Russian ‘Cozy Bear’ Hacking Team Hits US Government Networks

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alert symbol of an exclamation point inside triangle

A group of Russian hackers known as Cozy Bear has hacked several U.S. government agencies like the Treasury and Commerce departments.

On Sunday night, FireEye said the attackers were infecting targets using Orion, a widely used business software app from SolarWinds. After taking control of the Orion update mechanism, the attackers were using it to install a backdoor that FireEye researchers are calling Sunburst.

Spotify Resets User Passwords Over Data Leak

· Andrew Orr · Link

Spotify logo

Spotify has reset an unknown number of user passwords after a bug in its system exposed private data to business partners.

In a data breach notification filed with the California attorney general’s office, the music streaming giant said the data exposed “may have included email address, your preferred display name, password, gender, and date of birth only to certain business partners of Spotify.” The company did not name the business partners, but added that Spotify “did not make this information publicly accessible.”

Fortunately, those like me who created a Spotify account using Sign In with Apple shouldn’t have too much information leaked.

Scam Calls About Suspicious iCloud Activity are Appearing

· Andrew Orr · Link

Home Button iPhone bokeh

Calls from scammers pretending to be from Apple and Amazon have been appearing lately. In the case of Apple, some of them mention suspicious iCloud activity.

In both scenarios, the scammers say you can conveniently press 1 to speak with someone (how nice of them!). Or they give you a phone number to call. Don’t do either. It’s a scam. They’re trying to steal your personal information, like your account password or your credit card number.

5 Encrypted DNS Services to Use on iOS and macOS

· Andrew Orr · Deep Dive

Switching from your ISP’s DNS is good because your browsing history could be sold. Here are five encrypted DNS services to use instead.

Twitter Supports Physical Security Keys for Two-Factor Authentication

· Andrew Orr · Link

Yubico 5ci security key

Twitter announced on Wednesday that its mobile app now supports physical security keys for iPhone and Android. The company added support for these keys in 2018 but people could only use them in a browser. But switching to the WebAuthn protocol brings the method to mobile devices.

Now anyone with a security key set up on their Twitter account can use that same key to log in from their mobile device, so long as the key is supported. (A ton of security keys exist today that work across different devices, like YubiKeys and Google’s Titan key.)

Inside the iPhone Wi-Fi Exploit Apple Patched This Year

· Andrew Orr · Link

Wi-Fi connections in a city

Google’s security firm Project Zero published a report on Tuesday detailing an iPhone Wi-Fi exploit that Apple patched earlier this year in iOS 13.5. It’s a long, 30,000 word blog post, but ArsTechnica has a good breakdown.

Beer developed several different exploits. The most advanced one installs an implant that has full access to the user’s personal data, including emails, photos, messages, and passwords and crypto keys stored in the keychain. The attack uses a laptop, a Raspberry Pi, and some off-the-shelf Wi-Fi adapters.

This Terminal Command Can Bypass Mac Privacy Protections

· Andrew Orr · Link

macOS terminal icon

A UNIX command line tool called “ls” can be used to bypass Mac privacy protections like TCC (Transparency, Consent, and Control) and the sandbox. This provides unauthorized access to file metadata in directories that are supposed to be protected

I continue to believe that macOS “security” is mainly theater that only impedes the law-abiding Mac software industry while posing little problem for Mac malware. It doesn’t take a genius hacker to bypass macOS privacy protections: calling “ls” is a script kiddie level attack.

It affects macOS Big Sur, Catalina, and Mojave.

Amazon Sidewalk Shares Your Wi-Fi With Neighbors

· Andrew Orr · Link

Amazon sidewalk Graphic

Amazon Sidewalk is a new initiative by the company that creates a low-bandwidth network pooled from the personal networks of Amazon device owners.

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network, coming later this year, that helps devices like Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cams, outdoor lights, and motion sensors work better at home and beyond the front door. When enabled, Sidewalk can unlock unique benefits for your device, support other Sidewalk devices in your community, and even open the door to new innovations like locating items connected to Sidewalk.

Of course, there are numerous privacy and security concerns, although Amazon does claim it has “strong encryption” without going into details.

Walmart ‘Jetstream’ Routers Contain Backdoors

· Andrew Orr · Link

Walmart Jetstream router

Researchers found backdoors found in Jetstream routers that lets a hacker remotely control the router and any device connected to it. This router is sold exclusively at Walmart.

CyberNews reached out to Walmart for comment and to understand whether they were aware of the Jetstream backdoor, and what they plan to do to protect their customers. After we sent information about the affected Jetstream device, a Walmart spokesperson informed CyberNews: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are looking into the issue to learn more. The item in question is currently out of stock and we do not have plans to replenish it.”

Bad news for owners of these routers, but at least Walmart won’t sell them anymore.

Fraud Operation Targets Spotify Users With Leaked Database

· Andrew Orr · Link

iPhone on a table with airpods and the Spotify logo.

In a similar situation to a Facebook scam, researchers uncovered an unsecured database with over 380 million records in a potential Spotify hacking operation.

The origins of the database and how the fraudsters were targeting Spotify are both unknown. The hackers were possibly using login credentials stolen from another platform, app, or website and using them to access Spotify accounts.

Working with Spotify, we confirmed that the database belonged to a group or individual using it to defraud Spotify and its users. We also helped the company isolate the issue and ensure its customers were safe from attack.

Update Google Chrome ASAP to Patch Two Zero Days

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google chrome on iPhone X

Two zero days in Chrome, CVE-2020-16013 and CVE-2020-16017, are “high severity” in nature and users should update the browser as soon as possible. The The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) says the security flaws are actively being exploited in the wild.

I can confirm that CVE-2020-16013 relates to the V8 JavaScript engine for Chrome and involves an incorrectly handled security check. Exploitation would most likely require an attacker to direct the victim to a malicious web page.

CVE-2020-16017, on the other hand, would appear to be a memory corruption vulnerability within the Chrome website sandboxing feature known as Site Isolation.

Was Your Mac Slow on Thursday? Apple's OCSP Server Was Likely the Cause

· Dave Hamilton · News

Apple's OSCP Failure

On Thursday, October 12th, right around 3:30pm EST, Apple’s OCSP server stopped responding. On the surface that doesn’t sound like much, but when you stop and realize this is the server responsible for authenticating the certificates at the core of all your apps, it starts to matter.

And matter it did! For about an hour yesterday, Mac apps wouldn’t launch (or would launch slowly), rebooting was super-slow (for the same reason), and even Zoom connections took minutes to connect.

Facebook Credit Card Scam Exposed via Data Leak

· Andrew Orr · Link

Facebook iPhone Mac

A phishing and credit card fraud operation has been targeting Facebook users and was recently uncovered due to an exposed database.

The fraudsters used the stolen login credentials to share spam comments on Facebook posts via the victims hacked account, directing people to their network of scam websites. These websites all eventually led to a fake Bitcoin trading platform used to scam people out of ‘deposits’ of at least €250.

However, the day after we discovered the database, it was attacked by the ongoing widespread Meow cyberattack, which completely wiped all its data.