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  • FreeBSD devs ponder changes to security processes

    The developers of FreeBSD have announced they'll change the way they go about their business, after users queried why known vulnerabilities weren't being communicated to users.

    This story starts with an anonymous GitHub post detailing some vulnerabilities in the OS, specifically in freebsd-update, libarchive, bspatch and portsnap. Some of the problems in that post were verified and the FreeBSD devs started working on repairs.

  • Your Linux Distro Can Be Hacked In 60 Seconds Due To Serious TCP Flaw: Research [Ed: This headline is nonsense and shows that the author lacks technical understanding of it.]
  • Virtual Machine Introspection: A Security Innovation With New Commercial Applications

    A few weeks ago, Citrix and Bitdefender launched XenServer 7 and Bitdefender Hypervisor Introspection, which together compose the first commercial application of the Xen Project Hypervisor’s Virtual Machine Introspection (VMI) infrastructure. In this article, we will cover why this technology is revolutionary and how members of the Xen Project Community and open source projects that were early adopters of VMI (most notably LibVMI and DRAKVUF) collaborated to enable this technology.

  • 10 IoT Security Best Practices For IT Pros

    IT professionals have to treat internet of things (IoT) vulnerabilities as they would vulnerabilities in databases or web applications. Any flaw can bring unwelcome attention, for those making affected products and those using them. Any flaw may prove useful to compromise other systems on the network. When everything is connected, security is only as strong as the weakest node on the network.

  • Like The Rest Of The Internet Of Things, Most 'Smart' Locks Are Easily Hacked

    Smart refrigerators that leak your e-mail credentials. Smart TVs that collect but then fail to secure your living room conversations. Smart thermostats that can be loaded with ransomware. Smart vehicles that can be hacked and potentially kill you. This is the end result of "Internet of Things" evangelists and companies that for the last half-decade put hype and profit (the cart) well ahead of consumer privacy and security (the horse), in the process exposing us all to thousands of new attack vectors in homes and businesses around the world.

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Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Security advisories for Wednesday
  • Google: QuadRooter Threat Blocked On Most Android Devices
  • Linux Distributions Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks: Report
  • Windows 10 Attack Surface Grows with Linux Support in Anniversary Update [Ed: Does Kaspersky not know CrowdStrike is a Microsoft-connected firm that spreads Linux FUD?]
  • Web pages, Word docs, PDF files, fonts – behold your latest keys to infecting Windows PCs

    Microsoft has fixed 38 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in Edge, Internet Explorer, and Office, as well as high-profile flaws that have allowed researchers to circumvent Windows boot protections.

    None of the programming blunders were publicly disclosed or actively exploited in the wild prior to today's patch release.

  • If census site was taken down after DDoS attack it wasn't prepared: expert

    The attack against the census website that resulted in it being taken down last night appears, at face value, to have been nothing more than the standard attack perpetrated against countless sites every day by everyone from children to malcontents with an axe to grind, an expert says.

    That the site was attacked is not in the least bit surprising, security adviser Troy Hunt told Fairfax Media, but it was unexpected that an attack of this kind would result in the site going down.

  • Census 2016: ABS needs to provide proof of DDoS

    Technical people like him are what we need to cut through all the bulldust. One person who is an expert in this art is Craig Sanders, a systems administrator of many decades, and one who can speak plainly. Many years ago, following a major distributed denial of service of attack on the Internet's root name servers, he was one who educated me on the phenomenon. This time was no different with Sanders; he calmly and clearly pointed me in the direction of the evidence that was needed.

    If the census website crashed due to foreign intervention — either through a denial of service or a distributed denial of service — how is it that none of the major security companies around the world did not notice it? You would need an attack of some magnitude to take down the ABS census site.

  • Researchers crack Microsoft feature, say encryption backdoors similarly crackable [Ed: by design]

    Researchers who uncovered a security key that protects Windows devices as they boot up say their discovery is proof that encryption backdoors do not work.

    The pair of researchers, credited by their hacker nicknames MY123 and Slipstream, found the cryptographic key protecting a feature called Secure Boot.

    They believe the discovery highlights a problem with requests law enforcement officials have made for technology companies to provide police with some form of access to otherwise virtually unbreakable encryption that might be used by criminals.

    “Microsoft implemented a ‘secure golden key’ system. And the golden keys got released from [Microsoft's] own stupidity,” wrote the researchers in their report, in a section addressed by name to the FBI.

    “Now, what happens if you tell everyone to make a ‘secure golden key’ system? Hopefully you can add 2+2.”

    Secure Boot is a built into the firmware of computer — software unique to different types of hardware that exists outside the operating system and is used to boot the OS.

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  • Containerized Security: The Next Evolution of Virtualization?

