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Security

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Friday's security updates
  • These Researchers Just Hacked an Air-Gapped Computer Using a Simple Cellphone

    The most sensitive work environments, like nuclear power plants, demand the strictest security. Usually this is achieved by air-gapping computers from the Internet and preventing workers from inserting USB sticks into computers. When the work is classified or involves sensitive trade secrets, companies often also institute strict rules against bringing smartphones into the workspace, as these could easily be turned into unwitting listening devices.

  • Fake Address Round Trip Time: 13 days

    Regular readers will have noticed that I've been running a small scale experiment over the last few months, feeding one spammer byproduct back to them via a reasonably accessible web page. The hope was that I would learn a few things about spammer behavior in the process.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • The cyber-mechanics who protect your car from hackers

    “Most manufacturers know there is a problem and they’re working on solutions, but no-one will go public with it,” explains Martin Hunt, who works in automotive penetration testing for UK telecommunications firm BT.

  • US to rethink hacker tool export rules after mass freakout in security land

    Proposed changes to the US government's export controls on hacking tools will likely be scaled back following widespread criticism from the infosec community, a government spokesman has said.

    "A second iteration of this regulation will be promulgated," a spokesman for the US Department of Commerce told Reuters, "and you can infer from that that the first one will be withdrawn."

    The proposed restrictions are required by the Wassenaar Arrangement, a 41-nation pact that first came into effect in 1996 and which calls for limits on trade of "dual-use goods," meaning items that have both civilian and military applications.

    In 2013, the list of goods governed under the Arrangement was amended to include technologies used for testing, penetrating, and exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks.

  • Remote denial of service vulnerability exposes BIND servers

    BIND operators released new versions of the DNS protocol software overnight to patch a critical vulnerability which can be exploited for use in denial-of-service cyberattacks.

    Lead investigator Michael McNally from the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) said in a security advisory the bug, CVE-2015-5477, is a critical issue which can allow hijackers to send malicious packets to knock out email systems, websites and other online services.

  • Botnet takedowns: are they worth it?

    The number of botnets has grown rapidly over the last decade. From Gameover Zeus leveraging encrypted peer-to-peer command and control servers, to Conflicker, infecting millions of computers across the world – botnets are continuing to infiltrate many internet-based services and causing mass disruption, and it's getting worse.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Tuesday's security updates
  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Security updates for Thursday
  • Small number of computer-aided rifles could be hacked in contrived scenario

    The internet is reeling today at the "news" that a rare make of computer-aided gunsight can under certain circumstances be hacked into, permitting a hacker to interfere with a suitably-equipped rifle's aim.

    The gunsight in question is the much-hyped but seldom purchased TrackingPoint kit, a system with a Linux machine at its heart which can be fitted to a range of different rifles.

    The TrackingPoint (details on its capabilities are at the end of this article) is mainly a curiosity. People who would be interested in it - experienced long-range marksmen - basically don't need it, and people who need it - those who have seldom or never fired a rifle - typically don't want it. And very few in either group can afford it.

  • Researchers Hack Linux-Powered, Self-Aiming Smart Rifle, Causing It To Change Targets
  • Remote code execution via serialized data

    Serialization and, more importantly, deserialization of data is unsafe due to the simple fact that the data being processed is trusted implicitly as being “correct.” So if you’re taking data such as program variables from a non trusted source you’re making it possible for an attacker to control program flow. Additionally many programming languages now support serialization of not just data (e.g. strings, arrays, etc.) but also of code objects. For example with Python pickle() you can actually serialize user defined classes, you can take a section of code, ship it to a remote system, and it is executed there.

  • To exec or transition that is the question...
  • CIL – Part1: Faster SELinux policy (re)build
  • FCC Rules Block use of Open Source

    The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced ‘software security requirements’ obliging WiFi device manufacturers to “ensure that only properly authenticated software is loaded and operating the device”. The document specifically calls out the DD-WRT open source router project, but clearly also applies to other popular distributions such as OpenWRT. This could become an early battle in ‘The war on general purpose computing’ as many smartphones and Internet of Things devices contain WiFi router capabilities that would be covered by the same rules.

