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Microsoft Fixes 129 Vulnerabilities for September’s Patch Tuesday

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This month’s Patch Tuesday brought fixes for 23 critical vulnerabilities, including a notable flaw in Microsoft Exchange.

Microsoft today released patches for 129 CVEs (common vulnerabilities and exposures) as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday rollout. This marks seven consecutive months of 110+ bugs fixed and brings the yearly total close to 1,000.

September’s Patch Tuesday addressed vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, the Edge browser, ChakraCore, Internet Explorer, SQL Server, Office and Office Services and Web Apps, Microsoft Dynamics, Visual Studio, Exchange Server, ASP.NET, OneDrive, and Azure DevOps. Of the 129 bugs fixed, 23 are classified as critical, 105 are important, and one ae moderate in severity.

None of the flaws patched today were publicly known or under active attack; however, there are a few that stand out due to their severity. One of these is Microsoft Exchange memory corruption vulnerability CVE-2020-16875, a critical flaw that could be exploited by sending a malicious email containing exploit code to a vulnerable Exchange server. If successful, an attacker could then install programs; view, edit, or delete data; or create new user accounts.

“We have seen the previously patched Exchange bug CVE-2020-0688 used in the wild, and that requires authentication,” writes Dustin Childs of Trend Micro’s Zero-Day Initiative in a blog post. “We’ll likely see this one in the wild soon. This should be your top priority.”

Today brought fixes for seven critical remote code execution vulnerabilities in SharePoint 2010 through 2019. Five of these (CVE-2020-1200, CVE-2020-1210, CVE-2020-1452, CVE-2020-1453, and CVE-2020-1576) exist in how SharePoint fails to check the source markup of an application loaded to the server, and exploitation could let an attacker run malicious code on the server. Given SharePoint is often installed on large business networks, these patches are important.

Microsoft has addressed a couple of critical remote code execution bugs in Windows Codecs Library. Both of these could be exploited by crafting a malicious image file and having any program process the malicious image, explains Chris Hass, director of information security and research at Automox. If successful, they could obtain data to further compromise the system.

“With the number of images being shared constantly on Slack, Zoom, or email, this vulnerability could prove enticing for attackers to leverage,” Hass explains. Today’s updates addresses CVE-2020-1129 and CVE-2020-1319 by correcting how Codecs Library handles objects in memory. 

Hass also points to CVE-2020-0878, a memory corruption bug in Microsoft browsers, as an issue to patch. The flaw exists in the way Microsoft browsers access objects in memory and affects versions of Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. An attacker could host a specially crafted site designed to exploit the flaw and convince a user to view it, or they could take advantage of compromised websites, or submit crafted content to sites that host user-provided content.

However, the vulnerability cannot be exploited by simply viewing the malicious content. An attacker must convince users to take action, whether through an email or instant message, to get them to open an attachment. If the user is logged in with administrative rights, a successful attacker could take control of an affected system.

“Although there have been many memory corruption RCE vulnerabilities disclosed this month, Microsoft currently has around 13% of the total market share when it comes to browsers, possibly presenting enough attack surface to make it worthwhile for attackers to explore,” Hass says. 

Businesses should also prioritize CVE-2020-0922, a critical RCE flaw in the Microsoft Common Object Model (COM) that would allow an attacker to execute malicious code on a target device by luring a victim to open a specially crafted file or visit a website hosting malicious JavaScript. Today’s patch addresses the vulnerability by correcting how COM handles objects in memory.

This fix is important because COM is the base framework of Microsoft services such as ActiveX, OLE, DirectX, and Windows Shell. If the flaw is left unpatched, it could give an attacker a large target to explore when seeking out vulnerabilities in a network, says Richard Melick, senior technical product manager for Automox.

“Given that the exploit can be taken advantage of through a simple malicious JavaScript or website, potentially delivered through a phishing email, it is necessary to address to minimize a network’s attack surface,” he explains.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial … View Full Bio

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Source: https://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities—threats/microsoft-fixes-129-vulnerabilities-for-septembers-patch-tuesday/d/d-id/1338863?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

Cyber Security

6 Crucial password security tips for everyone

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[ This article was originally published here ]

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.
These days, everyone has passwords. Lots and lots of passwords! When I think of how many user accounts with passwords that I have, I probably have dozens. A few for social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, a few for my favorite media streaming services, one for Nintendo Switch and another for the PlayStation Network, a few for my utilities including electricity and my ISP, a few with Amazon and other online retailers, one with the government to file my personal income taxes, my home WiFi password, a Gmail account for all of my Google and YouTube stuff, accounts to authenticate into a couple of different web browsers, an account for my bank’s website, and there are probably at least a dozen more. And I’m a pretty typical technology user. So chances are, you have many similar…

Kim Crawley Posted by:

Kim Crawley

      

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Source: https://www.cybersecurity-insiders.com/6-crucial-password-security-tips-for-everyone/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-crucial-password-security-tips-for-everyone

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Cyber Security

Deadly Ransomware Story Continues to Unfold

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A ransomware attack with fatal consequences is attracting notice and comment from around the world.

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s story breaking the news of fatal consequences in a German ransomware attack.

