Cybersecurity

Ex-Microsoft Engineer Jailed for Involvement in Ransomware Scheme

Ex-Microsoft Engineer Jailed for Involvement in Ransomware Scheme

Former Microsoft engineer Raymond Odigie Uadiale had been given an 18-month prison sentence this week for his role in the Reveton ransomware scheme. The scheme threatens its victims using the FBI logo to pay using GreenDot MoneyPak after accusing them of downloading illegal content. Uadiale pleaded guilty to laundering the MoneyPak funds into prepaid debit cards, then keeping a percentage of the payment. It was noted however, that Uadiale was not employed at Microsoft at the time of the scheme, but was still a graduate student at the Florida International University between 2012 and 2013.   Source: ZDNet

China May Use Cybersecurity Standards Against US Tariffs

China May Use Cybersecurity Standards Against US Tariffs

An expert recently commented that China may use cybersecurity standards to retaliate against Washington’s tariffs, a move likely to affect American companies. The standards, which are technically voluntary government issued guidelines, are often treated as mandatory by Chinese partners of foreign firms. It is said that the hundreds of national standards issued by Beijing over the past several years are making it increasingly difficult for firms to thrive in the country’s market.     Experts add that the standards, unlike tariffs, are less likely to be relaxed after the Sino-US trade war blows over because of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to […]

New “Foreshadow” Flaw Discovered on Intel Chips  

New “Foreshadow” Flaw Discovered on Intel Chips  

Researchers from KU Leuven university in Belgium and Adelaide and Michigan universities recently discovered another flaw affecting Intel chips which can be used by attackers to access sensitive information. Prof. Thomas Wench from the University of Michigan says that the attack is similar to the Meltdown vulnerability discovered six months ago. However, the new bug named Foreshadow can allow attackers to target and leak any data from the secure enclaves of Intel processors. Intel had already created a fix which disables some of the features on its chips which makes the flaw possible. The chipmaker added that while the fix […]

Australian Encryption Bill Promises No Backdoors, but Still Full of Loopholes

Australian Encryption Bill Promises No Backdoors, but Still Full of Loopholes

It was recently reported that Australia’s Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, which was released on Tuesday, promises not to weaken encryption and will not compel providers to implement vulnerabilities into forms of electronic protections. However, it was pointed out that the Bill creates a framework for providing access to endpoint devices which means that messages can be intercepted before they are encrypted. It will also require providers to use software given by the government, which could include spyware. It was also pointed out that there was a possibility that providers may substitute a service they […]

Security Expert Reveals MacOS Malware Capable of Synthetic Mouse Clicks

Security Expert Reveals MacOS Malware Capable of Synthetic Mouse Clicks

Patrick Wardle of Digita Security revealed at the recently-held DefCon in Las Vegas a malware that can perform synthetic clicks on MacOS, which can allow attackers to bypass permission prompts and compromise the user’s system. Wardle said that such a malware, which synthetically interacts with the user interface, can be used to bypass layers of security so the attacker can access the user’s location, steal their contacts or even take over the computer’s kernel core system to fully control the computer. Wardle added that he came across the “synthetic clicks“ bypass technique by incorrectly pasting code.   Source: Wired

11-Year Old Gives Hacking Demonstration of US Voting System  

11-Year Old Gives Hacking Demonstration of US Voting System  

In a recent hacking competition sponsored by non-profit R00tz Asylum, 11 year old Bianca Lewis showed how easy it was for hackers to compromise the infrastructure of the US voting system. The contest was part of the recently held Def Con conference in Las Vegas which was attended by more than 300 young hackers. By attacking a replica website, Lewis showed that it was possible to change the number of votes or even delete candidates off the system. It was noted that Congress last month rejected an amendment that would have allotted $380m for boosting electoral security for 2019. Source: […]

All-in-one Printers, Fax Machines Can be Used to Hack Company Networks, Researchers Warn

All-in-one Printers, Fax Machines Can be Used to Hack Company Networks, Researchers Warn

Check Point Software researchers warned this week that hackers can now take over company networks by exploiting a bug in fax machines and all-in-one printers. The researchers said that it is possible to steal company secrets just by faxing over lines of malicious code disguised as an image file. The file is then decoded and stored in the fax’s memory which the attacker can use to take over the machine. While HP said that they had already addressed the vulnerability, the researchers added that the new attack vector can still be used on faxes from other brands. Source: CNBC

Platform for Selling of Exploits, Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Launched

Platform for Selling of Exploits, Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Launched

Dubai-based exploit buyer Crowdfense announced this week the launch of its platform where researchers can sell zero-day security flaws and exploit chains. Scheduled to be opened on September 3, the company’s Vulnerability Research Platform will serve as a venue for the submission, discussion, and sales of vulnerabilities. The platform will also offer step-by-step guides, technical evaluations, pricing and follow-up communication channels. The company’s bug bounty program, which was launched earlier this year, offers researchers rewards from $500,000 up to $3 million for zero-day bugs and partial exploit chains. Source: ZDNet

Cortana Exploit Used to Bypass Windows 10 Security

Cortana Exploit Used to Bypass Windows 10 Security

Kzen Networks security researchers Amichai Shulman and Tal Be’ery, with Israel Institute of Technology’s Ron Marcovich and Yuval Ron, revealed this week a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Cortana which can allow attackers to bypass the security of a locked Windows 10 computer. The bug, CVE-2018-8140, allows attackers to use a limited range of vocal commands to Cortana even when the keyboard is locked. However, activating the voice assistant unlocks the keyboard, allowing the attacker to launch local commands without the need for authentication or user validation.   The researchers said that using this method, it was possible to retrieve data from […]

North Korean Hackers Reuse Old Code in New Attacks

North Korean Hackers Reuse Old Code in New Attacks

McAfee and Intezer revealed this week that North Korean hackers may be re-using old malware and computer infrastructure which leave evidence that could be used to trace incidents back to them. McAfee senior principal engineer Christiaan Beek said that while the hackers do improve as time goes, the code that they use show a lot of overlap with other campaigns such as elements of the malware used in WannaCry. Intezer’s Jay Rosenberg says that the state-sponsored hacking groups’ reasons for re-using the code are likely the same as any other developer, which is to save time and resources to ensure […]