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Microsoft Adds Support for JavaScript in Excel—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Microsoft Adds Support for JavaScript in Excel—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

May 09, 2018
Shortly after Microsoft announced support for custom JavaScript functions in Excel, someone demonstrated what could possibly go wrong if this feature is abused for malicious purposes. As promised last year at Microsoft's Ignite 2017 conference, the company has now brought custom JavaScript functions to Excel to extend its capabilities for better work with data. Functions are written in JavaScript for Excel spreadsheets currently runs on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Excel Online, allowing developers to create their own powerful formulae. But we saw it coming: Security researcher Charles Dardaman leveraged this feature to show how easy it is to embed the infamous in-browser cryptocurrency mining script from CoinHive inside an MS Excel spreadsheet and run it in the background when opened. "In order to run Coinhive in Excel, I followed Microsoft's official documentation and just added my own function," Dardaman said . Here is an official doc
Feedly Android App Javascript Injection vulnerability exposes Millions of Users to Hackers

Feedly Android App Javascript Injection vulnerability exposes Millions of Users to Hackers

Apr 20, 2014
When it comes to Android apps, even the simplest app could greatly compromise your privacy and security. Injecting malicious JavaScript into Android applications has drawn an increased attention from the hacking community as its market share spikes. According to security researcher Jeremy S. from Singapore, a critical vulnerability in the Feedly app left millions of android app users vulnerable to the JavaScript infections. Feedly is a very popular app available for iOS and Android devices, also integrated into hundreds of other third party apps, which offers its users to browse the content of their favourite blogs, magazines, websites and more at one place via RSS feed subscriptions. According to Google Play Store, more than 5 Million users have installed Feedly app into their Android devices. In a blogpost , the researcher reported that Feedly is vulnerable to JavaScript injection attack, which is originally referred as 'cross-site scripting' or XSS vulnerability, allows
Zerodium Offers $1 Million for Tor Browser 0-Days That It will Resell to Governments

Zerodium Offers $1 Million for Tor Browser 0-Days That It will Resell to Governments

Sep 13, 2017
It seems like Tor Browser zero-day exploits are in high demand right now—so much so that someone is ready to pay ONE MILLION dollars. Zerodium—a company that specialises in acquiring and reselling zero-day exploits—just announced that it will pay up to USD 1,000,000 for working zero-day exploits for the popular Tor Browser on Tails Linux and Windows operating system. Tor browser users should take this news an early warning, especially who use Tails OS to protect their privacy. Zero-day exploit acquisition platform has also published some rules and payout details on its website, announcing that the payout for Tor exploits with no JavaScript has been kept double than those with JavaScript enabled. The company has also clearly mentioned that the exploit must leverage remote code execution vulnerability, the initial attack vector should be a web page and it should work against the latest version of Tor Browser. Moreover, the zero-day Tor exploit must work without requiring an
FBI Used Firefox Exploit to Shutdown Illegal Site Running on Tor Network

FBI Used Firefox Exploit to Shutdown Illegal Site Running on Tor Network

Aug 05, 2013
TOR is the dark side of the Internet, the so-called dark web, which provides a safe haven to privacy advocates but is also where drugs, assassins for hire and other weird and illegal activities can allegedly be traded. A claimed zero-day vulnerability in Firefox 17 was used by the FBI to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network. The FBI did not compromise the TOR network itself and The complex multi-layers of encryption still stand. Instead the FBI compromised the TOR browser only using a zero-day JavaScript exploit and used this to implant a cookie which fingerprinted users through a specific external server. Eric Eoin Marques , 28 year-old man in Ireland believed to be behind Freedom Hosting , the biggest service provider for sites on the encrypted Tor network , is awaiting extradition on p*rno charges. It is understood the FBI had spent a year trying to locate Mr Marques. Marques was arrested on a Maryland warrant that includes charges
Researchers Uncover Malware Controlling Thousands of Sites in Parrot TDS Network

