Archive for July, 2010

Think Different: Citibank iPhone Risks Banking Data

Posted in Annoucements, Breach, eMail Security with tags , , , on July 26, 2010 by Habeas Hard Drive

Citibank announced today a major flaw in its iPhone/iPad banking app. The app leaves account information on the device. What is this bad? Well, iPhone/iPad/iOS  does not support whole disc encryption.

At last month’s Gartner Security and Risk Conference in DC, I sat next to a Senior Executive with one of the larger anti-virus companies. According to this executive, the company wants to make and sell a whole disc crypto product, but Apple will not open its API (application program interface) to support whole disc encryption.

Citi iPhone App

Citi iPhone App

Today’s announcement by Citibank about a flaw in their app, comes as little surprise. While this particular flaw can be fixed with an update, the fact remains: The foundation is sitting on shifting sands.  The iOS is first and foremost a consumer media platform. It has a great bright interface, and plays music and videos really well. It has a great eBook reader. But, these devices were not and are not built with security and privacy at their foundation.

When you mistype a word, iOS saves, it, unencrypted. When you use a map, iOS saves it, unencrypted. When info is “erased.” the platform saves it, unencrypted.  As a forensic analysis, the iOS is a boon to uncovering information that the owner of the device would be shocked to learn can be discovered.

Some will say, “all devices are like this.” Well, that is just not so. The Blackberry platform was built with security in mind, rather than an after thought. That’s why the UAE government views the Blackberry as a security threat. Not the iPhone.

I am realistic. Many people are gaga for every device Apple makes. To borrow a phrase: “If Apple took a brick and called it an iPhone you would still want it.” For these people, buying a smartdevice is all about being trendy and the purchase is almost all based upon emotions. I doubt that anything they read about poor security on the iOS will change their behavior.

For others, I suggest  “Think Different.” Resist the temptation to use an unprotected consumer device for business. Use your iPhone/iPad as a media device, and use Blackberries (with the Blackberry Enterprise Server), for business use. It looks like the industry will release business-oriented slate devices to compete with iPad. That may turn out to be smarter for business use.

Until Apple addresses the underlying security issues in the platform, it’s a safe prediction that we will hear other stories about security flaws hurting iOS users.

Episode 157 – July 25, 2010

Posted in Breach, Conference Coverage, Court Cases, criminal forensics, darkweb, ediscovery, Show Notes, The CyberJungle, Vulnerabilities with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by Habeas Hard Drive

You can hear episode 157 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 157 is one hour and 10 minutes long.


Dr. Charlie Miller, Principal Analyst for Independent Security Evaluators,  offers a preview of his DefCon presentation about cyberwarfare to be given in Las Vegas at the end of the month.  “Kim Jong-il and Me.” (Yes he’s that Charlie Miller.) Charlie says he really didn’t feel qualified to address the topic of cyberwarfare when he was first asked, but then decided to treat the request as an opportunity to play a game in he pretended he was approached by a rogue government for the purpose of building a cyberarmy.  What would it take?  Hear Charlie’s interview about 23 minutes into episode 157.


The CyberJungle mistakenly reported that it is not possible to turn off an Apple iPad and iPhone feature that reports the owner’s location to the Big A twice daily.  We oversimplified this story and we got it wrong.  We have been informed by our favorite Apple connoisseurs that it is possible to turn the feature off.  We apologize for the misinformation. We have removed the segment from the podcast, so it won’t be heard again,  and we will note in next week’s radio show that we were incorrect.

Tales from the Dark Web

If you’re using Microsoft Windows this attack is aimed at you.  (Raise your hand if you aren’t using Microsoft Windows.)  Here is the MSFT Advisory on the Microsoft Link Attacks. Here is an explanation of the attack and video demo from Sophos.

Our Take on This Week’s News

A consumer survey that measured for the first time customer satisfaction with social media sites reports that — are you sitting down? — people hate Facebook.  It scored lower than the airlines and the cable companies, and even lower than the IRS.

