Don’t Get Caught In The Crossfire

The Duqu virus is squarely aimed at Iran’s nuclear program. Unless you’re connected with Iran’s nuclear program, your chances of being directly targeted are extremely low. However, Microsoft was freaked out enough to issue a security bulletin for Windows users. So, better safe than sorry, protect yourself against the possibility of becoming collateral damage in an epic, upcoming attack.

Microsoft issues Duqu virus workaround for Windows

Microsoft has issued a temporary fix to the pernicious Duqu virus — also known as “Son of Stuxnet” — which could affect users of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 as well as Windows Server 2008.

The company promised the security update earlier this week as it races to deal with the virus, which targets victims via email with a Microsoft Word attachment. The virus is not in the email, but in the attachment itself. A Symantec researcher said if a user opens the Word document, the attacker could take control of the PC, and nose around in an organization’s network to look for data, and the virus could propagate itself.

See also:
Microsoft Security Advisory (2639658)
Microsoft software bug linked to ‘Duqu’ virus
Microsoft Provides Workaround Patch for Duqu Malware
Microsoft announces workaround for the Duqu exploit
Microsoft Issues Temporary Duqu Workaround, Plans 4 Patch Tuesday Fixes
Six Ways to Protect Yourself from Duqu
Microsoft Airs Temporary Fix to Defeat Duqu Worm
Microsoft Releases Temporary Plug For Duqu
Duqu exploits same Windows font engine patched last month, Microsoft confirms
5 Things To Do To Defend Against Duqu
Microsoft issues temporary ‘fix-it’ for Duqu zero-day
Patch Tuesday: Fix for ‘Duqu’ zero-day not likely this month

Is it just me or doesn’t it seem a bit more than odd that Microsoft, a company with close ties to and a past history of working with U.S. intelligence agencies, would publicly issue a workaround to defend against a specific piece of malware that, by many accounts, is being actively and currently used by U.S. intelligence agencies to set up and facilitate an upcoming attack, in cyberspace or otherwise, against Iran’s nuclear program? I mean, it’s not like the Iranians can’t read English, why help them defend against Duqu? Hmmm, something’s not quite right here.

/whatever’s going on, and something is going on, it’s way above my pay grade, but when the endgame comes, don’t forget to duck

Super Bot

This sure looks like a nasty piece of work.

Massive botnet ‘indestructible,’ say researchers

A new and improved botnet that has infected more than four million PCs is “practically indestructible,” security researchers say.

“TDL-4,” the name for both the bot Trojan that infects machines and the ensuing collection of compromised computers, is “the most sophisticated threat today,” said Kaspersky Labs researcher Sergey Golovanov in a detailed analysis Monday.

“[TDL-4] is practically indestructible,” Golovanov said.

. . .

TDL-4 infects the MBR, or master boot record, of the PC with a rootkit — malware that hides by subverting the operating system. The master boot record is the first sector — sector 0 — of the hard drive, where code is stored to bootstrap the operating system after the computer’s BIOS does its start-up checks.

Because TDL-4 installs its rootkit on the MBR, it is invisible to both the operating system and more, importantly, security software designed to sniff out malicious code.

But that’s not TDL-4’s secret weapon.

What makes the botnet indestructible is the combination of its advanced encryption and the use of a public peer-to-peer (P2P) network for the instructions issued to the malware by command-and-control (C&C) servers.

See also:
TDL4 – Top Bot
Sophisticated TDL-4 Botnet Has 4.5 Million Infected Zombies
‘Indestructible’ rootkit enslaves 4.5m PCs in 3 months
TDL-4 creates 4.5 million PC ‘indestructible’ botnet
Security Researchers Discover the Mother of All Botnets
TDL-4: The ‘indestructible’ botnet?
There’s a Botnet Called TDL-4 That’s Virtually Indestructable
‘Indestructible’ Botnet Enslaves 4.5 Million PCs
‘Indestructible’ Zombie PC Botnet Borrows Exploit From Israeli, U.S. Cyberweapon
Have cybercriminals created the perfect botnet — undetectable and indestructible?

If you ever needed a reason and reminder to keep your operating system, anti-virus, and anti-spywware software patched and up to date, this would be a good one.

/remember, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re potentially part of the problem

The Other Other Dark Meat

Seriously, who could possibly come up with the sudden inspiration for this and think it was a good idea in the first place? And who in their right mind would volunteer to taste test it? Sniff, sniff, what’s that smell?

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces

Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, has developed steaks based on proteins from human excrement. Tokyo Sewage approached the scientist because of an overabundance of sewage mud. They asked him to explore the possible uses of the sewage and Ikeda found that the mud contained a great deal of protein because of all the bacteria.

The researchers then extracted those proteins, combined them with a reaction enhancer and put it in an exploder which created the artificial steak. The “meat” is 63% proteins, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and 9% minerals. The researchers color the poop meat red with food coloring and enhance the flavor with soy protein. Initial tests have people saying it even tastes like beef.

