DecryptedTech

Monday03 October 2022

Sean Kalinich

Sean Kalinich

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has given an insight into how modern warfare is carried out on a strategic level. We have seen how Russia used malware and specific cyber attacks to interrupt communications and to potentially wipe critical data. We have seen new methods to disrupt this these attacks. We have also seen a new shift in modern warfare, the rise of the cyber partisan. In typical wars commanders on both side account for local resistance and partisan groups that can have an impact on battles and logistics. These are usually small groups of armed civilians (sometimes with government support), but now they have moved behind the keyboard.

Banking malware for mobile devices is on the rise thanks to the ubiquitous use of mobile apps for personal financial tracking and transactions. This move was almost certain to attract threat actors like a moth to a porchlight. When given the gloriously poor state of mobile anti-malware and protection it is no wonder there are so many flavors of this popping up. What is even more disappointing, is the fact that we are seeing the malware packages pushed out through legitimate app stores.

It seems that Microsoft shares an issue that is a bit like one that can happen in mobile devices. When you reset your device on an Android Device and you have accounts that sync data with their own internal folders, there can be lingering information even after a reset of the device. Although not as prevalent as it once was, the advice was and still is, to remove all accounts before beginning the reset process. This is so that there is no data left behind after a reset. This same issue has popped up in Windows 10.

As the Steam Deck is starting to get to people that have ordered them questions about Steam’s place in Web3 and recent moves around NFTs come up in conversation. Steam, Valve’s distribution arm has been seen as a one of the more cutting-edge services, with founder Gabe Newell once having a following like Elon Musk (at least in the gaming world). However, despite this perception they have never really been completely onboard with Crypto and the trappings of Web3.

Warfare has changed little over its centuries of existence. The tools have changes, the arenas have moved from two dimensions to 3, but the concepts and execution area basically the same. You need to not only assault and occupy ground, but you must stop organized response of whoever you are attacking or defending from. If you can successfully confuse or disrupt their attack/defense, then you gain a tactical advantage on the battlefield. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine this was very clear as the country was hit with multiple cyber attacks prior to the ground assault.

Last year a group call Centre for Countering Digital Hate reviewed interactions in the Metaverse. The results of their checkup were not encouraging as they encountered 100 potential violations of Meta’s policies in the span of only 11.5 hours. The focus was on the VRChat app, one of the apps you can pickup from the Meta VR App store. They recorded interactions in the chat app as part of their study.

US and other Western Organizations are preparing for potential cyber attacks from Russia, especially banks after a new wave of sanctions went into effect that included blocking the banks from the SWIFT system and freezing Russian assets. The goal of these moves is to make it difficult for Russia to continue with their invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions have also had an unintended effect on the citizens in Russia as they rush to pull money out of the banks before they lose access.

App Stores have been around for a while and pretty much everyone has one. Although they started off in the mobile device world, they quickly were bolted on to the other areas. As their usage has grown attackers have found them to be a very valuable resource as well. We have seen poisoned apps across just about every platform and the sophistication of them is increasing as well.

WMIC or the Windows Management Instrumentation Command line is a very powerful tool. It can allow an administrator or an attacker a lot of control over a system. Because of the number of times that WMIC has been abused to take control of/or compromise a system Microsoft has been testing the removal of the WMIC component of WMI. Different sources have reported that WMIC as a commend no longer works in development builds, but the WMI process is still running on the device.

Cisco has announced that a series of vulnerabilities along with the associated patches that go with them for some of the Nexus Series Switches based on NX-OS. Cisco’s NX-OS is the heart of their data center line of switches like the Nexus 3k, 5500 and 5600, as well as the 6k and 9k series. These switches are often deployed inside large data centers or used as core switches for data and storage networks. Because of this large and critical deployment footprint the new flaw (tracked as CVE-2022-20650) is a rather dangerous one.

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