The Hacker News Logo
Subscribe to Newsletter
CrowdSec

The Hacker News - Most Trusted Cyber Security and Computer Security Analysis: Google Project Zero

Pegasus Spyware Used to Hack Devices of Pro-Democracy Activists in Thailand

Pegasus Spyware Used to Hack Devices of Pro-Democracy Activists in Thailand
July 18, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Thai activists involved in the country's pro-democracy protests have had their smartphones infected with NSO Group's infamous Pegasus government-sponsored spyware. At least 30 individuals, spanning activists, academics, lawyers, and NGO workers, are believed to have been targeted between October 2020 and November 2021, many of whom have been previously detained, arrested and imprisoned for their political activities or criticism of the government. "The timing of the infections is highly relevant to specific political events in Thailand, as well as specific actions by the Thai justice system," the Citizen Lab  said  in a Sunday report. "In many cases, for example, infections occurred slightly before protests and other political activities by the victims." The findings are the result of  threat notifications  sent by Apple last November to alert users it believes have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers. The attacks entailed the use of two zero-cl

Google Researchers Detail 5-Year-Old Apple Safari Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild

Google Researchers Detail 5-Year-Old Apple Safari Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild
June 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A security flaw in Apple Safari that was exploited in the wild earlier this year was originally fixed in 2013 and reintroduced in December 2016, according to a new report from Google Project Zero. The issue, tracked as  CVE-2022-22620  (CVSS score: 8.8), concerns a case of a use-after-free vulnerability in the WebKit component that could be exploited by a piece of specially crafted web content to gain arbitrary code execution. In early February 2022, Apple shipped patches for the bug across Safari, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, while acknowledging that it "may have been actively exploited." "In this case, the variant was completely patched when the vulnerability was initially reported in 2013," Maddie Stone of Google Project Zero  said . "However, the variant was reintroduced three years later during large refactoring efforts. The vulnerability then continued to exist for 5 years until it was fixed as an in-the-wild zero-day in January 2022." While both th

Google Project Zero Detects a Record Number of Zero-Day Exploits in 2021

Google Project Zero Detects a Record Number of Zero-Day Exploits in 2021
April 20, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Google Project Zero called 2021 a "record year for in-the-wild 0-days," as  58 security vulnerabilities  were detected and disclosed during the course of the year. The development marks more than a two-fold jump from the previous maximum when 28 0-day exploits were tracked in 2015. In contrast, only 25 0-day exploits were detected in 2020. "The large uptick in in-the-wild 0-days in 2021 is due to increased detection and disclosure of these 0-days, rather than simply increased usage of 0-day exploits," Google Project Zero security researcher  Maddie Stone   said . "Attackers are having success using the same bug patterns and exploitation techniques and going after the same attack surfaces," Stone added. The tech giant's in-house security team characterized the exploits as similar to previous and publicly known vulnerabilities, with only two of them markedly different for the technical sophistication and use of logic bugs to escape the sandbox. B

Google uncovers new iOS security feature Apple quietly added after zero-day attacks

Google uncovers new iOS security feature Apple quietly added after zero-day attacks
January 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google Project Zero on Thursday disclosed details of a new security mechanism that Apple quietly added to iOS 14 as a countermeasure to prevent attacks that were recently found to leverage zero-days in its messaging app. Dubbed " BlastDoor ," the improved sandbox system for iMessage data was disclosed by Samuel Groß, a Google Project Zero researcher tasked with studying zero-day vulnerabilities in hardware and software systems. "One of the major changes in iOS 14 is the introduction of a new, tightly sandboxed 'BlastDoor' service which is now responsible for almost all parsing of untrusted data in iMessages," Groß  said . "Furthermore, this service is written in Swift, a (mostly) memory safe language which makes it significantly harder to introduce classic memory corruption vulnerabilities into the code base." The development is a consequence of a  zero-click exploit  that leveraged an Apple iMessage flaw in iOS 13.5.1 to get around security p

