writes "More than 12 million devices running an embedded webserver called RomPager are vulnerable to a simple attack that could give a hacker man-in-the-middle position on traffic going to and from home routers from just about every leading manufacturer.
Mostly ISP-owned residential gateways manufactured by D-Link, Huawei, TP-Link, ZTE, Zyxel and several others are currently exposed. Researchers at Check Point Software Technologies reported the flaw they’ve called Misfortune Cookie, to all of the affected vendors and manufacturers, and most have responded that they will push new firmware and patches in short order.
The problem with embedded device security is that, with consumer-owned gear especially, it’s up to the device owner to find and flash new firmware, leaving most of the devices in question vulnerable indefinitely.
In the case of the RomPager vulnerability, an attacker need only send a single packet containing a malicious HTTP cookie to exploit the flaw. Such an exploit would corrupt memory on the device and allow an attacker to remotely gain administrative access to the device."Link to Original Source
writes "A popular Android smartphone sold primarily in China and Taiwan but also available worldwide, contains a backdoor from the manufacturer that is being used to push pop-up advertisements and install apps without users’ consent.
The Coolpad devices, however, are ripe for much more malicious abuse, researchers at Palo Alto Networks said today, especially after the discovery of a vulnerability in the backend management interface that exposed the backdoor’s control system.
The CoolReaper backdoor not only connects to a number of command and control servers, but is also capable of downloading, installing and activating any Android application without the user’s permission. It also sends phony over-the-air updates to devices that instead install applications without notifying the user. The backdoor can also be used to dial phone numbers, send SMS and MMS messages, and upload device and usage information to Coolpad.
The manufacturer has also taken steps via modifications to its version of Android to keep the backdoor hidden from users and security software that could be installed on the phone. For example, Olson said Coolpad has disabled the long-press system that allows a user to find out what application generated an pop-up advertisement or notification, for example."Link to Original Source
writes "A worm exploiting network attached storage devices vulnerable to the Bash flaw is scanning the Internet for more victims.
The worm opens a backdoor on QNAP devices, but to date it appears the attackers are using the exploit to run a click-fraud scam, in addition to maintaining persistence on owned boxes.
“The goal appears to be to backdoor the system, so an attacker could come back later to install additional malware,” said Johannes Ullrich, head of the Internet Storm Center at the SANS Institute.
QNAP of Taiwan released a patch in October for the Bash vulnerability in its Turbo NAS products. Like many other vulnerable products and devices, owners may not be aware that Bash is present and exposed. Bash was among a litany of Internet-wide vulnerabilities uncovered this year; the flaw in Bash, or Bourne Again Shell, affects Linux and UNIX distributions primarily, but also Windows in some cases. Bash is accessed, often quietly, by any number of functions which makes comprehensive patching difficult even though all major Linux distributions and most vendors have issued patches."Link to Original Source
writes "A researcher disclosed a problem with a loose cross-domain policy for Flash requests on Yahoo Mail that put email message content, contact information and much more at risk. The researcher said the weakness is relatively simple to exploit and puts users at high risk for data loss, identity theft, and more.
Yahoo has patched one issue related to a specific .swf file hosted on Yahoo’s content delivery network that contained a vulnerability that could give an attacker complete control over Yahoo Mail accounts cross origin. While the patch fixed this specific issue, the larger overall configuration issue remains, meaning that other vulnerable .swf files hosted outside the Yahoo CDN and on another Yahoo subdomain could be manipulated the same way."Link to Original Source
writes "Researchers have discovered a new version of the Destover malware that was used in the recent Sony Pictures Entertainment breaches, and in an ironic twist, the sample is signed by a legitimate certificate stolen from Sony.
The new sample is essentially identical to an earlier version of Destover that was not signed. Destover has been used in a variety of attacks in recent years and it’s representative of the genre of malware that doesn’t just compromise machines and steal data, but can destroy information as well. The attackers who have claimed credit for the attack on Sony have spent the last couple of weeks gradually releasing large amounts of information stolen in the breach, including unreleased movies, personal data of Sony employees and sensitive security information such as digital certificates and passwords.
The new, signed version of Destover appears to have been compiled in July and was signed on Dec. 5, the day after Kaspersky Lab published an analysis of the known samples of the malware."Link to Original Source
writes "Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Department of Justice announced on Thursday the creation of a new team within its Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) during a talk at a Georgetown Law conference titled, “Cybercrime 2020: The Future of Online Crime and Investigations.” Known as the Cybercrime Unit, the team is tasked with enhancing public-private security efforts.
A large part of the Cybersecurity Unit’s mission will be to quell the growing distrust many Americans have toward law enforcement’s high-tech investigative techniques. Even if that lack of trust, as Caldwell claimed, is based largely on misinformation about the technical abilities of the law enforcement tools and the manners in which they are used.
