writes "For a little more than six months, attackers were on the Tor network trying to deanonymize users who operate or use Tor hidden services.
Tor issued a security advisory this morning warning users who operated or accessed hidden services between Jan. 30 and July 4 that they were likely affected. Tor officials are also recommending users to upgrade relays to the most recent Tor release, which closes off the vulnerability exploited by the attackers. Hidden service operators are also advised to change the location of their services."Link to Original Source
writes "There is a critical vulnerability in millions of Android devices that allows a malicious app to impersonate a trusted application in a transparent way, enabling an attacker to take a number of actions, including inserting malicious code into a legitimate app or even take complete control of an affected device.
The vulnerability is a result of the way that Android handles certificate validation and it’s present in all versions of Android from 2.1 to 4.4, known as Kit Kat. Researchers at Bluebox Security, who identified the vulnerability, said that in some cases, attackers can exploit the vulnerability to gain full access to a target device. Specifically, devices that run the 3LM administration extension are at risk for a complete compromise. This includes devices from HTC, Pantech, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, and Motorola.
Android apps are signed using digital certificates that establish the identity of the developer and the vulnerability Bluebox discovered is that the Android app installer doesn’t try to authenticate the certificate chain of a given app. That means an attacker can create an app with a fake identity and impersonate an app with extensive privileges, such as an Adobe plug-in or Google Wallet. In the case of the Adobe impersonation, the malicious app would have the ability to escape the sandbox and run malicious code inside another app, the researchers said.
“You could use any app distribution mechanism, whether it’s a link in SMS or a legitimate app store. Look at other Android malware. You do it whatever it takes for the user to say, Yeah I want that app,” Bluebox CTO Jeff Forristal said. “It’s certainly severe. It’s completely stealth and transparent to the user and it’s absolutely the stuff that malware is made of. It operates extremely consistently, so in that regard it’s going to be extremely attractive to malware.”"
writes "The OpenBSD project late last night rushed out a patch for a vulnerability in the LibreSSL pseudo random number generator (PRNG).
The flaw was disclosed two days ago by the founder of secure backup company Opsmate, Andrew Ayer, who said the vulnerability was a “catastrophic failure of the PRNG.”
OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt and developer Bob Beck, however, countered saying that the issue is “overblown” because Ayer’s test program is unrealistic. Ayer’s test program, when linked to LibreSSL and made two different calls to the PRNG, returned the exact same data both times.
“It is actually only a problem with the author’s contrived test program,” Beck said. “While it’s a real issue, it’s actually a fairly minor one, because real applications don’t work the way the author describes, both because the PID (process identification number) issue would be very difficult to have become a real issue in real software, and nobody writes real software with OpenSSL the way the author has set this test up in the article.”"Link to Original Source
Jason Z (3746821)
writes "Interview with Sarah Koo, data scientist at BitTorrent. We discuss the technology itself, security potential, and the future of file storage"Link to Original Source
writes "A group of outside experts found that the process that led to the inclusion of the weakened Dual EC_DRBG random number generator in a NIST standard was flawed and there were several failures along the way that led to its approval. The committee also recommended that the National Institute of Standards and Technology increase the number of cryptographers it employs and also that it take steps to clarify and define its relationship with the NSA.
The report from the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology’s Committee of Visitors, released Monday, found that NIST was overly reliant on the input and expertise of NSA cryptographers and that the organization should have paid more attention to outside criticisms of the algorithm.
“The reconstruction of events showed that the issues with the DRBG had been identified several times – formally and informally – during the standards development process, and that they had been discussed and addressed at the time. NIST now concludes, however, that the steps taken to address the issues were less effective than they should have been, and that the team failed to take actions that, in the light of hindsight, clearly should have been taken. The root causes of the failure were identified as trust in the technical expertise provided by NSA, excessive reliance on an insular community that was somewhat impervious to external feedback, group dynamics within the standards development team, and informal recordkeeping over the course of a multi- year development process,” Ellen Richey, one of the committee members and executive vice president and chief enterprise risk officer at Visa, wrote in her recommendations in the report."
writes "The source code for Tinba, known as the smallest banker Trojan in circulation, has been posted on an underground forum. Researchers say that the files turned out to be the source code for version one of Tinba, which was identified in 2012, and is the original, privately sold version of the crimeware kit.
