Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

CrowdStrike Turns Security Fight Toward Attacker

CrowdStrike Falcon platform is first to focus on the source of the attack, rather than stopping malware

In medicine, there are two types of treatment: those that treat the symptoms and those that cure the disease. Many doctors -- and most pharmaceutical companies -- devote the majority of their time toward managing and relieving symptoms, rather than stopping a disease at its source.

Enterprise security professionals -- and most security vendors -- are in this same mode today. We focus a great deal of attention on technical analysis of malware and security events, but precious little time asking questions about who the attackers are or why they are targeting us. As a result, enterprises have built defenses that are somewhat effective in preventing the symptoms of an attack -- but the attackers themselves work in a relatively safe environment where it is unlikely they will be identified and even less likely they will suffer any consequences of their actions.

A week ago, I had a chance to meet with George Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of CrowdStrike, about the rollout of Falcon, the company's new platform for identifying and responding to the sources of targeted attacks. Falcon is the realization of CrowdStrike's concept of "Active Defense," which involves not only identifying the malware, but identifying its source and then taking steps to make the attacker's life more difficult. CrowdStrike calls this "raising the adversary's costs" -- the company does not use terms such as "strike back" or "hack back," which sometimes involve tactics that cause enterprises to get into legal problems. CrowdStrike's defenses are designed to frustrate attackers within legal limits.

CrowdStrike has been talking about Active Defense for more than 18 months now, but last week's announcements were the first real chance for the industry to see how this concept would be manifested in a product. In a nutshell, Falcon is a cloud service that correlates intelligence and security events in real-time from a global network of agent applications -- CrowdStrike calls them "sensors" -- that are deployed to endpoints and devices. By storing and analyzing a vast amount of event data gathered from all of these sensors, CrowdStrike has created a massive intelligence repository that is constantly mined, and advanced analytics are used to reveal threat intelligence insights that may escape currently available anti-malware and threat intelligence products and services.

In the future, CrowdStrike plans to instrument the event data so that it can be shared, enabling enterprises to share information on new attacks and respond more quickly to them, Kurtz says.

Running on top of the Falcon platform are two applications: CrowdStrike Threat Protect and CrowdStrike Adversary Intelligence. Threat Protect uses the CrowdStrike sensors to identify the adversary's mode of operation and create a profile that can be matched up with known attacks and attackers. Instead of focusing on only the malware itself, Threat Protect identifies mission objectives of the adversary leveraging the Kill Chain model and provides real-time detection by focusing on what the attacker is doing, such as reconnaissance, exploitation, privilege escalation, lateral movement, and exfiltration. It also records this activity with CrowdStrike's Activity Flight Recorder (AFR) technology so that the attacks can be analyzed at a later date.

Adversary Intelligence Intelligence is a Web-based intelligence subscription service that provides strategic analysis and customized views of advanced attacker activity. CrowdStrike says it can provide an extremely granular view into specific adversary campaigns and use that data to proactively defend against future attacks.

Just how effective the Falcon platform and applications will be remains to be seen. CrowdStrike is approaching the malware problem from an entirely new direction, and at this point, there's no way to predict what the bad guys' reaction will be. But the fact that a company is focusing on the source of the problem -- the attacker -- rather than simply treating the malware seems like a step in the right direction. Finding a cure usually starts with asking the right questions and coming up with a plan to fight the infection at its source, rather than just treating the symptoms. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/25/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15208
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, when determining the common dimension size of two tensors, TFLite uses a `DCHECK` which is no-op outside of debug compilation modes. Since the function always returns the dimension of the first tensor, malicious attackers can ...
CVE-2020-15209
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, a crafted TFLite model can force a node to have as input a tensor backed by a `nullptr` buffer. This can be achieved by changing a buffer index in the flatbuffer serialization to convert a read-only tensor to a read-write one....
CVE-2020-15210
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In tensorflow-lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, if a TFLite saved model uses the same tensor as both input and output of an operator, then, depending on the operator, we can observe a segmentation fault or just memory corruption. We have patched the issue in d58c96946b and ...
CVE-2020-15211
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In TensorFlow Lite before versions 1.15.4, 2.0.3, 2.1.2, 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, saved models in the flatbuffer format use a double indexing scheme: a model has a set of subgraphs, each subgraph has a set of operators and each operator has a set of input/output tensors. The flatbuffer format uses indices f...
CVE-2020-15212
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-25
In TensorFlow Lite before versions 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, models using segment sum can trigger writes outside of bounds of heap allocated buffers by inserting negative elements in the segment ids tensor. Users having access to `segment_ids_data` can alter `output_index` and then write to outside of `outpu...