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Security Response
Showing posts tagged with Mobile & Wireless
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Eric Chien | 12 Nov 2007 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

All of the recent rumors about Google releasing a "gPhone" were finally put to rest with their release of Android, which is a software stack for mobile devices. Android includes an operating system (Linux), middleware, and some default applications like a browser.

(Click for larger image)

Applications are developed using Java and use a framework provided by Google including their own virtual machine (Dalvik virtual machine). The entire framework is open source and Google (as part of the Open Handset Alliance) wants to bring openness to the mobile ecosystem, allowing anyone to write applications and make use of all of the functionality available on handsets.

Of course, this begs the question of security...

Ollie Whitehouse | 08 Nov 2007 08:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Well, we’ve arrived at where we’ve been trying to get to for some time. That is to say that we now have the ability to release security advisories for Windows CE & Windows Mobile after working through the accepted responsible disclosure process with Microsoft. It hasn't been easy, with us initially reporting issues back in February 2006, but we’ve finally got here. This really marks a milestone for COTS mobile platforms even though we did achieve something similar back in 2003 with Nokia and their proprietary OS and recently with Palm OS, but getting vendor responses on mobile security issues (with maybe the exception of RIM) has historically been hard work.

A quick thanks to all those involved here at Symantec: Katie (before she left), Tyler, as well as the folks over...

Scott Roberts | 24 Oct 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

On the day I got my iPhone I submitted a bug report to Apple. It wasn’t truly a bug, but I didn’t know of a better way to express my disappointment involving the absence of a software development kit for the iPhone. It just seemed like too unique of a device to not be able to create applications for it. Perhaps a bug report was a bit of a low blow, but I never expected I'd hear anything back. However, the day after Apple announced they were going to release an iPhone dev kit in February of '08, I got an email in response to my "bug." Now, this email was identical to what Apple posted in the "Hot News" portion of their Web site and while I'd seen it before on many of the Apple news sites, this time I actually read it. One big section stood out in particular:

“It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically...

Ron Bowes | 16 Oct 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Let's say that an employee in your company gets a new laptop. He's excited about the laptop's WiFi capabilities, but the company he works for doesn't have wireless capabilities. What's he do?

One option is to bring in his own wireless router. He goes down to the local computer store, picks up a router for $39.95, and brings it to work. He plugs it in, boots up his laptop, connects to the network called "default," and is happy to use his laptop from anywhere in the building.

Another possibility is that he opens up the "wireless connections" panel of the laptop and sees a list of possible networks to join. He may not realize that the access points are on networks belonging to other individuals or companies. In the unlikely scenario of a targeted attack, he may even see an official-looking access point named after his company. In either case, he connects to somebody else's wireless work, finds that he can access the Internet, and continues on...

Ollie Whitehouse | 15 Oct 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

O.K. - firstly - long time no blog. Secondly, apologies for that - a mixture of vacation, work, and work travel has recently seen me distracted a little from my blogging duties (my plate spinning is improving, however). Anyway, with the apologies out of the way, onto the subject of this blog. Recently I was invited by Microsoft to speak at BlueHat on Windows CE/Mobile security, even being given a guest spot on their blog and doing a podcast for them. Pedram from TippingPoint has provided a good...

Michael White | 11 Oct 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Further to the research already done on unlicensed mobile access (UMA) by our security researchers, I've been looking at a couple of alternatives to UMA services. As you’ll recall, most UMA threats surround increased exposure to the operator’s core network, as they are basically an extension of the core network and its protocols.

The services that I’ve been looking at are very similar but are not true UMA in this regard; rather, they may be best described as Mobile VoIP. A new crop of providers are appearing in this space, fuelled by WiFi-capable smart phone handsets. And, when they do appear, they don’t have any of the operator baggage to worry about, so are free to adopt the next generation standards rather than modify existing ones.

So, where’s the security point to this post? Well, when I say “looked at” these services, I didn’t mean admiring the user interface. I set up a couple of...

Patrick Fitzgerald | 03 Oct 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

Wireless Equivalency Protocol (WEP) has been one of the hottest topics in Irish news over the last few days. One of the leading providers of DSL in Ireland has supplied users with wireless routers protected using WEP. What made this newsworthy is that it has emerged that the WEP keys used to encrypt the network traffic and to control access to a private network were generated using the (Service Set Identifier) SSID. The algorithm used to generate the encryption keys has been analyzed and a tool is freely available which allows anyone within range of the router to trespass on a wireless network that has been secured using the default settings.

The DSL provider and media reports are advising customers that if they change their WEP keys, they will be safe from any trespassers or malicious attackers trying to get onto their network. While it is true changing the default WEP settings will mitigate this particular attack it will not make your wireless network secure.

WEP is...

Brian Hernacki | 30 Aug 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

So far in this series, I've posted a blog that talked about municipal Wi-Fi security in general and a second blog that talked specifically about Wi-Fi network identification. In this post, I want to cover muni Wi-Fi network authentication. There are essentially two parts involved with Wi-Fi authentication. The first part is how you authenticate to the network and the second is how the network authenticates to you.

Most people are familiar with the first part. Many Wi-Fi networks will dump your browser to a login page where they ask for a username and password, or even a credit card number to use to bill you. Some of the more secure networks will ask you to provide authentication information more directly. I have seen muni...

Ollie Whitehouse | 20 Jul 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

On the desktop we have many different executable compactors, compressors and encryptors. These are used to protect and/or obfuscate binary files. These can be employed by software authors and malicious code authors to protect their code from reverse engineering (though, typically in vain). A while back, we saw a surge of malicious code authors using these tools to obfuscate their code against signatures. It became a case of:

10 Download executable compactor

20 Pass existing malicious code through it

30 Release on Internet

40 Wait for signature to be added to antivirus

50 GOTO 10

This got a bit boring for antivirus vendors like Symantec, so we introduced executable decompression support to our AV engines (as discussed in the Internet Security Threat...

Ollie Whitehouse | 16 Jul 2007 07:00:00 GMT | 0 comments

With the advent of Symbian 9 came a new capabilities model that could be seen as akin to mandatory access control, or MAC, which I’ve touched on briefly in the past . If you’re interested more in the Symbian 9 capabilities model, I recommend you go read the article or purchase a copy of Symbian Platform Security Development Architecture from Symbian Press.

FlexiSpy is spyware program...