Episode 318 – Drunken Security News

So this week had some outstanding content. Paul started off with a tech segment with Ben (@innismir) Jackson talking about Thug and how to beat up that browser malware. (video) Additionally, Paul, Jack and Allison interviewed Dr. Gene (@therealspaf) Spafford, one of the legends in the field of information security. (video) (Episode 318 Show Notes) rsz_photomat-image.jpgBut with all that in the books, the conversation quickly turn to porn, smut and "sextortion." Yup, this was the first time that word had ever been uttered on the Security Weekly, which required a visit to Urban Dictionary. As Allison noted, you can now get your very own sextortion coffee mugs, bumper stickers and magnets. The article described talks about how someone hacks into girls' computers (password guessing?), finds risqué photos and then uses those to get the girls to either send more pictures or go on video. Another man was recently charged with a similar crime where he'd talk to boys in IRC, get them to reveal themselves in a video chat where he'd then grab screenshots and use that against the victims. Lessons learned? If you are going to take a nude picture of yourself, DON'T INCLUDE YOUR FACE! But if push comes to shove, profit off it. As Paul said, it worked for the Kardashians and the Hiltons. Did you know you're 182 times more likely to get malware on a news site than on a porn site? China hacked the New York Times! Or did they? Wait, China did it? How in the world did a country of one billion people hack the NY Times. Isn't that the same thing as my blog getting hacked by the kid down the street and saying "The United States did it!" Maybe it was someone in China, maybe it was someone hired by Chinese government officials maybe it was someone who does things the same way that Chinese hackers have done it in the past. But as Allison and Jack noted, it's good that the Times is being so public with the situation.
As we begin adding more technology to embedded devices like televisions, we're not paying any additional attention to the security on them. Researchers are reporting having seen televisions and CCTV cameras pop up in their honeypots. Paul talked about fifty million Universal Plug and Play network devices being open to packet attack. As he noted: "This is not a shock to me at all. UPnP is horrible, there just had to be a flaw in there somewhere. HD Moore found some, and turns out there are millions of vulnerable devices on the Internet. I am so happy to see this research come to light, it needs to happen. Free tools exist to check for the vulnerabilities, and details are forthcoming." Speaking of forthcoming, the new version of Backtrack Linux is coming... Oracle now cares about fixing the flaws in Java. Really? What could have possibly spurred this on? Maybe when the US Department of Homeland Security is telling everyone to stop using it? Maybe when they say they're patching the flaws and then a few minutes later, someone already has a new vulnerability for it? Good to know that this is what it takes for Oracle to finally care about security. Now imagine if such a company were involved in things like databases? Oh wait. Wrapping this up with just a few more things. Paul talks about an XSS vulnerability in the VMware Management Interface. Free environment snapshots? Yes please! Allison brings up the new law making it more illegal to jailbreak your mobile device if the carrier says you can not. But what about if you buy an unlocked phone for full price? That's ok, right? Oh yeah, that grad student who was expelled from a Canadian university for telling them about their bad security practices? Well, it's actually a little worse. According to his expulsion letter, he was twice caught and admitted to using SQL injection to break into their informational systems. Yeah, that's a little more than just informing the school about their bad security practices, that's rubbing their nose in it. So lesson for the day, if you're paying someone thousands of dollars for a graduate degree, don't rub their nose in their bad security practices and expect to stick around. Did you hear that Security BSides Rhode Island tickets are now on sale? Get them at

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