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Google Introduces First Quantum Resilient FIDO2 Security Key Implementation

Google Introduces First Quantum Resilient FIDO2 Security Key Implementation

Aug 16, 2023 Password Security / Encryption
Google on Tuesday announced the first quantum resilient FIDO2 security key implementation as part of its OpenSK security keys initiative. "This open-source hardware optimized implementation uses a novel ECC/Dilithium hybrid signature schema that benefits from the security of ECC against standard attacks and Dilithium's resilience against quantum attacks," Elie Bursztein and Fabian Kaczmarczyck  said . OpenSK  is an open-source implementation for security keys written in Rust that supports both FIDO U2F and FIDO2 standards. The development comes less than a week after the tech giant  said  it plans to add support for quantum-resistant encryption algorithms in Chrome 116 to set up symmetric keys in TLS connections. It's also part of broader efforts to switch to cryptographic algorithms that can withstand quantum attacks in the future, necessitating the need to incorporate such technologies early on to facilitate a gradual rollout. "Fortunately, with the rece
Enhancing TLS Security: Google Adds Quantum-Resistant Encryption in Chrome 116

Enhancing TLS Security: Google Adds Quantum-Resistant Encryption in Chrome 116

Aug 11, 2023 Encryption / Browser Security
Google has announced plans to add support for quantum-resistant encryption algorithms in its Chrome browser, starting with version 116. "Chrome will begin supporting  X25519Kyber768  for establishing symmetric secrets in  TLS , starting in Chrome 116, and available behind a flag in Chrome 115," Devon O'Brien  said  in a post published Thursday. Kyber was  chosen  by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as the candidate for general encryption in a bid to tackle future cyber attacks posed by the advent of quantum computing.  Kyber-768  is roughly the security equivalent of  AES-192 . The encryption algorithm has already been adopted by  Cloudflare ,  Amazon Web Services , and IBM. X25519Kyber768 is a hybrid algorithm that combines the output of  X25519 , an elliptic curve algorithm widely used for key agreement in TLS, and Kyber-768 to create a strong session key to encrypt TLS connections. "Hybrid mechanism
10,000 Victims a Day: Infostealer Garden of Low-Hanging Fruit

10,000 Victims a Day: Infostealer Garden of Low-Hanging Fruit

Jul 15, 2024Cyber Crime / Data Protection
Imagine you could gain access to any Fortune 100 company for $10 or less, or even for free. Terrifying thought, isn't it? Or exciting, depending on which side of the cybersecurity barricade you are on. Well, that's basically the state of things today. Welcome to the infostealer garden of low-hanging fruit. Over the last few years, the problem has grown bigger and bigger, and only now are we slowly learning its full destructive potential. In this article, we will describe how the entire cybercriminal ecosystem operates, the ways various threat actors exploit data originating from it, and most importantly, what you can do about it. Let's start with what infostealer malware actually is. As the name suggests, it's malware that... steals data. Depending on the specific type, the information it extracts might differ slightly, but most will try to extract the following: Cryptocurrency wallets Bank account information and saved credit card details Saved passwords from various apps Bro
New Android 14 Security Feature: IT Admins Can Now Disable 2G Networks

New Android 14 Security Feature: IT Admins Can Now Disable 2G Networks

Aug 09, 2023 Mobile Security / Network Attack
Google has introduced a new security feature in Android 14 that allows IT administrators to disable support for 2G cellular networks in their managed device fleet. The search giant said it's introducing a second user setting to turn off support, at the model level, for  null-ciphered cellular connections . "The Android Security Model assumes that all networks are hostile to keep users safe from network packet injection, tampering, or eavesdropping on user traffic," Roger Piqueras Jover, Yomna Nasser, and Sudhi Herle  said . "Android does not rely on link-layer encryption to address this threat model. Instead, Android establishes that all network traffic should be end-to-end encrypted (E2EE)." 2G networks, in particular, employ weak encryption and lack mutual authentication,  rendering  them  susceptible  to over-the-air interception and traffic decryption attacks by impersonating a real 2G tower. The  threat posed by rogue cellular base stations  means th
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Top 4 Security Risks of GenAI

websiteWizGenAI Security / Technology
Gain a competitive edge and unlock the top 4 major emerging risks within GenAI. This report from Gartner provides insights and recommended actions for security and product leaders.
Google Messages Getting Cross-Platform End-to-End Encryption with MLS Protocol

