Cybersecurity Allies: Weekly Cybersecurity Brief

cybersecurity allies
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An ally can be defined as someone or something that aligns with and supports a cause. When it comes to practicing good cybersecurity, it is crucial that an individual or an organization has cyber allies to lean on when disaster strikes. Articles by Catalin Cimpanu from ZDNet, Shannon Vavra from CyberScoop, and authors from The Washington Post reveal that cyber allies can potentially save an important entity from experiencing a major setback.

To start, earlier this week the Tripwire VERT security team discovered a vulnerability with 800,000 SonicWall VPN devices that allows hackers to crash devices resulting in a denial of service. This vulnerability was so grave that it was rated a 9.4 out of 10 in terms of threat level. A quick five days after the vulnerability was exposed SonicWall released patches in attempt to fix the issue before it was too late. In this situation, Tripwire served as a very valuable ally to SonicWall. Luckily, SonicWall has not reported any customer being affected. However, if the vulnerability were caught any later the news would be covering a whole different story.

Importance of cyber allies continued this Monday when the U.S. charged six Russian intelligence officers and members of the GRU for connection with some of the world’s most damaging cyber-attacks. These attacks include the disruption of Ukraine’s power grid, the release of a mock ransomware that caused billions of dollars in damage, hacked computers involved with the 2018 Winter Olympics and more. This particular group was also charged with interferences in the U.S.’s 2016 election. Although none of these criminals are in custody, U.S. officials want to send the message that this kind of interference will not be tolerated in America; and that they will serve as an ally to other countries who could potentially be negatively impacted by this group

In some cases, cyber allies need to be sought out after the problem occurs. Last week Barnes & Noble released a statement that its systems were compromised. The company confirmed that customers’ shipping addresses, billing addresses, emails and phone numbers could have been exposed. Barnes & Noble immediately shut down its networks when they were notified of the problem and contacted an external cybersecurity firm to fix the issue. The external firm served as a huge ally to Barnes & Noble and helped them get their network back up and running in a matter of days.

All in all, a cyber ally can come in many forms. Whether it be a researcher, a company employee, an external firm or even a whole country, an ally can make all the difference in keeping your systems secure. As a an individual or an organization, it is your duty to create a line-up of cyber allies that you can trust and rely on if disaster strikes. In the end, it could save you from major financial and moral trauma.

Key Takeaways

“800,000 SonicWall VPNs vulnerable to new remote coding execution bug” – Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

  • The Tripwire VERT security team discovered a vulnerability with 800,000 SonicWall VPN devices that allows hackers to crash devices and result in a denial of service
  • This bug is considered a critical bug with a rating of 9.4 out of 10
  • SonicWall is not aware of any vulnerability that has been exploited or a customer being impacted 
  • SonicWall released patches five days after the vulnerability was brought to light

“U.S. charges Russian intelligence officers in several high-profile cyberattacks” – Ellen Nakashima and Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post

  • On Monday, the U.S. charged six Russian intelligence officers and members of the GRU for connection with some of the world’s most damaging cyber attacks
  • Some of the attacks include disruption of Ukraine’s power grid, the release of a mock ransomware that caused billions of dollars in damage, hacked computers involved with the 2018 Winter Olympics and more
  • The group was previously charged with interference in the 2016 election
  • U.S. officials want to send the message that this kind of interference will not be tolerated in America and that your vote in the 2020 election will remain untouched

“Barnes & Noble cyber incident could expose customer shipping addresses, order history” – Shannon Vavra,

  • Barnes & Noble released a statement that its systems were compromised. The company confirmed that customers’ shipping addresses, billing addresses, emails and phone numbers could have been exposed
  • The company is unaware of what exactly got exposed and who may have been impacted 
  • Barnes & Noble hired a cybersecurity firm to fix the incident and their systems are now back up and running

Sources

https://www.cyberscoop.com/barnes-noble-cyber-incident-customer-data/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/russia-cyberattacks-election-interference/2020/10/19/51a84208-1208-11eb-bc10-40b25382f1be_story.html

https://www.zdnet.com/article/800000-sonicwall-vpns-vulnerable-to-new-remote-code-execution-bug/

 

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