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Security Response
Showing posts tagged with Security
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David Maciejak | 17 Apr 2014 02:46:27 GMT

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An industry conference is always a good place to learn and get updates on the latest security trends. I recently attended the Symposium on Security for Asia Network (SyScan), an annual conference held in Singapore, which brings together computer security researchers from around the world. This year, security myths were dispelled and several interesting topics were discussed at the conference. The following is a list of some of the topics and demonstrations I found interesting at this year’s conference.

Smart cars at risk
Most cars today contain Engine Control Units (ECUs), computers that enable the engine to communicate with other vehicle components. Researchers at SyScan 2014 explained how they managed to simulate a car environment on their desktop using second-hand ECU devices purchased from online Web stores. The researchers managed to...

Binny Kuriakose | 16 Apr 2014 16:51:58 GMT

Contributor: Azam Raza

Easter, like all other celebrations is meant to be a day of jubilation, which of course means gifts, shopping, and spreading cheer. However, cheer is not the only thing that is being spread this holiday. Spammers have also started spreading their handiwork. With just a few days left before Easter, the volume of spam is on the rise.

Each year Symantec observes certain categories of spam using Easter as a theme and this year is no different. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of spam Symantec sees year-over-year, as well as some samples from this year.

Replica goods spam
With gifts being at the core of many major celebrations, product spam (replica goods spam in particular) is the spam category Symantec observes the most. In this spam, items such as fake watches and jewelry are promoted using catchy subject lines and product images. Email header examples include:

From: "WorldOfWatches"...

Eric Park | 16 Apr 2014 12:58:18 GMT

A variation on the 419 email scam is being used by fraudsters to take advantage of couples desperate to adopt a child. Once they are carefully lured into a fake adoption process, the victims are then asked for money to cover legal and administrative fees.

While most recent 419 scams rely more on the naivety of victims than any ingenuity on the part of the spammer, some fraudsters are beginning to make more of an effort to directly communicate with the victim to secure their confidence. Their scams are well researched, convincingly presented and may borrow stories from real life to make their stories more authentic and better able to withstand a little scrutiny.

While fake adoption scams have been seen from time to time before, in this instance Symantec observed real life...

Eric Chien | 14 Apr 2014 13:50:04 GMT

While most of the focus on Heartbleed has been on vulnerable public websites, the bug affects much more than this. While most popular sites are no longer vulnerable, this does not mean that end-users can drop their guard.

Heartbleed equally affects client software such as Web clients, email clients, chat clients, FTP clients, mobile applications, VPN clients and software updaters, to name a few. In short, any client that communicates over SSL/TLS using the vulnerable version of OpenSSL is open to attacks. 

In addition, Heartbleed affects various other servers aside from Web servers. These include proxies, media servers, game servers, database servers, chat servers and FTP servers. Finally, hardware devices are not immune to the vulnerability. It can affect routers, PBXes (business phone systems) and likely numerous devices in the Internet of Things.

Attacking these software and...

Symantec Security Response | 12 Apr 2014 23:13:34 GMT

It has been now five days since details emerged regarding the “Heartbleed” vulnerability in OpenSSL. During this time we have been researching the impact of the vulnerability, tracking the patch states of popular websites, and monitoring attacks. So what have we learned?
 

Most popular sites are no longer vulnerable

We have been tracking the most popular websites to see which of them are currently vulnerable to Heartbleed. No website included in Alexa’s top 1000 websites is currently vulnerable. Within the Alexa top 5000 websites, only 24 websites are vulnerable. Overall, within the Alexa top 50,000 websites only 1.8 percent is vulnerable to Heartbleed. Based on this data, chances are that the websites most frequently visited by the average user are not affected by Heartbleed.

It is possible that your data may...

Avdhoot Patil | 11 Apr 2014 11:11:40 GMT

Politicians are frequently featured on phishing sites and in light of the ongoing general election in India, phishers are starting to target Indian users by using a local politician and his party as bait. 

Symantec recently observed a phishing site which spoofs Facebook’s appearance and includes Arvind Kejariwal, the former chief minister of New Delhi and leader of the Aam Aadmi Party. The phishing site was hosted on servers based in Lansing, Michigan in the US. 

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Figure 1. A fake Facebook “like” button and a picture of Arvind Kejariwal on the phishing site

As seen in the previous image, the phishing site, titled “Unite With Us Against Corruption”, uses a poster of the Aam Aadmi Party along with a fake Facebook “like” button. The site’s background image is a picture of the party’s leader Arvind Kejariwal...

Dick O'Brien | 09 Apr 2014 18:18:41 GMT

A newly discovered vulnerability in OpenSSL, one of the most commonly used implementations of the SSL and TLS cryptographic protocols, presents an immediate and serious danger to any unpatched server. The bug, known as Heartbleed, allows attackers to intercept secure communications and steal sensitive information such as login credentials, personal data, or even decryption keys.

Heartbleed, or the OpenSSL TLS 'heartbeat' Extension Information Disclosure Vulnerability (CVE-2014-0160), affects a component of OpenSSL known as Heartbeat. OpenSSL is one of the most widely used, open source implementations of the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols.

Heartbeat is an extension to the TLS protocol that allows a TLS session to be kept alive, even if no real communication has occurred for some time. The feature will verify that both computers are still connected and available for...

Satnam Narang | 09 Apr 2014 04:50:42 GMT

Over the last week, Instagram scammers have been posting images offering fake lottery winnings to followers. They have convinced users to share the posts, give up personal information, and even send money back to the scammers.

In this scam, a number of Instagram accounts have been created to impersonate real-life lottery winners from the UK and US. These accounts claim to offer US$1,000 to each Instagram user who follows them and leaves a comment with their email address.

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Figure 1. Instagram accounts impersonating real-life lottery winners

The accounts impersonating lottery winners have been extremely successful, and have gained anywhere from 5,000 to 100,000 followers.

Once they have amassed a certain number of followers, they reveal a secondary Instagram account belonging to their “accountant”, who is in charge of...

PraveenSingh | 08 Apr 2014 18:24:52 GMT

Hello, welcome to this month's blog on the Microsoft patch release. This month the vendor is releasing four bulletins covering a total of 11 vulnerabilities. Seven of this month's issues are rated ’Critical’.

As always, customers are advised to follow these security best practices:

  • Install vendor patches as soon as they are available.
  • Run all software with the least privileges required while still maintaining functionality.
  • Avoid handling files from unknown or questionable sources.
  • Never visit sites of unknown or questionable integrity.
  • Block external access at the network perimeter to all key systems unless specific access is required.

Microsoft's summary of the April releases can be found here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms14-...

Kevin Haley | 08 Apr 2014 09:28:08 GMT

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Once again, it’s time to reveal the latest findings from our Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), which looks at the current state of the threat landscape, based on our research and analysis from the past year. Key trends from this year’s report include the large increase in data breaches and targeted attacks, the evolution of mobile malware and ransomware, and the potential threat posed by the Internet of Things. We’ll explore each of these topics in greater detail below.

The year of the mega data breach
While 2011 was hailed by many as the “Year of the Data Breach,” breaches in 2013 far surpassed previous years in size and scale. For 2013, we found the number of data...