writes "Researchers have uncovered a complex espionage platform reminiscent of Duqu that has been used since at least 2008 not only to spy on and extract email and documents from government agencies, research institutions and banks, but also one that targets GSM network operators in order to launch additional attacks.
Kaspersky Lab published a report this morning that explains this aspect of the Regin attack platform, which has been detected on the Windows computers of 27 victimized organizations in 14 countries, most of those in Asia and the Middle East. In addition to political targets, Kaspersky Lab researchers identified Belgian cryptographer Jean Jacques Quisquater as one of its specific victims, along with an unnamed research institution that was also infected with other dangerous espionage malware including Mask/Careto, Turla, Itaduke and Animal Farm.
The attackers were able to steal credentials from a internal GSM Base Station Controller belonging to a large telecom operator that gave them access to GSM cells in that particular network, Kaspersky Lab said. Base Station Controllers manage calls as they move along a mobile network, allocating resources and mobile data transfers.
“This means that they could have had access to information about which calls are processed by a particular cell, redirect these calls to other cells, activate neighbor cells and perform other offensive activities,” Kaspersky Lab researchers wrote. “At the present time, the attackers behind Regin are the only ones known to have been capable of doing such operations.”
The researchers are not speculating about the identities of the attackers, but signs point to a Western intelligence service or government."
writes "Researchers have discovered a group of attackers who have published a variety of compromised WordPress themes and plug-ins on legitimate-looking sites, tricking developers into downloading and installing them on their own sites. The components then give the attackers remote control of the compromised sites and researchers say the attack may have been ongoing since September 2013.
CryptoPHP is the name the researchers have given to the malware that’s delivered with the compromised components, and the backdoor has a number of capabilities. It carries with it several hardcoded domains for command-and-control communications and uses RSA encryption to protect its communications with the C2 servers. Some versions also have a backup ability to communicate over email if the C2 domains are taken down. The PHPCrypto malware can update itself, inject content into the compromised sites it sits on and perform several other functions.
But the main purpose of the malware is to conduct blackhat SEO operations. The goal of these campaigns is to jack up the rank of sites controlled by the attackers, or their customers, which helps them look legitimate. This is done sometimes for gambling sites or similar sites and can also be tied to other scams.
The researchers have traced the attack to an IP address in Moldova, and the C2 servers are located in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and the United States. Fox-IT said that they have identified thousands of plug-ins that have been backdoored, including both WordPress and Joomla plug-ins and themes and Drupal themes."
writes "There is a vulnerability in Android versions below 5.0 that could allow an attacker to bypass ASLR and run arbitrary code on a target device under certain circumstances. The bug was fixed in Lollipop, the newest version of the mobile OS, released earlier this week.
The vulnerability lies in java.io.ObjectInputStream, which fails to check whether an object that is being deserialized is actually a serialized object. Security researcher Jann Horn discovered the vulnerability and reported it to Google earlier this year.
Horn said via email that the exploitability of the vulnerability is difficult to judge.
“An attacker would need to get a malicious app onto the device in order for this to work. The app would need no permissions,” he said. “However, I don’t have a full exploit for this issue, just the crash PoC, and I’m not entirely sure about how predictable the address layout of the system_server really is or how easy it is to write a large amount of data into system_server’s heap (in order to make less accurate guesses for the memory position work). It might be necessary to crash system_server once in order to make its memory layout more predictable for a short amount of time, in which case the user would be able to notice the attack, but I don’t think that’s likely.”"
writes "Threats to the integrity of Internet voting have been a major factor in keeping the practice to a bare minimum in the United States. On the heels of the recent midterm elections, researchers at Galois, a computer science research and development firm in Portland, Ore., sent another reminder to decision makers and voters that things still aren’t where they should be.
Researchers Daniel M. Zimmerman and Joseph R. Kiniry published a paper called “Modifying an Off-the-Shelf Wireless Router for PDF Ballot Tampering” that explains an attack against common home routers that would allow a hacker to intercept a PDF ballot and use another technique to modify a ballot before sending it along to an election authority.
The attack relies on a hacker first replacing the embedded Linux firmware running on a home router. Once a hacker is able to sit in the traffic stream, they will be able to intercept a ballot in traffic and modify code strings representing votes and candidates within the PDF to change the submitted votes."Link to Original Source
writes "The vulnerability used in the WireLurker attacks has been uncovered and was reported to Apple in July but has yet to be patched, a researcher at FireEye said.
Today’s disclosure of the Masque attack, which affects iOS 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 8.0, 8.1, and 8.1.1 beta, revealed that Apple mobile devices are not only exposed over USB as with WireLurker, but can also be taken over remotely via a SMS or email message pointing a victim toward a malicious app.
