Skype exploit reveals users' remote and local IP addresses

By on May 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM.

Skype exploit reveals users' remote and local IP addresses

Skype exploit reveals IPs

A new security vulnerability in Skype has been discovered that allows a third-party script to reveal users’ remote and local IP addresses, according to GHacks. The script, which was uploaded to Github, allows users to lookup the IP addresses of any online Skype accounts. The code then initiates the contact addition process, but does not complete it. The log file will instead display the local and remote IP of the requested Skype user, even if the user is not added to the list of contacts. An IP address can be used to determine the location and Internet service provider of the user, and the only method of protecting against this vulnerability would be to use a virtual private network or proxy to hide the IP address. More →

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New Android malware can remotely root phones

By on April 5, 2012 at 5:40 PM.

New Android malware can remotely root phones

Lookout Mobile Security on Tuesday published a report stating that a known malicious Android program has been updated with the ability to harm a device without depending on a user’s interaction. The new version of the “Legacy Native” (LeNa) app utilizes an exploit called GingerBreak to gain root permission on Android phones. The new variant of LeNa hides its payload just past the End of Image marker of an otherwise fully-functional JPEG. The malware is then able to communicate with a command and control server to install and launch packages unbeknown to the phone’s user. According to the report, this new version of LeNa is currently being distributed in a fake version of Angry Birds Space, but the malicious program is not believed to have made its way into the Google Play marketplace at this time. More →

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Major Google Chrome vulnerability fixed in 24 hours

By on March 9, 2012 at 3:50 PM.

Major Google Chrome vulnerability fixed in 24 hours

On Wednesday, a Russian hacker discovered a vulnerability in Google’s Chrome web browser during CanSecWest’s Pwnium hacker contest. It was the first time in four years at the competition that Chrome was hacked, and for his efforts, Sergey Glazunov was rewarded with $60,000. Less than 24 hours after the exploit was brought to Google’s attention, the search giant released an update fixing the vulnerability. “The Chrome Stable channel has been updated to 17.0.963.78 on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame,” Google wrote on its Chrome update blog. “This release fixes issues with Flash games and videos, along with the security fix listed below.” Glazunov’s vulnerability is described as an “UXSS and bad history navigation” issue, however no other details were given. More →

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Major Google Chrome vulnerability uncovered by hacker at Pwnium contest

By on March 8, 2012 at 5:20 PM.

Major Google Chrome vulnerability uncovered by hacker at Pwnium contest

Russian university student Sergey Glazunov was able to hack into a secure Windows 7 machine using a remote code execution exploit in Google’s Chrome web browser in five minutes, ZDNet reported Wednesday. The exploit was found during CanSecWest’s Pwnium hacker contest, a competition similar to the popular Pwn2Own contest. Google offered a total of $1 million dollar in prize money to hackers who could exploit the company’s Chrome web browser. Glazunov was rewarded $60,000 for his exploit, which found a way around Chrome’s sandbox using vulnerabilities in the extension system. “It didn’t break out of the sandbox [but] it avoided the sandbox,” said Justin Schuh, a member of the Chrome security team. “It was an impressive exploit. It required a deep understanding of how Chrome works. This is not a trivial thing to do.” At Pwn2Own, the VUPEN team was able to hack all four major browsers — Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox — with Chrome, which was hacked within five minutes, being the first to fall. This is the first time in four years at the competition that Google’s web browser has been hacked. The company is already working on an update that will fix the vulnerabilities uncovered at Pwnium and Pwn2Own. More →

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Google Wallet prepaid service re-enabled after security fix

By on February 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM.