Researchers Uncover Malware Controlling Thousands of Sites in Parrot TDS Network

Jun 03, 2022
The Parrot traffic direction system (TDS) that came to light earlier this year has had a larger impact than previously thought, according to new research. Sucuri, which has been tracking the same campaign since February 2019 under the name "NDSW/NDSX," said that "the malware was one of the top infections" detected in 2021, accounting for more than 61,000 websites. Parrot TDS was  documented  in April 2022 by Czech cybersecurity company Avast, noting that the PHP script had ensnared web servers hosting more than 16,500 websites to act as a gateway for further attack campaigns. This involves appending a piece of malicious code to all JavaScript files on compromised web servers hosting content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress that are in turn said to be breached by taking advantage of weak login credentials and vulnerable plugins. Besides using different obfuscation tactics to conceal the code, the "injected JavaScript may also be found well indent
Firefox Blocks Inline and Eval JavaScript on Internal Pages to Prevent Injection Attacks

Firefox Blocks Inline and Eval JavaScript on Internal Pages to Prevent Injection Attacks

Oct 15, 2019
In an effort to mitigate a large class of potential cross-site scripting issues in Firefox, Mozilla has blocked execution of all inline scripts and potentially dangerous eval-like functions for built-in "about: pages" that are the gateway to sensitive preferences, settings, and statics of the browser. Firefox browser has 45 such internal locally-hosted about pages , some of which are listed below that you might have noticed or used at some point: about:config — panel to modify Firefox preferences and critical settings. about:downloads — your recent downloads done within Firefox. about:memory — shows the memory usage of Firefox. about:newtab — the default new tab page. about:plugins — lists all your plugins as well as other useful information. about:privatebrowsing — open a new private window. about:networking — displays networking information. To be noted, these changes do not affect how websites from the Internet work on the Firefox browser, but going forwar
WebAssembly — New Standard for Powerful and Faster Web Apps

WebAssembly — New Standard for Powerful and Faster Web Apps

Jun 23, 2015
Google, Apple, Microsoft , and Mozilla have joined hands to create code for use in the future web browsers that promises up to 20 times faster performance. Dubbed WebAssembly (or wasm for short), a project to create a new portable bytecode for the Web that will be more efficient for both desktop as well as mobile web browsers to parse than the complete source code of a Web page or an application. Bytecode is actually a machine-readable instruction set that is faster for web browsers to load than high-level languages. WebAssembly — A New File Format to Compile Code At the moment, browsers use JavaScript to interpret the code and allow functionality on websites such as dynamic content and forms. By default, JavaScript files are downloaded from the server and then compiled by the JavaScript engine in the web browser. However, improvements have been made to load times via Asm.js — the stripped-down JavaScript dialect described as an "assembly language for
A Simple JavaScript Exploit Bypasses ASLR Protection On 22 CPU Architectures

A Simple JavaScript Exploit Bypasses ASLR Protection On 22 CPU Architectures

Feb 16, 2017
Security researchers have discovered a chip flaw that could nullify hacking protections for millions of devices regardless of their operating system or application running on them, and the worse — the flaw can not be entirely fixed with any mere software update. The vulnerability resides in the way the memory management unit (MMU), a component of many CPUs, works and leads to bypass the Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) protection. ASLR is a crucial security defense deployed by all modern operating systems from Windows and Linux to macOS, Android, and the BSDs. In general, ASLR is a memory protection mechanism which randomizes the location where programs run in a device's memory. This, in turn, makes it difficult for attackers to execute malicious payloads in specific spots in memory when exploiting buffer overflows or similar bugs. In short, for attackers, it's like an attempt to burglarize a house blindfolded. But now a group of researchers, known as VUSe
New Browser Attack Allows Tracking Users Online With JavaScript Disabled

