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Top 10 SpiderLabs Blog Posts: 2022 Was All About Ukraine-Russia, Email Security, and Vulnerabilities

The Top 10 Trustwave SpiderLabs’ blogs in 2022 reflected the cybersecurity landscape impacting security teams around the world. The Russia-Ukraine conflict and its accompanying cyberwar was top of mind, but the large number of vulnerabilities discovered and researched by the Trustwave team garnered an equally impressive number of readers. 

So, as the year winds to a close, please take a look back at the top SpiderLabs blogs for 2022.

1. Overview of the Cyber Weapons Used in the Ukraine - Russia War

Observing the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we can clearly see that cyberattacks leveraging malware are an important part of modern hybrid war strategy. Russia utilized cyberattacks during the initial phase of the invasion in February. Reports from Trustwave and other security researchers show that Russian cyberattackers have maintained pressure launching a series of attacks showing how malware has been used against organizations in Ukraine either to destroy or gain control over targeted systems.

2. IPFS: The New Hotbed of Phishing

A few months ago, we reported on an interesting site called the Chameleon Phishing Page. These websites have the capability to change their background and logo depending on the user’s domain. The phishing site is stored in IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) and after reviewing the URLs used by the attacker, we noticed an increasing number of phishing emails containing IPFS URLs as their payload.  

3. Trustwave's Action Response: Microsoft Zero-Day CVE-2022-30190 (aka Follina)

The vulnerability is an issue with the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) in Windows. The initial attack vector used a Word document that used the remote template feature to retrieve an HTML file from a remote webserver. The HTML file invokes "ms-msdt" MSProtocol URI scheme to load some code and executes some PowerShell. This vulnerability potentially affects any Office document that has access to MSDT.

4. Trustwave Action Response: Polkit Privilege Escalation Vulnerability - PwnKit (CVE-2021-4034)

Trustwave security and engineering teams became aware of the vulnerability in Polkit's pkexec component identified as CVE-2021-4034 (PwnKit) on January 25. We immediately investigated the vulnerability and potential exploits and continue to actively monitor the situation for our clients.

5. Trustwave’s Action Response: CVE-2022-22965 and CVE-2022-22963

Trustwave security and engineering teams actively investigated the vulnerabilities CVE-2022-22965 (also referenced by other vendors as Spring4Shell / SpringShell) and CVE-2022-22963 and potential exploits. We watched over our clients for exposure and associated attacks and took action with approved mitigation efforts. 

6. From Stored XSS to Code Execution using SocEng, BeEF and elFinder CVE-2021-45919

A stored cross-site scripting vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-45919, was identified in elFinder File Manager. The vulnerability can result in the theft of user credentials, tokens, and the ability to execute malicious JavaScript in the user's browser. Any organization utilizing an out-of-date elFinder component on its web application could be affected. Organizations should note that elFinder can integrate into many web applications such as Django, Drupal, Laravel, Roundcube, Subrion, Symfony, Tiki Wiki, Wordpress, XOOPS, Yii & Zenphoto.

7. Interactive Phishing: Using Chatbot-like Web Applications to Harvest Information

Recently, we have encountered an interesting phishing website containing an interactive component in it: a chatbot. Unlike a lot of phishing websites, this one establishes a conversation first, and bit-by-bit guides the victim to the actual phishing pages. Although the phishing method is quite unique, it still uses email as the delivery channel. A deeper inspection of the email header shows that the “From” header is missing the email address component, which is a red flag already.

8. Vidar Malware Launcher Concealed in Help File  

Appending a malicious file to an unsuspecting file format is one of the tricks our adversaries use to evade detection. Recently, we came across an interesting email campaign employing this technique to deliver the info stealer Vidar malware.

9. Trustwave's Action Response: Atlassian Confluence CVE-2022-26134  

On June 2, Atlassian released a security advisory outlining an active zero-day campaign targeting a critical flaw that is being tracked as CVE-2022-26134. The vulnerability currently affects all supported versions of Confluence Server and Confluence Data Center. Exploitation results in unauthenticated remote code execution. At the time, there was no patch available. 

10. Dark Web Insights: Evolving Cyber Tactics Aim to Impact the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Trustwave SpiderLabs researchers have recently observed a high volume of cyber activity on the Dark Web as supporters of Russia and, separately, Ukraine attempts to impact the outcome of the conflict in cyberspace. We have identified some of the more evolved cyber tactics actioned that could impact geopolitical conflict and corporate cybersecurity in the long term.