In-brief: The discovery of a malicious link buried in software for a common IP camera sold on Amazon and other online retail outlets is just the latest example of supply chain based threats to connected products.
IEEE Security and Privacy
Wired reports on a team from Georgia Tech that has designed software that acts as an overlay on Android smartphones’ communication applications, encrypting communications to and from those apps, while mimicking their user interface. The researchers describe the technology as a “transparent window” over apps that prevents unencrypted messages from leaving the user’s device. “The window acts as a proxy between the user and the app. But the beauty of it is that users feel like they’re interacting with the original app without much, if any, change,” says Wenke Lee, the Georgia Tech professor who led the developers. “Our goal is to make security that’s as easy as air. You just breathe and don’t even think about it.” The researchers call their prototype Mimesis Aegis, or M-Aegis, Latin for “mimicry shield.” They plan to present their research at the Usenix Security conference this week. Read more via Wired: This Android Shield Could […]
A group representing the Uyghurs,a persecuted religious minority in China, faces unrelenting, targeted cyber attacks that appear aimed at stealing sensitive data and otherwise undermining the group’s activity, according to a new study by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston as well as the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and the National University of Singapore. A study of more than 1,400 suspicious email messages sent to members of groups representing the Uyghur minority found that more than three quarters of the messages contained malicious attachments. The messages targeted 724 individuals at 108 separate organizations. Moreover, researchers found overlap between the individuals associated with the Uyghur World Contress (UWC) and western targets such as the New York Times and U.S. embassies. The study, “A Look at Targeted Attacks Through the Lense of an NGO” is being presented at the UNENIX Security Conference in San Diego on August 21. (A copy of the full paper is […]
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comment from Medtronic and from the researchers. A bit more on that: I spoke to the fine researchers who conducted this study. They are concerned that people might casually read the headline or first couple paragraphs and conclude that listening to Weezer will kill them. Listening to Weezer will not kill you. Listening to Weezer will not interfere with your implanted defibrillator if used under normal conditions. Their experiment (and my article) make this clear, but you do have to read down a bit in the article to get that, and I know not everyone does that. In any case, the health benefits of using an implanted defibrillator in accordance with your doctor’s instructions, far outweigh any risk from EMI or other electronic tampering. – PFR 5/22/2013. Listening to Weezer could kill you. Literally. That’s the conclusion of an unusual experiment […]