Thoughts From The Nest

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Threat Report Friday December 14th 2018

on December 14, 2018

There has been a lot of interesting development over the last week, so let’s roll through it. In response to world events, nation-states are being implicated in hacking each other. Microsoft and Adobe released critical patches to cover code execution vulnerabilities. Malware authors are increasingly targeting Mac OS X. And, an APT takes aim at academics.

After poisoning ex-spies, Russian government hit with Poison Needles

Adobe has now released a patch for CVE-2018-15982 that was recently used in compromising a Russian medical facility. 360 Core Security researchers disclosed findings related to a security incident from late November 2018 involving the FSBI Polyclinic No.2.

The attacker used spear-phishing with an attached doc that appeared as an in-depth employee questionnaire to exploit a recent flash 0-day (CVE-2018-15982), and deploy a customized trojan with the ability to detect when it has been caught and self-destruct. The primary function of this trojan seems to be maintaining persistence, avoiding detection, and exfiltrating data to an IP in Romania. Researchers named the attack as “Operation Poison Needles” as the target was a medical institution; but I think the name might be fitting for other reasons. The attacker launched the trojan from a compressed package. The PE payload backup.exe masqueraded as an NVIDIA control panel application with detailed file descriptions and version numbers.  

Some commentators believe that this was in response to the Kerch Strait incident which occurred on November 25, 2018. I believe this is a response to Russian activity, but not the Kerch Straight incident. What relevance does an attack on a Russian health organization have in response to a military aggressiveness? I believe this may be a response related to the UK poisoning plot targeting former Russian agent Sergei Skripal. This customized trojan and spear-phishing seem to be an information grab. The FSBI Polyclinic 2 could be the facility that created or stored the Novichok nerve agent used in the poisoning plot. Poison Needles may have been an operation to find evidence related to that attack.

Samples of the customized Trojan were first uploaded to virus total on November 29. The Kerch Straight incident occurred on November 25. If this were a response to any incident, then it was likely a failure. If I were a nation-state hack team, I’d like to get more use out of custom malware and an Adobe 0-day than four days. Although, four days is plenty to completely compromise a network. So, maybe they got what they were looking for. Either way, I feel the response is not relevant to the Kerch Straight incident and so it must be related to something else… or maybe nothing at all. Perhaps the timing was meant to provide false attribution to Ukraine.  


- 2abb76d71fb1b43173589f56e461011b  
- 92b1c50c3ddf8289e85cbb7f8eead077
- 1cbc626abbe10a4fae6abf0f405c35e2

More details about:



Windows patch Tuesday - December

Adobe isn’t the only software company releasing some serious patches. This week we’ve got another critical patch, Tuesday from Microsoft. The patch includes a fix for the Win32k Privilege Escalation Vulnerability (CVE-2018-8611) which allows attackers to exploit the Windows Kernel to run arbitrary code to install programs, modify data, or create accounts. The fix also covers a Heap Overflow remote code execution (RCE) that’s being actively exploited in Windows DNS Server when it failed to properly handle a specially crafted request. Attackers can exploit this vulnerability to run arbitrary code in the context of the Local System Account.

OSX.DarthMiner brings MAC OSX to the Darkside

Some malware writing Sith Lords are force pulling Macs into a crypto mining botnet with malware dubbed OSX.DarthMiner. In a recent report from malwarebytes, researchers profiled the Mac malware and found that it was combining EmPyre for a backdoor with XMRig for crypto mining. Although this malware seems focused on mining it does have the ability to execute commands specified by a remote user through EmPyre. DarthMiner is likely stealing passwords and other such sensitive information.  

The malware is being distributed through a fake version of a popular Adobe pirating tool Adobe Zii.

And they say the Empire did nothing wrong.


- ebecdeac53069c9db1207b2e0d1110a73bc289e31b0d3261d903163ca4b1e31e

More details about:

Academia threatened with STOLEN PENCIL

ASERT researchers from Arbor Networks have disclosed their findings on STOLEN PENCIL, an APT campaign targeting academic institutions. Active since at least May 2018, researchers have not attributed the campaign to any one actor, however, they identify the activity as “possibly originating from DPRK (North Korea).” Attackers appear interested in collecting credentials.  

Targets are sent spear-phishing emails that lead to a website displaying a lure and are prompted to install a malicious Google Chrome extension. Many targets are specialized in biomedical engineering, suggesting a possible motivation. Researchers state that poor operational security led to users finding open Web browsers in Korean, English-to-Korean translators open, and keyboards switched to Korean. The attackers use built-in Windows admin tools and commercial off the shelf software to “live off the land.”  

Post-exploitation persistence is maintained by harvesting passwords from a wide variety of sources such as process memory, Web browsers, network sniffing, and keyloggers. Researchers state that they have not yet discovered evidence of data theft. The following indicators of compromise were released with ASERT’s findings.


- 9d1e11bb4ec34e82e09b4401cd37cf71
- 8b8a2b271ded23c40918f0a2c410571d
- 2ec54216e79120ba9d6ed2640948ce43
- 6a127b94417e224a237c25d0155e95d6
- fd14c377bf19ed5603b761754c388d72
- 1d6ce0778cabecea9ac6b985435b268b
- ab4a0b24f706e736af6052da540351d8
- f082f689394ac71764bca90558b52c4e
- ecda8838823680a0dfc9295bdc2e31fa
- 1cdb3f1da5c45ac94257dbf306b53157
- 2d8c16c1b00e565f3b99ff808287983e
- 5b32288e93c344ad5509e76967ce2b18
- 4e0696d83fa1b0804f95b94fc7c5ec0b
- af84eb2462e0b47d9595c21cf0e623a5
- 75dd30fd0c5cf23d4275576b43bbab2c
- 98de4176903c07b13dfa4849ec88686a
- 09fabdc9aca558bb4ecf2219bb440d98
- 1bd173ee743b49cee0d5f89991fc7b91
- e5e8f74011167da1bf3247dae16ee605
- 0569606a0a57457872b54895cf642143
- 52dbd041692e57790a4f976377adeade


- bizsonet.ayar[.]biz
- bizsonet[.]com
- client-message[.]com
- client-screenfonts[.]com
- *.coreytrevathan[.]com (possibly compromised legitimate site)
- docsdriver[.]com
- grsvps[.]com
- *.gworldtech[.]com (possibly compromised legitimate site)
- itservicedesk[.]org
- pqexport[.]com
- scaurri[.]com
- secozco[.]com
- sharedriver[.]pw
- sharedriver[.]us
- tempdomain8899[.]com
- world-paper[.]net
- zwfaxi[.]com

IP Addresses:


Threat Report Thursday December 6th 2018

on December 6, 2018

This week we’re covering a developing story around a Kubernetes vulnerability that is still shrouded in mystery, a string of high-profile data breaches, and following up on the mobile spyware topic from last week.

You Never Forget Your First Hack

You’ve been hacked. How did this happen? You learn a lot from responding to security incidents and Kubernetes is learning some of those lessons now, the hard way. Red Hat security researchers have recently discovered Kubernetes’ first major security flaw, CVE-2018-1002105, a privilege escalation vulnerability that targets Kubernetes-based services and products.

Red Hat disclosed the flaw to Kubernetes after they detected an exploitation attempt to the Kubernetes API server’s Transport Layer Security (TLS) credentials. Red Hat also noticed that the vulnerability makes it possible for any user to gain full administrative access on any machine running with the Kubernetes platform. Researchers have detected active attacks using this vulnerability. However, it is unclear at present how this vulnerability is being delivered because the de-auth requests are made over an established connection and do not appear in Kubernetes API server audit logs.

The affected versions are Kubernetes v1.0.x through v1.9.x. Users and organizations were advised to update to one of the following patched versions of Kubernetes: v1.10.11, v1.11.5, v1.12.3, and v1.13.0-rc.1. No indicators of compromise were released with Red Hat’s findings; however, they have published an in-depth technical report.

Big Data Score in High-Profile Data Heist

We’ve seen a burst of high-profile data drops recently. Data from over 600 million users was recently compromised in just three breaches. The Nation Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Quora, and Marriot have all recently disclosed breaches. Each of these breaches can teach us different lessons related to merger and acquisition security, the benefits of security monitoring, and encrypting data at rest.

Although there was a low number of user accounts compromised in the NRCC hack, it only takes one compromised user to have a data breach. NRCC was notified about the breach through a managed security service provider (MSSP). The NRCC then reported the breach to Crowdstrike, one of their security vendors. It’s good that the NRCC had security monitoring. This breach could have lasted for more than the “several months” that attackers reportedly maintained access to compromised accounts.

If this were a hacktivist group, we would expect to see a data dump. If this were a profiteer, we would expect to see a ransom. Neither of these scenarios has occurred. That gives us good reason to believe that the threat actors are not motivated by money or protest. Allow me to be speculative. The threat actors are likely after the intelligence. With enough private communications between Republican politicians, they could gain the leverage needed to ease sanctions related to ongoing Crimea occupation and DNC email hack. During this time, we have seen exactly this occur as House Republicans cool on Russian sanctions.

Quora recently lost user information related to 100 million users. Although the information was not particularly sensitive information, it did include email addresses and hashed passwords. There was no indication if the passwords were salted. And there was no mention of a salt being used in the password hashes. Millions of these hashes have likely been cracked. We’ve already heard private reports about this data being leveraged to attempt to access email accounts. If you’ve ever used Quora with a common password, you should reset that password wherever you have used it.

On Friday, November 30, 2018, Marriott Hotels publicly disclosed a breach impacting the network of their subsidiary, Starwood Hotels and Resorts. This shows the danger of mergers and acquisitions. When you buy another company their security problems become your security problems. Amazon saw this with Twitch, and Marriott is now seeing it with the Starwood acquisition. The official statement emphasizes that the Marriott network was not involved, as the investigation only identified unauthorized access to Starwood’s network.

According to the investigation, the intrusion occurred on or before September 10, 2018, and targeted guest information from reservations. Marriott estimates that the activity affected 500 million guests. Compromised data included a combination of names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, reservation dates, and other data points. Marriott also stated that an unknown amount of payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates were accessed with other customer data. It is not clear if the accessed data was successfully exfiltrated by attackers, so we should assume that it definitely was.

Marriott states during their investigation, there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014. The investigation was partially alerted to the activity due to the actors copying and encrypting data from the Starwood Guest Reservation Database. Marriott was able to decrypt the data and determined it was from guest reservations on or close to September 10, 2018. It is unclear if the data was encrypted to help with exfiltration or to destroy evidence of the intrusion. However, the steps taken by the actor to hide the stolen data, or potentially destroy it, show their interest in the sensitive personally identifiable information and ensuring a delayed discovery that such information had been compromised. Speaking of stealthy backdoors, ESET published follow-on research from Operation Windigo related to the use of stealthy SSH backdoors to maintain persistence on compromised hosts. We looked at some of the published indicators and searched for them in Perchybana. No indicators were observed in the last 30 days that match this threat. If you’re a Perch customer, you’re in the clear.

11 Critical Android Vulnerabilities Patched Amid Pegasus Abuse Claims

Google recently patched 11 critical code execution vulnerabilities in Android. Nine were tied to escalation-of-privilege (EoP) bugs. One of the few EoP bugs (CVE-2018-10840) that linked to an external description revealed the flaw was tied to the Android Kernel component (ext4 filesystem). Forty-two high criticality vulnerabilities were also patched. The timing couldn’t be better for Journalists using android. There has been a lot of talk recently about NSO Pegasus mobile spyware abuse. NSO Pegasus spyware is only sold to government organizations and should only be used against criminals and terrorists, yet it has been increasingly used to target journalist cellphones. NSO Pegasus spyware was found on Abdulaziz’s phone. The installation has been linked to the Saudi government and he believes it has something to do with the murder of U.S. journalist Khashoggi.

On Sunday, Abdulaziz’s lawyers filed a lawsuit in Tel Aviv alleging NSO broke international law by knowingly allowing its spyware to be used to infringe upon human rights. “NSO should be held accountable in order to protect the lives of political dissidents, journalists, and human rights activists,” said Abdulaziz’ lawyer, Alaa Mahajna, speaking to CNN.

“The hacking of my phone played a major role in what happened to Jamal, I am really sorry to say,” Abdelaziz told CNN. “The guilt is killing me.”

The lawsuit claims that in the months before the killing, the royal court had access to Mr. Khashoggi’s communications about opposition projects with Mr. Abdulaziz because of the spyware on Mr. Abdulaziz’s phone.

Installing a Small Perch Sensor for the SMB, Seamlessly

on December 4, 2018

Are you worried about those pesky hackers getting into your network and owning your devices? Have you ever wanted enterprise-grade detection capabilities on your small residential or commercial network? Do you search the internet regularly looking for the latest TTPs the bad guys are using (like the ones outlined in our weekly threat reports) and wish you could use that info to hunt for threats in your network? The good news is, you can! I’m here to help you figure out how.

It’s dangerous to go alone, take this with you

Tiny Form Factor

This post is intended for the folks who like to consider themselves “power users”, but who may not have a full-on enterprise-grade network with all the bells and whistles that a multi-million-dollar company can afford. If you feel like this applies to you, look no further. You’re in the right place. You should also know that you’re not alone. Y’all deserve all the protection the big boys get, even though you may not have the same budget they do.

Here at Perch, we believe that good security should be easily available for everyone, small and medium sized businesses included. This is why we offer a solution that can scale from the smallest to the largest of customers, with a similar experience for everyone.

Our sensors and software can be found everywhere, from the smallest home networks (like the one in my apartment), all the way up to large financial institutions with an annual recurring revenue of over five billion dollars. I’m going to assume the bigger organizations don’t need my help figuring this stuff out. So, I’m just going to focus on what is required to setup a tiny form factor sensor (pictured above) in a small residential network with some commercially available, low-cost equipment.

So, what’s required to get setup and running with a Perch sensor?

Turns out, not a whole lot.

Assuming you’ve already got your network topography in place, it’s really quick and easy to get setup. It doesn’t require an advanced level of knowledge to setup either (if you can use a Roku, you can setup a Perch sensor). It’s not something that requires a massive network overhaul where you have to take everything down (and pray that it comes back up). It takes about 20 minutes to setup the sensor. We can Uber Eats you lunch, and you’ll have your sensor setup and running before your food gets there.

Feeling empowered and inspired yet? Good, you should be 😀.

The only network equipment necessary to drop Perch in on your network is simply a switch with the ability to enable port mirroring. We ideally like to sit behind a firewall, so we can see what makes it past the perimeter defenses. But it’s not required to get setup with us. This write up is going to assume you’re setting it up on a small home network, running a firewall at the perimeter behind the modem, and before the switch.

Besides a switch capable of port mirroring, you’ll really only need an internet connection plus a device that handles traffic routing upstream of the switch. In this case, I’m just using the modem provided by the ISP which handles the DHCP for the whole network upstream of the switch that is mirroring out traffic to the Perch Sensor. The cool thing about doing it this way is I’m able to retain the enhanced services from my ISP that include user analytics profiling abilities, metrics collection capabilities, as well as rogue device detection functionality.

If you don’t have a switch capable of port mirroring, a good economical solution might be a managed smart switch like the TP-Link SG105e. This little 5 port switch is really all you need, with room to spare. One port to bring in the traffic from the modem, one port to forward the traffic back out to any other switches or routers downstream (such as your wireless AP), and two ports for the Perch sensor (one to setup as a mirror/tap, and one so the sensor can connect back to the Perch cloud.) You’ll even have a whole port free to leave you room for growth.

Below is a visual of the topography described above:


(in my use case switch 2 is both a switch and a wireless AP)

Some pro tips:

One thing that helps a lot before you embark on the setup process, is making sure you have a solid asset management list that documents all the machines that are supposed to be on your network (#1 on the SANS 20 Critical Security Controls). Make sure you document their MAC address and their static IP (if you want to give them one or if they have one pre-configured). Most ISP supplied modems will have their own subnet DHCP pool that’s pre-defined, and their modem will have a static IP assigned on that subnet outside of the DHCP range. I highly recommend giving your switch and access point a static IP address as well and assigning your DHCP range to not include those addresses. Personally, I also give some devices (such as my Xbox One) a static IP for many reasons. One of which is to make the network as fast as possible for pwning n00bz on Xbox Live.

I could go over all the specifics of how easy it is to install the TFF sensor, but why re-invent the wheel when anything I would put here has already been extensively documented in our help pages. There you should find any additional information you could possibly need to get yourself setup. Of course, we don’t have a problem with hopping on the phone with you to help you get it figured out if you need some assistance. But I believe in your ability to do it yourself.

Now you’re ready:

The great thing about what we offer here at Perch is the fact that you don’t have to be an expert to be able to get us setup on your network, nor do you have to have a full security team to triage the alerts that our sensor generates. We’ve taken care of all that for you. Between our great, service-oriented Customer Success team, and our extensive documentation on how to get setup and running, you’ll wonder how you ever lived your life without us to begin with.

Get flocked up!

Here at Perch, we try to make security easy, because it’s already hard enough. If it’s this easy for the little guys, just imagine how painless it will be if you’re an MSP trying to manage multiple small organizations, or if you’re a bigger shop with lots of remote locations you need to monitor. Our solution is applicable for a wide variety of use cases. We look forward to hearing from you about how we can work with you to help you address your security needs.

Join the flock

Threat Report Friday November 30th 2018

on November 30, 2018

Welcome back. I don’t know if you celebrated the largely known U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, but I did; and I’m grateful I had the week off. We’ve been keeping our ear to the ground. This week we want to tell you about an Emotet malspam campaign that cashed in on Black Friday, an indictment announced for the authors/distributors of SamSam ransomware, and a serious threat to journalists in Mexico.

Emotet Cashes in on Black Friday

You weren’t the only one shopping on Black Friday. ESET researchers found evidence of a large Emotet campaign occurring on Black Friday. Like prior campaigns, Emotet was distributed via spam. In this campaign, the attachments and links are to XML files with .doc extensions instead of DOC or PDF files.

Emotet is known to distribute various banking malware families known for stealing passwords, credit card details, and access to crypto-currency wallets. The United States is one of the top five targeted countries, while the UK and South Africa are in the top ten. Since this campaign was focused on Black Friday, it’s safe to say it was targeting U.S. shoppers getting ready to check their bank balance and do some online shopping.

Catch me if you SamSam

The chase is on for two Iranian nationals charged by a U.S. federal grand jury, following a 34-month long international computer hacking and extortion scheme. Faramarz Shahi Savandi (34) and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri (27) face a total of six counts alleging that they authored and deployed SamSam ransomware to more than 200 victims, including hospitals, municipalities, and public institutions. The counts are as follows: one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers, two substantive counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, and two substantive counts of transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer.

In the Department of Justice Indictment, two individuals, Exchanger 1 and Exchanger 2, are labeled in the Relevant Individuals and Entities section. In a U.S. Department of Treasury press release also published on November 28, 2018, Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammad Ghorbaniyan, are named as the financial facilitators in a malicious campaign involving SamSam ransomware. The press release states that they, helped exchange digital currency (Bitcoin) ransom payments into Iranian rial on behalf of Iranian malicious cyber actors.

According to the indictment, beginning in December 2015, the offenders reportedly accessed victim computers without authorization through security vulnerabilities. They then installed and executed SamSam, resulting in the unauthorized encryption of data on the victims’ computers. A Bitcoin ransom was demanded in exchange for decryption keys for the encrypted data. Collecting ransom payments from victim entities that paid the ransom and exchanging the Bitcoin proceeds into Iranian rial using Iran-based Bitcoin exchanges. The indictment alleges that the pair earned over $6 million USD in ransom payments to date and caused over $30 million USD in losses to victims.

Journalists Targeted with Mobile Malware After Cartel Journalist Gunned Down

Journalists in Mexico have faced some very real threats recently, and they can add nation-state level mobile spyware to the list. Somehow, peers of a journalist likely killed by a cartel, are being targeted with nation-state level mobile malware. Something strange is going on here.

Citizen Lab published the seventh report in a series detailing abuse of NSO Group Pegasus Spyware. Citizen Lab and partners have identified a total of 24 cases of abusive targeting by Mexico-linked NSO Group customers. Infection attempts are located in Canada, Mexico, the UAE, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Pegasus is a sophisticated tool for spying on mobile phones and is exclusively sold to governments for the purposes of fighting terror and investigating crime. According to NSO Group, in the past two years, Pegasus had been used by repressive governments to spy on human rights defenders, journalists, and others who they deem as threats to their power.

In Citizen Lab’s most recent findings, they disclose an attack that occurred in May 2017. Journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas was gunned down near his office. Shortly after the murder, Cárdenas’ colleagues, Andrés Villarreal and Ismael Bojórquez received suspicious messages saying, Cárdenas’ killers had been identified. The messages contained a malicious link that, once clicked, downloaded NSO spyware onto their mobile devices. Users and organizations should exercise caution when viewing messages from foreign or unknown senders. The malicious URLs are contained within the report.

Sharing Intel

on November 27, 2018

Share intel back to your community through a clean user interface. Perch CISO Wes Spencer shows you how.

Preventing Burnout

on November 20, 2018

In software especially, we lose more talented, hard-working folks to burnout than almost anything else. People who love their job and feel rewarded for doing it almost always stay. However, the tech industry is fast-paced, labor intensive, and the projects are seemingly endless.

The question remains, how can we stop treading proverbial water and get a healthy, positive outlook on our work life?

Make a list

If you do more things than you can count in a day and struggle to remember any of it, you need a list. Often times we feel the most stressed when we are feeling overwhelmed, and yet we still guilt ourselves for not doing enough. There will always be more to do in our ever-connected, feedback-driven world; especially in the tech industry.

By making a list of what you plan to do and crossing it off as you go, you have something to look back at and say, “wow, I really did get a lot done today”. This creates a positive feedback loop in your brain. Ending every day on a high note can make you more positive and less likely to imagine greener pastures elsewhere.

For my list, I like to use the Productivity Planner, but some folks love the Bullet Journal, and others like good ol’ fashioned legal pads.

If you are too cool for an analog list (even though crossing stuff off is way more fun than tapping an app), you can do the same thing with the Reminders app on your phone or a tool like Asana or Todoist.

Agile methods

There’s a lot written on agile, so I won’t go into the details here. The key takeaways for any project are as follows:

  • Break your project into bite-sized chunks
  • Pick a few of those bite-sized chunks and set a regular deadline (every week or two, usually called “sprints”)
  • Track your work as you do it
  • When your sprint is over, celebrate all the hard work you did
  • Rinse and repeat – learn from your mistakes and try to do a little better every sprint

This applies to software, home improvement, getting into shape, you name it.

If you never celebrate the work that you’ve done and never take a moment to breathe, you would feel endless, daunting, and - you guessed it - leads to burnout. If you have a big project in front of you, try being agile and see what happens.

Taking breaks

This should go without saying but… take a break. Seriously.

I’m not talking about a three-day weekend every other month. Take at least three days during the week and incorporate doing something you love; whether that is traveling or immersing yourself in a new video game.

Oh, and while you’re at it…

Turn your phone off, hide your laptop, and throw your pager in a river (if you still have one). Flipping the switch from ‘always-on’ to ‘off’, and taking a real vacation has a significant impact on your happiness. How can you really enjoy a camping trip if you are checking Slack? Or, how can you spend quality time with your family if you are surfing Reddit?