    We in the security industry have gotten into a bad habit of focusing the majority of our attention and marketing dollars on raising awareness of the latest emerging threats and new technologies being developed to detect them. One just has to look at the headlines or spend fifteen minutes walking the show floor at a major security conference to see this trend. However, while we are focusing on what all the bad guys are doing, we’ve taken the eye off the ball of where our infrastructure business is going.

  • SDN Security Researchers State Their Case at Black Hat

    So say two of his grad students, Seungsoo Lee and Changhoon Yoon (left and right, respectively, in the photo above). But along with Shin, who’s now an assistant professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) and a research associate at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), they’re hoping the industry is ready to start looking at the vulnerabilities that SDN introduces.

  • Widespread Linux Flaw Allows TCP Session Hijacking, Termination
  • Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea [Ed: Microsoft and backdoor should become synonymous. At every level, online and offline, Microsoft products booby-trapped with backdoors.]

    Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder.

    These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure Boot even if you have administrator rights – such as ARM-based Windows RT tablets – it is now possible to sidestep this block and run, say, GNU/Linux or Android.

    What's more, it is believed it will be impossible for Microsoft to fully revoke the leaked keys.

    And perhaps most importantly: it is a reminder that demands by politicians and crimefighters for special keys, which can be used by investigators to unlock devices in criminal cases, will inevitably jeopardize the security of everyone.

    Microsoft's misstep was uncovered by two researchers, MY123 and Slipstream, who documented their findings here in a demoscene-themed writeup published on Tuesday. Slip believes Microsoft will find it impossible to undo its leak.

  • Microsoft Creates Backdoor In Windows, Accidentally Leaks UEFI Secure Boot Keys

    Two researchers reported that Microsoft accidentally compromised the golden keys to its UEFI Secure boot feature.

  • Can Copperhead OS fix Android's security problems?

Canonical Patches Multiple Kernel Vulnerabilities in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

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Ubuntu

Today, August 10, 2016, Canonical published several security notices to inform Ubuntu Linux users about new kernel updates for their distributions, patching several vulnerabilities discovered recently.

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Internet of Insecurity

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  • Linux TCP flaw enables remote attacks

    Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, say they have found a weakness in the transmission control protocol (TCP) used by Linux since late 2012 which allows the remote hijacking of Internet communications.

  • Serious security threat to many Internet users highlighted
  • Your 'Smart' Thermostat Is Now Vulnerable To Ransomware

    We've noted time and time again how the much ballyhooed "internet of things" is a privacy and security dumpster fire, and the check is about to come due. Countless companies and "IoT" evangelists jumped head first into the profit party, few bothering to cast even a worried look over at the reality that basic security and privacy standards hadn't come along for the ride. The result has been an endless parade of not-so-smart devices and appliances that are busy either leaking your personal details or potentially putting your life at risk.

    Of course, the Internet of Things hype machine began with smart thermostats and the sexy, Apple-esque advertising of Nest. The fun and games didn't last however, especially after several botched firmware updates resulted in people being unable to heat or cool their homes (relatively essential for a thermostat).

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  • No, 900 million Android devices are not at risk from the 'Quadrooter' monster

    Guys, gals, aardvarks, fishes: I'm running out of ways to say this. Your Android device is not in any immediate danger of being taken over a super-scary malware monster.

    It's a silly thing to say, I realize, but we go through this same song and dance every few months: Some company comes out with a sensational headline about how millions upon millions of Android users are in danger (DANGER!) of being infected (HOLY HELL!) by a Big, Bad Virus™ (A WHAT?!) any second now. Countless media outlets (cough, cough) pick up the story and run with it, latching onto that same sensational language without actually understanding a lick about Android security or the context that surrounds it.

    To wit: As you've no doubt seen by now, our latest Android malware scare du jour is something an antivirus software company called Check Point has smartly dubbed "Quadrooter" (a name worthy of Batman villain status if I've ever heard one). The company is shouting from the rooftops that 900 million (MILLION!) users are at risk of data loss, privacy loss, and presumably also loss of all bladder control -- all because of this hell-raising "Quadrooter" demon and its presence on Qualcomm's mobile processors.

  • 900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits
  • Annoying "Open PDF in Edge" Default Option Puts Windows 10 Users at Risk

    Microsoft released today its monthly security patch, and one of the five security bulletins labeled as critical was a remote code execution (RCE) flaw in its standard PDF rendering library that could be exploited when opening PDF files.

