Archive | June, 2010

Google Chrome Set To Follow Firefox In Blocking Out-of-date Plug-ins

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


It’s good news to see that Google is taking security issues seriously when it comes to its Chrome browser. This has been shown before when Google was Willing To Pay Bounty For Chrome Browser Bugs. And well honestly, we haven’t had a lot of news of exploits in Chrome.

Perhaps it’s because the user-base just isn’t that big yet? But to note, Chrome was the only browser in the recent Pwn2Own contest that did not get exploited.

Anyway the story is in this case, Chrome is taking a leaf from the book of Firefox and is planning to add the ability to block out-of-date plug-ins in the browser.

Google will soon prevent insecure versions of plug-ins from running on top of its Chrome browser to make sure they don’t contain security bugs that can be exploited by malicious websites.

In a blog post, members of Google’s security team said the feature, to be delivered “medium-term,” will prevent Chrome from running “certain out-of-date plug-ins.” It will also help users find updates.

The announcement comes a few months after anti-virus maker F-Secure said Adobe’s Reader application replaced Microsoft Word as the program that’s most often exploited in targeted malware campaigns, like the one that Google disclosed in January that exposed sensitive intellectual property. F-Secure said the increase is “primarily because there has been more vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat/Reader than in the Microsoft Office applications.” Other plug-ins such as Adobe’s Flash Player and Oracle’s Java Virtual Machine are also routinely attacked.

Firefox demonstrated the use of this function last October when Firefox Blocked the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant Add-on.

It is important as there are so many Flash vulnerabilities, problems with PDF plug-ins and so on that the ability to disable/block plug-ins is indeed useful.

Plus there are so many user/3rd party contributed add-ons and plug-ins the browser developers do need a way to control them if they wish to retain a good level of browser security.

The ability to run scores of browser plug-ins makes it hard for users to keep their systems fully patched. Mozilla recently addressed this problem by notifying users who run out-of-date add-ons on top of Firefox. Google seems to be going one step further by blocking them altogether.

“Since many plug-ins are ubiquitous, they pose the most significant risk to our user base,” the Google employees wrote.

The auto-blocking will join several other security features being baked into Chrome. Chief among them is a home-grown PDF reader integrated into Chrome that sports its own security sandbox. This is now available in a developer build. The stable Chrome includes a built-in Flash plug-in that Google will automatically update via the browser’s existing update mechanism, which does not ask for the user’s approval.

Chrome has long boasted one of the most advanced sandbox designs, which thwarts attacks by running individual windows and plug-ins in a separate process with limited access to the operating system kernel. Chrome was the only browser at the recent Pwn2Own hacker contest that wasn’t exploited.

The feature isn’t available in the current version of Chrome but will be added in the ‘medium-term’ future. I’m quite interested in the built-in PDF reader which runs in a security sandbox – I think that’s an excellent idea.

Plus the fact they force Flash updates and don’t even require user confirmation. I think that’s fair enough to keep everyone safe and up-to-date, assuming they’ve installed Flash support in the first place and it’s not being forced on them.

The whole architecture of Chrome is more secure and due to the threading is actually more stable too (if one tab hangs, it doesn’t kill the whole process). Plus it’s very fast rendering pages.

Site: The Register

Posted in: Countermeasures, Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Web Hacking

Topic: Countermeasures, Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Web Hacking


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PwnageTool 4.01 Released – Jailbreak For iPhone & iPod Firmware 4.0 (iOS4)

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


The big news in the Apple-sphere recently was the released of iOS 4, which *shock&awe* has folders and multi-tasking – w00t.

You can of course jailbreak it with the newly updated PwnageTool 4.01.

On Monday, Apple released firmware 4.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch devices. This of course was a major upgrade.

As advised, you shouldn’t have upgraded your devices if you have previously relied on our tools for hacktivation and/or a carrier unlock.

With that said, today we are releasing PwnageTool 4.01

PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE POST CAREFULLY, THERE ARE KNOWN UPGRADE TRAPS AND DIFFERENT UPGRADE SCENARIOS THAT NEED TO BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD AND CONSIDERED BEFORE USING THESE TOOLS.

Each supported device has few different scenarios that users need to consider when performing the upgrades, you need to check below and perform the upgrade in the particular way that matches your current device state.

NB: With PwnageTool 4.01 certain devices are not supported this is because they are not supported in iOS 4.0 or they are not supported by our software. We’re working on ways to get past these restrictions.

  • iPhone 2G – not supported
  • iPod Touch – not supported
  • iPod Touch 3G – not supported

Check out the full post for all the details and the download links.

Source: iphone-dev

Posted in: Apple, Hardware Hacking

Topic: Apple, Hardware Hacking


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UK Metropolitan Police To Investigate Google Wifi Data Collection

Use Netsparker


Well Google has been getting quite a lot of flack lately over the fact that it had been scanning open Wi-fi access points whilst compiling data for street view.

At first people just thought it’s fair enough, they are just scanning for the SSID and recording if it’s publicly accessible or not – which in all honestly is useful info to have in a mapping system. What alarmed people was after some investigation they were also recording the actual payload data from the Wi-fi networks including any passwords that happened to be sent in plain text.

And they’ve been doing this for 3 years!

The Metropolitan Police force has confirmed it will investigate Google following the company’s recent admission it had mistakenly collected data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks for the past three years. “The MPS has received a complaint regarding alleged access to online activities broadcast over unprotected home and business Wi-Fi networks,” the police force told PC Pro.

“The matter is now under consideration. It has yet to be determined what, if any, offences may have allegedly occurred.” The police will first identify if any laws have been broken. If so, the initial investigation is expected to take up to ten days. The investigation follows a complaint from Privacy International over Google’s activities.

