Darren Pauli

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France fingered as source of Syria-spying Babar malware

France's spy agency has been fingered as the likely author of complex reconnaissance malware, researchers say. The Casper malware is one of a handful with links to the Babar spy program which leaked NSA documents revealed last month to be the handiwork of France's Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (General Directorate …
Darren Pauli, 06 Mar 2015
Mars with oceans

Boffins say Mars had ocean covering 20 per cent of planet

NASA boffins have popped out a new paper, Strong water isotopic anomalies in the martian atmosphere: Probing current and ancient reservoirs, in which they advance a theory that Mars once had substantial oceans. The theory outlined in the paper relies on measurements of the types of water found on Mars. Yes, we do mean “types” …
Darren Pauli, 06 Mar 2015
GoPro HD Hero

GoPro cameras' WiFi security is GoAmateur

Net nuisances can harvest the cleartext SSIDs and passwords of wireless networks accessed by sports selfie box GoPro. The GoPro app collects and siphons wireless credentials so it can be used to log on to and manage cameras. Security researcher Ilya Chernyakov says the credentials which give access to the cameras could be mass …
Darren Pauli, 06 Mar 2015
Bug bounties

Adobe launches cashless bug bounty

Adobe has launched a bug bounty program that hands out high-fives, not cash. The web application vulnerability disclosure program announced today and launched last month operates through HackerOne used by the likes of Twitter, Yahoo!, and CloudFlare, some of which provide cash or other rewards to those who disclose security …
Darren Pauli, 06 Mar 2015

FREAKing hell: All Windows versions vulnerable to SSL snoop

Microsoft says its implementation of SSL/TLS in all versions of Windows is vulnerable to the FREAK encryption-downgrade attack. This means if you're using Windows, an attacker on your network can potentially force Internet Explorer and other software using the Windows Secure Channel component to use weak encryption over the web …
Darren Pauli, 06 Mar 2015

Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Feature "It is far more common to find routers with critical flaws than without" - Craig Young "It's sad that end-user education about strong passwords, password safes, and phishing can be undone by something as innocuous as the blinking box in the corner of your room. - Peter Adkins Introduction Home and small business router …
Darren Pauli, 05 Mar 2015
Web browsers

Choc Factory splatters 51 bugs, Mozilla bumps cert checker

Google and Firefox have upgraded their flagship browsers, crushing bugs and cracking down on bad certificates along the way. The Choc Factory's Chrome 41 swats 51 bugs of which at least 13 are classified as high severity and six considered medium risks. Google engineer Penny MacNeil thanked security researchers for the effort …
Darren Pauli, 05 Mar 2015

'Domain shadowing' hijacks registrar accounts to spawn attack sites

Fiends behind the world's most infamous exploit kit Angler are stealing login credentials to create tens of thousands of pop-up domains used in hit-and-run -style attacks. The new attacks are dubbed 'Domain Shadowing' and represent the latest evolution of online crime in which scores of web sites are set up to compromise victims …
Darren Pauli, 05 Mar 2015

D-Link removes fingers from ears, preps mass router patch

Domestic router Daddy D-Link is patching dangerous remote access flaws in several models of its networking gear. The patches follow a round of zero-day disclosures by Canadian researcher Peter Adkins early this week, after D-Link allegedly cut communication while he quietly disclosed the flaws. The most severe flaw allowed …
Darren Pauli, 04 Mar 2015

Botched NBN installs leave folks with no internet, or recourse

Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Simon Cohen says the agency can do little to help subscribers dealing with broken National Broadband Network (NBN) installations. While the agency can flag complaints with NBN Co, the entity building and operating the NBN, it appears unable to do anything to force the utility to …
Darren Pauli, 04 Mar 2015

Marlinspike brings end-to-end crypto texts to iOS

Privacy bods can snub Cupertino's iMessage and instead encrypt their Apple iTexts using Moxie Marlinspike's Signal 2.0, released for iOS today. The latest version from the dreadlocked crypto fancier and Co will slap end-to-end encryption on text messages using the TextSecure protocol sent between Signal 2.0 clients. Encrypted …
Darren Pauli, 03 Mar 2015

50 shades of grey can turn Adobe Reader into a hot mess

Hackers can duck antivirus programs and execute malware in Adobe Reader by using greyscale images, says Danish security boffin Dénes Óvári. Lossy compression is thought to be susceptible to the DCTDecode filter, which should nuke malware woven into images and blunt this form of attack. However new intelligence published in the …
Darren Pauli, 03 Mar 2015

