Archive for August, 2010

August 28, 2010 – Episodes 166 and 167

Posted in Breach, Court Cases, criminal forensics, darkweb, ediscovery, Legislation, Show Notes, The CyberJungle, Vulnerabilities with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by datasecurityblog

Episode 167 is the this week’s full episode of The CyberJungle, posted immediately below.  Episode 166 is the su root edition for advanced listeners – material that’s too technical for the radio.  The advanced material consists of a couple of conversations with experts who share our alarm at the news that businesses are having a love affair with the iPad… it’s a perfectly wonderful device for watching movies, playing games, and personal communications… but for business, we’ve seen too much evidence that iPad is lacking in security infrastructure, and our two guests agree.  Amber Schroeder is CEO of  Paraben. She joins us in a 17 minute conversation.  And we talk with Raf Los, security evangelist for HP,  for 22 minutes.  Scroll down to the end of this batch of show notes to find it.

Episode 167:

This week’s regular episode of  The Cyberjungle  is 1 hour and 18 minutes long. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to Episode 167 via the flash player:

Interviews

Abbreviated versions of the two interviews described above, regarding iPhone security. Amber Schroeder’s short version  interview begins approximately 23 minutes into episode 167.  The abbreviated interview with Raf Los begins about and hour into the show. For the complete versions of both interviews, scroll down to episode 166.

Tales from the Dark Web

Girl who had sex with 5,000 men… or so she says… makes a great subject to be exploited by sleazy Facebook scammers

Our Take on This Week’s News

Forget Big Brother. Steve Jobs Is Watching You-  Apple wants to patent spyware technology to record the faces, voices and heartbeats of its iPhone users… EFF predicts the product will be used not only to track lost or stolen phones, but to retaliate against iPhone jailbreakers.

Supercookies - Lawsuit against advertising firm Specificmedia for using cookies even after a customer wants them deleted is extremely complex, but worth understanding.  BTW — test your browser to see how many Supercookies are hiding there without your knowledge. Here’s a tool that Ira talked about to delete Supercookies:  BetterPrivacy

Kids as guinea pigs? Connecticut high school is being courted by manufacturer of RFID tags, so the company can get $100k in federal grant money for an experiment.

Defense department is officially disclosing the biggest cyberattack against the U.S. military.  It originated from a USB device, and by the way, why now? To raise public awareness and concern just in time for a cybersecurity provision in the Defense Authorization Bill.

Firewall frustrations: CIOs Surveyed say employees complain about IT security policies. So… is the content-based approach to web filtering the wrong approach?  One researcher  security-based analysis is becoming more important than content filtering.

You’ve heard of waste, fraud and abuse? Chicago doctor bills private insurance companies and Medicare for $13-29 mil in fake treatments… here’s how he did it.

Apple security- critical update for OS X users

Microsoft Security Advisory- (2269637); Insecure Library Loading Could Allow Remote Code Execution …  There’s a detailed blog posting by a security researcher on this massive Microsoft DLL flaw here.

Episode 166 – su root edition:

This is our unedited edition, featuring a longer and more technical conversation with  two experts about the perils of iPad use in a business environment. Amber Schroeder of Paraben, and Raf Los of HP share their thoughts on the subject.  The total time for the two interviews is 42 minutes.  You can find additional information about Paraben’s Forensic Innovations Conference 2010 in Park City in November.  Read more thoughts from Raf Los in his HP blog here.

You can hear the su root interviews in epsisode 166 by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.  The audio file is 42 minutes long.

To listen to su root edition (episode 166)  via the flash player:

August 22, 2010 – Episodes 164 and 165

Posted in Breach, Court Cases, criminal forensics, darkweb, ediscovery, The CyberJungle with tags , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by datasecurityblog

Episode 165 is the this week’s full episode of The CyberJungle, posted immediately below.  Episode 164 is the su root edition for advanced listeners – material that’s too technical for the radio.  The advanced material consists of an interview with Dr. Richard Boyd, a senior researcher with Georgia Tech Research Institute, on using low-cost graphic cards to brute force passwords.  Scroll down to the end of this batch of show notes to find it.

