7 Cyber Security Tips for SMBs

When the headlines focus on breaches of large enterprises like the Optus breach, it’s easy for smaller businesses to think they’re not a target for hackers. Surely, they’re not worth the time or effort?

Unfortunately, when it comes to cyber security, size doesn’t matter.

Assuming you’re not a target leads to lax security practices in many SMBs who lack the knowledge or expertise to put simple security steps in place. Few small businesses prioritise cybersecurity, and hackers know it. According to Verizon, the number of smaller businesses being hit has climbed steadily in the last few years – 46% of cyber breaches in 2021 impacted businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Cyber security doesn’t need to be difficult#

Securing any business doesn’t need to be complex or come with a hefty price tag. Here are seven simple tips to help the smaller business secure their systems, people and data.

1 — Install anti-virus software everywhere#

Every organisation has anti-virus on their systems and devices, right? Unfortunately, business systems such as web servers get overlooked all too often. It’s important for SMBs to consider all entry points into their network and have anti-virus deployed on every server, as well as on employees’ personal devices.

Hackers will find weak entry points to install malware, and anti-virus software can serve as a good last-resort backstop, but it’s not a silver bullet. Through continuous monitoring and penetration testing you can identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities before hackers do, because it’s easier to stop a burglar at the front door than once they’re in your home.

2 — Continuously monitor your perimeter#

Your perimeter is exposed to remote attacks because it’s available 24/7. Hackers constantly scan the internet looking for weaknesses, so you should scan your own perimeter too. The longer a vulnerability goes unfixed, the more likely an attack is to occur. With tools like Autosploit and Shodan readily available, it’s easier than ever for attackers to discover internet facing weaknesses and exploit them.

Even organisations that cannot afford a full-time, in-house security specialist can use online services like Intruder to run vulnerability scans to uncover weaknesses.

Intruder is a powerful vulnerability scanner that provides a continuous security review of your systems. With over 11,000 security checks, Intruder makes enterprise-grade scanning easy and accessible to SMBs.

Intruder will promptly identify high-impact flaws, changes in the attack surface, and rapidly scan your infrastructure for emerging threats.

3 — Minimise your attack surface#

Your attack surface is made up of all the systems and services exposed to the internet. The larger the attack surface, the bigger the risk. This means exposed services like Microsoft Exchange for email, or content management systems like WordPress can be vulnerable to brute-forcing or credential-stuffing, and new vulnerabilities are discovered almost daily in such software systems. By removing public access to sensitive systems and interfaces which don’t need to be accessible to the public, and ensuring 2FA is enabled where they do, you can limit your exposure and greatly reduce risk.

A simple first step in reducing your attack surface is by using a secure virtual private network (VPN). By using a VPN, you can avoid exposing sensitive systems directly to the internet whilst maintaining their availability to employees working remotely. When it comes to risk, prevention is better than cure – don’t expose anything to the internet unless it’s absolutely necessary!

4 — Keep software up to date#

New vulnerabilities are discovered daily in all kinds of software, from web browsers to business applications. Just one unpatched weakness could lead to full compromise of a system and a breach of customer data; as TalkTalk discovered when 150,000 of its private data records were stolen.

According to a Cyber Security Breaches Survey, businesses that hold electronic personal data of their customers are more likely than average to have had breaches. Patch management is an essential component of good cyber hygiene, and there are tools and services to help you check your software for any missing security patches.

5 — Back up your data #

Ransomware is on the increase. In 2021, 37% of businesses and organisations were hit by ransomware according to research by Sophos. Ransomware encrypts any data it can access, rendering it unusable, and can’t be reversed without a key to decrypt the data.

Data loss is a key risk to any business either through malicious intent or a technical mishap such as hard disk failure, so backing up data is always recommended. If you back up your data, you can counter attackers by recovering your data without needing to pay the ransom, as systems affected by ransomware can be wiped and restored from an unaffected backup without the attacker’s key.

6 — Keep your staff security aware#

Cyber attackers often rely on human error, so it’s vital that staff are trained in cyber hygiene so they recognise risks and respond appropriately. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 revealed that the most common types of breaches were staff receiving fraudulent emails or phishing attacks (73%), followed by people impersonating the organisation in emails or online (27%), viruses, spyware and malware (12%), and ransomware (4%).

Increasing awareness of the benefits of using complex passwords and training staff to spot common attacks such as phishing emails and malicious links, will ensure your people are a strength rather than a vulnerability.

— Protect yourself relative to your risk#

Cyber security measures should always be appropriate to the organisation. For example, a small business which handles banking transactions or has access to sensitive information such as healthcare data should employ far more stringent security processes and practices than a pet shop.

That’s not to say a pet shop doesn’t have a duty to protect customer data, but it’s less likely to be a target. Hackers are motivated by money, so the bigger the prize the more time and effort will be invested to achieve their gains. By identifying your threats and vulnerabilities with a tool like Intruder, you can take appropriate steps to mitigate and prioritize which risks need to be addressed and in which order.

It’s time to raise your cyber security game#

Attacks on large companies dominate the news, which feeds the perception that SMBs are safe, when the opposite is true. Attacks are increasingly automated, so SMBs are just as vulnerable targets as larger enterprises, more so if they don’t have adequate security processes in place. And hackers will always follow the path of least resistance. Fortunately, that’s the part Intruder made easy…

About Intruder#

Intruder is a cyber security company that helps organisations reduce their attack surface by providing continuous vulnerability scanning and penetration testing services. Intruder’s powerful scanner is designed to promptly identify high-impact flaws, changes in the attack surface, and rapidly scan the infrastructure for emerging threats. Running thousands of checks, which include identifying misconfigurations, missing patches, and web layer issues, Intruder makes enterprise-grade vulnerability scanning easy and accessible to everyone. Intruder’s high-quality reports are perfect to pass on to prospective customers or comply with security regulations, such as ISO 27001 and SOC 2.

Intruder offers a 14-day free trial of its vulnerability assessment platform. Visit their website today to take it for a spin!

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Source :

Details Released for Recently Patched new macOS Archive Utility Vulnerability

Security researchers have shared details about a now-addressed security flaw in Apple’s macOS operating system that could be potentially exploited to run malicious applications in a manner that can bypass Apple’s security measures.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2022-32910, is rooted in the built-in Archive Utility and “could lead to the execution of an unsigned and unnotarized application without displaying security prompts to the user, by using a specially crafted archive,” Apple device management firm Jamf said in an analysis.


Following responsible disclosure on May 31, 2022, Apple addressed the issue as part of macOS Big Sur 11.6.8 and Monterey 12.5 released on July 20, 2022. The tech giant, for its part, also revised the earlier-issued advisories as of October 4 to add an entry for the flaw.

Apple described the bug as a logic issue that could allow an archive file to get around Gatekeeper checks, which is designed so as to ensure that only trusted software runs on the operating system.

The security technology achieves this by verifying that the downloaded package is from a legitimate developer and has been notarized by Apple – i.e., given a stamp of approval to ensure it’s not been maliciously tampered with.


“Gatekeeper also requests user approval before opening downloaded software for the first time to make sure the user hasn’t been tricked into running executable code they believed to simply be a data file,” Apple notes in its support documentation.

It’s also worth noting archive files downloaded from the internet are tagged with the “com.apple.quarantine” extended attribute, including the items within the file, so as to trigger a Gatekeeper check prior to execution.

But in a peculiar quirk discovered by Jamf, the Archive Utility fails to add the quarantine attribute to a folder “when extracting an archive containing two or more files or folders in its root directory.”


Thus by creating an archive file with the extension “exploit.app.zip,” it leads to a scenario where an unarchival results in the creation of a folder titled “exploit.app,” while also lacking the quarantine attribute.

This application “will bypass all Gatekeeper checks allowing an unnotarized and/or unsigned binary to execute,” Jamf researcher Ferdous Saljooki, who discovered the flaw, said. Apple said it resolved the vulnerability with improved checks.

The findings come more than six months after Apple addressed another similar flaw in macOS Catalina, Big Sur 11.6.5, and Monterey 12.3 (CVE-2022-22616) that could allow a malicious ZIP archive to bypass Gatekeeper checks.

Source :

Alert (AA22-277A) Impacket and Exfiltration Tool Used to Steal Sensitive Information from Defense Industrial Base Organization


Actions to Help Protect Against APT Cyber Activity:

• Enforce multifactor authentication (MFA) on all user accounts.
• Implement network segmentation to separate network segments based on role and functionality.
• Update software, including operating systems, applications, and firmware, on network assets.
• Audit account usage.

