Charles Leaver – Brace Yourself For A Lot Of Security Issues As The Internet Of Things Takes Hold

Written By David Shefter And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

We are now residing in a new world of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the threat of cyber threats and attacks grow greatly. As implementations develop, brand-new vulnerabilities are emerging.

Symantec released a report this spring which examined 50 smart house devices and claimed “none of the examined devices offered shared authentication between the client and the server.” Earlier this summertime, researchers showed the capability to hack into a Jeep while it was driving on the highway, first managing the radio, windscreen wipers, cooling and finally cutting the transmission.

Generally, toys, tools, appliance, and vehicle manufacturers have actually not had to protect against external threats. Manufacturers of medical devices, elevators, A/C, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure parts (all of which are likely to be connected to the Web in the coming years) have not always been security minded.

As we are all aware, it is hard enough on a daily basis to protect PCs, mobile phones, servers, as well as the network, which have been through significant security monitoring, evaluations and evaluations for many years. How can you secure alarms, individual electronic devices, and house devices that apparently come out daily?

To begin, one must define and think about where the security platforms will be implemented – hardware, software, network, or all of the above?

Solutions such as Ziften pay attention to the network (from the device viewpoint) and utilize advanced machine-type learning to recognize patterns and scan for anomalies. Ziften currently offers an international threat analytics platform (the Ziften KnowledgeCloud), which has feeds from a range of sources that allows review of tens of millions of endpoint, binary, MD5, etc data today.

It will be a challenge to deploy software onto all IoT devices, many of which make use of FPGA and ASIC designs as the control platform(s). They are normally included into anything from drones to cars and trucks to commercial and scada control systems. A a great deal of these devices work on solid-state chips without a running operating system or x86 type processor. With insufficient memory to support innovative software, most simply can not support contemporary security software applications. In the realm of IoT, extra modification creates threat and a vacuum that strains even the most robust solutions.

Solutions for the IoT space require a multi-pronged technique at the endpoint, which incorporates desktops, laptops, and servers currently combined with the network. At Ziften, we presently deliver collectors for Windows, Linux, and OS X, supporting the core desktop, server, and network infrastructure that contains the intellectual property and assets that the opponents seek to get access to. After all, the criminals do not actually desire any information from the business fridge, however merely wish to use it as a conduit to where the valuable data lives.

Nevertheless, there is an extra technique that we deliver that can assist relieve lots of existing concerns: scanning for abnormalities at the network level. It’s thought that typically 30% of devices connected to a corporate network are unidentified IP’s. IoT trends will likely double that number in the next ten years. This is among the reasons why connecting is not always an obvious choice.

As more devices are connected to the Internet, more attack surfaces will emerge, leading to breaches that are far more harmful than those of e-mail, financial, retail, and insurance – things that could even position a threat to our way of life. Securing the IoT has to make use of lessons learned from conventional business IT security – and offer several layers, integrated to provide end-to-end robustness, capable of preventing and spotting risks at every level of the emerging IoT value chain. Ziften can assist from a multitude of angles today and tomorrow.




Light Up Your Security Blind Spots With Ziften ZFlow – Charles Leaver

Written By Andy Wilson And Presented By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften


Over the past number of years, lots of IT companies have embraced making use of NetFlow telemetry (network connection metadata) to enhance their security posture. There are lots of reasons behind this: NetFlow is relatively low-cost (vs. full packet capture); it’s relatively easy to gather as most Layer 3 network devices support NetFlow or the IANA requirement called IPFIX; and it’s simple to evaluate using freeware or commercially supplied software. NetFlow can assist overcome blind spots in the architecture and can offer much required visibility into what is truly going on in the network (both internal and external). Flow data can also assist in early detection of attacks (DoS and APT/malware) and can be utilized in baselining and anomaly detection methods.

NetFlow can offer insight where little or no visibility exists. Most organizations are collecting flows at the core, WAN and Web layers of their networks. Depending upon routing schemas, localized traffic might not be represented – LAN-to-LAN activity, local broadcast traffic, as well as east-west traffic inside the data center. Most companies are not routing all the way to the access layer and are hence typically blind to some extent in this segment of the network.


Performing complete packet capture in this area is still not 100% possible due to a number of factors. The answer is to implement endpoint-based NetFlow to bring back visibility and offer extremely important extra context to the other flows being collected in the network. Ziften ZFlow telemetry stems from the endpoint (desktop, laptop, or server), so it’s not reliant on the network infrastructure to produce. ZFlow offers standard ISO layer 3/4 data such as source and destination IP addresses and ports, but also offers extra valuable Layer 4-7 info such as the executable responsible for the network socket, the MD5 Hash, PID and file path of the executable, the user responsible for kicking off the executable, and whether it was in the foreground or background. The latter are crucial information that network-based flows simply can not provide.



