Translated Article: US bill against Secure Encryption of Chats

Sanna/ July 17, 2020/ Internet, Security, Stories/ 0 comments

US-Gesetzesentwurf gegen sichere Verschlüsselung von Chats by Erich Moechel for fm4.ORF.at A new US law on “Access by law enforcement officers to encrypted data” is intended to force chat providers such as Signal or WhatsApp to incorporate back doors into their security architectures. In the United States, a bill is on its way to the Senate that has stunned the IT industry. The planned law on “Access by law enforcement officers to encrypted data” turns upside down all the rules that have been in force on the WWW for 25 years. Encrypted chats and data backup for a wide audience should therefore only be offered if the provider has duplicate keys. That would be the end of end-to-end encryption (E2E) from Signal, WhatsApp and others. The same applies to hardware manufacturers who have to provide access

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DeepSec 2018 Talk: IoD – Internet of Dildos, a Long Way to a Vibrant Future – Werner Schober

René Pfeiffer/ September 26, 2018/ Conference, Internet, Security

The Internet of Things has grown. Interconnected devices have now their own search engine. Besides power plants, air conditioning systems, smart (or not so smart) TV sets, refrigerators, and other devices there are a lot smaller and more personal things connected to the Internet. Your smartphone includes a lot of personal conversations, most probably pictures, sound recordings, and a treasure trove of data for profiling. Let’s get more personal. Let’s talk about teledildonics. Teledildonics is the art and technology of remote sex. Call it cybersex (apologies to William Gibson), cyberdildonics (again, sorry, Mr Gibson), or whatever you like. It’s been around for a long time, think decades. The term was used in 1975 by Ted Nelson in his book Computer Lib/Dream Machines. It even has its own conference, called Arse Elektronika (which was first

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DeepSec 2018 Talk: Global Deep Scans – Measuring Vulnerability Levels across Organizations, Industries, and Countries – Luca Melette & Fabian Bräunlein

Sanna/ September 25, 2018/ Conference, Internet, Security

Metrics are plentiful, but they are hard to come by when it comes to meaningful numbers. This is why we were amazed by the submission of Luca Melette and Fabian Bräunlein. Why? This is why: “We introduce global deep scans that provide insights into the security hygiene of all organizations exposed to the Internet. Our presentation discusses vulnerability levels across different groups of organizations and points out differences in the underlying maintenance processes. We find that different industries have a lot to learn from each other and provide the necessary measurements to start these dialogues.” We asked Luca and Fabian a few more questions about their talk. Please tell us the top 5 facts about your talk. 1. Come 2. Watch 3. Our 4. Talk 5. You’ll see results from a global vulnerability scan

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DeepSec 2018 Talk: Building your Own WAF as a Service and Forgetting about False Positives – Juan Berner

Sanna/ August 30, 2018/ Conference, Internet, Security

When a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is presented as a defensive solution to web application attacks, there is usually a decision to be made: Will this be placed inline (and risk affecting users due to outages or latency) or will it be placed out of band (not affecting users but not protecting them either). In his talk Juan Berner will cover a different approach you can take when deciding how to use any WAF at your disposal, which is to try and get the best of both worlds, making the WAF work in passive mode out of band detecting attacks and in active mode by selectively routing traffic through your WAF to decide if it should block the request or allow it. To achieve this you will have to abstract the WAF around a

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DeepSec and Tor Tickets – Update

René Pfeiffer/ August 24, 2018/ High Entropy, Internet

We wrote about the German Tor operator relay organisation Zwiebelfreunde e.V. a while ago. They were raided on 20 June 2018 by the German police in five different locations. The police was investigating a German left-wing blog and was trying to find the author of articles published there. As many of you know, Tor exit relay operators are the last hop in a chain of communication channels, so the origin of the operator’s servers can be seen. However Tor exit relays bear to relation to the real origin of the transmission. This is the essence of the Tor anonymity network. Zwiebelfreunde e.V. is a non-profit organisation that runs Tor nodes for anyone donating money (realised by the Torservers.net project). Their nodes have a combined bandwidth of 5000 Mbit/s. They know what they are doing,

