[devnexus 2022] java and ransomware

Speaker: Steve Poole

Twitter: @spoole167

Link to table of contents


Ransomware crimes

  • robbery
  • blackmail
  • extortion
  • revege
  • murder – ex: hospital attacks


  • files gone
  • files corrupt
  • unexpected files on system – obvious so believe it is real
  • prevent logging on
  • threats to delete or publish data
  • link to cryptocurrency wallet and amount – hard to trace

How get into system

  • Phishing – Impersonate boss, etc. Significant targetted social engineering. Understand business/context. Attachment with malware
  • Malware – mostly Windows
  • Government #1 target. Then education/services/health care/tech/manufacturing/retail/utilities/finance
  • Target single company or org. Look for poor security hygene
  • Vulnerabiliteis/CVEs
  • Suply chain attacks
  • Remote code execution

Once have access

  • Pull encrypton keys
  • Encrypt files not used often first
  • Then encrypt files used in memory so works until restart
  • Gigabytes/terrabytes of data – takes time
  • Would notice if network got slow so sneaky
  • Copy critical data out disguised as normal traffic. Hide in other payloads
  • Sometimes responses to ”legit” request
  • Almost always via botnets
  • Paying helps fund more
  • Rare to shut down. Instance of giving up decryption keys when one group folded


  • Data kidnapping – pay or release data
  • Blackmail – dirty payments, porn
  • Revenge – disgruntled employee, cripple systems
  • Competitor – wipe you out/steal secrets
  • Worse – weaponsized attacks from nation states
  • Some of these cases do not intend to give data back
  • Cybercrime beat drugs in value
  • Ransomware is worth 6 trillion


  • Can be test case to see if can get in
  • Goal is to infiltrate infrastructure and essential serices quietly so can manipulate/terminate when need
  • Break supply chain


  • Used to wait for vulnerability to be announced and build attack. Now create own.
  • Open source repo attacks – attempts to get malware into source
  • Typosquatting – lookalike domain/dependency with minor typo
  • Build tool attacks – attempts to get malware into tools tat produce dependency
  • Dependency confusion – later version ex ”latest”
  • Designed to stay hidden until needed


  • Dependency confusion, typosquatting and malicious code injection increased 650% in 2021
  • New world – state funded, professionally developed, regularly exercised very sophisticated and exeremely lucrative
  • Could even be someone at conference – have to gain the skills


  • Being out of action
  • Recovery
  • Data loss – data recovery never 100%
  • Human cost – finger pointing, guilty feelings, feeling of being invaded/not trusting security systems
  • Data integrity – can modify/inject data when return



  • Still lots of log4j downloads (thru 4/11/22)
  • 36% on a day in April were vulnerable
  • Need right tools – check dependencies, not just your pom or in fat jar
  • Try dependabot
  • Write test cases and see if your tool can find

My take

Good collection of info and supporting data. Wrapped in a compelling story. Security talks are often scary and first conference in a while provided more time for bad things to happen!

[devnexus 2022] hacking the OSS supply changes

Speaker: Stephen Chin


Link to table of contents


Theme is security with sci fi references


  • Equifax data breah – from not patching Struts for at least two months
  • Solarwinds – hacked TeamCity instance injected
  • log4shell – zero day in log4j core. Affected almost all systems. Could send class file and having it excecute on the serer
  • spring4shell

Binary repos

  • Which do you trust?
  • npm, pypi, rubygems, maven central
  • Like picking up thumb drive off sidewalk and plugging into your production server

Dependency confusion attack

  • Sci fi – Matrix – agents disguised theselves as other people
  • package mining
  • npm has no security on namespaces
  • Can use same name as a company internal package and give it higher version number
  • If grabing latest version, pull mallicious package
  • When pull from npm, announcing what package you have
  • Artifactory resolves against internal repo first. Protects even if using virtual repo which mixes public and private content

