CanSecWest

Perverse Security Incentives Abound In Mobile App Space

Podcast: Play in new window | Download () | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeSecurity problems abound in the mobile device space – and many of them have been well documented here and elsewhere. While mobile operating systems like Android and iOS are generally more secure than their desktop predecessors, mobile applications have become a major source of woe for mobile device owners and platform vendors. To date, many of the mobile malware outbreaks have come by way of loosely monitored mobile application stores (mostly in Eastern Europe and Russia). More recently, malicious mobile ad networks have also become a way to pull powerful mobile devices into botnets and other malicious online schemes. But my guests on the latest Security Ledger podcast point out that mobile application threats are poised to affect much more than just mobile phone […]

Podcast: Security Challenges Ahead For Blackberry

Podcast: Play in new window | Download () | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | https://www.securityledger.com/subscribeWith another busy week behind us in the security world, we sat down with Zach Lanier, a senior security researcher for mobile authentication specialist Duo Security. Zach is a recognized authority on the security of mobile devices, and was able to talk about some ongoing research he’s doing on Blackberry’s BB10 operating system. Zach told us that Blackberry 10, the latest version of Blackberry’s mobile operating system, is a big improvement over previous versions, including the TabletOS that Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion) used for its PlayBook – the company’s first foray into the tablet space.  But Lanier and fixed many of the information leaks that he and others found in TabletOS and reported to the company. “But there are still lots of questions […]

APT or fANTasy: The Strange Story of BadBIOS

Yesterday over on Veracode’s blog I wrote about the ongoing saga of “BadBIOS” – a piece of malicious software that might be the most sophisticated virus ever written, or a figment of the imagination of Dragos Ruiu, the esteemed security researcher who says he discovered it on systems he owned. The story of BadBIOS reads like something out of science fiction. Ruiu has described it in interviews and blog posts as BIOS-based malware that can back door systems running a variety of operating systems – OS X, Windows and even OpenBSD. But it’s also described as an ephemeral kind of ‘we-don’t-know-what,’ that can’t be isolated or analyzed. One Twitter follower of Ruiu’s suggested designating it a “heisenbug” which he defined as “a software bug that seems to disappear or alter its behavior when one attempts to study it.” That would be funny if this weren’t deadly serious. For, really, one […]

Microsoft's Redmond Campus

Late To The Party, Microsoft Offers Mega Bounties For Software Bugs

Microsoft on Wednesday announced its first ever formal program to pay security researchers for finding software vulnerabilities in its newest products. The bug bounty program will launch on June 26 and be formally unveiled at the upcoming Black Hat Briefings hacker conference in Las Vegas at the end of July.  And, though late to the party, Microsoft is making up for lost time by going large. The Redmond, Washington software maker will pay researchers up to $100,000 for “truly novel” exploitation techniques that defeat protections built into the very latest version of Windows, 8.1 Preview. It will additionally pay $50,000 for ideas for defensive strategies that accompany a bypass, raising the total potential purse for an exploit and accompanying remediation to $150,000. Additionally, Microsoft announced a short-term bounty program for its Internet Explorer 11 Preview, with the company paying up to $11,000 USD for critical vulnerabilities that affect Internet Explorer […]

With $Pi Million At Stake, Chrome Withstands Hacker Assault

With $3.14159 million in prize money at stake, Google’s Chrome OS has withstood attempts to hack it in the company’s semi-annual Pwnium contest in Vancouver, a Google spokeswoman told The Security Ledger. In a statement Thursday, Google spokeswoman Jessica Kositz said that the company did not receive any winning entries during the day-long contest, but that the company is evaluating work that may qualify for a partial prize:  a potentially infinite series of Google Wallet transfers in the amounts:  $1 followed by $.50 followed by $.25 followed by $.125 and so on. OK – We made that last part up. Pwnium runs alongside the better known pwn2own contest at CanSecWest. This year, Google is providing funding for both contests. However, in 2012 the company pulled its support for pwn2own, objecting to the lack of a requirement of “responsible disclosure” – in which entrants must disclose the details of their exploits to the […]