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Google Chrome Adds V8 Sandbox - A New Defense Against Browser Attacks

Google Chrome Adds V8 Sandbox - A New Defense Against Browser Attacks
Apr 08, 2024 Software Security / Cybersecurity
Google has announced support for what's called a  V8 Sandbox  in the Chrome web browser in an effort to address memory corruption issues. The sandbox, according to V8 security technical lead Samuel Groß,  aims  to prevent "memory corruption in V8 from spreading within the host process." The search behemoth has  described  V8 Sandbox as a lightweight, in-process sandbox for the JavaScript and WebAssembly engine that's designed to mitigate common V8 vulnerabilities. The idea is to limit the impact of V8 vulnerabilities by restricting the code executed by V8 to a subset of the process' virtual address space ("the sandbox") and isolating it from the rest of the process. Shortcomings affecting V8 have accounted for a significant chunk of the zero-day vulnerabilities that Google has  addressed  between  2021  and  2023 , with as many as 16 security flaws discovered over the time period. "The sandbox assumes that an attacker can arbitrarily and conc

Google Sues App Developers Over Fake Crypto Investment App Scam

Google Sues App Developers Over Fake Crypto Investment App Scam
Apr 08, 2024 Investment Scam / Mobile Security
Google has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against two app developers for allegedly engaging in an "international online consumer investment fraud scheme" that tricked users into downloading bogus Android apps from the Google Play Store and other sources and stealing their funds under the guise of promising higher returns. The individuals in question are Yunfeng Sun (aka Alphonse Sun) and Hongnam Cheung (aka Zhang Hongnim or Stanford Fischer), who are believed to be based in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, respectively. The defendants are said to have uploaded about 87 crypto apps to the Play Store to pull off the social engineering scam since at least 2019, with over 100,000 users downloading them and leading to substantial financial losses. "The gains conveyed by the apps were illusory," the tech giant said in its complaint. "And the scheme did not end there." "Instead, when individual victims attempted to withdraw their balances, defendants and their co
Webinar: Learn How to Stop Hackers from Exploiting Hidden Identity Weaknesses

Webinar: Learn How to Stop Hackers from Exploiting Hidden Identity Weaknesses

Apr 10, 2024Webinar / Identity Security
We all know passwords and firewalls are important, but what about the invisible threats lurking beneath the surface of your systems? Identity Threat Exposures (ITEs) are like secret tunnels for hackers – they make your security way more vulnerable than you think. Think of it like this: misconfigurations, forgotten accounts, and old settings are like cracks in your digital fortress walls. Hackers exploit these weaknesses to steal login information, gain sneaky access, and move around your systems unnoticed, whether they're in the cloud or on-site. This upcoming webinar,  " Today's Top 4 Identity Security Threat Exposures: Are You Vulnerable? "  isn't just for tech experts—it's about protecting your business.  We'll use real-world examples and insights from Silverfort's latest report to show you the hidden dangers of ITEs. You'll learn about: The Top 4 Identity Threats You Might Be Overlooking:  We'll name them and explain why they're

Google Warns: Android Zero-Day Flaws in Pixel Phones Exploited by Forensic Companies

Google Warns: Android Zero-Day Flaws in Pixel Phones Exploited by Forensic Companies
Apr 03, 2024 Mobile Security / Zero Day
Google has disclosed that two Android security flaws impacting its Pixel smartphones have been exploited in the wild by forensic companies. The high-severity zero-day vulnerabilities are as follows - CVE-2024-29745  - An information disclosure flaw in the bootloader component CVE-2024-29748  - A privilege escalation flaw in the firmware component "There are indications that the [vulnerabilities] may be under limited, targeted exploitation," Google  said  in an advisory published April 2, 2024. While the tech giant did not reveal any other information about the nature of the attacks exploiting these shortcomings, the maintainers of GrapheneOS said they "are being actively exploited in the wild by forensic companies." "CVE-2024-29745 refers to a vulnerability in the fastboot firmware used to support unlocking/flashing/locking," they  said  in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter). "Forensic companies are rebooting devices in After First U

UPCOMING WEBINAR: Implementing What's New in NIST CSF 2.0

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websiteArmorPointCybersecurity / Webinar
Learn three practical steps to implement the latest version of the NIST CSF on 4/15 at 3pm ET. Register Today!

