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[Guide] How to Protect Your Devices Against Meltdown and Spectre Attacks

[Guide] How to Protect Your Devices Against Meltdown and Spectre Attacks

January 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Recently uncovered two huge processor vulnerabilities called Meltdown and Spectre have taken the whole world by storm, while vendors are rushing out to patch the vulnerabilities in its products. The issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all operating systems (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, FreeBSD, and more), smartphones and other computing devices made in the past 20 years. What are Spectre and Meltdown? We have explained both , Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and Spectre (CVE-2017-5753, CVE-2017-5715), exploitation techniques in our previous article. In short, Spectre and Meltdown are the names of security vulnerabilities found in many processors from Intel, ARM and AMD that could allow attackers to steal your passwords, encryption keys and other private information. Both attacks abuse 'speculative execution' to access privileged memory—including those allocated for the kernel—from a low privileged user process like a malicious app running on a
Huge Flaws Affect Nearly Every Modern Device; Patch Could Hit CPU Performance

Huge Flaws Affect Nearly Every Modern Device; Patch Could Hit CPU Performance

January 03, 2018Swati Khandelwal
UPDATE: Researchers have finally disclosed complete technical details of two kernel side-channel attacks, Meltdown and Spectre — which affect not only Intel but also systems and devices running AMD, ARM processors —allowing attackers to steal sensitive data from the system memory. ____________ The first week of the new year has not yet been completed, and very soon a massive vulnerability is going to hit hundreds of millions of Windows, Linux, and Mac users worldwide. According to a blog post published yesterday, the core team of Linux kernel development has prepared a critical kernel update without releasing much information about the vulnerability. Multiple researchers on Twitter  confirmed that Intel processors (x86-64) have a severe hardware-level issue that could allow attackers to access protected kernel memory, which primarily includes information like passwords, login keys, and files cached from disk. The security patch implements kernel page-table isolation (KP
17-Year-Old MS Office Flaw Lets Hackers Install Malware Without User Interaction

17-Year-Old MS Office Flaw Lets Hackers Install Malware Without User Interaction

November 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
You should be extra careful when opening files in MS Office. When the world is still dealing with the threat of 'unpatched' Microsoft Office's built-in DDE feature , researchers have uncovered a serious issue with another Office component that could allow attackers to remotely install malware on targeted computers. The vulnerability is a memory-corruption issue that resides in all versions of Microsoft Office released in the past 17 years, including Microsoft Office 365, and works against all versions of Windows operating system, including the latest Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update. Discovered by the security researchers at Embedi , the vulnerability leads to remote code execution, allowing an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute malicious code on a targeted system without requiring user interaction after opening a malicious document. The vulnerability, identified as  CVE-2017-11882 , resides in EQNEDT32.EXE, an MS Office component which is responsibl
Microsoft Issues Patches For Severe Flaws, Including Office Zero-Day & DNS Attack

Microsoft Issues Patches For Severe Flaws, Including Office Zero-Day & DNS Attack

October 11, 2017Swati Khandelwal
As part of its "October Patch Tuesday," Microsoft has today released a large batch of security updates to patch a total of 62 vulnerabilities in its products, including a severe MS office zero-day flaw that has been exploited in the wild. Security updates also include patches for Microsoft Windows operating systems, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Skype, Microsoft Lync and Microsoft SharePoint Server. Besides the MS Office vulnerability, the company has also addressed two other publicly disclosed (but not yet targeted in the wild) vulnerabilities that affect the SharePoint Server and the Windows Subsystem for Linux. October patch Tuesday also fixes a critical Windows DNS vulnerability that could be exploited by a malicious DNS server to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system. Below you can find a brief technical explanation of all above mentioned critical and important vulnerabilities. Microsoft Office Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2017-11826) T
Millions of Up-to-Date Apple Macs Remain Vulnerable to EFI Firmware Hacks