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and you have a long, necessary relationship with your job. Take a break, write it a postcard, and be ready to jump back in on Monday.

Daily routines

One of the best tools we as humans have for creating a sense of stability and safety are routines. If you constantly struggle and feel like a uniquely chaotic snowflake, then establishing a few routines can add a sense of normalcy and familiarity no matter what pops up on your calendar.

Good morning, sunshine

Start by establishing a morning routine, whether it be a cup of coffee in your favorite chair or quick workout if you’re the active type. Starting your day with a little thing just for you can put you in a good mood before clocking in. Try to avoid distractions like Facebook or your inbox before doing something you love.

Time to eat

It may seem like you always have to push out your lunch till 3:00 p.m. or skip it all together, but do you? Taking time to eat is the healthy thing to do. Especially, if you are the hangry type. Making the time to eat may just save you from being a grumpy cat to everyone you come in contact with that day.

Don’t be a grumpy, hangry cat. Block out lunch on your calendar, and if someone double-books you, politely ask if there’s a better time to meet. Your stomach, and probably your whole team, will thank you later.

Lights out

Before crawling into bed, consider shutting off all electronics an hour beforehand. Some studies suggest blue light can decrease melatonin production and lead to a lower quality of sleep. I also recommend taking a moment for yourself and establishing another routine that makes you happy. You could put on an album you love, dive into a book with your kids, or give yourself a few minutes to doodle. Giving yourself a chance to genuinely relax before sleeping helps you sleep better and wake up ready to tackle the next day.

I like to start and end my day with the 5 Minute Journal, but my sister prefers a coloring book.

Find your happy

This article is full of tips and tricks, but the most important thing is to find what works for you.
Take time to figure out what makes you happy and do more of that.

Threat Report Thursday November 15th 2018

on November 15, 2018

Holy moly, it’s the weekly threat report. This is your gentle reminder to patch all the things. That’s the theme for this week, vulnerabilities that need patching and a sprinkle of attack tools.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday

In past reports, we’ve discussed pending 0-days for Edge and Windows; and it looks like some similarly critical vulnerabilities are being patched this week. This Tuesday’s Microsoft patch covered a pair of 0-day vulnerabilities, ten other critical items, and around 50+ other issues. Let’s review a few of those.

One of the vulnerabilities being actively exploited in the wild is a Win32k privilege escalation. CVE-2018-8589 has been found in the wild on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems. However, an attacker needs to be authenticated to the system to exploit the vulnerability and gain full control. Another critical patch was for CVE-2018-8584, which was disclosed in October and impacts Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019. When exploited it allows unauthorized users to access and delete files on systems that are normally only accessible by admins. This could open the door for DLL hijacking and other attack vectors that would allow for privilege escalation.

Also included were five vulnerabilities in the Chakra scripting engine behind Microsoft Edge (CVE-2018-8551, CVE-2018-8555, CVE-2018-8556, CVE-2018-8557, and CVE-2018-8588). Any of these CVEs could be leveraged to execute code on an Edge user’s host. To be exploited, the Edge user would have to be naively phished or innocently malvertised. Remember, malvertising is on the rise. If an attacker chained together an Edge exploit with either of the vulnerabilities that allow for privilege escalation, they could gain full control of the host.

Other notables included two remote code execution flaws in Word (CVE-2018-8539, CVE-2018-8573) and PowerShell bugs that allow potential remote code execution (CVE-2018-8256, CVE-2018-8415).

Data Privacy Plug-in Ironically Eliminates Privacy for Thousands of Sites

Last week a privilege escalation vulnerability in a popular WordPress GDPR compliance plugin with over 100K installs. This week, thousands of websites have been compromised. If you’re running a WordPress site, check your GDPR plugin for updates, because they are scanning everyone. The patched version is 1.4.3.

Although these sites are fully compromised, Sucuri has been tracking a campaign and reports observing thousands of compromised sites that direct the user to code similarly used to invoke fake tech support scams (TSS). We confirmed with Perchy, the TSS campaign is currently using wtools[.]io to host the injected content and redirecting users to diwutixip[.]innocraft[.]cloud for the TSS payloads.

China Chopper Finds Forever Home with ColdFusion

Security researchers have recently observed active exploitation of a newly patched vulnerability in Adobe ColdFusion. A suspected Chinese APT group was able to compromise a vulnerable ColdFusion server by directly uploading a China Chopper webshell. Adobe’s ColdFusion has historically been a major target of APT groups looking to compromise networks. Modern versions of ColdFusion include the WYSIWYG rich text editor CKEditor. When Adobe decided to replace FCKeditor with CKEditor, they inadvertently introduced an unauthenticated file upload vulnerability. The vulnerability is easily exploited through an HTTP POST request to the file “upload.cfm”, which is not restricted and does not require authentication. It should be noted that ColdFusion does attempt to restrict the file types that are allowed for upload via CKEditor in a configuration file called “settings.cfm”. Researchers have identified that Adobe did not include the “.jsp” file extension in the default configuration, which was problematic because ColdFusion allows “.jsp” files to be actively executed.

The attackers also identified a directory modification issue through the “path” form variable that allowed them to change the directory to where uploaded files would be placed. This means that even if the .jsp file extension had been on the block list, the attackers could have placed another script or executable file somewhere on the system in an attempt to compromise it. All files on the compromised websites were found in one of two directories; /cf_scripts/ and /cf_scripts/scripts/ajax/ckeditor/plugins/filemanager/uploadedFiles/. Several of the affected websites contained an HTML index file from the hacktivist group, “TYPICAL IDIOT SECURITY”.

On September 11, 2018, Adobe issued security bulletin APSB18-33, which fixed a variety of issues to include an unauthenticated file upload vulnerability. This vulnerability was assigned as CVE-2018-15961 affecting ColdFusion 11 (Update 14 and earlier), ColdFusion 2016 (Update 6 and earlier), and ColdFusion 2018 (July 12 release). You should apply a patch once it is available from Adobe.

We observed potential recon activity from:

JexBoss Gets Wild with NCCIC

Finally, to close out this threat report, we have a tool getting the spotlight from The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). NCCIC issued a US-CERT alert for security assessment tool. JexBoss is used to test and exploit older vulnerabilities in Java applications and platforms, including the JBoss AS/WildFly web server framework. The Github repo hasn’t been updated in two years and there are open issues fix bugs and to add new attacks. It amazes me that older versions of this software is still out there, unpatched and living its best life.

Attackers used JexBoss in the Samsam ransomware campaign that targeted the healthcare industry. According to US-CERT, JexBoss allows an attacker to execute arbitrary OS commands on the target host through either installing webshell, blindly injecting commands, or establishing a reverse shell. NCCIC has determined that JexBoss operates on all seven stages of the Cyber Kill Chain framework. Users and administrators are advised to review AR18-312A from US-CERT.

Thinking in Webhooks

on November 13, 2018

Webhooks have come a long way from a concept first discussed back in 2007, to a commonly used pattern that helps power the apps and services you use daily. We have recently rolled out webhooks for Perch Security, so it seemed fitting to explain what webhooks are, the benefits of using them, and how you can start using webhooks in Perch today.

What are webhooks?

A webhook is a HTTP POST request that is sent to a user configured URL in response to some sort of event that has occurred. There is no formal definition or specification for webhooks, so implementations do vary; but a webhook usually consists of an HTTP request that is triggered by an event and sent to a user-defined URL. Examples of webhook-based products you may already know, or use include Zapier and IFTTT.

Benefits of adding webhooks to a service

  • They allow for real-time, event-driven interactions for customers in everything from APIs to apps.
  • Can be used as part of an internal architecture to process events quickly, as where older architectures may have used a combination of cron jobs and database queries to do batch updates.
  • They allow for simplified architecture – you and your customers can consume the same hooks and act on them differently. Code them once and use them over and over again.
  • Customers are able to integrate and extend your product without needing to do any additional product development.

Using webhooks with Perch

In our efforts to help you and your team *thrunt more effectively, we’ve added (limited) webhook support to Perch. To try it out, head over to the Organization Settings page and select “Webhooks” from the integration section. This iteration includes a webhook that will fire every time an alert is created for your team. As we identify more events that are key to Perch and our customers, we will add more webhooks. We look forward to hearing how our customers use these new webhooks as part of their workflow.

*thrunt (verb) - To hunt cyber security threats - “Jeremy really knows how to thrunt!”

IT Nation 2018 drills into managed security opportunity

November 12, 2018

At the IT Nation 2018 conference, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini bid attendees to embrace the fast-growing managed security market and abandon their generalist approaches.

Read the full article here.

Threat Report Thursday November 8th 2018

on November 8, 2018

In this week’s threat report we’re covering a couple 0-days, malware that could have you scrambling for your disaster recovery (DR) plan, and the rising trend of malvertising. Let’s get it goin’.

Full Disclose for VirtualBox 0-Day

Speaking of 0-days, Security researcher Sergey Zelenyuk has publicly disclosed a 0-day in virtual machine software VirtualBox without notifying Oracle, the developer of the free application. The flaw relies on a chain of bugs and can allow maliciouscode to escape the VirtualBox environment (guest) and execute on the underlying (host) operating system. Zelenyuk highlights that attackers can use many of the already known privilege escalation bugs to gain kernel-level access (ring 0). The flaw affects VirtualBox 5.2.20 and prior versions and impacts any host OS or guest OS with a VM configuration in the default setting. Zelenyuk has published a video demonstrating the attack as well as a detailed technical write-up on Github, viewable in the Validation URL section of this note.

No patches are currently available. In the meantime, Zelenyuk advises users to change the network card of their virtual machines to either PCnetor Paravirtualised Network. If this cannot be done, users should change the mode from NAT to another one. However, the first option is more secure, he adds.

Zelenyuk shared that his reasoning for publishing the 0-day without notifying Oracle first stemmed from personal frustration at how long it takes for patches to be produced and implemented, as well as issues submitting flaws to bug bounty programs. If Zelenyuk has found this, then chances are someone else has too and we are more secure by knowing about this vulnerability than by being unaware of it. Thanks, Zelenyuk. Very pragmatic.

Crypto-jacking Malware forces 3-Day St. Francis Xavier University Network Outage

According to a statement released on November 4, 2018, St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada was forced to shut down its entire network for at least three days as system administrators attempted to root out a crypto-jacking (or cryptocurrency mining) malware. The attack reportedly began on Thursday, November 1, and targeted the university’s network infrastructure. After the malware was detected, the school immediately shut down its entire network, disabling all online systems including: online courses, cloud storage, email services, debit transactions, and Wi-Fi. The statement reads, “The malicioussoftware attempted to utilize StFX’s collective computing power in order to create or discover Bitcoin for monetary gain.” The statement emphasized that there is no evidence to indicate that personal or sensitive data was compromised by the malware attack. Although no sensitive data was compromised, that was just luck. Ransomware does not typically try to exfiltrate data. Had they been infected with malware that sought to exfiltrate sensitive data, we would see a data breach here instead of an outage. As a safety precaution, university officials advised all students, staff, and faculty to reset their university account passwords as a safety measure; but the university should have forced a password reset.

Disk Cryptor Leveraged by Ransomware Campaign

Another type of malware that could send you into full on DR is ransomware. MalwareHunterTeam has recently discovered new ransomware that installs Disk Cryptor to infect victim machines. Disk Cryptor is an encryption program that encrypts the whole disk and then prompts the user to enter a password on reboot. According to MalwareHunterTeam, this ransomware requires a password argument to be passed. This argument is the decryption key. It is possible that the attackers are hacking into Remote Desktop Services and installing the ransomware manually. During the installation process, a log file will be created at C:\Users\Public\myLog.txt that shows the current stage of the encryption process. Once the entire drive has been encrypted, it will reboot the computer and victims will be greeted with a ransom note that explains to contact mcrypt2018@yandex.comfor payment instructions. It is essential that you have reliable and tested backups of data that can be restored in the case of an emergency, such as a ransomware attack. There is a very narrow window to catch ransomware before it encrypts the disk. If this really is coming in through Remote Desktop Services, it’s way more likely to be a weak password than a 0-day. But, please question if you need RDP open to the world.

Related Registry Keys




- 4ae71336e44bf9bf79d2752e234818a5
- f1d81ae5a4ea7a71d5d7147565fecca141a8e03148ef3c9e7583b9159923d17a

Rising Malvertising Opens Gateway for 0-Days

Based on the ad related traffic before this activity, we believe this is likely related to malvertising. Malvertising is the common ground where evil marketing teams and hungry blackhats meet to perform ritual sacrifice on end users. No matter how well you train staff, if they are allowed to get on the Web, they will get ads. Ads are ubiquitouson the Internet. We are all at risk when adversaries can replace a benign, normal, soul-sucking ad with a maliciousone. We’ve been watching a large number of our customers’ users getting pop-ups for fake tech support scams that goes like, “You have been infected with Pornographic Malware please call the number on the screen or we will report you to the police.” We aren’t sure who picked up the phone and called, but we wanted to let everyone know so they can block the sources of the activity. We’re seeing this campaign across approximately 15 percent of our customer base and it does not appear to target one industry more than another. This is just a fake tech support scam. Imagine if an attacker used malvertising to distribute a new Edge 0-day instead.

Researchers recently discovered a 0-day remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in Microsoft Edge. In a tweet posted November 1, 2018, exploit developer Yushi Liang tweeted, “we just broke #Edge, teaming up with [Alexandr Kochkov] for a stable exploit, brace yourself SBX is coming.” The tweet included an image of the Web browser that appeared to launch the Windows Calculator app. Liang and Kochkov’s objective was to develop a stable exploit and achieve full sandbox escaping of the code. The pair disclosed that they were also looking for a method to escalate execution privileges to SYSTEM, granting them complete control over the victim machine. Liang shared that he discovered the 0-day bug with the assistance of the Wadi Fuzzer utility from SensePost. The pair plans on publishing a proof-of-concept demonstrating the vulnerability soon. We’ll let you know when they do.

Until then, here are some domains to block. If you want the IPs hit me up on Slack. To see if your users got hit by this malvertising campaign, check out Perchybana:,pause:!f,value:0),time:(from:now-30d,mode:quick,to:now))&_a=(columns:!(perch_company_name,event_type,src_ip,src_port,dest_ip,dest_port,payload_printable,flow.bytes_toclient,flow.bytes_toserver,http.hostname,http.url,http.http_refer,http.status,http.redirect,http.xff,http.protocol,fileinfo.filename,fileinfo.sha1,fileinfo.size),index:'*-records',interval:auto,query:(query_string:(analyze_wildcard:!t,query:'(%22%2Ftpage3%2F%22%20%7C%7C%20%22%2Fwelcome%2F%3Fa%3D%22)')),sort:!(timestamp,desc))


- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization: Centrilogic, Inc. (CENTR-60)
- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization: DigitalOcean, LLC (DO-13)
- - Organization:  US-DIGITALOCEANLLC-20100303
- - Organization:  UK-MASSIVEGRID-20131231
- - Organization: Hostwinds LLC. (HL-29)
- - Organization: Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (JHA-1)
- - Organization: PSINet, Inc. (PSI)
- - Organization: PSINet, Inc. (PSI)
- - Organization: PSINet, Inc. (PSI)
- - Organization: NOC4Hosts Inc. (NOC4H)
- - Organization: NOC4Hosts Inc. (NOC4H)


- /fonts/glyphicons-halflings-regular.ttf
- /fonts/glyphicons-halflings-regular.woff
- /fonts/glyphicons-halflings-regulard41d-.eot
- /tpage3/a.htm
- /tpage3/gb.mp3
- /tpage3/iframe.js
- /tpage3/jquery-1.js
- /tpage3/login.php
- /tpage3/retreaver.js
- /welcome/?a=AZ&pagex=1&s1=[campaign id]%2C%2C&os=[operating system]&browser=[browser name]&isp=[internetservice provider]&ip=[public ip]&geo=[geo ip code]&q1=[string]%2C
- /tpage3/?a=AZ&pagex=1&s1=[campaign id]%2C%2C&os=[operating system]&browser=[browser name]&isp=[internetservice provider]&ip=[public ip]&geo=[geo ip code]&q1=[string]%2C


- 69db1a94309e88008bbadacf301526edce59374410c83f888ec866ad6b2d8e47- iframe.js
- 71a861100e206eeee88876cd5313553e0fdc07046cce33a1a96b96d9485070e1 - retreaver.js


- ganglioblast[.]pw
- gathering[.]pw
- gaultherin[.]pw
- glycolysis[.]pw
- haematoscope[.]pw
- haemoglobin[.]pw
- hemizygote[.]pw
- hemocyanin[.]pw
- hidradenomas[.]pw
- hologamies[.]pw
- holographies[.]pw
- homeopathies[.]pw
- homoeotic[.]pw
- homogeneous[.]pw
- homogeniser[.]pw
- homolytic[.]pw
- junaket[.]us
- kremlins[.]pw
- laudably[.]pw
- leafless[.]pw
- mannikin[.]pw
- massaged[.]pw
- metamers[.]pw
- ministrytwo[.]stream
- minusnine[.]stream
- misatone[.]pw
- misbills[.]pw
- misdeeds[.]pw
- misdoing[.]pw
- misdraws[.]pw
- misjoins[.]pw
- mislearn[.]pw
- misspent[.]pw
- mistrust[.]pw
- miterers[.]pw
- modified[.]pw
- monazite[.]pw
- monitive[.]pw
- monotony[.]pw
- mustered[.]pw
- mutating[.]pw
- muteness[.]pw
- nailfold[.]pw
- news[.]hellosite[.]info
- sp[.]cwfservice[.]net
- swiftone[.]us
- tellinglynine[.]us
- torousten[.]pw
- trivetnine[.]pw
- turgitefour[.]pw
- unearthsix[.]pw
- unkindnine[.]pw
- unlockten[.]pw
- unmetsix[.]pw
- unplaittwo[.]pw
- unplugfive[.]pw
- unresttwo[.]pw
- unretireten[.]pw
- untunedone[.]pw
- upraiseten[.]pw
- usheredfour[.]pw

A Day in the Life: Sales at Perch Security

on November 6, 2018

They say, “time flies when you’re having fun”. This couldn’t ring more true as I look back on my time here at Perch Security. The day before Halloween was my first day on the job. It just so happened to be costume day here in the office. Words in this blog post do no justice to what my eyes saw that day. I knew right then, I made a great choice by joining this company.

Trekking through the cybersecurity sales landscape

Working sales in the #cybersecurity space can prove to be cumbersome. There can be confusion amongst customers regarding the various products in the market. Customers may think they are protected but may not be using the right setup for their #security stack. One layer of security that proved to be efficient years back may now be outdated, and therefore useless today. The sales rep must be ‘in the know’ and educate the potential consumer on market trends and best practices. This is why Perch Security was built; to stay true to what we see and hear in the industry. We offer a user-friendly service to the masses. I like to call it a “peace of mind” service. I’ll explain.

Perch Security automates the threat feeds you subscribe to. However, we do not stop there. We take it a step further. Perch offers around the clock highly trained security analysts to threat hunt for you. Ultimately, freeing up your day to focus elsewhere. I think our approach is why we are seeing so much success. Not to mention, we do it at such an affordable cost that it makes my job selling a heck of a lot easier!

Keep your eyes on the prize

It goes without saying that there is never a dull day here at Perch Security. Make sure to stay tuned for future product enhancements. We are constantly taking the feedback from our customers and building on what we hear. With the ever-changing cybersecurity market, you must think ahead. The issues you are facing today may not be what comes at you tomorrow.

As we continue to pick up speed and expand in the market place, I’ll have to stop and think to myself about how we got here, where we are at, and where we are headed. Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.

Release Notes

November 2, 2018

  • Comments: Default to private for new comments
  • Communities: Intel471 added
  • Integrations: ConnectWise MVP integration
  • Support: Convert LinkHigh to MSSP

  • Deps: Resolve failing builds for foundation-emails dependencies
  • Performance: Disable map sightings endpoint to conserve data and time

  • ConnectWise MVP integration demoed and deployed to QA
  • Intel471 community addded to PROD
  • All new indicator comments are private by default

Threat Report Wednesday October 31st 2018

on October 31, 2018

It’s time to rise from your graves for our Halloween threat report. This week we’re going to point you at a few Twitter doors to knock on, hand out some zero-day tricks and treats, and discuss a white paper that’s giving energy and water a fright.

Zero-Day Tricks and Treats

Many security professionals get their news through sources like Twitter. If you’re looking for some Twitter doors to knock on to get the good treats this Halloween, check out @SandboxEscaper and @HackerFantastic.

In recent months, security researcher @SandboxEscaper has released proof-of-concept(PoC) exploits for two Windows zero-days on Twitter. The most recent vulnerability is a privilege escalation flaw in Microsoft Data Sharing (dssvc.dll). The Data Sharing Service runs as LocalSystem account and provides data brokering between applications. @SandboxEscaper zero-days have been turned around by threat actors and seen in the wild. If you want some early warning on the next Window’s zero-day, give her a follow.

On the Linux side of the world, security researcher Narendra Shinde discovered a local privilege-escalation and file-overwrite vulnerability in X.Org X server that opens the door for a trivial compromise of a Linux system.

Essentially, Shinde says this is the result of “incorrect command-line parameter validation”. The system doesn’t check for correct permissions on the -modulepath or -logfile command line switches. Both are root-privileged processes.

Although this was only given a 6.6 CVE score (likely because it was considered a local exploit) security pro @HackerFantastic has released a PoC on Twitter that shows this working remotely via SSH. This makes CVE-2018-14665 a dime in my little black book.

“Xorg Local Privilege Escalation (LPE) via CVE-2018-14665 can be triggered from a remote SSH session, does not need to be on a local console. An attacker can literally take over impacted systems with three commands or less”. @HackerFantastic regularly posts PoCs and other good security news. You should give him a follow too.

Spectre of Spectre Returns to Haunt Halloween

Ken Johnson (Microsoft Security Response Center) and Jann Horn (Google Project Zero) have reported an industry-wide issue found in the way many modern microprocessor designs have implemented speculative execution of Load & Store instructions (a commonly used performance optimization). The vulnerability relies on the presence of a precisely-defined instruction sequence in the privileged code. As well as the fact that memory read from address to which a recent memory write has occurred may see an older value. Subsequently this will cause an update into the microprocessor’s data cache even for speculatively executed instructions that never actually commit (retire). As a result, an unprivileged attacker could use this flaw to read privileged memory by conducting targeted cache side-channel attacks. This impacts the qemu-kvm and libvirt packages.

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on a variety of architectures. The qemu-kvm packages provide the user-space component for running virtual machines that use KVM.

The libvirt library contains a C API for managing and interacting with the virtualization capabilities of Linux and other operating systems. In addition, libvirt provides tools for remote management of virtualized systems.

This reminded us of the OG speculative execution vulnerability, Spectre, disclosed Jann Horn and Paul Kocher in collaboration with Daniel Genkin, Mike Hamburg, Moritz Lipp and Yuval Yarom.

Water and Energy Industrial Controls Exposed on the Web

Trend Micro has recently published a white paper on water and energy infrastructure exposed to the Internet, and it’s worth a read. Trend Micro reports that Energy is the top critical infrastructure for most industrial economies and Water is a natural extension of the energy sector; with water being a key component in hydroelectric and geothermal plants. Protecting critical infrastructure against cyber attacks should be of the highest priority for the organizations that operate it.

