Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima, *The Washington Post*, 12 Feb 2016 "British teen arrested in hacking of top U.S. intelligence officials" https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/british-teen-arrested-in-hacking-of-top-us-intelligence-officials/2016/02/12/7b87351e-d1a5-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html The emails of the CIA director and the Director of National Intelligence were the victims of email hacking, and a British teenager has been arrested for it. The investigation of the exploit has focused on "Crackas With Attitude", and they are suspected of leaking government employee information (see the preceding news item). The exploit may have been "old school" because it is rumored to have been based on convincing Verizon workers that they were talking to the victims. The hackers got the account access information changed so that they could login to the victims' email accounts. They also claimed to have changed voice forwarding on one of the phones.
[Re: Flaw in iMessage fixed in today's release of iOS 9.3 (RISKS-29.37)] Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Gabriel Kaptchuk, Ian Miers, Michael Rushanan Dancing on the Lip of the Volcano: Chosen Ciphertext Attacks on Apple iMessage https://isi.jhu.edu/~mgreen/imessage.pdf A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering: Attack of the Week: Apple iMessage http://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2016/03/attack-of-week-apple-imessage.html
via NNSquad http://fortune.com/2016/03/21/doj-court-hearing-apple-postpone/ The Justice Department asked a judge on Monday to postpone a hearing scheduled for the next day about whether Apple should be compelled to help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. The surprise last minute filing said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would try to access the data stored on the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook through alternate means, without specifying exactly how. It raises the possibility of a truce between the federal government and Apple, which have waged a public war over the propriety of the company helping law enforcement access the data.
In the US, some retailers do not ask for a signature if the purchase was below some amount. Before chip and pin in Canada, that was also sometimes the case, especially in grocery stores and that was implemented by the card company. Chip and PIN credit and debit cards in Canada now include a tap facility and while it physically is a chip in the card, the technology is NFC similar to that used in smartphones and tablets rather than read only RFID so it is supposed to be much more secure. http://canada.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/contactless-payment-myths-1264.php If you want to use the tap method and it has been implemented by the retailer, you simply tap and hold the card against part of the retail terminal. Again, this is usually done by grocery stores and Walmart. This has also been implemented for bank/credit union debit cards where there is a limit of a $100 per transaction and after every $200 of transactions, you have to enter your PIN. As alternative for the customer, or if it isn't implemented then the card can be inserted in a slot in the terminal and you have to enter the PIN. Paying at the gas pump is a bit weird. At some pumps you can tap the card. Most haven't implemented this, so after swiping any loyalty card, you insert your chip and pin card. The terminal locks your card and then you pick a maximum authorization amount in $20 increments and enter the PIN. Your card is then released and you remove it and pump the gas. This method ensures you pay for the gas.
Crooks have found yet another way to steal your banking info. They can hijack info via ethernet cable of a cash machine's phone or Internet jack, to gather your card information. This risk is probably on many devices which accept our debit and credit cards. Long before this is fixed, the crooks will have found other exploits. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/02/skimmers-hijack-atm-network-cables/ http://gizmodo.com/crooks-dont-need-a-fancy-skimmer-they-can-just-tap-an-175 8228948
(via NNSquad) http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/20/will-apps-become-the-next-disability-lawsuit-target If space was the final frontier for Captain Kirk and the Enterprise, digital-app experiences are the heavily explored frontier for a host of entities. Because apps are a key link between the public and a business, the accessibility of apps to individuals with disabilities, especially those individuals who are blind or have low vision, is unfortunately likely to become the newest contested cyber battleground for claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state and local laws. Accessibility matters.
