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Blogs | INSIGHTS | January 25, 2013

S4x13 Conference

S4 is my favorite conference. This is mainly because it concentrates on industrial control systems security, which I am passionate about. I also enjoy the fact that the presentations cover mostly advanced topics and spend very little time covering novice topics.   Over the past four years, S4 has become more of a bits and bytes conference with presentations that explain, for example, how to upload Trojan firmwares to industrial controllers and exposés that cover vulnerabilities (in the “insecure by design” and “ICS-CERT” sense of the word).   This year’s…

Reid Wightman
Blogs | INSIGHTS | January 22, 2013

You cannot trust social media to keep your private data safe: Story of a Twitter vulnerability

I‘m always worried about the private information I have online. Maybe this is because I have been hacking for a long time, and I know everything can be hacked. This makes me a bit paranoid. I have never trusted web sites to keep my private information safe, and nowadays it is impossible to not have private information published on the web, such as a social media web site. Sooner or later you could get hacked, this is a fact.   Currently, many web and mobile applications give users the option…

Cesar Cerrudo
Blogs | INSIGHTS | January 21, 2013

When a Choice is a Fingerprint

We frequently hear the phrase “Attribution is hard.” And yes, if the adversary exercises perfect tradecraft, attribution can be hard to the point of impossible. But we rarely mention the opposite side of that coin, how hard it is to maintain that level of tradecraft over the lifetime of an extended operation. How many times out of muscle memory have you absent-mindedly entered one of your passwords in the wrong application? The consequences of this are typically nonexistent if you’re entering your personal email address into your work client, but…

Matthew Eble
Blogs | INSIGHTS | January 17, 2013

Offensive Defense

I presented before the holiday break at Seattle B-Sides on a topic I called “Offensive Defense.” This blog will summarize the talk. I feel it’s relevant to share due to the recent discussions on desktop antivirus software   (AV) What is Offensive Defense? The basic premise of the talk is that a good defense is a “smart” layered defense. My “Offensive Defense” presentation title  might be interpreted as fighting back against your adversaries much like the Sexy Defense talk my co-worker Ian Amit has been presenting. My view of…

Stephan Chenette
Blogs | INSIGHTS | January 7, 2013

The Demise of Desktop Antivirus

Are you old enough to remember the demise of the ubiquitous CompuServe and AOL CD’s that used to be attached to every computer magazine you ever brought between the mid-80’s and mid-90’s? If you missed that annoying period of Internet history, maybe you’ll be able to watch the death of desktop antivirus instead. 65,000 AOL CD’s as art Just as dial-up subscription portals and proprietary “web browsers” represent a yester-year view of the Internet, desktop antivirus is similarly being confined…

Gunter Ollmann
Blogs | INSIGHTS | December 20, 2012

Exploits, Curdled Milk and Nukes (Oh my!)

Throughout the second half of 2012 many security folks have been asking “how much is a zero-day vulnerability worth?” and it’s often been hard to believe the numbers that have been (and continue to be) thrown around. For the sake of clarity though, I do believe that it’s the wrong question… the correct question should be “how much do people pay for working exploits against zero-day vulnerabilities?” The answer in the majority of cases tends to be “it depends on who’s buying and what the vulnerability is” regardless of the…

Gunter Ollmann
Blogs | INSIGHTS | December 18, 2012

Striking Back GDB and IDA debuggers through malformed ELF executables

Day by day the endless fight between the bad guys and good guys mostly depends on how fast a countermeasure or anti-reversing protection can be broken. These anti-reversing mechanisms can be used by attackers in a number of ways: to create malware, to be used in precompiled zero-day exploits in the black market, to hinder forensic analysis, and so on. But they can also be used by software companies or developers that want to protect the internal logic of their software products (copyright). The other day I was thinking: why…

Alejandro Hernandez
Blogs | INSIGHTS | December 3, 2012

IOActive Acquires Flylogic

IOActive Announces Acquisition of Flylogic Engineering and Hardware Security Lab World-renowned Semiconductor Security Expert, Christopher, Tarnovsky, to Head IOActive’s Expanded Hardware Division Seattle, WA—July 26, 2012. IOActive, a a global leader in information security services and research, today announced the acquisition of Flylogic Engineering and its assets, in addition to the appointment of Christopher Tarnovsky as IOActive’s Vice President of Semiconductor Security Services. In conjunction with this announcement, IOActive will be opening an expanded hardware and semiconductor security lab in San Diego, California. Flylogic and Mr. Tarnovsky have long been…

IOActive
Blogs | INSIGHTS | November 21, 2012

The Future of Automated Malware Generation

This year I gave a series of presentations on “The Future of Automated Malware Generation”. This past week the presentation finished its final debut in Tokyo on the 10th anniversary of PacSec. Hopefully you were able to attend one of the following conferences where it was presented: IOAsis (Las Vegas, USA) SOURCE (Seattle, USA) EkoParty (Buenos Aires, Argentina) PacSec (Tokyo, Japan)   The Future of Automated Malware Generation from

Stephan Chenette
Blogs | INSIGHTS | November 7, 2012

Hacking an Android Banking Application

This analysis of a mobile banking application from X bank illustrates how easily anyone with sufficient knowledge can get install and analyze the application, bypassing common protections.   1. Installing and unpacking the application   Only users located in Wonderland can install the X Android application with Google Play, which uses both the phone’s SIM card and IP address to determine the location of the device. To bypass this limitation, remove the SIM card and reset the phone to factory defaults.   Complete the initial Android setup with a Wonderland…

Juliano Rizzo

Arm IDA and Cross Check: Reversing the 787’s Core Network

IOActive has documented detailed attack paths and component vulnerabilities to describe the first plausible, detailed public attack paths to effectively reach the avionics network on a 787, commercial airplane from either non-critical domains, such as Passenger Information and Entertainment Services, or even external networks.

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