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Oliva Fora says code he released on Git Hub can exploit a vulnerability in Android's application verification process.

Updated: Exploit Code Released For Android Security Hole

A security researcher has published what he claims is a proof of concept program that exploits a  security hole that affects hundreds of millions of Android mobile devices.* Pau Oliva Fora, a security researcher for the firm Via Forensics, published a small, proof of concept module that exploits the flaw in the way Android  verifies the authenticity of signed mobile applications. The flaw was first disclosed last week by Jeff Forristal, the Chief Technology Officer at Bluebox Security, ahead of a presentation at the Black Hat Briefings in August. Oliva Fora posted his “quick and dirty” proof of concept on GitHub, a code sharing website, on Monday. The simple program leverages APKTool, a common, open source tool for reverse engineering Android applications – decompiling and then recompiling their contents. APKTool is widely used for analyzing and making modifications to closed binaries. His script allows a user to select an Android […]

Security Must-Do’s For Facebook Graph Search

Security Must-Do’s For Facebook Graph Search

Facebook finally pulled the covers off its much-anticipated (or dreaded) Graph Search feature on Monday, after about six months in beta. The new search feature greatly expands the kinds of information Facebook users can access on other users of the social network, making it easy, for example, to cross reference data stored in Facebook profiles. For example, users can easily call up a list of their “friends who live in Boston” and like the show “Arrested Development.” Fun! But, as has been noted, Graph Search is also a social engineer’s dream, because it lays bare lots of information – data – that Facebook users shared, casually, and without a thought of how it might be used in combination with other data they shared. For example, researchers have shown that they can use knowledge of a Facebook user’s “Likes” to “automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: […]

Flaw Leaves 900M Android Devices Vulnerable

Flaw Leaves 900M Android Devices Vulnerable

A security researcher claims to have uncovered a flaw in the Android security model that leaves almost all devices running the mobile operating system vulnerable to attacks and malicious software. Jeff Forristal, the Chief Technology Officer at Bluebox Security posted a description of the flaw on Wednesday. It affects Android devices running any version of the OS released in the past four years, starting with Version 1.6 (codename: “Donut” ) – a population of nearly 900 million devices. Discrepancies in how Android applications are cryptographically signed and then verified by Android allow a malicious attacker to modify the application package file (or APK) code without breaking the cryptographic signature. The implications of the flaw are huge. A malicious application installed on a vulnerable Android device could access any data stored on the device. For applications, such as mobile virtual private network (VPN), an attacker who could alter the application’s code or […]

NIST Cyber Security Draft Framework Puts Execs In Driver’s Seat

NIST Cyber Security Draft Framework Puts Execs In Driver’s Seat

The U.S. government’s federal technology agency has published a draft version of a voluntary framework it hopes will guide the private sector in reducing the risk of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a draft of its Preliminary Framework to Reduce Cyber Risks to Critical Infrastructure on Monday. The document provides a guide for critical infrastructure owners of different maturity levels to begin documenting and understanding their risk of cyber attack, and – eventually – to measure their performance in areas such as asset management, threat detection and incident response. The framework was called for by Executive Order 13636, signed by President Obama in February. In that order, NIST was charged with creating a framework for sharing cyber security threat information and information on successful approaches to reduce risks to critical infrastructure. The Framework is comprised of five major cybersecurity functions: Know […]

NSA’s PRISM Puts Privacy Startup Silent Circle Into Orbit

NSA’s PRISM Puts Privacy Startup Silent Circle Into Orbit

Government surveillance has been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks, with the leak of classified information about spying by the National Security Agency using information provided by U.S. telecommunications and Internet firms including Verizon, Facebook, Google and Apple. The stories have revealed the very different legal standards that govern electronic communications and more traditional communications such as phone and postal mail. They have also put many otherwise lawful Internet users in search of technology that will keep their private conversations and thoughts well…private. That, in turn, has sparked concern in the government that civilian use of encryption will hamper lawful interception of communications. Wired.com reported last week that, for the first time, encryption thwarted government surveillance under court-approved wiretaps. That report,  from the U.S. Administrative Office of the Courts (AO), said encryption was reported for 15 wiretaps in 2012, compared with just 7 wiretaps conducted during previous years. […]