The vulnerability allows an attacker to swap out a legitimate iOS app with a malicious one without the user’s knowledge. Researcher Tao Wei, a senior staff research scientist at FireEye, said Apple’s enterprise provisioning feature does not enforce matching certificates for apps given identical bundle identifiers. Enterprise provisioning is an Apple developer service that allows enterprise iOS developers to build and distribute iOS apps without having to upload the app to Apple. Attacks can be successful against jailbroken and non-jailbroken devices.
“We have seen clues this vulnerability has been circulated, so we had to disclose it,” Wei told Threatpost this morning."
writes "APT groups tend to be grouped together in a large amorphous blob of sinister intentions and similar targets, but not all APT crews are created equal. Researchers have identified a group that’s been operating in Asia for at least seven years and has been using hotel networks as key infection points to target top executives at companies in manufacturing, defense, investment capital, private equity, automotive and other industries.
The group, which researchers at Kaspersky Lab are calling Darkhotel, has access to zero day vulnerabilities and exploits and has shown a willingness to use them in situations where the zero days might be discovered. One of the zero days the group has used is a Flash vulnerability that was disclosed in February.
“This crew occasionally deploys 0-day exploits, but burns them when required. in the past few years, they deployed 0-day spear-phishing attacks targeting Adobe products and Microsoft internet Explorer, including cve-2010-0188. in early 2014, our researchers exposed their use of cve-2014-0497, a Flash 0-day described on Securelist in early February,” the Darkhotel report says.
The Darkhotel group has been operating mainly in Asian countries, but there have been infections recorded in the United States, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Ireland and many others, as well. The key infection method for this group is the compromise of WiFi networks in business hotels. When users connect to the network, they are presented with a dialog box prompting them to install a fake update, typically something that looks legitimate, such as Adobe Flash. If a victim agrees to install the fake update, he instead receives a digitally signed piece of malware, courtesy of the attackers. The malware has keylogging and other capabilities and steals information, which is then sent back to the attackers."
writes "News broke last week that Facebook had built a hidden services version of its social network available to users browsing anonymously via the Tor Project’s proxy service. Unlike any .onion domain before it, Facebook’s would be verified by a legitimate digital signature, signed and issued by DigiCert.
Late yesterday, Jeremy Rowley, DigiCert’s vice president of business development and legal, explained his company’s decision to support this endeavor in a blog entry. He also noted that DigiCert is considering opening up its certification business to other .Onion domains in the future.
“Using a digital certificate from DigiCert, Tor users are able to identify the exact .onion address operated by Facebook,” Rowley explained. “Tor users can evaluate the digital certificate contents to discover that the entity operating the onion address is the same entity as the one operating facebook.com.”"
writes "When the National Security Agency discovers a new vulnerability that looks like it might be of use in penetrating target networks, the agency considers a number of factors, including how popular the affected software is and where it’s typically deployed, before deciding whether to share the new bug. The agency shares most of the bugs it finds, NSA Director Mike Rogers said, but not all of them.
Speaking at an event at Stanford University, Rogers said that the NSA has been told by President Barack Obama that the default decision should be to share information on new vulnerabilities.
“The president has been very specific to us in saying, look, the balance I want you to strike will be largely focused on when you find vulnerabilities, we’re going to share them. By orders of magnitude, when we find new vulnerabilities, we share them,” Rogers said.
“He also said, look, there are some instances when we’re not going to [share vulnerability information]. The thought process as we go through this policy decision, the things we tend to look at are, how foundational and widespread is this potential vulnerability? Who tends to use it? Is it something you tend to find in one nation state? How likely are others to find it? Is this the only way for us to generate those insights we need or is there another alternative we could use?” Rogers said. “Those answers shape the decision.”"
writes "The maintainers of the Drupal content management system are warning users that any site owners who haven’t patched a critical vulnerability in Drupal Core disclosed earlier this month should consider their sites to be compromised.
The vulnerability, which became public on Oct. 15, is a SQL injection flaw in a Drupal module that’s designed specifically to help prevent SQL injection attacks. Shortly after the disclosure of the vulnerability, attackers began exploiting it using automated attacks. One of the factors that makes this vulnerability so problematic is that it allows an attacker to compromise a target site without needing an account and there may be no trace of the attack afterward."
writes "Gentlemen may not read each other’s mail, as Henry Stimson famously said so long ago, but in today’s world they certainly steal it and there’s precious little in the way of gentlemanly conduct happening in the realm of cyberespionage. It’s every man—or country—for himself in this environment, and that free-for-all is creating unforeseen consequences for governments and their citizens around the world.
