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[Netsec] SANS NewsBites Vol. 13 Num. 42 : Wyden blocks anti-piracy bill

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SANS NewsBites                  May 27, 2011             Vol. 13, Num. 042
  Wyden Blocks Anti-Piracy Bill
  White House Cyber Security Proposal Met With Criticism From Legislators
  Senator Wants Google and Apple to Require Privacy Policies on Location-Aware Apps
    Cookie-jacking Flaw Found in IE
    Mac Scareware Variant Installs Without Password; Apple Acknowledges Problem
    Another Comodo SSL Certificate Reseller Attacked
    Google Updates Chrome to Version 11.0.696.71
    Hit Spammers at Their Payment Processors
    A New Twist on Pen Testing
    Microsoft Fixes Hotmail Cross-Site Scripting Flaw

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 --Wyden Blocks Anti-Piracy Bill
(May 26, 2011)
US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has put a hold on a bill unanimously
approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would expand the
government's power to block and shut down web sites "dedicated to
infringing activities." The Protect IP Act (PIPA) would give the
government the authority to bring lawsuits against the sites and get
court orders that would require search engines to cease providing
links to the sites. In a statement, Wyden said, "By ceding control of
the Internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to
government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the
Internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our
international objectives." Wyden put a hold on similar legislation
last year.
[Editor's Comment (Northcutt): According to Senate.gov, a "hold" is an
informal practice by which a Senator informs his or her floor leader
that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach
the floor for consideration. The Majority Leader need not follow the
Senator's wishes, but is on notice that the opposing Senator may
filibuster (procedural methods to delay legislation) any motion to
proceed to consider the measure.  I think Sen. Wyden may be on the right
path here. The Internet, last I checked, is not a USA-only system. What
we could end up achieving is taking down a few web sites, but causing
search engines based in other countries to be the market search leaders.
http://www.senate.gov/reference/glossary_term/filibuster.htm ]

 --White House Cyber Security Proposal Met With Criticism From Legislators
(May 23, 24 & 25, 2011)
Critics of a White House cyber security legislation proposal say that
it would allow government broader access to private information. The
proposal calls for private organizations to share cyber attack data with
DHS. It would take precedence over other laws' limits on government
access to private information. Companies sharing cyber attack
information with the government would be immune from prosecution,
harking back to the controversial immunity granted to telecommunications
companies participating in the government's warrantless wiretapping
following the September 11 attacks.

 --Senator Wants Google and Apple to Require Privacy Policies on
    Location-Aware Apps
(May 25, 2011)
In a letter to Apple and Google executives, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.)
has asked that the companies require privacy policies for
"location-aware" apps sold for their products. Franken would like to see
apps that track location data have straightforward privacy policies that
clarify exactly what information is collected, how the data are
collected and with what parties they are shared.

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 --Cookie-jacking Flaw Found in IE
(May 25 & 26, 2011)
An unpatched flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) could allow
attackers to steal cookies from vulnerable computers and use them to
access password-protected websites. The vulnerability affects all
current versions of the browser running on Windows. The exploit requires
social engineering - manipulating the user into dragging and dropping
an object. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company does not consider
the flaw to be high risk because of the level of user interaction

 --Mac Scareware Variant Installs Without Password; Apple Acknowledges Problem
(May 24, 25 & 26, 2011)
A new variant of scareware that targets Mac users, called MacGuard, has
been detected, and this version does not require users to submit
administrator passwords to install. Earlier versions of Mac scareware,
which have gone by such names as Mac Defender, Mac Security and Mac
Protector, all required administrator passwords. Users are at risk if
they have set their Safari browsers to automatically open files
designated as safe.  Apple has acknowledged the scareware issue and says
it will release an update to detect and remove the malware. The company
has already published an advisory with recommendations for removing the
malware or avoiding infection.
The advisory from Apple is available at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4650

 --Another Comodo SSL Certificate Reseller Attacked
(May 24 & 25, 2011)
Another Comodo SSL certificate reseller has suffered an attack.
ComodoBR, the company's Brazilian partner, had portions of its database
accessed through an SQL injection attack. The compromised data include
customer information, submitted certificate requests and ComodoBR
employee access credentials. Earlier this year, another Comodo partner
was attacked and the attackers issued themselves certificates signed
with Comodo's root key. No certificates were issued in the attack on the
Brazilian reseller.
[Editor's Comment (Northcutt): Certificate granting authorities are
among the highest margin business opportunities. You give me three
thousand dollars, I give you a string of bits. You would think they
would take security more seriously than anyone, because they have so
much to lose. On the organizational side of the house, these things
force one to rethink security architecture. Stuxnet code was signed with
a stolen certificate; more recently W32.Qakbot was signed with a
legitimate key:
http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/w32qakbot-under-surface ]