From November 2021 through January 2022, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) responded to advanced persistent threat (APT) activity on a Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Sector organization’s enterprise network. During incident response activities, CISA uncovered that likely multiple APT groups compromised the organization’s network, and some APT actors had long-term access to the environment. APT actors used an open-source toolkit called Impacket to gain their foothold within the environment and further compromise the network, and also used a custom data exfiltration tool, CovalentStealer, to steal the victim’s sensitive data.

This joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) provides APT actors tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and indicators of compromise (IOCs) identified during the incident response activities by CISA and a third-party incident response organization. The CSA includes detection and mitigation actions to help organizations detect and prevent related APT activity. CISA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA) recommend DIB sector and other critical infrastructure organizations implement the mitigations in this CSA to ensure they are managing and reducing the impact of cyber threats to their networks.

Download the PDF version of this report: pdf, 692 KB

For a downloadable copy of IOCs, see the following files:

Technical Details

Threat Actor Activity

NoteThis advisory uses the MITRE ATT&CK® for Enterprise framework, version 11. See the MITRE ATT&CK Tactics and Techniques section for a table of the APT cyber activity mapped to MITRE ATT&CK for Enterprise framework.

From November 2021 through January 2022, CISA conducted an incident response engagement on a DIB Sector organization’s enterprise network. The victim organization also engaged a third-party incident response organization for assistance. During incident response activities, CISA and the trusted –third-party identified APT activity on the victim’s network.

Some APT actors gained initial access to the organization’s Microsoft Exchange Server as early as mid-January 2021. The initial access vector is unknown. Based on log analysis, the actors gathered information about the exchange environment and performed mailbox searches within a four-hour period after gaining access. In the same period, these actors used a compromised administrator account (“Admin 1”) to access the EWS Application Programming Interface (API). In early February 2021, the actors returned to the network and used Admin 1 to access EWS API again. In both instances, the actors used a virtual private network (VPN).

Four days later, the APT actors used Windows Command Shell over a three-day period to interact with the victim’s network. The actors used Command Shell to learn about the organization’s environment and to collect sensitive data, including sensitive contract-related information from shared drives, for eventual exfiltration. The actors manually collected files using the command-line tool, WinRAR. These files were split into approximately 3MB chunks located on the Microsoft Exchange server within the CU2\he\debug directory. See Appendix: Windows Command Shell Activity for additional information, including specific commands used.

During the same period, APT actors implanted Impacket, a Python toolkit for programmatically constructing and manipulating network protocols, on another system. The actors used Impacket to attempt to move laterally to another system.

In early March 2021, APT actors exploited CVE-2021-26855, CVE-2021-26857, CVE-2021-26858, and CVE-2021-27065 to install 17 China Chopper webshells on the Exchange Server. Later in March, APT actors installed HyperBro on the Exchange Server and two other systems. For more information on the HyperBro and webshell samples, see CISA MAR-10365227-2 and -3.

In April 2021, APT actors used Impacket for network exploitation activities. See the Use of Impacket section for additional information. From late July through mid-October 2021, APT actors employed a custom exfiltration tool, CovalentStealer, to exfiltrate the remaining sensitive files. See the Use of Custom Exfiltration Tool: CovalentStealer section for additional information.

APT actors maintained access through mid-January 2022, likely by relying on legitimate credentials.

Use of Impacket

CISA discovered activity indicating the use of two Impacket tools: wmiexec.py and smbexec.py. These tools use Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, respectively, for creating a semi-interactive shell with the target device. Through the Command Shell, an Impacket user with credentials can run commands on the remote device using the Windows management protocols required to support an enterprise network.

The APT cyber actors used existing, compromised credentials with Impacket to access a higher privileged service account used by the organization’s multifunctional devices. The threat actors first used the service account to remotely access the organization’s Microsoft Exchange server via Outlook Web Access (OWA) from multiple external IP addresses; shortly afterwards, the actors assigned the Application Impersonation role to the service account by running the following PowerShell command for managing Exchange:

powershell add-pssnapin *exchange*;New-ManagementRoleAssignment – name:”Journaling-Logs” -Role:ApplicationImpersonation -User:<account>

This command gave the service account the ability to access other users’ mailboxes.

The APT cyber actors used virtual private network (VPN) and virtual private server (VPS) providers, M247 and SurfShark, as part of their techniques to remotely access the Microsoft Exchange server. Use of these hosting providers, which serves to conceal interaction with victim networks, are common for these threat actors. According to CISA’s analysis of the victim’s Microsoft Exchange server Internet Information Services (IIS) logs, the actors used the account of a former employee to access the EWS. EWS enables access to mailbox items such as email messages, meetings, and contacts. The source IP address for these connections is mostly from the VPS hosting provider, M247.

Use of Custom Exfiltration Tool: CovalentStealer

The threat actors employed a custom exfiltration tool, CovalentStealer, to exfiltrate sensitive files.

CovalentStealer is designed to identify file shares on a system, categorize the files, and upload the files to a remote server. CovalentStealer includes two configurations that specifically target the victim’s documents using predetermined files paths and user credentials. CovalentStealer stores the collected files on a Microsoft OneDrive cloud folder, includes a configuration file to specify the types of files to collect at specified times and uses a 256-bit AES key for encryption. See CISA MAR-10365227-1 for additional technical details, including IOCs and detection signatures.

MITRE ATT&CK Tactics and Techniques

MITRE ATT&CK is a globally accessible knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations. CISA uses the ATT&CK Framework as a foundation for the development of specific threat models and methodologies. Table 1 lists the ATT&CK techniques employed by the APT actors.

