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Cybersecurity News & Trends – 06-16-2023

It’s the middle of June already – 2023 is flying by. Don’t let the summer fly by without checking out the 2023 Cyber Threat Report: We’ll be releasing the mid-year update at the end of July.

In industry news, Dark Reading has the lowdown on a first-of-its-kind ransomware attack. The LockBit ransomware gang is making headlines this week with Bleeping Computer covering a global report targeting the threat group and CyberScoop shedding light on a recent arrest in Arizona that’s connected to the gang. TechCrunch provided details on a report from the U.S. government about how it purchases and uses commercial data.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled – cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

How Healthcare Organizations Are Looking at the Big Picture of Device Security

Health Tech, SonicWall News: Healthcare was the second most targeted industry for malware last year, according to SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report. Internet of Things (IoT) malware attacks in healthcare increased 33 percent.

The Capita data breach explained

Verdict, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya from SonicWall told Verdict the recent data breach happened due to an exposed “Amazon S3 bucket”.

Chavoya explains that they are able to be “accessed, altered, or even deleted by anyone who knows where to look and that breaks the core tenants of confidentiality integrity, and availability. However, sometimes, in the process of configuring a bucket, someone might unintentionally set the permissions to allow public access,” Chavoya said.

“For example, they might be trying to make it easier for a team to share files, or they might not realize the implications of making a bucket public,” Chavoya explained. “Unfortunately if sensitive data is stored in the bucket – which it was in this case, this can lead to a data breach. Therefore, it’s crucial to properly configure S3 bucket permissions and regularly review them to ensure they are still appropriately configured.”

How Generative AI Will Remake Cybersecurity

eSecurity Planet, SonicWall News: There are the potential data privacy concerns arising due to the collection and storage of sensitive data by these models,” said Peter Burke, who is the Chief Product Officer at SonicWall. Those concerns have caused companies like JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo and Samsung to ban or limit the use of LLMs. There are also some major technical challenges limiting LLM use.

“Another factor to consider is the requirement for robust network connectivity, which might pose a challenge for remote or mobile devices,” said Burke. “Besides, there may be compatibility issues with legacy systems that need to be addressed. Additionally, these technologies may require ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal performance and protection against emerging threats.”

Companies Turn to Behavior-Based Cybersecurity Training to Stem Tide of Security Breaches

CIO Influence, SonicWall News: According to Glair, a company will never be able to train every person to spot every threat. That comes down to the sheer volume of novel threats being created. In fact, in the first half of 2022, SonicWall detected 270,228 never-before-seen malware variants. That’s an average of 1,500 new variants per day.

U.S.-South Korea Forge Strategic Cybersecurity Framework

Security Boulevard, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, SonicWall’s emerging threat expert, noted that the accord ushered in a new approach to cybersecurity that is based on cooperation and information sharing. “The introduction of a U.S./South Korea ‘Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework’ fundamentally alters the global cybersecurity landscape. It exemplifies a shift from siloed defenses to collective global security, fortifying the digital ecosystem against threats by pooling resources, intelligence and expertise,” Chavoya said. “This sends a message to nation-state actors like DPRK: The world’s cyberdefenders are uniting against threat actors who leverage our digital interconnectedness to disrupt our daily lives, making every digital interaction a new front line in this asymmetric war. As we often say, the best offense is a good defense—and in this case, it’s a defense extending traditional alliances across continents and cyberspace alike.”

Cyber Insurers May Want To Rethink Ransom Payments Based On This New Data

CRN, SonicWall News: In many cases, these “extortion-only” attacks are a more lucrative and easier alternative to the process of encryption and negotiation that’s involved in a typical ransomware attack, CrowdStrike’s threat intelligence head told CRN recently. SonicWall, meanwhile, cited extortion-only groups including Lapsus$ and Karakurt as further evidence of the trend.

Cryptomining group traced to Indonesia uses compromised AWS accounts

The Record, SonicWall News: Despite falling digital asset prices, cryptojacking reached record levels in 2022, according to research from cybersecurity firm SonicWall.

Rouble Malik Sheds Light On The Rising Threat Of Cybersecurity Attacks On Smes And Advocates Stronger Protective Measures

TechBullion, SonicWall News: The 2022 Cybersecurity Threat Report by SonicWall indicates a 62% increase in global ransomware attacks, demonstrating the evolving sophistication and prevalence of malware-based threats.

Capita tells pension provider to ‘assume’ 500,000 customers’ data stolen

ITPro, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, senior manager of product security at SonicWall told ITPro that the latest update highlights the potential long-term impact that this breach could have on Capita partner organizations.

The outsourcing giant provides services for both public and private sector clients, including the UK Ministry of Defence. “Cyber attacks such as the one on Capita require a bit of long-tail analysis to capture a clear understanding of impact, but what is known is that the ripple effect of a cyber attack like the one on Capita can be far-reaching, extending beyond the organization itself to shake customer trust, disrupt essential services, and reverberate throughout communities.”

10 Best Firewalls for Small & Medium Business Networks in 2023

Enterprise Networking Planet, SonicWall News: The SonicWall TZ400 is a mid-range, enterprise-grade security firewall designed to protect small to midsize businesses. It supports up to 150,000 maximum connections, 6,000 new connections per second, and 7×1-Gbe. The TZ400 features 1.3 Gbps firewall inspection throughput, 1.2 Gbps application inspection throughput, 900 Mbps IPS throughput, 900 Mbps VPN throughput, and 600 Mbps threat prevention throughput.

Connecting a home can be a headache: some smart devices still don’t integrate and are a prime target for cybercriminals

Gearrice, SonicWall News: In the case of the connected house, precisely cyberattacks on smart home devices increased 87% globally last year according to data from SonicWall, which places the Smart Home as the segment with the highest growth within the set of malware.

2023 SC Awards Finalists: Best SME Security Solution

SC Magazine, SonicWall News: SonicWall’s next-generation firewall, the SonicWall TZ, which offers converged network security, multi-gigabit interfaces, TLS 1.3, and 5G readiness while providing high-speed threat prevention. This firewall has superior technology, next-gen hardware and SonicOS 7.0 support, enhanced features, and groundbreaking performance.

Industry News

0mega Ransomware Gang Pulls Off First-of-its-kind Attack

A ransomware group named 0mega has completed an attack against a company’s SharePoint Online environment without using a compromised endpoint. This is bad news for companies who have been pouring money into endpoint protections in the hopes of thwarting ransomware attacks – this attack proves that these criminals can complete an attack without ever compromising an endpoint. The attack was pulled off by the gang using some weakly secured administrator credentials they acquired. After infiltrating, the threat group exfiltrated data from the company’s SharePoint environment and then used that data to extort them. The CPO at the security firm that discovered the attack said this attack shows that strong endpoint security isn’t enough. With many companies storing data in online Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) programs, this type of attack may become more common although this attack appears to be the first of its kind. 0mega completed the attack by using the stolen credentials to create an Active Directory user named ‘0mega’ and giving it all of the permissions needed to turn the unnamed company’s day upside down. Many cybersecurity researchers are noticing an uptick in SaaS attacks. Organizations can protect themselves by being proactive, creating strict MFA policies and ensuring they have robust risk management tools in place across their SaaS environments.

LockBit Ransomware Gang Extorted Over $90 million from 1,700 Attacks in the US

Cybersecurity authorities from the United States and around the world issued a joint advisory on the notorious LockBit ransomware gang stating that the gang had extorted $91 million in 1,700 attacks on organizations in the U.S. since 2020. The advisory also noted that LockBit was the most deployed ransomware variant in 2022 and continues to be widespread in 2023. According to Bleeping Computer, LockBit has released two major new versions of its Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) tool since 2019 and is currently on LockBit 3.0. Since releasing LockBit 3.0, the gang has committed multiple high-profile attacks using the upgraded tools and extortion tactics in the newest version. The advisory released this week by CISA includes tips, tools and tactics to help organizations protect themselves from LockBit.

Russian Member of LockBit Ransomware Gang Arrested in Arizona

A 20-year-old man named Ruslan Magomedovich Astamirov was arrested in Arizona this week following his involvement in multiple attacks with the LockBit ransomware gang. The man allegedly participated in attacks against the United States, Asia, Europe and Africa. Astamirov’s case will be tried in New Jersey where the cases of two other men involved with LockBit are being handled. Prosecutors filed a complaint accusing Astamirov of owning and controlling IP addresses, email addresses and a cloud services account that were found to be connected to LockBit’s attacks. This is the latest development in what has become a global crackdown on the LockBit ransomware gang with CISA and global law enforcement agencies releasing a joint document this week specifically to combat LockBit. Let’s hope they can continue to have success with bringing these threat actors to justice.

The US Government Buys Your Data in Bulk

A recently declassified government report confirms something people have been wondering about for years now – yes, the United States government does purchase your personal data. The report notes that various U.S. intelligence and spy agencies purchase huge amounts of data on American citizens including web browser data, smartphone data and data from connected vehicles. In the report, the U.S. government itself states that this is a significant issue for citizens’ privacy and civil liberties. While it’s unknown exactly which agencies are buying this data and for what purpose, we do have at least one example. The Internal Revenue Service apparently purchases the location data of millions of Americans in order to catch people cheating on their taxes. The Department of Homeland Security purchases the same type of information to enforce immigration laws. While it isn’t necessarily shocking that the U.S. government is collecting this data, it’s worth noting that typically a search warrant is required for the government to obtain this type of data on an individual. Now it can just load up its proverbial shopping cart with your data and flip through it like the morning news.

SonicWall Blog

The Dangers of Zero-Days in Popular Products – Ken Dang

Is Red/Blue Teaming Right for Your Network? – Stephan Kaiser

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security – Tiju Cherian

Four SonicWall Employees Featured on CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel List – Bret Fitzgerald

NSv Series and AWS GovCloud: Facilitating Government’s Move to the Cloud – Tiju Cherian

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report, Day 1: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

The Dangers of Zero-Days in Popular Products

In recent years, we have witnessed cybercriminals targeting technology vendors at an alarming rate. Their quest to find a way to breach one entity to access many others is the ultimate prize. Some threat actors are increasingly focusing on moving upstream into the global supply chains of software and hardware components, targeting the build process to increase the impact of an attack. These “supply-chain attacks,” such as the SolarWinds breach of 2020, can be devastating.

