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Security Leftovers

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Security News

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  • Bug Bounty Hunter Launches Accidental DDoS Attack on 911 Systems via iOS Bug

    The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai, an 18-year-old teenager from the Phoenix area, for flooding the 911 emergency system with hang-up calls.

    According to a press release from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Desai created a JavaScript exploit, which he shared on Twitter and other websites with his friends.

    People accessing Desai's link from their iPhones saw their phone automatically dial and redial 911.

  • Dyn DDoS attack exposes soft underbelly of the cloud

    It's apparently possible that a DDoS attack can be big enough to break the internet -- or, as shown in the attack against ISP Dyn, at least break large parts of it.

    The DDoS attack against Dyn that began Friday went far past taking down Dyn's servers. Beyond the big-name outages, organizations could not access important corporate applications or perform critical business operations.

  • [Older] ​The Dyn report: What we know so far about the world's biggest DDoS attack

    First, there was nothing -- nothing -- surprising about this attack. As Paul Mockapetris, creator of the Domain Name System (DNS), said, "The successful DDoS attack on DYN is merely a new twist on age-old warfare. ... Classic warfare can be anticipated and defended against. But warfare on the internet, just like in history, has changed. So let's take a look at the asymmetrical battle in terms of the good guys (DYN) and the bad guys (Mirai botnets), and realize and plan for more of these sorts of attacks."

  • Incident Report: Inadvertent Private Repository Disclosure

    On Thursday, October 20th, a bug in GitHub’s system exposed a small amount of user data via Git pulls and clones. In total, 156 private repositories of GitHub.com users were affected (including one of GitHub's). We have notified everyone affected by this private repository disclosure, so if you have not heard from us, your repositories were not impacted and there is no ongoing risk to your information.

    This was not an attack, and no one was able to retrieve vulnerable data intentionally. There was no outsider involved in exposing this data; this was a programming error that resulted in a small number of Git requests retrieving data from the wrong repositories.

    Regardless of whether or not this incident impacted you specifically, we want to sincerely apologize. It’s our responsibility not only to keep your information safe but also to protect the trust you have placed in us. GitHub would not exist without your trust, and we are deeply sorry that this incident occurred.

Security News

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Security
  • Friday's security advisories
  • Here's How to Protect Linux Servers & Android Phones from Dirty COW Vulnerability
  • The Inevitability of Being Hacked

    The last attempted hack came 5 minutes ago, using the username root and the password root.

  • New Windows code injection method could let malware bypass detection

    Security researchers have discovered a new way that allows malware to inject malicious code into other processes without being detected by antivirus programs and other endpoint security systems.

    The new method was devised by researchers from security firm Ensilo who dubbed it AtomBombing because it relies on the Windows atom tables mechanism. These special tables are provided by the operating system and can be used to share data between applications.

    "What we found is that a threat actor can write malicious code into an atom table and force a legitimate program to retrieve the malicious code from the table," Ensilo researcher Tal Liberman said in a blog post. "We also found that the legitimate program, now containing the malicious code, can be manipulated to execute that code."

    This new code-injection technique is not currently detected by antivirus and endpoint security programs because it is based on legitimate functionality, according to Liberman. Also, the atom tables mechanism is present in all Windows versions and it's not something that can be patched because it's not a vulnerability.

  • Of course smart homes are targets for hackers

    The Wirecutter, an in-depth comparative review site for various electrical and electronic devices, just published an opinion piece on whether users should be worried about security issues in IoT devices. The summary: avoid devices that don't require passwords (or don't force you to change a default and devices that want you to disable security, follow general network security best practices but otherwise don't worry - criminals aren't likely to target you.

  • OpenStack Security Project Aims to Protect the Open-Source Cloud

    The OpenStack Security project adds new tools and processes to help secure OpenStack technologies. The project technical leader offers insight on the program.
    Security is such a critical element of the open-source OpenStack cloud platform that there is an entire project—the OpenStack Security project—dedicated to the task of helping protect OpenStack technologies.

    In a well-attended session at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain, on Oct. 27, Rob Clark, the project technical leader of the OpenStack Security project, detailed the group's most recent efforts.

Security News

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Security
  • GNU Tar "Pointy Feather" Vulnerability Disclosed (CVE-2016-6321)

    Last week was the disclosure of the Linux kernel's Dirty COW vulnerability while the latest high-profile open-source project going public with a new security CVE is GNU's Tar. Tar CVE-2016-6321 is also called POINTYFEATHER according to the security researchers.

    The GNU Pointy Feather vulnerability comes down to a pathname bypass on the Tar extraction process. Regardless of the path-name(s) specified on the command-line, the attack allows for file and directory overwrite attacks using specially crafted tar archives.

  • Let’s Encrypt and The Ford Foundation Aim To Create a More Inclusive Web

    Let’s Encrypt was awarded a grant from The Ford Foundation as part of its efforts to financially support its growing operations. This is the first grant that has been awarded to the young nonprofit, a Linux Foundation project which provides free, automated and open SSL certificates to more than 13 million fully-qualified domain names (FQDNs).

