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SpringShell Attacks Target About One in Six Vulnerable Orgs

 

According to figures from one cybersecurity firm, about one out of every six firms affected by the Spring4Shell zero-day vulnerability has already been targeted by threat actors. 

The exploitation attempts occurred within the first four days of the severe remote code execution (RCE) issue, CVE-2022-22965, and the associated attack code was publicly disclosed. 37,000 Spring4Shell attacks were discovered over the weekend alone, according to Check Point, which generated the statistics based on their telemetry data. Software vendors appear to be the most hit industry, accounting for 28% of the total, possibly due to their high vulnerability to supply chain threats. 

Based on their visibility, Check Point ranks Europe #1 in terms of the most targeted region, with 20%. This suggests that the malicious effort to exploit existing RCE possibilities against vulnerable systems is well underway, and threat actors seem to be turning to Spring4Shell while unpatched systems are still exposed. North America accounts for 11% of Check Point's detected Spring4Shell attacks, while other entities have confirmed active exploitation in the United States. 

Spring4Shell was one of four flaws posted to the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) inventory of vulnerabilities known to be used in actual attacks yesterday. The agency has uncovered evidence of attacks on VMware products, in which the software vendor published security upgrades and alerts. 

Microsoft also released guidelines for detecting and preventing Spring4Shell attacks, as well as a statement that they are already analyzing exploitation attempts. Spring MVC and Spring WebFlux apps operating on JDK 9+ are affected by CVE-2022-22965, hence all Java Spring installations should be considered potential attack vectors. Spring Framework versions 5.3.18 and 5.2.2, as well as Spring Boot 2.5.12, were published by the vendor to address the RCE issue. 

As a result, upgrading to these versions or later is strongly advised. System administrators should also be aware of the remote code execution vulnerabilities in the CVE-2022-22963 and CVE-2022-22947 remote code execution flaws in the Spring Cloud Function and Spring Cloud Gateway. These flaws already have proof-of-concept exploits that are publicly available.

After 17 years, the Zlib Crash-An-App Flaw Has Been Patched

 

Four years after the vulnerability was first found but left unpatched, the widely used Zlib data-compression library now has a patch to close a vulnerability that might be abused to crash apps and services. Tavis Ormandy, a bug hunter for Google Project Zero, informed the Open-Source-Software-Security mailing list about the programming error, CVE-2018-25032, which he discovered while trying to figure out what caused a compressor crash. 

"We reported it upstream, but it turns out the bug is already public since 2018, but the update never made it into a release. As far as they are aware, no CVE has ever been assigned to it." Ormandy stated. Furthermore, when Eideticom's Danilo Ramos discovered the defect in April 2018, it was 13 years old, implying this bug had been lurking for 17 years, waiting to be exploited. 

Zlib is a data-compression general-purpose library that is free, and legally unencumbered (i.e., not covered by any patents). It can be used on nearly any computer hardware and operating system. Anyone who has ever used softwares like PKZIP, WinRAR, 7-Zip, or any archiving utilities will attest to how data compression software has always been useful.

The primary goal of data compression is to save space, such as by reducing the amount of storage space required for backups or reducing data transfer bandwidth. Despite the computational overhead of squashing and expanding data before and after storing or sending it, compression frequently saves time and space by reducing the amount of data that must be moved back and forth between a fast storage location like RAM (memory) and a slow storage location like a disc, tape, or network. 

The patch was never included in a Zlib software update, and Ormandy showed a proof-of-concept exploit which works against both default and non-default compression schemes supported by the library just a few days after discovering the problem. This means any attempt to unpack maliciously designed compressed data may cause an application or network service to crash. 

In a nutshell, this is a memory corruption flaw: if user-supplied data is particularly formatted, software that relies on Zlib to compress it can crash and terminate due to an out-of-bounds write. The open-source Zlib is so extensively used that there are plenty of potential avenues for exploitation, which is why this problem is such a huge deal, in contrast to its nearly two-decade history. Zlib's algorithm, DEFLATE, which became an internet standard in 1996, is used to squash and expand data in a variety of file formats and protocols, and the software it handles these inputs to, will almost certainly use zlib. 

According to Sophos, these programs include Firefox, Edge, Chromium, and Tor, as well as the PDF reader Xpdf, video player VLC, Word and Excel compatible software LibreOffice, and picture editor GIMP. The Zlib problem, which was first discovered in 1998, enables data in a pending buffer to corrupt a distance symbol table. Out-of-bounds access can cause the program to crash and even create a denial of service. 

Users should install a non-vulnerable version of the zlib shared library, which they can usually get from the OS maker by downloading the latest updates, and developers should make sure the software packages don't rely on a vulnerable version of the reliance, pushing out app or service updates as needed.

IP Spoofing Flaw Leaves Django REST Applications Vulnerable to DDoS Attacks

 

Attackers used an IP spoofing flaw in Django REST to bypass the framework's throttling function, which is designed to protect apps from mass requests. 

Mozilla, Red Hat, and Heroku, among others, use Django REST as a toolkit for constructing web APIs. It includes a throttling function that limits the number of API queries a client may make. Bot activity, denial-of-service attacks, and malicious actions such as brute-force attempts on login sites, one-time passwords, and password reset pages are all protected by this feature. 

IP addresses are used by Django REST to recognize clients and implement throttling request restrictions. Clients can, however, deceive the server and hide their IP address, according to security researcher Hosein Vita. 