Similarly, some attackers are focusing on finding and exploiting weaknesses already present in widely used products and solutions. The latest of such attacks is currently tracking as CVE-2023-2868 with a CVSS severity score of 9.8/10. While not the result of a supply-chain attack itself, this highly critical vulnerability follows the hallmarks of previous well-recognized supply chain attacks, including 3CXDesktop App (2023)Kaseya VSA (2021), SolarWinds (2020), Asus Live Update Utility (2018), and NotPetya Ransomware (2017).

Much has been written in the past two weeks on this publicly known vulnerability. But this blog highlights the nature of the vulnerability, why it should matter to you even if the affected product is not in your network, and what you can do to minimize your exposure to similar attacks in the future.

To help you with that, we highlighted several critical strategies for consideration below, which included components of a Business Impact Plan (BIP), a vendor management program, and an incident response playbook.

What is CVE-2023-2868?

In the case of CVE-2023-2868, a threat actor exploited the target security vendor’s SMTP daemon software components with a new weaponized vulnerability. This attacker successfully injected and executed a uniquely crafted payload containing backdoor functionalities and a reverse shell tool to gain remote access to the vendor’s affected systems, which are deployed at an undisclosed number of client networks. As a result, persistence mechanisms were established on infected devices for eight months before discovery. These mechanisms include system manipulation with backdoor command and control (C2) operations, tunneling capabilities to obfuscate C2 communication channels and exfiltration of clients’ sensitive data from affected vendor systems without detection.

For our technical-minded readers, you’ll appreciate the nature of this exploit for its sophistication and impact on the various parts of the target vendor’s software stack. To help us keep track of the effects, the vendor assigned codenames SALTWATER, SEASIDE, and SEASPY to inform you of identified indicators of compromise (IOC) as it continues its investigation and remediation. Moreover, to aid clients’ incident response teams in investigating their environments, a series of YARA rules and lists of observed endpoints and network IOC is publicly published.

Malicious payloads with advanced backdoor and reverse shell features — such as we’re seeing with UNC4841’s SALTWATER, SEASPY and SEASIDE attacks — are popular because they can bypass firewall filters, initiate persistent connections from inside the target network and obfuscate C2 traffic from intrusion scanners. These features make such exploits all the more dangerous.

Why should this matter to you?

What we can learn from the CVE-2023-2868 incident is that sometimes there’s no easy remediation. The vendor is unable to adequately remediate actions taken by the threat actors while the appliances are in the field, creating a vicious cycle that could impact your organization — even if you think you’re safe.

You may know for sure that the affected products aren’t present in your own environment. But do you know that they aren’t present in the networks of your vendors? What about the organizations that hold your data in SaaS platforms: Is your data impacted there?

Combined with supply chain attacks, the ongoing exploitation of this vulnerability and ones like it demonstrates how interconnected — and fragile — all of our networks truly are. Even if you’re able to confirm this vulnerability can’t affect you in any way, it’s only a matter of time before another high-quality, zero-day vulnerability is discovered. Once it’s found and weaponized, there’s a thriving marketplace with brokers and buyers waiting to acquire it. Where a zero-day vulnerability with a fully verified proof-of-concept (POC) exploit ends up rests entirely at the creator’s discretion. The odds of it falling into the hands of threat actors looking for a big return are a near-certainty.

Taking this as fair warning should encourage us to establish processes to regularly assess and improve our security capabilities and vendor vetting practices.

What actions should you take to manage the risk and impact?

As threat actors continue to shift away from targeting specific organizations and toward targeting supply chains and popular products, we must evolve our security response capabilities to manage the risk and impact that could stem from our technology stack.  Here are some key strategies that you can implement at your discretion and as your budget allows:

Develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) or Business Impact Plan (BIP) to comprehend the impact of a complete business disruption. Components of these plans can include:

  • Mapping of all assets that product-based and supply-chain attacks can impact
  • Conducting security pen testing to profile your technology risks
  • Identifying the necessary resources, such as personnel and technology, needed for remediation, recovery and continuity of all business functions
  • Determining the acceptable downtime or recovery time after the impact
  • Describing the testing frequency and processes for updating and maintaining the plan to ensure its relevance over time
  • Specifying record-keeping practices and reporting mechanisms to document the findings, actions and lessons learned from an incident
  • Outlining the training programs and awareness campaigns to educate employees and stakeholders about the Business Impact Plan, their roles and the actions needed to respond to disruptions

Execute a vendor management program that encompasses:

  • Adopting the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework to help you assess, uncover and mitigate potential risks within your supply chain
  • Executing a clear and comprehensive agreement outlining specific security requirements and expectations involving vulnerability assessments, security controls and incident response protocols
  • Putting into motion a regular cadence for auditing and evaluating suppliers’ security development practices, Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) procedures and supply-chain management processes

Establish an incident response playbook and run practice simulations to curtail the impact by:

  • Following the NIST Response Framework as a procedural guide
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities of the incident response team
  • Defining the decision hierarchy and escalation process
  • Setting clear communication protocols up and down the organization chain
  • Sharing and receiving information regarding new vulnerabilities and remediation procedures to collectively strengthen supply-chain security
  • Putting necessary tools in place to help hunt indicators of compromise (IOC) and identify and isolate affected systems

Alternatively, you can outsource the incident response tasks to a third-party threat management service provider to augment your in-house security team. Find a company with experience using the MITRE ATT&CK framework to increase the effectiveness of its threat-hunting activities.

Up your threat detection capabilities by:

  • Deploying an intrusion detection/prevention system (IDP/IPS) to hunt for indicators of compromise (IoCs) such as unexpected data transfers, unauthorized access attempts, or unusual system behavior.
  • Implement continuous monitoring and log analysis to identify any suspicious activities or unauthorized access attempts.

At no cost, get threat feeds and free tools from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

  • Sign up for alerts to be notified whenever a new vulnerability has been added
  • Apply the workflow below to help you determine if the new vulnerability directly impacts your organization
  • Determine whether there are weaknesses in your defense against that vulnerability
  • Utilize SonicWall Capture Client’s ability to scan hosts for vulnerabilities. Alternately, you can leverage this free security scanning tool to uncover software bugs and configuration problems that you need to address

A chart that shows how you can maintain continuous awareness with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

This shouldn’t be taken as an all-inclusive list: Given the complexity of both today’s threat landscape and many of the networks at risk from it, there will almost certainly be things left to do in order to secure your specific environment. But taking the steps outlined above will put you in a vastly better position to prevent and combat attacks such as the ones exploiting CVE-2023-2868.

SonicWall, like other cybersecurity vendors, is working to ensure greater security on our end, as well. We are acutely aware that, even with over 30 years of maturity and experience in the security industry, we’re not immune to attacks targeting popular products. That’s why we’re committed to incorporating every possible security best practice, including PSIRT and Shift-Left secure software development processes, into each stage of our development and design cycles to earn and maintain our customer’s confidence and trust when using our technologies.

Contact us to explore how we can strengthen your defense against supply-chain and product-based threats.

Cybersecurity News & Trends – 06-09-2023

Break out the flip-flops and beach towels — summer is almost here. If threat actors are UV rays, the 2023 Cyber Threat Report is high-grade sunscreen. Don’t let yourself get burned.

In industry news, the Cl0p ransomware gang took credit for the MOVEit Transfer attacks in a note to Bleeping Computer. TechCrunch has the scoop on scammers uploading hacking advertisements to government and education websites. Dark Reading has the lowdown on ChatGPT’s hallucinations and a malware targeting Minecraft mod packs.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled — cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

How Healthcare Organizations Are Looking at the Big Picture of Device Security

Health Tech, SonicWall News: Healthcare was the second most targeted industry for malware last year, according to SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report. Internet of Things (IoT) malware attacks in healthcare increased 33 percent.

The Capita data breach explained

Verdict, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya from SonicWall told Verdict the recent data breach happened due to an exposed “Amazon S3 bucket.”

Chavoya explains that they are able to be “accessed, altered, or even deleted by anyone who knows where to look and that breaks the core tenants of confidentiality integrity, and availability. However, sometimes, in the process of configuring a bucket, someone might unintentionally set the permissions to allow public access,” Chavoya said.

“For example, they might be trying to make it easier for a team to share files, or they might not realize the implications of making a bucket public,” Chavoya explained. “Unfortunately if sensitive data is stored in the bucket – which it was in this case, this can lead to a data breach. Therefore, it’s crucial to properly configure S3 bucket permissions and regularly review them to ensure they are still appropriately configured.”

How Generative AI Will Remake Cybersecurity

eSecurity Planet, SonicWall News: There are the potential data privacy concerns arising due to the collection and storage of sensitive data by these models,” said Peter Burke, who is the Chief Product Officer at SonicWall. Those concerns have caused companies like JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo and Samsung to ban or limit the use of LLMs. There are also some major technical challenges limiting LLM use.

“Another factor to consider is the requirement for robust network connectivity, which might pose a challenge for remote or mobile devices,” said Burke. “Besides, there may be compatibility issues with legacy systems that need to be addressed. Additionally, these technologies may require ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal performance and protection against emerging threats.”

Companies Turn to Behavior-Based Cybersecurity Training to Stem Tide of Security Breaches

CIO Influence, SonicWall News: According to Glair, a company will never be able to train every person to spot every threat. That comes down to the sheer volume of novel threats being created. In fact, in the first half of 2022, SonicWall detected 270,228 never-before-seen malware variants. That’s an average of 1,500 new variants per day.

U.S.-South Korea Forge Strategic Cybersecurity Framework

Security Boulevard, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, SonicWall’s emerging threat expert, noted that the accord ushered in a new approach to cybersecurity that is based on cooperation and information sharing. “The introduction of a U.S./South Korea ‘Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework’ fundamentally alters the global cybersecurity landscape. It exemplifies a shift from siloed defenses to collective global security, fortifying the digital ecosystem against threats by pooling resources, intelligence and expertise,” Chavoya said. “This sends a message to nation-state actors like DPRK: The world’s cyberdefenders are uniting against threat actors who leverage our digital interconnectedness to disrupt our daily lives, making every digital interaction a new front line in this asymmetric war. As we often say, the best offense is a good defense—and in this case, it’s a defense extending traditional alliances across continents and cyberspace alike.”

Cyber Insurers May Want To Rethink Ransom Payments Based On This New Data

CRN, SonicWall News: In many cases, these “extortion-only” attacks are a more lucrative and easier alternative to the process of encryption and negotiation that’s involved in a typical ransomware attack, CrowdStrike’s threat intelligence head told CRN recently. SonicWall, meanwhile, cited extortion-only groups including Lapsus$ and Karakurt as further evidence of the trend.

