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New Report Exposes Operation Triangulation's Spyware Implant Targeting iOS Devices

New Report Exposes Operation Triangulation's Spyware Implant Targeting iOS Devices
Jun 21, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
More details have emerged about the spyware implant that's delivered to iOS devices as part of a campaign called Operation Triangulation. Kaspersky, which  discovered the operation  after becoming one of the targets at the start of the year, said the malware has a lifespan of 30 days, after which it gets automatically uninstalled unless the time period is extended by the attackers. The Russian cybersecurity company has codenamed the backdoor  TriangleDB . "The implant is deployed after the attackers obtain root privileges on the target iOS device by exploiting a kernel vulnerability," Kaspersky researchers  said  in a new report published today. "It is deployed in memory, meaning that all traces of the implant are lost when the device gets rebooted. Therefore, if the victim reboots their device, the attackers have to reinfect it by sending an iMessage with a malicious attachment, thus launching the whole exploitation chain again." Operation Triangulation

Spyware Vendors Caught Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities on Android and iOS Devices

Spyware Vendors Caught Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities on Android and iOS Devices
Mar 29, 2023 Zero-Day / Mobile Security
A number of zero-day vulnerabilities that were addressed last year were exploited by commercial spyware vendors to target Android and iOS devices, Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has revealed. The two distinct campaigns were both limited and highly targeted, taking advantage of the patch gap between the release of a fix and when it was actually deployed on the targeted devices. The scale of the two campaigns and the nature of the targets are currently unknown. "These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools, arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house," TAG's Clement Lecigne  said  in a new report. "While use of surveillance technologies may be legal under national or international laws, they are often found to be used by governments to target dissidents, journalists, human rights workers, and opposition party politicians." The first of the two operations took place in November 2022 and

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means

The Drop in Ransomware Attacks in 2024 and What it Means
Apr 08, 2024Ransomware / Cybercrime
The  ransomware industry surged in 2023  as it saw an alarming 55.5% increase in victims worldwide, reaching a staggering 5,070.  But 2024 is starting off showing a very different picture.  While the numbers skyrocketed in Q4 2023 with 1309 cases, in Q1 2024, the ransomware industry was down to 1,048 cases. This is a 22% decrease in ransomware attacks compared to Q4 2023. Figure 1: Victims per quarter There could be several reasons for this significant drop.  Reason 1: The Law Enforcement Intervention Firstly, law enforcement has upped the ante in 2024 with actions against both LockBit and ALPHV. The LockBit Arrests In February, an international operation named "Operation Cronos" culminated in the arrest of at least three associates of the infamous LockBit ransomware syndicate in Poland and Ukraine.  Law enforcement from multiple countries collaborated to take down LockBit's infrastructure. This included seizing their dark web domains and gaining access to their backend sys

FTC Bans Stalkerware App SpyFone; Orders Company to Erase Secretly Stolen Data

FTC Bans Stalkerware App SpyFone; Orders Company to Erase Secretly Stolen Data
Sep 02, 2021
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday banned a stalkerware app company called SpyFone from the surveillance business over concerns that it stealthily harvested and shared data on people's physical movements, phone use, and online activities that were then used by stalkers and domestic abusers to monitor potential targets. "SpyFone is a brazen brand name for a surveillance business that helped stalkers steal private information,"  said  Samuel Levine, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement. "The stalkerware was hidden from device owners, but was fully exposed to hackers who exploited the company's slipshod security. This case is an important reminder that surveillance-based businesses pose a significant threat to our safety and security." Calling out the app developers for its lack of basic security practices, the agency has also ordered SpyFone to delete the illegally harvested information and notify devic

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Google Details iOS, Chrome, IE Zero-Day Flaws Exploited Recently in the Wild

Google Details iOS, Chrome, IE Zero-Day Flaws Exploited Recently in the Wild
Jul 15, 2021
Threat intelligence researchers from Google on Wednesday  shed more light  on four in-the-wild zero-days in Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer browsers that were exploited by malicious actors in different campaigns since the start of the year. What's more, three of the four zero-days were engineered by commercial providers and sold to and used by government-backed actors, contributing to an uptick in real-world attacks. The list of now-patched vulnerabilities is as follows - CVE-2021-1879 : Use-After-Free in QuickTimePluginReplacement (Apple WebKit) CVE-2021-21166 : Chrome Object Lifecycle Issue in Audio CVE-2021-30551 : Chrome Type Confusion in V8 CVE-2021-33742 : Internet Explorer out-of-bounds write in MSHTML Both Chrome zero-days — CVE-2021-21166 and CVE-2021-30551 — are believed to have been used by the same actor, and were delivered as one-time links sent via email to targets located in Armenia, with the links redirecting unsuspecting users to attacker-controlled

