DeepSec 2018 Talk: RFID Chip Inside the Body: Reflecting the Current State of Usage, Triggers, and Ethical Issues – Ulrike Hugl

Sanna/ November 14, 2018/ Conference

Chipping humans can be seen as one of the most invasive biometric identification technologies. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) as the key technology in the field of the Internet of Things produces many applications. For example, human implants are used by scientists in the fields of cyborgism, robotics, biomedical engineering and artificial intelligence, by hobbyists for identification reasons to start their computers, cars, for smart home applications or to pay by credit card, by hospitals for the control of human biological functions of patients, but also by companies to tag their employees for security reasons and workplace surveillance. All in all, worldwide human implants are mainly used for security, healthcare, and private (individual) reasons. Beside some positive individual or organizational outcomes, implants may compromise privacy and raise manifold ethical questions. For example, research in the

Read More

Translated RadioFM4 Article: Hype about “Chinese Espionage Chips” stems from the Pentagon

Sanna/ October 16, 2018/ Discussion, High Entropy, Press, Security

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published on the web site of the FM4 radio channel of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. We have translated the text in order to make the content accessible for our English-speaking audience, because the author raises some important questions.] In the FM4 fact check the sensational report by the business portal Bloomberg about manipulated hardware for cloud computing turns out to be almost completely fact-free. On Friday a long-awaited report from the Pentagon was released warning about electronics manufacturing in China. by Erich Möchel for In the US, the “Cyber Security Month” October has begun, related news come thick and fast. The documentary presented on Thursday about a Russian espionage attack that failed miserably was spectacular, but had already taken place in April. England, Holland and Canada have waited

Read More

Manufacturers integrate Blockchain into Processors to counter Spectre and Meltdown

René Pfeiffer/ April 1, 2018/ Discussion, High Entropy

The Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities gathered a lot of attention in January. Processor manufacturers have rushed to fix the design of the chips and to patch products already in production. The vulnerabilities show that secure design is critical to our modern infrastructure. Computing has become ubiquitous, so has networking. The current fixes change the microcode on the chips. Altering the flow of assembler instructions is bound to have a detrimental impact on performance. There is not much you can do about this – but there is hope. Future generations of processors will have a defence against unknown security vulnerabilities – the blockchain! The past decade in information security has taught us that a pro-active holistic approach to IT defence is not enough. To counter unknown threats you have to go below 0(day). The

Read More

Meltdown & Spectre – Processors are Critical Infrastructure too

René Pfeiffer/ January 6, 2018/ Discussion, High Entropy

Information security researchers like to talk about and to analyse critical infrastructure. The power grid belongs to this kind of infrastructure, so does the Internet (or networks in general). Basically everything we use has components. Software developers rely on libraries. Usually you don’t want to solve a problem multiple times. Computer systems are built with many components. Even a System on a Chip (SoC) has components, albeit smaller and close to each other. 2018 begins with critical bugs in critical infrastructure of processors. Meltdown and Spectre haunt the majority of our computing infrastructure, be it the Cloud, local systems, servers, telephones, laptops, tablets, and many more. Information security relies on the weakest link. Once your core components have flaws, then the whole platform may be in jeopardy. In 2017 malicious hypervisors in terms of

Read More

DeepSec 2016 Talk: The Perfect Door and The Ideal Padlock – Deviant Ollam

Sanna/ October 14, 2016/ Conference, Discussion, Security

You have spent lots of money on a high-grade pick-resistant lock for your door. Your vendor has assured you how it will resist attack and how difficult it would be for someone to copy your key. Maybe they’re right. But… the bulk of attacks that both penetration testers and also criminals attempt against doors have little or nothing to do with the lock itself! Deviant Ollams talk  will be a hard-hitting exploration (full of photo and video examples) of the ways in which your doors and padlocks – the most fundamental part of your physical security – can possibly be thwarted by someone attempting illicit entry. The scary problems will be immediately followed by simple solutions that are instantly implementable and usually very within-budget. You, too, can have a near-perfect door and acquire ideal

