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Security News

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  • Security updates for Friday
  • [Older] Microsoft Delays February Patch Tuesday Updates Until Next Month

    It was created by Microsoft as a way to have a standard delivery date/schedule for updates that were being provided for the companies software. This allowed a lot of stability for users and IT Pros so they could be prepared for the monthly distribution oof the updates.

    Well this month Microsoft has hit a snag with their monthly Patch Tuesday.

  • Watershed SHA1 collision just broke the WebKit repository, others may follow

    The bug resides in Apache SVN, an open source version control system that WebKit and other large software development organizations use to keep track of code submitted by individual members. Often abbreviated as SVN, Subversion uses SHA1 to track and merge duplicate files. Somehow, SVN systems can experience a severe glitch when they encounter the two PDF files published Thursday, proving that real-world collisions on SHA1 are now practical.

  • Cloudflare Reverse Proxies are Dumping Uninitialized Memory

    Thanks to Josh Triplett for sending us this Google Project Zero report about a dump of unitialized memory caused by Cloudflare's reverse proxies. "A while later, we figured out how to reproduce the problem. It looked like that if an html page hosted behind cloudflare had a specific combination of unbalanced tags, the proxy would intersperse pages of uninitialized memory into the output (kinda like heartbleed, but cloudflare specific and worse for reasons I'll explain later). My working theory was that this was related to their "ScrapeShield" feature which parses and obfuscates html - but because reverse proxies are shared between customers, it would affect *all* Cloudflare customers. We fetched a few live samples, and we observed encryption keys, cookies, passwords, chunks of POST data and even HTTPS requests for other major cloudflare-hosted sites from other users. Once we understood what we were seeing and the implications, we immediately stopped and contacted cloudflare security. "

  • Secure your system with SELinux

    SELinux is well known as the most sophisticated Linux Mandatory Access Control (MAC) System. If you install any Fedora or Redhat operating System it is enabled by default and running in enforcing mode. So far so good.

Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Stop using SHA1 encryption: It’s now completely unsafe, Google proves

    Security researchers have achieved the first real-world collision attack against the SHA-1 hash function, producing two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 signature. This shows that the algorithm's use for security-sensitive functions should be discontinued as soon as possible.

    SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) dates back to 1995 and has been known to be vulnerable to theoretical attacks since 2005. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has banned the use of SHA-1 by U.S. federal agencies since 2010, and digital certificate authorities have not been allowed to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since Jan. 1, 2016, although some exemptions have been made.

    However, despite these efforts to phase out the use of SHA-1 in some areas, the algorithm is still fairly widely used to validate credit card transactions, electronic documents, email PGP/GPG signatures, open-source software repositories, backups and software updates.

  • on pgp

    First and foremost I have to pay respect to PGP, it was an important weapon in the first cryptowar. It has helped many whistleblowers and dissidents. It is software with quite interesting history, if all the cryptograms could tell... PGP is also deeply misunderstood, it is a highly successful political tool. It was essential in getting crypto out to the people. In my view PGP is not dead, it's just old and misunderstood and needs to be retired in honor.

    However the world has changed from the internet happy times of the '90s, from a passive adversary to many active ones - with cheap commercially available malware as turn-key-solutions, intrusive apps, malware, NSLs, gag orders, etc.

  • Cloudflare’s Cloudbleed is the worst privacy leak in recent Internet history

    Cloudflare revealed today that, for months, all of its protected websites were potentially leaking private information across the Internet. Specifically, Cloudflare’s reverse proxies were dumping uninitialized memory; that is to say, bleeding private data. The issue, termed Cloudbleed by some (but not its discoverer Tavis Ormandy of Google Project Zero), is the greatest privacy leak of 2017 and the year has just started.

    For months, since 2016-09-22 by their own admission, CloudFlare has been leaking private information through Cloudbleed. Basically, random data from random sites (again, it’s worth mentioning that every site that used CloudFlare in the last half year should be considered to having fallen victim to this) would be randomly distributed across the open Internet, and then indefinitely cached along the way.

  • Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data

    Cloudflare, a service that helps optimize the security and performance of more than 5.5 million websites, warned customers today that a recently fixed software bug exposed a range of sensitive information that could have included passwords and cookies and tokens used to authenticate users.

    A combination of factors made the bug particularly severe. First, the leakage may have been active since September 22, nearly five months before it was discovered, although the greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18. Second, some of the highly sensitive data that was leaked was cached by Google and other search engines. The result was that for the entire time the bug was active, hackers had the ability to access the data in real-time by making Web requests to affected websites and to access some of the leaked data later by crafting queries on search engines.

    "The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines," Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming wrote in a blog post published Thursday. "We are disclosing this problem now as we are satisfied that search engine caches have now been cleared of sensitive information. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence."

Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Change all the passwords (again)

    Looks like it is time to change all the passwords again. There’s a tiny little flaw in a CDN used … everywhere, it seems.

  • Today's leading causes of DDoS attacks [Ed: The so-called 'Internet of things' (crappy devices with identical passwords) is a mess; programmers to blame, not Linux]

    Of the most recent mega 100Gbps attacks in the last quarter, most of them were directly attributed to the Mirai botnet. The Mirai botnet works by exploiting the weak security on many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The program finds its victims by constantly scanning the internet for IoT devices, which use factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords.

  • How to Set Up An SSL Certificate on Your Website [via "Steps To Secure Your Website With An SSL Certificate"]
  • SHA-1 is dead, long live SHA-1!

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard that some researchers managed to create a SHA-1 collision. The short story as to why this matters is the whole purpose of a hashing algorithm is to make it impossible to generate collisions on purpose. Unfortunately though impossible things are usually also impossible so in reality we just make sure it’s really really hard to generate a collision. Thanks to Moore’s Law, hard things don’t stay hard forever. This is why MD5 had to go live on a farm out in the country, and we’re not allowed to see it anymore … because it’s having too much fun. SHA-1 will get to join it soon.

  • SHA1 collision via ASCII art

    Happy SHA1 collision day everybody!

    If you extract the differences between the good.pdf and bad.pdf attached to the paper, you'll find it all comes down to a small ~128 byte chunk of random-looking binary data that varies between the files.

  • PayThink Knowledge is power in fighting new Android attack bot

    Android users and apps have become a major part of payments and financial services, carrying an increased risk for web crime.

    It is estimated that there are 107.7 million Android Smartphone users in the U.S. who have downloaded more than 65 million apps from the Google App Store, and each one of them represents a smorgasbord of opportunity for hackers to steal user credentials and other information.

  • Red Hat: 'use after free' vulnerability found in Linux kernel's DCCP protocol IPV6 implementation

    Red Hat Product Security has published details of an "important" security vulnerability in the Linux kernel. The IPv6 implementation of the DCCP protocol means that it is possible for a local, unprivileged user to alter kernel memory and escalate their privileges.

    Known as the "use-after-free" flaw, CVE-2017-6074 affects a number of Red Hat products including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Openshift Online v2. Mitigating factors include the requirement for a potential attacker to have access to a local account on a machine, and for IPV6 to be enabled, but it is still something that will be of concern to Linux users.

    Describing the vulnerability, Red Hat says: "This flaw allows an attacker with an account on the local system to potentially elevate privileges. This class of flaw is commonly referred to as UAF (Use After Free.) Flaws of this nature are generally exploited by exercising a code path that accesses memory via a pointer that no longer references an in use allocation due to an earlier free() operation. In this specific issue, the flaw exists in the DCCP networking code and can be reached by a malicious actor with sufficient access to initiate a DCCP network connection on any local interface. Successful exploitation may result in crashing of the host kernel, potential execution of code in the context of the host kernel or other escalation of privilege by modifying kernel memory structures."

Security News

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Security Leftovers

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  • Wednesday's security advisories
  • Smartphones with fingerprint scanners under screen to hit market this year

    The majority of fingerprint scanners can be found either on the back of a smartphone or on the front, embedded in the home button. But it looks like that status quo is soon about to change. According to a report from The Investor, CrucialTec, a manufacturer of fingerprint modules based in South Korea, will launch its on-screen fingerprint scanning solution that allows you to unlock your device by placing a finger on the screen sometime this year.