Millions of Up-to-Date Apple Macs Remain Vulnerable to EFI Firmware Hacks

September 29, 2017Unknown
" Always keep your operating system and software up-to-date ." This is one of the most popular and critical advice that every security expert strongly suggests you to follow to prevent yourself from major cyber attacks. However, even if you attempt to install every damn software update that lands to your system, there is a good chance of your computer remaining outdated and vulnerable. Researchers from security firm Duo Labs analysed over 73,000 Macs systems and discovered that a surprising number of Apple Mac computers either fails to install patches for EFI firmware vulnerabilities or doesn't receive any update at all. Apple uses Intel-designed Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) for Mac computers that work at a lower level than a computer's OS and hypervisors—and controls the boot process. EFI runs before macOS boots up and has higher-level privileges that, if exploited by attackers, could allow EFI malware to control everything without being detecte
Adobe Patches Two Critical RCE Vulnerabilities in Flash Player

Adobe Patches Two Critical RCE Vulnerabilities in Flash Player

September 13, 2017Unknown
Adobe may kill Flash Player by the end of 2020, but until then, the company would not stop providing security updates to the buggy software . As part of its monthly security updates, Adobe has released patches for eight security vulnerabilities in its three products, including two vulnerabilities in Flash Player, four in ColdFusion, and two in RoboHelp—five of these are rated as critical. Both of the Adobe Flash Player vulnerabilities can be exploited for remote code execution on the affected device, and both have been classified as critical. None of the patched vulnerabilities has reportedly been exploited in the wild, according to the company. The critical Flash Player flaws are tracked as CVE-2017-11281 and CVE-2017-11282 and were discovered by Mateusz Jurczyk and Natalie Silvanovich of Google Project Zero, respectively. Both the security vulnerabilities are memory corruption issues that could lead to remote code execution and affect all major operating system, includi
WannaCry Ransomware: Everything You Need To Know Immediately

WannaCry Ransomware: Everything You Need To Know Immediately

May 15, 2017Mohit Kumar
By now I am sure you have already heard something about the WannaCry ransomware , and are wondering what's going on, who is doing this, and whether your computer is secure from this insanely fast-spreading threat that has already hacked nearly 200,000 Windows PCs over the weekend. The only positive thing about this attack is that — you are here — as after reading this easy-to-understandable awareness article, you would be so cautious that you can save yourself from WannaCry, as well as other similar cyber attacks in the future. Also Read — Google Researcher Finds Link Between WannaCry Attacks and North Korea . Since this widely spread ransomware attack is neither the first nor the last one to hit users worldwide, prevention is always the key to protect against such malware threats. What is WannaCry? How to Protect your Computer from WannaCry Ransomware? Follow These Simple Steps. TWEET THIS In this article, we have provided some of the most important primary secu
Windows SMB Zero-Day Exploit Released in the Wild after Microsoft delayed the Patch

Windows SMB Zero-Day Exploit Released in the Wild after Microsoft delayed the Patch

February 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Last weekend a security researcher publically disclosed a zero-day vulnerability in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Server editions after Microsoft failed to patch it in the past three months. The zero-day memory corruption flaw resides in the implementation of the SMB (server message block) network file sharing protocol that could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to crash systems with denial of service attack, which would then open them to more possible attacks. According to US-CERT, the vulnerability could also be exploited to execute arbitrary code with Windows kernel privileges on vulnerable systems, but this has not been confirmed right now by Microsoft. Without revealing the actual scope of the vulnerability and the kind of threat the exploit poses, Microsoft has just downplayed the severity of the issue, saying: "Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues, and proactively update impacted devices as soon as
NTP DoS Exploit Released — Update Your Servers to Patch 10 Flaws

