Categories ArchivesConsumer Security

Proofpoint Patches URL Sandbox Bypass Bug standard

Or, how a travel website’s newsletter clued me in to a huge security gap in a popular email protection service. tl;dr: I discovered URLs of sufficient length (over 770 characters) would bypass Proofpoint’s URLDefense service leaving the original link untouched, allowing malicious links directly into users’ email inboxes. Proofpoint let me know this week that they finally have patched all the instances of their service that had this particular bug, so it’s time to disclose how I discovered it. Many of you know I switched my personal email protection away from Postini/Google Apps for Business to modusCloud by Vircom. My users and I are 100% satisfied with the service! One of the technologies powering Vircom is Proofpoint Essentials, and one ...

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Pushing Vendors to Abandon SMS standard

SMS-based authentication continues to be a great way to placate a user into thinking they are safe while creating an avenue for attackers to gain access to their accounts. Fabio Assolini and Andre Tenreiro from Kaspersky published some research that puts numbers in fraud losses to these threats. SIM Swaps cost criminals $10-15/SIM with gains from fraud being over $1,000. That’s a good return on investment. It’s why I’ve become a huge fan of U2F and other non-SMS authenticators (see my guide here). Companies like Yubico have made real multi-factor authentication doable for the masses with zero client-side infrastructure. Major companies like Google and Facebook are leading the charge to remove SMS-based authentication and account recovery options by allowing users ...

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Ditch SMS for True Second Factor Authentication standard

At one point, getting a text message with a code seemed like a great way to provide more identity and authentication assurance. Phone networks are out of band from email, the cost of sending the message is relatively inexpensive, and few people are without a cell phone these days. As it gained popularity, SMS-based authentication got the attention of cyber criminals and they soon exposed a number of high- and low-tech attacks that make SMS authentication unreliable. I’ve been on a kick to turn on any 2nd-factor authentication option possible in every site/service that I use. Lately, however, I’m switching to real 2nd-factor options that include apps, U2F, or other methods. To that end, I recently published an article that ...

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No Need to Sign standard

If you went shopping on Sunday and happened to notice that a signature was not required for your credit card purchase, that wasn’t an April Fools joke. Back in December & January, the major payment networks all announced they were dropping the signature requirement. Even MORE time saved when paying for things! I’m sure many of you are like me in that you didn’t even put your actual signature on those papers or electronic signature capture devices. The only time I have been serious about it is when I travel abroad. Those cashiers are very good at matching your signature to what is signed on the back of the card. Possibly Related Posts: Proofpoint Patches URL Sandbox Bypass Bug Pushing ...

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What’s the craic on KRACK? standard

For those who are not familiar with the Irish slang, read this. We got another fun named vulnerability this week that goes after WPA2 encryption, something that is ubiquitous but not impenetrable. Key Reinstallation Attacks, or KRACK for short, exposes a weakness in the WPA2 protocol. It’s an attack on the protocol itself, so anything that is unpatched and properly implemented to the Wi-Fi and WPA2 standard is vulnerable. Patches are already well on their way to being released and deployed. But this problem is going to stick around for a long time like Shellshock and Heartbleed. Many Wi-Fi hotspots are running outdated firmware that cannot be upgraded in some cases. Just like Shellshock and Heartbleed, the only way to ...

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Equifax is only half the problem, your SSN needs a redesign! standard

The Social Security Number in the United States is the closest thing we have to a national identification system. It’s widely used to deal with the government, open lines of credit, and serves as the unique ID for a tax payer. It’s effectively your financial and governmental digital footprint identifier from which all actions are compared. Great, right? We can use it to ensure people pay their taxes, connect bank records and large financial transactions to an identity, ferret out money laundering and illicit business, and get a personal balance sheet on anyone who has credit. Except, once that number is disclosed, it’s disclosed. Unlike a payment card number, there is no wide-scale method to reissue a social security number. Like ...

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More EMV Bypass Fun standard

So I’m sitting here in San Diego, which we all know is German for… never mind. As I pay for my lunch, I present my chip card and there is some kind of error. I know I entered my PIN correctly, but it immediately came back as failed. The bartender taught me a neat trick that I am sure we all need to be aware of as people capture magstripes and write them to new cards. “Oh, no problem on bypassing that. Just turn the card around and insert it, it will fail, and you can swipe!” The Verifone VX-675 terminal this place used detected that a card was inserted without a valid chip read, and immediately told me to ...

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Netgear (In)Security and their Failed Remote Management standard

I’ve been having issues with some home networking equipment and decided that after a couple of years, I needed to make some updates. I did my research and ultimately settled on the Netgear R8000. Not just because it looks dead sexy or because it’s called the Nighthawk, but because it had really great reviews and I’ve generally been on board with Netgear’s product quality and technology. That is, until today. One of my biggest complaints about today’s networking equipment is that it really wants to be the only router in your house. It wants to be the command center. So if you have a couple of pieces of networking equipment, they both want to be in charge. I get it, ...

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Does Age Determine How Quickly Shoppers Return? standard

Here’s another visualization to consider based on demographic data generated from my Consumer Attitudes Toward Breaches research (sponsored by MAC). Did age matter when it came to how quickly shoppers returned to a breached merchant? The data seemed to have a couple of stand-out bumps. Below is a graph that shows, on average, how quickly consumers returned to stores after a breach, grouped by age. The trend seems to be such that, in general, the youngest groups are more likely to return to a breached merchant before the older groups.  The middle two age groups are virtually identical up to the fourth digit past the decimal point—enough to consider them equal. What this means for management, is that younger generations ...

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Secure SSH, Go Beyond the Defaults standard

Secure Shell, or ssh, quickly became the replacement for telnet, rlogin, and rsh once system and network administrators realized how easy it was to capture credentials and modify traffic in flight. It’s the stuff out of movies. An administrator is logging into a system with an elevated account (such as root) while a bad guy is snooping all of the traffic and displaying the stream on his screen. He’s got all the credentials and can see everything that administrator is doing. Or worse, he’s sitting in between the administrator and his equipment and modifying the keystrokes from the administrator before forwarding them to the device. Cue the dramatic music. After its release over twenty years ago, it has seen near ...

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