Research Saturday

Research Saturday

Every Saturday, we sit down with cybersecurity researchers to talk shop about the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and technical discoveries.
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Recent Episodes

Ep 333 | 6.8.24

Riding the hype for new Arc browser.

Jérôme Segura, Senior Director of Threat Intelligence at Malwarebytes, is discussing their work on "Threat actors ride the hype for newly released Arc browser." The Arc browser, newly released for Windows, has quickly garnered positive reviews but has also attracted cybercriminals who are using deceptive Google search ads to distribute malware disguised as the browser. These malicious campaigns exploit the hype around Arc, using techniques like embedding malware in image files and utilizing the MEGA cloud platform for command and control, highlighting the need for caution with sponsored search results and the effectiveness of Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems.

Ep 332 | 6.1.24

1700 IPs and counting.

Amit Malik, Director of Threat Research at Uptycs, is sharing their work on "New Threat Detected: Inside Our Discovery of the Log4j Campaign and Its XMRig Malware." The Uptycs Threat Research Team has discovered a large-scale Log4j campaign involving over 1700 IPs, aiming to deploy XMRig cryptominer malware. This ongoing operation was initially detected through the team's honeypot collection, prompting an in-depth analysis of the campaign. The research says "The JNDI plugin is particularly useful to attackers because it allows them not only to fetch the values of environment variables in the target system but also to freely define the URL and protocol resource for the JNDI network connection."

Ep 331 | 5.25.24

International effort dismantles LockBit.

Jon DiMaggio, a Chief Security Strategist at Analyst1, is sharing his work on "Ransomware Diaries Volume 5: Unmasking LockBit." On February 19, 2024, the National Crime Agency (NCA), a UK sovereign law enforcement agency, in collaboration with the FBI, Europol, and nine other countries under "Operation Cronos," disrupted the LockBit ransomware gang’s data leak site used for shaming, extorting, and leaking victim data. The NCA greeted visitors to LockBit’s dark web leak site with a seizure banner, revealing they had been controlling LockBit’s infrastructure for some time, collecting information, acquiring victim decryption keys, and even compromising the new ransomware payload intended for LockBit 4.0.

Ep 330 | 5.18.24

From secret images to encryption keys.

This week, we are joined by Hosein Yavarzadeh from the University of California San Diego, as he is discussing his work on "Pathfinder: High-Resolution Control-Flow Attacks Exploiting the Conditional Branch Predictor" This paper introduces new methods that let attackers read from and write to specific parts of high-performance CPUs, such as the path history register (PHR) and prediction history tables (PHTs). These methods allow two main types of attacks. One can reveal a program's control flow history, as shown by recovering a secret image through the libjpeg routines. The other enables detailed transient attacks, demonstrated by extracting an AES encryption key, highlighting significant security risks for these systems.

Ep 329 | 5.11.24

The double-edged sword of cyber espionage.

Dick O'Brien from Symantec Threat Hunter team is discussing their research on “Graph: Growing number of threats leveraging Microsoft API.” The team observed an increasing number of threats that have begun to leverage the Microsoft Graph API, usually to facilitate communications with command-and-control (C&C) infrastructure hosted on Microsoft cloud services. The research states "the technique was most recently used in an attack against an organization in Ukraine, where a previously undocumented piece of malware used the Graph API to leverage Microsoft OneDrive for C&C purposes."

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Research Saturday
Dave Bittner
Dave Bittner is a security podcast host and one of the founders at CyberWire. He's a creator, producer, videographer, actor, experimenter, and entrepreneur. He's had a long career in the worlds of television, journalism and media production, and is one of the pioneers of non-linear editing and digital storytelling.
Schedule: Saturdays
Creator: CyberWire, Inc.
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