Google’s contest at the CanSecWest conference:
Today we’re announcing our third Pwnium competitionPwnium 3. Google Chrome is already featured in the Pwn2Own competition this year, so Pwnium 3 will have a new focus: Chrome OS.
We’ll issue Pwnium 3 rewards for Chrome OS at the following levels, up to a total of $3.14159 million USD:
- $110,000: browser or system level compromise in guest mode or as a logged-in user, delivered via a web page.
- $150,000: compromise with device persistence—guest to guest with interim reboot, delivered via a web page.
We believe these larger rewards reflect the additional challenge involved with tackling the security defenses of Chrome OS, compared to traditional operating systems.
Posted on February 7, 2013 at 6:35 AM •
All RuggedCom equipment comes with a built-in backdoor:
The backdoor, which cannot be disabled, is found in all versions of the Rugged Operating System made by RuggedCom, according to independent researcher Justin W. Clarke, who works in the energy sector. The login credentials for the backdoor include a static username, “factory,” that was assigned by the vendor and can’t be changed by customers, and a dynamically generated password that is based on the individual MAC address, or media access control address, for any specific device.
This seems like a really bad idea.
No word from the company about whether they’re going to replace customer units.
EDITED TO ADD (5/11): RuggedCom’s response.
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:24 AM •
Turns out the password can be easily bypassed:
XRY works by first jailbreaking the handset. According to Micro Systemation, no ‘backdoors’ created by Apple used, but instead it makes use of security flaws in the operating system the same way that regular jailbreakers do.
Once the iPhone has been jailbroken, the tool then goes on to ‘brute-force’ the passcode, trying every possible four digit combination until the correct password has been found. Given the limited number of possible combinations for a four-digit passcode—10,000, ranging from 0000 to 9999—this doesn’t take long.
Once the handset has been jailbroken and the passcode guessed, all the data on the handset, including call logs, messages, contacts, GPS data and even keystrokes, can be accessed and examined.
One of the morals is to use an eight-digit passcode.
EDITED TO ADD (4/13): This has been debunked. The 1Password blog has a fairly lengthy post discussing the details of the XRY tool.
Posted on April 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM •
The NSA has released its specification for a secure Android.
One of the interesting things it’s requiring is that all data be tunneled through a secure VPN:
Inter-relationship to Other Elements of the Secure VoIP System
The phone must be a commercial device that supports the ability to pass data over a commercial cellular network. Standard voice phone calls, with the exception of emergency 911 calls, shall not be allowed. The phone must function on US CDMA & GSM networks and OCONUS on GSM networks with the same functionality.
All data communications to/from the mobile device must go through the VPN tunnel to the VPN gateway in the infrastructure; no other communications in or out of the mobile device are permitted.
Applications on the phone additionally encrypt their communications to servers in infrastructure, or to other phones; all those communications must be tunneled through the VPN.
The more I look at mobile security, the more I think a secure tunnel is essential.
Posted on March 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM •
There’s a new version:
The latest TDL-4 version of the rootkit, which is used as a persistent backdoor to install other types of malware, infected 4.52 million machines in the first three months of this year, according to a detailed technical analysis published Wednesday by antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab. Almost a third of the compromised machines were located in the United States. With successful attacks on US-based PCs fetching premium fees, those behind the infections likely earned $250,000 on that demographic alone.
TDL-4 is endowed with an array of improvements over TDL-3 and previous versions of the rootkit, which is also known as Alureon or just TDL. As previously reported, it is now able to infect 64-bit versions of Windows by bypassing the OS’s kernel mode code signing policy, which was designed to allow drivers to be installed only when they have been digitally signed by a trusted source. Its ability to create ad-hoc DHCP servers on networks also gives the latest version new propagation powers.
Posted on July 1, 2011 at 12:08 PM •
AppFence is a technology—with a working prototype—that protects personal information on smart phones. It does this by either substituting innocuous information in place of sensitive information or blocking attempts by the application to send the sensitive information over the network.
The significance of systems like AppFence is that they have the potential to change the balance of power in privacy between mobile application developers and users. Today, application developers get to choose what information an application will have access to, and the user faces a take-it-or-leave-it proposition: users must either grant all the permissions requested by the application developer or abandon installation. Take-it-or-leave it offers may make it easier for applications to obtain access to information that users don’t want applications to have. Many applications take advantage of this to gain access to users’ device identifiers and location for behavioral tracking and advertising. Systems like AppFence could make it harder for applications to access these types of information without more explicit consent and cooperation from users.
The problem is that the mobile OS providers might not like AppFence. Google probably doesn’t care, but Apple is one of the biggest consumers of iPhone personal information. Right now, the prototype only works on Android, because it requires flashing the phone. In theory, the technology can be made to work on any mobile OS, but good luck getting Apple to agree to it.
Posted on June 24, 2011 at 6:37 AM •
All I know is what’s in these two blog posts from Elcomsoft. Note that they didn’t break AES-256; they figured out how to extract the keys from the hardware (iPhones, iPads). The company “will be releasing the product implementing this functionality for the exclusive use of law enforcement, forensic and intelligence agencies.”
Posted on May 27, 2011 at 6:04 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.