26. July 2011 · Comments Off on Unpatched iPhones/iPads secure connections not so secure | Naked Security · Categories: blog · Tags: ,

Unpatched iPhones/iPads secure connections not so secure | Naked Security.

Yesterday I wrote about Apple’s latest fixes for iWork and iOS and encouraged folks to update. Now that more information is available it is clearly critical that all users update as soon as possible, unless they only use their device for telephone calls.

The flaws in iOS 4.3.4, 4.2.9 and 5.0b3 and lower are a lot more serious than Apple’s description of their fix: “This issue is addressed through improved validation of X.509 certificate chains.”

Do not do any e-commerce or banking transactions until you upgrade.

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Sparse iPhone, iPad Screen Space Aids Phishers | threatpost · Categories: blog · Tags: , , ,

Sparse iPhone, iPad Screen Space Aids Phishers | threatpost.

Pinched screen real estate on iPhone devices may make it easier for users to be fooled into using bogus “phishing” Web sites, according to an analysis by researcher Nitesh Dhanjani.

In a post on the SANS Application Security Street Fighter Blog on Monday, Dhanjani called attention to the common practice of hiding the Web address once Web pages and applications have loaded. That practice, coupled with the ability of application programers to renderĀ  screen elements that can mimic real address bars, could throw open the door to the kinds of phishing attacks that modern browsers have long since rendered ineffective.

Dhanjani recommends URLs be displayed within the applications and more importantly that Apple (1) makes this a policy and (2) sets default behaviors to encourage this policy.

You can read Dhanjani’s post in its entirety at Insecure Handling of URL Schemes in Apple’s iOS.

04. October 2010 · Comments Off on A phone application that threatens security · Categories: Security-Compliance · Tags: , , ,

A phone application that threatens security.

London: A cheap mobile phone application that can track the precise location of passenger aircraft in the sky can be a serious terrorist threat, security experts have claimed and called for its immediate ban.

The Plane Finder AR application, developed by a British firm for the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android, allows users to point their phone at the sky and see the position, height and speed of nearby aircraft.

The new application works by intercepting the so-called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcasts (ADS-B) transmitted by most passenger aircraft to a new satellite tracking system that supplements or, in some countries, replaces radar.

Apparently the ADS-B transmits all this information in clear text. If this information can be used to aid terrorists, why is it not encrypted? Don’t blame the developer. Blame the people who built the ADS-B system!!

28. August 2010 · Comments Off on Is there a need for mobile anti-malware · Categories: Malware · Tags: , , , , ,

With the increasing popularity of mobile devices like iPhones and Android-based phones, we are beginning to see targeted malware, raising the question, do we need anti-malware for our mobile devices? ReadWriteWeb Enterprise was prompted to write an article on this topic as a result of the Android game Tap Snake which was reported to be spyware.

It appears the mobile anti-malware market is fairly immature:

I took to the opportunity to test a few of the anti-malware apps available on the market: antivirus free from droidSecurity, Lookout, Symantec‘s Norton Mobile Security for Android beta, and Smobile. I was also going to try SmrtGuard, but I couldn’t get the app to activate before Tap Snake was removed from Android Market. Of those four apps, only one detected Tap Snake as a potential threat.

The article goes on to say that tightly controlling what apps can be loaded onto mobile devices may all enterprises need at this time.

Enhanced by Zemanta
06. June 2010 · Comments Off on The End of Malware? Hardly. · Categories: Malware · Tags: , ,

Slate recently published an article entitled, "The End of
" The sub-title is, "How Android, Chrome, and the iPad are
shielding us from dastardly programs." The premise trotted out the
usual, Windows is insecure; Android, Chrome, and the iPad are more
secure because they deploy sandboxing technology, i.e. restricting an
application's access to operating system resources.

While this may be a good thing, it is hardly the "end of malware."
Not even close.What the author is missing is the intent and motiviation
of the bad guys. They go where the money is, i.e. where there is the
opportunity to steal cash from people's bank accounts, steal credit card
information, steal intellectual property they can sell. At present,
these opportunities are minimal on Android, Chrome, and iPads. Once
there is critical mass for profitable hacking, you will definitely see
an increase in exploits on these devices.

Now even with limited opportunities for profitable hacking we are
starting to hear about vulnerabilities on these devices. Just yesterday I
wrote about a Massive iPhone
Security Issue
where passcode protected content on the iPhone can be
accessed by simply attaching the device to a computer running Ubuntu or
OSX. Therefore, if you lose your iPhone, your passcode protection is

If you need to hear more, check out the June 3 article in the Wall
St. Journal, Dark Side Arises for Phone Apps. Here are some key
quotes, first on Google:

In one incident, Google pulled dozens of unauthorized
mobile-banking apps from its Android Market in December. The apps,
priced at $1.50, were made by a developer named "09Droid" and claimed
to offer access to accounts at many of the world's banks. Google said
it pulled the apps because they violated its trademark policy.

The apps were more useless than malicious, but could have been
updated to capture customers' banking credentials, said John Hering,
chief executive of Lookout, a mobile security provider. "It is becoming
easier for the bad guys to use the app stores," Mr. Hering said.

And on Apple:

Apple vets applications before they appear in its App
Store, but risks still exist. In July 2008, Apple pulled a popular game
called Aurora Feint from its store after it was discovered to be
uploading users' contact lists to the game maker's servers. More
recently, it yanked hundreds of apps it said violated its policies,
some out of security concerns.

In conclusion, while sandboxing is a good idea, there is no silver
bullet when it comes to security.