DecryptedTech

Friday12 August 2022

Sean Kalinich

Sean Kalinich

UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) was designed to replace the old and outdated BIOS (Baic Input Output System). The older BIOS setup was slow and not very secure. It gave attackers several entry points for infection and persistence at that level. The older BIOS standard was also susceptible to attack and compromise (think the Chernobyl BIOS virus). Something new needed to be put in place to help speed things up and help account for more complex hardware and software. Hence the UEFI was born.

Facebook has not had the best history when it comes to handling online bullying, social stalking and even sexual abuse and exploitation. They do have and are continuing to develop tools to fight against this, but for the most part they do not take a very proactive role in policing this type of behavior. To some it seems that they spend more time “fact checking” and policing opinions than they do addressing any truly bad behavior. It is up to the user to make sure they are practicing good and safe habits when using Facebook or Instagram, not the platform.

Wednesday, 09 February 2022 08:34

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The concept of the app as opposed to the application is one of those nuanced distinctions that miss many people. When it comes to a mobile device an app is a bundle that that allows the installation of an application and its dependencies like an Android APK or Linux installer package. On Windows this has been a foreign concept as the thick application installer has been the defacto for so long. The .exe and .msi application is just how things get done. With the launch of Windows 8 and the “Microsoft Store” the app came to Windows.

The rise of the smart device meant that more and more people were going to be using these for more than just communication. Mobile banking, mobile home automation, mobile car monitoring, you name it, there is probably an app for it. With this new and powerful accessibility there comes risk. Attackers know that mobile security is not exactly where it should be, and that people are more trusting on their phones than they might be on their laptops and desktops (maybe). We also have the issue with how mobile apps access the information they have permissions to and display it to the user. To call mobile device security a mess would be a gross understatement.

Back in the late 90s’ the first macro viruses appeared on the scene. The leveraged a feature of Microsoft Office that allowed a malware developer to execute programmed instructions via the office interface. This new option opened a lot of avenues for inserting a malicious payload on to a target system. Now some 20+ years later Microsoft is finally really doing something about this hole in their Office product. The are blocking all downloaded/external macros by default.

There has been a lot of talk about Meta’s The Reality Labs department losing $10 Billion on devilment of Metaverse. Mant articles have focused on the negative and the overall amount of money lost while others have chosen to focus on more positive or normalized effects of the loss and what is means long term. The argument seems to be split in a couple of ways. The first is that $10 Billion is not a devastating loss in terms of R&D on a potential defining product for a company that made $117+ Billion in 2021. The second is that a $10 Billion dollar loss on a new product is a bad thing and might be an indication of a lack of true acceptance.

A vulnerability disclosed and patched in January is rearing its ugly head. Identified as CVE-2022-21882, this vulnerability affects Windows 10, 11 and Windows Server. On its own it is a significant threat since is allows for a privilege escalation that can turn into a complete compromise of the targeted device. Not exactly what you want to leave open. The good news is that Microsoft released a patch for it in January.

The Go Programing Language (Go or Golang) was developed back in 2007 by a few engineers who were working at Google at the time. Go was launched in 2009 as an open-source programing language and it is primarily used in Google’s own production systems. It has been described as Python meets C and has syntax similarities with C and procedural similarities with Python (dynamic-typing etc.). So, you end up with a language that has quickness, security, and structure of a compiled programing language along with the development speed and simplicity of a dynamic language.

Containers are a popular item with cloud-based infrastructure. The idea of running low-cost (from a resource standpoint) systems to handle work loads while maintaining a higher level of security is a nice one. Making this type of decision does not mean that it puts them out of the reach of attackers though. We have seen several methods used by attackers to gain access to and control of the containers that that are in use. One of the latest is due to a 0-Day flaw in the Argo Continuous Deployment tool.

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