Cryptomining group traced to Indonesia uses compromised AWS accounts

The Record, SonicWall News: Despite falling digital asset prices, cryptojacking reached record levels in 2022, according to research from cybersecurity firm SonicWall.

Rouble Malik Sheds Light On The Rising Threat Of Cybersecurity Attacks On Smes And Advocates Stronger Protective Measures

TechBullion, SonicWall News: The 2022 Cybersecurity Threat Report by SonicWall indicates a 62% increase in global ransomware attacks, demonstrating the evolving sophistication and prevalence of malware-based threats.

Capita tells pension provider to ‘assume’ 500,000 customers’ data stolen

ITPro, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, senior manager of product security at SonicWall told ITPro that the latest update highlights the potential long-term impact that this breach could have on Capita partner organizations.

The outsourcing giant provides services for both public and private sector clients, including the UK Ministry of Defence. “Cyber attacks such as the one on Capita require a bit of long-tail analysis to capture a clear understanding of impact, but what is known is that the ripple effect of a cyber attack like the one on Capita can be far-reaching, extending beyond the organization itself to shake customer trust, disrupt essential services, and reverberate throughout communities.”

10 Best Firewalls for Small & Medium Business Networks in 2023

Enterprise Networking Planet, SonicWall News: The SonicWall TZ400 is a mid-range, enterprise-grade security firewall designed to protect small to midsize businesses. It supports up to 150,000 maximum connections, 6,000 new connections per second, and 7×1-Gbe. The TZ400 features 1.3 Gbps firewall inspection throughput, 1.2 Gbps application inspection throughput, 900 Mbps IPS throughput, 900 Mbps VPN throughput, and 600 Mbps threat prevention throughput.

Connecting a home can be a headache: some smart devices still don’t integrate and are a prime target for cybercriminals

Gearrice, SonicWall News: In the case of the connected house, precisely cyberattacks on smart home devices increased 87% globally last year according to data from SonicWall, which places the Smart Home as the segment with the highest growth within the set of malware.

2023 SC Awards Finalists: Best SME Security Solution

SC Magazine, SonicWall News: SonicWall’s next-generation firewall, the SonicWall TZ, which offers converged network security, multi-gigabit interfaces, TLS 1.3, and 5G readiness while providing high-speed threat prevention. This firewall has superior technology, next-gen hardware and SonicOS 7.0 support, enhanced features, and groundbreaking performance.

Industry News

Cl0p Ransomware Gang Takes Responsibility for MOVEit File Transfer Attacks

Clop ransomware gang has stepped forward to take credit for the MOVEit Transfer data theft attacks. A representative of the gang contacted Bleeping Computer and took credit for the attacks. The threat actor confirmed that Clop had started exploiting the zero-day vulnerability on May 27 during the Memorial Day holiday in the United States. This isn’t an uncommon tactic for Clop – they previously started a zero-day attack on December 23 of 2020 using the Christmas holiday as a starting point. During holidays staffs are typically more minimal making it more difficult for companies to respond to cyber threats. The gang also confirmed that they haven’t yet started extorting their victims which means for now we still have no idea who most of the victims are or what exactly Clop stole from them. Interestingly, Clop claims that it deleted any data stolen from the military, government and children’s hospitals during these attacks.

Funky ChatGPT Issue Could Open Developers to Supply Chain Malware Attacks

ChatGPT suffers from occasional hallucinations. For artificial intelligence, these hallucinations occur when the bot provides an answer consisting of insufficient or false information. Threat actors have figured out how to leverage these hallucinations to get ChatGPT users to inadvertently download malicious packages recommended by the chatbot. The researchers who discovered this flaw proved this by creating a scenario using ChatGPT 3.5 where an attacker asked the chatbot a to solve a coding problem and ChatGPT responded with a number of packages that did not exist. The attacker then uploads a malicious package with the same name as the ChatGPT hallucinated file. Next time ChatGPT recommends the package, the malicious file is then recommended to users. To prevent being hit with one of these malicious packages, developers need to validate the libraries they download and make sure they aren’t malware in disguise.

Fractureiser Malware Making Minecraft Mods Malevolent

Minecraft players should be taking extra precautions when installing any new mods or plugins due to a worm virus called “Fractureiser” infecting some popular mod packs and plugins for the beloved game. The GitHub repository for Fractureiser categorized it as “incredibly dangerous” and noted that anyone who has their system infected by the malware should assume their machine is completely compromised. CurseForge, a popular site for Minecraft mods, stated that its team is working on a fix and noted that it has suspended the accounts linked to the malware. Any Minecraft players that want to make sure they haven’t been exposed can follow a list of detailed instructions on GitHub to look for signs of infection and get the next steps for a worst-case scenario.

Scammers Upload PDF Hacking Ads to Government Websites

Scammers have been uploading advertisements in PDF form to various government and education websites. The advertisements offer hacking services for things like Instagram and Snapchat. The PDFs link to multiple websites including some offering to help cheat in video games or create fake followers for various social media sites. The PDFs are all very similar which indicates the same threat actor could be behind all of them. These types of PDFs can appear when sites have misconfigured services, unpatched bugs and other security problems. According to a security researcher familiar with the issue, the same flaws exploited to upload these PDFs could have been used to do much more damage. A spokesperson for CISA noted that they are aware of the PDFs and coordinating with the affected entities to address the problems. According to TechCrunch, the PDFs are a part of some convoluted scheme to make money through click fraud. At the end of the day, an attack like this will have minimal damage – but if the flaws aren’t patched, they could cause much more damage.

SonicWall Blog

Is Red/Blue Teaming Right for Your Network? – Stephan Kaiser

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security – Tiju Cherian

Four SonicWall Employees Featured on CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel List – Bret Fitzgerald

NSv Series and AWS GovCloud: Facilitating Government’s Move to the Cloud – Tiju Cherian

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report, Day 1: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

Global Threat Data, Worldwide Coverage: The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity News & Trends – 06-02-2023

It’s the beginning of June, and today is National Donut Day – donut forget to celebrate if you’re craving something sweet. SonicWall had a sweet week in the news with eSecurity Planet talking to our Chief Product Officer Peter Burke and Verdict speaking with Senior Manager of Product Security Immanuel Chavoya.

In industry news, Bleeping Computer had the lowdown on the disaster with the MOVEit Transfer zero-day exploit and Android’s malware troubles. TechCrunch covered the biggest healthcare breach of the year so far. Security Week provided details on Gigabyte’s backdoor problem.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled – cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

How Healthcare Organizations Are Looking at the Big Picture of Device Security

Health Tech, SonicWall News: Healthcare was the second most targeted industry for malware last year, according to SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report. Internet of Things (IoT) malware attacks in healthcare increased 33 percent.

The Capita data breach explained

Verdict, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya from SonicWall told Verdict the recent data breach happened due to an exposed “Amazon S3 bucket”.

Chavoya explains that they are able to be “accessed, altered, or even deleted by anyone who knows where to look and that breaks the core tenants of confidentiality integrity, and availability. However, sometimes, in the process of configuring a bucket, someone might unintentionally set the permissions to allow public access,” Chavoya said.

“For example, they might be trying to make it easier for a team to share files, or they might not realize the implications of making a bucket public,” Chavoya explained. “Unfortunately if sensitive data is stored in the bucket – which it was in this case, this can lead to a data breach. Therefore, it’s crucial to properly configure S3 bucket permissions and regularly review them to ensure they are still appropriately configured.”

How Generative AI Will Remake Cybersecurity

eSecurity Planet, SonicWall News: There are the potential data privacy concerns arising due to the collection and storage of sensitive data by these models,” said Peter Burke, who is the Chief Product Officer at SonicWall. Those concerns have caused companies like JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo and Samsung to ban or limit the use of LLMs. There are also some major technical challenges limiting LLM use.

“Another factor to consider is the requirement for robust network connectivity, which might pose a challenge for remote or mobile devices,” said Burke. “Besides, there may be compatibility issues with legacy systems that need to be addressed. Additionally, these technologies may require ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal performance and protection against emerging threats.”

Companies Turn to Behavior-Based Cybersecurity Training to Stem Tide of Security Breaches

CIO Influence, SonicWall News: According to Glair, a company will never be able to train every person to spot every threat. That comes down to the sheer volume of novel threats being created. In fact, in the first half of 2022, SonicWall detected 270,228 never-before-seen malware variants. That’s an average of 1,500 new variants per day.

U.S.-South Korea Forge Strategic Cybersecurity Framework

Security Boulevard, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, SonicWall’s emerging threat expert, noted that the accord ushered in a new approach to cybersecurity that is based on cooperation and information sharing. “The introduction of a U.S./South Korea ‘Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework’ fundamentally alters the global cybersecurity landscape. It exemplifies a shift from siloed defenses to collective global security, fortifying the digital ecosystem against threats by pooling resources, intelligence and expertise,” Chavoya said. “This sends a message to nation-state actors like DPRK: The world’s cyberdefenders are uniting against threat actors who leverage our digital interconnectedness to disrupt our daily lives, making every digital interaction a new front line in this asymmetric war. As we often say, the best offense is a good defense—and in this case, it’s a defense extending traditional alliances across continents and cyberspace alike.”

Cyber Insurers May Want To Rethink Ransom Payments Based On This New Data

CRN, SonicWall News: In many cases, these “extortion-only” attacks are a more lucrative and easier alternative to the process of encryption and negotiation that’s involved in a typical ransomware attack, CrowdStrike’s threat intelligence head told CRN recently. SonicWall, meanwhile, cited extortion-only groups including Lapsus$ and Karakurt as further evidence of the trend.

Cryptomining group traced to Indonesia uses compromised AWS accounts

The Record, SonicWall News: Despite falling digital asset prices, cryptojacking reached record levels in 2022, according to research from cybersecurity firm SonicWall.

Rouble Malik Sheds Light On The Rising Threat Of Cybersecurity Attacks On Smes And Advocates Stronger Protective Measures

TechBullion, SonicWall News: The 2022 Cybersecurity Threat Report by SonicWall indicates a 62% increase in global ransomware attacks, demonstrating the evolving sophistication and prevalence of malware-based threats.

Capita tells pension provider to ‘assume’ 500,000 customers’ data stolen

ITPro, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, senior manager of product security at SonicWall told ITPro that the latest update highlights the potential long-term impact that this breach could have on Capita partner organizations.

