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While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have enjoyed meteoric popularity over the past several months, there are still many potential investors who remain skeptical. And one of the reasons for this skepticism is the ongoing concern about cryptocurrency security. Now that a second major hack of Ethereum has taken place within the span of one week, those concerns may have more traction, although it certainly hasn’t stopped many investors from shifting their attention to the digital money space.

Two High-Profile Hacks in Three Days

Ethereum suffered major losses because of two separate hacking incidents that occurred within three days of each other last week, according to a report by PC Gamer.

The second of the two robberies was the more substantial. It exploited a vulnerability in Parity, the digital wallet service popular among many Ethereum miners. Hackers stole about 153,000 Ether, the network’s native currency, with a value of about $34 million. The hackers stole this sum from three different multi-signature Ethereum wallets.

Gavin Wood, founder of Parity, issued a critical security notice in response to the hacking event. “A vulnerability in Parity Wallet’s variant of the standard multi-sig contract has been found,” he explained.

Wood then urged all Parity users to “immediately move assets contained in the multi-sig wallet to a secure address.” Simultaneously, hackers working to defend the network siphoned more than 377,000 additional Ether tokens to a safe space. The White Hat Group explained its actions in a post on Reddit, saying it would re-issue the funds back to owners once the vulnerability could be properly addressed.

CoinDash Exposes Another Entry Point for Hackers

The other hacking event, which occurred last week, exposes another point of concern with regard to crypto security. Hackers stole about $10.3 million in Ether from CoinDash, a popular exchange. In this case, the robbers may have simply replaced wallet addresses with a simple hack.

And yet, in spite of these and a number of other prominent thefts in recent months,

its seem to be showing no signs of slowing down in terms of growth.

The largest currencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, have appreciated 178% and 2,569%, respectively, so far in 2017, and the overall user base of cryptocurrencies worldwide is expanding at a significant pace. It could be that the risk of hacking and theft is simply not great enough in the minds of potential investors to convince them to stay away from a potentially lucrative investment.

PC Gamer suggests that the downfall of cryptocurrencies, if there is one at any time in the future, would more likely be because of a drop in the values of those currencies than due to concerns over possible theft of assets.

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AlphaBay,  one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods — that mysteriously went dark earlier this month without any explanation from its admins has reportedly been shut down by the international authorities.

On July 4th, the dark web marketplace suddenly went down without any explanation from its admins, which left its customers who have paid large sums in panic.

Some customers even suspected that the site’s admins had pulled an exit scam to steal user funds.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the disappearance of the AlphaBay came after authorities in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to conduct a series of raids and arrest Alexandre Cazes, who allegedly was one of the AlphaBay’s operators.

Citing_ “people familiar with the matter,”_ the publication claims that Cazes, a resident of Canada, was arrested in Thailand and taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5th, the same day the police executed two raids on residences in Quebec, Canada.

The 26-year-old Canadian citizen was awaiting extradition to the United States when a guard found him hanged in his jail cell on Wednesday, the Chiang Rai Times confirms. Cazes is believed to have hanged himself using a towel.

AlphaBay Market — one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods — that mysteriously went dark earlier this month without any explanation from its admins has reportedly been shut down by the international authorities.

On July 4th, the dark web marketplace suddenly went down without any explanation from its admins, which left its customers who have paid large sums in panic.

Some customers even suspected that the site’s admins had pulled an exit scam to steal user funds.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the disappearance of the AlphaBay came after authorities in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to conduct a series of raids and arrest Alexandre Cazes, who allegedly was one of the AlphaBay’s operators.

Citing_ “people familiar with the matter,”_ the publication claims that Cazes, a resident of Canada, was arrested in Thailand and taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5th, the same day the police executed two raids on residences in Quebec, Canada.

The 26-year-old Canadian citizen was awaiting extradition to the United States when a guard found him hanged in his jail cell on Wednesday, the Chiang Rai Times confirms. Cazes is believed to have hanged himself using a towel.

Cazes had been living in Thailand for nearly 8 years. During his arrest, authorities also seized “four Lamborghini cars and three houses worth about 400 million baht ($11.7 million) in total.”

AlphaBay, also known as “the new Silk Road,” also came in the news at the beginning of this year when a hacker successfully hacked the AlphaBay site and stole over 200,000 private unencrypted messages from several users.