Perch provides threat detection services to a number of Critical Infrastructure providers in the Water and Energy space. We looked for some of the common exposed services mentioned in this white paper. After reviewing all customer data for the last 30 days we found no established flow from the wild Web to a port related industrial control systems. Good job, Perchy people. You get a treat.

The New Era of Service

on October 30, 2018

Adapting to new work environments is never easy, especially to one that’s always in flux: Technology. As a newbie to the biz, one of the first things I learned to appreciate was how focused the market was on succeeding. Not only in terms of financials but recognizing that the victory of any SaaS stems from one quintessential metric – the success story of their clients.

What Makes Customer Success Special?

The Customer Success Department (CS) of any company is a relatively new creation and has quickly proven to be essential for start-ups. If end-users only see ROI and feel they aren’t supported, why would they stay? The answer is: by the time you’ve thought of this, they are gone; with or without warning. Facts are facts. The current year 2018 (err 19) is light years past the glory days when big business smoked stogies and chugged bourbon mid-day barking demands and convincing clients they ‘needed’ them based solely on their brassy conviction. We talk. We post. We share information in real-time. Everything is public and it’s far past time customers are given the respect their hard-earned money deserves. It’s time to say “Goodbye” to the Salesman and say “Yassss” to the #SuccessMan.

As a SaaS we recognized early on that the sustainability of our company derived from our client’s satisfaction. In the realm of cybersecurity there are no Amazon Reviews, but our segment is so tight and niche that there isn’t a need. Sentiments travel faster than I’m frantically typing this blog minutes before it’s being posted. Literally Friday afternoon – going live at five (Don’t mind tha typos’).

The Who’s Who of Customer Success

Gary Dobkin, Director of Operations at Perch Security, not only recognized the importance of client satisfaction, he sought out the best route to attain it. Being the self-aware savant that he is, Mr. Dobkin knew he needed the big guns. Enter Onboarding and Provisioning directly under the care of CS, a unique twist that he guarantees to be the ride of a life time.

Once a prospective client passes through the Heavenly Gates into Flock life, the Perch Security team works tirelessly to make sure any question, comment, concern, or squawk does not go unaddressed. Placing our clients at the forefront of our business has proven itself to be one of our many unique characteristics, as is our Marketing and secret obsession with the 8th Wonder of the World – Skyline Chili. Open communication and customized care regiments fuel the CS Department (as does sugar free Red Bull, Kombucha, and pork rinds).

What does all of this even mean?

The moral of this rant is not to boast. It’s not to prove I can form complete sentences, fragments, or make you laugh. It’s merely to convey the passion I have witnessed and have organically become one with. Perch Security provides so much more than a secure network. Our clients (comrades) can trust in the support of our army made of real-life angry birds. Everyone that works here makes up our CS Department and we all want the best for you, your coworkers, your employees, and most importantly YOUR end user – your clients.

It’s time to say “Goodbye” to crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Facebook, British Airways, and LinkedIn didn’t expect a breach, but it happens. We are committed to your security and want to take the burden of a breach off your shoulders. Perch Security is bright eyed, and bushy tailed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year so you don’t have to be. Your peace of mind is what we give a FLOCK about.

Threat Report Thursday October 25th 2018

on October 25, 2018

As we approach Halloween, it has been a frightening week in security. We have an ancient Zero-Day rising from the shadows, government data being sucked dry by a data breach, and monstrous malware kidnapping your codes. Don’t get spooked!

Cashdollar Hits Jackpot with Discovery of 8-year-old Zero-Day

Larry Cashdollar, a security researcher from Akamai SIRT, has recently discovered a zero-day vulnerability in jQuery File Upload plugin (CVE-2018-9206). This vulnerability enables the attackers to upload malicious files to servers, such as rootkits, backdoors, and other malware. Based on Cashdollar’s research, the vulnerability has been exploited before 2016. There was an uploaded video in YouTube dating back to August 2015 about bug tutorials in jQuery File Upload, noting that hackers have been widely exploiting the vulnerability.

Cashdollar notified the vulnerability to Sebastian Tschan (aka Blueimp), a German developer who authored the jQuery File Upload plugin. Tschan conducted his own research and found out that the root cause lies in the security changes via “.htaccess” in the Apache Web Server (Apache HTTPD Server Version 2.3.9) dating back to 2010. This update allows the owner to ignore custom security settings for individual directories. Unknowingly, the jQuery File Upload plugin of Tschan rely on “.htaccess”, which was active by default. All versions of the plugin are vulnerable up to 9.22.1.

The plugin has been integrated to thousands of projects such as content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), intranet solutions, WordPress plugins, Drupal add-ons, and Joomla components - to name a few. The jQuery File Upload plugin has been forked in GitHub over 7,800 times. Cashdollar has used his proof of concept (POC) and tested 1,000 of 7,800 forks of the GitHub plugin and found out that all were exploitable. But GitHub forks of this vulnerable code are only one part of the problem. There is no way to track applications that have integrated jQuery File Upload plugin without forking through GitHub. Cashdollar has notified US-CERT due to the seriousness of the vulnerability.

This is a critical vulnerability and can allow an attacker to remotely gain control of vulnerable applications. It is amazing that this hasn’t been discovered more recently since it has been on YouTube for three years. It’s time to start writing YouTube scrapers into our open source intel tools. If you are using a jQuery File Upload plugin or a forked version of this vulnerable code in your application, you should upgrade immediately. If you’re including unknown open source code into your application, you should attempt a security review of the code.

75,000 Individuals’ Records Compromised from

AP News reports that roughly 75,000 individuals’ records have been compromised in a security breach. On October 19, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an official statement explaining that on October 13 they detected suspicious activity in the Federally Facilitated Exchange’s (FFE’s) Direct Enrollment Pathway. A system designed to allow agents and brokers to help customers apply for coverage in the FFE. An official data breach was declared on October 16. CMS states that agent and broker accounts associated with the suspicious activity were deactivated and the Direct Enrollment Pathway for agents and brokers was also disabled.

Officials determined that roughly 75,000 individuals’ records were accessed during the breach but note that this is a “small fraction” of the FFE’s total consumer records. CMS officials are currently working to identify all individuals impacted by the breach so that they may be notified and offered credit protection. CMS officials also state that open enrollment on HealthCare[.]gov and the Marketplace Call Center are presently available for the general public. A more secure Direct Enrollment Pathway system will be restored for agents and brokers within the next seven days. The statement adds that CMS is in the beginning stages of the assessment of the breach.

Since only some suspicious accounts were associated with the suspicious activity it is likely that this was the result of weak passwords being brute forced or password stealing malware on users’ machines.

Release the Kraken: New Variant on Kraken Cryptor Ransomware

Bleeping Computer has recently published a report about a new variant of Kraken Cryptor ransomware being distributed via malvertising and through the RIG exploit kit. The new Kraken Cryptor version 2.0.6 was first detected by security researchers @nao_sec and @kafeine and shared with Bleeping Computer.

Through the shared file hashes and information, Bleeping Computer was able to determine that this ransomware was able to infect 217 unique victims globally since October 20, 2018. Interestingly, this new variant connects to “” during different stages of the encryption process. It is still not certain on what the motive is for connecting to BleepingComputer during encryption. BleepingComputer owner Lawrence Abrams says it is just to poke on them since BleepingComputer has tackled Kraken Cryptor ransomware in the past.

The request to the URL shortening services is encrypted. So, you likely won’t be able to see the user-agent or referrer unless you utilize a forward proxy to inspect outbound traffic. However, you should see an encrypted connection to domain and then a redirect to


  • 2no[.]co (legit url shortening service)
  • bleepingcomputer[.]com (legit site haunted by a vengeful ghost)

HTTP User-agent:

  • Kraken web request agent/v2.0.6

HTTP Referrer:

  • country code + drive size + status

We know that Ransomware can be scary, so we asked Perchy to look around for this new variant. Perchy says, no traffic in the last 30 days is consistent with indicators for the newly released variant of Kraken Cryptor. All Perch customers are clear, and no infection was seen.

Release Notes

October 19, 2018

  • Dashboard: List all the SLAs available to an organization
  • Indicators: STIX2 models for Django and PostgreSQL
  • Perchybana: Query dns/flow indices with company ID in name
  • Sensor: Put sensor files behind a Perch subdomain
  • Settings: Create a new organization for MSSP users
  • Settings: List all the MSSPs an organization is managed by

  • Communities: Fix issue with community feeds
  • Docker: Fix issues with
  • Email: Serialize request as JSON
  • Email: Use string format vs SMTP format
  • Perchybana: Fix QA perchybana
  • Sensor: Change permission to TeamMembers

  • Sensor files are behind a Perch subdomain
  • Some ES dns/flow indices now have Company ID in the name
  • MSSPs can create and link new organizations from settings
  • Life support for ElasticSearch through assumed AWS turbulence

Threat Report Thursday October 17th 2018

on October 17, 2018

Welcome back to the Perch weekly threat report. Over the last week there has been a lot of security related news, but we’re focusing on a ransomware outbreak reported by a state-run utility and spotlighting one of Zeus’ lesser-known offspring, Panda Banker.

Ransomware Demands Flushed by North Carolina Sewer Authority

Disaster recovery plans are essential when attempting to recover from a ransomware attack, as shown recently by Onslow Water and Sewer Authority. That may include ready-to-restore backups or having manual processes in place for different disaster scenarios. If ransomware isn’t a scenario you plan for, you should.

According to an official statement released Monday, October 15, 2018, Jacksonville, North Carolina-based Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA) suffered an attack that resulted in malware infection. The company states that on October 4th, they began experiencing persistent virus attacks from Emotet malware. On Saturday, October 13, at 3AM local time, the company states that Emotet dropped Ryuk ransomware, which spread along the network, rapidly infecting databases and files. ONWASA refused to pay the ransom and instead chose to “undertake the painstaking process of rebuilding its databases and computer systems from the ground up.” The attack did not expose customer information, nor did it interrupt water and wastewater services to homes and businesses.

The statement notes that the incident is similar to another ransomeware attack on official county computer systems in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, which occurred last year. An FBI spokesperson confirmed that they are currently investigating the incident.

The faster a threat is detected the less it costs to remediate. That’s why having threat detection and a SOC in place is key. Had this attack been caught at the initial Emotet infection and stopped, it would have cost less than responding to a ransomware outbreak.

Malware Spotlight: Panda Banker

I heard sunlight is the best disinfectant. So this week we’re decided to shine some light on the well-maintained Panda Banker malware, a variant of the Zeus banking trojan.

Researchers have identified that Panda Banker has been updated numerous times and has remained active since 2016. Recently, Panda Banker is being installed by the Emotet malware. The attack appears in the form of a malspam phishing campaign that uses weaponized Microsoft documents that deploy the payload. Researchers note that financial institutions and other video streaming service/e-commerce company were targeted in Japan. Other primary targets were organizations from United States and Canada.

Researchers note that the malware has a sophisticated attack cycle, combined with heavily coded obfuscation techniques and multi-encryption layering. After execution, it first checks if it is running in a sandbox, then creates a copy of itself. The malware then creates two “svchost.exe” and injects it with the Trojan. It downloads the configuration from its C&C Server and injects a DLL to intercept traffic through API hooking.

Panda Banker uses the Mersenne Twister algorithm to generate a URL to connect to its C&C Server. Panda Banker will lie in wait until the infected browser visits a targeted website, such as an online banking system, credit card company, and blockchain information. The malware will then steal bank or credit card details, personal data, and web wallet information. This campaign shows that financial gain is a major factor in how Trojans are being used by threat actors.

The Perch SOC regularly goes thrunting, a term they lovingly created for threat hunting, for observables in all customer environments. If you’re a customer, good news! We’ve checked your security event data for over 200 indicators related to Panda Banker. We found no signs of Panda Banker being downloaded or smuggling bits out of your environment. At Perch, we enable customers to see further because we give a flock. Below is a list of domains Perch found linked from malspam.


  • apx[.]email
  • carolinegraham[.]me
  • carvanadenver[.]com
  • carvanamemphis[.]com
  • carvananashville[.]com
  • colleenmansfield[.]com
  • genesisatoxmoor[.]com
  • genesiseastlouisville[.]com
  • genesisofeaslouisville[.]com
  • genesisofindiana[.]com
  • genesisofwestlouisville[.]com
  • jclgraham[.]com
  • laurengraham[.]me
  • michaelagraham[.]com
  • newlacafe[.]com
  • oxmoorusedcars[.]com
  • pegasussoilsolutions[.]com
  • pegasussoilsolutionsllc[.]com
  • sellittooxmoor[.]com
  • selltooxmoor[.]com
  • zombiedebtslayer[.]com



How Customer Feedback Becomes Features

on October 16, 2018

Our customers have a strong voice. Remember Perch’s first customer was not too long ago. Starting with that very first one we have always catered to the needs of our customers. Since the beginning, our goal has been customer experience and satisfaction. This extends past the users of our products and into the customer’s overall experience with Perch. It’s not just our stakeholders guiding our roadmap and pushing new features, but our customers as well.

We offer our customers (more specifically at this point we are referring to users) many ways to communicate their feedback with us. Feedback can be as simple as a Slack message, email, all the way to offering feedback during our monthly (-ish) users call where we invite all of our users to join. As a startup, we have a unique opportunity to cater to our customers more than say a large enterprise that would probably automatically turn your feedback into a ticket in some backlog somewhere. We will have conversations and even meetings to listen to your feedback.

Perch methods of communication

This applies to all users, not just our external customers, but our internal users as well. Currently, the heaviest users of the app are the users of our own Security Operations Center (SOC) . We have done a lot to improve their workflow which in turn improves the app for all users.

What do we do with that feedback?

We make a ticket and shove it deep into our backlog. Kidding (that’s the other guys 😉). Like I was saying, we take the time to understand your wants and needs. Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it requires larger discussions. We then take that feedback and turn it into acceptance criteria in our ticketing system. These tickets are all hand written by a member of our team.

Here at Perch we encourage tickets and even have fun little automated messages to remind our team members that tickets 👏🏻 are 👏🏻 encouraged 👏🏻.

Make 👏 a 👏 ticket 👏

Our custom Slackbot response

After the ticket is written, we place it into our backlog. All tickets are looked at agnostically, whether it came from a large stakeholder or our smallest customer. Your feedback, turned ticket, may actually go to the bottom of the list after all; but it may also go right up to the top. Especially, if many users share similar feedback about a particular item.

Okay it’s a ticket, now what?

Not all tickets are features. Bugs or things that don’t work quite right are also ticket-ized, as well as a handful of other tasks. This feedback is just as important. For the sake of this article, let’s assume the customer is requesting a new feature.

Depending on what the feature is, it may land in the lap of the design team (aka the best team aka my team 👨🏻‍🎨🌈) to interpret the feature visually before development begins. Sometimes it’s just a mockup, but can also include user flows, mind maps, and animated prototypes. The designers work closely with the developers as a singular product team, constantly comingling (because we don’t like silos ☹️). This assures the customer’s feedback is correctly translated at all stages.

We will often share these mockups during the users call I mentioned earlier. We may even reach back to the customer who originally gave us the feedback for their thoughts on the design. We want as much input as possible before development even begins to streamline the process.

Once it’s ready to develop our engineers (which is what coders like to be called these days 😉) will turn it into reality with their magic-like skills.

A programmer at work

Launching new features

Once it’s ready to go we push it to our QA environment where we do a bit of testing. From here we push it to production where we get it into the hands of our users. We will even release beta features to production because we want it in our users’ hands to give us more feedback and help improve the feature.

We admit we are not perfect and don’t always nail it 100% of the time. That’s not realistic, especially for a fast-moving startup. We release features knowing that even if we think it’s perfect - there is always room for improvement. Another reason why we happily invite feedback.

Real world examples

One feature from the app that comes to mind is the Since You’ve Been Gone feature released not too long ago.

Since You've Been Gone Feature

Since You've Been Gone Feature

A few users - particularly ones that did not log in often - wanted to see what has happened since they were gone. If you don’t already know, our SOC works around the clock fighting off threaty threats for you. So even if you don’t take any action within the app, a lot might have happened while you were gone.

We went through the whole process mentioned above to get this feature into our app - all starting with customer feedback!

Feedback to feature lifecycle

All of this to say

All of us at Perch want our customers to be happy. Tell us what you want to see in our app and we’ll build it for you (probably 😝). It’s a simple idea, certainly not a novel one, but one that not many companies can actually achieve. At least not with our level of love and care ❤️.

Threat Report Thursday October 11th 2018

on October 11, 2018

This week we’re covering three current events. The first two are related to threats targeting the financial sector. The last is a cautionary tale of malware infection at a large restaurant chain.

APT38 is getting SWIFT

In a report published October 3, 2018, FireEye detailed the activities of APT38, a threat actor conducting financially motivated and cyber-espionage related crimes on behalf of the North Korean regime. FireEye identifies APT38 as a North Korean Nation State sponsored group sharing overlapping characteristics with both Lazarus Group and TEMP.Hermit. According to their findings, APT38 executes sophisticated bank heists resulting from extensive planning and maintains long periods of access on a compromised victim’s environment. APT38 was linked to multiple incidents targeting SWIFT systems. APT38’s primary goal is to raise large sums of money for the North Korean regime; however, FireEye states that they also target infrastructure to facilitate continuous operations and evade detection.

APT38 primarily targets financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and financial transaction and exchange companies. Other targeted organizations include media companies and government entities. Known victims reside in the following countries: the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Poland, Turkey, Russia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In Annex B of the report, FireEye details an extensive list of malware used by APT38, including established, well-known tools (NestEgg, DarkComet) to lesser-known tools (DyePack, BLINDTOAD). FireEye believes APT38 is a well-resourced and persistent threat likely to continue its illicit financial-crime activities.



Betabot continues to evolve its toolset for breaking the bank

Security researchers from Cybereason have detected a new campaign involving the Betabot (Neurevt) Trojan. Betabot first appeared in 2012 as an info-stealer and evolved as a banking trojan packing with destructive features. This updated version has functions like browser form grabbing, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and mail client stealer, banker module, running distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, USB infection module, Robust Userland Rootkit (x86/x64), Arbitrary command execution via shell, and crypto-currency miner module. Betabot can also drop other malware and gain persistence via Windows Task Scheduler and Registry Autorun. Researchers note that the Betabot was designed to operate in “paranoid mode.” It includes self-defense mechanisms such as anti-debugging, anti-virtual machine/sandbox, anti-disassembly, and detect at least 30 security products and analysis tools and try to disable/remove them.

The malware is carried out using phishing attack with social engineering tactics. The email persuades the user to open an attached weaponized Microsoft Word document as the Betabot malware exploits CVE-2017-11882, an 18-year old vulnerability in the Equation Editor tool in Microsoft Office. The vulnerability was discovered in 2017 and patched by Microsoft. It communicates with its C&C Server after checking internet connection by sending requests to and Microsoft Update Sites. Researchers note that to prevent Betabot infections, users should keep their software up to date, install Microsoft Security patches, and avoid opening attachments from unknown senders.




Malware gets year-long all you can eat burger time pass

Restaurant chain Burgerville has recently revealed a security breach that has started over a year ago. Based on the online report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacted Burgerville last August 2018 about a security incident involving FIN7 which was thought to be “brief intrusion” that no longer existed. By September 19, FBI informed Burgerville that the attack is still active, and was much more severe than expected. Burgerville took steps for remediation, and in cooperation with the FBI and an outside cybersecurity firm, they launched a full forensic investigation. Based on the investigation, the malware was installed on Burgerville systems such as Point of Sales (PoS) machines to steal customer data. Customer’s credit and debit card information such as names, card number, expiration dates, and CVV numbers may have been compromised. The number of affected customers is currently unknown, as the tactics of FIN7 were said to be sophisticated and adept at concealing their digital footprints.

Burgerville explained that they didn’t announce the breach sooner to maintain the confidentiality of the breach during the investigation with the FBI. The remediation plan, which was completed by September 30, has to be kept secret. As part of their remediation plan, Burgerville has also upgraded their systems to counter this kind of attack. The company has asked their customers who have visited their restaurants and used their cards between September 2017 to September 2018 to monitor their financial statements for fraudulent activities.

The longer a threat goes undetected the more expensive it is to remediate. Security programs can be expensive if you go it alone. If Burgerville had a team of security analysts monitoring and didn’t rely on FBI notification, they would have caught the initial and continued infection.



What Managed Service Providers Need When it Comes to Security

on October 9, 2018

Having spent 20+ years helping transform IT and security in enterprise organizations and small businesses alike, I have seen it all. But helping the organizations that don’t have their own IT staff or security program is something that is crucially important to the success of the vast majority of all businesses in the nation. This is where our strategic partnerships with Managed Service Providers really shines.

Managed Service Providers, also known as MSP’s, are the IT and security department for those organizations that aren’t large enough to have their own IT staff. The SBE council estimates that 98.2% of businesses have fewer than 100 employees, the exact target market for many MSP’s. But what does this mean for the owner of an MSP that is likely part of the above demographic?

Antivirus, Firewalls, Compliance, Phishing, Malware, Hacking, Breaches, User Awareness Training; these are some of the things a Managed Service Provider thinks of when they think about securing their customers. The task of ensuring your customer and clients are secure is a daunting task for many organizations, and one area is often overlooked: visibility and actionable outcomes.

Perch provides visibility with real world threat intelligence in an intuitive and easy to use interface. Real-time visibility is critical to the success of any security program. Especially, when implemented in a way that doesn’t cause you to restructure your existing IT and information security processes, rip and replace toolsets, spend countless hours to train staff, and add headcount. When you compare Perch to the typical SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) solution, we prefer to integrate into the toolsets that you are most comfortable with. With Perch you will be up and running in a few minutes (no joke!) as opposed to weeks like other solutions. Perch was designed from the ground up by practitioners with real world IT and information security experience in organizations both large and small.

Some of the world class functionality that that Perch offers:
- We deliver world class threat detection capabilities you’d expect from an IDS.
- Visibility into network traffic that you can only get from large network monitoring vendors.
- SOC services that scale with your needs – if you have your own SOC – awesome, if you don’t, use ours!
- Easy implementation you’d expect from a well-designed product.
- Perch was designed for multi-tenancy out of the box, so the management flow of multiple companies is intuitive and seamless.

As you see, an MSP has a lot to consider in the realm of IT and information security. Therefore, MSP’s add Perch to their security stack because it provides consistent visibility into their customer and client networks in an easy and repeatable fashion. If you’re interested in a demo of Perch, head over to our page.

Release Notes

October 5, 2018

  • Email: Added SLA info to emails and migrated to new email-service

  • DB: Fixed database migration conflicts
  • Email: Fix for weekly email summary not sending
  • Sensor: Fix sensor health page and add MSSP permissions

Perch Security Secures $9 Million Series A Funding Led by ConnectWise, Inc.

on October 4, 2018

Perch Security announced today $9 million in Series A funding, through a combined investment from ConnectWise and existing investor Fishtech Group. The funding will fuel Perch’s expansion in software development, marketing and customer success. ConnectWise Founder and CEO Arnie Bellini will join Perch’s Board of Directors.

Check out the full article here.

Threat Report Wednesday October 3rd 2018

on October 3, 2018

In this weekly threat report, we’ll cover three current events. Facebook loses 50 million auth tokens, a phishing campaign is evading AV to deploy remote access trojans, and a ten-year-old privilege escalation vulnerability has major Linux distributions scrambling to release.

