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Blogs | INSIGHTS | June 28, 2017

WannaCry vs. Petya: Keys to Ransomware Effectiveness

With WannaCry and now Petya we’re beginning to see how and why the new strain of ransomware worms are evolving and growing far more effective than previous versions. I think there are 3 main factors: Propagation, Payload, and Payment.* Propagation: You ideally want to be able to spread using as many different types of techniques as you can. Payload: Once you’ve infected the system you want to have a payload that encrypts properly, doesn’t have any easy bypass to decryption, and clearly indicates to the victim what they…

Daniel Miessler
Blogs | EDITORIAL | June 14, 2017

APIs are 2FA Backdoors

 Two-factor Authentication (2FA) today is something like having a firewall in the year 2000: if you say you have it, it basically stops any further questioning.   Unfortunately, when you have a powerful and mismanaged API, 2FA is about as effective as having a stateful firewall protecting a broken web application. It’s time we accept as an industry that API keys and secrets are essentially usernames and passwords, except they’re designed to be used in an automated way to perform your company’s most sensitive functions, often instrumented by…

Daniel Miessler
Blogs | INSIGHTS | May 20, 2017

Post #WannaCry Reaction #127: Do I Need a Pen Test?

In the wake of WannaCry and other recent events, everyone from the Department of Homeland Security to my grandmother are recommending penetration tests as a silver bullet to prevent falling victim to the next cyber attack. But a penetration test is not a silver bullet, nor is it universally what is needed for improving the security posture of an organization. There are several key factors to consider. So I thought it might be good to review the difference between a penetration test and a vulnerability assessment since this is a…

Daniel Miessler
Blogs | INSIGHTS | May 16, 2017

#WannaCry: Examining Weaponized Malware

Attribution: You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means… In internal discussions in virtual halls of IOActive this morning, there were many talks about the collective industry’s rush to blame or attribution over the recent WanaCry/WannaCrypt ransomware breakouts. Twitter was lit up on #Wannacry and #WannaCrypt and even Microsoft got into the action, stating, “We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.” Opinions for blame and…

Brad Hegrat
Blogs | INSIGHTS | May 13, 2017

We’re gonna need a bigger boat….

A few weeks ago back in mid-March (2017), Microsoft issued a security bulletin (MS17-010) and patch for a vulnerability that was yet to be publicly disclosed or referenced. According to the bulletin, “the most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends specially crafted messages to a Microsoft Server Message Block 1.0 (SMBv1) server. This security update is rated Critical for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows.Normally, when Microsoft issues a patch or security there is an acknowledgment on their website regarding…

Brad Hegrat
Blogs | RESEARCH | April 20, 2017

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities

By Tao Sauvage Last year I acquired a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi router, more specifically the EA3500 Series. I chose Linksys (previously owned by Cisco and currently owned by Belkin) due to its popularity and I thought that it would be interesting to have a look at a router heavily marketed outside of Asia, hoping to have different results than with my previous research on the BHU Wi-Fi uRouter, which is only distributed in China. Smart Wi-Fi is the latest family of Linksys routers and includes more than 20 different models…

Tao Sauvage
Blogs | RESEARCH | March 1, 2017

Hacking Robots Before Skynet

Robots are going mainstream in both private and public sectors – on military missions, performing surgery, building skyscrapers, assisting customers at stores, as healthcare attendants, as business assistants, and interacting closely with our families in a myriad of ways. Robots are already showing up in many of these roles today, and in the coming years they will become an ever more prominent part of our home and business lives. But similar to other new technologies, recent IOActive research has found robotic technologies to be highly insecure in a variety of…

Cesar Cerrudo & Lucas Apa
Blogs | RESEARCH | January 25, 2017

Harmful prefetch on Intel

We’ve seen a lot of articles and presentations that show how the prefetch instruction can be used to bypass modern OS kernel implementations of ASLR. Most of the public work however only focuses on getting base addresses of modules with the idea of building a ROP chain or maybe patching some pointer/value of the data section. This post represents an extension of previous work, as it documents the usage of prefetch to discover PTEs on Windows 10. You can find the code I used and perform the tests in…

Enrique Nissim
Blogs | RESEARCH | December 20, 2016

In Flight Hacking System

In my five years with IOActive, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some awesome places, often thousands of kilometers from home. So flying has obviously been an integral part of my routine. You might not think that’s such a big deal, unless like me, you’re afraid of flying. I don’t think I can completely get rid of that anxiety; after dozens of flights my hands still sweat during takeoff, but I’ve learned to live with it, even enjoying it sometimes…and spending some flights hacking stuff. What helped a lot to…

Ruben Santamarta
Blogs | RESEARCH | October 18, 2016

Let’s Terminate XML Schema Vulnerabilities

XML eXternal Entity (XXE) attacks are a common threat to applications using XML schemas, either actively or unknowingly. That is because we continue to use XML schemas that can be abused in multiple ways. Programming languages and libraries use XML schemas to define the expected contents of XML documents, SAML authentications or SOAP messages. XML schemas were intended to constrain document definitions, yet they have introduced multiple attack avenues. XML parsers should be prepared to manage two types of problematic XML documents: malformed files and invalid files. Malformed files do…

Fernando Arnaboldi

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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