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Security News

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  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • EU updates smartphone secure development guideline

    The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published an updated version of its Smartphone Secure Development Guidelines. This document details the risks faced by developers of smartphone application, and provides ways to mitigate these.

  • CloudLinux 7 Users Get New Beta Linux Kernel Update That Addresses CVE-2017-6074

    CloudLinux's Mykola Naugolnyi announced today the availability of a new Beta kernel for the CloudLinux 7 operating system series, which patches a recently discovered and critical security flaw.

  • Linus Torvalds shrugged off warnings about 'insecure' SHA-1 in 2005

    LINUX FOUNDER Linus Torvalds was warned in 2005 that the use of the SHA-1 hash to sign code in Linux and Git was insecure and urged to shift to something better protected, but rejected the advice outright.

    Free software evangelist John Gilmore warned Torvalds ten years ago that "SHA1 has been broken; it's possible to generate two different blobs that hash to the same SHA1 hash".

    Gilmore penned his warning to Torvalds in April 2005, when MD5 had already been cracked and SHA1 remained "hard to crack" - but still crackable.

  • Subversion SHA1 Collision Problem Statement — Prevention and Remediation Options

    You probably saw the news last week that researchers at Google had found a scenario where they were able to break the SHA1 algorithm by creating two PDF files with differing content that produced the same hash. If you are following this story then you may have also seen that the Webkit Subversion repository had problems after a user committed these example files to their repository so that they could be used in test cases for SHA1 collisions.

  • making git-annex secure in the face of SHA1 collisions

    git-annex has never used SHA1 by default. But, there are concerns about SHA1 collisions being used to exploit git repositories in various ways. Since git-annex builds on top of git, it inherits its foundational SHA1 weaknesses. Or does it?

  • SSH Fingerprint Verification via Tor

    OpenSSH (really, are there any other implementations?) requires Trust on First Use for fingerprint verification.

    Verification can be especially problematic when using remote services like VPS or colocation.

    How can you trust that the initial connection isn’t being Man In The Middle’d?

  • Almost all Windows vulnerabilities are enabled by liberal 'admin rights'

    NEARLY OF THE VULNERABILITIES THAT AFFECT Microsoft's Windows operating system could be mitigated through a little careful control.

    Avecto, a security company, is the source of the latest revelation in this direction, and it says that 94 per cent of security problems could have been killed off if admin rights had been removed from the affected computer.

    This makes a lot of sense, since a computer that cannot be molested by a user cannot be molested by a third party. 94 per cent is just one example of the differences that can be made and Avecto says that in the case of Internet Explorer 100 per cent of risks are mitigated when rights are removed.

  • More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers

    This blog has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be placed atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes. I’m revisiting the topic again because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer a fair bit more detail than in previous articles.

Security News

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Security
  • Windows 10 least secure of Windows versions: study

    Windows 10 was the least secure of of current Windows versions in 2016, with 46% more vulnerabilities than either Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an analysis of Microsoft's own security bulletins in 2016.

    Security firm Avecto said its research, titled "2016 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study: Mitigating risk by removing user privileges", had also found that a vast majority of vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products could be mitigated by removing admin rights.

    The research found that, despite its claims to being the "most secure" of Microsoft's operating systems, Windows 10 had 395 vulnerabilities in 2016, while Windows 8 and 8.1 each had 265.

    The research also found that while 530 Microsoft vulnerabilities were reported — marginally up from the 524 reported in 2015 — and 189 given a critical rating, 94% could be mitigated by removing admin rights. This was up from 85% in 2015.

  • Windows 10 Creators Update can block Win32 apps if they’re not from the Store [Ed: By Microsoft Peter. People who put Vista 10 on a PC totally lose control of that PC; remember, the OS itself is malware, as per textbook definitions. With DRM and other antifeatures expect copyright enforcement on the desktop soon.]

    The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn't add much in the way of features—it's mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.

  • Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours

    "Well, f**k."

    Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked.

    Setting up a reliable home network has always been a challenge for me. I live in a cramped three-story house, and I don't like running cables. So my router's position is determined by the fiber modem in a corner on the bottom floor. Not long after we moved in, I realized that our old Airport Extreme was not delivering much signal to the attic, where two game-obsessed occupants fought for bandwidth.

    I tried all sorts of things. I extended the network. I used Ethernet-over-powerline connectors to deliver network access. I made a mystic circle and danced naked under the full moon. We lost neighbors, but we didn't gain a signal.

  • Purism's Librem 13 Coreboot Port Now "100%" Complete

    According to Purism's Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete.

    The Librem 13 was long talked about having Coreboot over a proprietary BIOS while the initial models still had shipped with the conventional BIOS. Finally in 2017, they have now Coreboot at what they consider to be 100% complete for this Linux-friendly laptop.

  • The Librem 13 v1 coreboot port is now complete

    Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue.