Facebook loses control of auth tokens used for FB and every site you log into using Facebook SSO.

On Friday, September 29, Facebook announced an attacker exploited a vulnerability and potentially compromised up to 50 million users Facebook accounts. The vulnerability exposed user access tokens in the HTML of the site page. Facebook published a statement on this incident, which it later updated with further technical details describing the nature of the vulnerability as the combination of three unknown flaws in a feature known as ‘View As.’

The statement included the following:

“Earlier this week, we discovered that an external actor attacked our systems and exploited a vulnerability that exposed Facebook access tokens for people’s accounts in HTML when we rendered a particular component of the ‘View As’ feature. The vulnerability was the result of the interaction of three distinct bugs:

First: View As is a privacy feature that lets people see what their profile looks like to someone else. View As should be a view-only interface. However, for one type of composer (the box that lets you post content to Facebook) — specifically the version that enables people to wish their friends happy birthday — View As incorrectly provided the opportunity to post a video.

Second: A new version of our video uploader, introduced in July 2017, incorrectly generated an access token that had the permissions of the Facebook mobile app.

Third: When the video uploader appeared as part of View As, it generated the access token not for you as the viewer, but for the user that you were looking up.”

Fifty million users were potentially affected by this vulnerability. As a precaution, Facebook has reset the tokens. However, it does nothing to resolve the potential data an attacker may have stolen.

Facebook confirmed that these access tokens might have been used to login to third-party sites via Facebook’s SSO. According to a 2015 report by Gigya, Facebook had the largest share of all identity providers at a 64% share of social login. This aspect of the breach makes it particularly nasty and should remind everyone of the risk of centralized authentication and single sign-on.






Phishing expedition dodges AV to land Adwind RAT

Security researchers from Cisco Talos with ReversingLabs have released a report regarding a new campaign dropping Adwind Trojan. This new phishing spam campaign spreads the Adwind 3.0 RAT which infects Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux operating systems. The spam email contains weaponized malicious “.csv” and “.xlt” file attachments to entice the user to open.

Adwind 3.0 has a set of new tools, especially an evasion technique by utilizing the Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) code-injection technique. This DDE, which transfer data between applications, compromises Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel opens by default the two droppers found in this campaign, the “.csv” and “.xlt.” Researchers note that this is part of the obfuscation technique applied wherein signature-based anti-virus aren’t able to detect. Instead of identifying that it is a malicious file, it prompts that it is corrupted. If the user opens the file, it executes the dropper. It creates a Visual Basic script that uses bitsadmin tool, which loads the final Java archive payload that contains Adwind installer.

This kind of injection has been used for years, but the treat actor was able to customize it to have an extremely low detection ratio. Other functions of this RAT includes log keystrokes, take screenshots, take pictures, transfer files, or execute any other command from its C&C Server. Researchers have verified that the malware has been targeting mostly Turkey and Germany, but many malware samples have also been detected in the US, India, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Researchers have noted that sandboxing and behavior-based detections should be able to detect and stop this spam campaign.


Reversing Labs

Talos Intelligence


  • 93a482e554e2a37e6893fdd8cd92537c0ebc7363ac5fac44b7a4af4a2088ea24
  • 0af2c5a46df16b98b9ab5af0ec455e98f6e1928c10ed8b6ffec69573498bdd8a
  • 93280872f685f9c26d5f668ca1303f224a38d2b86ba707cdbb3d57427396e752
  • 0a2f74a7787ae904e5a22a3c2b3acf0316c10b95fae08cced7ca5e2fcc7d9bf8
  • 65220dae459432deb1b038dbcbf8a379519a1a797b7b72f6408f94733bc5a2c2


Mutagen Astronomy (CVE-2018-14634) creates a deep impact on Red Hat, CentOS, and Debian

Risk managers better get that VRM and start checking on vendor patch levels. Security researchers from Qualys have discovered a vulnerability named Mutagen Astronomy (CVE-2018-14634) that affects Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS, and Debian users. The critical vulnerability can be used for Local Privilege Escalation (LPE)on 64-bit systems. An integer overflow triggers the vulnerability in the create_elf_tables() Linux kernel function. If exploited, it causes a buffer overflow that executes malicious code with root privileges. According to researchers, Mutagen Astronomy was present in the Linux kernel between July 19, 2007 (kernel commit: b6a2fea39318) and July 7, 2017 (kernel commit: da029c11e6b1). Researchers were able to publish two proof of concept (PoC)s for Mutagen Astronomy. The Red Hat Team has confirmed this vulnerability. Some releases have been patched while some are still vulnerable. If a fix has not been released for your version, a patch is available.







Threat Report Thursday September 28th 2018

on September 28, 2018

This week we are covering three emerging stories in the weekly threat report. First, we’ll cover a newly discovered case of ATM skimmers being installed at banks. Then we’ll transition to two digital threats. The first is related to the reuse of breached credentials in brute force attacks against the financial sector and the second is related to Microsoft’s battle against phishing attacks targeting the upcoming mid-term elections.

Two ATM Skimmers Found at Old Second Bank

Authorities from Aurora Police Department are investigating ATM skimmers found at two Old Second Bank branches in Aurora. The first ATM skimmer was found at 1300 block of North Farnsworth Avenue by an Old Second Bank employee at around 6:30AM. The employee saw a woman walking up to the ATM and acting suspiciously. When the woman left the area, the bank employee checked the ATM with the ATM skimmer and notified other branches of possible skimming which in turn identified the second ATM skimmer at the Fox Valley branch. Investigators are looking through security footages and already released surveillance photos related to the ATM skimming incident. The police are advising bank account holders to immediately report any possible identity or card theft to their bank.


Chicago Suntimes

Credential Stuffing Attacks Focused on Financial Sector

Cybersecurity firm Akamai has recently released its “2018 State of the Internet / Security – Credential Stuffing Attacks Report”. The report shows that organizations, particularly in the financial sector, should be cautious about credential stuffing attacks. Credential stuffing is considered to be login attempts utilizing passwords recovered from a breach. The trend of malicious login attempts is on the rise because botnets are being used to automate credential stuffing, and according to the researchers, it has a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) effect. Researchers have documented over 30 billion malicious login attempts from November 2017 to June 2018.

Akamai recorded two particular cases of credential stuffing with the use of heavy-handed botnet operation. First is an unnamed Fortune 500 company where login attempts average from 50,000 an hour to over 350,000 in a single afternoon. The botnet generated 8.5 million malicious attempts in six days. The second is a US credit union that receives 45,000 login attempts every 60 minutes. Another botnet that used a brute-force attack generated 4.2 million attempts in 7 days. Researchers have noted that the US, Russia, and Vietnam are the primary sources of credential stuffing attacks.

Researchers have mentioned that credential stuffing attacks are continuously evolving their methodologies - from volume-based noisier attacks to stealthy low and slow attacks. Without the right defense and expertise, top to bottom organizations alike would fall victim to such attacks.





APT28 Uses Bitcoin to Register Midterm Election Phishing Domains

RiskIQ conducted an investigation into domains that Microsoft sink-holed, which were used in phishing activity that Microsoft attributed to APT28. Microsoft was able to tie the domains in question back to APT28 by tracking historical infrastructure and following the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) associated with the group over the past few years. The domains were styled to mimic US Senate domains, along with think tanks Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute. These domains are currently sink-holed at Microsoft’s IP The subdomains target mail servers, or emulate Microsoft products, associated with the domains below:

  • senate[.]group [adfs.senate[.]group]
  • my-iri[.]org [[.]org]
  • hudsonorg-my-sharepoint[.]com [Mail.hudsonorg-my-sharepoint[.]com]
  • office365-onedrive[.]com [Mail.office365-onedrive[.]com]
  • adfs-senate[.]email
  • adfs-senate[.]services

RiskIQ found that APT28 exclusively used domain registrars and hosting providers that accept Bitcoin as payment. This is typical for APT28, who maintain multiple command and control servers for varying durations, cycling the hosting IP, while using registrars that accept Bitcoin, fake phone numbers and names, and use of a registrant email address derived from the domain being registered. The connection to old infrastructure was on the IP 154.16.138[.]57 which hosts vpn647639221.softether[.]net, a VPN service abused by APT28 according to the Department of Justice. This IP also hosted ‘mail[.]office365-onedrive[.]com’ on June 26th. The domains also had connections to disinformation campaigns, as the domain americafirstpolitics[.]com is hosted on Namecheap’s IP,, which also hosts of office365-onedrive[.]com. Historical information shows the domain americafirstpolitics[.]com hosting typical disinformation articles and content.

Hosting providers abused by APT28 include Bacloud, Frantech, GloboTech Communications, Info-Tel, MonoVM, Namecheap, Public Domain Registry, and Swiftway. Domains were hosted on various IPs, from rapid cycling that lasted less than a month to domains on Bacloud that were hosted for nearly a year (adfs-senate[.]services was hosted on 185.25.51[.]64 from September 2017 to August 2018). RiskIQ noted that some subdomains were hosted only for a day or two before being taken offline, saying “APT28 [may have] launched attacks from these domains then rapidly disabled routing/hosting to avoid detection or capture of their phishing or malware pages.”

Several of the servers had open ports used for Microsoft’s remote desktop protocol, while others presumably ran SSH on port 22. Almost all, except, ran HTTP with a few running HTTPS as well. The IPs and had some ports open that were almost matching, the only differences being the former having port 22 open while the later opened 49157, which is usually assigned dynamically. Interestingly, they also have ports open, typically used, for NetBIOS and Distributed COM Service Control Manager, which should not be exposed to the internet as it can be used to quickly identify every DCOM-related server/service running on a machine for exploitation. The IP had port 25 open, which is used for SMTP and could be indicative of its use for sending phishing emails.


  • americafirstpolitics[.]com
  • adfs-senate[.]email
  • mail[.]office365-onedrive[.]com
  • adfs-senate[.]services
  • my-iri[.]org
  • office365-onedrive[.]com
  • senate[.]group
  • adfs[.]senate[.]group
  • mail[.]hudsonorg-my-sharepoint[.]com
  • sharepoint[.]my-iri[.]org
  • hudsonorg-my-sharepoint[.]com
  • vpn647639221[.]softether[.]net






Women in Technology: Are things changing?

on September 24, 2018

In preparation for this blog, I decided to do a little research on the subject matter because, well #obvious. I started with the basic Google search of Women in Technology and found Tweets, a couple blogs, and a website literally called At a casual first glance, it seemed like the basic stuff: blogs, ads, social media, etc. But when I took a deeper dive, I realized that almost everything listed was inspirational, spoken with a “women helping other women” voice and tonality, almost as if this was a crisis before it was a concept. Also, where were all the women?

My research took me down an alternate route as I dug a little deeper on this subject and more and more I was hit with how little women are actually in the tech industry. My blog, which was originally outlined as a, Women in Technology: A Force to be Reckoned With, quickly shifted tones to, What Women in Technology?

As a woman, I couldn’t help but ask myself, why? Why in a world where women can be all things – from scientists to artists – would shy away from something as fascinating as technology?

I’m seeing a pattern here, and it’s not all polka dots.

Prior to joining Perch, I worked in marketing/customer relations for a real estate app, and even before that as a marketing director for a company that designed software for green (sustainable) building engineers. You could say the last seven years of my career have been somewhat tech-related, but in looking back, I noticed one major trend: in all three companies men made up 90% of the workspace.

Without making the heads of my co-workers any larger (you can meet them all here) I am honestly surrounded by some highly talented, brilliant individuals, albeit mostly men. I know Perch and my previous companies aren’t anomalies when it comes to the women-to-men ratio, but it’s still something I noticed. The people I work with outside this organization are primarily men and the few women who are employed share similar roles to me or to each other; marketing, finance, event planning, etc.

Christy Coffey, EVP of Operations for MSPISAO, is a very nice rarity when it comes to this. She is one of the few female EVPs in this industry and is very unapologetic for it.

“I started my career writing software when there were very few women in technical positions. I distinctly remember being a database administrator in the late 90’s on a team of ten men. A decade and half later, I transitioned into cybersecurity where there is a shortage of skilled workers and few women.” said Coffey.

“I am encouraged though. There are organizations like the “Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)” who are dedicated to filling unfilled cybersecurity positions with qualified women, and I’ve noticed an uptick in academic scholarships being made available to women pursuing cybersecurity studies. Hopefully, academic and corporate initiatives can drive culture change. We need to attract women to cybersecurity employment opportunities, and retain them.”

Aside from Mrs. Coffey the majority of the higher positions - the developers, the coders, the CISOs, CEOs and so on - are mainly men. Coincidence? I think not.

According to one article covering women in technology

  • Women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, but only account for less than 20% of tech jobs.
  • In April of 2017, there were 627,000 unfilled positions in tech, even though tech jobs are flourishing - cyber security, cloud computing, software
  • Young girls are discouraged in pursuing STEM at a young age due to lack of female mentors, hands-on experience and gender inequality.

In a world where #thefutureisfemale, it makes me wonder why this industry, that literally has to be at the forefront of innovation in order to remain relevant, is so behind on the times. Is it the industry? Is it that women are still forced into the same roles they have been for so long and find it hard to break the mold? Is it all the above?

“The tech industry needs more women to ensure its sustainability and success long-term. The inclusion of women in the tech industry will help it succeed long-term and will empower them to build their own success stories in the fastest growing industry worldwide.” — Hilary Laney, CEO of Evia Events.

Change is coming

Women are coming down hard on closing the gender gap and are finally making a statement. Many schools now offer coding as part of the curriculum to kids as young as middle and high-schoolers up through the college level. Pushing aside the fear of dating myself, 20 years ago when I was in high school, there was nothing of the sort offered to us. It wasn’t until many years later I freelanced with a potential start-up called Code Girls, an aspiring company that employed only women coders as outsourced workers, that I knew anything about coding or the lack of females in this space. Now, things are different, or at least, on the way to being different. If you scroll through social media you may be served ads similar to the one below, prompting promise of becoming a UX designer via a pretty girl in glasses. Is this a step in the right direction or just a tactful social media ad? Maybe both, but at least they know they need to start catering to this demographic.

Female UX Designer

High Profile Women in Tech

It wouldn’t be fair of me to skip over the fact that there are many influential women in this industry, going back many, many years. Dating back to Williamina Fleming and the Harvard “computers” in the late 1800s to more recently, Joan Ball, who basically invented online dating. Karen Spärck Jones who introduced the idea and methods of “term weighing” aka “Google-ing”, and the “mother of computing”, Grace Hopper, who back in the 1940’s programmed the Mark 1 computer that brought speed and accuracy to military initiatives. Some more recent women include Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, and Susan Wojcicki, Google’s first marketing manager.

While this is inspiring, it still doesn’t compare to the current status of this industry. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), 25% of the computing workforce was female in 2015. Additionally, “Women, especially women of color, are essentially “absent” from technology innovation.” (

Percentage Of Women In Tech

Women are shattering the proverbial glass-ceiling and breaking their tethers of stale, outdated careers in search of new options. Women are now running for president, launching multi-million dollar companies (hello, Spanx) and acting as CEO for Fortune 500 companies, such as General Motors, IBM, Pepsico, Progessive, and so many more. Women are among the top neurosurgeons, attorneys, CEOs, you-name-it in the World, and it only seems to be getting better. Who knows why it lacks in tech, and if or when that will change, but I’d like to see where the future takes us. As a little popstar named Beyonce once sang, Who run the world? Girls.

Additional info pertaining to women in the tech industry can be found here.

If you are in the industry and would like to share your story, please reach out to us directly at or via the hashtag #PerchWomenWhoLead.

Need the cheat codes to cybersecurity?

on September 21, 2018

Need the cheat codes to cybersecurity?

It’s dangerous to go alone. That must be a reason birds have evolved to flock together. I imagine, as a person responsible for your organization’s security operations, the pressure is on for you to always be right. One miss could become a very public incident that distracts the company from its real mission like financial services, education, or energy. When you’re sitting down to review a possible breach, wouldn’t it make you more confident to have access to real-time, qualified (by trained security analysts in our managed SOC) intelligence sightings from your industry peers that include how similar sightings were ultimately dispositioned?

Of course, you could always go alone, but the cost of creating and maturing a corporate security team can be expensive. For compliance, you’d need to invest in multiple security products to cover network security, system security, application security, vulnerability scanning, SIEM, and of course, the threat intelligence that drives it all. You’re smart so you’ll pick products that integrate. But integration might cost extra.

You’ll also need a team to operate all the products, which eats up your training budget. SIEM’s and IDS’ don’t come with content so you’ll need licenses to intelligence feeds and/or membership to an ISAC. You may also need a threat intelligence platform (TIP) to manage intelligence feeds and plug them into each security product. To staff a 247 SOC you could squeeze by with four threat analysts working 10-hour shifts, but that doesn’t leave you enough coverage for holidays, PTO, and, sick days. This can result in analyst burn out and employee churn. Qualified analysts are hard to find, not just in your area. If you don’t monitor the security products diligently, you could end up like Target. The bare-bones, go it alone security program I outlined could take a year to setup and cost over 1.5 million annually, depending on products, staffing, and business location. This may seem like a lot, but the cost of a breach could be double.

Perch helps with a number of these challenges. With Perch you don’t have to worry about connecting the dots between your intelligence feeds, your Perch products, or the security products you’re feeding into Perch. Don’t worry about the TIP, it’s already included with Perch. Perch pipelines threat feeds to threat detectors as a core feature. No middleware required. Perch’s predictable pricing scales with your node count and you’ll never have to add headcount as you grow. You can add security expertise to your organization without renting more office space. With Perch’s managed SOC, best-effort analysis is always included. We alert your team if we think incident response is required and provide remediation advice. Otherwise, your team is free to focus on mission-critical business.

Perch brings real-time network, application, and system events into one hunt stack. Our SOC is able to compare your traffic and sighting history to your peers in the community to make informed decisions about the fidelity of a threat or piece of intel. When you can see further, the table flips on the attacker. Now every time black hats try to rob the bank they will have to evade your hired posse of keyboard cowboys from Texas. One slip-up and the team is alert.

Cybersecurity can be cumbersome and costly if you are uninformed about what products you should buy, and more importantly the threats that exist. Don’t go alone - Use threat intelligence to your advantage. Perch connects you to sharing communities that provide security, knowledge, and most importantly supported data to protect your entire network no matter the size. With Perch you get a simple to use application that is setup with no costly developments and no down time. Unlock the cheat codes to cybersecurity with Perch!

Threat Report Tuesday September 18th 2018

on September 18, 2018

In this week’s threat report we’re covering two stories, the discovery of XBash malware and an unground marketplace offering a compromised bank ATM and three different companies’ company websites for sale.

XBash Malware Discovered

Researchers have discovered XBash, a malware with ransomware, botnet, and coin-mining functionalities. According to their research, XBash abuses weak passwords and unpatched vulnerabilities and is capable of spreading rapidly within an organization’s network. Researchers found that XBash targets Linux-based systems specifically for its ransomware and botnet capabilities, and targets Microsoft Windows-based systems primarily for its coin-mining and self-propagating capabilities. While XBash has ransomware functionality, researchers found no evidence to suggest that XBash would restore data after the ransom is paid.

At the time of report, researchers had observed 48 incoming transactions associated with the malware with a total income of 0.964 bitcoins, indicating that victims had paid roughly $6,000 total. XBash was first developed in Python and then converted into self-contained Linux ELF executables by abusing the legitimate tool PyInstaller for distribution. Instead of generating random IP addresses as scanning destinations like many other botnets, XBash instead retrieves both IP addresses and domain names from its C2 servers for service probing and exploiting. XBash can also scan for vulnerable servers within an enterprise intranet; however, researchers have only observed this functionality in collected samples and have yet to see it in action.



  • Blocks emails from:
    • backupdatabase@pm[.]me
    • backupsql@pm[.]me
    • backupsql@protonmail[.]com
  • Using strong, non-default passwords
  • Keeping up-to-date on security updates
  • Implement endpoint security on Microsoft Windows and Linux systems
  • Prevent access to unknown hosts on the internet (to prevent access to command and control servers)
  • Implement and maintaining rigorous and effective backup and restoration processes and procedures.

BigPetya Offers Compromised ATM for Sale

Perchy monitors many marketplaces for threat leads, and a compromised ATM for rent caught our eye. Lampeduza, aka BigPetya, a member of multiple underground forums, is selling access to an ATM belonging to a Nigerian bank for $25,000. The actor is also selling access to three different company websites. The first is, an online store linked to 1,000 PCs, available for the price $5,000. The second is, a company with 500-900 connected computers and a server, available for $4,000, and the last is, available for $10,000. Compromised sites are often leveraged in other attacks. If you start to see these domains pop up in your logs you may want to take a closer look even though the sites appear legitimate and do not have a negative reputation.


  • Monitor your ATM network and system activity for signs of compromise and infection.
  • Monitor these domains and IPs for phishing, scanning, or malware hosting activities.
    • dizucar[.]com -
    • www[.]enel[.]com -
    • californiaoliveranch[.]com -

Adding Threat Communities

on September 12, 2018

Perch Security connects you to all your threat intel sources (so you can actually use them). CISO Wes Spencer shows you how, with his typical panache.

Threat Report Tuesday September 11th 2018

on September 11, 2018

In this weekly threat report, we’ll cover two topics, 380K British Airways users skimmed by Magecart breach and the Mirai/Gafgyt botnets get upgraded to fly first class with Apache Struts & SonicWall Exploits.

Mirai & Gafgyt get an upgrade

Security researchers uncovered two botnet variants of Mirai and Gafgyt(BASHLITE) with upgraded versions to take advantage of vulnerabilities. Both IoT botnets are associated with DDoS campaigns since November 2016. The Gafgyt version exploits the SonicWall vulnerability (CVE-2018-9866) that affects older unsupported SonicWall Global Management Systems(GMS 8.1 and older).

The Mirai version exploits the same Apache Struts Vulnerability (CVE-2017-5638) associated with the Equifax data breach in 2017 together with 15 other vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include Linksys E-Series devices(Remote Code Execution), Avcron NVR Devices(Remote Command Execution), D-Link devices(D-Link RCE), CCTVs & DVRs from 70 vendors(Remote Code Execution), EnGenius EnShare IoT Gigabit Cloud Service 1.4.11(Remote Code Execution), AVTECH IP Camera/NVR/DVR Devices(Unauthenticated Command Injection), Zyxel routers(CVE-2017-6884), NetGain Enterprise Manager7.2.562(Ping Command Injection), NUUO NVRmini 2 3.0.8(OS Command Injection), DGN1000 Netgear routers(Unauthenticated RCE), D-Link devices(HNAP SoapAction-Header Command Execution), D-Link DSL-2750B(OS Command Injection), MVPower DVR(JAWS Webserver authenticated shell command execution), and Dasan GPON routers(CVE-2018-10561, CVE-2018-10562).

Researchers noted that this is the first time the Mirai botnet has targeted a vulnerability in Apache Struts. Researchers have pointed out that the incorporation of exploits targeting Apache Struts and SonicWall could indicate the threat actors are increasingly targeting outdated enterprise devices.


Mitigation Strategies:

  • Keep device firmware and software up to date.
  • Regularly perform network scans for vulnerable devices.
  • Monitor your devices for network traffic that indicates successful exploit.