Apple Issues Urgent Patch Update for Another Zero‑Day Under Attack

Apple Issues Urgent Patch Update for Another Zero‑Day Under Attack
Mar 27, 2021
Merely weeks after releasing out-of-band patches for iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS, Apple has issued yet another security update for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to fix a critical zero-day weakness that it says is being actively exploited in the wild. Tracked as CVE-2021-1879 , the vulnerability relates to a WebKit flaw that could enable adversaries to process maliciously crafted web content that may result in universal cross-site scripting attacks. "This issue was addressed by improved management of object lifetimes," the iPhone maker noted. Apple has credited Clement Lecigne and Billy Leonard of Google's Threat Analysis Group for discovering and reporting the issue. While details of the flaw have not been disclosed, the company said it's aware of reports that CVE-2021-1879 may have been actively exploited. Updates are available for the following devices: iOS 12.5.2  - Phone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch (6t

Google Hacker Details Zero-Click 'Wormable' Wi-Fi Exploit to Hack iPhones

Google Hacker Details Zero-Click 'Wormable' Wi-Fi Exploit to Hack iPhones
Dec 02, 2020
Google Project Zero white-hat hacker Ian Beer on Tuesday disclosed details of a now-patched critical "wormable" iOS bug that could have made it possible for a remote attacker to gain complete control of any device in the vicinity over Wi-Fi. The exploit makes it possible to "view all the photos, read all the email, copy all the private messages and monitor everything which happens on [the device] in real-time,"  said  Beer in a lengthy blog post detailing his six-month-long efforts into building a proof-of-concept single-handedly. The  flaw  (tracked as  CVE-2020-3843 ) was addressed by Apple in a series of security updates pushed as part of  iOS 13.3.1 ,  macOS Catalina 10.15.3 , and  watchOS 5.3.7  earlier this year. "A remote attacker may be able to cause unexpected system termination or corrupt kernel memory," the iPhone maker noted in its advisory, adding the "memory corruption issue was addressed with improved input validation." The v

Apple Opens Its Invite-Only Bug Bounty Program to All Researchers

Apple Opens Its Invite-Only Bug Bounty Program to All Researchers
Dec 20, 2019
As promised by Apple in August this year, the company today finally opened its bug bounty program to all security researchers, offering monetary rewards to anyone for reporting vulnerabilities in the iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, iPadOS, and iCloud to the company. Since its launch three years ago, Apple's bug bounty program was open only for selected security researchers based on invitation and was only rewarded for reporting vulnerabilities in the iOS mobile operating system. However, speaking at a hacking conference in August this year, Ivan Krstić, head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture at Apple, announced the company's upcoming extended bug bounty program which included three main highlights: an enormous increase in the maximum reward from $200,000 to $1.5 million, accepting bug reports for all of its operating systems and latest hardware, opening the program for all researchers. Now starting from today, all security researchers and hackers are

Hackers Used WhatsApp 0-Day Flaw to Secretly Install Spyware On Phones

Hackers Used WhatsApp 0-Day Flaw to Secretly Install Spyware On Phones
May 14, 2019
Whatsapp has recently patched a severe vulnerability that was being exploited by attackers to remotely install surveillance malware on a few "selected" smartphones by simply calling the targeted phone numbers over Whatsapp audio call. Discovered, weaponized and then sold by the Israeli company NSO Group that produces the most advanced mobile spyware on the planet, the WhatsApp exploit installs Pegasus spyware on to Android and iOS devices. According to an advisory published by Facebook, a buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on target phones by sending a specially crafted series of SRTCP packets. Apparently, the vulnerability, identified as CVE-2019-3568 , can successfully be exploited to install the spyware and steal data from a targeted Android phone or iPhone by merely placing a WhatsApp call, even when the call is not answered. Also, the victim would not be able to find out about the intrusion af

New iPhone Bug Gives Anyone Access to Your Private Photos

New iPhone Bug Gives Anyone Access to Your Private Photos
Oct 16, 2018
A security enthusiast who discovered a passcode bypass vulnerability in Apple's iOS 12 late last month has now dropped another passcode bypass bug that works on the latest iOS 12.0.1 that was released last week. Jose Rodriguez, a Spanish amateur security researcher, discovered a bug in iOS 12 in late September that allows attackers with physical access to your iPhone to access your contacts and photos. The bug was patched in iOS 12.0.1, but he now discovered a similar iPhone passcode bypass hack that works in 12.0.1 and is easier to execute than the bug Rodriguez discovered and reported two weeks ago. The new hack allows anyone with physical access to your locked iPhone to access your photo album, select photos and send them to anyone using Apple Messages. Since the new hack requires much less effort than the previous one, it leaves any iPhone user vulnerable to a skeptic or distrustful partner, curious college, friend or roommate who could access your iPhone's photo

