CRYPTSETUP VULNERABILITY GRANTS ROOT SHELL ACCESS ON SOME LINUX SYSTEMS. From ThreatPost. A vulnerability in cryptsetup, a utility used to set up encrypted filesystems on Linux distributions, could allow an attacker to retrieve a root rescue shell on some systems. From there, an attacker could have the ability to copy, modify, or destroy a hard disk, or use the network to exfiltrate data. Cryptsetup, a utility used to setup disk encryption based on the dm-crypt kernel module, is usually deployed in Debian and Ubuntu. Researchers warned late last week that if anyone uses the tool to encrypt system partitions for the operating systems, they’re likely vulnerable.
The Big Short: Alleged Security Flaws Fuel Bet Against St. Jude Medical. From Security Ledger. Call it The Big Short – or maybe just the medical device industry’s “Shot Heard Round The World”: a report from Muddy Waters Research recommends that its readers bet against (or “short”) St. Jude Medical after learning of serious security vulnerabilities in a range of the company’s implantable cardiac devices.
The Muddy Waters report on St. Jude’s set off a steep sell off in St. Jude Medical’s stock, which finished the day down 5%, helping to push down medical stocks overall. The report cites the “strong possibility that close to half of STJ’s revenue is about to disappear for approximately two years” as a result of “product safety” issues stemming from remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in STJ’s pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices. The vulnerabilities are linked to St. Jude’s Merlin@home remote patient management platform, said Muddy Waters.
Government Hackers Caught Using Unprecedented iPhone Spy Tool. From Motherboard. Since its founding in 2010, [Israeli vendor] NSO has developed a reputation for providing sophisticated malware to governments that need to target cellphones in their investigations, although the use of its tools has never been documented before. The company claims that its products are completely stealthy, like a “ghost.” The company has been so guarded about its wares that it’s never had a website, and has rarely given interviews or any comments to the press. But some information has leaked out, including an investment for $120 million by a US-based venture capital firm in 2014 and a subsequent reported valuation of $1 billion.
- Epic’s forums hacked again, with thousands of logins stolen. From ZDNet. A hacker has stolen hundreds of thousands of forum accounts associated with Unreal Engine and its maker, Epic Games. More than 808,000 accounts were stolen in the attack — with more than half a million from Unreal Engine’s forums alone. Breach notification site LeakedSource.com, which obtained a copy of the database, said the attack was carried out August 11. The hacker, whose name isn’t known, exploited a known SQL injection vulnerability found in an older vBulletin forum software, which allowed the hacker to get access to the full database.
- How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes. From Politico. When Princeton professor Andrew Appel decided to hack into a voting machine, he didn’t try to mimic the Russian attackers who hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s database last month. He didn’t write malicious code, or linger near a polling place where the machines can go unguarded for days.Instead, he bought one online.
- A New Wireless Hack Can Unlock 100 Million Volkswagens From Wired. IN 2013, WHEN University of Birmingham computer scientist Flavio Garcia and a team of researchers were preparing to reveal a vulnerability that allowed them to start the ignition of millions of Volkswagen cars and drive them off without a key, they were hit with a lawsuit that delayed the publication of their research for two years. But that experience doesn’t seem to have deterred Garcia and his colleagues from probing more of VW’s flaws: Now, a year after that hack was finally publicized, Garcia and a new team of researchers are back with another paper that shows how Volkswagen left not only its ignition vulnerable but the keyless entry system that unlocks the vehicle’s doors, too. And this time, they say, the flaw applies to practically every car Volkswagen has sold since 1995.
- Annoying “Open PDF in Edge” Default Option Puts Windows 10 Users at Risk. From Softpedia. Microsoft has released today its monthly security patch, and one of the five security bulletins labeled as critical concerns a remote code execution (RCE) flaw in its standard PDF rendering library that could be exploited when opening PDF files. The issue, tracked as CVE-2016-3319, is found in the Microsoft Windows PDF Library, the default Windows utility used to open, read, and render PDF files, embedded by default in a couple of apps such as Edge. An attacker could craft malicious code, add it to the header of a PDF file, and host the file on a Web server.