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Showing posts with label Teamviewer. Show all posts

FBI Warns About Using TeamViewer and Windows 7

 

The FBI issued this week a Private Industry Notification (PIN) caution to warn organizations about the dangers of utilizing obsolete Windows 7 systems, poor account passwords, and desktop sharing software TeamViewer. The alert comes after the recent assaults on the Oldsmar water treatment plant's network where assailants attempted to raise levels of sodium hydroxide, by a factor of more than 100. The investigation into the occurrence uncovered that operators at the plant were utilizing obsolete Windows 7 systems and poor account passwords, and the desktop sharing software TeamViewer which was utilized by the assailants to penetrate the network of the plant. 

“The attempt on Friday was thwarted. The hackers remotely gained access to a software program, named TeamViewer, on the computer of an employee at the facility for the town of Oldsmar to gain control of other systems, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in an interview,” reported Reuters. 

The FBI alert doesn't explicitly advise associations to uninstall TeamViewer or some other sort of desktop sharing software but cautions that TeamViewer and other similar software can be abused if assailants gain access to employee account credentials or if remote access accounts, (for example, those utilized for Windows RDP access) are secured with frail passwords. 

Moreover, the FBI alert likewise cautions about the continued use of Windows 7, an operating system that has reached end-of-life a year ago, on January 14, 2020, an issue the FBI cautioned US organizations about a year ago. This part of the warning was incorporated in light of the fact that the Oldsmar water treatment plant was all the while utilizing Windows 7 systems on its network, as indicated by a report from the Massachusetts government. 

While there is no proof to suggest that the attackers abused Windows 7-explicit bugs, the FBI says that continuing to utilize the old operating system is risky as the OS is unsupported and doesn't get security updates, which presently leaves numerous systems exposed to assaults via newly discovered vulnerabilities. While the FBI cautions against the utilization of Windows 7 for valid reasons, numerous organizations and US federal and state agencies might not be able to do anything about it, barring a serious financial investment into modernizing IT foundation from upper management, something that is not expected at any point soon in many locations.

Hackers Use RMS and Teamviewer To Attack Industrial Enterprises

 

In a recent report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, experts explained how there were certain modifications in attack campaign strategies and plans against industrial organizations. In 2018, Kaspersky had issued a report describing the use of Teamviewer and RMS (Remote Manipulator System) related to the attack campaign. However, since that attack, the hackers have evolved in techniques and attack strategies, becoming more effective and sophisticated. 

Attack Details 
  • Experts believe that the hackers have been found using fakes of legal documents that work as an instructional manual for industrial enterprises in recent attacks. The records, experts believe, were hacked in the earlier threats that hackers use to target industries. 
  • In a recent threat, hackers targeted various industries in Russia, and their primary target was the energy sector. Besides this, the hackers attacked logistics, mining, construction, engineering, metal industry, manufacturing, and oil sectors. 
  • The hackers use remote control softwares like Teamviewer and RMS for communicating during the attacks. Earlier, hackers used c2c (command-and-control) servers for the attacks. 
  • Hackers use Mimikatz utility and spyware to steal login credentials for the attacks. They also use it to attack other systems in industrial enterprises. 
  • The final aim of hackers is to take out money from industrial organizations. 

Recent attack details 
  • In recent attacks, experts noticed that various APT groups used simple hacking methods that were very effective in targetting industrial infrastructure. 
  • In a recent incident, Hacking group MontysThree APT deployed espionage attacks against an international video production and architecture company. They used PhysXPluginMfx (a third-party MAXScript exploit) and steganography for the attacks. 
  • In a similar espionage attack, hackers used infected payload as a plugin for the attacks against industrial enterprises. 

Summary 
While attacking industrial organizations, threat actors use simple but effective hacking methods that yield brilliant results. The change in hacking methods has put cybersecurity on an alert. To be safe from these attacks, experts recommend organizations to keep their cybersecurity operations updated and make it their priority. Kaspersky says, "Phishing emails used in this attack are, in most cases, disguised as business correspondence between organizations. Specifically, the attackers send claim letters on behalf of a large industrial company."