For the last couple of days the world has been buzzing with news about the Petya malware. When the news of the outbreak broke on Tuesday morning, it was all about a new ransomware that was spreading around the globe. References to WannaCry were made and fingers pointed to the use of the same NSA exploit as the attack vector. However, Petya was not really like WannaCry in that there was no “kill-switch”. Wednesday morning the big players in the anti-malware and security markets had sent out their “what you should know emails” and a low-grade form of panic hit many enterprises.
If you have been paying attention to the technical news lately you might have noticed more than a few articles pointing fingers back and forth between the AntiMalware company Cylance and the… well the industry. The argument (if you have not already read about it) goes something like this; the big AV/AM companies are accusing Cylance of stacking the deck in their favor when they demo their product against the competition. Cylance, for their part, claims that they provide a realistic test in comparison to what is usually done when it comes to AV/AM testing. Both sides have their points and it calls into question something that exists in all levels of the technical press and testing bodies; real world vs scripted testing.
These days it is not unheard of for something as simple as a printer to have all sorts of bells and whistles. You can find wireless, remote file access, remote (web) printing and more. These devices also have very advanced controls that are often accessible through a web interface. All of this technology can be had for very little money making advanced printers a common thing in the market. The downside? Well there is also very little security in these products. Walking through a business the other day with my WiFi sniffer on I found multiple, unprotected wireless networks screaming at me to join. Without exception these were all printers connected to the company’s network. All easy prey if I was up to no good.
Three years ago today DecryptedTech published an article calling out a software distribution company for installing Bitcoin mining software on subscribers’ systems. We highlighted the danger of the trust people put in web services by allowing agent software to run on their systems in order to use a service. Now we hear about a French company Tuto4PC that has taken this one step further and included some nasty little surprises in a utility they require for use of their free tutorial service. The discovery was made by Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence group and, of course, is being refuted aggressively by the guys at Tuto4PC.
There is nothing like finding out that all of your protections are useless. This is almost what happened when security researchers found a massive hole in the Windows App Locker protection. Although the news that there is a flaw in any software, much less Windows will come as no surprise it is still a little odd that this one made it through QA testing. The flaw is one that very simple and has already been seen in the wild over the last couple of days. All you need to do to execute code on a system is to direct Regsvr32 to a remotely hosted file. Security researcher Casey Smith found this handy little tidbit of information and states that you do not even need to elevate privileges to get it to work.
About a week ago we brought you news that Enigma Software had filed a lawsuit against BleepingComputer alleging that they were posting items that were defamatory in nature. At the time of the article we linked the page that BC (BleepingComputer) stated was at issue. This page shows, in our opinion, a fair and accurate representation of multiple malware scanners available to the consumer. BC used multiple references and posted specific comments about each of the three being discussed. Now Enigma Software has reached out to use to tell their side of the story…
You would think that in 2016 the people in power would either understand technology, or would have been replaced by someone that does. Sadly, this is not the case in… well just about every place there is an elected official. Over the past few years we have seen some very stupid bit of technical legislation come over the wire. Everything from kill switches in smartphones to backdoors in software and encryption standards. All of the legislation proposed read like they were written by someone that has no clue about technology, but might watch a lot of TV… and bad TV at that.
The average GPU is a pretty powerful computational device. The highly parallel design and efficient memory structure means that you can execute operations at a rate that puts most CPUs to shame. With the advent of Cuda and OpenCL the door was opened for developers to push workloads to the GPU and get back some pretty nice returns. Microsoft and many others joined in and began making access to the GPU simpler starting with DirectX 10.
This is not the first time that I have spoken out about cloud computing (internet based, or the Internet of Things and the way they are impacting the ability to secure a network. It is also not going to be the last. Simply put, the concept that everything needs to be controlled by a computer and talk back to some sort of internet based cloud show a level of ignorance that should not still be out there. Sadly it is and companies are still trying to push the cloud and connected device mentality despite the inherent and known security flaws that exist.
Security and malware research company, Kaspersky has recently released a paper describing what they say is the “ultimate level of anonymity” used by any malicious hacking group. In their report they describe a new attack by the group Ouroboros as “exquisite”. This is the same group that was linked to the Turla malware last year so we are not talking about amateurs or script kiddies. The attack uses commercial satellites’ unencrypted communication channels to send and receive traffic to their C&C servers.