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Security

Malware Found In the Ubuntu Snap Store (linuxuprising.com) 90

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Linux Uprising: Oh, snap! Just because some packages are available to install directly from the Ubuntu Software Center doesn't make them safe. This is proved by a recent discovery of malware in some snap packages from the Ubuntu Snaps Store.

At least two of the snap packages, 2048buntu and hextris, uploaded to the Ubuntu Snaps Store by user Nicolas Tomb, contained malware. All packages by Nicolas have since been removed from the Ubuntu Snaps Store, "pending further investigations." The report comes from a bug which mentions that the 2048buntu snap package (and other packages by Nicolas Tomb) contains a hidden cryptocurrency miner inside.

Security

26% of Companies Ignore Security Bugs Because They Don't Have the Time to Fix Them (bleepingcomputer.com) 90

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: A survey compiled last month at the RSA security conference reveals that most companies are still behind with proper security practices, and some of them even intentionally ignore security flaws for various reasons ranging from lack of time to lack of know-how. The survey, which compiled answers from 155 security professionals from the companies present at the RSA conference, revealed that only 47% of organizations patch vulnerabilities as soon as they are known. Most worrisome is that some companies wait quite some time before applying patches, exposing their IT infrastructure to attacks. More precisely, 16% wait for one month, while 8% said they only apply patches once or twice a year.
Security

Multiple OS Vendors Release Security Patches After Misinterpreting Intel Docs (bleepingcomputer.com) 81

Almost all major OS vendors released security patches yesterday after a researcher discovered that some OS makers have misinterpreted an Intel CPU debug feature and left their systems open to attacks. From a report: The vulnerability is in how the OS vendors implemented a hardware debug mechanism for Intel x86-64 architectures -- and more specifically the MOV SS and POP SS instructions. "In certain circumstances after the use of certain Intel x86-64 architecture instructions, a debug exception pointing to data in a lower ring (for most operating systems, the kernel Ring 0 level) is made available to operating system components running in Ring 3," the CERT/CC team explained in an advisory published yesterday. Explained in layman's terms, "this may allow an attacker to utilize operating system APIs to gain access to sensitive memory information or control low-level operating system functions." Operating systems that mishandle this debug exception and had their systems open to attacks include Apple, Microsoft, FreeBSD, Red Hat, Ubuntu, SUSE Linux, and other Linux distros based on the Linux Kernel -- which is also affected.
Security

Drupal Sites Fall Victims To Cryptojacking Campaigns (bleepingcomputer.com) 27

An anonymous reader shares a report: After the publication of two severe security flaws in the Drupal CMS, cybercrime groups have turned their sights on this web technology in the hopes of finding new ground to plant malware on servers and make money through illegal cryptocurrency mining. [...] Now, as time passes by, more malware campaigns targeting Drupal sites are getting off the ground -- and two of them have been spotted the past week.

The most recent of these campaigns has been discovered by US security researcher Troy Mursch. The researcher discovered a group that gained access to Drupal sites and hid a version of the Coinhive in-browser cryptocurrency miner inside a file named "jquery [dot] once [dot] js?v=1.2," loaded on each of the compromised sites. Mursch initially tracked down the infected files to over 100,000 domains, then narrowed down the results to 80,000 domains, and finally confirmed the infection on at least 348 sites where the in-browsing mining operation was actually taking place.

Security

After Equifax Breach, Major Firms Still Rely on Same Flawed Software (zdnet.com) 62

Last year's massive data breach at Equifax should have been a wake-up call for the entire industry. But a year after the patches were released, some of the world's wealthiest companies are still using, or have since introduced the same flawed software. From a report: Thousands of companies have downloaded vulnerable versions of Apache Struts, a popular web server software used across the Fortune 100 to provide web applications in Java. It's often used to power both front- and back-end applications -- including Equifax's public website. The bug used in the Equifax hack was fixed in March 2017, but Equifax never installed the patches. Since those patches were made available, data seen by ZDNet shows that least 10,800 companies downloaded vulnerable versions of the software. The data, provided by Sonatype, an open-source automation firm, shows that over half of the Fortune Global 100 are using vulnerable versions of the software. Although the firm wouldn't name the affected companies, a quarter of them are based in North America. The data showed that seven are tech giants, and 15 are financial services or insurance firms.
Bug

Eight New Meltdown-Like Flaws Found (reuters.com) 82

An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: Researchers have found eight new flaws in computer central processing units that resemble the Meltdown and Spectre bugs revealed in January, a German computing magazine reported on Thursday. The magazine, called c't, said it was aware of Intel Corp's plans to patch the flaws, adding that some chips designed by ARM Holdings, a unit of Japan's Softbank, might be affected, while work was continuing to establish whether Advanced Micro Devices chips were vulnerable... The magazine said Google Project Zero, one of the original collective that exposed Meltdown and Spectre in January, had found one of the flaws and that a 90-day embargo on going public with its findings would end on May 7...