Initial Access
Technique TitleIDUse
Valid AccountsT1078Actors obtained and abused credentials of existing accounts as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. In this case, they exploited an organization’s multifunctional device domain account used to access the organization’s Microsoft Exchange server via OWA.
Technique TitleIDUse
Windows Management InstrumentationT1047Actors used Impacket tools wmiexec.py and smbexec.py to leverage Windows Management Instrumentation and execute malicious commands.
Command and Scripting InterpreterT1059Actors abused command and script interpreters to execute commands.
Command and Scripting Interpreter: PowerShellT1059.001Actors abused PowerShell commands and scripts to map shared drives by specifying a path to one location and retrieving the items from another. See Appendix: Windows Command Shell Activity for additional information.
Command and Scripting Interpreter: Windows Command ShellT1059.003Actors abused the Windows Command Shell to learn about the organization’s environment and to collect sensitive data. See Appendix: Windows Command Shell Activity for additional information, including specific commands used.The actors used Impacket tools, which enable a user with credentials to run commands on the remote device through the Command Shell.
Command and Scripting Interpreter: PythonT1059.006The actors used two Impacket tools: wmiexec.py and smbexec.py.
Shared ModulesT1129Actors executed malicious payloads via loading shared modules. The Windows module loader can be instructed to load DLLs from arbitrary local paths and arbitrary Universal Naming Convention (UNC) network paths.
System ServicesT1569Actors abused system services to execute commands or programs on the victim’s network.
Technique TitleIDUse
Valid AccountsT1078Actors obtained and abused credentials of existing accounts as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion.
Create or Modify System ProcessT1543Actors were observed creating or modifying system processes.
Privilege Escalation
Technique TitleIDUse
Valid AccountsT1078Actors obtained and abused credentials of existing accounts as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. In this case, they exploited an organization’s multifunctional device domain account used to access the organization’s Microsoft Exchange server via OWA.
Defense Evasion
Technique TitleIDUse
Masquerading: Match Legitimate Name or LocationT1036.005Actors masqueraded the archive utility WinRAR.exe by renaming it VMware.exe to evade defenses and observation.
Indicator Removal on HostT1070Actors deleted or modified artifacts generated on a host system to remove evidence of their presence or hinder defenses.
Indicator Removal on Host: File DeletionT1070.004Actors used the del.exe command with the /f parameter to force the deletion of read-only files with the *.rar and tempg* wildcards.
Valid AccountsT1078Actors obtained and abused credentials of existing accounts as a means of gaining Initial Access, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, or Defense Evasion. In this case, they exploited an organization’s multifunctional device domain account used to access the organization’s Microsoft Exchange server via OWA.
Virtualization/Sandbox Evasion: System ChecksT1497.001Actors used Windows command shell commands to detect and avoid virtualization and analysis environments. See Appendix: Windows Command Shell Activity for additional information.
Impair Defenses: Disable or Modify ToolsT1562.001Actors used the taskkill command to probably disable security features. CISA was unable to determine which application was associated with the Process ID.
Hijack Execution FlowT1574Actors were observed using hijack execution flow.
Technique TitleIDUse
System Network Configuration DiscoveryT1016Actors used the systeminfo command to look for details about the network configurations and settings and determine if the system was a VMware virtual machine.The threat actor used route print to display the entries in the local IP routing table.
System Network Configuration Discovery: Internet Connection DiscoveryT1016.001Actors checked for internet connectivity on compromised systems. This may be performed during automated discovery and can be accomplished in numerous ways.
System Owner/User DiscoveryT1033Actors attempted to identify the primary user, currently logged in user, set of users that commonly use a system, or whether a user is actively using the system.
System Network Connections DiscoveryT1049Actors used the netstat command to display TCP connections, prevent hostname determination of foreign IP addresses, and specify the protocol for TCP.
Process DiscoveryT1057Actors used the tasklist command to get information about running processes on a system and determine if the system was a VMware virtual machine.The actors used tasklist.exe and find.exe to display a list of applications and services with their PIDs for all tasks running on the computer matching the string “powers.”
System Information DiscoveryT1082Actors used the ipconfig command to get detailed information about the operating system and hardware and determine if the system was a VMware virtual machine.
File and Directory DiscoveryT1083Actors enumerated files and directories or may search in specific locations of a host or network share for certain information within a file system.
Virtualization/Sandbox Evasion: System ChecksT1497.001Actors used Windows command shellcommands to detect and avoid virtualization and analysis environments.
Lateral Movement
Technique TitleIDUse
Remote Services: SMB/Windows Admin SharesT1021.002Actors used Valid Accounts to interact with a remote network share using Server Message Block (SMB) and then perform actions as the logged-on user.
Technique TitleIDUse
Archive Collected Data: Archive via UtilityT1560.001Actor used PowerShell commands and WinRAR to compress and/or encrypt collected data prior to exfiltration.
Data from Network Shared DriveT1039Actors likely used net share command to display information about shared resources on the local computer and decide which directories to exploit, the powershell dircommand to map shared drives to a specified path and retrieve items from another, and the ntfsinfo command to search network shares on computers they have compromised to find files of interest.The actors used dir.exe to display a list of a directory’s files and subdirectories matching a certain text string.
Data Staged: Remote Data StagingT1074.002The actors split collected files into approximately
3 MB chunks located on the Exchange server within the CU2\he\debug directory.
Command and Control
Technique TitleIDUse
Non-Application Layer ProtocolT1095Actors used a non-application layer protocol for communication between host and Command and Control (C2) server or among infected hosts within a network.
Ingress Tool TransferT1105Actors used the certutil command with three switches to test if they could download files from the internet.The actors employed CovalentStealer to exfiltrate the files.
ProxyT1090Actors are known to use VPN and VPS providers, namely M247 and SurfShark, as part of their techniques to access a network remotely.
Technique TitleIDUse
Schedule TransferT1029Actors scheduled data exfiltration to be performed only at certain times of day or at certain intervals and blend traffic patterns with normal activity.
Exfiltration Over Web Service: Exfiltration to Cloud StorageT1567.002The actor’s CovalentStealer tool stores collected files on a Microsoft OneDrive cloud folder.


Given the actors’ demonstrated capability to maintain persistent, long-term access in compromised enterprise environments, CISA, FBI, and NSA encourage organizations to:

  • Monitor logs for connections from unusual VPSs and VPNs. Examine connection logs for access from unexpected ranges, particularly from machines hosted by SurfShark and M247.
  • Monitor for suspicious account use (e.g., inappropriate or unauthorized use of administrator accounts, service accounts, or third-party accounts). To detect use of compromised credentials in combination with a VPS, follow the steps below:
    • Review logs for “impossible logins,” such as logins with changing username, user agent strings, and IP address combinations or logins where IP addresses do not align to the expected user’s geographic location.
    • Search for “impossible travel,” which occurs when a user logs in from multiple IP addresses that are a significant geographic distance apart (i.e., a person could not realistically travel between the geographic locations of the two IP addresses in the time between logins). Note: This detection opportunity can result in false positives if legitimate users apply VPN solutions before connecting to networks.
    • Search for one IP used across multiple accounts, excluding expected logins.
      • Take note of any M247-associated IP addresses used along with VPN providers (e.g., SurfShark). Look for successful remote logins (e.g., VPN, OWA) for IPs coming from M247- or using SurfShark-registered IP addresses.
    • Identify suspicious privileged account use after resetting passwords or applying user account mitigations.
    • Search for unusual activity in typically dormant accounts.
    • Search for unusual user agent strings, such as strings not typically associated with normal user activity, which may indicate bot activity.
  • Review the YARA rules provided in MAR-10365227-1 to assist in determining whether malicious activity has been observed.
  • Monitor for the installation of unauthorized software, including Remote Server Administration Tools (e.g., psexec, RdClient, VNC, and ScreenConnect).
  • Monitor for anomalous and known malicious command-line use. See Appendix: Windows Command Shell Activity for commands used by the actors to interact with the victim’s environment.
  • Monitor for unauthorized changes to user accounts (e.g., creation, permission changes, and enabling a previously disabled account).


Organizations affected by active or recently active threat actors in their environment can take the following initial steps to aid in eviction efforts and prevent re-entry:

  • Report the incident. Report the incident to U.S. Government authorities and follow your organization’s incident response plan.
  • Reset all login accounts. Reset all accounts used for authentication since it is possible that the threat actors have additional stolen credentials. Password resets should also include accounts outside of Microsoft Active Directory, such as network infrastructure devices and other non-domain joined devices (e.g., IoT devices).
  • Monitor SIEM logs and build detections. Create signatures based on the threat actor TTPs and use these signatures to monitor security logs for any signs of threat actor re-entry.
  • Enforce MFA on all user accounts. Enforce phishing-resistant MFA on all accounts without exception to the greatest extent possible.
  • Follow Microsoft’s security guidance for Active DirectoryBest Practices for Securing Active Directory.
  • Audit accounts and permissions. Audit all accounts to ensure all unused accounts are disabled or removed and active accounts do not have excessive privileges. Monitor SIEM logs for any changes to accounts, such as permission changes or enabling a previously disabled account, as this might indicate a threat actor using these accounts.
  • Harden and monitor PowerShell by reviewing guidance in the joint Cybersecurity Information Sheet—Keeping PowerShell: Security Measures to Use and Embrace.


Mitigation recommendations are usually longer-term efforts that take place before a compromise as part of risk management efforts, or after the threat actors have been evicted from the environment and the immediate response actions are complete. While some may be tailored to the TTPs used by the threat actor, recovery recommendations are largely general best practices and industry standards aimed at bolstering overall cybersecurity posture.

Segment Networks Based on Function

  • Implement network segmentation to separate network segments based on role and functionality. Proper network segmentation significantly reduces the ability for ransomware and other threat actor lateral movement by controlling traffic flows between—and access to—various subnetworks. (See CISA’s Infographic on Layering Network Security Through Segmentation and NSA’s Segment Networks and Deploy Application-Aware Defenses.)
  • Isolate similar systems and implement micro-segmentation with granular access and policy restrictions to modernize cybersecurity and adopt Zero Trust (ZT) principles for both network perimeter and internal devices. Logical and physical segmentation are critical to limiting and preventing lateral movement, privilege escalation, and exfiltration.

Manage Vulnerabilities and Configurations

  • Update softwareincluding operating systemsapplicationsand firmwareon network assets. Prioritize patching known exploited vulnerabilities and critical and high vulnerabilities that allow for remote code execution or denial-of-service on internet-facing equipment.
  • Implement a configuration change control process that securely creates device configuration backups to detect unauthorized modifications. When a configuration change is needed, document the change, and include the authorization, purpose, and mission justification. Periodically verify that modifications have not been applied by comparing current device configurations with the most recent backups. If suspicious changes are observed, verify the change was authorized.

Search for Anomalous Behavior

  • Use cybersecurity visibility and analytics tools to improve detection of anomalous behavior and enable dynamic changes to policy and other response actions. Visibility tools include network monitoring tools and host-based logs and monitoring tools, such as an endpoint detection and response (EDR) tool. EDR tools are particularly useful for detecting lateral connections as they have insight into common and uncommon network connections for each host.
  • Monitor the use of scripting languages (e.g., Python, Powershell) by authorized and unauthorized users. Anomalous use by either group may be indicative of malicious activity, intentional or otherwise.

