Ask.FM Database With 350 Million User Records Allegedly Sold Online

A listing on a popular hacker forum offers 350 million Ask.FM user records for sale in what might be one of the biggest breaches of all time. Cybernews reports: The listing allegedly includes 350 million Ask.FM user records, with the threat actor also offering 607 repositories plus their Gitlab, Jira, and Confluence databases. Ask.FM is a question and answer network launched in June 2010, with over 215 million registered users. The posting also includes a list of repositories, sample git, and sample user data, as well as mentions of the fields in the database: user_id, username, mail, hash, salt, fbid, twitterid, vkid, fbuid, iguid. It appears that Ask.FM is using the weak hashing algorithm SHA1 for passwords, putting them at risk of being cracked and exposed to threat actors.

In response to DataBreaches, the user who posted the database — Data — explained that initial access was gained via a vulnerability in Safety Center. The server was first accessed in 2019, and the database was obtained on 2020-03-14. Data also suggested that Ask.FM knew about the breach as early as back in 2020. While the breach has not been confirmed, the seller called “Data” says he will “vouch all day and night for” listed user data from Ask.FM (ASKfm), the social networking site. “I’m selling the users database of and,” Data wrote. “For connoisseurs, you can also get 607 repositories plus their Gitlab, Jira, Confluence databases.”

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China Accuses the NSA of Hacking a Top University To Steal Data

hackingbear shares a report from Gizmodo: China claims that America’s National Security Agency used sophisticated cyber tools to hack into an elite research university on Chinese soil. The attack allegedly targeted the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an (not to be confused with a California school of the same name), which is highly ranked in the global university index for its science and engineering programs. The U.S. Justice Department has referred to the school as a “Chinese military university that is heavily involved in military research and works closely with the People’s Liberation Army,” painting it as a reasonable target for digital infiltration from an American perspective.

China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) recently published a report attributing the hack to the Tailored Access Operations group (TAO) — an elite team of NSA hackers which first became publicly known via the Snowden Leaks back in 2013, helps the U.S. government break into networks all over the world for the purposes of intelligence gathering and data collection. [CVERC identified 41 TAO tools involved in the case.] One such tool, dubbed ‘Suctionchar,’ is said to have helped infiltrate the school’s network by stealing account credentials from remote management and file transfer applications to hijack logins on targeted servers. The report also mentions the exploitation of Bvp47, a backdoor in Linux that has been used in previous hacking missions by the Equation Group — another elite NSA hacking team. According to CVERC, traces of Suctionchar have been found in many other Chinese networks besides Northwestern’s, and the agency has accused the NSA of launching more than 10,000 cyberattacks on China over the past several years.

On Sunday, the allegations against the NSA were escalated to a diplomatic complaint. Yang Tao, the director-general of American affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published a statement affirming the CVERC report and claiming that the NSA had “seriously violated the technical secrets of relevant Chinese institutions and seriously endangered the security of China’s critical infrastructure, institutions and personal information, and must be stopped immediately.”

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Twilio Hackers Breached Over 130 Organizations During Months-Long Hacking Spree

The hackers that breached Twilio earlier this month also compromised more than 130 other organizations during their hacking spree that netted the credentials of close to 10,000 employees. TechCrunch: Twilio’s recent network intrusion allowed the hackers to access the data of 125 Twilio customers and companies — including end-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal — after tricking employees into handing over their corporate login credentials and two-factor codes from SMS phishing messages that purported to come from Twilio’s IT department. At the time, TechCrunch learned of phishing pages impersonating other companies, including a U.S. internet company, an IT outsourcing company and a customer service provider, but the scale of the campaign remained unclear.

Now, cybersecurity company Group-IB says the attack on Twilio was part of a wider campaign by the hacking group it’s calling “0ktapus,” a reference to how the hackers predominantly target organizations that use Okta as a single sign-on provider. Group-IB, which launched an investigation after one of its customers was targeted by a linked phishing attack, said in findings shared with TechCrunch that the vast majority of the targeted companies are headquartered in the U.S. or have U.S.-based staff. The attackers have stolen at least 9,931 user credentials since March, according to Group-IB’s findings, with more than half containing captured multi-factor authentication codes used to access a company’s network.

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0-Days Sold By Austrian Firm Used To Hack Windows Users, Microsoft Says

Longtime Slashdot reader HnT shares a report from Ars Technica: Microsoft said on Wednesday that an Austria-based company named DSIRF used multiple Windows and Adobe Reader zero-days to hack organizations located in Europe and Central America. Members of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center, or MSTIC, said they have found Subzero malware infections spread through a variety of methods, including the exploitation of what at the time were Windows and Adobe Reader zero-days, meaning the attackers knew of the vulnerabilities before Microsoft and Adobe did. Targets of the attacks observed to date include law firms, banks, and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the UK, and Panama, although those aren’t necessarily the countries in which the DSIRF customers who paid for the attack resided.

