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Security: Talking to Your Family About Digital Security, VLC, Rutkowska's Talk and Updates

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Security
  • How to Talk to Your Family About Digital Security

    You and your family are sipping hot cocoa, gathered around the [holiday object of your choice], and your family member suddenly asks: “Can you help me with my [insert device here]?”

    They need a question answered about their computer, phone, tablet, video game console, or internet-connected device. Maybe they have related questions about their online accounts.

    Or maybe there is a teenager or college student in your family that posts intensely personal information online, and has just realized that they should probably maintain more privacy in their online lives—but isn’t sure how to start.

  • EU offers cash bounties to improve the security of VLC media player

    You can now submit bugs you find in VLC Media Player on HackerOne, where bounties ranging from $100 for low-severity bugs and up to $2,000 for critical bugs are offered.

    With a total budget of €60,000, the VLC bug bounty is only a first “proof of concept” bug bounty in order to learn more about how to run future bounties within FOSSA-2.

  • Security through Distrusting

    At one extreme, we would like to ensure everything (software, hardware, infrastructure) is trusted. This means the code has no bugs or backdoors, patches are always available and deployed, admins always competent and trustworthy, and the infrastructure always reliable…

    On the other end of the spectrum, however, we would like to distrust (nearly) all components and actors, and have no single almighty element in the system.

    In my opinion, the industry has been way too much focused on this first approach, which I see as overly naive and non-scalable to more complex systems.

  • Rutkowska: Trust Makes Us Vulnerable

    Rutkowska argued that security professionals can - and should - minimize their trust in modern technologies, many of which could put users at risk. She presented several examples of how current technology leaves users vulnerable and how they could potentially be made secure.

  • Security updates for Wednesday

Security: Bromium, EternalBlue/EternalSynerg, Updates, Reproducible Builds and Zealot Campaign

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Security: CryptoJacking Android FUD, North Korea Blamed for NSA/Microsoft Back Doors

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Security

Microsoft Ransom (WannaCry), Logjam Revisited

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OSS
Security
  • Remember WannaCry Ransomware Attack? This Country Has Been Publicly Blamed By The U.S.
  • Liberating SSH from Logjam leftovers

    A recent Request for Comment at the Internet Engineering Task Force calls for SSH developers to deprecate 1,024-bit moduli.

    RFC 8270 was authored by Mark Baushke (at Juniper Networks but working as an individual) and Loganaden Velvindron (of Mauritian group Hackers.mu) in response to demand for a response to the 2015 Logjam bug.

    Logjam, discovered by Johns Hopkins cryptoboffin Matthew Green, would let a state-level actor attack Diffie-Hellman cryptosystems using 1,024-bit primes.

Security: Breaches, Russia Panic, and NSA Exploits

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NSA Exploits and Keylogger in HP Hardware

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  • Hackers use NSA exploits to mine Monero

    Zealot campaign used Eternalblue and Eternalsynergy to mine cryptocurrency on networks.

    Security researchers have found a new hacking campaign that used NSA exploits to install cryptocurrency miners on victim's systems and networks.

    They said that the campaign was a sophisticated multi-staged attack targeting internal networks with the NSA-attributed EternalBlue and EternalSynergy exploits.

  • NSA Cyberweapons Help Hackers Mine Cryptocurrency

    Hackers are using leaked NSA cyberweapons to mine cryptocurrency over vulnerable servers.

    The weapons can be used to take over Windows and Linux systems, and download malware that can mine the digital currency Monero, according to security provider F5 Networks.

  • Linux And Windows Machines Being Attacked By “Zealot” Campaign To Mine Cryptocurrency
  • How the Zealot Attack Uses Apache Struts Flaw to Mine Crypto-Currency

    Network security vendor F5 has discovered a new attack that makes use of known vulnerabilities including the same Apache Struts vulnerability linked to the Equifax breach to mine the Monero cryptocurrency.