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today's howtos

Leftovers: OSS

  • Report: If DOD Doesn't Embrace Open Source, It'll 'Be Left Behind'
    Unless the Defense Department and its military components levy increased importance on software development, they risk losing military technical superiority, according to a new report from the Center for a New American Security. In the report, the Washington, D.C.-based bipartisan think tank argues the Pentagon, which for years has relied heavily on proprietary software systems, “must actively embrace open source software” and buck the status quo. Currently, DOD uses open source software “infrequently and on an ad hoc basis,” unlike tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook that wouldn’t exist without open source software.
  • The Honey Trap of Copy/Pasting Open Source Code
    I couldn’t agree more with Bill Sourour’s article ‘Copy.Paste.Code?’ which says that copying and pasting code snippets from sources like Google and StackOverflow is fine as long as you understand how they work. However, the same logic can’t be applied to open source code. When I started open source coding at the tender age of fourteen, I was none the wiser to the pitfalls of copy/pasting open source code. I took it for granted that if a particular snippet performed my desired function, I could just insert it into my code, revelling in the fact that I'd just gotten one step closer to getting my software up and running. Yet, since then, through much trial and error, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to use open source code effectively.
  • Affordable, Open Source, 3D Printable CNC Machine is Now on Kickstarter
    The appeals of Kickstarter campaigns are many. There are the rewards for backers, frequently taking the form of either deep discounts on the final product or unusual items that can’t be found anywhere else. Pledging to support any crowdfunding campaign is a gamble, but it’s an exciting gamble; just browsing Kickstarter is pretty exciting, in fact, especially in the technological categories. Inventive individuals and startups offer new twists on machines like 3D printers and CNC machines – often for much less cost than others on the market.
  • Open Standards and Open Source
    Much has changed in the telecommunications industry in the years since Standards Development Organization (SDOs) such as 3GPP, ITU and OMA were formed. In the early days of telecom and the Internet, as fundamental technology was being invented, it was imperative for the growth of the new markets that standards were established prior to large-scale deployment of technology and related services. The process for development of these standards followed a traditional "waterfall" approach, which helped to harmonize (sometimes competing) pre-standard technical solutions to market needs.

Leftovers: BSD

  • The Voicemail Scammers Never Got Past Our OpenBSD Greylisting
    We usually don't see much of the scammy spam and malware. But that one time we went looking for them, we found a campaign where our OpenBSD greylisting setup was 100% effective in stopping the miscreants' messages. During August 23rd to August 24th 2016, a spam campaign was executed with what appears to have been a ransomware payload. I had not noticed anything particularly unusual about the bsdly.net and friends setup that morning, but then Xavier Mertens' post at isc.sans.edu Voice Message Notifications Deliver Ransomware caught my attention in the tweetstream, and I decided to have a look.
  • Why FreeBSD Doesn't Aim For OpenMP Support Out-Of-The-Box

Security Leftovers

  • FBI detects breaches against two state voter systems
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation has found breaches in Illinois and Arizona's voter registration databases and is urging states to increase computer security ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election, according to a U.S. official familiar with the probe. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday that investigators were also seeking evidence of whether other states may have been targeted. The FBI warning in an Aug. 18 flash alert from the agency's Cyber Division did not identify the intruders or the two states targeted. Reuters obtained a copy of the document after Yahoo News first reported the story Monday.
  • Russians Hacked Two U.S. Voter Databases, Say Officials [Ed: blaming without evidence again]
    Two other officials said that U.S. intelligence agencies have not yet concluded that the Russian government is trying to do that, but they are worried about it.
  • FBI Says Foreign Hackers Got Into Election Computers
    We've written probably hundreds of stories on just what a dumb idea electronic voting systems are, highlighting how poorly implemented they are, and how easily hacked. And, yet, despite lots of security experts sounding the alarm over and over again, you still get election officials ridiculously declaring that their own systems are somehow hack proof. And now, along comes the FBI to alert people that it's discovered at least two state election computer systems have been hacked already, and both by foreign entities.
  • Researchers Reveal SDN Security Vulnerability, Propose Solution
    Three Italian researchers have published a paper highlighting a security vulnerability in software-defined networking (SDN) that isn't intrinsic to legacy networks. It's not a showstopper, though, and they propose a solution to protect against it. "It" is a new attack they call Know Your Enemy (KYE), through which the bad guys could potentially collect information about a network, such as security tool configuration data that could, for example, reveal attack detection thresholds for network security scanning tools. Or the collected information could be more general in nature, such as quality-of-service or network virtualization policies.
  • NV Gains Momentum for a Secure DMZ
    When it comes to making the shift to network virtualization (NV) and software-defined networking (SDN), one of the approaches gaining momentum is using virtualization technology to build a secure demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the data center. Historically, there have been two major drawbacks to deploying firewalls as a secure mechanism inside a data center. The first is the impact a physical hardware appliance has on application performance once another network hop gets introduced. The second is the complexity associated with managing the firewall rules. NV technologies make it possible to employ virtual firewalls that can be attached to specific applications and segregate them based on risk. This is the concept of building a secure DMZ in the data center. The end result is that the virtual firewall is not only capable of examining every packet associated with a specific application, but keeping track of what specific firewall rules are associated with a particular application becomes much simpler.