“MSTIC has found multiple links between DSIRF and the exploits and malware used in these attacks,” Microsoft researchers wrote. “These include command-and-control infrastructure used by the malware directly linking to DSIRF, a DSIRF-associated GitHub account being used in one attack, a code signing certificate issued to DSIRF being used to sign an exploit, and other open source news reports attributing Subzero to DSIRF.”

Referring to DSIRF using the work KNOTWEED, Microsoft researchers wrote: In May 2022, MSTIC found an Adobe Reader remote code execution (RCE) and a 0-day Windows privilege escalation exploit chain being used in an attack that led to the deployment of Subzero. The exploits were packaged into a PDF document that was sent to the victim via email. Microsoft was not able to acquire the PDF or Adobe Reader RCE portion of the exploit chain, but the victim’s Adobe Reader version was released in January 2022, meaning that the exploit used was either a 1-day exploit developed between January and May, or a 0-day exploit. Based on KNOTWEED’s extensive use of other 0-days, we assess with medium confidence that the Adobe Reader RCE is a 0-day exploit. The Windows exploit was analyzed by MSRC, found to be a 0-day exploit, and then patched in July 2022 as CVE-2022-22047. Interestingly, there were indications in the Windows exploit code that it was also designed to be used from Chromium-based browsers, although we’ve seen no evidence of browser-based attacks.

The CVE-2022-22047 vulnerability is related to an issue with activation context caching in the Client Server Run-Time Subsystem (CSRSS) on Windows. At a high level, the vulnerability could enable an attacker to provide a crafted assembly manifest, which would create a malicious activation context in the activation context cache, for an arbitrary process. This cached context is used the next time the process spawned.

CVE-2022-22047 was used in KNOTWEED related attacks for privilege escalation. The vulnerability also provided the ability to escape sandboxes (with some caveats, as discussed below) and achieve system-level code execution. The exploit chain starts with writing a malicious DLL to disk from the sandboxed Adobe Reader renderer process. The CVE-2022-22047 exploit was then used to target a system process by providing an application manifest with an undocumented attribute that specified the path of the malicious DLL. Then, when the system process next spawned, the attribute in the malicious activation context was used, the malicious DLL was loaded from the given path, and system-level code execution was achieved. Microsoft recommends a number of security considerations to help mitigate this attack, including patching CVE-2022-22047, updating Microsoft Defender Antivirus to update 1.371.503.0 or later, and enabling multifactor authentication (MFA).

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Source Code For Rust-Based Info-Sealer Released On Hacker Forums

The source code for an information-stealing malware coded in Rust has been released for free on hacking forums, with security analysts already reporting that the malware is actively used in attacks. BleepingComputer reports: The malware, which the author claims to have developed in just six hours, is quite stealthy, with VirusTotal returning a detection rate of around 22%. As the info-stealer is written in Rust, a cross-platform language, it allows threat actors to target multiple operating systems. However, in its current form, the new info-stealer only targets Windows operating systems.

Analysts at cybersecurity firm Cyble, who sampled the new info-stealer and named it “Luca Stealer,” report that the malware comes with standard capabilities for this type of malware. When executed, the malware attempts to steal data from thirty Chromium-based web browsers, where it will steal stored credit cards, login credentials, and cookies. The stealer also targets a range of “cold” cryptocurrency and “hot” wallet browser addons, Steam accounts, Discord tokens, Ubisoft Play, and more. Where Luca Stealer stands out against other info-stealers is the focus on password manager browser addons, stealing the locally stored data for 17 applications of this kind. In addition to targeting applications, Luca also captures screenshots and saves them as a .png file, and performs a “whoami” to profile the host system and send the details to its operators.

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Lenovo Patches UEFI Code Execution Vulnerability Affecting More Than 70 Laptop Models

Lenovo has released a security advisory to inform customers that more than 70 of its laptops are affected by a UEFI/BIOS vulnerability that can lead to arbitrary code execution. SecurityWeek reports: Researchers at cybersecurity firm ESET discovered a total of three buffer overflow vulnerabilities that can allow an attacker with local privileges to affected Lenovo devices to execute arbitrary code. However, Lenovo says only one of the vulnerabilities (CVE-2022-1892) impacts all devices, while the other two impact only a handful of laptops. “The vulnerabilities can be exploited to achieve arbitrary code execution in the early phases of the platform boot, possibly allowing the attackers to hijack the OS execution flow and disable some important security features,” ESET explained. “These vulnerabilities were caused by insufficient validation of DataSize parameter passed to the UEFI Runtime Services function GetVariable. An attacker could create a specially crafted NVRAM variable, causing buffer overflow of the Data buffer in the second GetVariable call,” it added.

Lenovo has also informed customers about Retbleed, a new speculative execution attack impacting devices with Intel and AMD processors. The company has also issued an advisory for a couple of vulnerabilities affecting many products that use the XClarity Controller server management engine. These flaws can allow authenticated users to cause a DoS condition or make unauthorized connections to internal services.

