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Displaying items by tag: Security

Sunday, 07 August 2011 12:20

Yup, hackers get married and have kids too…

2011_DefCon_19_CyFy_10_year_old_hacker_610x794At Defcon 19 in Las Vegas this year the annual security show launched a new event. Called Defcon Kids the even features young “hackers” that have uncovered exploits, vulnerabilities and other security related items. One of the first to speak this year is a 10-Year Old Girl from California who found an exploit in some mobile games.

The girl, who goes by the alias CyFi (and who is a Girl Scout as well) found the new exploit because she did not want to wait for certain in-game items to complete in a farming game that she plays. To get around this boring wait she simply moved time along. When she did this it opened up the exploit. Independent researchers have verified her findings, but will not list the games that are affected by this (no will CyFi giving the authors a chance to fix things).

CyFi also said that while many games have cheat prevention systems she found that most can be circumvented with a few simple techniques. The Exploit affects both iOS and Android operating systems and illustrates how developers and security experts alike can miss something simple while overthinking their protections and applications.

Source and Image Cnet

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Published in News
Friday, 05 August 2011 07:06

OSX Networks are insecure

14621rotten_appleAs the Black Hat security conference is going on this week we will be covering a lot of the exploits they find. We have already talked about the SCDA vulnerability, how cars with remote lock/unlock/start are vulnerable and even touched in HTML5 and mobile phone exploits. Now we hear confirmation of something we have known for a while: Apple’s OSX server is not secure.

Experts at the security firm Isec have shown that while individual systems can be secured (the called them islands) once you put the OSX server in play it is “two notches above trivial” to compromise the whole network. Isec showed this off by executing a local DNS exploit that allowed them to scavenge admin credentials and then gain full admin access to the network.

All was not bad news for Apple fans; Isec also said that OSX Lion now “matches” Microsoft’s Windows 7 for local permissions elevation protection and anti-exploit protection. Isec also went on to say that Apple’s marketing has been training consumers to feel safe when using Macs which actually makes them more likely to be open to targeted attacks.


Source V3

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Published in News
Thursday, 04 August 2011 21:10

All our wireless beloing to them...

broken-lockRemember how we told you about that some of the world’s most sensitive infrastructure hardware could be vulnerable by simply searching for them on Google? Well now we hear that even your car can be compromised with the right gear, as a group of security experts showed at Black Hat in Las Vegas. By setting up their own GSM network (granted not an easy task) the group was able to unlock and then start a Subaru SUV.

What they did was to capture authentication messages sent from the control server to the car. Once they had these in hand they were able to send commands to the car using an Android based smart phone and that was pretty much it.

As more and more of the world goes wireless you have to worry about what security is (and can honestly be put) in place to protect from this type of attack. It is not uncommon for banks to run wireless as a backup (that is still open and in a passive state) many security cameras will operate over 3G now as well. With the SCDA vulnerability and one I have recently heard of that affects banking applications on both Android and the iPhone you have to wonder just who is in charge of keeping these things safe?

Source Engadget

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Published in News
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 21:41

Hello Pot, My name’s Kettle

News_iPhone-battery-1776In what has to be humorous to those of us that called this last year (yes I was one of them) it has now come out that HTML5 is more full of holes than your average sieve. According to a study out now it appears that HTML5 opens up some serious risks including allowing malicious code to execute cross-domain APIs, ClickJacking, Frame impersonation and worse. One of the problems is that HTML5 (like many other things from Apple) is not compatible with other standards on the net. Some of the “security” features that exist on to prevent cross scripting and window framing (where you put a frame inside a legitimate window to execute malicious code) are rendered useless by the technology in HTML5.

Other items that are bundled into the code are vulnerabilities that allow a service to register itself as a content handler without notifying the user, and a caching API that can be skimmed to collect user information (location, time of last visit and possible the actual page visited) in much the same way that Google’s Chrome browser can. In all there are some 50 Vulnerabilities that were listed in the report which is of serious concern considering Apple’s push to put this technology in place. Perhaps Apple feels that they can ignore these and continue on with their charmed life, or that their OS would be impervious to any threats. No matter the cause, considering Steve Jobs’ impassioned rants about Adobe and how their products are security risks it is more than a little amusing.