“I don’t see any alternative but for us to go to Scotland Yard,” Simon Davies from Privacy International said last week. Davies was referring to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) reluctance to investigate the matter. The ICO said while it was aware of the issue, it would only investigate if it finds “evidence of significant wrongdoing”.

The initial investigation is currently ongoing to firstly ascertain if any laws have actually been broken, and well the UK has some pretty tight privacy and data protection laws so I’d be surprised if Google come out of this smelling of roses.

Thankfully the German’s had audited the data so everyone else in the World got to know what Google was really doing, now it’s up to individual countries to protect their users and do something about it.

Or not as the case may be as the people were basically broadcasting that data to the World by using an unencrypted public Wi-fi network and not logging in via SSL/TLS.

Google’s error came to light after the German data protection authority audited the Wi-Fi data collected by Street View cars for use in location-based products such as Google Maps for mobile.

The authority revealed that as well as collecting SSID information (the network’s name) and MAC addresses (the number given to Wi-Fi devices such as a router), Google had also been collecting payload data such as emails or web page content being viewed. However, the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL), which has started its own investigation into the issue, passwords and emails were among the Wi-Fi data mistakenly collected.

“We are pleased that the police have taken up this complaint for investigation. An evidence based approach to this complex matter is sorely needed now,” said Davies. “We hope that this difficult process will give Google pause for thought about how it conducts itself. Perhaps in future the company will rely less on PR spin and more on good governance and reliable product oversight.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

The French are also stepping up and investigating the matter under CNIL, and it was they who exposed the fact Google were capturing e-mails and passwords.

At the moment it all stands under the premise of ‘mistaken collection’ and that perhaps the Google Engineers had enabled some testing features which captured too much data by mistake.

Google hasn’t responded to the claims or accusations so we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.

Source: Network World

Posted in: Legal Issues, Privacy

Topic: Legal Issues, Privacy


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w3af 1.0-rc3 Available For Download – Web Application Attack & Audit Framework

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


Our last mention of w3af was back in 2008 when the fifth BETA was released, the team have recently released a new version 1.0 – Release Candidate 3.

w3af is a Web Application Attack and Audit Framework. The project’s goal is to create a framework to find and exploit web application vulnerabilities that is easy to use and extend.

New Features

  • Enhanced GUI, including huge changes in the MITM proxy and the Fuzzy Request Editor
  • Increased speed by rewriting parts of the thread management code
  • Fixed tons of bugs
  • Reduced memory usage
  • Many plugins were rewritten using different techniques that use less HTTP requests to identify the same vulnerabilities
  • Reduced false positives

You can download w3af 1.0-rc3 here:

Windows – w3af-1.0-rc3.exe
Linux/BSD/Mac – w3af-1.0-rc3.tar.bz2

Or read more here.

Posted in: Hacking Tools, Web Hacking

Topic: Hacking Tools, Web Hacking


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Scotland Yard Arrests Teenages For Involvement In Largest English Language Cybercrime Forum

Use Netsparker


It seems both the US and UK governments have been cracking down pretty harshly on cybercrime operations over the past two years. A number of ‘underground’ forums and cybercrime operations have been shut down including those involving botnets, carding and phishing.

One of the big stories earlier this year was the Former DarkMarket Admin Facing a 10 Year Jail Sentence, and earlier that the site was actually part of an FBI sting operation.

This time two teenagers have been caught by the PCeU (part of Scotland Yard) in London for involvements in various shady activities.

Two teenagers have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the world’s largest English-language cybercrime forum. The pair were detained by appointment in central London on Wednesday by the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU), a national unit based at Scotland Yard.

An eight-month investigation into the forum, which hasn’t been named, found it had almost 8,000 members who traded malware, cybercrime tutorials and stolen banking information. The cybercrime tools for sale included the ZeuS Trojan and data stolen from machines it has already infected. Detectives have so far recovered 65,000 credit card numbers from the forum.

It’d be interesting to know which forum this is with over 8000 members and being English language, there’s not very many of those around. There’s not really much detail included in this initial report, no names or handles, the forum is not disclosed and how they were caught has also not been shared.

I’m pretty sure all the details will come out sooner or later, perhaps the operation is still on-going so they don’t want to let too much slip.

The two males, aged 17 and 18, were arrested on suspicion of encouraging or assisting crime, unauthorised access under the Computer Misuse Act and conspiracy to commit fraud. The have been bailed pending further investigations.

The PCeU’s Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson said: “Today’s arrests are an example of our increasing effort to combat online criminality and reduce national harm to the UK economy and public.” The unit has already had its budget slashed as part of Home Office cuts.

It’s a shame to see this unit facing a budget cut, but well the UK economy is in a mess now so it’s fair enough.

We’ll be watching for a follow-up on this story.

Source: The Register

Posted in: Legal Issues, Malware, Spammers & Scammers

Topic: Legal Issues, Malware, Spammers & Scammers


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nwmap v0.1 Released – Map Network From PCAP File

The New Acunetix V12 Engine


This is a neat little tool especially for people doing penetration testing assignments, especially if you’ve done some packet dumps and have PCAP files you can use nwmap to map out live IP addresses.

I’d guess it’d be used in the information gathering stage before you fire up your port scanners etc.

nwmap is basically a Perl script which takes a PCAP file as input and identifies valid subnets in the file. It then assumes a netmask of /24 and searches all those subnets for live IPs. It then groups all the IP addresses based on the number of hops.

Requirements

Make sure you have the following:

  • sort
  • host(DNS lookup)
  • nmap(Port scanner)
  • tcptraceroute(traceroute to IP addresses)
  • Tshark(Network sniffer)

You can download nwmap here:

nwmap_0.1.tar.gz

Or read more here.

Posted in: Hacking Tools, Networking Hacking

Topic: Hacking Tools, Networking Hacking


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