Episode 165:

This week’s regular episode of  The Cyberjungle  is 1 hour and 18 minutes long. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to Episode 165 via the flash player:

Interview

Joshua Davis is a researcher with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. We discuss the new standards for strong passwords, and the new ease with which passwords can be broken.  The 7-minute interview starts at about 22 minutes into episode 165.

Learn More: Teraflop Troubles: The Power of Graphics Processing Units May Threaten the World’s Password Security System

Tales from the Dark Web

If you get a message that looks like it’s from LinkedIn, be extra careful.  There’s a fake one circulating and it may link you to rogueware.

Our Take on This Week’s News

Get your tech out of my trash can – The City of Cleveland is expanding a pilot program which monitors trash cans of city residents via RFID chips embedded in the cans.  Because of a trash-sorting requirement to use separate cans for recycling, city workers are able to monitor how often each household recycles, and decide whether too much time has passed since the recycling cart was last brought to the curb.  If the household is sluggish in its recycling practices, the city will inspect the trash, and can fine the resident.

We’re reading more about automated safety alerts that are supposed to tip off workers to possible problems with industrial systems, and computer malfunctions that cause these features not to work or to be ignored.  Or maybe we’re just noticing these stories more since the gulf oil spill. Now it seems malware may have been  indirectly responsible for an airplane crash a couple of years back.  The report is due out soon after a two-year investigation of a Spain Air jet that crashed because of wing flaps that didn’t get repaired.

We took our eye of the school laptop spyware case for a few months, and missed some developments in the lawsuit against the Lower Marion school District, which has has been swimming in a vat of hot water since it botched a scheme to track missing school-issued laptops, and ended up snapping photos of kids in their bedrooms instead.  There was a second suit filed by another kid whose privacy was invaded.  The expenses related to defending the district is pushing a million bucks, and the insurance company won’t pay. Hello, taxpayers.  And the lawyer for the plaintiffs says he wants his money now.  BTW, the district will roll out policy on Monday for laptop tracking.  Gee, too bad they didn’t do that before they gave the kids laptops loaded up with spyware.

Beware the TapSnake game –  It’s GPS Spyware on Android. Tapsnake and GPS SPY are companion programs developed by a Russian developer based in Texas, Mr. Max Lifshin (“Maxicom”).   Someone posted a link to his resume,  where we discover that he used to work for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

The government-industry partnership – Government agencies aren’t providing business with timely tips about cyberthreats, according to a GAO report. (PDF)

Ira’s Classroom

Easy way to disguise your email address from spammers: http://scr.im

How to free yourself from the prying eyes of Google (Or, recognizing that you can’t be entirely free of Google, take some steps to minimize Google surveillance):

Two Resources: http://safeandsavvy.f-secure.com/2010/08/16/get-google-out-of-your-life/ and http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Un-Google_Yourself

Search engine alternative, excellent as your home page: http://www.StartPage.com

Episode 164 – su root edition:

This is our unedited edition, featuring a longer and more technical conversation with Dr. Richard Boyd of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, about a new threat to common passwords.   Learn More at Teraflop Troubles: The Power of Graphics Processing Units May Threaten the World’s Password Security System.

You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.  The audio file is 25 minutes long.

To listen to su root edition (episode 164)  via the flash player:

August 15, 2010 – Episodes 162 and 163

Posted in Breach, criminal forensics, darkweb, ediscovery, eMail Security, Show Notes, The CyberJungle, Vulnerabilities, web server security with tags , , , , on August 15, 2010 by datasecurityblog

Episode 163 is the this week’s full episode of The CyberJungle, posted immediately below.  Episode 162 is the su root edition for advanced listeners – material that’s too technical for the radio.  The advanced material consists of an interview with Wayne Huang,  who did early research that led to the discovery of the drive-by download.  Scroll down to the end of this batch of show notes to find it.

