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Archive for December, 2008

Now its Firefox’s and Opera’s turn (Updated)

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 19, 2008

Firefox and Opera both patched their software this week after new critical vulnerabilities were found in both.

Firefox
Mozilla Foundation Security Advisory 2008-60
Security Focus BID

Opera Security Advisories
http://www.opera.com/support/kb/view/921/
http://www.opera.com/support/kb/view/924/
http://www.opera.com/support/kb/view/920/
http://www.opera.com/support/kb/view/923/

IE Bug Update
(Computerworld) Hackers exploit IE bug with ‘insidious’ Word docs – ActiveX control in Word file downloads malware to unpatched PCs, says McAfee

MS08-078 and the SDL – The MSDN blog has released an analysis of the recent zero day bug of IE. In the end, the author states, “I think this bug is a great example of ‘you will never get the code 100% right, so multiple defenses are critical.'”


⌘+⇧+L and other useful OS X hidden features – Not Security related but I thought that some Mac heads might find this useful.


(Security Park) 44 per cent of EU SMBs have been attacked by cyber criminals
Adobe Flash Player for Linux Security Bulletin and Update
(Heise Security) Keyloggers under the microscope – A team assembled by honeynet specialist Thorsten Holz from the University of Mannheim has published a case study of banking trojans, keyloggers and their dropzones. “Learning More About the Underground Economy: A Case-Study of Keyloggers and Dropzones” is available for download here.
(Security Park) Mobile Phone Security Tips

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Microsoft Issues Patch to Close Zero Day Hole

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 18, 2008

Microsoft has issued an unscheduled patch to close the security hole in IE in its MS08-078 Security Bulletin.


A Security Park report states that according to Panda Security, there has been as much malware in the first months of ’08 as the last 17 years combined.

Related links:
SANS published a 61 page whitepaper by Mark Baggett, GCIH, on the Effectiveness of Anti-Virus vs Metasploit Payloads
Anti-Virus Rants Blog


Computerworld Security lists 3 simple ways to protect from Social Networking Malware: 1. Have a stronger password, 2. Be wary of 3rd party apps 3. Beware of user generated SPAM.

Now I’m wondering if there are tips out there regarding Friendster since they obviously have a problem with the SPAM I’ve been getting from a couple of users.


CDW has a 2 page whitepaper on Making the Case for Security Spending


UPI.com Homeland and National Security Editor Shaun Waterman wrote about the questionable effectiveness of FISMA in real world use. The article states that the US Justice Dept got a grade of A-, because FISMA is primarily concerned with “ensuring that all agencies ‘have policies and procedures to enhance the security of information in their IT systems. [however FISMA does] ‘not assess whether the Department has actually implemented these processes, nor did it assess the actual security of the Department’s IT systems.'”


The US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) recommends a Cybersecurity model based on Nuclear Nonproliferation. This is because of the seriousness and complexity of cyberthreats, which require a coordinated approach that spans agency jurisdictions, borders and sectors.

See earlier Post for the CSIS report


Update on Browser Password Management Security

In the test by Chapin Information Services (CIS) Opera and Firefox each passed seven of 21 tests, IE passed five tests, and Safari and Chrome each passed two tests.

(The Register) Browser Password Security Test
(Chapin Info Services) Google Chrome receives lowest Password Security Score


Other Security News.
(Bank Info Security) Where the Jobs Are: 5 Hot Career Tips for 2009
(Bank Info Security) Top Certifications for Industry Pros

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Mostly Browser News, Dec 16, 2008

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 16, 2008

A couple of news items regarding browser security have been cropping up these days, mostly about Internet Explorer vulnerabilities.

(Heise) Zero day exploit for Internet Explorer is spreading
(Heise) Internet Explorer 6 and 8 also affected by zero-day vulnerability
(SC Mag US) Internet Explorer zero-day infection rates grow
(SC Mag US) New zero-day Internet Explorer exploit uncovered

One of the ways this risk can be mitigated (aside from not using IE) is removing Admin rights. Beyondtrust gives a webinar on how to eliminate Admin rights using their Privilege Manger here. For typical SOHO users, just make a limited user account and as much as possible, try not to use your Admin account.

For people that aren’t paranoid enough surfing the web and having the appropriate controls while doing so, this article on Heise Security online talks about the Fiesta exploit pack (yes the name is correct) which costs $850 and contains 25 different exploits designed to infect users when they VISIT a webpage.

A different article on the same website talks about Chrome being at the bottom in terms of password management. I personally do not recommend allowing your browser to remember passwords. Google Chrome fans might want to check out the Iron Browser which is a more secure version of Chrome. Speaking of Chrome being the most insecure browser for password management… Google has released a browser security handbook which talks about the security features of browsers and issues that could lead to weaknesses. The current version of the handbook covers IE 6, IE 7, Firefox 2, Firefox 3, Safari 3.2, Opera 9.62, Google Chrome 1.0.154.36 and the Android embedded browser.


