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Sdesc | 15 Apr 2014 | 0 comments

Targeted attacks are some of the most troubling and difficult threats facing modern security infrastructure. Symantec found that the number of targeted campaigns jumped to 91% in 2013. Discover more about these threats and learn which immediate steps you need to take to help defend your organization.

Jeannie Warner | 09 Apr 2014 | 0 comments

The number of spear-phishing campaigns grew a dramatic 91 percent in 2013 according to this year’s Internet Security Threat Report. With cyber attacks, it’s not a matter of if, but when an attack will occur. Without complete visibility into your environment and the current threat landscape, it’s easy to be blindsided by an attacker and have security incidents to go undetected. Organizations need to build a cyber-resilient strategy to protect sensitive data from targeted attacks and advanced persistent threats.

social-intelligence-blog.png What are Advanced Persistent Threats?

An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a targeted attack that uses multiple phases to break into a network, avoid detection, and harvest valuable information over the long term. The fact that APTs are often aimed at...

MSS Global Threat Response | 07 Apr 2014 | 0 comments

While news of the downfall of the Blackhole Exploit Kit (often referred to as “BHEK”) isn’t new, its rise and subsequent collapse is the stuff of internet crime legend. Originally appearing in late 2010, the Blackhole Exploit Kit rose to popularity due to its ease of use and overall effectiveness. Version 1 BHEK quickly became the de facto standard among exploit kits, wreaking havoc throughout 2011 and spawning a subsequent version 2 in late 2012. After the alleged creator of the BHEK, a Russian man known by the handle “Paunch”, was arrested by Russian authorities in October of 2013, a marked downturn of BHEK activity was observed by Symantec MSS. A second lesser known exploit kit named “Cool EK”, supposedly authored by Paunch as well, suffered a similar fate. Both kits have all but disappeared from widespread use on the internet by the end of 2013, with only a small number of holdouts (existing campaigns or old infrastructure) still employing them. This post is meant to highlight...

MSS Global Threat Response | 27 Mar 2014 | 2 comments


On March 24th, Microsoft posted a security advisory (2953095) for a newly discovered, unpatched vulnerability affecting Microsoft Word.  Microsoft has noticed limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted RTF file using an affected version of Microsoft Word, or previews or opens a specially crafted RTF email message in Microsoft Outlook while using Microsoft Word as the email viewer.  CVE-2014-1761  has been assigned for this vulnerability.

Please be aware that Word is the default viewer for Microsoft Outlook 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2010, and Microsoft Outlook 2013, and that even looking at the e-mail in the preview pane could lead to an...

MSS Global Threat Response | 26 Mar 2014 | 0 comments


Security researchers have released a paper documenting a large and complex operation, code named “Operation Windigo”.  Since the campaign began in 2011, more than 25,000 Linux and UNIX servers were compromised to steal Secure Shell (SSH) credentials, to redirect Web visitors to malicious content, and to send spam. Well-known organizations such as cPanel and Linux Foundation were confirmed victims.

Targeted operating systems include Apple OS X, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows, and various Linux distributions. The paper claims Windigo is responsible for sending an average of 35 million spam messages on a daily basis. This spam activity is in addition to more than 700 Web servers currently redirecting approximately 500,000 visitors per day to malicious content.

The paper lists three main malicious components (ESET...

MSS Global Threat Response | 17 Mar 2014 | 0 comments

After the disclosure of a recent Denial of Service (DoS) tactic involving legitimate websites using WordPress, Symantec MSS has been applying additional scrutiny to customers that may have been involved. According to a blog post from Sucuri, “a large DDOS attack that leveraged thousands of unsuspecting WordPress websites as indirect source amplification vectors” has been uncovered in the wild. We’ve discovered continuing attempts by attackers to leverage a legitimate feature called “pingback” found in many WordPress configurations in our customer environments.

While the concept of “pingback” abuse isn’t new, the scale of this most recent episode is larger than previously seen. All impacted MSS customers have been...

MSS Global Threat Response | 12 Mar 2014 | 0 comments

Since the 27th of February, Symantec MSS has noticed a substantial increase of inbound scans on port 5000/TCP across our global customer base. While 5000/TCP is commonly associated with UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), it's also the default port for the HTTP administration interface on Synology NAS appliances. We believe this uptick in activity is related to multiple remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in Synology’s DiskStation Manager which were recently discovered. Of the most active scanning sources, most are located within China, Brazil, and the USA.


Synology is a Taiwanese company that specializes in home and enterprise network attached storage (NAS) appliances. Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) is a Linux based operating system used for the DiskStation and RackStation lines of NAS products.

Multiple versions of Synology DiskStation Manager...

MSS Global Threat Response | 24 Feb 2014 | 0 comments


On February 20th 2014, Symantec published a blog on a new zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Flash (CVE-2014-0502) being exploited in the wild. Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh and Adobe Flash Player and earlier versions for Linux in Adobe Security Bulletin APSB14-07. These updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. 

This Adobe Flash zero-day, Adobe Flash Player and AIR CVE-2014-0502 Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2014-0502), is being used in a watering hole attack. This new attack has...

Jeannie Warner | 19 Feb 2014 | 0 comments

I’m excited to see so many changes going on in the areas of cyber security. Our leadership recognizes the future trend of organizations needing to drive intelligent security instead of the older concept of just layering products to address individual issues, which I think responds well to a world where people are realizing that there’s no single solution or product, no ‘silver bullet’ that will keep their organization safe. Even the threats themselves are evolving, with malware coders actively adjusting their attacks with every patch and signature the good guys put out. We’ve built this awareness into our whole security strategy at Symantec, and as our fiscal year comes to a close I can look back on what we’ve done and where we’re going with real enthusiasm.

Looking backward, in the last 12 months in Managed Security Services we’ve re-architected how we handle and process big data to provide a...

MSS Global Threat Response | 19 Feb 2014 | 0 comments


FireEye published a blog on a new unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 (CVE-2014-0322) being exploited in the wild on 2/14/2014. The compromised website (vwg[.]org) was injected with an iframe that redirects the user to the attacker’s malicious page, which then runs a Flash file. The Flash file contains shell code and it downloads a PNG file from a remote site upon successful execution of the IE vulnerability. The PNG file has a DLL and EXE embedded at the bottom. The DLL launches the EXE which is the payload.

Data uncovered during Symantec investigation suggests a connection between this attack and the malicious actors known to Symantec as Hidden Lynx. The data indicates the same infrastructure is being leveraged as found in a previous attack by this group who used...