“In fact, almost every decision we make during an investigation requires us to weigh the effect on privacy and civil liberties, and we take that responsibility seriously,” Caldwell said. “Privacy concerns are not just tacked onto our investigations, they are baked in.""Link to Original Source
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."Link to Original Source
writes "Human rights workers, political activists and journalists working in oppressed parts of the world now have an open source detection tool that helps them triage their computers and scan for the worst of the worst state-sponsored spyware.
Detekt, built by independent white hat Claudio Rainieri in partnership with the EFF, Amnesty International and others, scans for FinFisher and HackingTeam spyware, as well as the most prevalent remote access Trojans, such as BlackComet and Extreme.
It's not meant as a substitute for antivirus, but more about giving someone under state surveillance--a desperate, emergency situation--a free utility to figure out what's happening on their machine and how to proceed next."Link to Original Source
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.”"
electronic convict (3600551)
writes "People often forget that the NSA has a second mission beyond surveillance (or surveillance-plus): It's also supposed to take the lead in protecting federal information systems and critical national infrastructure from criminals and foreign attackers.
If the recent spate of cyberattacks is any indication, though, the NSA has bungled that job pretty badly. And small wonder: As we've known for a year, the agency actively works to introduce vulnerabilities into encryption systems, to discourage the use of strong security and to use its industry-outreach program to further both aims. So why should anyone trust it to help actually guard against hackers?
There's a simple, if currently impractical solution: Break up the NSA.
This isn't an entirely new idea; Bruce Schneier, for instance, has been pushing for an NSA breakup since February, primarily on the grounds that the agency is simply too large and out of control. His proposed division, however, would still task the NSA with both security and surveillance, keeping its inherent conflict of interest intact. A better solution would be to move the security function out of the NSA entirely, allowing its staff to plug holes as fast as their offense-minded NSA peers can create them.
Yes, the USA Freedom Act just went down in flames, and the odds of serious NSA reform look about as dim as ever. But wouldn't everyone be better off if some of the best cryptographers and security experts in the U.S. weren't working side-by-side with the spies bent on undermining their work?"Link to Original Source
writes "Ebola, flu, and colds have given viruses a bad rap. But there may be a good side to these tiny packages of genetic material. Researchers studying mice have shown that a virus can help maintain and restore a healthy gut in much the same way that friendly bacteria do. The work "shows for the first time that a virus can functionally substitute for a bacterium and provide beneficial effects," says Julie Pfeiffer, a virologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved with the study. "It's shocking.""Link to Original Source
writes "Microsoft today released an out-of-band security bulletin patching a critical vulnerability in Kerberos implementations that is being exploited in targeted attacks. The vulnerability enables a hacker to escalate privileges on a compromised computers to domain administrator.
Originally, Microsoft planned to release the patch for this vulnerability, MS14-068, on Nov. 11, with the rest of the month’s Patch Tuesday fixes. However, the patch was not included in that release. No reason was given for the omission, but in the past Microsoft has delayed patches that weren’t ready yet or caused problems in testing. The MS14-068 vulnerability is rated critical and the company is urging users to install the patch right away."Link to Original Source
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 "Microsoft today released a patch for a zero-day vulnerability under active exploit in the wild. The vulnerability in OLE, or Microsoft Windows Object Linking and Embedding, enables a hacker to remotely execute code on an infected machine, and has been linked to attacks by the Sandworm APT group against government agencies and energy utilities.
Microsoft also issued a massive Internet Explorer patch, but warned organizations that have deployed version 5.0 of its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) to upgrade to version 5.1 before applying the IE patches. Version 5.1 resolves some compatibility issues, in addition to several mitigation enhancements."Link to Original Source
writes "WireLurker is no more. After causing an overnight sensation, the newly disclosed family of Apple Mac OS X malware capable of also infecting iOS devices has been put to rest. Researchers at Palo Alto Networks confirmed this morning that the command and control infrastructure supporting WireLurker has been shut down and Apple has revoked a legitimate digital certificate used to sign WireLurker code and allow it to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices.
Researchers at Palo Alto Networks discovered and dubbed the threat WireLurker because it spreads from infected OS X computers to iOS once the mobile device is connected to a Mac via USB. The malware analyzes the connected iOS device looking for a number of popular applications in China, namely the Meitu photo app, the Taobao online auction app, or the AliPay payment application. If any of those are found on the iOS device, WireLurker extracts its and replaces it with a Trojanized version of the same app repackaged with malware.
Patient zero is a Chinese third-party app store called Maiyadi known for hosting pirated apps for both platforms. To date, Palo Alto researchers said, 467 infected OS X apps have been found on Maiyadi and those apps have been downloaded more than 350,000 times as of Oct. 16 by more than 100,000 users."Link to Original Source