He told The Daily Swig, “Django use WSGI (web server gateway interface) to communicate with web application and X-Forwarded-For HTTP header and REMOTE_ADDR WSGI variable are used to uniquely identify client IP addresses for throttling.” 

As a result, if the X-Forwarded-For header is included in a web request, the server will interpret it as the client's IP address. Vita was able to submit an endless number of requests with the same client by changing the X-Forwarded-For value. The approach only works for unauthenticated queries, according to Vita's bug report. 

APIs that require user authentication take both the user’s ID and the IP address into account when throttling, so IP spoofing is not enough to circumvent the request limits. According to Vita, the attack requires no specific server access, and an attacker who "can just see the website can abuse this method. 

Its immediate impact could be DDoS attacks caused by fraudulent requests flooding Django servers. However, it can also be used for other objectives, such as bypassing login page defences against brute-force attacks. Vita apparently identified the flaw while pen-testing an app with a one-time password login page. 

He stated, “You could log in [to the application] with OTP but I got blocked after many attempts. After my research, I used X-Forwarded-For header, and again I could send requests but after some attempts, again I got blocked.” 

The researcher added: “From my previous background in Django, I guessed it could get bypassed by changing the value of X-Forwarded-For header, and you could send 30 requests with each IP. Then I checked that in my Django API and it was correct.” 

The Django REST team was contacted by The Daily Swig for comment on the vulnerability. Meanwhile, Vita suggests using complementary strategies to protect applications from brute-force attacks. 

He added, “Always use other aspects of security measures as secondary methods. Use Captcha or other related methods to reduce attacks like this in important endpoints. For OTPs, use a token for each generated OTPs.”

Conti Ransomware Exploits Log4j Flaw to Hack VMware vCenter Servers

 

The critical Log4Shell exploit is being used by the Conti ransomware operation to obtain quick access to internal VMware vCenter Server instances and encrypt virtual machines. The group wasted no time in adopting the new attack vector, becoming the first "top-tier" operation to exploit the Log4j flaw. 

On December 9, a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for CVE-2021-44228, also known as Log4Shell, was made public. A day later, numerous actors began scanning the internet in search of vulnerable systems. Cryptocurrency miners, botnets, and a new ransomware strain called Khonsari were among the first to leverage the flaw. 

By December 15, state-backed hackers and initial access brokers, who sell network access to ransomware gangs, had joined the list of threat actors using Log4Shell. Conti, one of today's largest and most prolific ransomware groups with tens of full-time members, seems to have developed an early interest in Log4Shell, viewing it as a potential attack channel on Sunday, December 12. 

The group began seeking fresh victims the next day, with the intention of lateral migration to VMware vCenter networks, as per Advanced Intelligence (AdvIntel), a cybercrime and hostile disruption firm. Log4Shell has impacted dozens of vendors, who have rushed to patch their products or provide workarounds and mitigations for customers. VMware is one among them, with 40 products listed as vulnerable. 

While the firm has suggested mitigations or fixes, a patch for the affected vCenter versions has yet to be released. Although vCenter servers are not generally accessible to the internet, there are a few scenarios in which an attacker may exploit the flaw.

“A malicious actor with network access to an impacted VMware product may exploit this issue to gain full control of the target system and/or perform a denial of service attack” – Vmware 

Log4Shell to move laterally 

"This is the first time this vulnerability entered the radar of a major ransomware group," according to a report shared with BleepingComputer. 

“The current exploitation led to multiple use cases through which the Conti group tested the possibilities of utilizing the Log4J exploit” - AdvIntel 

While most defenders are aimed at stopping Log4Shell attacks on Internet-connected devices, the Conti ransomware operation demonstrates how the vulnerability can be leveraged to attack internal systems that aren't as well-protected. 

Conti ransomware affiliates had already invaded the target networks and exploited vulnerable Log4j machines to obtain access to vCenter servers, according to the researchers. This indicates that Conti ransomware members used a different initial access vector to infect a network (RDP, VPN, email phishing) and are now utilising Log4Shell to move laterally on the network. 

Conti, the successor to the notorious Ryuk ransomware, is a Russian-speaking group that has been in the ransomware business for a long time. Hundreds of attacks have been carried out by the group, with its data leak site alone reporting over 600 victim firms who did not pay a ransom. Other firms who paid the actor to have their data decrypted are also included. The group has extorted more than $150 million from its victims in the last six months, according to AdvIntel.

Cisco SD-WAN Security Flaw Allows Root Code Execution

 

Cisco SD-WAN implementations are vulnerable to a high-severity privilege-escalation flaw in the IOS IE operating system, which could result in arbitrary code execution. 

Cisco's SD-WAN portfolio enables enterprises of all sizes to link different office sites over the cloud utilising a variety of networking technologies, including standard internet connections. Appliances at each location allow advanced analytics, monitoring, application-specific performance specifications and automation throughout a company's wide-area network. Meanwhile, IOS XE is the vendor's operating system that runs those appliances. 

The vulnerability (CVE-2021-1529) is an OS command-injection flaw that allows attackers to execute unexpected, harmful instructions directly on the operating system that would otherwise be inaccessible. It exists especially in the command-line interface (CLI) for Cisco's IOS XE SD-WAN software, and it could permit an authenticated, local attacker to run arbitrary commands with root privileges. 

According to Cisco’s advisory, posted this week, “The vulnerability is due to insufficient input validation by the system CLI. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute commands on the underlying operating system with root privileges.” 

