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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Google Security

Google Announces 5 Major Security Updates for Chrome Extensions

Google Announces 5 Major Security Updates for Chrome Extensions
October 02, 2018Mohit Kumar
Google has made several new announcements for its Chrome Web Store that aims at making Chrome extensions more secure and transparent to its users. Over a couple of years, we have seen a significant rise in malicious extensions that appear to offer useful functionalities, while running hidden malicious scripts in the background without the user's knowledge. However, the best part is that Google is aware of the issues and has proactively been working to change the way its Chrome web browser handles extensions. Earlier this year, Google banned extensions using cryptocurrency mining scripts and then in June, the company also disabled inline installation of Chrome extensions completely. The company has also been using machine learning technologies to detect and block malicious extensions. To take a step further, Google announced Monday five major changes that give users more control over certain permissions, enforces security measures, as well as makes the ecosystem more t

Enable Google's New "Advanced Protection" If You Don't Want to Get Hacked

Enable Google's New "Advanced Protection" If You Don't Want to Get Hacked
October 18, 2017Swati Khandelwal
It is good to be paranoid when it comes to cybersecurity. Google already provides various advanced features such as login alerts and two-factor authentication to keep your Google account secure. However, if you are extra paranoid, Google has just introduced its strongest ever security feature, called " Advanced Protection ," which makes it easier for users, who are usually at high risk of targeted online attacks, to lock down their Google accounts like never before. "We took this unusual step because there is an overlooked minority of our users that are at particularly high risk of targeted online attacks," the company said in a blog post announcing the program on Tuesday.  "For example, these might be campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety." Even if a hacker somehow gets your password—using advanced phishing a

Google Employees Help Thousands Of Open Source Projects Patch Critical 'Mad Gadget Bug'

Google Employees Help Thousands Of Open Source Projects Patch Critical ‘Mad Gadget Bug’
March 02, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last year Google employees took an initiative to help thousands of Open Source Projects patch a critical remote code execution vulnerability in a widely used Apache Commons Collections (ACC) library. Dubbed Operation Rosehub , the initiative was volunteered by some 50 Google employees, who utilized 20 percent of their work time to patch over 2600 open source projects on Github, those were vulnerable to "Mad Gadget vulnerability." Mad Gadget vulnerability ( CVE-2015-6420 ) is a remote code execution bug in the Java deserialization used by the Apache Commons Collections (ACC) library that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a system. The ACC Library is widely deployed by many Java applications to decode data passed between computers. To exploit this flaw, all an unauthorized attacker need to do is submit maliciously crafted input to an application on a targeted system that uses the ACC library. Once the vulnerable ACC libra

Critical Flaw in ESET Antivirus Exposes Mac Users to Remote Hacking

Critical Flaw in ESET Antivirus Exposes Mac Users to Remote Hacking
February 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
What could be more exciting for hackers than exploiting a vulnerability in a widely used software without having to struggle too much? One such easy-to-exploit, but critical vulnerability has been discovered in ESET's antivirus software that could allow any unauthenticated attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code with root privileges on a Mac system. The critical security flaw, tracked as CVE-2016-9892, in ESET Endpoint Antivirus 6 for macOS was discovered by Google Security Team's researchers Jason Geffner and Jan Bee at the beginning of November 2016. As detailed in the full disclosure , all a hacker needs to get root-level remote code execution on a Mac computer is to intercept the ESET antivirus package's connection to its backend servers using a self-signed HTTPS certificate, put himself in as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacker, and exploit an XML library flaw. The actual issue was related to a service named esets_daemon, which runs as root. The service

US Judge Ordered Google to Hand Over Emails Stored On Foreign Servers to FBI

US Judge Ordered Google to Hand Over Emails Stored On Foreign Servers to FBI
February 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
In this world of global mass surveillance by not the only US, but also intelligence agencies across the world, every other country wants tech companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft to set-up and maintain their servers in their country to keep their citizen data within boundaries. Last year, Microsoft won a case which ruled that the US government cannot force tech companies to hand over their non-US customers' data stored on servers located in other countries to the FBI or any other federal authorities. However, a new notable ruling just goes against the court judgment last year, raising concerns regarding people's privacy. A US magistrate reportedly ruled Friday that Google has to comply with FBI search warrants seeking customer emails stored on servers outside of the United States, according to RT . U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter in Philadelphia noted that transferring emails from outside servers so FBI could read them locally as part of a domestic f

