chicksdaddy writes "The Security Ledger reports that the security firm IOActive has discovered serious security holes in the WeMo home automation technology from Belkin. The vulnerabilities could allow remote attackers to use Belkin’s WeMo devices to virtually vandalize connected homes, or as a stepping stone to other computers connected on a home network.
IOActive researcher Mike Davis said on Tuesday that his research into Belkin’s WeMo technology found the “devices expose users to several potentially costly threats, from home fires with possible tragic consequences down to the simple waste of electricity.” (http://www.ioactive.com/news-events/IOActive_advisory_belkinwemo_2014.html) IOActive provided information on Davis’s research to the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), which issued an advisory on the WeMo issues on Tuesday. (http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/656302). There has been no response yet from Belkin.
Among the problems discovered by Davis and IOActive: Belkin’s firmware reveals the signing key and password allowing an attacker with physical or logical access to a WeMo device to sign a malicious software update and get it to run on the device, bypassing security and integrity checks. Also, Belkin WeMo devices don’t validate Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates used with inbound communications from Belkin’s cloud service. That could allow an attacker to impersonate Belkin’s legitimate cloud service using any valid SSL certificate, potentially pushing a bogus firmware update or malicious RSS feed to deployed WeMo devices.
WeMo customers who are counting on their wireless router and NAT (network address translation) or a firewall to provide cover should also beware. Davis found that Belkin has implemented a proprietary 'darknet' that connects deployed WeMo devices by ‘abusing’ an (unnamed) protocol originally designed for use with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. With knowledge of the protocol and a ‘secret number’ uniquely identifying the device, an attacker could connect to- and control any WeMo device over the proprietary network."Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "Visitors to the web site of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are being targeted in an attack that exploits a previously unknown hole in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 web browser, according to warnings Thursday by security firms.
Some visitors to the web site of the VFW, vfw [dot] org, were the victim of a ‘watering hole’ attack starting on February 11. The attacks took advantage of a previously unknown ‘use-after-free’ vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 web browser. According to a write-up by the firm FireEye (http://www.fireeye.com/blog/uncategorized/2014/02/operation-snowman-deputydog-actor-compromises-us-veterans-of-foreign-wars-website.html), the VFW site was hacked and then altered to redirect users to a malicious website programmed to exploit vulnerable versions of IE 10 on systems running 32 bit versions of the Windows operating system.
Initial analysis of the attack suggests that it is part of a “strategic Web compromise targeting American military personnel.” FireEye said evidence points to hacking groups responsible for similar campaigns, including ‘Operation DeputyDog,’ which targeted high-profile Japanese firms as well as the US security firm Bit9, and ‘Operation Ephemeral Hydra,’ targeting military and public policy personnel.
FireEye dubbed the attack 'Operation Snowman,' saying that it was timed to coincide with a massive East Coast blizzard that affected the Washington D.C. area, as well as the President's Day federal holiday on Monday. Security Ledger notes that the attack was also timed to fall immediately after Microsoft issued its February security patches with the malware used in the attacks — standard operating procedure with attacks using Microsoft 0day exploits."Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "File this one in your (bulging) 'creepy big data applications' folder: Google has applied to the US government for a patent on what is described as a method for “inferring events based on mob source video,” according to the Web site Public Intelligence. (http://info.publicintelligence.net/GoogleMobVideoPatent.pdf)
According to the application, Google has developed the ability to mine metadata from videos, photos or audio submitted by Google users (to YouTube, etc.) to infer that “an event of interest has likely occurred.” The technology surveys time- and geolocation stamps on the videos and other data to correlate the activities of individuals who might be part of a gathering, The Security Ledger reports.
The Patent, US2014/0025755 A1, was published on January 23, 2014. The technology, dubbed “mob sourcing” will allow Google to correlate video and images to infer the existence of groups (i.e. a public gathering, performance or accident), then send notifications to interested parties.
“Embodiments of the present invention are thus capable of providing near real-time information to pertinent organizations when users of wireless terminals (aka ‘mobile phones’) upload video clips to the repository upon being recorded,” the application reads.
The mob sourcing capability could be used to analyze and correlate video clips submitted by users either with the user’s permission or without it, Google claims. Consumer applications could allow YouTube users who upload a video to associate it with an ongoing event –say “South by Southwest Festival 2014 – making it easier for others to enjoy a crowd-sourced view of events. As for the non-consumer applications? Well...we know what those are."Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "MIT Tech Review has an interesting piece that asks an obvious, but intriguing question: if we're living in an age of cyber warfare, where are all the cyber weapons?
Like the dawn of the nuclear age that started with the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the use of the Stuxnet worm reportedly launched a global cyber arms race involving everyone from Syria to Iran and North Korea (https://securityledger.com/2013/03/dprkurious-is-north-korea-really-behind-cyber-attacks-on-the-south/). But almost four years after it was first publicly identified, Stuxnet is an anomaly: the first and only cyber weapon known to have been deployed. Experts in securing critical infrastructure including industrial control systems are wondering why. If Stuxnet was the world's cyber 'Little Boy,' where is the 'Fat Man'?
