Security News (92 Posts)

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Extreme Pen Testing

Here is an amuzing story where prisoners in a maximum security prison managed to hack their lockdown computers.
Their computer seems to be more like a dumb terminal than a full featured one, and what they can do and where they can go is very limited (i.e.: watch television and receive call).
However, the prisoners found out that by opening 200+ windows explorer they could cause a buffer overflow which then allowed them more access!

http://gcn.com/articles/2011/05/30/colorado-prison-sidebar.aspx

and to go with this story here is a photo I came accross on the internet and that summerize the security state of many companies!

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Mobile device security questions

The security of mobile devices is receiving an increasing level of attention and many security vendors are now offering a Mobile Device Management solution. What seems to be leading the market is a secured container approach, which although providing a high level of security could potentially be flawed because it does not take into account what is driving users to buy smartphones and tablets.

A container approach is a very secured one with a strong legal aspect, however, the same way the consumerisation of devices is driving unapproved devices in companies today, there is a risk that users want a full consumer experience where different users will have different preferred apps to do a similar task. A container approach does not provide this full consumer experience and locks the user to the functionalities the secured container apps provides.
Therefore a secured container approach may be flawed through another layer of consumerisation, the apps consumerisation where user...
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An interesting attack on Voice Over IP Security

I just came accross an interesting attack on the Secure Real Time Protocol (SRTP) using Variable Bit Rate codecs (VBR). That protocol is used to secure voice or IP communication by encrypting the transmitted data.

The attack is described in this draft paper but for the the full details you should take a look at the very comprehensive white paper here which dates back to 2008.

It usesthe phoneticpronunciation of words to identify patterns in the VBR encoding which can be used to bypass encryption and identify phrases as well as the language spoken. So this attack does not target individual words, but phrases or sentences.

Although the paper claims in some cases a success rate of 90% it has an average of 50% success, which is already good enough! What is ...
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What could be the impact of the RSA breach

In the past few months there seems to have been a rise in what is called Advance Persistant Threats (APT).
Wikipedia actually has a short but comprehensive description of what it means HERE.

An article on SC Magazine describes what seems to have been an APT against RSA affecting the security of their two factor authentication products.
It is not clear exactly what has been stolen at the moment, but RSA has admited that some sensitive information has been leaked/downloaded.

By reading some of the security community reactions (Help net security article) there seems to be 3 main concerns:
1. Security breach related to their pseudo random number genera...
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Apple Security

With the rise in popularity of Apple products there is also an increasing interest from hackers and security professionals.

The well oiled speech from Apple and their fan is that apple products are more secure than the competition. Especially around the Mac OS X, which does not need Anti-Viruses, does not get malware, etc.

But is this actually true? and even if it is today, will it always remain so?

I do not think so.

A number of security vendors have started to offer some anti-virus for Mac: Sophos, McAfee, ClamXav, to name a few!

You could argue they are just surfing on the Apple computer market share increase, but then you would forget that some MAC OS X trojans are being seen around, for example, SOPHOS recently discussed a new MAC OS X trojan:...
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What does SSD drives have to do with IPv6?

There has been a number of articles in the past few weeks about SSD drives proving to be difficult to securely wipe with conventional methods that are working on non SDD drives. Such as degaussing or repeated data overwrites.

It seems to have all come from the work of some californian researchers who have published a paper on that topic and available HERE.

And an easier to read summary is available on Macworld

It is not all bad though, one solution is to fully encrypt the disk and some companies such as >>[READ MORE]


The rise of Memory Scrapping attacks and what it means to IRM, Disk Encryption and Thunderbolt

No matter how much layer of security you implement on a computer there always will be one area that is protected by a simple old access control, the memory.

You can have a complex password policy, dual factor authentication, full disk encryption, file encryption which could even be extended through the use of an Information Right Management solution, for that protected information to be accessed and manipulated it needs to be decrypted into memory.

The security of that data in memory then relies on memory access control and proper segregation, I am not sure we can talk about memory sandboxing but thats the same idea. The data will, of course, also rely on the physical security of the device it is hosted on.

Gaining administrator access on that device would therefore grant you access to the full memory.

This last point is of significance.

For IRM solutions, being an administrator on a device does not necessarily mean you also have access to the users IR...
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The inevitable rise of malware on mobile devices

Although it has been announced for quite some time that malware is growing on the mobile market, it is still not very visible.

That does not mean it isn’t already here or will be.

Below is an interesting article on a mobile developer who was contacted by a company that wanted to pay him some money as long as he included some of their “codes” into his popular game.
It was in fact, malware. It could directly call premium number without the user intervention or even eavesdrop on the microphone.
It has a happy ending as the developer decided against using that code and instead warn others. But for one good deed, how many have fallen or will fall for the money?

Websense Article on the White Hat Developer

Now the question is: Would this be possible on the iPhone with the Apps Store?

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Do what I say not what I do

Below is a very good article describing the recent battle between the Anonymous Hacking group and the HBGary company.

In a nutshell, a security company, “HBGary”, who is also working for the US government was about to release what they think were the identity of a hacking group called “Anonymous” who conducted some high profile hacks against large organisations who were against the wikileaks website. The hacking group response was swift and brutal, they hacked the HBGary websites, defaced them, hacked into the owner’s email account and grabbed lot of user personal information from one of the company’s related website, rootkit.com

It provides a good example of the old adage “do what I say not what I do” but this time in the world of IT Security. Of course you can almost never get IT Security 100% right, but in that case it would seem some of the security weaknesses that were exploited should have never been...
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The world of Computer Forensics

I have recently attended a SANS Forensic course in London. It was the best training course I have ever been to, not only the content was really interesting and very well delivered but all the extra activities surrounding the training course were outstanding (presentations, challenges, social events, etc).

Forensic was new to me and I found the techniques taught as very good eye openers in two different ways:

–Forensic techniques can be applied to other area of IT security than just forensic investigations, such as malware analysis and DLP. The latter was a bit of a surprise to me, but by understanding some of the forensic techniques you can also understand how part of a DLP engine would work when searching for specific files on filesystems (at rest) and recognised/tagged when on the network (on the move). I will find it interesting to see if my new know...
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