An interesting, yet not particularly well-explored question is "What happens when your device knows EVERYTHING?" The Electronic assistants inherently need to acquire a large volume of data about their owners and connections. The problem is "What is the status of that information?" Those who viewed British historical drama Downton Abbey got a refresher on how much information domestic staff see about their principals. It does not matter if the domestic help is human or machine. The servant knows everything. Domestic habits, social activities, travel, health data, dietary data, and many other data items. I wonder aloud whether we have the proper legal regime to manage and protect this data from fishing expeditions. In the United States, a principal can assert the 5th Amendment right not to testify against oneself. However, if the personal electronic servant is in possession of the information, I suspect that a simple subpoena or search warrant can obtain the information. This a serious question which needs to be addressed at the soonest possible opportunity. The Atlantic article can be found at: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/03/self-driving-cars-and-the-looming-privacy-apocalypse/474600/ Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
The referenced Bloomberg article says: "Over Saturday and Sunday, Bangladesh Bank failed to reach officials in New York by phone. But by that time it was also a weekend in the U.S., and nobody was available." Really? The Bangladesh Central Bank had $28 Billion on deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and didn't have 24x7 emergency contact information? Or they couldn't reach the US Embassy to have someone call them? One can easily hypothesize why alternative means of contacting the NY Fed weren't used, but "nobody was available" doesn't pass the laugh test.
Earlier I wrote <http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/29.37.html#subj10> that I was unable to locate the SANS / NERC E-ISAC lessons learned report, that the Dark Reading article was about. <http://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities---threats/lessons-from-the-ukraine-electric-grid-hack/d/d-id/1324743?_mc=RSS_DR_EDT> Here it is (PDF 29 pages 1.8 Meg) http://ics.sans.org/media/E-ISAC_SANS_Ukraine_DUC_5.pdf It mentions claims in news stories about the incident, identifying areas where some past articles were incorrect. In addition to what I wrote in my prior post, based mainly on the Dark Reading article: * The attackers successfully used two different SCADA hijack across different types of SCADA/DMS implementations at the 3 companies. (DNS distribution management systems.) * This report supports the mitigation recommendations in the DHS ICS-CERT alert, but they go further with more. The following is a consolidated list of technical components used by the attackers, graphically depicted in Figure 3 (of this report): * Spearphishing to gain access to the business networks of the oblenergos (the Ukraine electric companies); * Identification of BlackEnergy 3 at each of the impacted oblenergos; * Theft of credentials from the business networks; * The use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to enter the ICS network; * The use of existing remote access tools within the environment or issuing commands directly from a remote station similar to an operator HMI (Human Machine Interface); * Serial-to-Ethernet communications devices impacted at a firmware level16; * The use of a modified KillDisk to erase the master boot record of impacted organization systems as well as the targeted deletion of some logs; * Utilizing UPS systems to impact connected load with a scheduled service outage; * Telephone denial-of-service attack on the center; Footnotes in the report include links to many sources which I had not previously seen.
> At my day job we had VPN credentials not stored anywhere unencrypted on > our systems, so they could not be easily stolen by normal intruders. My guess is that the same was the case in the Ukraine incident. Once you have control over a computer, you can log the keypresses. So hackers wait and grab the password once it is entered. This is why (imho) the "sudo" program asking for the user-password is not really that useful. Once a hacker have access to the "uses-sudo-regularly" useraccount, the hacker installs a front for "sudo" that asks for the password, sends it home, tells the user the password was incorrect and then executes the real sudo. (Sudo tries to interact with the real user, so having the front pass the password to sudo should be impossible/difficult). Anyway, once the hackers have control over a computer that uses the VPN, they similarly lie in wait for the user to enter the credentials and grab them while they are unencrypted. R.E.Wolff@BitWizard.nl ** http://www.BitWizard.nl/ ** +31-15-2600998 Delftechpark 26 2628 XH Delft, The Netherlands. KVK: 27239233