  • Linux Update Fixes 11-Year-Old Flaw

    Andrey Konovalov, a security researcher at Google, found a use-after-free hole within Linux, CSO Online reported. This particular flaw is of interest because it appears to be situational. It only showed up in kernels built with a certain configuration option — CONFIG_IP_DCCP — enabled.

Security News

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Security Leftovers

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Security Leftovers

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  • Major Cloudflare bug leaked sensitive data from customers’ websites

    Cloudflare revealed a serious bug in its software today that caused sensitive data like passwords, cookies, authentication tokens to spill in plaintext from its customers’ websites. The announcement is a major blow for the content delivery network, which offers enhanced security and performance for more than 5 million websites.

    This could have allowed anyone who noticed the error to collect a variety of very personal information that is typically encrypted or obscured.

  • SHA1 collisions make Git vulnerable to attakcs by third-parties, not just repo maintainers

    After sitting through an endless flood of headless-chicken messages on multiple media about SHA-1 being fatally broken, I thought I'd do a quick writeup about what this actually means.

  • Torvalds patches git to mitigate against SHA-1 attacks

    Linux creator Linus Torvalds says two sets of patches have been posted for the distributed version control system git to mitigate against SHA-1 attacks which are based on the method that Dutch and Google engineers detailed last week.

    The post by Torvalds detailing this came after reports emerged of the version control system used by the WebKit browser engine repository becoming corrupted after the two proof-of-concept PDF files that were released by the Dutch and Google researchers were uploaded to the repository.

  • Linus Torvalds on "SHA1 collisions found"
  • More from Torvalds on SHA1 collisions

    I thought I'd write an update on git and SHA1, since the SHA1 collision attack was so prominently in the news.

    Quick overview first, with more in-depth explanation below:

    (1) First off - the sky isn't falling. There's a big difference between using a cryptographic hash for things like security signing, and using one for generating a "content identifier" for a content-addressable system like git.

    (2) Secondly, the nature of this particular SHA1 attack means that it's actually pretty easy to mitigate against, and there's already been two sets of patches posted for that mitigation.

    (3) And finally, there's actually a reasonably straightforward transition to some other hash that won't break the world - or even old git repositories.

  • [Older] Wire’s independent security review

    Ever since Wire launched end-to-end encryption and open sourced its apps one question has consistently popped up: “Is there an independent security review available?” Well, there is now!

  • Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer’s Blinking LED
  • FCC to halt rule that protects your private data from security breaches

    The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers' personal information.

    The data security rule is part of a broader privacy rulemaking implemented under former Chairman Tom Wheeler but opposed by the FCC's new Republican majority. The privacy order's data security obligations are scheduled to take effect on March 2, but Chairman Ajit Pai wants to prevent that from happening.

    The data security rule requires ISPs and phone companies to take "reasonable" steps to protect customers' information—such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data—from theft and data breaches.

    "Chairman Pai is seeking to act on a request to stay this rule before it takes effect on March 2," an FCC spokesperson said in a statement to Ars.

  • Google releases details of another Windows bug
  • How to secure the IoT in your organisation: advice and best practice for securing the Internet of Things

    All of the major technology vendors are making a play in the Internet of Things space and there are few organisations that won’t benefit from collecting and analysing the vast array of new data that will be made available.

    But the recent Mirai botnet is just one example of the tremendous vulnerabilities that exist with unsecured access points. What are the main security considerations and best practices, then, for businesses seeking to leverage the potential of IoT?

Security Leftovers

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  • [Older] The Secure Linux OS - Tails

    Some people worry a lot about security issues. Anyone can worry about their personal information, such as credit card numbers, on the Internet. They can also be concerned with someone monitoring their activity on the Internet, such as the websites they visit. To help ease these frustrations about the Internet anyone can use the Internet without having to “look over their shoulder”.

  • Password management made easy as news of CloudFlare leak surfaces

    In the last 24 hours, news broke that a serious Cloudflare bug has been causing sensitive data leaks since September, exposing 5.5 million users across thousands of websites. In addition to login data cached by Google and other search engines, it is possible that some iOS applications have been affected as well. With the scale of this leak, the best course of action is to update every password for every site you have an account for. If there was ever a good time to modernize your password practices, this is it.

    As consumers and denizens of the Internet, we have a responsibility to be aware of the risks we face and make an attempt to mitigate that risk by taking best-effort precautions. Poor password and authentication hygiene leaves a user open to risks such as credit card fraud and identity theft, just like forgetting to brush your teeth regularly can lead to cavities and gum disease. This leaves us with the question of what good password and authentication hygiene looks like. If we stick with the (admittedly poorly chosen) dentistry analogy, then there are five easily identifiable aspects of good hygiene.

  • Security: You might want to change passwords on sites that use Cloudflare
  • Smoothwall Express

    The award-winning Smoothwall Express open-source firewall—designed specifically to be installed and administered by non-experts—continues its forward development march with a new 3.1 release.

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."

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