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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: encryption

Researchers Uncover Ways to Break the Encryption of 'MEGA' Cloud Storage Service

Researchers Uncover Ways to Break the Encryption of 'MEGA' Cloud Storage Service

June 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new piece of research from academics at ETH Zurich has identified a number of critical security issues in the MEGA cloud storage service that could be leveraged to break the confidentiality and integrity of user data. In a paper titled " MEGA: Malleable Encryption Goes Awry ," the researchers point out how MEGA's system does not protect its users against a malicious server, thereby enabling a rogue actor to fully compromise the privacy of the uploaded files. "Additionally, the integrity of user data is damaged to the extent that an attacker can insert malicious files of their choice which pass all authenticity checks of the client," ETH Zurich's Matilda Backendal, Miro Haller, and Kenneth G. Paterson said in an analysis of the service's cryptographic architecture. MEGA, which  advertises  itself as the "privacy company" and claims to provide user-controlled end-to-end encrypted cloud storage, has more than 10 million daily active users, w
New XLoader Botnet Version Using Probability Theory to Hide its C&C Servers

New XLoader Botnet Version Using Probability Theory to Hide its C&C Servers

June 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An enhanced version of the XLoader malware has been spotted adopting a probability-based approach to camouflage its command-and-control (C&C) infrastructure, according to the latest research. "Now it is significantly harder to separate the wheat from the chaff and discover the real C&C servers among thousands of legitimate domains used by Xloader as a smokescreen," Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point  said . First spotted in the wild in October 2020, XLoader is a successor to Formbook and a  cross-platform information stealer  that's capable of plundering credentials from web browsers, capturing keystrokes and screenshots, and executing arbitrary commands and payloads. More recently, the  ongoing geopolitical conflict  between Russia and Ukraine has proved to be a lucrative fodder for  distributing XLoader  by means of  phishing emails  aimed at high-ranking government officials in Ukraine. The latest findings from Check Point build on a previous repor
New "B1txor20" Linux Botnet Uses DNS Tunnel and Exploits Log4J Flaw

New "B1txor20" Linux Botnet Uses DNS Tunnel and Exploits Log4J Flaw

March 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented backdoor has been observed targeting Linux systems with the goal of corralling the machines into a botnet and acting as a conduit for downloading and installing rootkits. Qihoo 360's Netlab security team called it  B1txor20  "based on its propagation using the file name 'b1t,' the XOR encryption algorithm, and the RC4 algorithm key length of 20 bytes." First observed propagating through the  Log4j vulnerability  on February 9, 2022, the malware leverages a technique called DNS tunneling to build communication channels with command-and-control (C2) servers by encoding data in DNS queries and responses. B1txor20, while also buggy in some ways, currently supports the ability to obtain a shell, execute arbitrary commands, install a rootkit, open a  SOCKS5 proxy , and functions to upload sensitive information back to the C2 server. Once a machine is successfully compromised, the malware utilizes the DNS tunnel to retrieve and execute co
Researchers Demonstrate New Side-Channel Attack on Homomorphic Encryption

Researchers Demonstrate New Side-Channel Attack on Homomorphic Encryption

March 03, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A group of academics from the North Carolina State University and Dokuz Eylul University have demonstrated what they say is the "first side-channel attack" on homomorphic encryption that could be exploited to leak data as the encryption process is underway. "Basically, by monitoring power consumption in a device that is encoding data for homomorphic encryption, we are able to read the data as it is being encrypted," Aydin Aysu, one of the authors of the study,  said . "This demonstrates that even next generation encryption technologies need protection against side-channel attacks." Homomorphic Encryption is a  form of encryption  that allows certain types of computation to be performed directly on encrypted data without having to decrypt it in the first place. It's also meant to be privacy-preserving in that it allows sharing of sensitive data with other third-party services, such as data analytics firms, for further processing while the underlyin
100 Million Samsung Galaxy Phones Affected with Flawed Hardware Encryption Feature

100 Million Samsung Galaxy Phones Affected with Flawed Hardware Encryption Feature

February 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A group of academics from Tel Aviv University have disclosed details of now-patched "severe" design flaws affecting about 100 million Android-based Samsung smartphones that could have resulted in the extraction of secret cryptographic keys. The shortcomings are the result of an analysis of the cryptographic design and implementation of Android's hardware-backed Keystore in Samsung's Galaxy S8, S9, S10, S20, and S21 flagship devices, researchers Alon Shakevsky, Eyal Ronen, and Avishai Wool  said . Trusted Execution Environments ( TEEs ) are a secure zone that provide an isolated environment for the execution of Trusted Applications (TAs) to carry out security critical tasks to ensure confidentiality and integrity. On Android, the hardware-backed  Keystore  is a system that facilitates the creation and storage of cryptographic keys within the TEE, making them more difficult to be extracted from the device in a manner that prevents the underlying operating system fr
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