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Tag Archives: Cyber Security

Corona Virus proyecta una sombra en el ciberespacio

Mientras que los gobiernos, las empresas, las agencias intergubernamentales y las agencias sin fines de lucro están ocupados lidiando con la caída de la enfermedad por Coronavirus (COVID-19), ciertos grupos con intenciones maliciosas están utilizando el brote como una oportunidad para lanzar ataques cibernéticos y paralizar la infraestructura crítica y otros activos conectados a través de la ingeniería social.

En los últimos 26 días, el honeypot global de Subex ha registrado un ligero descenso en los ataques directos, mientras que el volumen de correos electrónicos de phishing y otras actividades de ingeniería social específicas ha crecido significativamente. Nuestros investigadores informan un aumento del 49 por ciento en los ataques de ingeniería social a través de una variedad de canales en todos los continentes.

Coronavirus es el último tema.

Estos son lo que llamamos ataques temáticos que se basan en un susto o ansiedad global creada por un evento que influye en los ciudadanos a nivel personal.

Los piratas informáticos han lanzado alrededor de 23 extensiones de archivos comunes (incluidos zip, mp3, mp4, xlsx, docx, EPS) en los últimos 26 días. Estos archivos tienen una carga maliciosa que podría encriptar archivos, robar / filtrar datos, dejar puertas traseras e incluso dañar datos.

Los tipos de archivo incluyen:

Corona_health_update.pdf (atribuido a los centros para el control de enfermedades)

Origin-of-corona_cnn.mp4

Covid19_Mandatory_work_from_measures.pdf (propagado usando plataformas de mensajería instantánea)

Corona_safety_alert.docx

Secondary_corona_infections.pdf

Correos electrónicos que contienen líneas de asunto como “emergencia de coronavirus declarada” “1000 muertes por coronavirus en las últimas 16 horas” Este medicamento podría salvarle la vida de la corona “. También se han encontrado correos electrónicos que buscan donaciones en nombre de la OMS.

Los volúmenes entrantes de estos archivos infectados varían con los anuncios de salud de los gobiernos y hemos visto 3 ventanas claras para la detección de dichos archivos infectados.

7 am a 9:30 am GMT

3 p.m. a 3:30 p.m. GMT

8 p.m. a 9 p.m. GMT

El tráfico de Malware de una importante red de bots en el noroeste de Asia se ha reducido significativamente, mientras que otras tres posibles redes de bots en la región informan una reducción en el volumen de tráfico saliente.

¿Dónde se ha ido todo el Malware?

En la última mitad de 2019, hubo una aceptación significativa en la compra de Malware potente en tiendas y foros de Malware. Dicho Malware se lanzó en lotes incrementales con una reingeniería mínima para evitar la detección. Esta actividad se aceleró a fines de enero (2020), pero a mediados de febrero (2020), el número de nuevos programas maliciosos registrados mostró una disminución global a medida que los piratas informáticos cambiaron las tácticas para crear oportunidades utilizando la ingeniería social.

Nuestros investigadores también han encontrado una ligera reducción en los precios del Malware en el último mes. Lo que significa que la demanda de nuevo Malware ha disminuido.

Los grupos de piratas informáticos están utilizando el pánico y la ansiedad generados por el brote para evitar que sus víctimas analicen los correos electrónicos u otros enlaces sospechosos enviados a través de las redes sociales o las aplicaciones de mensajería instantánea. Los tiempos de angustia y ansiedad a menudo afectan el pensamiento racional y esto es con lo que cuentan los hackers para crear un problema mucho mayor.

Mantener la higiene cibernética.

