Malware Attack Takes ISS World’s Systems Offline !!HOT!!
On 17 February 2020, ISS was the target of a malware attack. As a precautionary measure and as part of our standard operating procedure, we immediately disabled access to shared IT services across our sites and countries, which ensured the isolation of the incident.
Malware Attack Takes ISS World’s Systems Offline
Ransomware attacks are becoming all too common because more people are working from home. Cybersecurity is at an all-time low and companies are starting to realise the problems of a home-based workforce. Although stringent measures should be taken for any business with access to client information, cybersecurity is often considered to be at the bottom of the list when it comes to updating your systems to allow for remote working.
Ransomware attack encryption can only really be unlocked by people who know the encryption key, which means that only the attacker can truly give you your files back. Although paying is risky in a ransomware attack, big companies occasionally do pay so as to regain access to their systems, as to do otherwise would mean a significant loss.
This type of ransomware only rose to notoriety in 2010, with the creation of the Trojan virus WinLock. WinLock would, when downloaded, freeze and restrict access to your own systems until you sent the attacker a premium-rate SMS (usually costing around EUR10) to receive the code that would unlock your system.
WannaCry captured headlines around the world in 2017 when it infected more than 300,000 computers across 150 countries. WannaCry used an exploit called Eternal Blue that had been built into Windows operating systems by the United States National Security Agency. The hackers responsible for WannaCry then demand payments in Bitcoin worth the equivalent of 300 to 600.
By June 2017, the group behind WannaCry had received more than $130,000 in ransom payments. Cybersecurity researchers around the world rushed to develop tools which were ultimately successful in reversing WannaCry's attacks. However, a new version of WannaCry spread to 10,000 machines belonging to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in August 2018, temporarily shutting down its chip manufacturing facilities.
The scale of the WannaCry attack makes it difficult to establish the total cost. The United Kingdom's National Health Service estimated the cost of disruption and IT upgrades to its systems prompted by WannaCry to be 92 million. Some estimates place the cost of all damages from WannaCry at as high as $6 billion.
The Danish facilities management company ISS World was targeted by a malware attack in February 2020 which resulted in estimated total costs of around DKK 365 million. This is the equivalent of almost 60 million.
The attack is believed to have begun on February 17 and was discovered three days later. ISS World was forced to take many of its computer systems offline over the next month as it sought to combat the attack. It took ISS World until the end of 2020 to repair all the damage the attack caused to its IT infrastructure.
In April 2020, Cognizant announced it had fallen victim to an attack based on Maze ransomware. The attack meant many of the company's employees were unable to access their email accounts. The communication blackout led to panic among many of Cognizant's customers. However, the company insisted only its internal systems had been affected and no customer data was breached.
Attackers typically compromise multiple accounts during an attack. Their main goal is to get access to domain admin accounts that can be used to launch the ransomware. However, they also target specific admin accounts that have access to sensitive data, backup systems, and security management consoles.
Note: The encryption process takes hours. An encrypted Windows endpoint will have tens or hundreds of thousands of encrypted files by the time the ransomware is done. For large fileservers this could run into the millions. This is why most targeted ransomware attacks are launched in the middle of the night, over a weekend or on a holiday, when fewer people are watching.
Once your systems are offline, you need to take steps to assess the damage. What data has been encrypted? Do you have recent backups of this data? Is there a risk that the attack could spread if your systems go online again?
Importantly, your risk assessment will also give your institution the opportunity to put in place contingency plans if the worst happens and critical infrastructure is taken offline due to a ransomware attack.
In the Colonial Pipeline attack, Info Servers used in the SCADA stack were infiltrated, and critical data was encrypted for ransom. Fortunately, security personnel recognized the risk and took downstream systems offline before they could be damaged by ransomware. While these actions were prudent, taking these systems offline caused significant outages for the entire pipeline system.
Following is a sequential breakdown of the steps that were likely used in the attack kill chain. It has not yet been disclosed how the attackers initially infiltrated the system, but there are many possible routes including spear phishing, malicious insiders, remote admin access, or exploiting other vulnerable systems.
Virsec is uniquely able to stop this type of attack during runtime, without prior knowledge of the malware or other hacking techniques used. Through its patented AppMap technology, Virsec maps acceptable execution across the entire application stack, and instantly detects and stops any deviations during runtime. In the case of the Colonial Pipeline attack, Virsec would have detected and stopped this attack at the earliest stages of the kill chain before any damage or encryption was done. In addition, Virsec provides true application defense-in-depth and could have stopped this kill chain in at least 10 different points. The diagram below highlights the points where Virsec can stop this attack.
Notarization is a malware scanning service provided by Apple. Developers who want to distribute apps for macOS outside the App Store submit their apps for scanning as part of the distribution process. Apple scans this software for known malware and, if none is found, issues a Notarization ticket. Typically, developers staple this ticket to their app so Gatekeeper can verify and launch the app, even offline.
To prevent NTLM Relay Attacks on networks with NTLM enabled, domain administrators must ensure that services that permit NTLM authentication make use of protections such as Extended Protection for Authentication (EPA) or signing features such as SMB signing. PetitPotam takes advantage of servers where Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) is not configured with protections for NTLM Relay Attacks. The mitigations below outline to customers how to protect their AD CS servers from such attacks.
Web security threats can cause significant disruption to regular business operations because of threat actors infecting networks and systems with malware, deleting critical business data, and installing malicious code on servers. As a result, online stores can be taken offline, rendering customers unable to purchase products. Business disruption is a popular tactic of hacktivists, who aim to breach the networks of top corporations and government agencies, usually to make a point.
Attackers frequently target popular websites that rely on open-source content management systems (CMS), such as Joomla, Magento, and WordPress. For example, in June 2020, a cyberattack targeting 1.3 million WordPress sites was discovered in an attempt to download configuration files and database credentials.
A DDoS attack is a web security threat that involves attackers flooding servers with large volumes of internet traffic to disrupt service and take websites offline. The sheer volume of fake traffic results in the target network or server being overwhelmed, which leaves them inaccessible.
DDoS attacks are often carried out by disgruntled employees or hacktivists who want to cause harm to an organization by taking their server offline. Others are done for the fun of exploiting cyber weakness, and many DDoS attacks are financially motivated, such as certain organizations stealing information from their competitors. They can also be used as part of a ransomware attack.
Viruses and worms are malicious programs that spread through computers and networks. Both exploit software vulnerabilities that allow an attacker to steal data from systems. Viruses and worms also install backdoors into systems that an attacker can use to gain unauthorized access, corrupt files, and inflict broader damage to a company.
Another Russia-sponsored attack that began as early as January 2021 targeted Microsoft Exchange servers. The attack provided hackers access to email accounts and associated networks all over the world, including in Ukraine, the US and Australia.
Windows Defender ATP Exploit Guard is a new set of host-intrusion prevention capabilities enabling you to balance security risk and productivity requirements. Windows Defender Exploit Guard is designed to lock down the device against a wide variety of attack vectors and block behaviors commonly used in malware attacks. The components are:
In a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, multiple compromised computer systems attack a target and cause a denial of service for users of the targeted resource. The target can be a server, website or other network resource. The flood of incoming messages, connection requests or malformed packets to the target system forces it to slow down or even crash and shut down, thereby denying service to legitimate users or systems.
Many types of threat actors, ranging from individual criminal hackers to organized crime rings and government agencies, carry out DDoS attacks. In certain situations -- often ones related to poor coding, missing patches or unstable systems -- even legitimate, uncoordinated requests to target systems can look like a DDoS attack when they are just coincidental lapses in system performance. 350c69d7ab