Google Wallet prepaid service re-enabled after security fix

Last week, two exploits concerning Google Wallet left users questioning the service’s security. One of the exploits allowed hackers to bypass PIN protection, but it was only present on rooted devices. A second exploit, however, did not require a handset to be rooted, leaving all Google Wallet users exposed. The company maintained that the service was secure but as a precautionary measure it disabled its prepaid card services, but Google announced on Tuesday that it has patched Wallet and has fixed the vulnerability. Security firm zVelo, however, is not satisfied with Google’s efforts. While the Mountain View-based company has suggested that users with rooted handsets don’t use Google Wallet, zVelo insists that a person can steal an Android phone and then root, thus performing the exploit to bypass the PIN. As an extra layer of security, it is recommended that users configure a passcode to protect their devices from unwanted access. More →

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Google promises Wallet is now safe, disables prepaid cards

By on February 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

Google promises Wallet is now safe, disables prepaid cards

Two recently uncovered security exploits concerning Google Wallet have left users questioning just how safe the product really is. A security firm exposed a vulnerability last week that allowed hackers to bypass PIN protection, but it was only present on rooted devices. A second exploit, however, did not require a handset to be rooted, leaving all Google Wallet users exposed. By wiping stored Google Wallet data from within a device’s settings, an unauthorized user will be able to access a user’s prepaid funds without needing to know his or her Google Wallet pin. The company has acknowledged both security exploits, and it now says Google Wallet is safe and “offers advantages over the plastic cards and folded wallets in use today.” Read on for more. More →

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Google+ flaw allows hackers to execute DDoS attacks using Google servers

By on August 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM.

Google+ flaw allows hackers to execute DDoS attacks using Google servers

A security expert at Italian security firm AIR Sicurezza Informatica claims to have found a security flaw in Google’s new social network that allows hackers to potentially use Google+ servers to execute DDoS attacks. Simone Quatrini explained the flaw on the IHTeam Security Blog, and he wrote a script that can perform the attack, repeatedly prompting Google’s server to send requests to the target site. DDoS attacks, or distributed denial-of-service attacks, flood a web server with requests in an effort to prevent it from functioning. Such attacks require appropriate resources and bandwidth to execute, and Google servers would obviously have more than enough of these resources to launch a significant attack. More →

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Apple laptops can be hacked to self-destruct; flaw to be detailed by hacker next month

By on July 26, 2011 at 6:35 PM.

Apple laptops can be hacked to self-destruct; flaw to be detailed by hacker next month

How’s this for an undocumented feature? Apple’s newer MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks have a security flaw that can allow hackers to remotely prevent the batteries from charging. Better yet, hackers can exploit the same flaw and remotely cause batteries to explode. Apple laptops’ new “smart” battery technology is intended to provide added control over power management, and it does just that. Unfortunately, it also gives hackers added control because the microcontroller chip that ships in recent Apple laptops can be accessed remotely using a default password shared by each and every notebook. Charlie Miller, the security expert who discovered the vulnerability, plans to showcase the flaw next month at the Black Hat security conference. There, Miller will show that he is able to access the battery controller remotely and cause it to refuse a charge, or even heat up until it catches fire and explodes. “These batteries just aren’t designed with the idea that people will mess with them,” Miller told Forbes last week. “What I’m showing is that it’s possible to use them to do something really bad.” Thankfully, the security expert also intends to showcase a fix for the flaw, which Apple will hopefully implement as soon as possible. More →

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Skype acknowledges Android vulnerability, user data at risk [video]

By on April 15, 2011 at 7:12 PM.

Skype acknowledges Android vulnerability, user data at risk [video]

The detectives over at Android Police have found an interesting weakness in Skype for Android. The site has discovered that the popular VoIP chat client stores contact details, conversation logs, and a host of other information in a series of unprotected squlite3 databases. “Skype mistakenly left these files with improper permissions, allowing anyone or any app to read them,” reads the article. “Not only are they accessible, but completely unencrypted.” The vulnerability was initially found in the recently-leaked Skype build for Verizon’s HTC ThunderBolt, but upon further review the current build of the software was also found to have the issue. The article’s author has even provided a proof-of-concept application that can leverage the databases’ weakness. Skype has published an official response saying that the company takes privacy very seriously and is “working quickly to protect users from this vulnerability.” Hit the jump to see a video of the proof-of-concept in action. More →

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Adobe finds gaping security hole in latest version of Flash Player for PC, Android

By on April 12, 2011 at 1:58 PM.

