Articles about Exploits

Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default

The latest release of the Firefox web browser, version 26, now blocks Java software on all websites by default unless the user specifically authorizes the Java plugin to run. The change has been a long time coming. The Mozilla Foundation had originally planned to make click-to-run the default for all versions of the Java plugin …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013

NSA spooks tooled up with zero-day PC security exploits from the FRENCH

The NSA bought specialist computer hacking tools and research from French security outfit Vupen, according to documents unearthed using the Freedom of Information Act. A contract shows the American spooks paid for a year's supply of zero-day vulnerability information and the software needed to exploit those flaws to attack …
John Leyden, 17 Sep 2013

Vulns, exploits, hacks: Trusteer touts tech to terminate troubles

Infosec 2013 Trusteer is expanding from its speciality of providing transaction protection security to financial institutions with an enterprise-level product designed to guard against zero-day exploits and social engineering. Unpatched application vulnerabilities in widely deployed endpoint applications (such as web browsers) can be given …
John Leyden, 24 Apr 2013
More flaws found in Java

It's about time: Java update includes tool for blocking drive-by exploits

Oracle's latest update to the Java SE Development Kit (JDK) version 7 adds new security features designed to help businesses avoid being stung by critical vulnerabilities in out-of-date versions of Java. After a string of embarrassing Java security flaws was disclosed by independent researchers, Oracle has made addressing …
Neil McAllister, 13 Sep 2013
Scrooge McDuck

Frontier wipes credit of Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' badboys

Players of the game Elite: Dangerous who were made overnight "billionaires" due to a credit refund glitch will get their "winnings" wiped, the game's maker, Frontier Developments, has said. Initially the company offered the affected "commanders" a choice over whether they kept their loot or had their credit reset in order to …
Kat Hall, 08 Jan 2015
The Register breaking news

Samsung's smart TVs 'wide open' to exploits

Samsung's Smart TV has a vulnerability which allows remote attackers to swipe data, according to security researchers. Malta-based security start-up ReVuln claims to have discovered a zero-day vulnerability affecting Smart TV, in particularly a Samsung TV LED 3D. Smart TV can be used to browse the internet, use social networks …
John Leyden, 12 Dec 2012

Dangerous NTP hole ruins your Chrissy lunch

Critical holes have been reported in the implementation of the network time protocol (NTP) that could allow unsophisticated attackers root access on servers. System administrators may need to forego the Christmas beers and roasted beasts until they've updated NTP daemons running versions 4.2.8 and below. The grinch bug was …
Darren Pauli, 22 Dec 2014
The Register breaking news

Crims prefer old exploits: Microsoft

While media around the world are excited by the announcement of every new zero-day vulnerabilities, attackers yawn, according to Microsoft. Presenting Volume 11 of its Security Intelligence Report at the RSA Conference in Europe on October 11, Microsoft pointed out that less than one percent of the attacks its report identified …

Pay-by-bonk chip lets hackers pop all your favourite phones

Blood is flowing on the floor of the Pwn2Own challenge slaughterhouse, after whitehats hacked their way through an Apple iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG Nexus 5 and Amazon Fire, most often by using Near Field Communications. The annual contest backed by HP, BlackBerry and Google, and run by HP's Zero Day Initiative …
Darren Pauli, 13 Nov 2014

Oracle releases July patch batch... with 27 fixes for remote exploits

Oracle has pushed out a quarterly patch batch of 89 updates that mean almost all of its enterprise software products need updating for one reason or another. Craig Young, a security researcher at Tripwire, noted that most of the vulnerabilities were picked up by third-party researchers. “The constant drumbeat of critical Oracle …
John Leyden, 17 Jul 2013
The Office

Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack

The dangers of allowing Office macros have been underlined by a newly discovered attack against European and Israeli companies. Malicious Office macros were used as the launchpad of the so-called RocketKitten attacks presented at this year's Chaos Communication Congress hacking conference (stream here, relevant material starts …
John Leyden, 31 Dec 2014
Ancient skull found in cave in northern Laos

Siemens issues emergency SCADA patch

Got Siemens SCADA? Get patching: the company has issued updates for software using its WinCC application to plug a bunch of remotely-exploitable vulnerabilities. According to the ICS-CERT advisory, versions of the company's SIMANTIC WinCC, SIMANTIC PCS7 and TIA Portal V13 (which includes a WinCC runtime) are all vulnerable. …
Stuxnet

