D3FC0N & BlackHat USA 2022

D3FC0N & BlackHat USA 2022

Every year, cybersecurity professionals from all over the world descend on Las Vegas for BlackHat USA, to discuss their findings on everything from cyberattacks against critical infrastructure to the security risks of modern control systems. While some of these presentations were more alarming than others, they all remind us that we must be vigilant in protecting our networks and devices. We at MOST take cybersecurity seriously and strive to stay ahead of the curve, which is why Stefano Amorelli, our head of Mobile Engineering attended.

Here's an overview of some of the most engaging briefings and issues that caught his attention.

1. Cyberattacks against critical infrastructure are increasing in frequency and sophistication:

In a special briefing about cyberwarfare, Robert Lipovsky, Principal Threat Intelligence Researcher, ESET and Anton Cherepanov, Senior Malware Researcher, also of ESET, revealed how they reverse-engineered malware used in a cyberattack that hit Ukraine's energy grid on December 23, 2021. Known as Industroyer2, the malware caused widespread blackouts and was remarkably similar to the 2016 attack that used the original Industroyer malware. The similarities, they said, strongly suggest that the same group was responsible for both attacks. Thankfully, Ukrainian authorities quickly identified and responded to the attack, limiting the damage and preventing a complete blackout. However, this latest attack highlights the continued threat that Industroyer poses to critical infrastructure.  

2. The increasing prevalence of touchscreen-based devices makes IEMI attacks a growing threat:

As touchscreen-based electronic devices become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives, the need for robust security measures against potential attacks also grows. A briefing by Haoqi Shan, Boy Zhang, Yier Jin and Shuo Wang from the University of Florida showed how an Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (IEMI) attack enables hackers to perform touch and swipe gestures on smartphones and tablets remotely. The aim was to encourage the development of more effective security measures against potential threats by raising awareness of this attack. The presentation demonstrated how IEMI attacks could be carried out systematically and analyzed the underlying mechanisms in detail. It also explained how to calculate the minimum amount of electric field and signal frequency required to carry out an IEMI attack successfully. 

3. Hackers at Blackhat Conference still up to no good?

Monitoring the network traffic from more than 20,000 hackers would be challenging at the best of times. Still, the Network Operations Center of Blackhat outlined some unusual activity from internet traffic analysis during the conference in a post-mortem report. While attendees generated some malicious traffic in workshops for educational purposes. Among its discoveries was the detection of SHARPEXT, mail-stealing malware behavior, which appears to originate from North Korea. Another fascinating discovery was detecting a complete compromise chain of the Shlayer malware. This malware is one of the most infamous malicious software that targets macOS systems by infecting browsers and stealing personal information.

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