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Philippine central bank has thrown an alert after SWIFT hackers hit Malaysia central bank

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 10:53 AM PDT

The Philippine central bank has thrown an alert to local financial institutions following a cyber attack against the SWIFT servers at the Malaysian central bank.

The Philippine central bank has thrown an alert to local financial institutions following a cyber attack against the Malaysian central bank.

According to Malaysian governor, the hackers attempted to steal money through fraudulent wire transfers, the good news is that the attack failed.

Bank Negara Malaysia confirmed that no funds were lost in the cyber attack, the hackers sent fake wire-transfer requests over the SWIFT bank messaging network to the target bank in order to trick it to transfer the money.

“We issued a general alert reminder as soon as we got BNM advisory to be extra careful over the long holiday. Although banks already do that as SOP (standard operating procedure),”Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said in a phone message.

At the time of writing is still unclear who is behind the attack or the way the hacker breached the SWIFT systems used by the bank.

“Bank Negara did not say who was behind the hack or how they accessed its SWIFT servers. The central bank, which supervises 45 commercial banks in Malaysia, said on Thursday there was no disruption to other payment and settlement systems the central bank operates because of the cyber attack.” reported the Straits Times.


Bank Negara said it had taken additional security measures to protect its stakeholders.

“All unauthorised transactions were stopped through prompt action in strong collaboration with SWIFT, other central banks and financial institutions,” it said in a statement.

The Philippine banks were also involved in the clamorous 2016 cyber heist when hackers stole US$81 million from the Bangladesh central bank, at the time the hackers transferred money into several accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) and then used them into the local casino industry.

The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record one billion pesos (US$20 million) in 2016 for the failure to prevent the fraudulent transfers of money.

RCBC sustained that a rogue employee was responsible for the movement.

Mr Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, said the latest attack against the Malaysian central bank showed that the SWIFT platform remained vulnerable.

“After the attack on our central bank, SWIFT took several measures to protect the system globally but yet this is happening, meaning criminals have more ability and more capable weapons,” Mr Razee Hassan told Reuters in Dhaka.

“So this is the time to further improve the financial transfer system globally.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – SWIFT, Malaysia central bank)

The post Philippine central bank has thrown an alert after SWIFT hackers hit Malaysia central bank appeared first on Security Affairs.

Airbnb China will share hosts information with the government

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 08:48 AM PDT

Airbnb China announced that it will share user data belonging to Chinese users with the Government to comply with national laws and regulations.

Airbnb announced that it will share user data belonging to Chinese users with the Government. The company is notifying the Chinese users it will share guest’s information with local authorities to comply with national laws and regulations.

According to an email obtained by TechNode, Airbnb hosts with a listing in China were notified by the company by email that their information could be shared with Chinese authorities without further notice starting from 30 March 2018.

“Online short-term rental services operate in a gray area in China, which has strict regulations for hospitality businesses. Guests must check in with a valid ID such as Chinese identification cards or passports and their information are recorded by hotels in a central register operated by local police bureaus.” reads a blog post published by Technode.com.

“For foreign visitors, the rules are even stricter. They need to be registered within 24 hours of arrival into China. If international visitors are not staying at a hotel or guesthouse, they must report to the police and depending on the local regulation, provide documentation such as rental contracts or property titles.”



Previously, the Airbnb hosts were submitting passport and other required traveler information.

Airbnb China implemented a "deactivate my China listing" button to allow hosts to remove their listing.

National laws and regulations require the hotel and lodging industry to share data with the government. The Chinese Government aims to automate the information sharing so that traveler’s data are directly available for government agencies.

“Like all businesses operating in China, Airbnb China must comply with local laws and regulations,” said Airbnb spokesman Jake Wilczynski. "The information we collect is similar to information hotels in China have collected for decades."

In China, Airbnb faces tough competition from local companies Xiaozhu and Tujia, both complying with government laws.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Airbnb China, law)

The post Airbnb China will share hosts information with the government appeared first on Security Affairs.