New Browser Attack Allows Tracking Users Online With JavaScript Disabled

Mar 12, 2021
Researchers have discovered a new side-channel that they say can be reliably exploited to leak information from web browsers that could then be leveraged to track users even when JavaScript is completely disabled. "This is a side-channel attack which doesn't require any JavaScript to run," the researchers said. "This means script blockers cannot stop it. The attacks work even if you strip out all of the fun parts of the web browsing experience. This makes it very difficult to prevent without modifying deep parts of the operating system." In avoiding JavaScript, the side-channel attacks are also architecturally agnostic, resulting in microarchitectural website fingerprinting attacks that work across hardware platforms, including Intel Core, AMD Ryzen, Samsung Exynos 2100, and Apple M1 CPUs — making it the first known side-channel attack on the iPhone maker's new ARM-based chipsets. The  findings , which come from a group of academics from the Ben-Gurion U
Microsoft Warns of Web Skimmers Mimicking Google Analytics and Meta Pixel Code

Microsoft Warns of Web Skimmers Mimicking Google Analytics and Meta Pixel Code

May 24, 2022
Threat actors behind web skimming campaigns are leveraging malicious JavaScript code that mimics Google Analytics and Meta Pixel scripts in an attempt to sidestep detection. "It's a shift from earlier tactics where attackers conspicuously injected malicious scripts into e-commerce platforms and content management systems (CMSs) via vulnerability exploitation, making this threat highly evasive to traditional security solutions," Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team  said  in a new report. Skimming attacks, such as those by Magecart, are carried out with the goal of harvesting and exporting users' payment information, such as credit card details, that are entered into online payment forms in e-commerce platforms, typically during the checkout process. This is achieved by taking advantage of security vulnerabilities in third-party plugins and other tools to inject rogue JavaScript code into the online portals without the owners' knowledge. As skimming attacks h
CoinHive URL Shortener Abused to Secretly Mine Cryptocurrency Using Hacked Sites

CoinHive URL Shortener Abused to Secretly Mine Cryptocurrency Using Hacked Sites

Jul 04, 2018
Security researchers have been warning about a new malicious campaign that leverages an alternative scheme to mine cryptocurrencies without directly injecting the infamous CoinHive JavaScript into thousands of hacked websites. Coinhive is a popular browser-based service that offers website owners to embed JavaScript code that utilizes their website visitors' CPUs power in order to mine the Monero cryptocurrency for monetization. However, since its inception, mid-2017, cybercriminals have been abusing the service to illegally make money by injecting their own version of CoinHive JavaScript code to a large number of hacked websites, eventually tricking their millions of visitors into unknowingly mine Monero coins. Since a lot of web application security firms and antivirus companies have now updated their products to detect unauthorized injection of CoinHive JavaScript, cybercriminals have now started abusing a different service from CoinHive to achieve the same. Hackers
Hacker Finds a Simple Way to Bypass Google Password Alert

Hacker Finds a Simple Way to Bypass Google Password Alert

May 02, 2015
Less than 24 hours after Google launched the new Phishing alert extension Password Alert , a security researcher was able to bypass the feature using deadly simple exploits. On Wednesday, the search engine giant launched a new Password Alert Chrome extension to alert its users whenever they accidentally enter their Google password on a carefully crafted phishing website that aimed at hijacking users' account. However, security expert Paul Moore easily circumvented the technology using just seven lines of simple JavaScript code that kills phishing alerts as soon as they started to appear, defeating Google's new Password Alert extension. Google shortly fixed the issue and released a new update to Password Alert extension that blocked the Moore's exploit. However, Moore discovered another way to block the new version of Password Alert, as well. The first proof of concept exploit by Moore relied on a JavaScript that looks for instances of warning screen every five mil
Ransom32 — First JavaScript-powered Ransomware affecting Windows, Mac and Linux

Ransom32 — First JavaScript-powered Ransomware affecting Windows, Mac and Linux

Jan 04, 2016
Here's New Year's first Ransomware: Ransom32 . A new Ransomware-as-a-service, dubbed Ransom32 , has been spotted that for the first time uses a ransomware written in JavaScript to infect Mac, Windows as well as Linux machines. Ransom32 allows its operators to deploy the malware very quickly and easily. It has a dashboard that enables operators to designate their Bitcoin addresses to which the ransom can be sent. The dashboard also shows stats about how much Bitcoins they have made. In short, this new ransomware-as-a-service is so simple, and efficient at the same time, that anyone can download and distribute his/her own copy of the ransomware executable as long as he/she have a Bitcoin address. The copy of Ransom32 was first analysed by Emsisoft, which found that the new ransomware family, which embedded in a self-extracting WinRAR archive, is using the NW.js platform for infiltrating the victims' computers, and then holding their files by encrypting the
Hacking Millions of Routers by Craig Heffner

