InfoSec Philippines

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Posts Tagged ‘social engineering’

GMA Fake Site and Tricks Scammers Use

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on February 25, 2009

GMA News warned the public last week regarding a fake site that reports fake news, which has fortunately been taken down as of press time. This reminds me of the recent fake news item about Megan Fox being a man. If anyone actually checked that site’s menu, they’d see links to a “Mutants” section and an “Aliens” section, which should readily warn anyone about the veracity of news on that site. Unfortunately some educated people believed that piece of news, which is really quite sad.

CSOOnline came out with an article detailing the Dirty Tricks: Social Engineers’ Favorite Pick-Up Lines, which are divided as Social Networking Scams, Office Offenses and Phishing Lures:

    Social Networking Scams
    “I’m traveling in London and I’ve lost my wallet. Can you wire some money?”
    “Someone has a secret crush on you! Download this application to find who it is!”
    “Did you see this video of you? Check out this link!”
    Office Offenses
    “Hi, I’m from the rep from Cisco and I’m here to see Nancy.”
    “This is Chris from tech services. I’ve been notified of an infection on your computer.”
    “Can you hold the door for me? I don’t have my key/access card on me.”
    Phishing Lures
    “You have not paid for the item you recently won on eBay. Please click here to pay.”
    “You’ve been let go. Click here to register for severance pay. “

Check out the site link above for more details.

The same author, Joan Goodchild, also wrote about Social Engineering:8 Common Tactics, and 3 Ways a Twitter Hack can Hurt You, which might interest you if you want to learn more about Social Engineering.


Tips
If in case you aren’t using encryption yet and want an easy and free encryption solution, you may want to check out TrueCrypt. Tom’s Hardware has published a how to and review to start you out.


Auditing
A consortium of US agencies and organizations released a draft of the Consensus Audit Guidelines that define the 20 most critical security controls to protect federal and contractor information systems.
The press release states that: “The CAG initiative is part of a larger effort housed at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC to advance key recommendations from the CSIS Commission report on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency.”


Other Security News
(The Register) New OS X research warns of stealthier Mac attacks
(The Register) Banking app vuln surfaces 18 months after discovery
(The Register) Hacker pokes new hole in secure sockets layer
(PCWorld) New Attacks Target IE7 Flaw
(PCWorld) IE8 Focuses on Improved Security and Privacy
(PCWorld) Microsoft Adds Clickjacking Protection to IE8 RC1
(PCWorld) Downloads for Hard Economic Times

Posted in Awareness, News, Philippines, social engineering, Social Networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Info Sec News, Feb 5, 2009

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on February 5, 2009

Seminars
ECCInternational will be giving a Certified BCMS (ISO 25999:2007) course from Feb 9-11. They will also be giving an ITIL Practitioner Program – Configuration Management on Feb 10-11, you can check out their Training Schedule here. ISO 9001:2008 IRCA Certified Lead Auditor Seminar will also be given either on Feb 9-13 or Feb 16-20. For details and specific dates, please contact Rose, Faith or Ness at 7505671 to 73 or email training@ccinternational.com.


Webcasts
CSO Online has published a podcast interview of Jim Routh who is the CISO of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC). He is a veteran technology and security executive, having held positions at American Express and American Express Financial Advisors before joining DTCC.

(Simply Continuous) How To Keep Your Business Running in the Event of a Disaster


Whitepapers
There’s a recent (Winter 2009) presentation published by the Standford Applied Crypto group by John Mitchell on Phishing and Malicious JavaScript. Aside from Phishing, the presentation talks about how JavaScript is used to obtain information from your browser. John Mitchell teaches CS 142, Web Programming and Security, at Stanford University.

(SonicWall) Bottom-line benefits of telecommuting & secure remote access
(Quest Software) Finding Complete Identity Lifecycle Management that Fits


Insider Threat
I either gotta love this… or get paranoid about this: Within 90 minutes of getting fired, a former contract worker for Fannie Mae allegedly added a malicious script hidden within a legitimate script that ran each morning on the network, which was designed to disable monitoring alerts and all log-ins, delete the root passwords to the 4,000 Fannie Mae servers, erase all data and backup data, power off all the servers and then disable the ability to remotely switch on the machines. This was fortunately found by another employee within days of the firing.

(Computerworld) Ex-Fannie Mae engineer pleads innocent to server bomb charge
(CSO Online) Alleged Fannie Mae data bomb author working for Bank of America now?

