Tag Archives: exploits

[ISN] Hacking Critical Infrastructure: A How-To Guide

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2015/07/hack-critical-infrastructure/118756/ By Patrick Tucker Defense One July 31, 2015 Cyber-aided physical attacks on power plants and the like are a growing concern. A pair of experts is set to reveal how to pull them off — and how to defend against them. How easy would it be to pull off a catastrophic cyber attack on, say, a nuclear power plant? At next week’s Black Hat and Def Con cybersecurity conferences, two security consultants will describe how bits might be used to disrupt physical infrastructure. U.S. Cyber Command officials say this is the threat that most deeply concerns them, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. “This is because a cyber-physical incident could result in a loss of utility service or the catastrophic destruction of utility infrastructure, such as an explosion,” the report said. The most famous such attack is the 2010 Stuxnet worm, which damaged centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment plant. (It’s never been positively attributed to anyone, but common suspicion holds that it was the United States, possibly with Israel.) Scheduled to speak at the Las Vegas conferences are Jason Larsen, a principal security consultant with the firm IOActive, and Marina Krotofil, a security consultant at the European Network for Cyber Security. Larsen and Krotofil didn’t necessarily hack power plants to prove the exploits work; instead Krotofil has developed a model that can be used to simulate power plant attacks. It’s so credible that NIST uses it to find weakness in systems. […]




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[ISN] Adobe to patch second Hacking Team Flash zero-day bug

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2947273/malware-vulnerabilities/adobe-to-patch-second-hacking-team-flash-zero-day-bug.html By Gregg Keizer Computerworld July 11, 2015 Adobe next week will patch a second zero-day vulnerability found in the leaked documents from the Hacking Team, a controversial Italian company that sells surveillance software and exploits to governments, Adobe said late Friday. Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT 2015: Company Listings The complete listings: Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT for 2015 A compact list of the 56 large, 18 midsize and 26 small organizations that ranked as Computerworld’s READ NOW The flaw will be patched this coming week; Adobe did not set a release date for the fix. “Successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” Adobe noted in an advisory. The vulnerability was the second uncovered in the gigabytes of documents leaked after attackers compromised the Hacking Team’s network and pilfered emails, financial information and contracts from the firm’s systems. […]


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[ISN] Meet the hackers who break into Microsoft and Apple to steal insider info

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/07/meet-the-hackers-who-break-into-microsoft-and-apple-to-steal-insider-info/ By Dan Goodin Ars Technica July 8, 2015 In February 2013, Twitter detected a hack attack in progress on its corporate network. “This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident,” a Twitter official wrote when disclosing the intrusion. Sure enough, similar attacks were visited on Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft in the coming weeks. In all four cases, company employees were exposed to a zero-day Java exploit as they viewed a website for iOS developers. Now, security researchers have uncovered dozens of other companies hit by the same attackers. Alternately known as Morpho and Wild Neutron, the group has been active since at least 2011, penetrating companies in the technology, pharmaceutical, investment, and healthcare industries, as well as law firms and firms involved in corporate mergers and acquisitions. The developers of the underlying surveillance malware have thoroughly documented their code with fluent English, and command and control servers are operated with almost flawless operational security. The take-away: the threat actors are likely an espionage group in a position to profit on insider information. “Morpho is a skilled, persistent, and effective attack group which has been active since at least March 2012,” researchers from security firm Symantec wrote in a report published Wednesday. “They are well resourced, using at least one or possibly two zero-day exploits. Their motivation is very likely to be financial gain and given that they have been active for at least three years, they must be successful at monetizing their operation.” […]


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[ISN] US Used Zero-Day Exploits Before It Had Policies for Them

http://www.wired.com/2015/03/us-used-zero-day-exploits-policies/ By Kim Zetter Security Wired.com March 30, 2015 AROUND THE SAME time the US and Israel were already developing and unleashing Stuxnet on computers in Iran, using five zero-day exploits to get the digital weapon onto machines there, the government realized it needed a policy for how it should handle zero-day vulnerabilities, according to a new document obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The document, found among a handful of heavily redacted pages released after the civil liberties group sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to obtain them, sheds light on the backstory behind the development of the government’s zero-day policy and offers some insight into the motivations for establishing it. What the documents don’t do, however, is provide support for the government’s assertions that it discloses the “vast majority” of zero-day vulnerabilities it discovers instead of keeping them secret and exploiting them. “The level of transparency we have now is not enough,” says Andrew Crocker a legal fellow at EFF. “It doesn’t answer a lot of questions about how often the intelligence community is disclosing, whether they’re really following this process, and who is involved in making these decisions in the executive branch. More transparency is needed.” The timeframe around the development of the policy does make clear, however, that the government was deploying zero-days to attack systems long before it had established a formal policy for their use. […]


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[ISN] China Reveals Its Cyberwar Secrets