“This isn’t a problem that can be solved. Don’t think it has a solution,” Joel Brenner, former head of national counterintelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and former senior counsel at the NSA, said in a keynote speech at the Kaspersky Government Cybersecurity Forum here Tuesday. “We are economically interdependent with the Chinese in an extraordinary way.”
The animosity between the U.S. and China and other countries over cyberespionage and the theft of intellectual property has been simmering for several years now, and it has resulted in plenty of vague assertions and accusations from both sides, and some not-so-vague ones as well. U.S. officials maintain that American intelligence agencies don’t use their attacks on foreign adversaries in order to gain economic advantages for American companies, something that they say China and other governments do on a regular basis.
Still, experts say it’s difficult to know exactly who’s doing what to whom.
“I don’t think anyone’s hands are clean,” said Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser under President Barack Obama and a former security adviser to President George W. Bush."
writes "A security researcher has identified a Tor exit node that was actively patching binaries users download, adding malware to the files dynamically. The discovery, experts say, highlights the danger of trusting files downloaded from unknown sources and the potential for attackers to abuse the trust users have in Tor and similar services.
Josh Pitts of Leviathan Security Group ran across the misbehaving Tor exit node while performing some research on download servers that might be patching binaries during download through a man-in-the middle attack. Downloading any kind of file from the Internet is a dodgy proposition these days, and many users know that if they’re downloading files from some random torrent site in Syria or The Marshall Islands, they are rolling the dice. Malware runs rampant on these kinds of sites.
But the scenario that worries security experts much more involves an attacker being able to control the download mechanism for security updates, say for Windows or OS X. If an attacker can insert malware into this channel, he could cause serious damage to a broad population of users, as those update channels are trusted implicitly by the users’ and their machines. Legitimate software vendors typically will sign their binaries and modified ones will cause verification errors. What Pitts found during his research is that an attacker with a MITM position can actively patch binaries–if not security updates–with his own code.
In terms of defending against the sort of attack, Pitts suggested that encrypted download channels are the best option, both for users and site operators.
“SSL/TLSis the only way to prevent this from happening. End-users may want to consider installing HTTPS Everywhere or similar plugins for their browser to help ensure their traffic is always encrypted,” he said via email."
writes "There is a severe remote code execution vulnerability in a number of Cisco’s security appliances, a bug that was first disclosed nearly three years ago. The vulnerability is in Telnet and there has been a Metasploit module available to exploit it for years.
The FreeBSD Project first disclosed the vulnerability in telnet in December 2011 and it was widely publicized at the time. Recently, Glafkos Charalambous, a security researcher, discovered that the bug was still present in several of Cisco’s security boxes, including the Web Security Appliance, Email Security Appliance and Content Security Management Appliance. The vulnerability is in the AsyncOS software in those appliances and affects all versions of the products."
Gunkerty Jeb (1950964)
writes "FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that the recent movement toward default encryption of smartphones and other devices could “lead us to a very, very dark place.” Echoing comments made by law enforcement officials for the last several decades, Comey said that the advanced cryptosystems available today threaten to cripple the ability of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to gather vital information on criminals."Link to Original Source
writes "Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said that the changes to Android's encryption model, which have angered law enforcement officials, should have come as no surprise to law enforcement and government agencies, given the events of the last couple of years.
“The people who are criticizing this should’ve expected this. After Google was attacked by the British version of the NSA we were annoyed to no end,” Schmidt said. “We put in encryption end to end, at rest and in transit. Law enforcement has many many ways to get this information without doing this.”
After the details of Apple’s and Google’s encryption changes became public, some in the law enforcement community have suggested that the companies should include a backdoor in their devices. Both Sen. Ron Wyden and Schmidt dismissed this suggestion out of hand.
“U.S. companies shouldn’t be forced to build backdoors into their products,” Wyden said."
writes "Twitter has filed a lawsuit in federal court asking that the United States Department of Justice’s prohibitions on publishing the number and kind of government requests for data the company receives be declared unconstitutional. The suit claims that the rules infringe on Twitter’s right to free speech by requiring that the company “engage in speech that has been preapproved by government officials or else to refrain from speaking altogether.”
The move by Twitter is the first public shot across the bow of the FBI and Justice Department on this issue. Many companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple and others, have been pressing the government for the ability to publish detailed information about the scope of the requests they receive for user data. The government so far has said that companies can publish only broad ranges of numbers about the volume of National Security Letters they receive, which only gives a vague picture of the situation.
"Twitter’s ability to respond to government statements about national security surveillance activities and to discuss the actual surveillance of Twitter users is being unconstitutionally restricted by statutes that prohibit and even criminalize a service provider’s disclosure of the number of national security letters (“NSLs”) and court orders issued pursuant to FISA that it has received, if any," the suit says."