Adobe finds gaping security hole in latest version of Flash Player for PC, Android

Adobe has identified a zero-day exploit in the latest version of Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Using the the security hole, an attacker can potentially run malicious code and even take control of an affected system. While the vulnerability and potential damage to a system are significant, common sense will help users avoid the issue in most cases. The malicious code that takes advantage of this exploit is typically delivered as a Flash file embedded in a Microsoft Word document attached to an email. Most users in this day and age know to avoid such files. Adobe is currently working on a fix for the security hole, though the company has not stated when the fix might become available. More →

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BlackBerry vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; no fix in sight

By on March 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM.

BlackBerry vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; no fix in sight

In light of a WebKit vulnerability discovered at this year’s Pwn2Own conference in Vancouver, Research In Motion has issued a bulletin for its most security conscious customers. Affecting handsets running BlackBerry Device Software version 6.0 or higher, the exploit could allow an attacker to gain access to data stored on the media card or in the media storage area built into BlackBerry devices. RIM notes that the vulnerability does not grant attackers access to email, calendar, contact, or application store data. Regardless, if you’re reading this with your tinfoil hat on, the company has issued a list of workarounds that can mitigate your risk to the hack. Standalone users can disable JavaScript in their Internet browser — JavaScript is not the root of the problem, but the use of JavaScript is required to execute the vulnerability. BlackBerry Enterprise Server administrators can disable the BlackBerry browser altogether from the BES console — which, as you can imagine, has other implications. RIM has yet to comment on when a more permanent fix might become available, but it has issued a statement saying it is, “investigating the issue to determine the best resolution for protecting BlackBerry smartphone users.” More →

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Adobe issues warning for critical Flash Player, Adobe Reader vulnerability

By on March 15, 2011 at 8:11 PM.

Adobe issues warning for critical Flash Player, Adobe Reader vulnerability

Adobe has issued a security bulletin about a critical security flaw found in Adobe Flash Player affecting the Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, and Android operating systems. The vulnerability, labeled CVE-2011-0609, “could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” The company reports that exploits are already in the wild — most prevalently attached to Flash (.swf) and Excel (.xls) files. Adobe notes that it is “aware” of exploits for Adobe Reader and Acrobat, but explains that “Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing.” The company has stated that it will issue a patch for its Flash Player sometime during the week of March 21st. Curiously, the company writes, “Because Adobe Reader X Protected Mode would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing, we are currently planning to address this issue in Adobe Reader X for Windows with the next quarterly security update for Adobe Reader, currently scheduled for June 14, 2011.” June? Wow. Now might be a good time to enable Protected Mode on Adobe’s PDF reader. More →

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iOS, BlackBerry OS fall at Pwn2Own

By on March 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM.

iOS, BlackBerry OS fall at Pwn2Own

Add Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS to the list of victims at this year’s Pwn2Own challenge. Conference veteran Charlie Miller, along with Dion Blazakis, deployed an exploit to iOS 4.2.1 through a vulnerability in Safari. By navigating to a custom-made webpage, the duo were able to execute remote code and gain access to the iOS address book. Vincenzo Iozzo, Willem Pinckaers, and Ralf Philipp Weinmann also utilized a WebKit-based vulnerability to take down a BlackBerry Torch running BlackBerry OS 6.0.0.246. The three researchers noted that the exploit used on the BlackBerry’s mobile OS was difficult to craft due to the lack of documentation, software tools, and resources available. They also noted that most of the operating systems security was achieved via obscurity, and stated that the company was “way behind the iPhone at the moment, from a security perspective.” No conference participants have yet to challenge Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating systems. More →

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