The outsourcing giant provides services for both public and private sector clients, including the UK Ministry of Defence. “Cyber attacks such as the one on Capita require a bit of long-tail analysis to capture a clear understanding of impact, but what is known is that the ripple effect of a cyber attack like the one on Capita can be far-reaching, extending beyond the organization itself to shake customer trust, disrupt essential services, and reverberate throughout communities.”

10 Best Firewalls for Small & Medium Business Networks in 2023

Enterprise Networking Planet, SonicWall News: The SonicWall TZ400 is a mid-range, enterprise-grade security firewall designed to protect small to midsize businesses. It supports up to 150,000 maximum connections, 6,000 new connections per second, and 7×1-Gbe. The TZ400 features 1.3 Gbps firewall inspection throughput, 1.2 Gbps application inspection throughput, 900 Mbps IPS throughput, 900 Mbps VPN throughput, and 600 Mbps threat prevention throughput.

Connecting a home can be a headache: some smart devices still don’t integrate and are a prime target for cybercriminals

Gearrice, SonicWall News: In the case of the connected house, precisely cyberattacks on smart home devices increased 87% globally last year according to data from SonicWall, which places the Smart Home as the segment with the highest growth within the set of malware.

2023 SC Awards Finalists: Best SME Security Solution

SC Magazine, SonicWall News: SonicWall’s next-generation firewall, the SonicWall TZ, which offers converged network security, multi-gigabit interfaces, TLS 1.3, and 5G readiness while providing high-speed threat prevention. This firewall has superior technology, next-gen hardware and SonicOS 7.0 support, enhanced features, and groundbreaking performance.

Industry News

MOVEit Transfer Zero-day Exploit Results in Tons of Stolen Data

A vulnerability in the Progress MOVEit Transfer file transfer software is allowing hackers to mass-download data from organizations. At this time, it’s unclear which threat actors are using the exploit. According to Bleeping Computer, this is a zero-day exploit and many organizations have been breached and had their data stolen. A security advisory from Progress said, “If you are a MOVEit Transfer customer, it is extremely important that you take immediate action as noted below in order to help protect your MOVEit Transfer environment, while our team produces a patch.” Progress advises all MOVEit Transfer customers to block external traffic to ports 80 and 443 on the MOVEit Transfer server to avoid exploitation. Until a complete patch is released, Progress also advises that organizations stop all MOVEit Transfers and investigate their servers. While many organizations have been attacked already, the threat actors have not yet started to extort them. We likely won’t know who is behind the attacks until the extortion begins.

Gigabyte Motherboards Compromised by Wide Open Backdoor

The computer hardware manufacturer Gigabyte has a big problem – hundreds of motherboard models from the hardware giant have backdoors that are major risks. Researchers at Eclypsium were the first to discover the backdoor and how it functions. They determined that systems using a Gigabyte motherboard download files from an unsecured Gigabyte server on startup which leaves a door wide open for threat actors or other nefarious purposes. So far there is zero indication that this flaw has actually been exploited. The researchers couldn’t determine if the backdoor was placed by a malicious Gigabyte employee or if it was a result of compromised systems. Regardless of how it got there, it can easily be exploited by someone with the knowledge to do so. The security researchers noted that they’re currently working with Gigabyte to resolve this issue.

LockBit Ransomware Gang Responsible for Largest Health Data Breach of 2023

One of the largest dental health insurers in the United States has been hit with a huge data breach. Managed Care of North America (MCNA) in Atlanta lost the personal and health information of almost 9 million patients between February 26 and March 7 of this year. The hackers were none other than the notorious LockBit ransomware gang. The threat group infiltrated the healthcare provider to access and copy its data and demanded a $10 million payment to delete the stolen data. MCNA refused to pay the ransom, and the hacker gang then leaked all of MCNA’s data onto its Dark Web leak site. According to TechCrunch, the leaked data included names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, health insurance data, plan information and Medicaid ID numbers. To say that LockBit was thorough is an understatement. Some of the leaked data belonged to the insured’s children, parents, grandparents and guarantors. This is by far the largest breach of health data in 2023. LockBit has claimed several high-profile attacks in recent months despite its leader being arrested in November 2022. The full impact of the MCNA breach remains to be seen, but it’s surely devastating for those whose information has been exposed.

Android Malware Hidden in Play Store Apps Downloaded Over 400 million Times

Security researchers have discovered a new Android malware posing as an advertisement SDK in multiple apps. Many of the apps are on Google Play and have been downloaded over 400 million times collectively. The researchers who discovered the spyware have tracked it as “SpinOk,” and note that it can extract private user data and export it to a remote server. The malware is hidden under the facade of a mini-game that lures users in by promising daily rewards and prizes. The researchers at Dr. Web stated that the app uses a trojan SDK to make sure it isn’t opened in a sandbox environment before it searches the user’s device and steals the user’s personal data including private images, videos and documents. It hasn’t yet been determined if the malware was knowingly included by the developers of the compromised apps, but most of the apps have now been removed from Google’s Play Store. A full list of the apps can be found here, and it’s recommended that any of these apps be uninstalled from your devices immediately.

SonicWall Blog

Is Red/Blue Teaming Right for Your Network? – Stephan Kaiser

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security – Tiju Cherian

Four SonicWall Employees Featured on CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel List – Bret Fitzgerald

NSv Series and AWS GovCloud: Facilitating Government’s Move to the Cloud – Tiju Cherian

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report, Day 1: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

Global Threat Data, Worldwide Coverage: The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity News & Trends – 05-26-2023

As you prepare for what we hope is a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got several SonicWall news articles to help you end this week right. The Record and TechBullion cited data from the 2023 Cyber Threat Report. CRN discussed SonicWall’s perspective on extortion-only attack trends. Security Boulevard quoted SonicWall’s PSIRT Operational Security Manager Immanuel Chavoya on South Korea and the United States cybersecurity plans.

In industry news, Ars Technica covered the Chinese state-backed hackers slithering around critical infrastructure in the U.S. Bleeping Computer had the lowdown on an employee in the United Kingdom who committed a ransomware attack on his own employer. Dark Reading provided details on the Expo vulnerability causing open authorization problems. TechCrunch discussed new sanctions on North Korean threat actors from the U.S. government.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled – cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

U.S.-South Korea Forge Strategic Cybersecurity Framework

Security Boulevard, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, SonicWall’s emerging threat expert, noted that the accord ushered in a new approach to cybersecurity that is based on cooperation and information sharing. “The introduction of a U.S./South Korea ‘Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework’ fundamentally alters the global cybersecurity landscape. It exemplifies a shift from siloed defenses to collective global security, fortifying the digital ecosystem against threats by pooling resources, intelligence and expertise,” Chavoya said. “This sends a message to nation-state actors like DPRK: The world’s cyberdefenders are uniting against threat actors who leverage our digital interconnectedness to disrupt our daily lives, making every digital interaction a new front line in this asymmetric war. As we often say, the best offense is a good defense—and in this case, it’s a defense extending traditional alliances across continents and cyberspace alike.”

Cyber Insurers May Want To Rethink Ransom Payments Based On This New Data

CRN, SonicWall News: In many cases, these “extortion-only” attacks are a more lucrative and easier alternative to the process of encryption and negotiation that’s involved in a typical ransomware attack, CrowdStrike’s threat intelligence head told CRN recently. SonicWall, meanwhile, cited extortion-only groups including Lapsus$ and Karakurt as further evidence of the trend.

Cryptomining group traced to Indonesia uses compromised AWS accounts

The Record, SonicWall News: Despite falling digital asset prices, cryptojacking reached record levels in 2022, according to research from cybersecurity firm SonicWall.

Rouble Malik Sheds Light On The Rising Threat Of Cybersecurity Attacks On Smes And Advocates Stronger Protective Measures

TechBullion, SonicWall News: The 2022 Cybersecurity Threat Report by SonicWall indicates a 62% increase in global ransomware attacks, demonstrating the evolving sophistication and prevalence of malware-based threats.

Capita tells pension provider to ‘assume’ 500,000 customers’ data stolen

ITPro, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, senior manager of product security at SonicWall told ITPro that the latest update highlights the potential long-term impact that this breach could have on Capita partner organizations.

The outsourcing giant provides services for both public and private sector clients, including the UK Ministry of Defence. “Cyber attacks such as the one on Capita require a bit of long-tail analysis to capture a clear understanding of impact, but what is known is that the ripple effect of a cyber attack like the one on Capita can be far-reaching, extending beyond the organization itself to shake customer trust, disrupt essential services, and reverberate throughout communities.”

10 Best Firewalls for Small & Medium Business Networks in 2023

Enterprise Networking Planet, SonicWall News: The SonicWall TZ400 is a mid-range, enterprise-grade security firewall designed to protect small to midsize businesses. It supports up to 150,000 maximum connections, 6,000 new connections per second, and 7×1-Gbe. The TZ400 features 1.3 Gbps firewall inspection throughput, 1.2 Gbps application inspection throughput, 900 Mbps IPS throughput, 900 Mbps VPN throughput, and 600 Mbps threat prevention throughput.

Connecting a home can be a headache: some smart devices still don’t integrate and are a prime target for cybercriminals

Gearrice, SonicWall News: In the case of the connected house, precisely cyberattacks on smart home devices increased 87% globally last year according to data from SonicWall, which places the Smart Home as the segment with the highest growth within the set of malware.

2023 SC Awards Finalists: Best SME Security Solution

SC Magazine, SonicWall News: SonicWall’s next-generation firewall, the SonicWall TZ, which offers converged network security, multi-gigabit interfaces, TLS 1.3, and 5G readiness while providing high-speed threat prevention. This firewall has superior technology, next-gen hardware and SonicOS 7.0 support, enhanced features, and groundbreaking performance.

Cyber awareness training leaves companies exposed to attacks

Channel Life, SonicWall News: In fact, in the first half of 2022, SonicWall detected 270,228 never-before-seen malware variants. That’s an average of 1,500 new variants per day. However, new personalized training that combines machine learning and behavioral science can teach people to see the patterns or architecture commonly part of a threat.

