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Experts talk about 17 frameworks for attacks on physically isolated systems

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For 15 years, 17 frameworks have been discovered that are used by APT groups in attacks on SCADA systems and ICS.

In the first half of 2020 alone, four different malicious frameworks were discovered designed to attack physically isolated networks, and the total number of these tools, paving the way for cyber-espionage and theft of classified information, reached 17 in 15 years.

“All frameworks are designed for some form of espionage, and all frameworks use USB sticks as a physical means of transferring data to and from targeted physically isolated networks.” told ESET researchers Alexis Dorais-Joncas and Facundo Muñoz in a new study.

Since physical isolation is one of the most common ways to protect SCADA systems and process control systems, government-funded APT groups are increasingly looking at critical infrastructure in the hope of injecting malware into physically isolated networks to monitor targets of interest.

According to ESET experts, frameworks are mainly designed to attack computers running Windows. At least 75% of frameworks use malicious LNK or AutoRun files on USB drives, either to initially compromise physically isolated systems or to move laterally on physically isolated networks.

Experts managed to associate some frameworks with well-known APT groupings:

Retro – DarkHotel (aka APT-C-06 or Dubnium);

Ramsay – DarkHotel;

USBStealer – APT28 (aka Fancy Bear, Sednit or Sofacy);

USBFerry – Tropic Trooper (aka APT23 or Pirate Panda);

Fanny – Equation Group;

USBCulprit – Goblin Panda (aka Hellsing or Cycldek);

PlugX – Mustang Panda;

Agent.BTZ – Turla Group.

“Each framework works differently, but they all have one thing in common – they all, without exception, use malicious USB drives. The main difference between connected and offline frameworks is how the flash drive itself has been modified, ”the researchers said.

Connected frameworks work by deploying a malicious component to a connected system that monitors the plugging of new USB drives and automatically places the malicious code needed to compromise a physically isolated system. In the case of offline frameworks like Brutal Kangaroo, EZCheese, and ProjectSauron, attackers must infect their own USB drives with malware to carry out an attack.

As a precautionary measure, organizations with critical information systems are advised to block e-mail access on connected systems, disable USB ports, “disinfect” USB drives, restrict the execution of files on removable drives, and regularly examine isolated systems for signs of suspicious activity.

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Security

Can Microsoft Defender antivirus be disabled in Windows 11?

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microsoft defender has reached a spectacular level of maturing with windows 10. What started as a basic malware protection more serious, it has become one of the best antiviruses on the market, with the advantage that it is free, lightweight, and is already included and activated with the operating system. However, there are times that we may be interested in deactivating it, but is it possible to do it with Windows 11?

When we install a third-party antivirus, Microsoft Defender is disabled. However, there may be times when it is not deactivated properly, or there may be times when we simply want to temporarily disable the antivirus to install something that is detected as a false positive. It is also possible that, on a weak computer, Microsoft Defender consumes a lot of resources; especially when booting the system. There are lighter options, or if we don’t have the internet connected device, we may not even need the antivirus.

Windows 11 allows you to disable antivirus

In the Security section of Windows 11, luckily, we can disable many antivirus functions, including Real-time Protection, which is the one that usually causes problems when it comes to detecting false positives in files that we know are safe. This protection can only temporarily deactivate, but the rest of the protection modules can be permanently disabled.

So, effectively, we can temporarily disable the protection in Windows. To do this, we go to Settings in Windows 11, and there we enter the Privacy security tab. In there, let’s windows security. Once there, click on the option that says Antivirus and threat protection. In there, we just have to go to the part of managing the configuration of Real-time protection, and disable it.

It can also be permanently disabled

This deactivation is temporary, so if we want to deactivate it completely, we will have to go to the Local Group Policy Editor. To go to this section, it is necessary to disable the function of Tamper Protection within the same section where real-time protection is temporarily disabled.

To do this, we look for theLocal Group Policy Editor«, or gpedit.msc. In there, let’s Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Once we get there, we look for the option «Disable Microsoft Defender Antivirus«. We double click, and we give Enabled. Now we just have to restart, and we will have the Windows 10 antivirus permanently disabled.

These are the best options we have for disable Microsoft Defender in Windows 11. Another option is to use programs like Defender Control or Configure Defender. This type of program allows you to manage a multitude of settings directly from the program and with a couple of clicks without having to navigate through the system settings.

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Security

ALL LG Smart TVs can be hacked through the Internet and DTT

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The SmartTV They have all kinds of protection mechanisms against vulnerabilities. Some even integrate antivirus to prevent malware from entering them, and all their apps are carefully analyzed. However, they always end up discovering vulnerabilities, so some people prefer not to connect tvs to the internet. The problem is that they got to hack some remotely without even having them connected to the Internet.