A watchdog organization reports that White House Emails Show More Extensive Improper Contact With Google. The National Law and Policy Center posts links to its letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asking for an investigation of the relationship between Google and its former lobbyist who now occupies the top advisory position to president Obama on internet policy.  There are also links to some of the emails, which seem to support the conclusion that Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin is helping to stack the policy deck in Google’s favor on a number of issues.

And while we’re at it, was Google providing intelligence data to the federal government as part of its WiFi Streetview program?

This should freak you out. A Woman found a webcam hidden inside a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul, which was on a bookcase in her bedroom, pointed directly at her bed.  We found a source for these cameras, which are supposed to be a security tool,  for less than 50 bucks.

Get comfy on the patio with a cold brew and read this great story about a fake infosec chick who persuaded her social networking pals — mostly guys who know secrets related to national security — to forget themselves and reveal a lot of stuff they aren’t supposed to give up.  To anyone.  The girl — Robin Sage — was named after a military training exercise, which was just one of many clues that “screamed fake,” according to her creator, a security researcher whose ruse has demonstrated something we all knew.  Only James Bond can flirt with an exotic hottie and not get burned.

GM suffers theft of hybrid technology worth an estimated $40million. Insider stole information by using a portable USB drive. Data allegedly sold to at least one Chinese auto maker, Chery.

Major Zero-day flaw in Apple’s Safari browser discovered, Apple ignored the warnings so well-known researcher goes public.

Some Dell replacement motherboards come pre-loaded with malware.

July 18, 2010- Episode 155

Posted in Breach, Conference Coverage, Court Cases, criminal forensics, darkweb, Legislation, The CyberJungle, Vulnerabilities with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2010 by Habeas Hard Drive

You can hear episode 155 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 155 is one hour and 14 minutes long.


Jeff Bryner from pOwnlabs offers a preview of his DefCon presentation to be given in Las Vegas at the end of the month.  “Google Toolbar – The NARC Within” — how the tool bar spies on you. Jeff”s  interview is about 9 minutes long, and it begins 22 minutes into the episode.

Penetration Tester David Bryan, speaking for himself, (not his company,) will also present at DefCon —  “Cloud Computing as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.” His interview is just over 9 minutes long and begins at about 54 minutes into the episode.

Our Take on This Week’s News

The state of Utah is investigating the origins of a 29-page list of personally identifying information belonging to more than a thousand people the leakers say are illegal immigrants receiving benefits from the taxpayers.  This topic stirred up the immigration issue on the talk shows, but we’re interested in these questions:  What was the data access policy — who had access to this data and for what purpose? And should there be a set of guidelines for ethical whistleblowing (if that’s what the leakers were trying to do) where electronically stored information is involved?

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles in the state of Ohio is selling personal information about its licensed drivers.  For some reason, the primary beef is that the state isn’t making enough money selling the identities of its citizens.

NSA whistleblower facing 35 years in prison

Bank Account Takeover Attack Now Mimicking Credit Card SecureCode Systems

New  zero day Attack using USB drives. There is a Microsoft advisory for dealing with it.

Bluetooth is making it easier for cybercriminals to steal debit card numbers at the gas pump.

Google get patent on technology that monitors on your mouse movements as it relates to search results. And Google is becoming quite an established presence on Capitol Hill.

Photos taken with certain camera-enabled devices can reveal you location with geotags attached to the metadata.  Mayhemic Labs has scanned a couple of million photo links on Twitter, and was able to pinpoint location of the user in about three percent of them.  Then they created to prove it.

Chinese Cyber Army presentation pulled at BlackHat under pressure from Taiwan.

July 11, 2010 – Episode 153

Posted in Breach, Court Cases, criminal forensics, ediscovery, Show Notes, Vulnerabilities with tags , , , on July 10, 2010 by Habeas Hard Drive

You can hear episode 153 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 153 is one hour and 15 minutes long.


Gunter Ollman from Damballa offers a preview of his Black Hat Briefings presentation to be given in Las Vegas at the end of the month.  “Becoming the Six Million Dollar Man” will discuss how cybercriminals get filthy rich using other people’s computers. Gunter’s interview is about 10 minutes long, and it begins 22 minutes into the episode.