Google Messages Getting Cross-Platform End-to-End Encryption with MLS Protocol

Jul 24, 2023 Mobile Security / Privacy
Google has announced that it intends to add support for Message Layer Security ( MLS ) to its Messages service for Android and open source an implementation of the specification. "Most modern consumer messaging platforms (including Google Messages) support end-to-end encryption, but users today are limited to communicating with contacts who use the same platform," Giles Hogben, privacy engineering director at Google,  said . "This is why Google is strongly supportive of regulatory efforts that require interoperability for large end-to-end messaging platforms." The development comes as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)  released  the core specification of the Messaging Layer Security (MLS) protocol as a Request for Comments ( RFC 9420 ). Some of the other major companies that have thrown their weight behind the protocol are Amazon Web Services (AWS) Wickr, Cisco, Cloudflare, The Matrix.org Foundation, Mozilla, Phoenix R&D, and Wire. Notably missing f
Fake Researcher Profiles Spread Malware through GitHub Repositories as PoC Exploits

Fake Researcher Profiles Spread Malware through GitHub Repositories as PoC Exploits

Jun 14, 2023 Malware / Zero-Day
At least half of dozen GitHub accounts from fake researchers associated with a fraudulent cybersecurity company have been observed pushing malicious repositories on the code hosting service. All seven repositories, which are still available as of writing, claim to be a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for purported zero-day flaws in Discord, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Exchange Server. VulnCheck, which discovered the activity,  said , "the individuals creating these repositories have put significant effort into making them look legitimate by creating a network of accounts and Twitter profiles, pretending to be part of a non-existent company called High Sierra Cyber Security." The cybersecurity firm said it first came across the rogue repositories in early May when they were observed releasing similar PoC exploits for zero-day bugs in Signal and WhatsApp. The repositories hosting the two PoCs have since been taken down. Besides sharing some of the purported findings on Tw
Zero-Day Alert: Google Issues Patch for New Chrome Vulnerability - Update Now!

Zero-Day Alert: Google Issues Patch for New Chrome Vulnerability - Update Now!

Jun 06, 2023 Browser Security / Vulnerability
Google on Monday released security updates to patch a high-severity flaw in its Chrome web browser that it said is being actively exploited in the wild. Tracked as  CVE-2023-3079 , the vulnerability has been described as a type confusion bug in the V8 JavaScript engine. Clement Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has been credited with reporting the issue on June 1, 2023. "Type confusion in V8 in Google Chrome prior to 114.0.5735.110 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page,"  according  to the NIST's National Vulnerability Database (NVD). The tech giant, as is typically the case, did not disclose details of the nature of the attacks, but  noted  it's "aware that an exploit for CVE-2023-3079 exists in the wild." With the latest development, Google has addressed a total of three actively exploited zero-days in Chrome since the start of the year - CVE-2023-2033  (CVSS score: 8.8) - Type Co
Severe Flaw in Google Cloud's Cloud SQL Service Exposed Confidential Data

Severe Flaw in Google Cloud's Cloud SQL Service Exposed Confidential Data

May 26, 2023 Data Safety / Cloud Security
A new security flaw has been disclosed in the Google Cloud Platform's (GCP) Cloud SQL service that could be potentially exploited to obtain access to confidential data. "The vulnerability could have enabled a malicious actor to escalate from a basic Cloud SQL user to a full-fledged sysadmin on a container, gaining access to internal GCP data like secrets, sensitive files, passwords, in addition to customer data," Israeli cloud security firm Dig  said . Cloud SQL  is a fully-managed solution to build MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server databases for cloud-based applications. The multi-stage attack chain identified by Dig, in a nutshell, leveraged a gap in the cloud platform's security layer associated with SQL Server to escalate the privileges of a user to that of an administrator role. The elevated permissions subsequently made it possible to abuse another critical misconfiguration to obtain system administrator rights and take full control of the database server.
New COSMICENERGY Malware Exploits ICS Protocol to Sabotage Power Grids

New COSMICENERGY Malware Exploits ICS Protocol to Sabotage Power Grids

May 26, 2023 ICS/SCADA Security
A new strain of malicious software that's engineered to penetrate and disrupt critical systems in industrial environments has been unearthed. Google-owned threat intelligence firm Mandiant dubbed the malware  COSMICENERGY , adding it was uploaded to the VirusTotal public malware scanning utility in December 2021 by a submitter in Russia. There is no evidence that it has been put to use in the wild. "The malware is designed to cause electric power disruption by interacting with IEC 60870-5-104 (IEC-104) devices, such as remote terminal units ( RTUs ), that are commonly leveraged in electric transmission and distribution operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia," the company  said . COSMICENERGY is the latest addition to  specialized   malware  like Stuxnet, Havex, Triton, IRONGATE, BlackEnergy2, Industroyer, and PIPEDREAM, which are capable of sabotaging critical systems and wreaking havoc. Mandiant said that there are circumstantial links that it may have bee
GUAC 0.1 Beta: Google's Breakthrough Framework for Secure Software Supply Chains