Google to Delete Billions of Browsing Records in 'Incognito Mode' Privacy Lawsuit Settlement

Google to Delete Billions of Browsing Records in 'Incognito Mode' Privacy Lawsuit Settlement
Apr 02, 2024 Browser Security / Data Security
Google has agreed to purge billions of data records reflecting users' browsing activities to settle a class action lawsuit that claimed the search giant tracked them without their knowledge or consent in its Chrome browser. The  class action , filed in 2020, alleged the company misled users by tracking their internet browsing activity who thought that it remained private when using the "incognito" or "private" mode on web browsers like Chrome. In late December 2023, it  emerged  that the company had consented to settle the lawsuit. The deal is currently pending approval by the U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. "The settlement provides broad relief regardless of any challenges presented by Google's limited record keeping," a court filing on April 1, 2024, said. "Much of the private browsing data in these logs will be deleted in their entirety, including billions of event level data records that reflect class members' private

Google Introduces Enhanced Real-Time URL Protection for Chrome Users

Google Introduces Enhanced Real-Time URL Protection for Chrome Users
Mar 15, 2024 Browser Security / Phishing Attack
Google on Thursday announced an enhanced version of Safe Browsing to provide real-time, privacy-preserving URL protection and safeguard users from visiting potentially malicious sites. "The  Standard protection mode for Chrome  on desktop and iOS will check sites against Google's server-side list of known bad sites in real-time," Google's Jonathan Li and Jasika Bawa  said . "If we suspect a site poses a risk to you or your device, you'll see a warning with more information. By checking sites in real time, we expect to block 25% more phishing attempts." Up until now, the Chrome browser used a locally-stored list of known unsafe sites that's updated every 30 to 60 minutes, and then leveraging a  hash-based approach  to compare every site visited against the database. Google  first revealed  its plans to switch to real-time server-side checks without sharing users' browsing history with the company in September 2023. The reason for the change, the search giant said, is motivated b

Researchers Highlight Google's Gemini AI Susceptibility to LLM Threats

Researchers Highlight Google's Gemini AI Susceptibility to LLM Threats
Mar 13, 2024 Large Language Model / AI Security
Google's  Gemini  large language model (LLM) is susceptible to security threats that could cause it to divulge system prompts, generate harmful content, and carry out indirect injection attacks. The findings come from HiddenLayer, which said the issues impact consumers using Gemini Advanced with Google Workspace as well as companies using the LLM API. The first vulnerability involves getting around security guardrails to leak the system prompts (or a system message), which are designed to set conversation-wide instructions to the LLM to help it generate more useful responses, by asking the model to output its "foundational instructions" in a markdown block. "A system message can be used to inform the LLM about the context," Microsoft  notes  in its documentation about LLM prompt engineering. "The context may be the type of conversation it is engaging in, or the function it is supposed to perform. It helps the LLM generate more appropriate responses.&qu

Ex-Google Engineer Arrested for Stealing AI Technology Secrets for China

Ex-Google Engineer Arrested for Stealing AI Technology Secrets for China
Mar 07, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Corporate Espionage
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the indictment of a 38-year-old Chinese national and a California resident for allegedly stealing proprietary information from Google while covertly working for two China-based tech companies. Linwei Ding (aka Leon Ding), a former Google engineer who was arrested on March 6, 2024, "transferred sensitive Google trade secrets and other confidential information from Google's network to his personal account while secretly affiliating himself with PRC-based companies in the AI industry," the DoJ  said . The defendant is said to have pilfered from Google over 500 confidential files containing artificial intelligence (AI) trade secrets with the goal of passing them on to two unnamed Chinese companies looking to gain an edge in the ongoing AI race. "While Linwei Ding was employed as a software engineer at Google, he was secretly working to enrich himself and two companies based in the People's Republic of China," sa