The torpedo problem was not made public during the war but was soon known post war. A torpedo shot apparently cost $10,000 versus the Air Force paying $129,000 for a DC-3 transport. So extensive testing was costly. There were actually three problems. All of which began to be reported in December 1941. Code breaking supplied information as well. Of course individual commands did take action before the official system did. Then comes using 16 torpedoes in a failed attempt to scuttle the dead in the water aircraft carrier USS Hornet in October 1942, 5 inch guns had to be used, the Japanese boarded the ship, then decided it was too far gone and put two of their torpedoes into it. 1) The depth keeping system consistently made the torpedoes run deeper than set. Tests begun in South West Pacific Command in mid 1942 revealed the average depth was 11 feet more than the settings. This was confirmed in the US in a series of tests ordered by Admiral King in July 1942, previous reports had been rejected by the Ordnance Department. 2) The new magnetic exploder, issued late in 1941 under strict secrecy rules, the people using the torpedoes found out about them after the war started. Testing consisted of firing dummy warheads at a cruiser in equatorial waters. No live tests were done. The officer in charge of the tests, Lieutenant Commander Ralph Christie did try for an old hulk to use for for live tests but failed. Later he commanded one of the US Submarine bases against Japan and backed the exploder against the reports of the captains. The exploder often prematured. On 24 June for the Pacific Fleet submarines and 23 July 1943 for the destroyers came an official order to deactivate it. 3) The contact exploder, the pins were not strong enough, it meant an angled hit exploded more often but a torpedo hitting at near right angles usually did not. So the best attacks had a higher failure rate. In mid 1943 the Pacific fleet tried two torpedoes against a cliff, one failed. They then went to dropping dummy warhead torpedoes from a 90 foot crane onto a steel plate. All right angle hits caused the pins to distort rather than cause detonation, a 45 degree hit had the detonator working about half the time. The immediate fix was to try and cut torpedo speed, plus look at captured German torpedoes. The German contact exploder at the start of the war also had real problems, solved when they used the Royal Navy design. In October 1943 the Pacific Fleet arranged for six torpedoes to be fired at a cliff, hitting at right angles, all exploded.
> Does anyone sell a pocket sized faraday cage to hold our plastic, without > wiping it, or shocking us? That way, no one can read the plastic until we > actually take it out to make a purchase. Yes, many people, though they are of varying quality. Most are used out of RFID paranoia rather than concerns about credit card fraud *per se*, but the quality ones should work for either purpose. A web search on "credit card faraday cage" will provide any number of pointers, including the simple (but untested by me!) tip of keeping the lot in a metal throat lozenge tin. (Come to think of that, I have one of those lying around - I would test this but I don't have a credit card...)
I've been using just such a mini-wallet made by Secrid BV here in the Netherlands to keep RFID and Near Field cards out of harm's way. See https://www.secrid.com/en/
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller, and Steven Goldfeder with a preface by Jeremy Clark, Draft, 9 Feb 2016 https://d28rh4a8wq0iu5.cloudfront.net/bitcointech/readings/princeton_bitcoin_book.pdf https://www.coursera.org/course/bitcointech
Electronic CIPHER, Issue 131, March 22, 2016 Newsletter of the IEEE Computer Society's TC on Security and Privacy http://www.ieee-security.org/cipher.html Book Review By Richard Austin 3/17/2016 Craig Smith The Car Hacker's Handbook: A Guide for the Penetration Tester No Starch Press, 2016 ISBN 978-1-59327-703 A penetration test on your car? Have we really gotten to the point where even our cars have networks, multiple computers, panoplies of sensors and, of course, software to make them all work together? Smith assures us that we have and then proceeds to walk us through a solid introduction to this bizarre world and how things in it can be made to misbehave. Smith opens the book with a welcome chapter on threat models which orients the reader for the material that follows and how it might be applied by security professionals. Far too many books of this type open with a frantic rush to get to the tools and leave the reader to contextualize and position the material as best they can with the usual result of a vague impression of a long list of tools and commands that all do something but really no idea of how they might fit together into a whole. The next three chapters introduce the important protocols, how communication within the vehicle is done, and an introduction to the diagnostic and logging data maintained by the vehicle (if you've ever had a "Check Engine" light illuminate, you've seen the "user mode" interface to this data). Chapter 5, "Reverse Engineering the CAN Bus", reflects the important point