Tag Archives: notPetya

SOC Forum 2017: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Massive Malware Attacks

Today I spoke at SOC Forum 2017 in Moscow. It was a great large-scale event about Security Operation Centers. 2,700 people registered. Lots of people in suits šŸ˜‰ . And lots of my good fellows.

SOC Forum 2017 Alexander Leonov

The event was held inĀ Radisson Royal Congress Park. There were three large halls for presentationsĀ and a huge space for exhibition/networking.

I would like to mention Š° stand of Positive Technologies. They have shown today their new PT Security Intelligence PortalĀ with dashboards for executives and joint service with Solar Security for providingĀ GosSOPKA functionality. Some stands were dedicated to Russian governmentĀ Information Security initiatives: GosSOPKA, BDU FSTEC vulnerability database and FinCERT of the Central Bank of Russia.

During my presentation, I was talking how massive malware (ransomware) attacks can be useful for an organization. Quite a provocative topic, right? šŸ˜‰ I meant it in the sense that all the hype around malware attack can help Information Security team to do the the following things:

  • Establish useful policies, like mandatory Windows host reboot after patch installation
  • Ban some convenient, but dangerous functionality, like smb file sharing between workstations
  • Implement useful processes, like system hardening (e.g. against mimikatz) or continuous processing of CERT (FinCERT) bulletins

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Petya, M.E.Doc and the problem of trust

I’ve already mentioned in “Petya the Great and why *they* donā€™t patch vulnerabilities“, that NotPetya ransomware seems trivial from Vulnerability Management point of view. It uses known Windows vulnerabilities, that were patched by Microsoft long time ago.

Despite of this, I was really interested in M.E.Doc (servers were confiscated by Ukrainian police and website is not operational) role in the initial phase of malware spreading. In my opinion, we have a pretty interesting example of an attack vector, that will be very hard to detect and mitigate. And moreover, it’s once again shows that protected perimeter won’t be a panacea anymore.


M.E.Doc – My Electronic Document Circulation System. “m.e.doc” sounds like the word, that mean “honey” in Russian and Ukrainian. That’s why all these bees in promo materials.

M.E.Doc is an Document Circulation System very popular in Ukraine. It makes possible to send reports to the government authorities in electronic form. It can be used in any organization. I can even imagine situation when usage of this kind of software may be even mandatory. Now the researchers [Eset, Dr.Web] say that M.E.Doc servers sent updates with backdoorsĀ  to the customers.

This backdoor has abilities:

  • Data collection for accessing mail servers
  • Arbitrary commands execution in the infected system
  • Running any executables
  • Downloading arbitrary files to the infected computer
  • Uploading arbitrary files to a remote server
  • Identify the exact organization using EDRPOU number.

I don’t really care about technical details about this backdoor. For me it’s enough that malicious code was on official server of the vendor and was spread to legitimate customers. Boom!

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Petya the Great and why *they* don’t patch vulnerabilities

I really like this. Just imagine. Quiet, routine, everyday Vulnerability Management process in organizations: scanning-patching, scanning-patching, scanning-patching… And then. Suddenly! PEEETYYA!!!

And at very same moment everything changes. People from different companies start to communicate with each other actively, reverse this new malware, share the data, write and share tools for detection and recovery. Security professional is a friend, a brother and a source of useful information for security professional. Real movement! Real community! =)

Petya ransomware

For example, my friends from Vulners.com created pretty popular gist about Petya (petrWrap, notPetya, GoldenEye) and updated in real time for several hours.

Vulners Petya gist

My former colleagues from Positive Technologies released detailed technical review of this ransomware (in Russian) few hours since theĀ outbreak started, at 01:00 am . They also found a local kill switch, and probably were the first one. Simultaneously with Amit Serper from Cybereason.

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