Oi! Rip Van Winkle: PATCH, already

Nearly 20 million computers remain infected with malware targeting a vulnerability first targeted four years ago by the Stuxnet worm. The flaw (CVE-2010-2568) was a Windows operating system bug in the way shortcuts worked allowing quiet download of the random dynamic library on Win Server 2003 and XP through to version 7. Since …
Darren Pauli, 20 Aug 2014
Fraud image

Webcam-snooping spawn of ZeuS hits 150 banks worldwide

The latest evolution of the online bank account raiding Trojan ZeuS is the webcam-spying Chthonic malware, according to researchers. Chthonic infects Windows PCs, and allows criminals to connect to the compromised PC remotely and command it to carry out fraudulent transactions. The software nasty is targeting customers of more …
John Leyden, 19 Dec 2014
Facebook security

Facebook slings $50k Internet Defense Prize™ at bug hunter duo

Facebook and Usenix have together created the Internet Defense Prize™ – and awarded its first gong to security bods Johannes Dahse and Thorsten Holz. The pair, of Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, received $50,000 from Facebook's prize-giving committee for their paper, Static Detection of Second-Order Vulnerabilities in Web …
Darren Pauli, 21 Aug 2014

Noooo... WAIT. Google slaps on Chrome patches ahead of Pwn2Own hackfest

Pwn2Own Google trowelled plaster over seven security cracks in Chrome on Tuesday, a day before the browser became one of the targets at the annual Pwn2Own hacking competition. The latest cross platform security update for Chrome fixed four "high" severity flaws and three lesser bugs. Three of the four high profile bugs were discovered …
John Leyden, 13 Mar 2014

Dev put AWS keys on Github. Then BAD THINGS happened

Bots are crawling all over GitHub seeking secret keys, a developer served with a $2,375 Bitcoin mining bill found. DevFactor founder Andrew Hoffman said he used Figaro to secure Rails apps which published his Amazon S3 keys to his GitHub account. He noticed the blunder and pulled the keys within five minutes, but that was …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jan 2015

Adobe finds, patches ANOTHER exploited Flash 0day

Another exploited zero-day vulnerability has been uncovered and patched in Adobe Flash, 24 hours after a second flaw in the popular web trinket was found being used in attack kits. Adobe is examining yesterday's zero day, picked up by French researcher Kafeine who spotted it after analysing a version of the popular Angler …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jan 2015
Good riddance to bad Java

Now even Internet Explorer will throw lousy old Java into the abyss

Internet Explorer will soon join its rival browsers by automatically blocking old, insecure add-ons – and it's got its eye set squarely on Java. Microsoft said on Wednesday that starting on August 12, Internet Explorer will begin alerting users when web pages try to launch ActiveX controls that are considered out-of-date and …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2014

Sucker for punishment? Join Sony's security team

Sony is seeking a steely-willed vulnerability management director in the wake of its thorough hosing by unknown attackers. The beleaguered media giant posted an online advertisement Friday seeking a security bod boasting a decade's hacking experience to, among other things, "Unify and enhance Sony’s global information security …
Darren Pauli, 23 Dec 2014
GHOST vulnerability

BOO! Grave remote-code exec flaw in GNU C Library TERRIFIES Linux

Security researchers have uncovered a critical bug in the GNU C Library (glibc), a key component of Linux and some other operating systems, which could render countless machines vulnerable to remote code execution attacks. The flaw, which was discovered by Qualys and assigned CVE-2015-0235, is known as the GHOST vulnerability …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jan 2015

Adobe Reader sandbox popped says Google researcher

The Acrobat Reader Windows sandbox contains a vulnerability that could allow attackers to break out and gain higher privileges, Google security bod James Forshaw claims. The NTFS junction attack is a "race condition" in the handling of the MoveFileEx call hook Forshaw said. While unpatched, subsequent September updates made the …
Darren Pauli, 27 Nov 2014
balaclava_thief_burglar

Cisco: Hey, IT depts. You're all malware hosts

Everybody – at least every multinational that Cisco checked out for its 2014 Annual Security Report – is hosting malware of some kind, and there aren't enough security professionals to go around. Along with its Managed Threat Defense service launched this week, Cisco also launched the latest publication (here with registration) …
Privacy image

Flaw in Google's Dropcam sees it turned into SPYCAM

Hackers could inject fake video into popular home surveillance kit Dropcam and use the system to attack networks, researchers Patrick Wardle and Colby Moore say. The wide-ranging attacks were tempered by the need for attackers to have physical access to the devices but the exploits offer the chance to inject video frames into …
Darren Pauli, 15 Jul 2014

