Guillaume is a Principal Security Researcher at Uptycs. With experience as a security architect, consultant and with managing security operations, he loves to find ways to help organizations prevent attacks and reduce the noise that security and IT teams are subjected to. He believes that while it is impossible to prevent every single attack, a combination of good prevention techniques and security hygiene is the best way to then be able to focus on detecting and responding to only the important stuff.
Gathering software inventory is an important part of security and systems management. There’s a good reason software inventory is No. 2 in the list of CIS Critical Controls!
Network traffic encryption is increasing. This increase is driven by demand for privacy protection and the availability of great services for deploying certificates for free. According to Google’s Transparency Report, 88% of web traffic performed on Chrome for Windows is encrypted, and that number is higher for macOS, Android, and ChromeOS. The encryption trend is even clearer when you look at the percentage of HTTPS browsing time in the Transparency Report. At the same time, malware is also following this trend, as the increased security allows attackers to evade some detection mechanisms.
Many systems make installing 3rd party software incredibly convenient; from packaging systems and well loved Linux distribution tools like Debian Apt to app stores and per-language repositories. Users are also often allowed to install browser extensions or plugins, which come from their own “store” and are just another type of software. For these reasons, and without forgetting containers, maintaining a software inventory that allows you to identify dangerous packages has become harder to do, but more critical to accomplish.
[Updated March 11th] This article was written in May 2019 and updated in June 2019. We are updating it again, as CVE-2020-0796 is now public, and has not been patched yet.
CVE-2020-0796 is a remote code execution bug in Microsoft’s SMB (file sharing) server.
Expect attacks targeting this vulnerability soon. Use the queries in this article to find machines with port 445 exposed to the Internet.