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Found 7 results

  1. The information security news today is all about Lenovo’s default installation of a piece of adware called “Superfish” on a number of laptops shipped before February 2015. The Superfish system is essentially a tiny TLS/SSL “man in the middle” proxy that attacks secure connections by making them insecure — so that the proxy can insert ads in order to, oh, I don’t know, let’s just let Lenovo tell it: “To be clear, Superfish comes with Lenovo consumer products only and is a technology that helps users find and discover products visually,” the representative continued. “The technology instantly analyses images on the web and presents identical and similar product offers that may have lower prices, helping users search for images without knowing exactly what an item is called or how to describe it in a typical text-based search engine.” Whatever. The problem here is not just that this is a lousy idea. It’s that Lenovo used the same certificate on every single Laptop it shipped with Superfish. And since the proxy software also requires the corresponding private key to decrypt and modify your web sessions, that private key was also shipped on every laptop. It took all of a day for a number of researchers to find that key and turn themselves into Lenovo-eating interception proxies. This sucks for Lenovo users. If you’re a Lenovo owner in the affected time period, go to this site to find out if you’re vulnerable and (hopefully) what to do about it. But this isn't what I want to talk about in this post. Instead, what I’d like to discuss is some of the options for large-scale automated fixes to this kind of vulnerability. It’s quite possible that Lenovo will do this by themselves — pushing an automated patch to all of their customers to remove the product — but I'm not holding my breath. If Lenovo does not do this, there are roughly three options: Lenovo users live with this and/or manually patch. If the patch requires manual effort, I’d estimate it’ll be applied to about 30% of Lenovo laptops. Beware: the current uninstall package does not remove the certificate from the root store! Microsoft drops the bomb. Microsoft has a nuclear option themselves in terms of cleaning up nasty software — they can use the Windows Update mechanism or (less universally) the Windows Defender tool to remove spyware/adware. Unfortunately not everyone uses Defender, and Microsoft is probably loath to push out updates like this without massive testing and a lot of advice from the lawyers. Google and Mozilla fix internally. This seems like a more promising option. Google Chrome in particular is well known for quickly pushing out security updates that revoke keys, add public key pins, and generally make your browsing experience more secure. It seems unlikely that #1 and #2 will happen anytime soon, so the final option looks initially like the most promising. Unfortunately it's not that easy. To understand why, I'm going to sum up some reasoning given to me (on Twitter) by a couple of members of the Chrome security team. The obvious solution to fixing things at the Browser level is to have Chrome and/or Mozilla push out an update to their browsers that simply revokes the Superfish certificate. There's plenty of precedent for that, and since the private key is now out in the world, anyone can use it to build their own interception proxy. Sadly, this won't work! If Google does this, they'll instantly break every Lenovo laptop with Superfish still installed and running. That's not nice, or smart business for Google. A more promising option is to have Chrome at least throw up a warning whenever a vulnerable Lenovo user visits a page that's obviously been compromised by a Superfish certificate. This would include most (secure) sites any Superfish-enabled Lenovo user visits -- which would be annoying -- and just a few pages for those users who have uninstalled Superfish but still have the certificate in their list of trusted roots. This seems much nicer, but runs into two problems. First, someone has to write this code -- and in a hurry, because attacks may begin happening immediately. Second, what action item are these warnings going to give people? Manually uninstalling certificates is hard, and until a very nice tool becomes available a warning will just be an irritation for most users. One option for Google is to find a way to deal with these issues systemically -- that is, provide an option for their browser to tunnel traffic through some alternative (secure) protocol to a proxy, where it can then go securely to its location without being molested by Superfish attackers of any flavor. This would obviously require consent by the user -- nobody wants their traffic being routed through Google otherwise. But it's at least technically feasible. Google even has an extension for Android/iOS that works something like this: it's a compressing proxy extension that you can install in Chrome. It will shrink your traffic down and send it to a proxy (presumably at Google). Unfortunately this proxy won't work even if it was available for Windows machines -- because Superfish will likely just intercept its connections too So that's out too, and with it the last obvious idea I have for dealing with this in a clean, automated way. Hopefully the Google team will keep going until they find a better solution. The moral of this story, if you choose to take one, is that you should never compromise security for the sake of a few bucks -- because security is so terribly, awfully difficult to get back. Sursa: A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering: How to paint yourself into a corner (Lenovo edition)
