Wonderful profile of Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist games critic who made an army of shitty manbabies very, very upset

Anita Sarkeesian (previously) is a brilliant media theorist and critic whose Feminist Frequency/Tropes vs. Women in Video Games projects revolutionized the way we talk about gender and games — and also made her a target for a virulent misogynist hate-machine of harassing manbabies who threatened her life, doxed her, and did everything they could to intimidate her into silence.

Firefox Zero-Day Was Used In Attack Against Coinbase Employees, Not Its Users

An anonymous reader writes: A recent Firefox zero-day that has made headlines across the tech news world this week was actually used in attacks against Coinbase employees, and not the company’s users. Furthermore, the attacks used not one, but two Firefox zero-days, according to Philip Martin, a member of the Coinbase security team, which reported the attacks to Mozilla. One was an RCE reported by a Google Project Zero security researcher to Mozilla in April, and the second was a sandbox escape that was spotted in the wild by the Coinbase team together with the RCE, on Monday.

The question here is how an attacker managed to get hold of the details for the RCE vulnerability and use it for his attacks after the vulnerability was privately reported to Mozilla by Google. The attacker could have found the Firefox RCE on his own, he could have bribed a Mozilla/Google insider, hacked a Mozilla/Google employee and viewed details about the RCE, or hacked Mozilla’s bug tracker, like another attacker did in 2015.

Firefox 0-day Used in Targeted Attacks Against Cryptocurrency Firms

The employees of Coinbase and other cryptocurrency firms were the target of an attack utilizing a recent Firefox zero-day and malware payloads in order to gain access to victim’s computers, networks, and sensitive information.

This past week, Mozilla released an emergency Firefox update to fix a critical remote execution vulnerability that was actively used in targeted attacks in the wild. This bug was given a CVE ID of CVE-2019-11707 and was stated to have been reported by both Google Project Zero vulnerability researcher Samuel Groß and Coinbase security.

According to tweets by Groß, he had reported the vulnerability to Mozilla on April 15th and was not aware of any targeted attacks at the time.

“I don’t have any insights into the active exploitation part. I found and then reported the bug on April 15.”

Groß also stated that while the vulnerability could be exploited for remote code execution, it would need to be chained with a sandbox escape vulnerability in order to affect the host operating system.

“The bug can be exploited for RCE but would then need a separate sandbox escape. However, most likely it can also be exploited for UXSS which might be enough depending on the attacker’s goals. Looking forward to more details from @mozsec and @coinbase”

Coinbase and other cryptocurrency firms targeted

More details emerged when Coinbase Chief Information Security Office Philip Martin tweeted a thread regarding how they and other cryptocurrency firms were the target of attacks utilizing this exploit.

According to Martin, Coinbase was the target of an attack that they were able to detect and walk back in order to discover and report the zero-day to Firefox.

“We walked back the entire attack, recovered and reported the 0-day to firefox, pulled apart the malware and infra used in the attack and are working with various orgs to continue burning down attacker infrastructure and digging into the attacker involved.”

Martin further stated that these attacks were targeting employees and not customers, which means the goal was most likely to gain access to corporate information, stored cryptocurrency funds, or their networks.

“We’ve seen no evidence of exploitation targeting customers. We were not the only crypto org targeted in this campaign. We are working to notify other orgs we believe were also targeted. We’re also releasing a set of IOCs that orgs can use to evaluate their potential exposure”

According to Martin, the following payload hashes, with one at least being a macOS payload, and Command & Control server IP addresses were used during the attack.

5/ Hashes (sha1): b639bca429778d24bda4f4a40c1bbc64de46fa79 23017a55b3d25a2597b7148214fd8fb2372591a5 C2 IPs:

How to prompt users to reset their AWS Managed Microsoft AD passwords proactively

If you’re an AWS Directory Service administrator, you can reset your directory users’ passwords from the AWS console or the CLI when their passwords expire. However, you can improve your efficiency by reducing the number of requests for password resets. You can also help improve the security of your organization by having your users proactively reset their directory passwords before they expire. In this post, I describe the steps you can take to set up a solution to send regular reminders to your AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (AWS Managed Microsoft AD) users to prompt them to change their password before it expires. This will help prevent users from being locked out when their passwords expire and also reduce the number of reset requests sent to administrators.

Solution Overview

When users’ passwords expire, they typically contact their directory service administrator to help them reset their password. For security reasons, they then need to reset their password again on their computer so that the administrator has no knowledge of the new password. This process is time-consuming and impacts productivity. In this post, I present a solution to remind users automatically to reset AWS Managed Microsoft AD passwords. The following diagram and description explains how the solution works.

Figure 1: Solution architecture

  1. A script running on an AWS Managed Microsoft AD domain-joined Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance (Notification Server) searches the AWS Managed Microsoft AD for all enabled user accounts and retrieves their names, email addresses, and password expiry dates.
  2. Using the permissions of the IAM role attached to the Notification Server, the script obtains the SES SMTP credentials stored in AWS Secrets Manager.
  3. With the SMTP credentials obtained in Step 2, the script then securely connects to Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES.)
  4. Based on your preferences, Amazon SES sends domain password expiry notifications to the users’ mailboxes.