British Airways skimmed by Magecart

British Airways recently announced that it suffered a major breach that resulted in customer data theft that impacted roughly 380,000 customers. Names, addresses, email addresses, and payment details of customers with completed transactions from 22:58 BST on August 21 until 21:45 BST on September 5 were compromised. The breach surprisingly didn’t impact passport numbers and other travel data.

Researchers revealed how Magecart threat actor was able to hack the British Airways, like the Ticketmaster breach. As reported, data was stolen directly from the website and mobile app which carries payment forms. Researchers suspect that Magecart used cross-site scripting attack in British Airways’ poorly secured web page component and injected their skimmer code, altering the victim’s site behavior. The attack was tailor-made for the British Airways’ payment page.

Evidence was found that Magecart might have breached the British Airways site days before the skimming began. The attacker’s server used a certificate that was issued on August 15th, days before the reported stardate of August 21, 2018. Researchers warn Magecart uses custom-built attacks for targeted victims, which is a real threat for online payment processing.

Magecart has likely considered other airlines as targets and this is not the first breach in the aviation sector. Aviation sector businesses should consider community defense and evaluate membership in information sharing and analysis centers like A-ISAC.




Mitigation Strategies:

  • Keep web applications components up to date.
  • Regularly scan your web applications for vulnerable components or unauthorized changes.
  • Monitor your web applications via network and log to for indicators of compromise and successful attacks.

Communities Tab: Evaluating Your Threat Intel Sources

on September 4, 2018

See all your threat intelligence sources, compare performance, and predict trends on Perch's Communities tab. Perch Security CISO Wes Spencer deftly demonstrates in this short video.

Threat Report Tuesday August 28th 2018

on August 28, 2018

Ryuk ransomware campaign targeting large organizations in the US and around the world has made the attackers behind it over $640,000 in bitcoin in the space of just two weeks. It appears to be connected to Lazarus, the hacking group working out of North Korea. Ryuk campaign is targeting enterprises that are capable of paying a lot of money in order to get back on track.

Secondly, Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have uncovered a new campaign dubbed as “AppleJeus” being carried out by North Korean APT group Lazarus. Highly active in recent months, researchers note that this is the first time the threat group not only targeted Windows Systems but also targeted and developed macOS-based FallChill malware. The breach was sourced back to an email to an unsuspecting employee of the cryptocurrency exchange company that downloaded third-party legitimate-looking Celas Trade Pro, a cryptocurrency trading program developed by Celas.

Malware: Ryuk ransomware

It first emerged in mid-August and in the space of just days infected several organizations across the US, encrypting PCs and storage and data centers of victims and demanded huge Bitcoin ransoms. The attacks are highly targeted to such an extent that the perpetrators are conducting tailored campaigns involving extensive network mapping, network compromise and credential stealing in order to reach the end goal of installing Ryuk and encrypting systems.

For more information there are a few links below:



Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the download of a malicious files
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect additional payload downloads
  • A solid Backup strategy for easy restore as not to disrupt business operations
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: AppleJeus

The malware checks if it’s worth attacking. It runs an auto-Updater which contacts the C&C Server to download and run additional executables including the payload, Fallchill backdoor. In turn, Fallchill malware can secretly take over the victim’s computer and carry out cryptocurrency mining. Researchers suspects Celas is a fake company created by the North Koreans. Researchers believe that a Linux version of the malware might have been circulating already, if not in development.

For more information there are a few links below:



Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for communication to the C2 network
  • Email filtration to find malicious attachments
  • FIM looking for the downloaded executables related to the fallchill backdoor
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles

Release Notes

August 24, 2018

  • Added the ability to change an alert from “Escalated” to another status from the Dashboard
  • Added the time remaining to triage an alert and fulfill the applied SLA for MSSP users
  • Added SLA management for MSSP users
  • Added webhook support for Alerts ( Beta )
  • Added MS-ISAC and NCU-ISAO communities ( Beta )

  • The new and improved Alerts list is now live and the old Alerts list has been removed

Threat Report Thursday August 23rd 2018

on August 23, 2018

In August 2018, a new variant of malware - KeyPass ransomware - gained traction using new techniques like manual control to customize its encryption process. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab say that the trojan is being propagated by means of fake installers that download the ransomware module. The trojan sample is written in C++ and compiled in MS Visual Studio. It was developed using the libraries MFC, Boost and Crypto++. The PE header contains a recent compilation date.

Security researchers at Proofpoint recently discovered a new malware strain dubbed Marap. The malware is being distributed via spam emails containing malicious attachments. Based on the campaign’s pattern, Proofpoint linked it to Necurs. Marap can be used to download other malwares. Bleeping Computer states that Marap infects victims, fingerprints their systems, and sends this information back to a central command and control (C&C) server.

Malware: KeyPass Ransomware

KeyPass enumerates local drives and network shares accessible from the infected machine and searches for all files, regardless of their extension. Many ransomware species hunt documents with specific extensions, but this one bypasses only a few folders. Every encrypted file gets an additional extension: “.KEYPASS” and ransom notes named “!!! KEYPASS_DECRYPTION_INFO!!!.txt” are saved in each processed directory. In just 36 hours — from the evening of August 8 to August 10 — the ransomware cropped up in more than 20 countries. Brazil and Vietnam were the hardest hit, but it claimed victims in Europe and Africa.

For more information there are a few links below:



Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the download of a malicious .keypass or .txt
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect additional payload downloads
  • A solid Backup strategy for easy restore as not to disrupt business operations
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: Marap

As for the malspam campaigns pushing the new Marap downloader, Proofpoint says it has observed various versions. Researchers have seen campaigns leveraging . IQY files, PDF documents with embedded IQY files, password-protected ZIP archives, and the classic Word docs with embedded macros. The malware also has basic features to detect virtual machines used for malware analysis though not as complex compare to other malwares.



Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for communication to the C2 network over http
  • Web filter to block the outgoing http traffic
  • Email filtration to find malicious attachments related to Marap
  • FIM looking for the downloaded .zip file containing a .iqy file or MS word doc with macros
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles

Thinking About Your Cybersecurity Program

on August 21, 2018

The National Institute of Technology and Standards, or NIST was tasked with developing a framework that could be used to understand and manage cybersecurity defenses. So, in good government fashion they came up with a 56 page document full of dense text and tables and so on. But – and this is the important part – they summarized it into 5 functions, each a different high level action step. And that provides a good jumping off place to start thinking about a cybersecurity program for your business.

We’ve come up with 20 questions, none of them really technical, that can help you start or accelerate the development of your cybersecurity defenses. As you think through these questions, a framework that fits your business should start to emerge.

Identify cybersecurity threats

  • What are your highest value assets?
  • What assets may be valuable to others?
  • Who would be interested in your assets, and why?
  • How could an adversary steal or compromise those assets?

Protect the system

  • How do you manage users’ activity?
  • How do you protect your data and digital assets?
  • How do you protect your network?
  • How do you protect your endpoint devices?

Detect threats in a timely manner

  • What needs to be monitored?
  • How will you monitor it?
  • Who will be accountable for monitoring?
  • How is a detected threat handled?

Respond to detected threats

  • How are threats assessed?
  • How do you determine the impacts?
  • What plans are in place to respond?
  • Are there physical assets that could be impacted?

Recover from an incident

  • How will you recover lost or compromised assets?
  • Have you made a recovery plan, and has it been tested?
  • Who will be accountable for recovery?
  • How will internal and external communications be handled?

If you address these broad questions in terms of; People, Process, and Technology you will get a pretty clear picture of your situation. Some answers may be more people or technology focused but keep all three facets in mind for each answer.

This is a great way to build a basic cybersecurity program. Start by answering the questions for the way things are now. Some gaps will show up - they always do – and use those gaps to determine the most important things to work on and how to improve.

And if you want to skip right to the sleep aid section of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, here’s a link to the full document: Nist. There is a lot more to the whole framework and I hope to be able to post some more about how to make it effective in the real world of never enough time resources, but that means I will need time and resources.

Threat Report Thursday August 16th 2018

on August 16, 2018

New Zombie Boy Crypto miner Discovered. Security Researcher James Quinn has recently discovered a new monero miner worm that appears to amass $1,000 per month and uses multiple exploits to avoid detection. Unlike MassMiner crypto currency miner, ZombieBoy leverages WinEggDrop instead of MassScan to search for new hosts to infect. Secondly, Security researchers at Check Point have revealed at DefCon 26 that a cyber criminal can infiltrate a network using a vulnerability of a fax machine protocol. Using only a fax number, an all-in-one printer-fax machine can be penetrated through Faxploit and have access to the network. The attackers just needs to send a malicious fax to a vulnerable fax machine to have access. Researchers note that attackers can then steal printed documents, mine Bitcoin, or practically anything the attacker can think of.

Malware: Zombie Boy Crypto

The tool also utilizes DoublePulsar and EternalBlue exploits to remotely install the main dll. Quinn states that the 64.exe module downloaded by ZombieBoy uses the DoublePulsar exploit to install both an SMB backdoor as well as an RDP backdoor. According to Quinn’s findings, ZombieBoy is being updated on a daily basis, and the malware will not run if it detects it is in a virtual machine environment, debilitating researchers’ ability to reverse engineer and analyze it. The miner uses Simplified Chinese language, indicating that the author may be Chinese.

For more information there are a few links below:



Some Mitigation Strategies:
- File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the download of a malicious .dll files
- Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect peer to peer communications
- Web Filtration would block or alert on outbound communication to posthash/
- 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: Vulnerability of a fax machine protocol

All IoT devices connected to the fax-printer such as server, router, workstations, laptops, or mobile devices would be vulnerable to the attack. Check Point collaborated with HP and used an HP Officejet Pro 6830 all-in-one printer as a test case. They were able to use EternalBlue to exploit the PCs connected to the network, and exfiltrated data by sending back a fax. Researchers collaborated with HP to provide a patch and was rolled out as an automatic update to customers. Researchers advises to check for available firmware updates and disconnect the PSTN line from the fax machine if not in use.



Some Mitigation Strategies:
- Segment Office Equipment network traffic to a single segment to easily monitor
- Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for broadcast from the fax machine
- Use netflow to monitor outbound traffic from your office equipment
- 24x7 Security Monitoring to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles

Threat Report Thursday August 9th 2018

on August 9, 2018

Security researchers at Proofpoint have uncovered Dreambot malware which is a new variant of Ursinif banking Trojan. Though it is still in development, it was seen spreading since July 2016 through exploit kits such as Neutrino, through phishing emails with malicious attachments, and through malvertising. Secondly Palo Alto researchers discovered a threat group named DarkHydrus carrying out credential harvesting attacks using weaponized Word documents, which they delivered via spear-phishing emails to entities within government and educational institutions in the Middle East. Based on the analysis, DarkHydrus used the open-source Phishery tool to host the command and control server to harvest credentials. The use of Phishery further illustrates Dark Hydrus’ reliance on open source tools to conduct their operations.

Malware: Dreambot

Researchers point out that this new variant has new capabilities which includes peer-to-peer (P2P) functionality and Tor communication capability. This Tor-enabled versions are hard to detect because of encrypted and anonymized communications.

For more information there are a few links below:



Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the download of a zipped JavaScript
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect peer to peer communications
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: DarkHydrus

Two Word documents using the domain to harvest credentials were found. These related Word documents were first seen in September and November 2017, which suggests that DarkHydrus has been carrying out this credential harvesting campaign for almost a year.



Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Web filtration to block
  • Email filtration to detect spear phishing attempts using word files
  • File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for downloaded malicious word documents
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious queries through DNS
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles

Perch Security Dashboard Overview

on August 7, 2018

We all need a snapshot of what's happening before we delve in. Perch Security CISO Wes Spencer shows off Perch's Dashboard, which gives users exactly that.

Threat Report Wednesday August 1st 2018

on August 1, 2018

According to Trend Micro, a new exploit kit UnderMiner contains features that make it difficult for researchers to track it and reverse engineer its payloads. Trend Micro researchers state that the exploit kit is currently being used against victims in Asian countries, primarily users in Japan. Underminer delivers a bootkit that infects system boot sectors as well as Hidden Mellifera (Hidden Bee), a cryptocurrency-mining malware. Trend Micro researchers first observed the exploit kit on Jul 17, 2018. Also this week, security researchers at McAfee Labs have recently identified an increasing number of actors using fileless attacks. These fileless attacks don’t drop a malware on the system, rather they use the tools installed in the system. Researchers note that one fileless threat, CactusTorch, uses “DotNetToJScript” technique that executes custom shellcode on Windows System straight from the memory.

Malware: UnderMiner

UnderMiner is capable of browser profiling and filtering, preventing client revisits, URL randomization, and asymmetric encryption of payloads. Malware is transferred via an encrypted transmission control protocol (TCP) tunnel and packages malicious files with a customized format (much like the ROM file system format), which makes analysis for researchers difficult. Underminer has been observed exploiting three major vulnerabilities: CVE-2015-5119, CVE-2016-0189, and CVE-2018-4878.

For more information there are a few links below:



Some Mitigation Strategies:

File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the creation of files and scripts
Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect communication C2 for additional payloads
Web Filtration would detect the use of malicious urls or unknown sites
24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response.

Malware: DotNetToJScript

DotNetToJScript doesn’t write any .NET assemblies on the system, that lead security softwares to often fail to detect these type of attack. CactusTorch loads and executes malicious . NET assemblies, which are the smallest deployment of an application. Corporate networks and single users alike are vulnerable to this type of attack. Security applications such as McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) and Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) clients are protected from this type of fileless attack.



Some Mitigation Strategies:

File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for wscript.exe, which is only file created
Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious outbound communication
24x7 Security Monitoring to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles.

What we're gonna do right here is go back, wayback...

on July 29, 2018

In 2012 I started dabbling with CMSs and as a Front End Developer whose backend expertise is dropping tables making a site with tons of features out of the box was glorious but the hindrance of using a CMS that no one tells you that you ignore is the constant updating and how vulnerable they are to hacks.

Because of this (version control anyone? and many other reasons) I stopped using CMSs but I still had a few sites I no longer updated running on a CMS (no it’s not wordpress 💩), anyways recently said CMS got hacked and since I didn’t keep the CMS up to date my sites were affected by said hack 😑.

Since I value my videogaming time, I updated the CMS hoping that would make the problem go away quickly (it didn’t 🙄) so now I had to invest some time to fix the issue (bye bye videogames 🤬).

I download my site files, backed up the database and scanned the files with an antivirus and it was going to be impossible time consuming to fix since the site had a ton of 💩 PHP files that were infected with malicious code. (Hackers: 1 Ben: 0)

Since my last backup was non-existant 🤦‍ lost to data corruption 😉 I was faced with deciding to either decommission the sites or find a way to fix them.

Going back

I decided I was not going to let the Hackers win but I didn’t have any usable source files, so what to do? 🤔 Enter the waybackmachine or as I call it my backup solution 😂.

The waybackmachine had a few snapshots of my site 😬 so now it was a matter of finding a way to get a hold of one of the snapshots and I would have the static source files of my site. After a bit of googling I found Github user hartator (you da real MVP son 🙌) made the wayback-machine-downloader a small ruby app that can download waybackmachine snapshots.

Now I was faced with another problem do I really wanna install 💩 Ruby to do this? NOPE. Luckily the wayback-machine-downloader has a dockerfile which means I can just run this app in a docker container and get my site files 👌 which is what I ended up doing.


Wayback-Machine-Downloader in action

The wayback-machine-downloader worked flawlessly. With a working copy of my static site files I could get my site working again (Hackers: 1 Ben: 1), but no I already missed my gaming session invested too much time and figured lets go one step further and lets fix it for good and port the site to my preferred static site generator Hugo.

Hugo All The Things Sites

Since I already have Hugo (if you don’t read here) installed on my computer I just need to create a new Hugo site by running this command in my terminal:

hugo new site mySiteName

Once the site was generated I had to create a theme for my site which I did by running the command:

hugo new theme myThemeName

This generates all the files necessary to theme your site so now all that was left to do was getting my static files into Hugo theme partials.

Hugo Generated Theme Partials

Hugo Generated Theme Partials

So once I’m done copying over my html to the partials and run my site locally I am greeted by this:

Close But No Cigar

Close But No Cigar 😑

Upon further inspection using my browsers dev tools ❤️ we can see we have a few broken asset links no big deal, since we are using the files we downloaded from the wayback-machine-downloader and copied the HTML markup into Hugo which has a different file structure than the files we downloaded we need to fix the paths to our assets in Hugo.

Browser Dev Tools

Apparently the red sea was full of console errors

After using our dev tools we know the problem is our file references in our old files they were under a assets folder, Hugo keeps all its static assets in a static folder.

So in our old files the references were something like this:


Now in Hugo they becomes this:


So I ran a search in all the files to see how bad it was and the results were a mere 1229 occurrences in 226 files 😮 yeah, good thing our code editor has a nifty Replace in Files function 😏.

Replace in Files

VSCode Replace in Files

So after running the Replace In Files function for each of our broken assets now my site looks something like this:

Fixed Assets

Fixed assets, such cool, much wow 😎

So at this point I was more than happy now I had to start making content pages in Hugo and start copying the content of each page into its own .md (Markdown) file. Luckily this particular site only had 16 articles so I decided to do this manually otherwise I would’ve probably reached out to our resident Hulk genius Zach to help me come up with some clever way of accomplishing this. (Hackers: 1 Ben: 2)

After creating all my content pages I started navigating the site locally and noticed the links were not the same as they were on the old site, no bueno as I would have to make 301 redirects for every page in order to avoid affecting my Google page rank. (Hackers: 1 Ben: 1) 😑.

I told you guys Hugo was awesome right? I was not about to do 301 redirects for 16 pages thankfully Hugo has a thing called permalinks. So by adding a permalink to my Hugo config.toml I can solve this issue with a single line of code 😬 all I had to do was match the permalink to the same URL pattern of YYYY/MM/DD/Title I used in the old CMS (Hackers: 1 Ben: 2) 😜, here’s what that looks like:

      blog = "blog/:year/:month/:day/:title/"

After applying the permalink and testing everything locally the site was once again ready to go live, I used these instructions on how to host a Hugo site on Gitlab ❤️ and these instructions on how to use a custom domain on Gitlab Pages with CloudFlare Certificates. So now my site is out of a CMS, is version controlled in Gitlab, has CI/CD and hosted for FREE. (Hackers: 1 Ben: 3) 🎉

So that was my weekend without videogames 😭, I hope yours was better ✌️.

Release Notes

July 27, 2018

  • Added API support for MSSPs and upcoming SLA management
  • Added a new Organization Settings ( Beta )
  • Added specialized rule files for Tiny Form Factor sensors
  • Updated the Escalated Alerts color to a friendlier shade of yellow

  • Fixed a bug when joining communities during the sign up process
  • Fixed a bug with firewall blacklist options on the Alerts ( Beta ) suppression modal
  • Fixed a bug with IPs not populating in the Alerts ( Beta ) False Positive Modal

  • Removed deprecated API endpoints for rule files
  • Updated weekly emails to use an improved, automated process

If we’re gonna get fuzzy, let’s be discrete - Up close and personal with a Minesweeper solver

on July 24, 2018

In 1992, Microsoft released Minesweeper alongside Windows 3.1. We can only imagine the purpose Microsoft originally intended, but most of us know Minesweeper as the worst Cookie Clicker clone ever designed. We’d fire it up and click all over the board until the smiley face turned sad (and dead). Sometimes we’d get pretty far; sometimes wide swaths of the board opened up, and we knew we were probably some kind of genius, fated to discover new physics, or a way to recycle sewage into edible food. Well, until sad face appeared again, boredom grew to disdain, and Chip’s Challenge twinkled its eyes at ya.

Minesweeper 1

I grew to love Minesweeper in my final year of grade school. Because I’d fallen deep into computers from a young age, my high school, hesitating not a single second seizing opportunities to hire less IT staff to foster curiosity, assigned half my day to PC Support, where on occasion I’d be asked to fix a computer. Otherwise, I played a lot of Minesweeper. (And, of course, those LAN multiplayer Halo and Quake 3 demos #millenials)

The rules of Minesweeper are pretty simple. At the start of the game, the board contains a number of mines – this number is displayed prominently. Each cell either contains a mine, or doesn’t. When you click a cell, it reveals either a mine, in which case:

You Loose

Or it can reveal a number (or many numbers). The number represents how many direct neighbors contain a mine, no more, no less. If you click all the cells not containing a mine, you win. That’s all. The rest is icing – such as right-clicking to flag a cell as a mine, which doesn’t contribute to winning or losing at all, and purely aids the player. Enough talk – more pretty pictures. Well, more pictures, at least.

Minesweeper 2 Minesweeper 3

In the first picture, there is a number 1 which has only a single neighbour. By the rules of the game, this neighbour must contain a mine. We flag it, so we remember not to click it.

That was the only place where the obvious choice of action is derived entirely from a single number. We’ve gotta get clever to continue. And so we shall!

Numbers that share neighbours also share information – like, if neighbour X is a mine, it may mean neighbours Y and Z cannot contain mines, and are safe for the clicking. Which, you guessed it, we can take advantage of.

Minesweeper 4

The topmost number 1 touches both neighbours highlighted in blue. Since this #1 means only one of its neighbours has a mine, we can infer that if we knew the location of the mine, the other neighbours could safely be clicked. The same applies to the 1 below it at (2, 1), whose neighbours are highlighted in orange.

See the single orange neighbour not overlapped by the blue? If we were to assume a mine was there, it would mean those two blue neighbours contained 0 mines, safe for the clicking. So we click them. Now the topmost #1 touches no cells, leaving no place for its single mine. Of course, this means the #1 pops out of existence, appearing spontaneously in the bank account balance of some fortunate soul (or Shia LaBeouf’s, setting off a chain of events culminating in the attempted assassination of the US president). Or, we end up clicking a mine and losing the game. It all depends on how strange you believe the universe is.

For the sake of the exposition, we’ll adhere to Occam’s razor, and assume clicking both of the blue-shaded cells leads to certain death. Since we’re forced to click both blues if we flag the orange, we know we can’t flag it without certainly dying. We’ve gotta do the other thing… what was it? …uh, Clicking? Yeah.

Minesweeper 5

This same logic can lead us to flagging a cell, instead of clicking.

Minesweeper 6 Minesweeper 7

Taking it one step further, we can combine information from multiple cells to expose less obvious solutions. In the next example, the #1’s at the bottom left portion touch all but a single neighbour of the #3. We know both of those #1’s combined provide two mines, leaving one mine of #3 unaccounted for. We infer the mine’s location must be in the only neighbour #3 doesn’t share with the #1’s.

Note: cells shaded blue have been right-clicked, and red-shaded cells have been left-clicked.

Minesweeper 8

Using only this rule, we can get pretty far. Much of the time, a single move can open up the board.

Minesweeper 9

That is, until those moves run out.

Well, there is one other general strategy we missed. Our previous strategies relied on one number completely containing all the neighbours of another number. There are some cases where only partial overlap is decisive enough to uncover Deep Truths™ of the board.

Minesweeper 10 Minesweeper 11 Minesweeper 12

The three blue-shaded cells contain exactly one mine. Another way of putting it is: the blue-shaded cells contain a maximum of one mine. This is true, even for the cells overlapping the green – since there is a maximum of one mine, we can effectively treat the two overlappers as a single cell. This leaves only one other place for green’s remaining mine: the bottommost greenie. We flag it, and the board opens up again… at least for a bit.

