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Archive for January 2020

Smart City Alert as Experts Detail LoRaWAN Security Issues

Smart City Alert as Experts Detail LoRaWAN Security Issues

Security researchers are warning that the technology underpinning many smart city deployments is susceptible to a range of cyber-attacks, enabling hackers to sabotage infrastructure in potentially life-threatening raids.

IOActive’s latest research paper covers LoRaWAN, or the Long-Range Wide Area Network protocol which many low-powered IoT devices use to connect to the internet in scenarios such as smart cities, industrial IoT, smart homes, utilities, vehicle tracking and healthcare.

It claimed that the root keys used to encrypt communications between smart devices, gateways and network servers are poorly protected.

Hackers could extract keys by reverse engineering device firmware, grab hard-coded keys that ship with some open source LoRaWAN libraries, compromise vulnerable LoRaWAN network servers, or even guess the keys in some circumstances, the report claimed.

Once encryption keys are in their possession, the black hats could launch denial of service attacks, or replace legitimate with false comms data. This could cause connected infrastructure to break or even explode, putting lives at risk, IOActive claimed.

“Organizations are blindly trusting LoRaWAN because it’s encrypted, but that encryption can be easily bypassed if hackers can get their hands on the keys — which our research shows they can do in several ways, with relative ease, ” explained Cesar Cerrudo, IOActive CTO.

“Once hackers have access, there are many things they could potentially do – they could prevent utilities firms from taking smart meter readings, stop logistics companies from tracking vehicles, or prohibit hospitals from receiving readings from smart equipment. In extreme cases, a compromised network could be fed false device readings to cover up physical attacks against infrastructure, like a gas pipeline. Or to prompt industrial equipment containing volatile substances to overcorrect; causing it to break, combust or even explode.”

Worse still, the researchers claimed that there’s no way an organization could find out if its LoRaWAN network is being attacked or if encryption keys have been compromised.

That’s why IOActive has released a LoRaWAN Auditing Framework to help these firms pen test their deployments.

Source: Information Security Magazine

Hackers Begin Uploading 30 Million Cards from Wawa Breach

Hackers Begin Uploading 30 Million Cards from Wawa Breach

As many as 31 million stolen payment card records from a 2019 breach at convenience store chain Wawa could soon be on sale on a notorious dark web marketplace.

Stas Alforov and Christopher Thomas at threat intelligence firm Gemini Advisory claimed the upload of stolen data at the Joker’s Stash site began on Monday. Dubbed “BIGBADABOOM-III,” the dump has been linked to a breach at East Coast chain Wawa which was discovered in December last year.

Although the incident was revealed on December 10, attackers were apparently inside the network since early March, enabling them to make off with a huge trove of card numbers, expiration dates and cardholder names.

“Since the breach may have affected over 850 stores and potentially exposed 30 million sets of payment records, it ranks among the largest payment card breaches of 2019, and of all time. It is comparable to Home Depot’s 2014 breach exposing 50 million customers’ data or to Target’s 2013 breach exposing 40 million sets of payment card data,” Gemini Advisory wrote.

“Notably, major breaches of this type often have low demand in the dark web. This may be due to the breached merchant’s public statement or to security researchers’ quick identification of the point of compromise. However, Joker’s Stash uses the media coverage of major breaches such as these to bolster the credibility of their shop and their position as the most notorious vendor of compromised payment cards.”

At the time of writing, 100,000 card records had been uploaded to the marketplace, including state geolocation information.

The full breach trove is estimated to feature 30 million US cards and around one million from other countries, which were lifted when cardholders visited Wawa outlets during the breach period.

A press release issued by Wawa on Tuesday did not reference the size of the data loss, but explained that the firm’s payment card processor, as well as affected card brands and issuers, had been notified to heighten fraud monitoring.

The firm also clarified that no user PINs or CV2 numbers were taken, and that the breach didn’t affect ATM transactions.

“We continue to encourage our customers to remain vigilant in reviewing charges on their payment card statements and to promptly report any unauthorized use to the bank or financial institution that issued their payment card by calling the number on the back of the card,” it added.