Speaking at the recent S4 Conference, Ralph Langner, perhaps the world’s top authority on the Stuxnet worm, argues that the mere hacking of critical systems is just a kind of 'hooliganism' that doesn’t count as cyber warfare.
True cyber weapons capable of inflicting cyber-physical damage require extraordinary expertise.
Stuxnet, he notes, made headlines for using four exploits for “zero day” (or previously undiscovered) holes in the Windows operating system. Far more impressive was the metallurgic expertise needed to understand the construction of Iran’s centrifuges. Those who created and programmed Stuxnet needed to know the exact amount of pressure or torque needed to damage aluminum rotors within them, sabotaging the country’s uranium enrichment operation.
Thomas Rid, of the Kings College Department of War Studies said the conditions for using a cyber weapon like Stuxnet aren't common and the deep intersection of intelligence operations and cyber ops means that "all cyber weapons are bespoke." "If you want to maximize the effect of a cyber weapon," he said at S4," the way you do it is with more intelligence.""Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "The U.S. government is giving large Internet firms more leeway to discuss secret government requests for data.(http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/business/government-to-allow-technology-companies-to-disclose-more-data-on-surveillance-requests.html?hp) But when it comes to trust, the battle may already be lost. IT World reports that U.S. hosting companies and cloud providers say they now face pressure from international customers to keep data off of U.S. infrastructure – a request many admit is almost impossible to honor.
The article quotes an executive at one, prominent U.S. hosting firm who says that the picture of NSA spying that has come as a result of leaks by Edward Snowden prompted a slew of requests from European customers to have data cordoned off from U.S. infrastructure. Customers in Germany are often the source of the requests, he said, but the phenomenon isn't limited to Germany, where revelations of NSA spying there, including a tap on the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have stoked a kind of economic nationalism.
Chris Swan, the chief technology officer at Cohesive FT, a cloud networking company, said that his company began fielding calls from European clients, Germany companies, in particular, last year. "They were asking for help finding and using non U.S.-affiliated infrastructure," he said.
"It’s a bit of a gradient with Germany at the top of the hill and the Swiss standing right alongside them," said Swan.
The requests take a couple different forms, according to the hosting company executive. Customers have asked for their data to be kept 'locally,' segregating it on infrastructure located within the geographic border of Germany or other EU nations that are not perceived to be subject to access from U.S. intelligence agencies. Others are asking for changes that at least give them plausible deniability with local press and government officials. For example, they might ask for hosting firms to transfer the registration IP addresses used to host content from U.S.–based entities to a German or EU-based subsidiary, according to the report."Link to Original Source
schwit1 writes "Surprise, surprise! Virgin Galactic space tourists could be grounded by federal regulations.
Virgin Galactic submitted an application to the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation in late August 2013, says Attenborough. The office, which goes by the acronym AST, has six months to review the application, meaning an approval may come as early as February. Industry experts, however, say that may be an overly optimistic projection. “An application will inevitably be approved, but it definitely remains uncertain exactly when it will happen,” says Dirk Gibson, an associate professor of communication at the University of New Mexico and author of multiple books on space tourism. "This is extremely dangerous and unchartered territory. It’s space travel. AST has to be very prudent," he says. "They don’t want to endanger the space-farers or the public, and they can’t let the industry get started and then have a Titanic-like scenario that puts an end to it all in the eyes of the public.""Link to Original Source
SmartAboutThings writes "The search for the best free or paid antivirus software has been going on for years and years; and it’s pretty hard to decide a winner. Now, independent test lab AV-TEST has conducted a new research trying to determine which are the best anti-virus software solutions for Windows 8.1 users. AV-TEST has compared anti-virus software for business and consumer users, as well. According to their tests, Bitdefender’s Endpoint Security and Trend Micro’s Office Scans are the best to use for business environments, followed closely by the Kaspersky Lab Endpoint Security Solution. For consumer users, BitDefender is again the winner here, with its Internet Security 2014 anti-virus software solution. Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2014 has managed to obtain the same score, being closely followed by Avira Internet Security."
chicksdaddy writes "Cisco released its annual security report this morning and the news isn't good. Hidden amid the standard bad news (100% of 30 Fortune 500 companies were found to host malware on their network) is a particularly biting piece of bad news: a dire shortage of trained cyber security experts.
Cisco estimates that there is already global shortage of up to one million more cyber security experts in 2014. As the security demands on companies increase, that shortage is set to become even more acute, according to Levi Gundert of Cisco's Threat Research and Analysis Center. Expertise in areas like security architecture, incident response and threat intelligence are already in demand and where organizations are going to feel the pinch of the skills shortage, he said."Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "Neiman Marcus became the latest, prominent U.S. retailer to admit that its network was hacked and credit card data on customers stolen. (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/01/hackers-steal-card-data-from-neiman-marcus/) But the story isn't over. Reuters reported on Monday that at least three other, well-known U.S. retailers took place in November and December and "were conducted using similar techniques as the one on Target." (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA0B01720140112?irpc=932) The common thread? Point of Sale malware like Dexter and Project Hook.
