The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • How I discovered CVE-2017-13707

    October 05, 2017, Michael Allen, Senior Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    New Vulnerability Found Using Techniques Taught at Black Hat USA

    One of the topics I teach in Coalfire's Adaptive Penetration Testing course, given most recently at Black Hat 2017, is manual privilege escalation on Linux- and Unix-based systems. I also talk about how common it is to gain an initial foothold in an environment by leveraging default or easily guessable login credentials. During a recent red team engagement, I leveraged both of these techniques – not only to fully compromise the organization's Active Directory environment, but also to discover and exploit a previously unknown vulnerability in the Replibit Linux distribution installed on a server on their network.

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  • How You Respond Can Make All the Difference

    October 02, 2017, Doug Hudson, Senior Director, Cyber Risk Advisory, Coalfire

    (Part Three of a Three Part Series)

    As the narrative on the Equifax compromise evolves, the general public, politicians, and speculators continue to seek blame for what happened. Was it an unpatched vulnerability? Was Equifax not following proper configuration management? Was management derelict in their duties? At this point, the damage of leaking records including the personally identifiable information (PII) of 143 million people is done. However, it might be a good to look at what could have been done differently to reduce impact to the organization.

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  • The Value of Governance in Minimizing Cybersecurity Incidents

    September 27, 2017, Michael Addo-Yobo, Senior Director, Cyber Risk Advisory, Coalfire

    (Part Two of a Three Part Series)

    Since Equifax’s September 15th statement about their well-publicized, broadly discussed major security incident, Coalfire has fielded multiple inquiries from clients who are wondering if such an incident could happen to them, and if there is anything that they can do to better protect and prepare themselves. While every situation is different, one thing is clear: cyber risk management ought to be a top priority for every enterprise, and that priority should be established and enforced through cybersecurity governance.

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  • Protecting Confidential Data: You May Not Be as Secure as You Think

    September 19, 2017, Bob Post, Senior Practice Director, Cyber Risk Advisory, Coalfire

    (Part One of a Three Part Series)

    Unless you have been out of the country or otherwise shunning the news, you have likely heard that on September 7th and again on September 15th, Equifax reported that it suffered a security incident from May 13th through July 30th, 2017. This breach is broad reaching in its individual exposure and potential future impacts, having potentially exposed the personally identifiable information (PII) of roughly 143 million U.S. consumers, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and, in some instances, drivers’ license numbers. The company also reported losses related to consumer credit card data, PII on dispute documents and limited PII for certain U.K. and Canadian residents.

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  • Blueborne – Don’t Panic!

    September 12, 2017, Communications Team, Coalfire

    Here is what we know right now: Security company Armis recently released research identifying eight newly discovered vulnerabilities that exist in the wireless communications protocol Bluetooth, which could potentially affect a large percentage of the estimated 8.2 billion Bluetooth enabled devices, including laptops, mobile phones, and other IoT devices.

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