Cybersecurity Comes under Scanner as Google Chrome Users Hit by Spyware Campaign

Google | June 19, 2020

  • A newly discovered spyware effort attacked users through 32-million downloads of extensions to Google’s market-leading Chrome web browser.

  • Instead, they siphoned off browsing history and data that provided credentials for access to internal business tools.

  • The extensions were designed to avoid detection by antivirus companies or security software that evaluates the reputations of web domains.


A newly discovered spyware effort attacked users through 32-million downloads of extensions to Google’s market-leading Chrome web browser, researchers at Awake Security said, highlighting the tech industry’s failure to protect browsers as they are used more for e-mail, payroll and other sensitive functions. Alphabet’s Google said it removed more than 70 of the malicious add-ons from its official Chrome Web Store after being alerted by the researchers in May.


When we are alerted of extensions in the Web Store that violate our policies, we take action and use those incidents as training material to improve our automated and manual analyses, Google spokesperson Scott Westover said. Most of the free extensions purported to warn users about questionable websites or convert files from one format to another. Instead, they siphoned off browsing history and data that provided credentials for access to internal business tools.



Read more: 65% OF PHISHING THREATS FACING REMOTE WORKERS IMPERSONATE GOOGLE-BRANDED WEBSITES

When we are alerted of extensions in the Web Store that violate our policies, we take action and use those incidents as training material to improve our automated and manual analyses.

~ Google spokesperson Scott Westover said


Based on the number of downloads, it was the most far-reaching malicious Chrome store campaign to date, said Awake co-founder and chief scientist Gary Golomb. Google declined to discuss how the latest spyware compared with prior campaigns, the breadth of the damage, or why it did not detect and remove the bad extensions on its own despite past promises to supervise offerings more closely.


It is unclear who was behind the effort to distribute the malware. Awake said the developers supplied fake contact information when they submitted the extensions to Google.“Anything that gets you into somebody’s browser or e-mail or other sensitive areas would be a target for national espionage as well as organised crime,” said former National Security Agency engineer Ben Johnson, who founded security companies Carbon Black and Obsidian Security.


We do regular sweeps to find extensions using similar techniques, code and behaviours,” Google’s Westover said, in identical language to what Google gave out after Duo’s report.


The extensions were designed to avoid detection by antivirus companies or security software that evaluates the reputations of web domains, Golomb said. If someone used the browser to surf the web on a home computer, it would connect to a series of websites and transmit information, the researchers found. Anyone using a corporate network, which would include security services, would not transmit the sensitive information or even reach the malicious versions of the websites. All of the domains in question, more than 15,000 linked to each other in total, were bought from a small registrar in Israel, Galcomm, known formally as CommuniGal Communication.


In an e-mail exchange, Galcomm owner Moshe Fogel told Reuters his company had done nothing wrong. “Galcomm is not involved, and not in complicity with any malicious activity whatsoever,” Fogel wrote. “You can say exactly the opposite, we co-operate with law enforcement and security bodies to prevent as much as we can.” Fogel said there was no record of the inquiries Golomb said he made in April and again in May to the company’s e-mail address for reporting abusive behaviour, and he asked for a list of suspect domains. Reuters sent him that list three times without getting a substantive response. The Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees registrars, said it had received few complaints about Galcomm over the years, and none about malware.


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Spotlight

Learn how threats like malware and various social engineering techniques are used to commit fraud and create data breaches in the financial services market. You will also gain an understanding of the differences between passive and active defenses and how to select and deploy an active defense - all to stop the bad guys before they can take over accounts, steal money and ruin your financial institution's reputation in the process.


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GreyNoise Intelligence Partner Network Launches in the Cybersecurity Arena