Apple macOS issues reveal passwords for APFS encrypted volumes in plaintext

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 06:17 AM PDT

A security expert discovered severe security issues in APFS file system for macOS High Sierra that expose passwords of encrypted external drives in plain text.

A vulnerability in APFS file system for macOS High Sierra operating system has been discovered by forensic analyst Sarah Edwards.

According to Edwards, the flaw exposes passwords of encrypted external drives in plain text.

Apple File System (APFS) is a proprietary file system for macOS High Sierra and later, iOS 10.3 and later, tvOS 10.2 and later, and watchOS 3.2 and later, developed and deployed by Apple Inc. APFS is optimized for flash solid-state drive storage, it aims to improve encryption and performance.

The flaw leaves encryption password for a newly created APFS volume in the unified logs in plaintext, it also allows encrypting previously created but unencrypted volumes.

“I've been updating my course (Mac and iOS Forensics and Incident Response) to use new APFS disk images (APFS FTW!) and came across something that both incredibly useful from a forensics perspective but utterly horrifying from a security standpoint. Screenshot below of my course disk image.” states the blog post published by Edwards.

APFS flaw

“It may not be noticeable at first (apart from the highlighting I've added of course), but the text "frogger13" is the password I used on a newly created APFS formatted FileVault Encrypted USB drive with the volume name "SEKRET". (The new class images have a WarGames theme, hence the shout-outs to classic video games!)”

This means that anyone with access to the machine can see passwords stored in plaintext, the experts also warned that a malware could be used to collect log files to gather passphrase.

The password for an encrypted APFS volume can be retrieved by running e executing the following ‘newfs_apfs’ command in the terminal:

log stream --info --predicate 'eventMessage contains "newfs_"'

Edwards updated his post to highlight that he has discovered similar log entries in another system log that is more persistent.

“In and update to my previously updated blog article, I have found another instance where the plaintext password was written to system logs. This time I found it in more persistent log. This is actually a worse problem than the one I previously reported on.” he wrote in a new blog post.
“The previous examples were found in the unified logs which can hang around for a few weeks, this new example stores the exact same information in the system’s /var/log/install.log. I have found that the install.log will only get wiped out upon major re-installation (ie: 10.11 -> 10.12 -> 10.13), “

APFS flaw 2

Edwards pointed out that after the Twitter user @sirkkalap announced he was unable to re-create the issue he had previously reported, he was also unable to reproduce it.

“I assumed that at some point in the past few days a silent security update was pushed out. I went to my install.log file to investigate further. As far as updates go – the only thing that has potential to be the cause of the fix is a GateKeeper ConfigData update v138 (com.apple.pkg.GatekeeperConfigData.16U1432).” said Edwards.

The expert highlighted that you would not find the password in the plaintext when converting a non-APFS drive to APFS and then encrypt the drive.

The flaw affects only macOS 10.13 and 10.13.1, while later versions of macOS High Sierra have somehow reportedly addressed the issue.

In the past months, other two issues were discovered in the APFS, in February the Apple expert Mike Bombich discovered an APFS Filesystem vulnerability that could lead macOS losing data under certain conditions. In October 2017, Apple released a patch for macOS High Sierra 10.13 that addressed also a flaw in Apple file system that exposes encrypted drive's password in the hint box.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – APFS Filesystem, hacking)

The post Apple macOS issues reveal passwords for APFS encrypted volumes in plaintext appeared first on Security Affairs.

Security Affairs newsletter Round 156 – News of the week

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 02:56 AM PDT

A new round of the weekly SecurityAffairs newsletter arrived!

The best news of the week with Security Affairs.

Let me inform you that my new book, “Digging in the Deep Web” is online

Kindle Edition

Paper Copy

Digging The Deep Web

Once again thank you!