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Most Government Websites Serve Tracking Cookies Without Consent, Report Finds

A new study published by the IMDEA Networks Institute shows just how common it is for government websites to install third-party cookies in visitors’ web browsers. HotHardware reports: The study makes a distinction between third-party (TP) cookies and third-party tracking (TPT) cookies, because not all third-party cookies are “set by domains that are known to be tracking users for data collection purposes.” The chart [here] shows the percentage of government websites for each country that install at least one third-party cookie, as well as the percentage of said cookies that are associated with domains that are known to be tracking users. Russia tops out the list with over 90% of its government websites installing third-party cookies in visitors’ web browsers. Meanwhile, nearly 60% of US government websites install at least one third-party cookie. Germany sits at the bottom of the list with a little under 30% of government websites serving up third-party cookies.

Most of the third-party cookies installed by government websites are known tracking cookies, except in the case of Germany, where under 10% of third-party cookies are associated with domains that are known to track users. The researchers also found that, depending on the country, 20% to 60% of the third party cookies installed by government websites remain in visitors’ browsers without expiring for a year or more. That’s a long time for a tracker installed without your knowledge or consent to remain active. Beyond specifically tracking cookies, the researchers measured the number of trackers of any kind present on government websites. The Russian has the most trackers out of any government website analyzed by the researchers, numbering 31 trackers in total. However, Brazil and Canada aren’t far behind, with 25 trackers present on both and The US government website with the most trackers is, which has 13.

The researchers point out that both third-party tracking cookies are automatically installed in visitors’ web browsers without their consent. However, the researchers guess that web developers and administrators likely include third-party content without intending to add trackers to their websites. A great many websites now rely on third-party resources and include social content that come with trackers built-in.

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How Bug Bounty Platform HackerOne Handled Its Own ‘Internal Threat’ Actor

Bug bounty platform HackerOne has “a steadfast commitment to disclosing security incidents,” according to a new blog post, “because we believe that sharing security information far and wide is essential to building a safer internet.”

But now they’ve had an incident of their own:
On June 22nd, 2022, a customer asked us to investigate a suspicious vulnerability disclosure made outside of the HackerOne platform. The submitter of this off-platform disclosure reportedly used intimidating language in communication with our customer. Additionally, the submitter’s disclosure was similar to an existing disclosure previously submitted through HackerOne… Upon investigation by the HackerOne Security team, we discovered a then-employee had improperly accessed security reports for personal gain. The person anonymously disclosed this vulnerability information outside the HackerOne platform with the goal of claiming additional bounties.

This is a clear violation of our values, our culture, our policies, and our employment contracts. In under 24 hours, we worked quickly to contain the incident by identifying the then-employee and cutting off access to data. We have since terminated the employee, and further bolstered our defenses to avoid similar situations in the future. Subject to our review with counsel, we will also decide whether criminal referral of this matter is appropriate.

The blog post includes a detailed timeline of HackerOne’s investigation. (They remotely locked the laptop, later taking possession of it for analysis, along with reviewing all data accessed “during the entirety of their two and a half months of employment” and notification of seven customers “known or suspected to be in contact with threat actor.”)

“We are confident the insider access is now contained,” the post concludes — outlining how they’ll respond and the lessons learned. “We are happy that our previous investments in logging enabled an expedient investigation and response…. To ensure we can proactively detect and prevent future threats, we are adding additional employees dedicated to insider threats that will bolster detection, alerting, and response for business operations that require human access to disclosure data….”

“We are allocating additional engineering resources to invest further in internal models designed to identify anomalous access to disclosure data and trigger proactive investigative responses…. We are planning additional simulations designed to continuously evaluate and improve our ability to effectively resist insider threats.”

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Cisco Says It Won’t Fix Zero-Day RCE In End-of-Life VPN Routers

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: Cisco advises owners of end-of-life Small Business RV routers to upgrade to newer models after disclosing a remote code execution vulnerability that will not be patched. The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2022-20825 and has a CVSS severity rating of 9.8 out of 10.0. According to a Cisco security advisory, the flaw exists due to insufficient user input validation of incoming HTTP packets on the impacted devices. An attacker could exploit it by sending a specially crafted request to the web-based management interface, resulting in command execution with root-level privileges.

The vulnerability impacts four Small Business RV Series models, namely the RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, the RV130 VPN Router, the RV130W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router, and the RV215W Wireless-N VPN Router. This vulnerability only affects devices with the web-based remote management interface enabled on WAN connections. […] Cisco states that they will not be releasing a security update to address CVE-2022-20825 as the devices are no longer supported. Furthermore, there are no mitigations available other than to turn off remote management on the WAN interface, which should be done regardless for better overall security. Users are advised to apply the configuration changes until they migrate to Cisco Small Business RV132W, RV160, or RV160W Routers, which the vendor actively supports.

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