DHS, FBI Issue alert for SamSam

Following last week’s indictments and sanctions of two Iranians the U.S. government blames for ransomware attacks, DHS and the FBI on Monday issued a warning about the SamSam malware they allegedly distributed across the Internet.  We want to help your organization understand this threat and how to avoid it.

The SamSam suspects are believed to have targeted multiple industries, including many within critical infrastructure.  Victims were located predominantly in the United States, but also internationally. 

The DHS and FBI alert included 14 steps that cybersecurity professionals should take to mitigate the risk of a SamSam infection.

  1. Audit network for systems that use RDP for remote communication. Disable the service if unneeded or install available patches. Users may need to work with their technology venders to confirm that patches will not affect system processes.
  2. Verify that all cloud-based virtual machine instances with public IPs have no open RDP ports, especially port 3389, unless there is a valid business reason to keep open RDP ports. Place any system with an open RDP port behind a firewall and require users to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access that system.
  3. Enable strong passwords and account lockout policies to defend against brute force attacks.
  4. Where possible, apply two-factor authentication.
  5. Regularly apply system and software updates.
  6. Maintain a good back-up strategy.
  7. Enable logging and ensure that logging mechanisms capture RDP logins. Keep logs for a minimum of 90 days and review them regularly to detect intrusion attempts.
  8. When creating cloud-based virtual machines, adhere to the cloud provider’s best practices for remote access.
  9. Ensure that third parties that require RDP access follow internal policies on remote access.
  10. Minimize network exposure for all control system devices. Where possible, disable RDP on critical devices.
  11. Regulate and limit external-to-internal RDP connections. When external access to internal resources is required, use secure methods such as VPNs. Of course, VPNs are only as secure as the connected devices.
  12. Restrict users’ ability (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications.
  13. Scan for and remove suspicious email attachments; ensure the scanned attachment is its “true file type” (i.e., the extension matches the file header).
  14. Disable file and printer sharing services. If these services are required, use strong passwords or Active Directory authentication.

Appalachia offers a range of managed services that enable your organization to mitigate the threats of Samsam and other emerging threats from Ransomware.  Our security-focused team take a proactive approach to monitoring and mitigate threats to your data as quickly as they appear.

Please contact us today on how we can help.

888.277.8320  |  info@appalachiatech.com