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.
In the last week the world saw what appeared to be another attempt to violate privacy by government law enforcement. In this case the FBI opened a “pilot” program to capture iris imprints for a searchable database. To date they have captured more than 400,000 of these imprints. The major concern here is that there was (and remains) no public debate, or oversight on the program. The program stands on its own outside the many restrictions that protect privacy and also other rights that people have. Well at least that is how things look on the surface. We took a little bit of a deeper look and tried to peel away some of the FUD and hype over the collection.
It seems that the US Air Force has taken a pretty big hit when it comes to the storage of the data related to internal investigations. The system that they have been using has had a glitch that resulted in the loss of around 12 years of data. Normally this would only be a big deal until the backup was restored, but… there was no back up of this data as a complete set. There might be subsets of this data in other systems scattered throughout the US Air Force systems, but even that is not for sure.
We have written numerous articles on how bad corporate mentality is shaping security and risking your data, but we have one more to share with you today. We can also guarantee that this will not be the last one we write about. According to news reports the company EagleSoft has responded to a security researcher (part time) by asking the FBI to treat him like a criminal, instead of just fixing the issue as reported. The researcher’s name is Justin Shafer and his crime was reporting unencrypted patient data left on an open FTP server by EagleSoft. The FTP server did not require a logon to access the data, but EagleSoft, in order to protect themselves are trying to play this off as a criminal act.
It seems that the recent $81 million dollar attack against the Bangladesh Central Bank might have also been about the Seth Rogan Movie “the interview”... ok, not really, but the attack that happened at Sony in 2014 seems to have many things in common with the recent attack that resulted in the theft of $81 million. During the Sony attack the initial blame was centered on the release of the Interview, but that was never confirmed and seemed to be way off base.
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.
One of the dangers of pointing anything out about the security, or lack of security, with a product or service is the chance that someone will not like what you say and come after you. This is what is happening with Chris Vickery. If you do not know who Vickery is we can give you some background. Vickery is a security researcher that has been focusing on systems and services that cater to kids and parents. He has uncovered some rather unsettling information about a number of products that leak information about kids. The revelations are very disturbing to say the least.
Last week Google announced that they will no longer be accepting ads that feature Flash. This new should really come as no surprise as Flash (and its spirit brother Java) have taken a beating on the security front for years. Abobe and Oracle have been unable to keep the bad guys from running rampant with their code. Of course the change will not take place overnight so everyone has the chance to swap out that old and insecure Flash for the new and (insecure) HTML5.
The term hack-proof is one that people have thrown around for some time. It is one of those phrases like NSA-Proof or malware proof that really do not mean what they should mean. However, it is certainly meant to mean that the technology in question is resistant to the majority of known (important word there) attacks. It is important to mention this definition as we start talking about the announcement that MIT and Texas Instruments have developed a new “hack-proof” RFID chip.