Cisco patches three-year-old remote code-execution hole

A three-year-old dangerous remote code execution hole affecting Cisco kit has been patched. Researcher Glafkos Charalambous discovered the Telnet vulnerability (CVE-2011-4862), which was first reported by the FreeBSD Project in 2011. It was left unpatched up prior to 15 October this year in Cisco appliances. The International …
Darren Pauli, 24 Oct 2014

Hacker publishes tech support phone scammer slammer

Security pro Matthew Weeks has released a Metasploit module that can take over computers running the Ammyy Admin remote control software popular among "Hi this is Microsoft, there's a problem with your computer" tech support scammers. Weeks' day job is director at Root9b, but he's taken time to detail a zero-day flaw in Ammyy …
Darren Pauli, 12 Sep 2014
Old computer

Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS

Security outlet VUPEN has revealed it held onto a critical Internet Explorer vulnerability for three years before disclosing it at the March Pwn2Own hacker competition. The company wrote in a disclosure last week it discovered the vulnerability (CVE-2014-2777) on 12 February 2011 which was patched by Microsoft on 17 June (MS14- …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jul 2014
Routers

Belkin flings out patch after Metasploit module turns guests to admins

Belkin has patched a vulnerability in a dual band router that allowed attackers on guest networks to gain root access using an automated tool. The flaw reported overnight targeted the Belkin N750 dual-band router – which was launched in 2011 and is still sold by the company and other commerce sites. IntegrityPT consultant Marco …
Darren Pauli, 07 Nov 2014
Australia China

Latest IE flaw being actively exploited

AusCERT April's Internet Explorer flaw is being exploited, with at least two listed Australian entities targeted by a sophisticated foreign hacking outfit. The organisations were targeted in a campaign that foisted the Internet Explorer exploits (MS14-021) at high end corporations three days after the dangerous flaws were exposed. …
Darren Pauli, 15 May 2014

VXers Shellshocking embedded BusyBox boxen

Malware writers have crafted new wares to attack embedded devices running BusyBox and not yet patched against the ShellShock vulnerability, researcher Rhena Inocencio says. Miscreants' tool of choice for such attacks is malware called "Bashlite" that, once executed on a victim machine, probes for devices such as routers and …
Darren Pauli, 17 Nov 2014

Zombie POODLE wanders in, cocks leg on TLS

Google might have taken POODLE to a distant country road, let it out and driven away fast, but according to Qualys, the vulnerability has returned, repurposed, as an attack on Transaction Layer Security (TLS). Designated CVE-2014-8730, the new attack vector exploits the same class of problem as POODLE: an error in the handling …

Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email

Yet another round of Shellshock attacks is emerging, according to the SANS Internet Storm Center – this time, botnets are tapping hosts over SMTP. At the moment, the report is sparse, with the ISC diary post stating merely that Shellshock exploit attempts are travelling over the mail protocol because “the sources so far have all …
windows 7 image

Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

Microsoft has left Windows 7 exposed by only applying patches to its newest operating systems. Researchers found the gaps after they scanned 900 Windows libraries and uncovered a variety of security functions that were updated in Windows 8 but not in 7. They said the shortcoming could lead to the discovery of zero day …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jun 2014

Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

A dispute has arisen about the seriousness of a vulnerability in Linux, dubbed "Grinch", that supposedly creates a privilege escalation risk. The flaw resides in the Linux authorisation system, which can unintentionally allow privilege escalation, granting a user “root", or full administrative, access. “With full root access, …
John Leyden, 19 Dec 2014
Apple_iPad_001_SM

iPad racketeers' high wire exploits falter

Chinese smugglers have been caught transporting a host of Apple goods over a zip-line into Hong Kong in a bid to profit from tax differences. Using a crossbow, the perpetrators fired a fishing line from a skyscraper in Shenzhen over the Sha Tau Kok river and into a small house in Hong Kong. The team then filled nylon bags full …
Caleb Cox, 08 Aug 2011
angler exploit kit 1

Silverlight finally becomes popular ... with crims

Silverlight has become a choice target for VXers who are foisting nasty exploit kits (EKs) on users through hacked advertising networks. Attacks targeting Silverlight have spiked since 23 April as attackers look for web platforms to target now that Java and Flash have cleaned up their acts a bit. Cisco lead threat researcher …
Darren Pauli, 20 May 2014
Rubbish bin

Webmin hole allows attackers to wipe servers clean

Holes in the Webmin Unix management tool - thankfully since patched - could allow attackers to delete data on servers, says security researcher John Gordon of the University of Texas. The remote root access server tool contained vulnerabilities in newly-created cron module environment variables that could erase data through …
Darren Pauli, 11 Sep 2014

SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches

The majority of Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 companies have already deployed, or are now deploying, Shellshock patches to fend off code attacks, according to cloud security firm CloudPassage. The Shellshock vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on servers using a variety of techniques, with the CVE-2014 …
John Leyden, 29 Sep 2014

Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

One of the 1.3 million names sent into space aboard NASA's Orion test capsule was a stowaway, uploaded to NASA's database by a security researcher who found and exploited a vulnerability. The name 'Payload1 Payload2' was one of three uploaded to the NASA Orion database that collected names to be later transferred to a chip …
Darren Pauli, 08 Dec 2014

Emoticons blast three security holes in Pidgin :-(

Cisco researchers have reported a trio of vulnerabilities in popular instant messaging client Pidgin that allow for denial of service by way of emoticon abuse and remote arbitrary file creation. Researchers Yves Younan and Richard Johnson say the flaws have since been quietly patched, but rated a maximum CVSS score of 6.4 but …
Darren Pauli, 10 Nov 2014

By the power of Xbox, WE HAVE THE POWER! - Leakers publish One's SDK

An online group has released what it claims is the software development kit (SDK) for Microsoft's Xbox One console and, according to reports, may have access to games from Halo developers 343 Industries. The leakers released the kit over the festive break to encourage researchers to develop exploits required to gain full control …
Darren Pauli, 05 Jan 2015
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

I don't think you're ready for this Jelly: Google pulls support for Android WebView

Google has decided to end support for older versions of Android WebView, the default web browser on 'droid devices. This will apply to users running 4.3 or earlier versions of its Android smartphone OS. It has decided instead to invite securobods to fix the problem, saying it "welcome(d) patches with the report for …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2015

Zero-day hacking group resorts to UNICORN SMUT-SLINGING

Sysadmins who have not yet patched their Windows boxes against the 18-year-old "unicorn-like" OLE bug disclosed last month could expect a deluge of spear phishing smut from a group once confined to lofty targeted zero-day attacks. The talented APT3 group was behind widespread zero-day attacks code-named Clandestine Fox earlier …
Darren Pauli, 26 Nov 2014

Popular Science site shrugs off malicious code infection

Surfers visiting Popular Science would be well advised to check their systems following an attack that has left the site compromised and harbouring malicious code. Security firm Websense warns that visiting the site exposed surfers to the RIG exploit kit. The malicious code was removed on Wednesday, but a number of surfers may …
John Leyden, 31 Oct 2014

Revealed ... GCHQ's incredible hacking tool to sweep net for vulnerabilities: Nmap

For the past five years, British spying nerve-center GCHQ has been port scanning internet-connected computers in 27 countries – in a exhaustive hunt for systems to potentially exploit. That bombshell comes amid fresh leaks detailing the dragnet surveillance programs operated by the Five Eyes nations: America, UK, Canada, …
John Leyden, 15 Aug 2014
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden: best ... security ... educator ... EVER!

A good deal of folk aware of NSA leaker Edward Snowden have improved the security of their online activity after learning of his exploits, a large survey has found. Researchers from think tank The Centre for International Governance Innovation collected responses from 23,376 users between October and November and found 60 …
Darren Pauli, 28 Nov 2014
Sandworm vulnerability logo

SandWorm thrived thanks to botched MSFT patch says HP

Microsoft had a chance to crush the SandWorm bug before it crawled out of the dunes, but botched the job, says HP. HP says that the Windows Object Packager, which SandWorm attacks, “had suffered a similar issue in 2012 with security bulletin MS12-005. HP researcher Matt Oh goes on to write that he “found striking similarities“ …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2014

jQuery site popped to serve malware slop

The jQuery site served credential-stealing malware to scores of users who visited the website on September 18, researcher James Pleger says. The super-popular JavaScript library was used by 30 percent of websites including 70 percent of the 10,000 most popular sites which may have been compromised by the RIG exploit kit. jQuery …
Darren Pauli, 24 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Adobe preps sandboxing tech to fight exploits

Adobe has fleshed out its plans to offer sandboxing as a mechanism to limit the impact of attacks against its ubiquitous Adobe Reader PDF reader application. Available from November, Adobe Reader X will incorporate virtual sandboxing technology that will place controls on the application's ability to modify the registry or …
John Leyden, 19 Oct 2010
Evil Android

App permissions? Pah! Rogue Android soft can 'place phone calls at will'

Researchers at German security firm Curesec have identified bugs present in most versions of Android that can allow malicious applications to place phone calls, even when they lack the necessary permissions. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, rogue apps can get up to such mischief as surreptitiously dialing out to expensive …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jul 2014