Source: Information Security Magazine

Dell Technologies Announces Adrian McDonald as New EMEA President

Dell Technologies Announces Adrian McDonald as New EMEA President

Dell Technologies today announced that Adrian McDonald will become the company’s new EMEA president, effective February 3 2020.

McDonald brings over 30 years of IT leadership experience to the role and will be responsible for all businesses, including PCs, server, storage and services, across the Europe Middle East and Africa region. He will also continue in his role as global lead for the Mosaic Employee Resource Group at Dell Technologies, which represents and promotes cultural inclusion and the benefits of cultural intelligence.

“In a time of great change, Dell Technologies is ideally positioned to add value to customers and partners,” said McDonald, president EMEA, Dell Technologies.

“I’m incredibly excited for the future. We are at a tipping point for technology innovation. Computing will be more intelligent, personal and accessible in the 2020s, and this is going to have an even bigger impact on the world than the last decade, transforming how we live and work. Our customers understand this. They are not only looking to reimagine their businesses with the opportunities digital brings, but in many cases, undertake a dramatic transformation and I am looking forward to working with them and our partners to enable them to achieve this.”

Source: Information Security Magazine

UK Deems Huawei a Manageable Risk for 5G

UK Deems Huawei a Manageable Risk for 5G

Security experts have broadly welcomed the UK’s decision to allow Huawei to participate in non-core 5G network infrastructure, even if nearly half of consumers believe the Chinese firm represents a cyber-threat.

The government confirmed long-running rumors yesterday that it would defy Washington and allow the Shenzhen telecoms kit maker to contribute to its carriers’ 5G networks.

However, it appears to have dialed down tensions with the US by: designating the firm a “high risk” vendor, excluding it from core parts of the networks, nuclear sites, military bases and critical infrastructure and limiting its presence to no more than 35% of non-core networks.

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) CEO, Ciaran Martin, claimed the decision will give the UK “a very strong, practical and technically sound framework for digital security in the years ahead.

“The NCSC has issued advice to telecoms network operators to help with the industry rollout of 5G and full fiber networks in line with the government’s objectives,” he added.

“High-risk vendors have never been – and never will be – in our most sensitive networks. Taken together these measures add up to a very strong framework for digital security.”

This is despite some experts, such as Australian Signals Directorate director-general, Mike Burgess, warning that there is no distinction between core and non-core parts of a 5G network, meaning that a threat anywhere in the network could be hard to contain.

Malcolm Taylor, director of cyber advisory at ITC Secure and former GCHQ intelligence officer, welcomed the UK news as evidence of politicians listening to the UK’s security agencies, who have repeatedly claimed the Huawei risk is manageable.

A dedicated Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) staffed partly by GCHQ boffins has been running for years to scrutinize the firm’s products. Although it recently found serious security shortcomings, they were not thought to have been engineered deliberately.

“There is risk in using Huawei – the point is managing it. Already heavily monitored and managed, Huawei can expect to see that scrutiny only increase,” Taylor added.

“There is no hard evidence of any espionage using Huawei technology, globally, and Huawei senior figures have made this point again and again. The UK’s security apparatus believes the risk can be managed. What more do we need?”

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at ABI Research, congratulated the UK for not being pressured by geopolitical tactics, and said it was a good compromise between security and 5G development.

“The fact that Huawei is quite well deployed for 5G in the UK means that it would be a massive disruption to stop or worse, remove this infrastructure. This could set UK operators years behind in the 5G market,” he continued.

“Plus, Huawei has already been well deployed for 4G across the UK. Even if Huawei is blocked for 5G, how can anyone guarantee that security-sensitive communications will go over these non-Huawei 5G networks, and not Huawei 4G networks?”

That said, a GlobalData poll this week revealed that UK consumers are virtually split down the middle in their view of Huawei: 47% said they thought the firm was a security threat while 53% did not.

Source: Information Security Magazine

SEC Publishes Cybersecurity Practices of Financial Industry

SEC Publishes Cybersecurity Practices of Financial Industry

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a 10-page document detailing cybersecurity practices observed to be in use in the financial industry.

The observations were gathered by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections (OCIE) and are based on thousands of examinations of broker-dealers, investment advisers, clearing agencies, national securities exchanges, and other SEC registrants.