"Considering what we have seen with Meltdown and Spectre, we should expect a long and painful cycle of updates, possibly even performance or stability issues," said Yuriy Bulygin, chief executive officer of hardware security firm Eclypsium and a former Intel security researcher. "Hopefully, Meltdown and Spectre led to improvements to the complicated process of patching hardware."

Neowin now reports that Intel "is expected to release microcode updates in two waves; one in May, and the other in August."
Bug

Microsoft's 'Meltdown' Patch For Windows 10 Contains a Fatal Flaw (bleepingcomputer.com) 106

An anonymous reader quotes BleepingComputer: Microsoft's patches for the Meltdown vulnerability have had a fatal flaw all these past months, according to Alex Ionescu, a security researcher with cyber-security firm Crowdstrike. Only patches for Windows 10 versions were affected, the researcher wrote today in a tweet. Microsoft quietly fixed the issue on Windows 10 Redstone 4 (v1803), also known as the April 2018 Update, released on Monday.

"Welp, it turns out the Meltdown patches for Windows 10 had a fatal flaw: calling NtCallEnclave returned back to user space with the full kernel page table directory, completely undermining the mitigation," Ionescu wrote. Ionescu pointed out that older versions of Windows 10 are still running with outdated and bypass-able Meltdown patches.

Wednesday Microsoft issued a security update, but it wasn't to backport the "fixed" Meltdown patches for older Windows 10 versions. Instead, the emergency update fixed a vulnerability in the Windows Host Compute Service Shim (hcsshim) library (CVE-2018-8115) that allows an attacker to remotely execute code on vulnerable systems.

Twitter

Twitter Says Glitch Exposed 'Substantial' Number of Users' Passwords In Plain Text (reuters.com) 107

Twitter is urging its more than 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch exposed some in plain text on its internal computer network. Reuters is first to report the news: The social network said an internal investigation had found no indication passwords were stolen or misused by insiders, but that it urged all users to consider changing their passwords "out of an abundance of caution." The blog did not say how many passwords were affected. Here's what Twitter has to say about the bug: "We mask passwords through a process called hashing using a function known as bcrypt, which replaces the actual password with a random set of numbers and letters that are stored in Twitter's system. This allows our systems to validate your account credentials without revealing your password. This is an industry standard. Due to a bug, passwords were written to an internal log before completing the hashing process. We found this error ourselves, removed the passwords, and are implementing plans to prevent this bug from happening again."

The social networking service is asking users to change their password "on all services where you've used this password." You can do so via the password settings page.
Windows

Ask Slashdot: Any Idiosyncrasies of the New Windows 10 April 2018 Update? 149

shanen wants to know if anyone else has noticed any idiosyncrasies of the new Windows 10 April 2018 update, which was released on April 30th (global rollout on May 8): Only two machines so far [are running the new version of Windows 10], but I already noticed a few peculiarities. Do you have any to share? Here are mine so far:

1. Microsoft prefers tightly linking the machine to a Microsoft account, for example via Outlook.com. If you have a machine that is not linked that way, the antivirus software will now attempt to force a link to a Microsoft account. And what is that new PIN supposed to be about?
2. Accessing a gateway on the wrong private network can produce a hard freeze, forcing a hard reset from the power down state. Possibly a serious security vulnerability to the point where I'm not sure I should share the details in public.

