Sonicwall How can I setup CFS policies with LDAP and SSO to restrict Internet access on CFS?

02/20/2024

Description

This article explains about how to integrate Content Filtering Service with LDAP (With Single Sign On) by using SonicOS 7.0.1 or older.

Restricted user group on the active directory is imported to SonicWall and give restricted web access to those users in that group.

Where in the Full Access User group has full access or partial access to websites.

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  1. Enable  Content Filtering Service  from Policy | Security Services | Content FilterImage
  2. Navigate to Profile Objects| Content Filter and access the Profile Objects tab. Create the new Content Filter Profile and Allow/Block for each category according with your need.

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  3. Make sure to Enable HTTPS content Filtering. This option is disabled by default.Image

    4. Create another Content Filter Profile as Restricted Access CFS Policy for Restricted User Group.Click on Add, Add a Policy for Restricted Group with most of the categories enabled (Depends on what should be Blocked) 

    5. Creating a Full Access CFS Policy for Full Access User Group.Add second Policy for the Full Access Group with certain category enabled or all categories enabled (Depends on what should be allowed).



 Configuring LDAP on SonicWall

For more information about how to enable LDAP on Sonicwall, please reach below link.

https://www.sonicwall.com/support/knowledge-base/how-to-integrate-ldap-active-directory-user-authentication/170707170351983/
  1. Navigate to Users | Settings pagein the Authentication method for login drop-down list, select LDAP + Local Users and click Configure.                     Image
  2. On the Settings tab of the LDAP Configuration window, configure the following fields. 

    Name or IP address: IP address of the LDAP serverPort Number: 389 (Default LDAP Port)Server timeout (seconds): 10 Seconds (Default)Overall operation timeout (minutes): 5(Default)Select Give login name/location in tree
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  3. On the Login/Bind, Give login name/loction in three. Set the admin user and password to access on your LDAP server. 
  4. On the Schema tab, configure the following fields: LDAP Schema:Microsoft Active Directory.
  5. On the Directory tab, configure the following fields.
    • Primary domain:The user domain used by your LDAP implementation.
    • User tree for login to server:The location of where the tree is that the user specified in the settings tab.
    • Click Auto-configure. (This will populate the Trees containing users and Trees containing user groups fields by scanning through the directories in search of all trees that contain user objects.)

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  6. On the LDAP Test tab, Test LDAP connectivity to make sure that the communication is successful.

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Importing Groups from LDAP to the SonicWall unit

  1. Navigate to Users | Local Groups.
  2. Click Import from LDAP  

  3. Click  Configure for the Group that is imported from LDAP.
  4. Go to CFS Policy tab , Select the appropriate CFS Policy from the drop down and Click OK.

Configuring Single Sign-On Method on SonicWall 

For more information about how to enable SSO Agent and Enable SSO on Sonicwall, please reach below link.

https://www.sonicwall.com/support/knowledge-base/how-can-i-install-single-sign-on-sso-software-and-configure-the-sso-feature/170505740046553/
  1. Navigate to Users | Settings.
  2. In the Single-sign-on method , select SonicWall SSO Agent and Configure
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  3. Click Configure button. The SSO configuration page is displayed.
  4. Under the Settings tab, Click Add button to add the IP address of the work station that has SSO agent running. 
    • Click on the ADD button: settings window is displayed
    • In the Host Name or IP Address field, enter the name or IP Address of the workstation on which SonicWall SSO Agent is installed
    • In Port Number, enter the port number of the workstation on which SonicWall SSO Agent is installed. The default port is 2258
    • In the Shared Key field, enter the shared key that you created or generated in the SonicWall SSO Agent. 
      The shared key must match exactly. Re-enter the shared key in the Confirm Shared Key field.
      Click Apply.
       Image
  5. Once the SSO Agent is successfully added, under the Authentication Agent Settings a green light is shown for status.
  6. Click Test tab. The Test Authentication Agent Settings page displays.
  7. Select the Check agent connectivity radio button then click the Test button. This will test communication with the authentication agent. If the SonicWall security appliance can connect to the agent, you will see the message Agent is ready.

  8. Select the Check user radio button, enter the IP address of a workstation in the Workstation IP address field, then click Test. This will test if the agent is property configured to identify the user logged into a workstation.

     NOTE: Performing tests on this page applies any changes that have been made.
     TIP: If you receive the messages Agent is not responding or Configuration error, check your settings and perform these tests again.
  9. When you are finished, click OK


Enabling CFS for the LAN Zone and applying Imported LDAP Group

 CAUTION: It is not recommended to do this change on a Production Environment because this changes are instant and can affect all the computers on the LAN. So it is best to schedule a downtime before proceeding further.

  1. Navigate to Network | Zones, click Configure Button for LAN Zone.
  2. Check the box Enforce Content Filtering Service, select the Default CFS Policy from the drop down.
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How to TEST

  • Log out from the windows domain computer and log in back with a user from either the full access or restricted access groups and check whether the policy is getting enforced correctly for the user.

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Source :
https://www.sonicwall.com/support/knowledge-base/how-can-i-setup-cfs-policies-with-ldap-and-sso-to-restrict-internet-access-on-cfs/170505721991619/

Windows 11 KB5034765 won’t install, taskbar issues, and explorer.exe crashes

By Mayank Parmar -February 19, 2024

You’re not alone if you have issues with the Windows 11 KB5034765. February 2024 security update for Windows 11 causes File Explorer to crash when rebooting the system, and some have found it’s causing the taskbar to disappear. Additionally, many users are having problems installing the Windows 11 February 2024 update.

Microsoft sources have confirmed to Windows Latest that the company is aware of an issue that causes the taskbar to crash or disappear briefly after installing KB5034765. I’m told the company has already rolled out a fix. This means some of you should be able to see the taskbar again after reinstalling the patch (remove and install it again).

But that’s not all. The February 2024 update has other problems, too. In our tests, we observed that the Windows 11 KB5034765 update repeatedly fails to install with 0x800f0922, 0x800f0982, and 0x80070002.

Multiple users told me that when they tried to install the security patch, everything seemed fine at first. The update downloads and asks for a restart. But during the installation, Windows Update stopped and confirmed there was a problem. It tries a few more times and then goes back to the desktop without updating.

KB5034765 is not installing, but there’s a fix

Windows 11 KB5034765 won't install
Windows 11 January 2024 Update fails with 0x80070002 | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

Our device also attempted the “rollback” after successfully downloading the February 2024 cumulative update, but the process was stuck on the following screen for ten minutes:

  • Something didn’t go as planned. No need to worry—undoing changes. Please keep your computer on.

I tried tried a few things to fix it. For example, I removed programs that didn’t come with Windows, cleared the Windows Update cache and used the Windows Update troubleshooter. None of these solutions have worked.

However, there’s some good news. It looks like we can successfully install KB5034765 by deleting a hidden folder named $WinREAgent. There are multiple ways to locate and delete this folder from Windows 11 installation, and you choose your preferred one:

  • Method 1: Run Disk Cleanup as an administrator, select the system drive, and check the boxes for “Temporary files” and other relevant options. Finally, click “OK” to remove the system files, including Windows Update files. This will delete unnecessary files within $WinREAgent.
  • Method 2: Open File Explorer and open the system drive, but make sure you’ve turned on view hidden items from folder settings. Locate $WinREAgent and remove it from the system.
  • Method 3: Open Command Prompt as Administrator, and run the following command: rmdir /S /Q C:\$WinREAgent
Windows 11 0x800f0922 0x800f0982 and 0x80070002

Windows Update causes File Explorer to crash on reboot

Some PC owners are also running into another problem that causes the File Explorer to crash when rebooting or shutting down the system.

This issue was previously observed in Windows 11’s January 2024 optional update, and it seems to have slipped into the mandatory security patch.

The error message indicates an application error with explorer.exe, mentioning a specific memory address and stating, “The memory could not be written”.

“The instruction at 0x00007FFB20563ACa referenced memory at 0x0000000000000024. The memory could not be written. Click on OK to terminate the program,” the error message titled “explorer.exe – Application Error” reads.

KB5034765 crashes explorer
explorer.exe crashes with a referenced memory error when rebooting

This issue seems to persist regardless of various troubleshooting efforts. Users have tried numerous fixes, including running the System File Checker tool (sfc /scannow), testing their RAM with Windows’ built-in tool and memtest86+, and even performing a clean installation of the latest Windows 11 version.

Despite these efforts, the error remains.

Interestingly, a common factor among affected users is the presence of a controller accessory, such as an Xbox 360 controller for Windows, connected to the PC. This connection has been observed, but it’s unclear if it directly contributes to the problem.

Microsoft’s release notes for the KB5034765 update mentioned a fix for an issue where explorer.exe could stop responding when a PC with a controller accessory attached is restarted or shut down.

However, despite this so-called official fix, users report that the problem still occurs, and it’s not possible to manually fix it.

