UNSECURITY Episode 138 Show Notes

Hope you had a wonderful Independence Day (July 4th)! We’ve gone through a lot together in this country, and I love this place we call home. Lots to do in making the USA better, but this will always be the case. This is the best country in the world, and I’m grateful!

In case you missed it, two big events last week; the Kaseya ransomware attack and Microsoft’s PrintNightmare.

Kaseya Ransomware

So, you might have heard. On Friday (going into July 4th weekend), computers around the world (not all of them, but maybe ~1,000,000 of them) started to lock up. The announcement came around midday that Kaseya’s VSA servers were being used to distribute ransomware, primarily to MSP customers. My first thought was “Oh shit! We might have another SolarWinds.” Thank God, this wasn’t the case.

Facts started to come in, and it became evident that this was an attack directed at VSA servers hosted by MSPs. Some MSPs (about 2,200 of them) installed their VSA servers so that they were accessible from the Internet. I’m not a VSA expert, but this high number implies this as standard practice. A zero day vulnerability (and exploit) was discovered by the REvil ransomware gang (or an affiliate) and was used to infect clients.

Kaseya already knew about the vulnerability thanks to the good work by Wietse Boonstra and his compatriots at NIVD. The vulnerability was reported to Kaseya and the two groups were working on a patch at the time of the ransomware attack. The end result was somewhere between 60-70 MSPs affected and somewhere between 1,200-1,500 companies infected. Kaseya did a good job responding, and so did many MSPs. Lessons learned are TBD after the dust settles.

Links referenced in today’s show are below.

Microsoft PrintNightmare

If it hadn’t been for Kaseya, this would have been top news. In terms of scope, this is much bigger, affecting many millions of servers (and companies). In terms of potential impact, this also exceeds the Kaseya attack. News broke on June 30th about an impressive and potentially very damaging vulnerability in the Microsoft Print Spooler service. On July 1st, Microsoft released additional information about the vulnerability and offered (un)helpful guidance.

There is an exploit in the wild for this vulnerability that allows complete control over a server (and Active Directory).

We’ll talk a little about this too. Links referenced in today’s show are also below.

 

OK. Show notes for episode 138…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 138 – Tuesday July 6th, 2021

Opening

[Evan] Welcome listeners! It’s good to have you join us. Thanks for tuning into this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 138, and the date is July 6th, 2021. Joining me is my good friend, Mr. Brad Nigh. Good Morning Brad!

[Evan] Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. Many people had the day off yesterday, but some people were fighting the fire caused by ransomware deployed through Kaseya’s VSA servers. This is where we’ll start.

Kaseya Ransomware Attack

Here’s a list of links/articles we’re explore in this episode:

All in all, this attack could have been MUCH worse than it was. Incident responders did a great job and communicated well. More to come in time…

Microsoft PrintNightmare

This one is a doozy. Here are the three links/articles we’ll reference in this episode:

Last week’s show was all about Microsoft security debacles, and now this. A patch is not available yet and many IT teams are scrambling right now. I’m become less and less of a Microsoft fan with each passing day.

That’s it for today’s show. Lots of work to do!

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

Who’s getting shout outs this week?

Thank you to all our listeners! Thank you Brad for a great conversation! If you have something you’d like to tell us, feel free to email the show at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Other Twitter handles where you can find some of the stuff we do, UNSECURITY is @unsecurityP, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity, and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

…and we’re done.

UNSECURITY Episode 137 Show Notes

It’s been a few weeks since I posted show notes, and even then, I’m late!

If you working in the information security industry, you’re probably extremely busy. My busyness is what’s kept me from updating show notes and things.

Episode 137 was a fun one. Brad was back and we talked about all Microsoft’s recent blunders/issues.

John McAfee

Before we get into it, I want to take a moment to remember John McAfee. On June 23, he was found unresponsive in his jail cell at the Brians 2 Penitentiary Center near Barcelona, Spain. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 75 after an apparent suicide by hanging. He had just lost his hearing for extradition to the United States.

John McAfee was a very interesting guy, and some might say he was nuts and a crook. While that might be true (I don’t have evidence to say either way), I remember him before the mid-2000s, when he was an icon in our industry. The guy was smart as hell!

  • 1968 – 1970, programmer for NASA working on the Apollo Program
  • Software designed for Univac
  • Operating system architect for Xerox
  • Software consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation
  • Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Software engineer for Lockheed (where he first learned about computer viruses and came up with the idea to remove them programmatically)
  • 1987, founded McAfee Associates Inc which sold the world’s first anti-virus software
  • 1990, sold millions of copies of McAfee anti-virus software leading to John’s $5M/year salary
  • 1992, McAfee’s initial public offering (IPO)
  • August 1993, steps down as CEO.
  • 1994, sold all his remaining stake in McAfee Associates Inc.

In January 2014, after Intel (who’d acquired McAfee in August 2010) announced that McAfee products would be marketed as “Intel Security”:

I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet.” – John McAfee

Soon afterwards, the business was de-merged from Intel and re-acquired the McAfee name.

John McAfee was all over the place after divesting from the company with his name. He invested in many ventures, travelled, dabbled in politics (two U.S. presidential candidacies), was a person of interest in a Belize homicide investigation, charged with tax evasion, posted hundreds of public remarks and videos on social media, before it all eventually ended on June 23rd. He was a very interesting person who was influential in our industry.

I will miss him.

OK, now the show notes. Here’s the notes (with relevant links). Episode 137…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 137 – Tuesday June 29th, 2021

Opening

[Evan] Welcome listeners! It’s good to have you join us. Thanks for tuning into this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 137, and the date is June 29th, 2021. Joining me is my good friend, Mr. Brad Nigh. Good Morning Brad!

[Evan] Welcome back sir. Happy that you’re back in the saddle again. Microsoft was front and center in the information security news this week. Let’s dissect some of this.

Microsoft in the (Information Security) News

Here’s a list of articles that we talk about in this episode:

Obviously, Microsoft has its hands full. Don’t we all? One issue with Microsoft is how much control they have over our industry and how much data they hold. Significant information security events at Microsoft have a significant impact for millions of organizations.

Just one other news article of interest this week: One billion dollars lost by over-60s through online fraud in 2020, says FBI – https://hotforsecurity.bitdefender.com/blog/one-billion-dollars-lost-by-over-60s-through-online-fraud-in-2020-says-fbi-26049.html

That’s a lot to unpack! Hopefully you caught all that.

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

Who’s getting shout outs this week?

Thank you to all our listeners! Thank you Brad for a great conversation! If you have something you’d like to tell us, feel free to email the show at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Other Twitter handles where you can find some of the stuff we do, UNSECURITY is @unsecurityP, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity, and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

…and we’re done.