Al igual que las medidas recomendadas por los profesionales de la salud para prevenir la propagación de la infección, en el ciberespacio también debemos tomar algunas precauciones para evitar que los grupos disruptivos utilicen la situación en su beneficio. Aquí hay algunos pasos recomendados:

  • Confíe en fuentes conocidas para actualizaciones de atención médica (entre ellas, la Organización Mundial de la Salud, gobiernos federales o regionales, publicaciones de renombre y sus profesionales de atención médica locales).
  • Evite la tentación de hacer clic en enlaces compartidos a través de redes sociales, aplicaciones de mensajería instantánea o cualquier otra fuente. De todos modos, las actualizaciones de noticias te llegarán, solo es cuestión de unos minutos. Pero si hace clic en un enlace sospechoso, podría terminar haciendo mucho más daño a corto y largo plazo a sus intereses comerciales / personales
  • Verifique la URL de los sitios web cuidadosamente cada vez. Si es posible, use los motores de búsqueda para llegar a los sitios en lugar de ingresar el texto de la URL directamente
  • Mantenga todo su software, sistema operativo, firmware y aplicaciones móviles actualizadas. No te saltes las actualizaciones.

Informe cualquier correo electrónico o URL sospechosos a sus equipos de ciberseguridad

Emotet On The Rise: Campaña de phishing de CoronaVirus

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Why cybersecurity can be a source of innovation for IoT projects

An interesting survey finding came my way almost a year ago that revealed that as much as 80 percent of projects falling in the Internet of Things domain didn’t utilize their data in its entirity. This means that most of the projects are configured to churn data that is futuristic in nature and may not be of much relevance to the stakeholders in the short run. This leads us to an interesting question. Can this huge volume of data being generated be put to some use after all?

There are various reasons why there is an overflow of data in such projects. The most agreeable one is that business owners are often pre-occupied with the need to get their hands on information that can justify their investments in such projects and in the process ignore data streams that cannot be monetized or deployed to improve efficiency, productivity or preventive maintenance practices. Such a myopic view can indeed lead to value stagnation in the long run for such projects.

A Spanish company had deployed a set of temperature sensors across its offices to monitor the ambient temperature. The data showed the existence of islands of significant temperature variation across floors. The company didn’t invest any time or resources in determining how such differences affect the productivity of employees or outcomes of meetings. Yes it would need a stretch of effort to figure this out but then its not impossible.

In another instance, a well-known retailer in South-East Asia is currently accessing information on supply chain efficiency across various points in the chain using IoT. However, this entity is still ignoring information on ambient weather conditions that are also collected alongside the data gathered by various sensor and device configurations. Again the weather information in this instance could be correlated with supply chain efficiency to determine the best weather conditions for movement of goods and supplies as also to avoid conditions that might adversely impact movement.

There are many such examples of businesses ignoring data already available to further their business interests.

Linking cybersecurity

IoT is one of the few enabling technologies that still have a long way to go when it comes to cybersecurity. Often times, proof of concept projectsrun without security coming into the picture in any form or manner. The capital and resources invested in the project are thus rendered vulnerable to a possible cyberattack. A sizeable one could lead to the project being shelved complety – a possibility that is not just a remote possibility but is happening more often than it should.

Given the significance that security entails,

Cybersecurity could be considered as an avenue for innovation. There is no reason why businesses shouldn’t be thinking and acting this way. Let me elaborate. For one, cybersecurity is all about doing more with all the data available. It is also about getting deeper into data to determine how and why data is behaving the way it is (is it under the influence of malware or has it been subject to some form of compromise?).

Attention to data for purposes of cybersecurity can yield remarkable results. It can make decision makers aware of the quantum and content of data that they are drawing from sensors and devices and therefore put it to better use. Financial services entities and retailers can take the lead in this arena. By making businesses delve deeper into data patterns, organizations are rendered more data-sensitive thereby opening avenues to better use and deploy data. And this could enable competitive differentiation and innovation across the enterprise.

Data awareness could also reduce the rate of failure of proof of concept projects. It could lead to customer delight as well when used in the right way to give actionable data and insights. A large aircraft manufacturer recently found out the hard way how ignoring basic data could be a perilous endeavor. The lesson, therefore, is clear and apparent.

Cybersecurity, when viewed as an enabler of innovation, could also lead to greater investments in time, attention and resources in securing enterprises. This holds good for all businesses irrespective of their size, maturity or market addressed.