NTP DoS Exploit Released — Update Your Servers to Patch 10 Flaws

November 23, 2016Mohit Kumar
A proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for a critical vulnerability in the Network Time Protocol daemon (ntpd) has been publically released that could allow anyone to crash a server with just a single maliciously crafted packet. The vulnerability has been patched by the Network Time Foundation with the release of NTP 4.2.8p9, which includes a total of 40 security patches, bug fixes, and improvements. The NTP daemon is used in almost every device that needs to synchronize time on computer clocks. NTP got the most attention in late 2014 and 2015 when hackers used it to launch highly amplified DDoS attacks against services. The flaw which affects NTP.org's nptd versions prior to 4.2.8p9, but not including ntp-4.3.94, has been discovered by security researcher Magnus Stubman, who privately disclosed it to the Network Time Foundation on June 24. A patch for the vulnerability was developed and sent to Stubman on 29th September and just two days later, the researcher acknowledged t
Warning! Your iPhone Can Get Hacked Just by Opening a JPEG Image, PDF or Font File

Warning! Your iPhone Can Get Hacked Just by Opening a JPEG Image, PDF or Font File

October 25, 2016Mohit Kumar
What's worse than knowing that innocent looking JPEGs, PDFs and font files can hijack your iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Yes, attackers can take over your vulnerable Apple's iOS device remotely – all they have to do is trick you to view a maliciously-crafted JPEG graphic or PDF file through a website or an email, which could allow them to execute malicious code on your system. That's a terrible flaw (CVE-2016-4673), but the good news is that Apple has released the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 10.1 , for iPhones and iPads to address this remote-code execution flaw, alongside an array of bug fixes. And now that the company has rolled out a security patch, some hackers would surely find vulnerable Apple devices to exploit the vulnerability and take full control of them. So, users running older versions of iOS are advised to update their mobile devices to iOS 10.1 as soon as possible. Besides this remote code execution flaw, the newest iOS 10.1 incl
High-Severity OpenSSL Vulnerability allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

High-Severity OpenSSL Vulnerability allows Hackers to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic

May 05, 2016Mohit Kumar
OpenSSL has released a series of patches against six vulnerabilities, including a pair of high-severity flaws that could allow attackers to execute malicious code on a web server as well as decrypt HTTPS traffic . OpenSSL is an open-source cryptographic library that is the most widely being used by a significant portion of the Internet services; to cryptographically protect their sensitive Web and e-mail traffic using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. One of the high-severity flaws, CVE-2016-2107 , allows a man-in-the-middle attacker to initiate a " Padding Oracle Attack " that can decrypt HTTPS traffic if the connection uses AES-CBC cipher and the server supports AES-NI. A Padding Oracle flaw weakens the encryption protection by allowing attackers to repeatedly request plaintext data about an encrypted payload content. The Padding Oracle flaw ( exploit code ) was discovered by Juraj Somorovsky using his own developed tool c
Emergency Patch released for Latest Flash Zero-Day Vulnerability

Emergency Patch released for Latest Flash Zero-Day Vulnerability

October 17, 2015Khyati Jain
Two days ago, The Hacker News (THN) reported about the Zero-day vulnerability in the freshly patched Adobe Flash Player . The vulnerability was exploited in the wild by a well-known group of Russian hackers, named " Pawn Storm ," to target several foreign affairs ministries worldwide. The zero-day flaw allowed hackers to have complete control of the users' machine, potentially putting all the Flash Player users at a potentially high risk. Since then, there was no patch available to make flawed utility safe. However, Adobe has now patched the zero-day vulnerability, along with some critical vulnerabilities whose details are yet to be disclosed. Yesterday, the company published a post on their official security bulletin ( APSB15-27 ) detailing the risks associated with the zero-day and how a user can get rid of them. The critical vulnerabilities are assigned following CVE numbers: CVE-2015-7645 CVE-2015-7647 CVE-2015-7648 Also, Adobe is kn
How to Fix iPhone Crash Text Message Bug

