CVE-2020-15257

containerd is an industry-standard container runtime and is available as a daemon for Linux and Windows. In containerd before versions 1.3.9 and 1.4.3, the containerd-shim API is improperly exposed to host network containers. Access controls for the shim’s API socket verified that the connecting process had an effective UID of 0, but did not otherwise restrict access to the abstract Unix domain socket. This would allow malicious containers running in the same network namespace as the shim, with an effective UID of 0 but otherwise reduced privileges, to cause new processes to be run with elevated privileges. This vulnerability has been fixed in containerd 1.3.9 and 1.4.3. Users should update to these versions as soon as they are released. It should be noted that containers started with an old version of containerd-shim should be stopped and restarted, as running containers will continue to be vulnerable even after an upgrade. If you are not providing the ability for untrusted users to start containers in the same network namespace as the shim (typically the "host" network namespace, for example with docker run –net=host or hostNetwork: true in a Kubernetes pod) and run with an effective UID of 0, you are not vulnerable to this issue. If you are running containers with a vulnerable configuration, you can deny access to all abstract sockets with AppArmor by adding a line similar to deny unix addr=@**, to your policy. It is best practice to run containers with a reduced set of privileges, with a non-zero UID, and with isolated namespaces. The containerd maintainers strongly advise against sharing namespaces with the host. Reducing the set of isolation mechanisms used for a container necessarily increases that container’s privilege, regardless of what container runtime is used for running that container.

CVE-2020-9117

HUAWEI nova 4 versions earlier than 10.0.0.165(C01E34R2P4) and SydneyM-AL00 versions earlier than 10.0.0.165(C00E66R1P5) have an out-of-bounds read and write vulnerability. An attacker with specific permissions crafts malformed packet with specific parameter and sends the packet to the affected products. Due to insufficient validation of packet, which may be exploited to cause the information leakage or arbitrary code execution.

Manchester United Cyberattack Highlights Controversy in Paying Ransomware Attackers

The Premier League English football (soccer) club team is reportedly being held to ransom by cyberattackers. Manchester United may face a difficult decision: whether to pay a ransom for release of its stolen data.

Manchester United, an English Premier League stalwart and a football club with a huge worldwide fanbase, has been targeted by a cyberattack. Now, Man U may be facing a no-win scenario.

Reports suggest a ransomware attack, launched Nov. 20, 2020, is believed to involve the compromise of personally identifiable information (PII) and/or mission-critical information assets. These mission-critical assets, as yet unconfirmed, could be anything from business plans to highly competitive player transfer targets.

The club has claimed that customer information is not believed to be at risk in the attack.

Man U is one of the most popular and most profitable soccer clubs in the world, and the Red Devils are likely caught between a rock and a hard place. Should they pay the ransom, or should they sit tight? The decision is anything but simple, and both choices likely come with consequences.

Ransomware attacks have been around for decades, growing increasingly common in recent years. They have been especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many organizations failed to adequately secure data and systems when remote working became the universal norm earlier in 2020.

There has been little confirmed information about what exactly happened in the Manchester United incident and how the attackers gained access, as the organization has remained tight-lipped about the attack. The club described the attack as both “sophisticated” and “disruptive,” though many compromised entities often describe incidents as such when, in truth, they are anything but sophisticated.

“Following the recent cyber attack on the club, our IT team and external experts secured our networks and have conducted forensic investigations,” the team said in a statement. Manchester United likely attempted to secure its networks prior to the attack, but the attackers still found a way in.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is helping the club in its response to the attack. However, other than the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) being informed, little is known about what data might have been compromised.

If PII has been compromised, then Manchester United is likely to face a fine (eventually) from the ICO, which under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) could be up to 4% of its annual global revenue or about £18 million, whichever is greater. The pandemic has affected the club’s financial results, and its guidance on turnover for 2019-20 was for a revenue range equivalent to $730 million to $750 million. Undoubtedly 4% of this would be a significant number.

Further financial penalties could come from the U.S. government, as Manchester United is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory on Oct. 1, 2020, highlighting “the sanctions risks associated with ransomware payments related to malicious cyber-enabled activities.” The advisory goes on to state that “companies that facilitate ransomware payments… not only encourage future ransomware payment demands but also may risk violating OFAC regulations.”

For Man U, again, the fine could be significant, with a figure estimated to be about $20 million.

Paying ransomware is not illegal in the UK, but is generally counselled against by Her Majesty’s Government (HMG). Doing so would surely add to the public embarrassment the team already faces.

Should the team choose not to pay the ransom, it may endure a longer, more difficult path to restore its business operations. More than two weeks after the attack, it has reportedly yet to restore full access to its systems, including its email. It may also have to recreate or rebuild valuable data assets.

Another risk of not paying is data extortion. According to Omdia research, should victims fail to pay the ransom, attackers increasingly threaten to release the victim’s sensitive data publicly, which would cause even more harm. While paying the ransom may seem untenable, the exposure of the team’s inner workings to the world may be even worse.