The alert further stated that the exploit method would comprise authenticating to a susceptible device and delivering "crafted input" to the system CLI. An attacker with successful compromise would be able to read and write any files on the system, execute operations as any user, modify system configurations, install and uninstall software, update the OS and/or firmware, and much more, including subsequent access to a corporate network. 

CVE-2021-1529 has a rating of 7.8 on the CVSS vulnerability-severity scale, and researchers and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have advised organisations to fix the problem as soon as possible. 

Greg Fitzgerald, the co-founder of Sevco Security, cautioned that some firms may still have outdated machines connected to their networks, which might provide a hidden threat with issues like these. 

He stated in the email, “The vast majority of organizations do an excellent job patching the vulnerabilities on the systems they know about. The problem arises when enterprises do not have complete visibility into their asset inventory, because even the most responsive IT and security teams can’t patch a vulnerability for an asset they don’t know is connected to their network. Abandoned and unknown IT assets are often the path of least resistance for malicious actors trying to access your network or data.”

This is solely the latest SD-WAN vulnerability addressed by Cisco this year. It patched many significant buffer-overflow and command-injection SD-WAN flaws in January, the most serious of which could be abused by an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges on the affected server.

Microsoft Alerted Azure Customers of Bug That Could Have Allowed Hackers to Access Data

 

Microsoft alerted some Azure cloud computing users that a vulnerability uncovered by security experts might have given hackers access to their data. 

In a blog post from its security response team, Microsoft stated it had patched the issue identified by Palo Alto Networks and had no sign malicious attackers had exploited the technique. It further stated that certain users have been asked to change their login passwords as a preventive measure. 

The blog post was in response to an inquiry from Reuters regarding Palo Alto's technique. Microsoft refused to respond to any of the inquiries, including whether or not it was assured that no data had been accessed. 

Palo Alto researcher Ariel Zelivansky told Reuters in a previous interview that his team had cracked Azure's widely used platform for so-called containers, which store applications for users. 

According to him, the Azure containers utilized code that had not been updated to address a known vulnerability. As a result, the Palo Alto team was finally able to gain entire authority over a group that comprised containers from other users. 

Ian Coldwater, a longtime container security expert who evaluated Palo Alto's work at the request of Reuters stated, "This is the first attack on a cloud provider to use container escape to control other accounts." 

In July, Palo Alto reported the problem to Microsoft. Zelivansky added it took his team several months to complete the project and agreed that malicious hackers were unlikely to apply a similar approach in real-world attacks. 

Nonetheless, this is the second significant issue discovered in Microsoft's fundamental Azure infrastructure in less than a month. Wiz security specialists revealed a database vulnerability in late August that would've let one client modify the data of another. 

In both situations, Microsoft's remarks were directed to customers who may have been harmed by the researchers' work, rather than everyone who was put in danger by its own code. 

Microsoft wrote, "Out of an abundance of caution, notifications were sent to customers potentially affected by the researcher's activities."

According to Coldwater, the issue stemmed from a failure to deploy fixes on time, something Microsoft has frequently faulted on its customers. He said that certain cloud security tools would have identified malicious assaults similar to the one predicted by the security firm and that logs would also indicate evidence of such activity. 

The research emphasized that security is a collective responsibility between cloud providers and clients. Cloud architectures, according to Zelivansky, are typically safe, Microsoft and other cloud providers can make improvements themselves rather than relying on customers to do so. 

He further added, cloud attacks by well-funded opponents such as sovereign governments, are a legitimate concern.

McDonald’s Password for the Monopoly VIP Database Leaked

 

The fast-food chain McDonald's mistakenly sent out emails with login credentials associated with a database for its Monopoly VIP game. 

McDonald's UK had to postpone the famous Monopoly VIP game for a year due to the COVID -19 pandemic. This year, on August 25th, McDonald's reintroduced the game. 

McDonald's Monopoly is a well-known marketing gimmick in which customers can win gifts and money by entering codes found on purchases. Basically, every time a person purchases a meal from a McDonald's restaurant, they have a chance to win a gift. 

Unfortunately, the game encountered a roadblock over the weekend when a bug resulted in prize redemption emails sent to prize winners, including the user names and passwords for the production and staging database servers. 

Troy Hunt released an unredacted screenshot of an exception fault in an email issued to prize winners with BleepingComputer, which includes critical information for the online application. 

The redacted email sent to a Monopoly VIP winner contained hostnames for Azure SQL databases and the databases' login names and passwords. The prize winner who shared the email with Troy Hunt stated that the production server was firewalled off but that the staging server could be accessed using the attached credentials. 

The person informed Troy Hunt in an email published with BleepingComputer, "I tried to connect to production to gauge the severity of the issue and whether or not getting in touch was an urgent matter but luckily for them they had a set of firewall rules setup. I did however gain access to staging, which I disconnected from immediately for obvious reasons." 

Since these files may have contained winning prize codes, an unethical individual might have obtained unused game codes and exploited them to claim the rewards. 

Luckily for McDonald's, the individual appropriately reported the problem to them. While they did not receive a reply but later discovered that the staging server's password had been changed. 

Though this was not a unique incident, as several people claimed to have seen the credentials and even went so far as to record their experience on TikTok. 

McDonald's notified BleepingComputer that just the staging server's credentials were compromised, while the error clearly stated that the credentials of both a production and staging server were leaked.

In a statement, McDonald's told BleepingComputer, "Due to an administrative error, a small number of customers received details for a staging website by email. No personal details were compromised or shared with other parties." 

"Those affected will be contacted to reassure them that this was a human error and that their information remains safe. We take data privacy very seriously and apologize for any undue concern this error has caused.”