According to the Reuters report, which cited unnamed law enforcement officials and experts who were investigating the incidents, the malware used was described as a "RAM scraper," a possible reference to a feature of malware like Dexter, which uses RAM scraping to retrieve unencrypted credit card numbers from compromised point of sale systems.
The Security Ledger quotes experts from Arbor Networks who have observed a jump in Point of Sale malware with botnet like command and control features.(http://www.arbornetworks.com/asert/2013/12/happy-holidays-point-of-sale-malware-campaigns-targeting-credit-and-debit-cards/) CERT echoed those warnings in an advisory issued last week. (https://securityledger.com/2014/01/us-cert-warns-about-point-of-sale-malware/)
According to Arbor, much of the newest PoS malware uses RAM scraping to steal data before sending it out, in encrypted form, to command and control servers managed by the cyber criminal group behind the attack."Link to Original Source
JoeyRox writes "Tesla is sending its customers new home charging connectors after recent reports of chargers overheating in garages, one of which lead to a fire while charging a Model S."Link to Original Source
netbuzz writes "Target this morning issued an update regarding its recent catastrophic data breach that increases the number of customers victimized from 40 million to 70 million. The company also reported that even more information had been stolen than previously believed. In addition, and not surprisingly, Target told the investment world that sales are down this quarter."Link to Original Source
Lasrick writes "Standford's Gi-Wook Shin and David Straub analyze North Korea's strange, bloody mistake: the execution of Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-taek."Link to Original Source
sciencehabit writes "Over the decades, 50 or more explanations have been offered for the fields of broad, meter-high mounds of soil found across the western United States and on every continent except Antarctica. The ideas have ranged from earthquakes to glaciers to UFOs. But now it seems that generation upon generation of gophers built the millions of mounds seen today. And it took a computer model programmed to act like the burrowing rodents to unearth the truth."Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "In a great example of the cybercrime "chickens coming home to roost," credit card information stolen from box retailer Target have been linked to fraudulent purchases at large retail outlets, including Target itself, the web site Krebsonsecurity.com reports. (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/12/cards-stolen-in-target-breach-flood-underground-markets)
Writing on Friday, Brian Krebs said that millions of the stolen cards are "flooding" underground carder web sites. Working with a source at a small New England bank, Krebs was able to identify hundreds of stolen credit card accounts being offered for sale from that bank alone on a carder site, rescator(dot)la.(http://rescator.la) The cards were being uploaded daily in batches of 100,000 or more, branded as the "Tortuga base."
A "point of purchase" analysis on 20 of stolen accounts belonging to the bank and purchased from four of the "Tortuga" dumps confirmed Target as a common reference point for the cards. Even worse: “Some of these already have confirmed fraud on them, and a few of them were actually just issued recently and have only been used at Target,” Krebs source at the bank informed him. A number of the cards were flagged for fraud after they were used to make unauthorized purchases at big box retailers, including Target, itself, he said.
After reports by Krebs about a major theft of credit cards, Target acknowledged the breach on Thursday, admitting that data on up to 40 million consumers may have been taken. (https://securityledger.com/2013/12/target-confirms-massive-breach-40-million-credit-cards-affected/)"Link to Original Source
chicksdaddy writes "Its hard to put a number on exactly how many Internet connected "smart devices" will be served up by the end of the decade. 30 billion (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2621015)? 50 billion (http://blogs.cisco.com/diversity/the-internet-of-things-infographic/)? 75 billion (http://www.businessinsider.com/75-billion-devices-will-be-connected-to-the-internet-by-2020-2013-10)? Like McDonald's hamburgers, its probably better to just say "billions and billions." After all, the exact number doesn't matter and everyone agrees there will be lots of them.
But all those devices – and the near-limitless IPV6 address space that will accommodate them – do present a management and governance problem (https://securityledger.com/2013/11/it-pros-internet-of-things-is-a-governance-disaster/): how do you find the specific device you’re looking for in a sea of similar devices?
What the world needs is a Google or, better yet, a Facebook for Internet of Things devices, and that’s what the folks over at the UK-based firm Umbrellium (http://umbrellium.co.uk/about-us/) introduced on Friday with thingful.net (http://www.thingful.net), a search engine that scours the Internet for smart devices.
Unlike Shodan (http://www.shodanhq.com/), the hardware search engine, Thingful is about building connections between Internet of Things devices. Thingful users register using a Twitter account, then associate discoverable smart devices they own with that account. Users can search for others nearby who own and operate smart devices and “follow” those devices, or network with other individuals who own specific types of smart infrastructure via Thingful.
Not that its all voluntary. Thingful currently aggregates public data from connected devices. In large part that is through indexing IoT platforms like Xively, Smart Citizen (open source environmental monitoring), Weather Underground and Air Quality Egg. The search engine has indexed tens of thousands of devices globally, ranging from home thermostats and simple sensors, to wired ocean monitoring buoys in the mid-Atlantic and tanker ships plying the Mediterranean, The Security Ledger reports."Link to Original Source