Minesweeper 13

And then there were no more strategies. Finito. Good day, sir!

Well, of course, no more strategies except for the other ones, which we’ll take a look at next time, before finally accepting the futility of our situation and graphing grasping at straws to milk the board for all she’s worth.

Bonus win gif for you beautiful readers.

Minesweeper 14

Threat Report Tuesday July 23rd 2018

on July 23, 2018

In this week’s report, we are covering two very malicious programs. Security researchers at Kaspersky Labs have discovered Calisto malware, which appears to be a precursor of Proton macOS malware. Researchers found that Calisto was uploaded to VirusTotal in 2016, but remained unnoticed until May 2018. This macOS malware is a backdoor that guises as an Intego’s Mac Internet Security that also asks for the user’s login and password upon installation. It enables the attacker to remotely access the system enabling remote login, screen sharing, configure remote login permissions, and enable hidden “root” account in macOS with a designated password. The second piece of interesting piece of code is Decrypter for Magniber Ransomware that has been recently released. South Korean cybersecurity firm AhnLab created decrypters for some versions of the Magniber ransomware. The Magniber ransomware, which targets only South Korean end-users, was deployed by the Magnitude Exploit Kit as early as October 2017 through malvertisements. Since malvertisements is constantly a threat on the internet, it is possible to see this spread to other financial institutions.

Malware: Calisto Malware

Interestingly, researchers found out that SIP enabled (System Integrity Protection) macOS systems prevent full damage from Calisto malware even if they have root permissions. Researchers say that Calisto malware was created before Apple released SIP security feature. Researchers still do not have any information as of now on how the malware propagates. Mac users should be safe from this malware as long as they enable SIP, update OS to the current version, download from trusted sources, and use a credible antivirus software.

For more information:
Sentinel One
Xuanwu Lab

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the creation of files related to the RAT
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect communication C2 for additional payloads
  • Web Filtration would detect the use of malicious URLs or unknown sites
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: CVE-2016-0189

Magnitude exploits vulnerabilities concerning memory corruption (CVE-2016-0189) in Internet Explorer. The ransomware is one of the few country- or language-specific ransomware that has been created. As of March 30, affected users can download the decrypter at AhnLab’s website, which website creators state is updated daily.

For more information:
Bleeping Computer

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management (FIM) to monitor for the creation of files related to ransomware
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication to C2s
  • Solid Backup strategy to restore from when machine is infected and encrypted
  • 24x7 Security Monitorings to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles

Kovter Research and Analysis

on July 19, 2018

Through recent alert analysis, Perch Labs has identified Kovter as malicious code on the rise since January. To truly understand the code, we need to understand its history:

  • Kovter, in 2013, was known as a piece of silent ransomware code that transferred files to an infected host without detection. Throughout 2013 and 2014, it was an effective ransomware that would wait on a system until a certain function would be performed. One of those functions was a popup screen notifying the user of illegal activity, with an interface provided to pay a fine, now known as a ransom.
  • Kovter then evolved into many click fraud campaigns. It would infect hosts and steal data to well architected Command and Control (C2) server architecture.
  • In 2015, Kovter evolved into one of the first file-less piece of malicious code that utilized autorun registry edits. It would embed a JavaScript function into the registry that executes a PowerShell script which then installs multiple binaries.
  • As Kovter continued to evolve, it added to its file-less capabilities by including file-like components and spawning local shells to spread laterally throughout your network.

The Kovter family of malicious code has a tradition of being effective and difficult to detect. The most common attack vector for Kovter has been through spam and targeting phishing email campaigns. Spam and phishing emails using false delivery notifications for UPS, FedEx or invoices are nothing new but are still incredibly effective especially when well researched and targeted. The main variants of Kovter are aimed at performing ad fraud and are difficult to detect and remove, as they implement these file-less infection methods. They can steal personal or corporate information, download additional malware or have complete access to the infected host.

Kovter Methodologies

1. Attack the Human
Kovter arrives within mail attachments as a macro in an office file. When activated, the macro downloads additional files that triggers a powershell command stored in the registry to gain full control of the host. Then the randomly named file deletes itself. One of the most recent campaigns used an effective technique to trick users by using fake delivery notifications from UPS, USPS, and FedEx. The Emails have historically targeted Finance and HR departments through related internet services documents such as resumes and invoices. The email attachment is either a ZIP file that archives a double extension file (*.doc.html) or a standalone double extension HTML file.

2. Extract, Decode and Run
Phishing, if targeted, is successful because of the research done on the company or individuals. Malicious actors will troll LinkedIn to identify key employees or easy targets. They then troll social media to evaluate likes and dislikes to help craft an email based on the data found. The HTML document will convince the user to click and download an “Office plugin,” but in the background, the HTML actually contains an embedded base64-encoded ZIP file.

3. Install Malicious javascript
When executed, the HTML extracts a JS file (WebView-Plugin-Update-0.exe.js) which is a partially obfuscated JScript/JavaScript file hiding inside a 7-zip. Once connected, the fake WebView Plugin will download a JS file and immediately executes it after a de-obfuscation process.

4. Connect to C2 for additional payloads
The file, once properly decoded, will again try to build different URLs using different domain names. There will be two possible URLs from each domain. The first URL will download something from the ransomware or spyware family and the second URL will download KOVTER. Both URLs will download a file with a *.PNG extension that will be renamed to *.EXE and executed later. There are layers of obfuscated files and multiple command and control sites.

5. Connect to new C2 to test file storage
The malicious code will now attempt to communicate with the C2 servers that have been architected to store stolen assets from the infected hosts. Once communication is established there is a process that schedules regular connections to upload any data that the infected host has collected.

## Strategy for Detection and Prevention Due to its arrival via spam mail, your organization should consider setting up anti-spam filters that can block malicious emails before they can even reach the endpoint user. Also, implement web filtration that may detect communication with a C2 website.

1. Log Management
Log messages are a very useful tool for a variety security tasks, but simply collecting logs locally in text files is often not enough. With tools like syslog-ng, security experts can centralize all of the log messages coming from servers, network devices, applications and lots of other sources (even printers and peripherals). With central log collection, one can easily check log messages even if the source machine suffered a hardware failure or logs were removed during a security incident. And once all of the logs are centralized, you can do interesting things like filter the messages, getting rid of the ones you don’t want, or classify messages so that you can group similar messages together. There are a few steps to follow to maintain an efficient and effective logging process:

  • Set a strategy – don’t log blindly
  • Structure your log data, and consider the format of your logs
  • Separate and centralize your log data
  • Practice end-to-end logging
  • Correlate data sources
  • Use unique identifiers
  • Add context
  • Perform real-time monitoring

2. File Integrity Management
Organizations can also list methods for detection, which can be based on commands known to be used by malicious PowerShell scripts looking for patterns used to obfuscate their command-prompt. Files from any of the below malware will, once loaded, be detected through their file loads. This is another observable that can be detected through an FIM solution.

3. Intrusion Detection and Netflow
An intrusion detection system (IDS) is a system that monitors network traffic for suspicious activity and issues alerts when such activity is discovered. While anomaly detection and reporting is the primary function, some intrusion detection systems are capable of taking actions when malicious activity or anomalous traffic is detected, including blocking traffic sent from suspicious IP addresses.

4. Solid Threat Intelligence

5. 247 Monitoring of indicators like the IP address below
In cyber threat intelligence, analysis often hinges on the triad of actors, intent, and capability; with consideration given to their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), motivations, and access to the intended targets. Studying this triad enables us to make informed, strategic, operational, and tactical assessments.


Recorded Future – Kovter ID Card

Threat Report Tuesday July 17th 2018

on July 17, 2018

In this week’s report we are covering two very malicious programs. If you have a BYOD policy you may want to pay attention to this first piece of research. Security researchers at Check Point have discovered samples of Glancelove, an Android-targeting malware, in a false campaign originated by Hamas that takes advantage of the 2018 World Cup. According to researchers, the group is distributing Glancelovethrough fake Facebook page and profiles with photos of attractive women who promote the malware in the form of a dating app available from the Google Play Store. The 2nd piece of interesting malware we found is related to GPS and vehicle that rely on it for daily transportation. A team composed of researchers from Virginia Tech, the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and Microsoft Research recently released their findings on GPS Spoofing Hack, an attack vector that can send Google Maps users the wrong direction. GPS Spoofing involves replacing a user’s intended destination with a “ghost location.” Instead of connecting to legitimate satellite systems, the cyber-criminal behind the attack forces the victim’s software to connect to their own equipment, allowing the hacker to implement false GPS data.

Malware: Glancelove
This Glancelove dating application asks for permission for the device’s network connection, contacts, SMS, camera, and storage. Upon receiving permission, it contacts its command and control (C&C) server to download the final payload. This Glancelove malware is capable of recording calls, track location, open microphone, SMS theft, take photos, storage mapping, steal contacts, and steal images. Researchers mention that these mobile chain attacks are mainly successful because the targets are hand-picked, and the malware can continually install crucial components if needed. Two similar malicious applications used by the Hamas group are Golden Cup and Wink Chat applications.

For more information there are a few links below:

News Observer

Some Mitigation Strategies:
Make sure to monitor your employee and guest wifi networks Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect communication C2 for payload download Web Filtration would detect the use of malicious urls or unknown sites 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response.

Malware: GPS Spoofing Hack
Researchers used a HackRF One software defined radio, a Raspberry Pi, a portable power source, and an antenna. The attack could be hosted remotely with the spoofing equipment installed under the victim’s car. Researchers concluded that a seasoned and logical driver who is familiar with their route and destination would notice the change in their Google Maps application. However, if the location and route are unfamiliar, a user might not realize that they’ve been deceived. According to researchers, their experiment only failed when they were testing the luxury car Tesla 2014 Model S. They stated that this was because Tesla uses an advanced u-blox navigation chip, which contains an anti-spoofing function.


Some Mitigation Strategies:
u-blox navigation chip, which implements some anti-spoofing function Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication 24x7 Security Monitorings to check for GPS consistency with locations of vehicles.

Release Notes

July 13, 2018

  • Improve the usability of the new Analyzers section in Alert details
  • Enhance the MSSP Analyst Activity report with new metrics and improvements

  • Fix a bug preventing some suppressions from being created on the new Alerts Beta page
  • Prevent the app from going blank when unhandled exceptions occur
  • Fix an issue with some servers not rotating logs, resulting in slow or inconsistent response times

We’ve been working on major infrastructure enhancements that will enable us to release some exciting new features over the next several months - stay tuned!

How to boost your FFIEC CAT score, Part 1: What the CAT dragged in

on July 11, 2018

Since the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) introduced the Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT) a few years ago, financial institutions have finally recommended a prescriptive path to operational cybersecurity maturity.

So what has the CAT brought us?

  • Financial institutions welcomed the CAT. While institutions aren’t required to complete the assessment, examiners use it as their framework when assessing institutions during exams. The CAT was intentionally vague and lacked specific guidance; but it did act as a tool that gave institutions the right amount of autonomy to grow in the areas they saw fit while adhering to the suggested path to maturity. It introduced new concepts, including Domain II, which covered complex topics in Threat Intelligence and Information Sharing.

  • It’s tough to evolve beyond the baseline requirement of “belonging or subscribing to a threat and vulnerability information sharing source that provides information on threats”. At my institution, we were already ahead of the curve by belonging to the FS-ISAC and being active with their various Community Institution and CyberIntel mailing lists, but the volume of information coming through was too much and mostly unactionable at a small institution like ours. There was a struggle to find a product to help cover the information overload and make the information actionable without increasing headcount or level of effort in information security resources.

  • This gap in coverage is where Perch Security has found a niche in financial services. I was a Perch user before I was an employee. I loved the product because Perch boosts an organization’s CAT Domain II maturity level and helps cover many other controls that are part of a well-defined cybersecurity program. From threat intelligence detection and response to participation in threat intelligence communities, Perch helps make up shortfalls in stretched budgets of financial institutions by backfilling with People (managed 24x7 SOC services), Process (helping bring structure around escalation and initiation of incident response and threat intel consumption) and Technology (automating the detection of the threats on your network).

Look for future blog posts From Michael Riggs, CISSP, that will cover achieving maturity in specific CAT domains.

Threat Report Tuesday July 10th 2018

on July 10, 2018

In this week’s report we are covering two very malicious programs. Researchers identified a Remote Access Trojan (RAT), dubbed FlawedAmmyy, targeting the Ammyy Admin remote desktop tool. FlawedAmmyy is built on leaked source code of Version 3 of Ammyy Admin and provides unfettered remote access to the target system. This campaign, which the researchers attributed to TA505, includes both a broad spam campaign and more targeted campaigns targeting specific industries, including the Automotive Industry. Since its inception in December 2017, GandCrab ransomware quickly became one of the most significant cyber threats of early 2018. Based on a Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) model and distributed throughout the dark web, the malware targets multiple countries around the world using a sophisticated combination of malicious tools. Despite the recent success of law enforcement authorities and the security community who managed to slow down the proliferation of the first version of GandCrab by releasing a free decryption tool, updated versions of the ransomware continue to attack thousands of victims around the world. GandCrabRaaS is the first ransomware in the world demanding ransoms in DASH cryptocurrency.

Malware: FlawedAmmyy

Though just recently discovered, there is evidence the campaign started as early as 2016. Also worth noting, this campaign utilizes the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, rather than HTTP, to download the malware to victim machines, which may be a first for this type of malware. Aside from the concerning implication that this trojan has been used undetected since 2016, one of the most interesting aspects of this malware is its combined use of ZIP files containing. URL files (which Windows interprets as Internet Shortcuts) and the SMB protocol to deliver the RAT to the victim.

For more information there are a few links below:



Hack Dig


Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management looking for the installation of files associated with the RAT
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect communication over SMB and C2
  • Web Filtration would detect the use of malicious urls
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: GandCrab

According to security analysts’ estimates, the initial version of the malware was poorly developed, which allowed for the development of a decryption tool. However, GandCrab creators quickly corrected flaws, and the integrity of subsequent versions proved to be more reliable.
It is reported that an earlier flawed version of GandCrab had a decryption key stored on victim machines, which in turn was encrypted with the same password. However, the issue was promptly addressed by the GandCrab developers.

In its activities, ransomware operators utilize the decentralized Namecoin DNS with .bit extension.


Security Affairs

Trend Micro


Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication to C2
  • File Integrity Management is looking for new files being installed on the system
  • Log Management would collect data on C$ shares and other lateral movement
  • Mail Filtration to capture potential files attached to phishing emails
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring with Focused Security Content for solid threat detection

Threat Report Wednesday July 2nd 2018

on July 2, 2018

In this week’s report we are covering two very malicious programs. Security researchers have spotted a new Mac malware family that’s currently being advertised on cryptocurrency-focused Slack and Discord channels. The other is The Nozelesn Ransomware is a crypto- threat that was reported on July 2nd, 2018 with numerous submissions to security platforms. Unfortunately, the Nozelesn Ransomware leaves little or no traces on compromised machines and creating detection rules turned out to be troublesome. The team behind the Nozelesn Ransomware appears to target the users based in Poland judging from the initial submissions and the way it spreads to PC users.

Malware: OSX.Dummy

Security researcher Remco Verhoef recently discovered OSX.Dummy, a new Mac malware family that is currently being spread via cryptocurrency-focused Slack and Discord channels. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are convinced by attackers to type a long command inside their Mac terminal with the promise that it will resolve various issues. The command downloads a 34 megabyte binary named “script” to the /tmp folder and runs it. The “script” file then sets itself as a launch daemon to maintain persistence. It then creates a Python script that opens a reverse shell to a server, which gives attackers access to infected hosts. The server can be traced back to Additionally after the code is run, the malware requests the user’s root password and saves it un-encrypted in a file located at /Users/Shared/dumpdummy and /tmp/dumpdummy, allowing the attacker ease of access for future malicious operations. Researchers state that the malware is simplistic and easy to detect with standard malware detection tools.

For more information there are a few links below:


Bleeping Computer

SC Magazine UK

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • File Integrity Management looking for the installation of python scripts into /tmp and /users/shared
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect network communication over port 1337
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: Nozelesn

Security researchers at MalwareHunterTeam have discovered a new ransomware named Nozelesn. Researchers first noticed chatter regarding the malware from multiple Polish victim submissions to ID ransomware, as well as a newly generated discussion started by victims on BleepingComputer forums. According to a researcher at CERT Polska, the Computer Emergency Response Team for Poland, the malware is being distributed through spam emails imitating a DHL invoice. Upon successful infection, files are encrypted with a “.nozelesn” extension. Following encryption, the malware creates a ransom note offering to fix the computer, labelled HOW_FIX_NOZELESN_FILES.htm. The note contains instructions together with a personal code to login to TOR payment server “lyasuvlsarvrlyxz.onion”. The ransom is currently .10 BTC or roughly $660 USD.


Cyber Byte

Londrina Security News

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication
  • File Integrity Management is looking for new files being installed on the system
  • Log Management would collect data on C$ shares and other lateral movement
  • Mail Filtration to capture potential files attached to phishing emails
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring with Focused Security Content for solid threat detection

Release Notes

June 29, 2018

  • Add firewall support to the new Alerts Beta page
  • Improve the user experience around group and community-level suppression
  • Add single and multi-organization support for MSSP users in the new Alerts Detail page
  • Add a “related alerts” section to the Alert Detail page for quickly viewing other alerts created by a specific indicator

  • Fix an issue causing incorrect alert counts on the Indicator Detail page
  • Fix some issues that occurred during the registration process
  • Fix some Perchybana queries that respond slowly or with an error
  • Fix an issue where some alerts would not remove themselves from the Alert List page after suppression
  • Fix some sensors that would report invalid timestamps on some network traffic

We are still actively enhancing the new Alerts Beta and Alert Detail pages. If you have suggestions or questions, please reach out to the team in SquawkBox.

Threat Report Wednesday June 18th 2018

on June 18, 2018

In this week’s report we are covering two very malicious programs. One being a custom remote access trojan (RAT) called UBoatRAT is being distributed via Google Drive links. The malware obtains a command and control (C2) address from GitHub, and uses Microsoft Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) for maintaining persistence. The other is MirageFox, a new tool produced by APT15 that looks to be an upgraded version of a RAT believed to originate in 2012, known as Mirage. The new malware was tracked by the researchers as MirageFox, the name comes from a string found in one of the components that borrows code from both Mirage and Reaver.

The RAT is usually delivered by a ZIP archive hosted on Google Drive containing a malicious executable disguised as a folder or Excel spreadsheet. Once installed, UBoatRAT checks for virtualization software and tries to obtain a domain name from the network. The malware only performs malicious activities on a machine when it is able to join an Active Directory (AD) domain. The malware is also programmed to detect virtualization software (VMWare, VirtualBox or QEmu) that would indicate a research environment. Since June, the GitHub “uuu” repository the C2 links to has been deleted and replaced by “uj”, “hhh” and “enm”, according to researcher Hayashi. The GitHub user name behind the repository is “elsa999”. For more information there are a few links below:


Tech Target

Threat Post

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Mail Filtration to screen for malicious links that relay to Google drive
  • File Integrity Management looking for the installation of malicious zip files that unpack executables
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect intrusion and network communication
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: MirageFox

The China-linked APT15 group (aka Ke3chang, Mirage, Vixen Panda, Royal APT and Playful Dragon) has developed a new strain of malware borrowing the code from one of the tool he used in past operations. APT15 is known for committing cyberespionage against companies and organizations located in many different countries, targeting different sectors such as the oil industry, government contractors, military, and more. The attackers utilizes Windows commands to conduct reconnaissance activities, the lateral movement was conducted by using a combination of net command, mounting the C$ share of hosts and manually copying files to or from compromised hosts.


Security Affairs


Virus Total

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication
  • File Integrity Management is looking for new filel installation
  • Log Management would collect data on C$ shares and other lateral movement
  • Mail Filtration to capture potential files attached to phishing emails
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring with Focused Security Content for solid threat detection

Threat Report Monday June 11th 2018

on June 11, 2018

In this week’s report we are covering two vulnerabilities. One being a recent vulnerability that is targeting Triton ICS deployments. The other is a banking trojan that stealthily uses MSSQL database traffic.

Malware: Triton ICS Malware Developed Using Legitimate Code

Triton, also known as Trisis and HatMan, was discovered in August 2017 after a threat group linked by some to Iran used it against a critical infrastructure organization in the Middle East. The malware targets Schneider Electric’s Triconex Safety Instrumented System (SIS) controllers, which use the proprietary TriStation network protocol. The malware leveraged a zero-day vulnerability affecting older versions of the product through a legitimate .dll file. For more information there are a few links below:


Security Week

Dark reading

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Mail Filtration to screen for malicious phishing or targeted email campaigns
  • File Integrity Management looking for the installation of malicious software like Remote Access Trojans (RATS) for functionality and access
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect intrusion and network communication
  • Filtering USB ports that are on equipment connected to the ICS systems
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Malware: MnuBot Banking Trojan Stealthily Uses MSSQL Database Traffic

Security researchers from IBM X-Force Research Team have discovered a new banking Trojan named MnuBot. This Delphi-based malware uses the Microsoft SQL Server to communicate with the C&C Server and send commands to infected machines. This evades regular antivirus and malware detection since it uses SQL traffic, unlike common C&C Server communication that happens through web servers or apps. Researchers also indicate that this might be coded by a seasoned hacker. This MnuBot has a two-stage attack. First, it checks if the system is infected already. Second, it deploys the remote access trojan completely (RAT).


Security Intelligence


Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication and downloads from port 5003
  • File Integrity Management looking for access to registry keys accessed and new keys created
  • Mail Filtration to capture potential files attached to phishing emails
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring with Focused Security Content for solid threat detection

Threat Report Wednesday June 5th 2018

on June 5, 2018

In this week’s report we are covering two vulnerabilities. One being a recent Microsoft Windows Jscript vulnerability that has yet to be patched and the other being NavRAT with themes around the upcoming US & North Korean Summit.

Malware: Zero-Day Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Discovered in Microsoft Windows JScript

New Zero-day Remote code execution vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Windows JScript that allows an attacker to run the arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Windows. “This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Windows. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file.” To exploit the vulnerability, the attacker has to trick victims into accessing a malicious web page or download and open a malicious JS file on the system. As of June 1st, there has not been a patch released so up to date security content is key for detection until a patch is released.


Threat Post
Security Boulevard

Some Mitigation Strategies:
- File Integrity Management Solutions for file creation and modification
- Intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor for malicious communication and downloads
- 24x7 Security Monitoring with Focused Security Content for solid threat detection
- Web Filtration Technologies to screen incoming web sites
- Mail Filtration to capture potential files attached to phishing emails

Malware: NavRAT Malware Uncovered by Security Researchers

Security researchers at Talos Intelligence have recently uncovered NavRAT, a remote access trojan that has reportedly been quietly active since 2016. NavRAT is distributed through a malicious, decoy Hangul Word Processor (HWP) document named “미북 정상회담 전망 및 대비.hwp”, which translates to “Prospects for US-North Korea Summit.hwp”. The decoy document appears to be referring to the US-North Korea Summit scheduled for June 12, 2018. Known targets reside in South Korea. Researchers note that NavRAT is unique in that it uses Naver, an email platform popular in South Korea, as its command and control (C&C) server. NavRAT can reportedly download, upload, and execute commands, perform keylogging, and avoid detection through process injection, copying itself into an active Internet Explorer process. Researchers assess with a medium degree of confidence that North Korean APT Group 123 threat actor is behind the operation due to the techniques and procedures being of similar nature to those used in previous campaigns.