Hacking Millions of Routers by Craig Heffner

Oct 30, 2010
After having attended the past couple of DEFCONs, I'm really excited to be speaking at DEFCON 18 this year. In anticipation of my presentation, "How to Hack Millions of Routers", I thought I'd take this opportunity to answer some questions, offer some background information, and give a quick teaser about the talk. Most people assume that because they don't have remote administration enabled on their router, external attackers cannot access their router's administrative Web interface. However, for many routers this is simply not true; anyone with a registered domain can in fact gain full interactive access to the router's internal Web interface in order to exploit vulnerabilities or log in to the device (either via the router's default password or a brute-force attack), at which point they can view settings, change settings and generally do whatever else they want with the router*. However, this attack is not restricted to the primary Web
Critical "Same Origin Policy" Bypass Flaw Found in Samsung Android Browser

Critical "Same Origin Policy" Bypass Flaw Found in Samsung Android Browser

Dec 29, 2017
A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the browser app comes pre-installed on hundreds of millions of Samsung Android devices that could allow an attacker to steal data from browser tabs if the user visits an attacker-controlled site. Identified as CVE-2017-17692 , the vulnerability is Same Origin Policy (SOP) bypass issue that resides in the popular Samsung Internet Browser version 5.4.02.3 and earlier. The Same Origin Policy or SOP is a security feature applied in modern browsers that is designed to make it possible for web pages from the same website to interact while preventing unrelated sites from interfering with each other. In other words, the SOP makes sure that the JavaScript code from one origin should not be able to access the properties of a website on another origin. The SOP bypass vulnerability in the Samsung Internet Browser, discovered by Dhiraj Mishra , could allow a malicious website to steal data, such as passwords or cookies, from the sites ope
New JavaScript Exploit Can Now Carry Out DDR4 Rowhammer Attacks

New JavaScript Exploit Can Now Carry Out DDR4 Rowhammer Attacks

Apr 14, 2021
Academics from Vrije University in Amsterdam and ETH Zurich have published a new research paper describing yet another variation of the Rowhammer attack. Dubbed  SMASH  (Synchronized MAny-Sided Hammering), the technique can be used to successfully trigger the attack from JavaScript on modern DDR4 RAM cards, notwithstanding extensive mitigations that have been put in place by manufacturers over the last seven years. "Despite their in-DRAM Target Row Refresh (TRR) mitigations, some of the most recent DDR4 modules are still vulnerable to many-sided Rowhammer bit flips," the researchers said.  "SMASH exploits high-level knowledge of cache replacement policies to generate optimal access patterns for eviction-based many-sided Rowhammer. To bypass the in-DRAM TRR mitigations, SMASH carefully schedules cache hits and misses to successfully trigger synchronized many-sided Rowhammer bit flips." By synchronizing memory requests with DRAM refresh commands, the researchers
Hackers Using Fake DDoS Protection Pages to Distribute Malware

Hackers Using Fake DDoS Protection Pages to Distribute Malware

Aug 24, 2022
WordPress sites are being hacked to display fraudulent Cloudflare DDoS protection pages that lead to the delivery of malware such as NetSupport RAT and Raccoon Stealer. "A recent surge in JavaScript injections targeting WordPress sites has resulted in fake DDoS prevent prompts which lead victims to download remote access trojan malware," Sucuri's Ben Martin  said  in a write-up published last week. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection pages are essential browser verification checks designed to deter bot-driven unwanted and malicious traffic from eating up bandwidth and taking down websites. The new attack vector involves hijacking WordPress sites to display fake DDoS protection pop-ups that, when clicked, ultimately lead to the download of a malicious ISO file ("security_install.iso") to the victim's systems. This is achieved by injecting three lines of code into a JavaScript file ("jquery.min.js"), or alternatively into the active
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