7 Channel People Making Waves this Week

Channel Futures, SonicWall News: “For me, SonicWall is a 30-year industry legend in cybersecurity, one of the hottest topics right now obviously for many MSPs and MSSPs, and customers and partners around the world,” she said. “And SonicWall is sort of this amazing kind of comeback story because they had their acquisition and now they’re private again. And this is not the SonicWall of yesteryear. They have new leadership. They’re reimagining how they go to market (GTM)…”

CRN Women of the Channel

CRN, SonicWall News: SonicWall is delighted to share that CRN has honored four SonicWall team members on its 2023 Women of the Channel List. SonicWall’s new Vice President of North American Channels Michelle Ragusa-McBain, Regional Channel Sales Director Elizabeth Reynolds, Senior Manager Inside Sales Carlien de Vries and Senior Product Marketing Manager Sarah Choi were recognized for their incredible accomplishments in the IT channel.

Key Cybersecurity Threats to Watch For

Risk Management, SonicWall News: Cybercriminals monetize their activities via ransomware, and the tactic, which blocks access to systems or data until a ransom is paid, is being used against companies of all sizes. In 2022, there were nearly 500 million ransomware attacks worldwide, according to SonicWall.

Industry News

Chinese State Hackers Gain Footholds in the US and Guam

Microsoft and multiple governments around the world this week revealed that Chinese government hackers have found their way inside critical infrastructure in the United States and Guam. The group is known as Volt Typhoon and has been gathering intel for China for the past two years. The threat group has been remaining nearly invisible by using the living off the land (LOTL) technique. These findings were published by Microsoft as well as in a joint release that involved CISA, the FBI and four agencies from other countries. Aside from using LOTL, Volt Typhoon has also been using vulnerable home and office routers to communicate with infected computers. Researchers at Microsoft believe the goal of this attack is to disrupt communications between the U.S. and Asia during a future crisis. Guam is vital to the U.S. for military strategy and has been the subject of much intrigue as tensions over Taiwan have reached a boiling point. One thing is for certain – this surely won’t do anything to ease those tensions.

UK Employee Pretends to be Ransomware Gang to Extort Employer

In February 2018, a United Kingdom man named Ashley Liles was working as an IT Security Analyst at a company in Oxford, UK, when the company suffered a ransomware attack at the hands of an external threat actor. Liles participated in the investigation but also used the attack to his advantage. Unbeknownst to his employer, colleagues and the police, Liles committed a second ransomware attack against his employer. He also changed the payment address provided by the original attacker to an address where he would receive the ransom payment instead. Liles created an email address that was almost identical to that of the original attacker and began pressuring his employer to send a cryptocurrency payment to a wallet under his control. Liles initially denied involvement in the attack but finally plead guilty earlier this year. He’ll return to court this July to be sentenced.

US Targets North Korea’s Hidden Threat Actor Army with Sanctions

North Korea has a small army of IT workers around the world that hide in plain sight, using fraudulent credentials and identities to get jobs. These threat actors work in normal positions at normal jobs, but they also secretly funnel illicit funds back to the North Korean government. This week, the United States’ Treasury announced sanctions on four entities related to this threat actor army. The sanctions target the Pyongyang University of Automation, the Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company and a person named King San Man. PUA is one of North Korea’s top cyber institutions and trains cybercriminals to work in North Korea’s intelligence agencies. The Technical Reconnaissance Bureau leads North Korea’s development of cyber tactics and tools. It also houses the 110th Research Center which allegedly trained operatives of the Lazarus Group. The US Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence stated, “The United States and our partners remain committed to combatting the DPRK’s illicit revenue generation activities and continued efforts to steal money from financial institutions, virtual currency exchanges, companies and private individuals around the world.”

Hundreds of Apps and Websites Affected by OAuth Flaw

Open Authorization (OAuth) is a feature that countless applications and websites use to let users log in to other websites using their credentials from Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter and more. Researchers recently found a vulnerability in the Expo framework that’s being tracked as CVE-2023-28131. Expo is an open-source framework that’s used to develop native apps for Android, iOS and more. According to Dark Reading, Expo is used by hundreds of websites which means this flaw could have a widespread negative impact. The flaw could allow threat actors to take over user accounts, steal credentials and see their full payment information among other things. Expo patched the vulnerability quickly after it was brought to light, but it’s unclear what issues the vulnerability may have already caused before researchers discovered it. The researchers plan to create an OAuth best practices guide to help companies safely implement OAuth in the future.

SonicWall Blog

Is Red/Blue Teaming Right for Your Network? – Stephan Kaiser

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security – Tiju Cherian

Four SonicWall Employees Featured on CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel List – Bret Fitzgerald

NSv Series and AWS GovCloud: Facilitating Government’s Move to the Cloud – Tiju Cherian

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report, Day 1: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

Global Threat Data, Worldwide Coverage: The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity News & Trends – 05-19-2023

Today is National Pizza Party Day – we hope you’re prepared. SonicWall has been having a party in the media this week with SC Magazine naming a SonicWall firewall to its finalists for “Best SME Security Solution.” Gearrice cited data from the 2023 Cyber Threat Report, Enterprise Networking Planet named the TZ400 in a top 10 list and ITPro quoted SonicWall Senior Manager of Product Security Immanuel Chavoya on the Capita breach.

In industry news, Bleeping Computer discussed fears about Google’s new domains. CyberScoop had the details on Congress entrusting CISA with new responsibilities. TechCrunch had the lowdown on the indictment of a major Russian ransomware player. Dark Reading had information on a new threat group targeting Microsoft Azure virtual machines.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled – cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

Capita tells pension provider to ‘assume’ 500,000 customers’ data stolen

ITPro, SonicWall News: Immanuel Chavoya, senior manager of product security at SonicWall told ITPro that the latest update highlights the potential long-term impact that this breach could have on Capita partner organizations.

The outsourcing giant provides services for both public and private sector clients, including the UK Ministry of Defence. “Cyber attacks such as the one on Capita require a bit of long-tail analysis to capture a clear understanding of impact, but what is known is that the ripple effect of a cyber attack like the one on Capita can be far-reaching, extending beyond the organization itself to shake customer trust, disrupt essential services, and reverberate throughout communities.”

10 Best Firewalls for Small & Medium Business Networks in 2023

Enterprise Networking Planet, SonicWall News: The SonicWall TZ400 is a mid-range, enterprise-grade security firewall designed to protect small to midsize businesses. It supports up to 150,000 maximum connections, 6,000 new connections per second, and 7×1-Gbe. The TZ400 features 1.3 Gbps firewall inspection throughput, 1.2 Gbps application inspection throughput, 900 Mbps IPS throughput, 900 Mbps VPN throughput, and 600 Mbps threat prevention throughput.

Connecting a home can be a headache: some smart devices still don’t integrate and are a prime target for cybercriminals

Gearrice, SonicWall News: In the case of the connected house, precisely cyberattacks on smart home devices increased 87% globally last year according to data from SonicWall, which places the Smart Home as the segment with the highest growth within the set of malware.

2023 SC Awards Finalists: Best SME Security Solution

SC Magazine, SonicWall News: SonicWall’s next-generation firewall, the SonicWall TZ, which offers converged network security, multi-gigabit interfaces, TLS 1.3, and 5G readiness while providing high-speed threat prevention. This firewall has superior technology, next-gen hardware and SonicOS 7.0 support, enhanced features, and groundbreaking performance.

Cyber awareness training leaves companies exposed to attacks

Channel Life, SonicWall News: In fact, in the first half of 2022, SonicWall detected 270,228 never-before-seen malware variants. That’s an average of 1,500 new variants per day. However, new personalized training that combines machine learning and behavioral science can teach people to see the patterns or architecture commonly part of a threat.

7 Channel People Making Waves this Week

Channel Futures, SonicWall News: “For me, SonicWall is a 30-year industry legend in cybersecurity, one of the hottest topics right now obviously for many MSPs and MSSPs, and customers and partners around the world,” she said. “And SonicWall is sort of this amazing kind of comeback story because they had their acquisition and now they’re private again. And this is not the SonicWall of yesteryear. They have new leadership. They’re reimagining how they go to market (GTM)…”

CRN Women of the Channel

CRN, SonicWall News: SonicWall is delighted to share that CRN has honored four SonicWall team members on its 2023 Women of the Channel List. SonicWall’s new Vice President of North American Channels Michelle Ragusa-McBain, Regional Channel Sales Director Elizabeth Reynolds, Senior Manager Inside Sales Carlien de Vries and Senior Product Marketing Manager Sarah Choi were recognized for their incredible accomplishments in the IT channel.

Key Cybersecurity Threats to Watch For

Risk Management, SonicWall News: Cybercriminals monetize their activities via ransomware, and the tactic, which blocks access to systems or data until a ransom is paid, is being used against companies of all sizes. In 2022, there were nearly 500 million ransomware attacks worldwide, according to SonicWall.

The Most Pressing Security Needs of the SMB and Midmarket

GovInfoSecurity, SonicWall News: Bob VanKirk, president and CEO, SonicWall, highlighted the need for SMBs to have access to the right set of tools and resources to defend their companies and protect their brands. In order to ensure cybersecurity, VanKirk said, organizations must have all the threat data at their fingertips, whether it be a firewall, endpoint or remote access, and have analytics across all those areas.

SonicWall Names North American Channel Chief

ChannelPro, SonicWall News: SonicWall has named Michelle Ragusa-McBain its new channel chief for North America. The hiring is one of several measures, along with the forthcoming introduction of a revamped partner program, aimed at expanding the company’s MSP channel, according to Jason Carter, SonicWall’s CRO.

SonicWall Hires Cisco Vet Michelle Ragusa-McBain as North America Channel Chief

CRN, SonicWall News: SonicWall has hired Cisco Systems veteran Michelle Ragusa-McBain to oversee its large North America channel, as the cybersecurity vendor looks to “reimagine” its business with the help of partners, she said in an interview with CRN.

Cisco Vet Joins SonicWall Channel Team as North America Leader

ChannelFutures, SonicWall News: Ragusa-McBain’s goal is to enable partners to grow and profit with the “boundless shift to cybersecurity.” SonicWall announced her appointment at this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo, co-located with MSP Summit.

Industry News

Google’s New ZIP and MOV Domains Could be Dangerous

Google recently introduced a line of new top-level domains (TLD) that are available for purchase that include domains ending in “.zip” and “.mov”, which are also common file types. Cybersecurity and IT experts are warning that widespread use of domains ending in those letters could lead to easy ways for threat actors to spread malicious files. A threat actor could conceivably own a domain that shares a name with a commonly downloaded file online. A potential victim may mistakenly go to the website when intending to download the real file, which could lead to the victim installing malicious software or being otherwise taken advantage of. According to Bleeping Computer, this type of threat is already being utilized in the wild with a fake website ending in “.zip” attempting to steal Microsoft credentials. Only time will tell how these TLDs will affect the cybersecurity world.