Read More

DeepSec Workshops: Digitale Verteidigung – Wissen ist Macht

René Pfeiffer/ October 20, 2015/ Conference, Internet, Training

Wann haben Sie Ihren letzten Geschäftsbrief geschrieben? Und wann haben Sie das letzte Mal Stift und Papier dazu benutzt? Es macht nichts wenn Sie sich nicht daran erinnern können: Digitale Kommunikation ist Teil unseres Alltagslebens, nicht nur in der Geschäftswelt. Wir haben uns so sehr daran gewöhnt ständig online zu kommunizieren, das offline sein sich schon fast unnatürlich anfühlt. Das heißt natürlich auch, dass wir ständig irgendwelchen Netzwerken ausgeliefert sind, vor allem dem Internet. Unsere Tür steht Tag und Nacht offen. Wir können sie nicht mehr schließen und laden somit offen auch ungebetene Gäste ein, die dieselben Netzwerke nutzen wie wir. Es ist Zeit ernsthaft darüber nachzudenken. Was für Bedrohungen gibt es da draußen? Und wie können wir uns vor Ihnen schützen? Cyber Kriminalität und Datenschutz Alles ist „Cyber“ heutzutage. Kriminalität genauso wie Sicherheitsbestrebungen.

Read More

DeepSec 2015 Workshop: Practical Firmware Reversing and Exploit Development for AVR-based Embedded Devices – Alexander Bolshev & Boris Ryutin

Sanna/ October 7, 2015/ Conference, Training

The Internet of Things (IoT), more common known as the Internet of Stuff, is all around us. You don’t have to wait for it any more. Take a peek at the search results from Shodan and you will see that lots of devices are connected to the Internet. Since your refrigerator does not run high performance hardware, it is well worth to take a look at the hardware being used. For connected household devices and their controllers you need low power equipment. Think small, think embedded, not different. This is why we offer the Practical Firmware Reversing and Exploit Development for AVR-based Embedded Devices training to you at DeepSec 2015. Alexander Bolshev and Boris Ryutin will show you how to create exploits for the Internet of Things: Embedded systems are everywhere. And all of

Read More

BIOS-based Hypervisor Threats

René Pfeiffer/ November 20, 2014/ Discussion, High Entropy, Security

The DeepSec 2014 schedule features a presentation about (hidden) hypervisors in server BIOS environments. The research is based on a Russian analysis of a Malicious BIOS Loaded Hypervisor (conducted between 2007 and 2010) and studies published by the University of Michigan in 2005/2006 as well as 2012/2013. The latter publications discuss the capabilities of a Virtual-Machine Based Rootkits and Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) / Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) vulnerabilities. Out-of-band management is sensitive to attacks when not properly protected. In the case of IPMI and BMC the management components also play a role on the system itself since they can access the server hardware, being capable to control system resources. Combining out-of-band components with a hypervisor offers ways to watch any operating system running on the server hardware. Or worse. It’s definitely something

Read More

DeepSec 2014 Talk: A Myth or Reality – BIOS-based Hypervisor Threat

René Pfeiffer/ September 24, 2014/ Conference, High Entropy

Backdoors are devious. Usually you have to look for them since someone has hidden or „forgotten“ them. Plus backdoors are very fashionable these days. You should definitely get one or more. Software is (very) easy to inspect for any rear entrances. Even if you don’t have access to the source code, you can deconstruct the bytes and eventually look for suspicious parts of the code. When it comes to hardware, things might get complicated. Accessing code stored in hardware can be complex. Besides it isn’t always clear which one of the little black chips holds the real code you are looking for. Since all of our devices we use every days runs on little black chips (the colour doesn’t matter, really), everyone with trust issues should make sure that control of these devices is

Read More

Crypto Wars by Black Boxes and Standards

René Pfeiffer/ September 15, 2013/ High Entropy, Security

Intelligence services go after cryptography. That’s the news you have probably read in the past weeks. That’s no surprise. They have been doing this for centuries. If your job is to intercept and analyse communication, then cryptography gets in your way (provided the target uses it properly). Intelligence services have been dealing with creating and breaking ciphers since their existence. How do you break cryptography? What can you do to attack encrypted communication? There are multiple ways to obtain messages in clear text. Attack the encrypted data! This is widely known as cryptanalysis. Basically you intercept the encrypted message and try to deduce the plain text. Given sufficient failures in the history of cipher designs, this is pretty hard with most modern ciphers. Algorithms used today are developed and tested to withstand attacks like

Read More

BYOD Madness

René Pfeiffer/ May 7, 2012/ Discussion, Security

When it comes to computing we all like convenience, just like in other areas of personal or business life. It’s nice to use familiar tools. Provisioning is much easier for your IT department if your users bring their own hardware. So, let’s sprinkle this idyllic setting with some security in terms of malware protection, data loss prevention and policies. This is a recipe for a lot of fun and sleepless nights at the same time. The laisser-faire bring your own device (BYOD) approach is all the fashion these days. Since your users really like to do serious business on electronics and software designed for entertainment, why not combine both ends of the spectrum and create a worse starting point than with using either one technology. While being able to view, edit and create confidential

Read More