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InfoSec News Nuggets 08/20/2019

1 Cybersecurity conference attendees possibly exposed to IRL virus

They, perhaps more than any other gathered group of industry professionals, know how to defend against viruses. Just, maybe, not this kind. Hackers and cybersecurity researchers who attended this year’s annual Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas found themselves on the receiving end of the wrong kind of security notification. On Thursday, the Southern Nevada Health District issued a warning stating that individuals in Vegas over the course of the conference may have been exposed to measles.


2 Top tip: Don’t upload your confidential biz files to free malware-scanning websites – everything is public

Companies are inadvertently leaving confidential files on the internet for anyone to download – after uploading the documents to malware-scanning websites that make everything public. These file-probing websites open submitted documents in secure sandboxes to detect any malicious behavior. Businesses forward email attachments and other data to these sites to check whether they are booby-trapped with exploits and malware, not knowing that the sandbox sites publish a feed of submitted documents.


3 Piracy is killing malware sales

In a presentation at the Bsides Las Vegas hacking conference today, Winnona DeSombre, an analyst at threat-intelligence biz Recorded Future, detailed a year-long probe into dark and public web forums and chat rooms where malware writers hang out. What she saw, during the course of the investigation that ended May 2019, was a constant fight between people who write malware and those who crack it and sell it on themselves or just give it away. Software nasties are pirated by crooks and redistributed just like legit applications, in other words. Malware development is not immune to piracy.


4 Scientists develop robotic shorts that make it easier to walk and run

Harvard University researchers have developed a new powered exosuit that can make you feel as much as a dozen pounds lighter when walking or running. Scientific American reports that the 11-pound system, which is built around a pair of flexible shorts and a motor worn on the lower back, could benefit anyone who has to cover large distances by foot, including recreational hikers, military personnel, and rescue workers.


5 Steam Accounts Being Stolen Through Elaborate Free Game Scam

An elaborate scam is underway that pretends to be a free game giveaway site, but instead hacks a user’s Steam account, takes control over it, and then incorporates the new victim into their attack by targeting other players. The scam works by attackers hacking into Steam accounts and sending messages to the victim’s friends that they can get a free Steam game by going to a site and entering a promo code. When a user clicks the URL they will be brought to a URL, which will then redirect a user to one of the attacker’s currently working scam sites. These sites, shown below, pretend to be a giveaway site for free Steam games.


6 Apple Sues Corellium Over Security Research Tool

Apple has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Florida-based virtualization company Corellium for creating “perfect replicas” of iOS that can be used for security research and other purposes. Not much is known about Corellium — its website does not provide any information about the products or services it offers. An article published by Forbes in February 2018 described the company as a “super stealth startup” that had built an “Apple hacker’s paradise.” Corellium’s first customer was said to be Azimuth Security, a small Australian company that reportedly provides hacking tools to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.


7 Kaspersky AV injected unique ID that allowed sites to track users, even in incognito mode

Antivirus software is something that can help people be safer and more private on the Internet. But its protections can cut both ways. A case in point: for almost four years, AV products from Kaspersky Lab injected a unique identifier into the HTML of every website a user visited, making it possible for sites to identify people even when using incognito mode or when they switched between Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. The identifier, as reported Thursday by c’t Magazine, was part of a blob of JavaScript Kaspersky products injected into every page a user visited. The JavaScript, presented below this paragraph, was designed to, among other things, present a green icon that corresponded to safe links returned in search results.


8 Google removes option to disable Nest cams’ status light

No more stashing your Nest security cameras in the bushes to catch burglars unaware: Google informed users on Wednesday that it’s removing the option to turn off the status light that indicates when your Nest camera is recording. You can still dim the light that shows when Google’s Nest, Dropcam, and Nest Hello cameras are on and sending video and audio to Nest, Google said, but you can’t make it go away on new cameras. If the camera is on, it’s going to tell people that it’s on – with its green status light in Nest and Nest Home and the blue status light in Dropcam – in furtherance of Google’s newest commitment to privacy.


9 Fearing data privacy issues, Google cuts some Android phone data for wireless carriers

Alphabet Inc’s Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, because of Google’s concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators. The withdrawal of the service, which has not been previously reported, has disappointed wireless carriers that used the data as part of their decision-making process on where to extend or upgrade their coverage. Even though the data were anonymous and the sharing of it has become commonplace, Google’s move illustrates how concerned the company has become about drawing attention amid a heightened focus in much of the world on data privacy.


10 Apple accidentally unpatches iOS vulnerability, hacker creates new jailbreak

Apple’s iOS 12.4, released in July, contains a bug that was discovered by Google security researchers and subsequently squashed in iOS 12.3, reports Motherboard. Ned Williamson, who is credited as working with Google’s Project Zero team to uncover a number of iOS flaws, confirmed the once-patched exploit is now in play. “A user apparently tested the jailbreak on 12.4 and found that Apple had accidentally reverted the patch,” Williamson said in a statement to Motherboard. Apple’s accident opens the door to jailbreaks and the execution of malicious code, the report said.

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