Supply Chain Attacks

  • Sci fi: millinium falcon
  • Assume depedencies built on a clean system
  • Anyone can upoad to pipi
  • About 400 zero day volunerabiities in open source/cloed source/OS, embedded systems, etc
  • Sveder uploaded library to go to his website
  • JFrog scans looking for suspicious Python code behavior
  • noblesse – “optimizes your PC for python” – steals credit card/passwords and sends via dicord
  • pythatoras – supposed to help with calculations but does remote code executio


  • Sci fi: War games
  • Moscow – Russia and Idaho
  • St Petersburg – Russian and Florida
  • azure-core-tracing is proper name. Created core-tracing.
  • NPM took down once repored. At least 218 packages affected.
  • Stole personal data
  • Think bug bounty of test because minimal and not steaing credit cards


  • Scitfi: Avengers
  • Need automated (IronMan), trustworthy (Black Widow) and dependable (Captain America)
  • trusted binary network – secure by defaut, reliable inimal outages), open
  • peer to peer
  • multi-node verification
  • reproducabe build trust model


  • research.jfrog.com

My take

I hadn’t heard of all those attacks so learned about the Python ones. The sci fi element was a nice touch. As was the community picture with a ton of people on stage.

[2021 kcdc] lessons learned from enterprise cloud securty programs

This post is my live blog from KCDC. For more, see the 2021 KCDC live blog TOC

Speaker:Karl Ots

Twitter @karlgots

Book: Azure Security Handbook


Cloud Security

  • Need cloud native security – specific to cloud provider using
  • ”Cloud can be as safe or unsafe as what you did before”

Shared responsiblity

  • Customer responsiblity: data, endpoints
  • Shared responsiblity: identity, application, os/middleware, network
  • Cloud provider responsiblity: physical

Security Program

  • Need to balance speed/“shadow cloud” (someone signing up for their own cloud account) with existing security requirements/eisting EA, lack of security awareness
  • Phases – cloud straegy, governance model, security, guidelines (ex: implementation guidelines and refernee architecture)
  • Cloud security framework defines architecture, policies and controls to secure cloud envrionment
  • Don’t be a generic list of controls. Just be tailored. Doesn’t make sense to apply anything. Cloud security alliance has a list of about 200 sample controls. Don’t just go thru a list of controls in Excel.
  • Terraform (or other tools) typically built by subject matter experts. Ex: database expert writes terraform module for database security
  • Certified products/platform concept – if you use products/components/tools that are pre-approved, can get through security faster. Vetted already

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

  • Integrate with existing IAM processes
  • DevSecOps CI/CD deloys using Azure AD ideneity to application resources. Other identities to actuall run (but not deploy and change things).
  • Need to be able to provide the CI/CD credentials not available/used by others
  • Create a vending machine type system so have to request things. ex: give me a X. Makes automated to request things

Detection and Monitoring

  • Need to enforce logging across landing zone and anything deployed
  • Centralize logs.
  • Ok to have temporary copy as well to focus on new info. Also some alerts verbose and ony want to monior key ones
  • Can build custom alerts, but doesn’t scale. If 10K Azure resources all with own logs, can be unmanagable.
  • Integrate with your SIEM an SOC
  • Separate resource logs (ex: who accessed X) and application logs (what developers log)

Network security

  • Cross subscription, cross region and cross cloud
  • Traffic from platform and infrastructure as a service + app level
  • Can grant access through
    • RBAC in the subnet – fast to do, but dev has to do it
    • Pre-provisioned NICs – medium, thru centralized cloud operations
    • Outside Azure/cloud – slow, thru centralized ops

Supply chain

  • New attack with pre-provisioned agent https://www.wiz.io/blog/omigod-critical-vulnerabilities-in-omi-azure

My take

I’ve learned/used AWS. The speaker is an Azure expert. He tried to make the presentation as cloud agnostic as possible. It was realy good for me to see how much is common across clould providers. It was goo to understand how things I’m doing fit into the bigger picture and something I wish we did differently