Windows 11 taskbar crashes or disappears after the patch

As mentioned at the outset, the Windows 11 KB5034765 update causes the taskbar to disappear or crash when you reboot or turn on the device.

KB5034765 taskbar disappears
Taskbar is missing/disappeared in Windows 11 virtual machine after new update | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

According to my sources, Microsoft has already patched the issue via server-side update, but if your taskbar or quick settings like Wi-Fi still disappear, try the following steps:

  1. Open Settings, go to the Windows Update section and click Update History. On the Windows Update history page, click Uninstall updates, locate KB5034765 and click Uninstall.
  2. Confirm your decision, click Uninstall again, and reboot the system.
  3. Go to Settings > Windows Update and check for updates to reinstall the security patch.

The above steps are unnecessary, as the server-side update will automatically apply to your device.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is Windows Latest’s owner, Editor-in-Chief and entrepreneur. Mayank has been in tech journalism for over seven years and has written on various topics, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft’s Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.

Source :
https://www.windowslatest.com/2024/02/19/windows-11-kb5034765-wont-install-and-causes-other-issues-but-theres-a-fix/

How to Set Up Google Postmaster Tools

Updated: Jan 31, 2024, 13:03 PM
By Claire Broadley Content Manager
REVIEWED By Jared Atchison Co-owner

Do you want to set up Postmaster Tools… but you’re not sure where to start?

Postmaster Tools lets you to monitor your spam complaints and domain reputation. That’s super important now that Gmail is blocking emails more aggressively.

Thankfully, Postmaster Tools is free and easy to configure. If you’ve already used a Google service like Analytics, it’ll take just a couple of minutes to set up.

In This Article

Who Needs Postmaster Tools?

You should set up Postmaster Tools if you meet any of the following criteria:

1. You Regularly Send Emails to Gmail Recipients

Postmaster Tools is a tool that Google provides to monitor emails to Gmail users.

Realistically, most of your email lists are likely to include a large number of Gmail mailboxes unless you’re sending to a very specific group of people, like an internal company mailing list. (According to Techjury, Gmail had a 75.8% share of the email market in 2023.)

Keep in mind that Gmail recipients aren’t always using Gmail email addresses. The people who use custom domains or Google Workspace are ‘hidden’, so it’s not always clear who’s using Gmail and who isn’t. To be on the safe side, it’s best to use it (it’s free).

2. You Send Marketing Emails (or Have a Large Website)

Postmaster Tools works best for bulk email senders, which Google defines as a domain that sends more than 5,000 emails a day.

If you’re sending email newsletters on a regular basis, having Postmaster Tools is going to help.

Likewise, if you use WooCommerce or a similar platform, you likely send a high number of transactional emails: password reset emails, receipts, and so on.

Reset password email

If you don’t send a large number of emails right now, you can still set up Postmaster Tools so you’re prepared for the time you might.

Just note that you may see the following message:

No data to display at present. Please come back later.
Postmaster Tools requires your domain to satisfy certain conditions before data is visible for this chart.

This usually means you’re not sending enough emails for Google to be able to calculate meaningful statistics.

It’s up to you if you want to set it up anyway, or skip it until your business grows a little more.

How to Add a Domain to Postmaster Tools

Adding a domain to Postmaster Tools is simple and should take less than 10 minutes.

To get started, head to the Postmaster Tools site and log in. If you’re already using Google Analytics, sign in using the email address you use for your Analytics account.

The welcome popup will already be open. Click on Get Started to begin.

Add a domain in Postmaster Tools

Next, enter the domain name that your emails come from.

This should be the domain you use as the sender, or the ‘from email’, when you’re sending emails from your domain. It will normally be your main website.

Enter domain name in Postmaster Tools

If your domain name is already verified for another Google service, that’s all you need to do! You’ll see confirmation that your domain is set up.

Domain added to Google Postmaster Tools

If you haven’t used this domain with Google services before, you’ll need to verify it. Google will ask you to add a TXT record to your DNS.

Postmaster Tools domain verification

To complete this, head to the control panel for the company you bought your domain from. It’ll likely be your domain name registrar or your web host. If you’re using a service like Cloudflare, you’ll want to open up your DNS records there instead.

Locate the part of the control panel that handles your DNS (which might be called a DNS Zone) and add a new TXT record. Copy the record provided into the fields.

Note: Most providers will ask you to enter a Name, which isn’t shown in Google’s instructions. If your provider doesn’t fill this out by default, you can safely enter @ in the Name field.

Verify domain by adding TXT record for Google Postmaster Tools

Now save your record and wait a few minutes. Changes in Cloudflare can be near-instant, but other registrars or hosts may take longer.

After waiting for your change to take effect, switch back to Postmaster Tools and hit Verify to continue.

Verify domain in Postmaster Tools

And that’s it! Now your domain has been added to Postmaster Tools.

Verified domain in Postmaster Tools

How to Read the Charts in Google Postmaster Tools

Google is now tracking various aspects of your email deliverability. It’ll display the data in a series of charts in your account.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can see.

As I mentioned, keep in mind that the data here is only counted from Gmail accounts. It’s not a domain-wide measurement of everything you send.

Spam Rate

Your spam rate is the number of emails sent vs the number of spam complaints received each day. You should aim to keep this below 0.1%.

You can do that by making it easy for people to unsubscribe from marketing emails and using double optins rather than single optins.

Example of a Postmaster Tools report for Gmail recipients

It’s normal for spam complaint rates to spike occasionally because Google measures each day in isolation.

If you’re seeing a spam rate that is consistently above 0.3%, it’s worth looking into why that’s happening. You might be sending emails to people who don’t want to receive them.

IP Reputation

IP reputation is the trustworthiness of the IP address your emails come from. Google may mark emails as spam if your IP reputation is poor.

IP reputation in Postmaster Tool

Keep in mind that IP reputation is tied to your email marketing provider. It’s a measure of their IP as well as yours.

If you see a downward trend, check in with the platform you’re using to ask if they’re seeing the same thing.

Domain Reputation

Domain reputation is the trustworthiness of the domain name you’ve verified in Postmaster Tools. This can be factored into Google’s spam scoring, along with other measurements.

Domain reputation in Postmaster Tools

The ideal scenario is a consistent rating of High, as shown in our screenshot above.

Wait: What is IP Reputation vs Domain Reputation?

You’ll now see that Google has separate options for IP reputation and domain reputation. Here’s the difference:

  • IP reputation measures the reputation of the server that actually sends your emails out. This might be a service like Constant Contact, ConvertKit, or Drip. Other people who use the service will share the same IP, so you’re a little more vulnerable to the impact of other users’ actions.
  • Domain reputation is a measure of the emails that are sent from your domain name as a whole.

Feedback Loop

High-volume or bulk senders can activate this feature to track spam complaints in more detail. You’ll need a special email header called Feedback-ID if you want to use this. Most likely, you won’t need to look at this report.

Authentication

This chart shows you how many emails cleared security checks.

In more technical terms, it shows how many emails attempted to authenticate using DMARC, SPF, and DKIM vs. how many actually did.

Postmaster Tools authentication

Encryption

This chart looks very similar to the domain reputation chart we already showed. It should sit at 100%.

If you’re seeing a lower percentage, you may be using outdated connection details for your email provider.

Check the websites or platforms that are sending emails from your domain and update them from an SSL connection to a TLS connection.

wp mail smtp host and port settings

Delivery Errors

Last but not least, the final chart is the most useful. The Delivery Errors report will show you whether emails were rejected or temporarily delayed. A temporary delay is labeled as a TempFail in this report.

This chart is going to tell you whether Gmail is blocking your emails, and if so, why.

If you see any jumps, click on the point in the chart and the reason for the failures will be displayed below it.

Delivery errors in Postmaster Tools

Small jumps here and there are not a huge cause for concern. However, very large error rates are a definite red flag. You may have received a 550 error or a 421 error that gives you more clues as to why they’re happening.

Here are the 3 most important error messages related to blocked emails in Gmail:

421-4.7.0 unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been temporarily rate limited.

550-5.7.1 Our system has detected an unusual rate of unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been blocked.

550-5.7.26 This mail is unauthenticated, which poses a security risk to the sender and Gmail users, and has been blocked. The sender must authenticate with at least one of SPF or DKIM. For this message, DKIM checks did not pass and SPF check for example.com did not pass with ip: 192.186.0.1.

If you’re seeing these errors, check that your domain name has the correct DNS records for authenticating email. It’s also a good idea to examine your emails to ensure you have the right unsubscribe links in them.

Note: WP Mail SMTP preserves the list-unsubscribe headers that your email provider adds. That means that your emails will have a one-click unsubscribe option at the top.

One click unsubscribe link

If you’re using a different SMTP plugin, make sure it’s preserving that crucial list-unsubscribe header. If it’s not there, If not, you may want to consider switching to WP Mail SMTP for the best possible protection against spam complaints and failed emails.

Fix Your WordPress Emails Now

Next, Authenticate Emails from WordPress

Are your emails from WordPress disappearing or landing in the spam folder? You’re definitely not alone. Learn how to authenticate WordPress emails and ensure they always land in your inbox.