Dark Reading
Talos Intelligence

Some Mitigation Strategies:

  • Mail Filtration to screen for malicious phishing or targeted email campaigns
  • File Integrity Management looking for the installation of malicious software like keyloggers
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) would detect intrusion and network communication
  • 24x7 Security Monitoring for malicious behavior and immediate incident response

Release Notes

May 18, 2018

Login and Signup flows have received a facelift and refactoring, to go along with OUR NEW PUBLIC WEBSITE!
The punch++ community configuration has been given an additional + and is working once more
Pagination and search added to login history views, because some people log in a lot
Alert indicator detail and Perchybana buttons now open in new tabs, instead of the current tab. Now feel like a real security pro by having 50 tabs open at once!
New alerts list is in beta - we’re trialling it internally with our own SOC team to make sure it has all the bells and whistles that our power users will need to triage their own alerts!
Cortex integration is in beta - the moving parts are mostly in place and we’re working out the details about how to handle user configurable settings and API keys. We’re very excited about the potential between a Perch/Cortex integration and have all kinds of cool ideas how to work it into the Perch app, stay tuned!
Community sightings public API is in beta - currently testing with some select internal customers!
User submission of raw sensor rules is in early functional stages - we’ve have the functional parts in place, but there’s some wrinkles we need to iron out first before we release to the general public.
The group invite process has had a couple minor bugs fixed that was preventing some user’s from using their invite codes.
Invites to existing teams no longer prompt the new user to set up a sensor before using Perch.
Existing Perch users that are already logged into Perch can now use the group invite link from the email
Community suppression view all page rows per page now actually changes the number of rows shown per page.
Group invite modal now clears invite email addresses between openings
The cancel button on the MFA entry page during login works once more
Community file lists now correctly update when switching between communities
Copy to clipboard buttons should no longer force the page to scroll to the top
Login (and other pages) should no longer do the shimmy dance with scrollbars on Windows Chrome
Users on slow connections with access to multiple groups should no longer see weirdness when rapidly switching between groups.
Not officially supported, but we fixed an IE11 white screen error for the dashboard. If you’re using old versions of IE, upgrade!!! Old browsers aren’t secure, don’t use them; we’re security professionals, this is low hanging fruit!

Release Notes

April 20, 2018

Alerts review first pass: We’re days away from releasing the first part of our alert review project. Most alert panels are being streamlined and we’re introducing the alert details page. This page is similar to the indicator details page, but shows enhanced details about the selected alert instead. The information we’re removing from the alert rows will show up on the new details page, along with additional information about the alert, and details about the intel that triggered the alert.
  • More coming soon:
    • Related alerts - a full breakdown of all of the individual target pairs involved in an aggregate alert.
    • Alert comments - put comments directly on a specific alert instance, instead of on the intel the alert triggered on
    • Additional enrichment - we want to show you more information about the details involved in the alerts
    • After coming soon, next phase:
    • Alert Review page enhancements:
    • multi-select: change status, suppress
    • performance! much, much faster
    • better search, sorting, filtering
Re-opening the ‘Invite user to group’ modal now clears the invite email field.
Dashboard sensor health widgets now use the same rules for status as the other sensor health displays and pages.
We had a performance issue with the generation of the Perchybana links from suppressions, so we had to disable them. We’ve fixed that issue and the links have returned.
On the indicator details page, in the observable panel on the left, observables that are currently triggering alerts will once more be highlighted (and there was much rejoicing, huzzah!)
(In Development) Perchy’s hard at work improving his brain - we’re adding support for TheHive’s powerful Cortex analyzers as part of our alert detail enrichment efforts. There are all kinds of valuable ways to analyze the alerts that we’re detecting, and we want to bring them all together in one easy to use interface. We’re experimenting with adding Cortex analyzer details to the information that you see in the Perch interface. Open up an interesting alert’s details, flip to the Analyze tab, and we’ll have the info you’d normally have to go digging for right there in front of you. Kick back, drink coffee, enjoy the sweet, sweet automation.
Perchy is recently back from down under where he’s been setting up our first non-US regional data center. We’re working through the final stages of configuring our systems to handle the data sovereignty needs of our worldwide customers. Soon you can get flocked up, no matter where in the world you are!
Data migration work - its not sexy, the guys who do it don’t have any cool new widgets to demo, but its gotta get done. We’re continuing our work on internal projects to keep the Perch architecture and data flow well tuned so that the app and Perchybana stay responsive and don’t feel like a chore to use. We’re watching the charts, we see what parts of the app are sluggish, and we’re working on them!

Release Notes

April 6, 2018

Initial changes for Alert review (on QA) -
  • alert rows shown in panels condensed
  • new alert details page - see more information about what triggered the alert
Header update - new navigation, new look.
New user onboarding experience, tour replacement.
Added reverse DNS names to alert IP addresses, where available.
Arbitrated a disagreement between the actual number of alerts and the number shown on the tab of the review alerts page.
Clicking the link from a Perch team invite email will now pre-populate the email address field, to ensure that the email address used to sign up matches the email address that the invite was sent to.
Invite email invites aren’t quite so particular about the case of the letters in the email addresses matching.
Dashboard true/false positive by community charts were displaying data for all groups in shared communities, they now show just the selected team’s data.
We’ve recently upgraded our core front-end application framework React to version 16. This is a major version update which affected every part of the Perch application, we’ve tested and tested, but if you discover something broken, please let us know!

Release Notes

March 23, 2018

Perchy has a new place for YOU to land: the new dashboard is live and it is awesome! We want you to have the most valuable info possible dropped right in your lap right away; Perchy prepares it all and brings it right to you, like a faithful hound with the morning paper. Escalations, recent alerts, and suppression information is near the top, scroll down to see info about your communities, your sensors, and get some insight into overall network visibility and ‘noisy’ hosts.
‘Since You’ve Been Gone’: you might not miss Perchy while you’re away, but we don’t want you to miss out on the important details about what’s been happening since you’ve been gone. Every time you log in, you’ll be presented with a quick overview of important activity that happened while you were logged out: escalations, alerts closed, comments, new intel, and sightings of your personal indicators. You won’t need to manually log out to take advantage of this new information, just close the Perch app when you’re done using it.
We’re adding reverse DNS name information to our alerts, so that its easier to relate a private IP to a named host. Look for this new information in the ‘src_FQDN’ and ‘dest_FQDN’ fields on alerts in Perchybana. In the future, we’ll be incorporating this new data into more elements of the UI, for easier identification everywhere.
Snackbar/toast notifications (the little panels that pop up from the bottom of the window) message color should now be easier to read.
Returned the ‘Select All’ button to its rightful place on the community feed selection modal - no one likes having to click those boxes one by one.
As usual, there’s a bunch of tweaks and performance tuning that we’re doing to keep the app snappy and responsive. If you run into something that’s loading slowly for you, or feels like a chore to use, LET US KNOW! We love the feedback and we’re always on the look out to hear it directly from our users!

Release Notes

March 9, 2018

New Dashboard: Incorporates feedback that we’ve collected from our users and should put more relevant information directly in front of you as soon as you log in. You can get a preview of the new dashboard here: (Still a work in progress and you can expect to see more updates in the days to come.)
IP suppressions can now be applied to multiple IPs at once. This will create a separate suppression per IP, just as if you’d manually created them one by one.
Observable dashboard panels now have a toggle between top 5 and bottom 5.
Alert status changes added to indicator detail history tab.
Fixed a bug with the CSV download of community suppressions, CSV should now contain just the data for the current filter settings.
Fixed a significant performance issue in the community suppressions panel, should load much, much faster now.
More minor UI fixes here and there, sorted some lists to make selection easier.
Observable dashboard SSH and SMTP tabs now return all data.
Community latest suppressions now visible to all users, not just community admins.
Internal changes to support more types of external data sources and more use cases for community data sharing.
We’re working on improving our support for MSSPs, allowing users from one group to manage other groups, without actually having to be a member of the group.

Release Notes

February 23, 2018

We’ve added a new section to the Community Dashboard: anonymized, latest true/false positive detections for members of the community. Now you get a better view of what everyone in your community is seeing and how they’re responding. As a bonus, we’ve made the lists available as a CSV download!
On the suppression modals, we’ve moved the contact information to the main view and removed the tabs. This helps make sure our SOC has the info they need to triage your alerts right in front of them when they’re preparing a suppression.
Groups on the alerts by host page now start off collapsed
Perchybana links slightly adjusted to show more relevant HTTP fields by default
We’re adding the raw Emerging Threats (and Pro) Suricata rule to the indicator detail page
Sign up adjusted so that browser password managers don’t try to use your Last Name as your user name
Fixed the comment visibility drop list UI issues and missing descriptions
We’ve crushed a multitude of little bugs that cropped up during our recent UI library upgrade and while polishing up the new observable detail view. Too many to list here, but if you find something we missed, LET US KNOW and we’ll fix it!
Major UI library upgrade: keeping your tech stack up to date is important to continue to develop features using the latest tools and security fixes, and as a security company, that’s especially important to us. We’ve recently focused on upgrading some of our core application libraries to keep things running smoothly and securely.
We’re in the middle of a pretty major intel storage refactoring that should enable us to see some real performance gains, especially for our larger customers and our SOC. It’s still a couple weeks away from being finished, but we’re already excited about the new hotness that it will allow us to build.
Coming soon: XFF on alerts, multi-IP selection for IP suppressions, show all targets on closed alerts, new dashboard, and more!

Release Notes

February 9, 2018

Observables Dashboard internal release and testing - we’ve wrapped up development and now we’re putting it through the wringer to make sure that everything works and looks great with our production data. There’s still a few small tweaks and adjustments to be made, but it’s really close and the details it exposes are just … wow! We can’t wait to show it to you.
Better internal intel curation tools that automatically trim out the obvious stuff to keep the response time better for everyone.
Bits and bobs here and there, mostly on things no one sees directly.
Library updates - we routinely update all of the external code that we use to make sure that everything is staying modern and secure. Recently, some of the core libraries used to make Perch awesome have had major version releases and we’re making sure Perch gets updated with all the performance and security benefits as well.
UI cleanup effort - we’re big proponents of agility here and we frequently favor getting a working feature out over making the experience perfect. We’re taking some time to clean up some of those rough edges and starting a larger scale effort to make the functionality and tools that are core to Perch even better.
Intel Data Refactoring - We’ve learned a lot of things about how the data we have is used and we’re working through some data restructuring to be able to give our users better and faster access to the information they need to make the best decisions.

Release Notes

January 26, 2018

Scope (w/ IP) added to the suppression list on the indicator detail page
Link added from user indicators to group indicators (if you’re the admin or owner of a group) and vice versa
Suppression groups on the indicator detail page are now listed alphabetically, instead of randomly. (Apologies to any SOC who will miss playing ‘Find the Group Name.’)

React in Outlook? How we built the Weekly Indicators Summary

on January 24, 2018

Email has always lagged behind the browser in terms of features and capabilities. While in the latest version of Chrome or Firefox you can play console-quality games, make music, and share your screen, email is a very different story. Getting a layout to look consistent across devices or sharing the joy of an animated GIF are things we take for granted on the web, but can be frustrating to deliver to your inbox.

Weekly Summary emails

If you use Perch, you’ve probably gotten one of our new Weekly Summary emails by now. For everyone else, they look a little something like this. Our emails have always had a lot of information, but as our customers have had more sightings, alerts, and intel, it can start to feel overwhelming. Chances are pretty good your inbox doesn’t need any heft added to it, so when redesigning the Weekly Summary we wanted to help our customers get as much insight as they could with as succinct an email as possible. By highlighting trends and counts in colorful charts at the top of the email, we think the Weekly Summary gives you more actionable information faster than ever before.

Testing the limits of email

Those charts are a key part of the new design, but charting in email has been avoided by many a dev team. There are some “hacks” you can do to sprinkle some data-viz magic into your emails but often times they aren’t pretty or scalable.

If you have a single chart to send (and time on your hands), you could try making a static copy of the chart in a design program like Sketch or Photoshop and saving it as an image to include in the email. But with a flock of customers and billions of data points that change by the minute, that won’t work here.

In previous Perch emails we have create simple bar charts with css but every email client has slightly different support and the code gets messy fast. No one wants to maintain a Rube Goldberg machine, especially one made of CSS.

With the Perch product, we use React and Recharts to create beautiful, reusable charts with live data for each customer. We can’t use this approach in our emails though because most email programs will not allow us to execute Javascript. This means no React, no Recharts, and no real-time chart goodness.

Leaning on the community

Our dev team did some head-scratching, white-boarding, and forum-surfing before we found repng. Repng is a Javascript library that allows you to convert any React component (like a LineChart from Recharts) into a PNG. So now, we can reuse the same charts we know and love from Perch in our emails with just a dash of CLI magic. Running the process on a Node.js micro-service, we can easily pass all the data we need for the Weekly Summary to the chart-to-png service, generate the email-friendly graphic, and send the email out the door with 100% more visual goodness.

Show me teh codez

Want to add some charts to your emails? Here’s a quick starter that will get you going in the right direction.

Start by grabbing node and npm if you don’t have them already.

We need to install all of our dependencies first:

npm install react react-dom recharts repng express bodyparser

Then we can set up out express server to listen for incoming data:

const bodyParser = require('body-parser');
const express = require('express');
const React = require('react');
const { LineChart } = require('recharts');
const repng = require('repng');

const app = express();
const port = 8080;

// Add middleware for reading JSON bodies

// <LineChart width={500} height={300} data={data}> ... </LineChart>
// This is the JSX you may be more familiar with,
// but for the sake of not dragging babel into this
// we will use the "vanilla JS" flavor of react in this snippet.

// Note: "data" should be an array of objects that have an:
// amt: Number | name: String | pv: Number | uv: Number

const chart = props => 
    { data:, height: props.height, width: props.width },
    React.createElement(XAxis, { dataKey: "name" }),
    React.createElement(YAxis, null),
    React.createElement(CartesianGrid, { stroke: "#eee", strokeDasharray: "5 5" }),
    React.createElement(Line, { type: "monotone", dataKey: "uv", stroke: "#8884d8" }),
    React.createElement(Line, { type: "monotone", dataKey: "pv", stroke: "#82ca9d" })

// Add routes'/convert-chart-to-png', (req, res) => {
  repng(chart, {
    width: req.body.width,
    height: req.body.height,
    props: req.body
  .then(streams => {
    const [ pngData ] = streams;

// Start the server
app.listen(port, () => console.log(`Running on port ${port}`));

In your terminal of choice, cd your way to the project folder and run node index.js (or whatever you named your file) and your server should echo “Running on port 8080”.

Now you can POST some chart data to localhost:8080/convert-chart-to-png and get base64 image data in the response!

Obviously this code is not production-ready, but hopefully it can inspire you to do something cool with React and repng - it doesn’t even have to be a chart. You could just as easily pass any react component so why limit yourself?

Wrapping up

We hope to use this technique to bring more of what our customers love about the Perch web app directly to their inbox.

You know what they say: an image is worth a thousand words, but a chart is worth a billion data points - or something like that.

Supercharge your SOC: 3 security playbook ideas with the Perch API

on January 21, 2018

Security automation is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Repetitive, time-consuming tasks are not only a resource drain, but they can cause rather significant security gaps as well. These manual and repetitive tasks are prone to analyst error and carelessness but are also monotonous drudgery that can leave quality talent looking for more interesting jobs.

For most CISOs, turning to security automation and orchestration through the use of playbooks is becoming a step in the right direction. Automation is a powerful strategy to not only eliminate repetitive tasks, but can uncover threats and other issues that no human would have the time to discover manually.

In conversations with our customers, we’re seeing some innovative ideas being discussed. We’re really excited to see our customers leveraging the new Perch API into their automation and orchestration playbooks, due to the depth of community intel we have available. In this article, I wanted to highlight a few ideas to spark your imagination.

Backtesting IoC’s for Deeper Threat Correlation

Security shouldn’t operate in silos any longer. Unfortunately for many organizations, making decisions about threats based upon what others in their threat community are seeing is difficult if not impossible.

However with the power of Perch’s community data, the opportunities are boundless for integration of Perch into a security playbook. Let me illustrate just one single example. Imagine your organization receives an email from an unknown sender. You could build out a playbook that integrates Perch (among other tools!) into a set of actions.

Using the Perch API, a simple query could be made to determine the reputation of the sending IP in the email header. Data can quickly be extracted into metrics such as:

  • Has this IP been reported by other security sharing communities before?
  • How recently has this IP been reported as potentially malicious?
  • Who else has seen this IP? Does it appear to be targeting a specific industry?
  • How many different indicators have been published that contain this IP?

Hopefully by now I have you salivating at the mouth at the potential opportunities afforded by leveraging the Perch API into your playbooks. The results of this deep community data can be used to build out risk scores, response thresholds, and automated actions such as rule blocks and spam tags.

Automate the SOC Workflow

Any CISO worth their salt will tell you they prefer to leverage best of breed security tools as part of an overall security posture. Typically, however, this advantage comes with an agonizing tradeoff. Multiple tools must be individually managed and correlation and integration of data and alerts between tools is a complex challenge.

Perch was created by former security practitioners. We know firsthand that these are challenges Perch should help solve, not contribute to making worse. The Perch API can easily integrate into incident response (IR) systems to enrich its data and fill in gaps with Perch’s threat intelligence. It can help IR be orchestrated from a single unified platform, reducing analyst workload and correlation time.

Indicator Sharing: From Consumer to Producer

At any ISAC or ISAO conference, you’ll hear pleas for organizations of all sizes to begin the process of going from simply consuming threat intel to producing it. We are all in this fight together. When one organization shares intel about a threat they are seeing, countless other organizations may benefit from that intel as well.

While the philosophy is easy to explain, we’ve noticed the most significant challenge to being a producer of threat intel is committing to the time required. This is an element that can easily be automated by the Perch API.

Imagine an end user at your organization visits a compromised website that redirects web traffic to a known malicious host. However, because the website was recently compromised, there is no threat intel about the website itself, but only from the malware redirection. A security playbook could easily be written that uses the Perch API to publish a new indicator to your trusted threat sharing community (ISAC or ISAO) at nearly the same time the attack was detected or blocked. Being able to shut down an attack higher up the kill chain can be an effective way to shift pain back onto the bad guy by disrupting his attack infrastructure and give others an early warning against the threat.


These three ideas are just a few of many new and innovative ideas we’re having in discussions with our customers. To be sure, many more ideas will continue to flow out of these playbooks. What about you? What ideas do you have about leveraging Perch among your other tools and playbooks for security automation and orchestration? I want to hear from you!

Release Notes

January 12, 2018

App-based Two-Factor Authentication: We’ve added mobile app-based (TOTP) TFA to Perch. Additionally, we’ve improved the experience for changing your credentials and moved it all to a new Account Security page. App-based TFA is really, really easy to set up and adds an additional, strong layer of security to your account.
We want to keep the suppression lists focused on the suppressions specific to your group, so we’ve removed global and community suppressions from the dashboard Recent Suppressions panel and have made their display optional (and off by default) on the Alert Suppression management page.
Added ‘workstation’ HTTP/TLS traffic tracking to sensor health. We periodically check recent traffic for domains commonly frequented by workstation users (things like Facebook, LinkedIn, news sites, etc). If we’re not seeing this kind of traffic regularly, it’s an additional sign that your sensor may not be configured to capture all of your traffic or there may be other networking issues preventing you from getting full value from your Perch sensor.
Fixed a missing ’s’ in the firewall dynamic list notes on the Firewall management page
Community dashboard main ‘suppression’ graph data is more accurate. We’ve reworked how that data is shaped and fixed this graph to show the actual, discrete counts.
COMING SOON – MOGA: our internal code name for Search 2.0, this takes any search term and sifts through everything Perch knows for matches. We’ll find indicators, observable, sensor traffic, etc. Each type of data has its own set of metrics and graphs, showing important metrics as they relate to your search term.
IN PROGRESS: additional intel platform integrations.

Release Notes

December 29, 2017

User-created indicator summary emails - you put a lot of work into getting your intel into Perch and we want you to see it getting used! These emails, sent once a week, show any activity that your intel has had.
We’ve released our first open-source code: a command-line interface tool that allows you to bulk-upload indicators from a CSV file. Now you can create intel from home, just like the pros. View it here
File observables should show all hashes instead of just the MD5 hash
Indicator detail ‘details’ should load more quickly
New comments no longer always show the ‘There was an error posting your comment’ notification
  • Comments were posted, but the client was encountering an error merging the new comment into the list for display. No comments were lost.
Minor fixes and tweaks to the public API
Coming soon: improvements to account security
  • Change password and two-factor authentication moving to a dedicated page for easier access
  • Require current password when making any account security changes
  • Support for app-based (e.g. Authy, Google Authenticator) two-factor authentication
  • Increased complexity requirements for new passwords, in addition to our current requirements, passwords will be checked against common password lists, sequences of sequential or repeated characters, and common words.

Visa and Perch Security Partner to bring Visa Threat Intelligence to SMB merchants

on December 12, 2017

Perch has teamed up with Visa in a technology partnership with Perch Security’s Community Defense Platform to expand the reach of Visa Threat Intelligence (VTI) to a broad base of merchants.

Check out the full article here.

Release Notes

December 1, 2017

Group owners & admins: if you leave a community, all open alerts for that community will now be removed. A warning message to this effect has been added to the ‘Leave Community’ confirmation check.
Added scope and reason detail to suppressions display
Dashboard alert panel was trying to load 100 alerts, but only needs to show three - it should load much faster now.
Indicator history tabs - cleaned up display a bit and added missing loading spinners
We’re close to releasing the changes to the public API for Perch alerts and bulk intel creation. We want it to be well documented and usable on release, we’re hoping you’ll think it was worth the wait!
Our work on an internal CSV intel format and loading tool is finished and we’re working with a couple of customers to iterate on it before we release to everyone.

Release Notes

November 20, 2017

Alert History - alerts come in, get triaged, and closed - then you never see them again… until now! We’ve added a new tab on the Alert Review page where you can review all of your closed alerts. You’ll see additional information about the suppression that closed the alert and can jump to the indicator detail page.
Public API improvements: create bulk intel, list alerts, documentation, Python client library. We want people using and sharing our data, we’re listening closely to our users’ requests and are working on providing a simple, clear way to interact with Perch via API.
Minor improvement to Search so that it includes indicators that contain observables that contain the search term, instead of just searching the body of the indicator.
Application tour should now skip admin-only steps for non-admin users.
Clicking the comment delete button should now actually delete the comment.
Indicator history event ordering makes more sense now - we have to load the indicator before we can detect on it.
Alerts by Host - columns scroll independently so that picking an host far down the list doesn’t require you to scroll all the way back to the top to see the alerts for that host.
We’re working on a CSV format and Python tool to bulk load intel into Perch

Release Notes

November 10, 2017

Login History now shows country flag with tooltip next to the IP address - Hey, wait a minute, when did Sally move to China?!?
Added company name to sensor health page - it’s not always easy to remember that ‘angry_carrot’ belongs to Acme Bank & Trust.
(Very Soon) Indicator detail history - shows a timeline of an indicator’s history, when the intel was produced, when it was first sighted in Perch, and when your group has alerted on and suppressed the indicator. Like a social media timeline, but with less propaganda and more threat intel.
Suppressions that would close multiple alerts now remove all of the affected alerts from the UI, instead of just the alert that the suppression was created from (affects Community/Global suppressions)
Improved but not completely fixed indicator detail page ‘produced’ and ‘first/last sightings’ timestamps not having values.
‘Content’ type observables now display a CSV list of content values instead of an empty value
Community Dashboard latest indicators was not showing the last page of the available indicators
Status update emails now show the name of the user that made the status change instead of always showing it was from Perch SOC.
Indicator detail tabs re-ordered - supplies were running low
We’re making adjustments to remove many of the scrolling panels on some of the pages. This should result in a more natural scrolling experience and improved scrolling navigation throughout the app.