SteelSeries Software Flaw Gives Windows 10 Admin Rights

 

A security researcher discovered that the official application for installing SteelSeries devices on Windows 10 can be abused to acquire administrator privileges. 

The vulnerability can be exploited during the device setup process by clicking a link in the License Agreement page that is loaded with SYSTEM capabilities. It is not essential to have an authentic SteelSeries device to exploit the problem. 

Possible to Emulate a Gadget?

The finding came after the disclosure of the news last week that the Razer Synapse software may be exploited to gain permissions when pairing a Razer mouse or keyboard. 

Driven by Jonhat's study, security researcher Lawrence Amer (research team leader at 0xsp) discovered that the same may be accomplished with the SteelSeries device installation software. 

Amer discovered a link in the License Agreement page that gets opened with SYSTEM rights during the device setup process, allowing complete admin privileges to a Windows 10 computer. He accessed the URL in Internet Explorer, it was then just a matter of using Internet Explorer to save the web page and launching elevated privileges Command Prompt from the right-click menu of the “Save As” box. 

One can then move around the PC with enhanced privileges and perform whatever an admin can do. This is applicable for all SteelSeries peripherals, including mouse, keyboards, and headsets. 

István Tóth, a penetration testing researcher, published an open-source script that can replicate human interface devices (HID) on an Android phone, particularly for testing local privilege escalation (LPE) situations. 

Despite being an experimental version, the script is capable of effectively emulating both Razer and SteelSeries devices. Tóth released a video after Amer published his study proving that the LPE discovered by Amer can be attained. 

Amer informed BleepingComputer that he attempted to notify SteelSeries about the vulnerability but was unable to locate a public bug reward program or a contact for product security. 

In response to the request from BleepingComputer for comment on the topic, a SteelSeries representative stated that the firm was aware of the problem and has eliminated the danger of exploitation by restricting the installation software from starting whenever a SteelSeries device is plugged in.

SteelSeries spokesperson stated, "We are aware of the issue identified and have proactively disabled the launch of the SteelSeries installer that is triggered when a new SteelSeries device is plugged in. This immediately removes the opportunity for an exploit and we are working on a software update that will address the issue permanently and be released soon." 

As per the researcher, the vulnerability may still be abused even after it has been patched. When plugging in a SteelSeries device, an attacker could save the vulnerable signed executable dropped in the temporary folder and do it in a DNS poisoning attack.

12-Year-Old Authentication Bypass Vulnerability Could Allow Network Compromise

 

At least 20 router models have been found to have a 12-year-old authentication bypass vulnerability that might allow attackers to hijack networks and devices, possibly affecting millions of users. The critical path traversal bug was discovered by Evan Grant of Tenable and is tracked as CVE-2021–20090 with a CVSS of 9.8. It can be exploited by unauthenticated, remote attackers. Grant discovered the problem in Buffalo routers, notably the Arcadyan-based web interface software.

Grant discovered that bypass check() only checked as many bytes as there were in the bypass_list strings. Grant was able to circumvent authentication by exploiting this flaw, letting unauthenticated users view pages they shouldn't be able to. Two more vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-20091 and CVE-2021-20092, were discovered, however, they only target specific Buffalo routers at this time. 

According to Grant, this latest revelation raises concerns about the danger of supply chain attacks, which are becoming a more common and serious threat to businesses and technology users. “There is a much larger conversation to be had about how this vulnerability in Arcadyan’s firmware has existed for at least 10 years and has therefore found its way through the supply chain into at least 20 models across 17 different vendors,” Grant wrote. "Consequently, we were surprised they hadn’t been discovered and fixed by the manufacturer or vendors who are selling affected devices over the past decade." 

On Friday, just three days following the bug's disclosure, Juniper Networks cybersecurity researchers announced that they had detected active exploitation of the bug. “We have identified some attack patterns that attempt to exploit this vulnerability in the wild coming from an IP address located in Wuhan, Hubei province, China,” they wrote in a post. “The attacker seems to be attempting to deploy a Mirai variant on the affected routers.”

Mirai is a long-running botnet that can be used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by infecting linked devices. It first appeared in 2016, when it overloaded Dyn web hosting servers, bringing down over 1,200 websites, including Netflix and Twitter. Its source code was disclosed later that year, prompting the emergence of additional Mirai versions. 

According to Juniper, several of the scripts used in the latest wave of assaults are similar to those used in prior attacks in February and March. “The similarity could indicate that the same threat actor is behind this new attack and attempting to upgrade their infiltration arsenal with yet another freshly disclosed vulnerability,” researchers wrote.

Low-Risk iOS Wi-Fi Naming Issue can Compromise iPhones Remotely

 

According to recent research, the Wi-Fi network name issue that entirely disabled an iPhone's network connectivity had remote code execution capabilities and was discreetly patched by Apple earlier this year. 

On Monday, Apple released iOS 14.7 for iPhones, which includes bug fixes and security improvements as well as a remedy for the Wi-Fi denial-of-service issue. However, the company has not yet provided security information that may suggest whether its vulnerability has been fixed. 

The denial-of-service vulnerability, which was discovered last month, was caused by the way iOS managed string formats associated with the SSID input, causing any up-to-date iPhone to crash when connected to wireless access points with percent symbols in their names, such as "%p%s%s%s%s%n." 

While the problem could be solved by resetting the network settings (Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings), Apple is likely to provide a fix in iOS 14.7, which is currently accessible to developers and public beta testers. 