How to Fix iPhone Crash Text Message Bug

May 30, 2015Swati Khandelwal
We reported you about a new bug in the core component of iOS and OS X that causes the device's Messages app to crash and iPhones to reboot if it receives a certain string of characters , Arabic characters , via text message. Many have since fallen victims to this specially crafted sequence of Unicode bug . It is believed that when this malicious string of characters is sent in a text message, it will crash an iThing when the text is displayed as a notification on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple watch. Not iMessages alone, Snapchat and Twitter on iOS devices are also vulnerable to this iPhone crash text bug as they also use the CoreText component to display text on-screen. Here's the unique text that's causing the iPhone crash: effective. Power لُلُصّبُلُلصّبُررً ॣ ॣh ॣ ॣ 冗 It's been really annoying that people all across the world are messaging each other the secret string of unique characters that resets the phone, causing it to turn on and off.
Microsoft Ends Windows 7 Mainstream Support

Microsoft Ends Windows 7 Mainstream Support

January 16, 2015Wang Wei
On January 13, 2015, Microsoft's mainstream support for Windows 7 Service Pack (SP) 1 ended, which means the end of free Windows 7's " mainstream support " period, with the operating system now entering "extended support." Many people are still running the aging Windows XP as well as Windows 7. Microsoft already ended its support for Windows XP officially about a year ago on April 8, 2014, and now the company found Windows 7 an old and cranky OS. END OF MAINSTREAM SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 7 BUT NO WORRIES UNTIL 2020 However, it doesn’t mean that the tech giant is going to automatically stop or break your operating system, but it does mean that the company will no longer offer free help and support in case you have any problem with your Windows 7 software. No new features will be added either. Windows 7 is still supported by the company and will continue to receive security updates for at least another five years, i.e. until Jan. 14, 2020. By
First Time Ever Apple Automatically Pushes Security Patch for Mac OS

First Time Ever Apple Automatically Pushes Security Patch for Mac OS

December 24, 2014Mohit Kumar
First time ever in the History, Apple Inc. has pushed out an automatic security update for Macintosh OS X computers to address a critical security issue that, according to the company, was too risky to wait for users to patch after seeking their prior approval. Despite having the ability for years to silently and automatically update its users computers, Apple typically asks its users' permission to approve them manually or automatically before installing any security update of this kind. But, the company has exercised its ability for the very first time to patch a critical security flaw in a component of its OS X operating system called the Network Time Protocol (NTP) . This newly discovered security vulnerability, assigned CVE-2014-9295, became public late last week and affects all operating systems, including OS X and other Linux and Unix distributions, running versions of NTP4 prior to 4.2.8. NTP is used for synchronizing clocks between computer systems and across the globa
Microsoft Releases 7 Security Updates

Microsoft Releases 7 Security Updates

December 09, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Last week Microsoft released its Advance Notification for the month of December 2014 Patch Tuesday Updates, and finally today released a total of seven security bulletins, which will address several vulnerabilities in its products, out of which three are marked 'critical' and rest are 'important' in severity. Last month after a big pile of security patches , the company released an an unusual emergency patch to fix a critical vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Kerberos KBC, authentication system used by default in the operating system, that cybercriminals exploited to compromise whole networks of computers. The three critical bulletins affect Internet Explorer, Office and Windows. All the versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) are affected except Server Core, which does not include IE. The critical zero-day IE vulnerability (CVE-2014-8967) was discovered by security researcher Arthur Gerkis of Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) in June this year. By explo
Microsoft Releases Emergency Out-of-Band Patch for Kerberos Bug MS14-068

Microsoft Releases Emergency Out-of-Band Patch for Kerberos Bug MS14-068

November 19, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft today released an " out-of-band " security updates to fix a critical vulnerability in all supported versions of its Windows Server software that cyber criminals are exploiting to compromise whole networks of computers. The Emergency patch release comes just one week after Microsoft provided its monthly security patch updates. The November 2014 Patch Tuesday updates included 16 security patches, five of which were rated by Redmond as "critical." The security update (MS14-068) addresses a vulnerability in the Windows component called Microsoft Windows Kerberos KBC , authentication system used by default in the operating system. The flaw allows an attacker to elevate domain user account privileges and access rights to that of a domain administrator account. As a result, if users unknowingly or accidentally run a malicious software on their system, it could therefore be used to compromise the entire network, which could be more dangerous for those who
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