OCIE issued the examination observations yesterday on the SEC website with the hope of providing firms with guidelines for how to strengthen their cybersecurity. 

The observations highlight certain approaches taken by market participants in the areas of governance and risk management, access rights and controls, data loss prevention, mobile security, incident response and resiliency, vendor management, and training and awareness. They also examine how companies have responded with resiliency in the wake of a cybersecurity incident. 

While acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to cybersecurity, OCIE recommended establishing an incident response plan and contacting local authorities or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if an attack or compromise is discovered or suspected. 

Training employees on how to detect threats was advised, along with implementing a mobile device management solution for the workplace that covered all devices used by employees under a "bring your own device" policy.

"Through risk-targeted examinations in all five examination program areas, OCIE has observed a number of practices used to manage and combat cyber risk and to build operational resiliency," said Peter Driscoll, director of OCIE. 

"We felt it was critical to share these observations in order to allow organizations the opportunity to reflect on their own cybersecurity practices."

To prevent data loss, OCIE recommended establishing a patch management program covering all software and hardware and verifying that the decommissioning and disposal of any hardware and software does not create system vulnerabilities.  

"Data systems are critical to the functioning of our markets, and cybersecurity and resiliency are at the core of OCIE’s inspection efforts," said SEC chairman Jay Clayton. 

"I commend OCIE for compiling and sharing these observations with the industry and the public and encourage market participants to incorporate this information into their cybersecurity assessments."

Source: Information Security Magazine

UK Medical Products Manufacturer Shuts Plant Following Breach

UK Medical Products Manufacturer Shuts Plant Following Breach

A British company that specializes in making skin, bone, and organ grafts has temporarily closed its manufacturing plant in America following a cybersecurity breach.

Regenerative medical technology company Tissue Regenix Group PLC said on Tuesday that its computer systems and a third-party IT service provider in the United States were accessed without authorization. No details were given regarding how the incident occurred or when the company became aware that it had been compromised.

Tissue Regenix responded to the cybersecurity incident by taking the affected system offline and shutting down operations at its plant in Texas. The company has appointed forensic cybersecurity specialists to investigate how and when the breach occurred and said that it is in talks with the relevant legal authorities. 

The cybersecurity incident is not believed to have affected any of Tissue Regenix's operations in the UK and is not thought to have impacted the company's financial systems. 

"Tissue Regenix has taken precautionary steps, including taking affected systems offline. This has restricted access to certain business operations, including the company's ability in the short-term to continue manufacturing in its United States facility, which has been taken offline whilst the incident is being investigated," said a Tissue Regenix spokesperson. 

"The company is engaged with its third-party IT service provider, the relevant legal authorities and cyber security experts to rectify the incident as quickly as possible and to minimize any impact on its operations. The time required to resolve the incident is currently unknown."

According to Reuters, news of the breach caused the share price of Tissue Regenix to tumble by as much as 22%. 

Tissue Regenix was formed in 2006 as an offshoot of the University of Leeds. The company is based in the historical city of York. Tissue Regenix set up its base in America in the tail end of 2012. 

The medical technology product that Tissue Regenix is known for producing is a special kind of tissue that can be used to repair worn-out or diseased human body parts. The tissue has been designed in such a way that the patient's body is unlikely to reject a graft. 

The cyber-attack has come at a particularly bad time for Tissue Regenix, which said last Wednesday that its funding is not guaranteed beyond April.

Source: Information Security Magazine

NFL Twitter Accounts Hacked One Week Before Super Bowl

NFL Twitter Accounts Hacked One Week Before Super Bowl

The Twitter accounts of America's National Football League (NFL) and 15 of its teams have been hacked just one week before the biggest football game of the 2019–2020 season.

The first team to be compromised was the Chicago Bears, whose account @ChicagoBears was hacked at 8:40 a.m. on Sunday morning. 

Followers were shown an image of a man with a full, dark beard who was wearing the traditional Arabic head gear of a keffiyeh and an agal together. Along with the photo, hackers posted the caption: "Welcome to our new owner @Turki_alalshikh #ProBowl #Bears100 #ChicagoBears."

