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SMEs warned against cyber security risks

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

SMALL and medium-sized companies need strong cyber security measures as they are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which could hinder their business growth, PLDT Group’s digital enterprise enabler ePLDT said. Citing data from the latest report of the UK Government Security Breach Survey, ePLDT said that 98 percent of businesses in…

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Microsoft unveils a key weapon in the fight against hackers

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Hackers will now find it even harder to steal customer information from companies after Microsoft rolled out new security features in its UK data centres. The technology firm announced that Azure SQL Threat Detection will send users an alert when their website is being attacked and suggest how to deal…

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US cyber expert warns world is losing war against hackers

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Governments and businesses globally need to rethink the ways they deal with cyberattacks because what they are doing today is “manifestly not working,” Michael Daniel, a former cybersecurity adviser to US President Barak Obama told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of a cyber conference in Tel Aviv this…

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Hacked: How Business Is Fighting Back Against the Explosion in Cybercrime

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Business is under assault from cybercriminals like never before, and the cost to companies is exploding. Here’s what you need to know about safeguarding your digital assets. 1. Under attack In the summer of 2015, several of New York’s most prestigious and trusted corporate law firms, including Cravath Swaine &…

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How federal government departments are protecting Australians’ data against cyber hack

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

How federal government departments are protecting Australians’ data against cyber hack

The federal government has conceded it can’t be certain public service departments are secure against major hacking attacks, as Malcolm Turnbull’s senior cyber adviser suggested Australia might have dodged the latest international crisis because it fell during the weekend. At least eight Australian businesses have been infected by the bug crippling some systems in Britain, Europe and the US, with …

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Iran-linked hackers used Microsoft Word flaw against Israeli targets, security firm says

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Iran-linked hackers used Microsoft Word flaw against Israeli targets, security firm says

Hackers allegedly linked to the Iranian government launched a digital espionage operation this month against more than 250 different Israel-based targets by using a recently disclosed and widely exploited Microsoft Word vulnerability, cybersecurity experts tell CyberScoop.

The hacking group, dubbed OilRig by security researchers and believed to be tied to Iranian intelligence services, utilized a software flaw in Word officially known as CVE-2017-0199 that allows attackers to execute a remote computer intrusion to take full control of a target device while leaving little or no trace, said Michael Gorelik, vice president of Israeli security firm Morphisec.

Over the last month, Morphisec has investigated the incident on behalf of multiple victims. Clients showed forensic evidence on their respective networks that could be linked back to OilRig. After its disclosure in March, CVE-2017-0199 was quickly exploited by nation-states and cybercriminals alike.

John Hultquist, ‎Director of Cyber Espionage Analysis at iSIGHT Partners, confirmed Morphisec’s findings.

“We have recently seen these actors and [other] cyber espionage actors targeting Asia adopt CVE-2017-0199. The vulnerability was a proliferation issue before it was patched, and remains one now,” said Hultquist.

OilRig has been around since at least 2015, according to numerous security industry experts who have watched the group target Israeli networks repeatedly and with varying tactics.

To exploit the Microsoft Word vulnerability, a target must open or preview an infected Microsoft Office or WordPad file, which OilRig sent out in large numbers to hundreds of Israeli-based targets, including government agencies and officials. When opened, the attachment designed by OilRig would download the Hanictor trojan, a variant of fileless malware capable of bypassing most security and anti-virus protections.

CVE-2017-0199 was patched earlier this month by Microsoft after an extraordinary nine-month delay from when it was initially communicated to the company privately. Getting the vast ecosystem of Microsoft users to patch machines is a slow and unreliable process, however, so many often remain vulnerable after a patch is published.

Point of initial contact

“The OilRig campaign is a multi-stage kill chain meant to burrow into Israeli critical defense infrastructure,” said Tom Kellermann, CEO of D.C.-based venture capital firm Strategic Cyber Ventures. Kellerman is a major investor in TrapX, another cybersecurity firm that also detected and helped clients defend against the Iranian cyberattack.

The beginnings of the Iranian operation are believed to have started with a series of phishing emails sent to Ben Gurion University employees although it quickly expanded to include various Israeli technology and medical companies. Ben Gurion University is home to Israel’s Cyber Security Research Center, a scientific institute that develops sophisticated cyber capabilities.