    F5's threat researchers have dubbed the campaign "Zealot", which is also the name of a file that is part of multi-stage attack. The Zealot files include python scripts that trigger the EternalBlue and Eternal Synergy exploits that were first publicly disclosed by the Shadow Brokers hacking group and were allegedly first created by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) linked Equation Group.

  • HP’s Keylogger Not a Keylogger, Says Synaptics

    HP has recently come under fire for allegedly bundling a keylogger into its drivers, allowing the company or cybercriminals who could hijack it to record every keystroke of the user.

    But Synaptics, the company that builds and provides TouchPads for HP and other OEMs on the market, says the keylogger in question isn’t actually a keylogger, as it was implemented solely with the purpose of serving as a debug tool.

    In a security brief published recently, Synaptics says HP isn’t the only company that offers drivers with this debug tool included by default, but all OEMs featuring its hardware.

    “Each notebook OEM implements custom TouchPad features to deliver differentiation. We have been working with these OEMs to improve the quality of these drivers. To support these requirements and to improve the quality of the experience, Synaptics provides a custom debug tool in the driver to assist in the diagnostic, debug and tuning of the TouchPad. This debug feature is a standard tool in all Synaptics drivers across PC OEMs and is currently present in production versions,” the firm says.

Security: Hackers, Back Doors, Microsoft Scam and Bots

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  • Why Hackers Are in Such High Demand, and How They're Affecting Business Culture

    News headlines often focus on the hackers who launch cyber attacks and leak confidential data such as National Security Agency exploits, sensitive political emails, and unreleased HBO programming, but hackers can also affect organizations in positive ways. White hat hackers (as opposed to black hats) increasingly are finding employment in companies as security researchers.

    From conducting penetration tests and identifying vulnerabilities in software to providing companies with guidance about emerging threats, white hat hackers bring considerable value to organizations and play an instrumental role in helping them defend against today's advanced threats. White hats are highly coveted not only for their knowledge but also for their unique mindsets and ability to change corporate culture.

  • We need to talk about mathematical backdoors in encryption algorithms

    Security researchers regularly set out to find implementation problems in cryptographic algorithms, but not enough effort is going towards the search for mathematical backdoors, two cryptography professors have argued.

    Governments and intelligence agencies strive to control and bypass or circumvent cryptographic protection of data and communications. Backdooring encryption algorithms is considered as the best way to enforce cryptographic control.

    In defence of cryptography, researchers have set out to validate technology that underpins the secure exchange of information and e-commerce. Eric Filiol,  head of research at ESIEA, the operational cryptology and virology lab, argued that only implementation backdoors (at the protocol/implementation/management level) are generally considered. Not enough effort is being put into looking for mathematical backdoors or by-design backdoors, he maintains.

  • How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet

     

    Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft.

  • Microsoft's Edge browser is in serious trouble

     

    Analytics firm Net Applications revised its methodology to cull bots from its browser share numbers and found that as much as half of the traffic to Edge on Windows 10 was artificially inflated.  

Security: Vista 10, Ransom, and "Zealot"

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  • Face Palm: Windows 10 Bundled A Password Manager That Exposed Your Saved Passwords

    bout 16 months ago, a Google Project Zero researcher found a critical bug in a password manager named Keeper. The bug allowed Keeper to inject its trusted UI into untrusted web pages with a content script. This allowed websites to steal user passwords using techniques like clickjacking.

    In a surprising development, Tavis Ormandy, the same researcher, has found that Microsoft bundled the same password manager with Windows 10. “I recently created a fresh Windows 10 VM with a pristine image from MSDN, and found that a password manager called “Keeper” is now installed by default,” he said. Moreover, a similar flaw was again found in this pre-installed password manager, which remained present for eight days.

  • British companies 'stockpile' Bitcoin to use as ransomware hush money
  • "Zealot" Campaign Uses NSA Exploits to Mine Monero on Windows and Linux Servers

    An aggressive and sophisticated malware campaign is currently underway, targeting Linux and Windows servers with an assortment of exploits with the goal of installing malware that mines the Monero cryptocurrency.

    The campaign was detected by security researchers from F5 Networks, who named it Zealot, after zealot.zip, one of the files dropped on targeted servers.