Google Open Sources Magika: AI-Powered File Identification Tool

Google Open Sources Magika: AI-Powered File Identification Tool
Feb 17, 2024 Artificial Intelligence / Data Protection
Google has announced that it's open-sourcing  Magika , an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tool to identify file types, to help defenders accurately detect binary and textual file types. "Magika outperforms conventional file identification methods providing an overall 30% accuracy boost and up to 95% higher precision on traditionally hard to identify, but potentially problematic content such as VBA, JavaScript, and Powershell," the company  said . The software uses a "custom, highly optimized deep-learning model" that enables the precise identification of file types within milliseconds. Magika implements inference functions using the Open Neural Network Exchange ( ONNX ). Google said it internally uses Magika at scale to help improve users' safety by routing Gmail, Drive, and Safe Browsing files to the proper security and content policy scanners. In November 2023, the tech giant unveiled  RETVec  (short for Resilient and Efficient Text Vectorizer),

Google Starts Blocking Sideloading of Potentially Dangerous Android Apps in Singapore

Google Starts Blocking Sideloading of Potentially Dangerous Android Apps in Singapore
Feb 08, 2024 Data Protection / Mobile Securit
Google has unveiled a new pilot program in Singapore that aims to prevent users from sideloading certain apps that abuse Android app permissions to read one-time passwords and gather sensitive data. "This enhanced fraud protection will analyze and automatically block the installation of apps that may use sensitive runtime permissions frequently abused for financial fraud when the user attempts to install the app from an Internet-sideloading source (web browsers, messaging apps or file managers)," the company  said . The feature is designed to examine the permissions declared by a third-party app in real-time and look for those that seek to gain access to sensitive permissions associated with reading SMS messages, deciphering or dismissing notifications from legitimate apps, and accessibility services that have been  routinely   abused  by Android-based malware for  extracting valuable information . As part of the test, users in Singapore who attempt to sideload such apps

Russian COLDRIVER Hackers Expand Beyond Phishing with Custom Malware

Russian COLDRIVER Hackers Expand Beyond Phishing with Custom Malware
Jan 18, 2024 Cyber Threat / Malware
The Russia-linked threat actor known as COLDRIVER has been observed evolving its tradecraft to go beyond credential harvesting to deliver its first-ever custom malware written in the Rust programming language. Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), which shared details of the latest activity, said the attack chains leverage PDFs as decoy documents to trigger the infection sequence. The lures are sent from impersonation accounts. COLDRIVER, also known by the names Blue Callisto, BlueCharlie (or TAG-53), Calisto (alternately spelled Callisto), Dancing Salome, Gossamer Bear, Star Blizzard (formerly SEABORGIUM), TA446, and UNC4057, is known to be active since 2019, targeting a wide range of sectors. This includes academia, defense, governmental organizations, NGOs, think tanks, political outfits, and, recently, defense-industrial targets and energy facilities. "Targets in the U.K. and U.S. appear to have been most affected by Star Blizzard activity, however activity has al

Malware Using Google MultiLogin Exploit to Maintain Access Despite Password Reset

Malware Using Google MultiLogin Exploit to Maintain Access Despite Password Reset
Jan 03, 2024 Malware / Data Theft
Information stealing malware are actively taking advantage of an undocumented Google OAuth endpoint named MultiLogin to hijack user sessions and allow continuous access to Google services even after a password reset. According to CloudSEK, the  critical exploit  facilitates session persistence and cookie generation, enabling threat actors to maintain access to a valid session in an unauthorized manner. The technique was first revealed by a threat actor named PRISMA on October 20, 2023, on their Telegram channel. It has since been  incorporated  into  various malware-as-a-service (MaaS) stealer families , such as Lumma, Rhadamanthys, Stealc, Meduza, RisePro, and WhiteSnake. The MultiLogin authentication endpoint is primarily designed for synchronizing Google accounts across services when users sign in to their accounts in the Chrome web browser (i.e.,  profiles ).  A reverse engineering of the Lumma Stealer code has revealed that the technique targets the "Chrome's token_

