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Forcepoint Security Labs™ brings together researchers, engineers and thought leaders from around the world to discover, investigate, report and – ultimately – protect our customers from sophisticated, evasive and evolving Web- and email-based threats.

Find out more about the work we do through our blogs, annual reports, conference presentations and podcasts.

We normally try to protect the things most valuable to us, hence the proliferation of different locks and keys for our cars, houses, etc. These keys in the material world are analogous to our passwords in the digital one. However even an average user likely has more passwords for the devices and services they use than keys for any other group of assets. 

We recently wrote about the Quant malware coming with pre-packaged password stealing capabilities. We all understand that physical security is important, choose our locks carefully and consciously keep our keys where we believe they will be safe from being stolen, but do we...

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Forcepoint Security Labs researchers have just returned from a successful Black Hat Europe 2017 hosted in London, UK.  We had an enjoyable time presenting, networking and expanding our own knowledge. Thank you to all those who attended our Briefings Talk on Wednesday and who met us on our booth in the Business Hall.


Forcepoint Briefing - and Evader

Forcepoint researchers, Antti Levomäki & Olli-Pekka Niemi, delivered a briefing in the Network Defense track entitled “Automatic Discovery of Evasion Vulnerabilities using Targeted Protocol Fuzzing” on Wednesday 6 December at 11:45am.  Their research...

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Last year, Forcepoint Security Labs blogged about the Quant Loader – a Trojan downloader previously seen being used to distribute Locky and Pony. 

We recently came across an active Quant loader administration panel hosted on a freshly registered domain which was also hosting a number of additional malware samples. At first glance everything seemed to be business as usual, but once the initial investigation was completed it became evident that some additional ‘features’ had been added...

Three for the Price of One 

Quant is not new or a very novel piece of malware: we covered the basics of it last year when it was...

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In a similar fashion to the Jaff ransomware, Forcepoint Security Labs have observed another piece of ransomware called “Scarab” being pushed by the infamous Necurs botnet. The massive email campaign started at approximately 07:30 UTC and is active as of 13:30 today, totalling over 12.5 million emails captured so far.

The graph below shows the per-hour volume of Scarab/Necurs emails blocked by Forcepoint between 07:00 and 12:00 UTC:

Figure 1: Scarab/Necurs emails intercepted per hour

Based on our telemetry, the majority of the traffic is being sent to the .com top level domain (TLD). However...

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As we round out what has been one of the most impactful years in cyber security we are pleased to announce the Forcepoint Security Labs’ cyber security predictions report for the forthcoming year.

Subject matter experts across our global Security Labs, Innovation Labs, CTO and CISO teams have pooled their collective insights to give you an accurate insight into the landscape of the future.  We have dived into the current threat landscape, looked at business challenges on the horizon and surveyed enterprise leaders to arrive at what we think are key areas of risk that will present themselves in 2018 and beyond.


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On 24 October 2017 Bad Rabbit – the third ‘major’ ransomware outbreak of the year – made headlines as it affected large numbers of machines, predominantly in Eastern Europe.

The malware bears many similarities to the Petya - AKA NotPetya, GoldenEye, ExPetr, Petrwrap - attack from June (éjà-vu-petya-ransomware-appears-smb-propagation-capabilities): the ransom messages are very similar in both content and style, the ransom demand is for a similar amount (USD $300 in June versus BTC 0.05 – approximately $280 at current prices), and it attempts to move laterally once inside a network....

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Please note:​ This is an update to our original analysis posted earlier on Oct. 16, 2017.

The best advice is to not transmit or receive sensitive information over Wi-Fi without some additional form of encryption actively in place, and follow these best practices:

Use a corporate VPN client whenever you’re outside of your corporate networks. In conjunction use HTTPS in web browsing. Ensure that the padlock icon is active in your browser. Stop browsing if you get any pop-up errors about certificates or insecure communications. Apply vendor patches to all Wi-Fi... Read more

Forcepoint Security Labs have encountered an ongoing Trickbot campaign that appears to target crypto-currencies. Trickbot is a banking Trojan that is traditionally known to target financial institutions. Recently, we have observed Trickbot targeting Paypal and expanding its list of target institutions to include those from Nordic countries.

Today’s campaign uses Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) as a social engineering lure. Below is a screenshot of the email:

The attached document is disguised as a CIBC document. It contains a macro downloader that ultimately downloads and executes a...

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This blog is part of a series! Read part one ‘Security, Performance, Obfuscation & Compression’ here and part two ‘Camouflage .NETting’ here.

Much attention is paid to the underground economy in the media with a huge focus on the availability of malware on underground and so-called ‘darknet’ forums. These underground services may make a more exciting story, but the recurring theme throughout the past two posts in this series has been the ready availability of commercial tools written without malicious intent which can nonetheless be turned to ill purposes.

Instead of relying on underground...

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Click here for part one of this series: ‘Security, Performance, Obfuscation & Compression’.

Since its introduction the majority of malware authors have shunned .NET as a development platform, despite its relative popularity as a platform for developing legitimate Windows software. There are numerous potential reasons for this, but two in particular that likely have a significant influence on malware authors are .NET code’s reliance on external libraries (few people are likely to want to install a specific version of the .NET Framework in order to support someone trying to steal their banking details) and...

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