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Apple, Amazon in a Tussle with Bloomberg over Spy Chips Report

In our latest security news digest, we delve into the brouhaha over Chinese spy chips, check out the latest in Facebook’s investigation of its recent hack, and look at Google’s controversial decision to delay disclosing a potential data breach.

Bloomberg’s spy chip report stuns tech industry, then draws skepticism

The hyperactive cyber security news cycle reached another intensity level when Bloomberg reported the presence of Chinese spy chips in servers used by Apple, Amazon and other major U.S. companies. But did the global news agency get the story right?

Citing numerous anonymous sources, Bloomberg stated that China surreptitiously modified server hardware and embedded tiny chips in motherboards to snoop on about 30 large American businesses.

The Chinese government reportedly did this by tampering with parts built in China by suppliers of Supermicro, a U.S.-based Fortune 1000 designer and maker of servers.

“In Supermicro, China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for what U.S. officials now describe as the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies,” Bloomberg’s article reads.

But Bloomberg, which doubled-down on the original article with a follow-up, has become part of the story, as more and more parties question the accuracy of its bombshell reports.

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October 2018 Patch Tuesday – 49 Vulns, Critical browser patches, Hyper-V, Adobe vulns

In this month’s Patch Tuesday release there are 49 vulnerabilities patched with 12 Criticals. Out of the criticals, over half are browser-related, with the rest including Hyper-V and MSXML Parser.  Microsoft Exchange covers CVE-2010-3190 which was not identified as in-scope product when originally published, per Microsoft. Microsoft Office covers 9 Important CVEs including Sharepoint and Graphics component.

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September 2018 Patch Tuesday – 61 Vulns, FragmentSmack, Hyper-V Escape

Microsoft and Adobe LogosIn this month’s Patch Tuesday release there are 61 vulnerabilities patched with 17 Criticals. Out of the criticals, most are browser-related, with the rest including Windows, Hyper-V, and .net Framework. A vulnerability (CVE-2018-8475) in Windows’ image parsing has been publicly disclosed, in addition to a vulnerability (CVE-2018-8457) in the Scripting Engine.

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Detecting Apache Struts 2 Namespace RCE: CVE-2018-11776

A new remote code execution vulnerability in Apache Struts 2, CVE-2018-11776, was disclosed yesterday. While this vulnerability does not exist with a default configuration of Struts, it does exist in commonly seen configurations for some Struts plugins.

Update August 24, 2018: A dashboard for this vulnerability is now available to download.

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August Patch Tuesday – 63 Vulns, L1TF (Foreshadow), Exchange, SQL, Active Attacks on IE flaw

In this month’s Patch Tuesday release there are 63 vulnerabilities patched with 20 Criticals. Out of the criticals, over half are browser-related, with the rest including Windows, SQL, and Exchange. Active exploits have been detected against CVE-2018-8373, one of the scripting engine vulnerabilities.

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July Patch Tuesday – Critical browser patches, Lazy FP, Exchange, Adobe vulns

This month’s Patch Tuesday is medium in weight, with 54 CVEs containing 17 Criticals. All but two of the Critical vulnerabilities are in Microsoft’s browsers or browser-related technologies. An additional speculative execution vulnerability announced in June was patched as well. Adobe has also released patches covering multiple product each with multiple CVEs.

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June Patch Tuesday – New Speculative Store Bypass Fixes, Adobe Vulns

June’s Patch Tuesday is lighter weight compared to previous months.  In all, 51 unique CVEs are addressed, with 11 CVEs marked as Critical. Adobe also released an out-of-band update for a Flash Player vulnerability last week, which is being actively exploited.

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What we’ve got here is failure to communicate: OS vendors misread CPU docs, create flaw

In a memorable scene from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Whoopi Goldberg struggles to understand the lyrics of the eponymous song from the Rolling Stones, as she pleads: “Mick, Mick, Mick, speak English!”

It appears that multiple operating system vendors had similar trouble interpreting Intel and AMD debugging documentation, which led the OS vendors to independently create the same critical security flaw in their respective kernel software.

The issue came to light last week when US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) warned that under certain circumstances “some operating systems or hypervisors may not expect or properly handle an Intel architecture hardware debug exception.”

“The error appears to be due to developer interpretation of existing documentation for certain Intel architecture interrupt/exception instructions, namely MOV to SS and POP to SS,” the CERT alert reads.

The list of OS vendors affected reads like an industry “who’s who.” It includes Apple, Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware, Ubuntu, Xen and SUSE Linux. The problem was discovered by researcher Nick Peterson of Everdox Tech, who has detailed the flaw in a paper titled “POP SS/MOV SS Vulnerability.”

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April Patch Tuesday – 63 Microsoft vulnerabilities, 19 for Adobe

Today’s Patch Tuesday is smaller than last month, but there are more critical updates this time. Out of the 63 vulnerabilities covered by the Microsoft patches, 22 of them are critical. Adobe has released 6 bulletins covering 19 vulnerabilities. According to Microsoft and Adobe, there are no active attacks against these vulnerabilities.

The majority of the Microsoft critical vulnerabilities are in browsers and browser-related technologies. It is recommended that these be prioritized for workstation-type devices. Any system that accesses the Internet via a browser should be patched.

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March Patch Tuesday – 75 Microsoft vulnerabilities, 7 for Adobe

Today’s Patch Tuesday covers a lot of vulnerabilities, but in terms of critical updates, it is still light. Out of the 75 vulnerabilities covered, only 15 are marked as critical. Adobe has released patches as well, covering 7 vulnerabilities.

All of the critical vulnerabilities from Microsoft are in browsers and browser-related technologies. It is recommended that these be prioritized for workstation-type devices. Any system that accesses the Internet via a browser should be patched.

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