Tinba performs many of the same malicious functions as other banker Trojans, injecting itself into running processes on an infected machine, including the browser and explorer.exe. The malware is designed to steal financial information, including banking credentials and credit-card data and also makes each infected computer part of a botnet. Compromised machines communicate with command-and-control servers over encrypted channels. Tinba got its name from an abbreviation of “tiny banker”, and researchers say that it’s only about 20 KB in size."Link to Original Source
writes "Got an email today from Microsoft, text is below. They are no longer going to send out emails regarding patches, you have to use RSS or keep visiting their security sites. They blame "governmental policies" as the reason. What could the real reason be? Anybody in the know?
From the email:
Title: Microsoft Security Notifications
Issued: June 27, 2014
Notice to IT professionals:
As of July 1, 2014, due to changing governmental policies concerning the issuance of automated electronic messaging, Microsoft is suspending the use of email notifications that announce the
* Security bulletin advance notifications
* Security bulletin summaries
* New security advisories and bulletins
* Major and minor revisions to security advisories and bulletins
In lieu of email notifications, you can subscribe to one or more of the RSS feeds described on the Security TechCenter website.
For more information, or to sign up for an RSS feed, visit the Microsoft Technical Security Notifications webpage at http://technet.microsoft.com/s...."Link to Original Source
writes "The United States federal government issued more than 19,000 National Security Letters–perhaps its most powerful tool for domestic intelligence collection–in 2013, and those NSLs contained more than 38,000 individual requests for information.
The new data was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday as part of its effort to comply with a directive from President Obama to declassify and release as much information as possible about a variety of tools that the government uses to collect intelligence. The directive came in the immediate aftermath of the first revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s capabilities, methods and use of legal authorities.
The use of NSLs is far from new, dating back several decades. But their use was expanded greatly after 9/11 and NSLs are different from other tools in a number of ways, perhaps most importantly in the fact that recipients typically are prohibited from even disclosing the fact that they received an NSL. Successfully fighting an NSL is a rare thing, and privacy advocates have been after the government for years to release data on their use of the letters and the number of NSLs issued. Now, the ODNI is putting some of that information into the public record."
writes "Controversial spyware commercially developed by Italy’s HackingTeam and sold to governments and law enforcement for the purpose of surveillance, has a global command and control infrastructure and for the first time, security experts have insight into how its mobile malware components work.
Collaborating teams of researchers from Kaspersky Lab and Citizen Lab at the Monk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto today reported on their findings during an event in London. The breadth of the command infrastructure supporting HackingTeam’s Remote Control System (RCS) is extensive, with 326 servers outed in more than 40 countries; the report also provides the first details on the inner workings of the RCS mobile components for Apple iOS and Android devices."Link to Original Source
writes "Much like the Year of PKI that has never come to be, information sharing has been one of security’s more infamous non-starters. While successful in heavily siloed environments such as financial services, enterprises industry-wide are hesitant to share threat and security data for fear of losing a competitive edge or exposing further vulnerabilities.
Microsoft hopes the latest tweak to its Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) will calm the waters a bit and engage companies and industries to share threat data in an effort to stem the effects of targeted and persistent attacks and speed up incident response recovery.