$250K: That's what Lenovo earned to RAT YOU OUT with Superfish

Lenovo bagged a paltry US$250,000 from the deal that saw it install the Superfish certificate slurper onto PCs, according to reports. The PC maker was last month caught installing the ad/bloat/malware into its consumer PCs, sparking a very considerable backlash once the software's ability to intercept encrypted website …
Darren Pauli, 03 Mar 2015

Twitter triples abuse team, knocks dox

Twitter has tripled the size of its abuse support team after the number of reports it handled increased five-fold in six months thanks to an expansion of harassment controls. The company did not specify the headcount increase, nor the number of reports. El Reg has requested the information. The number of reports may rise …
Darren Pauli, 02 Mar 2015

Bad movie: Hackers can raid networks with burnt Blu-Rays

British hacker Stephen Tomkinson has found two Blu-Ray-borne attacks. His first exploit relies on a poor Java implementation in a product called PowerDVD from CyberLink. PowerDVD plays DVDs on PCs and creates menus using Java, but the way Oracle's code has been used allows naughty folk to circumvent Windows security controls. …
Darren Pauli, 02 Mar 2015
Kim Dotcom

It's a Mega blast: PayPal drops Dotcom's Mega

PayPal has pulled support for Kim Dotcom's Mega. Dotcom claims the decision was made following pressure on Paypal from Visa and Mastercard. Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard have been contacted for comment. In a statement Paypal refused to elaborate on the grounds of customer privacy saying only that it terminated the relationship …
Darren Pauli, 02 Mar 2015

BitDefender bit trip slaps 'valid' on revoked certs

Bitdefender is set to fix a security flaw in its products that meant revoked certificates for potentially malicious sites could be replaced with legitimate ones. The problem, which the security vendor considered a low-level threat, arose when revoked certificates were replaced with a BitDefender certificate for the purpose of …
Darren Pauli, 01 Mar 2015

CloudFlare crypto gets faster on old mobes

Popular denial of service deflection platform CloudFlare is deploying new speedy cipher suites previously championed by Google, maths boffin Nick Sullivan says. The ChaCha-Poly1305 cipher is three times faster than the resource heavy AES-128-GCM cipher and was not subject to attacks against RC4, Sullivan (@grittygrease) says, …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015
casino_security

Iran hacks America where it hurts: Las Vegas casinos

US director of National Intelligence James Clapper has accused Iran of orchestrating a 2014 hack of the Las Vegas Sands casino. The attack crippled the magnificent cultural institution's IT infrastructure. Clapper told a US Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday (US time) that the hack of the US$14 billion casino was the …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy book cover

Alleged Aussie Anon hauled in for Indonesia phone tap hacking spat

A Melbourne man has been charged with instigating an Indonesian-led hack of Australian intelligence websites as an alleged member of the Anonymous collective. Matthew John Hutchison, 21, faced Melbourne Magistrates Court this week over allegations he convinced Indonesian Anonymous hackers angry over October 2013 revelations that …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015

Firefox 36 swats bugs, adds HTTP2 and gets certifiably serious

Mozilla has outfoxed three critical and six high severity flaws in its latest round of patches for its flagship browser. It stomps out memory safety bugs, exploitable use-after-free crashes, and a buffer overflow. Of the critical crashes, bad guys could potentially craft attacks targeting MP4 video playback through a buffer …
Darren Pauli, 26 Feb 2015

And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

Apple's operating systems and Linux racked up more vulnerability reports than Windows during 2014, according to research from security outfit GFI. Cupertino's OS X and iOS platforms topped the 2014 bug charts with 147 and 127 holes disclosed in each, nudging out the Linux Kernel with 119 flagged flaws, the National Vulnerability …
Darren Pauli, 26 Feb 2015
Smilin' Marv

P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

Up to a million WordPress websites could be open to full compromise through a vulnerability in the WP-Slimstat plug-in, security bod Marc-Alexandre Montpas says. The weak key flaw can expose admin credentials; bad news for the folks who've downloaded the plug-in 1.3 million times. A patched version of the plug-in has been …
Darren Pauli, 26 Feb 2015
Dog's backside and tail

Bad dog! PrivDog chews HTTPS, hurls clear text

Sysadmin Hanno Böck has scratched a few more holes in the PrivDog privacy tool, reporting it tracks and sends in clear text a users' visited web URLs to creator AdTrustMedia. The company says the data is anonymous and is used to help prevent attacks such as click fraud, to identify automated bots, and other unspecified threats, …
Darren Pauli, 26 Feb 2015

