One year ago, we sat around a big table at The House of Blues Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, meeting with potential clients and partners and telling them the Kudelski Security story. In the United States, it’s quite a short story, but reality is that we’re just a new chapter in a decades-long saga which is Kudelski Group in Switzerland. Founded 65+ years ago by a Polish inventor named Stefan Kudelski, Nagra (which means “record” in Polish) would go on to set the defacto standard in analog sound recording. Inventing one of the world’s first high-fidelity recording devices was not enough for Stefan, it had to be the most precise, true-to-sound and most reliable recording device on the market. His hard work, alongside that of his team, led to numerous industry awards including winning three Academy Awards and two Emmy Awards. Yes, our trophy case has three Oscars and two Emmy’s in it.
Kudelski Group has a knack for recognizing shifts in the market. Understanding that digital was rapidly overtaking analog, the Group shifted its business model accordingly. Digital content created new challenges for producers and distributors, one of which is how to protect it from piracy and theft. Kudelski began to create technology and converged systems that provided security and encryption to content and media. While shifting from analog was a major step, the Kudelski Group core remained the same: an Engineering company.
We’ve added physical access security and lots of cool engineering and encryption technology since then and in 2012, leveraging decades of experience and expertise gained from defending, monitoring, and protecting nearly 400 million devices against digital piracy, Kudelski Security was born.
Kudelski Security and the Cyber Fusion Center
Our Cyber Fusion Center (CFC) is at the heart of our cybersecurity offering. The CFC takes business intelligence, threat intelligence, and security content and merges them to produce interesting, relevant, and contextualized threat information to our clients.
The next step in our evolution was to take on the largest security market in the world, the United States. In early 2016, we started planning our new approach and how to organize our services. We looked at the state of the MSSP vertical and realized after more than 10 years it hadn’t changed much. MSSPs were still content just trying to prevent breaches and while a noble goal, it wasn’t working. Organizations were still getting breached and the rate was accelerating; something had to be done differently and with a new perspective.
A New Perspective to Deliver Different Results
We built our services around the way an attacker does what they do. We organized into pre-breach, breach, and post-breach pillars, each with its own set of services. We recognized that with a strong post-breach offering we may just be able to become predictive in our analysis, strengthening our pre-breach and breach detections including our Threat Monitoring and Hunting which lies across all three pillars of our strategy. We included Threat Hunting in our Monitoring at no additional cost as it’s our perspective (and the Kudelski mantra) that a shift is necessary. The MSSP world needs to be prepared to handle the new challenges presented by advanced adversaries.
We pay special attention to the post-breach pillar because that is where attackers spend most of their time. We added Endpoint Detection and Response and Attacker Deception to complement our business and threat intelligence from our clients and it’s working. We’ve been recognized by Gartner in their recent Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response. You might be saying “So what?” but you should give us a look as we are one of the only pure-play MSSPs included, and the only representative vendor that provides hunting, deception, prevention, detection, and response as part of an overall post-breach strategy. We assume breach, which can be a tough pill to swallow, but necessary if we want to reduce the time it takes to contextualize the threat, detect a breach, and limit its impact.
For More of the Story…
There’s much more to this story that I’d love to share but let’s do that at BlackHat, DefCon, and BSides in Las Vegas. We’re back at the House of Blues Mandalay Bay again. I’m bringing some of the best minds in modern security with me, including Francisco Donoso, and we would enjoy talking with you about what our Cyber Fusion Center is all about and how our EDR strategy and partners can prepare your organization to face today’s most difficult threats. So, let’s meet up either for a one-on-one meeting, or at our debrief session at the Four Seasons Hotel, Monday 24th July.
See you there!
wCry2 Ransomware spreading via EternalBlue (MS17-010)
Update May 13
Data was coming in very quickly on Friday and while we worked to provide timely and reasonable information we know now more about what happened and how the Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware outbreak managed to escalate so quickly.
First some good news: The malware, once executed checked for the existence of a randomly generated domain. If the domain did not exist or could not be reached, the execution of malicious code continued. If the domain existed and was accessible, a kill switch was activated and the infection was halted. A malware blogger and reverse engineer from the U.K registered the domain which effectively slowed the malware spread in the U.S. Unfortunately, many anti-virus vendors began to block the domain, unintentionally allowing the installation to continue, realizing the error some of the anti-virus vendors have removed the block and now sinkhole the domain instead.
More information here:
The unfortunate news is that there are now samples emerging that no longer contain the domain based “kill switch”.
An example of this new variant is available here:
Additionally, after further review of the malicious binaries, we’ve identified that all RF1918 (private) netblocks as well as randomly generated internet netblocks are also scanned looking for further propagation avenues. This means that organizations could also potentially be affected by way of site-to-site VPN connection with business partners or vendors. The ransomware has also spread via guest wifi, thus users should be cautious as it is possible they could be affected while connected to an open wifi hotspot.
Researchers have noted that WannaCry 2.0 is not the actual worm. The worm is the MS17-010 “spreader”. WannaCry 2.0 is dropped by the “spreader” which can also be used to drop other binaries and files. Thus, it is extremely critical that organizations apply the MS17-010 patches as quickly as possible.
Mac OS and Linux users running Windows VMs or Wine are also affected if not patched.
