Endpoint Security

Heimdal Security logoHow would your customers feel if they had a Norse warrior stopping malware from reaching their endpoints? Meet Denmark’s Heimdal Security.

In days of old, the sight of Vikings on the horizon was enough to turn decent peasants’ blood to ice.

But the marauding Danes are now playing poacher-turned-gamekeeper – at least in IT security terms.

Because instead of being the threat, they’re now stopping the threats before they make landfall. (Or, at least, before they reach your customers’ endpoints!)

This is what our newest vendor partner Heimdal Security sees as its killer battle cry when compared to traditional endpoint security. And here’s why malware needs to be very afraid of it.

From last-ditch to proactive: endpoint protection transformed

“Form square and stick out your spears” – that’s basically the traditional approach to endpoint protection. Once the problem has hit the machine, the security software rings the panic bell, musters the garrison, and mounts a defence.

We Brits tried that against the (real) Vikings. It didn’t work.

But if we could have spotted their boats as they cast off – or, even better, seen activity on the quayside that indicated an attack being prepared – we could have taken proactive action against them before they reached Blighty.

This is exactly what Heimdal does. Instead of looking at application code and signatures in files that have already entered the endpoint, to work out if there’s a threat, it looks at the undercurrents in the ‘sea’ of network and internet traffic entering and leaving your customers’ businesses, to detect danger before it surfaces.

Rather cleverly, though, this isn’t just about identifying when users are being taken to places they shouldn’t be sailing towards – e.g. malicious websites – and blocking the connection to them before it’s made (although this is certainly important, as we explore below).

It’s also about using advanced machine-learning, heuristics and network forensics to detect apparently harmless network file ‘plankton’ that is in fact fodder for a coming malware attack.

Traditional security protects an endpoint with a last-ditch defence. Heimdal protects it by turning the entire network into a shield wall.

Which one are you betting your krone on?

Multi Layered Security Graphic
Conventional endpoint security is typically missing the traffic-based anti-malware protection that Heimdal delivers.

“Probably the best malware protection in the world…”

The famous Danish beer ad is tongue in cheek. But there’s a serious point to be made here about the strains of malware that Heimdal can protect against that many other security solutions simply can’t.

Take ransomware, for example. Traditional endpoint security looks for malicious code within files, but a ransomware-triggering hyperlink, or instruction to connect to a website, is neither a file nor, in itself, an inherently malicious piece of code. So, the endpoint security software doesn’t spot it.

But Heimdal is looking at the network, not the endpoint. It detects and blocks the malicious connections (to malvertising, legitimate but compromised web banners, malicious iFrames and redirects, botnets etc.) that signal an intention to activate or propagate attack strains like APTs, ransomware, Trojans, polymorphic malware and others.

In short, Heimdal gets stuck into the melee long before the blunt old endpoint battle-axe can!

Automatic software updates: that’s 85% of web app attacks defeated!

Exploit kits and other threats that exploit programs’ existing security weaknesses are a huge worry for traditional endpoint security vendors, because these weaknesses often exist at a lower level than that at which the security solutions operate.

Consequently, exploits can slip underneath the endpoint radar (the bad guys must feel like they’ve died and gone to Valhalla!)

They’re a huge worry for your customers, too, given that some 85% of web app attacks (like the kind that typically trigger ransomware and steal personal financial data) take hold of endpoints through an existing unpatched security hole of this kind.

But here, Heimdal have put a real edge on their sword. They have coupled their network traffic analysis with an automatic software update tool, to ensure that your customers’ internet-facing and non-internet-facing apps  – from Acrobat to Audacity, Flash to Firefox, Java to Jitsi, and many others besides – are constantly and automatically updated with the latest security fixes and patches, thus denying exploit kits an entry point.

The most security-critical applications are often those that are not concerned with security at all – how’s that for a typically innovative Scandinavian way of looking at a problem?

Why Heimdal
“Proactive” is a word you’ll hear a lot from Heimdal – and the automatic patching capability that embodies it is a good third of the company’s overall value proposition. (Click to enlarge)

Heimdal: the new word in security

Bloodthirsty or not, the Vikings gave their name to some very beneficial concepts. The word ‘law’ comes into English from their language, for example – and from where we’re sitting it looks like they’ve done it again with ‘Heimdal’!