Restrict and Secure Use of Remote Admin Tools

  • Limit the number of remote access tools as well as who and what can be accessed using them. Reducing the number of remote admin tools and their allowed access will increase visibility of unauthorized use of these tools.
  • Use encrypted services to protect network communications and disable all clear text administration services(e.g., Telnet, HTTP, FTP, SNMP 1/2c). This ensures that sensitive information cannot be easily obtained by a threat actor capturing network traffic.

Implement a Mandatory Access Control Model

  • Implement stringent access controls to sensitive data and resources. Access should be restricted to those users who require access and to the minimal level of access needed.

Audit Account Usage

  • Monitor VPN logins to look for suspicious access (e.g., logins from unusual geo locations, remote logins from accounts not normally used for remote access, concurrent logins for the same account from different locations, unusual times of the day).
  • Closely monitor the use of administrative accounts. Admin accounts should be used sparingly and only when necessary, such as installing new software or patches. Any use of admin accounts should be reviewed to determine if the activity is legitimate.
  • Ensure standard user accounts do not have elevated privileges Any attempt to increase permissions on standard user accounts should be investigated as a potential compromise.


In addition to applying mitigations, CISA, FBI, and NSA recommend exercising, testing, and validating your organization’s security program against threat behaviors mapped to the MITRE ATT&CK for Enterprise framework in this advisory. CISA, FBI, and NSA recommend testing your existing security controls inventory to assess how they perform against the ATT&CK techniques described in this advisory.

To get started:

  1. Select an ATT&CK technique described in this advisory (see Table 1).
  2. Align your security technologies against the technique.
  3. Test your technologies against the technique.
  4. Analyze the performance of your detection and prevention technologies.
  5. Repeat the process for all security technologies to obtain a set of comprehensive performance data.
  6. Tune your security program, including people, processes, and technologies, based on the data generated by this process.

CISA, FBI, and NSA recommend continually testing your security program, at scale, in a production environment to ensure optimal performance against the MITRE ATT&CK techniques identified in this advisory.


CISA offers several no-cost scanning and testing services to help organizations reduce their exposure to threats by taking a proactive approach to mitigating attack vectors. See cisa.gov/cyber-hygiene-services.

U.S. DIB sector organizations may consider signing up for the NSA Cybersecurity Collaboration Center’s DIB Cybersecurity Service Offerings, including Protective Domain Name System (PDNS) services, vulnerability scanning, and threat intelligence collaboration for eligible organizations. For more information on how to enroll in these services, email dib_defense@cyber.nsa.gov.


CISA, FBI, and NSA acknowledge Mandiant for its contributions to this CSA.


Over a three-day period in February 2021, APT cyber actors used Windows Command Shell to interact with the victim’s environment. When interacting with the victim’s system and executing commands, the threat actors used /q and /c parameters to turn the echo off, carry out the command specified by a string, and stop its execution once completed.

On the first day, the threat actors consecutively executed many commands within the Windows Command Shell to learn about the organization’s environment and to collect sensitive data for eventual exfiltration (see Table 2).

CommandDescription / Use
net shareUsed to create, configure, and delete network shares from the command-line.[1] The threat actor likely used this command to display information about shared resources on the local computer and decide which directories to exploit.
powershell dirAn alias (shorthand) for the PowerShell Get-ChildItem cmdlet. This command maps shared drives by specifying a path to one location and retrieving the items from another.[2] The threat actor added additional switches (aka options, parameters, or flags) to form a “one liner,” an expression to describe commonly used commands used in exploitation: powershell dir -recurse -path e:\<redacted>|select fullname,length|export-csv c:\windows\temp\temp.txt. This particular command lists subdirectories of the target environment when.
systeminfoDisplays detailed configuration information [3], tasklist – lists currently running processes [4], and ipconfig – displays all current Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings, respectively [5]. The threat actor used these commands with specific switches to determine if the system was a VMware virtual machine: systeminfo > vmware & date /T, tasklist /v > vmware & date /T, and ipconfig /all >> vmware & date /.
route printUsed to display and modify the entries in the local IP routing table. [6] The threat actor used this command to display the entries in the local IP routing table.
netstatUsed to display active TCP connections, ports on which the computer is listening, Ethernet statistics, the IP routing table, IPv4 statistics, and IPv6 statistics.[7] The threat actor used this command with three switches to display TCP connections, prevent hostname determination of foreign IP addresses, and specify the protocol for TCP: netstat -anp tcp.
certutilUsed to dump and display certification authority (CA) configuration information, configure Certificate Services, backup and restore CA components, and verify certificates, key pairs, and certificate chains.[8] The threat actor used this command with three switches to test if they could download files from the internet: certutil -urlcache -split -f https://microsoft.com temp.html.
pingSends Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echoes to verify connectivity to another TCP/IP computer.[9] The threat actor used ping -n 2 apple.com to either test their internet connection or to detect and avoid virtualization and analysis environments or network restrictions.
taskkillUsed to end tasks or processes.[10] The threat actor used taskkill /F /PID 8952 to probably disable security features. CISA was unable to determine what this process was as the process identifier (PID) numbers are dynamic.
PowerShell Compress-Archive cmdletUsed to create a compressed archive or to zip files from specified files and directories.[11] The threat actor used parameters indicating shared drives as file and folder sources and the destination archive as zipped files. Specifically, they collected sensitive contract-related information from the shared drives.

On the second day, the APT cyber actors executed the commands in Table 3 to perform discovery as well as collect and archive data.

CommandDescription / Use
ntfsinfo.exeUsed to obtain volume information from the New Technology File System (NTFS) and to print it along with a directory dump of NTFS meta-data files.[12]
WinRAR.exeUsed to compress files and subsequently masqueraded WinRAR.exe by renaming it VMware.exe.[13]

On the third day, the APT cyber actors returned to the organization’s network and executed the commands in Table 4.

CommandDescription / Use
powershell -ep bypass import-module .\vmware.ps1;export-mft -volume eThreat actors ran a PowerShell command with parameters to change the execution mode and bypass the Execution Policy to run the script from PowerShell and add a module to the current section: powershell -ep bypass import-module .\vmware.ps1;export-mft -volume e. This module appears to acquire and export the Master File Table (MFT) for volume E for further analysis by the cyber actor.[14]
set.exeUsed to display the current environment variable settings.[15] (An environment variable is a dynamic value pointing to system or user environments (folders) of the system. System environment variables are defined by the system and used globally by all users, while user environment variables are only used by the user who declared that variable and they override the system environment variables (even if the variables are named the same).
dir.exeUsed to display a list of a directory’s files and subdirectories matching the eagx* text string, likely to confirm the existence of such file.
tasklist.exe and find.exeUsed to display a list of applications and services with their PIDs for all tasks running on the computer matching the string “powers”.[16][17][18]
ping.exeUsed to send two ICMP echos to amazon.com. This could have been to detect or avoid virtualization and analysis environments, circumvent network restrictions, or test their internet connection.[19]
del.exe with the /f parameterUsed to force the deletion of read-only files with the *.rar and tempg* wildcards.[20]


[1] Microsoft Net Share

[2] Microsoft Get-ChildItem

[3] Microsoft systeminfo

[4] Microsoft tasklist

[5] Microsoft ipconfig

[6] Microsoft Route

[7] Microsoft netstat

[8] Microsoft certutil

[9] Microsoft ping

[10] Microsoft taskkill

[11] Microsoft Compress-Archive

[12] NTFSInfo v1.2

[13] rarlab

[14] Microsoft Import-Module

[15] Microsoft set (environment variable)

[16] Microsoft tasklist

[17] Mitre ATT&CK – Sofware: TaskList

[18] Microsoft find

[19] Microsoft ping

[20] Microsoft del


October 4, 2022: Initial version

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UniFi Talk – Use UniFi Talk devices

This article describes how to use your UniFi Talk devices once they’re set up and configured in the Talk application. For more information on how to set up and configure your devices, please refer to these articles on adopting devices and using the Talk application.

For optimal performance, make sure you’re using the latest firmware for your devices and the latest UniFi Talk application version.

Configure voicemail

To configure voicemail on the Touch and Touch Max phone:

  1. From the Keypad, dial *86 or long-press 1 to access voicemail configuration.
  2. Follow the audio prompts to complete voicemail configuration.

Note: Visual voicemail configuration is coming soon.

To configure voicemail on the Flex phone:

  1. Press the MESSAGE button to access voicemail configuration.
  2. Follow the audio prompts to complete voicemail configuration.

