Sean Kalinich

It used to be a common phrase that the only certain things are Death and Taxes. These days it seems the list has been extended to Death, Taxes, and 0-days in enterprise tools sets. We have seen a number of zero days being abused since the beginning of 2023 such as Barracuda spam filters, MoveIT MFT, Citrix File share MFT, and (the subject of today’s article) Ivanti’s Sentry (the service formerly known as MobileIron). The uptick in exploitation of 0-days is very concerning just on their own, but when looked at as part of a larger effort, it is borderline frightening.

Black Hat 2023 – Las Vegas. Sitting in one of my favorite bars in the Mandalay Bay Shoppes, 1923 Prohibition Bar, I had an opportunity to sit down and talk with Stuart McClure. For those that do not know, I worked at Cylance while Stuart was CEO there and left shortly after Blackberry purchased the company. We spent a few moments talking about the Cylance days and how the concept of Cylance impacted the cybersecurity industry. It was one of those times when the right concept was introduced at the right inflection point and combined with the right team to get it into the hands of the public. From there we moved on to Stuart’s latest endeavor, Qwiet AI.

Wednesday, 16 August 2023 14:38

Hacker Summer Camp 2023 Recap and My Thoughts

Las Vegas – So Black Hat 2023 and Def Con 31 have come and gone, and while the exhaustion that comes from this epic combined event might not be completely gone, I am ready to give my thoughts on the events. Before I get started, understand that this is my personal opinion on the show(s) as well as my general takeaways from them. As always, your milage may vary. Either way, I hope that you enjoy the article below and that your time and camp this year was amazing (mine was). So, let’s get started!

As we head into Hacker Summer Camp in Las Vegas, the emails are already flowing freely into my inbox. Some of them are the regular players that I see every year and others are new. Still more are people that I hear from each year but with new faces to talk to. This is part of what I love about going out to Black Hat, talking new people, talking to well known people in the industry and then getting an understanding of what everyone thinks is the “big thing” for cybersecurity. This year, by far, it is AI and automation.

Hey, remember that supply chain attack on NPM that happened recently? Which one? Yeah, that is sort of the problem with recent supply chain attacks. In particular the ones that are targeting the development pipeline. This is because they are starting to happen so often that they all blur together, yet NPM and other critical components of the development supply chain are still targets for attackers to either get their malicious packages onto development systems, or in the final compiled binary that is then sent out to the general public. To call this problematic is to describe a nuclear bomb as a big firecracker. Ok, soapbox on the importance of SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) hygiene and security put away for now.

If you look at common attack vectors and especially Initial Access Broker attacks, there are a few parts of the attack chain which stand out. These are the pivot through some form of communication/collaboration app to the phishing landing page. These apps are also often part of insider threats where someone might use their own personal email, OneDrive, or other web/app-based app to exfiltrate information they want outside of an organization. Many companies are very exposed to this either through a lack of tools, skilled staff or being oblivious to the exposure.

Using a famous idiom, it looks like the shoe is on the other foot as BreachForums has found themselves the victim of a data breach and release of data. The breach took place in November of 2022 and culminated with the arrest of one of the owners of the forum. The responsible parties were able to attack and exfiltrate data from the site including user information, IP addresses and internal messages sent between users and the forum.

Supply chain attacks are all the rage right now (although certainly not new). These attacks are part of what appears to be a multi-pronged shift in the threat landscape. While attacks on the endpoint and users are still happening, we are also seeing expanded efforts in targeting edge devices, networking equipment, and an increased focus on open-source repositories. Recently a new campaign was discovered that is leveraging open-sourced software supply chain attacks in an effort to target the banking sector.

After a recent attack on Federal Civilian Execute Branch (FCEB) Agencies by an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) group currently suspected of being a nation-state group from China, (whew that was a long start), It has come to the attention of some cloud researchers that these signing keys are not just useful for attacking Exchange Online. According to cloud security company Wiz these MSA Keys can be used to forge tokens for anything that relies on Microsoft Azure AD (Entra ID) Identity services.

When I was in the military, one of the things that I noticed was a massive reluctance to create new and unusual scenarios for war games. Instead, we always seemed to train for the last major combat theater. When going to the National Training Center the OpFor (opposing force) team would just run circles around the visiting units. This is because they were always looking at new strategies, tactics, and logistical methods to support them. The visitors would come in with ideas that things would be the same as last time and just get their asses handed to them. There were rare occasions when the visiting units won, but they were the exception and not the rule.

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