CISSP certificate – II. Personal experience

In yesterday’s post we saw some general aspects of CISSP certification, which can be expanded consulting the official website of (ISC)2. In this post I will go into detail on the non-formal aspects, such as materials, advice and personal opinions. Let’s get started.

Is the exam difficult?

If you search on Google, the main user communities related to (ISC)2 are found on reddit and in the (ISC)2 forums. In both there are multiple entries relating opinions, experience with the exam, asking and giving advice, reviewing study materials and other topics. However, my impression is that the tone tends to be negative and somewhat frightening, terrifying even at times. Many people who have taken the exam describe it as very difficult and obscure with tricky wording. In addition, there are no “example” questions on the Internet, and the people who produce the training material (including the official question book) or teach the training courses (bootcamps) are never the same people who write the exam questions. Therefore, a critical element to manage during exam preparation is uncertainty.

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Ukraine election 2019 polls Maldoc: analysis

From Lab52 at S2 Grupo, we have recently detected a malicious document titled “Ukraine_election_2019_polls.doc”. The document was uploaded to Virustotal on March 12nd, 2019 from Germany.

The title and uploading date is especially relevant in this case, because of the existing conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the general elections at Ukraine.

Document content

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CISSP certificate – I

A few years ago (2011), our colleague José Luis Villalón told us about the (ISC)2 CISSP certification. As things have changed somewhat since then, and taking advantage of the fact that I recently passed the exam, we are going to take a look at this certification, the changes it has undergone and (in the next post) some advice that has personally helped me to pass the exam.

Introduction

The CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification of (ISC)2 is currently one of the main (basic to me, although that depends on your experience and background) certifications in the field of information security, although it is more widespread in the USA than in other countries, if we take a look at the number of certificates per country. While on 31 December 2018 the US had around 84500 certificates, between Germany (2100), France (1000), Italy (400) and Spain (650) barely reach to 4000 certifications. This is probably due to the fact that many Human Resources departments in the US consider CISSP to be a basic prerequisite in the field of cybersecurity, in addition to the significant greater acceptance that (ISC)2 certificates have in the US market.

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Military Financing Maldoc: analysis

Recently at Lab52 from S2 Grupo, we have detected an infection campaign through a malicious document that has called our attention due to its content and title.

The document in question, named “Military Financing.xlsm” and hash “efe51c2453821310c7a34dca3054021d0f6d453b7133c381d75e3140901efd12”  stands out mainly for the image it contains, which refers to a document with secret information about the US Department of State.

Illustration 1 Content of the document

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IoT in the Industry 4.0 – Our data – collaboration or use?

On 7 February, a meeting was held in Madrid at the Vodafone Observatory of the Company, where experts in the cloud, artificial intelligence, robotics and digital transformation gave a vision on how to face the challenges of industry 4.0. In previous articles by Joan Balbastre about Industry 4.0, we could see what characterizes this industrial revolution and its basic design principles. In these articles, up to six different principles are named and one of them allows us to focus on this text: service orientation. This orientation turned out to be the fundamental axis of the whole event.

It is true that, in the face of strong competition between companies from different sectors, the optimization of the products or services provided has become a priority. There are many ways to improve a company or product. In recent years, information gathering has become one of the fundamental pillars on which the Industry 4.0 revolution is based. The data collected from consumers allows companies to perform different actions such as preventive maintenance, quality assurance, real-time defect management, operations management, etc. A clear example of the change that companies in the industry are undergoing is the case of Quality Espresso, which has gone from producing only one product, designing, producing and marketing coffee makers, to the provision of an added service thanks to the collection of information. Quality Espresso coffee machines not only allow connectivity with different devices, but are also able to collect statistical information for the company, in order to improve the products or even influence the design of new ones, as indicated in the event.

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ORANGEWORM GROUP – KWAMPIRS ANALYSIS UPDATE

The OrangeWorm group was named and described by the Symantec Company in different blog entries [1] [2]. We would highlight from these entries that it is a group that has been operational since 2015 and is focused on attacking the health, pharmaceutical, technological, manufacturing and logistics sectors. The sector most affected is healthcare as described by Symantec.

Based on this information, Lab52 has carried out an in-depth study of the Kwampirs tool (OrangeWorm’s main tool) used by this group.