Forward an incoming call

To forward an incoming call on the Touch and Touch Max phone:

  1. From the incoming call screen, press the blue Forward button to view your contact list.
  2. Select a contact to forward the incoming call.

Start a parallel call

To start a parallel call (i.e., start a new call while one or more calls are already ongoing) on the Touch and Touch Max phone:

  1. From the active call screen, press the Add / Transfer button.
  2. There are two options for starting a parallel call:
    1. From the Contacts tab of the Add / Transfer screen, select a contact from your contact list.
    2. From the Keypad tab of the Add / Transfer screen, dial a number and press the green button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Press the Call button to start a parallel call. The current active call will be placed on hold.
  4. When two or more calls are active in parallel, swipe left or right to navigate between active calls.

Transfer an active call

To transfer an active call on the Touch or Touch Max  phone:

  1. From the active call screen, press the Add / Transfer button.
  2. There are two options for transferring an active call:
    1. From the Contacts tab of the Add / Transfer screen, select a contact from your contact list.
    2. From the Keypad tab of the Add / Transfer screen, dial a number and press the green button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. You will have the option to press Transfer or Warm Transfer.
    1. If you press the Transfer button, this will utilize a cold (blind) transfer. The active call will immediately be transferred and will ring the destination phone once you press the Transfer button.
    2. If you select the Warm Transfer option, the original caller is placed on hold while the transfer destination is dialed. The transfer destination has to pick up, at which point you have to again press the blue transfer button to complete the transfer.

To transfer an active call on the Flex phone:

  1. While the call is active, press the TRANSFER button.
  2. From here, you can either transfer to a specific number or a contact.
    1. To transfer to a specific number, enter the number you’d like to transfer the call to and press the DIAL soft key.
    2. To transfer to a contact, press the CONTACT soft key to load your contact list. Navigate the contact list using the up/down keys and dial the desired contact by pressing the DIAL soft key or the OK button.
  3. You’re now calling the transfer destination. Once the transfer destination answers the call, press the TRANSFER button again to connect the original caller with the transfer destination.

Note: The Flex phone utilizes a warm (attended) transfer. The original caller will be placed on hold while a second call is established with the transfer destination. Once the second call is connected, the transfer can be completed to connect the original caller with the transfer destination.

Start a conference call

To start a conference call on the Touch and Touch Max phone:

  1. From the active call screen, press the Add / Transfer button.
  2. There are two options for adding additional parties to a conference call:
    1. From the Contacts tab of the Add / Transfer screen, select a contact and press the Add to Call button.
    2. From the Keypad tab of the Add / Transfer screen, dial the additional party’s number, press the green button at the bottom of the screen, and select the Add to Call option.

To start a three-way conference call on the Flex phone:

  1. While the call is active, press the CONF soft key.
  2. From here, you can either start a call with a specific number or a contact.
    1. To call a specific number, enter the number you’d like to transfer the call to and press the DIAL soft key.
    2. To call a contact, press the CONTACT soft key to load your contact list. Navigate the contact list using the up/down keys and dial the desired contact by pressing the DIAL soft key or the OK button.
  3. You’re now calling the third party. Once the third party answers the call, press the CONF soft key again to start a conference call.

Manage your status

To manage your status on the Touch and Touch Max phone:

  1. Press the App Selector button, located below the phone’s touchscreen to the left of the Ubiquiti logo.
  2. Select Settings and click on My Status.
  3. From here, you can select between three status settings:
    1. Create a DND Allow List to allow specific numbers to ring your device when your status is set to Do Not Disturb.
    2. Specify a redirect number using the Change Redirect Number button on the My Status page.
    1. Available: Incoming calls will ring your device.
    2. Do Not Disturb (DND): Incoming calls will be sent to voicemail.
    3. Redirect: Incoming calls will be forwarded to the specified redirect number.

To manage your status on the Flex phone:

  1. Do Not Disturb (DND): Incoming calls will be sent to voicemail.
    1. Press the DND soft key to place your device in Do Not Disturb mode. Incoming calls will go to voicemail. When DND is enabled you will see the word DND with a symbol in the top-left corner of the screen.
    2. Press the DND soft key again to disable Do Not Disturb mode.
  2. Redirect: Incoming calls will be forwarded to the specified redirect number.
    1. Press the MENU soft key, then select 2. SETTINGS.
    2. Use the up/down keys to navigate the settings menu and select 5. CALL FORWARD.
    3. Press the YES soft key to set a redirect status.

On the CALL FORWARD NUMBER screen, press the EDIT soft key, enter your redirect number with the keypad, and press the CONFIRM soft key.


My Talk device is showing a Connection Error screen

This error means that your Talk device cannot communicate with the Talk application.

To troubleshoot a Connection Error state:

  1. Ensure that the Talk application is running. To check on Talk’s status, open unifi.ui.com, select your UniFi OS Console, go to Settings > Updates, and locate the Talk application tile. If Talk is stopped, click on the three dots menu in the Talk application tile and select Start.
  2. Restart the Talk application. See this section for instructions on how to restart Talk.
  3. Restart your UniFi OS Console by going to its Settings > Advanced and clicking Restart Console under the Console Controls header.
    If you’re still encountering this issue after the troubleshooting steps above, please contact Ubiquiti Support.

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UniFi Protect – Configure location-based activity notifications

You can configure UniFi Protect location-based activity notifications so you are only notified when the user(s) are off-site. This article outlines the steps needed to set this up for your account.

In this article, you will learn how to:

Set the location of your UniFi OS Console

To set the location of your UniFi OS Console:

  1. Make sure that your UniFi OS Console has remote access enabled.
  2. In the UniFi OS settings, go to Console Settings > Time Zone / Location > Edit Location on Map
  3. Search for the Address or drag your UOS Console to the correct location.
  4. Adjust the Geofencing Radius slider to define your console’s on-site radius (i.e, “geofence”).
  5. Click Apply Changes when you’ve set the desired geofence.

If you experience unexpected status changes while on site, increase the geofence’s radius.

Configure your primary mobile device

Your primary mobile device will be the one used to determine whether you are on or off-site (i.e., within the geofence).

To configure your primary mobile device:

  1. Make sure cellular data is enabled on your mobile device.
  2. Make sure that the UniFi Protect mobile app has proper location permissions:
    1. For iOS devices, set the Protect mobile app’s Location Setting permission to AlwaysPrecise Location should also be enabled.
    2. For Android devices, make sure that Protect mobile app’s location access is set to Allow all the time.
  3. Open the Protect mobile app, tap the Settings icon on the bottom-left corner of the screen followed by Primary Device; then, select the desired mobile device from the list. 
  4. To activate your UniFi OS Console’s geofence, use the Protect mobile app to go to Settings UniFi OS Console > Network and enable the Geofencing toggle.

Configure location-based activity notifications

After you’ve configured the locations of your UniFi OS Console and primary mobile device, you can create activity notifications using your UniFi Protect web application or mobile app.

To create activity notifications using the UniFi Protect mobile app:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications to create a new activity notification or edit an existing one.
  2. Select from OffDefault, or Custom.
    1. If you choose Custom, click the Activity tab to customize the notification for each camera.

To create or edit activity notifications using the Protect web application:

  1. Log in and go to Settings > Notifications > Activity.
  2. Adjust When to Send > Location Based to receive notifications when you are off site (When I’m Away) or when all users are off site (When Everyone is Away).
  3. Go back and customize the notifications for your cameras.

Troubleshooting inaccurate location tracking

The Protect mobile app uses GPS and communication with the UniFi OS Console to provide an accurate location.

If you are experiencing location inaccuracies, follow the device-specific steps below to improve the mobile app’s location tracking:

For iOS / iPadOS devices:

  1. Disable Low Power mode, as it may prevent the app from sending location status updates.
  2. Enable Background App Refresh and Cellular Data for the UniFi Protect mobile app.
  3. Disable VPN or Mobile Hotspot if they interfere with location accuracy.

For Android devices:

  1. Select High Accuracy mode for mobile phone location tracking, if available.
  2. Disable data saving settings.
  3. Disable battery optimization for the UniFi Protect mobile app by tapping Settings > Battery > Battery Optimization > Don’t Optimize.
  4. Disable power saving mode to ensure it isn’t auto-enabled once your phone battery is low.
  5. If your mobile has a Deep Sleep feature, disable it for the UniFi Protect mobile app to make sure you don’t receive location status updates after opening it.