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Secret Router Security Discussion in Germany

René Pfeiffer/ January 26, 2018/ Internet, Security

Routers are the main component when it comes to connect sites, homes, and businesses. They often „just“ take care of the access to the Internet. The firewall comes after this access device. The German Telekom suffered an attack on their routers on 2016. The German Federal Office for Information Security now tries to create a policy for securing these critical systems. In theory this should add a set of documents on how to securely operate a router for the last mile access. Information security basically runs on checklists and policies. The trouble starts with the firmware. In Germany these is a discussion about using alternative devices as access components, enabling customers and organisations to use products of their own choice. Since firmware is the worst code on this planet, changing models and code is

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Google supports DeepSec 2017

René Pfeiffer/ October 12, 2017/ Conference, Internet

You have probably heard of Google. Well, you will be hearing more from them if you come to DeepSec 2017. They have agreed to support our conference. They will be on site, and you will be able to talk to them. Every year we aim to give you opportunities for a short-cut, for exchanging ideas, and for thinking of ways to improve information security. A big part of this process is fulfilled by vendors and companies offering service in the information security industry. This includes the many good people at CERTs and the countless brave individuals in the respective security team. So we hope you take advantage of Google’s presence at DeepSec. See you in Vienna!

DeepSec 2017 Talk: BITSInject – Control Your BITS, Get SYSTEM – Dor Azouri

Sanna/ October 8, 2017/ Conference, Internet, Security

Microsoft has introduced the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) into Windows 2000 and later versions of the operating system. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 feature the version 4.0 of the protocol. BITS is designed to use idle bandwidth in order to transfer data to and from servers. BITS is an obedient servant, and it may be abused into doing transfers on behalf of others. Dor Azouri will present his findings regarding BITS at DeepSec 2007. Windows’ BITS service is a middleman for your download jobs. You start a BITS job, and from that point on, BITS is responsible for the download. But what if we tell you that BITS is a careless middleman? Current Windows software comes packaged with a mix of old and new features and components. New, shiny features and

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DeepSec 2017 Talk: Uncovering And Visualizing Botnet Infrastructure And Behavior – Andrea Scarfo & Josh Pyorre

Sanna/ September 28, 2017/ Conference, Internet

When you read about information security, then you might get the impression that there are lots of nameless threats Out There™. Especially when it comes to networked malicious software, i.e. malware, that forms robot armies, the picture gets a lot more vague and foggy. So you need to get some details to sharpen your view. There are some means how to do this, and you will be told at DeepSec 2017 by Andrea Scarfo and Josh Pyorre. How much information about a botnet can one find using a single IP address, domain name or indicator of compromise (IOC)? What kind of behavior can be determined when looking at attacker and victim infrastructure? In an attempt to discover and analyze the infrastructure behind large-scale malware activity, Andrea and Josh began their research with known indicators

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DeepSec 2017 Talk: Next-Gen Mirai Botnet – Balthasar Martin & Fabian Bräunlein

Sanna/ September 27, 2017/ Conference, Internet, Security

While you were living in a cave, devices took over the world and got connected to the network. This is the state of affairs we live in right now. As long as nothing happens we don’t notice anything about it. The Mirai (未来) botnet changed this all of a sudden. Consumer devices were drafted into an army of bots. Thanks to the proliferation of networked devices such as cameras, home routers, and others the botnet was very successful. The code was designed to run on embedded devices and is even online for inspection. Let’s take a look at how to improve Mirai. Badly secured embedded devices enabled the largest DDoS attack on critical networks seen to date: The Mirai attacks in 2016 were largely pegged on Internet-exposed telnet with default credentials. While such telnet

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Mythbusting: Anti-Virus Research considered dangerous

