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.

Threat Intelligence

1/30/2020
01:10 PM
50%
50%

United Nations Data Breach Started with Microsoft SharePoint Bug

A remote code execution flaw enabled a breach of UN offices in Geneva and Vienna, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

A cyberattack targeting United Nations offices in July 2019 reportedly stemmed from Microsoft SharePoint vulnerability CVE-2019-0604, which was patched early last year and has been under active attack since then. A senior UN IT official estimates some 400GB of data was downloaded.

News of the breach comes from a confidential document from the UN Office of Information and Technology. The file was leaked to The New Humanitarian and seen by the AP, which reports 42 servers were compromised and another 25 are considered suspicious. The majority of these servers are at the UN offices in Geneva and Vienna. Attackers were also able to access Active Directories, likely obtaining human resources, insurance systems, databases, and network data.

It's so far unclear exactly which documents and data the attackers stole; however, those who viewed the report imply internal documents, emails, databases, and commercial information may have been accessed. The sensitive nature of information handled by these offices could have major consequences for UN staff and the many people it works with around the world.

Reports indicate the UN hid the incident, which reportedly began in July 2019 and was noticed a month later. Employees were alerted to change their passwords but not notified of a breach, even though staff records, health insurance, and commercial contract data were compromised in the incident. Attackers were able to infiltrate pieces of IT infrastructure, including system controls, user and password management tools, and firewalls.

The attackers reportedly gained access via CVE-2019-0604, a known remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft SharePoint that was disclosed in February 2019. Since a patch was released, security researchers have seen the bug exploited in active attacks. In May 2019, both the Saudi Arabia National Cyber Security Center and Canadian Cyber Security Centre reported attackers were using the China Chopper web shell to gain initial access and exploit this flaw.

This vulnerability gave intruders the access they needed to move throughout UN networks. So far, the attackers have not been identified, though it's believed they are sophisticated threat actors.

Read more details here

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "7 Steps to IoT Security in 2020."

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/30/2020
6 Ways Passwords Fail Basic Security Tests
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/28/2020
'Act of War' Clause Could Nix Cyber Insurance Payouts
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  10/29/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How to Measure and Reduce Cybersecurity Risk in Your Organization
In this Tech Digest, we examine the difficult practice of measuring cyber-risk that has long been an elusive target for enterprises. Download it today!
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-2020-7759
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-30
The package pimcore/pimcore from 6.7.2 and before 6.8.3 are vulnerable to SQL Injection in data classification functionality in ClassificationstoreController. This can be exploited by sending a specifically-crafted input in the relationIds parameter as demonstrated by the following request: http://v...
CVE-2020-7760
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-30
This affects the package codemirror before 5.58.2; the package org.apache.marmotta.webjars:codemirror before 5.58.2. The vulnerable regular expression is located in https://github.com/codemirror/CodeMirror/blob/cdb228ac736369c685865b122b736cd0d397836c/mode/javascript/javascript.jsL129. The ReDOS vu...
CVE-2020-27014
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-30
Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac 2020 (Consumer) contains a race condition vulnerability in the Web Threat Protection Blocklist component, that if exploited, could allow an attacker to case a kernel panic or crash. An attacker must first obtain the ability to execute high-privileged code on the targ...
CVE-2020-27015
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-30
Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac 2020 (Consumer) contains an Error Message Information Disclosure vulnerability that if exploited, could allow kernel pointers and debug messages to leak to userland. An attacker must first obtain the ability to execute high-privi...
CVE-2020-27885
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability on WSO2 API Manager 3.1.0. By exploiting a Cross-site scripting vulnerability the attacker can hijack a logged-in user’s session by stealing cookies which means that a malicious hacker can change the logged-in user’s pass...