Zeus scumbag infects itself, buddies, with rival Trojan

A Zeus hacker cabal has infected itself and its colleagues with a rival malware in an act of poetic justice noticed by RSA researcher Lior Ben-Porat. The blackhat developed a custom Zeus panel for the infamous trojan by the same name which was found compromised Ramnit worm. Ben-Porat says the malware muck up happened after the …
Darren Pauli, 25 Feb 2015

Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Google is vastly expanding its popular annual Pwnium hack fest, by allowing hackers to vie try for limitless amounts of cash every day of the year. The contest was previously held once a year at the CanSecWest conference in Canada, with millions in cash on offer to hackers who can take the shine off its Chromium project. The …
Darren Pauli, 25 Feb 2015

Visa's tokenisation scheme to debut in Australia

Australian and European shoppers will be able to use a throwaway Visa card token to shop online in a bid to reduce fraud. The scheme is being rolled out across Australia and Europe to Visa-allied banks and merchants. Shoppers will be issued tokens that will be matched to their cards. Validated transactions will map tokens to …
Darren Pauli, 25 Feb 2015

Redmond boffins build coffins for exploit kits

Microsoft boffins have crafted what they say is the world's first platform specifically designed to kill exploit kits. The tool goes by the name "Kizzle" and is a fast signature compiler that targeted the common practise of code-reuse by malware authors, and could generate identifying signatures weeks ahead of current anti-virus …
Darren Pauli, 24 Feb 2015

Cert-slurping security firms chop super-fishy features

Security companies Lavasoft and AdTrustMedia, have been found using the SSL slurping certificate - or something very similar - made infamous by the Lenovo-Superfish debacle. Lavasoft used the certificate in its web inspection software Ad-Aware Web Companion and the Alpha testing version of AdBlocker. The software was restricted …
Darren Pauli, 24 Feb 2015

Burning Man hackers get burnt

Hundreds of entrepreneurial and impatient hackers have exploited a loophole to purchase early tickets to the Burning Man festival. Geeks meddled with Ticketfly's first-in-best-dressed system to jump the queue and push in ahead of the hordes hoping to attend the counter-cultural event. The Cosmic Corporation, the event's …
Darren Pauli, 24 Feb 2015

Debian on track to prove binaries' origins

Debian is on its way to becoming what could be the first operating system to prove the origin of its binaries, technologist Micah Lee says. The feat will allow anyone to independently confirm that Debian binaries were built from a reported source package. So far a project team devoted to confirming the reproducibility of builds …
Darren Pauli, 23 Feb 2015

Leaky battery attack reveals the paths you walk in life

More than 100 mobile apps leak users' location regardless of whether they opt to keep the information private, according to researchers. Power consumption data is the source of the leaks, which make it possible to determine users' whereabouts with 90 percent accuracy. A quartet from Stanford University and Israeli defence …
Darren Pauli, 23 Feb 2015

Mozilla mulls Superfish torpedo

Firefox-maker Mozilla may neuter the likes of Superfish by blacklisting dangerous root certificates revealed less than a week ago to be used in Lenovo laptops. The move will be another blow against Superfish, which is under a sustained barrage of criticism for its use of a root certificate to launch man-in-the-middle attacks …
Darren Pauli, 23 Feb 2015

Hackers now popping Cisco VPN portals

Crackers are popping customised Cisco virtual private networks, stealing credentials and spraying malware using a flaw reported by Aussie hacker Alec Stuart-Muirk, the company warns. Organisations running the Cisco Clientless SSL VPN portal in customised configurations risk attack if they do not update to versions released 8 …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2015
Cloud security image

Horrors of murky TrueCrypt to be probed once more

The gears of the TrueCrypt audit have whirred into life overnight with boffins poised to again probe the open source crypto tool after nearly a year of waiting. A tiny team will fondle the tool's random number generators, cipher suites and key algorithms in a bid to pull the internet's favourite crypto suite out of the pariah …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2015

Shodan boss finds 250,000 routers have common keys

More than 250,000 routers used in Spain, and thousands more used in other countries, are using the same SSH key says Shodan kingpin John Matherly. The routers appear to be sold by Telefónica de España, according to Matherly, and are pre-configured with a single operating system image. The gaffe means the probable small …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2015
Close-up of the flu virus (artist's impression) - Shutterstock

Google unleashes tame botnet to hunt XSS in cloudy code

Google has unleashed its own application security scanner, potentially rescuing admins from 'fiddly' existing offerings. The scanner will check code running in App Engine for cross-site scripting (XSS) and mixed content vulnerabilities. Choc Factory engineering head Rob Mann says its scanner uses its Compute Engine to forge a …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2015