(Loosely translated, we think the name means: “Stop the thing that’s trying to attack the longboat before it reaches the longboat.” Genius.)

Time some of your customers learnt some Danish, perhaps?

Over the last week we have seen an increase in the amount of companies receiving emails containing Zepto Ransomware, a file encrypting virus based on the infamous Locky cryptoware.
Most of the emails have been carefully crafted to ensnare the victims using social engineering techniques, typically greeting the recipient by first name and asking them to open an attachment which they had requested.
zepto image
The attachment will typically be either a .zip extension or .docm extension and once opened will run a malicious JavaScript which then encrypts all files on the users machine with the .zepto extension

To try and combat the infection, we offer the following advice
1. To protect against JavaScript attachments, tell Explorer to open .JS files with Notepad.
2. To protect against VBA malware, tell Office not to allow macros in documents from the internet.
3. Ensure your AntiMalware program is upto date
4. Ensure your users are careful with email attachments and only open the ones they are sure they have requested
5. If possible set email filtering to quarantine all .zip and .docm files

Brian-A-Jackson1

On a weekly basis there are now articles regarding a big brand company which has been hacked, these usually relate to what data has been lost, how they are notifying those affected and what they are going to be doing to prevent this from happening again.

So how do you prevent it from happening in the first place?

From experience I can see that if a hacker wants to get details from somewhere they will take the easiest target, the ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ as they say, in ensuring your company has some basic security principles in place can help mitigate this.

So how do you ensure you are not the ‘Low Hanging Fruit’

Simple measures can be taken within your environment to help secure it. As a basic level you should be meeting the following guide - CyberEssentials Requirements

This sets out some advice regarding Firewalls, User access control, Passwords, Malware protection and Patch management.

Once you have met the standards given within this document you should be looking to increase the security standards within your organisation. The most effective we have found is the use of education, once educated your staff will be able to react to the threats quicker and reduce the risks to your company.

Windows10

Article originally published on the Malwarebytes website

It’s that time again, a new operating system emerges from the Microsoft incubator! While many of you might not get to experience Windows 10 just yet or even in the foreseeable future, we want you to know that when you decide to use it, Malwarebytes has got your back.

The latest versions of our Malwarebytes products supports Windows 10! And that includes:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Premium
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit for Business
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Remediation Tool

So one of the first things you should do after setting up your new operating system is to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Trust me, the cyber criminals won’t wait until everyone is comfortable with Windows 10 to start targeting folks using it.

To download the latest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your new Win 10 system, click here.

Find out more about Malwarebytes at www.bluesolutions.co.uk/malwarebytes/. Call our sales team today on 0118 9898 222 for a free trial or demo.

Malwarebytes Image

Originally published on the Malwarebytes Security Blog

May 6 marked the 15 year anniversary of the infamous ILOVEYOU (Love Letter) email virus. The virus is regarded as the first major virus spread by email.

ILOVEYOU reportedly infected tens of millions of computers worldwide, and cost billions of dollars in damage.

Once a machine was infected with ILOVEYOU, the virus scanned the Windows Address Book and subsequently sent copies of itself to every contact within the list. Using the public’s lack of email security to its advantage, the virus was able to masquerade as a legitimate attachment sent by a known acquaintance.

This simple social engineering tactic allowed the virus to propagate world-wide quickly and efficiently.

In the years since ILOVEYOU, we’ve all learned lots regarding email security and ‘best practices’ to use when downloading attachments. There have been numerous articles, write-ups, warnings, and suggestions advising users to be wary when opening attachments that come via email – even when from a trusted source.

Despite more than a decade and a half of these warnings, email is still a primary vector for the installation of malicious software.

The M3AAWG Email Metrics Report, released Q2 of 2014, indicates that over a three-month tracking period, a whopping 987 billion “abusive” emails were identified as being successfully delivered.

While this pales in comparison to the other 9+ trillion emails blocked by the mail providers, this number demonstrates just how successful  a vector email is for malicious actors to use to compromise their victims.

While the M3AAWG report doesn’t distinguish between emails with malicious attachments and other types of abusive emails such as phishing emails, it’s reasonable to assume that at least a significant percentage of the abusive emails did indeed contain a malicious attachment.