Ready to fix your emails? Get started today with the best WordPress SMTP plugin. If you don’t have the time to fix your emails, you can get full White Glove Setup assistance as an extra purchase, and there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee for all paid plans.

If this article helped you out, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more WordPress tips and tutorials.

Source :
https://wpmailsmtp.com/how-to-set-up-google-postmaster-tools/

Local File Inclusion Vulnerability Patched in Shield Security WordPress Plugin

István Márton
February 5, 2024

On December 18, 2023, right before the end of Holiday Bug Extravaganza, we received a submission for a Local File Inclusion vulnerability in Shield Security, a WordPress plugin with more than 50,000+ active installations. It’s important to note that this vulnerability is limited to just the inclusion of PHP files, however, it could be leveraged by an attacker who has the ability to upload PHP files but can not directly access those files to execute.

Props to hir0ot who discovered and responsibly reported this vulnerability through the Wordfence Bug Bounty Program. This researcher earned a bounty of $938.00 for this discovery during our Bug Bounty Program Extravaganza.

All Wordfence PremiumWordfence Care, and Wordfence Response customers, as well as those still using the free version of our plugin, are protected against any exploits targeting this vulnerability by the Wordfence firewall’s built-in Directory Traversal and Local File Inclusion protection.

We contacted the Shield Security Team on December 21, 2023, and received a response on December 23, 2023. After providing full disclosure details, the developer released a patch on December 23, 2023. We would like to commend the Shield Security Team for their prompt response and timely patch, which was released on the same day.

We urge users to update their sites with the latest patched version of Shield Security, which is version 18.5.10, as soon as possible.

Vulnerability Summary from Wordfence Intelligence

Description: Shield Security – Smart Bot Blocking & Intrusion Prevention Security <= 18.5.9 – Unauthenticated Local File Inclusion
Affected Plugin: Shield Security – Smart Bot Blocking & Intrusion Prevention Security
Plugin Slug: wp-simple-firewall
Affected Versions: <= 18.5.9
CVE ID: CVE-2023-6989
CVSS Score: 9.8 (Critical)
CVSS Vector: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H
Researcher/s: hir0ot
Fully Patched Version: 18.5.10
Bounty Awarded: $938.00

The Shield Security – Smart Bot Blocking & Intrusion Prevention Security plugin for WordPress is vulnerable to Local File Inclusion in all versions up to, and including, 18.5.9 via the render_action_template parameter. This makes it possible for an unauthenticated attacker to include and execute PHP files on the server, allowing the execution of any PHP code in those files.

Technical Analysis

Shield Security is a WordPress website security plugin that offers several features to stop attackers, protect and monitor the website, including a firewall, malware scanner and also logs activities.

The plugin includes a template management system that renders .twig.php or .html files. Unfortunately, the insecure implementation of the plugin’s file template including and rendering functionality allows for arbitrary file inclusion in vulnerable versions. The template path is set with the setTemplate() function.

242243244245246247248publicfunctionsetTemplate( $templatePath) {    $this->template = $templatePath;    if( property_exists( $this, 'sTemplate') ) {        $this->sTemplate = $templatePath;    }    return$this;}

The renderPhp() function in the Render class uses the path_join() function to join the template file. It then checks that the template file is an existing file and includes it.

8182838485868788899091929394959697privatefunctionrenderPhp() :string {    if( \count( $this->getRenderVars() ) > 0 ) {        \extract( $this->getRenderVars() );    }    $template= path_join( $this->getTemplateRoot(), $this->getTemplate() );    if( Services::WpFs()->isFile( $template) ) {        \ob_start();        include( $template);        $contents= \ob_get_clean();    }    else{        $contents= 'Error: Template file not found: '.$template;    }    return(string)$contents;}

Examining the code reveals that there is no file path sanitization anywhere in these functions. This makes it possible to include arbitrary PHP files from the server.

The file inclusion is limited to PHP files in the vulnerability. This means that threat actors cannot exploit one of the most popular remote code execution methods via a log file poisoning attack. Since the plugin also uses isFile() function to file checking, the other popular remote code execution method using wrappers attack is also not possible. Nevertheless, the attacker has several options to include and exploit a malicious PHP file and execute on the server. This can be achieved by chaining the attack and exploiting vulnerabilities in other plugins. However, it’s worth mentioning that the attack possibilities are limited. This would likely be leveraged in an instance where an attacker has access to upload a PHP file, but does not have direct access to the file to execute it.

Wordfence Firewall

The following graphic demonstrates the steps to exploitation an attacker might take and at which point the Wordfence firewall would block an attacker from successfully exploiting the vulnerability.

The Wordfence firewall rule detects the malicious file path and blocks the request.

Disclosure Timeline

December 18, 2023 – We receive the submission of the Local File Inclusion vulnerability in Shield Security via the Wordfence Bug Bounty Program.
December 20, 2023 – We validate the report and confirm the proof-of-concept exploit.
December 21, 2023 – We initiate contact with the plugin vendor asking that they confirm the inbox for handling the discussion.
December 23, 2023 – The vendor confirms the inbox for handling the discussion.
December 23, 2023 – We send over the full disclosure details. The vendor acknowledges the report and begins working on a fix.
December 23, 2023 – The fully patched version of the plugin, 18.5.10, is released.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we detailed a Local File Inclusion vulnerability within the Shield Security plugin affecting versions 18.5.9 and earlier. This vulnerability allows unauthenticated threat actors to include and execute PHP files on the server, allowing the execution of any PHP code in those files, which can be used for complete site compromise. The vulnerability has been fully addressed in version 18.5.10 of the plugin.

We encourage WordPress users to verify that their sites are updated to the latest patched version of Shield Security.

All Wordfence PremiumWordfence Care, and Wordfence Response customers, as well as those still using the free version of our plugin, are protected against any exploits targeting this vulnerability by the Wordfence firewall’s built-in Directory Traversal and Local File Inclusion protection.

If you know someone who uses this plugin on their site, we recommend sharing this advisory with them to ensure their site remains secure, as this vulnerability poses a significant risk.

Did you enjoy this post? Share it!

Source :
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2024/02/local-file-inclusion-vulnerability-patched-in-shield-security-wordpress-plugin/

Reflecting on the GDPR to celebrate Privacy Day 2024

26/01/2024
Emily Hancock

10 min read

This post is also available in DeutschFrançais日本語 and Nederlands.

Reflecting on the GDPR to celebrate Privacy Day 2024

Just in time for Data Privacy Day 2024 on January 28, the EU Commission is calling for evidence to understand how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been functioning now that we’re nearing the 6th anniversary of the regulation coming into force.

We’re so glad they asked, because we have some thoughts. And what better way to celebrate privacy day than by discussing whether the application of the GDPR has actually done anything to improve people’s privacy?

The answer is, mostly yes, but in a couple of significant ways – no.

Overall, the GDPR is rightly seen as the global gold standard for privacy protection. It has served as a model for what data protection practices should look like globally, it enshrines data subject rights that have been copied across jurisdictions, and when it took effect, it created a standard for the kinds of privacy protections people worldwide should be able to expect and demand from the entities that handle their personal data. On balance, the GDPR has definitely moved the needle in the right direction for giving people more control over their personal data and in protecting their privacy.

In a couple of key areas, however, we believe the way the GDPR has been applied to data flowing across the Internet has done nothing for privacy and in fact may even jeopardize the protection of personal data. The first area where we see this is with respect to cross-border data transfers. Location has become a proxy for privacy in the minds of many EU data protection regulators, and we think that is the wrong result. The second area is an overly broad interpretation of what constitutes “personal data” by some regulators with respect to Internet Protocol or “IP” addresses. We contend that IP addresses should not always count as personal data, especially when the entities handling IP addresses have no ability on their own to tie those IP addresses to individuals. This is important because the ability to implement a number of industry-leading cybersecurity measures relies on the ability to do threat intelligence on Internet traffic metadata, including IP addresses.  

Location should not be a proxy for privacy

Fundamentally, good data security and privacy practices should be able to protect personal data regardless of where that processing or storage occurs. Nevertheless, the GDPR is based on the idea that legal protections should attach to personal data based on the location of the data – where it is generated, processed, or stored. Articles 44 to 49 establish the conditions that must be in place in order for data to be transferred to a jurisdiction outside the EU, with the idea that even if the data is in a different location, the privacy protections established by the GDPR should follow the data. No doubt this approach was influenced by political developments around government surveillance practices, such as the revelations in 2013 of secret documents describing the relationship between the US NSA (and its Five Eyes partners) and large Internet companies, and that intelligence agencies were scooping up data from choke points on the Internet. And once the GDPR took effect, many data regulators in the EU were of the view that as a result of the GDPR’s restrictions on cross-border data transfers, European personal data simply could not be processed in the United States in a way that would be consistent with the GDPR.