Researchers from mobile security automation business ZecOps discovered that the same flaw could be abused to accomplish remote code execution (RCE) on targeted devices by simply adding the string pattern " % @" to the Wi-Fi hotspot's name, which may have had far-reaching repercussions. 

The issue was termed "WiFiDemon" by ZecOps. It's also a zero-click vulnerability as it allows a threat actor to infect a device without needing user interaction, however, it does necessitate that the setting to automatically connect Wi-Fi networks is enabled (which it is, by default). 

"As long as the Wi-Fi is turned on this vulnerability can be triggered," the researchers noted. "If the user is connected to an existing Wi-Fi network, an attacker can launch another attack to disconnect/de-associate the device and then launch this zero-click attack." 

"This zero-click vulnerability is powerful: if the malicious access point has password protection and the user never joins the Wi-Fi, nothing will be saved to the disk," the company stated. "

After turning off the malicious access point, the user's Wi-Fi function will be normal. A user could hardly notice if they have been attacked.

The RCE variant was discovered to be exploitable in all iOS versions before iOS 14.3, with Apple "silently" fixing the problem in January 2021 as part of their iOS 14.4 release. The vulnerability was not issued a CVE identifier. 

Given the vulnerability's exploitability, iPhone and iPad owners must update to the most recent iOS version to reduce the risk associated with the flaw.

This iPhone Bug Exists Even After Network Settings Reset

 

Two weeks after the iphone wifi bug was found, the same cybersecurity analyst Carl Schou discovered a similar different case. The expert in a tweet said that if an iPhone comes within a wifi network range called ‘%secretclub%power,' then the connected iphone wouldn't be able to use wifi or any other features related to it. The bug exists even if the user resets network settings, says Schou. 

9TO5Mac reports "Obviously, this is such an obscure chain of events that it is highly unlikely that any person accidentally falls into this unless a load of Wi-Fi pranksters suddenly pop up in the wild with open Wi-Fi networks using the poisoned name. Until Apple fixes this edge case in a future OS update, just keep an eye out for any Wi-Fi networks with percent symbols in their name." The only solution to fix the bug would be a factory reset of the iphone. 

However, the experts advise not to do it as it is not tested. The earlier problem was related to iPhones facing a network name with the SSiD “%p%s%s%s%s%n," however, the issue could be fixed by simply resetting the iphone in the network settings option. But the new problem has more threat as it can affect any device which comes into the range of the infected public wifi named 'secretclub%power.' However, it is clear that both the bugs are somewhat related as ‘%secretclub%power’ and ‘%p%s%s%s%s%n' exploit string format code vulnerability which lies somewhere in the iOS network stack. Schou tweeted "You can permanently disable any iOS device's WiFI by hosting a public WiFi named %secretclub%power. Resetting network settings is not guaranteed to restore functionality." 

As of now, it is clear that there exist many variants of network name bugs that use ‘%s’, ‘%p’, and ‘%n’ character sequences. From the user's perspective, the best way to stay safe from the bug is to avoid connecting your device to wifi networks that contain '%' symbols in their names. iOS users can only wait for the next update when Apple will fix the OS bug. "Here’s a funny bug: a security researcher has found that a carefully crafted network name causes a bug in the networking stack of iOS and can completely disable your iPhone’s ability to connect to Wi-Fi," reported 9TO5Mac previously.

Security Bug Detected in Google’s Android App

 

A vulnerability had existed in Google's eponymous Android app with over five billion downloads to date that might have enabled an attacker to stealthily steal the personal information of a victim's device. 

In a blog post-Sergey Toshin, the founder of Oversecured Mobile App Security Group, noted that it's about the way the Google app relies on code that is not packaged with the app directly. Several Android apps, notably the Google application, decrease download size and storage space by depending on code libraries installed on Android smartphones. 

However, the shortcoming in Google's code allowed the malicious application to inherit the permissions of the Google app and permit it to almost completely access data from a user. 

The malicious application could also pull the code library from a malicious app on the very same device rather than its legitimate code library. This access includes access to Google user accounts, search histories, e-mails, text messages, contacts, and call history, as well as microphone/camera triggering and user location. 

Toshin added that the malicious application will be activated once for the attack to start, but it is carried out without the knowledge or cooperation of the user. He added that removing the malicious program will not remove malicious components from the Google app. 

A Google spokesman told that last month it addressed the issue and there was no proof that the attackers would be using the flaw. The built-in malware scanner of Android, Google Protect Play, will stop the installation of harmful apps. However, there is no absolute safety feature, and malicious apps are already on the internet. 

Toshin stated that the vulnerability in Google's app is almost like a bug identified in TikTok earlier in this year that would allow an attacker to hijack a TikTok user's session tokens which are exploited to gain control of their account. 

Oversecured identified several other identical vulnerabilities, including the Google Play app for Android and more recent pre-installed apps on Samsung phones.

Indian Hacker Discovers a New Instagram Bug

 

Instagram has addressed a new flaw, which allows everyone to access private profiles without having to follow them and also lets them view archived posts and stories. 

The Facebook group recently rewarded an Indian programmer and Bug Bounty Hunter with Rs 22 lakh to identify the Instagram bug that can permit anybody, without following, to view different posts on a private Instagram account. The issue that the programmer, Mayur Fartade, has just reported on a media post might've been a big privacy violation that leads to target identity fraud and harassment given the hazards posed by it. On April 15, 2021, this flaw was notified to Instagram and now it is patched. 