To read the latest State of IoT Security reports

Download now!

Corona Virus casts a shadow in cyberspace

While governments, businesses, inter-governmental agencies, and not-for-profit agencies are busy dealing with the fall out of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), certain groups with malicious intent are using the outbreak as an opportunity to launch cyberattacks and cripple critical infrastructure and other connected assets through social engineering.

In the last 26 days, Subex’s global honeypot has registered a slight dip in direct attacks while the volume of phishing emails and other targeted social engineering activity has grown significantly. Our researchers are reporting a 49 percent rise in social engineering attacks through a variety of channels across continents.

Coronavirus is the latest theme

These are what we call themed attacks that ride on a global scare or anxiety created by an event that influences citizens at a personal level.

About 23 common file extensions (including zip, mp3, mp4, xlsx, docx, EPS) have been released by hackers in the last 26 days. These files have a malicious payload that could encrypt files, steal/exfiltrate data, drop backdoors and even corrupt data.

File types include:

Corona_health_update.pdf (attributed to centers for disease control)

Origin-of-corona_cnn.mp4

Covid19_Mandatory_work_from_measures.pdf (spread using instant messaging platforms)

Corona_safety_alert.docx

Secondary_corona_infections.pdf

Emails containing subject lines such as “coronavirus emergency declared” “1000 coronavirus deaths in last 16 hours” This drug could save your life from corona”. Emails seeking donations in the name of WHO have also been found.

The in-bound volumes of these infected files vary with healthcare announcements by governments and we have seen 3 clear windows for detection of such infected files.

7 am to 9:30 am GMT

3 pm to 3:30 PM GMT

8 pm to 9 pm GMT

Malware traffic from a major botnet in North West Asia has reduced significantly while three other possible botnets in the region are reporting a reduction in the volume of outbound traffic.

Where has all the malware gone?

In the last half of 2019, there was a significant uptake in the purchase of potent malware from across malware shops and forums. Such malware was then released in incremental batches with minimal reengineering to avoid detection. This activity picked pace towards the end of January (2020) but by mid-February (2020), the number of new malware reported registered a global decline as hackers shifted tactics towards creating opportunities using social engineering.

Our researchers have also found a slight reduction in malware prices in the last month. Which means that the demand for new malware has come down.

Hacker groups are using the panic and anxiety generated by the outbreak to prevent their victims from scrutinizing emails or other suspicious links forwarded via social media or instant messaging applications. Times of distress and anxiety often take a toll on rational thinking and this is what hackers are counting on to create a much larger problem.

Maintain cyber-hygiene

Similar to the measures recommended by healthcare professionals to prevent the spread of infection, in cyberspace also we need to take a few precautions to prevent disruptive groups from utilizing the situation to their advantage. Here are a few recommended steps:

  • Rely on known sources for healthcare updates (these include the World Health Organization, federal or regional governments, publications of repute and your local healthcare professionals.
  • Avoid the temptation to click on links shared via social media, instant messaging applications or any other source. News updates will anyway reach you it is just a matter of a few minutes. But if you click on a suspicious link, you could end up doing far more damage in the short and long term to your business\personal interests
  • Check the URL of websites carefully every time. If possible use search engines to reach sites rather than entering the URL text directly
  • Keep all your software, OS, firmware and mobile applications updated. Do not skip updates.

Report any suspicious emails or URLs to your cybersecurity teams

Emotet On The Rise: CoronaVirus Phishing Campaign

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Cybersecurity trends to watch out for in 2020

The adoption of IoT is growing globally. Today, active sensors are monitoring and reporting on everything from weather conditions, traffic, power consumption, water pressure, among others. Smart technology is everywhere, enabling cities, people, and governments to do more.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the IoT boom is already here. But as more and more sensors and devices are connected to the internet, cybercriminals gain more opportunities to leverage unattended vulnerabilities. IoT botnets can compromise and leverage thousands of such devices to wreak havoc on deployments.

