Need to Know podcast–Episode 287

More updates from the Microsoft Cloud prior to Ignite in 2 weeks. Lost around security and the new Windows 11 22H2 update that is rolling out.

You can listen directly to this episode at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-287-updates/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia 2022.

Brought to you by www.ciaopspatron.com

Resources

@directorcia

YouTube version of podcast

Microsoft Ignite

Forensic artifacts in Office 365 and where to find them

Defend your users from MFA fatigue attacks

Tamper protection will be turned on for all enterprise customers

Malicious OAuth applications used to compromise email servers and spread spam

What’s new in Microsoft Endpoint Manager – 2209 (September) edition

Work safer and smarter with the Windows 11 2022 Update

New Windows 11 security features are designed for hybrid work

Available today: The Windows 11 2022 Update

Phishing Protection in Microsoft Defender SmartScreen

What is smart app control?

Why am I blocked?

Adoption score

Avoid MFA fatigue attacks in Microsoft 365

A MFA fatigue attack is where an attacker will constantly attempt to login as the user causing an MFA request to appear on the users device. If this request is simply to deny or approve, and with enough requests, the user eventually approves to make theses requests go away. Such an attack recently provided very successful at Uber. You can read more about that incident here:

https://www.uber.com/newsroom/security-update

With MFA in Microsoft 365 and the Microsoft Authenticator app you can avoid this by enabling number matching for push notifications. Here’s how to do it:

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Navigate to the Azure portal as an administrator and then to Azure Active Directory. Here, select Security from the menu on the left as shown above.

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Here, select Authentication methods as shown above on the left.

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Now select Microsoft Authenticator on the right.

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Select Configure at the top of the page and ensure all the options listed are Enabled for all users. You may want to exclude any break-glass accounts though.

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Back on the Basic tab, as shown above, ensure you have Enable set to Yes and you target all the desired users with Passwordless.

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Now, when users are prompted for MFA they will see the above on their devices and need to type the number that is on the screen into their device to approve the login. They will also see the geographic location the request came from and application requesting as shown above.

If you want to check yoru environment for MFA fatigue attacks you can use this KQL query in Sentinel:

https://github.com/reprise99/Sentinel-Queries/blob/main/Azure%20Active%20Directory/Identity-PotentialMFASpam.kql

Online security is something that requires constant adjustment as the bad actors adapt to the protection methods put in place. Number matching in Microsoft 365 is quick and easy to set up using the Microsoft Authenticator and the recommended approach you should take to avoid MFA fatigue attacks.

Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence portal

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Microsoft has a new security portal at:

https://ti.defender.microsoft.com

which comes from their recent RiskIQ acquisition. In essence it is a place that you can search for security intelligence and information around all sorts of indicators.

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If I for example search for an IP address that showed up in my Microsoft Sentinel as a known bad IP I see the above results.

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If you look closely, you’ll see the ‘good’ stuff requires a subscription. How much is a subscription I hear you ask? Well, make sure you are sitting down before you proceed because it is:

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Yup, that is US$4,1667.70 per month! Wow!

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That said, the free or ‘community’ version does provide a lot of valuable information and I would recommend that you add the site to your list of tools when threat hunting. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a pay as you go (PAYG) option provisioned out of Azure like things such as Sentinel is. Hopefully, the price will come down or at least there may eventually be a tier that smaller business can live with. But for now, have a look and use the features provided for free as there are many. You can learn more from the documentation here:

What is Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence (Defender TI)?

Need to Know podcast–Episode 286

Another round of updates from the Microsoft Cloud. Also trying a video version of the podcast on YouTube (link below). Also trying an ‘editorial’ section which this month is on Secure Score. Let me know what you think.

Take a listen and let us know what you think – director@ciaops.com

You can listen directly to this episode at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-286-updates/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia 2022.