  2. Hackers have targeted Lenovo with a website defacement attack believed to be intended to ‘punish' the firm for its use of the Superfish adware. The attack occurred on Wednesday and forced Lenovo.com to display a slideshow of images while playing Breaking Free from High School Musical. A Lenovo spokesperson told V3 that the firm is taking action to improve the site's security and "investigating other aspects of the attack". "Unfortunately, Lenovo has been the victim of a cyber attack. One effect of this was to redirect traffic from the Lenovo website. We are also actively investigating other aspects," said the spokesperson. "We are responding and have already restored certain functionality to our public-facing website. "We are actively reviewing our network security and will take appropriate steps to bolster our site and protect the integrity of our users' information and experience. "We are also working with third parties to address this attack and will provide additional information as it becomes available." The attack follows Lenovo's use of the Superfish adware on a selected number of laptops. The problem erupted on the Lenovo forum earlier in February when several customers reported finding Superfish installed on their machines. Superfish is adware that collects data such as web traffic information using fake, self-signed root certificates and then uses it to push adverts to the user. The Lizard Squad hacking group is believed to have mounted the attack on Lenovo, although this is yet to be confirmed. Andrew Hay, director of security research at OpenDNS, said that forensic evidence indicates that the attack did stem from Lizard Squad, highlighting similarities with a previous raid on Google.com.vn. Hay explained that Lenovo.com and Google.com.vn use the same registrar, Webnic.cc, and both are hosted in Digital Ocean's Netherlands data centre. He also noted that both raids "used Cloudflare to obfuscate the IP address of the destination server and to balance the traffic load to the website". Ken Westin, senior security analyst at Tripwire, pointed out that the attack would be in line with Lizard Squad's past behaviour in attacking companies that it believes have acted wrongly. "As a result of getting its hands caught in the privacy invading cookie jar with the deployment of the Superfish adware which compromised customers' privacy and security, it has made itself an open target for a number of hacking groups which have essentially declared it open season against Lenovo for its questionable practices," he said. Source
  3. Expertii in securitate de la G Data SecurityLabs au analizat adware-ul Superfish. In acest proces, analistii au intalnit o componenta de tehnologie in program, numita SSL Digestor. Acesta foloseste un certificat root care este slab securizat ?i are drepturi extinse pe calculator. SSL Digestor intercepteaza conexiuni HTTPS sigure si le poate descifra. In acest fel, conexiunile care sunt de fapt securizate ar putea fi interceptate si atacate. Acest lucru inseamna ca infractorii cibernetici ar putea folosi un atac man-in-the-middle pentru a spiona sau manipula fluxul de date dintre doi parteneri de comunicare, de exemplu o banca si clientul sau, prin utilizarea unui site bancar fals. Potrivit expertilor G DATA, aceasta parte din program este continuta si in alte produse software. Solutiile de securitate G Data detecteaza software-ul ca Gen: Variant.Adware.Superfish.1 (motor A) si Win32.Riskware.Fishbone.A (Engine . Pentru a elimina certificatul periculos, utilizatorii trebuie sa ia masuri. “Superfish este program adware discutabil. Cu toate acestea, din cauza certificatului slab securizat SSL Digestor, este periculos pentru utilizatori,” explica Ralf Benzmuller, seful G DATA SecurityLabs. ” Utilizatorii afectati ar trebui sa elimine imediat certificatul.” Ce este Superfish? Programul Superfish Visual Discovery este livrat pre-instalat pe mai multe modele de notebook-uri Lenovo. Adware-ul a fost un oaspete nedorit de majoritatea utilizatorilor pentru o lunga perioada de timp, chiar daca, de multe ori aceasta nu este neaparat periculos. Superfish este, cu toate acestea, neobisnuit, deoarece contine o componenta de tehnologie numita SSL Digestor, distribuita de Komodia. Aceasta componenta contine un element care declanseaza problema de securitate actuala – un certificat root foarte slab securizat. Superfish este utilizat chiar si pe dispozitive Android Expertii G Data Security au descoperit doua aplicatii de cautare pentru dispozitive Android care se bazeaza pe Discovery Visual Superfish. Similar cu componenta PC, utilizatorilor le sunt prezentate prin reclame anumite interogari de cautare. Cu toate acestea, aplicatiile nu se bazeaza pe SSL Digestor si nu pun in pericol securitatea protocolului