See also:
‘Poop burger tastes like beef’
Japanese Make “Delicious”, Nourishing Steaks From Human Feces
Japanese scientist creates ‘poop burger’? Surely not
Artificial Meat Made From Human Poop
Human feces: The meat of the future?
Japanese scientist wants you eat reconstituted poop burgers
Meat Made from Poop Hits Japan
Japanese Environmentalist Turns Human Waste into Hamburger
Mitsuyuki Ikeda Wants You to Eat His Burger Patties Made from Human Waste
Burgers made of excrement? (We’re not kidding)

Now you might ask yourself, is this [expletive deleted] for real? I don’t know, I just report, you have to decide.

/I, for one, pray to God it’s a hoax

Let’s Play ATM Or Slot Machine?

Barnaby Jack is at it again.

Researcher Demonstrates ATM ‘Jackpotting’ at Black Hat Conference

In a city filled with slot machines spilling jackpots, it was a “jackpotted” ATM machine that got the most attention Wednesday at the Black Hat security conference, when researcher Barnaby Jack demonstrated two suave hacks against automated teller machines that allowed him to program them to spew out dozens of crisp bills.

The demonstration was greeted with hoots and applause.

In one of the attacks, Jack reprogrammed the ATM remotely over a network, without touching the machine; the second attack required he open the front panel and plug in a USB stick loaded with malware.

Jack, director of security research at IOActive Labs, focused his hack research on standalone and hole-in-the-wall ATMs — the kind installed in retail outlets and restaurants. He did not rule out that bank ATMs could have similar vulnerabilities, though he hasn’t yet examined them.

The two systems he hacked on stage were made by Triton and Tranax. The Tranax hack was conducted using an authentication bypass vulnerability that Jack found in the system’s remote monitoring feature, which can be accessed over the Internet or dial-up, depending on how the owner configured the machine.

Tranax’s remote monitoring system is turned on by default, but Jack said the company has since begun advising customers to protect themselves from the attack by disabling the remote system.

To conduct the remote hack, an attacker would need to know an ATM’s Internet IP address or phone number. Jack said he believes about 95 percent of retail ATMs are on dial-up; a hacker could war dial for ATMs connected to telephone modems, and identify them by the cash machine’s proprietary protocol.

The Triton attack was made possible by a security flaw that allowed unauthorized programs to execute on the system. The company distributed a patch last November so that only digitally signed code can run on them.

Both the Triton and Tranax ATMs run on Windows CE.

Using a remote attack tool, dubbed Dillinger, Jack was able to exploit the authentication bypass vulnerability in Tranax’s remote monitoring feature and upload software or overwrite the entire firmware on the system. With that capability, he installed a malicious program he wrote, called Scrooge.

Scrooge lurks on the ATM quietly in the background until someone wakes it up in person. It can be initiated in two ways — either through a touch-sequence entered on the ATM’s keypad or by inserting a special control card. Both methods activate a hidden menu that allows the attacker to spew out money from the machine or print receipts. Scrooge will also capture track data embedded in bank cards inserted into the ATM by other users.

To demonstrate, Jack punched the keys on the typed to call up the menu, then instructed the machine to spit out 50 bills from one of four cassettes. The screen lit up with the word “Jackpot!” as the bills came flying out the front.

To hack the Triton, he used a key to open the machine’s front panel, then connected a USB stick containing his malware. The ATM uses a uniform lock on all of its systems — the kind used on filing cabinets — that can opened with a $10 key available on the web. The same key opens every Triton ATM.

Two Triton representatives said at a press conference after the presentation that its customers preferred a single lock on systems so they could easily manage fleets of machines without requiring numerous keys. But they said Triton offers a lock upgrade kit to customers who request it — the upgraded lock is a Medeco pick-resistant, high-security lock.

. . .

Jack said that so far he’s examined ATMs made by four manufacturers and all of them have vulnerabilities. “Every ATM I’ve looked at allows that ‘game over.’ I’m four for four,” he said at the press conference. He wouldn’t discuss the vulnerabilities in the two ATMs not attacked on Wednesday because he said his previous employer, Juniper Networks, owns that research.

Jack said his aim in demonstrating the hacks is to get people to look more closely at the security of systems that are presumed to be locked down and impenetrable.

See also:
Bunker-busting ATM attacks show security holes
Hacker breaks into ATMs, dispenses cash remotely
Security researcher demonstrates ATM hacking
Black Hat: Hacker Tricks ATMs Into Raining Cash
Researcher shows how to hack ATMs with “Dillinger” tool
Armed with exploits, ATM hacker hits the jackpot
Powered By Microsoft Windows
IOActive Labs
Tranax Technologies
Triton Systems

All your ATMs are belong to Barnaby Jack!

/I’ll bet Barnaby is really well paid and gets plenty of job offers from the Black Hats as well as the White Hats