After the disappearance of Silk Road, AlphaBay emerged in 2014 and became a leader among dark web marketplaces for selling illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit card numbers, exploits, and malware.

Unlike dark web market ‘Evolution’ that suddenly disappeared overnight from the Internet, stealing millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins from its customers, AlphaBay Market was shut down by the law enforcement, suffering the same fate as Silk Road.

Silk Road was shut down after the law enforcement raided its servers in 2013 and arrested its founder Ross William Ulbricht, who has been sentenced to life in prison.

The FBI also seized Bitcoins (worth about $33.6 million, at the time) from the site. Those Bitcoins were later sold in a series of auctions by the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

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Personal details of some 120 Million customers have been allegedly exposed on the Internet in probably the biggest breach of personal data ever in India.

Last night, an independent website named Magicapk.com went online, offering Reliance Jio customers to search for their identification data (Know Your Customer or KYC) just by typing in their Jio number.

Reliance set up the Jio 4G network across the length and breadth of India in September last year and gained more than 50 million subscribers within a span of just 83 days. The company gave seven months of free internet, unlimited calls, unlimited music to its subscribers.

Although the website that claimed to have hacked into Jio database is no longer accessible, many users confirmed their personal data showed up on the website, displaying their names, email addresses and most alarmingly, in some cases, Aadhaar numbers.

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every resident of India. This number is also used for enrolling for a SIM.

In response to the breach, Reliance Jio released a statement, saying that the claims are unverified and that the leaked data appears to be “unauthentic.”

“We have come across the unverified and unsubstantiated claims of the website and are investigating it. Prima facie, the data appears to be unauthentic,” a spokesperson said.

“We want to assure our subscribers that their data is safe and maintained with highest security. Data is only shared with authorities as per their requirement.”

The Jio spokesperson said the company has “informed law enforcement agencies about the claims of the website and will follow through to ensure strict action is taken.”

 

Breach Appears to be Authentic! But Doesn’t Affect All JIO Users

The Hacker News independently verified the leak for a few Jio numbers, and the data came out to be accurate for some Jio numbers, but not for all.Therefore, the data on the website seems to be authentic, but luckily some customers are spared–probably those who have been issued Jio SIM after the breach.

For obvious reasons, we are not naming the customers we tested on the website and found their identity leaked just by typing their mobile number. The leaked information includes:
First Name
Middle Name
Last Name
Mobile Number
Email-Id
Circle-Id
SIM Activation Date and Time
Aadhaar Number, in some cases Mobile numbers for other telecom operators in India, such as Vodafone and Airtel, did not work on the website.

 

Hackers Identity is Unknown Yet

The website was hosted by the web hosting company GoDaddy.com and was registered in May 2017, but so far it is not clear who owned the domain.

Also, it is not clear at this moment that how the hackers got access to sensitive data of Jio customers and was it Jio who got hacked or some third-party marketing company with whom the company shared its customer’s data.

Though there is very little victims (especially those who have exposed their Aadhaar number) can do to protect themselves from future attacks. Hackers holding their Aadhaar number can disguise their identities to carry out several frauds.

All Jio customers are highly recommended to be vigilant to unrequested calls asking for their further details or account passwords. No company asks for these details over phone calls or emails.

Victims should also particularly be alert of the Phishing emails, which are usually the next step of cyber criminals after a large-scale hack at any telecoms company. Phishing tricks users into giving up further personal details like passwords.

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An unpatched vulnerability in the Magento e-commerce platform could allow hackers to upload and execute malicious code on web servers that host online shops.

 

The flaw was discovered by researchers from security consultancy DefenseCode and is located in a feature that retrieves preview images for videos hosted on Vimeo. Such videos can be added to product listings in Magento.

 

The DefenseCode researchers determined that if the image URL points to a different file, for example a PHP script, Magento will download the file in order to validate it. If the file is not an image, the platform will return a “Disallowed file type” error, but won’t actually remove it from the server.

 

An attacker with access to exploit this flaw could achieve remote code execution by first tricking Magento to download an .htaccess configuration file that enables PHP execution inside the download directory and then downloading the malicious PHP file itself.

 

Once on the server, the PHP script can act as a backdoor and can be accessed from an external location by pointing the browser to it. For example, attackers could use it to browse the server directories and read the database password from Magento’s configuration file. This can expose customer information stored in the database, which in the case of online shops, can be very sensitive.