HTTPS. Tehnologia submineaza securitatea HTTPS SSL Digestor instaleaza un certificat care permite programului sa analizeze si sa manipuleze fluxul de date in conexiunile HTTPS. Aceasta componenta este gasita in programe adware pe care utilizatorii le instaleaza involuntar si in programe clasificate a fi troieni de catre furnizorii de securitate IT. Chiar si programe aparent legitime se bazeaza pe aceasta componenta. O verificare rapida prin care puteti afla dac? certificatul root este prezent pe computer se poate face aici: https://www.gdatasoftware.com/securitylabs/quickcheck/fishbone?no_cache=1 Informatii detaliate, plus instructiuni cu privire la modul in care poate fi indepartat certificatul Superfish gasiti pe G DATA SecurityBlog: https://blog.gdatasoftware.com/blog/article/the-power-of-trust-superfish-case-turns-into-a-worst-case-scenario.html -> Sursa <-
  4. Lenovo has teamed up with Microsoft and McAfee to remove the Superfish adware from its machines, following concerns about security. Lenovo announced the partnerships in a public statement, promising that the tools will let users automatically block and remove the insecure, self-signing certificates used by Superfish. "We are working with McAfee and Microsoft to have the Superfish software and certificate quarantined or removed using their industry-leading tools and technologies," the firm said. "These actions have already started and will automatically fix the vulnerability even for users who are not currently aware of the problem." The Microsoft removal tool will be integrated into Windows Defender version 1.193.444.0. The tools are the latest step in Lenovo's bid to allay customer concerns that the firm put personal data at risk. The problem erupted on the Lenovo forum earlier in February when several customers reported finding Superfish installed on their machines. Superfish is adware that collects data such as web traffic information using fake, self-signed root certificates and then uses it to push advertisements to the user. Lenovo claims that the adware is installed on only a limited number of machines and does not affect its business-focused Thinkpad line. "We ordered Superfish preloads to stop and had server connections shut down in January based on user complaints about the experience," read the statement. "While this issue in no way impacts our ThinkPads, any tablets, desktops or smartphones, or any enterprise server or storage device, we recognise that all Lenovo customers need to be informed." Lenovo apologised for causing concern, but argued that the company never knowingly compromised its customers' privacy. "We apologise for causing these concerns among our users. We are learning from this experience and will use it to improve what we do and how we do it in the future," read the statement. "Superfish technology is purely based on contextual/image and not behavioural. It does not profile or monitor user behavior. It does not record user information. It does not know who the user is. Users are not tracked nor re-targeted." Lenovo is one of many firms dealing with privacy and security concerns. Researchers at FireEye reported on 20 February that Apple had ignored a dangerous flaw in the iOS operating system, codenamed Masque Attack II. Source
  5. There is an adware called Privdog that gets shipped with software from Comodo. It totally breaks HTTPS security. In case you haven't heard it the past days an Adware called Superfish made headlines. It was preinstalled on Lenovo laptops and it is bad: It totally breaks the security of HTTPS connections. The story became bigger when it became clear that a lot of other software packages were using the same technology Komodia with the same security risk. What Superfish and other tools do is that it intercepts encrypted HTTPS traffic to insert Advertising on webpages. It does so by breaking the HTTPS encryption with a Man-in-the-Middle-attack, which is possible because it installs its own certificate into the operating system. A number of people gathered in a chatroom and we noted a thread on Hacker News where someone asked whether a tool called PrivDog is like Superfish. PrivDog's functionality is to replace advertising in web pages with it's own advertising "from trusted sources". That by itself already sounds weird even without any security issues. A quick analysis shows that it doesn't have the same flaw as Superfish, but it has another one which arguably is even bigger. While Superfish used the same certificate and key on all hosts PrivDog recreates a key/cert on every installation. However here comes the big flaw: PrivDog will intercept every certificate and replace it with one signed by its root key. And that means also certificates that weren't valid in the first place. It will turn your Browser into one that just accepts every HTTPS certificate out there, whether it's been signed by a certificate authority or not. We're still trying to figure out the details, but it looks pretty bad. (with some trickery you can do something similar on Superfish/Komodia, too) There are some things that are completely weird. When one surfs to a webpage that has a self-signed certificate (really self-signed, not signed by an unknown CA) it adds another self-signed cert with 512 bit RSA into the root certificate store of Windows. All other certs get replaced by 1024 bit RSA certs signed by a locally created PrivDog CA. PrivDog is shipped with products produced by Comodo, for example with the Comodo Dragon browser. This makes this case especially interesting because Comodo itself is a certificate authority. It should be their job to protect HTTPS, not break it (they had issues before). As ACLU technologist Christopher Soghoian points out on Twitter the founder of PrivDog is the CEO of Comodo. (See this blog post.) Sursa: https://blog.hboeck.de/archives/865-Comodo-ships-Adware-Privdog-worse-than-Superfish.html