GUAC 0.1 Beta: Google's Breakthrough Framework for Secure Software Supply Chains

May 25, 2023 Software Security / Supply Chain
Google on Wednesday announced the  0.1 Beta version  of  GUAC  (short for Graph for Understanding Artifact Composition) for organizations to secure their software supply chains. To that end, the search giant is  making available  the open source framework as an API for developers to integrate their own tools and policy engines. GUAC  aims to aggregate software security metadata from different sources into a graph database that maps out relationships between software, helping organizations determine how one piece of software affects another. "Graph for Understanding Artifact Composition ( GUAC ) gives you organized and actionable insights into your software supply chain security position," Google  says  in its documentation. "GUAC ingests software security metadata, like SBOMs, and maps out the relationship between software so that you can fully understand your software security position." In other words, it's designed to bring together Software Bill of M
Data Stealing Malware Discovered in Popular Android Screen Recorder App

Data Stealing Malware Discovered in Popular Android Screen Recorder App

May 24, 2023 Mobile Security / Data Safety
Google has removed a screen recording app named "iRecorder - Screen Recorder" from the Play Store after it was found to sneak in information stealing capabilities nearly a year after the app was published as an innocuous app. The app (APK package name "com.tsoft.app.iscreenrecorder"), which accrued over 50,000 installations, was first uploaded on September 19, 2021. The malicious functionality is believed to have been introduced in version 1.3.8, which was released on August 24, 2022. "It is rare for a developer to upload a legitimate app, wait almost a year, and then update it with malicious code," ESET security researcher Lukáš Štefanko  said  in a technical report. "The malicious code that was added to the clean version of iRecorder is based on the open source  AhMyth  Android RAT (remote access trojan) and has been customized into what we named AhRat." iRecorder was  first flagged  as harboring the AhMyth trojan on October 28, 2022, by
Privacy Sandbox Initiative: Google to Phase Out Third-Party Cookies Starting 2024

Privacy Sandbox Initiative: Google to Phase Out Third-Party Cookies Starting 2024

May 19, 2023 Online Privacy / Tech News
Google has announced plans to officially flip the switch on its twice-delayed  Privacy Sandbox  initiatives as it slowly works its way to deprecate support for third-party cookies in Chrome browser. To that end, the search and advertising giant said it intends to phase out third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users globally in the first quarter of 2024. "This will support developers in conducting real world experiments that assess the readiness and effectiveness of their products without third-party cookies," Anthony Chavez, vice president of Privacy Sandbox at Google,  said . Prior to rolling this out, Google said it would introduce the ability for third-party developers to simulate the process for a configurable subset of their users (up to 10%) in Q4 2023. Google further emphasized that the plans have been designed and developed with regulatory oversight and input from the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority ( CMA ), which is overseeing the implementation to
Threat Group UNC3944 Abusing Azure Serial Console for Total VM Takeover

Threat Group UNC3944 Abusing Azure Serial Console for Total VM Takeover

May 17, 2023 SIM Swapping / Server Security
A financially motivated cyber actor has been observed abusing Microsoft Azure  Serial Console  on virtual machines (VMs) to install third-party remote management tools within compromised environments. Google-owned Mandiant attributed the activity to a threat group it tracks under the name  UNC3944 , which is also known as Roasted 0ktapus and Scattered Spider. "This method of attack was unique in that it avoided many of the traditional detection methods employed within Azure and provided the attacker with full administrative access to the VM," the threat intelligence firm  said . The emerging adversary, which first came to light late last year, is known to  leverage SIM swapping attacks  to breach telecommunications and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies since at least May 2022. Subsequently, Mandiant also  found  UNC3944 utilizing a loader named STONESTOP to install a malicious signed driver dubbed POORTRY that's designed to terminate processes associated
Google Announces New Privacy, Safety, and Security Features Across Its Services

Google Announces New Privacy, Safety, and Security Features Across Its Services

May 10, 2023 Privacy / Safety / Security
Google unveiled a slew of new privacy, safety, and security features today at its annual developer conference, Google I/O. The tech giant's latest initiatives are aimed at protecting its users from cyber threats, including phishing attacks and malicious websites, while providing more control and transparency over their personal data. Here is a short list of the newly introduced features - Improved data control and transparency Gmail Dark Web Scan Report Effortlessly Delete Maps Search History AI-Powered Safe Browsing Content Safety API Expansion About this Image Spam View in Google Drive Among the newly introduced features, the first on the list is improved data control and transparency. Google has unveiled an update for its Android operating system that allows users to better control location sharing through apps installed on their devices. "Starting with location data, you will be informed in permission requests when an app shares your information with third-pa
Why Honeytokens Are the Future of Intrusion Detection