    This means that we can expect to see the first smartphones featuring the new fingerprint technology hit the market in 2017. Unfortunately, CrucialTec did not reveal an exact time frame or the smartphone manufacturers it is currently working with.

  • Kaspersky launches 'secure operating system' -- with no trace of Linux in it [Ed: You must be pretty desperate for headlines and attention when your marketing pitch is, "we're not Linux!"]
  • Windows Botnet Spreading Mirai Variant

    A Chinese-speaking attacker is spreading a Mirai variant from a repurposed Windows-based botnet.

    Researchers at Kaspersky Lab published a report today, and said the code was written by an experienced developer who also built in the capability to spread the IoT malware to Linux machines under certain conditions.

  • Five New Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities Were Fixed in Ubuntu 16.10, 14.04 & 12.04

    We reported earlier that Canonical published multiple security advisories to inform Ubuntu users about the availability of new kernel updates that patch several flaws discovered recently by various developers.

    We've already told you about the issues that are affecting Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) users, so check that article to see how you can update your systems is you're still using the Linux 4.4 LTS kernel. But if you managed to upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, which uses Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak)'s Linux 4.8 kernel, then you need to read the following.

  • Another Linux Kernel Vulnerability Leading To Local Root From Unprivileged Processes

Canonical Releases New Kernel Update for Ubuntu 16.04 to Fix 7 Vulnerabilities

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Security
Ubuntu

Canonical published today, February 22, 2017, multiple security advisories to inform Ubuntu users about the availability of new kernel updates for their Linux-based operating systems.

Read more

Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Java and Python FTP attacks can punch holes through firewalls

    The Java and Python runtimes fail to properly validate FTP URLs, which can potentially allow attackers to punch holes through firewalls to access local networks.

    On Saturday, security researcher Alexander Klink disclosed an interesting attack where exploiting an XXE (XML External Entity) vulnerability in a Java application can be used to send emails.

  • Microsoft: no plans to patch known bugs before March [Ed: Microsoft is keeping open 'back doors' that are publicly known about, not just secret ones]

    Microsoft has no plans to issue updates for two vulnerabilities, one a zero-day and the other being one publicised by Google, before the scheduled date for its next round of updates rolls around in March.

    The company did not issue any updates in February, even though it had been scheduled to switch to a new system from this month onwards.

    It gave no reason for this, apart from saying: "This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

    "After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan."

    The Google-disclosed bug was made public last week, and is said to be a flaw in the Windows graphic device interface library that can be exploited both locally and remotely to read the contents of a user's memory.

  • Microsoft issues critical security patches, but leaves zero-day flaws at risk

    Microsoft has patched "critical" security vulnerabilities in its browsers, but has left at least two zero-day flaws with public exploit code.

    The software giant released numerous patches late on Tuesday to fix flaws in Adobe Flash for customers using Internet Explorer on Windows 8.1 and later, as well as Edge for Windows 10.

What’s the best Linux firewall distro of 2017?

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GNU
Linux
Security

You don’t have to manage a large corporate network to use a dedicated firewall. While your Linux distro will have an impressive firewall – and an equally impressive arsenal of tools to manage it – the advantages don’t extend to the other devices on your network. A typical network has more devices connected to the internet than the total number of computers and laptops in your SOHO. With the onslaught of IoT, it won’t be long before your router doles out IP addresses to your washing machine and microwave as well.

The one thing you wouldn’t want in this Jetsonian future is having to rely on your router’s limited firewall capabilities to shield your house – and everyone in it – from the malicious bits and bytes floating about on the internet.

A dedicated firewall stands between the internet and internal network, sanitising the traffic flowing into the latter. Setting one up is an involved process both in terms of assembling the hardware and configuring the software. However, there are quite a few distros that help you set up a dedicated firewall with ease, and we’re going to look at the ones that have the best protective open source software and roll them into a convenient and easy to use package.

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