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UniFi Protect – Manage motion detection and privacy zones

This article describes how to set camera zones and configure motion detection behavior on your UniFi Protect system.

Camera zones overview

There are three different types of camera zone settings you can use:

  • Motion Zones, which tell the camera to recognize motion in specific zones and trigger certain actions, e.g. record footage and create Motion Detections for you to review later
  • Privacy Zones, which let you block out certain areas on the video recordings
  • Smart Detection (AI and G4 camera series), which let you create Events for certain types of motion, e.g. when the camera detects a person

Set up motion zones

Motion zones are specific zones where the camera will detect and record motion.

To trigger and record motion events and also trigger motion alerts, the camera recording settings must be set to Always or Detections.

For more information on recording settings, see UniFi Protect – View camera streams and manage recordings.

To set up a motion zone on the web application:

  1. Go to the Devices section and select the desired camera.
  2. On the right side panel, select Zones > Expand Motion Zones > Add Motion Zone.
  3. Create the Motion Zone by clicking on the four corners of its perimeter. You can further adjust the corners by dragging them with your cursor.
  4. Adjust the zone’s detection sensitivity based on your camera’s surroundings using the slider node below the feed window.”

To set up a motion zone on the mobile app:

  1. Select the desired camera on the home screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of your screen, then select Motion Zones > Add Motion Zone.
  3. Create the Motion Zone by clicking on the four corners of its perimeter. You can further adjust the corners by dragging them with your cursor.
  4. Adjust the zone’s detection sensitivity based on your camera’s surroundings using the slider node below the feed window.

Please note that adjusting the recording setting to Never disables motion detection recording and alerts.

When setting up zones, you can adjust the zone sensitivity. Setting a higher value will make your camera more sensitive, making it more likely to detect and log more subtle motions (e.g., small object movements).

If you’re getting an increased amount of motion events due to minor movements such as moving branches, decrease zone sensitivity to prevent excessive minor motion event logging.


Set up Smart Detection zones

Smart Detection Zones create events when specific motions are detected (e.g., a person’s movement).

Currently Smart Detection zones only supports person detection, meaning that you will only be notified when this specific motion event occurs.

The Smart Detection feature is only available for G4 and AI series cameras, except for G4 Instant.

To set up Smart Detection zones:

  1. Go to Devices > Properties panel > Recordings and enable Person detection.
  2. Go to the Zones section, click Add new zone, and name it.
  3. Create the Smart Detection Zone by clicking on the four corners of its perimeter. You can further adjust the corners by dragging them with your cursor.
  4. Adjust the zone’s detection sensitivity based on your camera’s surroundings using the slider node below the feed window.

Set up privacy zones

You can set privacy zones for each of your cameras, which block live playback and recordings of content within the specified area. Instead, you will see a blacked-out image.

To set up a privacy zone on the web application:

  1. Go to the Devices section and select the desired camera.
  2. On the right side panel, select Zones > Expand Privacy Zones > Add Privacy Zone.
  3. Create the Privacy Zone by clicking on the four corners of its perimeter. You can further adjust the corners by dragging them with your cursor.

To set up a privacy zone on the mobile app:

  1. Select the desired camera on the home screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of your screen, then select Privacy Zones > Add Privacy Zone.
  3. Create the Privacy Zone by clicking on the four corners of its perimeter. You can further adjust the corners by dragging them with your cursor.

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UniFi Protect – Manage Live Footage and Recordings

The UniFi Protect mobile and web applications allow you to view live and recorded footage as well as adjust the image and video playback quality. 

Live View

By default, the video bitrate of your cameras is automatically reduced during prolonged periods of low motion frequency in order to reduce storage utilization. You may choose a specific resolution by changing the Viewer Quality to Low or High on the Protect web application by hovering over the Live View, or on the mobile app within the Live View’s specific settings.

Note: If your bandwidth is limited, you may experience unstable playback while viewing a high quality live feed.

Recordings and Detections

Your recording’s duration and quality will depend on the camera’s Recording Mode. The When to Record setting can be set to AlwaysNever or Detections. Image quality and frame rate can be adjusted using the Recording Quality setting.

Note that:

  • A higher frame rate will give you smoother video playback while a lower frame rate will ensure better picture quality.
  • Recording with higher image quality will require more storage space than lower quality ones.

You can download the Detection clips from the mobile app by tapping the Share icon > Export clip, or from the web application by selecting the detection and clicking the Download icon.

Adjust the Camera Picture Settings

Most image quality issues can be resolved by adjusting the camera picture settings, which are specific to each camera and found within Devices > select a camera > Settings.

The camera’s image is dull, dark, or distorted

To correct imagery that appears dark, dull, or distorted:

  1. Open the camera’s settings and select Adjust Camera Picture.
  2. Adjust the BrightnessContrast, and Hue settings for the camera.

Note: There is no definite way of setting this for all cameras in any environment. Try adjusting these settings to achieve the desired image quality outcome.

The camera recording quality is low

To improve a camera’s recording quality, open its Recording Mode settings and increase the Frame Rate and Image Quality settings as described above.

The camera’s image is harshly lit

Harsh lighting creates a strong contrast that can make it difficult to see smaller, finer details in your live feeds and recordings. To resolve this, try enabling the HDR feature (or WDR depending on the camera model) in the Camera Picture settings.

The camera is out of focus (G3 Pro, G4 Pro, G4 PTZ cameras only)

If your G3 Pro, G4 Pro, or G4 PTZ cameras appear to be out of focus:

  • Make sure there are no objects between the camera and its focal point that may affect its ability to auto-focus.
  • Try manually setting the focal point with the Focus Camera Picture setting.

The camera isn’t switching to Night (IR) Mode

If your cameras are not switching to Night (IR) mode, or are rapidly alternating between Night and Day Mode, verify that:

  • Each camera’s infrared setting is set to Auto.
  • There are no external light sources, such as ambient lights in front of a camera, affecting integrated light sensors.
  • There are no obstructions near the front of the camera. Obstructions can cause the camera’s infrared light to reflect back at its sensor, causing it to switch back and forth between Night and Day Modes.

Night (IR) Mode imagery is blurry

If your Night (IR) Mode imagery is blurry:

  • Carefully clean your camera’s lens or dome using a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol’s concentration should not exceed 70%; otherwise, you risk damaging its surface. Be sure to remove all residue to prevent unwanted reflections.
  • Ensure that no obstructions near the camera’s lens are causing IR reflections.
  • (For Dome cameras) Make sure that the dome cover is tightly secured to the lens housing. The rubber gasket should be firmly fastened to the dome’s surface and the dome should be in the locked position.

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UniFi Protect – Optimizing G4 Dome’s Night Mode

The G4 Dome camera is equipped with infrared LEDs to give it night vision. However, some factors may cause these LEDs to produce glares on the camera’s feed. The most common causes of glaring and poor resolution are:


Reflections from nearby objects

Per its installation guide, the G4 Dome should be installed at least 60 centimeters (cm), or 24 inches, away from neighboring walls and the ceiling. If nearby objects or fixtures, such as a wall corner or overhang, are closer than that, they may reflect infrared light into the camera and create a glare.

Ceiling-mounting near a wall corner

Below, you can see how mounting the G4 Dome to the ceiling with objects in the foreground can result in poor image quality.


Ceiling-mounting near overhangs

The camera below is too close to the pillar so it appears in the camera’s field of view (FoV).


Wall-mounting too close to the ceiling

The camera below doesn’t have at least 60 cm of separation from the ceiling and its image quality is diminished as a result.


Residue on the bubble cover or lens

While installing the G4 Dome, its lens and bubble cover may collect dust, oil stains, and fingerprints. This can also occur if you wipe the lens or bubble cover incorrectly. 

If there is residue on the G4 Dome’s lens or bubble cover, clean them with either lens wipes, a lens cloth with a lens cleaning solution, or a soft cleaning cloth and rubbing alcohol. Continue to do this periodically to prevent distorted image quality due to dirty lens and cover surfaces.

Oil stains or fingerprints on the bubble cover or lens

When oil stains stick to the bubble cover or lens, the infrared lights become diffused by the foggy surface.

The image below shows the camera’s bubble cover marked with fingerprints.


The image below shows a lens with oil stains.


Below, you can see how image quality with a clean bubble cover is markedly better than that of an oil-stained equivalent.


Moisture droplets on the bubble cover

When moisture droplets stick to the bubble cover, the camera’s infrared lights become scattered by the trapped moisture, like in the example directly below.

To avoid reduced image quality due to moisture droplets, wipe the bubble cover’s exterior with a lens cloth.