Brought to you by www.ciaopspatron.com

Resources

@directorcia

YouTube version on podcast

Join my shared channel

CIAOPS Monthly webinar

Microsoft Ignite

iOS Lockdown mode

Visual Studio Code on the web

Gone phishing tournament

Storyline is in public preview

Microsoft SMB study

Edge enhanced security

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A new security option in Microsoft Edge.You’ll find it in Settings | Privacy, search and services as shown above. Three levels are available once you enable it (it is disabled by default).

What is does according to the documentation is:

Enhanced security in Microsoft Edge helps safeguard against memory-related vulnerabilities by disabling just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compilation and enabling additional operating system protections for the browser.

and more information is found here:

Enhance your security on the web with Microsoft Edge

There is also the option to white list certain URLs if required.

So, if you want a bit more security when using Edge, turn it on! I have.


What to check with spoofed email in Microsoft 365

If you find that a spoofed email is reaching users inboxes in Microsoft 365 (say something like managing.director@gmail.com pretending to be managing.director@yourdomain.com) then here are some initial suggestions and things to check.

Firstly, ensure you have SPF, DKIM DMARC configured for your domain. They all help reduce spoofed emails getting to the inbox. 

Set up SPF to help prevent spoofing

Support for validation of DKIM signed messages

Use DMARC to validate email

Next, run the analyzer that is built into the Microsoft 365 Security Center to see where your policies may deviate from best practices.

Configuration analyzer for protection policies in EOP and Microsoft Defender for Office 365

and you’ll find those best practice settings here:

Recommended settings for EOP and Microsoft Defender for Office 365 security

I’d be checking against the strict rather than the standard settings if it was me.

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In the settings for your spam policy in Exchange Online there are a few additional settings you can enable as shown above. Even though the Microsoft best practices doesn’t recommend it, I still have most of these set and at a minimum recommend that the SPF hard fail option be enabled.

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In your Anti-phishing policies ensure the option for Show first contact safety tip is enabled as shown above. Microsoft Best Practice policies don’t set this. In general make sure all the above settings are all enabled as shown.

Another good indicator to configure is

Set-ExternalInOutlook -Enabled $true

using PowerShell, that will let you know about

Native external sender callouts on email in Outlook

Another custom adjustment you can consider is changing the Spam Confidence Level (SCL)

Spam Confidence level (SCL) in EOP

A further option you may wish to tweak beyond Microsoft’s recommended best practices is the phishing thresholds in anti-phishing policies:

Advanced phishing thresholds in anti-phishing policies in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 

When you get emails that are confirmed as trying to trick users, make sure you report them to Microsoft

How do I report a suspicious email or file to Microsoft?

Use the Submissions portal to submit suspected spam, phish, URLs, legitimate email getting blocked, and email attachments to Microsoft

Probably the best way to do that is to use the free add-in that works with Outlook.

Enable the Report Message or the Report Phishing add-ins

doing so helps build the intelligence for Exchange Online as well as helping others who may see similar insecure emails.

The final option available to you is always to reach out to Microsoft for assistance.

Get help or support for Microsoft 365 for business

I would also suggest you check any white listing options you may have in Exchange Online as these are easily forgotten over time. Best practice is not to white list any domain or specific email address but always check when you see repeated emails get through filtering. I can’t tell you how many times I find this as the cause of any issue. Keep in mind, there are few places that you can white list emails:

Create safe sender lists in EOP

You can of course also block the insecure sender:

Create blocked sender lists in EOP

Remember that if you tighten your email security the result will probably be an increase in false positives, at least initially, as Exchange Online learns to evaluate the changes and user behaviours based on the updated settings. Email security is not an exact science. The bad operators are working just as hard to bypass all these settings so it is always going to be a game of cat and mouse. However, hopefully, using the Microsoft recommended best practices and some additional tweaks as suggested above, you can prevent the vast majority of insecure emails out of your users email boxes.

Go get Defender EASM

As the MS documentation says:

Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management (Defender EASM) continuously discovers and maps your digital attack surface to provide an external view of your online infrastructure.

