Research

A patch is not just for Christmas…

Patching systems remains an essential part of an overall security strategy. For Windows, the easiest way to stay up-to-date is to enable Automatic Updates – you can find more information here.

Here’s a summary of this year’s patches:

  Critical Important Moderate
January 1 0 1
February 6 0 5
March 0 4 0
April 0 5 3
May 0 3 1
June 3 3 1
July 0 0 4
August 0 6 5
September 0 4 0
October 6 6 1
November 0 1 1
December 0 6 2

Patched security vulnerabilities in 2008

The figures above include not only regular ‘Patch Tuesday’ updates, but any out-of-band updates issued by Microsoft. So far this year there has been just one such update, in October.

However, you may have seen the recent Microsoft Security Advisory (961051) relating to a vulnerability found in Internet Explorer. So far no patch has been announced for this vulnerability, but we’ll let you know if that changes.

You’ll see that the numbers have remained relatively consistent over the last three years. You can find the 2006 chart here and the 2007 chart here.

Here’s a summary of the totals for the last three years:

  Critical Important Moderate
2006 49 23 5
2007 43 24 2
2008 45 31 2

Patched security vulnerabilities

A patch is not just for Christmas…

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Reports

Lazarus targets defense industry with ThreatNeedle

In mid-2020, we realized that Lazarus was launching attacks on the defense industry using the ThreatNeedle cluster, an advanced malware cluster of Manuscrypt (a.k.a. NukeSped). While investigating this activity, we were able to observe the complete life cycle of an attack, uncovering more technical details and links to the group’s other campaigns.

Sunburst backdoor – code overlaps with Kazuar

While looking at the Sunburst backdoor, we discovered several features that overlap with a previously identified backdoor known as Kazuar. Our observations shows that Kazuar was used together with Turla tools during multiple breaches in past years.

Lazarus covets COVID-19-related intelligence

As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, some threat actors are trying to speed up vaccine development by any means available. We have found evidence that the Lazarus group is going after intelligence that could help these efforts by attacking entities related to COVID-19 research.

Sunburst: connecting the dots in the DNS requests

We matched private and public DNS data for the SUNBURST-malware root C2 domain with the CNAME records, to identify who was targeted for further exploitation. In total, we analyzed 1722 DNS records, leading to 1026 unique target name parts and 964 unique UIDs.

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