Episode 163:

This week’s regular episode of  The Cyberjungle  is 1 hour and 19 minutes long. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to Episode 163 via the flash player:

Interview

Wayne Huang is an executive at Armorize, working in Taiwan. His early research led to the discovery of what we now call drive-by downloads.  This episode of the Cyberjungle has a 7-minute interview with Wayne, which is a bit more elementary than the 35-minute su root version at the bottom of this set of show notes.  The 7-minute interview starts at about 24 minutes into episode 163.

Free Open Source Project to fight drive-by downloads is at Drivesploit.

Tales from the Dark Web

When your patch reminders pop up on your screen automatically, that’s a convenience.  When they arrive by email, that’s a scam.

Our Take on This Week’s News

Is Google buying microdrones like the ones in this vide0? And if so, what will Goolge do with them? Seems unclear at this point, but the implications kind of freak us out.

This is about as low as it gets: Cybercriminals pose as American military men — even fallen soldiers — creating fake dating profiles to ensnare women romantically and then ask them for money.

Everyone wants an iPad… we wonder if elected officials are willing to contort financial reality and ignore open meeting law requirements in order to play with an iPad on the taxpayers dime.  This USA today report says city councils are buying iPads to save the cost of paper.  But they might be buying a whole lot of trouble that will make the paper budget seem trivial.

City of San Francisco’s former network administrator Terry Childs was sentenced to 4 years for locking the city out of its network.  He’s been cooling his heels in jail for two years during the trial, and now it looks like he’ll serve about another 6 months with credit for time served. The San Francisco Weekly had the best summary of the case, and seems to be the only media outlet that truly grasps the moral of the Terry Childs story.

Attention merchants and other businesses relying on credit card purchases. PCI 2.0 is coming in October, and will probably become effective in January.  Yes, it will require more of you. Here is the current standard. The new standard will require web application logging, and better accountability and tracking of credit card number within the business network.

Apple iPhone Patches have been distributed for devices affected by the jailbreakme flaw.  Problem is, the patches work selectively. They do not apply to all devices.  Available for: iOS 2.0 through 4.0.1 for iPhone 3G and later, iOS 2.1 through 4.0 for iPod touch (2nd generation) and later. Here’s Apple’s report on the flaw.  Jay Freeman (Saurik) has made an unofficial patch for one (CVE-2010-1797) of the two vulnerabilities patched by Apple. It’s available for Jailbroken devices via Cydia,  and will work also on the older devices that have not yet received any updates from Apple, plus new devices if you don’t want to use Apple’s update.

Adobe Flash problems aren’t solved after upgrades.

Cybercriminals are already gearing up for the holidays, creating booby traps for likely Halloween and Thanksgiving search terms.

Did your shrink leave town for a convention this week?  If (s)he is attending the San Diego gathering of the American Psychological Association, you might want to text him or her, and warn about the social networking app the convention organizers have made available.  Seems the attendee code on the ID badges double as the log-in codes for the shrink network.  Oops… one wrong digit and you can view someone else’s conference registration data.

CyberJungle FAQ

1. From Steve: Our small business is running rather old PCs. Many of them are over 7 years old, and they take for ever to boot up. We are on a tight budget, we are seeing refurbished PCs with XP and new PCs with Windows7, is it worth the extra money to upgrade to Windows7? Will we get improved security?

A: YES, and your company can purchase refurbished PCs running Windows7. Get the 64 bit version, and upgrade to Office2010, for improved security and productivity.

2. From Malik: We are having a lot problems with our business email server. We are a company with less than 20 employees, but we are spending a lot of money with our IT guy on the server, where the email, and our filesve. He says we should buy a new server. The one we have is about 5 years old. Should we buy a new server, or, should we look at switching to something like gmail?

A: Get a new, smaller file server that runs Windows2008, or (even better) Linux. Buy business-grade email services from a quality firm that offers hosted Microsoft Exchange, or Open Source Zimbra.

3. Andrew: Our employees want to use their own iPads at work. They want to access work files, do email, take notes, and do other tasks. If they want to buy the iPads on their own, what are the risks to our business.