·      A new massive cryptomining campaign target Linux servers exploiting old flaw
·      The City of San Diego is suing the Experian credit agency for 2013 security breach
·      Thousands of etcd installs leak 750MB worth of passwords and keys
·      Facebook collected call and SMS data from Android users if not explicitly forbidden
·      Law enforcement arrested the head of the Carbanak gang that stole 1 billion from banks
·      Reddit banned the biggest Darknet markets subreddit /R/DarkNetmarkets
·      The Internet Engineering Task Force has finally announced the approval of TLS 1.3
·      BranchScope is a new side-channel attack method against Intel chip
·      Experts uncovered a watering hole attack on leading Hong Kong Telecom Site exploiting CVE-2018-4878 flaw
·      GoScanSSH Malware spread avoiding Government and Military networks
·      Grey Heron, the new Co in the surveillance industry that promises to spy on Signal and Telegram
·      A flaw in the iOS camera QR code URL parser could expose users to attacks
·      Meltdown security patches issued by Microsoft exposed to severe attacks
·      New ThreadKit exploit builder used to spread banking Trojan and RATs
·      VPN leaks users IPs via WebRTC. Ive tested seventy VPN providers and 16 of them leaks users IPs via WebRTC (23%)
·      Boeing production plant infected with WannaCry ransomware
·      CISCO addresses two critical remote code execution flaws in IOS XE operating system
·      Drupal finally addressed the critical CVE-2018-7600 Drupalgeddon2 vulnerability
·      Hackers took down Baltimore 911 system during the weekend
·      Ensuring best website security through SSL Certificate updates.
·      European police agencies coordinated by Europol arrested 20 people for Spear Phishing scam
·      Systems at a Power Company in India infected by a ransomware
·      The latest variant of the Panda Banker Trojan target Japan
·      Under Armour data breach affected about 150 million MyFitnessPal users
·      Cyber Defense Magazine – March 2018 has arrived
·      Fauxpersky Keylogger masqueraded as Kaspersky Antivirus and spreads via USB drives
·      Grindr gay-dating app exposed millions of users private data, messages, locations
·      Russian hacker Yevgeni Nikulin was extradited to the United States
·      Tens of thousands of misconfigured Django apps leak sensitive data


Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Newsletter)

The post Security Affairs newsletter Round 156 – News of the week appeared first on Security Affairs.

Any social media accounts to declare? Visa applicants would have to declare them

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 01:15 AM PDT

The US Department of State wants to ask visa applicants to provide details on the social media accounts they’ve managed in the past five years.

The US Government wants to make it mandatory for all foreigners (immigrant /non-immigrant) to provide social media details, telephone numbers, email addresses, and international travel during this period. when applying for a visa to enter the US.

The proposed changes to the process followed by President Trump’s March 2017 Memorandum and Executive Order 13780.

The plan is currently under approval by the Office of Management and Budget, US authorities want to modify the three visa application forms DS-156, DS-160, and DS-260. The Department of State aims to expand the collection information by adding questions to its Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (DS-260).

social media US gov

The Department of State published a notice of request for public comment in the Federal Register last week, the deadline is May 29, 2018.

“The Department is revising the collection to add several additional questions for immigrant visa applicants. One question lists multiple social media platforms and requires the applicant to provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding the date of application. The platforms listed may be updated by the Department by adding or removing platforms.” reads the notice.

The Department of State will likely ask applicants for account names related to the major social media platforms.

Security experts are concerned about the way the US Government will manage these data, the Department of State’s notice says the DS-260 will be submitted electronically over an encrypted connection to the Department via the internet.

The Department of State estimates that the new process will affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants attempting to enter the US and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants.

The Department of State already collects some applicants’ information, travel history, family member information, and previous addresses.

Since 2016, the US Government already collect optional information about accounts on major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – social media, US Government)

The post Any social media accounts to declare? Visa applicants would have to declare them appeared first on Security Affairs.