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Most Sophisticated iPhone Hack Ever Exploited Apple's Hidden Hardware Feature

Most Sophisticated iPhone Hack Ever Exploited Apple's Hidden Hardware Feature

Dec 28, 2023 Spyware / Hardware Security
The  Operation Triangulation  spyware attacks targeting Apple iOS devices leveraged never-before-seen exploits that made it possible to even bypass pivotal hardware-based security protections erected by the company. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which  discovered  the  campaign  at the beginning of 2023 after becoming one of the targets,  described  it as the "most sophisticated attack chain" it has ever observed to date. The campaign is believed to have been active since 2019. Operation Triangulation gets its name from the use of a fingerprinting technique called canvas fingerprinting to draw a yellow triangle on a pink background with Web Graphics Library ( WebGL ) in the device's memory. The exploitation activity involved the use of four zero-day flaws that were fashioned into a chain to obtain an unprecedented level of access and backdoor target devices running iOS versions up to iOS 16.2 with the ultimate goal of gathering sensitive information. The starti
Collide+Power, Downfall, and Inception: New Side-Channel Attacks Affecting Modern CPUs

Collide+Power, Downfall, and Inception: New Side-Channel Attacks Affecting Modern CPUs

Aug 09, 2023
Cybersecurity researchers have disclosed details of a trio of side-channel attacks that could be exploited to leak sensitive data from modern CPUs. Called  Collide+Power  ( CVE-2023-20583 ),  Downfall  ( CVE-2022-40982 ), and  Inception  ( CVE-2023-20569 ), the novel methods follow the disclosure of another newly discovered security vulnerability affecting AMD's Zen 2 architecture-based processors known as  Zenbleed  (CVE-2023-20593). "Downfall attacks target a critical weakness found in billions of modern processors used in personal and cloud computers,"  Daniel Moghimi , senior research scientist at Google,  said . "This vulnerability [...] enables a user to access and steal data from other users who share the same computer." In a hypothetical attack scenario, a malicious app installed on a device could weaponize the method to steal sensitive information like passwords and encryption keys, effectively undermining Intel's Software Guard eXtensions ( SGX
SaaS Compliance through the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

SaaS Compliance through the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Feb 20, 2024Cybersecurity Framework / SaaS Security
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework is one of the world's most important guidelines for securing networks. It can be applied to any number of applications, including SaaS.  One of the challenges facing those tasked with securing SaaS applications is the different settings found in each application. It makes it difficult to develop a configuration policy that will apply to an HR app that manages employees, a marketing app that manages content, and an R&D app that manages software versions, all while aligning with NIST compliance standards.  However, there are several settings that can be applied to nearly every app in the SaaS stack. In this article, we'll explore some universal configurations, explain why they are important, and guide you in setting them in a way that improves your SaaS apps' security posture.  Start with Admins Role-based access control (RBAC) is a key to NIST adherence and should be applied to every SaaS a
Zenbleed: New Flaw in AMD Zen 2 Processors Puts Encryption Keys and Passwords at Risk

Zenbleed: New Flaw in AMD Zen 2 Processors Puts Encryption Keys and Passwords at Risk

Jul 25, 2023 Hardware Security / Encryption
A new security vulnerability has been discovered in AMD's Zen 2 architecture-based processors that could be exploited to extract sensitive data such as encryption keys and passwords. Discovered by Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy, the flaw – codenamed  Zenbleed  and tracked as  CVE-2023-20593  (CVSS score: 6.5) – allows data exfiltration at the rate of 30 kb per core, per second. The issue is part of a broader category of weaknesses called  speculative execution attacks , in which the optimization technique widely used in modern CPUs is abused to access cryptographic keys from CPU registers. "Under specific microarchitectural circumstances, a register in 'Zen 2' CPUs may not be written to 0 correctly," AMD  explained  in an advisory. "This may cause data from another process and/or thread to be stored in the YMM register , which may allow an attacker to potentially access sensitive information." Web infrastructure company Cloudflare note
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Are You Vulnerable to Third-Party Breaches Through Interconnected SaaS Apps?

websiteWing SecuritySaaS Security / Risk Management
Protect against cascading risks by identifying and mitigating app2app and third-party SaaS vulnerabilities.
China Bans U.S. Chip Giant Micron, Citing "Serious Cybersecurity Problems"

China Bans U.S. Chip Giant Micron, Citing "Serious Cybersecurity Problems"

May 23, 2023 National Security / Hardware
China has banned U.S. chip maker Micron from selling its products to Chinese companies working on key infrastructure projects, citing national security risks. The development comes nearly two months after the country's cybersecurity authority  initiated a probe  in late March 2023 to assess potential network security risks. "The purpose of this network security review of Micron's products is to prevent product network security problems from endangering the security of national critical information infrastructure, which is a necessary measure to maintain national security," the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)  said . The CAC further said the investigation found "serious cybersecurity problems" in Micron's products, endangering the country's critical information infrastructure supply chain. As a result, operators involved in such critical information infrastructure projects should stop purchasing products from Micron, it added. The autho
MIT Researchers Discover New Flaw in Apple M1 CPUs That Can't Be Patched