Other InfoSec News:
(Times Online UK Blog) This woman sent Nigerian scam artists $400,000 – a fool or a victim?
(Computerworld) Apple patches 21 Mac OS X Vulnerabilities
(BBC) Inmate escapes German jail in box
(Wall Street Journal March 10, 2008 article) NSA’s Domestic Spying
(SC Mag US) Forecast: Security threats for 2009
(SC Mag US) The five myths of two-factor authentication


Posted in Awareness, News, social engineering | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Info Sec News, Dec 8, 2008 Updated

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 8, 2008

Upcoming details for this month’s Patch Tuesday can be found in Heise Online’s Microsoft wants to close six critical holes and PC World’s Microsoft readies Eight New Security Patches.

A Secunia blog states that 98% of all PC’s aren’t fully patched as was also reported in The Register and SCMag UK. No doubt this contributes to the millions of PC’s out there that are used as zombies unbeknownst to their owners. This happens mostly because people have too much confidence in their Anti Virus in stopping all threats. I’ll write about this more in another post, as for now, you might want to check out Secunia’s freely available Personal Software Inspector to check for patches their PCs may need.

Trend Micro researchers though, say that vulnerabilities only play a minor role (5%) in attacks. And that most attacks (53%) come in the form of Social Engineering attacks wherein the user is duped into downloading malware. An example of this would be fake anti-virus products that take up the top three positions in BitDefender’s Top e-threats (Heise Security also gives the list here). Which reminds me of what Zot O’Conner said in his talk at the Renaissance Makati in late October… that you cannot design a security product to defend against a user that just clicks and accepts anything.

In related news, Security Park reports that Human error continues to be the top cause of IT security breaches primarily because individuals are given the option to bypass them.


Other Security News
Center for Strategic and International Studies publishes report on Securing Cyberspace
Distributed SSH attacks bypass blacklists
New variant of DNSChanger in mass DNS hijack
The debate resumes over Mac Security
Identity Theft breaches on the increase in the US
(Security Focus) US Commission calls for Cybersecurity Czar
(Security Park) Free malware search tool helps financial institutions identify web attacks targeting their websites
SANS Webcast on December Threat Update
SANS Webcast on What Works in Security Information and Event Management
(Linux Security) New Wireshark Packages fix Vulnerabilities
(Linux Security) Never Installed a Firewall on Ubuntu? Try Firestarter
(Linux Security) Debian: New Linux 2.6.24 packages fix several vulnerabilities
(NY Times) Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe Even in Your Computer
(Translated by Google) 21 Million German Citizen’s Account Numbers in Circulation

Posted in Change Management, News, social engineering, vulnerability assessment, Windows | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Info Sec News, Dec 4, 2008

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 4, 2008

In a series of twists, Apple has pulled out its quietly released Anti-virus technote, stating that it was old. Noted exploit hunter Charlie Miller said that it was much to do about nothing (take note that this is the same guy that won the $10k who hacked the MacBook Air in under two minutes). On the same day that story went out, a new Apple malware was announced in SecurityPark.com. I’ll take the same line as Apple spokesman Bill Evans in saying, “Since no system can be 100% immune from every threat, running anti-virus software may offer additional protection”.

Related Apple Recommends Anti-Virus stories:
Apple anti-virus advice was nothing new
Security Focus
Heise Security
Apple’s antivirus advice ‘big to-do about nothing,’ says researcher
New Apple Mac OS X malware discovered

 


 

CSO Online Interviewed Gary Hinson a few weeks ago on the future of ISO 27000

‘Dumbing down’ the security profession

Bot-wielding hackers crash eBay holiday giveaway

SonicWALL licensing snafu short-circuits protection

Online payment site hijacked by notorious crime gang

Pentagon hacker tries one more time to avoid extradition

Botnet master sees himself as next Bill Gates

U.S. report sees major terror attack by 2013, ignores cyberattack risk

Lenovo arms ThinkPads with Intel’s built-in security

High tech attacks need high tech response


Computer systems are supposedly attacked a few minutes after going online. Here’s just another story about it: IBM in New Zealand did an experiment which resulted in an unprotected system that was rendered useless in around two hours.

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Info Sec News, Dec 2, 2008

Posted by Jaime Raphael Licauco, CISSP, GSEC on December 2, 2008

A rootkit was found in an Enterprise Information Security software, reports Heise Security and The Register.

Another vulnerability was found in the popular VLC media player. So if you can, update.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a new round of cyber attacks has the Pentagon worried. They normally get a whole number of attacks per day, however, the magnitude and way the new attacks are being done are apparently designed to specifically attack military networks. Heise also covers the same topic here and here.

The Linux on iPhone project has released the first results of its project.

Anti-virus seems to be ineffective versus new malware that makes zombies out of PCs. Stuart Staniford talks about it in his blog.

WordPress update fixes XSS vulnerability.

Google denies security hole in GMail.

Microsoft adds malware detection to its Webmaster tools. Speaking of Microsoft, a new windows worm builds a massive botnet worth around half a million computers and growing.

For the first time, Apple quietly recommended Anti Virus software in a technote. About.com has Mac Anti-Virus recommendations. iAntivirus and ClamXav are free.

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