CISA’s Responsibilities Expand Under Newly Passed Bills

Congress passed a series of new bills this week that will give the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) some new responsibilities. According to CyberScoop, the bills would have CISA maintaining a commercial public satellite clearinghouse system and creating a list of recommendations for the space industry as well as piloting a civilian cyber reserve program to be activated in a cyber emergency. Another committee advanced a bill that would have CISA work directly with the open-source software community to design a framework for better assessing the general risks for federal agencies. A separate bill would allow CISA to train non-cybersecurity employees at the Department of Homeland Security to move into cybersecurity roles. CISA’s expanded responsibilities should help address some of the pain points in cybersecurity across the US and in government in particular.

Major Russian Ransomware Culprit Indicted by US

Authorities in the United States have officially indicted a Russian national who they believe was a major player in the development and deployment of the Babuk, Hive and LockBit ransomware variants. The alleged cybercriminal, whose real name is Mikhail Matveev, was purportedly a member of the Babuk ransomware gang since 2020. In 2021, he claimed responsibility for an attack on Washington D.C.’s police department. Online, Matveev goes by “Wazawaka” and “Boriselcin.” TechCrunch stated that the gang also claimed an attack on law enforcement in New Jersey as well as against a healthcare organization in 2020. Matveev has been involved in countless attacks across the globe including one such instance where he demanded that the Costa Rican government be overthrown. There is currently a $10 million reward for information that leads to Matveev’s arrest. If he’s convicted, he could be locked away for up to 20 years.

Hacker Group Targeting Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines

A hacker group tracked by Mandiant Intelligence as UNC3844 has begun hacking Microsoft Azure virtual machines. The group had already made a splash by targeting Azure cloud environments specifically, but the move to virtual machines has helped them evade detections. The group typically uses compromised credentials or smishing to get access before utilizing SIM swapping to gain full access. Researchers at Mandiant stated that they had observed the threat actors using Azure extensions to plot and steal within the cloud environment. The group eventually installed legitimate remote tools to maintain a presence within the environment. This makes it especially difficult to detect because they’re using legitimate tools and applications. Organizations need to work to prevent targeted smishing campaigns to deter these types of attacks from happening. Mandiant recommended that businesses restrict access to remote admin channels and disable SMS as a multi-factor authentication option.

SonicWall Blog

Is Red/Blue Teaming Right for Your Network? – Stephan Kaiser

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security – Tiju Cherian

Four SonicWall Employees Featured on CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel List – Bret Fitzgerald

NSv Series and AWS GovCloud: Facilitating Government’s Move to the Cloud – Tiju Cherian

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report, Day 1: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

Global Threat Data, Worldwide Coverage: The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity News & Trends – 05-11-2023

Spring is in full swing, and SonicWall has been splashing into headlines this week. CRN honored four women from SonicWall in its 2023 Women of the Channel List, Channel Futures spoke with new SonicWall North America Channel Chief Michelle Ragusa-McBain and Channel Life cited some information from the 2023 Cyber Threat Report.

In industry news, CyberScoop provided details on the FBI’s takedown of a Russian cyberespionage campaign. Dark Reading dove into details about CISA’s efforts to help “cyber poor” organizations. Bleeping Computer had the scoop on Microsoft’s new MFA number matching enforcement. TechCrunch discussed DDoS-for-hire websites seized by US authorities.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled – cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

Cyber awareness training leaves companies exposed to attacks

Channel Life, SonicWall News: In fact, in the first half of 2022, SonicWall detected 270,228 never-before-seen malware variants. That’s an average of 1,500 new variants per day. However, new personalized training that combines machine learning and behavioral science can teach people to see the patterns or architecture commonly part of a threat.

7 Channel People Making Waves this Week

Channel Futures, SonicWall News: “For me, SonicWall is a 30-year industry legend in cybersecurity, one of the hottest topics right now obviously for many MSPs and MSSPs, and customers and partners around the world,” she said. “And SonicWall is sort of this amazing kind of comeback story because they had their acquisition and now they’re private again. And this is not the SonicWall of yesteryear. They have new leadership. They’re reimagining how they go to market (GTM)…”

CRN Women of the Channel

CRN, SonicWall News: SonicWall is delighted to share that CRN has honored four SonicWall team members on its 2023 Women of the Channel List. SonicWall’s new Vice President of North American Channels Michelle Ragusa-McBain, Regional Channel Sales Director Elizabeth Reynolds, Senior Manager Inside Sales Carlien de Vries and Senior Product Marketing Manager Sarah Choi were recognized for their incredible accomplishments in the IT channel.

Key Cybersecurity Threats to Watch For

Risk Management, SonicWall News: Cybercriminals monetize their activities via ransomware, and the tactic, which blocks access to systems or data until a ransom is paid, is being used against companies of all sizes. In 2022, there were nearly 500 million ransomware attacks worldwide, according to SonicWall.

The Most Pressing Security Needs of the SMB and Midmarket

GovInfoSecurity, SonicWall News: Bob VanKirk, president and CEO, SonicWall, highlighted the need for SMBs to have access to the right set of tools and resources to defend their companies and protect their brands. In order to ensure cybersecurity, VanKirk said, organizations must have all the threat data at their fingertips, whether it be a firewall, endpoint or remote access, and have analytics across all those areas.

SonicWall Names North American Channel Chief

ChannelPro, SonicWall News: SonicWall has named Michelle Ragusa-McBain its new channel chief for North America. The hiring is one of several measures, along with the forthcoming introduction of a revamped partner program, aimed at expanding the company’s MSP channel, according to Jason Carter, SonicWall’s CRO.

SonicWall Hires Cisco Vet Michelle Ragusa-McBain as North America Channel Chief

CRN, SonicWall News: SonicWall has hired Cisco Systems veteran Michelle Ragusa-McBain to oversee its large North America channel, as the cybersecurity vendor looks to “reimagine” its business with the help of partners, she said in an interview with CRN.

Cisco Vet Joins SonicWall Channel Team as North America Leader

ChannelFutures, SonicWall News: Ragusa-McBain’s goal is to enable partners to grow and profit with the “boundless shift to cybersecurity.” SonicWall announced her appointment at this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo, co-located with MSP Summit.

CIA 2023: Top Solution Providers

Channel Daily News, SonicWall News: It helps customers by delivering integrated technology solutions and services that include security, cloud, data centre, networking, collaboration and digital transformation. This year it singled out HPE, Cisco, Veeam and SonicWall as its partners of the year.

SonicWall Partner Program Updates Coming

Channel Futures (Slide 4), SonicWall News: “We’ll be updating our partner program,” VanKirk said. “We’ve seen incredible growth out of what we have called our MSSP program in the past. We’re redoing that program altogether so that it will allow a much broader set of partners to participate and take advantage of, for example, monthly billing and if the number of users goes up or down, you’re only paying for that number. So we’re expanding that program, allowing a lot more partners in. We’ll be expanding that offering. It was just a few solutions. Now what we’re doing with all the changes, it used to be OK after the products were out, hey, what can we send through the MSSP program and service provider program. Now at the front end before a product even is going into the life cycle development, the PMs have to justify why or where is that going to fit in the partner program and the service provider program, which is a whole different approach that contributes to our seeing so much strength there.”

Malware attacks on the rise in higher ed

EdScoop, SonicWall News: Malware attacks against higher education institutions rose by 26% last year, according to SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report. The report, published earlier this month, found that while malware attacks rose, ransomware attacks targeting higher education institutions declined 29% last year.

SD Worx pauses HR operations after cyberattack

Unleashed, SonicWall News: SonicWall warned recently that “new tactics are being developed with breathtaking speed. For the past two years, ransomware has been on a tear, increasing 62% year over year in 2020 and another 105% in 2021,” a 2023 SonicWall report said. “During this time, ransomware-as-a-service took off, compromised credentials became cheaper and more plentiful than ever, and the number of vulnerabilities continued hitting record highs.

Industry News

FBI’s Operation Medusa Thwarts Russian Cyberespionage Campaign

An international effort spearheaded by the FBI has disrupted a 20-year-old malware operation spawning from Turla, a unit inside Russia’s Federal Security Service known for sophisticated cyberespionage attacks. The unit has been continuously updating and enhancing a piece of malware known as “Snake” since 2004. The group used the malware to steal sensitive documents and infiltrate computer systems in over 50 countries over the past two decades. The data they stole was exfiltrated through a complex network of compromised computers in the US and elsewhere. The FBI gained physical access to the compromised computers and used that access to create a tool of its own called “Perseus” to decode the communications being exfiltrated by Turla. On Monday, the FBI used Perseus to issue a command to Snake to cause it to overwrite its own vital components – they made Snake eat its own tail, if you will. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated, “We will continue to strengthen our collective defenses against the Russian regime’s destabilizing efforts to undermine the security of the United States and our allies.”

CISA Aims to Help “Cyber Poor” Businesses, Schools and Hospitals

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) is taking aim at helping organizations that don’t have the knowledge or dedicated resources to defend themselves from cyber threats or even know if they’re being attacked. Such organizations include small businesses, local government agencies, hospitals, schools and more. The goal of CISA is to both help these organizations and understand their needs. Most of the agency’s efforts have been focused on larger organizations, but with attackers targeting more and more defenseless organizations, CISA feels it’s the right time to try and bridge the gaps these “cyber poor” institutions face. CISA has a section of its website dedicated to free resources anyone can use to better protect their organization.

Microsoft to Use Number Matching to Counter MFA Fatigue Attacks

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) fatigue attacks are becoming more common right alongside the growth of MFA adoption. To combat this, Microsoft is now enforcing number matching in its Microsoft Authenticator application. In an MFA fatigue attack, a threat actor will send ridiculous amounts of MFA push notifications to the target hoping that the target will accept one of them in an attempt to make them stop. This type of attack has a decent success rate for these threat actors. Many users will think the repeated notifications are a bug or organizational error. Once accepted, the attacker now has full access to the user’s account. According to Bleeping Computer, threat groups like Lapsus$ and Yanluowang used this type of social engineering attack to breach Microsoft, Cisco and Uber. Number matching helps prevent this type of attack because it gives the threat actor a specific number that the real user needs to press to approve. Since the real user will not know the correct number to press, it makes the odds of this attack being successful much lower.

