Cisco VPNs Suffer Brute Force Attacks : Here’s Your Shield!

Cisco recently issued a warning about large-scale brute-force attacks targeting VPN and SSH services on Cisco and other devices worldwide. These attacks pose significant risks to enterprise security, necessitating immediate action.

Hackers can Login to VPN with Stolen Credentials

Cisco Warning and Compromised Services

Cisco Talos reports a surge in brute force attacks since March 18, 2024, targeting VPN services. These assaults exploit vulnerabilities in traditional password-based authentication, compromising network integrity. The known affected services are following:

  • Cisco Secure Firewall VPN 
  • Checkpoint VPN  
  • Fortinet VPN  
  • SonicWall VPN  
  • RD Web Services 
  • Miktrotik 
  • Draytek 
  • Ubiquiti 

History: Not so Private Virtual Private Networks

If you are here reading this blog, you know the drill. Maybe a password is slipped in code, spoofed, phished, whaled, 2FA or MFA is breached, or even a vendor is breached, and your organization and user information lies in the hands of a threat actor. According to an HBR Report “The FBI regards a cybersecurity breach at every organization—including yours—as a matter not of ‘if,’ or even ‘when,’ but ‘how often.'”

Most often then not, these threat actors will siege your assets, ask for ransom and cause a lot of trouble. Two out of Three organizations, without a regard of size, have faced ransomware in 2023. Beyond the cost of expenses, including, potentially, the ransom itself, downtime averages $365,000 an hour in revenue loss. When you consider that the average recovery time is three weeks, it becomes clear how devastating these attacks can be.

In our previous blog we have discussed VPN breaches in detail. Anyhow, here’s some compact data for you.

Affected EntityRoot CauseImpact
Avast AntivirusStolen credentialsAdversaries modified the CCleaner distributed by Avast .
Lockheed MartinCVE-2011-0609Critical data related to the defence contracts leaked.
Pulse SecureCVE-2019-115101000 enterprises are at risk of ransomware attacks.
Ukraine Power gridMalwarePower grid taken offline leading to no electricity for thousands.
List of the most serious VPN attacks due to stolen credentials

Brute Force Attacks

Brute force attacks involve systematically trying multiple username-password combinations until the correct one is found. Attackers leverage proxies like TOR, VPN Gate, IPIDEA Proxy etc to conceal their origins, intensifying the challenge of detection.Password spray attacks, on the other hand, target numerous accounts with commonly used passwords, increasing the likelihood of success.

Your Knight in Passwordless Armour – PureAuth

In light of escalating threats, enterprises must prioritise the adoption of passwordless VPN solutions. Embracing innovative authentication mechanisms ensures a resilient defence against evolving cyber threats.

Passwordless Authentication in popular VPN by PureAuth
VPNs you can make Passwordless

Transitioning to passwordless VPN systems offers a robust defence against brute force attacks. By eliminating passwords, these systems thwart credential stuffing attempts, enhancing overall security.

Conclusion

In the face of mounting VPN vulnerabilities, the imperative to transition to passwordless systems cannot be overstated. By embracing advanced authentication methods, organisations can fortify their defences against brute force attacks, safeguarding critical assets and data.

Read Also

Your 1st Step to #GoPasswordless

Credential stuffing Attacks on VPN: Serious Risk for Enterprise

Google 2FA Breach: Rethink Authentication Security

In today’s digital landscape, safeguarding our online presence is paramount. Two-factor authentication (2FA) has emerged as a crucial tool in this endeavour. Platforms like Google and Facebook offer 2FA to bolster account security. However, there have been multiple incidents revealing vulnerabilities in this system, prompting concerns among users.

The Case of the Bypassed 2FA

Recent reports unveiled breaches in Gmail and YouTube accounts despite 2FA activation. This revelation underscores a fundamental truth: security with passwords, along with 2FA or MFA is fallible. Hackers continuously adapt their tactics, exploiting weaknesses even in trusted systems like 2FA.

Credit : Forbes

Understanding the Bypass

While the exact method remains undisclosed, hackers may employ various strategies to circumvent 2FA. According to Forbes, It’s probable that these users fell prey to what’s known as a session cookie hijack attack. Typically initiated through a phishing email, hackers direct victims to a counterfeit login page. Upon entering their credentials, users are prompted to complete a simulated 2FA challenge, which they unwittingly comply with.

The Role of Vigilance

Despite these challenges, I would personally suggest moving away from systems that solely rely on 2FA for authentication. But in the extreme case where abandoning 2FA is not the solution, users must adopt additional measures to enhance their security posture.

Secure Alternative to 2FA/MFA

As we have seen numerous instance of 2FA & MFA getting by passed, enterprises need better methods to secure access to their resources. PureAUTH Secure IAM platform provides Zero Trust -Passwordless access and protects enterprises from following type of attacks

  1. Password Spraying & brute forcing attacks
  2. Credential Phishing, Push fatigue and Adversary in the middle attacks
  3. Public Key replacement attacks targeted at solutions using Public Key based authentication like FIDO keys
  4. Social Engineering attacks to reset user credentials and reset or disable MFA/2FA
  5. Abuse of shared credentials or leaked credentials and in general credential stuffing attacks

Elevating Security: Going Beyond 2FA

Security is an ongoing journey, requiring a multifaceted approach. While the challenges of bypassing 2FA are evident, there’s a growing trend towards passwordless authentication methods. Embracing secure identity and access management technologies, adopting a zero-trust architecture are some promising alternatives. By adapting these alternatives and staying vigilant, users can reinforce their online security against the ever-evolving tactics of cyber criminals.