 

The only limitation is that this vulnerability cannot be exploited directly because the video-linking functionality requires authentication. This means attackers need to have access to an account on the targeted website, but this can be a lower-privileged user and not necessarily an administrator.

 

The authentication obstacle can also be easily overcome if the website doesn’t have the “Add Secret Key to URLs” option turned on. This option is intended to prevent cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks and is enabled by default.

 

CSRF is an attack technique that involves forcing a user’s browser to perform an unauthorized request on a website when visiting a different one.

 

“The attack can be constructed as simple as <img src=… in an email or a public message board, which will automatically trigger the arbitrary file upload if a user is currently logged into Magento,” the DefenseCode researchers said in an advisory. “An attacker can also entice the user to open a CSRF link using social engineering.”

 

This means that by simply clicking on a link in an email or by visiting a specifically crafted web page, users who have active Magento sessions in their browser might have their accounts abused to compromise websites.

 

The DefenseCode researchers claim that they’ve reported these issues to the Magento developers back in November, but received no information regarding patching plans since then.

 

Several versions of the Magento Community Edition (CE) have been released since November, the most recent one being 2.1.6 on Tuesday. According to DefenseCode, all Magento CE versions continue to be vulnerable, which is what prompted them to go public about the flaw.

 

“We have been actively investigating the root cause of the reported issue and are not aware of any attacks in the wild,” Magento, the company that oversees development of the e-commerce platform, said in an emailed statement. “We will be addressing the issue in our next patch release and continue to consistently work to improve our assurance processes.”

“All users are strongly advised to enforce the use of ‘Add Secret Key to URLs’ which mitigates the CSRF attack vector,” the DefenseCode researchers said. “To prevent remote code execution through arbitrary file upload the server should be configured to disallow .htaccess files in affected directories.”

 

Magento is used by over 250,000 online retailers, making it an attractive target for hackers. Last year, researchers found thousands of Magento-based online shops that had been compromised and infected with malicious code that skimmed payment card details.

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Microsoft released its monthly security-patch bundle Tuesday, fixing 45 unique vulnerabilities, three of which are publicly known and targeted by hackers.

The top priority this month should be given to the Microsoft Office security update because one of the fixed flaws has been actively exploited by attackers since January to infect computers with malware. Over the past few days this vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2017-0199, has seen widespread exploitation.

The CVE-2017-0199 vulnerability can be exploited through maliciously crafted RTF (Rich Text Format) documents when such documents are opened with either Microsoft Word or WordPad. Because WordPad is bundled with Windows by default, a patch for this flaw is also included in the security updates for Windows.
According to security vendor Qualys, the next priority should go to the updates for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge browsers. These update address several remote code execution vulnerabilities.

One flaw patched in IE allows attackers to bypass the cross-domain policies enforced by the browser. The flaw makes it possible to take information from one domain and inject it into another, violating an important security barrier.

Microsoft’s notes for this vulnerability mention that it has already been exploited in the wild, but don’t include other details about the attacks.

Critical vulnerabilities have also been patched in Hyper-V, Microsoft’s virtualization hypervisor that’s included in Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016, as well as in Windows 8.1 and 10. These vulnerabilities can allow applications running inside a guest operating system to escape the virtual machine and execute malicious code on the host OS.

Finally, a remote code execution vulnerability has been fixed in the Microsoft .NET Framework. This flaw potentially can be exploited by attackers to take complete control of a system running a vulnerable deployment of the framework.

Microsoft has also released a defense-in-depth update for Microsoft Office that disables the Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) filter by default. That’s because the company is aware of limited, targeted attacks that try to take advantage of an unpatched vulnerability in this filter.

The Microsoft updates also include third-party critical patches for Flash Player, which is bundled with Internet Explorer 11 and Edge.

This Patch Tuesday bundle is also notable because it marks the end of support for Windows Vista, which will no longer receive security updates after this round of patches.

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March 13, 2017

Talos has observed a new Apache vulnerability that is being actively exploited in the wild. The vulnerability (CVE-2017-5638) is a remote code execution bug that affects the Jakarta Multipart parser in Apache Struts, referenced in this security advisory. Talos began investigating for exploitation attempts and found a high number of exploitation events. The majority of the exploitation attempts seem to be leveraging a publicly released PoC that is being used to run various commands. Talos has observed simple commands  as well as more sophisticated commands including pulling down a malicious ELF executable and execution.

