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Infocus: Enterprise Intrusion Analysis, Part One

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
Enterprise Intrusion Analysis, Part One
Categories: security

Infocus: Responding to a Brute Force SSH Attack

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
Responding to a Brute Force SSH Attack
Categories: security

Infocus: Data Recovery on Linux and <i>ext3</i>

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
Data Recovery on Linux and <i>ext3</i>

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Can you answer the ERP quiz?
These 10 questions determine if your Enterprise RP rollout gets an A+.
http://www.findtechinfo.com/as/acs?pl=781&ca=909
Categories: security

Infocus: WiMax: Just Another Security Challenge?

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
WiMax: Just Another Security Challenge?
Categories: security

Gunter Ollmann: Time to Squish SQL Injection

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
Time to Squish SQL Injection
Categories: security

Mark Rasch: Lazy Workers May Be Deemed Hackers

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
Lazy Workers May Be Deemed Hackers

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Can you answer the ERP quiz?
These 10 questions determine if your Enterprise RP rollout gets an A+.
http://www.findtechinfo.com/as/acs?pl=781&ca=909
Categories: security

Adam O'Donnell: The Scale of Security

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
The Scale of Security
Categories: security

Mark Rasch: Hacker-Tool Law Still Does Little

Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
Hacker-Tool Law Still Does Little
Categories: security

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Security Focus - 20 hours 44 min ago
News, Infocus, Columns, Vulnerabilities, Bugtraq ...
Categories: security

Google Releases Security Update for Chrome

US-Cert alerts and bulletins - Tue, 09/01/2015 - 23:44
Original release date: September 01, 2015

Google has released Chrome version 45.0.2454.85 to address multiple vulnerabilities for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to take control of an affected system.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the Chrome Releases page and apply the necessary update.

This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Categories: security

Rocket Kitten Spies Target Iranian Lecturer and InfoSec Researchers in New Modus

Trend-Micro - Tue, 09/01/2015 - 13:56

Dr. Thamar E. Gindin didn’t know exactly why she was being targeted. She only knew that her attackers were persistent. An expert lecturer on linguistics and pre-Islamic Iranian culture, she had apparently uttered political statements that had piqued the people behind Rocket Kitten—a known attack group notorious for snooping on select high-profile individuals in the Middle East.

In the middle of 2015, Dr. Gindin received numerous spear-phishing emails, one of which contained malware while three others contained links to fake login pages. This was only the beginning. Messages from unknown senders suddenly poured into her Facebook inbox. Hackers launched brute-force attacks, abusing recovery options to take over her cloud accounts. On two separate occasions, attackers even befriended her via phone hoping to get additional details they can use in more phishing emails.

Whatever doubts Dr. Gindin may have had about being a target was definitely cleared by June 2015, when she assisted cybersecurity researchers at ClearSky with the Thamar Reservoir paper—a previous report detailing Rocket Kitten activities. It was during this time she realized that Rocket Kitten had been intentionally hounding her. Despite her discovery, the attackers remained persistent. Even after the paper was published, Dr. Gindin still received Google notifications of password reset requests she never made.

Rocket Kitten Modus on ClearSky Researcher

Knowing Dr. Gindin’s involvement with ClearSky may have pushed Rocket Kitten to set their sights on one of their researchers. These attackers may have accessed emails revealing Dr. Gindin talking to a ClearSky researcher, or they may have independently realized that the security group was already investigating them. It’s also possible that the attackers accessed emails from other Rocket Kitten victims who have been in contact with ClearSky. Either way, the attackers exploited this intelligence and used it as bait.

What followed was a series of persistent attempts, turning into a slightly new modus operandi for the Rocket Kitten group. We had previously reported that Rocket Kitten was involved in the delivery of GHOLE malware and the covert Woolen-Goldfish campaign.

Here’s a breakdown of what they did:

  1. Social Media: The attackers first tried to approach a ClearSky threat researcher using a fake Facebook profile. This didn’t work.
  2. Fake Email: The attackers then sent an email using a fake ClearSky email address they created, clearsky[.]cybersec[.]group@gmail[.]com, to a ClearSky researcher. However, the latter called the supposed sender to confirm the email and exposed it as a fake.

    Figure 1. Spear-phishing email received by a target supposedly from a ClearSky researcher

  3. Malicious Links: The said email used the name of Trend Micro to appear legitimate. The first link “Trend Micro security” leads to the real company site, but the second link leads to a malicious file, named HousecallLauncher.EXE.
  4. Social Engineering: It’s quite adaptive for the attackers to use the Trend Micro brand as a lure, considering that our previous research into their operations can create a false sense of security that will entice victims to download the product.
  5. Malicious File: The malicious file eventually connects the infected machine to the attackers’ C&C server, allowing them remote access to the network.

The paper The Spy Kittens Are Back: Rocket Kitten 2 puts context to these specific and ongoing political espionage incidents linked to Rocket Kitten. It fleshes out the technical details of the attacks on both Dr. Gindin and the ClearSky researcher, including the use of macros and backdoors in gaining access to their accounts.

 

Categories: security
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