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Flaws in Popular Self-Encrypting SSDs Let Attackers Decrypt Data

Flaws in Popular Self-Encrypting SSDs Let Attackers Decrypt Data

November 06, 2018Swati Khandelwal
We all have something to hide, something to protect. But if you are also relying on self-encrypting drives for that, then you should read this news carefully. Security researchers have discovered multiple critical vulnerabilities in some of the popular self-encrypting solid state drives (SSD) that could allow an attacker to decrypt disk encryption and recover protected data without knowing the password for the disk. The researchers—Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel—at Radboud University in the Netherlands reverse engineered the firmware several SSDs that offer hardware full-disk encryption to identify several issues and detailed their findings in a new paper ( PDF ) published Monday. "The analysis uncovers a pattern of critical issues across vendors. For multiple models, it is possible to bypass the encryption entirely, allowing for a complete recovery of the data without any knowledge of passwords or keys," the researchers say. The duo successfully tested their
Accused CIA Leaker Faces New Charges of Leaking Information From Prison

Accused CIA Leaker Faces New Charges of Leaking Information From Prison

November 02, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Joshua Adam Schulte , a 30-year-old former CIA computer programmer who was indicted over four months ago  for masterminding the largest leak of classified information in the agency's history, has now been issued three new charges. The news comes just hours after Schulte wrote a letter to the federal judge presiding over his case, accusing officials at Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center of interfering with his case pleading and subjecting him to "cruel and unusual punishment" in pre-trial detention. "The shit-filled showers where you leave dirtier than when you entered; the flooding of the tiers and cages with ice-cold water; the constant blast of cold air as we are exposed to extreme cold without blankets or long-sleeve shirts; the uncontrollable lights that are always on as we are sleep deprived...No human being should ever have to experience this torture," Schulte wrote. Schulte, who once designed hacking tools and malware for both the CIA and
Apple's New MacBook Disconnects Microphone "Physically" When Lid is Closed

Apple's New MacBook Disconnects Microphone "Physically" When Lid is Closed

October 31, 2018Mohit Kumar
Apple introduces a new privacy feature for all new MacBooks that "at some extent" will prevent hackers and malicious applications from eavesdropping on your conversations. Apple's custom T2 security chip in the latest MacBooks includes a new hardware feature that physically disconnects the MacBook's built-in microphone whenever the user closes the lid, the company revealed yesterday at its event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. Though the new T2 chip is already present in the 2018 MacBook Pro models launched earlier this year, this new feature got unveiled when Apple launched the new Retina MacBook Air and published a full security guide for T2 Chip yesterday. "This disconnect is implemented in hardware alone, and therefore prevents any software, even with root or kernel privileges in macOS, and even the software on the T2 chip, from engaging the microphone when the lid is closed," Apple explained in the guide [ PDF ]. The tech giant furt
Signal Secure Messaging App Now Encrypts Sender's Identity As Well

Signal Secure Messaging App Now Encrypts Sender's Identity As Well

October 30, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Signal, the popular end-to-end encrypted messaging app, is planning to roll out a new feature that aims to hide the sender's identity from potential attackers trying to intercept the communication. Although messages send via secure messaging services, like Signal , WhatsApp , and Telegram , are fully end-to-end encrypted as they transmit across their servers, each message leaves behind some of the metadata information that reveals who sent the message to whom and when. The new feature, dubbed " Sealed Sender ," announced by Signal is going to further reduce the amount of information that is accessible to the company itself. However, you should note that Signal never stores metadata or logs of information on its users like who sends messages to each other and when, but the new feature would protect the sender’s identity in case the communication is somehow intercepted. How Does the Signal's Sealed Sender Feature Protect Metadata? According to a blog post
Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON

Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON

October 29, 2018Mohit Kumar
Microsoft Windows built-in anti-malware tool, Windows Defender, has become the very first antivirus software to have the ability to run inside a sandbox environment. Sandboxing is a process that runs an application in a safe environment isolated from the rest of the operating system and applications on a computer. So that if a sandboxed application gets compromised, the technique prevents its damage from spreading outside the closed area. Since antivirus and anti-malware tools run with the highest level of privileges to scan all parts of a computer for malicious code, it has become a desired target for attackers. The need for sandboxing an antivirus tool has become necessary after multiple critical vulnerabilities were discovered in such powerful applications, including Windows Defender, in past years that could have allowed attackers to gain full control of a targeted system. That's why Microsoft announced to add a sandbox mode to its Windows Defender. So, even if an att
Google Makes 2 Years of Android Security Updates Mandatory for Device Makers

Google Makes 2 Years of Android Security Updates Mandatory for Device Makers

October 25, 2018Mohit Kumar
When it comes to security updates, Android is a real mess. Even after Google timely rolls out security patches for its Android platform, a major part of the Android ecosystem remains exposed to hackers because device manufacturers do not deliver patches regularly and on a timely basis to their customers. To deal with this issue, Google at its I/O Developer Conference May 2018 revealed the company's plan to update its OEM agreements that would require Android device manufacturers to roll out at least security updates regularly. Now, a leaked, unverified copy of a new contract between Google and OEMs obtained by The Verge reveals some terms of the agreement that device manufacturers have to comply with or otherwise they have to lose their Google certification for upcoming Android devices. Google's New Terms for Android Security Updates According to the leaked contract, Android OEMs will now be required to regularly roll out security updates for popular devices—lau
Hacker Discloses New Windows Zero-Day Exploit On Twitter

Hacker Discloses New Windows Zero-Day Exploit On Twitter

October 24, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A security researcher with Twitter alias SandboxEscaper—who two months ago publicly dropped a zero-day exploit for Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler—has yesterday released another proof-of-concept exploit for a new Windows zero-day vulnerability. SandboxEscaper posted a link to a Github page hosting a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for the vulnerability that appears to be a privilege escalation flaw residing in Microsoft Data Sharing (dssvc.dll). The Data Sharing Service is a local service that runs as LocalSystem account with extensive privileges and provides data brokering between applications. The flaw could allow a low-privileged attacker to elevate their privileges on a target system, though the PoC exploit code (deletebug.exe) released by the researcher only allows a low privileged user to delete critical system files—that otherwise would only be possible via admin level privileges. "Not the same bug I posted a while back, this doesn't write garbage to files
Google to Encrypt Android Cloud Backups With Your Lock Screen Password

Google to Encrypt Android Cloud Backups With Your Lock Screen Password

October 15, 2018Swati Khandelwal
In an effort to secure users' data while maintaining privacy, Google has announced a new security measure for Android Backup Service that now encrypts all your backup data stored on its cloud servers in a way that even the company can't read it. Google allows Android users to automatically backup their essential app data and settings to their Google account, allowing them to simply restore it when required, instead of re-configuring all the apps after formatting or switching to a new phone. However, until now your backup data was not encrypted and visible to Google, and now the company is going to change its storage procedure. Starting with Android Pie, Google is going to encrypt your Android device backup data in the following way: Step 1: Your Android device will generate a random secret key (not known to Google), Step 2: The secret key will then get encrypted using your lockscreen PIN/pattern/passcode (not known to Google), Step 3: This passcode-protected
Microsoft October Patch Tuesday Fixes 12 Critical Vulnerabilities

Microsoft October Patch Tuesday Fixes 12 Critical Vulnerabilities

October 09, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Microsoft has just released its latest monthly Patch Tuesday updates for October 2018, fixing a total of 49 security vulnerabilities in its products. This month's security updates address security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Edge Browser, Internet Explorer, MS Office, MS Office Services and Web Apps, ChakraCore, SQL Server Management Studio, and Exchange Server. Out of 49 flaws patched this month, 12 are rated as critical, 35 are rated as important, one moderate, and one is low in severity. Three of these vulnerabilities patched by the tech giant are listed as “publicly known” at the time of release, and one flaw is reported as being actively exploited in the wild. Windows Update Patches An Important Flaw Under Active Attack According to the Microsoft advisory , an undisclosed group of attackers is actively exploiting an important elevation of privilege vulnerability (CVE-2018-8453) in Microsoft Windows operating system to take full control over the targete
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
Facebook Hacked — 10 Important Updates You Need To Know About