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/18/china-reveals-its-cyber-war-secrets.html By Shane Harris The Daily Beast March 18, 2015 A high-level Chinese military organization has for the first time formally acknowledged that the country’s military and its intelligence community have specialized units for waging war on computer networks. China’s hacking exploits, particularly those aimed at stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies, have been well known for years, and a source of constant tension between Washington and Beijing. But Chinese officials have routinely dismissed allegations that they spy on American corporations or have the ability to damage critical infrastructure, such as electrical power grids and gas pipelines, via cyber attacks. Now it appears that China has dropped the charade. “This is the first time we’ve seen an explicit acknowledgement of the existence of China’s secretive cyber-warfare forces from the Chinese side,” says Joe McReynolds, who researches the country’s network warfare strategy, doctrine, and capabilities at the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis. McReynolds told The Daily Beast the acknowledgement of China’s cyber operations is contained in the latest edition of an influential publication, The Science of Military Strategy, which is put out by the top research institute of the People’s Liberation Army and is closely read by Western analysts and the U.S. intelligence community. The document is produced “once in a generation,” McReynolds said, and is widely seen as one of the best windows into Chinese strategy. The Pentagon cited the previous edition (PDF), published in 1999, for its authoritative description of China’s “comprehensive view of warfare,” which includes operations in cyberspace. […]


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[ISN] NIST outlines guidance for security of copiers, scanners

http://gcn.com/articles/2015/02/25/nist-replication-device-security.aspx By GCN Staff Feb 25, 2015 The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced its internal report 8023: Risk Management for Replication Devices is now available. The guidance covers protecting the information processed, stored or transmitted on replication devices (RDs), which are devices that copy, print or scan documents, images or objects. Because today’s RDs have the characteristics of computing devices (storage, operating systems, CPUs and networking) they are vulnerable to a number of exploits, NIST said. Among the threats to RDs are: […]


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[ISN] The tooth gnashing you hear is from Flash users installing a new 0day patch

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/01/those-teeth-gnashings-you-hear-are-flash-users-installing-a-new-0day-patch/ By Dan Goodin Ars Technica Jan 26 2015 Adobe Systems is once again rolling out an emergency Flash update that patches a critical vulnerability under active attack to compromise the computers of unsuspecting users. The latest Flash versions fix a remote code-execution bug that, as Ars reported last week, recently came under attack in the Angler exploit kit. Malware purveyors and other types of online crooks use such kits to seed compromised websites with attack code. Once people visit the sites with vulnerable computers, the booby-trapped pages surreptitiously exploit the vulnerabilities and install backdoors that can be used to log keystrokes, steal passwords, and install new pieces of malware at will. An advisory Adobe published late last week warned that the bug resides in versions running on Windows, Macs, and Linux systems. So far, reports suggest that in-the-wild exploits are limited only to Windows systems. The vulnerability stems from a so-called use-after-free bug that allows attackers to corrupt the memory of affected computers. Trend Micro has additional technical details here. “A critical vulnerability (CVE-2015-0311) exists in Adobe Flash Player 16.0.0.287 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh,” the Adobe advisory stated. “Successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. We are aware of reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild via drive-by-download attacks against systems running Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows 8.1 and below.” […]


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[ISN] Hacker Says Attacks On ‘Insecure’ Progressive Insurance Dongle In 2 Million US Cars Could Spawn Road Carnage

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2015/01/15/researcher-says-progressive-insurance-dongle-totally-insecure/ By Thomas Fox-Brewster Forbes Staff 1/15/2015 Corey Thuen has been braving the snow and sub-zero temperatures of Idaho nights in recent weeks, though any passerby would have been perplexed by a man, laptop in hand, tinkering with his aptly-named 2013 Toyota Tundra at such an ungodly hour. He hasn’t been doing repairs, however. Quite the opposite. Thuen, a security researcher at Digital Bond Labs who will present his findings at the S4 conference in a talk titled Remote Control Automobiles, has been figuring out how he might hack the vehicle’s on-board network via a dongle that connects to the OBD2 port of his pickup truck. That little device, Snapshot, provided by one of the biggest insurance providers in the US, Progressive Insurance, is supposed to track his driving to determine whether he deserves to pay a little more or less for his cover. It’s used in more than two million vehicles in the US. But it’s wholly lacking in security, meaning it could be exploited to allow a hacker, be they in the car or outside, to take control over core vehicular functions, he claims. It’s long been theorised that such usage-based insurance dongles, which are permeating the market apace, would be a viable attack vector. Thuen says he’s now proven those hypotheses; previous attacks via dongles either didn’t name the OBD2 devices or focused on another kind of technology, namely Zubie, which tracks the performance of vehicles for maintenance and safety purposes. But he hasn’t gone as far to actually mess with the controls of his Toyota. By hooking up his laptop directly to the device he says he would have been able to unlock doors, start the car and gather engine information, but he chose not to “weaponise” his exploits, he told Forbes. “Controlling it wasn’t the focus, finding out if it was possible was the focus.” […]


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