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Anonymous Italia hacked speed camera database and took over the police systems in Correggio

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 07:38 AM PST

Anonymous Italy hacked and deleted the entire speed camera database and took over the police email and database system in Correggio.

Last week, Anonymous hacked a Speed Camera Database in Italy, the hacktivists took control of a local police computer system in Correggio, Italy and erased the entire archive containing speed camera tickets. According to Gazzetta di Reggio, the hackers also released internal emails and documents.

Anonymous Italy speed camera database

The hackers provided screenshots of the attack to several Italian newspapers, it seems they have wiped an entire archive containing 40 gigabytes worth of infringement photographs.

Anonymous Italy speed camera database

The Anonymous hackers sent a message using the e-mail account of the Correggio municipal police.

“Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas,” read the message from Anonymous.

The message announced the hack of the Concilia database and of the system developed by the company Verbatel, it also included the links and passwords to download them.

The message includes screenshots of the hack, one of them show a Windows command line likely related to the hacked computer of the Correggio municipal police.

Two images show claims from two motorists complaining that they received tickets from Correggio speed cameras, even though they had never passed through the area.

Emails between police administrators and local politicians discussed how the speed camera profits were to be distributed.

One of the screenshots is related to an email sent by an employee at Correggio data center who explains that he has restored the Concilia DB using a backup dated Dec. 5 due to a serious problem.

The police are still investigating the case.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Anonymous Italian, speed camera database)

The post Anonymous Italia hacked speed camera database and took over the police systems in Correggio appeared first on Security Affairs.

Intel Makes a Mistake in The CPU Design, Windows and Linux Scramble to Fix It

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 01:57 AM PST

Intel Makes a Mistake in The CPU Design, Windows and Linux Scramble to Fix It. It is suspected that the flaw is in the way an Intel CPU manages memory between “kernel mode” and “user mode.”

Competition between IT hardware manufacturers is fierce. Decimal point differences in performance specs translate into millions of dollars won or lost with every chip release. Manufacturers are very creative at finding ways to gain an edge over their competition, and sometimes the creativity works against them. This appears to be the case with Intel’s CPUs, and in the worst case, it affects anyone who relies on Intel chips for virtualization — most companies, and cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine. It is up to operating system manufacturers to fix the problem and the fix will hurt performance.

Details of the security vulnerability are under embargo from Intel in an attempt to give developers time to come up with a fix so much of the reporting on the bug is extrapolated from online discussions and by dissecting the Linux patches that were quickly rolled out in December.

It is suspected that the flaw is in the way an Intel CPU manages memory between “kernel mode” and “user mode.” Think of all the programs running on a computer at the same time. For security and stability reasons we want to be sure that one program doesn’t negatively impact another program. For example, if your browser crashes you don’t want it to take down the entire computer by crashing the OS.

In a virtualized cloud environment, you don’t want someone else’s program to be able to see the details of what you are running in your portion of the cloud. To accomplish this isolation, individual programs are run in their own “user space.” However, these programs are still sharing hardware like network connections and hard drives so there is another layer required. Kernel mode coordinates requests for shared hardware and still maintain isolation between the various user mode programs. When microseconds can impact your performance metrics, the “cost” of loading kernel mode to execute the request, then unloading kernel mode, and returning to user mode is “expensive.” As described in The Register article, Intel attempted a shortcut “To make the transition from user mode to kernel mode and back to user mode as fast and efficient as possible, the kernel is present in all processes’ virtual memory address spaces, although it is invisible to these programs. When the kernel is needed, the program makes a system call, the processor switches to kernel mode and enters the kernel. When it is done, the CPU is told to switch back to user mode, and re-enter the process.”

intel chip

Although memory for each user process is well isolated, it is believed that the Intel flaw allows for these user processes to exploit kernel memory space to violate the intended isolation.

