We are from the first (or last) people to say this, but 2021 is the year of ransomware. It’s by far the biggest story on the security landscape right now. And everything from oil pipelines, to grain co-ops, to hospitals and schools have been targeted by ransomware this year. Azim Khodjibaev joins the show for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month to wrap up everything we’ve seen on the ransomware landscape this year. Azim reflects on his interview with a LockBit operator, the research he’s done into “double extortion campaigns,” and discusses the lessons defenders can learn from the past 10 months.
Everyone loves to talk and write about how tough it is that we are all working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. So for once — to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month — Talos Takes wants to talk about the positives! Christopher Marshall, the head of Talos’ detection research team, joins the show to discuss how he’s kept his team’s morale up during this time. Cybersecurity is a rough industry to be in, regardless of any external factors. So it’s important for him to avoid employee burnout and turnover. He and Jon also discuss the positives of working remotely, what they’re most looking forward to when they can go back into the office and their favorite pandemic-era hobbies.
Asheer Malhotra joins the show to once again cover a cyber attack in South Asia. This time, it’s an attacker that looks and smells like an APT, but may just be a run-of-the-mill crimeware gang. Asheer discusses he and his colleagues’ research into Operation: Armor Piercer, a campaign targeted at government agencies and military contractors. Needless to say, these are high-profile targets. Find out what this group wants and why they’re aping so much from other groups like Transparent Tribe and SideCopy.
Allow Vitor Ventura to take you on a journey of discovery, threat actors and attribution. He recently assisted with an investigation into a series of malware and spam campaigns using aviation-themed lures. These include fake flight itineraries, invoices and more. Vitor joins us on this week’s Talos Takes episode to discuss what he learned during this process, including how he connected the campaigns, what he learned (and couldn’t learn) about the actor behind them, and what he’ll take away into his next research. This is a great episode for anyone who is wondering about what kinds of pitfalls are out there for a security researcher.
Fresh off of translating an entire ransomware playbook from Russian to English, Azim and Dave from the Talos Threat Intelligence & Interdiction team join Talos Takes to talk about this project. They provide some first-hand insights into what this leaked playbook tells us about the Conti ransomware-as-a-service group. Threat actors — they have feelings just like us!
“Proxyware” sounds like a complicated topic that you’re too afraid to ask about. But really, it’s just software that allows users to sell off a portion of their internet bandwidth for a small profit. Problem is, attackers are swooping in on this popular software to spread malware and steal users’ money. Edmund Brumaghin joins the show this week to discuss his recent research into proxyware applications and how malware is hiding in plain sight. Edmund discusses why these types of apps are potentially unwanted applications, and what the threat is for enterprise users with remote workers, as well as personal PC users.
As more people around the world start to get vaccinated against COVID-19, travel is becoming easier, especially during these summer months. But as much as you may be excited to travel, so are threat actors. Asheer Malhotra was part of a team that looked into a series of campaigns targeting users in Latin America, specifically using social engineering tactics centered around travel. Some of the lure documents, in this case, include fake travel itineraries, coupons for flights and hotel reservation confirmations. Asheer joins the show this week to discuss the throughline between all these attacks and their potential connections to the Aggah crimeware group.
Students are starting to go back to school across the U.S. There are plenty of things to worry about with the “new normal” while the world still combats COVID-19, and while we can’t help students, teachers and admins with everything, we can at least provide a little security advice. Nick Biasini joins the show once again to discuss the best cybersecurity practices as schools spin back up. What should parents tell their kids about electronic devices they bring home? What will IT admins have learned over the past year and a half plus? And how should we deal with the new norm of hybrid learning?
Andrew Windsor from our malware research team joins the show for the first time to talk about Solarmarker. This is a campaign Andrew’s followed for a while that recently added new modules that make it particularly dangerous. The attackers behind Solarmarker could basically use this threat to drop whatever they want. At least for now, they’re sticking to information-stealing. But could it ever get worse than that?
Business email compromise may seem like last decade’s threat, but it’s still just as prevalent as ever. A recent FBI report found that it cost users more than $1 billion in 2020, and attackers are now capitalizing on everything from PlayStation 5 sales to the COVID-19 pandemic to still scam people. On this week’s Talos Takes, Nick Biasini recaps his recent research into BEC and discusses why there are some reasons why this threat may never go away (hint: users).
The last time Jon had Asheer Malhotra from Talos Outreach on the show, they covered the Transparent Tribe APT. Asheer joins the show again this week to talk about another threat actor that is very similar to Transparent Tribe, but is just a tad different. Asheer recently co-authored a research paper on the aptly named SideCopy actor, which borrows many TTPs from their fellow actors, including Transparent Tribe. This episode, we’ll talk about SideCopy’s methods, why they may be borrowing so much from those around them and where they could go from here.
In this special “XL edition” of Talos Takes, we’re bringing you the audio version of our live stream this week discussing the Kaseya supply chain attack. Nick Biasini from Talos Outreach went live with Hazel Burton, a Cisco product marketing manager, to discuss what transpired over the long Fourth of July weekend.
Nick discussed the Kaseya exploit leveraged in this campaign, plus the follow-on ransomware attacks. This is the best place to get the tl;dr on what happened, what you need to be doing now, and what Cisco Secure solutions can keep you protected.
We’ve spent many minutes (that’s the point of the podcast, after all) discussing internet-of-things devices on this podcast. As consumers start having more “smart” devices connected to their home network, they may want an easy solution to keeping those devices safe. But what if that device gets owned?
Carl Hurd of our vulnerability research team recently discovered several vulnerabilities in Trend Micro’s Home Network Security Station. He joins the show for the first time to talk about his research, the pros and cons of these all-in-one home network security devices, and how an attacker could exploit these issues to spy on your devices.
With major cyber attacks in recent years against major U.S. critical infrastructure suppliers like Norsk Hydro and Colonial Pipeline, we’re in a new world of CI cybersecurity. New threats require new approaches to defense. And in the U.S., this is likely going to include partnerships between those who manage critical infrastructure, government and the private cybersecurity sector.
Talos recently outlined what this may look like in America. One of the authors of that post, Joe Marshall, joins Jon Munshaw this week on Talos Takes to talk about public-private partnerships to defend critical infrastructure.
How much is ransomware-as-a-service like a McDonald’s franchise? More similar than you’d think! The RaaS model has entered the mainstream over the past few months with groups such as DarkSide attacking the Colonial Pipeline.
In these transactions, what’s in it for the original ransomware creator? And what do the operators themselves get out of it? Nick Biasini joins Jon Munshaw this week to talk about this business model, what it means for the rise in ransomware attacks, and how you can stay protected.