  • Hacked Jeep Cherokee Exposes Weak Underbelly of High-Tech Cars

    The Jeep Cherokee brought to a halt by hackers last week exposed wireless networks as the weakest link in high-tech vehicles, underscoring the need to find fast over-the-air fixes to block malicious intrusions.

    Features that buyers now expect in most modern automobiles, such as driving directions and restaurant guides, count on a constant connection to a telecommunications network. But that link also makes cars vulnerable to security invasions like those that threaten computers in homes and businesses.

Linux-powered smart sniper rifle can be hacked

Filed under
Linux
Security

Two years ago, TrackingPoint burst on to the scene with a Linux-powered smart sniper rifle that took the guesswork out of killshots. Now, however, a pair of hackers have figured out how to make it miss every single time.

Read more

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Secure Server Deployments in Hostile Territory, Part II

    There are a few other general security practices I put in place. First, as I mentioned before, because each host has a certificate signed by an internal trusted CA for Puppet, we take advantage of those certs to require TLS for all network communications between hosts. Given that you are sharing a network with other EC2 hosts, you want to make sure nobody can read your traffic as it goes over this network. In addition, the use of TLS helps us avoid man-in-the-middle attacks.

  • Hackers Can Disable a Sniper Rifle—Or Change Its Target

    At the Black Hat hacker conference in two weeks, security researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger plan to present the results of a year of work hacking a pair of $13,000 TrackingPoint self-aiming rifles. The married hacker couple have developed a set of techniques that could allow an attacker to compromise the rifle via its Wi-Fi connection and exploit vulnerabilities in its software. Their tricks can change variables in the scope’s calculations that make the rifle inexplicably miss its target, permanently disable the scope’s computer, or even prevent the gun from firing. In a demonstration for WIRED (shown in the video above), the researchers were able to dial in their changes to the scope’s targeting system so precisely that they could cause a bullet to hit a bullseye of the hacker’s choosing rather than the one chosen by the shooter.

  • Get root on an OS X 10.10 Mac: The exploit is so trivial it fits in a tweet

    Yosemite, aka version 10.10, is the latest stable release of the Mac operating system, so a lot of people are affected by this vulnerability. The security bug can be exploited by a logged-in attacker or malware on the computer to gain total unauthorized control of the Mac. It is documented here by iOS and OS X guru Stefan Esser.

    It's all possible thanks to an environment variable called DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE that was added in Yosemite. It specifies where in the file system a component of the operating system called the dynamic linker can log error messages.

    If the environment variable is abused with a privileged program, an attacker can modify arbitrary files owned by the powerful user account root – files like the one that lists user accounts that are allowed administrator privileges.

Samsung docs detail Linux TRIM bug and fix

Filed under
Linux
Security

We've been covering a report from search provider Algolia pointing out a potential issue in Samsung SSDs' TRIM implementation. More recently, Samsung itself reported that the bug actually resides in the Linux kernel, and that the company had submitted a patch for the problem.

Now, we have more details of the bug. Samsung has provided us with internal documents detailing the exact cause of the issue, and the subsequent solution. We're geting a bit technical here, so we'll take some liberty to simplify. When Linux's RAID implementation receives a sequence of read or write operations, it creates separate buffers in memory for each of them.

Read more

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security advisories for Monday
  • QEMU Vulnerability Exposes The Host Through Emulated CD-ROM Drive

    Back in May was the big "VENOM" security vulnerability affect QEMU whereby VM security could be escaped through QEMU's virtual floppy disk drive. In June was a PCNET controller buffer overflow allowing a guest to escape to have host access. Today there's a similar security vulnerability going public about its virtual CD-ROM drive.