Reaction is continuing to the story of what Reuters says may be the world’s first human fatality directly attributed to a cyberattack. According to the news service’s reporting, the attack, which began on Sept. 10, utilized a known vulnerability in a Citrix VPN as its point of entry. As of today, The University Clinic in Duesseldorf remained unable to admit new patients brought in by ambulance.

Because a woman died after being redirected to another hospital, German authorities are investigating possible manslaughter charges against the still-unknown attackers. “If homicide charges are combined with computer crime charges, it could be a sound idea to attempt imposing a lengthy prison sentence for the attackers, and, potentially, to get more international cooperation in the investigation,” says Ilia Kolochenko, founder and CEO of ImmuniWeb. She warns, though, that “the causation element will likely be extremely burdensome to prove within the context: defense attorneys will likely shift the entire blame on other parties spanning from hospital personnel and its IT contractors in charge of network management and security.”

Terence Jackson, CISO at Thycotic, notes: “According to a recent Check Point report, 80% of observed ransomware attacks in the first half of 2020 used vulnerabilities reported and registered in 2017 and earlier — and more than 20% of the attacks used vulnerabilities that are at least 7 years old.”

The pre-existing vulnerability means that “there was time to mitigate the threat in theory, but it illustrates the importance of running vulnerability scans and acting on findings at least every 30 days if not more frequently,” says Mark Kedgley, CTO of New Net Technologies. The potential disruption of those scans, he says, must be weighed against the operational requirements of 24 x 7 organizations like hospitals.

Dark Reading will continue to follow this story.

For more, read here.

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/threat-intelligence/deadly-ransomware-story-continues-to-unfold/d/d-id/1338957?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

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Cyber Security

Incident Of The Week: Equinix Is The Latest In A Long Line Of Ransomware Victims

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[Records Exposed: Undisclosed  |  Industry: Internet  |  Type Of Attack: Ransomware]

Equinix is the latest victim in a long line of ransomware targets. The data center and colocation service provider released a short statement on September 9 that read,

“Equinix is currently investigating a security incident we detected that involves ransomware on some of our internal systems. Our teams took immediate and decisive action to address the incident, notified law enforcement and are continuing to investigate. Our data centers and our service offerings, including managed services, remain fully operational, and the incident has not affected our ability to support our customers. Note that as most customers operate their own equipment within Equinix data centers, this incident has had no impact on their operations or the data on their equipment at Equinix. The security of the data in our systems is always a top priority and we intend to take all necessary actions, as appropriate, based on the results of our investigation.”

The threat actors are demanding $4.5 million in exchange for a decryptor and the promise that they won’t release stolen data. However, Equinix updated their statement on September 14 to reiterate that customers’ data and operations remain safe.

Related: Cyber Security Standards and Frameworks

It appears the guilty party is the young cybercriminal group known as NetWalker who first burst on the scene in August of 2019. Their success lies in their ability to automate ransomware attacks, including a countdown clock and prefab ransom note that populates at just the right time during the operation. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) poses an increasing threat across the cyber security landscape, as it allows inexperienced or less technical hackers purchase the automation software needed to execute such a hack.

With NetWalker acting as the gatekeeper, hacker groups go through a screening process before gaining access to a web portal that holds NetWalker’s ransomware, which can then be customized to fit their specific needs. NetWalker’s commission of 20% has earned the group $25 million between March 1 and July 27.

Lessons Learned:

If it seems like ransomware attacks have been in the news a lot lately, it’s because they have. In fact, a report by Coalition discovered that in the first half of 2020, 41% of cyber insurance claims were ransomware incidents. It was also reported that, while ransomware attacks are becoming slightly less frequent, their rate of success and size of target are growing. In other words, the increasingly sophisticated strategies of these threat actors poses real risks to even the most developed enterprise.

Related: How To Preemptively Track Phishing Campaigns

While ransomware attacks are specific in their execution, the vulnerabilities exploited to make them possible are the same as most other cyber threats. Specifically, 54% of cyber attacks are achieved through email (malware) and phishing schemes.

Quick Tips:  

Ransomware attacks rely in part on lax cyber protocols. In order to best safeguard your enterprise from this growing threat, consider the following:

  1. Back up data smartly – One of the ways cyber criminals convince corporations to pay ransoms is by holding their data hostage by encrypting it. While most enterprises back up their data, it is often located in the same compromised infrastructure the original data. Consider backing up data to external drives or a second cloud service provider.
  2. Choose a reputable security suite – Standard antivirus software and basic firewalls may be sufficient for the layperson, but enterprises should invest in a security suite that uses smart tools and sophisticated algorithms to spot and, if possible, remove ransomware. The tool must be able to run in the background 24/7.
  3. Install Software Updates – Cyber criminals look for the path of least resistance. Such a path is usually found in outdated software that hasn’t downloaded the most up-to-date patches, bug fixes, and other newly designed features. Remember to keep all apps, plug-ins, and third-party software up to date as well.

Read More: Incident Of The Week

Source: https://www.cshub.com/attacks/articles/incident-of-the-week-equinix-is-the-latest-in-a-long-line-of-ransomware-victims

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