A Saudi "white hat" hacker group known as OurMine was quick to claim responsibility for the hacks, which the group said were carried out as a publicity stunt to "announce that we are back" and to "show people that everything is hackable."

Fans of rival American football team the Detroit Lions seized the opportunity afforded by the Bears hack to propose a trade. The account @PrideofDetroit tweeted at the Bears: "Hey, while you're still hacked @ChicagoBears, trade us Khalil Mack for a 6th rounder. Twitter is a binding contract."

The hackers decided to run with the joke and responded with "Done for 1$."

By 12:43 p.m. on Sunday, the Chicago Bears were back in control of their Twitter account and had posted a message apologizing to fans for the compromise. 

OurMine allegedly compromised the official Twitter account of the NFL on Monday. In a statement released yesterday, the NFL said: "On Monday, the NFL Cybersecurity department became aware of a breach of league-related social media accounts. Targeted breaches and additional failed attempts were discovered across the league and team accounts.

"The NFL took immediate action and directed the teams to secure their social media accounts and prevent further unauthorized access."

NFL reporter Dov Kleiman began a Twitter thread of screenshots depicting all the NFL team accounts compromised in the OurMine hack. By his reckoning, a total of 15 teams were hacked, including the Green Bay Packers

Other teams to be hacked were the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, who are due to compete on February 2 in the Super Bowl LIV game, which will decide the champion for the NFL's 2019–2020 (and 100th) season.

An anonymous individual who responded to questions from NBC News via an email account linked with OurMine would not reveal how the group carried out the hack. The individual did, however, reveal their pick for Sunday's big game, predicting a victory for the Chiefs.

Source: Information Security Magazine

Suspected Magecart Hackers Arrested in Indonesia

Suspected Magecart Hackers Arrested in Indonesia

Three men have been arrested in Indonesia in a region-wide crackdown on gangs using the infamous Magecart digital skimming code, according to Interpol.

The law enforcement organization worked with private sector partner Group-IB to identify and analyze hundreds of e-commerce websites around the world infected with the malicious JavaScript.

Its Operation Night Fury saw Interpol’s central ASEAN Cyber Capability Desk send reports to police in the affected countries, including six in southeast Asia.

One of these was Indonesia, where three men were arrested on suspicion of running Magecart C&C servers there.

According to Interpol, the suspects are thought to have been using the stolen card details to buy luxury goods and electronics and then resell them to launder their profits.

Singaporean police have also been able to disable two further C&C servers following intelligence gleaned from the operation, while investigations in other ASEAN countries are ongoing, Interpol said.

“Strong and effective partnerships between police and the cybersecurity industry are essential to ensure law enforcement worldwide has access to the information they need to address the scale and complexity of today’s cyber threat landscape,” said Interpol director of cybercrime, Craig Jones.

“This successful operation is just one example of how law enforcement is working with industry partners, adapting and applying new technologies to aid investigations, and ultimately reduce the global impact of cybercrime.”

This could well be the first time Magecart hackers have been arrested by police. Digital skimming code is now used by multiple groups around the world, making it harder for police to tackle.

The news comes just weeks after Interpol celebrated another win: a public-private partnership with Trend Micro led to the identification of over 20,000 routers in southeast Asia infected with crypto-mining malware.

Thanks to Operation Goldfish Alpha, police managed to reduce this number by 78% and efforts are continuing to identify the remaining compromised devices.

Source: Information Security Magazine

Staff Send 130+ Emails Per Week to Wrong Recipient

Staff Send 130+ Emails Per Week to Wrong Recipient

Staff in large enterprises send 136 emails per week to the wrong person, according to new data from Tessian released to coincide with today’s Data Protection Day.

The annual event was launched 13 years by the Council of Europe to recognize the date in 1981 that signatures were invited for Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty on data protection.

However, despite the introduction of the GDPR nearly two years ago and the filing of over 160,000 breach notifications in the intervening period, poor data protection practices still appear to be rife.

Analyzing data from its global network of clients, Tessian claimed that corporate data is sent to unauthorized or personal email accounts nearly 200,000 times a year, for enterprises of 10,000 employees and up.