Along with the ETERNALBLUE components, the dropper also calls out and downloads DOUBLEPULSAR. Organizations affected will want to check for the existence of DOUBLEPULSAR once the initial attack is remediated. There is a free script available to check for this located here:
The Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware campaign utilized 3 Bitcoin wallets and as of today they show modest returns. Note: there is no indication that paying the ransom actually provided the user with the keys to decrypt their data and some researchers reported that users had to interact with a human via phone or web chat to negotiate. In the ransom note, the attackers mention that if someone is “too poor” to pay that their files will automatically decrypt in 6 months.
The following Bitcoin wallets have been linked to this ransomware campaign:
The Global response to this campaign has been swift and effective, unfortunately, too late for a large number of European organizations. Microsoft released updates to its malware protection engine to block the malware. Additionally, Microsoft has unexpectedly released security patches for EternalBlue and MS17-010 vulnerabilities for the unsupported Windows XP, Vista, Windows 8, and Windows server 2013 operating systems.
When unfortunate events like this take place, it’s easy for information security practitioners to point fingers and assign blame but the global information security community would be better served by helping organizations understand and avoid these situations in the future.
Moving forward, Kudelski Security expects to see most if not all ransomware and malware families using similar techniques to spread quickly and infect large numbers of users and organizations.
This global ransomware outbreak is a stark reminder that organizations must have the basics covered. Organizations must review and evaluate their vulnerability and patch management programs to ensure confidence, comprehensiveness, and effectiveness. Security patches are a fundamental and critical foundation of any organizations security program and should be tested and applied quickly. Organizations should also perform a “health checkup” and review backup strategies, test backups regularly, and ensure backups are easily accessible while also being protected from encryption and deletion. Also, organizations should review and reevaluate what traffic is allowed to and from the internet.
Once the basics are covered, now is the time to start looking at some of the newer endpoint protection platforms that rely on behavioral indicators that executables could be malicious instead of solely relying on signatures.
Now is the time to take a look at security, review and apply the basics, and then pragmatically strengthen its effectiveness.
On May 12 2017, a widespread cyber-attack utilizing the WCry2 ransomware, also known as Wana Decrypt0r 2.0, began spreading across the globe. At the time of this writing, the Ransomware has currently impacted organizations in 99 countries and continues to spread. Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 uses the EternalBlue exploit (MS17-010), released by the Shadow Brokers in March 2017. This SMB exploit is used to attempt to infect other machines within the same network and to scan for, and infect, potentially vulnerable Windows machines on the internet.
Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 is a highly effective ransomware variant that encrypts several file types, making them inaccessible to the user, and demands a payment of $300 U.S dollars in Bitcoin to decrypt the files.
Additional details on Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 and EternalBlue (MS17-010)
Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 is a variant of the WannaCrypt ransomware family that is currently being spread by exploiting EternalBlue (MS17-010). Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 encrypts several file types on an infected computer demands a ransom of $300 USD in Bitcoin to decrypt the inaccessible files.
ExternalBlue is an exploit that takes advantage of previous vulnerabilities in SMB, a critical protocol for Windows Systems. The exploit allows for the remote execution of malicious code on vulnerable systems without requiring any use interaction. The ExternalBlue exploit requires that the systems be vulnerable and expose the SMB service (enabled by default on Windows systems) to successfully compromise a system and replicate across network infrastructure to other vulnerable Windows systems.
At the time of this writing, this cyber-attack has quickly spread to 99 countries across multiple regions of the world. This global threat arrives in the form of a phishing email with a malicious attachment, once the malicious attachment is opened a dropper begins to download and unpack the actual ransomware code. The ransomware encrypts the user’s files, scans the networks to which the machine is connected, and uses the EternalBlue exploit to spread across organizations with unpatched Windows systems.
Kudelski Security has observed several industries and regions being specifically targeted by this ransomware campaign. Kudelski Security has intelligence that indicates that other ramsomware campaigns are activity integrating more of the Fuzzbunch framework exploits into their code.
As of this writing, according to internet scanning tool Shodan, there are approximately 2.4 million internet exposed systems which may be vulnerable to this exploit.
Mitigation and Response
Microsoft released a patch for the EternalBlue and other critical remote code execution vulnerabilities in March 2017 as part of Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010.
Kudelski Security recommends that clients immediately apply the patch for MS17-010. For organizations unable to quickly apply the Microsoft patches, potential mitigations include using a GPO to apply Windows Firewall rules to block inbound SMB connections on all unpatched endpoint systems and limiting SMB connections between servers.
Kudelski Security also recommends limiting all inbound and outbound communication on UDP ports 137 & 138 and TCP ports 139 & 445 on internet firewalls in order to reduce exposure and the slow the propagation of this ransomware.
Kudelski Security recommends backing up all files, including systems already affected by the ransomware in case future decryption tools become available.
Additionally, Kudelski Security recommends that organizations evaluate their vulnerability management programs to ensure that updates and patches are tested and applied quickly once they are released.
The Kudelski Security Cyber Fusion Center has ensured all managed and monitored security devices are updated with detection signatures and methodology to detect the uses of the Wana DeCrypt0r 2.0 ransomware and exploitation with ExternalBlue and other recent Windows exploits.
VirusTotal analysis of malicious PDF
Learn More about Kudelski Security’s Managed Security Services (powered by our Cyber Fusion Center)