Many operating systems utilize a security control called Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (KASLR) which is supposed to address risks of a user process gaining access to kernel memory space (Daniel López Azaña has a good summary of ASLR, KASLR and KARL here.) However, in October 2017 the Linux core kernel developers released the KAISER patch series which hinted at the current Intel CPU issue, detailed in the LWN article, “KAISER: hiding the kernel from user space.” Then in December, a number of Linux distributions released kernel updates which included Kernel Page-Table Isolation (PTI) significantly restricting memory space available to running processes. On December 26, 2017, Intel’s competitor AMD sent this email to the Linux kernel mailing list:

"AMD processors are not subject to the types of attacks that the kernel  page table isolation feature protects against.  The AMD microarchitecture  does not allow memory references, including speculative references, that  access higher privileged data when running in a lesser privileged mode  when that access would result in a page fault."

All of this activity seems to point squarely at a problem in the way that Intel CPUs isolate, or fail to isolate, kernel memory from user processes. But while under the embargo it is all educated guessing.

Major Linux distributions have released kernel updates to address the issue and Microsoft is expected to release corresponding patches in January’s patch bundle. There are rumors that Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services customers have been notified directly of impending maintenance outages this month which might be associated with patches for this Intel bug. Since the kernel mode shortcut was intended to improve CPU performance, you should expect that the fix will negatively impact current performance. We will have to wait for the Intel information embargo to be lifted, and for the Linux and Windows patches to be applied to truly understand the risks and performance impacts.

About the author:  Steve Biswanger has over 20 years experience in Information Security consulting, and is a frequent speaker on risk, ICS and IoT topics. He is currently Director of Information Security for Encana, a North American oil & gas company and sits on the Board of Directors for the (ISC)2 Alberta Chapter.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Intel CPU, security)

The post Intel Makes a Mistake in The CPU Design, Windows and Linux Scramble to Fix It appeared first on Security Affairs.

Marketing companies have started exploiting a flaw in browsers’ built-in password managers to track users

Posted: 03 Jan 2018 12:48 AM PST

A group of researchers discovered marketing companies have started exploiting an 11-year-old vulnerability in browsers’ built-in password managers to track visitors.

A group of researchers from Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy has discovered that at least two marketing companies, AdThink and OnAudience, that are exploiting an 11-year-old vulnerability in major browsers to track visitors.

The researchers discovered that the marketing firms have started exploiting the flaw in browsers’ built-in password managers that allow them to secretly steal email address. The gathered data allow them to target advertising across different browsers and devices.

password-manager tracking

Of course, the same flaw could be exploited by threat actors to steal saved login credential from browsers without requiring users interaction.
Every browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera) implements a built-in password manager tool that allows users to save login information for automatic form-filling.

The researchers from Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy discovered that both AdThink and OnAudience are exploiting the built-in password managers to track visitors of around 1,110 of the Alexa top 1 million sites across the Internet.

“We found two scripts using this technique to extract email addresses from login managers on the websites which embed them. These addresses are then hashed and sent to one or more third-party servers. These scripts were present on 1110 of the Alexa top 1 million sites.” states the analysis of  the Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy.

The experts have found third-party tracking scripts on these websites that inject invisible login forms in the background of the webpage, the password managers are tricked into auto-filling the form using these data.

The scripts detect the username and send it to third-party servers after hashing with MD5, SHA1, and SHA256 algorithms, these hashed values are used as an identifier for a specific user. Typically tracker used the hashed email as user’s ID.

“Login form autofilling in general doesn't require user interaction; all of the major browsers will autofill the username (often an email address) immediately, regardless of the visibility of the form.” continue the researchers.

“Chrome doesn’t autofill the password field until the user clicks or touches anywhere on the page. Other browsers we tested don’t require user interaction to autofill password fields.”

browser password-manager tracking

 “Email addresses are unique and persistent, and thus the hash of an email address is an excellent tracking identifier,” the researchers said. “A user’s email address will almost never change—clearing cookies, using private browsing mode, or switching devices won’t prevent tracking.”

Third-party password managers like LastPass and 1Password are not exposed to this tracking technique because they avoid auto-filling invisible forms and anyway they require user interaction.

Users can test the tracking technique using a live demo page created by the researchers.

Below the list of sites embedding scripts that abuse login manager for tracking, it also includes the website of the founder of M5S Beppe Grillo (beppegrillo.it).

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – password managers, hacking)

The post Marketing companies have started exploiting a flaw in browsers’ built-in password managers to track users appeared first on Security Affairs.