For large businesses of 1000 employees, the figure is nearly 20,000, while it drops again to around 5000 for SMBs.

Tessian CEO, Tim Sadler, claimed that human error is still the leading cause of breaches today — whether staff are deliberately breaking the rules or simply being negligent.

“Everyone has an email blunder story. After all, the average worker spends over a third of their working-week on email, so mistakes are bound to happen. But we’re seeing serious repercussions beyond just embarrassment over cc-ing the wrong person – more people are exposing personal and corporate data,” he added.

“These mistakes could see your data falling into the wrong hands and your company facing the regulator’s wrath under GDPR.”

Also known as Data Privacy Day in the US and elsewhere, the event is an opportunity to raise awareness among consumers and businesses of their respective online rights and responsibilities regarding data protection.

The GDPR has already done much to promote these within the EU and beyond, the European Commission claimed in a statement issued to mark the occasion.

“According to Eurobarometer results, the highest levels of awareness among citizens are recorded for the right to access their own data (65%), the right to correct the data if they are wrong (61%), the right to object to receiving direct marketing (59%) and the right to have their own data deleted (57%),” it revealed.

“Our priority and that of everyone involved should be to foster a harmonized and consistent implementation of data protection rules throughout the EU.”

However, the legislation remains a work in progress, according to Dob Todorov, CEO of HeleCloud.

“In truth, a chasm exists between the legal language used and the IT implementation needed to support it. And, while this chasm exists, some businesses will fail to meet the data protection standards that this regulation promotes — either accidentally or through the abuse of the grey areas,” he argued.

“As regulators look to hand out more fines, they should also focus on providing pragmatic and clear guidance at a technical level, without discriminating against current or future technologies.”

Source: Information Security Magazine

UK’s IoT Law Hopes to Drive Security-by-Design

UK’s IoT Law Hopes to Drive Security-by-Design

The UK government has unveiled a new consumer IoT law designed to prohibit the sale of smart products that fail to meet three strict security requirements.

Drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the proposals would ensure all IoT kit sold in the UK allows users to set unique passwords and not revert them to any factory settings.

This would seem to combat the scourge of Mirai-like malware, which finds exposed devices on the internet and cracks them open with a list of popular default password choices.

Manufacturers of IoT devices would also have to provide a public point of contact so that anyone can report vulnerabilities and have them acted on “in a timely manner.”

The same IoT kit-makers would have to explicitly state the minimum length of time a device will receive security updates at point-of-sale, allowing consumers to decide whether they’re happy with vendor promises.

However, there’s no mention of enforcing a 'kitemark' for consumers which would allow buyers to easily spot whether products have met a minimum standard of security and quality. Such a standard technically exists in the UK, after the British Standards Institution (BSI) introduced one in May 2018, and at a European level, with the launch of ETSI TS 103 645 around a year ago.

It’s also unclear exactly how the UK would prohibit the sale of non-compliant IoT kit, especially items which can be sourced online from China and elsewhere. The majority of the world’s smart gadgets are not manufactured in the UK.

That said, the UK is still ahead of the US in its moves to drive regulation of an industry that exposes consumers and businesses to growing cyber risk.

“Consumer IoT devices can deliver real benefits to individuals and society, but techUK’s research shows that concerns over poor security practices act as a significant barrier to their take-up. TechUK is therefore supportive of the government’s commitment to legislate for cybersecurity to be built into consumer IoT products from the design stage,” argued techUK director of markets, Matthew Evans.

“TechUK has been working on these three principles for the past four years. We support the work to ensure that they are consistent and are influencing international standards.”

Carl Wear, head of e-crime at Mimecast, claimed that the UK push could have a beneficial impact on other parts of the world, although the nature of technology innovation would require revisions to the law.

“The legislation and any accompanying guidance will then need to be re-visited rapidly and updated to maintain an adequate minimum standard of security, as necessary,” he said. “I am certain that this move by the UK will likely prompt consideration of further regulation within other jurisdictions, in order to maintain trust in their own IoT and parity with the security of others.”

The UK’s proposals follow a “world first” voluntary code of practice introduced by the government in October 2018, on which the European standard was based.

Source: Information Security Magazine