    The grant will help Let’s Encrypt make several improvements, including increased capacity to issue and manage certificates. It also covers costs of work recently done to add support for Internationalized Domain Name certificates.

    “The people and organizations that Ford Foundation serves often find themselves on the short end of the stick when fighting for change using systems we take for granted, like the Internet,” Michael Brennan, Internet Freedom Program Officer at Ford Foundation, said. “Initiatives like Let’s Encrypt help ensure that all people have the opportunity to leverage the Internet as a force for change.”

  • How security flaws work: SQL injection

    Thirty-one-year-old Laurie Love is currently staring down the possibility of 99 years in prison. After being extradited to the US recently, he stands accused of attacking systems belonging to the US government. The attack was allegedly part of the #OpLastResort hack in 2013, which targeted the US Army, the US Federal Reserve, the FBI, NASA, and the Missile Defense Agency in retaliation over the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz as the hacktivist infamously awaited trial.

  • How To Build A Strong Security Awareness Program

    At the Security Awareness Summit this August in San Francisco, a video clip was shown that highlights the need to develop holistic security awareness. The segment showed an employee being interviewed as a subject matter expert in his office cubicle. Unfortunately, all his usernames and passwords were on sticky notes behind him, facing the camera and audience for all to see.

    I bring this story up not to pick on this poor chap but to highlight the fact that security awareness is about human behavior, first and foremost. Understand that point and you are well on your way to building a more secure culture and organization.

    My work as director of the Security Awareness Training program at the SANS Institute affords me a view across hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of employees trying to build a more secure workforce and society. As we near the end of this year's National Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are two tips to incorporate robust security awareness training into your organization and daily work.

FOSS Security

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OSS
Security
  • European Parliament votes to extend Free Software security audits

    Remember how I raised €1 million to demonstrate security and freedom aren’t opposites? Well here’s what happened next and how we are going to move forward with this.

    In 2014, two major security vulnerabilities, Heartbleed and Shellshock, were discovered. Both concerned Free Software projects that are widely used throughout the Internet, on computers, tablets, and smartphones alike. My colleague Max Andersson from the Swedish Greens and I proposed a so-called “pilot project”, the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA).

  • Princeton Upskills U on Open Source Security

    During Wednesday's Upskill U course, lecturer Gary Sockrider, principal security technologist for Arbor Networks , explained the history of DDoS attacks, case studies of recent attacks, and the business impact of these security threats. DDoS attacks not only raise operational expenses, but can also negatively affect an organization's brand, and result in loss of revenue and customers. (Listen to Security: Tackling DDoS.)

    "Having visibility is key, you can't stop something you can't see. Having good visibility across your own network is vital in finding and stopping these attacks," said Sockrider. "You can leverage common tools and technology that are already available on the network equipment you own today such as flow technologies, looking at SIP logs … Obviously you'll want to get to some specific intelligent DDoS mitigation in the end."

CentOS 6 Linux Servers Receive Important Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

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Linux
Red Hat
Security

We reported a couple of days ago that Johnny Hughes from the CentOS Linux team published an important kernel security advisory for users of the CentOS 7 operating system.

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Security News

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Security
  • Thursday's security updates
  • Mirai will be dwarfed by future Android botnet DDoS attacks, Lookout warns

    THE MIRAI BOTNET will seem like nothing compared to the havoc that is caused when hackers turn their attention to hijacking Android smartphones, Lookout’s security research chief has warned.

    Speaking to the INQUIRER, Mike Murray said it would be easy for cyber crooks to take over millions of smartphones, noting how often the Android requires patching.

  • Deal Seeks to Limit Open-Source Bugs

    Seeking to spot potential security vulnerabilities in systems that increasingly rely on open source software, software license optimization vendor Flexera Software has acquired a specialist in identifying potentially vulnerable software components.

    Flexera, Itasca, Ill., said Thursday (Oct. 27) it is acquiring San Francisco-based Palamida Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

  • Senator Wants to Classify Insecure Internet of Things Devices As 'Harmful'

    A massive attack carried out with a zombie army of hacked internet-connected devices caused intermittent outages on Friday, preventing tens of thousands of people from accessing popular sites such as Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix.

    For many security experts, an attack like that one, which leveraged thousands of easy-to-hack Internet of Things such as DVRs and surveillance cameras—weaponized thanks to a mediocre but effective malware known as Mirai—is just a sign of things to come.

    That’s why Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wants the US government to do something about it.

  • Senator Prods Federal Agencies on IoT Mess

    The co-founder of the newly launched Senate Cybersecurity Caucus is pushing federal agencies for possible solutions and responses to the security threat from insecure “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as the network of hacked security cameras and digital video recorders that were reportedly used to help bring about last Friday’s major Internet outages.

    In letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) called the proliferation of insecure IoT devices a threat to resiliency of the Internet.

Security Leftovers

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Security

Alpine Linux 3.4.5 Released with Linux Kernel 4.4.27 LTS, Latest Security Fixes

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Linux
Security

A new maintenance update of the server-oriented Alpine Linux 3.4 operating system has been released, bringing a new Linux kernel version from the long-term supported 4.4 series and the latest security patches.

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