Archive for February 2016

Third of all Chinese mobile banking apps infected with malware – IBS Intelligence

Malware is infecting almost a third of all Chinese mobile banking apps, according to analysis conducted by Graphite Software.

32% of all those it tested were infected, among them some from recognized global app stores and major banks.

“It was not our intention to make a discovery of this magnitude,” said Alec Main, CEO of Graphite Software.

“Our premise was that isolating banking apps would protect users from malware, identity theft and increase mobile banking adoption. We didn’t think the banking apps were part of the problem.”

Source: Third of all Chinese mobile banking apps infected with malware – IBS Intelligence

Skeleton Key of Unknown Strength

Patch this bug. You’ll have to reboot your servers. It will be somewhat disruptive. Patch this bug now, before the cache traversing attacks are discovered, because even the on-path attacks are concerning enough. Patch. And if patching is not a thing you know how to do, automatic patching needs to be something you demand from the infrastructure you deploy on your network. If it might not be safe in six months, why are you paying for it today?
It’s important to realize that while this bug was just discovered, it’s not actually new. CVE-2015-7547 has been around for eight years. Literally, six weeks before I unveiled my own grand fix to DNS (July 2008), this catastrophic code was committed.

Nobody noticed.

The timing is a bit troublesome, but let’s be realistic: there’s only so many months to go around. The real issue is it took almost a decade to fix this new issue, right after it took a decade to fix my old one (DJB didn’t quite identify the bug, but he absolutely called the fix). The Internet is not less important to global commerce than it was in 2008. Hacker latency continues to be a real problem.

What maybe has changed over the years is the strangely increasing amount of talk about how the Internet is perhaps too secure. I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe anyone in business (or even with a credit card) does either. But the discussion on cybersecurity seems dominated by the necessity of insecurity. Did anyone know about this flaw earlier? There’s absolutely no way to tell. We can only know we need to be finding these bugs faster, understanding these issues better, and fixing them more comprehensively.

We need to not be finding bugs like, eight years from now, again.

(There were clear public signs of impending public discovery of this flaw, so do not take my words as any form of criticism for the release schedule of this CVE.)

Customer Letter – Apple

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Source: Customer Letter – Apple

Good Job Apple