Security News (109 Posts)

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A Generic Incident Playbook

Following the work started last year, we have now published a generic incident playbook that should be useful in any type of cyber incident and get your started on how to respond efficiently and rapidly
It is part of the wider set of incident playbooks (17 of them) and is available as a standalone 2x pages PDF on our github page:
ELYSIUMSECURITY Github Incident Playbook page


Log4j vulnerability information and 4x steps to prioritise

The aim of this article is to provide some core information about the log4j vulnerability which has been generating a lot of noise in the last few days as well as a list of 4x steps we are recommending based on advice from government agencies and security groups we are a member of.
This vulnerability is serious as it affects a very wide range of devices (CISCO, Checkpoint etc) and applications/services (Vmware vcenter, Apache based website, sentinel one, etc).

It has a CVSS score of 10/10 (critical), the worse possible and allows unauthenticated remote code execution: CVE-2021-44228

The vulnerability affects applications running all​ versions of log4j before version 2.15.0 and is exploited by sending a specific text string that is interpreted by the log4j library

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued some guidance about it: ...

Programming and Cyber Security

The Mauritius Python User Group kindly asked me to do a presentation on programming and Cyber Security.

In this presentation, I provide an overview of why knowing programming can make you a better cyber security professional, a look at the most popular languages and some pitfalls to avoid.

You can find the slides to this presentation on slideshare here.
And there was also a video recording available on Youtube.


The WhatsApp Privacy Question

With Facebook recently changing its terms and privacy policy for all its WhatsApp users outside of the EU, it seems to have made a lot of people angry.

When it comes to (your) data privacy and what this update means to non-EU WhatsApp’s users, in the end, I believe it does not mean much difference to what existed before! and if you are ok with targeted Marketing then there is no need to do anything different.

Facebook/WhatsApp just put the spotlight on how personal information is being crossed reference and used for marketing purposes. It happened before but it seems more people this time around are more receptive about the implication of such practice and thus it is creating a wave of exode to over more privacy conscious messaging platforms.

Let's ask ourselves 3x basic questions about this situation:
1. What can WhatsApp see now?
WhatsApp cannot see the content of the messages sent through its platform (allegedly, but let’s assume t...

Free Cyber Incident Playbooks on GitHub

We are in the process of migrating our free resources/download to GitHub in an effort to facilitate the contribution from and to the cyber security community.

The first open source project we uploaded to GitHub is our cryptography project (BUGS) and the second one is our ES Cyber Incident playbooks project.

Our Cyber incident playbooks project is based on the work done by the CERT Societe Generale (SG CERT) which is available for free, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, on GitHub. Our project uses the same licensing model and you are free to use the content of our document(s) as per the aforementioned license and with referencing the author(s).

This project provides a number of Incident Response Methodologies (IRM), also called incident playbooks, aimed at helping a company with the handling of different t...


There is a growing type of phishing attack which has been quite successful since the beginning of 2020, it is called a "Consent Phishing"

Traditional email phishing attacks will try to get the victim's credentials through a dangerous URL with a fake login webpage, a malware attachment or some other clever social engineering tactics.
Hopefully companies have some anti-phishing tools/technology to detect and protect them against most of those type of emails (some always manage to get through, no matter what technology you use and what vendors promise you!)

However, there is a new type of phishing attacks that leverages the OAuth authorisation framework used by some applications to access your account. Basically, there are a lot of legitimate applications that will request access to your O365 account (it could also be another type of Cloud app provider) through the generation of an OAuth token, so they don't need to know (and store) your O365 password.


Below is a link to an interesting article arguing that cyber insurance claims might be affected by the recent surge of working from home, and especially working from a personal computer/endpoint.
It opens up to a wider question as to whether or not the COVID-19 will have an impact on some (other) cyber insurance claims.

What we have seen from various online publications, specialised forums and discussions is a consensus towards the following answer: "probably not".

Taking into consideration what the above article is discussing, the answer is actually "probably not directly".
As companies/employees are setting up new ways of working, most of the time in a hurry, consideration of the potential impact on their cyber insurance is probably not at the top of their list.

One possible way to look at th...


Starting on the 6th of April, ELYSIUMSECURITY will offer a free service for the community in Mauritius. If you are a small business who has recently setup an online shopping website we can test the security of your website/platform at no charge and provide you with a short report on potential security vulnerabilities alongside some practical advice on how to fix them.

In these difficult times it is very important to help each other. More and more people are now looking at remote shopping online (we are!), so it is important those new websites do not get hacked and we can all continue to use those online services.

Below are the key points of this free service:

  • 100% free with no future commitment or “after sale” nonsense, it is our way to say thank you to all those businesses and services that help the community in those hard times;
  • You will need to provide proof your own the website/service to be tested;
  • We will enter into a simplifie
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    The problem with password expiry

    When it comes to password expiry, different companies have different policies.
    Whilst the current industry standard is 90 days, a lot of companies do enforce a lower 30 days period or anything in between 30 and 90 days.
    If you ask the users, they do not tend to be happy with changing passwords often and even at all (are you?)

    The problem with changing passwords often is that, unless you are using some kind of password safe with random generated passwords, users tend to just change a letter or number at the end of their password (1, 2, 3 or 2019, 2020, etc.), chose another weak password all together or write it down somewhere.
    And if users do that, then changing their passwords often does not improve your security posture.

    We therefore advise not to go lower than 90 days when it comes to password expiry, in fact when it comes to authentication security, we would highly recommend that you enforce dual factor authentication through SMS or App for s...
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    Afer 17 years, a NEW BUGS Cryptography Package for Unix (version 4.1.2)

    BUGS is a personal cyber security project from Sylvain Martinez, which started about 25 years ago and has enabled him to kick start his career in Cyber Security.
    As such it has a special place in the heart of ELYSIUMSECURITY.
    It is an open source project where Sylvain created his own symmetric cryptography algorithm along with a few applications to showcase the capability of his cryptography algorythm:
    An application to encrypt/decrypt files, a simple encrypted chat application, a secure shell add-on, a password manager, etc.

    This project is a hobby and should only be seen as that, any respectable professional cryptographer would tell you this: "Do not create your own cryptography algorithm"!
    Furthermore, we always advise our clients to only use international standard algorithms (i.e.: AES)

    Having said that, it doesn't mean we cannot have a go ourselves!
    It had the merit of teaching us a lot about cryptography and after all, no one ha...
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