The flaw might have enabled hackers or those intending to cyber spy – to target particular users' posts and gain access without having to follow their private account, according to Fartade. 

Fartade noted in his post that the high privileges which attackers may have gained would be utilized for looking at elements like “private/archived posts, stories, reels (and) IGTV, details including like/comment/save count, display_url, image. uri, Facebook linked page(if any) and other particulars, without following the user and by using Media ID”. 

The flaw may allow any brute person to force a "Media ID" post which is an ID for any post created on Instagram and then use it to regenerate legitimate links to archived posts and private posts. For this purpose, attackers can use the Instagram GraphQL tool on their developer library, input any targeted post's brute-forced media ID, and execute the tool to gain access to information such as the post link and other related details.

This issue might have revealed numerous sensitive facts and surely breached privacy, as non-followers having access to content on a private account could result in many untoward occurrences including identity theft, challenges, or harassment. 

Facebook in its letter to Fartade thanked him for his report: “After reviewing this issue, we have decided to award you a bounty of $30000. Below is an explanation of the bounty amount. Facebook fulfills its bounty awards through Bugcrowd and HackerOne. Your report highlighted a scenario that could have allowed a malicious user to view targeted media on Instagram. This scenario would require the attacker to know the specific media ID. We have fixed this issue. Thank you again for your report. We look forward to receiving more reports from you in the future,” the company said. 


M1RACLES Bug Impacts Apple M1 Chips

 

A security researcher identified the first-ever vulnerability in Apple M1 chips that requires a silicon redesign to fix. The good news is that the flaw is considered low-risk, and even the security researcher who identified it believes the flaw is insignificant and has sought to avoid exaggerating the problem while presenting his findings. 

The vulnerability was codenamed M1RACLES and is presently tracked as CVE-2021-30747. It was discovered by Hector Martin, a software engineer at Asahi Linux, a project that works on porting Linux for Mac devices. 

In a simplified explanation, Martin explained that the vulnerability allowed two apps running on the same device to exchange data via a hidden channel at the CPU level, circumventing memory, sockets, files, and other standard operating system features. While the discovery is notable because of the amount of time, work, knowledge, and proficiency required to find bugs in a CPU's physical design, Martin states that the problem is of no benefit to attackers. 

The only way Martin can see this bug being abused is by dodgy advertising businesses, which could abuse an app they already had installed on a user's M1-based device for cross-app tracking, which would be a really bizarre scenario since the ad industry has many other more reliable data collection methods. 

Even though the M1RACLEs bug violates the OS security model by allowing a CPU process to transfer data to another CPU process over a secret channel, Martin believes the flaw was caused by a human error on Apple's M1 design team. 

“Someone in Apple’s silicon design team made a boo-boo. It happens. Engineers are human,” he said. Martin further added that he has informed Apple of his discoveries, but the firm has yet to clarify whether the flaw will be fixed in future M1 chip silicon versions. Martin revealed and debunked his own findings on a dedicated website that ridiculed similar sites developed in the past to advertise CPU vulnerabilities—many of which, like M1RACLEs, were similarly meaningless and insignificant to people's threat models. 

Martin concludes that exploitation on iOS may be used to overcome privacy protections adding that a malicious keyboard app may act as a keylogger by transferring typed text to another malicious app, which could subsequently transfer the information to the internet. 

However, he suggests that because of Apple's constraints on creating code at runtime, the firm could detect exploit attempts if it subjected App Store submissions to static analysis. The hypervisors disable guest access to the vulnerable register by default, the flaw can be mitigated by utilizing a virtual machine, but there aren't many other solutions, particularly on macOS.

Ransomware Qlocker Encrypts QNAP Devices with 7Zip

 

A huge ransomware campaign seems to be underway to attack QNAP devices globally and customers can now locate their files in password-protected 7zip archives. The ransomware is known as Qlocker and on 19 April 2021, it was aimed at attacking QNAP computers. Ever since the help platform of bleeping computers has had enormous development, and the victims' requests have increased in ID-Ransomware. 

However, as per the victims in the Qlocker support department of Bleeping Computer, hackers use 7-zip to transfer files to password-protected archives on QNAP computers. During locking of the files, multiple 72 processes are displayed on the QNAP Resource Monitor, which can be executed on the 7zip command line. Once ransomware is completed, files of the QNAP computer will be saved in a password-protected 7-zip file with a.7z extension. Victims must enter the password identified by the perpetrator only to retrieve those archives. 

As soon as one has encrypted the QNAP devices, they then have a !!!READ ME.txt ransom note with a special client key to sign on to the Tor ransomware payment platform. All victims are expected to pay Bitcoins of roughly 0.01, which is around $557.74, from the Qlocker restitution notes shown to get a password for their archived data. After payment is made and an invalid Bitcoin Tax ID has been entered, a 7Zip archive password will be displayed on the Tor Payments website. This password is exclusive to the victim that cannot be used on computers of all the other victims. 

On April 22, a security investigator, Jack Cable, announced a bug found in the Qlocker Tor platform that allows users to freely retrieve their 7zip passwords. This bug could allow victims to obtain a Bitcoin transaction ID from someone who has previously paid but changed it slightly. When the modified transaction ID was sent to the Qlocker Tor site, the payment was acknowledged, and the victim's password was displayed. 

Jack Cable also helped victims secretly recover their passwords and Emsisoft arranged to build a support system to further exploit this vulnerability. Unfortunately, the ransomware developers took it and patched it an hour after they heard of the error. There is no way to download files without a password that is not available for free anymore at this stage.