As indicated by the report, the vast majority of these messages are blocked by large email providers such as Microsoft and Google, but despite the best efforts of these companies, many messages still find their way through the filters.  Here is an example of a malicious email I received to my personal email account just the other day.

MalSpam1

The success of these malware campaigns relies in numbers. With an estimated 205 billion emails sent each day, it seems to be a herculean, if not almost impossible task to prevent each and every malicious email from being delivered.

We would all be quite peeved if that important document from our boss wasn’t delivered to our email box, or if that emergency change in insurance wasn’t received from HR.

The big email providers know this, so they are forced to tread lightly when determining if an attachment is malicious or not. The problem is malicious actors know this too.  So for them, it’s just a numbers game.

If one address gets blocked, use another. If one message is blocked, send one more – better yet, send a million more. And there in-lies the issue that we in the security field face when it comes to preventing you from seeing (and in the case of malware – blocking) this sort of garbage all together.

A small portion of over-all attempted deliveries and an even smaller percentage of successful installs is all that’s needed to claim success.

Malware authors utilise a dizzying array of tools, services, and botnets to facilitate delivery of malicious email. Email addresses are spoofed. The subject and body can be dynamically generated using unique information to help provide a sense of legitimacy to the email. Most attachments are randomized both in name and MD5’s to thwart detection.

Geo-location is used to send emails to users of a particular region, city, or post code. And the subject matter of emails constantly changes to play into the fears, desires, and dreams of every potential person.

MalSpam2

Attachments are not limited to .zips either. Attachments have been seen to arrive in .exe format (although rare with large email providers), .scr, .pdf, .com, .js, or a variety of others. Here we can see how some attachments attempt to appear legitimate.  Take notice of the large spaces between filenames and the .exe extension on a few of the attachments.

MalSpam3

Remember, it only takes a small portion of sent emails, and an even smaller percentage of those to be clicked, in order for a malware author to claim a particular spam-run successful.

The reality is, these people wouldn’t use email as an attack vector if it didn’t work – but it does.

The only reason it does is because a small percentage of us still click such attachments thinking there may be some legitimacy to the content.

Despite 15 years of warnings, billions of dollars in damages, and countless attacks attributed to email, we have yet to learn the dangers of downloading unsolicited attachments.

So for the sake of humanity (a bit dire, I know) please quit clicking attachments from people you don’t know, or from contacts where the content appears suspicious.

If there is a question if the email is legitimate, contact the sender and inquire.

If you didn’t order anything online, don’t click the Word document advising you of your recent purchase.

If you haven’t done so already, configure Windows to always show file extensions. That way, if you do download and extract a malicious attachment, you can hopefully see if any trickery is being played with spaces between the visible filename and the extension.

And most importantly, educate someone you know who would never read this (or any) security blog as to hopefully help them from succumbing to the ever-changing tactics of malware spam.

Blue Solutions is now a distributor for Malwarebytes- read the press release here. Call our team on 0118 9898 222 and they'll help with any questions or arrange a free trial.

On July 5, 2011 Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.x and Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 12.0 reached End-of-Life and have currently been running in Limited Support. If you are still on these older product versions, we strongly encourage you to upgrade to version 12.1 free of charge as part of your maintenance/support subscription.

Running Mac OS X?

Upgrade to 12.1.4 with IPS and Antivirus for Mac OS X 10.9 (or lower), better   Mac management and all the protection and performance capabilities for your   Windows and Virtual Machines in a single solution.

Download   Here

Versions 11.x and 12.0 of Symantec Endpoint Protection will move to partial support on January 5, 2014 and End-of-Support-Life on January 5, 2015. Any customers on these product versions will stop receiving technical support, including fixes, patches, workarounds, maintenance packs, and content updates.

To ensure all Symantec Endpoint Protection customers maintain the most advanced protection available, this notification is sent to ALL customers on ANY version of Symantec Endpoint Protection. We encourage you to upgrade all Symantec Endpoint Protection clients in your environment and use the full protection technologies available in version 12.1.

Powered by Insight, Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1 provides fast, powerful defense-in-depth security technologies for endpoints. It offers advanced defenses against known and unknown threats for both physical and virtual systems and is as easy to roll out as a standard Release Update.

Symantec recently released version 12.1.4 of Symantec Endpoint Protection, which includes support for Windows 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.9, Mac IPS and enhanced management. Upgrade today by downloading Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1.4 from FileConnect.