So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

+Comment Chinese PC maker Lenovo has published instructions on how to scrape off the Superfish adware it installed on its laptops – but still bizarrely insists it has done nothing wrong. That's despite rating the severity of the deliberate infection as "high" on its own website. Well played, Lenonope. Superfish was bundled on new Lenovo …
Bitcoins

Canuck Bitcoin exchange gives up after security SNAFU

Canadian Bitcoin exchange Cavirtex, said to be the country's largest, will shut its doors after its two factor authentication credentials were probably compromised. The breach, spotted last Sunday, affected two factor secrets and hashed passwords stored in an older database and did not match log in details to identification …
Darren Pauli, 19 Feb 2015

Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

Lenovo is in hot water after being caught intentionally shipping laptops with software that steals web traffic using man-in-the-middle attacks. The "Superfish" software was present on laptops sold until late last month and stole all manner of web traffic using fake, self-signed, root certificates to inject advertisements into …
Darren Pauli, 19 Feb 2015

This one weird script continually crashes Android email

The email application of Samsung Galaxy 4 Minis can be made to repeatedly crash with a simple email that need not even be opened, according to researcher Hector Marco. A crafted email gobbled up by the native email client running on Android 4.2.2.0400, a superseded operating system that was the latest stock offering for the S4 …
Darren Pauli, 19 Feb 2015

Microsoft updates Outlook app security, but haters still gunna hate

Microsoft has upgraded the security controls of its mobile Outlook app to allow credentials to be kept on its servers rather than Amazon's. Security upgrades detailed in a Redmond blog include PIN lock enforcement and faster remote wiping of application data, some of which will be deployed in coming months, along with …
Darren Pauli, 19 Feb 2015

Raspberry Pi, meet face: You're probably NOT Blighty's biggest PC maker!

The Raspberry Pi Foundation today announced it has sold its five-millionth machine, and said that in so doing it could claim the crown as the UK's best-selling computer ever. That the Pi guys have done well is not in dispute, but the Reg archives cast doubt on the claim it's now the best-selling Brit computer ever. As we wrote …
Darren Pauli, 18 Feb 2015

Jamie Oliver serves up steaming pile of malware

Tousle-haired celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has served up a stomach-churning exploit kit to those who visit his web site. His eponymous .com site, ranked 519 in the UK and drawing some 10 million visitors a month was compromised to plate-up the foul-tasting Fiesta exploit kit to compromise user machines. Malwarebytes senior …
Darren Pauli, 18 Feb 2015
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

Cast your vote for the best community speaker at the Sydney VMUG conference

POLL The Register is proud to be helping out with this year's Sydney VMUG user conference, by hosting this poll for the day's best speaker. Voting is easy: just pick your favourite in the widget below. We'll close the poll before the big reveal! Vote early, vote once, and vote with your heart! Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo …
Darren Pauli, 18 Feb 2015

Security hawker gives the bird to mid-east hack group

A team of attackers tagged by Kaspersky as the first "advanced Arab hackers" has passed around malware targeting Middle East governments, the military and others. So far 100 malware samples attributed to the group have been tagged, the hacker branding consultancy claims. Kaspersky Labs researchers revealed the attacks at the …
Darren Pauli, 18 Feb 2015
"Image from the glassbrain project, neuroscapelab.com, UCSF

DARPA's 'Cortical Modem' will plug straight into your BRAIN

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a brain interface it hopes could inject images directly into the visual cortex. news of the "Cortical Modem" project has emerged in transhumanist magazine Humanity Plus, which reports the agency is working on a direct neural interface (DNI) chip that could be …
Darren Pauli, 17 Feb 2015

Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

Privacy International (PI) is calling on people to sign up to be part of a mass request for confirmation they have been spied on by Five Eyes spy agencies and to demand the removal of captured information. Would-be signatories are being asked to submit their name and email address to the organisation, which will then pass them …
Darren Pauli, 17 Feb 2015

Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

The US National Security Agency (NSA) infected hard disk firmware with spyware in a campaign valued as highly as Stuxnet that dates back at least 14 years and possibly up to two decades – all according to an analysis by Kaspersky Labs. The campaign infected possibly tens of thousands of Windows computers in telecommunications …
Darren Pauli, 17 Feb 2015

Hackers fear arms control pact makes exporting flaws illegal

Export regulations that threaten to hinder vulnerability research and exploit development have put hackers on edge ahead of the annual Pwn2Own contest. Operators of the hack-fest have reportedly issued an email warning to researchers to obtain legal advice about how the Wassenaar Arrangement, a 42-nation effort aimed at " …
Darren Pauli, 16 Feb 2015