Tony Flick, Principal at Fyrm Associates and Justin Morehouse, speaking for himself, (not his company,) discuss what will happen as the smart meters “goes social.”  Smart grid proponents are promoting the idea of networking the smart grid with social networking accounts

Speaking of the smart grid, this story says Maryland public utilities regulators sent Baltimore’s power company back to the drawing board last month, with a rejection of its smart grid plan.  The public objection, as in most cases, was based on cost to ratepayers rather than any security or privacy issues.

Our take on this week’s news

Top story –  soldier charged with theft of secret DOD files

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Jane Harmon has open, unencrypted WiFi at her home. (p.s. she’s a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, and Chair of its Intelligence and Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee)

Automakers working with silicon valley to create “connected car”

NSA Perfect Citizen – Big Brother has arrived.

Swiss Bank security guy steals customer data… offers it to tax authorities.

Survey- ex employees and IT staff are snooping on business

Game publisher Blizzard announces a real ID program for World of Warcraft forum…. No more screen names. But the market spoke, and the company withdrew the plan.

Airport body scanners will be the primary security check at U.S. airports.

July 4th, 2010 – Episode 151

Posted in Annoucements, Breach, Court Cases, criminal forensics, ediscovery, Show Notes, The CyberJungle, Vulnerabilities with tags , , , , on July 3, 2010 by Habeas Hard Drive

You can hear Episode 151 by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to our listening options page, and find other ways to receive the show. Episode 151 is one hour and ten minutes long.

Interview Segments:

Interview – Laptop security – it’s part psychology, part technology. Dr. Larry Ponemon from the Ponemon Institute shares his research on laptop theft.  The interview is about ten minutes long, and it starts about 54 minutes into the show.

Interview – David Thompson is co-author of Wild West 2.0, a book that explains what’s happening as the wild web matures, and becomes civilized.  The book takes a historical approach, by drawing parallels between the internet and the wild American frontier, and the disruptions to society as “gentrification” occured — and newbies began to inhabit those spaces.

Event Announcement- Sierra Nevada Infragard

Get smart about smart phone policy in the workplace:

The InfraGard Sierra Nevada Members Alliance is holding its summer meeting on Thursday, July 15, 2010, on the topic of an urgent workplace hazard: Employee-Owned Smartphones—Accessing Workplace Email and Data. A panel of data security and legal experts will cover the technology, human resource, and legal issues related to smartphones in the workplace.

This is a lunch-time event. Donation is $8 buys a light lunch and the admission.  The location is: The Regional Public Safety Training Center, 5190 Spectrum Boulevard, Room #102A, Reno, Nevada


Our Take on This Week’s News

America is riddled with politically motivated surveillance,or so reports the American Civil Liberties Union. Here’s the ACLU report on police infiltration and monitoring of citizen activity in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Don’t think about lying in family court… divorce lawyers are finding out the real scoop on facebook.

Best Buy tries to fire employee for satire.  The employee was worked three years selling mobile phones for Best Buy.  But the company didn’t appreciate it when its mobile phone expert created a video poking fun at the irrational appetite for iPhone. WARNING: Do not listen to this at work without headphones; potty mouth alert!

Voice mail hacking –  an example of an app that allows  CallerID spoofing.  Anyone can get into many voice mail accounts without a password, and can listen to messages, alter settings, or even create a new voice mail greeting.

Growing risks of advanced attack threats — eighty percent of businesses have been hit.

The government of India has ordered Skype, RIM (Blackberry) and Google to provide a way for its security agencies to intercept messages.  Why is this important? Two reasons:  1) we all do business with India in some indirect fashion.  Someone you are doing business with is doing business with companies in India.  2)  Giving a back door to the Indian government is, in effect, giving it to the world.  The companies have 15 days to comply with the order or be banned from doing business in India.

FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reports a spam attack that appears to come from one of your friends who is stuck overseas without money or passport.  Needs help.

The accused Russian Spies had an interesting bag of tricks that included the use of steganography. That’s the art and science of hiding messages in plain site, by embedding the information in the text of another document, or in a photo or a piece of art.  It’s not just a tool for spies. You, too, can use steganography to protect your privacy.