This issue came to a head in July 2020, when the European Court of Justice (CJEU), in its “Schrems II” decision1, invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield adequacy standard and questioned the suitability of the EU standard contractual clauses (a mechanism entities can use to ensure that GDPR protections are applied to EU personal data even if it is processed outside the EU). The ruling in some respects left data protection regulators with little room to maneuver on questions of transatlantic data flows. But while some regulators were able to view the Schrems II ruling in a way that would still allow for EU personal data to be processed in the United States, other data protection regulators saw the decision as an opportunity to double down on their view that EU personal data cannot be processed in the US consistent with the GDPR, therefore promoting the misconception that data localization should be a proxy for data protection.

In fact, we would argue that the opposite is the case. From our own experience and according to recent research2, we know that data localization threatens an organization’s ability to achieve integrated management of cybersecurity risk and limits an entity’s ability to employ state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures that rely on cross-border data transfers to make them as effective as possible. For example, Cloudflare’s Bot Management product only increases in accuracy with continued use on the global network: it detects and blocks traffic coming from likely bots before feeding back learnings to the models backing the product. A diversity of signal and scale of data on a global platform is critical to help us continue to evolve our bot detection tools. If the Internet were fragmented – preventing data from one jurisdiction being used in another – more and more signals would be missed. We wouldn’t be able to apply learnings from bot trends in Asia to bot mitigation efforts in Europe, for example. And if the ability to identify bot traffic is hampered, so is the ability to block those harmful bots from services that process personal data.

The need for industry-leading cybersecurity measures is self-evident, and it is not as if data protection authorities don’t realize this. If you look at any enforcement action brought against an entity that suffered a data breach, you see data protection regulators insisting that the impacted entities implement ever more robust cybersecurity measures in line with the obligation GDPR Article 32 places on data controllers and processors to “develop appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk”, “taking into account the state of the art”. In addition, data localization undermines information sharing within industry and with government agencies for cybersecurity purposes, which is generally recognized as vital to effective cybersecurity.

In this way, while the GDPR itself lays out a solid framework for securing personal data to ensure its privacy, the application of the GDPR’s cross-border data transfer provisions has twisted and contorted the purpose of the GDPR. It’s a classic example of not being able to see the forest for the trees. If the GDPR is applied in such a way as to elevate the priority of data localization over the priority of keeping data private and secure, then the protection of ordinary people’s data suffers.

Applying data transfer rules to IP addresses could lead to balkanization of the Internet

The other key way in which the application of the GDPR has been detrimental to the actual privacy of personal data is related to the way the term “personal data” has been defined in the Internet context – specifically with respect to Internet Protocol or “IP” addresses. A world where IP addresses are always treated as personal data and therefore subject to the GDPR’s data transfer rules is a world that could come perilously close to requiring a walled-off European Internet. And as noted above, this could have serious consequences for data privacy, not to mention that it likely would cut the EU off from any number of global marketplaces, information exchanges, and social media platforms.

This is a bit of a complicated argument, so let’s break it down. As most of us know, IP addresses are the addressing system for the Internet. When you send a request to a website, send an email, or communicate online in any way, IP addresses connect your request to the destination you’re trying to access. These IP addresses are the key to making sure Internet traffic gets delivered to where it needs to go. As the Internet is a global network, this means it’s entirely possible that Internet traffic – which necessarily contains IP addresses – will cross national borders. Indeed, the destination you are trying to access may well be located in a different jurisdiction altogether. That’s just the way the global Internet works. So far, so good.

But if IP addresses are considered personal data, then they are subject to data transfer restrictions under the GDPR. And with the way those provisions have been applied in recent years, some data regulators were getting perilously close to saying that IP addresses cannot transit jurisdictional boundaries if it meant the data might go to the US. The EU’s recent approval of the EU-US Data Privacy Framework established adequacy for US entities that certify to the framework, so these cross-border data transfers are not currently an issue. But if the Data Privacy Framework were to be invalidated as the EU-US Privacy Shield was in the Schrems II decision, then we could find ourselves in a place where the GDPR is applied to mean that IP addresses ostensibly linked to EU residents can’t be processed in the US, or potentially not even leave the EU.

If this were the case, then providers would have to start developing Europe-only networks to ensure IP addresses never cross jurisdictional boundaries. But how would people in the EU and US communicate if EU IP addresses can’t go to the US? Would EU citizens be restricted from accessing content stored in the US? It’s an application of the GDPR that would lead to the absurd result – one surely not intended by its drafters. And yet, in light of the Schrems II case and the way the GDPR has been applied, here we are.

A possible solution would be to consider that IP addresses are not always “personal data” subject to the GDPR. In 2016 – even before the GDPR took effect – the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) established the view in Breyer v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland that even dynamic IP addresses, which change with every new connection to the Internet, constituted personal data if an entity processing the IP address could link the IP addresses to an individual. While the court’s decision did not say that dynamic IP addresses are always personal data under European data protection law, that’s exactly what EU data regulators took from the decision, without considering whether an entity actually has a way to tie the IP address to a real person3.

The question of when an identifier qualifies as “personal data” is again before the CJEU: In April 2023, the lower EU General Court ruled in SRB v EDPS4 that transmitted data can be considered anonymised and therefore not personal data if the data recipient does not have any additional information reasonably likely to allow it to re-identify the data subjects and has no legal means available to access such information. The appellant – the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) – disagrees. The EDPS, who mainly oversees the privacy compliance of EU institutions and bodies, is appealing the decision and arguing that a unique identifier should qualify as personal data if that identifier could ever be linked to an individual, regardless of whether the entity holding the identifier actually had the means to make such a link.

If the lower court’s common-sense ruling holds, one could argue that IP addresses are not personal data when those IP addresses are processed by entities like Cloudflare, which have no means of connecting an IP address to an individual. If IP addresses are then not always personal data, then IP addresses will not always be subject to the GDPR’s rules on cross-border data transfers.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, having a standard whereby an IP address is not necessarily “personal data” would actually be a positive development for privacy. If IP addresses can flow freely across the Internet, then entities in the EU can use non-EU cybersecurity providers to help them secure their personal data. Advanced Machine Learning/predictive AI techniques that look at IP addresses to protect against DDoS attacks, prevent bots, or otherwise guard against personal data breaches will be able to draw on attack patterns and threat intelligence from around the world to the benefit of EU entities and residents. But none of these benefits can be realized in a world where IP addresses are always personal data under the GDPR and where the GDPR’s data transfer rules are interpreted to mean IP addresses linked to EU residents can never flow to the United States.

Keeping privacy in focus

On this Data Privacy Day, we urge EU policy makers to look closely at how the GDPR is working in practice, and to take note of the instances where the GDPR is applied in ways that place privacy protections above all other considerations – even appropriate security measures mandated by the GDPR’s Article 32 that take into account the state of the art of technology. When this happens, it can actually be detrimental to privacy. If taken to the extreme, this formulaic approach would not only negatively impact cybersecurity and data protection, but even put into question the functioning of the global Internet infrastructure as a whole, which depends on cross-border data flows. So what can be done to avert this?

First, we believe EU policymakers could adopt guidelines (if not legal clarification) for regulators that IP addresses should not be considered personal data when they cannot be linked by an entity to a real person. Second, policymakers should clarify that the GDPR’s application should be considered with the cybersecurity benefits of data processing in mind. Building on the GDPR’s existing recital 49, which rightly recognizes cybersecurity as a legitimate interest for processing, personal data that needs to be processed outside the EU for cybersecurity purposes should be exempted from GDPR restrictions to international data transfers. This would avoid some of the worst effects of the mindset that currently views data localization as a proxy for data privacy. Such a shift would be a truly pro-privacy application of the GDPR.

1 Case C-311/18, Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems.
2 Swire, Peter and Kennedy-Mayo, DeBrae and Bagley, Andrew and Modak, Avani and Krasser, Sven and Bausewein, Christoph, Risks to Cybersecurity from Data Localization, Organized by Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures (2023).
3 Different decisions by the European data protection authorities, namely the Austrian DSB (December 2021), the French CNIL (February 2022) and the Italian Garante (June 2022), while analyzing the use of Google Analytics, have rejected the relative approach used by the Breyer case and considered that an IP address should always be considered as personal data. Only the decision issued by the Spanish AEPD (December 2022) followed the same interpretation of the Breyer case. In addition, see paragraphs 109 and 136 in Guidelines by Supervisory Authorities for Tele-Media Providers, DSK (2021).
4 Single Resolution Board v EDPS, Court of Justice of the European Union, April 2023.

We protect entire corporate networks, help customers build Internet-scale applications efficiently, accelerate any website or Internet applicationward off DDoS attacks, keep hackers at bay, and can help you on your journey to Zero Trust.

Visit 1.1.1.1 from any device to get started with our free app that makes your Internet faster and safer.

To learn more about our mission to help build a better Internet, start here. If you’re looking for a new career direction, check out our open positions.

