The point of sale company Lightspeed has suffered a data breech, the email above was posted on twitter by Australian security expert Troy Hunt which was sent by Lightspeed to its customers. The hackers had gained access to systems related to its retail offering. Lightspeed confirmed the attackers accessed a central database containing information on sales, products, and customers. The database included encrypted passwords, electronic signatures, and API keys. Eventhough the database was accessed by hackers Lightspeed said there was no evidence that information was stolen.
The company said that passwords created after January of 2015 where the safest having been stored with advanced encryption technology. They also said that the system that the hackers had accessed did not hold any private information such as credit card numbers. The company has informed customers that a third party security firm had been hired to investigate and that it’s systems should be only accessible by authorized users.
As with any piece of new technology, the introduction of smart watches come with new threats to security. A recent study was conducted on these watches and to no ones surprise, many vulnerabilities were found. A few of the vulnerabilities listed include, a lack of transport encryption, lack of user authentication, privacy problems, and firmware problems. It was also found that communications were easy to interfere with and intercept. This means that as of right now, if sensitive data is being transmitted over the watches, anyone could get a hold of it.
Experts recommend to protect sensitive information with strong passwords and to make sure you are controlling your communications to avoid middle man attacks. Another suggestion they make is to manage your transport layer security settings and make sure they are in good shape for protecting you. The biggest concern however seems to be the vulnerabilities of the apps rather than the watch itself. Previously there have been attacks on apps for the iPhone and such so the experts say it wouldn’t be surprising to see attacks on the smart watch apps.
The bottom line is to approach these new smart watch products with care and to focus more on the security of the apps than the watch itself. Additionally, as time goes on, more apps for increased security will be released. Apple has already released several since the release of their Apple Watch.
According to a recent survey, Healthcare is the latest favourite of the hacking community. There’s a shortage of security professionals in the healthcare business, and while many respondents involved in tech are worried about personal records and other data, the ones who aren’t involved in tech, while worried, do not believe their corporations to have been hit.
The tech respondents have a right to be worried. Recently, it’s come to light that Healthcare experiences 340% more security attacks and incidents than any other sector, and advanced malware is suspected in 1 of every 600 attacks, making Healthcare four times more likely to be hit by advanced malware than any other sector.
There are many ways that hackers can get in. With the digitalization of patient records, as well as the addition of wearable technology, such as smart watches and smartphones, hackers are finding many new avenues to break into the system. While security for wearable technology is a separate issue, Jonathan Collins, a principal analyst for ABI Research says that they can pave the way for easier access to Healthcare records.
Stingray’s are a device that act like a cell tower and are used to intercept phone and text signals. They are about $400,000 and are useful in helping to solve serious crimes.This article focuses on the use of stingrays in Baltimore. Previously, the FBI forced users of this device to sign a non-disclosure agreement; meaning that if police officers used it, they could not talk of its use. However, recently the FBI has stated that the police can talk about its use; this is a big deal because now all the cases in which stingrays are used are being published. Additionally, it has now come to light that stingrays are being used in petty crime cases such as theft. While the stingrays help facilitate the process of catching someone who has committed such a crime, it also interferes with innocent bystanders’ phones. In doing so, some believe that it is a violation of their rights. The devices do not discriminate when it comes to collecting information so innocent people are concerned for theirs. Some senators are also targeting stingrays by trying to pass a bill that would require warrants before their use. So far, stingrays have been used in over 4,300 cases in Baltimore alone. What does that mean for the rest of the country?
The problem that most people are concerned with is that the stingrays collect information on people who are innocent as well as guilty. This means that everyone who is connected to the stingray will have their information potentially read or used by the police. This is a huge security problem because there are no defenses for us against it currently nor are there laws to protect the citizens. In my opinion, the policies behind the use of stingray’s need reform because right now, people who are directly involved are in danger of having their valuable information exposed.
For the past two years, there’s been a vulnerability in most Minecraft servers that would cause them to run out of memory if a malformed packet was sent to them!
Internally, Minecraft exchanges some data with the Named Binary Tag (NBT) format, basically JSON in binary form. On the server, there was no bounds checking and no maximum size, so a malicious client could send a blob of NBT up to 2^28 bytes, or something like 268 MB, luckily it’s sent compressed 😉 When the server receives data in the NBT format it parses it and then creates the corresponding Java objects.
The author and creator of the exploit created an object that recursively created 30,000,000 lists (the compressed size of this data was only 39KB! Uncompressed it was 27MB). When sent to the server, it was able to accept the NBT data just fine, but when it went to parse it the CPU load would spike and the JVM would run out of memory and crash, whoops!
The author disclosed this vulnerability to Mojang two years ago, but they never acted on it. Within a day of them releasing the article announcing the exploit Mojang released Minecraft 1.8.4, which had proper bounds checking to prevent it from happening.