Google Hacker Details Zero-Click 'Wormable' Wi-Fi Exploit to Hack iPhones

Google Hacker Details Zero-Click 'Wormable' Wi-Fi Exploit to Hack iPhones
December 01, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Google Project Zero white-hat hacker Ian Beer on Tuesday disclosed details of a now-patched critical "wormable" iOS bug that could have made it possible for a remote attacker to gain complete control of any device in the vicinity over Wi-Fi. The exploit makes it possible to "view all the photos, read all the email, copy all the private messages and monitor everything which happens on [the device] in real-time,"  said  Beer in a lengthy blog post detailing his six-month-long efforts into building a proof-of-concept single-handedly. The  flaw  (tracked as  CVE-2020-3843 ) was addressed by Apple in a series of security updates pushed as part of  iOS 13.3.1 ,  macOS Catalina 10.15.3 , and  watchOS 5.3.7  earlier this year. "A remote attacker may be able to cause unexpected system termination or corrupt kernel memory," the iPhone maker noted in its advisory, adding the "memory corruption issue was addressed with improved input validation." The v

Google Discloses 20-Year-Old Unpatched Flaw Affecting All Versions of Windows

Google Discloses 20-Year-Old Unpatched Flaw Affecting All Versions of Windows
August 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Update — With this month's patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has finally addressed this vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-1162 , by correcting how the Windows operating system handles calls to Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC). A Google security researcher has just disclosed details of a 20-year-old unpatched high-severity vulnerability affecting all versions of Microsoft Windows, back from Windows XP to the latest Windows 10. The vulnerability resides in the way MSCTF clients and server communicate with each other, allowing even a low privileged or a sandboxed application to read and write data to a higher privileged application. MSCTF is a module in Text Services Framework (TSF) of the Windows operating system that manages things like input methods, keyboard layouts, text processing, and speech recognition. In a nutshell, when you log in to your Windows machine, it starts a CTF monitor service that works as a central manager to handle communications between all c

Google Researchers Disclose PoCs for 4 Remotely Exploitable iOS Flaws

Google Researchers Disclose PoCs for 4 Remotely Exploitable iOS Flaws
July 30, 2019Wang Wei
Google's cybersecurity researchers have finally disclosed details and proof-of-concept exploits for 4 out of 5 security vulnerabilities that could allow remote attackers to target Apple iOS devices just by sending a maliciously-crafted message over iMessage. All the vulnerabilities, which required no user interaction, were responsibly reported to Apple by Samuel Groß and Natalie Silvanovich of Google Project Zero, which the company patched just last week with the release of the latest iOS 12.4 update . Four of these vulnerabilities are "interactionless" use-after-free and memory corruption issues that could let remote attackers achieve arbitrary code execution on affected iOS devices. However, researchers have yet released details and exploits for three of these four critical RCE vulnerabilities and kept one (CVE-2019-8641) private because the latest patch update did not completely address this issue. The fifth vulnerability (CVE-2019-8646), an out-of-bounds re

Latest iOS 12.1.4 Update Patches 2 Zero-Day and FaceTime Bugs

Latest iOS 12.1.4 Update Patches 2 Zero-Day and FaceTime Bugs
February 07, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Apple has finally released iOS 12.1.4 software update to patch the terrible Group FaceTime privacy bug that could have allowed an Apple user to call you via the FaceTime video chat service and hear or see you before you even pick up the call without your knowledge. The Facetime bug (CVE-2019-6223) was discovered by 14-year-old Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School while he was trying to set up a Group FaceTime session with his friends. Thompson reported the bug to the company a week before it made headlines across the internet, forcing Apple to temporarily disable the group calling feature within FaceTime. In its advisory published Thursday, Apple described the bug as "a logic issue existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls," that also impacted the group FaceTime calling feature on Apple's macOS Mojave 10.14.2. Along with Thompson, Apple has also credited Daven Morris of Arlington, Texas, in its official advisory for reporting this bug. Acc

New Spectre (Variant 4) CPU Flaw Discovered—Intel, ARM, AMD Affected

New Spectre (Variant 4) CPU Flaw Discovered—Intel, ARM, AMD Affected
May 22, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers from Microsoft and Google have discovered a fourth variant of the data-leaking Meltdown-Spectre security flaws impacting modern CPUs in millions of computers, including those marketed by Apple. Variant 4 comes weeks after German computer magazine Heise reported about a set of eight Spectre-class vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs and a small number of ARM processors, which may also impact AMD processor architecture as well. Variants 1 and 2 (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715), known as Spectre, and Variant 3 (CVE-2017-5754), known as Meltdown, are three processor vulnerabilities disclosed by Google Project Zero researchers in January this year. Now, Microsoft and Google researchers have disclosed Variant 4 (CVE-2018-3639), dubbed Speculative Store Bypass , which is a similar Spectre variant that takes advantage of speculative execution that modern CPUs use to potentially expose sensitive data through a side channel. Speculative execution is a core component