PureID offers solutions that curate a robust defence against unauthorised access, heralding a more secure digital future for organizations. Embrace the resilience of passwordless authentication, reinforce your security posture with PureID, and navigate the cybersecurity landscape with renewed strength. The journey continues—Passwordless Authentication awaits.

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Breach Chronicles: MongoDB’s Unsettling Security Saga Unfolds

Mother of all breaches: Which you could have avoided !!

Introduction

Don’t use passwords they said. It can be breached they said. Well, surprise, surprise, we didn’t pay much attention. Now, here we are, nervously checking our email IDs against the colossal 26 billion-record breach – the mother of all breaches!

Breach Unveiled: A Symphony of Chaos

So, there’s this massive breach, Mother of All Breaches (MOAB), a digital pandemonium that has exposed a whopping 26 billion records. It’s like a digital opera – records from MySpace to Adobe, starring Tencent, Weibo, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your data just had its grand debut!

The Dramatic Unfolding

Picture this: MOAB is a blockbuster compilation of data breaches, meticulously curated. It’s like a Hollywood blockbuster, but your credentials are the star, and not in a good way. Your once-secure passwords are now part of a hacker’s treasure trove. Slow clap for the password drama.

Passwords – The Ultimate Blunder

If  Ellen DeGeneres hosted this show, she’d say, “You had one job – say no to passwords!” See the aftermath? Identity theft, phishing attacks, and a surge in password-stuffing shenanigans. All thanks to those outdated, reused, and easy-to-crack passwords.

Passwordless Paradise: Where Dreams Come True

Now, imagine an alternate universe where you actually listened – where passwordless authentication is the superhero. No MOAB nightmares, just smooth, secure logins without the hassle of juggling countless passwords. A utopia, right?

Mitigation Party: Reclaim Your Digital Kingdom

Inspect Your Vulnerability: Employ tools such as “Have I Been Pwned” and data leak checker. data leak checker. Use “Privacy Hawk” to trace your data’s path and request removal from unwanted websites. Move swiftly: Purge your digital footprint by eliminating your data from irrelevant websites.

Conclusion: Lessons Learned (Hopefully)

In an ideal world, you’d have embraced passwordless authentication, and we’d all be sipping digital margaritas by now. But, alas, here we are – dealing with the aftermath. Take this as a digital wake-up call: passwords belong to the past, let’s march into a passwordless future.

A Final Plea: Break Free from Passwords

Passwords are so yesterday!! The revolution is calling – will you answer? Join the passwordless parade; your digital sanity will thank you later. Use PureId, Stay Safe.

Multiple Mobile Browsers Vulnerable to Address Bar Spoofing

As reported by Zscaler in April 2020, a significant increase (about 85%) in phishing attacks were seen, targeting remote workers. Attackers had registered domains featuring Covid-19 related keywords such as “virus”, “vaccine” etc. in order to steal credentials, disseminate malware, most notably ransomware for conducting financial frauds.

With ever-growing advanced spear-phishing attacks, vulnerabilities like Address Bar Spoofing make attacks more convincing and hard to distinguish. Cybersecurity researchers on Tuesday disclosed details about an address bar spoofing vulnerability affecting multiple mobile browsers.

affected browsers
Affected Browsers

Affected Browsers 

These Vulnerabilities were first reported by pakistani researcher Rafay Baloch and Tod Bearsley of Rapid 7 in August 2020 and now the browser companies have started releasing its patches.

Quick intro to Address Bar Spoofing 

One can create a phishing link or a html page in which vulnerable browser will execute it in such a way that an attacker can set document.location to original domain so user will see original domain name loading in the vulnerable browser and he may end up entering his email and password thinking that the site is genuine. This is how an attacker can spoof address bars.

The vulnerability occurs due to Safari preserving the address bar of the URL when requested over an arbitrary port, the set interval function reloads bing.com:8080 every 2 milliseconds and hence user is unable to recognize the redirection from the original URL to spoofed URL. What makes this vulnerability more effective in Safari by default does not reveal port number in URL unless and until focus is set via cursor.

Our team has tested this successfully in Safari Version 5.1.7

Not Bing Browser
Here you can see a bing.com domain with a phishing page.
Fake Bing Browser Code
Here you can see the output for the code
Phishing Facebook Page
This is the example in which you can see genuine domain with a phishing Facebook page.
Fake Gmail
URL Spoofing attack with more realistic visuals of Gmail.

Conclusion

Time and again it has been concluded in several breach investigation reports that Passwords are the #1 Target of hacker & Phishing is the Top most Risk for all the enterprises. The world is yet to find an effective solution for phishing/ spear-phishing attacks. 

PureAUTH passwordless suites eliminate passwords from an enterprise and so does the threat of phishing/spear-phishing. Check out how we secure our users from in-mobile-phishing attacks with our best passwordless authentication solution.