With exploitation actively underway Talos recommends immediate upgrading if possible or following the work around referenced in the above security advisory.
Exploitation Attempts

In searching through data Talos was able to find ample examples of the vulnerability being targeted and detection was covered by signatures that were released on 3/7/2017 (41818, 41819).

 

Vulnerability Analysis

 

Apache uses org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.multipart.JakartaMultiPartRequest to upload file.

 

 

In the exploit, #nike=’multipart/form-data’ will make the expression as true. Then function getMultiPartRequest() will be executed. It will configure struts.multipart.parser attribute using org.apache.struts2.dispatcher.multipart.JakartaMultiPartRequest.

 

 

The struts.multipart.parser used by the fileUpload interceptor to handle HTTP POST requests, encoded using the MIME-type multipart/form-data, can be changed out. Currently there are two choices, jakarta and pell. The jakarta parser is a standard part of the Struts 2 framework and needs only its required libraries added to a project. The pell parser uses Jason Pell’s multipart parser instead of the Commons-FileUpload library. The pell parser is a Struts 2 plugin, for more details see: pell multipart plugin. There was a third alternative, cos, but it was removed due to licensing incompatibilities.

 

 

Finally, Struts2 uses LocalizedTextUtil.findText in function buildErrorMessage to build the error message while the exploit takes advantage of LocalizedTextUtil.findText to execute OGNL commands.

 

 

Simple Probing

Below is an example of some simple probing attacks that are ongoing just checking to see if a system is vulnerable by executing a simple Linux based command.

 

 

Running the PoC will create a text file in /tmp folder in the target:

 

 

Attack Mitigation

One way to mitigate these targeted attacks is via Apache Struts patches. Patching the web server can be a never-ending race. New patches are released much faster than organizations can run them through staging, testing and then push them into production. An alternative solution is virtual patching through an external security tool like a Web Application Firewall (WAF), which provides immediate protection to the web servers and applications maintaining business continuity while the right patch is developed, staged and tested.

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February 6, 2017

 

Last weekend a security researcher publically disclosed a zero-day vulnerability in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Server editions after Microsoft failed to patch it in the past three months.

 

The zero-day memory corruption flaw resides in the implementation of the SMB (server message block) network file sharing protocol that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to crash systems with denial of service attack, which would then open them to more possible attacks.

 

According to US-CERT, the vulnerability could also be exploited to execute arbitrary code with Windows kernel privileges on vulnerable systems, but this has not been confirmed right now by Microsoft.

 

Without revealing the actual scope of the vulnerability and the kind of threat the exploit poses, Microsoft has just downplayed the severity of the issue, saying:

 

“Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues, and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible. We recommend customers use Windows 10 and the Microsoft Edge browser for the best protection.”

 

However, the proof-of-concept exploit code, Win10.py, has already been released publicly for Windows 10 by security researcher Laurent Gaffie and does not require targets to use a browser.

 

The memory corruption flaw resides in the manner in which Windows handles SMB traffic that could be exploited by attackers; all they need is tricking victims to connect to a malicious SMB server, which could be easily done using clever social engineering tricks.

 

“In particular, Windows fails to properly handle a server response that contains too many bytes following the structure defined in the SMB2 TREE_CONNECT Response structure,” CERT said in the advisory.

 

“By connecting to a malicious SMB server, a vulnerable Windows client system may crash (BSOD) in mrxsmb20.sys.”
Since the exploit code is now publicly available to everyone and there is no official patch from Microsoft, all Windows users are left open to potential attacks at this time.

 

Until Microsoft patches the memory corruption flaw (most probably in the upcoming Windows update or out-of-band patch), Windows users can temporarily fix the issue by blocking outbound SMB connections (TCP ports 139 and 445 and UDP ports 137 and 138) from the local network to the WAN.

 

The vulnerability has been given Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 7.8. Proof-of-concept code has been published on GitHub.

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February 5, 2017

 

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has discovered a zero-day vulnerability in the SMB service of Microsoft Windows which lets attackers carry out Denial of Service attacks and crash the entire system leading to Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

 

CERT’s advisory specifies that “by connecting to a malicious SMB server (Server Message Block), a vulnerable Windows client system may crash BSOD in mrxsmb20.sys.”