Facebook Hacked — 10 Important Updates You Need To Know About

September 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
If you also found yourself logged out of Facebook on Friday, you are not alone. Facebook forced more than 90 million users to log out and back into their accounts in response to a massive data breach. On Friday afternoon, the social media giant disclosed that some unknown hackers managed to exploit three vulnerabilities in its website and steal data from 50 million users and that as a precaution, the company reset access tokens for nearly 90 million Facebook users. We covered a story yesterday based upon the information available at that time. Facebook Hack: 10 Important Updates You Need To Know About However, in a conference call [ Transcript 1 , Transcript 2 ] with reporters, Facebook vice president of product Guy Rosen shared a few more details of the terrible breach, which is believed to be the most significant security blunder in Facebook's history. Here's below we have briefed the new developments in the Facebook data breach incident that you need to know abo
Google Hacker Discloses New Linux Kernel Vulnerability and PoC Exploit

Google Hacker Discloses New Linux Kernel Vulnerability and PoC Exploit

September 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
A cybersecurity researcher with Google Project Zero has released the details, and a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for a high severity vulnerability that exists in Linux kernel since kernel version 3.16 through 4.18.8. Discovered by white hat hacker Jann Horn, the kernel vulnerability (CVE-2018-17182) is a cache invalidation bug in the Linux memory management subsystem that leads to use-after-free vulnerability, which if exploited, could allow an attacker to gain root privileges on the targeted system. The use-after-free (UAF) vulnerabilities are a class of memory corruption bug that can be exploited by unprivileged users to corrupt or alter data in memory, enabling them to cause a denial of service (system crash) or escalate privileges to gain administrative access on a system. Linux Kernel Exploit Takes an Hour to Gain Root Access However, Horn says his PoC Linux kernel exploit made available to the public "takes about an hour to run before popping a root shell."
16-Year-Old Boy Who Hacked Apple's Private Systems Gets No Jail Time

16-Year-Old Boy Who Hacked Apple's Private Systems Gets No Jail Time

September 27, 2018Swati Khandelwal
An Australian teenager who pleaded guilty to break into Apple's private systems  multiple times over several months and download some 90GB of secure files has avoided conviction and will not serve time in prison. An Australian Children's Court has given the now 19-year-old adult defendant, who was 16 at the time of committing the crime, a probation order of eight months, though the magistrate made him understand how serious his offense was. The teen, whose cannot be named under a local law that protects the identity of juveniles, told the court that he hacked into Apple's systems because he was a huge fan of the company and "dreamed of" working for the technology giant. The "Hacky Hack Hack" Folder The teen hacked into Apple's servers not once, but numerous times over the course of more than a year—between June 2015 and November 2016, and in April 2017. As soon as the tech giant detected his presence on their servers, it blocked him and
Cybersecurity Researchers Spotted First-Ever UEFI Rootkit in the Wild

Cybersecurity Researchers Spotted First-Ever UEFI Rootkit in the Wild

September 27, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers at ESET have unveiled what they claim to be the first-ever UEFI rootkit being used in the wild, allowing hackers to implant persistent malware on the targeted computers that could survive a complete hard-drive wipe. Dubbed LoJax , the UEFI rootkit is part of a malware campaign conducted by the infamous Sednit group, also known as APT28, Fancy Bear , Strontium , and Sofacy , to target several government organizations in the Balkans as well as in Central and Eastern Europe. Operating since at least 2007, Sednit group is a state-sponsored hacking group believed to be a unit of GRU (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate), a Russian secret military intelligence agency. The hacking group has been associated with a number of high profile attacks, including the DNC hack just before the U.S. 2016 presidential election . UEFI, or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, a replacement for the traditional BIOS, is a core and critical firmware component of a
Linus Torvalds Apologizes For His Rude Behavior—Takes Time Off

