Tag Archive for Cybersecurity

FBI Cyber Bulletin: Identification of Locky Ransomware

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The ‘Locky’ malware is a ransomware variant, which has extensively utilized spam campaigns to distribute malicious files that download and execute code capable of encrypting numerous critical file types on both local and networked file stores. Encrypted files are renamed with a unique hexadecimal filename and receive the “.locky” extension. Each directory containing encrypted files contains instructions on how to utilize Bitcoin in order to pay a ransom for file recovery, and the system’s computer background is also changed to contain payment instructions. Recovery of encrypted files is impossible without data backup or acquisition of the private key due to the well-implemented, strong encryption. Historically, while payment of the ransom may result in receipt of the valid private key, enabling decryption of the targeted files, the FBI does not recommended the victim pay the ransom.

FBI Cyber Bulletin: United Cyber Caliphate Releases PII of U.S. Business Personnel Directory

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As of 5 May 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Sympathizer hacking group United Cyber Caliphate (UCC) defaced a Nigerian-hosted Web site, posting an html file containing the heading “USA Online Company Data Dumped by United Cyber Caliphate,” there was no other message or threat associated with the file. The file contained approximately 1,137 entries, many of which appeared to be US-based individuals with corresponding personally identifiable information (PII) fields such as name, company, e-mail, phone, city, state, and zip code. The PII was doxed from the personnel directory of a US business, according to FBI and open source reporting.

DHS Report Finds “Immeasurable Vulnerabilities and Attack Vectors” Against U.S. Critical Infrastructure

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A Department of Homeland Security assessment released in April states that critical infrastructure throughout the U.S. faces “immeasurable vulnerabilities and attack vectors” due to the increasingly prominent role of information and communication technology (ICT) in critical infrastructure sectors. The strategic risk assessment, authored by the Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis within DHS, was obtained by Public Intelligence and describes the “convergence of cyber and physical domains” as a strategic threat to the nation’s infrastructure.

FBI Cyber Bulletin: Android Malware Phishing for Financial Institution Customer Credentials

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The FBI has identified two Android malware families, SlemBunk and Marcher, actively phishing for specified US financial institutions’ customer credentials. The malware monitors the infected phone for the launch of a targeted mobile banking application to inject a phishing overlay over the legitimate application’s user interface. The malware then displays an indistinguishable fake login interface to steal the victim’s banking credentials. According to cyber threat industry reports, both malware families have targeted foreign financial institutions since 2014, gradually broadening the list to include Western banks, and offered the malware for lease or purchase, respectively, in underground forums. At least as of December 2015, the malware expanded its configuration to include the Android package names of US financial institutions.

DHS Healthcare Bulletin on Ransomware Attacks Against Hospitals

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The Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) has notified the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of an increase in ransomware incidents at some healthcare organizations in the U.S. This Bulletin provides Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Partners with information regarding ransomware, mitigation strategies, as well as additional materials to reference located within the HSIN HPH Cyber Threat Library.

FBI Bulletin: Criminals Hacking Law Firms to Steal Information for Insider Trading

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A financially motivated cyber crime insider trading scheme targets international law firm information used to facilitate business ventures. The scheme involves a hacker compromising the law firm’s computer networks and monitoring them for material, non-public information (MNPI). This information, gained prior to a public announcement, is then used by a criminal with international stock market expertise to strategically place bids and generate a monetary profit.

EU Cybercrime Committee: Criminal Justice Access to Data in the Cloud for Foreign Providers

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The purpose of the present background paper is to provide a snapshot of policies and practices of some major US service providers regarding their “voluntary” disclosure of information to law enforcement authorities in foreign jurisdictions, and thus to facilitate discussion of future options regarding criminal justice access to electronic evidence in the cloud.

FBI Cyber Division Bulletin: KeySweeper Wireless Keystroke Logger Disguised as USB Device Charger

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KeySweeper is a covert device that resembles a functional Universal Serial Bus (USB) enabled device charger which conceals hardware capable of harvesting keystrokes from certain wireless keyboards. If placed strategically in an office or other location where individuals might use wireless devices, a malicious cyber actor could potentially harvest personally identifiable information, intellectual property, trade secrets, passwords, or other sensitive information. Since the data is intercepted prior to reaching the CPU, security managers may not have insight into how sensitive information is being stolen.
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DHS Infrastructure Report: Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector Cyberdependencies

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The Department of Homeland Security Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (DHS OCIA) produces cyberdependency papers to address emerging risks to critical infrastructure and provide increased awareness of the threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences of those risks to the Homeland. This note informs infrastructure and cybersecurity analysts about the potential consequences of cyber-related incidents in the Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector and its resilience to such incidents. This note also clarifies how computer systems support infrastructure operations, how cybersecurity incidents compromise these operations, and the likely functional outcome of a compromise.

FBI Flash Alerts on MSIL/Samas.A Ransomware and Indicators of Compromise

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The FBI previously identified that the actor(s) exploit Java-based Web servers to gain persistent access to a victim network and infect Windows-based hosts. The FBI also indicated that several victims have reported the initial intrusion occurred via JBOSS applications. Further analysis of victim machines indicates that, in at least two cases, the attackers used a Python tool, known as JexBoss, to probe and exploit target systems. Analysis of the JexBoss Exploit Kit identified the specific JBoss services targeted and vulnerabilities exploited. The FBI is distributing these indicators to enable network defense activities and reduce the risk of similar attacks in the future.