Anything you've noticed about the new Windows 10? (Now I have to get back to dealing with the new OS X update and the latest Ubuntu...)
Some of the new features include the ability to resume past activities in timeline, a file sharing feature with nearby devices, a rebuilt Game Bar with a new Fluent design UI, and a diagnostic data viewing tool in the Security and Privacy section. If you want to get the update before the global rollout, you can do so via Check for Updates under Windows Update.
Security

A Critical Security Flaw in Popular Industrial Software Put Power Plants At Risk (zdnet.com) 41

A severe vulnerability in a widely used industrial control software could have been used to disrupt and shut down power plants and other critical infrastructure. From a report: Researchers at security firm Tenable found the flaw in the popular Schneider Electric software, used across the manufacturing and power industries, which if exploited could have allowed a skilled attacker to attack systems on the network. It's the latest vulnerability that risks an attack to the core of any major plant's operations at a time when these systems have become a greater target in recent years. The report follows a recent warning, issued by the FBI and Homeland Security, from Russian hackers. The affected Schneider software, InduSoft Web Studio and InTouch Machine Edition, acts as middleware between industrial devices and their human operators. It's used to automate the various moving parts of a power plant or manufacturing unit, by keeping tabs on data collection sensors and control systems. But Tenable found that a bug in that central software could leave an entire plant exposed.
Bug

GitHub Accidentally Exposes Some Plaintext Passwords In Its Internal Logs (zdnet.com) 151

GitHub has sent an email to some of its 27 million users alerting them of a bug that exposed some user passwords in plaintext. "During the course of regular auditing, GitHub discovered that a recently introduced bug exposed a small number of users' passwords to our internal logging system," said the email. "We have corrected this, but you'll need to reset your password to regain access to your account." ZDNet reports: The email said that a handful of GitHub staff could have seen those passwords -- and that it's "unlikely" that any GitHub staff accessed the site's internal logs. It's unclear exactly how this bug occurred. GitHub's explanation was that it stores user passwords with bcrypt, a stronger password hashing algorithm, but that the bug "resulted in our secure internal logs recording plaintext user passwords when users initiated a password reset." "Rest assured, these passwords were not accessible to the public or other GitHub users at any time," the email said. GitHub said it "has not been hacked or compromised in any way."
Bug

Code Published for Triggering a BSOD on Windows Computers -- Even If They're Locked (bleepingcomputer.com) 118

"A Romanian hardware expert has published proof-of-concept code on GitHub that will crash most Windows computers within seconds, even if the computer is in a locked state," writes BleepingComputer. An anonymous reader quotes their report: The code exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft's handling of NTFS filesystem images and was discovered by Marius Tivadar, a security researcher with Bitdefender. The expert's proof-of-concept code contains a malformed NTFS image that users can take and place on a USB thumb drive. Inserting this USB thumb drive in a Windows computer crashes the system within seconds, resulting in a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). "Auto-play is activated by default," Tivadar wrote in a PDF document detailing the bug and its impact...

Tivadar contacted Microsoft about the issue in July 2017, but published the PoC code today after the OS maker declined to classify the issue as a security bug. Microsoft downgraded the bug's severity because exploiting it requires either physical access or social engineering (tricking the user).

Bug

Uber Tightens Bug Bounty Extortion Policies Following 2016 Data Breach (threatpost.com) 16

lod123 shares a report from Threatpost: Uber is tightening policies around its bug-bounty program after a 2016 data breach exposed deep flaws in its policies around handling extortion. With the updates, Uber's HackerOne bug bounty policies more thoroughly outline "good-faith vulnerability research and disclosure," and contain language defining what constitutes unacceptable behavior, stating that the company wants researchers "to hunt for bugs, not user data."

One newly outlined policy makes it clear that Uber won't take legal action against researchers -- as long as they report vulnerabilities with no strings attached. "You should never illegally or in bad faith leverage the existence of a vulnerability or access to sensitive or confidential information, such as making extortionate demands or ransom requests, or trying to shake us down. In other words, if you find a vulnerability, report it to us with no conditions attached," the policy said. Uber has made additional changes to its program to offer researchers an additional $500 if they include a fully scripted proof-of-concept (PoC) in their original report.

IOS

iOS 11.3.1 Fixes Bug Where Third-Party Screen Repairs Made iPhone 8 Touchscreens Stop Working (gizmodo.com) 104

The latest version of iOS 11.3.1 includes a fix for an issue where people who use third-party repair services to replace their displays had their devices become unresponsive. According to release notes, "iOS 11.3.1 improves the security of your iPhone or iPad and addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 8 devices because they were serviced with non-genuine replacement displays." Gizmodo reports: Retailers and customers alike suspected that Apple was deliberately letting the issue and other malfunctions that arose from replacing other components go unresolved in some sort of ploy to pressure customers into paying for officially licensed repair services that are more expensive. It's possible that some users indeed were forced to shell out a fair chunk of change to Apple for official repairs, in which case they might justifiably be angry that this was an issue that could be resolved with an update. iOS 11 was notoriously buggy after its release, and Apple has devoted so much effort to bug-fixing that this year's iOS 12 update will reportedly have fewer new features. Though Apple says the 11.3.1 fix will work, it also warned people to please not use third-party repair shops: "Note: Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine Apple parts. See support.apple.com for more information."
Programming