Another recent example of an Insider Threat is of a former employee that still has access to the system, as this article reports, “Mysterious Text-Message Alert at U. of Florida Scares and Angers Students.


Psychology/Social Engineering
There’s good insight as to the psychology involved when it comes to Information Security in this article from (CSO Online) Are You Addicted to Information Insecurity?

And speaking of psychology, CSO Online’s Anatomy of a Hack is an in-depth article on how Social Engineering can be used. Also in connection to social engineering, the FBI also warns of Money Mule Scams.

A novel way of luring people to a website with malware was found in North Dakota. How? Stick a parking violation ticket on the windshield, with the supposed details of the infraction on a website.

Readers of this blog might also want to check out What the Web knows about you. Its a 6 page article on what attackers may be able to find out about you online. If you’re in the US and is considering searching your SS number, check out this article first on Search Engine Privacy Tips from the World Privacy Forum website.


Browser Security
CSO Online also did a an unscientific poll of security experts on browser security, and it turns out that IE isn’t viewed as being as insecure as it was just a few years back. In relation to browser security, Firefox just fixed a couple of vulnerabilities in their release of version 3.06 of their browser.

Also related, Browser secrets of secure connections talks about how browsers play a key part in determining the strength of cipher used between the client and the web server. The article references the Infoworld Test Center Guide to browser security.


New DNS Attack
(CSO Online) Porn Site Feud Spawns New DNS Attack – Botnet operators are adding code to launch a new type of distributed denial of service attack, security experts warn
(NetworkWorld.com) Porn Site Feud Spawns New DNS Attack – A scrap between two pornographic Web sites turned nasty when one figured out how to take down the other by exploiting a previously unknown quirk in the Internet’s DNS.
(NetworkWorld.com Slideshow) How DNS cache poisoning works – this also has tips at the end on how to defend this kind of attack.


Other Info Sec News
(CSO Online) SMB Security: Five Bright Ideas – Small businesses have to be crafty to handle security with fewer resources. Here are bright ideas for SMBs.

(Computerworld Blog) Security businesses move ahead in this economy

(Computerworld) Removing admin rights stymies 92% of Microsoft’s bugs

(Computerworld) Microsoft denies Windows 7 security feature contains bug

(Computerworld) Banks, customers feel the fallout of the Heartland breach

(Computerworld) Study: Data breaches continue to get more costly for businesses

(Computerworld) Obama health care plan said to boost security, privacy controls – Privacy advocates say $20B e-health proposal overcomes some HIPAA concerns

Posted in Change Management, conferences, Incident Management, ISMS, Presentations, Privacy, social engineering, Webinars, Whitepapers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy New Year to All :)

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on January 6, 2009

A lot of people in the Philippines are probably still hungover from the long vacation from Dec 25 to Jan 4, unless of course they were part of sales, or a BPO… anyway, on to the news:

OpenVAS 2.0 was released around two weeks ago, and a respected security expert (who wishes to remain anonymous) thinks it is, “fast approaching the maturity level needed to truly compete with Nessus in the vulnerability assessment area.”

The OpenVas 2.0 press release states that:
OpenVAS is a fork of the Nessus security scanner which has continued development under a proprietary license since late 2005. Since the release of OpenVAS 1.0.0 in October 2007, the OpenVAS developers continued the auditing of the code inherited from Nessus and have added a variety of useful features for OpenVAS users, for server administrators and for developers of Network Vulnerability Tests (NVTs).


Some of the Philippines’ high ranking government officials may want to look into cellphone voice encryption (as mentioned in this SecurityPark.net article) before calling some other high ranking government official so that they wouldn’t need to give a televised public apology (wink).


Speaking of mobile phone security, there was a DOS vulnerability found in Nokia Series 60 cellphones just before new year’s eve called the “Curse of Silence”, which either stops the cellphone from receiving SMS until a factory reset is done (Series 60 2.6 and 3.0 devices) or not all SMS’s are received (Series 60 2.8 and 3.1).