13 DDoS-for-hire Websites Seized by US Authorities

Authorities in the United States seized 13 domains that had been connected to some of the most notorious DDoS-for-hire websites. The websites in question had been marketed as legitimate stress-testing tools – in reality, they were used to carry out DDoS attacks. On Monday, the FBI announced that they had seized these websites as a part of Operation PowerOFF, which is an international effort to shut down these DDoS-for-hire websites. According to TechCrunch, one of the 13 seized websites was still operating as normal. The FBI did not respond to questions concerning that website in particular. The international organizations involved in the takedown include the Dutch police, Europol and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency.

SonicWall Blog

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security – Tiju Cherian

Four SonicWall Employees Featured on CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel List – Bret Fitzgerald

NSv Series and AWS GovCloud: Facilitating Government’s Move to the Cloud – Tiju Cherian

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report, Day 1: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

Global Threat Data, Worldwide Coverage: The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Amber Wolff

NSv Series and Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud: Strengthening Cloud Security

While the benefits of cloud computing are widely recognized, Federal agencies have been among the last to enjoy these benefits due to the national security implications of the data they handle.

But with the recent directives for government to accelerate movement to secure cloud services — such as the U.S. White House’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity — and technology such as Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud and SonicWall NSv Series virtual firewall, the benefits of the cloud are now within reach of Federal agencies.

What is Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud?

Microsoft Azure’s Government Cloud is an isolated region that meets the regulatory and compliance requirements of the U.S. government agencies and customers. Azure Government Cloud (U.S.) consists of isolated regions designed to allow U.S. government agencies, their partners, and customers interested in cloud services that meet government security and compliance requirements to move sensitive workloads into the cloud. Its services provide world-class security and compliance and can accommodate data that is subject to various U.S. government regulations and requirements.

Azure Government Cloud delivers a dedicated cloud, enabling government agencies and their partners to transform mission-critical workloads.  Only U.S. federal, state, local and tribal governments and their partners have access to each particular instance, with operations controlled by screened U.S. citizens. In this way, SonicWall is extending the protection of government workloads with virtual security products optimized for Microsoft Azure.

Image of the Microsoft Azure logo, for an article about how SonicWall NSv virtual firewalls strengthen cloud security.

What is SonicWall NSv virtual firewall?

SonicWall’s NSv Series virtual firewalls provide all the security advantages of a physical firewall, plus all the operational and economic benefits of the cloud — including system scalability and agility, speed of system provisioning, simple management, and cost reduction. NSv delivers full-featured security tools including VPN, IPS, application control and URL filtering. These capabilities shield all critical components of the private/public cloud environments from resource misuse attacks, cross-virtual-machine attacks, side-channel attacks, and common network-based exploits and threats.

Users can login to their Azure Government Cloud console via U.S.-West and U.S.-East regions using BYOL (Bring Your Own Licenses) and deploy NSv on Microsoft Azure Government Cloud.

Summary

Most Federal customers are moving their datacenters away from traditional on-premises deployments and to the cloud. It is imperative that security teams provide the same level of security for government cloud server instances as they have been doing for on-premises physical servers. A next-generation firewall with advanced security services like Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI™), IPS and application control is the first step to securing cloud instances against cyber threats.

In addition to security features, it also important to choose a firewall that provides the right level of performance needed for a given cloud workload. SonicWall NSv series offers a variety of models with performance levels suited to any size of cloud deployment, with all the necessary security features enabled.

Cybersecurity News & Trends – 05-05-2023

Curated cybersecurity news and trends from the industry’s leading bloggers and news outlets, for you from SonicWall.

It’s the beginning of May, which brings warm weather, rain showers and Star Wars jokes. Happy “Revenge of the Fifth” to all of our Sith Lords and Ladies. SonicWall channeled the force in the media this week with GovInfoSecurity quoting SonicWall CEO Bob VanKirk on SMBs and ChannelPro, CRN and Channel Futures spreading the news of SonicWall’s new channel chief for North America, Michelle Ragusa-McBain.

In industry news, Dark Reading covered a new tool to help companies keep their data safe from AI. Bleeping Computer provided details on operation “SpecTor” and Google’s takedown of CryptBot. TechCrunch had the lowdown on the City of Dallas’ ransomware attack.

Remember to keep your passwords close and your eyes peeled – cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

SonicWall News

Key Cybersecurity Threats to Watch For

Risk Management, SonicWall News: Cybercriminals monetize their activities via ransomware, and the tactic, which blocks access to systems or data until a ransom is paid, is being used against companies of all sizes. In 2022, there were nearly 500 million ransomware attacks worldwide, according to SonicWall.

The Most Pressing Security Needs of the SMB and Midmarket

GovInfoSecurity, SonicWall News: Bob VanKirk, president and CEO, SonicWall, highlighted the need for SMBs to have access to the right set of tools and resources to defend their companies and protect their brands. In order to ensure cybersecurity, VanKirk said, organizations must have all the threat data at their fingertips, whether it be a firewall, endpoint or remote access, and have analytics across all those areas.

SonicWall Names North American Channel Chief

ChannelPro, SonicWall News: SonicWall has named Michelle Ragusa-McBain its new channel chief for North America. The hiring is one of several measures, along with the forthcoming introduction of a revamped partner program, aimed at expanding the company’s MSP channel, according to Jason Carter, SonicWall’s CRO.

SonicWall Hires Cisco Vet Michelle Ragusa-McBain as North America Channel Chief

CRN, SonicWall News: SonicWall has hired Cisco Systems veteran Michelle Ragusa-McBain to oversee its large North America channel, as the cybersecurity vendor looks to “reimagine” its business with the help of partners, she said in an interview with CRN.

Cisco Vet Joins SonicWall Channel Team as North America Leader

ChannelFutures, SonicWall News: Ragusa-McBain’s goal is to enable partners to grow and profit with the “boundless shift to cybersecurity.” SonicWall announced her appointment at this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo, co-located with MSP Summit.

CIA 2023: Top Solution Providers

Channel Daily News, SonicWall News: It helps customers by delivering integrated technology solutions and services that include security, cloud, data centre, networking, collaboration and digital transformation. This year it singled out HPE, Cisco, Veeam and SonicWall as its partners of the year.

SonicWall Partner Program Updates Coming

Channel Futures (Slide 4), SonicWall News: “We’ll be updating our partner program,” VanKirk said. “We’ve seen incredible growth out of what we have called our MSSP program in the past. We’re redoing that program altogether so that it will allow a much broader set of partners to participate and take advantage of, for example, monthly billing and if the number of users goes up or down, you’re only paying for that number. So we’re expanding that program, allowing a lot more partners in. We’ll be expanding that offering. It was just a few solutions. Now what we’re doing with all the changes, it used to be OK after the products were out, hey, what can we send through the MSSP program and service provider program. Now at the front end before a product even is going into the life cycle development, the PMs have to justify why or where is that going to fit in the partner program and the service provider program, which is a whole different approach that contributes to our seeing so much strength there.”

Malware attacks on the rise in higher ed

EdScoop, SonicWall News: Malware attacks against higher education institutions rose by 26% last year, according to SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report. The report, published earlier this month, found that while malware attacks rose, ransomware attacks targeting higher education institutions declined 29% last year.

SD Worx pauses HR operations after cyberattack

Unleashed, SonicWall News: SonicWall warned recently that “new tactics are being developed with breathtaking speed. For the past two years, ransomware has been on a tear, increasing 62% year over year in 2020 and another 105% in 2021,” a 2023 SonicWall report said. “During this time, ransomware-as-a-service took off, compromised credentials became cheaper and more plentiful than ever, and the number of vulnerabilities continued hitting record highs.

FBI warning: Don’t use public phone charging stations

San Francisco Examiner, SonicWall News: SonicWall warned recently that “new tactics are being developed with breathtaking speed. For the past two years, ransomware has been on a tear, increasing 62% year over year in 2020 and another 105% in 2021,” a 2023 SonicWall report said. “During this time, ransomware-as-a-service took off, compromised credentials became cheaper and more plentiful than ever, and the number of vulnerabilities continued hitting record highs.

UAE residents can insure phones, other gadgets against cyberattacks, economic losses

Zawya (UAE), SonicWall News: According to the latest figures from cybersecurity leader SonicWall reveal, the UAE recorded a 14 percent drop in total malware attacks in 2022 but the number of attacks in 2022 in the UAE (71 million) was more than the combined total in 2019 and 2020 (37.3 million and 19 million, respectively).

North Korea accelerates nuclear missile programme with ‘treasure sword’ — $1.7bn from crypto heists

DL News, SonicWall News: “As for individual crypto investors, they should be aware of the risks of having their assets in these exchanges,” said Chavoya. “North Korean crypto hacking is so important to the Kim regime that it is going to continue scaling despite tighter restrictions,” Chavoya said.

Industry News

International Effort Nabs 288 Dark Web Drug Dealers and Buyers

Hundreds of drug dealers and purchasers who were active on a Dark Web marketplace known as “Monopoly Market” were arrested following an international law enforcement effort. The operation was dubbed “SpecTor” and resulted in police seizing over $55 million in cash and cryptocurrency. According to Bleeping Computer, police seized the website in late 2021, but many users believed that this was an exit scam by the site creators. It was only confirmed this week that police had indeed actually seized the website. Operation “SpecTor” targeted high-volume sellers and purchasers specifically – many of the arrested individuals were also active on other Dark Web marketplaces, making this a significant bust.  Along with the cash and cryptocurrency, police also seized over 1,800 pounds of drugs and 117 firearms. A majority of those arrested resided in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. The operation was headed by Europol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but it also included police from the UK, France, Poland, Germany, Austria, Brazil and Switzerland.

PrivateGPT Launches Redaction Tool to Reduce Risk of AI Data Exposure

There have been a lot of discussions lately about what information employees may be entering into AI tools like ChatGPT – many companies have asked employees to not enter any company information or data into the tools. Private AI has introduced a new platform called PrivateGPT that integrates with ChatGPT to automatically redact over 50 types of personally identifiable information. PrivateGPT acts as a middleman between users and the AI, removing sensitive information like birth dates, credit card numbers and much more. Many users of ChatGPT don’t seem to realize that all information they enter into ChatGPT is absorbed into OpenAI’s LLM data set that they use to train the AI. OpenAI notes in its user guide that users should not share personal or sensitive information with the AI because OpenAI cannot delete that information from a user’s history once it’s been entered. With AI rapidly advancing, tools like PrivateGPT may become necessary for both regular users and corporate entities to safely use the tool. For now, users should continue to be careful of what they share with AI.

