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Eavesdropping Bugs in MediaTek Chips Affect 37% of All Smartphones and IoT Globally

Eavesdropping Bugs in MediaTek Chips Affect 37% of All Smartphones and IoT Globally

November 24, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Multiple security weaknesses have been disclosed in MediaTek system-on-chips (SoCs) that could have enabled a threat actor to elevate privileges and execute arbitrary code in the firmware of the audio processor, effectively allowing the attackers to carry out a "massive eavesdrop campaign" without the users' knowledge. The discovery of the flaws is the result of reverse-engineering the Taiwanese company's audio digital signal processor ( DSP ) unit by Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Research, ultimately finding that by stringing them together with other flaws present in a smartphone manufacturer's libraries, the issues uncovered in the chip could lead to local privilege escalation from an Android application.  "A malformed inter-processor message could potentially be used by an attacker to execute and hide malicious code inside the DSP firmware," Check Point security researcher Slava Makkaveev  said  in a report. "Since the DSP firmware h
Chinese Hackers Used Facebook to Hack Uighur Muslims Living Abroad

Chinese Hackers Used Facebook to Hack Uighur Muslims Living Abroad

March 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Facebook may be banned in China, but the company on Wednesday said it has disrupted a network of bad actors using its platform to target the Uyghur community and lure them into downloading malicious software that would allow surveillance of their devices. "They targeted activists, journalists and dissidents predominantly among Uyghurs from Xinjiang in China primarily living abroad in Turkey, Kazakhstan, the United States, Syria, Australia, Canada and other countries," Facebook's Head of Cyber Espionage Investigations, Mike Dvilyanski, and Head of Security Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher,  said . "This group used various cyber espionage tactics to identify its targets and infect their devices with malware to enable surveillance." The social media giant said the "well-resourced and persistent operation" aligned with a threat actor known as  Evil Eye  (or Earth Empusa), a China-based collective known for its history of espionage attacks against the Muslim m
Experts Find a Way to Learn What You're Typing During Video Calls

Experts Find a Way to Learn What You're Typing During Video Calls

February 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A new attack framework aims to infer keystrokes typed by a target user at the opposite end of a video conference call by simply leveraging the video feed to correlate observable body movements to the text being typed. The research was undertaken by Mohd Sabra, and Murtuza Jadliwala from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Anindya Maiti from the University of Oklahoma, who say the attack can be extended beyond live video feeds to those streamed on YouTube and Twitch as long as a webcam's field-of-view captures the target user's visible upper body movements. "With the recent ubiquity of video capturing hardware embedded in many consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, the threat of information leakage through visual channel[s] has amplified," the researchers  said . "The adversary's goal is to utilize the observable upper body movements across all the recorded frames to infer the private text typed by the target." To ach
Here's How CIA Spies On Its Intelligence Liaison Partners Around the World

Here's How CIA Spies On Its Intelligence Liaison Partners Around the World

August 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has just published another Vault 7 leak, revealing how the CIA spies on their intelligence partners around the world, including FBI, DHS and the NSA, to covertly collect data from their systems. The CIA offers a biometric collection system—with predefined hardware, operating system, and software—to its intelligence liaison partners around the world that helps them voluntary share collected biometric data on their systems with each other. But since no agency share all of its collected biometric data with others, the Office of Technical Services (OTS) within CIA developed a tool to secretly exfiltrate data collections from their systems. Dubbed ExpressLane , the newly revealed CIA project details about the spying software that the CIA agents manually installs as part of a routine upgrade to the Biometric system. The leaked CIA documents reveal that the OTS officers, who maintain biometric collection systems installed at liaison services, visit their premises and se
CouchPotato: CIA Hacking Tool to Remotely Spy On Video Streams in Real-Time

CouchPotato: CIA Hacking Tool to Remotely Spy On Video Streams in Real-Time

August 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
After disclosing CIA's strategies to hijack and manipulate webcams and microphones to corrupt or delete recordings, WikiLeaks has now published another Vault 7 leak , revealing CIA's ability to spy on video streams remotely in real-time. Dubbed ' CouchPotato ,' document leaked from the CIA details how the CIA agents use a remote tool to stealthy collect RTSP/H.264 video streams. Real Time Streaming Protocol, or RTSP, is a network control protocol designed for use in entertainment and communication systems for controlling streaming media servers. CouchPotato gives CIA hackers ability to "collect either the stream as a video file (AVI) or capture still images (JPG) of frames from the stream that are of significant change from a previously captured frame," a leaked CIA manual reads. The tool utilises FFmpeg for video and image encoding and decoding and Real Time Streaming Protocol connectivity. The CouchPotato tool works stealthily without leaving
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