I recently read an article discussing how our home devices are now a more public target for attackers. All the smart devices in our home are “smart” because they are nothing more than small embedded devices that typically run some variant of Linux. Therefore, any attack against Linux means an attack against your toaster, home security system, HVAC controllers, and yes, your refrigerator and television.Read more
If you haven’t heard about it by now, let me clue you in: Java is a security nightmare. A few days ago, a zero-day exploit for Java 7 became widely-known. The exploit bypasses Java 7’s security sandbox and permits attackers to download and execute code without user interaction. The attack is already available in Metasploit and in the Blackhole Exploit Kit (BEK). Since it’s in BEK, users are now susceptible to this attack via so-called “drive-by” web hacks. All a user has to do is get unlucky and visit a compromised site (and there are a TON of compromised WordPress sites out there) and their machine is compromised.Read more
I often get into debates on the use of encryption and it being the panacea of data protection. While encryption has proven itself a viable solution for many years, the problem is never in the algorithm, but rather in the management of the keys. In order for encryption to occur the system must have the key to encrypt and decrypt the data. This means that the key resides somewhere on a computer system accessible by the application. How well is the organization protecting the key and ensuring that the application is handling the key appropriately is the most significant question.
Well, that didn’t take long. As of Thursday, an MS12-020 PoC (the Remote Desktop Protocol vulnerability) is in the wild. Looks like one of Microsoft’s MAPP partners leaked some test code. This PoC code only causes a Blue-Screen-of-Death, so the damage is limited to a denial-of-service. It won’t be long until the bad guys figure out which values they need to modify to achieve remote code execution. When that happens and you still have RDP open to the Internet and unpatched, you lose. I suspect we’ll see a worm exploiting this within a week. This could end up being a SQL Slammer-type event…
Seeing the rate at which companies have been successfully attacked by Java exploits while their users surf the web, I became increasingly alarmed and wondered how I was going to defend my own network. I had always known that Active Directory Group Policy could push out software, but I had never explored the option as I thought it sounded too involved.