15 Bullet Friday – The Best Security News of the Week – 2021.03.19

The Top 15 Security Posts – Vetted & Curated

*Threats & Defense*
1. Microsoft Reports ‘DearCry’ Ransomware Targeting Exchange Servers (Dark Reading:, Mar 12 2021)
Attackers have begun to deploy ransomware on Microsoft Exchange Servers compromised by the ProxyLogon exploits.

2. New Side-Channel Attack Targets Intel CPU Ring Interconnect (SecurityWeek, Mar 08 2021)
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has published a paper detailing a new side-channel attack method that can be launched against devices with Intel CPUs.

3. Google Releases PoC Exploit for Browser-Based Spectre Attack (SecurityWeek, Mar 15 2021)
Google last week announced the release of proof-of-concept (PoC) code designed to exploit the notorious Spectre vulnerability and leak information from web browsers.


Filter Out the Noise
Since I started this curated security news in June 2017, I’ve clipped ~19,000 articles and narrowed them down into the best 20 per day & best 15 per week. This is my favorite way to cut through all the security marketing and hype. If you’re enjoying it, tell a friend. If you hate it, tell an enemy.
Thanks! – Lucas Samaras

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*AI, IoT, & Mobile Security*
4. A Hacker Got All My Texts for $16 (VICE, Mar 16 2021)
A gaping flaw in SMS lets hackers take over phone numbers in minutes by simply paying a company to reroute text messages.

5. Malware Operator Employs New Trick to Upload Its Dropper into Google Play (Dark Reading, Mar 10 2021)
Check Point researchers recently discovered the Clast82 dropper hidden in nine legitimate Android utility apps.

6. White House Weighs New Cybersecurity Approach After Failure to Detect Hacks (NYTimes, Mar 14 2021)
White House Weighs New Cybersecurity Approach After Failure to Detect Hacks  The New York Times

*Cloud Security, DevOps, AppSec*
7. Mimecast says SolarWinds hackers breached its network (Ars Technica, Mar 16 2021)
Mimecast-issued certificate used to connect to customers’ Microsoft 365 tenants.

8. Validate access to your S3 buckets before deploying permissions changes with IAM Access Analyzer (AWS Security Blog, Mar 10 2021)
“AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Access Analyzer helps you monitor and reduce access by using automated reasoning to generate comprehensive findings for resource access. Now, you can preview and validate public and cross-account access before deploying permission changes. For example, you can validate whether your S3 bucket would allow public access before deploying your…”

9. Mitigating leaked personal access tokens (PATs) found on GitHub public repositories (Azure DevOps Blog, Mar 10 2021)
Personal access tokens (PATs) make it easy to integrate your tools with Azure DevOps or extend Azure DevOps functionality for your business needs. However, like other authentication credentials, personal access tokens need to be stored securely. Leaked tokens could compromise your Azure DevOps account and data…

*Identity Mgt & Web Fraud*
10. Twitter Updates 2FA Use of Multiple Security Keys (Infosecurity Magazine, Mar 16 2021)
Users will soon be able to use security keys as sole authentication method

11. Netflix’s Password-Sharing Crackdown Has a Silver Lining (Wired, Mar 12 2021)
The streaming service is making account owners enter two-factor codes in a limited test. That’s… actually not so bad.

12. Judge Upholds Privacy Lawsuit Against Google (Infosecurity Magazine, Mar 15 2021)
Google will face allegations that it collected data of private browsing mode users

*CISO View*
13. Illegal Content and the Blockchain (Schneier on Security, Mar 17 2021)
“This openness is also a vulnerability, one that opens the door to asymmetric threats and small-time malicious actors. Anyone can put information in the one and only Bitcoin blockchain. Again, that’s how the system works.”

14. Foreign Meddling Flooded the 2020 Election—but Not Hackers (Wired, Mar 16 2021)
A new ODNI report shows how extensive Russian and Iranian influence operations were, but it doesn’t mention a single hack-and-leak incident.

15. Despite Hacks, US Not Seeking Widened Domestic Surveillance (SecurityWeek, Mar 13 2021)
The Biden administration is not planning to step up government surveillance of the U.S. internet even as state-backed foreign hackers and cybercriminals increasingly use it to evade detection, a senior administration official said Friday.

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