Research Saturday

Research Saturday

Every Saturday, we sit down with cybersecurity researchers to talk shop about the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and technical discoveries.
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Recent Episodes

Ep 205 | 10.16.21

Groove Gang making a name for themselves.

Guest Michael DeBolt, Chief Intelligence Officer from Intel471, joins Dave Bittner to discuss their work on "How Groove Gang is shaking up the Ransomware-as-a-Service market to empower affiliates." McAfee Enterprise ATR believes, with high confidence, that the Groove gang is associated with the Babuk gang, either as a former affiliate or subgroup. These cybercriminals are happy to put aside previous Ransomware-as-a-Service hierarchies to focus on the ill-gotten gains to be made from controlling victim’s networks, rather than the previous approach which prioritized control of the ransomware itself.

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Ep 204 | 10.9.21

Taking a closer look at UNC1151.

Matt Stafford, Senior Threat Intelligence Researcher, from Prevailion joins Dave to talk about their work on "Diving Deep into UNC1151’s Infrastructure: Ghostwriter and beyond." Prevailion’s Adversarial Counterintelligence Team (PACT) used advanced infrastructure hunting techniques and Prevailion’s visibility into threat actor infrastructure creation to uncover previously unknown domains associated with UNC1151 and the “Ghostwriter” influence campaign. UNC1151 is likely a state-backed threat actor waging an ongoing and far-reaching influence campaign that has targeted numerous countries across Europe. Their operations typically display messaging in general alignment with the security interests of the Russian Federation; their hallmarks include anti-NATO messaging, intimate knowledge of regional culture and politics, and strategic influence operations (such as hack-and-leak operations used in conjunction with fabricated messaging and/or forged documents). PACT assesses with varying degrees of confidence that there are 81 additional, unreported domains clustered with the activity that FireEye and ThreatConnect detailed in their respective reports. PACT also assesses with High Confidence that UNC1151 has targeted additional European entities outside of the Baltics, Poland, Ukraine and Germany, for which no previous public reporting exists.

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Ep 203 | 10.2.21

IoT security and the need for randomness.

Dan Petro, Lead Researcher, and Allan Cecil, Security Consultant, from Bishop Fox join Dave to share their research "You're Doing IoT RNG," that they presented at DefCon 29. There’s a crack in the foundation of Internet of Things (IoT) security, one that affects 35 billion devices worldwide. Basically, every IoT device with a hardware random number generator (RNG) contains a serious vulnerability whereby it fails to properly generate random numbers, which undermines security for any upstream use. In order to perform most security-relevant operations, computers need to generate secrets via an RNG. These secrets then form the basis of cryptography, access controls, authentication, and more. The details of exactly how and why these secrets are generated varies for each use.

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Ep 202 | 9.25.21

Vulnerabilities in the public cloud.

Guest Ariel Zelivansky, Senior Manager of Security Research at Palo Alto Networks, joins Dave to discuss Unit 42's work on the first cross-account container takeover in the public cloud. The Unit 42 Threat Intelligence team has identified the first known vulnerability that could enable one user of a public cloud service to break out of their environment and execute code on environments belonging to other users in the same public cloud service. This unprecedented cross-account takeover affected Microsoft's Azure Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform. Researchers named the finding Azurescape because the attack started from a container escape – a technique that enables privilege escalation out of container environments.

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Ep 201 | 9.18.21

An IoT educational exercise reveals a far-reaching vulnerability.

Guest Jake Valletta, Director of Professional Services at Mandiant, joins Dave to talk about the critical vulnerability Mandiant disclosed that affects millions of IoT devices. Mandiant disclosed a critical risk vulnerability in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) that affects millions of IoT devices that use the ThroughTek “Kalay” network. This vulnerability, discovered by researchers on Mandiant’s Red Team in late 2020, would enable adversaries to remotely compromise victim IoT devices, resulting in the ability to listen to live audio, watch real time video data, and compromise device credentials for further attacks based on exposed device functionality. These further attacks could include actions that would allow an adversary to remotely control affected devices.

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Research Saturday
Host(s)
Dave Bittner
Dave Bittner, is a security podcast host and one of the founders at CyberWire. He’s a creator, producer, videographer, actor, experimenter, and entrepreneur. He’s had a long career in the worlds of television, journalism and media production, and is one of the pioneers of non-linear editing and digital storytelling.
Schedule: Saturdays
Creator: CyberWire, Inc.
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