  • Websites, Please Stop Blocking Password Managers. It’s 2015

    Rather than fancy zero-day exploits, or cutting-edge malware, what you mostly need to worry about when it comes to security is using strong, unique passwords on all the sites and services you visit.

    You know that. But what’s crazy is that, in 2015, some websites are intentionally disabling a feature that would allow you to use stronger passwords more easily—and many are doing so because they wrongly argue it makes you safer.

  • The Ashley Madison hack -- this time it's personal

    Last week I argued that requiring backdoors in strong encryption would result in the effective end of encryption and provide a veritable buffet of sensitive data to both the government and those with malicious intents. Encryption with backdoors is not encryption at all.

  • Malware on Linux - When Penguins Attack

    Regular Naked Security readers will know that some security topics cause more friction that others.

    Lately, artificial intelligence has provoked its fair share of excitement.

    Surveillance and privacy are other topics that draw out some very varied viewpoints.

Canonical Closes QEMU Vulnerabilities in Ubuntu 15.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Filed under
Security
Ubuntu

Three QEMU vulnerabilities have been found and corrected in Ubuntu 15.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS operating systems by Canonical.

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Apache HTTP Server Vulnerabilities Fixes in Ubuntu OSes

Filed under
Server
Security
Ubuntu

Details about a couple of Apache HTTP Server vulnerabilities that have been found and fixed in Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS have now been published by Canonical in a security notification.

Read more

pfSense 2.2.4 BSD Firewall Fixes Multiple Stored XSS Vulnerabilities in the WebGUI

Filed under
Security
BSD

Electric Sheep Fencing LLC., through Chris Buechler, has announced the immediate availability for download of the fourth maintenance release of the pfSense 2.2 FreeBSD-based firewall software.

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More in Tux Machines

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.0 Test 3 Out Now with GNOME 3.16.3 and Linux Kernel 4.1.6 LTS

The Parsix GNU/Linux Project has just announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of the third development milestone towards the Parsix GNU/Linux 8.0 (Mumble) operating system. Read more

$15 Orange Pi PC hacker SBC packs 1.6GHz quad-core SoC

Shenzhen Xunlong tipped a $15 “Orange Pi PC” SBC with a 1.6GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, Pi-compatible expansion, HDMI, 100Mbit Ethernet, quad USB, and more. Late last year and early this year, Shenzhen Xunlong Software introduced a family of open-spec, Linux- and Android-ready “Orange Pi” single board computers. The first two, the $49 Orange Pi and $40 Orange Pi Mini, were built with the Allwinner A20 SoC, featuring a dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU. They were soon followed by the $59 Orange Pi Plus, based on a new, low cost quad-core, 1.6GHz Cortex-A7 Allwinner H3 SoC, featuring a Mali-400 MP2 GPU. Read more

Mozilla and Add-ons

  • Firefox 40.0.3 Brings Bug-Fixes Only
  • Reactions to Mozilla’s announcement about upcoming Firefox add-on changes
  • Mixed Feelings Greet Mozilla's Add-ons Overhaul
    Also new is a requirement for add-ons to be reviewed and signed by Mozilla before their deployment. Back in April, Mozilla's security lead Daniel Veditz published The Case for Extension Signing, addressing the volume of feedback their announcement had generated from the developer community. Veditz said the internet browsing experience for tens of thousands of people was being shaped by "third party add-ons in ways they did not choose and that benefit third parties, not the user."
  • Please, God, Don't Let Mozilla Ruin Firefox
    A week ago, Mozilla shed some light on its future, laying out a plan on how the browser is going to dramatically change in the upcoming months. While most of us understood "Chrome extensions were coming to Firefox," it is not as simple as we all thought.
  • The future of Firefox Add-ons - Nope
    Once in a while, I must give my sermons, to help you figure out how things work. Why this is not going to be good for us, the users, and why we must duly prepare, in advance. As it happens, Mozilla does not fully understand the market. It truly does not. When you make decisions based on incorrect data, you are bound to make a disastrous choice. Let's try to amend this, if possible.

Leftovers: Ubuntu