QNAP has lately solved critical vulnerabilities which enable a mobile player to access a device completely and to run ransomware. 

The following descriptions were found for these two vulnerabilities by QNAP on 16 April: 
CVE-2020-2509: Command Injection Vulnerability in QTS and QuTS hero
CVE-2020-36195: SQL Injection Vulnerability in Multimedia Console and the Media Streaming Add-On 

"QNAP strongly urges that all users immediately install the latest Malware Remover version and run a malware scan on QNAP NAS. The Multimedia Console, Media Streaming Add-on, and Hybrid Backup Sync apps need to be updated to the latest available version as well to further secure QNAP NAS from ransomware attacks. QNAP is urgently working on a solution to remove malware from infected devices," QNAP stated in a security advisory.

Wi-Fi Mouse Application Detected with Bug

 

According to a researcher named, Christopher Le Roux, the smartphone app named Wi-Fi Mouse, which enables users to monitor the mouse movements on their PC or Mac with a phone or tablet, has an unpatched bug, which encourages opponents to sabotage computers. The impact of the associated "server software" of the Android app is the Wi-Fi Mouse, which is required for installation on a Windows system, that enables the moving desktop app to regulate the mouse. The bug enables an opponent with a popular Wi-Fi network to fully access the Windows PC via a software-opened communication port. 

The unpatched bug doesn't affect the Android smartphone operating the Wi-Fi Mouse program, as per Le Roux's analysis. The application has been installed more than 100,000 times, according to the developer's overview of the Google Play platform for Wi-Fi Mouse. And according to the developer, the bug is linked to the Windows desktop applications which have a poor password and PIN protection. 

“The password/PIN option in the Windows Desktop app does not prevent remote control of a target running the software,” stated Le Roux. “I believe this may be an oversight on the part of the developer.” 

While attempting to pair the smartphone operating on Wi-Fi Mouse with the corresponding Wi-Fi Desktop Program, the researcher said that the application doesn't really appropriately request smartphone app users to enter a password or PIN. The absence of encryption gives a possible rogue user the chance to use Wi-Fi Mouse's open data port, Le Roux added.

“The Wi-Fi Mouse mobile app scans for and connects to hosts with TCP port 1978 open. Upon connecting the desktop server responds with OS information and the handshake is complete,” he wrote. “From within the mobile app, you have a mouse touchpad option as well as a file explorer. The file explorer allows a user to ‘open’ any file on the System. This includes executable files such as cmd.exe or powershell.exe, which will open each command terminal, respectively.” 

It is as simple to send ASCII characters as HEX with covering on either side accompanied by a packet to type the main unrestricted access to the targeted device. Particularly since there's no authentication between server and application this procedure is fast and simple to program. An opponent only requires the Wi-Fi Mouse application, which can be used on a targeted PC – no smartphone application is necessary. 

“Sadly, the app can be easily mimicked even if it is not installed or on the network. The Wi-Fi Mouse desktop server will accept any connection so long as it is running on an endpoint and the firewall isn’t blocking its listening port 1978,” Le Roux said. An opponent will use the Windows system to run a simple command, to download a running program from an HTTP server, and execute it on the PC of the goal to get the remote shell. 

“An attacker could still feasibly exploit a Unix-based system with minimal effort,” he wrote.

Node.js Detected with Vulnerability encountered by Captain Freak

 

Node.js is a cross-platform, open-source, JavaScript back-end operating environment running on Chrome V8 and running JavaScript programming from outside a Web browser. Recently a vulnerability in Node.js could have been used to exploit the framework and achieve remote code execution (RCE). 

A report published on January 23, by Shoeb 'Captain Freak' Patel a self-described 'want to be' security researcher, says that the analysis indicates that Express.js might be prone to read local file errors. In conjunction with an old version of the Handlebars engine (Handlebars is a popular templating engine for web applications.), the malicious code may be run remotely. “If you are using Express.Js with Handlebars as templating engine invoked via hubs view engine, for Server Side Rendering, you are likely vulnerable to Local File Read (LFR) and potential Remote Code Execution (RCE),” stated Captain Freak. 

Further Captain Freak has claimed that because of his experience with the developer's code he wanted to search for flaws in Node.js, Express.js, and Handlebars. He said that he "stumbled" last week over a vital local security file that demanded a payload of fewer than 10 lines of code for the RCE exploit, and “To be honest, I should not have been that surprised.” 

“The betrayal by in-built modules, dependencies, and packages have been the reason to introduce numerous security bugs. This is a recurring theme in software security,” added Captain Freak. 

He elucidated that if the target user is responding with X-Powered-By: Express and there is HTML in responses, it’s highly likely that Node.js with server-side templating is being used. For which the user can attach a layout to the discovery for the GET or POST body parameter in their wordlist. If the arbitrary value of layout parameter added is resulting in 500 Internal Server Error with ENOENT: no such file or directory in body, then the user has hit the LFR. 

The treason of built-in modules, dependencies, and applications has contributed to various security vulnerabilities. In software safety, this is still a recurrent issue. Captain Freak created a CTF challenge to verify whether or not this was understood, and he shared it with several of his talented friends from different Network security, Node, Backend Tech, CTF, and Bug Bounty internet forums. 

