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September's 3x CON: Part 1

Secure List feed for B2B - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 10:11

What, Where & When: the 4th edition of 44CON, an annual IT Security Conference organized by Sense/Net Ltd, took place on 10-12 September in London, at a venue near the Earl's Court exhibition center. Geeks, who happened to enjoy somewhat spooky historical monuments, could take a five minute walk from the venue to visit an old and impressive cemetery, one of the London's Magnificent Seven.

The Schedule this year was packed with three tracks of (mostly) 1h long presentations within a wide range of topics: from social engineering to exploitation techniques, from crypto-currencies to IoT related threats, to GSM hacking. Some amazing workshops were running simultaneously in rooms that were bearing the familiar names of AES, 2DES and Blowfish.

44CON Badge: BusBlaster v3

This year's Badge is not only extremely handsome, but also may turn out to be very handy, at least for hardware-oriented researchers, as it happens to be a BusBlaster v3 board, especially customized for 44CON (you can find the full specification here). This small cute thingy can be used to program and debug embedded ARM devices.

The Talks
With so many things going on simultaneously, it was impossible to fully attend even a third of them. Moreover, the online schedule didn't include the description of the talks, so in some cases choosing the right track in advance was kind of a lottery. Nevertheless, the overall quality of presentations was so high, that no matter which talks you chose, you always ended up with some new, valuable information.

Joshua J. Drake on the stage

From the selection of very good talks I attended, here are my favourite ones:

  • "Researching Android devices security with the help of a droid army", by Joshua J. Drake (@jduck) in which – in a quite entertaining way – Joshua explained how and why he built his research lab, capable of testing 40+ Android devices at the same time. I was really impressed by the framework Joshua invented for managing his "droid army".
  • "I hunt TR-069 Admins: pwning ISPs like a boss", by Shahar Tal (@jifa). This talk was especially interesting to me, as I'm currently involved in researching threats for small network devices, such as residential gateways (aka SOHO routers), from which a fair share is using the TR-069 protocol to talk to the ISP's Auto Configuration Servers. It turns out (not really surprisingly, if you ask me), that this protocol is poorly secured and highly vulnerable, and might be exploited in a way that could affect a whole set of devices. And the worst thing about it is that the average user can't do much to improve the security of their network, even if they have sufficient knowledge. Most of the responsibility lies with the service providers, together with hardware vendors, who don't seem concerned enough about security issues...
  • "On Her Majesty's Secret Service: GRX and Spy Agency", by Stephen Kho and Rob Kuiters. This quite an intriguing talk on how and why GCHQ hacked the Belgian GRX provider was given by experts from the KPN CISO team and concluded the 2nd day of the conference. The first part of the talk was a technical description of the GRX protocol, it's functionality and weaknesses, and which kind of information can be leaked; in the second part the speakers presented the results of "extensive network scanning" that they conducted during the last several months. It's really scary that there are a lot of devices running vulnerable and *terribly* outdated software on GRX networks.

Socializing at 44CON

The Networking has been made easier with Gin O'Clock, a one-hour break in the afternoon schedule (on both conference days), which was especially dedicated for human interaction and socialization in the intimate atmosphere of the conference bar. A traditional red double-decker bus was there to provide British ale, cider and Pimm's; every attendee was also offered a free glass of gin & tonic.

Some of The Materials have already been published and they are available at Slideshare.

Overall, The Experience was really great and we are looking forward to attending the next 44CON in 2015!

Charney on Trustworthy Computing: ‘I Was the Architect of These Changes’

Threatpost for B2B - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 08:53
Scott Charney, the head of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing efforts, said that he was the one who decided it was time to move the TwC group in a new direction and integrate the security functions more deeply into the company as a whole. “I was the architect of these changes. This is not about the company’s […]

Researcher Discloses Wi-Fi Thermostat Vulnerabilities

Threatpost for B2B - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 15:14
Digital thermostat maker Heatmiser is in the process of contacting its customers about a series of security issues that could open a Wi-Fi connected version of its product to takeover.

Kyle and Stan Malvertising Network Nine Times Bigger Than First Reported

Threatpost for B2B - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:11
The Kyle and Stan malvertising network has compromised more than nine times as many domains as originally reported two weeks ago.

Fitness App Patches Privacy Vulnerability

Threatpost for B2B - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:04
Details of a patched privacy vulnerability in MyFitnessPal, a popular fitness and nutrition mobile application, were disclosed this week, three months after a fix was deployed.

Productivity Gains Trumping Security as BYOD Grows

Threatpost for B2B - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 08:00
A new study from Raytheon and the Ponemon Institute paints a grim picture for BYOD security, but one expert sees some straightforward solutions to implementing BYOD securely.

New Research Refines Security Vulnerability Metrics

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 14:23
Research from the University of Maryland proposes new security metrics that can help enterprises understand risks to their products and prioritize patching and vulnerability management.

Threatpost News Wrap, September 19, 2014

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:19
Dennis Fisher and Mike Mimoso talk abut the crazy news of the last couple of weeks, the Apple privacy and Apple Pay announcements, the details of the Home Depot breach and the end of the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing unit.

Era Ends With Break Up of Trustworthy Computing Group at Microsoft

Threatpost for B2B - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:43
In a move that has surprised many in the security community, Microsoft has disbanded its Trustworthy Computing unit, the group that was responsible for the pioneering work that helped reverse the company’s security reputation and make Windows a much more secure and reliable computing platform. The end of the TwC group comes as Microsoft is in […]

56 Million Payment Cards At Risk in Home Depot Data Breach

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:46
The Home Depot data breach put 56 million payment cards at risk, the company said today, adding that the attackers used custom malware in the breach.

OWASP Releases Latest App Sec Guide

Threatpost for B2B - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 14:24
OWASP published the latest iteration of its Testing Guide, an informational manual designed to teach developers how to build and maintain secure application.
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