Release Notes

October 20, 2017

Group users can change status on events, just like SOC - you can now change the status on an event by using a selector where the status appears
  • Remember: when you’re on the alert review page, alerts are grouped per-tab by status. Changing the status on an alert there will automatically move it to the appropriate tab; it’s not gone, just moved to a different tab.
Email notifications when someone first sights indicators you create!
  • Only sent the first time the intel is sighted.
  • If you’d prefer not to receive these notifications, you can turn them off in your user profile settings.
  • Periodic email reports about intel you’ve created is coming soon.
Indicator detail design pass
  • New graphs
  • Faster loading
  • More coming soon!
Removed SOC logins from team login history - they log in a LOT and it clutters up the view for actual group members
Assorted minor tweaks and fixes
Community Dashboard recent indicators load much faster
Improvements to rule creation monitoring and diagnostics

Customer Insights: John Nelson reacts to the HITRUST and American Medical Association Cyber Risk Announcement

on October 6, 2017

In late September, HITRUST and the American Medical Association announced a partnership
to provide education on cyber risk management to healthcare organizations across the US. Their efforts focus on information security risk management, HIPAA compliance and cyber security; with recommendations specifically tailored for small practices, who often lack the resources and personnel that larger organizations have.

Today I spoke with John Nelson, Systems Administrator / Security Officer for U.S. Expediters, Inc. to discuss the ramifications and opportunities of this partnership.
John is the Security Officer for U.S. Expediters, Inc. He is responsible for policy development and operations related to information security and compliance. Following a career in Fire and Emergency Medical Services, he has been involved with information technology in the healthcare sector since 2000.

John, tell us your thoughts on the AMA and HITRUST partnership for security education around cyber risk management.

I am encouraged to see the AMA stepping up and seeking partners to help educate their members about the challenges they face in effectively dealing with a rapidly changing threat landscape. This initiative
seems to fit well within the AMA’s stated mission: “Our mission is to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.” The last few decades have seen digital technology bring radical
changes in everything from practice management to the very tools used to diagnose and treat patients. Along with that change, of course, comes new risk. It is well that the AMA is expanding it’s advocate role to
include education about those risks and how to mitigate them.

What do you think this means for small and mid-size healthcare organizations in the US?

Honestly, my fear is that the serious gaps I often see in the security posture of smaller organizations (which include, by the way, most hospitals and medical practices) will remain largely unmitigated. So often,
many excellent solutions, designed and marketed to larger enterprises, are unapproachable for most smaller organizations. They’re either too complex, or too expensive, or both. My hope is that, with educational
pushes like this, the great numbers of these smaller organizations will recognize this gap and create demand for effective and more affordable solutions.

As we all know, smaller healthcare organizations have their hands full with so many priorities. Cybersecurity is just one challenge among many. In your experience, what should security leaders in small and mid-size
healthcare organizations be thinking about to enhance their cybersecurity posture?

In a word - vigilance. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard it asserted that, “Our anti-virus software is up to date, so we’re good.” For years, passive defenses like that were usually enough, but the modern
threat landscape demands a more proactive approach. We must continually assess that landscape and our security posture within it. We should be actively identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities within our environments.
We should be actively looking for signs of compromise in our environments. The “2017 Cost of Data Breach” report from The Ponemon Institute puts the “mean time to identify” a breach at 191 days. That’s down significantly
from 229 days in the 2016 report, but it still dramatically underscores the need for more, and better… vigilance.

Thanks for your time, John! We really appreciate you talking to us today.

About U.S. Expediters: U.S. Expediters, Inc. is based in the Houston, TX area. It is a group of companies, each of which is involved in the treatment of sleep apnea. Among those entities is, the world’s largest
Internet retailer of CPAP equipment.

About Perch Security: Perch Security offers the first Community Defense Platform. For the first time, even small and midsize businesses can use their sharing community membership (ISACs and ISAOs) to access their relevant
industry-specific threat intelligence and participate within the community – all without purchasing specific tools or increasing staff.

Release Notes

October 6, 2017

Palo Alto Firewall AddOn - Found a bad actor with Perch? Want to also block it on your firewall? Just check a box while you’re remediating and Perch will send it to the firewall for you.
  • Manage (including manually adding) firewall blocking through Perch admin panels
New - Having trouble getting around Perch town? We’ve launched a new site to bring together all the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of Perch. Have a topic not covered on the site that you’d love to know more about? Let us know.
(Very soon) User login history - Group admins have a menu item to see the login history for the team’s members; users have a new tab on their profile page to see their own login history.
Subnet tags are now displayed on public IPs
Community Dashboard - community files panel now updates correctly when you switch communities; this was purely a visual bug, no files were shared between communities.
Community Dashboard - top analysts panel no longer shows analysts with zero points; if there are no analysts with points, you’ll see a friendly, informative message.
General visual cleanup: aligned some buttons here, tweaked a message there.
Snooze suppressions have been removed. We want to keep Perch simple and easy to use; Snooze suppressions weren’t pulling their weight in the relationship and we decided they needed to go. It’s not you Snooze suppressions, it’s us. We’re sure you’ll find somebody nice.
Port numbers removed from alert Perchybana links: we found that just using the targets and time window gave the best visibility into the traffic relevant to investigating the alert.
Infrastructure upgraded to Python 3.6; other third-party libraries updated to latest and greatest. Keeping Perchy healthy and well preened lets him focus on watching your networks with confidence.

Release Notes

September 29, 2017

Added intel produced or loaded time (depending on which is available) to the alert display
SOC/MSSP CRM: keep track of group contact info inside Perch, available to staff/MSSPs on the suppression modals, so that it’s handy if you need to escalate to the customer
(Very Soon) Palo Alto firewall integration - click a button in Perch to have an IP, url, or domain automatically sent to your firewall.
Better default sorting on admin pages - you mean sorting by database ID isn’t useful to users?!?
Added missing port columns to Perchybana links
Fixed dashboard most recent suppressions not always updating when they should
Fixed page styling to get rid of extra, but pointless scrollbars
Group settings should all be editable now
Sensor health detection count graph Y-Axis labels now show ‘file size’ (x.xGB) numbers, instead of raw byte counts
Indicators now show more observables, up to 1000 (up from 200).
API users no longer appear in the group’s user management list (you can still find your API user info on the group settings pages)
Fixed the group setup page in the signup flow showing the “This field is required” error as soon as the page shows, instead of only when the data needed to be validated
Fixed large, fixed size alert panel on the indicator detail page
Added a check and a useful error message when the user’s browser doesn’t support WebGL

Performance pass, improved caching of frequently used data

Sensor health diagnostic commands and raw health removed for non-staff. No one enjoys seeing how the sausage is made!

Improved tracking and logging for failed logins; tweaks to how failed logins are communicated to staff

Alert row visual tweaking: less vertical space between data, more vertical space between rows.

Improved automatic staff notification when new users and groups join

CCleaner: how to use Perch to confirm you weren't compromised

on September 21, 2017

Cisco’s Talos research team published a blog post Monday covering another supply chain attack involving CCleaner, the well-known and popular system maintenance software.

According to Cisco: For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner.

Attacks like this against a trusted supply chain between the software manufacturer and the customer are a growing attack vector due to its potential effectiveness and impact.
Security controls like firewalls and endpoint protection are often unable to initially detect supply chain attacks due to trust relationships already in place.

In the wake of supply chain attack, you can benefit from reviewing your network traffic for any indicators of compromise (IOC); and access to network traffic history (like Perchybana) lets you analyze and respond immediately.

Perch customers can quickly search for any indications of compromise using Perchybana, Perch’s new network data search and correlation tool. In Cisco’s report, the following observable was published:

  • 216.126.225[.]148

Additionally, Perch analysts were able to add additional observables from Cisco’s report:

  • 52.213.122[.]236
  • ns2.ab1145b758c30[.]com
  • ns1.apavcul[.]ru
  • ns2.februarystorm[.]net
  • ns1.kdcmwuz[.]ru
  • ns2.gdgctwymm[.]net
  • ns1.lutmkwr[.]ru
  • ns2.hideallip[.]net
  • ns1.uvttrpa[.]ru
  • ns2.soyuzinformaciiimexanikiops[.]com

To review for any network traffic with these observables, Perch users can quickly use these search terms within Perchybana to determine if further incident research and response is warranted:

Perchybana Screenshot

As always, Perch’s Security Operations Center team is monitoring for these IOCs and proactively reached out to any customers who may be impacted.

Release Notes

August 11, 2017

Perchybana per-user saved searches - Decorating her nest with all manner of brightly colored bits of user configuration, now each of our users can have their very own Perchybana configuration - including their own saved searches.
Group selection on suppression review
  • Suppressions load slowly, we know; this is the first step in fixing that
  • More coming soon.
In this month’s edition of Sensor Health magazine:
  • New health details
  • Graph scales that make sense
  • CPU info display
  • And the displayed detection drop percentage precision increased by 100% (Re: now we show two decimal places instead of one.)
New end of signup flair - not so exciting for existing customers, but now every new sign up gets a free puppy! Ok, no free puppy, but there are some digital fireworks. And a sad Perchy if things go wrong.
Enhanced sensor health evaluation
  • No one is happy when sensors aren’t able to do their thing. We’re making our sensor reporting more robust and being more aggressive about what conditions we monitor. Our periodic sensor health reports contain more details and warn about more conditions.
Indicators you’ve created now link to the object detail page so that you can see all of the details about your creation. You’re proud of what you’ve created, you want to see it out there among all the other wild indicators doing its thing. We want those special moments with your indicator to be easier, so now you can jump right to the details page for indicators you’ve created, by clicking on their title from the Sharing ➔ Your Indicators page.
Improved load performance of object detail page, separated sections to load independently - same bat time, same bat channel, same bat data; just served up differently so that the page loads a little better/faster.
Community tags for the communities you’ve shared an indicator with can be clicked to take you to that community’s dash. Community tags should all work the same, but we keep finding the old ones hiding in corners. If you find one that you click on, but it doesn’t take you to the communtiy dashboard, report it!
Global/Community suppressions no longer appear under the ‘Unknown [null]’ group - As part of our No Suppression Left Behind campaign, we’ve ensured that every suppression gets a proper section title, regardless of socioeconomic background, race, creed, or actual group membership. #EqualityForAllSuppressions
Improved internal tools to ensure our customers are having a positive Perchy experience. We’re looking for patterns that warn us that someone’s having a not-so-great experience with Perch, so that we can proactively reach out, figure out what’s not right, and get it fixed ASAP.

Release Notes

July 28, 2017

Dashboard: Now you can see both the active alerts and the things that have been suppressed since you were gone.
Support for international postal codes in sensor setup - Perch learns to be a more equal opportunity guardian of the galaxy; no matter where your sensor is (as long as it’s not the middle of the desert), Perch can put you on the cyber-security map.
Perchybana is live! Impress friends and neighbors with your network traffic insights. Be the life of any party by tracing netflow and diagnosing malware infections.
Alert review pagination, improved alert performance throughout Perch - people like books, books have pages, therefore people like pages. Now Perch has pages on its alert panels, therefore people will like Perch’s alert panels.
Sensor config - edge cases: more resiliency and error correction in uncommon install use cases, more ‘self-healing’ functionality to adjust for common problems.
Alert ‘all targets’ now pulls from the right data source - it used to come from column A, now it comes from column B. Same data, but easier/faster to query.
Show error message if user tries to create a subnet with a name that is too long - focus groups seem to indicate that users do not enjoy functionality that silently fails, so we’ve added a meaningful error message. Who would have known?
Backtest now returns group matches.
We love feedback from our users! If you see something that’s not right, or have an idea to make Perch even more awesomer, report it to

Fishtech Group Announces Strategic Investment and Partnership with Perch Security

on July 19, 2017

Fishtech Group today announced a strategic investment in Perch Security, the information security maverick that combines innovative application design with an in-house security operations center (SOC). This new partnership seeks to expand Perch’s sales and marketing efforts, and to broaden and accelerate product development.”


Release Notes

July 14, 2017

New button next to alert IP addresses to copy to clipboard (without port number)
Improved sensor health network host count
  • Shows last 48 hours only (instead of all time)
  • Updates in real-time (instead of once daily)
Cisco Talos community created – get an oink code here: (third party, not affiliated with Perch)
Suppress by IP: you can now apply a suppression to a single host. Global, community, team, host; so many yummy suppression flavors to choose from.
Replaced Community Dashboard - Trending Indicators data with a top 5 list of indicators in a community with the highest unsuppressed alert counts, over the last 30 days.
General stability improvements to our sensors and improvements to health reporting; keeping Perchy’s eyes and ears clean and in top shape so we can See Farther.
Community feed list ‘Select All’: we think that having to click 100+ checkboxes is lame, too.
Due to the sheer number of individual sightings associated with some alerts, our ‘alert by host’ functionality on the alert review page had to be disabled temporarily so that we could re-architect some of the data that it used.
Fixed: signup process would allow a new user to skip creating a group, which causes all kinds of paperwork issues for sweet, old Fran in the back office. Per Fran’s rules, all new users must now either create a new group or join an existing one before they’re allowed inside Perchy’s exquisite garden.
Secret communities were re-classified SO secret than even Perchy had no idea which was which and started assigning groups to the wrong secret communities. We’ve given Our Great Leader access to the secret community codes and peace is restored to the galaxy, for now.
Fixed: Existing users that received an email invite to another group should now be able to use the invite link to join the group.
Fixed: Buttons that would allow multiple submissions of an action if the button was clicked rapidly (e.g. double-click). Dr. Perchy, PhB(ird), recommends that users limit coffee intake.
Fixes and tweaks to our sensor network and monitoring configurations
Perchy-bana POC is complete, was successful, and we’re building out the QA infrastructure for its initial internal release and testing.
Perch core relational database infrastructure went through another major upgrade with the addition of a read-replica, multi-db configuration, multi-port fuel injector, and twin-turbo blower. VTEC just kicked in, yo!
Hired custodial cron jobs to vacuum and clean up the database nightly. Tried to get the office custodial staff to do it, but they mumbled something about union regulations and overtime.
Nuked certain parts of our BigData infrastructure from orbit and replaced it with something better. Things work like they did before, but they cost less, run smoother, and allow us to scale better in the future.

Release Notes

June 30, 2017

Sensor health enhancements and improved monitoring so Perchy’s caretakers can respond quicker to sensors that are having issues.
  • Detection graph to see traffic level trends
  • Warning/down state for unchanging detection counts
  • Private IPs counts: how many unique IPs in each of the private IP blocks has a sensor seen (You have 1000 hosts on your network, but Perch is only seeing 10 of them)
Perchy gets better at communicating with users: action notification review and cleanup
  • More notifications, for both success and errors
  • Standard success/error look
New suppression scopes:
  • Global: SOC can suppress for all users at once
  • Community: SOC and community admins can suppress an indicator for an entire community
  • (coming soon, work complete, in-review and testing) by-IP: suppress for a single IP
Corrected the Community Dashboard Daily Events indicator counts so that they’re:
  • Storing the indicator counts
  • Computing the count correctly
Sorting by CIDR/subnet now sorts more naturally
Improved handling for observables that are missing intel data
Long comments have had a good talking to and have agreed to stay inside their comment panel better
Several minor bugs and tweaks corrected caused by database migrations & updates
The ’all-natural’ performance enhancing supplements we’ve been feeding Perchy are paying off, his brain is bigger and better than ever!
  • Lots of expensive tech words = faster databases = more responsive Perch = happier users
  • Infrastructure work to ensure that as Perchy’s flock grows (and it is growing!), he can still respond to all of the data as fast as possible!
  • Migration to ElasticSearch 5
Relational DB hardware upgrade and addition of read replica
We’re making strong progress toward Perchy-bana, internal POC and development is promising

Perch partnership program produces practical problem-solving – not panacea – for health care info security challenges

on June 28, 2017

National Health Care Information Sharing and Analysis Community (NH-ISAC) has rolled out an offer for their members that incorporates Perch’s “extremely affordable and simple way to detect and mitigate against threats.”


Release Notes

June 2, 2017

Public Backtest API
  • Manage API token and credentials in Perch
  • Get token, backtest observables, profit!
(Soon) Additional suppression scopes:
  • Global: the Perch SOC will be able to suppress false positives for every group in a single action; we’ll be able to clean up the noisy, false positive intel more quickly so that the gems with real value can shine through.
  • Community: community leaders will be able to groom their own intel from within Perch; a community that preens together, stays together, right?
  • Individual Host: have a single host that you know triggers a FP, but you don’t want to completely ignore the indicator for other hosts? Now you can suppress an event for just one of them.
Sensor Health Summary:
  • Consolidated view of all of your group’s sensors and their health
  • Warnings for low resources and abnormal conditions:
    • Old rules and low rule counts
    • Sensor not uploading data
    • In the Admin menu: Sensor Summary
Emerging Threats (and Pro) selectable feeds
Unmonitored network filtering at the sensor
  • Perch takes the list of unmonitored network subnets for your group and sends it to the sensor so that it knows to ignore those networks in its detections.
  • Results in less work for the sensor, allowing us to do more with the hardware; less data sent to Perch, less outgoing network traffic for you, and less to process and store for us! It’s a genuine win-win paradigm-shifting value add, look at all this synergy! Give Canute and Chris a raise, this is amazing!
Alert filtering now considers subnet names
(Soon) Restart tours: watch them again and again with your friends and family!
Touch ups and polish here and there; retry button added to the end of the signup process when there is an error registering.
User group page no longer shows all of the groups from all of your communities, but only those you are actually a member of.
Perch reaches it’s 1000th build and Perchy has his first birthday!

Perch detected Grizzly indicators (before it was cool)

on January 25, 2017

Just like always, Perch detected indicators for the infamous Grizzly Steppe minutes after DHS released them. Read about how we were able to diffuse any panic or confusion for our users before “the Russians are coming” even hit the news that day.

Check out the full article here.

Other People's Analysts

on January 12, 2017

Over the last 6 years, I have been entrenched in Cyber Security.

Packet capture
Network Forensics
Identity and Access Management
Threat Intelligence
During my nPulse Technologies days (acquired by FireEye), I relearned all the network packet stuff that I had been taught in college. The OSI network layers, VLANs, Q-in-Q… oh boy! Reassembling packets (with python no less) was a REALLY fun exercise… never made it into the product, since there were open source tools that did it better (faster?).. but I did it…. then came the challenge of using the reassembled data in an application.

Imagine this now, you’re a cyber analyst. You’ve got some juicy intel from your ISAC (FS-ISAC? NH-ISAC?) … or maybe it’s from your industry buddies that you share intel with. You set up your alerting mechanisms, you set up your SIEM, and you wait.

PING! You get a hit! You know now have an IP address that a machine in your network tried to go to. You start your research, do a little OSINT, do some googling… find out it’s a shared host. Oh well.

False Positive.

You tell your buddies, and that’s it for the day.

Guess what just happened? Your group just got smarter because two of you did some work. The first guy set up the intel, and you validated it as a false positive. Since you both shared within your community, you just got smarter! You leveraged a few members of the community to make you all better!

This is the best scenario we have today. Some communities share data. Not many communities allow for automatic sharing of sightings (did you see that IOC in the wild?). NO communities allow you to share what you did in regards to that IOC. Did you block it in a Firewall? Did you mark it as a False Positive?

There aren’t many tools out there that can help this process.. The more we can share, the more we can attribute, the more we can automatically know what’s going on in the network of our peers, the safer we’ll all be.

Tackling Expensive and Complicated Information Security

on January 11, 2017

Information Security: It doesn’t have to be so expensive (or complicated!)

The Bad News

For Small/Medium Businesses (SMBs), you can’t approach information security the same way your bigger brothers do. Face it, Capital One has a much larger information security (infosec) budget than the Downtown Credit Union in Powhatan, VA. Small companies don’t have the same staffing models, technology expertise or highly specialized analysts that focus solely on protecting data. Sure, there are free and open source tools, for example, but they still require expertise and time to get them up and running, not to mentioned tuned, maintained, updated, etc!

Here’s another challenge. A good information security practice relies on intelligence about threats, attacks, vulnerabilities, etc. There are open source data sets that can help your SMB know what to look for in network scans, packet matching signatures and queries in your SIEM, but that open source data tends to be stale. Don’t get me wrong, it’s table stakes. You NEED to be on the lookout for what Emerging Threats has, but it’s not sufficient. That data will protect you, but it’s a tiny part of the known bad things out there.

Ok, one more ‘bad news’ comment. There are vendors out there that will sell you cyber threat intelligence (CTI) data. Some aggregate data from intelligence providers; they’re called TIPs, Threat Intelligence Platforms. They provide tools and technologies to help you get known intelligence data. Others research, probe and monitor the internet/private networks looking for ‘things’ that are bad. They’ll either sell you the data or sell it to an aggregation company who will sell it to you. They provide a great service, and deserve to be paid for the work they do, but again, this may be pricey and out of your budget.

The Good News!

There is a new reality out there. There are sharing communities being formed to share this threat intelligence data (ISACs and ISAOs). These groups are focused around specific industries (Health Care, Financial Services, Aviation, etc) and allow a platform to share more RELEVANT data. This is data that affects your industry, and therefore has a much higher chance of being relevant to you company. Their cyber intelligence data is target to their industry and typically much more relevant than the data served from large repositories.

Size doesn’t always matter. With finite resources, both technical and human, it’s nearly impossible for SMBs to look out for all the bad things; and why should they? A bank doesn’t care about a command and control channel for a botnet that is targeting manufacturing equipment.

Sharing communities are becoming the KEY source of threat intelligence data for small to mid-size business. It’s putting the control of the infosec spend back into their hands.

By leveraging shared community data as the primary (but still not only!) source of intelligence, we substantially reduce the cost of a comprehensive cyber intelligence and threat mitigation plan. Once we embrace this new world of industry-specific, relevant cyber intel, we’ll have new ways to connect in a USABLE way. What’s “usable”? In order to reap the benefits of your sharing community memberships, you need readily tools that:

Don’t require a skilled analyst behind the dashboard 24x7.
Don’t require a SIEM to use it.
Doesn’t require a knowledge of code.
Doesn’t require more than a basic understanding of CTI (STIX, TAXII) terminology

Now What

Who’s going to provide a tool like this? Ha! I’m not good at keeping secrets, but I’m working on something that will help bring the promise of a sharing community to reality.