For helpful tips, tricks and links for upgrading and optimizing Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1, visit one of the following sites:

Still running version 11.x or 12.0? Visit: http://www.symantec.com/page.jsp?id=sep12-migration

Already using version 12.1? Visit: http://www.symantec.com/page.jsp?id=sep12-protection

End of Limited Support: On January 5, 2014, these products will transition from Limited Support to Partial Support. Our technical support engineers may provide you with known fixes/patches/workarounds, existing maintenance packs or information from our Technical Knowledge Base in response to requests for assistance. As a courtesy, Symantec will continue to provide content updates and definitions for versions 11.x and 12.0 during this time. For details, see here. Customers are encouraged to have COMPLETED, or be well on their way toward completing the migration of all clients to version 12.1. Best practices for migrating can be found here.

End of Support Life: January 5, 2015 marks the official end of the product life cycle for versions 11.x and 12.0 of Symantec Endpoint Protection. As of this date, Symantec will cease providing any and all levels of standard or partial support, including content updates and virus definitions, for these versions of the products.

Symantec Product

Version

End of Limited Support

End of Support Life

Symantec Endpoint Protection

11.x

January 5, 2014

January 5, 2015

Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition

12.0

January 5, 2014

January 5, 2015

Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1 includes in-product licensing, allowing you to use the License Activation Wizard on the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (link available on the Home Page or from the Admin page) to activate your license(s). You will only need serial numbers to complete the process.

The following serial number(s) may be used to activate your product:

Product

Qty

Activation Serial   Number

SYMC   ENDPOINT PROTECTION 12.1 PER USER I/O BASIC 12 MONTHS

5

M1810543270


Additional Resources

For more information regarding the services provided through Support, please refer to the Symantec Enterprise Technical Support Policy at the link below or contact your Symantec Account Manager.

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-symantec-enterprise-technical-support-policy.en-us.pdf

We also recommend that you periodically check our website for End-of-Life and End-of-Support-Life information for your specific Licensed Software:

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-end_of_life_policy_for_business_products.en-us.pdf


How to get more information

Symantec is committed to helping customers achieve success with their Symantec solutions. If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact your Symantec Partner or your Symantec Corporation Account Manager.

LabTech Software, the only powerful, robust-featured remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform developed by a managed service provider (MSP) for managed service providers, is partnering with Webroot to make it easier for partners to deploy and manage endpoint security solutions for their customers. The integration is part of an ongoing effort to help partners access new sources of revenue using the LabTech platform.

"We continue to provide our partners with best-in-class solutions that further add value and automation to their LabTech platform," said Matt Nachtrab, LabTech Software CEO. "Partnering with Webroot allows us to further deliver on integrated solutions that can be managed through the single-pane-of-glass within LabTech. I'm excited to have Webroot as part of our security portfolio and look forward to helping our partners and MSP businesses succeed."

Unlike traditional antivirus solutions, the cloud-based Webroot SecureAnywhere portfolio includes the industry’s lightest and fastest endpoint security solutions, allowing LabTech partners to achieve exceptional threat protection and faster scans without bulky patches and signature updates. Webroot places the burden of malware protection in the cloud, freeing up operating systems and hardware resources – saving MSPs time and money, and increasing customer satisfaction.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with LabTech Software," said Charlie Tomeo, vice president of channel and technical sales at Webroot. "Their industry-leading services have fostered a loyal and rapidly-growing following within the MSP community. We recognize that traditional endpoint security has created many challenges for MSPs. With Webroot's cloud-based security solution, MSPs will be able to not only gain additional profits, but also significantly reduce the complexities and inefficiencies normally associated with managing a security solution."

Webroot’s cloud-based security solutions require no hardware, can be installed instantly and can be managed anywhere, anytime. This significantly reduces the amount of management required from MSP partners to deploy and manage endpoint security for all their customers. The solutions are lightweight and fast, with no impact on end-user productivity. Webroot takes an innovative and powerful approach to endpoint security that utilizes cloud-based big data, delivering maximum protection to MSPs. The security solutions feature instant rollback and remote remediation with no need to re-image machines, improving productivity, saving MSPs time and money and lowering total cost of ownership.

To learn more about the LabTech-Webroot integration, please visit www.labtechsoftware.com/webroot.