Security: Mirai, Vista 10, Starbucks, and Hacking Team Investigation

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Security
  • Mirai IoT Botnet Co-Authors Plead Guilty

    The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday unsealed the guilty pleas of two men first identified in January 2017 by KrebsOnSecurity as the likely co-authors of Mirai, a malware strain that remotely enslaves so-called “Internet of Things” devices such as security cameras, routers, and digital video recorders for use in large scale attacks designed to knock Web sites and entire networks offline (including multiple major attacks against this site).

  • Google Researcher Finds Flaw in Pre-Installed Windows 10 Password Manager

    Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who has previously discovered, reported, and disclosed several major bugs in Windows and its features, came across a new security vulnerability affecting Microsoft users.

    This time, the flaw exists in the Keeper password manager that comes pre-installed in some Windows 10 versions, with Ormandy explaining that it’s similar to a vulnerability that he discovered in August 2016.

    “I remember filing a bug a while ago about how they were injecting privileged UI into pages,” Ormandy explained on December 14. “I checked and, they're doing the same thing again with this version,” he continues.

  • Starbucks Wi-Fi Turned People’s Laptops into Cryptocurrency Miners

    The free Wi-Fi that the Buenos Aires Starbucks offers to its customers was being used to mine for cryptocurrency, and what’s worse, it used people’s laptops to do it.

    The whole thing was discovered by Stensul CEO Noah Dinkin who actually paid a visit to the store and wanted to browse the web using the free Wi-Fi, only to discover that his laptop was unknowingly converted into a cryptocurrency miner.

    He then turned to Twitter to ask Starbucks if they know about the what he described as bitcoin mining taking place without customers knowing about it.

    “Hi Starbucks, did you know that your in-store wifi provider in Buenos Aires forces a 10 second delay when you first connect to the wifi so it can mine bitcoin using a customer's laptop? Feels a little off-brand,” he said in his tweet.

  • Italian Prosecutor Makes Request to Close Hacking Team Investigation

    The damaging data breach that exposed the secrets of an infamous surveillance tech company might go unsolved forever. After more than two years, the Italian prosecutor who was investigating the attack on the Milan-based Hacking Team has asked the case to be dismissed, according to multiple sources.

    On Monday, the Milan prosecutor Alessandro Gobbis sent a notice to the people under investigation informing them that he had sent the judge a request to shut down the investigation, according to a copy of the document obtained by Motherboard.

Parrot Security 3.10 Ethical Hacking OS Adds Full Firejail/AppArmor Sandboxing

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Security
Debian

ParrotSec devs released today a new stable version of their Debian-based Parrot Security OS ethical hacking and penetration testing GNU/Linux distribution.

There are many enhancements implemented in the Parrot Security OS 3.10 release, but the biggest new feature is the introduction of a full Firejail and AppArmor sandboxing system that should proactively protect the operating system from attacks by isolating its components with the combination of various security techniques.

"The first experiments were already introduced in Parrot 3.9 with the inclusion of Firejail, but we took almost a month of hard work to make it even better with the improvement of many profiles, the introduction of the AppArmor support and enough time to make all the tests," reads today's announcement.

Read more

Also: Parrot 3.10 is out

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Ryzen 7 2700X CPUFreq Scaling Governor Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

With this week's Ryzen 5 2600X + Ryzen 7 2700X benchmarks some thought the CPUFreq scaling driver or rather its governors may have been limiting the performance of these Zen+ CPUs, so I ran some additional benchmarks this weekend. Those launch-day Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X Ubuntu Linux benchmarks were using the "performance" governor, but some have alleged that the performance governor may now actually hurt AMD systems... Ondemand, of course, is the default CPUFreq governor on Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions. Some also have said the "schedutil" governor that makes use of the kernel's scheduler utilization data may do better on AMD. So I ran some extra benchmarks while changing between CPUFreq's ondemand (default), performance (normally the best for performance, and what was used in our CPU tests), schedutil (the newest option), and powersave (if you really just care about conserving power). Read more