that these are proprietary systems and manufacturers have little incentive to disclose their details. This leaves the security professional with the task of capturing traffic, decoding it to form theories about what is actually going on and then apply the theory to verify that it is somewhere close to correct. Smith demonstrates use of the tools with screenshots and sample commands to get you started. He thoughtfully provides a troubleshooting guide for when you accidentally put the vehicle into a state where it no longer works correctly. The next chapter, "ECU Hacking", describes how to interact with a vehicle's ECU's (Electronic Control Units) in three ways: front door attacks using the manufacturer's access mechanisms; backdoor attacks using the more or less traditional hardware analysis techniques (dumping and disassembling firmware, etc.); and exploits where you discover unintentional access methods. Chapter 7, "Building and Using ECU Test Benches", describes how to "run" an ECU outside the vehicle so you can interact with it in isolation from the rest of the vehicle. Smith also covers the important topic of how to simulate the sensor signals the ECU is expecting to process. Working with the EXU outside the vehicle reduces the noise introduced by other units and also reduces the consequences of an "Oops!". The next chapter, "Attacking ECUS And Other Embedded Systems", gets to the meat of the matter in interacting with these devices. This is an excellent chapter that introduces a plethora of tools and hardware accessories in a single place without having to scour multiple websites and online forums. Some of the techniques (e.g., JTAG) will be familiar if you've done hardware debugging but Smith's additional discussion of how these tools can be used to change the desired operation of embedded systems in ways an adversary might desire is both eye opening and invaluable. Chapter 9, "In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems", extends the discussion to that nice touchscreen found in many vehicles that is the interface to multiple applications such as navigation and climate control. The next chapter, "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication", provides an introduction to one of the more frightening possibilities in vehicle systems: cross-communication. Though it might be useful for a truck loaded with dynamite to notify vehicles in its vicinity that it's transporting hazardous material, the potential mischief of false notifications or suppressed notifications is obvious. This is a developing technology and could well use input from the security profession. Chapter 11, "Weaponizing CAN Findings", describes how to "take an exploit and make it easy to use" (p. 193). Smith lucidly demonstrates how to take an exploit (found during your research using the techniques described in the earlier chapters) and package it as a Metasploit payload (it doesn't get much easier to use than this). The next chapter, "Attacking Wireless Systems with SDR", describes how to use inexpensive Software Defined Radio (SDR) equipment to interact with vehicle systems using wireless technology. While wide coverage radio transceivers may cost several thousands of dollars, a SDR costs typically less that $500 (SDR receivers can be found as cheaply as $30). The systems used as examples are the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and key fobs (more interesting because they use cryptography). Smith begins with a discussion of modulation, how information is imposed onto a radio signal, and moves on to receiving the signals and interpreting them. Once you know the frequency, modulation and the format of the information itself, you are in a position to generate your own signals to trigger the desired action. Chapter 13, "Performance Tuning", describes a well-developed, application for modifying the operating parameters of vehicle systems to improve performance. This is a masterful demonstration that these are not abstract possibilities but, at least in their more benign applications, already well-developed. Our world is rapidly being filled with things that are computers and communication networks but don't look like them. And, like any other complex system, they expose vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a malicious adversary. The consequences of suddenly killing the engines of several vehicles surrounding a truck carrying hazardous materials on a busy interstate highway are horrifying to contemplate. Smith has done a marvelous job of providing a practical introduction to the world of vehicle systems and the tools used to interact with them for both benign and malicious purposes. The challenge for the security profession is to engage with the engineers designing these systems to build understanding of the security implications of design and implementation decisions. With Smith's introduction under our belt, we will be much better prepared to speak their language. Definitely a recommended read.
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