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Blog | RESEARCH | March 9, 2018

Robots Want Bitcoins too!

Ransomware attacks have boomed during the last few years, becoming a preferred method for cybercriminals to get monetary profit by encrypting victim information and requiring a ransom to get the information back. The primary ransomware target has always been information. When a victim has no backup of that information, he panics, forced to pay for its return.

Lucas Apa & Cesar Cerrudo
Blog | EDITORIAL | January 31, 2018

Security Theater and the Watch Effect in Third-party Assessments

Before the facts were in, nearly every journalist and salesperson in infosec was thinking about how to squeeze lemonade from the Equifax breach. Let’s be honest – it was and is a big breach. There are lessons to be learned, but people seemed to have the answers before the facts were available. It takes time to dissect these situations and early speculation is often wrong. Efforts at attribution and methods take months to understand. So, it’s important to not buy into the hysteria and, instead, seek to gain a clear vision…

Daniel Miessler
Blog | EDITORIAL | January 24, 2018

Cryptocurrency and the Interconnected Home

There are many tiny elements to cryptocurrency that are not getting the awareness time they deserve. To start, the very thing that attracts people to cryptocurrency is also the very thing that is seemingly overlooked as a challenge. Cryptocurrencies are not backed by governments or institutions. The transactions allow the trader or investor to operate with anonymity. We have seen a massive increase in the last year of cyber bad guys hiding behind these inconspicuous transactions – ransomware demanding payment in bitcoin; bitcoin ATMs being used by various dealers to…

Neil Haskins
Blog | RESEARCH | January 17, 2018

Easy SSL Certificate Testing

tl;dr: Certslayer allows testing of how an application handles SSL certificates and whether or not it is verifying relevant details on them to prevent MiTM attacks: https://github.com/n3k/CertSlayer. During application source code reviews, we often find that developers forget to enable all the security checks done over SSL certificates before going to production. Certificate-based authentication is one of the foundations of SSL/TLS, and its purpose is to ensure that a client is communicating with a legitimate server. Thus, if the application isn’t strictly verifying all the relevant details of the…

Enrique Nissim
Blog | RESEARCH | January 11, 2018

SCADA and Mobile Security in the IoT Era

Two years ago, we assessed 20 mobile applications that worked with ICS software and hardware. At that time, mobile technologies were widespread, but Internet of Things (IoT) mania was only starting. Our research concluded the combination of SCADA systems and mobile applications had the potential to be a very dangerous and vulnerable cocktail. In the introduction of our paper, we stated “convenience often wins over security. Nowadays, you can monitor (or even control!) your ICS from a brand-new Android [device].” Today, no one is surprised at the appearance of an…

Alexander Bolshev & Ivan Yushkevich
Blog | RESEARCH | November 21, 2017

Hidden Exploitable Behaviors in Programming Languages

In February 28th 2015 Egor Homakov wrote an article[1] exposing the dangers in the open() function from Ruby. The function is commonly used when requesting URLs programmatically with the open-uri library. However, instead of requesting URLs you may end up executing operating system commands. Consider the following Ruby script named open-uri.rb: require ‘open-uri’ print open(ARGV[0]).read The following command requests a web page: # ruby open-uri.rb “https://ioactive.com”   And the following output is shown: <!DOCTYPE HTML> <!–[if lt IE 9]><html class=”ie”><![endif]–> <!–[if !IE]><!–><html><!–<![endif]–><head>                 <meta charset=”UTF-8″>                 <title>IOActive is…

Fernando Arnaboldi
Blog | EDITORIAL | November 14, 2017

Treat the Cause, not the Symptoms!

With the publication of the National Audit Office report on WannaCry fresh off the press, I think it’s important that we revisit what it actually means. There are worrying statements within the various reports around preventative measures that could have been taken. In particular, where the health service talks about treating the cause, not the symptom, you would expect that ethos to cross functions, from the primary caregivers to the primary security services.  I read that the NHS Digital team carried out an onsite cyber assessment of 88…

Neil Haskins
Blog | RESEARCH | October 26, 2017

AmosConnect: Maritime Communications Security Has Its Flaws

Satellite communications security has been a target of our research for some time: in 2014 IOActive released a document detailing many vulnerabilities in popular SATCOM systems. Since then we’ve had the opportunity to dive deeper in this area, and learned a lot more about some of the environments in which these systems are in place. Recently, we saw that Shodan released a new tool that tracks the location of VSAT systems exposed to the Internet. These systems are typically installed in vessels to provide them with internet connectivity…

Mario Ballano
Blog | INSIGHTS | October 23, 2017

Embedding Defense in Server-side Applications

Applications always contain security flaws, which is why we rely on multiple layers of defense. Applications are still struggling with their defenses, even though we go through exhaustive measures of testing and defense layers. Perhaps we should rethink our approach to application defense, with the goal of introducing defensive methods that cause attackers to cease, or induce them to take incorrect actions based on false premises.   There are a variety of products that provide valuable resources when basic, off-the-shelf protection is required or the application source code is…

Fernando Arnaboldi

SCADA and Mobile Security in the IoT Era

Alexander Bolshev and Ivan Yushkevich discuss how the landscape has evolved over the past two years, since their prior research was published, and assess the security posture of SCADA systems and mobile applications in this new IoT era.

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