The National Security Agency (NSA) issued a Cybersecurity Advisory on October 20, 2020, entitled “Chinese State-Sponsored Actors Exploit Publicly Known Vulnerabilities,” alerting IT professionals to 25 vulnerabilities that Chinese state-sponsored hackers are using against U.S. businesses that “can be exploited to gain initial access to victim networks using products that are directly accessible from the internet and act as gateways to internal networks.” The Advisory is designed to share information with security professionals to urge them to update systems to protect against the attacks.
According to the notice, “[W]e hope that by highlighting the vulnerabilities that China is actively using to compromise systems, cybersecurity professionals will gain actionable information to prioritize efforts and secure their systems.”
The 25 vulnerabilities can be accessed here:
The Advisory further provides general mitigation steps that companies can employ:
- “Keep systems and products updated and patched as soon as possible after patches are released.
- Expect that data stolen or modified (including credentials, accounts, and software) before the device was patched will not be alleviated by patching, making password changes and reviews of accounts a good practice.
- Disable external management capabilities and set up an out-of-band management network.
- Block obsolete or unused protocols at the network edge and disable them in device configurations.
- Isolate Internet-facing services in a network Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to reduce the exposure of the internal network.
- Enable robust logging of Internet-facing services and monitor the logs for signs of compromise.”
The vulnerabilities are listed in detail in the Advisory and companies may wish to confirm that all of the vulnerabilities listed have been patched on their systems.