Source The Inquirer

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Published in News
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 22:37

Mobile phones, the new Windows XP

permissionsNot that long after Windows XP hit the market a very handy little flaw was found (one of many) that would be the start of a great love/hate relationship with this OS. Even today with Windows XP holding a only a little more than 50% of the PC market the venerable OS accounts for more than 60% of rootkits and something like 80% of the known malware and viruses. What does this have to do with mobile phones? Well is goes something like this; when you buy a mobile phone it comes preinstalled with the OS (usually some derivative of Linux). This OS allows you to setup some rather weak security (a reversible password for screen access). However underneath there are usually two accounts that everything runs on. There is the root account which is the master admin account and has rights to do just about anything. Then there is a mobile user account. This is the account that the UI and all applications run under. The problem? Well every phone out there from each manufacturer uses the same passwords for each (this may actually differ a little between handsets depending on the manufacturer). Yup that is right, if I can guess or hack the root password on one phone; I know them all for that line.

This handy little flaw has been shown on Apple, HTC, Google, Samsung (and just about all Android Phones). Where this becomes important is during application installation. It is during that time that some installers will (or can) access the root account of the phone. If a piece of malware written for your phone OS does this then you can be in a world of trouble.

CA Technologies has been tracking a new brand of malware for the Android platform. It started off by just logging the details of incoming and outgoing calls, but now has moved into actually being able to record these calls and transmit them back to a central server. The days of just installing any app that catches your eye is gone (it never really should have existed anyway). Now more than every Smart Phone users need to be careful what they allow their apps to do. As an extra precaution grabbing a mobile security app like Lookout or Similar for that extra level of protection is a good idea. Just like XP what we think of as secure, turns out to be full of holes after all.

Source and picture CA Technologies

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Published in News
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 21:42

You really can find everything on Google

84As the BlackHat conference kicks off in Vegas we hear rumors that some of the global Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) hardware is vulnerable over the internet. Although this is really nothing new what is new is that you can often find this hardware just by running the right searches on Google. According to Tom Parker, CTO at FusionX if you know the right strings and the devices you are looking for either have an embedded webserver or are connected to a system that is connected to the internet then you can send it control commands that can not only operate the equipment but could also cause permanent damage to it. Think of the scene in Die Hard 4 when the “bad guys” sent the commands to open up valves along the natural gas lines. This may sound far-fetched but it is not really.

The problem is that these devices are not sophisticated in the way we think about them. For example one that was used in the presentation is a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) that they purchased with an embedded webserver (usually for easier operation) with this Parker’s team was able to find certain hardware strings and use Google to identify other PLCs on the internet. One even had a password attached to it. These controllers should never be on the internet as once they are compromised a malicious person (or persons) can wreak havoc on the systems they control.

If you ever wanted a clearer indication that the global infrastructure is vulnerable or that the old school corporate society is ignorant of how the world operates; here it is.  We said earlier to imagine Die Hard 4’s “Fire Sale” well in that scenario the hackers had to break into the system; in real life most of the control devices that can be located on the internet are not password protected, use no form of encryption (or simply cannot) and will not work with authentication… Scary when you get right down to it.

Source CNET

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Published in News

eye-maskYesterday we were sent a link to some interesting news about a nation-wide crackdown on suspected Anon members. This even included a “hacker” that is fairly close to where I live. The total number of people that were collared was around 15. The FBI and other agencies were very pleased with the day’s activities and went on to say that this was a “major arrest”. However was it really? Do the news or Law Enforcement agencies involved have any clue as to what is really going on? One little indicator that they do not comes up with their timeline; according to most media sources Anon starts as a result of the WikiLeaks incident. However most of the groups involved with Anon pre-date that by many years (in fact Anon does as well).

Published in Editorials
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