Tag: encryption

NSA Toolbox Included Hacks For Juniper, Cisco, Dell

The German magazine Der Spiegel made headlines this week with its story detailing the US National Security Agency’s (NSAs) offensive hacking capabilities. The story is based on classified NSA documents absconded with by former contractor Edward Snowden and lays bare a Webster’s Dictionary full of classified hacking tools and programs.   Among the highlights of the story: + The NSA developed and deployed a wide range of hacking tools that could compromise hardware from leading IT and networking equipment makers including Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and the Chinese vendor Huawei and Dell Inc.   + The NSA tools were designed to provide persistent access that allowed the NSA to monitor activity on the compromised endpoint, avoid detection by third party security software and survive software and firmware updates. One such tool, DEITYBOUNCE, provided persistent access to Dell’s PowerEdge servers by “exploiting the system BIOS” and using “System Management Mode to […]

mark stanislav duo security

Prediction: Rough Road Ahead in 2014 For Security and Internet of Things

With the New Year fast approaching, it’s (unofficially) ‘prediction season,’ when everyone worth their salt stares into the crystal ball and tries to imagine what the world will look like 12 months hence. To sort through our 2014 predictions, we called on Mark Stanislav, the chief Security Evangelist at Duo Security. Mark is a seasoned security researcher who has taken an interest in the security of the Internet of Things. Earlier this year, we wrote about research Mark did on the IZON Camera, an IP-enabled home surveillance camera that is sold by big-box retail stores like Best Buy, as well as by the Apple Store. Beneath the IZON’s polished exterior, the IZON was a mess of sloppy coding and poor security implementation, Stanislav discovered. Like many IoT devices, IZON cameras punted security to those responsible for the wireless network that it was deployed on – essentially trusting any connection from […]

Open Source IoT Platform Would Boost Security

Interoperability (or the lack of it) stands out as one of the major obstacles to the expansion of the Internet of Things. As we’ve discussed on this blog, the lack of a common platform for Internet-enabled devices to communicate on has resulted in a balkanized IoT landscape. Nest’s smart thermometer and smoke detector communicate and share information famously, but if you want to link them with some smart appliance from GE or LG, you’re out of luck. But that may soon be changing. On Tuesday, The Linux Foundation announced a new, cross industry consortium of major IT infrastructure makers, software vendors and electronics firms. The AllSeen Alliance is tasked with developing a common, open source platform that allows hardware and software firms to unite their creations, regardless of their brand – and provide basic security features, to boot. The Alliance counts electronics giants like Panasonic, Qualcomm, LG and Sharp as […]

BitCoin’s Popularity Is Undermining Promises of Anonymity

The virtual currency Bitcoin has soared in value against the U.S. dollar in recent months, topping out a staggering $913 USD to 1 Bitcoin (or BTC) as of late Tuesday. The currency had many ups and downs since it was launched in January 2009. But its main attraction, all along, has been anonymity. Unlike any other online payment system, Bitcoin transactions – like cash transactions – cannot be traced back to specific individuals. Also like cash, they cannot be reversed. Both those factors give Bitcoin users the confidence that their online purchasing activity – whether computer hardware or contraband will remain private. But a group of researchers at two U.S. universities have released a paper that suggests reports of Bitcoin’s anonymity may (to paraphrase Twain) “be greatly exaggerated.” Specifically: the researchers found that, by culling a variety of open source data using public data from the Bitcoin Peer to Peer network and from […]

Fix From LG Ends Involuntary SmartTV Snooping, But Privacy Questions Remain

The electronics firm LG issued a software update for some “Smart TV” models that were discovered spying on owners, but the company still faces scrutiny over its privacy policy. The company issued a firmware update for its LG 42LN575V model television sets, which were the subject of scrutiny last week after a UK-based technology consultant using the handle “DoctorBeet” discovered that his LG television was transmitting information about his viewing habits to company servers without his consent. The blogger, “DoctorBeet” (aka Jason Huntley, of Yorkshire, England) first wrote about his discovery on November 18, setting off a small firestorm of controversy. An analysis by Huntley uncovered a number of sketchy or outright illegal data harvesting behaviors. Among them: His LG television sent information on which channels he viewed to an LG-owned web domain. (The domain in question was not in service at the time.) The LG television relayed information on […]