Undoubtedly the club is in an awful predicament. It will be very interesting to watch events unfold in Manchester.

Maxine leads Omdia’s cybersecurity research, developing a comprehensive research program to support vendor, service provider, and enterprise clients. Having worked with enterprises across multiple industries in the world of information security, Maxine has a strong … View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

More Insights

CVE-2020-9115

ManageOne versions 6.5.1.1.B010, 6.5.1.1.B020, 6.5.1.1.B030, 6.5.1.1.B040, ,6.5.1.1.B050, 8.0.0 and 8.0.1 have a command injection vulnerability. An attacker with high privileges may exploit this vulnerability through some operations on the plug-in component. Due to insufficient input validation of some parameters, the attacker can exploit this vulnerability to inject commands to the target device.

Driven by Ransomware, Cyber Claims Rise in Number & Value

Companies are on track to file 27% more cyber claims in 2020, one insurer estimates, while another underwriter finds five out of every 100 companies file a claim each year.

Cyberattacks and security incidents have become the top business risk for companies, with the number of insurance claims rising 27% in the first nine months of 2020, according to a report released earlier this month by insurance company Allianz.

Allianz policyholders filed 770 claims in the first nine months of the year, compared with a little more than 800 for all of 2019, the company stated in its “Trends in Cyber Risk” report. In a second report, the company found that while businesses ranked the “cyber incidents” category as the 15th most significant threat seven years ago, it took the top slot in 2020, with 39% of companies considering cyber incidents as the most important risk.

While part of the growth in claims is due to the overall expansion of the cyber-insurance market, the growing cost of cybercrime to companies is also a major factor, says Josh Navarro, executive underwriter in the Cyber and Professional Liability group for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

“A growing ‘commercialization of cyber-hacks’ is a contributing factor leading to a growth in ransomware claims in particular,” he says. “Increasingly, criminals are selling malware to other attackers who then target businesses demanding ransom payments, meaning high-end hacking tools are more widely available and cheaper to come by.”

Allianz is not the only insurer to see a jump in ransomware claims. Ransomware attacks accounted for 41% of policyholder claims, insurer Coalition stated in its 2020 “Cyber Insurance Claims Report,” released in September. Those ransomware incidents also grew more serious, with the dollar value of the average ransom demand doubling in a year, according to the insurer. 

“Although the frequency of ransomware claims has decreased by 18% from 2019 into the first half of 2020, we’ve observed a dramatic increase in the severity of these attacks,” Coalition stated in its report. “The ransom demands are higher, and the complexity and cost of remediation is growing.”

The trend toward more costly and numerous claims is also driven by the increased exodus of employees from offices to their homes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While attackers targeted companies with an increased volume of phishing attacks, gaps in security measures — such as a lack of multifactor authentication or VPN access — left workers more vulnerable, AGCS’s Navarro says.

“Many companies were left unprepared for a high level of remote access, and gaps in security controls and procedures create an environment with increased exposure to bad actors,” he says. Add to that, “employees are not always following best practices in a remote environment, [which] increases the potential for phishing events to be successful, as well as data leakage.”

Overall, Allianz’s analysis of its cyber claims found that business interruption drove losses higher. Business interruption took second place in the insurer list of top risks, with 37% of companies rating it the top threat.

While ransomware accounted for a great deal of business interruption, human error was the most frequent threat, although with a much lower overall cost to the business. Accidental internal incidents account for 54% of all claims, but only 6% of the value of losses, meaning incidents had one-ninth the average cost. Malicious internal actors accounted for 3% by volume but 9% by value or triple the average per incident, and malicious external attacks accounted for 43% by volume and 86% by value, or about twice the average.

Some attacks, such as NotPetya, caused such high damages that companies claimed as much as $1.3 billion, and which insurers declined payment, citing “act of war” clauses in the policies.

The claims data also showed that larger companies are hit with greater frequency than smaller companies, although smaller companies are far more numerous. Consumer retailers topped the list of targeted industries, accounting for 28% of all claims, while professional services accounted for 16% and healthcare accounted for 12% of claims, according to Coalition’s report.

Still, AGCS’s Navarro recommends that companies train their employees in best practices, especially phishing-awareness training, and use multifactor authentication, which insurer Coalition noted would have stopped the majority of attacks that led to claims. Finally, other technologies, such as network segmentation, can minimize the damage from an attack and make intruders easier to detect.

“Companies of all sizes need to invest heavily in a multipronged cybersecurity program,” says Navarro. “Cross-sector exchange and cooperation among companies … is also key when it comes to defying highly commercially organized cybercrime, developing joint security standards, and improving cyber resilience.”

Veteran technology journalist of more than 20 years. Former research engineer. Written for more than two dozen publications, including CNET News.com, Dark Reading, MIT’s Technology Review, Popular Science, and Wired News. Five awards for journalism, including Best Deadline … View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

More Insights