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Apple in the InfoSec Spotlight, as GitHub Falls Prey to Amplified DDoS Attack

Apple has been all over InfoSec news in the past week or so, along with Spectre / Meltdown developments, a tax season scam alert from the feds, and an apparent solution to the Winter Olympics’ hack whodunit. In addition, researchers warned about a new trend of using Memcached servers to significantly boost DDoS attacks, as GitHub became a victim of this new tactic.

Apple under siege

A digital forensics vendor claims it can crack iOS devices, including the iPhone X, pictured here. (Photo credit: Apple)

The second half of February was intense for Apple on the security front. A digital forensics vendor claimed having the ability to unlock all iPhone models, including the X, while a researcher warned about a Trojan targeting MacOs computers that’s not detected by anti-virus products. Oh, and Apple had to squash another one of those pesky bugs that let people crash iPhones via texting.

Unlocking iPhones

Forbes dropped a news bomb on Monday when it reported that Cellebrite recently started telling its customers — which are primarily government, military and corporate investigative teams — that it’s able to unlock and extract data from devices running iOS 11, such the iPhone X, as well as other iPhones, iPads and iPods.

While Cellebrite isn’t publicly trumpeting this capability, anonymous sources told Forbes that in recent months the company “has developed undisclosed techniques to get into iOS 11 and is advertising them to law enforcement and private forensics folk across the globe.”

As Forbes noted, Cellebrite has posted a brochure on its website where it details its ability to unlock these Apple products as well as several Android devices, and extract data from them. The way it works is that customers ship the devices to Cellebrite, where its engineers work their magic. Cellebrite can’t (or won’t) crack devices remotely.

Continue reading …

Apple Security Update for Mac OS X and iOS

Apple today published a security update for Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks). The update addresses 13 distinct vulnerabilities in many of the aspects of Apple’s Mac OS X, for example:

  • CVE-2014-1319 – an overflow in JPEG handling that can lead to Remote Code Execution (RCE) in 10.9 (Mavericks)
  • CVE-2014-1315 – a format string issue in the URL handling can lead to RCE in 10.9 (Mavericks)
  • CVE-2014-1314 – a Sandbox escape vulnerability in 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks)
  • CVE-2013-5170 – a PDF parsing vulnerability can lead to RCE in 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

An SSL bug was also addressed in CVE-2014-1295 but it is unrelated to the Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL. Apple ships with OpenSSL 0.9.8, a version that is not affected by Heartbleed.

Not surprisingly due to their similar heritage Apple also published a new version of iOS that addresses some of the same issues. Version 7.1.1. fixes three CVes in common plus another 16 in Webkit the basis for the Safari browser. Apple had addresses similar vulnerabilities with Safari 7.0.3 and 6.1.3 in early April.

We recommend installing the new versions both for Mac OS X and iOS as quickly as possible.

Configuration Scanning of Cisco IOS

If you are one of the many customers requesting support for Cisco IOS scanning within QualysGuard, your request has been answered.  With the release of QualysGuard 6.17, which marks the beginning of QualysGuard Policy Compliance 3.0, users can now scan for configuration settings on Cisco IOS 12.x and 15.x devices within Policy Compliance.

Why Cisco IOS?

With the expansion of Policy Compliance technology coverage for Operating Systems and Databases over the past few years, the next logical technology coverage was network devices.  As the leader in networking devices, Cisco, and its operating system Cisco IOS, was the primary focus from our existing customers.  In addition, Cisco IOS has well established benchmarks, including the Center for Internet Security (CIS).

Scanning Cisco IOS

Traditional agent-based solutions have always struggled with collecting Cisco IOS configuration data as organizations would not allow a permanent agent to reside on the device.  Other tools, such as the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Router Audit Tool (RAT), pulled the configurations remotely, but could not scale to hundreds or thousands of devices easily.  Now with agentless, authenticated scanning, organizations can easily collect Cisco IOS configurations on a mass scale.

QualysGuard Policy Compliance 3.0 uses a new Cisco IOS record, which is a modified SSH/Telnet record used for Unix, to provide credentials for agentless, authenticated scanning of Cisco IOS devices.  The new record supports an optional, second password for the enable prompt to execute the following commands: show version, show logging, and show running-config.  The output of these commands are normalized into an XML file in memory on the scanner appliance where signatures are executed to verify configuration settings.  By storing the output on the scanner appliance, QualysGuard minimizes any impact to the actual device during the scan.  Once the signatures are completed, the XML file is deleted from memory.

Demo

To see a demo of this new feature, please view the Cisco IOS Scanning Demo.