Basically you plug in your resources like:

  • Domains

  • Hostnames

  • Web Pages

  • IP Blocks

  • IP Addresses

  • ASNs

  • SSL Certificates

  • WHOIS Contacts

Defender EASM will then use these as a ‘seed’ to search through public information and report back.

Screenshot of Overview Dashboard

You’ll then discover not only if you have any vulnerabilities in things like routers, web sites, etc but you’ll also probably find a whole swag of information that you didn’t know was out there.

In short, Defender EASM, acts as kind of a scheduled ‘penetration test’ for your environment, which I think is super handy

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As you can see above, it ain’t very expensive either! To me that makes it a no-brainer. In my environment I have 40 odd discovered assets making the cost 64 cents a day and just over $19 per month! Peanuts for what it provides. Best of all, you also get a a free 30 day trial to see what it is all about.

Like Microsoft Sentinel back in the day, it is still early days for this service and I expect it to improve rapidly so now is the time to jump on board and start using it to get a feel for what it is all about. I certain have, and I encourage you to do the same.

Microsoft has documentation here:

Defender EASM Overview

if you want to read more.

Enabling security defaults will enforce MFA on external users

A really good questions that I came across was whether enabling security defaults on a tenant will enforce MFA for external guest users.

Here is the documentation for security defaults:

Security defaults in Azure AD

and when enabled one of the things it will do is:

Require all users to register for Azure AD Multi Factor

which says:

All users in your tenant must register for multi-factor authentication (MFA) in the form of the Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication. Users have 14 days to register for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication by using the Microsoft Authenticator app. After the 14 days have passed, the user can’t sign in until registration is completed. A user’s 14-day period begins after their first successful interactive sign-in after enabling security defaults.

The question is does “all users” include external guest users who have been invite into a tenant for collaboration on Microsoft Teams say? This is important because Microsoft is starting to enforce security defaults on all tenants.

Interestingly, none of the documentation seems to call out specifically whether “all users” does in fact include external guest users. After some digging I came across this post:

All users should be changed to all “member” users · Issue #78194 · MicrosoftDocs/azure-docs (github.com)

which has a response from someone at Microsoft and it says:

“Follow up from the product group… Security defaults should apply to guest users as well.”

So it looks as though it does indeed appear that security defaults applies to external guest users but I wanted to be sure.

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I took a generic Gmail account I use and invited that user into a demo tenant that didn’t have security defaults enabled.

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That user went through the expected process of connecting to the tenant.

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using the email code verification process.

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until they could access the tenant.

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I also verified that they appeared in the Azure AD for that tenant.

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So everything as expected so far.

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Next, I invited that same user to a Microsoft Team inside that tenant.

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and they could access that Team using the normal email code authentication process. I tried this a few times to ensure they could access the Team without needing anything but the usual email code. So far, so good still.

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I then went in an enabled security defaults for the tenant.

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After a few minutes wait to let the policies kick in I tried to login as the external guest user again to Microsoft Teams directly, and after providing a login and getting an email code I was prompted to enable MFA for the user as seen above.

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Selecting Next will take you through the standard MFA registration process as you see above.

It is therefore the case that if you enable security defaults for a tenant, all users, INCLUDING any external guest users, will be REQUIRED to enable MFA to access resources inside that tenant.

Why this is important is because Microsoft will be enabling security defaults on ALL tenants as detailed here:

Raising the Baseline Security of all organizations in the World

which says:

“Based on usage patterns, we’ll start with organizations that are a good fit for security defaults. Specifically, we will start with customers who aren’t using Conditional Access, haven’t used security defaults before, and aren’t actively using legacy authentication clients.

Global admins of eligible tenants will be notified through email and the Microsoft 365 Message Center. Then, starting in late June [2022], they’ll receive [a] following prompt during sign-in”

Being it is now June 2022, this process has commenced. You can disable security defaults if you wish, even after they have been enabled, if desired per the details in the above link.

Given that I couldn’t find a specific answer about global external users being impact by security defaults, hopefully this now provides a reference for other looking for the same information.