Google Settles $5 Billion Privacy Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in 'Incognito Mode'

Google Settles $5 Billion Privacy Lawsuit Over Tracking Users in 'Incognito Mode'
Jan 02, 2024 Data Privacy / Online Tracking
Google has agreed to settle a lawsuit  filed in June 2020  that alleged that the company misled users by tracking their surfing activity who thought that their internet use remained private when using the "incognito" or "private" mode on web browsers. The  class-action lawsuit  sought at least $5 billion in damages. The settlement terms were not disclosed. The plaintiffs had alleged that Google violated federal wiretap laws and  tracked users' activity  using Google Analytics to collect information when in private mode. They said this allowed the company to collect an "unaccountable trove of information" about users who assumed they had taken adequate steps to protect their privacy online. Google subsequently attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed, pointing out the message it displayed when users turned on Chrome's incognito mode, which  informs users  that their activity might still be visible to websites they visit, employer or school, or their internet service provider. It's

Urgent: New Chrome Zero-Day Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild - Update ASAP

Urgent: New Chrome Zero-Day Vulnerability Exploited in the Wild - Update ASAP
Dec 21, 2023 Vulnerability / Zero-Day
Google has rolled out security updates for the Chrome web browser to address a high-severity zero-day flaw that it said has been exploited in the wild. The vulnerability, assigned the CVE identifier  CVE-2023-7024 , has been described as a  heap-based buffer overflow bug  in the WebRTC framework that could be exploited to result in program crashes or arbitrary code execution. Clément Lecigne and Vlad Stolyarov of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) have been credited with discovering and reporting the flaw on December 19, 2023. No other details about the security defect have been released to prevent further abuse, with Google  acknowledging  that "an exploit for CVE-2023-7024 exists in the wild." Given that WebRTC is an open-source project and that it's also supported by Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, it's currently not clear if the flaw has any impact beyond Chrome and Chromium-based browsers. The development marks the resolution of the eighth actively

Google's New Tracking Protection in Chrome Blocks Third-Party Cookies

Google's New Tracking Protection in Chrome Blocks Third-Party Cookies
Dec 15, 2023 Privacy / User Tracking
Google on Thursday announced that it will start testing a new feature called "Tracking Protection" beginning January 4, 2024, to 1% of Chrome users as part of its efforts to  deprecate third-party cookies  in the web browser. The setting is designed to limit "cross-site tracking by restricting website access to third-party cookies by default," Anthony Chavez, vice president of Privacy Sandbox at Google,  said . The tech giant noted that participants for Tracking Protection will be selected at random and that chosen users will be notified upon opening Chrome on either a desktop or an Android device. The goal is to restrict third-party cookies (also called "non-essential cookies") by default, preventing them from being used to track users as they move from one website to the other for serving personalized ads. While several major browsers like Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox have either already placed  restrictions  on third-party cookies via features

Google Using Clang Sanitizers to Protect Android Against Cellular Baseband Vulnerabilities

Google Using Clang Sanitizers to Protect Android Against Cellular Baseband Vulnerabilities
Dec 13, 2023 Mobile Communication / Firmware security
Google is highlighting the role played by  Clang sanitizers  in hardening the security of the cellular baseband in the  Android operating system  and preventing specific kinds of vulnerabilities. This comprises Integer Overflow Sanitizer (IntSan) and BoundsSanitizer (BoundSan), both of which are part of UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer ( UBSan ), a tool designed to catch various kinds of undefined behavior during program execution. "They are architecture agnostic, suitable for bare-metal deployment, and should be enabled in existing C/C++ code bases to mitigate unknown vulnerabilities," Ivan Lozano and Roger Piqueras Jover  said  in a Tuesday post. The development comes months after the tech giant said it's  working with ecosystem partners  to increase the  security of firmware  that interacts with Android, thereby making it difficult for threat actors to achieve remote code execution within the Wi-Fi SoC or the cellular baseband. IntSan and BoundSan are two of the  compi

New Bluetooth Flaw Let Hackers Take Over Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS Devices