Google Pixel Phone and Microsoft Edge Hacked at PwnFest 2016

Google Pixel Phone and Microsoft Edge Hacked at PwnFest 2016
November 11, 2016Wang Wei
The brand new Android smartphone launched by Google just a few months back has been hacked by Chinese hackers just in less than a minute. Yes, the Google's latest Pixel smartphone has been hacked by a team white-hat hackers from Qihoo 360, besides at the 2016 PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul. The Qihoo 360 team demonstrated a proof-of-concept exploit that used a zero-day vulnerability in order to achieve remote code execution (RCE) on the target smartphone. The exploit then launched the Google Play Store on the Pixel smartphone before opening Google Chrome and displaying a web page that read "Pwned By 360 Alpha Team," the Reg media reports . Qihoo 360 won $120,000 cash prize for hacking the Pixel. Google will now work to patch the vulnerability. Besides the Google Pixel, Microsoft Edge running under Windows 10 was also hacked in PwnFest hacking competition. The Qihoo 360 team also hacked Adobe Flash with a combination of a decade-old, use-after-free

Microsoft Patches Windows Zero-Day Flaw Disclosed by Google

Microsoft Patches Windows Zero-Day Flaw Disclosed by Google
November 09, 2016Mohit Kumar
Microsoft was very upset with Google last week when its Threat Analysis Group publically disclosed a critical Windows kernel vulnerability (CVE-2016-7255) that had yet to be patched. The company criticized Google's move , claiming that the disclosure of the vulnerability, which was being exploited in the wild, put its customers "at potential risk." The vulnerability affects all Windows versions from Windows Vista through current versions of Windows 10, and Microsoft was set to issue a fix come this month's Patch Tuesday. So, as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday, Microsoft today patched the security flaw in Windows that was actively being exploited by hackers. According to Microsoft's security bulletin released today, any hacker who tricked victims into running a "specially-crafted application" could successfully exploit the system bug and gain the ability to "install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with fu

Warning! Just an Image Can Hack Your Android Phone — Patch Now

Warning! Just an Image Can Hack Your Android Phone — Patch Now
September 07, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Own an Android smartphone? Beware, as just an innocuous-looking image on social media or messaging app could compromise your smartphone. Along with the dangerous Quadrooter vulnerabilities that affected 900 Million devices and other previously disclosed issues, Google has patched a previously-unknown critical bug that could let attackers deliver their hack hidden inside an innocent looking image via social media or chat apps. In fact, there is no need for a victim to click on the malicious photo because as soon as the image's data was parsed by the phone, it would quietly allow a remote attacker to take control over the device or simply crash it. The vulnerability is similar to last year's Stagefright bug ( exploit code ) that allowed hackers to hijack Android devices with just a simple text message without the owners being aware of it. The Stagefright flaw affected more than 950 Million Android devices and resided in the core Android component Stagefright — a multim

Critical glibc Flaw Puts Linux Machines and Apps at Risk (Patch Immediately)

Critical glibc Flaw Puts Linux Machines and Apps at Risk (Patch Immediately)
February 17, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A highly critical vulnerability has been uncovered in the GNU C Library (glibc) , a key component of most Linux distributions, that leaves nearly all Linux machines, thousands of apps and electronic devices vulnerable to hackers that can take full control over them. Just clicking on a link or connecting to a server can result in remote code execution (RCE), allowing hackers to steal credentials, spy on users, seize control of computers, and many more. The vulnerability is similar to the last year's  GHOST vulnerability (CVE-2015-0235) that left countless machines vulnerable to remote code execution (RCE) attacks , representing a major Internet threat. GNU C Library (glibc) is a collection of open source code that powers thousands of standalone apps and most Linux distributions, including those distributed to routers and other types of hardware. The recent flaw, which is indexed as CVE-2015-7547 , is a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability in glibc's D