Linus Torvalds Apologizes For His Rude Behavior—Takes Time Off

September 18, 2018Wang Wei
What just happened would definitely gonna surprise you. Linus Torvalds—father of the Linux open-source operating system—finally admitted his behavior towards other developers in the Linux community was hurting people and Linux. In a surprising move this weekend, Torvalds apologized for insulting and abusing other developers for almost three decades and took a break from the open-source software to work on his behavior. In an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) on Sunday, Torvalds said that he was confronted by people of the Linux community this week about his lifetime of not understanding emotions, and apologized for his personal behavior that has hurt people and possibly has driven some of them away from working in kernel development altogether. Torvalds wrote, "I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely." "I am going to take
Russia to Fine Search Engines for Linking to Banned VPN services

Russia to Fine Search Engines for Linking to Banned VPN services

June 09, 2018Mohit Kumar
In its years-long efforts to censor the Internet by blocking access to a large number of websites in the country, Russia has now approved a new bill introducing fines for search engines that provide links to banned sites, VPN services , and anonymization tools . VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks , are third-party services that help users access block banned websites by encrypting users' Internet traffic and routing it through a distant connection, hiding their location data and access sites that are usually restricted or censored by a specific country. According to the amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, besides introducing fines for providing links to banned resources, the lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, will also impose fines on search engines if they fail to stop issuing links to resources providing up-to-date database of blocked domains upon users request. According to the bill, individuals who break the law
Researchers Defeat AMD's SEV Virtual Machine Encryption

Researchers Defeat AMD's SEV Virtual Machine Encryption

May 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
German security researchers claim to have found a new practical attack against virtual machines (VMs) protected using AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology that could allow attackers to recover plaintext memory data from guest VMs. AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology, which comes with EPYC line of processors, is a hardware feature that encrypts the memory of each VM in a way that only the guest itself can access the data, protecting it from other VMs/containers and even from an untrusted hypervisor. Discovered by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security in Munich, the page-fault side channel attack, dubbed SEVered, takes advantage of lack in the integrity protection of the page-wise encryption of the main memory, allowing a malicious hypervisor to extract the full content of the main memory in plaintext from SEV-encrypted VMs. Here's the outline of the SEVered attack, as briefed in the paper :
Here's How to Download All the Data Apple Collects About You

Here's How to Download All the Data Apple Collects About You

May 24, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Apple is making it easier for its users to download their data the company has collected about them so far. On Wednesday, Apple just launched a new Data and Privacy website that allows you to download everything that the company knows about you, from Apple ID info, device info, App Store activity, AppleCare history, your online shopping habits to all of your data stored in its iCloud. A similar feature was recently offered by Facebook, enabling its users to download all of their data , not only what they have posted, but also information like facial recognition and location data, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal . Apple has currently made this feature only available for people having accounts in European Union (along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act, which goes into effect on May 25. However, Apple is planning to roll out this feature worldwide in the coming months. "We inten
The Hacker News Celebrates 7th Anniversary — Big Thanks 🥂 to Our Readers

The Hacker News Celebrates 7th Anniversary — Big Thanks 🥂 to Our Readers

November 01, 2017Mohit Kumar
The Hacker News (THN), the widely-read cybersecurity news source for hackers and technologists, is celebrating its 7th Anniversary today. This is a huge milestone for THN and our team, but this day really belongs to you—our readers. Without you, we would not be here, and we appreciate you for reading, commenting, and sharing our content every day. 7-years ago today we started this website with an aim to provide a dedicated platform to deliver latest cybersecurity news and threat updates for everyone, including students, enthusiasts, technologists, security researchers and hackers as well. Times flies when you are having fun! "Over 6,700 Posts, 33,500 Comments And 293 Million Pageviews" We have always admitted that we do not cover everything, never did, never could, we just cover things that are important to our readers and impact a broader audience. So this is the actual difference between The Hacker News and a full-fledged media outlet. Since November 1, 20
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