Later this turned out to be a not known vulnerability, only 4 people (all CTFers) were able to solve this problem even after providing the whole source code. Captain Freak discovered, strange code at Node.js, that any file with an extension could be read from the root view directory, + layout and forwarded to handlebars; Compilation of which lets us use the HTML file that we fully monitor after compiling the file. RCE will then be triggered with particular specifications, requiring the use of versions 4.0.3 and below. This issue has been patched in Handlebars versions 4.1.2, 4.0.14, and later. 

“I wrote about it so that the whole Node.js and web development community [would] know about this quirky behavior in this stack,” stated Captain Freak.

Firefox expected to release a fix for their "Camera active after phone locks" bug this October


A bug in Mozilla Firefox enabled websites to keep the smartphone camera active even after leaving the browser or locking the phone. The company is working on fixing the bug and are planning to release the fix around October this year.


The bug was first reported by Appear TV, a video delivery platform last year in July. The bug activates when a user opens a video streaming app from their Mozilla Firefox browser in their Android smartphone.

It was first noticed by Appear TV when the video kept playing in the background even when it should have stopped that is the video kept playing in the background even when the user moved out of the browser or pushed it to the background or locked the phone. This raised concerns over user's privacy and bandwidth loss. "From our analysis, a website is allowed to retain access to your camera or microphone whilst you're using other apps, or even if the phone is locked," said a privacy app, Traced in talks with ZDNet. "While there are times you might want the microphone or video to keep working in the background, your camera should never record you when your phone is locked".

On Fixing the Issue

 "As is the case with dedicated conferencing apps, we provide a system notification that lets people know when a website within Firefox is accessing the camera or microphone, but recognize that we can do better, especially since this gets hidden when the screen is locked," a Mozilla spokesperson said in a statement.

"This bug [fix] aims to address this by defaulting to audio-only when the screen is locked," Mozilla added. "[The fix] is scheduled for release at the platform-level this October, and for consumers shortly after."

Mozilla has been working on a next-generation browser Firefox Nightly with more focus on privacy to replace their current browser for Android. The update is out for testing.

"Meanwhile, our next-generation browser for Android, now available for testing as Firefox Nightly, already has a prominent notification for when sites access this hardware as well," said Mozilla.

HP Issues Advisory Informing Users to Expect SSD Failure around October 2020


Computer enterprise company HP (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) warns its customers about a bug that it has recently found in its SSD (Solid State Drives). The company HP has made a new firmware patch to prevent some of its hard drives from crashing after 40,000 hours of consumer use. In a firmware incident last week, HP informed its consumers about a bug in some of its hard drives that will cause them to stop working after 40,000 hours of use, which is around four years and 200 days. SAS SSDs (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drives) is the model of the hard drives that are likely to be affected by this firmware bug.


According to HP, the hard disks manufactured during that period will crash around October this year, and these will be among the earliest failures. To solve this issue, HP has released some firmware updates to fix this bug last week. It has asked the companies to update to the latest firmware updates, and if they fail to do so, the companies might risk losing both the SSD and the data. If the SSD crashes, users can't restore their data, says HP in its security advisory.

This firmware bug incident is similar to another hard drive crash incident that happened in November last year. In the latter event, the HPE SAS SSDs crashed after nearly three years and 270 days of use. This time, however, this bug will affect far fewer SSDs than it did last year. According to HP, the company learned about this issue from a different SSD company that uses HP's SSDs, similar to last year. The list of SAS SSD models affected by the bug is available on HP's customer support website.

"This HPD8 firmware is considered a critical fix and is required to address the issue detailed below. HPE strongly recommends the immediate application of this crucial fixture. Neglecting to update to SSD Firmware Version HPD8 will result in drive failure and data loss at 32,768 hours of operation and require restoration of data from the backup in non-fault tolerance, such as RAID 0 and fault tolerance RAID mode if more drives fail than what is supported by the fault tolerance RAID mode logical drive," reads HP's notification.

Tor Browser Bug Executes Uncalled for JavaScript Codes!


The well-known Tor is allegedly experiencing some kind of bug in its mechanism. It has hence warned the users to stay vigilant as regards to the “Tor Browser Bug”, which runs JavaScript codes on various unexpected sites.

Tor (originally Team Onion Router) is a free and open-source software which chiefly works on allowing anonymous communication to users.

Reportedly, the team has been working on a solution and would roll it out as soon as it is done, but there isn’t a particular time to expect it.

One of the most critical features for the security of the Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) happens to be the ability to block the code execution of the JavaScript, mention sources.

TBB is a browser that has a set of superior privacy features majorly for concealing real IP addresses to maintain the anonymity of online users and their devices’ locations.

Owing to these features, the browser has become a go-to for the working people, especially the journalists, citizens of repressive countries and people with political agendas because after all, it is a great instrument to dodge online censorship and firewalls.

People who are against the anonymity of the users and just can’t let things be, have in the past tried several times to expose Tor Browser users’ actual IP addresses via exploits that functioned on JavaScript code.

Sources cite that while few attempts of the better nature have been successfully employed to track down criminals, others were pretty strangely executed.

And then recently, a bug was discovered in the much appreciated TBB’s security mechanism. When the browser was set to allow the use of the most supreme security level and still permitted the execution of the JavaScript code when instead it should have barred it.

It is a relief that the team of Tor is well aware of the bug and is, with dedication working towards developing a patch for it. Per sources, they also mentioned that if a user requires to “Block JavaScript” they could always disable it entirely.

As per reports, the procedure for doing the above-mentioned is to open the “about config” and search for “javascript.enabled”. If here the “Value” column mentions “false” it means that the JavaScript is disabled and if it mentions “true” then right-click to select “Toggle” or double click on the row to disable it.