  6. Computer maker Lenovo has been forced to remove hidden adware that it was shipping on its laptops and PCs after users expressed anger. The adware - dubbed Superfish - was potentially compromising their security, said experts. The hidden software was also injecting adverts on to browsers using techniques more akin to malware, they added. Lenovo faces questions about why and for how long it was pre-installed on machines - and what data was collected. The company told the BBC in a statement: "Lenovo removed Superfish from the preloads of new consumer systems in January 2015. At the same time Superfish disabled existing Lenovo machines in the market from activating Superfish. Complaining "Superfish was preloaded on to a select number of consumer models only. Lenovo is thoroughly investigating all and any new concerns raised regarding Superfish." Users began complaining about Superfish in Lenovo's forums in the autumn, and the firm told the BBC that it was shipped "in a short window from October to December to help customers potentially discover interesting products while shopping". User feedback, it acknowledged, "was not positive". Last month, forum administrator Mark Hopkins told users that "due to some issues (browser pop up behaviour, for example)", the company had "temporarily removed Superfish from our consumer systems until such time as Superfish is able to provide a software build that addresses these issues". He added it had requested that Superfish issue an auto-update for "units already in market". Superfish was designed to help users find products by visually analysing images on the web to find the cheapest ones. Such adware is widely regarded in the industry as a form of malware because of the way it interacts with a person's laptop or PC. Security expert from Surrey University Prof Alan Woodward said: "It is annoying. It is not acceptable. It pops up adverts that you never asked for. It is like Google on steroids. "This bit of software is particularly naughty. People have shown that it can basically intercept everything and it could be really misused." According to security experts, it appears that Lenovo had given Superfish permission to issue its own certificates, allowing it to collect data over secure web connections, known in malware parlance as a man-in-the-middle attack. "If someone went to, say, the Bank of America then Superfish would issue its own certificate pretending to be the Bank of America and intercept whatever you are sending back and forth," said Prof Woodward. Ken Westin, senior analyst at security company Tripwire, agreed: "If the findings are true and Lenovo is installing their own self-signed certificates, they have not only betrayed their customers' trust, but also put them at increased risk." Clean install Although Lenovo has said that it has removed Superfish from new machines and disabled it from others, it was unclear what the situation would be for machines where it had already been activated. Prof Woodward said: "Lenovo is being very coy about this but it needs to explain how long it has been doing this, what the scale is and where all the data it has collected is being stored. "There will be remnants of it left on machines and Lenovo does not ship the disks that allow people to do a clean install." It raises wider questions about the deals that computer manufacturers do with third parties and the amount of software that comes pre-installed on machines. Mr Westin said: "With increasingly security and privacy-conscious buyers, laptop and mobile phone manufacturers may well be doing themselves a disservice by seeking outdated advertising based monetisation strategies." Users were particularly angry that they had not been told about the adware. One Lenovo forum user said: "It's not like they stuck it on the flier saying... we install adware on our computers so we can profit from our customers by using hidden software. "However, I now know this. I now will not buy any Lenovo laptop again." The problem also caused a storm on Twitter, where both Lenovo and Superfish were among the most popular discussion topics. Source
