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Microsoft Secure

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FinFisher exposed: A researcher’s tale of defeating traps, tricks, and complex virtual machines

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (Office 365 ATP) blocked many notable zero-day exploits in 2017. In our analysis, one activity group stood out: NEODYMIUM. This threat actor is remarkable for two reasons: Its access to sophisticated zero-day exploits for Microsoft and Adobe software Its use of an advanced piece of government-grade surveillance spyware FinFisher, also...

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Microsoft Contact: Stephen Smith (stepsmit)
Agency: Cinco Design
Agency Contact: Kate Callahan (kate@cincodesign.com)
Photographer: Amy Sacka (http://www.amysackaphotography.com/)
Shoot month: March 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Business: LinkedIn Datacenter

Windows Defender ATP machine learning and AMSI: Unearthing script-based attacks that ‘live off the land’

Scripts are becoming the weapon of choice of sophisticated activity groups responsible for targeted attacks as well as malware authors who indiscriminately deploy commodity threats. Scripting engines such as JavaScript, VBScript, and PowerShell offer tremendous benefits to attackers. They run through legitimate processes and are perfect tools for “living off the land”—staying away from the...

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Detecting reflective DLL loading with Windows Defender ATP

Today’s attacks put emphasis on leaving little, if any, forensic evidence to maintain stealth and achieve persistence. Attackers use methods that allow exploits to stay resident within an exploited process or migrate to a long-lived process without ever creating or relying on a file on disk. In recent blogs we described how attackers use basic...

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Mitigating and eliminating info-stealing Qakbot and Emotet in corporate networks

The threat to sensitive financial information is greater than ever. Data breaches, phishing attacks, and other forms of information theft are all too common in today’s threat landscape. Point-of-sale systems and ATMs have been targeted by hackers. Information-stealing trojans pose a risk to data and can lead to significant financial loss. Qakbot and Emotet are...

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Detecting threat actors in recent German industrial attacks with Windows Defender ATP

When a Germany-based industrial conglomerate disclosed in December 2016 that it was breached early that year, the breach was revealed to be a professionally run industrial espionage attack. According to the German press, the intruders used the Winnti family of malware as their main implant, giving them persistent access to the conglomerate’s network as early...

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Twin zero-day attacks: PROMETHIUM and NEODYMIUM target individuals in Europe

Targeted attacks are typically carried out against individuals to obtain intellectual property and other valuable data from target organizations. These individuals are either directly in possession of the targeted information or are able to connect to networks where the information resides. Microsoft researchers have encountered twin threat activity groups that appear to target individuals for...

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Windows 10: protection, detection, and response against recent Depriz malware attacks

A few weeks ago, multiple organizations in the Middle East fell victim to targeted and destructive attacks that wiped data from computers, and in many cases rendering them unstable and unbootable. Destructive attacks like these have been observed repeatedly over the years and the Windows Defender and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Threat Intelligence teams...

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Our commitment to our customers’ security

Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible. And we take this responsibility very seriously. Recently, the activity group that Microsoft Threat Intelligence calls STRONTIUM conducted a low-volume spear-phishing campaign. Customers using Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 Anniversary Update are...

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Reverse-engineering DUBNIUM’s Flash-targeting exploit

The DUBNIUM campaign in December involved one exploit in-the-wild that affected Adobe Flash Player. In this blog, we’re going to examine the technical details of the exploit that targeted vulnerability CVE-2015-8651. For more details on this vulnerability, see Adobe Security Bulletin APSB16-01. Note that Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 was protected from this attack due...

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