This essential extra contextual data can assist drastically reduce occurrences of false positives and provide rich data to analysts, SOC workers and incident handlers to permit them to quickly examine the nature of the network traffic and determine if it’s harmful or benign. Utilized in conjunction with network-based notifications (firewall, IDS/IPS, web proxies and gateways), ZFlow can considerably reduce the quantity of time it requires to work through a security incident. And we know that time to detect destructive behavior is a crucial determinant to how successful an attack ends up being. Dwell times have actually lowered in current history however are still at unacceptable levels – presently over 230 days that an opponent can roam undetected through your network collecting your essential data.

Below is a screenshot that reveals a port 80 connection to a Web destination of Fascinating truths about this connection that network-based tools may miss is that this connection was not initiated by a web browser, but rather by Windows Powershell. Another fascinating data point is that this connection was started by the ‘System’ account and not the logged-in user. These are both extremely eye-catching to a security expert as it’s not a false positive and most likely would need much deeper investigation (at which point, the analyst could pivot into the Ziften console and see deeper into that system’s habits – what actions or binaries were executed before and after the connection, process history, network activity and more).


Ziften’s ZFlow shines a light on security blindspots and can supply the additional endpoint context of processes, application and user attribution to help security personnel much better understand exactly what is truly occurring in their environment. Combined with network-based occasions, ZFlow can assist significantly decrease the time it takes to examine and respond to security alerts and drastically enhance a company’s security posture.


Charles Leaver – The Need For A New Endpoint Security Path Because Prevention And Blocking Are Insufficient

Written By Josh Harriman And Presented By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO

Traditional endpoint security solutions, a few of which have actually been around for over twenty years, rely greatly on the same defense methods year after year. Although there is always development and strides to improve, the underlying issue still exists. Hazards will always find a way into your organization. And most of the time, you will have to wait up until your implemented service finally discovers the danger before you even can start to examine the damage and perhaps avoid it from happening again (as soon as you get all of the relevant details to make that informed decision, naturally). Another downside to these technologies is that they frequently produce a big efficiency burden on the actual device they are securing. This in turn results in dissatisfied end-users and other issues such as management and reliability.

But this blog is not about abandoning your existing software, however rather enhancing and empowering your general security posture. Organizations have to move towards and accept those systems that provide continuous tracking and complete visibility of all activity occurring on their endpoint population. Stopping or preventing recognized malware from running is certainly essential, however lacks the general protection needed in today’s threat landscape. The capability to run deeper forensics from present or often more notably, previous events, can actually just be done by services that use continuous monitoring. This information is very important in assessing the damage and comprehending the scope of the infection within your organization.

This, of course, has to be done efficiently and with a minimal quantity of system overhead.

Just as there are lots of services in the traditional endpoint security area, a brand-new league of suppliers is turning up in this crucial action of the development. Most of these companies have workers from the ‘old guard’ and comprehend that a brand-new vision is needed as the danger landscape continues to change. Simply reporting and informing on just bad things is entirely missing the point. You MUST take a look at the whole picture, everybody and all habits and actions in order to offer yourself the best chance of reacting quickly and completely to risks within your company.

By using systems that fall into this “New Path of Endpoint Security” realm, Security Ops or Incident Responders within the company will have the much needed visibility they have been yearning. We hear this continuously from our consumers and potential customers and are doing our utmost to supply the services that assist secure all of us.


Charles Leaver – Find And Eliminate Superfish By Using The Ziften App For Splunk

Written By Ryan Hollman And Presented By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften

Background Information: Lenovo confessed to pre loading the Superfish adware on some consumer PCs, and dissatisfied customers are now dragging the company to court on the matter stated PCWorld. A proposed class action suit was submitted late last week against Lenovo and Superfish, which charges both companies with “fraudulent” business practices and of making Lenovo PCs susceptible from man in the middle attacks by pre installing the adware.

Having issues finding Superfish throughout your enterprise? With the Ziften App for Splunk, you can discover infected endpoints with an uncomplicated Splunk search. Simply search your Ziften data and filter for the keyword “superfish”. The query is just:

index= ziften superfish



The following image shows the outcomes you would see in your Ziften App for Splunk if systems were infected. In this specific instance, we found numerous systems infected with Superfish.


The above outcomes also make reference to the binary “VirtualDiscovery.exe”. As it ends up, this is the core procedure responsible for the infections. In addition to the Superfish root certificate and VirtualDiscovery.exe binary, this software application likewise lays down the following to the system:

A registry entry in:


INI and log files in:

% SystemRoot% SysWOW64VisualDiscovery.ini.
% SystemRoot% SysWOW64VisualDiscoveryOff.ini.
% SystemRoot% System32VisualDiscoveryOff.ini.
% TEMP% VisualDiscoveryr.log.