  7. A pretty shocking thing came to light this evening – Lenovo is installing adware that uses a “man-in-the-middle” attack to break secure connections on affected laptops in order to access sensitive data and inject advertising. As if that wasn’t bad enough they installed a weak certificate into the system in a way that means affected users cannot trust any secure connections they make – TO ANY SITE. We trust our hardware manufacturers to build products that are secure. In this current climate of rising cybercrime, if you cant trust your hardware manufacturer you are in a very difficult position. That manufacturer has a huge role to play in keeping you safe – from releasing patches to update software when vulnerabilities are found to behaving in a responsible manor with the data the collect and the privileged access they have to your hardware. When bad guys are able to get into the supply chain and install malware it is devastating. Often users find themselves with equipment that is compromised and are unable to do anything about it. When malware is installed with the access a manufacturer has it buries itself deep inside the system often with a level of access that often takes it beyond the reach of antivirus or other countermeasures. This is why it is all the more disappointing – and shocking – to find a manufacturer doing this to its customers voluntarily. Lenovo has partnered with a company called Superfish to install advertising software on it’s customer’s laptops. Under normal circumstances this would not be cause for concern. However Superfish’s software has quite a reputation. It is a notorious piece of “adware”, malicious advertising software. A quick search on Google reveals numerous links for pages containing everything from software to remove Superfish to consumers complaining about the presence of this malicious advertising tool. Superfish Features: Hijacks legitimate connections. Monitors user activity. Collects personal information and uploads it to it’s servers Injects advertising in legitimate pages. Displays popups with advertising software Uses man-in-the-middle attack techniques to crack open secure connections. Presents users with its own fake certificate instead of the legitimate site’s certificate. This presents a security nightmare for affected consumers. Superfish replaces legitimate site certificates with its own in order to compromise the connections so it can install its adverts. This means that anyone affected by this adware cannot trust any secure connections they make. Users will not be notified if the legitimate site’s certificate has been tampered with, has expired or is bogus. In fact they now have to rely on Superfish to perform that check for them. Which it does not appear to do. Because Superfish uses the same certificate for every site it would be easy for another hostile actor to leverage this and further compromise the user’s connections. Superfish uses a deprecated SHA1 certificate. SHA1 has been replaced by SHA-256 because attacks against SHA1 are now feasible with ordinary computing hardware. This is insult on top of injury. Not only are they compromising peoples SSL connections but they are doing it in the most cavalier, insecure way possible. Even worse, they use crackable 1024-bit RSA! The user has to trust that this software which has compromised their secure connections is not tampering with the content, or stealing sensitive data such as usernames and passwords. If this software or any of its control infrastructure is compromised, an attacker would have complete and unrestricted access to affected customers banking sites, personal data and private messages. Below is a photo showing Superfish on an affected laptop presenting a fake certificate instead of the legitimate “Bank of America” certificate. As you can see the user is presented with the fake Superfish certificate instead of the legitimate BoA certificate. The only way a user would know this has happened is if they check the certificate’s details. Something most ordinary users are unlikely to do to a certificate which to all other appearances is valid and secure. As mentioned above the certificate used by Superfish is a deprecated SHA1 certificate that uses 1024-bit RSA. This is particularly obnoxious because they have installed into the system certificates as an unrestricted trusted root certificate. To put it into context they gave it the same level of trust and authority as Microsoft’s own root certificate. Users affected by this can go to any site on the internet, and so long as it presents this certificate they will be fooled into thinking they have a secure connection. Since this certificate uses SHA1 it is feasible that an attacker could break it and hijack it. This means an attacker could create a bogus certificate that every one of these users would trust. This is unbelievably ignorant and reckless of them. Its quite possibly the single worst thing I have seen a manufacturer do to its customer base. At this point I would consider every single one of these affected laptops to be potentially compromised and would reinstall them from scratch. Lenvo’s response? Typical of companies caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they try to play it down while at the same time saying they have disabled it until it can be “fixed”: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-P-Y-and-Z-series/Lenovo-Pre-instaling-adware-spam-Superfish-powerd-by/m-p/1863174#M79882 However its hard to see how they could “fix” this software. It’s core functionality undermines the security of SSL rendering the last decade or so of work making the web secure completely irrelevant. Source
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