2019 saw a range of attacks on IoT infrastructure. Wicked, OMG Mirai, Triton, Shamoon, ADB.Miner, DoubleDoor, Hide ‘N Seek, and Mirai-Variant IoT Botnets were widely seen in cyberattacks around the world.

2020 will see hackers go after data with increased zeal. This includes highjacking devices as part of Advanced Persistent Threat attacks and using them to gain access to sensitive data and IP, which could be held for ransom. The sectors that will attract maximum attacks in South America include oil and gas, infrastructure, utilities, defense, and retail. Attacks bearing a geopolitical motive are also expected to increase this year.

Regional hackers have figured out that businesses are more willing to pay ransoms to prevent such data from being published online or on the dark web. This they are working to target devices and networks to pilfer data and record conversations of value. Another tactic gaining currency is data poisoning wherein inaccurate information is fed into decision making systems to disrupt large systems.

Publishing zero-day vulnerabilities without taking the vendor into confidence or giving them reaction time to patch devices creates a unique advantage for hackers as they can take advantage of such vulnerabilities to create widespread damage. This trend will persist in 2020, albeit with vendors turning more cooperative, responsive, and with more information being made available, lesser instances will come to the fore.

With more businesses using bots to log data in CRM\ERP or other business management software, the data accessed by such bots are becoming more critical with each passing year. By spoofing identity, hackers can gain access to critical systems and then use such bots to exfiltrate data, and since most of these bots are today working with very little monitoring, an attack could theoretically last months or even years, if they go undetected.

Three key target sectors in 2020

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Financial services

Three trends that will continue in 2020

  • Increasing reconnaissance on critical infrastructure projects
  • Phased attacks on new IoT projects
  • Price of malware sold on forums will rise further this year (because of the demand-supply imbalance)

As geopolitical faults expand, cyberwarfare has turned deadlier. Today actors sponsored by nation-states are investing in AI-based offenses to harass their adversaries. Geopolitical attacks are now targeting critical industrial systems, utilities, smart devices, renewable energy farms, offshore oil rigs, and more. With agencies finding it difficult to suppress information on such attacks from leaking out into the mass media, hackers are getting more aggressive as the impact of their work becomes more visible, monetarily rewarding, and discussed.

The global network of botnets will also grow and expand in terms of devices and countries in 2020. This is one trend that refuses to move into negative territory because of various reasons.

Sectors such as banking and financial services, healthcare, oil and gas, and retail will continue to attract attention from hackers in 2020. The attacks will get more sophisticated, and the attack signature will turn even paler as hackers use newer tactics and strategies to breach networks.

On the response front, as this article is being written, we are seeing cybersecurity being addressed through “codes of practice” and “guidelines.” The government of California has openly come out with its resolve to make businesses do more towards securing their infrastructure, and others will follow in 2020. What is still missing is a coordinated effort to address the problem at hand. Cybersecurity will remain a half-hearted battle until all stakeholders join hands and launch a concerted effort to curb the menace.

Globally, cybercrimes cost over $600 bn in damages in 2019. No nation is rich enough to afford such a colossal loss individually or collectively. Instead, if this money were to be deployed for improving healthcare, generating employment, and improving civic infrastructure, the magnitude of the damage becomes more apparent. Hopefully, 2020 will be the year where we see more coordination between stakeholders. Such a collaboration is inevitable if we are to see lasting progress in the war on cybercrimes.

Cyberattacks grew 26% on India’s IoT deployments

India has been attracting complex cyberattacks for a while now. Hackers are using a mix of complex malware, social engineering and hit and run tactics to target various facilities and IoT deployments here. In the last quarter alone, cyberattacks on the country registered a 26 percent increase and some unique samples of malware were isolated by our threat research team.

Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore were the most attacked cities and hackers are looking at monetizing attacks while creating large scale disruption. They are also working to overload defense mechanisms in order to prevent early detection and mitigation of these attacks.

The IoT Security Report for India for the third quarter (July-September) of the calendar year 2019, highlights the continuing attention that hackers are paying to IoT and OT installations in India. The report notes attacks, attack techniques, sectors drawing attacks and the various types of malware used to attack smart cities, defense projects, manufacturing entities, retailers and other entities using IoT or OT in the country. Download this report to find out how the threat environment in the country is evolving.

