Rodney Campbell's Blog

Archive for September, 2006

2006.09.11 Daily Security Reading

by on Sep.11, 2006, under Security

I Spy; Doesn’t Everyone?

FLIP open your husband’s cellphone and scroll down the log of calls received. Glance over your teenager’s shoulder at his screenful of instant messages. Type in a girlfriend’s password and rifle through her e-mail.

Insider warns of storage industry security flaws

A former government security advisor now in the employ of Hitachi Data systems claims major storage players, including his own company, have fundamental problems with securing their systems.

Insecure Magazine: Issue 1.8 (pdf)

Off-Site Backup for Home Users

A few musings about off-site backup for home users and the usefulness of TrueCrypt – NB: TrueCrypt is great (and free – as in beer) stuff – I use it myself and can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Money Bots: Hackers Cash In on Hijacked PCs

Researchers at the German Honeynet Project have discovered that a malicious hacker earned about $430 in a single day installing spyware on computers in the latest Windows worm attack. Within 24 hours, the IRC-controlled botnet hijacked more than 7,700 machines via the Windows Server Service vulnerability (MS06-040) and hosed the infected computers with the spyware from DollarRevenue. The botnet operator made between a penny and 30 cents for every piece of spyware installed. Add that to the spam rental and DDoS extortion money and we have a booming business.

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Sydney’s Electronic Toll Tags Compared

by on Sep.09, 2006, under Life

Electronic tolling tags are currently used on most major Australian toll roads, bridges and tunnels. In Sydney the toll network includes the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel, M1 Eastern Distributor, M2 Hills Motorway, M4 Western Motorway, M5 South West Motorway, M7 Westlink, the Cross City Tunnel and the soon to be opened Lane Cove Tunnel . Outside of Sydney some major toll roads include Melbourne's City Link and Brisbane's Gateway Bridge and Logan Motorway.

The E-Tag (electronic tag) is a small device which is usually attached to the front windscreen of the vehicle. As the vehicle passes by one of the tolling points of the road, bridge or tunnel, the tag will receive and transmit a signal to the tolling equipment and will beep. This will deduct the appropriate toll amount from your toll account.

There are five different E-Tags you can sign up for and motorists can use any of them on all Australian toll roads:

Before the release of the Roam e-Tag (and the opening of the Westlink M7) the NRMA calculated the costs for each of the first four tags and found the E-Toll and E-way tags are the best value for frequent users, while the E-Toll is best for infrequent users.

Either the NSW RTA E-Toll or the Roam e-TAG are probably the best E-Tags to get as they can have no extra fees (other than the cost of the tolls) and no fees for tag inactivity. You can also get statements posted every quarter for free.

With most of these E-Tags (including the RTA E-Toll and Roam e-TAG) if you want to avoid or limit monthly tag and admin fees you will need to setup an account with:

  • an initial pre-paid balance (generally in the order of $50 to $80)
  • an automatic payment and top up option (when your balance drops below a certain value – generally around $20 – and it tops up a certyain amount – generally in the order of $50 to $80)
  • and you will need to pay the upfront refundable tag depost (generally in the order of $40).

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2006.09.08 Daily Security Reading

by on Sep.08, 2006, under Security

DRM Hole Sets Patch Speed Record For Microsoft

If you really want to see Microsoft scramble to patch a hole in its software, don't look to vulnerabilities that impact countless Internet Explorer users or give intruders control of thousands of Windows machines. Just crack Redmond's DRM.

Microsoft Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor (Beta) 1 Release Build

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor is a small application that you can run on your current Windows XP-based computer to find out if it's ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista. When you run the Upgrade Advisor, it will scan your computer and generate an easy-to-understand report of any known system and device compatibility issues, along with recommendations on how you can get your PC ready for Windows Vista.

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2006.09.07 Daily Security Reading

by on Sep.07, 2006, under Security

New Apache Compliance Audit Policy

Tenable's research team has released a Nessus 3 audit policy file which can be used to audit the configuration of Apache web servers running on various UNIX platforms. The policy can be customized to your specific Apache distribution. It can audit many aspects of the httpd.conf file.

OpenSSL signatures can be forged

OpenSSL may fail to detect forged digital signatures under certain conditions due to an error in the implementation, a failure to check a certain condition while verifying the RSA signature. The flaw affects all systems that use the OpenSSL library, and in particular servers secured with SSL/TLS and VPNs based on SSL/TLS. OpenSSL versions 0.9.7k and 0.9.8c have eliminated the vulnerability. 

NIST Publication 800-94 Guide to Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) Systems (Draft)

Securitycompass Web Application Analysis Tool (SWAAT)

SWAAT is a .Net command-line tool that searches through source code for potential vulnerabilities in Java, JSP, ASP.Net, and PHP.

Microsoft Word 0-day Vulnerability FAQ – September 2006, CVE-2006-4534 [UPDATED]

This is Frequently Asked Questions document about new zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word. The document describes related malwares as well.

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2006.09.06 Daily Security Reading

by on Sep.06, 2006, under Security

Identity Theft Techniques

There’s been a lot of talk about identity theft in recent days, and a lot of technology is being thrown at the problem. But with all the technology that’s out there, it’s still pretty easy for a good social engineer to steal an identity and exploit it swiftly, even if they only have a single piece of personal information.

Hilarious reply from HD Moore

to John Gruber’s Open Challenge to David Maynor and Jon Ellch over the reported Apple airport flaws.

Security Now

Steve Gibson and TechTV’s Leo Laporte’s weekly security column and audio podcast. They discuss important issues of personal computer security.

Microsoft Adds Anti-phishing Tools to IE 7  

Microsoft inked an agreement with whitelist specialist Digital Resolve to help its next-generation Internet Explorer 7 Web browsing software and Windows Live Toolbar application protect users against fraudulent Web sites.

SMS phishing attacks hit mobile users

McAfee has warned that malware writers are attempting to fool mobile phone users with bogus text messages.

Wi-Fi Fingerprints — the End of MAC Spoofing?

Wireless devices can be identified by variations in their radio signaling, known as their ‘transceiverprint,’ according to research reported in Techworld. The Canadian researcher, Jeyanthi Hall, related the prints to MAC addresses and got a positive ID for devices connecting to a Wi-Fi network, claiming 95% success with no false positives.


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