New Bluetooth Flaw Let Hackers Take Over Android, Linux, macOS, and iOS Devices
Dec 07, 2023 Mobile Security / Vulnerability
A critical Bluetooth security flaw could be exploited by threat actors to take control of Android, Linux, macOS and iOS devices. Tracked as  CVE-2023-45866 , the issue relates to a case of authentication bypass that enables attackers to connect to susceptible devices and inject keystrokes to achieve code execution as the victim. "Multiple Bluetooth stacks have authentication bypass vulnerabilities that permit an attacker to connect to a discoverable host without user confirmation and inject keystrokes," said security researcher  Marc Newlin , who  disclosed  the flaws to the software vendors in August 2023. Specifically, the attack deceives the target device into thinking that it's connected to a Bluetooth keyboard by taking advantage of an "unauthenticated pairing mechanism" that's defined in the Bluetooth specification. Successful exploitation of the flaw could permit an adversary in close physical proximity to connect to a vulnerable device and trans

Governments May Spy on You by Requesting Push Notifications from Apple and Google

Governments May Spy on You by Requesting Push Notifications from Apple and Google
Dec 07, 2023 Privacy / Data Security
Unspecified governments have demanded mobile push notification records from Apple and Google users to pursue people of interest, according to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. "Push notifications are alerts sent by phone apps to users' smartphones," Wyden  said . "These alerts pass through a digital post office run by the phone operating system provider -- overwhelmingly Apple or Google. Because of that structure, the two companies have visibility into how their customers use apps and could be compelled to provide this information to U.S. or foreign governments." Wyden, in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, said both Apple and Google confirmed receiving such requests but noted that information about the practice was restricted from public release by the U.S. government, raising questions about the transparency of legal demands they receive from governments. When mobile apps for Android and iOS send push notifications to users' devices, they are ro

Qualcomm Releases Details on Chip Vulnerabilities Exploited in Targeted Attacks

Qualcomm Releases Details on Chip Vulnerabilities Exploited in Targeted Attacks
Dec 06, 2023 Vulnerability / Mobile Security
Chipmaker Qualcomm has released more information about three high-severity security flaws that it said came under "limited, targeted exploitation" back in October 2023. The  vulnerabilities  are as follows - CVE-2023-33063  (CVSS score: 7.8) - Memory corruption in DSP Services during a remote call from HLOS to DSP. CVE-2023-33106  (CVSS score: 8.4) - Memory corruption in Graphics while submitting a large list of sync points in an AUX command to the IOCTL_KGSL_GPU_AUX_COMMAND. CVE-2023-33107  (CVSS score: 8.4) - Memory corruption in Graphics Linux while assigning shared virtual memory region during IOCTL call. Google's Threat Analysis Group and Google Project Zero  revealed  back in October 2023 that the three flaws, along with  CVE-2022-22071  (CVSS score: 8.4), have been exploited in the wild as part of limited, targeted attacks. A security researcher named luckyrb, the Google Android Security team, and TAG researcher Benoît Sevens and Jann Horn of Google Proje

Zero-Day Alert: Apple Rolls Out iOS, macOS, and Safari Patches for 2 Actively Exploited Flaws

Zero-Day Alert: Apple Rolls Out iOS, macOS, and Safari Patches for 2 Actively Exploited Flaws
Dec 01, 2023 Spyware / Threat Analysis
Apple has  released  software updates for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Safari web browser to address two security flaws that it said have come under active exploitation in the wild on older versions of its software. The vulnerabilities, both of which reside in the WebKit web browser engine, are described below - CVE-2023-42916  - An out-of-bounds read issue that could be exploited to leak sensitive information when processing web content. CVE-2023-42917  - A memory corruption bug that could result in arbitrary code execution when processing web content. Apple said it's aware of reports exploiting the shortcomings "against versions of iOS before iOS 16.7.1," which was released on October 10, 2023. Clément Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has been credited with discovering and reporting the twin flaws. The iPhone maker did not provide additional information regarding ongoing exploitation, but previously disclosed zero-days in iOS have been used to  de
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