A: Plenty. Ediscovery, loss of business data, are just two. Wait a few months as business-grade alternatives to iPads are released. They are just about to be launched into the market for just your situation.

Episode 162 – su root edition:

This is our unedited edition, featuring a longer and more technical conversation with Wayne Huang of Armorize, discussing his early research that led to the discovery of drive-by downloads  The audio file is 35 minutes long.

You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to su root edition (episode 162)  via the flash player:

August 8, 2010 – Episode 160 and 161 from DefCon 18

Posted in Conference Coverage, criminal forensics, darkweb, ediscovery, Show Notes, The CyberJungle, Vulnerabilities, web server security with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2010 by datasecurityblog

Episode 161 is the this week’s full episode of The CyberJungle, posted immediately below.  Episode 160 is the su root edition for advanced listeners – material that’s too technical for the radio.  The advanced material consists of three conversations  from DefCon 18.  Scroll down to the end of this batch of shownotes to find it.

Episode 161:

This week’s regular episode of  The Cyberjungle  is 1 hour and 12 minutes long. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to Episode 161 via the flash player:

Interview:

Security Researcher Craig Hefner offers an alarming discovery about the consumer grade routers you buy at the big box store.  He’s found major flaws in these router/firewalls.  This interview is about 8 minutes long, and it begins at 59 minutes into Episode 161.  Or you can just listen to the interview by going to our conference notes page.  Also, here are some links to more information about Craig’s work:

Craigs Hefner’s White Paper on this attack

Craigs Hefner’s DefCon18 presentation slides

Craigs Hefner’s Proof-of-Concept code

Tales from the Dark Web:

Our dramatic audio taken at a DefCon 18 press conference, in which the host of the press conference begins (quite out of the blue) to describe his personal relationship with Adrian Lamo, one of the central characters in the Wikileaks incident.  We posted this story, and six minutes of audio featuring cybersecurity researcher and self-described white-hat hacker Chet Uber on the last day of DefCon. In it, Uber discusses how he persuaded Lamo to turn in accused leaker Pfc Bradley Manning.  There is a disputed fact in Uber’s account. Uber said he helped Lamo determine that documents in his possession were classified.  Lamo now denies that he ever had possession of top secret documents.  The facts will come out at Bradley Manning’s trial. No matter who is correct, the sound file offers some interesting insight into how a high-level meeting with federal law enforcement is arranged, and what top secret documents look like. The file is at the bottom of this story, if you want to hear it.

Our Take on This Week’s News:

The National Science Foundation has a porn problem according to Senator Chuck Grassley.  Seems the science guys are passing around porn despite technical measures taken by the agency to block it.  Oh, and there’s one guy who reportedly spends 20 percent of his time looking at porn, at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of $58,000.  So do the math.  This guy makes $290k per year???  WTF!!!

BlackBerry Ban – RIM Coming To Agreement With Middle-Eastern and Asian Nations on Eavesdropping. The question that we are still researching: What about a foreigner that uses BES in one of the nations? Is the traffic routed to one of these local RIM servers, or back to Canada?

Apple remote jailbreak flaw. Major Flaw Uncovered in Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod

Salute to the Wall Street Journal for its series this week on web tracking, cell tracking and other privacy issues.

We stumbled over the Social Engineering contest at DefCon18.   A super fun event to watch, as contestants placed phone calls to major U.S. corporations, and charmed employees into revealing a wide range of information about company operations — everything from the name of the dumpster service to the details of the IT architecture. (We posted a story about it here, describing a call to Apple that yielded a whole lotta info.  Boy, Steve’s gonna be mad. There’s also an audio file with a three-minute explanation of the contest by its organizers, an group called Social-Engineer.  The audio file is located about half-way through the story.)  Read about the Social Engineering organization here.