Next, the RAT (Remote Administration Tool) in Dll format and the main binary or orchestrator of the infection will be analyzed.

Technical analysis of Kwampirs Dropper

Within its arsenal, OrangeWorm has a RAT in DLL format whose execution and lateral movement is carried out by an executable together with the one that composes the threat known as Kwampirs.

Regarding the executable, which we will call “Kwampirs Dropper” initially highlight its resources, among which are two images with corrupt sections. One of which consists of the DLL with RAT capabilities encrypted with an XOR key that in each execution extracts, decrypts and executes: [Read more…]

Exchange forensics: The mysterious case of ghost mail (IV)

Articles in the series “Exchange forensics: The mysterious case of ghost mail”: [1] [2] [3] [4]

[Note: This is a fiction story, the characters and situations are not real, the only real thing is the technical part, which is based on a mixture of work done, experiences of other colleagues and research carried out. with the same technical dose but with less narrative, you can consult the video of the talk that the author gave at the 11th STIC Conference of the CCN-CERT here]

We return to the investigation of the incident by examining what our colleague had found in the OWA logs. If we gather all the information regarding the accesses made from the two IP addresses with the Firefox User-Agent, we find several patterns of interest:
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Exchange forensics: The mysterious case of ghost mail (III)

Articles in the series “Exchange forensics: The mysterious case of ghost mail”: [1] [2] [3]

[Note: This is a fiction story, the characters and situations are not real, the only real thing is the technical part, which is based on a mixture of work done, experiences of other colleagues and research carried out. with the same technical dose but with less narrative, you can consult the video of the talk that the author gave at the 11th STIC Conference of the CCN-CERT here]

After a sleepless night (tossing and turning, brooding on the incident and trying to understand what may have happened, what we may have overlooked, what we still need to try), we return loaded with caffeine to the Organization.

Autopsy has finished the processing of the hard disk image, but after a superficial analysis of the results our initial theory is confirmed: the user’s computer is clean. In fact, it is so clean that the malicious email did not even touch that computer. Therefore, it is confirmed that everything that happened must have happened in the Exchange.

We keep thinking about the incident, and there is something that irks us: if the attackers had complete control of the Exchange, they could have deleted the mail from the Recoverable Items folder, which they didn’t. But what they did manage was to erase it from the EventHistoryDB table, which operates at a lower level … or perhaps they didn’t either.

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Exchange forensics: The mysterious case of ghost mail (II)

(Note: This is a fiction story, the characters and situations are not real, the only real thing is the technical part, which is based on a mixture of work done, experiences of other colleagues and research carried out. with the same technical dose but with less narrative, you can consult the video of the talk that the author gave at the 11th STIC Conference of the CCN-CERT here )

On the previous article we left off with our views on the mail server of the Organization, a Microsoft Exchange 2010. The first thing we can do is ask Systems to do a message tracking of the email, using a graphical tool (although we can also do it by console) to locate the history of a high level email within Exchange.

First attempt, and the email still does not appear. We repeat the addresses and the Systems technician repeats the search without success. The email must necessarily be there, so we ask him to search again the whole day… and we finally find it, 14 minutes later than when it should have been sent.

Apparently the Organization has not implemented its time synchronization strategy well, and we have a 14 minute drift between the Exchange server and the clients (mental note: insist on the need to deploy an NTP server as soon as possible), but at last we have located the email. The screenshot sent by Systems would be something similar to this one (for confidentiality issues we cannot put any of the originals):

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(Cyber) GRU (VIII): Structure. Unit 74455

Apparently, Unit 74455 is linked to operations of disinformation, influence, propaganda … which would reconfirm the broad concept of information warfare of the Russian military doctrine. We have already referred to it repeatedly, and to the mixture of the purely technical field with the psychological field (dezinformatsiya, spetspropaganda, kompromat, etc.).

In fact, the US DIA speaks of the confrontation of Russian information (informatsionnoye protivoborstvo, IPb) as the term used by the Government for the information war conflict, with two major measures: technical, as a classic CNO, and psychological, as the attempt to manipulate the population in favour of Russian interests ([1]), speaking openly of “cyber” PSYOP. The first of these measures would correspond to Unit 26165 and the second to Unit 74455.

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