GreyNoise Intelligence | November 07, 2022

GreyNoise Intelligence, the cybersecurity company analyzing internet scanning traffic to separate threats from background noise, today announced the official launch of a mulit-faceted partner program to help customers defend against mass exploitation attacks. As an ecosystem for cybersecurity solution providers, the program offers an array of opportunities for technical alliances, channel resale and OEM partners. "Mass exploitation attacks like Log4j have become the attack vector of choice for cyber criminals and state actors. "Security teams are struggling to defend themselves against these kinds of attacks with tools and threat intelligence designed for last year's threats. By building partnerships with other leading cyber solution providers, we can help customers implement new security strategies to end mass exploitation attacks." Andrew Morris, Founder and CEO of GreyNoise Mass exploitation attacks leverage internet-wide scanning technologies to find and exploit vulnerable computer systems around the world in minutes. When a new internet-exploitable vulnerability like Log4j is announced, these attacks can start in a matter of hours, before security teams have a chance to put their defenses in place. The GreyNoise Intelligence Partner Network enables other cybersecurity solution providers to expand their reach, increase revenues and deepen customer relationships. The network has three primary components: 1) GreyNoise Technical Alliance Program. GreyNoise provides contextual data on noisy IP addresses that scan the Internet. Technical Alliance partners collaborate with GreyNoise to ensure that mutual customers can seamlessly leverage inter scanner intelligence in their existing workflows, tools and processes. Customers use this data to reduce their alert volumes by 25% and minimize alert fatigue. GreyNoise also sharpens threat detection fidelity for mutual customers by providing valuable context on known malicious internet-wide scanners, speeding up the triage process. With GreyNoise data, technical partners have real time visibility into mass exploitation IPs targeting specific vulnerability, which provides critical actionable data during an active emergent attack. “Whenever a vulnerability is disclosed the dinner bell sounds for good and bad actors alike, meaning organizations are already on their back foot,” explains Robert Huber, chief security officer and head of research, Tenable. “We know threat actors are monitoring disclosure programs in the same way we are, looking for newly announced vulnerabilities, studying all available information such as proof of concepts, but they’re looking to utilize the flaw. OUr partnership with GreyNoise gives our customers the tools to address these weaknesses when they’re publicly announced. In doing so, we reduce that intelligence gap and hand the advantage back to the good guys.” 2) GreyNoise OEM Partnership Program. GreyNoise provides an integrated out-of-the-box threat intelligence solution for security vendors, ISPs and technology firms to embed in their product and service offerings. Unlike other threat intelligence vendors, GreyNoise is solely focused on providing high fidelity data on IPs that are actively mass scanning, crawling and attacking the internet. Integrating GreyNoise data directly into the platform of OEM partners enables customers to intelligently rule out internet background noise, and helps them to prioritize emerging threats and targeted activity more effectively. “Modern security teams need a fast, flexible and scalable platform for threat detection capable of analyzing terabytes of data per day, with built-in threat intelligence to rule out activity from trusted sources, and immediately flag activity from known bad actors,” said Jack Naglieri, CEO and founder, Panther Labs. “With Panther and GreyNoise, security teams can cut through background noise, improve alert fidelity, speed up analyst workflows and ensure prioritization of the most critical alerts. By making detection and response faster and more accurate, security teams can better protect their organizations from disruptive cyberattacks.” 3) GreyNoise Channel Resale Program. GreyNoise is committed to developing partnerships with highly focused, security-dedicated channel partners to deliver the best results to mutual customers. Value-added resellers and distributors offer GreyNoise protection and intelligence solutions to meet the IT security needs of their enterprise customers. In addition to providing a unique data and automation security solution that is relevant to Incident Response, SOC and Threat Intel teams, GreyNoise has a transparent, simple and profitable, channel sales program with a generous deal registration and rebate structure. GreyNoise sales teams provide materials for channel partners to explain the value GreyNoise offers in improving analyst efficiency, leveraging customer investment in existing technologies, and reducing the overall risk landscape. About GreyNoise Intelligence GreyNoise is THE source for understanding internet noise. We collect, analyze and label data on IPs that saturate security tools with noise. 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Attackers Use Automation to Speed from Exploit to Compromise According to Lacework Labs Cloud Threat Report

Lacework | October 14, 2022

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Absolute Software Unveils New Product Innovations for Resilient Zero Trust

Absolute | December 01, 2022

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Fordefi Raises $18M Seed Round to Launch Institutional DeFi Wallet and Security Platform

Fordefi | November 09, 2022

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About Fordefi's Founders Josh Schwartz, Dima Kogan and Michael Volfman founded Fordefi after establishing themselves with decades of experience as leaders in crypto, cybersecurity, and financial services. Schwartz served as Chief Operating Officer at Curv, an institutional MPC wallet acquired by PayPal in 2021, and was Vice President of Sales at digital custody platform BitGo. Dr. Kogan's career spans more than 15 years in academia, industry and government. He received his PhD from Stanford with a specialization in applied cryptography and was awarded the "Best Young Researcher" prize at Eurocrypt 2018, the Theory of Cryptography Conference 2019, and Eurocrypt 2020. Volfman is an engineering manager with 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, serving as Vice President of R&D at Toka, was Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of an edtech startup, and a Director at Guardicore.

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Spotlight

Learn how threats like malware and various social engineering techniques are used to commit fraud and create data breaches in the financial services market. You will also gain an understanding of the differences between passive and active defenses and how to select and deploy an active defense - all to stop the bad guys before they can take over accounts, steal money and ruin your financial institution's reputation in the process.

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