The annual session on physical lock security is always a hit. (This year there was more than one.)  We attended the presentation by Marc Weber Tobias.  His team demonstrated flaws in five different locks, from the plain-vanilla pin tumbler lock on your back door, to the $200  fingerprint biometric, the electronic RFID military lock and even a personal safe.  You can see the videos here, demonstrating how the locks were breached.

Speaking of physical security — a state agency head in California sent an email message to 175 employees announcing that the lock at the south end of their office building was malfunctioning, and there was no budget to fix it. This column in the Sacramento Bee offers an unintentionally comical account of the way this broken lock was broadly communicated to the world when one of the employees faxed a copy of the email to a state worker newsletter. The info apparently ended up — we’re not sure how — on the desk of the SacBee reporter who wrote the column.  The major point of the story is that California has no money, and even getting approval to fix a broken lock on a state building in a bad neighborhood is a tough uphill climb. But the funny part is how nobody ever stopped to consider that inside this building, where unemployment benefit checks are written, there is a whopping amount of personal information about the citizens of the State Formerly Known as Golden.  Wow… If we were bad guys we’d probably keep an eye on this place even after the lock is fixed, because it might be a really easy target.

Adobe plans emergency patch for critical Reader bug

If we don’t laugh, we’ll probably cry.  For laughs – a national association of perverts has offered an endorsement of body scanning machines in airports.  Now read this and weep – The feds love these machines so much that they’ve decided to deploy them at federal courthouses as well as airports. Where next, the public library?  And yes, they do store images, the feds now admit, after repeated denials that the machines had such capabilities.  Duh.  Did we think they would perform a visual inspection for contraband, and then fail to store the image for evidence during prosecution?

Episode 160 – su root edition:

This is our unedited edition, featuring three interviews straight from DefCon 18.  The audio file is 34 minutes long. This is a special DefCon18 edition featuring interviews with David Bryan on building a network to withstand thousands of hackers, and using low-cost equipment and volunteers. He has lessons for anyone building a network today. Then we have an interview with Chris Drake of Firehost web hosting on web application security. Finally the third interview is with Suhil Ahmed of Airwave Security about his discovery of a flaw in the WPA WiFi security protocol that can reveal confidential information, and has no patch. But, there is a workaround.

You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to su root edition (episode 160)  via the flash player:

July 31, 2010 – Episode 159

Posted in Breach, Court Cases, criminal forensics, darkweb, ediscovery, Show Notes, The CyberJungle with tags , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2010 by datasecurityblog

You can hear episode 159 by clicking on the Flash player below, or if your device does not support Flash, you can visit our  listening options page for other ways to receive the show. Episode 159 is one hour and 9 minutes long.

Interviews

Interview #1 – Jeremiah Grossman, CEO of White Hat Security,  discovered an odd security flaw in the Apple Safari Browser. Alas, he tried to notify Apple, only to be rebuffed. He posted the story on his blog, and he decided to go public at Black Hat, and just about the time we finished this interview with him, Apple acknowledged the problem.  Fix pending.  Hear an overview of Jeremiah’s presentation in Episode 159. It’s 11 minutes long, starting about 12 minutes into the show.

Interview #2 – Mickey Boodaei, CEO of security firm Trusteer, has been hard at work on the banking trojan problem, and they’ve got a problem that may help. We discuss it with him in Episode 159. It’s 10 minutes long, starting at 55:00.

Tales from the dark web

Mariposa Botnet facilitator arrested. (You may remember that Panda Security was on top of Mariposa months ago, as we reported in this interview from the RSA Security Conference2010.)

Our take on this week’s news:

Virulent Microsoft link attack affects just about everyone. The prediction is that this one will be big. UPDATE: MICROSOFT ISSUES EMERGENCY PATCH

A really insulting  psychological profile of iPad users. The only thing they left out is that iPad users pull the whiskers off kittens.

Krebs on security writes about the victims of scareware – they end up buying the stuff, and then they’re embarrassed to go to the police. Good piece

Banks have long since stopped moving paper checks from one location to another, preferring the economy of scanning. What if someone broke into the digital repository where they store all those pictures of checks?… Someone did.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,121 other followers