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In one of those "why would anyone ever think to try something like this" moments, researchers have discovered that freezing encrypted Android devices will allow them to gain access to previously encrypted data. The encryption scheme used by Android has been a "nightmare" for law enforcement, though it looks like this won't be the case for much longer.
Tilo Muller, Michael Spreitzenbarth and Felix Freiling, researchers at Erlangen's Friedrich-Alexander University, placed Android phones into a freezer until they were below -10C. For some reason, this allowed them to quickly connect and disconnect the battery, placing the phone into a vulnerable mode.
Once the phone was in this state, they could load custom software onto the device. Known as Forensic Recovery of Scrambled Telephones, or FROST for short, the software allowed the data to be copied off to a computer for analysis. Luckily for consumers, the group of researchers are now attempting to figure out a way to prevent this hack from working.
Coming on the heels of a bug that allows partial access to the Galaxy Note II, a new bug has been discovered that provides full access to a device locked with a pin, password, or gesture. The bug was posted on the Full Disclosure mailing list by Sean McMillian and makes use of a variation on the original bug.
ZDNet verified the bug on their Galaxy S III running Android 4.1.2 and note that "the issue is very small and difficult to replicate at first." McMillian's instructions are as follows:
- On the code entry screen, press Emergency Call
- Press Emergency Contacts
- Press the Home button once
- Just after pressing the Home button, press the power button quickly
- If successful, pressing the power button again will bring you to the S3's home screen.
It seems like it's not just Apple that is having security issues stemming from the emergency call function. Samsung has not yet commented on the bug and there is not a current estimate for how long it will take for a fix to be released.
Apple has released an update to Java 6 that patches a zero-day vulnerability discovered a few days ago. Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion users should download the Java for OS X 2013-002 update so that they aren't susceptible to the zero-day exploit that has been used in the wild. Mac OS X 10.6 Update 14 can be used for Snow Leopard users.
Oddly enough, Oracle delivers updates for Java 7, while Apple is tasked with keeping Java 6 updated.
In a release today, China's Defense Ministry unveiled new details about alleged cyber-attacks on its websites. The report points a finger at the US claiming that about two-thirds of the security breaches originated from the USA.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesma, Geng Yansheng, said:
"The Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites have faced a serious threat from hacking attacks since they were established, and the number of hacks has risen steadily in recent years. According to the IP addresses, the Defense Ministry and China Military Online websites were, in 2012, hacked on average from overseas 144,000 times a month, of which attacks from the U.S. accounted for 62.9 percent."
China says that it received more than 144,000 cyber intrusions a month in 2012 and that the US government is responsible for the majority of said breaches. The report comes hot on the heels of a report last month from security firm Mandiant, which traced cyber-attacks on US media outlets back to China.
Another iOS 6.1 lockscreen vulnerability discovered, allows full access to contacts, pictures, and more
More and more bugs continue to be found in Apple's iOS 6.1 update. The latest to be found is another bug that allows people to bypass the lockscreen of a device secured with a pin. This exploit allows direct access to a device's contacts, pictures, videos, and more simply by executing a few easy steps.
The steps are similar to the previous lockscreen bug that was discovered and involves the same process of making a call to an emergency number. The process relies heavily on the earlier exploit, though this one allows hackers to pull data from the device directly through a USB cable, useful if you want to transfer large amounts of data (read: numerous pictures).
Apple has a fix for the first passcode bug already included in the iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 update, though it's not clear if that patch will fix this latest bug to be discovered.
It was only hours ago that Anonymous' Twitter account was hacked, and now it seems that the hacking collective have taken down, or at least infiltrated yet another federal government website.
The latest target is the US State Department, and on top of hacking the site itself, they were able to acquire personal data on hundreds of State department employees, posting it all online. The personal data includes private and work e-mails, phone numbers and addresses that Anonymous dumped on the ZeroBin website.
Anonymous have said that the hack on the US State Department is in retaliation for the arresting of members from LulzSec. Anonymous said within their data post to ZeroBin:
Our reasons for this attack are very simple. You've imprisoned or either censored our people. We will not tolerate things as such. You don't see us going around censoring everything that is inappropriate or we do not like. Basically, you tried to put an end to us and you got owned, there's nothing more you can say or do. You took away Topiary, Avunit, Neuron, Pwnsauce, lolspoon, Aaron Swartz shall we go on?
It looks like Burger King and Donald Trump aren't the only ones having trouble with Twitter hacks this week. Ironically, one of Anonymous' Twitter accounts was the target of a hack. Rustle League, a little-known hacking group, has taken responsibility for compromising the @Anon_Central Twitter account.
"The reason Anonymous fell victim is probably human weakness," said Graham Cluley, senior consultant at security firm Sophos. "Chances are that they followed poor password practices, like using the same password in multiple places or choosing a password that was easy to crack."
We didn't capture any screenshots of tweets sent out while the account was out of Anonymous' control. If you managed to see some of the tweets--if there were any--let us know what they said!
Donald Trump can now count himself among an exclusive group of high-profile users who had their Twitter accounts hacked during the past week. We started out this week with Burger King's Twitter being hijacked and tweeting that they had been bought by McDonalds.
Jeep joined the party a bit later in the week and Donald Trump has joined the ranks today, though he regained his account much quicker than the others. Just before 12p.m. EST, Trump's account tweeted lyrics from Will.I.Am's "Scream & Shout (Remix)" song, as seen in the picture above.
Within 15 minutes, the tweet was deleted, but not before being retweeted by over 1,000 people. Trump has probably said "You're Fired!" to the people in charge of keeping his Twitter account safe and has tweeted that he is looking for the perpetrators.
MTV and BET attempted to jump on the Twitter hacking bandwagon by pretending to hack each other. The stunt failed to pay off and the two companies have received negative feedback over it.
Reports surfaced today stating that a small number of Apple's systems were hacked through the same zero-day Java exploit that Facebook's systems fell victim to in January. The source of the exploit is said to be the same as the one that managed to infect some of Facebook's systems. In the case of Apple, there is no evidence that any data was transmitted from Apple's systems.
"Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers," the company said in a statement. "The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers. We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network."
Apple has released an update to Mac OS X that will help protect customers from the malware. The update can be installed from the Software Update panel in the Mac App Store or downloaded directly from Apple's website.
The source of the Facebook and Apple hacks is said to be a mobile development website known as iPhoneDevSDK. It's likely that the site didn't know that they were infected as it is a fairly reputable site when it comes to mobile development.
Security firm Mandiant has come out with quite the startling report titled "APT1: Exposing One of China's Cyber Espionage Units", which has tracked the alleged military-backed Chinese hacking group dubbed as Advanced Persistent Threat 1 all the way back to 2006.
Mandiant have written "Our analysis has led us to conclude that APT1 is likely government-sponsored and one of the most persistent of China's cyber threat actors." The group is also believed to be the 2nd Bureau of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Department's (GSD) 3rd Department, otherwise known as Unit 61398.
The New York Times have written about it, where they worked off an advance copy of the report, which led them to buildings in Shanghai which they believe is where the unit is based. The Times then encountered persistent attacks from Chinese hackers last year, where they worked with Mandiant to monitor and block the intrusions into their network.