Hackin9
(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
 

While the drama about the lost airplane in Malaysia is still continuing, our hearts of course go out to the families of the missing. This ISC diary though is not about airplanes, or terrorism, it is rather about the related discovery that at least two passengers on the plane were using fake passports. Equally startling was the comment by Interpol that this is "common". What is the point of maintaining, for example, a no-fly list, if those listed on it anyway travel with stolen documents, and if the security checkpoint apparently fails to determine that a 19yr old doesn't look like a 40yr old, and that Italians who don't speak at least rudimentary Italian are, well, somewhat rare?

If we translate this to the virtual world, it turns into an everyday problem. How do we know that Joe using Joe's password is actually Joe, and not Jane? I probably should call them "Bob" and "Alice" to make this worthy of a scientific paper :), but the problem still stands: identification and authentication are hard, and finding out intentions is even harder. If we take from the airport physical security playbook, then it is "behavior" that makes the difference. The security checkpoint guys are (supposedly) trained to look for "clues" like nervousness, and carry-on baggage that is leaking 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane. Inevitably, there are numerous software products that claim to identify the "unusual" as well. Joe connecting from Connecticut, even though he lives in Idaho? Alert! Joe using Chrome even though he used Firefox last time? Alert! Joe typing his password faster than usual? Alert!

But like in the physical world, this kind of profiling only works well if you have a pretty homogenous and static "good guy" population, and a pretty well defined adversary. The real world, unfortunately, tends to be more diverse and complex than that. Which is why login fraud detection, just as airport security, often drowns in the "false positives", and as a result, de-tunes the sensitivity to the point where real fraud has stellar odds to just slip by. This is a fundamental issue with many security measures. Statisticians call this "base rate fallacy". If there are many many! more good guys than bad guys, finding the bad guys with a test that has a high error rate is pretty much: moot.

Checking the passports against the Interpol list of stolen passports .. wouldn't hurt though. Not doing this is akin to letting someone log in to an account that is suspended, or log in with a password that was valid two years ago.
 

 

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
 
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The Android version of WhatsApp, the cross-platform instant messaging app purchased by Facebook for $16 billion, has a loophole that leaves chat histories wide open to other apps installed on the same smartphone, a security consultant says.

Consultant, system administrator, and entrepreneur Bas Bosschert documented the vulnerability in a blog post published Tuesday. It includes proof-of-concept code a rogue app requires to stealthily upload the chat history to an attacker-controlled server and, when working with newer versions of WhatsApp, to decrypt the file. The exploit is premised on the victim installing a malicious app that contains a game or some other useful feature and in the background accessing the database WhatsApp stores on the secure digital (SD) card of an Android device.

"The WhatsApp database is saved on the SD card which can be read by any Android application if the user allows it to access the SD card," Bosschert wrote. "And since [the] majority of the people allows [sic] everything on their Android device, this is not much of a problem."

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 
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Sucuri detected an interesting "reflective" attack using the Wordpress Pingback feature to attack web sites [1]. Unlike other reflective attacks that use UDP services like NTP and DNS, this attacks uses the Wordpress Pingback feature.

The intend of Pingback is to notify a site that you link to about the link hoping that the site you are linking to will return the favor. Some systems automate this and maintain automated lists linking back to sites that covered their article. In order to implement pingback, Wordpress implements an XML-RPC API function. This function will then send a request to the site to which you would like to send a "pingback".

With Wordpress, the Pingback is sent as a POST request to the /xmlrpc.php request. The body of the request will look like:

<methodCall>
  <methodName>pingback.ping</methodName>
  <params>
     <param><value><string>http://victim</string></value></param>
     <param><value><string>http://reflector</string></value></param>
  </params>
</methodCall>

For the attack seen by Sucuri, the "victim" URL included a random parameter like "victim.com?123456=123456" to prevent caching.

The result of this request is that your Wordpress install will send a request to the victim's site. I don't think the attack will provide a significant traffic amplification, but it does obfuscate the actual source of the attack.

By default, this feature is enabled in all Wordpress installs, and isn't quite easy to turn off. Sucuri recommends to add the following API filter to Wordpress:

add_filter( ‘xmlrpc_methods’, function( $methods ) {
   unset( $methods['pingback.ping'] );
   return $methods;
} );

Removing xmlrpc.php is not recommended as it will breack a number of other features that will use the API.

 

[1] http://blog.sucuri.net/2014/03/more-than-162000-wordpress-sites-used-for-distributed-denial-of-service-attack.html

------
Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute
Twitter

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
 
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Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 12

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/11/e_commerce_password_security/

By John Leyden
The Register
11 Mar 2014

Top UK e-commerce sites are not doing enough to safeguard users from their
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Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 12

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Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 12

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Threat Level
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03.11.14

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March 11, 2014

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Posted by InfoSec News on Mar 12

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Dealbook
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Internet Storm Center Infocon Status