To read the latest State of IoT Security report for India

Download now!

Cybersecurity trends for 2019 in the Latin America region

From Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, cities all over South America are today using Internet of Things(IoT) to improve the lives of its citizens. Sensors in Brazil now warn of gas leaks before they become dangerous. Smart technology is everywhere, enabling city organizations to proactively alert people about traffic conditions, inclement weather, and other hazards.

It wont be an exaggeration to say that the region is getting ready for an IoT boom. According to a report by the Evans Corporation this year, South American developers are particularly keen on developing IoT technology; 60 percent of developers are planning IoT projects and 22 percent are already executing on them. But as more and more sensors and devices are connected to the internet, cyber criminals gain more opportunities to leverage unattended vulnerabilities. IoT botnets have the ability to compromise and leverage thousands of these devices to wreak havoc.

2018 saw a range of attacks on IoT infrastructure. Wicked, OMG Mirai, ADB.Miner, DoubleDoor, Hide ‘N Seek and Mirai-Variant IoT Botnets were widely seen in cyberattacks around the world. VPNFilter malware was behind the largest attack of the year with over half a million devices infected across over 50 countries in a single episode.

2019 will see hackers go after data with increased zeal. This include highjacking devices as part of Advanced Persistant Threat attacks and using them to gain access to sensitive data and IP which could be held for ransom. The sectors that will attract maximum attacks in South America include oil and gas, infrastructure, utilities, defense and retail. Attacks bearing a geo-political motive are also expected to increase this year.

Regional hackers have figured out that businesses are more willing to pay ransoms to prevent such data from being published online or on the dark web. This they are working to target devices and networks to pilfer data and record conversations of value.  Another tactic gaining currency is data poisoning wherein inaccurate information is fed into decision making systems to disrupt large systems.

Publishing zero-day vulnerabilities without taking the vendor into confidence or giving them reaction time to patch devices creates a unique advantage for hackers as they can take advantage of such vulnerabilities to create widespread damage.  This trend will persist in 2019 albeit with vendors turning more cooperative, lesser instances will come to the fore.

With more businesses using bots to log data in CRM\ERP or other business management software, the data accessed by such bots is becoming more critical with each passing year. By spoofing identity, hackers can gain access to critical systems and then use such bots to exfiltrate data and since most of these bots are today working with very less monitoring, an attack could theoretically last months or even years, if they go undetected.

As geo-political faults expand, cyberwarfare has turned deadlier. Today actors sponsored by nation states are investing in AI-based offenses to harass their adversaries. Geo-political attacks are now targeting critical industrial systems, utilities, smart devices, renewable energy farms, offshore oil rigs and more. With agencies finding it difficult to suppress information on such attacks from leaking out into the mass media, hackers are getting more aggressive as the impact of their work becomes more visible, monetarily rewarding and discussed.

Sectors such as banking and financial services, healthcare, oil and gas and retail will continue to attract attention from hackers in 2019. The attacks will get more sophisticated and the attack signature will turn even paler as hackers use newer tactics and strategies to breach networks.

On the response front, as this article is being written, we are clearly seeing cybersecurity being addressed through “codes of practice” and “guidelines”. The government of California has openly come out with its resolve to make businesses do more towards securing their infrastructure and others will follow in 2019. What is still missing is a coordinated effort to address the problem at hand. Cybersecurity will remain a half-hearted battle till all stakeholders join hands and launch a coordinated effort to curb the menace.

Globally, cybercrimes cost $600 in damages in 2017. No nation is rich enough to afford such a huge loss individually or collectively. Instead if this money were to be deployed for improving healthcare, generating employment and in improving civic infrastructure, the magnitude of the loss becomes more apparent.  Hopefully 2019 will be the year where we see more coordination between stakeholders. Such a collaboration is inevitable if we are to see lasting progress in the war on cybercrimes.

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