Powerful Android and iOS Spyware Found Deployed in 45 Countries

Powerful Android and iOS Spyware Found Deployed in 45 Countries
Sep 18, 2018
One of the world's most dangerous Android and iPhone spyware program has been found deployed against targets across 45 countries around the world over the last two years, a new report from Citizen Lab revealed. The infamous spyware, dubbed Pegasus, is developed by NSO Group—an Israeli company which is mostly known for selling high-tech surveillance tools capable of remotely cracking into iPhones and Android devices to intelligence agencies around the world. Pegasus is NSO Group's most powerful creation that has been designed to hack iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices remotely, allowing an attacker to access an incredible amount of data on a target victim, including text messages, calendar entries, emails, WhatsApp messages, user's location, microphone, and camera—all without the victim's knowledge. Pegasus has previously been used to target human rights activists and journalists, from Mexico to the United Arab Emirates . Just last month, The Hacker New

Watch Out! This New Web Exploit Can Crash and Restart Your iPhone

Watch Out! This New Web Exploit Can Crash and Restart Your iPhone
Sep 17, 2018
It's 2018, and just a few lines of code can crash and restart any iPhone or iPad and can cause a Mac computer to freeze. Sabri Haddouche , a security researcher at encrypted instant messaging app Wire, revealed a proof-of-concept (PoC) web page containing an exploit that uses only a few lines of specially crafted CSS & HTML code. Beyond just a simple crash, the web page, if visited, causes a full device kernel panic and an entire system reboot. The Haddouche's PoC exploits a weakness in Apple's web rendering engine WebKit , which is used by all apps and web browsers running on the Apple's operating system. Since the Webkit issue failed to properly load multiple elements such as "div" tags inside a backdrop filter property in CSS, Haddouche created a web page that uses up all of the device's resources, causing shut down and restart of the device due to kernel panic. You can also watch the video demonstration published by the researcher, which s

DNS-Hijacking Malware Targeting iOS, Android and Desktop Users Worldwide

DNS-Hijacking Malware Targeting iOS, Android and Desktop Users Worldwide
May 21, 2018
Widespread routers' DNS hijacking malware that recently found targeting Android devices has now been upgraded its capabilities to target iOS devices as well as desktop users. Dubbed Roaming Mantis , the malware was initially found hijacking Internet routers last month to distribute Android banking malware designed to steal users' login credentials and the secret code for two-factor authentication. According to security researchers at Kaspersky Lab s, the criminal group behind the Roaming Mantis campaign has broadened their targets by adding phishing attacks for iOS devices, and cryptocurrency mining script for PC users. Moreover, while the initial attacks were designed to target users from South East Asia–including South Korea, China Bangladesh, and Japan–the new campaign now support 27 languages to expand its operations to infect people across Europe and the Middle East. How the Roaming Mantis Malware Works Similar to the previous version, the new Roaming Mantis

Over 1 Billion Mobile App Accounts can be Hijacked Remotely with this Simple Hack

Over 1 Billion Mobile App Accounts can be Hijacked Remotely with this Simple Hack
Nov 05, 2016
Security researchers have discovered a way to target a huge number of Android and iOS apps that could allow them to remotely sign into any victim's mobile app account without any knowledge of the victim. A group of three researchers – Ronghai Yang, Wing Cheong Lau, and Tianyu Liu – from the Chinese University of Hong Kong has found [ PPT ] that most of the popular mobile apps that support single sign-on (SSO) service have insecurely implemented OAuth 2.0. OAuth 2.0 is an open standard for authorization that allows users to sign in for other third-party services by verifying existing identity of their Google, Facebook, or Chinese firm Sina accounts. This process enables users to sign-in to any service without providing additional usernames or passwords. How are app developers required to implement OAuth? (Right Way) When a user logs into a third party app via OAuth, the app checks with the ID provider, let's say, Facebook, that it has correct authentication details. I

Apple releases 'Emergency' Patch after Advanced Spyware Targets Human Rights Activist

Apple releases 'Emergency' Patch after Advanced Spyware Targets Human Rights Activist
Aug 25, 2016
Apple has released iOS 9.3.5 update for iPhones and iPads to patch three zero-day vulnerabilities after a piece of spyware found targeting the iPhone used by a renowned UAE human rights defender, Ahmed Mansoor. One of the world's most invasive software weapon distributors, called the NSO Group, has been exploiting three zero-day security vulnerabilities in order to spy on dissidents and journalists. The NSO Group is an Israeli firm that sells spying and surveillance software that secretly tracks a target's mobile phone. The zero-day exploits have allowed the company to develop sophisticated spyware tools that can access the device location, contacts, texts, calls logs, emails and even microphone. Apple fixed these three vulnerabilities within ten days after being informed by two security firms, Citizen Lab and Lookout, who conducted a joint investigation. Background Story: Malware Discovery Mansoor, 46, ' Martin Ennals Award ' winner from the United Arab Emirate