 

Furthermore, using this vulnerability, an attacker can launch all sorts of attacks such as executing arbitrary code. This vulnerability makes Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 exposed to exploitation and may also affect the Windows Server systems.

 

The advisory also states that Microsoft Windows has failed to handle traffic coming from a malicious or infected server properly and also it cannot handle server response that contains too many bytes “following the structure defined in the SMB2 TREE_CONNECT Response structure.”

 

The CERT team also reproduced the attack method by conducting a denial of service attack onto computers running patched versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. However, the team could not successfully run arbitrary code.

https://t.co/xAsDOY54yl

 

 

The problem may worsen now since the exploit code that may let attackers take advantage of this zero-day vulnerability is already available online and therefore, a patch for the flaw is required badly. Until then, US-CERT cannot provide a solution to keep the users safe. It, however, has provided a temporary fix in the form of blocking outbound SMB connections on the local network.

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WordPress is one of the most used content management system (CMS) in the world. So when there is a security flaw in its system, it affects millions of users on the Internet. That is exactly what has been discovered by security researchers at Sucuri, an Internet security company which revealed that WordPress websites are vulnerable to a critical and easily exploitable zero-day Content Injection vulnerability.

Sucuri found a Content Injection or Privilege Escalation vulnerability affecting the REST API allowing an attacker to modify the content of any post or page within a WordPress site. However, there is good news since Sucuri discretely reported the vulnerability to WordPress security team who handled the matter professionally and informed as many security providers and hosts and implemented a patch before this became public.
If you are using WordPress on your website the only way you may be at risk is if you have not updated your WordPress to the latest version 4.7.2. The update was issued on January 26th.

In their blog post, Marc Alexandre Montpas from Sucuri stated that “This privilege escalation vulnerability affects the WordPress REST API that was recently added and enabled by default on WordPress 4.7.0. One of these REST endpoints allows access (via the API) to view, edit, delete and create posts. Within this particular endpoint, a subtle bug allows visitors to edit any post on the site. The REST API is enabled by default on all sites using WordPress 4.7.0 or 4.7.1. If your website is on these versions of WordPress, then it is currently vulnerable to this bug.”

Montpas further stated that “This is a serious vulnerability that can be misused in different ways to compromise a vulnerable site. We are hiding some technical details to make it harder for the bad guys, but depending on the plugins installed on a site, it can lead to a RCE (remote command execution). Also, even though the content is passed through wp_kses, there are ways to inject Javascript and HTML through it. Update now!”

If you or your friends are using WordPress, it is highly advisable to update your website and inform others about the issue so they can also update their WordPress to the latest version.

WordPress has also acknowledged the issue and published a blog post earlier today urging users to update their WordPress since it poses a “severe security risk” for users.

 

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January 9, 2017

 

Groups of attackers have adopted a new tactic that involves deleting publicly exposed MongoDB databases and asking for money to restore them. In a matter of days, the number of affected databases has risen from hundreds to more than 10,000.

 

The issue of misconfigured MongoDB installations, allowing anyone on the internet to access sensitive data, is not new. Researchers have been finding such open databases for years, and the latest estimate puts their number at more than 99,000.

 

On Monday, security researcher Victor Gevers from the GDI Foundation reported that he found almost 200 instances of publicly exposed MongoDB databases that had been wiped and held to ransom by an attacker or a group of attackers named Harak1r1.

 

The attackers left a message behind for the database administrators asking for 0.2 bitcoins (around US $180) to return the data.

 

A day later, the number of databases wiped by Harak1r1 had reached 2,500 and by Friday, more than 8,600 had been affected and contained the ransom message.

 

In addition, other attackers have joined the scheme, researchers counting at least five groups with different ransom messages so far. Together, the groups deleted 10,500 databases, and in some cases, they’ve replaced each other’s ransom messages.

 

The bad news is that most of them don’t even bother copying the data before deleting it, so even if the victims decide to pay, there’s a high chance they won’t get their information back.

 

Gevers said he has helped some victims and there was no evidence in the logs that the data had been exfiltrated. He advises affected database owners not to pay and to get help from security professionals.

 

MongoDB administrators are advised to follow the steps on the security checklist from the MongoDB documentation in order to lock down their deployments and prevent unauthorized access.

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