Bubble cover not properly locked in place

The G4 Dome’s removable bubble cover has a locking mechanism to ensure an airtight seal. When the bubble cover is not attached properly, the camera’s infrared lights can be reflected back into its lens. 

To mount the bubble cover correctly:

  1. Align the small indentations on the cover and camera.
  2. Rotate the cover clockwise to securely fasten its rubber lining. The sealing strips should not be visible.

The example images below show the G4 Dome when its bubble cover is properly attached (left), and when it’s not (right).


Here, you can see the G4 Dome’s image quality when its bubble cover is properly attached.


Here, you can see how its image quality is greatly reduced by an incorrectly attached cover.


The rubber seal surrounding the lens is damaged

When the rubber seal surrounding the lens is damaged, infrared light can leak in and distort the camera feed.

The images below show a normal seal (left) and a damaged one (right).


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UniFi Protect – Optimizing Camera Connectivity

This article describes how to access your UniFi Protect application locally or remotely, the factors that create access issues, and how to solve said issues.

How to connect to UniFi Protect

There are two ways to access your UniFi Protect application:

  • Locally by accessing the IP address of the UniFi OS Console hosting Protect; or
  • Remotely on the Protect web application (unifi.ui.com ) or mobile app (iOS / Android ).

Note: Remote access must be enabled in your Protect application. It is enabled by default.

To enable Remote Access in your UniFi Protect application:

  1. Access the UniFi OS Console hosting Protect via its IP address. 
    1. If you don’t know your UniFi OS Console’s IP address , use the WiFiman app (iOS / Android ) to locate it on your WiFi network.
  2. Log in to your Ubiquiti SSO account.
  3. Go to the System Settings > Advanced menu, and enable the Remote Access toggle.

Identifying issues

To identify potential reasons for Protect connectivity issues:

  • Try accessing your UniFi OS Console locally by entering its IP address in your web browser, or remotely via Protect web application (unifi.ui.com ) or mobile app.
  • Use different mobile devices, ideally running different operating systems (iOS, Android).
  • Use different supported browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, on different computers.
  • Connect to different client locations, such as:
    • A local network with the same subnet as the Protect application.
    • A mobile carrier network via a mobile device or tethering.
    • A remote network, such as a workplace or public WiFi network.
  • Have multiple users, ideally with different system roles, attempt to access the Protect application.

Note: Note your observations. They may be helpful if you need to contact our technical support team.

My camera streams load slowly or buffer frequently

To identify potential reasons for slow stream loading and/or frequent buffering:

  • Check the stability of network connection:
    • Perform a speed test using the Wifiman app while connected to the same network as your UniFi OS Console. UniFi Protect should perform well with a network connection better than 5 Mbps and decently with a connection of at least 2.5 Mbps. Below this, performance may suffer.
  • Ensure that your computer or mobile network is not limiting bandwidth:
    • A VPN could be preventing client devices from making a peer-to-peer connection with your UniFi OS Console, meaning that all data is first relayed through Ubiquiti’s Remote Management Service—leading to diminished performance. If so, disable the VPN.
    • Check if there’s a subnet conflict where the UniFi OS Console is on a different subnet than the client, but still on LAN. If the client needs to reach your UniFi OS Console’s subnet but doesn’t have a route, it will hit the gateway (the local router), which knows how to route to the UniFi OS Console. If a VPN is enabled and there’s a configured route on the VPN that goes to another network with the same subnet, it will override. 
  • Inspect your UniFi OS Console’s performance data by making sure you haven’t exceeded its maximum supported camera limit . If so, streaming performance will be diminished.
  • Check your computer’s CPU utilization. A lower-specialization computer may not be capable of playing back multiple video streams. If the CPU utilization is nearing 100%, try playing back fewer video streams (e.g., fewer cameras on the live view matrix).

I can access Protect locally but not remotely

If you can’t access the Protect application remotely:

  1. Check if Remote Access is enabled:
    1. If it is enabled , try disabling it and enabling again.
  2. Confirm that you have permission to access Protect remotely. For more information, see UniFi Protect – Add and manage users .
  3. Visit status.ui.com to see if there are any issues with Ubiquiti’s Remote Management Service currently being resolved.

I can’t access Protect from the mobile app

If you can’t access Protect from the mobile app:

  1. Verify that the UniFi Protect mobile app is updated to the latest version.
  2. Ensure that the UniFi Protect mobile app is not restricted from accessing WiFi or cellular data:
    1. For iOS devices , go to the Settings > Cellular Data menu and make sure UniFi Protect is toggled on.
    2. For Android devices , go to the Settings > WiFi & Internet > Data Usage > Cellular Data Usage menu, select UniFi Protect, and make sure WiFi and cellular data are not disabled in the App data usage section.
  3. Disable VPN if one is enabled since some VPNs may block WebRTC connectivity, which is used by Protect.
    1. For Android devices with VPN enabled , try disabling the Private DNS in the Settings > WiFi & Internet > Private DNS menu. On some WiFi and mobile carrier networks, certain Private DNS providers such as CloudFlare’s may interfere with WebRTC.
  4. Disable or remove any third-party security or privacy apps that may interfere with network connectivity.
  5. Force-quit the mobile app and open it again.
  6. Uninstall the mobile app, reinstall, and open it.

I can’t access Protect from my web browser

If you’re having trouble accessing Protect from a web browser, but you can connect with the mobile app or a web browser on a different network, there may be an issue with your network configuration. For more information, see the Advanced troubleshooting processes section. 

If you have a UniFi Cloud Key Gen2 Plus (UCK G2 Plus) updated to Version 2.0.24 running Protect application Version 1.14.0 or higher , it operates via UniFi OS and, therefore, can be accessed remotely at unifi.ui.com , not protect.ui.com.

If you don’t see your Cloud Key-hosted Protect application on unifi.ui.com , make sure your UCK G2 Plus’s firmware is up to date. For more information, see UniFi – How to manage & upgrade the Cloud Key .

If your Cloud Key’s firmware is up to date and can see the Protect application at unifi.ui.com but can’t access it , check if Remote Access is enabled. The recent firmware upgrade might have disabled Remote Access functionality. Follow the steps in the How to connect to UniFi Protect section.

I can’t access Protect on a specific browser

Browser-specific access failures are most often caused by third-party software, such as a browser extension or an application on the host computer.

Common extensions, software, and other features known to cause issues include:

  • uBlock Origin
  • Privacy Badger
  • WebRTC Leak Prevent
  • Various VPN services, such as Tunnelbear
  • Ad or traffic blockers that interfere with WebRTC connectivity used by UniFi Protect

To troubleshoot browser issues:

  1. Disable all suspected third-party security or privacy-related browser extensions and software.
  2. If you can now access Protect , re-enable the extensions and software, one at a time, and test your Protect access after each one. This will help you identify the inhibiting software.
  3. (For Chrome only ) Disable the feature flag, Anonymize local IPs exposed by WebRTC :
    1. Copy and paste the following into your address bar: chrome://flags/#enable-webrtc-hide-local-ips-with-mdns
    2. Select Disabled , then restart Chrome.

Once you’ve found the inhibiting software, leave it disabled or uninstall it. If it’s essential, however, contact the developer’s support team for further guidance on how to configure it so it doesn’t prevent Protect access.

I’m a new user and see a No Controllers Detected notification

If you’re a new user signing in via unifi.ui.com or the Protect mobile app and the UniFi OS Console that hosts your Protect application isn’t appearing , make sure that your user permissions include remote access to the UniFi OS Console. For more information on creating users, see UniFi Protect – Add and manage users .

In some cases, a new user can accept a Protect application invitation, log in to their Ubiquiti account via web browser, initially see their UniFi OS Console, then receive a No Controllers Detected notification.

If you’re a new user and see a No Controllers Detected notification after trying to access Protect web application :

  1. Make sure that your UniFi OS Console and Protect application versions are up to date.
  2. Make sure that you have permission to remotely access the UniFi Protect application. For more information, see UniFi Protect – Add and manage users .
  3. Verify that you are a verified and active user by going to unifi.ui.com , clicking on your UniFi OS Console, navigating to the Users menu, and checking your user status.
  4. If this doesn’t resolve the issue , delete the custom users and user roles created, reboot the UniFi OS Console, and recreate the users:
    1. Log in to your UniFi OS Console from the Owner account.
    2. Go to unifi.ui.com , click on your UniFi OS Console, navigate to the Users menu, and delete all custom users and user groups. 
    3. Click on the dot grid icon in the top-right corner of the dashboard, navigate to Protect > Roles , and delete all custom user roles. 
    4. Click on the dot grid icon in the top-right corner of the dashboard, click the  Settings Advanced tab on the left side of the following screen, and click Restart Device .
    5. Once the device reboots, log in again with the Owner account and recreate all desired users, groups, and roles. 