Meltdown and Spectre CPU Flaws Affect Intel, ARM, AMD Processors

Meltdown and Spectre CPU Flaws Affect Intel, ARM, AMD Processors
January 03, 2018Mohit Kumar
Unlike the initial reports suggested about Intel chips being vulnerable to some severe 'memory leaking' flaws, full technical details about the vulnerabilities have now been emerged, which revealed that almost every modern processor since 1995 is vulnerable to the issues. Disclosed today by Google Project Zero , the vulnerabilities potentially impact all major CPUs, including those from AMD, ARM, and Intel—threatening almost all PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, regardless of manufacturer or operating system. These hardware vulnerabilities have been categorized into two attacks , named Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715), which could allow attackers to steal sensitive data which is currently processed on the computer. Both attacks take advantage of a feature in chips known as "speculative execution," a technique used by most modern CPUs to optimize performance. "In order to improve performance, many CPUs may choose t

Google Researcher Publishes PoC Exploit for Apple iPhone Wi-Fi Chip Hack

Google Researcher Publishes PoC Exploit for Apple iPhone Wi-Fi Chip Hack
September 27, 2017Unknown
You have now another good reason to update your iPhone to newly released iOS 11—a security vulnerability in iOS 10 and earlier now has a working exploit publicly available. Gal Beniamini, a security researcher with Google Project Zero, has discovered a security vulnerability (CVE-2017-11120) in Apple's iPhone and other devices that use Broadcom Wi-Fi chips and is hell easy to exploit. This flaw is similar to the one Beniamini discovered in the Broadcom WiFi SoC (Software-on-Chip) back in April, and BroadPwn vulnerability disclosed by an Exodus Intelligence researcher Nitay Artenstein, earlier this summer. All flaws allow a remote takeover of smartphones over local Wi-Fi networks. The newly discovered vulnerability, which Apple fixed with its major iOS update released on September 19, could allow hackers to take control over the victim's iPhone remotely. All they need is the iPhone's MAC address or network-port ID. And since obtaining the MAC address of a connec

Google 0-Day Hunters Find 'Crazy Bad' Windows RCE Flaw

Google 0-Day Hunters Find 'Crazy Bad' Windows RCE Flaw
May 08, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Update (Monday, May 08, 2017):  Microsoft has released an emergency security update to patch below-reported crazy bad remote code execution vulnerability in its Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MMPE) that affects Windows 7, 8.1, RT and 10 computers, as well as Windows Server 2016 operating systems. Google Project Zero's security researchers have discovered another critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system, claiming that it is something truly bad. Tavis Ormandy announced during the weekend that he and another Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich discovered "the worst Windows remote code [execution vulnerability] in recent memory. This is crazy bad. Report on the way." Ormandy did not provide any further details of the Windows RCE bug, as Google gives a 90-day security disclosure deadline to all software vendors to patch their products and disclose it to the public. This means the details of the new RC

Google Does It Again: Discloses Unpatched Microsoft Edge and IE Vulnerability

Google Does It Again: Discloses Unpatched Microsoft Edge and IE Vulnerability
February 25, 2017Swati Khandelwal
This month has yet been kind of interesting for cyber security researchers, with Google successfully cracked SHA1 and the discovery of Cloudbleed bug in Cloudflare that caused the leakage of sensitive information across sites hosted behind Cloudflare. Besides this, Google last week disclosed an unpatched vulnerability in Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) library, which affects Microsoft's Windows operating systems ranging from Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to the latest Windows 10. While the Windows vulnerability has yet to be patched by the company, Google today released the details of another unpatched Windows security flaw in its browser, as Microsoft did not act within its 90-day disclosure deadline. The vulnerability (CVE-2017-0037), discovered and disclosed by Google Project Zero team's researcher Ivan Fratric, is a so-called " type confusion flaw " in a module in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer that potentially leads to arbitrary code exec

The Project Zero Contest — Google will Pay you $200,000 to Hack Android OS

The Project Zero Contest — Google will Pay you $200,000 to Hack Android OS
September 14, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Why waiting for researchers and bug hunters to know vulnerabilities in your products, when you can just throw a contest for that. Google has launched its own Android hacking contest with the first prize winner receiving $200,000 in cash. That's a Hefty Sum! The contest is a way to find and destroy dangerous Android vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them in the wild. The competition, dubbed ' The Project Zero Prize ,' is being run by Google's Project Zero, a team of security researchers dedicated to documenting critical bugs and making the web a safer place for everyone. What's the Requirements? Starting Tuesday and ending on March 14, 2017, the contest will only award cash prizes to contestants who can successfully hack any version of Android Nougat on Nexus 5X and 6P devices. However, the catch here is that Google wants you to hack the devices knowing only the devices' phone numbers and email addresses. For working of their exploits, contes

TrueCrypt Encryption Software Has Two Critical Flaws: It's time to Move On

TrueCrypt Encryption Software Has Two Critical Flaws: It's time to Move On
October 01, 2015Khyati Jain
If you are among thousands of privacy-conscious people who are still using ' no longer available ' TrueCrypt Encryption Software , then you need to pay attention. Two critical security vulnerabilities have been discovered in the most famous encryption tool, TrueCrypt, that could expose the user's data to hackers if exploited. TrueCrypt was audited earlier this by a team of Security researchers and found to be backdoor-free . James Forshaw , Security researcher with Google's Project Zero — which looks for zero-day exploits — has found a pair of privilege elevation flaws in TrueCrypt package. Last year, TrueCrypt project was dropped after its mysterious developers had claimed the Windows disk-encryption software had ' unfixed security issues '. TrueCrypt is a widely-used ' On-the-Fly ' Open source Hard disk encryption program. Reportedly, TrueCrypt vulnerabilities would not directly allow an attacker to decrypt drive data. Instead, successful exploitation

Google reveals 3 Apple OS X Zero-day Vulnerabilities

Google reveals 3 Apple OS X Zero-day Vulnerabilities
January 23, 2015Mohit Kumar
After exposing three critical zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Windows operating systems, Google's Project Zero vulnerability research program has revealed the existence of three more zero-day vulnerabilities, but this time, on Apple's OS X platform. The team has published three zero-day exploits for Apple's OS X, with sufficient information for an experienced hacker to exploit the bugs in an attack. Of course, the details about the zero-days were not released without alerting Apple to these issues. FIRST ZERO-DAY  VULNERABILITY The first flaw, " OS X networkd 'effective_audit_token' XPC type confusion sandbox escape ," allows an attacker to pass arbitrary commands to the networkd OS X system daemon because it does not check its input properly. The flaw may already have been mitigated in OS X Yosemite , but there is no clear explanation of whether this is the case. SECOND ZERO-DAY VULNERABILITY The second and third vulnerability both are relate

Google Discloses Another Unpatched Windows 8.1 Vulnerability

Google Discloses Another Unpatched Windows 8.1 Vulnerability
January 14, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Google has once again released the details of a new privilege escalation bug in Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system before Microsoft planned to patch the bug, triggering a new quarrel between the two tech giants. This is second time in less than a month when the Google's security research team known as Project Zero released details of the vulnerability in Microsoft's operating system, following its 90-day public disclosure deadline policy. Google Project Zero team routinely finds vulnerabilities in different products from different companies. The vulnerabilities then get reported to the affected software vendors and if they do not patch the flaws in 90 days, Google automatically makes the vulnerability along with its details public. DISCLOSURE OF TWO SECURITY HOLES IN LESS THAN A MONTH Two weeks back, Google Project Zero team disclosed details of an elevation of privilege (EoP) vulnerability  affecting Windows 8.1 that may have allowed hackers to modify cont

Project Zero - A Team of Star-Hackers Hired by Google to Protect the Internet

Project Zero - A Team of Star-Hackers Hired by Google to Protect the Internet
July 15, 2014Mohit Kumar
Today Google has publicly revealed its new initiative called " Project Zero, " a team of Star Hackers and Bug Hunters with the sole mission to improve security and protect the Internet. A team of superheroes in sci-fi movies protect the world from Alien attack or bad actors, likewise  Project Zero is a dedicated team of top security researchers, who have been hired by Google to finding the most severe security flaws in software around the world and fixing them. PROTECT ZERO vs ZERO-DAY Project Zero gets its name from the term " zero-day ," and team will make sure that zero-day vulnerabilities don't let fall into the wrong hands of Criminals, State-sponsored hackers and Intelligence Agencies. " Yet in sophisticated attacks, we see the use of "zero-day" vulnerabilities to target, for example, human rights activists or to conduct industrial espionage. " Chris Evans said , who was leading Google's Chrome security team and now will lead Pro
Online Courses and Software

Sign up for cybersecurity newsletter and get latest news updates delivered straight to your inbox daily.