Source :
https://blog.cloudflare.com/reflecting-on-the-gdpr-to-celebrate-privacy-day-2024/

Thanksgiving 2023 security incident

01/02/2024
Matthew Prince John Graham-Cumming Grant Bourzikas

11 min read

On Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023, Cloudflare detected a threat actor on our self-hosted Atlassian server. Our security team immediately began an investigation, cut off the threat actor’s access, and on Sunday, November 26, we brought in CrowdStrike’s Forensic team to perform their own independent analysis.

Yesterday, CrowdStrike completed its investigation, and we are publishing this blog post to talk about the details of this security incident.

We want to emphasize to our customers that no Cloudflare customer data or systems were impacted by this event. Because of our access controls, firewall rules, and use of hard security keys enforced using our own Zero Trust tools, the threat actor’s ability to move laterally was limited. No services were implicated, and no changes were made to our global network systems or configuration. This is the promise of a Zero Trust architecture: it’s like bulkheads in a ship where a compromise in one system is limited from compromising the whole organization.

From November 14 to 17, a threat actor did reconnaissance and then accessed our internal wiki (which uses Atlassian Confluence) and our bug database (Atlassian Jira). On November 20 and 21, we saw additional access indicating they may have come back to test access to ensure they had connectivity.

They then returned on November 22 and established persistent access to our Atlassian server using ScriptRunner for Jira, gained access to our source code management system (which uses Atlassian Bitbucket), and tried, unsuccessfully, to access a console server that had access to the data center that Cloudflare had not yet put into production in São Paulo, Brazil.

They did this by using one access token and three service account credentials that had been taken, and that we failed to rotate, after the Okta compromise of October 2023. All threat actor access and connections were terminated on November 24 and CrowdStrike has confirmed that the last evidence of threat activity was on November 24 at 10:44.

(Throughout this blog post all dates and times are UTC.)

Even though we understand the operational impact of the incident to be extremely limited, we took this incident very seriously because a threat actor had used stolen credentials to get access to our Atlassian server and accessed some documentation and a limited amount of source code. Based on our collaboration with colleagues in the industry and government, we believe that this attack was performed by a nation state attacker with the goal of obtaining persistent and widespread access to Cloudflare’s global network.

“Code Red” Remediation and Hardening Effort

On November 24, after the threat actor was removed from our environment, our security team pulled in all the people they needed across the company to investigate the intrusion and ensure that the threat actor had been completely denied access to our systems, and to ensure we understood the full extent of what they accessed or tried to access.

Then, from November 27, we redirected the efforts of a large part of the Cloudflare technical staff (inside and outside the security team) to work on a single project dubbed “Code Red”. The focus was strengthening, validating, and remediating any control in our environment to ensure we are secure against future intrusion and to validate that the threat actor could not gain access to our environment. Additionally, we continued to investigate every system, account and log to make sure the threat actor did not have persistent access and that we fully understood what systems they had touched and which they had attempted to access.

CrowdStrike performed an independent assessment of the scope and extent of the threat actor’s activity, including a search for any evidence that they still persisted in our systems. CrowdStrike’s investigation provided helpful corroboration and support for our investigation, but did not bring to light any activities that we had missed. This blog post outlines in detail everything we and CrowdStrike uncovered about the activity of the threat actor.

The only production systems the threat actor could access using the stolen credentials was our Atlassian environment. Analyzing the wiki pages they accessed, bug database issues, and source code repositories, it appears they were looking for information about the architecture, security, and management of our global network; no doubt with an eye on gaining a deeper foothold. Because of that, we decided a huge effort was needed to further harden our security protocols to prevent the threat actor from being able to get that foothold had we overlooked something from our log files.

Our aim was to prevent the attacker from using the technical information about the operations of our network as a way to get back in. Even though we believed, and later confirmed, the attacker had limited access, we undertook a comprehensive effort to rotate every production credential (more than 5,000 individual credentials), physically segment test and staging systems, performed forensic triages on 4,893 systems, reimaged and rebooted every machine in our global network including all the systems the threat actor accessed and all Atlassian products (Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket).

The threat actor also attempted to access a console server in our new, and not yet in production, data center in São Paulo. All attempts to gain access were unsuccessful. To ensure these systems are 100% secure, equipment in the Brazil data center was returned to the manufacturers. The manufacturers’ forensic teams examined all of our systems to ensure that no access or persistence was gained. Nothing was found, but we replaced the hardware anyway.

We also looked for software packages that hadn’t been updated, user accounts that might have been created, and unused active employee accounts; we went searching for secrets that might have been left in Jira tickets or source code, examined and deleted all HAR files uploaded to the wiki in case they contained tokens of any sort. Whenever in doubt, we assumed the worst and made changes to ensure anything the threat actor was able to access would no longer be in use and therefore no longer be valuable to them.

Every member of the team was encouraged to point out areas the threat actor might have touched, so we could examine log files and determine the extent of the threat actor’s access. By including such a large number of people across the company, we aimed to leave no stone unturned looking for evidence of access or changes that needed to be made to improve security.

The immediate “Code Red” effort ended on January 5, but work continues across the company around credential management, software hardening, vulnerability management, additional alerting, and more.

Attack timeline

The attack started in October with the compromise of Okta, but the threat actor only began targeting our systems using those credentials from the Okta compromise in mid-November.

The following timeline shows the major events:

October 18 – Okta compromise

We’ve written about this before but, in summary, we were (for the second time) the victim of a compromise of Okta’s systems which resulted in a threat actor gaining access to a set of credentials. These credentials were meant to all be rotated.

Unfortunately, we failed to rotate one service token and three service accounts (out of thousands) of credentials that were leaked during the Okta compromise.

One was a Moveworks service token that granted remote access into our Atlassian system. The second credential was a service account used by the SaaS-based Smartsheet application that had administrative access to our Atlassian Jira instance, the third account was a Bitbucket service account which was used to access our source code management system, and the fourth was an AWS environment that had no access to the global network and no customer or sensitive data.

The one service token and three accounts were not rotated because mistakenly it was believed they were unused. This was incorrect and was how the threat actor first got into our systems and gained persistence to our Atlassian products. Note that this was in no way an error on the part of Atlassian, AWS, Moveworks or Smartsheet. These were merely credentials which we failed to rotate.

November 14 09:22:49 – threat actor starts probing

Our logs show that the threat actor started probing and performing reconnaissance of our systems beginning on November 14, looking for a way to use the credentials and what systems were accessible. They attempted to log into our Okta instance and were denied access. They attempted access to the Cloudflare Dashboard and were denied access.

Additionally, the threat actor accessed an AWS environment that is used to power the Cloudflare Apps marketplace. This environment was segmented with no access to global network or customer data. The service account to access this environment was revoked, and we validated the integrity of the environment.

November 15 16:28:38 – threat actor gains access to Atlassian services

The threat actor successfully accessed Atlassian Jira and Confluence on November 15 using the Moveworks service token to authenticate through our gateway, and then they used the Smartsheet service account to gain access to the Atlassian suite. The next day they began looking for information about the configuration and management of our global network, and accessed various Jira tickets.

The threat actor searched the wiki for things like remote access, secret, client-secret, openconnect, cloudflared, and token. They accessed 36 Jira tickets (out of a total of 2,059,357 tickets) and 202 wiki pages (out of a total of 194,100 pages).

The threat actor accessed Jira tickets about vulnerability management, secret rotation, MFA bypass, network access, and even our response to the Okta incident itself.

The wiki searches and pages accessed suggest the threat actor was very interested in all aspects of access to our systems: password resets, remote access, configuration, our use of Salt, but they did not target customer data or customer configurations.

November 16 14:36:37 – threat actor creates an Atlassian user account

The threat actor used the Smartsheet credential to create an Atlassian account that looked like a normal Cloudflare user. They added this user to a number of groups within Atlassian so that they’d have persistent access to the Atlassian environment should the Smartsheet service account be removed.

November 17 14:33:52 to November 20 09:26:53 – threat actor takes a break from accessing Cloudflare systems

During this period, the attacker took a break from accessing our systems (apart from apparently briefly testing that they still had access) and returned just before Thanksgiving.

November 22 14:18:22 – threat actor gains persistence

Since the Smartsheet service account had administrative access to Atlassian Jira, the threat actor was able to install the Sliver Adversary Emulation Framework, which is a widely used tool and framework that red teams and attackers use to enable “C2” (command and control), connectivity gaining persistent and stealthy access to a computer on which it is installed. Sliver was installed using the ScriptRunner for Jira plugin.

This allowed them continuous access to the Atlassian server, and they used this to attempt lateral movement. With this access the Threat Actor attempted to gain access to a non-production console server in our São Paulo, Brazil data center due to a non-enforced ACL. The access was denied, and they were not able to access any of the global network.

Over the next day, the threat actor viewed 120 code repositories (out of a total of 11,904 repositories). Of the 120, the threat actor used the Atlassian Bitbucket git archive feature on 76 repositories to download them to the Atlassian server, and even though we were not able to confirm whether or not they had been exfiltrated, we decided to treat them as having been exfiltrated.