Gorelik said an investigation is ongoing to better understand the full scope of damage caused by the hackers. His firm, Morphisec, posted technical analysis of the attack on Thursday morning.

Investigators were able to identify a series of command and control servers activated by the hackers on April 16, which were subsequently used to launch the offensive cyber operation, according to a notification published Wednesday by Israel’s Computer Emergency Response Team. The first round of phishing emails were sent on April 19 and the last came on April 24. The malware-laden emails carried subject lines relating to nonexistent “resumes, exams and holiday plans,” said Gorelik.

Exploiting CVE-2017-0199 enables an attacker to download and execute a Visual Basic script containing PowerShell commands whenever a vulnerable user opens a document containing an embedded exploit, according to American cybersecurity firm FireEye. Malware payloads executed after the exploit can come from all manner of malware families.

FireEye previously found that various hackers — including both governments and cybercriminals — were using the same CVE-2017-0199 vulnerability to breach a wide array of different victims.

On April 11, researchers at FireEye described an attack exploiting CVE-2017-0199 this way:

A threat actor emails a Microsoft Word document to a targeted user with an embedded OLE2 embedded link object
When the user opens the document, winword.exe issues a HTTP request to a remote server to retrieve a malicious HTA file
The file returned by the server is a fake RTF file with an embedded malicious script
Winword.exe looks up the file handler for application/hta through a COM object, which causes the Microsoft HTA application (mshta.exe) to load and execute the malicious script
“This kind of vulnerability is very rare,” Gorelik said. “There has been progress from this group. This is one of the more advanced fileless campaigns I’ve seen. It was a targeted, large campaign using quite a big infrastructure. It’s fileless, so it’s very hard to detect. They regenerated signatures on the endpoint each and every time for the trojan so it’s very hard to remediate, identify or remove it.

He added, “this Iranian group is quite advanced I would say.”

The Iran-backed espionage campaign was first revealed in broad terms Wednesday through a vague press announcement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, claiming that Israel’s newly formed Cyber Defense Authority helped to thwart the attack.

The attacks were “relatively well planned and took considerable resources. It is obvious that there was intelligence gathering prior to the attack and a careful selection of targets — in this case Israeli computing companies,” said Boaz Dolev, CEO of the Israeli security firm ClearSky in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Source:

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FDA threatens action against medical device-maker over poor cybersecurity

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is threatening action if Abbott Labs fails to address safety and security issues in certain medical devices. The company recently purchased St. Jude Medical, which makes implanted cardiac devices that have been the subject …

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Citizens Invited to ‘Stand’ against Child Abuse

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and GRADD’s Community Collaboration for Children and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services’ Department for Community Based Services invite you to help raise awareness.

CCC and DCBS are sponsoring “The Stand Against Child Abuse” on Thursday, April 17, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the side lawn of Kentucky Wesleyan College

Several activities for children are planned, including bounce houses, petting zoo, face painting, balloons, bubbles, a coloring station, and more.

This annual event helps bring attention to an issue that, unfortunately, continues to plague our nation, state, and local communities.

According to the most recent DCBS statistics, Kentucky Child Protective Services investigated 2,677 allegations of abuse/neglect of minors within Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties in 2016—including 1,187 cases which were substantiated.

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FOUR WAYS SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS CAN PROTECT THEIR COMPANY’S ACCOUNTS AGAINST HACKERS

These days, everyone is on social media, and customers expect you to be too. No matter what industry you’re in, if you don’t have a social media presence, you may not be visible or accessible to a large proportion of … View full post on National Cyber Security Ventures hacker proof, #hackerproof

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Parents speak out against bullying policy

A few parents say it’s time to address bullying at the grade school. They say it’s a problem. So is the way it’s handled.

Several moms went to the school board meeting tonight. One spoke at length about the problems her daughter and other students have had with bullying. She wants the school board to examine and change the bullying policy, at least at the grade school level.

At this month’s school board meeting public comments came first. Amy Huskisson started her time with a story her 6 year-old daughter told her about a 9 year-old boy at recess.

She says, “He chased her down, wrapped his arms around her, and squeezed her as hard as he could to the extent that her face turned red, almost a purpleish color.

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