Blackhat Firm Offers $500,000 for Zero-day iOS Exploit; Double Than Apple's Highest Bounty

Blackhat Firm Offers $500,000 for Zero-day iOS Exploit; Double Than Apple’s Highest Bounty
Aug 11, 2016
Last week, Apple finally announced a bug bounty program for researchers and white hat hackers to find and get paid for reporting details of zero-day vulnerabilities in its software and devices. The company offers the biggest payout of $200,000, which is 10 times the maximum reward that Google offers and double the highest bounty paid by Microsoft. But now Apple is going to face competition from a blackhat company named, Exodus Intelligence. Exodus Intelligence is offering more than double Apple's maximum payout for zero-day vulnerabilities affecting the newest versions of iOS. The company is willing to pay more than $500,000 for zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits affecting iOS 9.3 and above. Although Exodus labeled itself as ' Research Sponsorship Program ,' the company actually makes money by buying and selling zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits. On Wednesday, Exodus launched its new bonus structure for the acquisition of details and exploits for zero-day vu

Hack Apple & Get Paid up to $200,000 Bug Bounty Reward

Hack Apple & Get Paid up to $200,000 Bug Bounty Reward
Aug 05, 2016
So finally, Apple will pay you for your efforts of finding bugs in its products. While major technology companies, including Microsoft , Facebook and Google , have launched bug bounty programs over last few years to reward researchers and hackers who report vulnerabilities in their products, Apple remained a holdout. But, not now. On Thursday, Apple announced  at the Black Hat security conference that the company would be launching a bug bounty program starting this fall to pay outside security researchers and white hat hackers privately disclose security flaws in the company's products. How much is a vulnerability in Apple software worth? Any Guesses? It's up to $200,000 . Head of Apple security team, Ivan Krstic, said the company plans to offer rewards of up to $200,000 (£152,433) to researchers who report critical security vulnerabilities in certain Apple software. While that's certainly a sizable bounty reward — one of the highest rewards offered in co

How to Protect Yourself against XcodeGhost like iOS Malware Attacks

How to Protect Yourself against XcodeGhost like iOS Malware Attacks
Oct 19, 2015
Recently, Chinese iOS developers have discovered a new OS X and iOS malware dubbed XcodeGhost that has appeared in malicious versions of Xcode, Apple's official toolkit for developing iOS and OS X apps. The hack of Apple's Xcode involves infecting the compiler with malware and then passing that malware onto the compiled software. This is a unique approach because the hack does not attempt to inject attack code into a single app, and then try and sneak that past Apple's automated and human reviewers. Instead, the malicious code is infected on Xcode itself, which is used by software developers to craft and develop the apps for iOS and OS X operating system. The primary behavior of XcodeGhost in infected iOS apps is to collect information on devices and upload that data to command and control (C2) servers. Once the malware has established a foothold on infected devices, it has the ability to phish user credentials via fake warning boxes, open specific URLs in a

Zero-Day Exploits for Stealing OS X and iOS Passwords

Zero-Day Exploits for Stealing OS X and iOS Passwords
Jun 19, 2015
I think you'll agree with me when I say: Apple devices are often considered to be more safe and secure than other devices that run on platforms like Windows and Android, but a recent study will make you think twice before making this statement. A group of security researchers have uncovered potentially deadly zero-day vulnerabilities in both iOS and OS X operating systems that could put iPhone/iPad or Mac owners at a high risk of cyber attacks. Researchers have created and published a malicious app on the App Store that was able to siphon users' personal data from the password storing Keychain in Apple's OS X , as well as steal passwords from iCloud, banking and email accounts. Dubbed XARA (cross-app resource access), the malware exploit app was able to bypass the OS X sandboxing mechanisms that are supposedly designed to prevent an app from accessing the credentials, contacts, and other important data related to other apps. The Consequences are Dire!

Espionage Campaign targets iOS devices with Malware apps

Espionage Campaign targets iOS devices with Malware apps
Feb 05, 2015
A malware campaign has been found targeting iOS devices linked to a wide range of entities, including European defense organizations, governments, and media sectors with dangerous espionage spyware capable of breaching non-jailbroken devices, a recent report claims. The spyware campaign, dubbed " Operation Pawn Storm " by security experts, was first detected on Windows computers late last year, but has now made its way to iOS devices , a report by security researchers at TrendLabs noted. The researchers linked the campaign to the Russian government. XAGENT SPYWARE APP One of the two spywares used in the campaign is actually an application, the firm dubbed the app XAgent, that attempts to install and run on iOS devices. " The XAgent app is fully functional malware ," the researchers noted . " The exact methods of installing these malware is unknown; however, we do know that the iOS device doesn't have to be jailbroken ... We have seen one in
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