Advanced troubleshooting processes

Check if a WebRTC connection can be established

UniFi Protect uses WebRTC technology to establish connections between your UniFi OS Console and client devices through NAT and firewalls, such as a UniFi gateway, without requiring explicit port forwarding or the revision of firewall rules.

Typically, you won’t need to make any changes to your network, device, or client configurations in order to access Protect locally or remotely.

However, to establish a WebRTC connection needed to access Protect, both networks (i.e., the one that your Protect application connects to and the one that your client device(s) connect to) must meet these requirements:

  • Reliable access to Internet and DNS service
  • Adequate bandwidth for basic connectivity and video transfer
  • Outbound TCP connection capability on Port 443
  • Outbound UDP connection capability on Ports 0–65535

    Note: Port forwarding is not required for TCP or UDP connectivity.
  • A firewall configured to accept solicited, inbound UDP traffic
  • No network security appliances (e.g., IPS) or services blocking WebRTC (e.g., STUN or DTLS)
  • No gateways configured to use Symmetric NAT, which either block peer-to-peer connections, force the use of a relay server (i.e., TURN), or cause said relay to fail

Note: For more information on the technical aspects of WebRTC, please visit webrtc.org .

Troubleshooting WebRTC connection issues caused by Symmetric NAT

Symmetric NAT , while uncommon, can cause issues when establishing WebRTC and other peer-to-peer connections because it does not maintain a 1:1 port mapping ratio for established connections, causing them to fail.

If that happens, WebRTC will attempt to connect via a relay server (i.e., TURN), which will result in either diminished connection quality or outright connection failure.

If you are behind a Symmetric NAT , you can either:

  • Establish a VPN connection between the client and Protect; or
  • Configure your router to a mode other than Symmetric NAT, such as Cone NAT.

The UniFi OS Console hosting your UniFi Protect application will automatically detect and log Symmetric NAT on its side but will be unable to determine the NAT type on the clients’ side.

If you suspect Symmetrical NAT on the console-side connection:

  1. Establish an SSH connection to your UniFi OS Console.
  2. Execute the following command: grep -Ri “symmetric” /srv/unifi-protect/logs

Any results will confirm that the connection failed due to Symmetric NAT.

Troubleshooting issues with a particular network

If you identify connectivity problems within a particular network , focus your troubleshooting efforts there. For example, if you can connect to your business’s Protect deployment from home, but not while at a friend’s house, focus on troubleshooting the latter network.

If you can’t access Protect from any remote location , focus first on the application’s on-site network.

In both cases:

  1. Verify that the UniFi OS Console hosting Protect and all client device(s) have a stable internet connection, including a valid gateway IP and DNS servers. Some DNS providers are known to cause problems, such as Try changing it to Google’s
  2. Verify that selected DNS servers properly resolve the following domains:
    1. Device.svc.ubnt.com
    2. Device.amplifi.com
    3. Global.stun.twilio.com
    4. Global.turn.twilio.com
  3. Review your firewall configuration to ensure it meets the requirements listed in the Check if a WebRTC connection can be established section. If you’ve configured custom firewall rules, try disabling them temporarily to test.
  4. Remove any port forwards for UniFi Protect that may have been configured incorrectly.
  5. Disable any network-level security appliance or service rules intended to block WebRTC’s internal protocols, STUN or DTLS. If you are using a UniFi gateway , the UniFi Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) does not require a specific configuration to prevent WebRTC connectivity blockage.

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Why Continuous Security Testing is a Must for Organizations Today

The global cybersecurity market is flourishing. Experts at Gartner predict that the end-user spending for the information security and risk management market will grow from $172.5 billion in 2022 to $267.3 billion in 2026.

One big area of spending includes the art of putting cybersecurity defenses under pressure, commonly known as security testing. MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global penetration testing (pentesting) market size is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.7% from 2022 to 2027. However, the costs and limitations involved in carrying out a penetration test are already hindering the market growth, and consequently, many cybersecurity professionals are making moves to find an alternative solution.

Pentests aren’t solving cybersecurity pain points

Pentesting can serve specific and important purposes for businesses. For example, prospective customers may ask for the results of one as proof of compliance. However, for certain challenges, this type of security testing methodology isn’t always the best fit.

1 — Continuously changing environments

Securing constantly changing environments within rapidly evolving threat landscapes is particularly difficult. This challenge becomes even more complicated when aligning and managing the business risk of new projects or releases. Since penetration tests focus on one moment in time, the result won’t necessarily be the same the next time you make an update.

2 — Rapid growth

It would be unusual for fast-growing businesses not to experience growing pains. For CISOs, maintaining visibility of their organization’s expanding attack surface can be particularly painful.

According to HelpNetSecurity, 45% of respondents conduct pentests only once or twice per year and 27% do it once per quarter, which is woefully insufficient given how quickly infrastructure and applications change.

3 — Cybersecurity skills shortages

As well as limitations in budgets and resources, finding the available skillsets for internal cybersecurity teams is an ongoing battle. As a result, organizations don’t have the dexterity to spot and promptly remediate specific security vulnerabilities.

While pentests can offer an outsider perspective, often it is just one person performing the test. For some organizations, there is also an issue on trust when relying on the work of just one or two people. Sándor Incze, CISO at CM.com, gives his perspective:

“Not all pentesters are equal. It’s very hard to determine if the pentester you’re hiring is good.”

4 — Cyber threats are evolving

The constant struggle to stay up to date with the latest cyberattack techniques and trends puts media organizations at risk. Hiring specialist skills for every new cyber threat type would be unrealistic and unsustainable.

HelpNetSecurity reported that it takes 71 percent of pentesters one week to one month to conduct a pentest. Then, more than 26 percent of organizations must wait between one to two weeks to get the test results, and 13 percent wait even longer than that. Given the fast pace of threat evolution, this waiting period can leave companies unaware of potential security issues and open to exploitation.

5 — Poor-fitting security testing solutions for agile environments

Continuous development lifecycles don’t align with penetration testing cycles (often performed annually.) Therefore, vulnerabilities mistakenly created during long security testing gaps can remain undiscovered for some time.

Bringing security testing into the 21st-century Impact

Cybersecurity Testing

A proven solution to these challenges is to utilize ethical hacker communities in addition to a standard penetration test. Businesses can rely on the power of these crowds to assist them in their security testing on a continuous basis. A bug bounty program is one of the most common ways to work with ethical hacker communities.

What is a bug bounty program?

Bug bounty programs allow businesses to proactively work with independent security researchers to report bugs through incentivization. Often companies will launch and manage their program through a bug bounty platform, such as Intigriti.

Organizations with high-security maturity may leave their bug bounty program open for all ethical hackers in the platform’s community to contribute to (known as a public program.) However, most businesses begin by working with a smaller pool of security talent through a private program.

How bug bounty programs support continuous security testing structures

While you’ll receive a certificate to say you’re secure at the end of a penetration test, it won’t necessarily mean that’s still the case the next time you make an update. This is where bug bounty programs work well as a follow-up to pentests and enable a continuous security testing program.

The impact of bug bounty program on cybersecurity

By launching a bug bounty program, organizations experience:

  1. More robust protection: Company data, brand, and reputation have additional protection through continuous security testing.
  2. Enabled business goals: Enhanced security posture, leading to a more secure platform for innovation and growth.
  3. Improved productivity: Increased workflow with fewer disruptions to the availability of services. More strategic IT projects that executives have prioritized, with fewer security “fires” to put out.
  4. Increased skills availability: Internal security team’s time is freed by using a community for security testing and triage.
  5. Clearer budget justification: Ability to provide more significant insights into the organization’s security posture to justify and motivate for an adequate security budget.
  6. Improved relationships: Project delays significantly decrease without the reliance on traditional pentests.

Want to know more about setting up and launching a bug bounty program?

Intigriti is the leading European-based platform for bug bounty and ethical hacking. The platform enables organizations to reduce the risk of a cyberattack by allowing Intigriti’s network of security researchers to test their digital assets for vulnerabilities continuously.

If you’re intrigued by what you’ve read and want to know about bug bounty programs, simply schedule a meeting today with one of our experts.


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