Blockchains are considered tamper-proof registers in which entries are time-stamped and linked to previous "blocks" in a data chain. As expected, the technology that drives the shadowy bitcoin cryptocurrency is drawing interest from the established banking industry, which sees a potential to revolutionize the sector.
The companies said they will build and test frameworks for blockchain-powered exchanges between businesses and their customers and banks. Microsoft plans to use its Azure cloud service platform to enable blockchain transactions between a major corporate treasury and a financial institution.
wiredmikey writes: Security researchers from China-based Tencent have identified a series of vulnerabilities that can be exploited to remotely hack an unmodified Tesla Model S while it’s parked or on the move. While the vehicle was parked, the experts could control the sunroof, turn signals, the position of the seats, all displays, and the door locking system. While the car was on the move, the hackers could activate the windshield wipers, fold the side view mirrors, and open the trunk. They also demonstrated that a remote hacker can activate the brakes from a long distance.
“As far as we know, this is the first case of remote attack which compromises CAN Bus to achieve remote controls on Tesla cars,” the researchers said. “We have verified the attack vector on multiple varieties of Tesla Model S. It is reasonable to assume that other Tesla models are affected.”
According to Keen Lab, Tesla has confirmed the flaws and is working on addressing them.
NAND mirroring involves removing the NAND flash memory chip from the device by desoldering it and creating backup copies or clones of the chip. By cloning the chip, the original memory is fully preserved while the copies can be used as many times as necessary to figure out the 4-digit passcode. Skorobogatov conducted a successful attack using off-the-shelf components bought from an electronics distributor for less than $100.
wiredmikey writes: The White House today announced that Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill has been named the first Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Back in February, President Barack Obama unveiled a cybersecurity "national action plan" (CNAP) which called for an overhaul of aging government networks and a high-level commission to boost security awareness. As part of the plan, the White House said it would hire a federal CISO to direct cybersecurity across the federal government. General Touhill is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The key hire comes at a time when the government needs cybersecurity talent more than ever. Earlier this week a report published a U.S. House of Representatives Committee said the data breaches disclosed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last year were a result of culture and leadership failures, and should not be blamed on technology.
wiredmikey writes: Six years after announcing that it would acquire security firm McAfee, Intel said it would spin off its security division as an independent company under the name McAfee, valuing the company at $4.4 billion--far less than the $7.68 billion the company paid to acquire the company in 2011. Intel will receive $3.1 billion in cash and retain the 49 percent stake after completion of the transaction
The McAfee brand, created by anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee, suffered some damage after the founder was wanted in Belize for questioning over the murder of his neighbor in late 2012, sparking months of dramatic events and a wild goose chase across Central America.
While Intel and its investment partner TPG could have used the spinoff as a chance to ditch the McAfee name altogether, it has chosen to stand by its brand, despite the negative association and PR issues with its former founder.
wiredmikey writes: Security experts have discovered that the Maxthon web browser collects sensitive information and sends it to a server in China. Researchers warn that the harvested data could be highly valuable for malicious actors.
Researchers at Fidelis Cybersecurity and Poland-based Exatel recently found that Maxthon regularly sends a file named ueipdata.zip to a server in Beijing, China, via HTTP. Further analysis (PDF) revealed that ueipdata.zip contains an encrypted file named dat.txt. This file stores information on the operating system, CPU, ad blocker status, homepage URL, websites visited by the user (including online searches), and installed applications and their version number.
Interestingly, In 2013, after the NSA surveillance scandal broke, the company boasted about its focus on privacy and security, and the use of strong encryption.
wiredmikey writes: Facebook announced Friday it would roll out optional "end to end encryption" for its Messenger application, following a trend aimed at stronger security and protection against snooping. The new feature will be known as "secret conversations" which can be read only by the sender and recipient. Facebook shared technical details about its implementation of the security in a technical white paper (PDF).
wiredmikey writes: Researchers have demonstrated that data can be stolen using fans and a mobile phone placed in the vicinity of the targeted machine. The method, dubbed Fansmitter, leverages the noise emitted by a computer’s fans to transmit data.
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev explained (PDF) that a piece of malware installed on the targeted air-gapped computer can use the device’s fans to send bits of data to a nearby mobile phone or a different computer equipped with a microphone.
While Apple's iOS 8.3 prevents the installation of an app that has an ID similar to an existing one, security researcher Chilik Tamir discovered a new method, which he dubbed “SandJacking."
Tamir demonstrated the SandJacking attack at the Hack In The Box (HITB) conference in Amsterdam on Thursday using Skype as the targeted application. However, the researcher told SecurityWeek that SandJacking attacks have been successfully tested against numerous popular applications.
The vulnerability was discovered in December 2015 and reported to Apple in January. The tech giant has confirmed the issue, but a patch has yet to be developed. Once Apple addresses the flaw, Tamir says he will release a SandJacker tool that automates the entire process of pushing malicious apps to iOS devices via the SandJacking vulnerability.
Microsoft has announced that it is dynamically banning common passwords from Microsoft Account and Azure Active Directory (AD) system. In addition to banning commonly used passwords to improve user account safety, Microsoft has implemented a feature called smart password lockout, meant to add an extra level of protection when an account is attacked.
Microsoft is seeing more than 10 million accounts being attacked each day, and that this data is used to dynamically update the list of banned passwords. This list is then used to prevent people from choosing a common or similar password.
Armed with fake credit card details from South Africa's Standard Bank, the thieves hit 1,400 convenience store ATMs in a coordinated attack earlier this month. The international gang members, reportedly numbering around 100 people, each made a series of withdrawals in less than three hours, Japanese media said. Japanese police declined to confirm the robbery, but Standard Bank acknowledged the heist and put its losses at around $19 million.
wiredmikey writes: Researchers from FireEye have disclosed the details of a serious information disclosure vulnerability affecting a Qualcomm software package found in hundreds of Android device models. The vulnerability is in the Qualcomm tethering controller (CVE-2016-2060) and could allow a malicious application to access user information. While the flaw could expose millions of Android devices, the vulnerability has limited impact on devices running Android 4.4 and later, which include significant security enhancements, and also does not affect Nexus devices.
FireEye said its researchers informed Qualcomm about the vulnerability in January and the vendor developed a fix by early March, when it started reaching out to OEMs to let them know about the issue. Now it’s up to the device manufacturers to push out the patch to customers.
wiredmikey writes: Researchers from Intel Security recently discovered that a piece of malware dubbed "Dynamer" is taking advantage of a Windows Easter Egg called “God Mode” to gain persistency on an infected machine.
God Mode, which can prove a handy tool for administrators, allows users to create a folder and give it a special name, which turns it into a shortcut to Windows settings and folders such as control panels, My Computer, or printers. However, the Dynamer malware is abusing the function, and installing itself into a folder inside of the %AppData% directory and creates a registry run key that persists across reboots. Using a “com4” name, Windows considers the folder as being a device, meaning that the user cannot easily delete it. Given that Windows Windows treats the folder “com4” folder differently, Windows Explorer or typical console commands are useless when attempting to delete it.