The 76 source code repositories were almost all related to how backups work, how the global network is configured and managed, how identity works at Cloudflare, remote access, and our use of Terraform and Kubernetes. A small number of the repositories contained encrypted secrets which were rotated immediately even though they were strongly encrypted themselves.

We focused particularly on these 76 source code repositories to look for embedded secrets, (secrets stored in the code were rotated), vulnerabilities and ways in which an attacker could use them to mount a subsequent attack. This work was done as a priority by engineering teams across the company as part of “Code Red”.

As a SaaS company, we’ve long believed that our source code itself is not as precious as the source code of software companies that distribute software to end users. In fact, we’ve open sourced a large amount of our source code and speak openly through our blog about algorithms and techniques we use. So our focus was not on someone having access to the source code, but whether that source code contained embedded secrets (such as a key or token) and vulnerabilities.

November 23 – Discovery and threat actor access termination begins

Our security team was alerted to the threat actor’s presence at 16:00 and deactivated the Smartsheet service account 35 minutes later. 48 minutes later the user account created by the threat actor was found and deactivated. Here’s the detailed timeline for the major actions taken to block the threat actor once the first alert was raised.

15:58 – The threat actor adds the Smartsheet service account to an administrator group.
16:00 – Automated alert about the change at 15:58 to our security team.
16:12 – Cloudflare SOC starts investigating the alert.
16:35 – Smartsheet service account deactivated by Cloudflare SOC.
17:23 – The threat actor-created Atlassian user account is found and deactivated.
17:43 – Internal Cloudflare incident declared.
21:31 – Firewall rules put in place to block the threat actor’s known IP addresses.

November 24 – Sliver removed; all threat actor access terminated

10:44 – Last known threat actor activity.
11:59 – Sliver removed.

Throughout this timeline, the threat actor tried to access a myriad of other systems at Cloudflare but failed because of our access controls, firewall rules, and use of hard security keys enforced using our own Zero Trust tools.

To be clear, we saw no evidence whatsoever that the threat actor got access to our global network, data centers, SSL keys, customer databases or configuration information, Cloudflare Workers deployed by us or customers, AI models, network infrastructure, or any of our datastores like Workers KV, R2 or Quicksilver. Their access was limited to the Atlassian suite and the server on which our Atlassian runs.

A large part of our “Code Red” effort was understanding what the threat actor got access to and what they tried to access. By looking at logging across systems we were able to track attempted access to our internal metrics, network configuration, build system, alerting systems, and release management system. Based on our review, none of their attempts to access these systems were successful. Independently, CrowdStrike performed an assessment of the scope and extent of the threat actor’s activity, which did not bring to light activities that we had missed and concluded that the last evidence of threat activity was on November 24 at 10:44.

We are confident that between our investigation and CrowdStrike’s, we fully understand the threat actor’s actions and that they were limited to the systems on which we saw their activity.

Conclusion

This was a security incident involving a sophisticated actor, likely a nation-state, who operated in a thoughtful and methodical manner. The efforts we have taken ensure that the ongoing impact of the incident was limited and that we are well-prepared to fend off any sophisticated attacks in the future. This required the efforts of a significant number of Cloudflare’s engineering staff, and, for over a month, this was the highest priority at Cloudflare. The entire Cloudflare team worked to ensure that our systems were secure, the threat actor’s access was understood, to remediate immediate priorities (such as mass credential rotation), and to build a plan of long-running work to improve our overall security based on areas for improvement discovered during this process.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone at Cloudflare who responded quickly over the Thanksgiving holiday to conduct an initial analysis and lock out the threat actor, and all those who contributed to this effort. It would be impossible to name everyone involved, but their long hours and dedicated work made it possible to undertake an essential review and change of Cloudflare’s security while keeping our global network running and our customers’ service running.

We are grateful to CrowdStrike for having been available immediately to conduct an independent assessment. Now that their final report is complete, we are confident in our internal analysis and remediation of the intrusion and are making this blog post available.

IOCs
Below are the Indications of Compromise (IOCs) that we saw from this threat actor. We are publishing them so that other organizations, and especially those that may have been impacted by the Okta breach, can search their logs to confirm the same threat actor did not access their systems.

IndicatorIndicator TypeSHA256Description
193.142.58[.]126IPv4N/APrimary threat actor
Infrastructure, owned by
M247 Europe SRL (Bucharest,
Romania)
198.244.174[.]214IPv4N/ASliver C2 server, owned by
OVH SAS (London, England)
idowall[.]comDomainN/AInfrastructure serving Sliver
payload
jvm-agentFilenamebdd1a085d651082ad567b03e5186d1d4
6d822bb7794157ab8cce95d850a3caaf
Sliver payload

We protect entire corporate networks, help customers build Internet-scale applications efficiently, accelerate any website or Internet applicationward off DDoS attacks, keep hackers at bay, and can help you on your journey to Zero Trust.

Visit 1.1.1.1 from any device to get started with our free app that makes your Internet faster and safer.

To learn more about our mission to help build a better Internet, start here. If you’re looking for a new career direction, check out our open positions.

Source :
https://blog.cloudflare.com/thanksgiving-2023-security-incident

AnyDesk says hackers breached its production servers, reset passwords

By Lawrence Abrams
February 2, 2024

AnyDesk confirmed today that it suffered a recent cyberattack that allowed hackers to gain access to the company’s production systems. BleepingComputer has learned that source code and private code signing keys were stolen during the attack.

AnyDesk is a remote access solution that allows users to remotely access computers over a network or the internet. The program is very popular with the enterprise, which use it for remote support or to access colocated servers.

The software is also popular among threat actors who use it for persistent access to breached devices and networks.

The company reports having 170,000 customers, including 7-Eleven, Comcast, Samsung, MIT, NVIDIA, SIEMENS, and the United Nations.

AnyDesk hacked

In a statement shared with BleepingComputer late Friday afternoon, AnyDesk says they first learned of the attack after detecting indications of an incident on their production servers. 

After conducting a security audit, they determined their systems were compromised and activated a response plan with the help of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

AnyDesk did not share details on whether data was stolen during the attack. However, BleepingComputer has learned that the threat actors stole source code and code signing certificates.

The company also confirmed ransomware was not involved but didn’t share too much information about the attack other than saying their servers were breached, with the advisory mainly focusing on how they responded to the incident.

As part of their response, AnyDesk says they have revoked security-related certificates and remediated or replaced systems as necessary. They also reassured customers that AnyDesk was safe to use and that there was no evidence of end-user devices being affected by the incident.

“We can confirm that the situation is under control and it is safe to use AnyDesk. Please ensure that you are using the latest version, with the new code signing certificate,” AnyDesk said in a public statement.

While the company says that no authentication tokens were stolen, out of caution, AnyDesk is revoking all passwords to their web portal and suggests changing the password if it’s used on other sites.

“AnyDesk is designed in a way which session authentication tokens cannot be stolen. They only exist on the end user’s device and are associated with the device fingerprint. These tokens never touch our systems, “AnyDesk told BleepingComputer in response to our questions about the attack.

“We have no indication of session hijacking as to our knowledge this is not possible.”

The company has already begun replacing stolen code signing certificates, with Günter Born of BornCity first reporting that they are using a new certificate in AnyDesk version 8.0.8, released on January 29th. The only listed change in the new version is that the company switched to a new code signing certificate and will revoke the old one soon.

BleepingComputer looked at previous versions of the software, and the older executables were signed under the name ‘philandro Software GmbH’ with serial number 0dbf152deaf0b981a8a938d53f769db8. The new version is now signed under ‘AnyDesk Software GmbH,’ with a serial number of 0a8177fcd8936a91b5e0eddf995b0ba5, as shown below.

Signed AnyDesk 8.0.6 (left) vs AnyDesk 8.0.8 (right)
Signed AnyDesk 8.0.6 (left) vs AnyDesk 8.0.8 (right)
Source: BleepingComputer

Certificates are usually not invalidated unless they have been compromised, such as being stolen in attacks or publicly exposed.

While AnyDesk had not shared when the breach occurred, Born reported that AnyDesk suffered a four-day outage starting on January 29th, during which the company disabled the ability to log in to the AnyDesk client.

“my.anydesk II is currently undergoing maintenance, which is expected to last for the next 48 hours or less,” reads the AnyDesk status message page.

“You can still access and use your account normally. Logging in to the AnyDesk client will be restored once the maintenance is complete.”

Yesterday, access was restored, allowing users to log in to their accounts, but AnyDesk did not provide any reason for the maintenance in the status updates.

However, AnyDesk has confirmed to BleepingComputer that this maintenance is related to the cybersecurity incident.

It is strongly recommended that all users switch to the new version of the software, as the old code signing certificate will soon be revoked.

Furthermore, while AnyDesk says that passwords were not stolen in the attack, the threat actors did gain access to production systems, so it is strongly advised that all AnyDesk users change their passwords. Furthermore, if they use their AnyDesk password at other sites, they should be changed there as well.

