers.

“We believe that this malware is part of a broader campaign that uses compromised Linux servers,” say security researchers at Intezer.

Detected on VirusTotal by a single anti-virus engine, the sample is an unstripped 64-bit ELF binary that validates a configuration file upon execution. The malware prevents execution if this file is absent or lacks the expected structure.

The proxy daemonizes itself if the validation completes, in which it generates a socket and a listener that allows it to accept connections. This may be the way contaminated computers deal with each other, according to Intezer.

The new version, which was discovered almost three years after the previous one has a similar function, but reveals a variety of changes, including the command and control (C&C) IP address stored in the configuration file dropped next to the malware, the absence of the new version’s self-updating capability, and the dynamic connection of the new version.

Several feature names within the dataset have been shown to be similar to the previous version, but the current version does not call them statically. In addition, the C&C routes suggest the same group’s previous campaigns, indicating that the current Trojan is still related to Stantinko.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/stantinko-observed-using-a-new-version-of-a-linux-proxy-trojan/

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GoDaddy Workers in Action Against Cryptocurrency Resources Hackers Trick

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After tricking GoDaddy employees into supplying them with keys to client accounts, cybercriminals were able to alter the DNS settings of certain cryptocurrency websites.

The event occurred earlier this month and impacted an undisclosed number of clients of the firm, including at least two websites connected to cryptocurrencies: the Liquid virtual currency exchange portal and the NiceHash crypto-mining operation.

On November 18, after GoDaddy wrongly turned over custody of their accounts, both platforms announced that threatening individuals were able to hack their internal networks.

Liquid CEO Mike Kayamori confirmed that the incident took place on November 13, and that the “ability to change DNS records and in turn, take control of a number of internal email accounts” was given to the threat perpetrator.

The malicious attacker thus damaged the resources of the trading network and also obtained access to record storage. As well as “preventing further intrusions and mitigating risk to customer accounts and assets,” the platform said it took the appropriate measures to contain the attack shortly after detecting it.

We will ensure that consumer funds are accounted for and remain safe and stable by containing the threat, reaffirming domain ownership, and carrying out a thorough review of our infrastructure. Kayamori said that MPC-based and cold storage crypto wallets are safe and have not been hacked.

NiceHash reported that the same GoDaddy problems triggered a service interruption on November 18th, and that the DNS records for the NiceHash.com domain were changed as a result of unauthorised access to the domain settings.”

After ensuring that funds were safe and customers had access to their accounts, the firm promptly froze all wallet operations and resumed its operation. Pending the outcome of an independent investigation into the incident, withdrawals were suspended.

“It looks like no emails, passwords, or any personal information has been accessed at this point in time, but we do suggest resetting your password and activating 2FA security,” the firm said last week.

In looking into the attack, investigative journalist Brian Krebs found that threatening perpetrators used social engineering to manipulate staff of GoDaddy into changing access to their accounts, and that their addresses were changed to privateemail.com for all the targeted accounts.

Cryptocurrency sites that may have been attacked by the same hacker community include Bibox.com, Celsius.network, and Wirex.app, in addition to Liquid and NiceHash.

The event seems to have been recognised by GoDaddy, claiming that only a limited number of clients were harmed, but not providing specifics about how the opponents attacked their staff.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/godaddy-workers-in-action-against-cryptocurrency-resources-hackers-trick/

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