 --Google Updates Chrome to Version 11.0.696.71
(May 25 & 26, 2011)
Google has issued a Chrome update to address four vulnerabilities, two
of which are rated critical. The critical flaws fixed in Chrome version
11.0.696.71 are a memory corruption bug in the GPU command buffer and
an out-of-bounds write issue in blob handling. The other two flaws, with
severity ratings of high and low respectively, are a stale pointer
vulnerability and a flaw that could allow bypassing the popup blocker.
Google will not release details of the issues until more users have been

 --Hit Spammers at Their Payment Processors
(May 25, 2011)
Nearly all financial transactions arising from spam operations are
handled by just three banks, according to a paper from 15 researchers
from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of
California at San Diego, the International Computer Science Institute
and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The paper,
which "follows the money" from spam around the world, is scheduled to
be delivered next week at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
2011. The researchers gathered real spam data and made more than 100
purchases from the sites the messages led to. The three banks are
Azerigazbank in Azerbaijan, DnB NOR in Latvia, and St.
Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank in the Caribbean. As potential
solutions, the researchers recommend that issuing banks in the US refuse
to conduct "card not present" transactions for known spammers.
[Editor's Note (Schultz): This is one of the most interesting
information security research efforts in recent years.
(Honan): This is a very interesting development in the fight against
spam.  While changing hosting providers is a trivial matter for spam
operators changing their payment processor is not easy making it more
time consuming and costly for spammers to conduct their operations.
Should enough of these payment processors be identified and blacklisted
it could have a major impact in the amount of spam flooding our

 --A New Twist on Pen Testing
(May 25, 2011)
A computer network designed for a new Colorado Department of Corrections
maximum security facility received some penetration testing from the
prisoners themselves. The system is for a facility where prisoners are
isolated for 23 hours a day. Cells are equipped with thin client kiosks:
a monitor screen behind a clear plate, a headset, a mouse, and a
keyboard with limited functionality.  Prisoners watch television, and
receive calls and virtual visits through the system. "The network is
isolated from the Internet, and services hosted outside are delivered
through reverse proxy servers." A new image of the OS is loaded every
time the system boots. Because the prisoners are alone in their cells
for the majority of the day, they spent a lot of time trying to
circumvent the system. They discovered that opening more than 200
windows in IE caused a buffer overflow that overrode group policy and
allowed access to more functions through their keyboards.  They also
figured out how to access visitation systems and communicated with one
another. The issues revealed by their efforts have been addressed.

 --Microsoft Fixes Hotmail Cross-Site Scripting Flaw
(May 24, 2011)
Microsoft has fixed a security issue in Hotmail that was being actively
exploited to steal users' messages and contact lists.  Attackers sent
targets email messages containing malicious scripts.  Computers become
infected when recipients open or preview the message.  The embedded code
uploaded messages and contact lists to remote servers. The attack was
possible due to a cross-site scripting flaw which has been remedied.

The Editorial Board of SANS NewsBites

Eugene Schultz, Ph.D., CISM, CISSP, GLSC is CTO of Emagined Security and
the author/co-author of books on Unix security, Internet security,
Windows NT/2000 security, incident response, and intrusion detection and
prevention. He was also the co-founder and original project manager of
the Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC).

John Pescatore is Vice President at Gartner Inc.; he has worked in
computer and network security since 1978.

Stephen Northcutt founded the GIAC certification and currently serves
as President of the SANS Technology Institute, a post graduate level IT
Security College, www.sans.edu.

Dr. Johannes Ullrich is Chief Technology Officer of the Internet Storm
Center and Dean of the Faculty of the graduate school at the SANS
Technology Institute.

Ed Skoudis is co-founder of Inguardians, a security research and
consulting firm, and author and lead instructor of the SANS Hacker
Exploits and Incident Handling course.

Rob Lee is the curriculum lead instructor for the SANS Institute's
computer forensic courses (computer-forensics.sans.org) and a Director
at the incident response company Mandiant.

Rohit Dhamankar is a security professional currently involved in
independent security research.

Tom Liston is a Senior Security Consultant and Malware Analyst for
Inguardians, a handler for the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center,
and co-author of the book Counter Hack Reloaded.

Dr. Eric Cole is an instructor, author and fellow with The SANS
Institute. He has written five books, including Insider Threat and he
is a founder with Secure Anchor Consulting.

Ron Dick directed the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC)
at the FBI and served as President of the InfraGard National
Members Alliance - with more than 22,000 members.

Mason Brown is one of a very small number of people in the information
security field who have held a top management position in a Fortune 50
company (Alcoa).  He is leading SANS' global initiative to improve
application security.

David Hoelzer is the director of research & principal examiner for
Enclave Forensics and a senior fellow with the SANS Technology

Mark Weatherford, Chief Security Officer, North American Electric
Reliability Corporation (NERC).

Alan Paller is director of research at the SANS Institute.

Marcus J. Ranum built the first firewall for the White House and is
widely recognized as a security products designer and industry

Clint Kreitner is the founding President and CEO of The Center for
Internet Security.

Brian Honan is an independent security consultant based in Dublin, Ireland.

David Turley is SANS infrastructure manager and serves as production
manager and final editor on SANS NewsBites.

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