This is done via the following steps (check out the demo video link below):
For Series 60 phones v2.2, 2.3, 3.0 and 3.1 attack target phones
1. create an email that has an e-mail address with more than 32 characters followed by a space.
2. set TP Protocol Identifier of SMS Message to Internet Electronic Mail
3. send message to target (eleven times to Series 60 v 3.1, only one message is needed for all other versions)

There are currently no client side workarounds published as of the moment. If ever you work for Smart Communications, Globe Telecom or Sun Cellular maybe your network team can take heed of the suggestion in the document that “network operators should filter messages with TP-PID ‘Internet Electronic Mail’ and an email address of more than 32 characters or reset the TP-PID of these messages to 0”. I also do not have a Series 60 phone mentioned in the list so I cannot test if it can affect cell phones here in the Philippines. Kindly drop me a line in case you were able to test this.

Phones affected:
S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 1 (S60 3.1):
Nokia E90 Communicator
Nokia E71
Nokia E66
Nokia E51
Nokia N95 8GB
Nokia N95
Nokia N82
Nokia N81 8GB
Nokia N81
Nokia N76
Nokia 6290
Nokia 6124 classic
Nokia 6121 classic
Nokia 6120 classic
Nokia 6110 Navigator
Nokia 5700 XpressMusic

S60 3rd Edition, initial release (S60 3.0):
Nokia E70
Nokia E65
Nokia E62
Nokia E61i
Nokia E61
Nokia E60
Nokia E50
Nokia N93i
Nokia N93
Nokia N92
Nokia N91 8GB
Nokia N91
Nokia N80
Nokia N77
Nokia N73
Nokia N71
Nokia 5500
Nokia 3250

S60 2nd Edition, Feature Pack 3 (S60 2.8):
Nokia N90
Nokia N72
Nokia N70

S60 2nd Edition, Feature Pack 2 (S60 2.6):
Nokia 6682
Nokia 6681
Nokia 6680
Nokia 6630

More details can be found in a must see video (21 MB) and a document (6.8 KB) on the website of Tobias Engel, who is a member of the Chaos Computer Club.


Microblogging site Twitter had a major breach and has phishing problems reports HeiseSecurity, SCMagazineUS, and SecurityFocus. Apparently, US President elect Barack Obama’s and Britney Spears’ accounts were compromised.

In related news, (The Register) Bogus LinkedIn profiles punt malware to fools.

A security update for the popular email client Mozilla Thunderbird was recently released. (Heise Security report, SCMagazineUS report)

The recently found MD5 vulnerability links:
(SCMagazineUS) MD5 insecurity affects all internet users
(SCMagazineUS) Hackers find hole to create rogue digital certificates
(Heise Security) Verisign/RapidSSL close 25C3 MD5 vulnerability
(SecurityFocus) Survey: One in seven SSL certificates are weak

Posted in News, social engineering, Social Networking, vulnerability, vulnerability assessment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Info Sec News, Dec 8, 2008 Updated

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 8, 2008

Upcoming details for this month’s Patch Tuesday can be found in Heise Online’s Microsoft wants to close six critical holes and PC World’s Microsoft readies Eight New Security Patches.

A Secunia blog states that 98% of all PC’s aren’t fully patched as was also reported in The Register and SCMag UK. No doubt this contributes to the millions of PC’s out there that are used as zombies unbeknownst to their owners. This happens mostly because people have too much confidence in their Anti Virus in stopping all threats. I’ll write about this more in another post, as for now, you might want to check out Secunia’s freely available Personal Software Inspector to check for patches their PCs may need.

Trend Micro researchers though, say that vulnerabilities only play a minor role (5%) in attacks. And that most attacks (53%) come in the form of Social Engineering attacks wherein the user is duped into downloading malware. An example of this would be fake anti-virus products that take up the top three positions in BitDefender’s Top e-threats (Heise Security also gives the list here). Which reminds me of what Zot O’Conner said in his talk at the Renaissance Makati in late October… that you cannot design a security product to defend against a user that just clicks and accepts anything.

In related news, Security Park reports that Human error continues to be the top cause of IT security breaches primarily because individuals are given the option to bypass them.


Other Security News
Center for Strategic and International Studies publishes report on Securing Cyberspace
Distributed SSH attacks bypass blacklists
New variant of DNSChanger in mass DNS hijack
The debate resumes over Mac Security
Identity Theft breaches on the increase in the US
(Security Focus) US Commission calls for Cybersecurity Czar
(Security Park) Free malware search tool helps financial institutions identify web attacks targeting their websites
SANS Webcast on December Threat Update
SANS Webcast on What Works in Security Information and Event Management
(Linux Security) New Wireshark Packages fix Vulnerabilities
(Linux Security) Never Installed a Firewall on Ubuntu? Try Firestarter
(Linux Security) Debian: New Linux 2.6.24 packages fix several vulnerabilities
(NY Times) Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe Even in Your Computer
(Translated by Google) 21 Million German Citizen’s Account Numbers in Circulation

Posted in Change Management, News, social engineering, vulnerability assessment, Windows | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Info Sec News: Nov 18, 2008

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on November 18, 2008

BBC Click on Biometrics

A few weeks ago BBC News Click published How biometrics could change security. The week after, they then published, “The pitfalls of biometric systems“.