Every week, it feels like we learn of a new breach against well-known companies.

Last night, Cloudflare disclosed that they were hacked on Thanksgiving using authentication keys stolen during last years Okta cyberattack.

Last week, Microsoft also revealed that they were hacked by Russian state-sponsored hackers named Midnight Blizzard, who also attacked HPE in May.

Related Articles:

GTA 5 source code reportedly leaked online a year after Rockstar hack

Lurie Children’s Hospital took systems offline after cyberattack

Johnson Controls says ransomware attack cost $27 million, data stolen

A mishandled GitHub token exposed Mercedes-Benz source code

How SMBs can lower their risk of cyberattacks and data breaches

Source :
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/anydesk-says-hackers-breached-its-production-servers-reset-passwords/

How to Log in SSH of Yeastar S-Series VoIP PBX

Yeastar Support Team
January 15, 2024 21:11

This article introduces how to log in SSH of Yeastar S-Series VoIP PBX, K2, TAv3 and TGv3 Gateway.

This article shall not apply to other Yeastar products. Please refer to How to log in SSH of Yeastar MyPBX, N-Series Analog PBX, and VoIP Gateway

How to Login via SSH

  1. Download the popular SSH tool PuTTy from the Internet.
  2. Log in Yeastar S-Series IPPBX web interface, navigate to Settings > System > Security > Service, Enable SSH. And note that since version 30.7.0.27, the SSH password had been changed to random password which you could see when you enable the SSH service.
  3. Open the PuTTy, and enter the login IP, Port and Connection type(SSH).  
    • Host Name: IP address of the Yeastar S-Series IPPBX
    • Port: default SSH port is 8022
  4. Set the scrollback line number so that you can get sufficient lines of log for debug analysis.  
  5. Click the Apply to enter SSH interface. Log in SSH with the following credential:
    • Username: support
    • Password: iyeastar (or random password)

Note: when you enter the password, it’s in invisible form that you can’t see what you are inputting. 

Command Mode and Asterisk Mode

Next we introduce you the important 2 modes in SSH interface: Command mode and Asterisk mode.
After you enter the SSH interface, it is the Command mode. In this mode, you can execute the Linux based commands, like lscdroute and so on.

To enter Asterisk mode, you can input asterisk -vvvvvvvvvr in Command mode. In this mode, you are able to execute the Asterisk based commands, like pjsip show endpoints, pjsip set logger on and so on.

Source :
https://support.yeastar.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004259608-How-to-Log-in-SSH-of-Yeastar-S-Series-VoIP-PBX

Common Causes for Yeastar Linkus No Voice issue

Eric Jiang
May 16, 2023 11:40

Environment

  • PBX firmware version: 30.10.0.17
  • Android client version: 2.0.19
  • iOS client version: 2.0.19

1. Linkus Server or Client version is too low

Make sure use the latest version on both server and client side.

2. No port forwarding set on the Router

Port forwarding is required on the Router if LCS is not enabled. 

  • Port 8111 UDP for Linkus service
  • Port 5060 UDP/TCP for SIP registration
  • Port 10000-12000 for RTP transmission

Please refer this article to configure the port mapping for Linkus: Set up linkus server without LCS

Please noted if you change any of the port on the PBX should also change the port number on the router.

3. SIP ALG feature enabled on the router

The SIP ALG feature will manipulate the value in the sip SDP message and cause the Linkus client to send RTP to incorrect IP address or port.

4. Incorrect NAT settings on the PBX

When you login Linkus remotely like with cellular network, the NAT settings is used to tell Linkus client where to send the voice stream.

Local Network Identification is used to let PBX know the local IP segment like the IP segment for PBX or IP phones.

For example, the local IP address of the PBX or IP Phones is 192.168.9.x so you put 192.168.9.1/255.255.255.0 in the setting.

Also, need to check this configuration when you have 30s call disconnected issue with Linkus.

If you use domain or DDNS you can select the NAT Type to external host

5. Codec translation issue

Refer to this to guide enter Asterisk CLI: Asterisk CLI

Enter the command in Asterisk CLI ‘ core show translation paths ilbc ‘.

If it shows No Translation Path to G729 or ulaw, ulaw codec please submit a ticket on Yeastar Support Portal

6. RTP has been blocked by the router or the provider  

You could try our LCS service.

Enable Linkus Cloud Service(LCS) on the Linkus Server. LCS use the tunnel to transmit data it does not needs to set port forwarding on the router and more secure.

For now, Linkus still have no voice issue with the Etisalat Carrier in Dubai.

References:

How to connect to Asterisk CLI

Set up Linkus Server without LCS

Set up Linkus Server with LCS

Source :
https://support.yeastar.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012336854-Common-Causes-for-Linkus-No-Voice-issue

Gmail Blocking Your Emails? Here’s How to Fix It (Feb 2024)

Updated: Jan 22, 2024, 15:17 PM
By Claire Broadley Content Manager
REVIEWED By Jared Atchison President and co-owner

Is Gmail blocking emails that you send? You’re not alone.

Google has always been strict in blocking rogue senders in its fight against spam.

In 2024, it’s tightening up the rules and enforcing tighter anti-spam limits. That means emails you send to Gmail mailboxes won’t arrive if you’re not compliant.

The amount of spam emails that Google’s servers deal with is mind-bogglingly huge. About half of all emails sent daily are spam, and according to The Tech Report, about 1.8 billion people use Gmail. It has a vested interest in keeping spam out of its customers’ inboxes.

This article explains who’s impacted by Google’s new sending requirements, what exactly will change this year, and what you need to do to ensure your emails are delivered.

Fix Your WordPress Emails Now

In This Article

Why Is Gmail Blocking My Emails?

Gmail is likely blocking your emails for one of 2 reasons. Either you’re on a spam blacklist already, or you don’t comply with its new requirements for bulk senders.

Reason 1. Google Put Your Domain On a Spam Blacklist

It only takes a few people to click Mark as Spam in Gmail for your domain reputation to be impacted. This can result in Gmail adding your email to a blacklist if the spam complaints build up.

Once you’re on a blacklist, you’ll have to earn the trust of email providers to be removed.

Rachel Adnyana, Email Deliverability Expert at SendLayer

“Getting off a blacklist is often not a straightforward task. It’s usually not just a case of requesting your removal – you’ll also have to show what you’ve done to resolve the issues that lead to your blacklisting in the first place. ”

-Rachel Adnyana, Email Deliverability Expert at SendLayer

Blacklists are not new, but the threshold for being added to one is lower than it once was.

The telltale sign that you’re on a blacklist is an error like this:

421-4.7.0 unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been temporarily rate limited.

550-5.7.1 Our system has detected an unusual rate of unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been blocked.

You may see a different 500 error when sending an email if you’re impacted by this. You can look through the SendLayer error library if you see an error you don’t understand.

If you don’t see errors, try running your domain name or sender IP through the blacklist checker at MXToolbox:

Stop WordPress emails going to spam with blacklist check

We’ll explain how you can resolve this problem in just a minute. First, let’s look at the other possible cause of emails to Gmail being blocked.

Reason 2. Your Emails Aren’t Authenticated

Emails are often sent without authentication, but they are sometimes delivered anyway.

If you have a WordPress website, it’ll send emails without authentication by default. You will likely find them in your spam folder.

Gmail contact form entry in spam folder

Some Gmail users will find their contact form emails don’t arrive at all.

As email providers become less tolerant of unauthenticated emails, we’re seeing more support tickets from customers whose WordPress emails go to spam. Some say they used to be delivered, but now aren’t. It’s confusing when this happens. “I didn’t change anything, so why did my emails stop sending?”

It’s not that your website changed. It’s more likely that the rules for detecting spam got tougher. Soon, senders who don’t authenticate their emails will be blocked from emailing Gmail recipients at all.

The telltale sign is an error like this:

550-5.7.26 This mail is unauthenticated, which poses a security risk to the sender and Gmail users, and has been blocked. The sender must authenticate with at least one of SPF or DKIM. For this message, DKIM checks did not pass and SPF check for example.com did not pass with ip: 192.186.0.1.

You can see more details about error 550-5.7.26 in the SendLayer error library.

As you can see, Google is cracking down on domains that don’t have SPF, DMARC, and DKIM configured. If you’re not sure what that means, I’ll explain more in the next section.

Who Do Gmail’s New Rules Apply To?

Initially, the SPF, DMARC, and DKIM requirement will apply to bulk senders. Google defines a bulk sender as a domain that has, at some point, sent more than 5,000 emails to Gmail recipients in a single day.

  • ‘Gmail recipients’ means anyone with an email ending @gmail.com or @googlemail.com, and people who are using custom domains or Google Workspace to receive emails.
  • You only need to send 5,000 emails once to be considered a bulk sender forever. Remember: this applies to all emails you send from your domain.

Email authentication is best practise and should be set up to maintain good deliverability — even if you’re not considered a bulk sender.

How to Stop Gmail Blocking Your Emails

Now to the important part. How do you stop Gmail blocking the emails you send?