The vulnerability has been discovered by the hacker David Buchanan, also know as retr0id. This fault consists of remote code execution via DVB-T standard. In other words, the broadcast of the exploit is carried out through the signal that reaches DTT through the antenna socket. Needless nor that the TV is connected to the Internet in order to exploit the vulnerability.

It hacks through DVB-T and HbbTV

The error consists in executing scripts to generate a DVB-T transmission with metadata from HbbTV, the standard used LovesTV. With these scripts, a web page is loaded on top of the video feed, containing a V8 n-day exploit. Buchanan says that now all he needs to do is find another vulnerability that allows him to escalate privileges on the TV for even more absolute control.

The exploit works on a 2019 LG Smart TVs. Until now, this type of attack required the Smart TV to be connected to the Internet, but now all it takes is for it to be turned on. Buchanan says it may also be possible to hack a TV that’s turned off, but he needs to keep testing.

The bug is still unpatched on LG TVs, whose latest update was released last January 13th. The vulnerability has been published on January 14, so LG has not had time to fix it yet. Although the bug has been exploited on a 2019 TV, Buchanan says the bug can be exploited on 2020 and 2021 models. However, these models use newer versions of Chrome as their browser, so an n-day exploit will be needed. different.

In the video that Buchanan has uploaded to his Twitter account, you can see how you can get almost total control of the TV, showing notifications, messages, and even choosing the video you want to play on it.

The vulnerability demolishes all those comments that say that “if you are concerned about your privacy, do not connect the TV to the Internet”. Now, it is possible to hack LG TVs without them being connected to the Internet. However, the flaw can be mitigated by disabling HbbTV’s autostart feature, although Buchanan says that many other vulnerabilities remain in DVB.

Any LG TV can now be rooted

With this exploit it is possible root lg tv. There is a tool called RootMyTV, which makes it easier to take advantage of the vulnerability to install the homebrew channel on a TV after rooting it. Thanks to this, it is possible to install unauthorized applications and created by the community, such as moonlit to remotely play your PC games (since webOS does not have the Steam Link app), YouTube with enhanced features, RetroArch to play emulators, and many more to come in the future.

lg rootmytv

After the vulnerability, they have updated RootMyTV to the version 2.0, where, just by entering the website of rootmy.tv from an LG television, it is already possible root it to install apps on it. All current LG models can be rooted with this method, including those updated to version 04.30.57 released this week. The automatic system updates are disabled after rooting in case there is any problem with the updates. In case you want unroot, you just have to do a factory-reset of the TV to return it to the factory settings, so the method is quite safe.

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Gaming

Security problems detected in the official app of the Olympic Games

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On the eve of a new edition of the Winter Olympics that will take place in Beijing, China, during the next month, a series of security problems were detected in an official application of the sporting event, which is expected to be widely used by athletes and reporters who will attend the instance.

Citizen Lab, an Internet security firm, said in a report that the MY2022 application has serious deficiencies in its encryption, a condition that would make users’ confidential data, plus any other data communicated through said app, vulnerable to being pirated. Other important user data in the app was not encrypted at all, according to the report.

Olympic committee app has vulnerabilities

The above implies that the data transmitted through the application could be read by Chinese Internet service providers or telecommunications companies through Wi-Fi access points in hotels, airports and Olympic venues.

Specifically, according to citizen lab report, the MY2022 app shares information directly with some Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Meizu, Tencent, Weibo, AutoNavi and iFlytek, varying the type of data according to each case. Also, the presence of invalid SSL certificates was reported, a condition that hinders the encryption of sensitive information.

The report indicates that the application is mandatory for those attending the sporting event. Without going too far, the official guide of the International Olympic Committee instructs attendees to download the application before visiting China. However, the IOC issued a statement yesterday, noting that this smartphone app was not mandatory. The IOC also rejected the Citizen Lab report, saying that two independent cybersecurity testing organizations had found no critical vulnerabilities with the app.

China is requiring all international Olympics attendees, including coaches and journalists, to log into a health monitoring system at least 14 days before they leave. They can use the app to do this, or they can still log in through a web browser on a PC. The app allows its users to submit required health information on a daily basis and is part of China’s aggressive effort to manage the coronavirus pandemic as it hosts the games, which begin on February 4. The app also has chat features, file transfers, weather updates, tourist recommendations, and GPS navigation.

Given the environment with these technologies, many countries are advising their athletes not to bring their normal smartphones to China, but to bring temporary phones, or burners, that do not store any sensitive personal data, according to news reports.

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