Since its somewhat related to physical security, A UK fingerprint developer can read a letter from its envelope.

More news about the keyboard electromagnetic sniffing that was making the news last month:

  • From The Register Swiss boffins sniff passwords from (wired) keyboards 65 feet away
  • From BBC Keyboard sniffers to steal data
  • Video on keyboard sniffing from the very people that did the experiment can be found at COMPROMISING ELECTROMAGNETIC EMANATIONS OF WIRED KEYBOARDS.

  • The Register gives a tutorial on encrypting e-mails in, “Still sending naked email? Get your protection here“.


    Pretty sad that a UK Anti-Fraud site has crashed due to DDOS attack.

    The popular and free AVG Anti-virus has once again identified a trojan that isn’t one.

    A Vulnerability has also been discovered in the SSH Specification.

    The New York Times reports that Privacy Laws Trip Up Google’s Expansion in Parts of Europe

    The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Secrecy blog, reports that terrorists can presumably use twitter, instant messaging, etc. The article Spy Fears: Twitter Terrorists, Cell Phone Jihadists by Noah Shachtman on Wired talks about it more.

    If you’re interested on the pdf exploit (also see below in other news), Didier Steven’s Blog, talks about Shoulder Surfing a Malicious PDF Author.

    Other News:

  • Email ruse uses Federal Reserve Bank name to drop PDF exploit
  • Cybercrime expected to ramp during holiday season
  • New attack targeting Windows Mobile phones
  • Apple issues 11 security updates for Safari browser
  • How Outsourced Call Centers Are Costing Millions In Identity Theft
  • Although somewhat unrelated, InfoSec Professionals might also be interested in this article on airport security, The Things He Carried

  • White paper on Designing and implementing malicious hardware presented at the LEET ’08

    White Hat World Webinar on 10 Reasons your Existing SIEM Sucks! This will be held on Thursday, November 20, 2008 4:00 am Philippine time.

    Posted in ISMS, News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Getting funding for Security Initiatives by ENISA

    Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on November 8, 2008

    In my last seminar for ISACA Manila on Introduction to ISMS, I was asked a question on how to get approval for funding for security projects. I answered that Awareness was key. Upper level management have to have an idea what the risks are to their organization, and the possible consequences. Because coming up with the solution would not matter if there doesn’t seem to be a problem. I then said that a report by ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) might help. The report I was talking about was, “Obtaining support and funding from senior management.”

    The report talks about five areas identified as being crucial in obtaining corporate security investments:

    1. Define the investment rationale and the stakeholders.
    2. Build a persuasive business case to make senior management better understand the value of the investment.
    3. Estimation of costs: allows organisations to identify the most common expenses which they may incur and make rough estimates.
    4. Linking business benefits to information security initiative, define and calculate performance metrics.
    5. Detail a typical path to face a corporate executive in a senior management briefing. Effective communication is critical: the right information should be delivered at the right time, in the right manner, preferably 6-12 months ahead the project.

    For more information and where you can download the report, click here. And since we’re talking about awareness and awareness is the best control for social engineering, ENISA also has a whitepaper on “How to avoid on-line manipulation.”

    Another good article that talks about different approaches that can help influence management for their approval is, ISMS Implementation – The bottom-Up approach.


    Updated Links

    I updated the Security Awareness and Training Links to include Microsoft’s Technet on Security Awareness. The free 120 MB zip file includes, Security Awareness Program Development Guidance, Sample Awareness Materials, Sample Training Materials, and the following sample templates:
    * Brochure Templates
    * E-Mail Invite Template
    * Fact Sheet Templates
    * FAQs
    * Newsletter Template
    * Poster Templates
    * PowerPoint Templates
    * Quick Reference Card

    I also added a Philippine Tech Blogs links page.

    Posted in Awareness, ISMS, Whitepapers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »