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Labour reveals large-scale cyber-attack on digital platforms

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Party says it is confident no data was breached during failed attack

The Labour party has experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyber-attack on its digital systems from an unknown source, it has said, adding that it is confident its security systems ensured there was no data breach.

Party officials have reported the attack, which took place on Monday, to the National Cyber Security Centre, the government agency that supports and advises organisations on such incidents.

Labour has not said which digital platforms were targeted, but it is understood some of them were election and campaigning tools, which would contain details about voters. The party has sent a message to campaigners to say what happened, and to explain why the systems were working slowly on Monday.

A party spokeswoman said: We have experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyber-attack on Labour digital platforms. We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems. The integrity of all our platforms was maintained and we are confident that no data breach occurred.

Our security procedures have slowed down some of our campaign activities, but these were restored this morning and we are back up to full speed. We have reported the matter to the National Cyber Security Centre.

Whitehall sources said the initial indications were that the attack was carried out by a non-state actor.

The party sent a message to campaigners to tell them what happened, and to explain why systems were working slowly on Monday.

In the message, the partys head of campaigns, Niall Sookoo, wrote: Yesterday afternoon our security systems identified that, in a very short period of time, there were large-scale and sophisticated attacks on Labour party platforms which had the intention of taking our systems entirely offline.

Every single one of these attempts failed due to our robust security systems and the integrity of all our platforms and data was maintained. I would I like to pay tribute to all the teams at Labour HQ who identified this risk and acted quickly to protect us.

The party was reportedly targeted by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which uses botnets, networks of compromised computers, to flood a server with requests and overwhelm it.

Such attacks can vary in sophistication, but are generally easily mitigated. Web records show Labour is a customer of Cloudflare, which provides DDoS protection services to a large proportion of the web. The company protects customers from DDoS attacks by providing extra capacity as needed, filtering traffic so that only legitimate requests are dealt with, and storing cached versions of websites on its own servers.

Even when DDoS attacks succeed, they rarely have implications beyond enforced downtime, as the target waits for the attack to end, or secures extra bandwidth to deal with the new traffic. At their simplest, DDoS attacks can be hard to distinguish from legitimate traffic spikes, as when cinema websites collapse on the release of a new film.

DDoS attacks are cheap to pull off. Multiple criminal actors offer DDoS as a service, selling time on their botnets. One report from 2017 found a 300-sec attack, with a total bandwidth of 125Gbps, could be purchased for 5; a longer attack, aimed at knocking a website offline for an hour, for 90. Others were even cheaper, offering three hours of downtime for $60.

Brian Higgins, a security specialist at Comparitech.com, said the attacks dont normally represent any threat to data or information and can be defended against and recovered from quite easily if the victim has robust cybersecurity policies in place. Its hardly surprising that the Labour party has been targeted given the current political landscape in the UK.

 

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/12/labour-reveals-large-scale-cyber-attack-on-digital-platforms

Cyber Security

Bitglass Security Spotlight: Over 200k Instacart Users’ Data Is Being Sold on Dark Web

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[ This article was originally published here ]

Here are the top stories of recent weeks:

  • Instacart Customer Data for Sale on Dark Web
  • 17 Million users exposed on SaaS platform
  • First American Financial Corp. Charged Over 2019 Breach
  • COVID-19 Research Data Hacked by Chinese Contractors
  • University of York, the Latest Victim of a Data Breach

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Source: https://www.cybersecurity-insiders.com/bitglass-security-spotlight-over-200k-instacart-users-data-is-being-sold-on-dark-web/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitglass-security-spotlight-over-200k-instacart-users-data-is-being-sold-on-dark-web

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Cyber Security

Reddit Attack Defaces Dozens of Channels

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Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT’s National Vulnerability Database CVE-2020-15058
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to elevate privileges because the administrative password can be discovered by sniffing unencrypted UDP traffic.

CVE-2020-15059
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to bypass authentication via a web-administration request that lacks a password parameter.

CVE-2020-15060
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to conduct persistent XSS attacks by leveraging administrative privileges to set a crafted server name.

CVE-2020-15061
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to denial-of-service the device via long input values.

CVE-2020-15062
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07

DIGITUS DA-70254 4-Port Gigabit Network Hub 2.073.000.E0008 devices allow an attacker on the same network to elevate privileges because the administrative password can be discovered by sniffing unencrypted UDP traffic.

Source: https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/reddit-attack-defaces-dozens-of-channels/d/d-id/1338614?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

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Cyber Security

Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS

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Building successful macro attacks means getting past several layers of security, but a Black Hat speaker found a way through.

Microsoft Office is no stranger to vulnerabilities and exploits. Most of those vulnerabilities led from Microsoft Office to Microsoft Windows, but it’s possible for an attacker to take an exploit path from Microsoft Office to macOS — a path that Patrick Wardle, principal security researcher at Jamf, discussed in his presentation on Wednesday at Black Hat USA.

Wardle began by pointing out that macros — executable code inserted into documents — have been exploited as attack vectors since at least 1999. In the last three or four years, Wardle said, more of these exploits have been aimed at macOS targets as Macs have become more attractive targets because of their increased use in business environments.

The Human Side
In most of the macro-based attacks, human intervention on the part of the victim is required at least once, and usually twice, Wardle said. First, the victim must click on an email attachment or malicious link in order to download and open the infected document. Next, in most cases macros will not run on a system by default — they must be given explicit permission to run by the user.

Most macro-based attacks have two stages, Wardle explained. In the first — the stage given explicit permission to run by the victim — code executes that checks the system status, checks for the presence of anti-malware software, and then downloads the second stage. It’s the second stage payload that contains the “working” code of the attack, whether it’s skimming credentials, creating a bot, or encrypting the system’s data as part of a ransomware scheme.

Out of the (Sand)box
Modern malware writers have an additional hurdle to overcome. Microsoft Office now executes all macros in a “sandbox,” a walled-off environment within the operating system that prevents code from gaining persistence or interacting with the system as a whole. The goal for malware writers is breaking out of the sandbox.

Wardle said that researchers Pieter Ceelen and Stan Hegt found ways to include SYLK files and XLM code that make macros execute whether or not they’re invoked or allowed. They still run within the sandbox. Wardle showed that it’s possible to create files through a macro — files that can be placed outside the macro and can be built to auto execute on system boot. That combination is the key to persistence, one of the golden tickets that attackers pursue in any campaign.

What kind of files can fit the twin bill? Wardle found that a ZIP file, dropped into the proper subdirectory, will be invoked automatically. While the latest macOS endpoint security framework should detect such a file’s creation, Wardle said that there’s room for research here.

Asked by an audience member how he decides on which areas to pursue in his research, Wardle said that he looks at common vulnerabilities and exposures and their patches — especially patches that are very specific — and wonders whether there can be ways around them. Also, he said, he keeps abreast of research and finds that other researchers are a constant source of inspiration.

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and … View Full Bio

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Source: https://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/researcher-finds-new-office-macro-attacks-for-macos/d/d-id/1338610?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

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