VirusTotal now Scans Mac OS X Apps for Malware

VirusTotal now Scans Mac OS X Apps for Malware
November 19, 2015Mohit Kumar
Do Mac Computers Get Viruses? Yes, Of Course, they do!  According to stats, malware for MAC OS X has appeared five times more in 2015 alone than the previous five years combined. As malware for Macs is becoming more common, Google has decided to add support for Mac  OS X malware detection to its VirusTotal web-based service. VirusTotal — launched in 2004 and acquired by Google in 2012 — is a free and popular online service for security researchers and Hackers that lets you upload files to check them for viruses. VirusTotal scans uploaded files with more than 55 different Antivirus products and Online scan engines to provide a combined report on the results. VirusTotal also runs certain ' Windows PE files and Android apps ' files in the Sandbox , a controlled research environment used for malware analysis. According to the recent announcement, VirusTotal will also be able to execute suspicious Mac executable files inside its Sandbox environment

Google Records and Store Your Voice — Here's How to Listen and Delete It

Google Records and Store Your Voice — Here's How to Listen and Delete It
October 14, 2015Swati Khandelwal
OK, Google is Listening… and Recording too. Google is not just listening to your searches, but the search engine is also recording and storing every single voice search you make. Google is incredibly accurate at understanding your voice. The company secretly stores its users' searches from its voice-activated assistant Google's Voice Search and search feature Google Now to turn up relevant advertisements as well as improve the feature. But what many of you do not realize is that after every voice searches you made, Google makes a recording of it and stores it in a remote part of your account. Listen to Your Own Voice Recorded by Google However, it's no surprise to know that Google is recording our voice because it's nothing new, but it made me really scary when I heard myself so cleared. Don't believe me? Listen to your own voice recording by visiting your " Voice & Audio Activity " page in the Google Dashboard and you

Google releases Security Patch for Android Stagefright 2.0 Vulnerability

Google releases Security Patch for Android Stagefright 2.0 Vulnerability
October 06, 2015Wang Wei
Google reportedly fixed the latest round of Stagefright vulnerabilities in Android, pushing its latest over-the-air (OTA) update to Nexus devices. Last week, researchers warned of Stagefright 2.0 vulnerability that affected more than one Billion Android devices dating back to the latest versions of the Android operating system. The Stagefright bugs allowed hackers to take control of affected Android devices by sending a malicious audio or video file. In April, Zimperium researchers disclosed the first Stagefright vulnerability that allowed hackers to hijack any Android smartphones with just a simple text message ( exploit code ). As promised, Google on Monday pushed a patch that fixes the holes in Stagefright media playback engine used by Android to process, record and play multimedia files such as PDFs. The patch fixes 30 vulnerabilities in total, which includes: 14 critical vulnerabilities in Stagefright library 5 Remote Code Execution bugs 8 Eleva

Incomplete 'Stagefright' Security Patch Leaves Android Vulnerable to Text Hack

Incomplete 'Stagefright' Security Patch Leaves Android Vulnerable to Text Hack
August 14, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Wanna hack someone's Android smartphone by sending just an MMS message? Yes, you can, because Google's patch for the Stagefright vulnerability in hundreds of Millions of Android devices is BUGGY. Last week, Google issued an official patch for Stagefright vulnerability that affects 95 percent of Android devices running version 2.2 to version 5.1 of the operating system, an estimated 950 Million Android devices in use worldwide. But, the patch is so flawed that hackers can still exploit the Stagefright vulnerability (CVE-2015-3824) anyways. "The [original] patch is four lines of code and was (presumably) reviewed by Google engineers prior to shipping," researchers at Exodus Intelligence wrote in a blog post published Thursday. "The public at large believes the current patch protects them when it, in fact, does not." Buggy Patch Issued by Google The patch doesn't fix the vulnerability, allowing booby-trapped MP4 videos that supplied

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

Unmasking Google Users With a New Timing Attack

Unmasking Google Users With a New Timing Attack
September 10, 2014Wang Wei
Researcher has discovered a new Timing attack that could unmask Google users under some special conditions. Andrew Cantino, the vice president of engineering at Mavenlink, detailed his attack in a blogpost st week. According to him, the attack could be used by an attacker to target a particular person or organization. A cyber criminal could share a Google document with an email address, un-checking the option by which Google sends the recipient a notification. TIMING ATTACK USED TO DE-MASK TOR USER'S IDENTITY Now, using timing attack exploit technique, a cyber criminal could figure out when someone logged into any one of the shared addresses visits the their site, Cantino said. An attacker could even use this attack in spear phishing campaigns or even could unmask the identity of Tor users if they're logged in to Google while using the Tor browser . Timing attack can allow to unmask targeted Google users as they browse the web. Cantino said the attack is straightforwa
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