Email deliverability issues can seriously harm your business. If you use Google Workspace, they could even prevent you from sending emails to your own employees.

If your newsletters are considered to be spam, and people mark them as such, that could mean your purchase receipts don’t get through in the future.

No matter why Gmail is blocking your emails, the solutions are the same. First, let’s set up a free reporting tool so you can see your email spam complaints.

1. Set Up Google Postmaster Tools (Bulk Senders)

Google Postmaster Tools is a free tool that will show you exactly what your spam complaint rate is.

If you send a large number of emails, it’s worth creating an account because it will allow you to understand your current standing with Gmail.

You’ll need to authenticate your domain before your spam complaint rate appears. If you’ve already authenticated it for services like Google Analytics, you may find that setup is almost instant.

Verified domain in Postmaster Tools

If you see any spikes in Postmaster Tools’ spam reporting, or you’re consistently maintaining a level of spam complaints over 0.1%, you might not be able to send emails to Gmail recipients (and that includes customers on Google Workspace).

The absolute maximum spam complaint rate that Google will tolerate is 0.3%.

Example of a Postmaster Tools report for Gmail recipients

If your spam complaints are trending higher, it’s a sign you need to get to the bottom of the causes. People could be marking emails as spam for all kinds of reasons, but here are a few that Google has specifically highlighted:

  • You might be sending emails to people who are not expecting to receive them.

Trying to get people on a mailing list to inflate the size can be tempting. After all, you’ll cast a wider net when you send out a marketing email.

But it will could your deliverability too. More people will mark your emails as spam if you don’t give them any choice.

  • You might not be making it easy for people to unsubscribe.

You need to have a way for people to unsubscribe from your emails. You also need to implement a one-click unsubscribe list header if your email marketing platform supports that.

  • People could be sending spam through your website forms.

This is surprisingly common. If you don’t protect your contact form from spam, the junk email that passes through it hurts your deliverability because it appears to come from your domain.

  • You have a security issue on your website and you’re spamming people without even knowing.

In WordPress, there are a few common causes of poor security:

  • Poor security on your WordPress admin account, meaning your passwords are easy to guess and other people can get into your dashboard.
  • Nulled plugins, which can contain malicious code, including code that sends spam or phishing emails.
  • Poor security on your hosting account; for example, if you have a VPS, you need to watch out for hackers getting access and setting up SMTP relays that blast out emails without you knowing.

All in all, this is about keeping a close eye on what you’re sending and who you’re sending to.

2. Authenticate Emails From WordPress

If you’re still using WordPress without an SMTP plugin, we highly recommend that you install one to stop messages to Gmail from being blocked.

WP Mail SMTP steps in to handle all outgoing email from your WordPress site, routing it through a proper email provider. That authenticates the emails and stops them from being blocked.

WP Mail SMTP easy to set up thanks to the Setup Wizard and it supports many popular email platforms.

Choosing a mailer in the WP Mail SMTP setup wizard

You can also purchase the additional plugin setup service if you need a hand getting your email authentication working.

Add White Glove Setup

The Pro version of WP Mail SMTP is worth it because it adds lots of useful email logging and routing features. But if you just need to fix blocked emails to Gmail, the free version of WP Mail SMTP will do that.

Read more about setting up WordPress emails with authentication using WP Mail SMTP.

3. Implement DKIM, DMARC, and SPF

We already talked about issues that can arise without proper authentication.

You can authenticate your emails by ensuring they have the correct email headers: DKIM, SPF, and DMARC.

These 3 records prove that the emails you send are from you — the domain owner — not a random person pretending to be you.

What Are DMARC, SPF, and DKIM

In the past, you could get away without setting up these records, but Google will no longer allow you to skip this. If you’re seeing the 5.7.26 error from Gmail, you need to review your DNS records to figure out what’s missing.

Your email provider(s) will typically provide all 3 records and explain how to add them to your DNS. If you need a little more help, we have a few blog posts to help you understand what’s required:

Just to add: Google also requires a PTR record, which is sometimes called forward reverse DNS, or full circle DNS.

Full circle reverse DNS lookup for PTR record

Your web host or email provider should handle the creation and management of your PTR record, but it’s worth checking that it has been set up, just to rule out any future problems. See our post on What is a PTR record? to find out more.

Once your DNS has been set up, send a test email to AboutMy.Email, which will check your email for compliance.

4. Use the Correct From Email When Sending

The From Email is the sender email — the email address your emails appear to come from.

You should send emails from an email address at the same domain as your website. In other words, don’t authenticate your domain and send emails from a totally different account elsewhere.  Make sure everything matches.

WP Mail SMTP has settings specifically to allow you to set the from email (and the corresponding from name):

from name and from email

What about real email addresses vs fake ones? It’s good practise to avoid using noreply@domain.com (or any non-existent email address) as a From Email.

5. Send Email With TLS

When you’re sending emails through WordPress (or any other platform) using an SMTP server, you should use a provider that uses TLS to make the connection.

TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. It’s better than SSL because it’s more secure, and the end goal is that TLS will eventually replace the older SSL protocol.

wp mail smtp host and port settings

We don’t need to go into a huge amount of detail on this. Most email providers will support TLS so you may already be using it. But it’s worth double-checking your account to make sure you’re using the latest settings.

6. Add Unsubscribe Links to Marketing Emails

Most businesses send transactional emails and marketing emails.

So what’s the difference?

  • Transactional emails are emails that are necessary for the normal operation of your business. Password reset emails, renewal reminders, and receipts are all transactional. These kinds of emails usually need to be delivered immediately to be effective.
  • Marketing emails are emails you send to promote your products and services. They don’t necessarily need to be sent immediately, and they are not essential for a customer.

There are 2 things to think about here.

First, marketing emails must have an unsubscribe link in the footer of the email. The link doesn’t have to be huge, but it has to be clearly visible.

Unsubscribe link example

Second, you should also make sure that your newsletters have a one-click unsubscribe link at the top.

One click unsubscribe link

In Gmail, this link triggers an instant unsubscribe popup. This is going to be important if you want to prevent your emails from being blocked in the future.

Gmail one click unsubscribe popup

The one-click unsubscribe link near the subject line is triggered by list unsubscribe headers. Your email provider should be able to add these headers for you.

If you’re not sure what to ask for, the header is the technical part of the email that we don’t normally see; here’s what it looks like:

List unsubscribe header example

One question we’re asked a lot is this: Do transactional emails need to have unsubscribe links? They do not. However:

  • Include unsubscribe links in all marketing emails.
  • Don’t send emails that have a mixture of transactional and marketing content in them to try to get around this rule.
  • It’s OK to give people the choice of which email marketing lists they want to be subscribed to, but Google is clear that you must also provide an option to unsubscribe from all marketing emails.

7. Use Double Optins Where Possible

Google recommends that everyone who sends marketing emails uses double optins.

A double optin means that someone has to choose to join your list and confirm their choice, usually by clicking a confirmation link.

While Google won’t block emails to Gmail if you don’t use double optins, the truth is that single optins result in higher spam complaints. So implementing them will keep that important spam complaint rate low.

The downside of double optins is that you’ll grow your list more slowly because you will sign up fewer leads.

Recovering From a Gmail Block

If your WordPress emails are being blocked to Gmail recipients, running through this guide should help you to figure out the reason why.

  • If Google is rejecting emails from your domain because it’s missing some crucial DNS records, adding them might resolve the problem quickly.
  • If your domain or IP is on a blacklist, it’ll take longer to recover. You’ll need to earn the trust of email providers and slowly improve your domain or IP reputation.
  • Make it easy for people to leave your mailing lists and don’t send them emails they don’t want. This will reduce the likelihood of them marking emails as spam, therefore keeping your spam complaint rate low.
  • It can take time to clean up your lists, but removing people who aren’t opening your emails is a good first step. Re-engagement workflows typically unsubscribe people who aren’t responsive, helping to reduce spam complaints, and automatically unsubscribing invalid email addresses can also help.

Email providers like Brevo or SMTP.com are used to helping customers with these issues. If you’re concerned, reach out to them for advice. They may be able to change your sender IP or help you look into your bounce rates to diagnose the problem.

It’s difficult to say how long recovery will take. It depends on the reason you were blocked and the severity of the problem. Either way, prevention is always better than the cure.

If WordPress emails are not being delivered to Gmail and you can’t figure out why, our support team is standing by to help.

Fix Your WordPress Emails Now

Next, Boost Your Site Security

Improving your site’s security will help you to block malicious logins, and that will reduce the risk of people using your domain to send spam.

Check out our list of the best security plugins for WordPress to harden your security against common threats.

Ready to fix your emails? Get started today with the best WordPress SMTP plugin. If you don’t have the time to fix your emails, you can get full White Glove Setup assistance as an extra purchase, and there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee for all paid plans.

If this article helped you out, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more WordPress tips and tutorials.

Source :
https://wpmailsmtp.com/fix-gmail-blocking-emails/