Drupal Warns of New Remote-Code Bug, the Second in Four Weeks (arstechnica.com) 50

For the second time in a month, websites that use the Drupal content management system are confronted with a stark choice: install a critical update or risk having your servers infected with ransomware or other nasties. From a report: Maintainers of the open-source CMS built on the PHP programming language released an update patching critical remote-code vulnerability on Wednesday. The bug, formally indexed as CVE-2018-7602, exists within multiple subsystems of Drupal 7.x and 8.x. Drupal maintainers didn't provide details on how the vulnerability can be exploited other than to say attacks work remotely. The maintainers rated the vulnerability "critical" and urged websites to patch it as soon as possible.
Security

Hacking a Satellite is Surprisingly Easy (theoutline.com) 199

Caroline Haskins, writing for The Outline: Hundreds of multi-ton liabilities -- soaring faster than the speed of sound, miles above the surface of the earth -- are operating on Windows-95. They're satellites, responsible for everything from GPS positioning, to taking weather measurements, to carrying cell signals, to providing television and internet. For the countries that own these satellites, they're invaluable resources. Even though they're old, it's more expensive to take satellites down than it is to just leave them up. So they stay up. Unfortunately, these outdated systems makes old satellites prime targets for cyber attacks. [...]

A malicious actor could fake their IP address, which gives information about a user's computer and its location. This person could then get access to the satellite's computer system, and manipulate where the satellite goes or what it does. Alternatively, an actor could jam the satellite's radio transmissions with earth, essentially disabling it. The cost of such an attack could be huge. If a satellite doesn't work, life-saving GPS or online information could be withheld to people on earth when they need it most. What's worse, if part of a satellite -- or an entire satellite -- is knocked out of its orbit from an attack, the debris could create a domino effect and cause extreme damage to other satellites.

Desktops (Apple)

Users Complain About Installation Issues With macOS 10.13.4 (theregister.co.uk) 90

An anonymous reader shares a report: The 10.13.4 update for macOS High Sierra is recommended for all users, and was emitted at the end of March promising to "improve stability, performance, and security of your Mac." But geek support sites have started filling up with people complaining that it had the opposite effect: killing their computer with messages that "the macOS installation couldn't be completed."

The initial install appears to be working fine, but when users go to shutdown or reboot an upgraded system, it goes into recovery mode. According to numerous reports, there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with users' Macs -- internal drives report that they're fine. And the issue is affecting a range of different Apple-branded computers from different years. Some have been successful in getting 10.13.4 to install by launching from Safe Mode, but others haven't and are deciding to roll back and stick with 10.13.3 until Apple puts out a new update that will fix whatever the issue is while claiming it has nothing to do with it.

Microsoft

Microsoft Delays Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Because of 'Higher Percentage of BSODs' (bleepingcomputer.com) 108

Microsoft has admitted that it had to postpone the release of Spring Creators Update, the upcoming major update to its Windows 10 desktop operating system due to technical issues. BleepingComputer notes: More precisely, Microsoft says it encountered a higher percentage of Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors on PCs, the company's Insiders Program managers said in a blog post yesterday. Microsoft says that instead of shipping the Springs Creators Update faulty as it was, and then delivering an update later to fix the issues, it decided to hold off on deploying the defective build altogether. The OS maker says it will create and test a new Windows 10 build that also includes the BSOD fixes, and ship that one instead of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17134, the build that was initially scheduled to be launched as the Spring Creators Update on April 10, last week.
Earth

Scientists Accidentally Create Mutant Enzyme That Eats Plastic Bottles (theguardian.com) 219

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles -- by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles. From a report: The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. "What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock," said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. "It's great and a real finding." The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic -- far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans. But the researchers are optimistic this can be speeded up even further and become a viable large-scale process.
Windows

Microsoft Discovers Blocking Bug and Delays the Release of Windows 10 Spring Creators Update (betanews.com) 83

The next big update for Windows 10 has been delayed while Microsoft rushes to fix a newly-discovered bug. From a report: Known variously as Windows 10 version 1803, Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version Next, Redstone 4 and Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, it was widely thought that the update had reached RTM and was on the verge of rolling out. However, this last-minute discovery means there will be a little longer to wait.

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