Sanna/ August 18, 2017/ High Entropy, Internet, Security Intelligence, Stories

Everyone doing research in information security or doing any work in this field takes some risks. Since most of the „cyber stuff“ is black magic to others not working in this context, there are a lot of problems and severe misunderstandings. The Crypto Wars still haven’t been decided in favour of mathematics. Real people prefer end-to-end encryption over insecure communication all of the time. Proposals of severely damaging information security for all of us by using sanctioned malicious software are still being debated in parliaments. Backdoors, covert or otherwise, are no line of any defence, as many military strategists will readily tell you. Marcus Hutchins was in the news recently, because of claims that he developed a strand of malware tied to attacks on financial institutions. While you can debate all you want about

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Malicious Software explores new Business Models – Politics

René Pfeiffer/ July 19, 2017/ Discussion, Internet, Security

Malicious software has become a major component of criminal business and geopolitics. In addition it is a convenient explanation for anything one does not want to investigate. Since code always come from somewhere you have to ask yourself many more questions when it comes to infected networks and compromised hosts. What is the agenda of the day? Journalist Erich Moechel has written an article about the arms race regarding malicious software. We have translated the original text from German to English. Expect the state of cyber in your network to rise in the course of the next years. Arms race with Malicious Software enters a dangerous Phase The enormous damage done by “Petya” and “WannaCry” can be traced back to a single, reworked tool from the leaked NSA pool of the “Shadow Brokers”. Experts

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ROOTS 2017, DeepSec, and DeepINTEL Call for Papers are still open

René Pfeiffer/ June 26, 2017/ Call for Papers, Internet, Security, Security Intelligence

Our wonderful world of technology is full of surprises, bugs, intentional weaknesses, adversaries, defenders, vendors, and users. Some software just got more lines of code instead of a decent audit or refactoring. Everything is turning smart, but no one knows what smart really means. Big Data is all the fashion, Big Knowledge still isn’t. So there is ample opportunity for security research. And we haven’t mentioned recent weaknesses such as Stack Clash or broken hyperthreading yet. Strategy hasn’t evolved much either. Most high profile attacks seem to contain a lot of cyber, originating from Russia, USA, Israel, North Korea, or China. The context matters, as do the agendas of all parties involved. A thorough and careful analysis can shape the digital defence of your future. This is why we like to discuss methods, incidents,

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Applied Crypto Hardening Project is looking for Help

René Pfeiffer/ April 25, 2017/ High Entropy, Internet

Hopefully many of you know the Applied Crypto Hardening (ACH) project, also known as BetterCrypto.org. The project was announced at DeepSec 2013. The idea was (and is) to compile hands-on advice for system administrators, dev ops, developers, and others when it comes to selecting the right crypto configuration for an application. The BetterCrypto.org document covers far more protocols than HTTPS. OpenSSH, OpenVPN, IPsec, and more topics are described in the PDF guide. The project is run by volunteers. This is where you come in. The ACH project needs more volunteers to keep going. New GNU/Linux distributions are around the corner (the apt store never sleeps). Some vendors really do upgrade their code base. Libraries change and bleed less. Algorithms get tested, improved, and re-evaluated. The field of cryptography is moving forward, as it should.

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Putting the Context into the Crypto of Secure Messengers

René Pfeiffer/ January 21, 2017/ Communication, Discussion, Internet

Every once in a while the world of encrypted/secure/authenticated messaging hits the wall of usability. In the case for email Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is an ancient piece of software. These days we have modern tools such as GnuPG, but the concept of creating keys, verifying identities (i.e. determining who is to trust), synchronising trust/keys with communication partners, and handling the software in case something goes wrong is quite a challenge. Plus things might change. People revoke their keys, devices get lost, data gets deleted, people create new keys or even (digital) identities, or do lots of things that is either anticipated by the software developers or not. Communication is not static. There are moving parts involved, especially the communication partners might move a lot. So crypto is hard, we know this. Discussing secure

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