This week’s episode of Talos Takes is a special extra large edition. We’ve got the audio version of our recent Cisco Talos Incident Response On Air stream where some of our responders got together to discuss the past threats of the top quarter. Liz Waddell and other team members covered everything from recent ransomware actor drama, to the importance of saving logs and other tips they picked up over the past few months.
It’s been a while since we re-visited our Malware 101 series. So we’re going back to class to learn about information-stealers. Aliza Johnson from the Talos Threat Intelligence & Interdiction team joins the show to talk about her recent research into and overview of infostealers. Although the name is pretty self-explanatory, this type of malware comes in many shapes and sizes for many purposes.
Nate Pors joins the show this week to recap the recently released Cisco Talos Incident Response Quarterly Report. He and Jon recap the top attacker trends from the past quarter, including highlighting which types of attacks CTIR saw in the field and what new techniques adversaries are using. Topics discussed include the increased targeting of telecommunications companies, a decline in ransomware attacks and more business email compromise.
Yes, this is the third time we’ve talked about Transparent Tribe on Talos Takes, you’re not going crazy. But they keep giving us reasons to bring them up! This time, Nick Biasini joins the show to discuss the latest evolution of this threat actor: The targeting of higher education institutions in India. Jon and Nick discuss why colleges are always a high-priority target and what this could mean for the evolution of the actor.
We go back to college this week with a Psychology 101 class. And today, we’re covering multi-factor authentication. Jon has Dave Lewis, one of Cisco Duo’s advisory CISOs, on the show to talk about the psychology behind using these apps and talking to users about implementing it across their environments. They discuss moving around the accept and reject buttons in the UI, how we communicate the benefits of MFA to administrators and the recent wave of brute-force attacks.
Chris Neal from Talos Outreach recently dove into a recent AvosLocker ransomware attack in the wild. This week, he joins the show to recap his major takeaways from this attack that other potential targets can learn from. He and Jon talk about the current ransomware-as-a-service landscape, the use of living-off-the-land binaries and other calling cards from this actor to keep an eye out for.
Paul Eubanks joins this week’s episode of Talos Takes to look at his recent blog post on de-anonymizing ransomware groups on the whispers dark web. Paul and his team recently used several tactics to unmask several threat actors and disclosure their tactics to stay hidden. Jon interviews Paul about ransomware actors’ usual operations on the dark web, the specific tools and tactics he used and the pros and cons of calling out actors for their opsec failures.
Jon reports live from the floor of Cisco Live U.S. this week. He interviewed several Talos speakers about their talks at Cisco Live and some of the major takeaways from conversations with users and customers this week.
Get ready for Cisco Live next week in Vegas with a quick primer on everything Talos has going on at the conference. We’re excited to be back in person interacting with customers and users. Jon has a complete rundown of the Talos space at the conference, some talk highlights and other things you should know before you go. For a complete agenda, check out the Cisco Live Session Catalog.
We’re doing something a bit different this week — it’s just Jon for a few minutes talking about Talos’ plans at the RSA Conference coming up next week. Catch up on our plans for the week and here about some special events we have planned. To stay up-to-date on the latest, follow us on Twitter. And if you prefer a written preview, read this week’s Threat Source newsletter.
The recently disclosed vulnerability in F5 BIG-IP took security Twitter by storm two weeks ago, and continues to make headlines now. It immediately prompted warnings from CISA and security researchers everywhere warning users to patch as soon as possible. Of course, it’s important to patch. But maybe we started panicking a little too early that this was going to be the next PrintNightmare. On this week’s episode of Talos Takes, Jon is joined by Jerry Gamblin from Kenna Security to talk about the ins and outs of this vulnerability and while it is serious, it’s incredibly unlikely that an attacker can or would exploit it in the wild.
See people, this is what happens when you finally let a panda drive a sports car! This week’s episode of Talos Takes covers the basics of MustangPanda, a Chinese state-sponsored actor we wrote about recently. Asheer Maholtra joins the show to go over his research into this group. Mainly, we discuss why this actor, despite being aligned with China, is targeting Russian government entities and organizations. Though the two countries seem to be allies, all is fair in love and cyber espionage.
Kendall McKay joins Jon this week to discuss the Hive and Conti ransomware chats she and her colleagues recently reviewed. We obtained some leaked chats between these ransomware groups and some of their victims, showing us what communicating with an attacker is really like. Jon and Kendall discuss the negotiation process over a ransom payment and what else we learned from these chat logs.
On this week’s episode of Talos Takes, we’re bringing you the recording of last week’s live stream with Cisco Talos Incident Response. Beers with Talos’ own Liz Waddell hosted the first in our new “On Air” series with CTIR, where she and her fellow Talosians recapped the previous quarter’s top threats. They run through the malware families CTIR saw most in the field and discussed other trends that threat actors are starting to adapt.
BlackCat, BlackMatter, DarkSide, BlackByte…it’s too hard to keep up with all these ransomware group names these days. So we’re here to break down one of these groups, BlackCat, for you so you can figure out what makes them actually memorable. Aliza Berk from our Talos Threat Intelligence & Interdiction team joins Jon Munshaw this week to talk about BlackCat and their ransomware that’s recently become a major player on the malware landscape. Aliza recently compiled our latest Threat Assessment Report on this group and assisted in our research around the group. Jon and Aliza discuss how the use of the Rust programming language and using triple extortion tactics make this group a threat.