Manual detection of Superfish can also be done on an endpoint straight from powershell with the following:.

dir cert: -r|where Subject -match “superfish”.

If the system is infected with Superfish, you will see results similar to the following image. If the system is tidy, you will see no results.

Some researchers have actually stated that you can just get rid of Superfish by eliminating the root certificate shown above with a powershell command such as:.

dir cert: -r|where subject -match “superfish”|Remove-Item.

This removal procedure does not continue throughout reboots. Simply getting rid of the root cert does not work as VirtualDiscovery.exe will re-install the root cert after a system reboot.

The simplest way to eliminate Superfish from your system is to upgrade Microsoft’s built in AV software Windows Defender. Soon after the public became aware of Superfish, Microsoft updated Windows Defender to remediate Superfish.

Other remediation approaches exist, however updating Windows Defender is without a doubt the most basic technique.


Charles Leaver – Watch Out For These 5 Top User Endpoint Activities

Written By Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

Standard security software is unlikely to identify attacks that are targeted to a particular company. The attack code will most likely be remixed to avert recognized malware signatures, while fresh command and control infrastructure will be stood up to avert known blacklisted network contacts. Preventing these fresh, specific attacks requires defenders to spot more generic attack attributes than can be discovered in endless lists of known Indicators of Compromise (IoC’s) from formerly evaluated attacks.

Unless you have a time machine to retrieve IoC’s from the future, known IoC’s won’t help with new attacks. For that, you have to be alert to suspicious behaviors of users or endpoints that could be a sign of continuous attack activity. These suspicion-arousing behaviors will not be as conclusive as a malware signature match or IP blacklist hit, so they will need analyst triage to confirm. Insisting upon conviction certainty prior to raising alerts implies that fresh attacks will successfully evade your automatic defenses. It would be equivalent to a parent ignoring suspicious child habits without question up until they get a call from the cops. You do not want that call from the FBI that your enterprise has been breached when due analyst focus on suspect habits would have supplied early detection.

Security analytics of observed user and endpoint habits seeks to identify attributes of possible attack activity. Here we highlight some of those suspect behaviors by way of general description. These suspect behaviors work as cyber attack tripwires, notifying defenders to possible attacks in progress.

Anomalous Login Activity

Users and organizational systems show learnable login activity patterns that can be analyzed for anomalous departures. Abnormalities can be either spatial, i.e. anomalous with respect to peers, or temporal, i.e. anomalous with respect to that user/endpoint’s earlier login pattern. Remote logins can be analyzed for remote IP address and geolocation, and login entropy can be determined and compared. Non-administrative users logging into several systems can be observed and reported, as it differs from anticipated patterns.

Anomalous Work Practices

Working outside normal work hours or outside recognized patterns of work activity can be suspicious or indicative of insider threat activity or jeopardized credentials. Again, anomalies might be either spatial or temporal in nature. The workload active procedure mix can also be analyzed for adherence to developed workgroup activity patterns. Workloads may differ a bit, however tend to be fairly consistent throughout engineering departments or accounting departments or marketing departments, and so on. Workload activity patterns can be device learned and statistical divergence tests applied to identify behavioral abnormalities.

Anomalous Application Characteristics

Common applications show reasonably consistent characteristics in their image metadata and in their active process profiles. Substantial departures from these observed activity norms can be indicative of application compromise, such as code injection. Whitelisted applications may be utilized by malware scripts in unlikely methods, such as ransomware using system tools to get rid of volume shadow copies to stymie healing, or malware staging stolen data to disk, prior to exfiltration, with substantial disk resource need.

Anomalous Network Activity

Typical applications show relatively consistent network activity patterns that can be learned and defined. Uncommon levels of network activity by unusual applications are suspect for that reason alone, as is unusual port activity or port scanning. Network activity at uncommon times or with unusual regularity (possibly beaconing) or uncommon resource demand are also worthy of attention. Unattended network activity (user not present) should always have a possible explanation or be reported, especially if observed in substantial volume.

Anomalous System Fault Habits

Anomalous fault behavior could be a sign of a susceptible or uncovered system or of malware that is repeatedly reattempting some malfunctioning operation. This could be observed as applications crashing or hanging, as service failures, or as system crashes. Compliance faults are also worth keeping in mind, such as not running mandated security or backup agents, or constant faulting by those agents (resulting in a fault-restart-fault cycle).

When searching for Endpoint Detection and Response software, don’t have a feeling of complacency just because you have a big library of recognized IOCs. The most reliable solutions will cover these leading five generic attack attributes plus a great deal more.