FBI Cyber Bulletin: Smart Farming May Increase Cyber Targeting Against US Food and Agriculture Sector

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The FBI and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assess the Food and Agriculture (FA) Sector is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks as farmers become more reliant on digitized data. While precision agriculture technology (a.k.a. smart farming)a reduces farming costs and increases crop yields, farmers need to be aware of and understand the associated cyber risks to their data and ensure that companies entrusted to manage their data, including digital management tool and application developers and cloud service providers, develop adequate cybersecurity and breach response plans.

(U//FOUO) MS-ISAC Intel Paper: Common Cyber Threats to Universities

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The Multi-­State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-­ISAC) assesses with high confidence that cyber threat actors routinely target universities, for the purposes of financial gain, notoriety, or entertainment, and often to gain access to personally identifiable information (PII) and/or sensitive research. MS-­ISAC believes universities are inherently more vulnerable to cyber targeting than other state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities, due to the non-­restrictive research environment with less compartmentalization and less access restriction, which results in more opportunity for infection, and when infection occurs, easier transmission through a network.

(U//FOUO) DHS Intelligence Assessment: Damaging Cyber Attacks Possible but Not Likely Against the US Energy Sector

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This Assessment establishes a baseline analysis of cyber threats to the US energy sector based on comprehensive FY 2014 incident reporting data compiled by ICS-CERT, as well as reporting by the Intelligence Community (IC), private sector cybersecurity industry, and open source media between early 2011 and January 2016. This Assessment is designed to help close gaps between the private sector’s and the IC’s understanding of current cyber threats facing the US energy sector. Critical infrastructure owners and operators can use this analysis to better understand cyber threats facing the US energy sector and help focus defensive strategies and operations to mitigate these threats. The Assessment does not include an in-depth analysis of foreign cyber doctrines or nation-state red lines for conducting cyber attacks against the United States. The information cutoff date for this Assessment is January 2016.

FBI Cyber Bulletin: Global Extremists Conducting Cyber Activity in Support of ISIL

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Over the past 18-24 months, an unknown number of online extremists have conducted “hacktivist” cyber operations – primarily Web site defacements, denial-of-service attacks, and release of personally identifiable information (PII) in an effort to spread pro-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) propaganda and to incite violence against the United States and the West. Recent open source reporting from the Daily Mail India, indicates ISIL is recruiting Indian hackers and offering upwards of $10,000 USD per job to hack government Web sites, steal data, and to build social media databases for recruiting purposes. Indian officials believe as many as 30,000 hackers in India may have been contacted. The FBI cannot confirm the validity of the media reports, and beyond this single article on Indian hackers and ISIL, does not have information indicating any such relationship exists to date. The FBI assesses this activity is most likely independent of ISIL’s leaders located in Syria and Iraq.

Europol Cooperation with Non-Law Enforcement Partners in Combating Cybercrime

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The prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime calls for a close cooperation between partners from various sectors. The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol has gained practical experience in such forms of multi-disciplinary cooperation and aims to share some of this experience through this note as input for discussions at the Conference on Jurisdictions in Cyberspace on 7-8 March 2016, organised by the Dutch Presidency of the Council of European Union.

DHS Infrastructure Report: Consequences of Malicious Cyber Activity Against Seaports

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Unless cyber vulnerabilities are addressed, they will pose a significant risk to port facilities and aboard vessels within the Maritime Subsector. These potential vulnerabilities include limited cybersecurity training and preparedness, errors in software, inadequately protected commercial off-the-shelf technologies and legacy systems, network connectivity and interdependencies, software similarities, foreign dependencies, global positioning system jamming-spoofing, and insider threats.

DHS Report Details “Persistent” Cyber Targeting of Police, Emergency Services

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Cyber attacks against law enforcement, fire departments and other emergency services have become increasingly common and are likely to increase according to a recent intelligence assessment prepared by the Department of Homeland Security and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). The assessment, which was distributed to law enforcement in September 2015 and was obtained by Public Intelligence, reviewed a number of “cyber attacks against the [emergency services sector or ESS] between February 2012 and May 2015,” finding that “targeting of the ESS will likely increase as ESS systems and networks become more interconnected and the ESS becomes more dependent on information technology for the conduct of daily operations—creating a wider array of attack vectors for cyber targeting.”

(U//FOUO) DHS Assessment: Cyber Targeting of the US Emergency Services Sector Limited, But Persistent

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Cyber targeting of the ESS will likely increase as ESS systems and networks become more interconnected and the ESS becomes more dependent on information technology for the conduct of daily operations—creating a wider array of attack vectors for cyber targeting. Independent researchers have already reported on the widespread availability of vulnerabilities and attack vectors for critical hardware and software that is used in this sector extensively. Such vulnerable systems include call-center communications-management software, closed-circuit TV camera systems, interactive voice response systems, and emergency alert systems—particularly wireless emergency alert systems.