Why Honeytokens Are the Future of Intrusion Detection

May 10, 2023 Intrusion Detection / Honeypot
A few weeks ago, the 32nd edition of RSA, one of the world's largest cybersecurity conferences, wrapped up in San Francisco. Among the highlights, Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant at Google Cloud, presented a retrospective on  the state of cybersecurity . During his keynote, Mandia stated: "There are clear steps organizations can take beyond common safeguards and security tools to strengthen their defenses and increase their chances of detecting, thwarting or minimizing attack [...] Honeypots , or fake accounts deliberately left untouched by authorized users,  are effective at helping organizations detect intrusions or malicious activities that security products can't stop ". "Build honeypots" was one of his seven pieces of advice to help organizations avoid some of the attacks that might require engagement with Mandiant or other incident response firms. As a reminder, honeypots are  decoy systems  that are set up to lure attackers and divert their attentio
Apple and Google Join Forces to Stop Unauthorized Location-Tracking Devices

Apple and Google Join Forces to Stop Unauthorized Location-Tracking Devices

May 03, 2023 Privacy / Technology
Apple and Google have  teamed up  to work on a  draft industry-wide specification  that's designed to tackle safety risks and alert users when they are being tracked without their knowledge or permission using devices like AirTags. "The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across Android and iOS platforms," the companies said in a joint statement. While these trackers are primarily designed to keep tabs on personal belongings like keys, wallets, luggage, and other items, such devices have also been abused by bad actors for  criminal or nefarious purposes , including instances of  stalking, harassment, and theft . The goal is to standardize the alerting mechanisms and minimize opportunities for misuse across Bluetooth location-tracking devices from different vendors. To that end, Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have all come on board. In doi
APT28 Targets Ukrainian Government Entities with Fake "Windows Update" Emails

APT28 Targets Ukrainian Government Entities with Fake "Windows Update" Emails

May 01, 2023 Threat Analysis / Cyber Attack
The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) has warned of cyber attacks perpetrated by Russian nation-state hackers targeting various government bodies in the country. The agency  attributed  the phishing campaign to APT28, which is also known by the names Fancy Bear, Forest Blizzard, FROZENLAKE, Iron Twilight, Sednit, and Sofacy. The email messages come with the subject line "Windows Update" and purportedly contain instructions in the Ukrainian language to run a PowerShell command under the pretext of security updates. Running the script loads and executes a next-stage PowerShell script that's designed to collect basic system information through commands like  tasklist  and  systeminfo , and exfiltrate the details via an HTTP request to a  Mocky API . To trick the targets into running the command, the emails impersonate system administrators of the targeted government entities using fake Microsoft Outlook email accounts created with the employees'
Google Blocks 1.43 Million Malicious Apps, Bans 173,000 Bad Accounts in 2022

Google Blocks 1.43 Million Malicious Apps, Bans 173,000 Bad Accounts in 2022

May 01, 2023 Mobile Security / Android
Google disclosed that its improved security features and app review processes helped it block 1.43 million bad apps from being published to the Play Store in 2022. In addition, the company said it banned 173,000 bad accounts and fended off over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions through  developer-facing features  like Voided Purchases API, Obfuscated Account ID, and Play Integrity API. The addition of identity verification methods such as phone number and email address to join Google Play contributed to a reduction in accounts used to publish apps that go against its policies, Google pointed out. The search behemoth further said it "prevented about 500K submitted apps from unnecessarily accessing sensitive permissions over the past 3 years." "In 2022, the  App Security Improvements program  helped developers fix ~500K security weaknesses affecting ~300K apps with a combined install base of approximately 250B installs," it  noted . In contrast,
Google Gets Court Order to Take Down CryptBot That Infected Over 670,000 Computers

Google Gets Court Order to Take Down CryptBot That Infected Over 670,000 Computers

Apr 27, 2023 Botnet / Cyber Crime
Google on Wednesday said it obtained a temporary court order in the U.S. to disrupt the distribution of a Windows-based information-stealing malware called  CryptBot  and "decelerate" its growth. The tech giant's Mike Trinh and Pierre-Marc Bureau  said  the efforts are part of steps it takes to "not only hold criminal operators of malware accountable, but also those who profit from its distribution." CryptBot is estimated to have infected over 670,000 computers in 2022 with the goal of stealing sensitive data such as authentication credentials, social media account logins, and cryptocurrency wallets from users of Google Chrome. The harvested data is then exfiltrated to the threat actors, who then sell the data to other attackers for use in data breach campaigns. CryptBot was  first discovered  in the wild in December 2019. The malware has been traditionally delivered via maliciously modified versions of legitimate and popular software packages such as Goog
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