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    Archive for October 24th, 2013

    With Halloween just around the corner, everyone’s thinking about costumes and candy – including cybercriminals. We found several scams taking advantage of the upcoming holiday on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

    The scams we saw used free Halloween products as bait. Searching for the phrase “Halloween GET FREE” leads to a suspicious YouTube video:

    Figure 1. Suspicious YouTube video

    The URL advertised on the video’s page leads users to a scam site that asks for your personal information, including your email address.

    Figure 2. Scam site

    Figure 3. Survey scam

    Using similar keywords on Twitter yielded two suspicious accounts. Each account had a Halloween-themed Twitter handle, perhaps to entice users into checking out the accounts.

    Figure 4. Two suspicious Twitter accounts

    Each account advertises free Halloween candy with a corresponding URL to get the said candy. The advertised website leads users to survey scams, rather than candy.

    Facebook also became home to a Halloween-themed survey scam. We spotted a Facebook page that advertises free Halloween candy, like the scam on Twitter. To get the candy, users are supposed to click a link on the page.

    Figure 5. Website advertising free candy

    But much like the other scams, this simply leads to a survey site. It’s interesting to note that users are directed to the page used in the YouTube scam mentioned earlier. To further entice users, the site promises Apple products in exchange for finishing the survey.

    Figure 6. Apple products as “reward” for completed surveys

    It might be tempting to get free stuff online, but users should always be cautious when encountering these types of promos or deals. Cybercriminals are willing to promise anything and everything just to get what they want. When encountering deals that are too good to be true, users should err on the side of caution and assume that they are.

    Trend Micro protects users from this threat by blocking the websites involved in these scams. We are also still on the lookout for related and similar threats, which will also be blocked as appropriate. For more information about the Halloween-related scams and other scary facts about online threats, you may can check out our infographics here and here.

    With additional insights from Maela Angeles

    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off on Halloween Freebies Lead to Ghastly Survey Scams

    Over the years, the Hadoop development community has steadily added facilities to Hadoop and HBase that improve operational security. These features include Kerberos user authentication, encrypted data transfer between nodes in a cluster, and HDFS file encryption. Trend Micro has contributed several security features that were incorporated into the public Hadoop ecosystem(see our previous post Securing Big Data and Hadoop for details).

    Although these security facilities are important, they are primarily focused on protecting Hadoop data. They do not give IT staff visibility into security events inside their Hadoop clusters. That’s where a good host intrusion detection system comes into the picture.  We have been working on enhancing big data security by applying OSSEC, our open source host intrusion detection system (HIDS), to add security monitoring to Hadoop and HBase systems. In this post, we’ll go over the capabilities of OSSEC.

    OSSEC Overview

    OSSEC provides several important security capabilities including file integrity checking, system log analysis, and alert generation.  OSSEC has an agent/server architecture. Agents handle monitoring logs, files and (on Window systems) registries then sending back relevant logs in encrypted form to the server over UDP. Intrusions on agent systems are usually detectable though file changes or logged security events.

    Figure 1. Securing Hadoop with OSSEC
    (Image originally from

    On the server, the logs are parsed with decoders and interpreted with rules that generate security alerts. OSSEC comes out of the box with a large number of decoders and rules that support a wide range of systems and events. OSSEC’s coverage can also be expanded by custom log decoders and security alert rules.

    Hadoop File Integrity Checking

    Hadoop and HBase systems rely on numerous configuration files and Java files to work properly.  Unauthorized changes to any of these files can adversely affect a cluster.  This is particularly true of the HDFS namenodes in a Hadoop system and HMaster nodes in a HBase system.  The former controls HDFS operations, while the latter is involved with I/O between HMaster and region servers.

    OSSEC can detect changes to these important Hadoop files. When an OSSEC agent is started, it recursively scans user specified directories and calculating MD5 and SHA1 hash values for each file it encounters. The file names and hashes are stored in a database on the OSSEC server.  The agent repeats this operation at user specified intervals (usually every few hours).  When the server receives a hash value for a given file that is different than the hashes were previously stored, the server will generate a security alert.  The OSSEC server records each security alert in its own alerts log file.

    Normally, the configuration files for Hadoop and HBase systems are located in the /etc directory while the Java files are located in /usr/bin and /usr/sbin. Out of the box, OSSEC is designed to do file integrity checking on all files in these directories.  However, if these files are stored in other directories it is a simple matter to check these directories as well by modifying the agent configuration file, ossec.conf.

    In the second part of this entry, we will discuss how these tools can be used to quickly detect and graphically show potential intrusion into Hadoop/HBase systems.

    Posted in Targeted Attacks | Comments Off on Improving Hadoop Security with Host Intrusion Detection (Part 1)


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