The methods and mechanisms we use to understand and protect ourselves from the dangers lurking in cyberspace come from the exacting, often painstaking investigations of researchers all over the world. Each Saturday, we’ll talk to those dissecting the malware that’s disrupting business or stealing our personal information, identifying the vulnerabilities in our electronic and human cyber defenses, ferreting out the hidden surveillance features in the products we buy, and hunting down the threats to our increasingly interconnected world. We’ll also hear from researchers in industry and academia working to solve the hard problems of security in a rapidly evolving technological landscape, all while society grapples with the challenge of balancing security and privacy.
Research Saturday Episode List
Opportunistic botnets round up vulnerable routers
Researchers at Netscout's ASERT Team have been tracking the growth of botnets originating in Egypt and targeting routers in South Africa. The payload is a variant of the Hakai DDoS bot. Richard Hummel is threat intelligence manager at Netscout, and he joins us to share their findings.
Giving everyone a stake in the success of Open Source implementation.
Synopsys recently published the 2019 edition of their Open Source Security and Risk Analysis (OSSRA) Report, providing an in-depth look at the state of open source security, compliance, and code quality risk in commercial software. Tim Mackey is principal security strategist within the Synopsys Cyber Research Center, and he joins us to share their findings.
Middleboxes may be meddling with TLS connections.
Researchers at Cloudflare have been examining HTTPS interception, a technique that weakens security, and have developed tools to help detect it. Nick Sullivan is head of cryptography at Cloudflare, and he joins to us share their findings.
Apps on third-party Android store carry unwelcome code.
Researchers at Zscaler have been tracking look-alike apps in third-party Android app stores that carry malicious code. Deepen Desai is VP of security research and operations and Zscaler, and he joins us to share their findings.
Xwo scans for default credentials and exposed web services.
Researchers at AT&T Alien Labs have been tracking a new malware family they've named "Xwo" that's scanning systems for default credentials and vulnerable web services. Tom Hegel is security researcher with AT&T Alien Labs, and he share their findings.
Blockchain bandits plunder weak wallets.
Adrian Bednarek is a senior research analyst at Independent Security Evaluators. He and his colleagues looked at weak private cryptocurrency keys on the Ethereum blockchain in an attempt to discover how and why they are being generated as well as how bad actors are taking advantage of them.
A fresh look at GOSSIPGIRL and the Supra Threat Actors.
Chronicle researchers Juan Andres Guerrero Saade and Silas Cutler recently published research tracking the development of the Stuxnet family of malware, which ultimately led them to the GOSSIPGIRL Supra Group of threat actors. Juan Andres Guerrero Saade joins us to share their findings.
Elfin APT group targets Middle East energy sector.
Researchers at Symantec have been tracking an espionage group known as Elfin that has targeted dozens of organizations over the past three years, primarily focusing on Saudi Arabia and the United States. Alan Neville is a principal threat intelligence analyst at Symantec, and he joins us to share their findings.
Steganography enables sophisticated OceanLotus payloads.
Researchers at Blackberry Cylance have been tracking payload obfuscation techniques employed by OceanLotus (APT32), specifically steganography used to hide code within seemingly benign image files. Tom Bonner is director of threat research at Blackberry Cylance, and he joins us to share their findings.
Sea Turtle state-sponsored DNS hijacking
Researchers at Cisco Talos have been tracking what they believe is a state-sponsored attack on DNS systems, targeting the Middle East and North Africa. This attack has the potential to erode trust and stability of the DNS system, so critical to the global economy. Craig Williams is director of Talos Outreach at Cisco, and he joins us to share their findings.
Deep Learning threatens 3D medical imaging integrity.
Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel have developed techniques to infiltrate medical imaging system networks and alter 3D medical scans within, fooling both human and automated examiners with a high rate of success. Yisroel Mirsky is a cybersecurity researcher and project manager at Ben Gurion University, and he joins us to share what his team discovered.
Undetectable vote manipulation in SwissPost e-voting system
Researchers have discovered a number of vulnerabilities in the SwissPost e-vote system which could allow undetectable manipulation of votes. Dr Vanessa Teague is Associate Professor and Chair, Cybersecurity and Democracy Network at the Melbourne School of Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia. She joins us to explain her team's findings.
Establishing software root of trust unconditionally.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Security and Privacy Institute claim to have made an important breakthrough in establishing root of trust (RoT) to detect malware in computing devices. Virgil Gligor is one of the authors of the research, and he joins us to share their findings.
Lessons learned from Ukraine elections.
Joep Gommers from EclecticIQ joins us to share their research tracking the information operations and and security methods they've been tracking that Russians have been using in advance of the recently held elections in Ukraine.
Alarming vulnerabilities in automotive security systems.
Researchers at Pen Test Partners recently examined a variety of third-party automotive security systems and found serious security issues, potentially giving bad actors the ability to locate, disable or meddle with multiple vehicle systems.
Ryuk ransomware relationship revelations.
Investigators from McAfee's advanced threat research unit, working with partners at Coveware, have reevaluated hasty attributions of Ryuk ransomware to North Korea and have explored the inner workings of the threat. John Fokker is head of cyber investigations in McAfee's Advanced Threat research unit. He join us to share their findings.
ThinkPHP exploit from Asia-Pacific region goes global.
Akamai's Larry Cashdollar joins us to describe an exploit he recently came across while researching MageCart incidents. It's a remote command execution vulnerability affecting ThinkPHP, a popular web framework.
Job-seeker exposes banking network to Lazurus Group
Vitali Kremez is a Director of Research at Flashpoint. His team discovered that the recently disclosed intrusion suffered in December 2018 by Chilean interbank network Redbanc involved PowerRatankba, a malware toolkit with ties to North Korea-linked group Lazarus. The intrusion represents the latest known example of Lazarus-affiliated tools being deployed within financially motivated activity targeted toward financial institutions in Latin America.
Fake Fortnite app scams infect gamers.
Researchers at Zscaler have been tracking a variety fake versions of the popular Fortnite game on the Google Play store, along with associated scams. Deepen Desai is head of security research at Zscaler, and he joins us to share their findings.
Rosneft suspicions shift from espionage to business email compromise.
Researchers at security firm Cylance have been tracking a threat group targeting the Rosneft Russian oil company. As Cylance uncovered details, suspicions shifted from state-sponsored espionage to business email compromise. Kevin Livelli is director of threat intelligence at Cylance, and he joins us to share what they found.