A separate process for updating the SES credentials stored in AWS Secrets Manager occurs as follows:

  1. A CloudWatch rule triggers a Lambda function.
  2. The Lambda function generates new SES SMTP credentials from the SES IAM Username.
  3. The Lambda function then updates AWS Secrets Manager with the new SES credentials.
  4. The Lambda function then deletes the previous IAM access key.


The instructions in this post assume that you’re familiar with how to create Amazon EC2 for Windows Server instances, use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to log in to the instances, and have completed the following tasks:

  1. Create an AWS Microsoft AD directory.
  2. Join an Amazon EC2 for Windows Server instance to the AWS Microsoft AD domain to use as your Notification Server.
  3. Sign up for Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES).
  4. Remove Amazon EC2 throttling on port 25 for your EC2 instance.
  5. Remove your Amazon SES account from the Amazon SES sandbox so you can also send email to unverified recipients.

Note: You can use your AWS Microsoft Directory management instance as the Notification Server. For the steps below, use any account that is a member of the AWS delegated Administrators’ group.

Summary of the steps

  1. Verify an Amazon SES email address.
  2. Create Amazon SES SMTP credentials.
  3. Store the Amazon SES SMTP credentials in AWS Secrets Manager.
  4. Create an IAM role with read permissions to the secret in AWS Secrets Manager.
  5. Set up and test the notification script.
  6. Set up Windows Task Scheduler.
  7. Configure automatic rotation of the SES Credentials stored in Secrets Manager.

STEP 1: Verify an Amazon SES email address

To prevent unauthorized use, Amazon SES requires that you verify the email address that you use as a “From,” “Source,” “Sender,” or “Return-Path”.

To verify the email address you will use as the sending address, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Amazon SES console.
  2. In the navigation pane, under Identity Management, select Email Addresses.
  3. Select Verify a New Email Address, and then enter the email address.
  4. Select Verify This Email Address.

An email will be sent to the specified email address with a link to verify the email address. Once you verify the email, you’ll see the Verification Status as verified in the SES console.

In the image below, I have four verified email addresses:

Figure 2: Verified email addresses

STEP 2: Create Amazon SES SMTP credentials

You must create an Amazon SES SMTP user name and password to access the Amazon SES SMTP interface and send email using the service. To do this, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Amazon SES console.
  2. In the navigation bar, select SMTP Settings.
  3. In the content pane, make a note of the Server Name as you will use this when sending the email in Step 5. Select Create My SMTP Credentials.

    Figure 3: Make a note of the SES SMTP Server Name

  4. Specify a value for the IAM User Name field. Make a note of this IAM User Name as you will need in Step 7 later. In this post, I use the placeholder, ses-smtp-user-eu-west-1, as the user name (as shown below):

    Figure 4: Make a note of SES IAM User Name

  5. Select Create.

Make a note of the SMTP Username and SMTP Password you created because you’ll use these in later steps. This is as shown below in my example.

Figure 5: Make a note of the SES SMTP Username and SMTP Password

STEP 3: Store the Amazon SES SMTP credentials in AWS Secrets Manager

In this step, use AWS Secrets Manager to store the Amazon SES SMTP credentials created in Step 2. You will reference this credential when you execute the script in the Notification Server.

Complete the following steps to store the Amazon SES SMTP credentials in AWS Secrets Manager:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Secrets Manager Console.
  2. Select Store a new secret, and then select Other types of secrets.
  3. Under Secret Key/value, enter the Amazon SES SMTP Username in the left box and the Amazon SES SMTP Password in the right box, and then select Next.

    Figure 6: Enter the Amazon SES SMTP user name and password

  4. In the next screen, enter the string AWS-SES as the name of the secret. Enter an optional description for the secret and add an optional tag and select Next.

    Note: I recommend using AWS-SES as the name of your secret. If you choose to use some other name, you will have to update PowerShell script in Step 5. I also recommend creating the secret in the same region as the Notification Server. If you create your secret in a different region, you will also have to update PowerShell script in Step 5.


    Figure 7: Enter “AWS-SES” as the secret name

  5. On next screen, leave the default setting as Disable automatic rotation and select Next. You will come back later in Step 7 where you will use a Lambda function to rotate the secret at specified intervals.
  6. To store the secret, in the last screen, select Store. Now select the secret and make a note of the ARN of the secret as shown in in Figure 8.

    Figure 8: Make a note of the Secret ARN

Step 4: Create IAM role with permissions to read the secret

Create an IAM role that grants permissions to read the secret created in Step 3. Then, attach this role to the Notification Server to enable your script to read this secret. Complete the following steps:

Log in to the IAM Console. In the navigation bar, select Policies. In the content pane, select Create Policy, and then select JSON. Replace the content with the following snippet while specifying the ARN of the secret you created earlier in step 3:

{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "secretsmanager:GetSecretValue", "Resource": "<arn-of-the-secret-created-in-step-3>" } }

Miners in your office

As you may have heard, mining on your own resources is not the most profitable business. It is risky to invest in home mining farms, and no one really wants to pay for the electricity. Therefore, mining adepts increasingly try to use someone else’s equipment for it.

Firefox zero-day used to attack Coinbase employees.

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Out of the Blue: How Recorded Future Identified Rogue Cobalt Strike Servers

What Is Cobalt Strike?

It all began with cybersecurity professionals realizing that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. As the principle of “deny all” has become increasingly difficult to implement at scale, more organizations have begun looking to tools and techniques designed to penetrate information systems in order to identify gaps in security.