MIT Researchers Discover New Flaw in Apple M1 CPUs That Can't Be Patched

Jun 11, 2022
A novel hardware attack dubbed  PACMAN  has been demonstrated against Apple's M1 processor chipsets, potentially arming a malicious actor with the capability to gain arbitrary code execution on macOS systems. It leverages "speculative execution attacks to bypass an important memory protection mechanism, ARM Pointer Authentication, a security feature that is used to enforce pointer integrity," MIT researchers Joseph Ravichandran, Weon Taek Na, Jay Lang, and Mengjia Yan  said  in a new paper. What's more concerning is that "while the hardware mechanisms used by PACMAN cannot be patched with software features, memory corruption bugs can be," the researchers added. The vulnerability is rooted in pointer authentication codes ( PACs ), a line of defense introduced in arm64e architecture that aims to detect and secure against unexpected changes to  pointers  — objects that reference an address location in memory. PACs aim to solve a common problem in software
Researchers Break Intel SGX With New 'SmashEx' CPU Attack Technique

Researchers Break Intel SGX With New 'SmashEx' CPU Attack Technique

Oct 20, 2021
A newly disclosed vulnerability affecting Intel processors could be abused by an adversary to gain access to sensitive information stored within enclaves and even run arbitrary code on vulnerable systems. The vulnerability ( CVE-2021-0186 , CVSS score: 8.2) was discovered by a group of academics from ETH Zurich, the National University of Singapore, and the Chinese National University of Defense Technology in early May 2021, who used it to stage a confidential data disclosure attack called " SmashEx " that can corrupt private data housed in the enclave and break its integrity. Introduced with Intel's Skylake processors, SGX (short for Software Guard eXtensions) allows developers to run selected application modules in a completely isolated secure compartment of memory, called an enclave or a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which is designed to be protected from processes running at higher privilege levels like the operating system. SGX ensures that data is secure
7 New Flaws Affect All Thunderbolt-equipped Computers Sold in the Last 9 Years

7 New Flaws Affect All Thunderbolt-equipped Computers Sold in the Last 9 Years

May 11, 2020
A cybersecurity researcher today uncovers a set of 7 new unpatchable hardware vulnerabilities that affect all desktops and laptops sold in the past 9 years with Thunderbolt, or Thunderbolt-compatible USB-C ports. Collectively dubbed 'ThunderSpy,' the vulnerabilities can be exploited in 9 realistic evil-maid attack scenarios, primarily to steal data or read/write all of the system memory of a locked or sleeping computer—even when drives are protected with full disk encryption. In a nutshell, if you think someone with a few minutes of physical access to your computer—regardless of the location—can cause any form of significant harm to you, you're at risk for an evil maid attack. According to Bj√∂rn Ruytenberg of the Eindhoven University of Technology, the ThunderSpy attack "may require opening a target laptop's case with a screwdriver, [but] it leaves no trace of intrusion and can be pulled off in just a few minutes." In other words, the flaw is not li
Unpatchable 'Starbleed' Bug in FPGA Chips Exposes Critical Devices to Hackers

Unpatchable 'Starbleed' Bug in FPGA Chips Exposes Critical Devices to Hackers

Apr 21, 2020
A newly discovered unpatchable hardware vulnerability in Xilinx programmable logic products could allow an attacker to break bitstream encryption, and clone intellectual property, change the functionality, and even implant hardware Trojans. The details of the attacks against Xilinx 7-Series and Virtex-6 Field Programmable Gate Arrays ( FPGAs ) have been covered in a paper titled " The Unpatchable Silicon: A Full Break of the Bitstream Encryption of Xilinx 7-Series FPGAs " by a group of academics from the Horst Goertz Institute for IT Security and Max Planck Institute for Cyber Security and Privacy. "We exploit a design flaw which piecewise leaks the decrypted bitstream," the researchers said. "In the attack, the FPGA is used as a decryption oracle, while only access to a configuration interface is needed. The attack does not require any sophisticated tools and, depending on the target system, can potentially be launched remotely." The findings wil
Researchers Discover TPM-Fail Vulnerabilities Affecting Billions of Devices

Researchers Discover TPM-Fail Vulnerabilities Affecting Billions of Devices

Nov 13, 2019
A team of cybersecurity researchers today disclosed details of two new potentially serious CPU vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to retrieve cryptographic keys protected inside TPM chips manufactured by STMicroelectronics or firmware-based Intel TPMs. Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a specialized hardware or firmware-based security solution that has been designed to store and protect sensitive information from attackers even when your operating system gets compromised. TMP technology is being used widely by billion of desktops, laptops, servers, smartphones, and even by Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to protect encryption keys, passwords, and digital certificates. Collectively dubbed as TPM-Fail , both newly found vulnerabilities, as listed below, leverage a timing-based side-channel attack to recover cryptographic keys that are otherwise supposed to remain safely inside the chips. CVE-2019-11090 : Intel fTPM vulnerabilities CVE-2019-16863 : STMicroelectronics
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