Archive for 2018

The United States senate has voted to preserve net neutrality. Three Republicans joined all of the Democrats. This is a good first step but this vote is only the beginning. The issue still has to pass the House where supporters have to win over more than 20 Republicans. Of course a few states are already implementing net neutrality rules themselves but this vote sends a nice signal out to the current administration.

PGP Vulnerabilities Discovered

Mon, May 14, 2018

Security researchers have discovered vulnerabilities within implementations of PGP and S/MIME. Now, apparently the GnuPG team was not contacted beforehand and they dismiss the recommendation of the researchers, to immediately stop using anything PGP or S/MIME related, as overblown.

While the researchers refused to immediately disclose the exact nature of the vulnerabilities the GnuPG team has released a statement. The gist of the vulnerabilities seems to be using malicious scripts to exploit broken MIME parsers. This also means that you are only vulnerable if you are using HTML mails, in which case you are evil anyway. ;)

A new cryptojacking campaign is going around which leverages a vulnerability in the Drupal content management system. Security researcher Troy Mursch has a nice writeup on the issue and also runs a list of affected sites.

Basically the vulnerability is exploited to install cryptomining javascript code which then leverages the CPU of website visitors to mine cryptocurrency.

Among the affected sites are also such names as Lenovo, the UCLA, the Turkish Revenue Administration Aydin Tax Office (oh sweet irony), and DLink Brazil. Serving as an important reminder what can happen if you do not update your shit!

The German computer magazine c’t has published an article (english version) in which it claims to have exclusive information regarding eight new security holes in Intel processors.

Dubbed “Spectre Next Generation”, or Spectre-NG for short, these flaws apparently are more severe and more easily exploited than the previously known variants. At the moment they refrain from posting technical details to give Intel a head start but apparently one of the imposed deadlines runs out on May 7th.

With Spectre-NG you can attack the host system from a virtual machine or other VMs running on the same host, making these bugs extremely destructive to cloud and shared hosting providers.

It will be interesting to see how things unfold. Together with the recently released updated Ryzen CPU line from AMD, which seems to perform quite well so far, this might be even more reason to consider a switch to AMD. Provided they are not affected by Spectre-NG.

After tor users found out that google quietly disabled domain fronting on their servers, Amazon apparently wants to make more of a fuss. They sent a letter to the Signal foundation threatening to take them off their servers if they do not stop using domain fronting. The linked blog post by Signal founder Moxie has some explanation as to what domain fronting is and how it helps to circumvent censorship in countries like Iran, Iraq, UAE and the like.

Good reason to cancel your Amazon Prime account and focus more on using alternative online warehouses if you ask me. Helping questionable regimes with their censorship efforts by threatening the only properly secure messaging service out there is pretty fucked up.

It is happening. The stupidity of the car manufacturers making IoT devices out of cars is showing itself more and more. Concerns over companies creating remote pathways into their vehicles electronics and drive systems has long been criticized by security professionals and it looks like, of course, they were right. A dutch cyber security firm apparently hacked a VW Golf GTE and Audi A3 Sportback via WiFi and also via USB.

They gained access to In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems root account and

Under certain conditions attackers could listen in to conversations the driver is conducting via a car kit, turn the microphone on and off, as well as gaining access to the complete address book and the conversation history

Oh, nice! But wait, there is more

Furthermore, due to the vulnerability, there is the possibility of discovering through the navigation system precisely where the driver has been, and to follow the car live wherever it is at any given time

It gets better and better but at least they were not able to control the cars automotive function…

Keuper and Alkemade say the IVI system is also indirectly connected to the car’s acceleration and braking system, but they stopped investigating the possibility of interacting with those systems fearing they might breach Volkswagen’s intellectual property


There is a new exploit out in the wild that can pretty much crash most windows computers within seconds.

Actually, this bug has been around at least since July 2017 and consists of a malformed NTFS image which, when placed on a USB thumb drive and inserting it into a Windows computer will crash it within seconds. One of the reasons this automatic BSOD generation works is due to the auto-play functionality. But even if it is disabled, manually opening the file, or having it opened by anti virus software snake oil will achieve the same effect.

Marius Tivadar, a researcher that has discovered this flaw in 2017, told Microsoft about it. Microsoft declined to classify the issue as a security bug and also downgraded the bug’s severity because

exploiting it requires either physical access or social engineering (tricking the user)

Now, when did “tricking the user” ever work? And of course Microsoft apparently has never heard of malware which can just download additional features such as this to your pc for your bluescreening pleasures.

A proof of concept code is available on github so everyone can have fun with this now. Also Marius published two videos of the exploit in action, showing that it can also crash locked pcs.