Let’s just say there’s a lot to learn from history without quoting Sun Tzu… again. Especially in information and cybersecurity. While much of the birth of cyber realm revolves around the military - many of the members of our community are current or former members of various armed forces - many of us still refer to the military influence of old when working through our business planning and various actions revolving around cybersecurity. A great example is the common use or reference to Boyd’s OODA (Observe–Orient–Decide–Act) loop flow chart in both attack and defensive security applications. In sticking to a military theme, I want to touch on a story from World War II and its applicability in today’s modern cybersecurity world.
During a penetration test, we’ve found that a common (and easy) way to gather credentials and gain an initial foothold on the client’s network is to perform a Man-in-the-Middle poisoning attack abusing LLMNR & NBT-NS. Depending on how active users are on the network, this attack can give an adversary valuable information almost immediately. Fortunately, with a little knowledge, this attack can be easily remediated.
What is LLMNR & NBT-NS?
The reason we wear our seat belts is not to avoid getting a ticket from the police, but rather to avoid a potential injury in a car accident. This analogy is an easy way to describe the difference between box-checking security and real security, and it's instantly understood regardless of technical knowledge. This message resonates with executives, because they typically prefer to “get to the point” and correctly protecting their data is “the point” of cybersecurity.
Everyone has (or should have) an anti-virus solution. It's probably barked at you once or twice for downloading a file from a sketchy website or opening a link from an email you didn't quite recognize. But how does your anti-virus know what programs are bad, and what programs are good?
Cybersecurity in the healthcare field has gone through a lot changes the past few years. In 2016 there was a significant jump in the total number of healthcare specific cybercrimes. According to SecurityIntelligence there was a 71% increase of confirmed data breaches in the healthcare sector from 2015 to 2016. Drilling down on that increase revealed that most of the jump was from external (aka "hacking" or ransomware or malware") followed by internal non-malicious (aka accidents from insiders). Trends are showing that cybercriminals have found more value in healthcare data and the potential for long term use is much higher because it is more difficult to change an individual’s "health data". Another eye-opener is that the type of healthcare entities affected is not limited to hospitals. Business associates, specialized care providers and healthcare plan have all been targets for cyber crime. Oncology, anesthesiology, orthopedic, and radiology are a few of the specific entities that were in the top 10 largest healthcare breaches of 2016. This data tells us that cybercriminals will target or find data outside of the large medical providers and may even be targeting the organizations that have lagged behind in implementing security controls.