City of Dallas Hit by Royal Ransomware Gang

The Royal ransomware gang took credit for an attack on the City of Dallas this week. The attack took down key services in the Dallas metropolitan area including 911 dispatch services and some systems at local courthouses – the courthouses were forced to close amid the chaos. A spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department (DPD) told TechCrunch that 911 dispatchers had to write down instructions for officers instead of entering them into their digital systems during the outage. DPD noted that the outage did not affect police response. City officials realized something was amiss when printers on the City of Dallas network began printing out ransom notes on Wednesday morning. The notes stated that Royal had stolen the city’s data and would release it on the Dark Web unless the group’s demands were met. The full scope of the attack is still unknown at this time, but city officials did say they are currently working to isolate and remove the ransomware from infected servers.

Google Takes on CryptBot Malware Operation, Sues Threat Actors

Google has sued some threat actors using the CryptBot malware to steal information from Google Chrome users. The court has now granted Google a restraining order, which allows Google to begin disrupting the CryptBot credential stealing operation. The lawsuit specifically targets the infrastructure and distribution network being used to spread the malware, which will slow the malware’s spread significantly. Google now has court-granted authority to take down domains that have been linked to the spread of the malware. According to Bleeping Computer, CryptBot is a Windows malware that is used to steal sensitive information from a user’s computer. The stolen data obtained by CryptBot can be used to steal identities, commit fraud and more. Google stated that recent versions of the malware have targeted Chrome specifically, which is why Google’s CyberCrime Investigation Group (CCIG) and Threat Analysis Group (TAG) got involved. With the courts backing their efforts, Google should be able to deal a serious blow to the CryptBot operation.

SonicWall Blog

The RSA Report: Boots on the Ground – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report – New Tactics, New Technologies – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: Protecting Objective Truth in Cybersecurity – Amber Wolff

The RSA Report: The Road to RSA – Amber Wolff

RSA 2023: What “Stronger Together” Means With SonicWall – Amber Wolff

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online – Ray Wyman Jr

SonicWall Earns 5-Star Rating in 2023 Partner Program Guide for the Seventh Straight Year – Bret Fitzgerald

Global Threat Data, Worldwide Coverage: The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report – Amber Wolff

U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy Represents Paradigm Shift in IT Security – Darryl Jenkins

SonicWall Data Shows Attacks on Schools Skyrocketing – Amber Wolff

RSA Report: Cybersecurity is National Security

While new issues are always emerging in the world of cybersecurity, some have been present since the beginning, such as what role cybersecurity should play in government operations and, conversely, what role government should play in cybersecurity. The answer to this question continues to shift and evolve over time, but each new leap in technology introduces additional considerations. As we move into the AI era, how can government best keep citizens safe without constraining innovation and the free market — and how can the government use its defensive capabilities to retain an edge in the conflicts of tomorrow?

The day’s first session, “Cybersecurity and Military Defense in an Increasingly Digital World,” offered a deep dive into the latter question. Over the past 20 years, military conflicts have moved from involving just Land, Air and Sea to also being fought in Space and Cyber. While superior technology has given us an upper hand in previous conflicts, in some areas our allies — and our adversaries — are catching up or even surpassing us. In each great technological leap, companies and countries alike ascend and recede, and to keep our edge in the conflicts of the future, the U.S. will need to shed complacency, develop the right policies, move toward greater infrastructure security and tap the capabilities of the private sector.

SonicWall in particular is well-positioned to work with the federal government and the military. For years, we’ve helped secure federal agencies and defense deployments against enemies foreign and domestic, and have woked to shorten and simplify the acquisition and procurement process. Our list of certifications includes FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria, DoDIN APL, Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC), USGv6, IPv6 and TAA and others. And our wide range of certified solutions have been used in a number of government use cases, such as globally distributed networks in military deployments and federal agencies, tip-of-the-spear, hub-and-spoke, defense in-depth layered firewall strategies and more.

Because Zero Trust is just as important for federal agencies as it is for private sector organizations, SonicWall offers the SMA 1000, which offers Zero Trust Network Architecture that complies with federal guidelines, including the DoDIN APL, FIPS and CSfC, as well as the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy.

This new strategy was at the center of the day’s next session. In “The National Cyber Strategy as Roadmap to a Secure Cyber Future,” panelists outlined this strategic guidance, which was released just two months ago and offered a roadmap for how the U.S. should protect its digital ecosystem against malicious criminal and nation-state actors. The guidance consists of five pillars, all of which SonicWall is in accord with:

Pillar One: Defend Critical Infrastructure
SonicWall offers several security solutions that align with Pillar One, including firewalls, intrusion prevention, VPN, advanced threat protection, email security, Zero-Trust network access and more. We’re also working to align with and conform to NIST SSDF and NIST Zero Trust Architecture standards.

Pillar Two: Disrupt and Dismantle Threat Actors

SonicWall uses its Email Security to disrupt and mitigate the most common ransomware vector: Phishing. And in 2022 alone, we helped defend against 493.3 million ransomware attacks.

Pillar Three: Shape Market Forces to Drive Security and Resilience

This pillar shifts liability from end users to software providers that ignore best practices, ship insecure or vulnerable products or integrate unvetted or unsafe third-party software. And as part of our efforts to align with the NIST SSDF, we’re implementing a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM).

Pillar Four: Invest in a Resilient Future

Given CISA’s prominence in this guidance, any regulations created will likely include threat emulation testing, and will likely be mapped to threat techniques, such as MITRE ATT&CK. SonicWall Capture Client (our EDR solution) is powered by SentinelOne, which has been a participant in the MITRE ATT&CK evaluations since 2018 and was a top performer in the 2022 Evaluations.

Pillar Five: Forge International Partnerships to Pursue Shared Goals

An international company, SonicWall recognizes the importance of international partnerships and works to comply with global regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS and more. By sharing threat intelligence and collaborating no mitigation strategies, we work with governments and the rest of the cybersecurity community to pursue shared cybersecurity goals.

And with the continued rise in cybercrime, realizing these goals has never been more important. In “The State of Cybersecurity: Year in Review,” Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia summarized findings from the 1,163 intrusions his company investigated in 2022. The good news, Mandia said, is that we’re detecting threats faster. In just ten years, we’ve gone from averaging 200 days to notice there’s a problem, to just 16 days currently — but at the same time, an increase in the global median dwell time for ransomware shows there’s still work to be done.

Mandia also outlined the evolution of how cybercriminals are entering networks, from Unix platforms, to Windows-based attacks, and from phishing, to spearphishing to vulnerabilities — bringing patch management once again to the fore.

Deep within the RSAC Sandbox, where today’s defenders learn, play and test their skills, panelists convened to discuss how to stop attackers’ relentless attempts to shift left. “Software Supply Chain: Panel on Threat Intel, Trends, Mitigation Strategies” explained that while the use of third-party components increases agility, it comes with tremendous risk. More than 96% of software organizations rely on third-party code, 90% of which consists of open source—but the developers of this software are frequently single individuals or small groups who may not have time to incorporate proper security, or even know how. Our current strategy of signing at the end isn’t enough, panelists argued—to truly ensure safety, signing should be done throughout the process (otherwise known as “sign at the station”).

Israel provides an example of how a country can approach the issue of software supply chain vulnerability — among other things, the country has created a GitHub and browser extension allowing developers to check packages for malicious code — but much work would need to be done to implement the Israel model in the U.S. AI also provides some hope, but given its current inability to reliably detect malicious code, we’re still a long way from being able to rely on it. In the meantime, organizations will need to rely on tried-and-true solutions such as SBOMs to help guard against supply chain attacks in the near future.

But while AI has tremendous potential to help defenders, it also has terrible potential to aid attackers. In “ChatGPT: A New Generation of Dynamic Machine-Based Attacks,” the speakers highlighted ways that attackers are using the new generation of AI technology to dramatically improve social engineering attempts, expand their efforts to targets in new areas, and even write ransomware and other malicious code. In real time, the speakers demonstrated the difference between previous phishing emails and phishing generated by ChatGPT, including the use of more natural language, the ability to instantly access details about the target and the ability to imitate a leader or colleague trusted by the victim with a minimum of effort. These advancements will lead to a sharp increase in victims of phishing attacks, as well as things like Business Email Compromise.

And while there are guardrails in place to help prevent ChatGPT from being used maliciously, they can be circumvented with breathtaking ease. With the simple adjustment of a prompt, the speakers demonstrated, ransomware and other malicious code can be generated. While this code isn’t functional on its own, it’s just one or two simple adjustments away — and this capability could be used to rapidly increase the speed with which attacks are launched.

These capabilities are especially concerning given the rise in state-sponsored attacks. In “State of the Hack 2023: NSA’s Perspective,” NSA Director of Cybersecurity Rob Joyce addressed a packed house regarding the NSA’s work to prevent the increasing wave of nation-state threats. The two biggest nation-state threats to U.S. cybersecurity continue to be Russia and China, with much of the Russian effort centering around the U.S.’ assistance in the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

As we detailed in our SonicWall 2023 Cyber Threat Report, since the beginning of the conflict, attacks by Russia’s military and associated groups have driven a massive spike in cybercrime in Ukraine. The good news, Joyce said, is that Russia is currently in intelligence-gathering mode when it comes to the U.S., and is specifically taking care not to release large-scale NotPetya-type attacks. But Russia also appears to be playing the long game, and is showing no signs of slowing or scaling back their efforts.

China also appears to be biding its time — but unlike Russia, whose efforts appear to be focused around traditional military dominance, China is seeking technological dominance. Exploitation by China has increased so much that we’ve become numb to it, Joyce argued. And since these nation-state sponsored attackers don’t incur much reputational damage for their misdeeds, they’ve become increasingly brazen in their attacks, going so far as to require any citizen who finds a zero-day to pass details to the government and hosting competitions for building exploits and finding vulnerabilities. And the country is also making efforts to influence international tech standards in an attempt to tip scales in their favor for years to come.

The 2023 RSA Conference has offered a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics, but it will soon draw to a close. Thursday is the last day to visit the SonicWall booth (#N-5585 in Moscone North) and enjoy demos and presentations on all of our latest technology. Don’t head home without stopping by — and don’t forget to check back for the conclusion of our RSAC 2023 coverage!