A private preview is scheduled to open this week for Microsoft Interflow, a distributed platform for information exchange that is built on open specifications such as the Structured Threat Information eXpression (STIX), the Trusted Automation eXchange of Indicator Information (TAXII), and the Cyber Observable eXpression standards (CybOX). Today’s announcement comes 11 months after Microsoft expanded MAPP, its vendor partner information-sharing program to include incident responders."Link to Original Source
writes "Much has been written about the insecurity of the IPMI protocol present inside embedded baseboard management controllers (BMCs). Serious vulnerabilities can be exploited to gain remote control over big servers running BMCs, in particular in hosting environments where the controllers help admins with remote management of crucial industrial functions, for example. And despite alerts and warnings from prominent figures in computer security such as Dan Farmer and HD Moore, and patches from vendors, the news keeps getting worse.
The security incident response team for San Diego-based cloud-based hosting provider CARI.net yesterday disclosed that a file storing passwords in plain text is open over port 49152. Close to 32,000 vulnerable systems responded to a GET/PSBlock query on the Shodan search engine over port 49152; more than 9.8 million hosts responded in total.
“You can quite literally download the BMC password file from any UPnP enabled Supermicro motherboard running IPMI on a public interface,” said Zachary Wikholm, senior security engineer with CARI.net.
The PSBlock password file is found in a XML file stored inside a particular directory, Wikholm said, adding that he notified Supermicro of the issue in November to no avail. Wikholm said anything stored in the directory, including server.pem files, wsman admin passwords and netconfig files, are available."Link to Original Source
writes "Incentivized by a minimal amount of cash, computer users who took part in a study were willing to agree to download an executable file to their machines without questioning the potential consequences. The more cash the researchers offered, capping out at $1, the more people complied with the experiment.
The results toss a big bucket of cold water on long-standing security awareness training advice that urges people not to trust third-party downloads from unknown sources in order to guard the sanctity of their computer. A Hershey bar or a Kennedy half-dollar, apparently, sends people spiraling off course pretty rapidly and opens up a potential new malware distribution channel for hackers willing to compensate users.
The study was released recently in a paper called: “It’s All About The Benjamins: An empirical study on incentivizing users to ignore security advice.” While fewer than half of the people who viewed the task actually ran the benign executable when offered a penny to do so, the numbers jumped to 58 percent when offered 50 cents, and 64 percent when offered $1."Link to Original Source
writes "A new banking Trojan has surfaced on hacker forums called Pandemiya. While the malware offers many of the same features criminals would find in Zeus, Citadel or Carberp, the malware is a completely new offering, a yearlong project, written from scratch featuring more than 25,000 lines of original C code."Link to Original Source
writes "If enterprises are indeed moving services off premises and into the cloud, there are four letters those companies’ IT organizations should be aware of: IPMI.
Short for Intelligent Platform Management Interface, these tiny computers live as an embedded Linux system attached to the motherboards of big servers from vendors such as IBM, Dell and HP. IPMI is used by a Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) to manage Out-of-Band communication, essentially giving admins remote control over servers and devices, including memory, networking capabilities and storage. This is particularly useful for hosting providers and cloud services providers who must manage gear and data in varied locations.
Noted researchers Dan Farmer, creator of the SATAN vulnerability scanner, and HD Moore, creator of Metasploit, have been collaborating on research into the vulnerabilities present in IPMI and BMCs and the picture keeps getting uglier. Last July, Farmer and Moore published some research on the issue based upon work Farmer was doing under a DARPA Cyber Fast Track Grant that uncovered a host of vulnerabilities, and Internet-wide scans for the IPMI protocol conducted by Moore.
Yesterday, Farmer released a paper called “Sold Down the River,” in which he chastises big hardware vendors for ignoring security vulnerabilities and poor configurations that are trivial to find and exploit."Link to Original Source
writes "A cryptanalysis of TrueCrypt will proceed as planned, said organizers of the Open Crypto Audit Project who announced the technical leads of the second phase of the audit and that there will be a crowdsourcing aspect to phase two.
The next phase of the audit, which will include an examination of everything including the random number generators, cipher suites, crypto protocols and more, could be wrapped up by the end of the summer."Link to Original Source